Taking care of your kids seems like a basic parental obligation, right?
Well, not for this guy. One man took to Reddit to share that he had checked out of his parental duties after his wife shouted he was ‘not the father’ to her kids in a heated argument.
He refused to take them to doctor’s appointments, drop them off at school or even tell one of his step-children his opinion on what sport he should play at school.
The step-dad wrote: ‘My wife and I have been married for about four years. She brought three kids from previous relationships into the marriage, while I have none.
‘They moved into my house after the marriage because I live in a better school district.
‘Obviously we’ve had our ups and downs, but overall it’s been good, until a couple of weeks ago when I woke up and found a large dent running down the entire passenger side of my car.’
Furious, the man checked their doorbell camera to investigate, thinking someone had knocked his car and driven off.
‘I was surprised to see our 16-year-old daughter sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night and driving off in my car. She later returned hours later stumbling into the house,’ he said.
‘I angrily showed my wife the recording and told her our daughter needs to be punished but she said that she’ll talk to her. I argued that talk isn’t enough which led us into an argument.
‘My wife argued that the new family dynamic has been hard on the kids while I argued that, it doesn’t excuse the damage done to my car. I wanted her to agree to ground our daughter from social media and make her get a job to pay for the damage.
‘We argued for hours until she said I don’t get a say in any punishment because I’m not her father. That ended the argument and I walked off.’
Since then, the man said he was ‘checked out’ of parental duties, including driving the kids to doctor’s appointments and sports clubs, which is something he’d usually do. As a result, his wife has had to take time off work.
‘I’ve been an adult and still make sure the kids are safe and fed, but I haven’t done anything a father would do,’ he explained.
‘They start school next week and I’ve dropped them off ever since they moved in but I told my wife she’ll have to do it this year.
‘She argued she can’t because of her work schedule and I answered a mother would figure it out. She called me a child and said to grow up.
‘I think since I’m not the father I don’t have to take on the responsibilities of one but obviously she disagrees.’
Referring back to the incident where his step-daughter stole and dented his vehicle, he added: ‘My wife wants me to report it to my insurance as a hit and run. She said that way no one has to pay for it.
‘I argued that I’ll have to pay for it in the long run because they’ll jack up my rates.
‘I’m not ignoring the kids and I still talk to them daily. I just don’t do or make any parental decisions like I stated above.
‘Also the other day our son asked me if he should play basketball or football and I told him to go ask his mother.’
The internet was quick to rush to his defence, dubbing the wife’s behaviour unacceptable and disrespectful.
One commenter wrote: ‘Your wife wants to have her cake and eat it too. If she is unwilling to discipline her kids but still expects you to carry the burden of raising her kids, that is insane. She’s just using you at that point.
‘It is not childish to expect reciprocity and respect in your relationship. If she can’t provide that to you, she can leave with her kids. She made her point very clear and you have every right to die on this hill. I probably would too in your shoes.’
Another agreed, writing: ‘I had a similar argument with my wife many years ago. You don’t get to pick and choose when the step-parent gets parenting responsibilities.
‘She doesn’t get to make you dad when it is convenient and then dismiss you when she feels like its all or nothing.
‘Also drunk driving a stolen car is huge deal, especially since its your car she clearly hit someone else’s car (god I hope) with.
‘You are correct and “oh my parents broke up” is not an excuse to do as you please without consequences.’
One simply suggested: ‘I would strongly reconsider this marriage if, after four years of marriage, she doesn’t see you as a blended family unit.’
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