When one of your parents remarries, you gain a stepparent. It’s not always easy to navigate a new family dynamic, and especially challenging if you find yourself in a difficult situation.

A netizen recently asked, “Am I a jerk for refusing to help my daughter honor her stepfather at her wedding?”. We’re all ears for your opinion!


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The Original Poster (OP) has two children. Emily (30F) and Hayes (26M) with his ex-wife. She left OP a few months after Hayes was born and ended up getting back together with her high school ex Sam.

Sam and OP’s ex ended up marrying seven months later. 

OP’s Mistreatment By Sam

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Emily has always adored Sam.

OP, however, hates the guy. For years he would work on getting under OP’s skin, saying OP wasn’t a good enough dad to his daughter because he wasn’t enough, and Emily considered Sam her dad too. He’d tell OP every time she called him Daddy Sam or Dad Sam.

What Would He Do

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When OP told Sam he was being childish, he’d tell OP in return that he knew it cut OP up inside to have to share her affection as a dad.

He told OP one day that he would be walking Emily down the aisle and maybe she’d even want him to do it alone and would not want OP anywhere near them for that.

More About Sam & OP’s Nasty Relationship

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Despite all this Sam was never able to come between OP and Emily, and they have always been very close.

Sam Never Cared For Hayes

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Sam never cared for Hayes as much. OP thinks Hayes being gay plays a large part in Sam not caring for him as much as he does for Emily.

Sometimes, OP had to restrain himself from exploding in front of the kids when Sam would taunt him. OP knew he’d love a chance to get him out of his kids’ lives.

What Happened Last Year?

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Last year, Sam was diagnosed with motor neuron disease. He’s now in a wheelchair and has lost his mobility and his speech has suffered greatly.

Emily is getting married in a few months and wants them both to bring her down the aisle.

Emily’s Request 

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A week ago, Emily came to OP’s house and told him she wanted to pay a special tribute to Sam, and she wanted OP’s help to do it (both finance and planning).

OP told her he would not help her with that. She was upset.

Hayes Refused

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She said Hayes refused to help her as well. She told OP, Sam means a lot to her, and she would have thought OP would be glad that she had two amazing father figures. 

OP’s Denial Of Her Request 

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OP told her Sam, and he did not have a positive relationship, and there is no way he would ever spend his money or time doing something nice for the man.

OP told her he had treated him poorly over the years and that OP accepted she loved him. But he was not worthy of OP’s money or that effort in his eyes.

She asked OP if he would do it for her. OP told her he could not. She said okay.

What Next?

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Emily’s fiance called OP up after this and said whatever petty issues between Sam and OP, could he not do something for his daughter when she’s going to lose one of her most special people?

Her fiance said OP was breaking Emily’s heart because she didn’t want to be caught between them. That it’s clear OP is enjoying watching Sam suffer as he is, and that’s proven by OP’s actions, and he’s not being a good dad to Emily.

Is OP being a jerk here?

Ask Emily WHY?

I'm tired of listening to you. Family conflict between father and daughter. daughter sits right in front of the camera and looks displeased.
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“Not the jerk. Ask Emily why it was ok for Sam to dismiss Hayes because he was gay yet show her so much attention because she wasn’t.

Her relationship with Sam is her own. She can’t expect others to forget or ignore their own mistreatment by Sam just to make her happy. She is an adult. She should know better.” 

Actions Have Consequences

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“Actions have consequences. Tell fiancé if he feels you’re ruining his fiancée’s big day he can arrange for that along with his MIL’s help. He will back out for sure once he hears it.

Also, your daughter never felt bad when her stepdad was taunting you and her brother but now feels dejected that you aren’t going out of your way to help that same man.” 

You Are Being More Than Reasonable

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“You were perfectly willing to walk your daughter down the aisle with Sam and accept that she wants Sam in her life.

You are not required to fork out anything financial for him, and if your daughter wants this to happen, she and her fiancé need to either figure out a way to do it or ask her mother for help.  You are being more than reasonable, if Emily wants more than that, she’s 30 years old and needs to figure it out.

She’s also more than old enough to take into consideration the nuance and nature of your and Sam’s relationship. The fact that two separate people won’t help her with this should be a wake-up call to her.

Sam has treated two people she loves very badly. She’s allowed to honor and include him in her wedding if she chooses, but she’s not entitled to anyone’s time or money to make it happen.” 

Try To Explain To Her Calmly 

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“Have you sat down with her calmly and explained to her all the things he has said and done to you? 

It’s not a matter of sour grapes on your part, this man actively and purposefully tried to turn your own child against you for his own benefit.

Give specific incidents – take the time before you talk to her to write it all down. This man’s words and actions caused you great harm and absolutely did impact your relationship with YOUR daughter.” 

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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