What would you do if your partner told you you’re playing favorites amongst your daughters when you aren’t?

An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for refusing to ensure things are equal between my daughter and stepdaughter?”. We need you to find out.


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Both the Original Poster (OP) and his wife brought a daughter from their previous relationships into their marriage. 

“Despite being only a year apart in age, our daughters were completely different, and that’s why I’m here.”, says OP. 


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OP’s daughter has always been athletic and outgoing. She played basketball, softball, soccer, volleyball, and golf growing up. In middle school, she picked up tennis and never looked back. 

OP paid for her to have private lessons, and when she found out how much OP was paying for those lessons, her daughter decided that’s what she wanted to do as her teenage job.

“She’s now a junior, is one of the best players on her high school team, and teaches tennis lessons”, says OP. 


3. women with money
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OP’s daughter teaches elementary school kids and charges $75 per hour per kid. With her skills and outgoing personality, she has a waiting list of kids and makes about $1,200 a week.

“She could make more, but I limit her hours so that she can concentrate on school.”, says OP. 


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OP’s stepdaughter is reserved and not very athletic. They always tried to sign her up for the same sport and team as OP’s daughter, but she either objected or quit a few weeks later. 

“I get it. Sports are not for everyone, so I never made her feel bad about it. She recently turned 16 and got a job at a burger place nearby. She’s making $13 an hour and brings home less than $200 a week.”, says OP. 


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OP’s daughter recently decided that she wants to be independent by buying her clothes and electronics with her own money. She can afford the latest styles and gadgets. She recently brought herself the top-of-the-line Mac. 

OP’s stepdaughter is jealous of her sister and has been very vocal about it. 


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While in bed last night, OP’s wife said it was unfair that one is making so much more than the other. 

OP answered that they can do nothing about it, and it’s a good life lesson for the girls.

OP’s wife then suggested they have OP’s daughter use her money to help his stepdaughter buy the same things, or they cover the pay difference between the girls. 

“I laughed because I thought she was joking, but she wasn’t. We whispered and argued for about an hour before we went to sleep.”, says OP. 


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Next morning, OP’s wife brought it up again and accused OP, saying he’s refusing because he’s playing favorites, and that’s a jerk move for a parent. 

“We argued until we had to leave for work”, says OP. 


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OP later edited the post and added the following information:

“We tried to sign my stepdaughter up for the same sports as my daughter because we thought it would be a bonding experience. We also wanted to get her out of the house and meet people because she spends most of her time playing World of Warcraft in her room. 

We didn’t make her participate but asked that she try things for at least a couple of weeks, then she could quit if she wanted to. We tried to get her to sign up for something she enjoys, but she always refuses. Before getting this job, she spent much of her free time playing games, so I’m at a loss to think of any marketable skills she could leverage into tutoring.”

Is OP a jerk?


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“Not the jerk. Your partner wants to take money away from your daughter (money that is hers, that she earned) and give it to her daughter; that’s favoritism. 

It’s not your daughter’s fault that her step-sibling makes less than her, and the step-sibling should learn not to aspire to spend more than she can afford, and your partner is setting up her daughter for failure as an adult.”


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“Not the jerk. Your wife’s daughter is not entitled to your child’s money. Your wife can supplement her child but not steal from your daughter. 

I can’t imagine my parents saying I was entitled to one of my siblings’ incomes because I was jealous.” 


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“Your wife wants to steal the money your daughter has earned and give it to your stepdaughter. That may sound like a harsh way of describing it, but that’s what it boils down to: she is forcing your daughter to give her earned money to her stepsister. If your wife can’t comprehend that, it’s a huge red flag.” 


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“Not the jerk. Your daughter is using her athletic talent to make her own money. Your wife is ridiculous for her suggestion. As for your stepdaughter, she needs to get over it or find other ways to make more money.”

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