A frustrated husband looked to Reddit to ask if he was wrong to refuse to give up his hobbies to look after his stepdaughter. The 38-year-old told readers he and his wife have been married for five years, and his wife’s daughter Emily stays with them Monday and Friday.
He Was Not Required to Be a Father Figure
The man said that when the couple got together, his wife insisted that Emily did not need a second “father figure” as she has a dad for that role. The man’s role was to be a “trusted authority figure in case she ever needed anything.” He explained that he tried to respect these boundaries as much as possible. It seems that this has been a happy arrangement, with Emily getting great support from a good dad and not needing a lot of discipline when staying with her mom and the OP.
A Change in Circumstances
Things changed recently when Emily’s dad got married to a woman who had two children of her own and stayed with them Wednesday to Saturday. This means that Emily is with her step-siblings two days a week when she is at her dad’s house, and the three of them do not get along at all. The OP says the atmosphere in their household is “toxic.”
Their Schedule Changed
Due to the bickering, Emily’s dad asked to change their custody schedule so the children could be kept apart. The man’s wife agreed to the change without consulting him, which caused a few issues. His wife is doing a course that will last a year, and she has classes all day on Saturdays. This meant his wife asked him to babysit Emily while she was on her course, but there was an issue.
The Man Has a Saturday Tradition
The man was unhappy at being asked to watch Emily every Saturday as he has a regular golf session with his sister and brother in the morning. He explained that Saturday golfing is a tradition his family has had since before he met his wife, and there is no other day they can all get together.
There Was One Solution
The man suggested that his wife hire a babysitter to solve their issue, but she was not keen to spend money when her husband could do it for free. The man’s wife is now mad that he won’t give up his “stupid golf” and put his stepdaughter over his siblings. In response, the man said he was “not going to sacrifice my hobbies just so that she can have a free babysitter.”
He Has Nothing Against Emily
Before signing off, the man wanted readers to know that he had nothing against his stepdaughter and that he would always look after her in emergency situations. He says he would if he needed to watch Emily as a one-off, but he didn’t want to commit long-term. The man was deemed selfish by his wife, and she chose to sleep on the couch, which is what brought him online.
It Should Have Been a Family Decision
One reader said that the man should not feel bad about his decision as his wife made a decision without him. They said, “It sounds like this is something that should have been worked out more carefully as a family before agreeing to.” Another person said, “Since she didn’t include him in that decision, he has no obligation to immediately change a long standing tradition to match her whims.”
People Are Confused about Why His Wife Would Not Spend Money
Many readers were confused as to why the man’s wife would not spend money on her daughter. People thought of kids clubs or activities Emily could do for the morning, but the OP responded to questions saying, “my wife is a bit of a miser. She doesn’t like spending money unless she has no other option.”
Everything Was on Her Terms
Some people pointed out that the woman has double standards when it comes to her daughter’s relationship with her husband. One person said, “Soooooo, it’s okay for the parent to decide when one can be a step parent or not when it is convenient for them ?” Another said, “ she made it clear that the child does not need a second father figure” and was confused as to how she suddenly wants him to step up.
There Needs to Be a Compromise
People online concluded that the man was not a jerk the wife seems unwilling to budge and think of how he is feeling. One person said, “You said in another comment that you have the money to pay for babysitting, but your wife just doesn’t want to spend it. Your wife is refusing to compromise at all.”
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