“My Life Has Been A Nightmare”: Wife Finds Out Hubby Can’t Wait For Her Daughter To Become 18 And Pay Lawyer Fees On Her Own, Loses It With Him

Children are the stars of their parents’ lives, lighting up even the darkest of nights for them. 

Okay, you got me, sometimes there are exceptions. 

Especially if the kids don’t want anything to do with you, which may be doubled if they’re your stepkids.

This is a story of a stepdad sticking his neck out for his daughter, even remortgaging his house to pay for her legal fees after she got into an accident while drunk driving, all while being denied any sort of parental status with her.

More info: Reddit

Dealing with a constantly and seriously misbehaving stepchild may be more difficult than you think, especially when you’re not allowed to parent them in any way

Image credits: Denis Trushtin  (not the actual image)

The poster wanted to know if he’s a jerk for venting about his stepdaughter to his friends after she got into a drunk driving incident and had to go to court

Image credits: Jeffrey Hamilton (not the actual image)

Image credits: u/No-Impact9260

Image credits: Sora Shimazaki (not the actual image)

He paid for the stepdaughter’s legal bills and got dressed down by a judge for being a bad parent, but his wife flipped when a friend told her what he really thinks

Image credits: u/No-Impact9260

The man had remortgaged his house to pay for the stepdaughter, but after this ordeal still had to live in a motel and wait for things to cool off

Alright, so, in this story, the original poster (OP) is essentially a stepfather to his wife’s daughter, who he has been married to for about 2 years, after one year of dating. It’s important to mention that he’s a stepfather only in name, as the wife clearly outlined that his role wouldn’t ever be a parental one at the start of their relationship.

Despite this, he’s been footing the bill for the stepdaughter who would constantly get into trouble, with the most severe one being a drunk driving incident, forcing OP to remortgage the house to pay for her legal fees. 

This led to the guy understandably being upset about all of it and venting about the situation to his mates, saying how he can’t wait till the daughter is 18 and a legal adult. Unfortunately for him, the word from that somehow got out and his wife became enraged, leading to OP being in the doghouse figuratively, while staying at a motel literally.

So, there’s a lot to unpack in this story, from him not being a “parental figure” all while footing legal bills just so his wife doesn’t have to deal with it all on her own. 

From an additional update, it turns out that he is also the breadwinner and that his remortgaged house belongs entirely to him, which led to commenters pointing at this fact and saying that he’s being used for his money.

We can’t know how it really is from the facts that OP has given us, but it does somewhat seem that the mom and even OP himself are enabling the daughter’s bad behavior, likely without analyzing the root cause of her acting out like this. 

With that in mind, we can make an educated guess that things are going to continue in the same direction, barring the exception of some kind of major shake-up in the family, like “dad” putting his foot down.

Image credits: Tima Miroshnichenko (not the actual image)

You probably hear about ‘enabling’ behaviors in a lot of these stories, right? But still, the concept remains kind of nebulous and non-descript.

Well, let’s tackle what enabling looks like and how you can avoid doing it to the short-term detriment but long-term benefit of your loved ones.

According to Healthline, an enabler is someone “whose behavior allows a loved one to continue self-destructive patterns of behavior.”

This immediately has negative connotations, but in reality a lot of enabling behaviors aren’t intentional, often being the reverse of that – attempts to help that other person.

There are various ways that you can enable others’ bad behavior, but here are a couple of big ones.

One of them is ignoring or tolerating their actions. You may think that it’s better not to mention it, that it’ll blow over, or that your attention is the thing they’re trying to arouse with this behavior, but that’s usually not the case.

You’re way better off talking to the person if the things that they do are upsetting you in any way and finding out what’s up.

Another big one is financial support. And yeah, your financial help may be just that – support, helping them out of difficult situations. But if they spend your finances dangerously or recklessly, coming back for more money not long after, it’s sure to put a huge strain on your relationship, while not doing any favors for them.

Finally, according to Family First, enabling is unlikely to solve the problem, but rather prolong it and even encourage the toxic behaviors. In the long run, it will not only hurt the person being enabled, but the entire family, putting strain on the joint budget, draining resources and leading to the neglect of other family members.

Each case is different, but rather than excusing bad behavior, you should discuss it and try to find and fight the root cause of it, because that’s the straightest way to improvement.

The original post got 7.3k upvotes and 1.1k comments, where the community decided OP wasn’t a jerk, but that he was being walked all over and that he should do something about it before the situation worsens. Share your thoughts about the story below!

The community judged them not to be a jerkface, but said that he should perhaps be rethinking the whole setup

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