Can’t Forgive, Can’t Forget: Man Casts Out Dad Who Loved His Second Wife and Stepson More than Him
“Our son has grown so much,
there’s no trace of baby in his smile.
But the work has just begun, Dad,
time to readjust the dial.
From sporting events to his first car;
to dating and a family of his own.
You are the one he will turn to,
the best man he’s ever known.
He will watch your every move,
so guide him the best you can;
‘Cause only a Daddy can teach his son
how to become a man.” Excerpted from ‘From Husband to Daddy‘ by Kacee Harrington
Lovely, poetic words that could touch the heart of most families and most sons.
But not the heart of this man, who grew up without a father’s love.
His dad chose to be a father to his stepson rather than to his real son. His reason? His stepson had brain cancer, hence he needed him more as a stepfather. Meanwhile, his real son had to sacrifice his wishes and his needs while growing up alone in a home where three people existed just for themselves — his dad, his stepmom, and his stepmom’s son.
Under the username u/Harlzeren, the Original Poster shared his story on Reddit’s r/AmItheA–hole forum: “I lost my mom to a long-term health issue when I was 10. The cost of treatment drained my parents’ finances, and it was just dad and me after mom died. No extended family. Dad started dating when I was 12, and he met Jane. After a few months, he told me her son had a form of brain cancer and was very sick and that they were getting married and he would be helping to take care of her son. We went from two in a tiny two-bedroom house to four in a tiny two-bedroom house and me sharing with a terminally ill toddler I didn’t know.”
OP went on to relate that, due to their even more impoverished condition, they had to make a lot of changes. There was no more takeout, which used to be a monthly treat, no more birthdays, and no more Christmas. He had to quit his extracurricular activities and stop inviting friends to the house because his stepbrother needed peace and quiet. He lost everything, including just a tiny space for himself.
At 15, OP and his father had a really huge argument because he was never home to help his stepmom with her son. OP frankly answered his dad how much he hated their new situation. But his dad merely told him that he should grow up and face responsibilities. He told his son that he should be grateful that they had his wife because of the extra love she was giving them. To OP, however, it was not like that.
That was when OP heard the most painful thing a parent could say to his own child: “He told me I was not his whole life and he was not going to stop doing what he wanted to do because of me. Then he told me to never, ever say anything negative around his stepson because he was a kid and didn’t need to know I resented him for being sick.”
After that argument, OP withdrew further from his dad and left home at 17. He struggled to survive.
At 19, he learned that his stepbrother died, but OP didn’t try to communicate with his dad and just focused on studying.
Then, in college, he fell in love and got married. But then, his peace was disrupted when his father suddenly showed up for a serious talk with him.
OP wrote, “I shut the door in his face. He kept showing up where I was to talk. After getting annoyed with him, I agreed to meet him for a coffee. He told me how he’d ended up divorced from Jane and how his stepson had died, and he looked disappointed when he learned I knew. He told me how he’d been struggling a lot and how he was hoping I could help him out. I laughed in his face and told him he had some nerve. He mentioned how he’d spent a lot of money on finding me, and he wanted us to repair things, but he also needed my help.”
OP’s heart hardened further, and he told his father that there was no way that he would help him after everything. That was when his dad grew furious and told OP that he owed him since he was his father and he had always been there for him. OP answered that he didn’t owe him anything and reminded his father of his words that OP was not his whole life and he would not stop him from doing what he wanted.
More angry words were exchanged, with OP’s dad telling him that at his age he should be more compassionate.
Compassion. Out of the mouth of a man who remembered his real son only because his cherished stepson already died and his second wife has left him. Now he needed help.
Every father reaps what he sows.Whizzco