Stepmom sets a boundary with stepson, refuses to keep making his ‘special meals.’

I have been married to my husband for 25 years. He has two children from his first marriage. Kai who is 28, and Mia is 27. My husband’s first marriage ended during the pregnancy with Mia when his ex moved another man into their home. She told my husband to leave and she was planning to marry the other guy. A DNA test was done when Mia was born, and another was done on Kai later, custody was decided and the divorce was finalized when Mia was still a baby. I met him 6 months later and we married after a year together.

My husband’s ex made our lives hell. She alienated the kids from me, we were in and out of court, therapy, they were always placed in mediation and co-parenting classes to try and get them to a better place. Nothing helped. Her second husband left and that only made her worse. Then she married again but that also ended.

My relationship with my stepkids breaks my heart. I love them, I have always tried to be a respectful and loving stepparent who doesn’t talk bad about their mom, overstep my place or assume they would love me the same as their parents. But I hoped we would be close. They have been rude or distant and cold. But I loved them regardless and my husband took the lead with them. When my husband and I had our own two children together they did not bond with them but we still hoped time and therapy would help some kind of relationship form.

Now my stepson is due to get married. He told my husband our kids were not invited since it was a child free wedding. But then he told me what I could not wear (because the two mothers were going to match the theme and I am not counted in that), that I would not be given a corsage to wear so people would know I was not one of the parents, he said I would not be mentioned in any of the toasts, I was not welcome to give a toast, that the photos with the parents and immediate family would not include me and after my husband asked him why he was making such a big deal out of this he said I needed to know my place and then admitted he didn’t even want me there. So I made the decision not to attend and instead stay home with my children. I have reached a breaking point where I just no longer see a future where we might get along better and clearly I am not wanted at all. But my husband’s family are furious and say I was invited so I should go.

AITA?

‘AITA for no longer making or helping make a whole second meal for my stepson?’

Hello, first time poster, long time reader, etc.My two children (16M and 12F) and myself (36F) live with my partner (33M.) Right now, his son (will call him CJ – 12M) is staying with us for the summer.

CJ has a rather odd relationship in regards to food. If he decides he doesn’t like it (even without trying it) he rather starve himself. It’s like his mom and grandma (who he normally lives with) introduced to him to like 3 foods and gave up introducing him to anything after that. If he is hungry at home, his mom or grandma drop whatever they are doing, to make him one of the 3 meals.

However, at my house, when I make dinner, I make one dinner. Usually because I make everything from scratch, or close to from scratch, and it takes me longer than I care to admit.

By the time I am done, I usually have no energy or am too hot to make something else entirely. But if someone doesn’t like my meal, I always tell them they are welcome to make themselves something else.

16M is your typical teen boy and will eat anything under the sun. 12F is always willing to try what I make, but if she really doesn’t like it, she has no issue making herself a sandwich.

Not CJ though. CJ will look at the meal, having never tried it, and demand I make him something else. First time, I told him he is welcome to make himself some chicken nuggets in the microwave.

Told me he doesn’t know how. So I have showed him, no less than 3 times, how to microwave his chicken nuggets. Everytime he has come up with excuse, usually to the tune of ‘I forgot how.’

Our microwave isn’t complicated it. Put food in, push the correct numbers for the time, hit start. Fourth time he told me he couldn’t do it, I told him to figure it out. He hit me with, ‘Its not my job. Making food is a girl’s job.’

I told him he can treat his mom and grandma like his personal slave, but in MY house, I am no one’s slave and said I will not be helping him anymore in the future.

Course his dad – my partner – heard him say that and had a very different approach on the whole matter. He told CJ he is no longer allowed to have a different meal at all and that he has to try whatever is made for dinner because its not okay to treat other’s (especially women) like that.

For the most part, CJ has liked about 75% of whatever I make for dinner. However, the nights I make something ‘new to him’ he’ll straight up refuse to try it and will sit there for 2 hours before even trying it, where by that time, food is cold and meh.

His dad refuses to let him up from the table until he eats at least half of anything (and I only give the kid a toddler size portion, so it’s like 2 normal bites, 5 toddler size bites. CJ eats by taking smaller-than-toddler bites.)

So am I an asshole for no longer helping him make a whole different meal? Most of my meals are pretty normal. Spaghetti and meatballs. Steak and potatoes, chicken and noodles. ‘Weirdest’ thing I could have possibly made was gyros. AITA?

Let’s see what internet users had to say.

riskie writes:

NTA – Weaponized incompetence. He’s so used to being catered to that it’s become what he expects. He’s more than old enough to be able to make himself something.

daunvalient writes:

NTA but talk to his dad about the keeping him at the table thing. I don’t think that’s recommended for toddlers, let alone tweens – better to just let him go hungry a couple nights until he figures out how to cook for himself.

You could also try family cooking nights to transition the kids into cooking one night a week each. Would ease the burden for you and set them up with skills for life! If it gets fun enough even the picky eater could come around, maybe. Good luck!

moonqueen85 writes:

NTA HOWEVER I don’t at all agree with your husband. Yes, CJ should have to take a bite (a decent bite) of whatever you make. But if he doesn’t like it, he should be allowed to make himself something else. That’s actually teaching him self sufficiency, and I would aruge is a more important lesson.

Looks like OP is NTA. Any advice for this struggling stepson?

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