A man’s stepson lost his future when he was maimed in a motorcycle accident. Afterward, he heard his daughter mocking the condition her stepbrother was in, so he threatened to withhold her college fund!
A Rebuilt Family
OP (Original Poster) is a 44-year-old man who was widowed and got remarried to his new wife, a 42-year-old woman who also had a previous marriage. He has a daughter, a 17-year-old girl, and his new wife has a son, who is a 19-year-old boy.
Taking It Slow
OP and his new wife dated for five years before getting married, and neither wanted to rush into things. They had been married for three years, and the entire time, their families had blended well, with nothing but minor bumps along the way.
He said, “Our kids have known each other since the beginning—no major fights or weirdness besides getting to know someone else as a parent and guardian.”
Reliving the Glory Days
Then, OP explained how his stepson was a gifted athlete, and he excelled at playing basketball, which OP had also played in high school and college. OP was excited and happy to help coach him, which his stepson had asked him to do.
A Potential Future
Through their sessions, OP discovered he was even better than he had thought and was good enough to play in “Division 1” collegiate basketball.
OP is a pharmacist, and his wife a controller, so they make a “very, very comfortable living.” They aren’t rich, though, and his stepson’s scholarship offers gave him an idea.
OP realized that if his stepson got a scholarship, he could use their money to pay for his daughter’s education. This would mean that both kids could get an education without either having to take on any debt, and he shared his idea with his daughter.
He, however, added that now, he believed that telling his daughter about the fund was a “mistake, to begin with.”
Everything had changed for their family when his stepson decided to drive a motorcycle one of his friends owned. He didn’t know what he was doing, and he lost “part of his hand and foot” in a crash, which destroyed any chance he had of playing collegiate basketball.
Everything Falls Apart
For a year, OP and his wife had been trying to help their son get out of his funk. The accident had left him depressed, and without being able to play basketball, it had destroyed a central part of his entire identity.
As a result, OP’s stepson had been in counseling and was on medication, but nothing seemed to be helping. His stepson had confided in OP that one of the side effects of his medication was that he had no libido and wanted to stop taking it, which OP said they could bring up to the doctor the next time they saw him.
Two weeks after their conversation, OP had been upstairs looking for something when he overheard his daughter talking about college. She and her friend had also started talking about her brother, which is when OP heard her say she “can’t wait to be gone” and that she was “tired of hearing him cry every day.”
The Final Straw
OP couldn’t believe what he was hearing. As he kept eavesdropping, he heard his daughter say that her brother’s “hand was gross.”
He knew that the accident had caused trouble for everyone. However, he decided he would have to speak to his daughter about this, which is when he had heard her say, “I heard him say he can’t even get it up,” while laughing with her friends.
How Dare You?
OP became furious at the last statement and “stormed into his daughter’s room, taking her phone, laptop, car keys, and TV.”
He told her that her stepbrother might do “something permanent” if he heard her talking like that.
His Better Half
OP talked to his wife about what happened when she got home, and she was proud of how he stood up for his stepson. But at the same time, she also thought he was going “too far” when he spoke about not paying for his daughter’s college.
In an edit, OP explained that deep down, he knew doing this would make him out to be a jerk. Even so, he just “can’t calm down.”
He said, “Maybe I’m stunned that it was my own daughter saying it, but it’s rare that I harbor something like this. Maybe my daughter feels less important or neglected; I can understand that, but it certainly is not because of a lack of attention or love.”
What the Community Has to Say
While a lot of Redditors didn’t think OP was out of line for chastising her, they questioned going further and also how severe his reaction had been.
One said, “You would be the a**hole if you don’t pay for her college. Yes, she was rude about him to her friends, but your reaction is disproportionate.”
Not every Redditor was as kind, with some making wild assumptions and accusations against OP, like, “You’re the a**hole. So you found your dream son, and your daughter had to take a back seat to your amazing new ‘son.’ He’s the golden boy, and she’s just a girl. Was what she said okay? No. Was she unkind and resentful? Yes. The fact that you want to destroy her life because she was unkind to your precious son shows her very clearly exactly who you are and how little you value her. What was she doing during all the hours you spent coaching and mentoring your shiny new son? Who was mentoring her? Who was listening to her struggles? Who was laughing and joking with her while you were bonding with your new best buddy? Even your wife values your daughter far more than you do. Why not just drop her off at the nearest bus station and be done? That way, she can’t interfere with your precious boy.”
Calmer, Wiser Words
Not every Redditor projected or intensified the situation, and some were more reasoned.
One in particular brought up a good point, saying, “You’re the a**hole. Your daughter shouldn’t have made fun of him, obviously, but she’s only 17. Frankly, it’s his own fault he got hurt, so if he can be forgiven for doing something stupid, then so should she.”
A Solemn Conclusion
Other Redditors pointed out how OP’s daughter is still a teenager and that everyone tends to vent when in private and with close friends.
“The daughter is 17. Her stepbrother behaved recklessly and permanently injured himself in a way that resulted in him losing his sports scholarships. Because of this, OP’s daughter may be strapped with student loans for decades. She’s rightfully p*****. Does that make it okay for her to mock her sibling’s disfigurements and disabilities? Of course, it’s not okay, but it is human. OP’s daughter wasn’t bullying her brother. She was complaining to a confidante and was overheard. Everyone talks s*** to their close friends when they’re frustrated,” commented another user.
Do you think what OP did was right? Should he have punished his daughter for what she said, and would it be reasonable to no longer pay for her college, or did OP come to his senses?
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This post first appeared as He Refused to Pay For His Daughter’s College Tuition After She Made Fun of Her Disabled Stepbrother’s Injury. Now People Think He’s Going “Too Far” by “Neglecting” His Own Blood! on Quote Ambition.