This mom believed her daughter deserved a chance to attend a great school, so she deemed her college fund off-limits. But now her husband thinks she should give it up for his son’s rehab!
Building a New Family
OP (Original Poster) and her husband had been married for three years, and both had kids from their previous relationships. OP has a 15-year-old daughter, while her husband has a 24-year-old son.
She and her stepson weren’t that close, but they were “friendly.” She wrote, “He has a biological mother who is a perfectly fine woman; I’m not here to take the role of his mom.”
Her Daughter’s College Fund
Her late husband died when her daughter was only six, but even then, they had already started contributing to her college fund. Her late husband’s parents also contributed a significant amount to it.
She mentioned that right now, the fund has around $180,000.
Ivy League Schools
OP said her daughter was “extremely bright,” and she wasn’t saying that to praise her daughter. She said she truly believed she could go to an Ivy League school.
“Her teachers have said she has the potential as well, and I don’t want costs to hold her back,” said OP.
The Many Possibilities
OP shared that their household’s current income was too high for her daughter to get any meaningful financial aid in the future. She said there were some merit-based scholarships her daughter would apply for, but they don’t want to put all their eggs in one basket.
Getting these types of scholarships was also challenging because the competition was so intense. OP added, “My current husband and I have separate finances; he doesn’t contribute at all to my daughter’s fund.”
Struggles With Addiction
Unfortunately, OP’s stepson is struggling with heroin addiction. He had even stolen money, jewelry, heirlooms, and electronics for drug money.
They tried a lot of treatments or rehab, but nothing seemed to work.
OP said she knew that addiction is a disease, and she even personally paid for an outpatient detox for his stepson, which cost $1,000, but it failed.
She wrote, “His father then paid for an outpatient rehab program, which cost $6,500, which also didn’t work because he barely showed up. He promised us he’d do better next time, and he needed another chance, so I split the cost of another $6,500 outpatient rehab program with my husband, which seemed to work during the program, but he relapsed as soon as he got out of it.”
Helping Could Be Exhausting, Too
OP felt like she already did a lot, but nothing changed. She said, “I have spent so much money, time, and energy, and it hasn’t helped at all.”
Now, her husband and stepson want to try a 60-day inpatient rehab program, which will cost $30,000. But OP noted, “I had absolutely no idea where they were supposed to get the money for that, considering the thousands and thousands of dollars that were already spent, and the fact that we no longer had anything of value in our house.”
It turns out that they had planned to use OP’s daughter’s college fund. However, OP said it was completely off-limits!
That Would Be Unfair!
She believed it was unfair for her daughter to be “punished” for her stepson’s addiction. More than that, she said it would also be unfair to her late husband and her daughter’s paternal grandparents.
However, aside from everything she stated about it being unfair, one of OP’s main issues with this is that she doesn’t think the $30,000 treatment would work.
Her husband is mad and thinks she’s an a**hole because she prioritized her daughter’s education over his son’s life. He said that medical needs should come first!
Since OP refused, her husband tried guilt-tripping her 15-year-old daughter into agreeing. She wrote, “He then asked my daughter if she’d be willing to use $30,000 from her fund to pay for her stepbrother’s rehab.”
Making the Issue Bigger
OP’s daughter got very quiet and did not answer her stepdad. Her husband then got upset and told her daughter she was being “selfish!”
Coming to Her
She later told OP what had happened and that she didn’t want to give her stepbrother the money. Even so, she felt extremely guilty.
OP is furious because her husband dared to blackmail her daughter emotionally!
Redditors’ Opinions on the Matter
Redditors told OP to stick to her guns. The money doesn’t belong to anyone other than her daughter!
A top commenter said, “That’s your daughter’s money in all-but-name. Your husband paid into it. Your daughter’s grandparents paid into it. You paid into it. For her. Not for some kid that half these people don’t know.”
The same woman said, “Why are you allowing this to be your daughter’s concern? Why is she being put in this position? I get that you’re furious, but this is way over the line. This shouldn’t be ‘AITA for refusing,’ this should be ‘So I left this guy because he crossed a line and made my daughter feel accountable for an addict because she wouldn’t give $30,000 designated for her future.’”
She Shouldn’t Be Responsible for This
People advised OP to make it clear to her daughter that the money is hers and that she wouldn’t let anyone take advantage of her.
One suggested, “You need to take this decision away from your daughter. It’s unfair to give her any reason to feel responsible for the outcome of your stepson.” Another replied, “Immediately let daughter know that the decision is not even hers. Let her know that even if she says yes, you object to the money going to your stepson and would prevent it because that money is her future. Please make sure your daughter doesn’t feel responsible for this.”
What advice would you give OP? How should she handle this issue?
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This post first appeared as She Refused to Cover Her Stepson’s $30,000 Drug Rehab Using Her Daughter’s College Fund. Now Her Husband Is Emotionally Blackmailing Her 15-Year-Old Daughter So She Gives It Up! on Quote Ambition.