A Reddit user asked the community if they were in the wrong after proposing that her son’s stepbrother join them on a camping trip with her ex-husband.
It’s a sticky situation all around. Read on, and ask yourself – what would you do in their shoes?
A Stepbrother Story
OP and their ex-partner ended their marriage when their son was six years old. Two years later, OP began a relationship with their current husband.
When their son met his stepbrother for the first time, they stood in front of each other, sizing each other up like typical little boys.
The Unexpected Connection
After a moment of silence, OP’s son asked the other child if he wanted to play Smash Bros., and the stepbrother agreed before running upstairs.
This marked the beginning of a strong bond between the two boys, who have been inseparable ever since.
Loss Brings Them Together
After the passing of OP’s stepson’s mother a few years ago, her husband was hesitant to introduce her and her son to his two children, thinking it was too soon.
But it turned out that the stepson and stepdaughter welcomed the addition of a new family member. They had lost their mother and felt a void in their lives.
He Shares Memories of His Late Mother
During their first year together, the stepson asked if OP’s son could join them when they visited their mother at the cemetery on her birthday.
During the car ride, the stepson shared memories of his mother with OP’s son, which seemed therapeutic for him.
Later that night, OP found the boys sleeping curled up together in the top bunk.
The stepdaughter also grew close to OP’s son, and would often crawl into his lap to have them read to her before she entered her current phase of being 7-going-on-17.
Broken Promises of a Divorced Dad
After the divorce, OP’s ex-husband has been inconsistent and unreliable when it comes to spending time with their son.
He regularly cancels their planned visits, citing reasons such as work or other obligations.
Stepson Steps up When His Father Falls Short
As a result, the twice-monthly weekend visits have dwindled to only three or four times a year.
Whenever OP has to break the news to their son about the cancellation, their stepson takes it upon himself to approach his father and suggest that the three of them do something together.
Bonding Over Camping
Despite being inconsistent with visitation, OP’s ex-husband has always followed through with his love for camping.
Camping Trip Becomes Bigger
He has planned a trip to the Poconos for a few weeks after Father’s Day and intends to take their son along.
OP’s son shares his father’s passion for camping and has even convinced his stepbrother to join the Boy Scouts in the upcoming fall season.
This year, the son has expressed his desire to bring his stepbrother along on the camping trip.
Ex-husband Rejects Son’s Desire to Include Stepbrother
When OP informed her ex-husband that their son wanted to bring his stepbrother along on their camping trip, he became upset and expressed his disapproval.
He argued that their time together should be solely dedicated to bonding, and that he didn’t want to include someone else’s child.
He Already Has Been Missing Out on Bonding
OP reminded him of the many opportunities he had already missed out on to bond with their son. He was always cancelling and making up excuses for not being there.
She said he should consider himself fortunate that their son still wants to spend time with him, given his inconsistent behavior.
The MIL Chimes In
OP received a call from her ex-husband’s mother, who complained about the proposed camping trip and how OP was expecting her ex-husband to sit and watch as their son and stepson bonded, without including him.
Grandma’s Unwelcome Advice
The grandmother suggested that OP should consider her ex-husband’s perspective, since he only gets to see their son a few times a year.
This suggestion irritated OP, and she hung up on her.
Was She in the Wrong?
Her husband empathized with her situation and recommended that OP let it be just the two of them.
OP questioned whether she was in the wrong and wondered if she was being unreasonable.
Reddit Is Divided
Reddit weighed in in the comments, debating if OP was in the wrong or not in this situation. Some users think that the woman is totally in the right, but others think that she is a jerk for not accepting his refusal.
However, most agree that the ex-husband is not in the right either, given his past behavior and neglect towards his son.
To Include or Not to Include the Stepbrother?
Some users emphasize that the son’s desire to have his stepbrother come along should be considered, while others suggest that the ex-husband’s feelings and right to parent his son as he wishes should be respected.
Some users also argue that the woman should not have pushed the issue after the ex-husband refused, while others feel that the ex-husband should be responsible for communicating the refusal to his son instead of relying on the woman to do it.
In general, users seem to acknowledge the complexity of the situation and encourage communication and compromise between the parties involved.
What do you think? What would you do if you were OP?
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The post Her Ex Doesn’t Want Her Son to Invite His Stepbrother on Their Camping Trip first appeared on Career Step Up.
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