A woman’s stepdaughter is making the family dynamic awkward after requesting to wear her late daughter’s wedding dress.
In the AITA subreddit, the woman (OP) asks if she is in the wrong for telling her stepdaughter “no” for obvious reasons….
“I (f49) met my stepdaughter Zoey 2.5 years ago. I married her father less than 5 months ago. It was a small and private celebration sine that’s what we felt was the best thing to do since I’m still grieving my daughter Lauren who passed away from sepsis at the age of 26. It was so sudden.”
“She was doing okay and was getting ready for her wedding that was supposed to happen the same month she passed away. We still don’t know what went wrong. We were devastated to say the least. Her fiance had a hard time adapting to the new normal. I still have contact with him. We’re very close.”
“I took most of her belongings including her wedding dress. We bought it together and she put alot of her touches on it. Worked hard on it. Although it hurt to look at it. I make sure it’s safe.”
Enter stepdaughter, Zoey….
“Zoey’s younger than Lauren. She’s 23. We’re not very close and distance is one of the reasons why. But we’re very respectful towards each other. The issue started when Zoey visited to talk about her wedding in [April.] We were talking about wedding dresses and she suddenly brought up Lauren’s wedding dress. I asked her what about it and she said she saw it several times and it got stuck on her mind. Asked if she could see it and I let her.”
“She then said she’d like to wear it at her wedding. I felt uneasy. I told her I wasn’t sure that was a good idea. She told me it’s fine she’ll have to change few things in it so it can fit her size and style but this is why I had a hard time accepting. I told her I was sorry but I can’t let her have it. She offered me money but its sentimental value is what matters to me. She argued saying I was making things complicated and it was alright since she too is my daughter. She [asked] if I don’t love her as much I told her my love for her is different but she threw a fit calling me unfair and unreasonable to still say no.”
But matters only got worse when her stepdaughter’s father got involved…
“Her dad got involved in the argument saying he doesn’t see why I’m against it. I declined to discuss it anymore but they kept bringing it up asking if my daughter would’ve wanted someone else to have the opportunity to wear this dress since she unfortunately couldn’t. This made me so mad I lashed out at both of them and kept saying no. Others said that I had no right to act like that; leaving the dress in the closet when my stepdaughter can make good memories with it. But she said she’s planning on changing its look.”
The OP genuinely was not sure if she was in the wrong for saying no but commenters were quick to defend her.
One user said: “The fact that both your step-daughter AND your husband are continually guilting you after you have FIRMLY said no is not just disrespectful, it’s preying on your grief. I’m disgusted that any person who claims to love you would presume to tell you what your recently deceased daughter would want, all so a girl can avoid having to look for another wedding dress. And the audacity to tell you that YOU are making things complicated!”
While another said: “This is not about loving your step-daughter. The fact that she is making it all about her is very telling. This dress is a tangible reminder of your beloved daughter that you lost. It’s worth is not the material and decorations and style…it is important to you because it was meant for your daughter and she spent so much time working on it to be perfect for her. This dress represents her hopes and dreams that cannot be. My heart breaks for you OP. Please never let anyone take this away from you. Sending you hugs.
“Zoey sounds pretty entitled and selfish,” they continued, “Even if it was your own dress or belonged to your mother etc and you told her that she can’t have it, that should have been the end of it. She can go find her own dress and make her own memories with that. Absolutely NTA.”
What do you think? Be sure to comment below!
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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