Co-parenting is unique balancing act made even trickier when you're the stepparent.
One Redditor is navigating that path, but ran into an issue with her stepdaughter's mother. So she turned to the "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
Redditor meddelingmedez asked:
"AITA for taking my step daughter to a new ob-gyn without telling her mother?"
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"I am married to my husband who has a 17 year old daughter from his first marriage. We have been married for 4 years."
"To get things out of the way: my husband and I started dating well after he divorced his wife."
"So we have her this month because her mother was diagnosed with the big C [pandemic] that is floating around while it was our week with step daughter."
"She started her period last Thursday and it was bad."
"I am talking 3 days in bed, puking, cramps of hell. I had similar symptoms when I was her age and was diagnosed way too late with endometriosis."
"By day 3 I asked her if this was normal for her and she said that she always has very bad periods, but that her doctor told her it's normal because some women are just less pain resistant. I was alarmed and told her it was absolutely not like that and her pain was not normal and she needs to get a second opinion."
"She asked me if I trusted my doctor and I told her yes. And she asked me if I could take her."
"I said of course and made an appt."
"We got an appt the next morning and because my husband was away on business, I texted him to tell him what step daughter wanted."
"Next morning we go, I wait in the car. She comes back and breaks down. Starts crying saying that she felt so relieved that her pain is not normal and that while she gets screenings she got some pills to relieve her bleeding and pain (not contraception)."
"When we came back she seemed euphoric and was chatting with her mom. When she was done her mom called me back and was furious with me."
"I am talking... Screaming calling me names etc."
"She said it was not my place and that the only people that have a say in her health are her and my husband. That it was very creepy of me to talk about her privates when we are at home. She said that she was going to go to her lawyer to only let us get visitation."
"I am stunned."
"My step daughter is old enough to make her own decisions regarding health... She is 17. She is not a baby."
"And I had no intentions but to help her because I went through the same in my teens. I was not talking to her about her genitals."
"I was talking to her about periods... And I think that is pretty normal."
"My husband says that he agrees with me. But he is my husband and clearly biased."
"I would like to know what I did wrong and if I am in the wrong to apologize to my stepdaughter's mom."
Redditors were asked to vote on the situation by voting:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- NAH - No A**holes Here
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors were clear with all but one person deciding the OP was NTA.
"NTA. My wife has endo and wasn't diagnosed until she was 25 because her mother told her the same thing. 'You're just unlucky and have bad periods'."
"She's had very bad symptoms for the last 12 years, has had to have 9 total surgeries and a hysterectomy."
"You absolutely did the right thing, endometriosis is no f'king joke and an early diagnosis is so helpful when it comes to treatment."
"The mother probably just feels sh*tty because her daughter has a serious illness and she told her she was fine and that's just what periods feel like. She's probably more angry at herself than she is at you." ~ Christovsky84
"The amount of pain from it is intense, and the earlier she can get help the better."
"Thank you for taking her. You're a really good step mom." ~ Maiasaur
"3 male surgeons agreed until the head of surgery that night (a woman) sent me to ultrasound instead. Ultrasound confirmed that I had over 200 cysts on my right ovary (ranging from a millimeter to cenimeters) and the largest had popped."
"I had most of the same symptoms as your stepdaughter (and suffered for many years), I was told the same things by doctors and my parents 'you just have bad periods'."
"It has been 20 years almost, I have had to take low dose birth control as a hormone therapy."
"Please, please, please, continue to help her. Whatever the diagnosis ends up being, she deserves your love and support to get to a better place."
"You are a good person, NTA." ~ TheLZ
"And I get that. It's got to feel sh*tty. Which is why I would feel sh*tty all by my private self and then acknowledge that you helped with a, 'thank you, I didn't realize how bad it was and she sounds so relieved'."
"[I am not a lawyer] but if the kid is 17, then ha! Good luck with running to your lawyer."
"What, exactly, is her complaint? 'My child spent three days in bed puking and her stepmother took her to a doctor who is helping her—can you believe the nerve of that lady?!'"
"Also, tick tock on Daughter being able to spend time at Dad's/Your place whenever she wants. If Mom doesn't let this go, it could backfire spectacularly and soon." ~ NomNom83WasTaken
"And it's just incredibly irresponsible that her mom was not taking her for a second opinion when she was vomiting every month from her period. That's not normal and I'm glad OP had the sense to take stepdaughter for a second opinion." ~ justauser34
Hopefully once the initial anger dies down, the girl's mother can see that a doctor who helps her daughter be free of pain should be welcomed over a doctor who ignores her suffering.