Stepmom’s Heirloom Ring Becomes Battleground For Entitled Stepson’s Demands
So many people in this world can be described as having selective memories. They usually have a keen recollection of any time someone else has wronged them in life, but it always seems to slip their minds when they treat other people poorly.
And aside from sheer audacity, it's hard to think of another explanation when these people come around asking for a favor from somebody they've never treated well. And in the case of one irreverent stepson, it would be too charitable to describe his behavior as "asking."
Meeting the family
To introduce her Reddit post, a woman shared that she and her husband, Bill, have been together for the past 20 years.
In that time, she and Bill have had a now 16-year-old son named Harry, who is the youngest half-sibling of Bill's 31-year-old son Jim and his 27-year-old daughter Paige.
The wounds were still fresh
At the ages of nine and five, respectively, Jim and Paige lost their mother. And they had been grieving for about two years by the time the woman came into their lives.
The woman expressed that she made it clear early on that she was not under the impression that she could replace their mother.
Trying her best
Instead, she was hoping the kids could see her as a trusted figure they knew they could always approach.
And in turn, she made the effort to meet their day-to-day needs and treat them as she would her own child.
At first, both children were a little hostile. This wasn't something the woman held against them, as they were both still clearly grieving.
But after enough time had passed, she noticed a sharp difference in how each of Bill's kids treated her.
A relationship with Paige develops
Over time, Paige grew closer to the woman and eventually considered her a maternal figure she knew she could trust.
In the woman's words, "She didn't ask me, nor did I expect her to want me to adopt her, but she still calls me mom, which I appreciate."
Jim is a different story
But while Paige has grown very close to her stepmother, Jim is just as hostile as before, if not meaner.
And the woman noted that this antagonism has remained unprovoked rather than serving as a response to any way she's treated him.
Beyond simply not liking her
The woman noticed that Jim would call her harsh names behind her back but also reported that he had a habit of using misogynistic language.
For instance, when she asked him to clean his plate, Jim would say, "It's your job as the woman to clean the dishes."
Dad doesn't approve
The woman described Bill as being aware of his son's disrespect and as having told him many times that Jim's treatment of her is uncalled for.
He also urged Jim to attend family therapy with them, but he refused.
Jim comes of age
Once he became old enough, Jim moved out of the house. And while he maintains contact with his father and siblings, any conservation between him and the woman has been kept to a minimum.
Even then, the woman said, he's managed to treat her badly even in these small windows of opportunity.
A priceless heirloom
With this context established, the woman then mentioned an engagement ring that has been in her family for several generations.
And in that family, the ring has traditionally gone from the mother to the oldest child.
A romantic plan
When Bill was ready to propose to the woman, he was able to surprise her with the ring after getting it from her mother.
The woman said that she made the significance of this ring clear to her children a few years ago.
A sudden request
Since Jim's departure from his family home, he's entered a relationship with a woman he now intends to marry.
As such, he called the woman out of nowhere recently to ask if he could have her ring.
Only when he wants something
Naturally, the woman told him that she had no intention of giving Jim her ring.
And when he asked her why, she reminded him of how much he's mistreated her throughout the decades he's known her.
Clearly didn't want to change
And since Jim had shown no improvements in his treatment of the woman up until that point, she had no reason to think he'd act any better if she did give him the ring.
As she put it, "I don't want my family heirloom going to someone who sees me as vermin."
One guess as to who gets the ring
This response led Jim to ask who she intended to give the ring to, and she replied that it would go to Paige when she was ready to be engaged.
To put it mildly, Jim was not very happy with this answer.
Jim was completely enraged and accused the woman of favoritism for passing him over for Paige.
Since he wouldn't stop insulting the woman, she hung up and blocked his number.
Although Bill is 100% behind the woman's decision, the same can't be said for Jim's maternal relatives.
And since they've been blowing up her phone to voice their disapproval, she asked Reddit if she was as wrong as they claimed.
Jim was no smooth operator
It didn't take long for the community she contacted to see right through Jim's motivations here.
As one user put it, "He wants nothing to do with you until he thinks he gets a free ring."
He made his bed
Commenters were amused to see Jim experience the consequences of his unrepentant actions.
One pointed out how long Jim had to address his behavior and treat her like a "real person," which made his decision not to change his problem entirely.
Appeals to tradition won't work here
Commenters also quickly figured out that Jim felt entitled to the woman's ring due to her stated a tradition of granting it to the oldest child.
But as one person said, "Jim has made it extremely clear that you aren't his mother, and he isn't your child. Period. End of discussion."
He can't have it both ways
One commenter was happy to accept that Jim didn't need to accept the woman as his parental figure.
But by the same token, he also forfeited access to her family heirlooms if he wasn't willing to see her as family.
Considering Jim's obvious entitlement and his extreme reaction to being denied, others in the community cautioned the woman to keep it close to her.
In one user's words, "Also, yikes. I would hide the ring just in case it 'comes up missing.'"
Too many counties heard from
Commenters also weren't sure where Jim's maternal family got off in thinking they had any say in what happens to a different family's heirloom.
As such, it also came as a relief that Bill didn't somehow agree with them.
A persuasive rebuttal
The involvement of Jim's family also led several commenters to a realization that explained why they were so aggressive.
As one of them said, "If his maternal family is calling, then tell them to give Jim a ring since that would be more meaningful to him."
They weren't subtle
The fact that so many people on that side of Jim's family were so quick to judge the woman's decision made their motivations pretty obvious in the Reddit community's view.
They didn't want to pay for an engagement ring either and were hoping to get a freebie.
The only hurdle worth considering
As far as some commenters saw it, the only family members the woman had to worry about disapproving of her decision were her own.
This concern stemmed from the likelihood of them being touchy about the ring going to a non-biological child.
Not an issue, as it turns out
In a comment responding to this concern, the woman said her parents fully supported her decision to give the ring to Paige.
In her words, "I am an only child, and they see her as their own granddaughter."
She wouldn't feel right doing otherwise
And even if they didn't approve, the woman doubted her decision would have changed.
Because as she put it, "I also feel it would be hypocritical of me to accept being called mom by her but then not treat her like my own child."
She had everyone's support
Although the woman hasn't shared any updates since her initial post, Reddit's consensus has been made abundantly clear to her.
Namely, that she's making the right decision and that Paige is lucky to have her as a stepmom.
Too bad for Jim
By extension, the prevailing opinion was that Jim had to have some audacity even to think he'd ever get the woman's ring.
And if he doesn't like her response, he only has himself to blame.