Stepdad’s Reason for Refusing To Go on Family Vacation Dragged: ‘Pathetic’

Stepdad’s Reason for Refusing To Go on Family Vacation Dragged: ‘Pathetic’

A woman angry at her stepdad for saying “no” to their family vacation plans has divided opinions on Mumsnet.

In a post shared to the parenting site’s Am I Being Unreasonable? (AIBU) forum on November 6, user VertAmon said her stepdad refused to stay at the Spanish resort they’d chosen for their next family vacation. The location was a favorite of the poster and her mom’s, as they’d stayed there every year during her childhood.

However, the stepdad “doesn’t want to go anywhere” that VertAmon’s parents went as a married couple, including former family vacation spots.

VertAmon believes her stepdad’s attitude is “pathetic and a little bit controlling,” but Mumsnet users were split on the issue, with the post receiving over 200 comments.

Adult daughter arguing with parents in kitchen
A stock photo of an adult daughter arguing with her parents in a kitchen. Although many users understood why the poster was angry, some felt she was behaving insensitively towards her stepdad.
Buccina Studios/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Elizabeth Fedrick, counselor and owner of Evolve Counseling and Behavioral Services in Gilbert, Arizona, said it’s common for people to avoid places their spouse visited with an ex.

“This might be due to the new partner wanting to have experiences that are unique and special and that do not include the memory of an ex-partner,” she told Newsweek.

However, it can also be due to jealousy or insecurity, which is more problematic.

“These behaviors are often damaging and difficult for the rest of the parties involved,” said Fedrick.

“In this situation, it might have been beneficial for the stepdad to agree to attend this event, since mother had already agreed, but then request for his wife to chat with him in the future before agreeing to plans in which he is included.”

In her post, VertAmon explained that their daughter was born during COVID. As this would be their first vacation as a family, she wanted to go somewhere special.

“There is a resort in Spain that my mom and dad took me and my siblings to most years,” she wrote.

“We also went as a wider family (so grandparents, cousins etc.) and it’s recently been reopened after a long closure for a four-five-year refit.”

The poster asked her mom if they could do a big family vacation, with the stepdad, his adult children and grandkids also coming along. Her mom was excited by the idea, but later that day, she called to say she’d changed her mind.

“She said she had been thinking about it and would prefer to go somewhere else as she wants to go to another country next year,” VertAmon continued.

“This was odd, so I pushed and it turns out her husband is refusing to go, as he ‘doesn’t want to go anywhere that mom and my dad used to go together.’ This isn’t the first time he has been weird like this about something similar, but AIBU in thinking this is absolutely pathetic, and even a little bit controlling?”

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via [email protected]. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

Users were split on the situation. In the poll attached to the post, 54 percent agreed with the poster, while 46 percent felt she was being unreasonable.

“I’d tell them you’re going there and it’s up to them if they want to join you or not,” said CSR721.

“Why should you change your plans because her new partner is insecure.”

Peashoots agreed, writing: “He’s being absolutely pathetic and needs to get over himself.”

However, HollyBollyBooBoo felt the poster was “insensitive” to suggest vacationing at a resort.

“Totally get where he’s coming from. I’d hate that,” she said.

“Would you want to go somewhere with your spouse knowing they were having nice nostalgic memories of their time there with their ex?” asked pastabakeonaplate.

In the comments, VertAmon said she and her husband had decided to go to the resort anyway.

“This was just extending an offer as she has been asking when we’d be traveling with [our daughter] so she could start thinking about bigger family trips,” she said.

“He is a prat in other ways, so I’m not fussed if he goes or not, it just upsets me that mom is now not coming (as it’s unfair she gets to go on a family trip apparently) to not ‘rock the boat.'”

VertAmon isn’t the only one to fall out with their family over vacation plans. In July, another Mumsnet user went viral after sharing the story of her disastrous weekend away with her in-laws, while a “dramatic woman” refusing to share a room with her preschool-aged nieces on vacation was backed by Reddit users.