His Father Demanded He Commit to Caring for His Severely Disabled Stepbrothers, but He Refused, Saying He’d Never Wanted His Dad to Remarry

A man recently went online to ask if he was wrong to refuse his father’s demands that he care for his disabled stepbrothers when he and his stepmother die. Here’s his story.

He has two siblings

Having Fewer, Better Friends
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“I am the youngest of three brothers,” the 20-year-old began. “My two older brothers are 22 and 23.”

They were struck by tragedy

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“We lost our mom when we were small kids, and our dad didn’t want to be a single dad forever, so he got married again.”

They gave their opinion

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The man and his siblings had told his dad at the time that they thought he was remarrying too fast, but he’d told them that he was doing what he thought best and that the “benefits” would outweigh any feelings of unease.

He took on two disabled children

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The man explained that his new stepmother had also lost her partner and had children of her own. Her two sons, however, were severely physically and mentally disabled and required 24-hour care. Neither would ever live independently.

He neglected his own kids’ needs

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As a result of their stepbrothers’ conditions, the man said that he and his siblings lost out when it came to their father’s attention. The rest of their childhood was spent adjusting to the needs of their stepbrothers and spending less time with their one surviving parent because he would be helping his wife.

The brothers also saw less of their extended family because their father didn’t want to make his stepkids, who had a much smaller family, feel bad.

They’d all moved on

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As grownups, the brothers see very little of their dad. The man said they lost him when he remarried.

His dad wanted a commitment

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The problem is that their dad and stepmother now want to make provisions for when they die — and they’re expecting the man and his brothers to “step up” and promise to care for their disabled stepbrothers.

His dad tried emotional blackmail

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The man and his brothers all refused. But the man said his dad has been playing divide-and-conquer with his sons and appealing to the man because he knows he’s a “good guy.”

He was standing firm

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Feeling bad for his stepbrothers but ultimately believing they’re not his responsibility, the man asked the online community for their take.

The internet responded

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Everyone backed the man. “Your dad chose to take responsibility for those kids,” said one. “You and your brothers didn’t, and it’s not reasonable to expect you to make the same choice. There are facilities for people who need long-term care, and it sounds like that’s the best bet for these two.”

“Special needs children, whether it be a mental or physical disability, require special care,” observed another. “Not everyone is able to do it, because there are definitely extra challenges.”

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