Some people unfortunately aren't meant to mend their relationships once they're broken, and this can include parents and their children.
Unfortunately, in this situation, we can't help but wonder if this relationship is a little too broken.
An estranged father reached out to the "Am I the A**hole?" subReddit, wondering if he was wrong to expect to receive a proper plus-one invitation from his daughter for her wedding.
The Original Poster (OP) "Liliarose22" asked the sub:
"WIBTA (Would I Be the A**hole) if I refused to go to my daughter's wedding because my wife isn't invited?"
Approximately two decades ago, the OP found himself in quite the predicament with his ex-girlfriend.
"I never wanted children. I was always careful, always wore a condom, but somehow I ended up getting my ex pregnant. I begged her to abort or to consider adoption but she wanted to keep the pregnancy."
Around that same time, the OP also met his future wife.
"We ended up moving in together and I met my wife around the same time. We were in the same friend group and I was instantly very attracted to her, I guess people call it an emotional affair. I told her about my problems and she was supportive and believed if a woman could abort, a man should have the right to walk away."
In fact, the OP's future wife proved to be very supportive of walking away.
"My ex gave birth to twins and I stayed for the first six months, but honestly I just didn't love them. I didn't want to be a father, the feelings weren't there, and I was becoming very depressed. I hated my life and I think if I stayed I would have ended up severely depressed or an alcoholic."
"My wife graduated around that time and was moving back to California (we were in New York, so across the country) She said I should come with her and start over. She said something that really stuck with me about how if I don't walk away now I can't do it in five years, and right now is the moment to hurt my kids the least."
"I told my ex that it wasn't working and I didn't want to be a dad. I move to California and married my wife, but I paid all of my child support, paid for their education, extracurriculars, etc."
Eighteen years passed before the OP saw his children again.
"When the twins were eighteen they wanted to meet me, and I felt ready. My son and I built a good relationship but my daughter hates my wife. She wants her to apologize for telling me it was alright to leave, which obviously even if she did say that, I made the decision."
Now that his daughter is getting married, the OP realizes how deep his daughter's resentment goes.
"My daughter is getting married and recently said my wife is not invited."
"I told her that is incredibly disrespectful and you can't invite half of a couple. She said she is selfish and evil and just said those things so I'd move with her."
"I've fully paid for this wedding, which I probably wouldn't have if I knew this ahead of time, but I told her I will not publicly disrespect my wife."
Redditors wrote in on the situation, rating the OP's concerns about the wedding on the following scale:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You're the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Because the OP was honest in his intentions, some Redditors stated this made him NTA in this situation.
"Are you sure you read ops post properly? He clearly states he didn't want kids and he didn't initiate contact it was the kids. It was clearly the mother's choice to have the kids."
"This doesn't seem like he is parenting them, he just wants his wife, someone he loves to be his plus one for a wedding he paid for. There is also no reason that he needed to pay for the wedding." - mnir91
"You missed the part where OP clearly stated a few times he did not want to be a father, and left his kids lives because he did not want to be a resentful father, yet still supported them in the necessary ways while distancing himself from a situation he wanted no part in." - Tip1n1
Others disagreed and said trying to be involved now was the perfect reason to assign the OP as TA.
"He said himself he's been nothing but a wallet to his kids from birth and he uses that to excuse himself from their lives. How is this any different? He had two decades to become more than just a monetary fund for them and he had zero interest in it."
"Now he's suddenly changed his mind but once it gets a little difficult and actual parenting is needed, instead of anticipating emotional reactions from the decisions he's continued to make throughout the years, he pulls away. As soon as it gets difficult, he's gone. Just like when those kids were babies."
"These are things he should've thought about before funding the wedding, and before deciding that all he wanted to be was a financer for them instead of a dad."
"BTW, op, YTA." - cherrydrpepper
"Are you the a**hole for not going to the wedding if your wife isn't welcome? No."
"Is your daughter the a**hole for not inviting your wife? No, sounds like she doesn't have any relationship with your wife so I can understand she doesn't want her there. You had the chance to introduce your wife to your daughter for several decades but decided you didn't want that so that one is on you."
"Are you the a**hole for suddenly deciding you want to teach your daughter (you know, the one you abandoned!) what is and isn't disrespectful? And who she must invite to her wedding? YES!"
"YTA." - WallabyInTraining
"He's the one who made the whole relationship about monetary transaction instead of actual human relationships by not meeting them for 18 years." - 4x8looking
Some also questioned how far the "child support" was going to go.
"Child support is now a child using their parent?" - bittybittybombm
"No, having your dad pay for your entire wedding only to tell him that his wife isn't invited is using him." - AGodInColchester
"Now one of them is attempting to use his money for a wedding and he is most likely mad that his money is being used for something the people he love are not a part of. He's not parenting his kids, he's upset that his wife is not being recognized in a respectful manner and has every right to be upset, especially if it seems like his money is being used." - Tip1n1
Though many kids go through divorces or having absentee parents, meeting a parent who doesn't want to be involved, but otherwise tries to cover the issue with money, must be confusing. How far to allow the money situation to go, however, should be considered.