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Parent Chastises Adult Daughter For Complaining About Being The Fifth Wheel On Family Trip

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Redditor Altruistic_Drink6412’s adult daughter has been unlucky in love time and time again.

Recently the Original Poster (OP) and their family did a big trip, and their daughter complained when everyone coupled off except for her.

By the end of the trip, the OP had had enough of their daughter’s complaining.

The OP gently told their daughter off, but their daughter did not take it well.

This led the OP to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).

They asked:

“AITA for telling my daughter that life doesn’t stop for others because hers isn’t going well?”

They went on to explain.

“I have 3 kids, and my daughter [27-year-old Female] hasn’t had the best luck in her romantic life. She’s gotten cheated on many times, and her previous relationships were unhealthy.”

“I also believe she’s in a toxic relationship with her current boyfriend.”

“My nieces and nephews, along with my other kids are all happily married, some starting their own families.”

“It was my sister’s birthday recently, and she and her husband had planned the trip for the family. She helped with expenses if needed, but for the most part everyone paid for themselves.”

“My daughter was the only one going by herself.”

“She was allowed to bring a friend”

“My daughter isn’t single. She has a BF”

“We did things as a family, but there were times when we split up to do something with just our partners. So sometimes my daughter was by herself or basically being a third wheel.”

“At the end of the trip my daughter complained to me how she hated going on the trip.”

“That she felt like it was a cruel joke that she was there by herself and that the others should not have shown affection to their partners when she was around.”

“This is not the first time she complained about something like this. She’s done it after holidays and birthdays as well.”

“I’ll admit I’m tired of my daughter complaining about this. So I told her that just because her life isn’t going well doesn’t mean others will stop living theirs.”

“She hasn’t talked to me since, and that was almost two weeks ago. My husband is on my side, but i’m worried I’ll lose my daughter.”


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

    • NTA – Not The A**hole
    • YTA – You’re The A**hole
    • NAH – No A**holes Here
    • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided:

“‘So sometimes my daughter was by herself or basically being a third wheel.’”

“Why would you plan couple activities on the trip if not everyone was in a couple? She’s 27 for crying out loud. Still pretty young.”

“Her complaining about people showing affection is ridiculous, but have you stopped to think about how she might have felt on this trip?”

“Edit: I’m not saying 27 is young in the sense you’re all complaining about. I’m talking about in the context of the post.”

“27 is still young with respect to finding a partner and starting a family. It was mainly in response to this sentence from OP:”

“‘My nieces and nephews, along with my other kids are all happily married, some starting their own families.’”

“Edit 2: Apparently I also need to point out that most people don’t expect family vacations to turn into date nights for couples who already spend all year together!”

“People might split off into groups for different activities (a few people go for a hike, a few people hang out by the water, a few go golfing, whatever), but not based on who’s in a couple.”

“And the fact that she has a bf and chose not to bring him doesn’t matter. She shouldn’t have been made to feel like a third wheel!” – jmbbl


“I don’t have a lot of sympathy for her demanding people not showing any affection for each other in her presence, and a lot of what you say is valid.”

“However, I don’t understand how, on a family vacation, all the couples are going off and leaving her all on her own.”

“That sounds wretched, and I can empathize with how sad it is to watch everyone else be stable and happy when that’s not at all available to you.”

“You could acknowledge the validity of her feelings while encouraging her to accept the right of others to be happy.” – LadyCass79

“YTA for this; ‘there were times when we split up to do something with just our partners. So sometimes my daughter was by herself or basically being a third wheel.’”

“In my family, there are many single adults. We would never break it up so that all the partners were together and the single adults left to their own.”

“We wouldn’t do it no matter how many single people were there—much less if there were just one single person.”

“Family gatherings are just that. You can all break up to do things with only your partners any other time.” – Auntie-Mam69


“You said her LIFE wasn’t going well. That’s a big statement to tell your daughter her life sucks and to not bother other people in her family with better happier lives that are all in relationships .”

“Instead you could have said something like I’m sorry you’ve had issues in your relationships , nobody deserves to be cheated on. It’s got to hurt.”

“But You are worthy of love and happiness and everything you want in a relationship.”

“It might take time, and in the meantime, it may be uncomfortable feeling like you’re the third wheel, but you’re not because we are a family unit, and so we ride on all wheels.”

“And then included her in the FAMILY plans.”

“She is wrong in expecting people to not act affectionate in her presence etc but she complained about that to you, her Mom, venting. It’s not like she said that to them.”

“Sounds like needs to feel loved and valued (and that’s why she is chasing dysfunctional men) And instead she just got more rejection.“ – laughingpurplerain

“NTA. Having fun is a choice. If I were in her shoes, I would have found something fun to do on my own while the couples were out.”

“(I’m 32, and I’ve been single for 5 years, all my friends are in relationships or married, you learn to have fun anyway, and learn to be your own best friend!)”

“I don’t think what you said was cruel…it sounded like a truth she didn’t want to hear.”

“Hopefully, she will go to therapy someday”

“(not saying there’s anything wrong with her – just that EVERYONE should go to therapy, and I started going around her age, and it helped my “attitude” towards things a ton).” – Weird_Encouraged

“I think the splitting off for couples things was TA moment… did you guys split up and have girls time and guys time together to so there was at least something that was not specific to her?”

“Did she get any say in what the activities even were or restaurant choices etc? I do think how you said things was a bit rude, but for underlying issue of her complaints sorta breaks even.”

“You will lose your daughter if you say things like this regularly. She likely took it to mean you think her life sucks and she’s a failure in her own mom’s eyes.”

“There is no rush to get married she’s still very young… This type of talk may lead her to settle for someone undeserving just so she feels like she’s meeting family standards.”

“I think you should send her an apology and tell her you’re proud of her for not settling just because others have and that you understand how loneliness can feel…”

“…and that next time you do something as a family, you will include her in decisions that affect her time and her wallet!”

“Ask her to coffee or lunch or to get your nails done, the two of you or with her sister too.”

“The number of her years means nothing. She is still the same little girl who has the same love language she always had for her family.”

“I don’t really see anyone being TA here, BC you’re clearly realizing that your words had power.”

“Her outburst may have been immature, but we should be able to be honest and immature when we feel hurt with our families.” – Scared-Listen6033

“You do not seem to have empathy for your own daughter. Have you tried to help her make better choices to avoid toxic relationships or to improve her self-worth?”

“While your daughter doesn’t have a right to demand that couples don’t show affection for each other, based on what you wrote, I can understand where she is coming from.”

“You called your own daughter a third wheel. My parents would NEVER have treated me this way.”

“They did not always approve of my romantic choices when I was younger, but they always tried for me to see my own worth and never just wrote me off!” – lovepotao

OP might be pushing the “altruistic” part of their handle on their daughter, no?

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)