Weddings can be emotionally taxing affairs for both sides of the family––suffice it to say that rifts are as common as they are draining and inconvenient.
One man took to Reddit’s AITA forum––that’s “Am I The Assh*le” for those of you out of the loop––to ask for advice after his relationship with his stepdaughter (whom he raised) became strained when he discovered that she’d chosen her “abusive” biological father to walk her down the aisle instead of him.
I’ve been in my stepdaughter’s life since she was 2. My wife divorced her husband because he was abusive. He went to prison for that. But even after he served his sentence, he was never involved in my her life.
She’s getting married next month. She always wanted to have a destination wedding in Mykonos, Greece. We decided that I’d help them pay for the wedding. Unfortunately, she lost a lot of money recently and I decided to pay for the wedding. Her fiance is helping, but it’s not much. I love her and nothing would make me more happy.
Then things grew more complicated:
Yesterday, she told me that she wanted her bio dad to walk her down the aisle. She told me that he’s a changed man and he deserves a chance and she’d try to accommodate me elsewhere. I’m really hurt by her decision. I was really looking forward to walking her down the aisle. My wife thinks that we should not pay for the wedding anymore. She also thinks we should not attend the wedding. I think I agree with her reasoning. But if I don’t pay, she won’t have her destination wedding. AITA here?
Advice soon rolled in.
He should definitely talk to her and explain how hard this all is for him and her mother (who is expected to just see her abuser play an important part of this wedding). That said, if the daughter is adamant then we need to remember she’s the OP’s kid but not an actual kid anymore. She’s an adult. She makes her bed then she has to deal with the consequences.
NTA. The stepdaughter isn’t a child anymore and as such, shouldn’t be allowed to act childish. Actions speak louder than words and the fact that this man has been in her life all but 2 years makes her the assh*le. She has every right to pick her bio dad to walk her down the aisle, but she doesn’t have a right to say that it isn’t fair and throw a tantrum when stepdad refuses to pay for the wedding and/or refuses to attend. She’s also put him in a real sh*tty position because he looks like the asshole if he does either. So hands down, the bride is the assh*le and it’s not even close.
Sorry, but I don’t think he should be made to feel guilty if he were to go through with this decision. If she doesn’t treat him as her father, she shouldn’t be in the position to call him out on not financing her dream wedding (which shouldn’t be his obligation in the first place). So I don’t think she’s not TA in this situation. The OP is definitely NTA.
NTA. Anyone can father a child but being a dad requires skill.
Traditionally it’s the bride’s family who pay for the wedding. You are that family, as to all intents and purposes you are her real dad. However, when you offered to pay for the wedding, you did so on a certain basis, on the terms previously proposed. Equally, you probably expected to be involved in the proceedings and I find it insulting how your daughter is only going to “try to accommodate” you.
Has the daughter considered how her mum will feel to see her deadbeat ex walk her daughter down the aisle, taking the place of the man she loves, knowing that said ex will probably stay for the booze and cake and then walk out of his daughter’s life again?
While it is your daughter’s day, she’s expecting you and your wife to foot the bill while insulting those who are both de facto the parents (who so happen to be the ones footing the bill).
Your wife, who is after all the mother of the bride, clearly feels uncomfortable with the situation. If she was begrudgingly okay with it I’d probably suggest that you try and work through it. As it stands, you shouldn’t feel you have to pay or attend – and i’m glad that it was your wife’s suggestion.
All the best to your daughter, maybe she should see if her bio dad wants to pick up the bill…
The first part, a thousand times over.
OP’s the one who dedicated his life on becoming a father to a child that isn’t his own by blood. OP diminished the blood relation and cared so much that his love for his child is worth more than genetics.
Although a changed man, he has no place in walking a lady down the aisle who’s mother he abused and abandoned. He has no place in walking a lady down the aisle at a destination wedding where her actual father, who truly cares about her, made it all happen.
If he is a decent man now, he should let OP do it because OP deserves the recognition for being an amazing father.
However, coming from a broken home and having a sister who now acts as if our violent and abusive dad is a saint: the girl is not thinking clearly. She’s starting a new chapter, perhaps thinking about having children of her own and is absolutely desperate to reconnect only to prove to herself that it is what adults do. She’s not thinking about the awful things he did and the amazing things OP did, she’s only thinking about ‘it’s what I wish my children would do’. But if the guy abandons her again, she’ll have an awful memory regarding her wedding. She shouldn’t go through with it.
OP and his wife should sit down with her and discuss it. If she insists, the deadbeat man can go ahead and pay for it. It’s not rational to expect someone to spend thousands on a wedding that isn’t his and where he has been booted out of the most wonderful day he could ever have in his child’s life.
I was leaning towards ESH, until I re-read and read that he went to jail for abusing your wife, and this is her idea.
Your wife shouldn’t have to even be in the same room as him, let alone watch him take a place of honor in your daughter’s wedding. I hate that society has put this pressure on children to be connected to their biological bringers to be over the sake of their parents.
This is a time you side with your wife. It’s not about that he hasn’t been in your daughter’s life. It’s how your daughter is disrespecting her mother. If anyone has earned the right to walk your daughter down the aisle, it’s your wife. (Not that you haven’t, of course. I’m just taken aback about your daughter’s disregard for her mom.)
Eeeeh, I think you’re focusing on the wrong thing.
If you agree to pay for someone’s wedding, it shouldn’t depend on your role in the ceremony. You aren’t BUYING the experience of walking her down the aisle… Being a child of divorce is tough, especially when faced with ettiquette rules built for traditional families.
But you and your wife don’t have to pay to be close to a man who assaulted her!!! What!!!
If you REALLY want to take the high road, write a check and decline the invitation.
Some excellent points were made here, and it appears the man has opted to keep his promise by paying for the wedding, but he will not attend.