There are many reasons why affairs are looked down upon.
While we might offer allowances for humans not being perfect and all of us making mistakes, there’s no question that there are consequences to having an affair.
But sometimes we forget how much an affair might impact children of the impacted relationships, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor MysteriousYard5483 had been bitter her entire life about her mom’s decision not only to cheat on her biological dad but also to marry her affair partner after her dad died.
But when her half-sister expected her to let her stepfather walk her down the aisle on her wedding day, the Original Poster (OP) said he would always just be her mom’s affair partner to her.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my half-sister that her father might have been in my life longer than my dad, but I will never be walked down the aisle by our mom’s affair partner?”
The OP gained a half-sister from the affair her mother had when she was young.
“I (27 Female) have a half-sister (25 Female). We share the same mom but she cheated on my dad (while they were married) and my half-sister is the result of that.”
“Mom ended up marrying her dad after the affair was revealed and DNA was established (apparently he wouldn’t have married my mom if my half-sister hadn’t been his).”
“My parents shared custody of me until I was just about to turn eight (literally two weeks before my birthday) and then my dad passed away in an accident.”
“I was at school and it was his parenting time with me so I saw him that day. It really destroyed me. I ended up living with my mom obviously.”
The OP never became close with her stepdad.
“I always knew about the tensions between my parents, as well as between my dad and my mom’s husband.”
“I always knew about the affair because my aunt (mom’s sister) was very open about it and she would use every opportunity to call my mom and her husband out.”
“My mom is still married to my half-sister’s dad. He tried to be a dad to me. I do think he loves me. He claims me as his other daughter. All that stuff.”
“But I still see him as not my dad and as the person who slept with my mom and got her pregnant while she was married to my dad. He does not get the fatherly role in my life now. Whenever I see him and my mom, I am civil but we are not close. We are close to no contact at this point.”
The OP detailed more about her relationship with them in the comments.
“He was never my parent in my eyes. To me, he’s nothing. I never loved or cared about him in any way.”
“My mom has told me to my face that my dad was a bad person because if he had been the father of my half-sister, he would not have saved their marriage.”
“It’s not even that he would have walked away from his child. He simply wouldn’t have stayed married to my mom. That’s something I’m supposed to hate him for in her mind.”
“She also told me he was bad for getting a DNA test done on me. But even she can admit it wasn’t so he could abandon me. He simply no longer trusted her and didn’t believe a word that came out of her mouth.”
“She also suggested that when my dad died, it was okay, because I wasn’t really without a dad because of her husband. Like that was meant to cheer me up.”
The OP confided that she wasn’t that close to her half-sister, either.
“My relationship with my half-sister isn’t that close, either, but I know none of this is her fault, so I try to have a sibling relationship with her.”
“After I got engaged, she told me she couldn’t wait to see ‘our dad’ walk me down the aisle.”
“That’s when I told her it would never happen.”
“When she said it should because he has been there longer than my dad ever was, I told her it didn’t matter to me, because I would never be walked down the aisle by mom’s affair partner.”
“She told me that was 26 years ago.”
“I said yeah, it was, and I don’t remember it happening, but he does not get rewarded, and I am not disrespecting my dad’s memory like that.”
“She told me I shouldn’t be acting like this still, and she questioned what I think of her when I hate her parents, especially her dad, that much.”
“She told me I should appreciate him more for trying to be a good dad to me and I always rejected him and treated him like s**t.”
“I don’t feel bad for not inviting them to the wedding, but after hearing this from my half-sister, I felt like I needed to check with someone.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some thought the OP was taking her bitter feelings much too far.
“YTA, maybe? If you framed it like, ‘Look. Nobody will ever ever ever replace my dad, so no. Nobody else will walk me down the aisle,’ that I can get behind. It’s reasonable and fair.”
“But if you actually said, ‘Your dad is just an affair partner,’ that is belittling a guy that, as you said yourself, has stepped up to fill the role of father for you, and is very offensive to your half-sister.”
“If your intention is to burn the bridges down, okay, go for it. But be aware it was your choice to do so.” – Hot_Downstairs
“YTA. You are projecting your anger towards your mum towards your stepdad to evade confrontation with your mum and to not cope with the reasons of your parents’ marriage might have been broken apart. (There was a reason besides sex.)”
“If I get the timeline right, you lost your dad when you were eight, so that would be 20 years ago.”
“This man treats you for 20 years as if you are his own daughter and you call him names and punish him to protect childhood memories (I know this is phrased harshly, but that’s what it is).” – OTee_D
“YTA. Being civil rather than wanting a second father is fair enough.”
“However, you are only hurting yourself with this level of hate towards this person. Until you have children yourself, you won’t appreciate the sacrifices that he made for you.”
“So in that respect, he has tried to make amends by treating you like a daughter in the face of what I am sure was hostility. Making amends doesn’t excuse his behaviour but what is the time limit on forgiveness? To the grave?” – ScaryButterscotch474
“YTA. I 100% would not have said that until I read your comment to someone asking if you told Mom and Stepdad.”
“From how you talk about them, I am guessing you were out of the house as soon as possible. Figuring that being 18 (in most situations), you spent nine years with someone who cared for you! And by your own accord, this guy went out of his way to try and bring you into the family. By your own accord, he loves you!”
“You are not inviting them to your wedding! What the f**k, either you’re not telling a whole lot of sh*t or YTA! I get not walking you down the aisle but! Not being allowed to see someone who YOU actually believe loves you; can’t come! That’s F**KING CRUEL!” – cmkenyon123
“They’ve been married for over 25 years, and you were two when your parents split up. Seek therapy, please. Jesus, how long are you going to hold a grudge? You don’t even remember your parents being together.”
“Clearly, this relationship has lasted, and you acknowledge he loves you as a daughter. Good lord. YTA for not growing as a person, and you’re cheating yourself out of family. What a shame.” – AwkwardFortuneCookie
“It seems likely that YTA. Of course, it is up to you who you invite or ask to walk down the aisle, and from how you present the relationship, it is appropriate for you not to have your mom’s husband walk you down the aisle.”
“But it does seem likely that you are the AH for your treatment of your mother and probably her husband (independent of whether they even are invited to the wedding).” – cubej333
Others reassured the OP that her half-sister was in the wrong.
“NTA. This is such an exhausting bulls**t situation when people demand that they be honored for roles they don’t occupy.”
“Walk yourself, have someone you love walk you, shoot you can walk down the aisle with a pet alligator if you won’t.”
“She had a totally different life experience than you and she doesn’t get to dictate how you feel nor that you or some debt of gratitude to your mother’s husband.” – WielderOfAphorisms
“You may need to go LC/NC (low-contact or no-contact) with your half-sister until she accepts the fact that you will not all be one happy family.”
“She can either accept you for who you are and the trauma you have endured and respect the boundaries you have set up, or she can kick rocks with your mom and her dad. You should be very explicit when you tell her and leave no room for misunderstanding. NTA.” – DreamCrusher914
“She really said, ‘he has been there longer than my dad ever was…’ Yeah! Because he DIED!”
“NTA but I would cut the sister off, too. Anyone who would try and throw your dad DYING in your face is an absolute AH and deserves no place in your life. She is the apple that fell very close to both her parents’ trees.” – No-Abies-1232
“NTA. Your sister is acting like your dad walked away and abandoned you, and her dad stepped up in his absence to Do a Good Thing.”
“But he didn’t leave you; he died. That means his place isn’t vacant. He is and always will be your dad, and no amount of ‘time served’ by your stepdad can take away that your dad is your dad.”
“Add in the fact that your mum and stepdad hurt him with their affair, and yeah, your stepdad may well have been a good stepdad, but he doesn’t get to take your dad’s place on such an emotional day.” – Normal-Height-8577
“It’s none of her d**n business who walks you down the aisle, first of all. And secondly, you had a father, who passed and there is no ‘replacing’, no ‘filling the shoes’ and definitely no ‘well, he was there’.”
“So what?? He was only in it for his penance after knocking up your mother (since he had to have ironclad proof), not any actually genuinely in the beginning caring capacity. He may have treated you well and been a good guy, but he’s still the guy who wrecked your mom and dad’s marriage. End of story.”
“Your father is gone but not forgotten. Walk yourself down the aisle and have a photo of your father on your bouquet, my niece did so her daddy walked her down the aisle. NTA.” – MsDMNR_65
“Your sister doesn’t respect your boundary. She is an adult using her connection to you to try to advocate on her father’s behalf. Why continue having a relationship with someone who doesn’t respect your boundaries regarding your lack of a relationship with your mother and her affair partner/current husband?”
“Don’t feel guilty. Look at this situation clearly. It’s someone who wants everyone to fit into her narrative of a happy family to justify her existence. No, the affair was not her fault, but she is a product of something that destroyed your family and hurt your father. Having a relationship with her father makes what they did okay in her mind. NTA.” – Such-Awareness-2960
The subReddit was taken aback by the OP’s half-sister’s take on this situation.
While some thought that the OP was taking this too far and being too bitter, and others completely understood where she was coming from, they still felt that the half-sister’s take was short-sighted.
What the half-sister wanted to do on her own wedding day was entirely her choice, but the OP’s decision about who to invite and who to include in the wedding party was not her business.