Walking down the aisle on your wedding day is a special, traditionally, once in a lifetime moment. The idea of walking your children down the aisle can be a moment parents dream of. When tragedy strikes a parent can feel robbed of these special moments.
Redditor Confident_Salad4512 turned to the “Am I the A**hole” subReddit for perspective on her response to her stepfathers emotional request.
“AITA for telling my mom’s husband he needs therapy when he tried to guilt me into letting him walk me down the aisle?”
The original poster (OP) explained:
“My mom married her husband James three years ago. I (25f) was not living with my mom at the time nor were we in the same state. So I haven’t really interacted with him a lot. I got engaged during lockdown last year.”
”We are planning to get married when everything is safe again. I asked my mom if she would walk with me. She said yes. Everything was good.”
”Then James approached me about two months ago saying he would like to walk me down the aisle. That he knows he can’t replace my dad but he loves me and my mom and would love to fill the father of the bride role so I can have someone in it.”
”I told him my mom was filling the parent of the bride role. And that made me happy. He pushed a little, told me it made more sense for him to do it. I said no.”
”My mom told me he had just wanted to make the suggestion because he felt maybe I would prefer it. I didn’t want to fight so I left it alone. Then he came to me again.”
”He talked about how he lost both his girls (his wife and daughters died almost twenty years ago) and how much it would mean for him to be accepted into that role and would give him the chance to do that with another daughter.”
”He told me even if I don’t want it, would I do that for him, so he would have some healing and a chance to be in the role with someone. I said no again and he told me I must be very cold, to know what it’s like to lose a father, to do that to someone who lost both his children and is reaching out and offering to do it for you.”
”I told him maybe he needs therapy if it’s so hard and he’s so caught up in the loss of them that he can’t see me as my own person and as someone who would want my remaining parent walk with me and fill that role.”
“He was offended I would make that suggestion. My mom bent over apologizing after she heard what happened. I guess she hadn’t known the whole thing from before. He’s still I wanna say salty but he’s still offended and thinks I overstepped.”
“Did I? AITA? And before anyone asks, my fiancée and I are paying for the wedding ourselves, he is not contributing to anything.”
The OP asked Redditors to weigh in and rule:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors, although sympathetic to step-father’s tragic losses, deemed OP as NTA on this one.
“NTA . That is a devastating loss and I can’t even imagine losing your entire family like that. However, he 100% needs therapy. It’s been 20 years and it sounds like he’s trying to use you as a stand in. I’m glad your mom sounds like she’s on your side and hopefully he doesn’t bring it up or try to manipulate your mom onto his side.”~sequingoddess
“NTA, you overstepped? He wants to use you to have HIS dream moment of walking someone, anyone down the isle. You as a person don’t matter to him, he was never a parent to you and is essentially still a stranger. You were right to suggest therapy, it’s a harsh truth perhaps, but he needed to hear it. He was very pushy and did not accept your no.”~likeahike
“NTA. I asked my stepfather to walk me down the aisle because he’s an awesome person and took a fatherly role for most of my teenage years without being pushy about it. He earned his place as someone I consider family, not just some guy my mother married.”
”This guy barely knows you, you were well and truly out on your own before your mother married him, he’s never had a parental role towards you, and he wants to walk you down the aisle because it would make him happy? And he’s trying to guilt you into it because his daughters are dead?!”
“NOPE. Your wedding, your choice, your mother is your only remaining parent, go for it and don’t feel guilty, he DOES need therapy. It’s sad that he’s sad, but you are not a replacement doll for him to act out the role he wanted to play in his daughters’ weddings.”~snootsnoots
“NTA- if he still has problems about letting go of his wife and daughters, suggesting therapy isn’t a bad thing to do. He can mourn as long as he needs, but projecting onto you isn’t healthy. He overstepped by trying to guilt you into letting him walk you down the aisle.”~z3vil
“Offering to do it for you? More like, demanding you do it for him. Your wedding is for you and for people to support the newly married pair, not an opportunity for guests to resolve their personal issues at the newlyweds’ expense. I’m sorry for his loss, but I’m not sure even therapy is going to resolve him thinking that other people’s major life events should be about him. Smh and NTA.”~Jetztinberlin
“NTA. No means no. I can understand him wanting this but this is your wedding. And I think it’s ridiculous for people to demand for something in ANOTHER couple’s wedding simply because they pay for something.”
”My parents paid for lunch and my dress and never demanded or wanted anything in return. They just wanted to help make this day perfect for us.”~nerothic
Although some Redditors could understand his intense grief they agreed step-dad overstepped in this situation.