Consequences always find us.
Whether those consequences are positive or negative or some combination of the two, the repercussions of our actions will find us.
Sometimes, those consequences come from other people and sometimes it’s just the natural result of something we did – like a match lighting a candle.
What happens when you take it upon yourself to visit some consequences of a person who decides they don’t deserve it?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) flaggingd when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA? I didn’t attend my son’s wedding, I instead spent the evening with his ex wife.”
First, time for some history.
“Quick backstory, after graduating high school, my son moved 3 states away for college.”
“At 19, he married a girl he met. I tried convincing him to wait because I personally felt he was too immature.”
“They both dropped out and moved back here to his hometown. At 20, they had their first child, a beautiful little girl.”
“16 months later, my DIL gave birth to their second child, a little boy.”
“After the first baby, my wife and I noticed our DIL wasn’t happy.”
“We both thought it was PPD (postpartum depression) related.”
Just after the second arrived, my son and his wife separated. She would bring the kids over for a visit, and it was then she began unloading on us.”
“I know there are two sides to every story, but considering I know my son, I believed her. I sat my son down numerous times to speak with him regarding his marriage.”
“He refused to take responsibility, blamed her for everything even when I directly pointed out where he was the sole problem.”
The OP elaborated on his son’s relationship with his DIL.
“They got into counseling, and for a year things were ‘ok’ on the surface.”
“Our DIL filed for divorce. My son 3 days later was on Facebook announcing his new girlfriend.”
“A month later, they were engaged.”
“My son had forced his then-wife to become a permanent SAHM at the birth of their first child.”
“She of course had no other family or friends here. She knew no one aside from us.”
“She had nowhere to go with two small children. Unbeknownst to our son, my wife and I helped her financially and got her an apartment.”
“Before the divorce was even finalized, we received a wedding invitation.”
Dad took a stand.
“I made it clear to my son I would not be attending, and they would not have my blessing.”
“His mother told him she would see to it that I would attend.”
“I stayed consistent in my decision. I also asked him not to bring his fiancée around our house out of respect for the mother of his children.”
“The wedding happened on Feb 11.”
“The night before, my wife gave me the final push. I did not attend.”
“Our daughter also did not attend for the same reasons.”
“My wife picked up our grandkids, got them dressed, and attended the wedding.”
“My daughter and I decided to spend the evening with his ex. I couldn’t imagine her sitting alone while her kids attended their father’s wedding.”
“She was taken aback that I didn’t end up attending his wedding. We took her out to distract her mind.”
“I just wanted her to know she’ll always be considered family to us.”
“My daughter also made a joke they can drop the in-law status and just be sisters now. She was very tearfully grateful. I realized just how badly she needed our support and specifically on that night.”
“The next morning, my son called to tell me how much of a horrible father I am for not attending his wedding.”
“Few days later, he caught wind that I spent the wedding evening with his ex.”
Dad was left with a very angry son.
“He said that was the ultimate form of betrayal, and further myself and his sister would have to earn a relationship with him on his terms only.”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
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: NTA
Commenters saw no future in the new marriage.
“NTA, I give his new wife 2 years tops before he is cheating again.” ~ Responsible-Mall2222
“I’m sure you can make it up to him by attending at least one of his next three weddings….. NTA” ~ madmatt911
Some saw a chance to make some changes.
“Update your wills.”
“His portion of your estate should go into a trust for the first two kids.”
“Help wife 1 get a career, stability.”
“You’ll hear from your son when he wants something. NTA.”
“Rushing into two marriages in his early 20s? He likes getting married.”
“Staying married – not so much. He could be a 5-time loser in the marriage stakes by his early 40s at the rate he’s moving.” ~ Ipso-Pacto-Facto
“Once you get a chance, talk to an estate lawyer.”
“Especially ask about a ‘no contest clause,’ so that anyone who tries to contest the will automatically gets nada because the only ones who gain from disputes like that are the attorneys.”
“Is the daughter-in-love interested in any career paths?”
“Community colleges have good online plans, and an associates degree can either open doors (apprenticeships, etc), or make 4-year college much more affordable.”
“A good advisor can also help her pick good general studies courses for a first semester while she figures out a career/degree path.”
“Also, if she at least has good typing and filing skills, good temp agencies are always looking for secretaries and such.”
“Worst case, call centers will enable her to work from home and go to school online, and ones like insurance companies are ALWAYS understaffed (though this may be too stressful right now).” ~ Notte_di_nerezza
“I wish I had more than an upvote to give.”
“Updating your will to protect your estate. If your son is such a jerk to the mother of his children, he will be an even bigger as**when your estate is settled.”
“It brings out the ugliest behaviors in some people” ~ tngabeth
Others questioned the son’s overconfidence.
“NTA – this is funny. You have to ‘earn’ a relationship on his terms.”
“I think he needs to check his offering. He’s way overvaluing what he brings to the table.” ~
“Why would anyone care to earn a relationship with someone who clearly puts no value on the relationships he already had?”
“He didn’t care when OP said from the get-go he wouldn’t attend because he just assumed he would get his way in the end.”
“The only relationship this guy values is the relationship with that guy in the mirror.”
“OP, NTA.” ~ The_ShadyLady
“Oh, he reeks of narcissism.”
“Parents sound so nice too, so doubtful he was raised with that attitude, but somewhere along the way he fell in love with himself.”
“Mirror is great analogy” ~ Prestigious-Copy-494
Many thought the problem was deeper than just the son being a jerk.
“Hi, OP, I think you sound like a good guy and a good parent.”
“I don’t think you’re to blame for how your son turned out. If you’re not familiar with this, you might find it useful:”
“A Narcissist’s Prayer”
“That didn’t happen.”
“And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.”
“And if it was, that’s not a big deal.”
“And if it is, that’s not my fault.”
“And if it was, I didn’t mean it.”
“And if I did…”
“You deserved it.”
“And also this term, DARVO (an acronym for ‘deny, attack, and reverse victim and offender’) is a reaction that perpetrators of wrongdoing may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior.”
“Some researchers indicate that it is a common manipulation strategy of psychological abusers.”
“I hope these help you to understand your son’s behavior further. Thank you for looking after your ex-DIL, and for putting her and their kids first.”
“Take care!” ~ Bollywood_Fan
“The way your son flipped the script on you is VERY telling.”
“I think everyone on this sub with a relative who has a personality disorder (like narcissistic personality disorder) will recognize that behavior.”
“Add to that:”
“He wanted to ‘lock down’ his first wife by making her a SAHM with two young kids.”
“He was pretty obviously having an affair while he was doing that.”
“He didn’t have the impulse control NOT to make that obvious by getting married a month after his marriage broke up…”
“…And you have someone who is ringing a lot of alarm bells for something like NPD.” ~ Classroom_Visual
OP did return with some updates and gratitude.
“First, I’d like to sincerely thank each and every one of you for your support, encouragement, and all the awards.”
“I know, without a doubt, I did the right thing.”
“I even feel differently now. His mother should not have attended either. But we can’t go back and undo that.”
“So, my son saw the post.”
“I sent my daughter the link yesterday so she could read the comments.”
“This morning, she texts me at work… DAD, YOU WENT VIRAL!”
“Lol But anyways, he sent screenshots of the post and all my comments to his mom.”
“He also told her…’He’s dead to me now.’ Time will tell if he means that.”
“I’m sure he’ll see this update too. For that reason, I’m positively certain the second he needs another cash loan, I won’t be dead anymore.”
“His mom told him, ‘Your children have to be our number one priority.’ They’re not just some disposable items you can leave behind when one chapter of your life closes.”
“Maybe one day, he’ll understand this.”
Consequences always find us.
The challenge is accepting the effects of a thing you’ve done with grace and civility.
Clearly, in this case, OP’s son had some difficulty with that last part. And that’s why dad stepped in a class act.