Throughout a child’s education, there are programs or trips a child might want to participate in that require work to be able to attend.
Sometimes it’s actually years of work, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
But when his ex-wife became ill, Redditor Misfit7seven decided the family needed to come before his daughter’s years of work to travel internationally.
But when his daughter pointed out her ex-mother was abusive, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t too surprised when his daughter stopped talking to him.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for making my daughter choose between her family and a trip to Spain?”
The OP’s daughter worked hard for over two years to go on a school trip.
“My (37 Male) daughter (16 Female) who I’ll call ‘Honey’ has been taking a Spanish class for the past 2 years.”
“This class takes a trip to Spain every few years and Honey has been working hard in class and at work so she can go on this trip.”
“Honey started to work for the trip at age 14 by saving up any holiday money she got. She then got a full-time job and a part-time job at age 15.”
But then the OP canceled the trip.
“Honey has been super excited about the trip, but by the time the trip came around, I told her she couldn’t go.”
“It had been announced that her sister’s (8 Female) mother (my ex-wife and Honey’s ex-step-mom) had cancer.”
“Honey asked what this had to do with her, and so I told her she needed to be here for her sister and for my ex-wife.”
“Honey got mad pretty quickly, bringing up how my ex-wife used to abuse her and how it was unfair to keep her from a trip she’s been working hard for.”
“I told Honey that she still had to be there since this involves her sister and my ex-wife’s family who still consider her family.”
Honey didn’t take the situation well.
“We ended up fighting so Honey went to her mom’s and refuses to talk to me.”
“She calls every day to check in on her sister. Thinking about it now, Honey could’ve gone on the trip and just have called her sister from Spain, but I still think it’s best she’s here in person.”
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 said the OP needed to be more respectful of his daughter’s efforts.
“YTA. She has worked incredibly hard to be able to go on this trip, and you are now essentially disregarding that hard work because of something completely out of HER control.”
“You’re the adult, it’s your responsibility to make sure her sister is okay while her mother is being treated, not hers. Stop burdening your child with adult responsibility.”
“Parentification is a form of a child is abuse, which makes OP an even bigger a**hole for participating in mutual abuse of his daughter, along with his ex-wife.”
“Parentifying his daughter under the guise of ‘supporting her sister’ is a level of f**kery that defies reality. F**k both OP and his ex.” – ShinyBonnets
“Dad knows Honey worked hard for this trip and even understands she deserves this trip. However, his vague reason ‘Because Cancer’ does not indicate why this is so dire that Honey needs to give up her dream trip now?”
“Is it stage 4 and on hospice? Or is the diagnosis and/or treatment ongoing? Is stepmom expected to pass while Honey is on the trip? This is relevant.”
“I think that maybe dad wants to keep Honey home to LOOK after her sister while Dad and other family are there for the ex-wife.”
“Honey is at Mom’s house now and she calls her sister every day. Why couldn’t she just do this while on her trip? When she returns home she can then be physically there to support her sister.”
“YTA.” – MooseTek
“I feel like at some point he’s going to try to guilt or trick Honey into giving him the money she saved for this trip under the guise that it’ll be for his ex-wife’s cancer treatment saying s**t like ‘you don’t need it, since you didn’t go on the trip’ or ‘she still thinks of you as family, the family helps family,’ or ‘Because cancer’.”
“OP is definitely an AH, tho!” – ChinnieChinChin
“I think what many are intimating here, but not outright saying is that this is perpetuating the abuse she endured and making you an accomplice to it. You’re invalidating her experience and feelings regarding that abuse.”
“I can’t believe I had to point that out to you, but you’re so d**ned oblivious to the obvious. Also, that you waited until the last-f**king-minute to tell her she wasn’t going, not giving her any warning this was a possibility, so you can’t even fix the colossal f**k up you made, is just peak a**hole behavior.”
“You just made ALL of her hard work, to make this happen, worthless, wasted time and effort, so when her grades drop, remember that is the result of you disregarding her feelings, but hey you get to yell at her again, so yay for father of the year here.”
“You aren’t an a**hole, you’re The Black F**king Dragon Lord of All A**holes. Nothing you can do, or even be willing to do, can fix this.” – ShineAqua
“When I went on a trip to Europe in high school, everything had to be paid for MONTHS in advance.”
“So it’s possible Honey worked for years, paid for the trip, and then is out all of that money and the trip for her EX-step mom?!”
“YTA massively. You owe her so much.” – GeekSugar13
Others pointed out the OP was defending an abuser over his hard-working daughter.
“OP is a horrible parent.”
“Grant his ex-wife has cancer, but he should have left as soon as he found out she abused his daughter.”
“OP pray to god that your daughter doesn’t go NC (no-contact) with you since you could never put her first.” – Material_Cellist4133
“Why, why SHOULDN’T she be forced to give up years of hard work to support the woman who made her life hell for an unknown amount of years? She’s not dying, she doesn’t get a say.”
“(This is a sarcastic comment if that wasn’t obvious.)” – Adaku
“The sad part is the same a**hole (OP) who allowed her to be abused for years while he obviously ignored it, is now forcing her to sacrifice AGAIN for her abuser’s needs.”
“OP, you are a major AH and a garbage father. I feel bad for your daughter.” – Forward-Two3826
“I’m sorry, this is and was never about OP wanting his teen to support sis and wife. This is about OP wanting a quasi-adult to force into babysitting/cleaning/home nursing duties so HE wouldn’t have to do it.”
“He can claim it was ‘for the girls’ all he wants, but I truly believe his own laziness is at the heart of this.”
“I mean, what is the kid going to do, perform surgery? You can give emotional support over the phone or zoom. He wants a house-elf.” – FleurDeCle
“This is going to sound super cold-hearted, bud I’ve been in a similar position as OP’s daughter and still left.”
“I had a stepmother that had late-stage cancer and didn’t have long (days). I hadn’t grown up with her, she came along when I was in high school, but she was often quite snarky to me over the years.”
“We were moving overseas and had carefully planned a schedule that would let us visit all our family for a week or so before we left for 3 years. We visited with her, said our goodbyes, and left. While we were driving 8 hours to the next family’s house, she passed.”
“We could’ve turned back and stayed the extra 2 days for the funeral, but TBH (to be honest), I was not at all close to her, not very close with my much younger stepsister, and saw no need to be there in person.”
“Yes, it was sad; I was able to call my dad and express my condolences. He entirely understood, unlike AH OP.” – Mama_cheese
While the OP insisted that family needed to come first during this difficult time, the subReddit could not have disagreed more.
At the end of the day, the OP was sacrificing all of his daughter’s hard work over the last two years or more in favor of someone who had abused her and who, at least in a legal, marital sense, no longer was even a part of her life to have to be put first over anything.
Not to mention the fact that, since it was just announced the ex-wife had cancer, she likely had time beyond the trip for the OP’s daughter to “support” the family.
In whatever way the OP intended for his daughter to help the family, he should have been far more worried about helping and supporting her before she graduated from high school and might even go no-contact over something like this.