There are moments in their children’s lives which every parent looks forward to with baited breath.
Their first steps, first words, graduations, and of course, their wedding day.
These milestones become much more complicated, however, when parents and children become estranged.
Such was the case for Redditor throwra376757, who found himself feeling excluded to the point of jilted at his son’s wedding.
But concerned that his behavior at the wedding only made the tense situation even worse, the original poster (OP), took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), asking fellow Redditors:
“AITA for leaving my son’s wedding early after he excluded me from his speech?”
The OP first explained to readers how his current, somewhat fraught, relationship with his son came to be.
“I have a 23 year old son ‘Justin’ who got married 2 weeks ago.”
“I wasn’t physically involved in Justin’s childhood because his mom and I got separated and I had to travel a lot for work so his stepdad was more available then I was.”
“During his teenage years, Justin started having fights with me saying stuff like I prioritized work over him, that I’m a Disney parent but was never there for the hard times even though I provided for him financially but he claimed that “‘t’s only because the law made me’ which isn’t true at all and I strongly believe his stepdad was feeding lies into him.”
Their relationship slowly seemed to be taking a turn for the better, however, just as Justin was approaching an exciting new chapter in his life, and giving the OP a chance to make a gesture towards improving their future relationship.
“In the past 3 years, Justin started coming around and I met his then girlfriend now wife.”
‘When I heard that they were getting married, I decided to offer paying for the venue and Justin seemed very appreciative of it.”
But when the big day arrived, the OP found himself in for a rather unpleasant surprise which he did not appreciate one bit.
“My wife and I attended the wedding and all went well. except…when Justin started giving a speech.”
“He kept talking about his mom and stepdad and nowhere did he mention me, not even with a single word of recognition.”
“I was hurt and devastated.”
“I couldn’t help but feel this way, I tried acting normal and keep my composure but I felt so heavy I decided to leave the wedding early.”
“I went home and broke down but then I calmed down.”
His early departure did not go unnoticed by his son, putting the two once more at odds with one another.
“Justin called asking why I left so early, I said I felt sick but he kept pushing til I told him that I got upset that he didn’t mention me or recognize me in his speech and he said that I was being ridiculous to get upset over that.”
“I asked him to respect how I felt but he argued he wasn’t going to lie to make me happy.”
“I asked what he meant because as far as I know, part of his wedding was paid for by me.”
“He said I was unbelievable then hung up.”
“I called again and we fought on the phone after I told him that I felt unappreciated and disrespected, he said he owed me exactly nothing then hung up.”
“We haven’t talked ever since and my wife says I went too harsh on Justin and should apologize for disrespecting his wedding and not showing support by leaving like that.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit all but unanimously felt the OP was indeed the a**hole for the way in which he behaved.
Many agreed that the OP did nothing to merit mention in Justin’s speech, owing to the fact that he’d even admitted to being absent for the majority of Justin’s life.
“I bet he felt unappreciated and disrespected as a child who barely saw his father; a father he had to pursue for more contact 3 years ago I might add.”
“YTA, you haven’t done anything to merit a mention in his wedding speech.”- waytowait.
“The reason why he didn’t mentioned you was because he had nothing to say about you.”
“You weren’t there for him while growing up.”
“And his stepfather didn’t put ideas in his head.”
“The ideas in his head were there because of your abandon.”-Virtual_Salamander10.
Others felt it was selfish of the OP to be thinking only about himself at his son’s wedding.
“What exactly did you expect him to say in his speech?”
“Something like ‘I owe it all to my bio father, who was rarely, if ever in my life until three years ago’?”
“The fact that you somehow managed to make HIS wedding about YOU says quite a lot to be honest.”
“Is it guilt playing out?”
While some understood how the OP felt he should be acknowledged for financially contributing to the wedding, the majority of Redditors pointed out how if he only did so merely for recognition, then he did so for all the wrong reasons.
“Did you only pay for part of his wedding to try to have some control over the wedding and force him to recognize you?”
“Because that’s an AH move.”
“Also an AH move to claim that you weren’t in his life because you ‘travel a lot for work.'”
“Then you try to say that you didn’t prioritize work over him and weren’t a distant parent?”
“He wanted his speech to include the family that was there for him, not the ‘family’ that sent a check now and then to buy the title.”-Padloq.
“It takes more than just financial support to be a real parent.”
“Which is apparently how your son feels about your relationship as well.”-Aggressive-Scale1157
“I get that you were hurt, but you’ve only reinforced your son’s belief that you’re not truly there for him.”
“You’re even trying to turn his wedding, which should be about him and his wife, into being about your relationship.”- KittlesLee.
“Yes, it is nice that you paid for the venue.”
“In Justin’s speech, is THAT what he was thanking people for?”
“‘Thanks, mom, for paying for the rehearsal dinner. Thanks Mr. & Mrs. In-law, for paying for the catering today. Thanks Cousin Susie, for the beautiful cake…'”
“That’s why he said your comment was ‘unbelievable.'”
“He couldn’t believe you wanted credit for writing a check.”
“As opposed to being there for him when he was a kid.”-1962Michael.
There were some, however, who felt what led the OP to leave was not so much he resented being left out of the speech, but was overcome by his own guilt for being absent for so much of Justin’s life, thus finding no one explicitly at fault in this situation.
“I think this is less about wanting credit for the wedding and more about the reminder that your son doesn’t view you as having a big role in his life.”
“At the end of the day, that’s in the past and we’re not here to judge that.”
“That being said, it still puts you in an emotional position and if you need some space, that’s probably a better move than breaking down in front of everyone and you chose the least bad alternative in a rough spot either way.:
“You didn’t go out of your way to piss off on him the next time you talked either until he pushed it sounds like.”
“As long as you didn’t make a scene leaving, I think this puts you in pretty strong NAH territory.”-DoOfferRefFood.
“Maybe the asshole.”
“As someone who was raised by parents that weren’t all there (they supported me financially but other than that I was raised by my aunt), I can understand not talking about your parents who weren’t around that much.”
“You said it yourself, you traveled constantly, so he was raised by his mom and stepdad mostly.”
“You didn’t help shape him to be him the way they did.”
“On the best day of his life, he chose to talk about those that shaped him and talk about how incredible they were.”
“Paying for the wedding doesn’t make you a good parent.”
“Being there, talking to him, loving him despite everything, and apologizing when you mess up is how to be a good parent.”
“He loves you deeply or you wouldn’t have even been invited.”
“On the other hand, he was quick to invalidate your feelings so I think he’s also maybe the a**hole.”
“Try to call him and explain things better.”
“Don’t defend yourself tooth and nail.”
“Apologize for claiming that you can buy a relationship into his life.”
“Explain that you understand that you weren’t in his life like he needed.”
“Then do better.”-NoButterscotch1786.
Patching up a relationship takes time, and can’t be solved by victimizing oneself, or writing a check.
Here’s hoping the OP and his son will be able to one day sustain a happy and healthy relationship based purely on love, and that they won’t be absent from each other’s lives any more.