Fighting between family is always difficult. Whether justified or not, it’s never easy to make decisions and draw lines that cut out people who’ve been involved in your whole life.
Redditor Least_Ninja_3286 isn’t on the best terms with some of her family members. Because of this, there’s conflict between her and her sisters.
The original poster (OP) doesn’t think she’s wrong to refuse her family’s request and decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit about her situation.
Her parents marriage is the point of contention.
“AITA for refusing to pay for an anniversary party for my parents, because I don’t think they should be married?”
Very specifically, OP has a problem with her father.
“My dad had ‘Claire’ from a previous relationship, and married my mom when Claire was 12 and with my mom had my sister ‘Emma’ and I. Claire was not happy about the marriage and has never accepted any of us as family.”
“Claire is my dad’s favorite child beyond a shadow of a doubt. When it is brought up to him, he doesn’t even deny it.”
“He simply makes excuses. He has admitted he didn’t want any kids, but Claire was a mistake and my mom pressured him into having us, but Claire never acted like a child.”
“He always acted like Emma and I were driving Claire away, like when she went to college she didn’t want to visit and his only concern was losing his closeness with her, not that she blatantly hates his wife and two other kids.”
“She refused to have my mom at her wedding and he still went and paid for it. To be fair he does give us all the same treatment when it comes to money and opportunities, but it is clear he loves her more.”
“Personally I think my mom should have divorced him. I would never stay with a man who played favorites with his kids. I’ve told her that multiple times, but she says she just couldn’t because she loved him too much, and that if she left him she would have ended up as a depressed person and potentially resented her own kids.”
“As a result I have no respect for their marriage.”
“Well it is their 25th anniversary and Emma wanted to throw them a party. She asked Claire and I to split the cost and Claire agreed, despite hating my mom.”
“I said that I couldn’t bring myself to do it, because I don’t respect their marriage and think my mom should have left him.”
“Emma said I was being petty. I said I love my fiancé but if he ever treated our daughter like this, I would dump his ass, so I don’t think this relationship deserves celebration.”
“Claire told me I was immature, and she loves her kids but her husband is her life and she couldn’t leave him short of real abuse. She said marriage is always supposed to come first and maybe I should call off my wedding if I can’t see that.”
“Emma got upset because she is planning a very lavish party and couldn’t afford 2/3. Claire said she would pay the extra 1/3, so it isn’t even an issue anymore, but they are both treating me like I’m petty”
OP has an ongoing issue with her dad related to the special treatment of her sister. On top of that, she sees her sister as having an issue with her mom.
Does that affect or mean OP shouldn’t help pay for her parents’ anniversary party?
On Reddit, the users of the board judged OP for refusing to pitch in for her parents’ party by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
In the end, OP’s relationship with her parents isn’t what’s at issue here. There was a big party planned that she was expected to pitch in on without being consulted on financing or anything.
Regardless of her relationship with her dad, the party wasn’t her idea, nor did she previously agree to pay for it at all.
OP was judged as NTA, but that didn’t stop some extra discussions.
“NTA. For starters, the party wasn’t your idea, and you didn’t decide to throw a big, lavish affair. On that alone, Emma is the AH for planning an affair she couldn’t afford on her own, and THEN asking you to chip in.”
“Keep in mind, you will have to put your money (or lack thereof) where your mouth is and not attend the party either, if you don’t want to look like a hypocrite.” – ChapSteve711
“Yeah, I don’t think you can show up to the party now OP.. NTA .. but where do you draw the line in your relationship?”
“Will you not have your father at your wedding? Will you not attend family events, because you do not approve of the way you were raised?” – God_Sayith
“NTA. IMO, let me make this a lot simpler. You aren’t required to pay for a lavish anniversary party for your parents – background is irrelevant.”
“Frankly, I don’t see why young adults (people in their early 20s) would be paying for parties for their parents, but that’s just me.”
“-‘and my mom pressured him into having us’-”
“It’s really interesting. You have all this frustration with your father.”
‘But why not your mother? I would argue your mother is just as much as fault as your father.”
“He didn’t want children. She pushed/pressured him into having them. The result wasn’t overly happy.”
“Both of them are at fault.” – SDstartingOut
“Don’t pay, don’t attend if you don’t want to. Maybe your dad will cut you out of his will or decide not to pay for your wedding, and both of your parents may hold your non-participation against you.”
“You don’t have to celebrate your parents’ marriage, but you’ll have to live with the consequences.”
“But there must be a healthier way to deal with your anger and hurt towards your dad–your mom’s not going to divorce him (not that that would be a nice experience for anyone), you’ll always be connected to your dad through a sister and a mom you care about.”
“You might want to try therapy so you’re not resentful for the next 60 years.” – nappingthedream
Some people couldn’t get past the context. OP’s decision to refuse to pay wasn’t because she couldn’t necessarily not afford it. It was because of her dad.
More specifically, how her dad treats Claire. OP seems to think there’s favoritism and that Claire doesn’t like her family.
But where’s the proof of that?
“You claim Clare ‘hates’ you and your sister and won’t give you two or your mother the time of day…and yet she’s footing 2/3 of the bill for a lavish anniversary party to celebrate the marriage of the couple (your parents) you claim she hates? I’m sorry to say I don’t buy it.”
“It sounds like you’re villainizing Clare in the hopes of getting validation from internet strangers.” – TheMidnightHandyman
“Your entire post is about Claire…but you’re making the conflict about your parents. There’s a disconnect.”
“Claire’s attitude to you and Emma has nothing to do with how your parents feel about each other.” – Electronic_Trick_13
“ESH. This isn’t and shouldn’t be a referendum on your mom’s or anyone else’s marriage.”
“You don’t want to pay to throw them a party. That’s it. Don’t get dragged into a discussion on the reasons why: simply make it clear your ‘no’ is final, and quit letting them try to continue the argument with you.”
“(I just hope no one on that side of the family is contributing anything to your wedding, or you should be prepared to do without that support going forward.)” – mm172
“You say your dad gives you the same opportunities but that it’s clear he loves Clair more? And you say Clair doesn’t like your mom but still she offered to pay for 2/3 of the cost?”
“Tbh it seems like you are not telling us everything and that you are trying to make Clair look bad. NTA for not wanting to pay for the party but y t a for villifiing Clair” – Bistrooka
“YTA, and you are petty. I suspect this has more to do with you simply not wanting to pay and creating a backstory to justify it. This whole story you are spinning paints Claire as the intolerant one when the end reveals it is you holding resentment and being judgmental of others.”
“Also, you never did mention if Claire has good reason or not to hate your mother. Did her and your father get together when he was still with Claire’s mom?”
“You better keep in mind you might not know the true details here as you were not born when it all went down but at 12 Claire will remember it all very clearly.”
“Claire might be right to have not liked your mother, your mom could very well be a homewrecker and you are the unreasonable one here.”
“In any event, Claire put her issues aside for her father and if you don’t want to be the asshole here, you better put your issues aside also.” – esmithedm
OP can refuse to pay for the party, but she needs to reexamine her relationship with her family. There’s something to the recommendation she sees a therapist, if only to let go of her resentment.