We’ve all witnessed loved ones, whether friends or family members, dating various people throughout our relationships with them.
And some of those dating scenarios were easier to watch than others, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
When Redditor dragonoreo2 was a teenager, he was not pleased when his father began to date someone who could be his slightly older sister.
But when his dad later wanted to marry her, and asked him to be a part of his wedding party, the Original Poster (OP) had an involuntary reaction to the news.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for making my dad’s fiancée cry?”
The OP did not have a good relationship with his father’s girlfriend.
“My father (54 Male) and his fiancé (30 Female) have been together for about six years now. When they first got together, I (17 Male at the time) was still living at home.”
“She moved in about a month into their relationship, and I didn’t have a problem with her at first, until she tried to actually mother me.”
“I’m not talking about giving advice or being a supportive role model, but more like giving me a 9:00 curfew (I live in a rural town so that’s a joke) and cleaning up after HER dog has an accident.”
“Every time I’d bring it up to my dad, he’d say, ‘Just try, for me.'”
“Needless to say, I moved out soon after.”
The OP and his father did not speak for a long time after that.
“Fast forward to a week ago. My dad invited me over for dinner, out of nowhere, as we haven’t spoken in quite some time.”
“I hesitantly accepted and spent the following few days trying to prepare myself for what they were going to say.”
“I showed up that night, a bottle of wine in hand, anxious out of my mind.”
The OP was not prepared for the purpose of the dinner.
“The night went on for a few hours, with us exchanging small talk, until I couldn’t take it anymore and asked why they invited me.”
“My dad said that they were getting married and wanted me to be his best man.”
“I’m not going to lie, I laughed. Hard.”
“This turned into his fiancé crying because she thinks that I don’t like her, and I told her she was correct.”
The OP wasn’t too phased about laughing.
“Laughing was a bit, and ONLY a bit, involuntary. Would you feel like you had a responsibility to make someone happy when you’ve gone to them multiple times about something that’s making you unhappy, and then for them to just shrug it off?”
“Something that they have almost undisputed control over. Would you think them asking a favor as big as that of you was funny? I would, and I have.”
The OP shared additional info about his strained relationship with his future stepmom.
“My dad was 48 and she was 24 when they got together, and I was 17 at the time. I’m currently 23.”
“I’ve made multiple comments to other relatives. I think he may be ostracized from the larger part of the family if they go through with the wedding, which looks like a sure-thing. I guess that’s the silver lining.”
“It should also be said that given the option between me or his fiancé, my dad would choose her in a heartbeat. For example, I went on a two-day camping trip. I had a spot in the garage for my car when I left, she had it when I got back until I moved out. And I really only care about that because of hail damage.”
“She comes from a very Christian family, and if her parents found out about the situation, I’ve heard, she’d be essentially shunned. So I guess the biggest thing is her keeping us a secret. She expects us to just accept her into the family, and I guess her assumptions were somewhat correct, but how can she expect that when she doesn’t think we’re worthy of her family?”
“She KNOWS she’s doing something wrong, yet she wants us to play along like no one is being hurt. However, at this point, I guess that one thing could’ve changed. I didn’t ask at dinner.”
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 understood the OP’s discomfort with the relationship.
“NTA! I liked the laugh because I’d probably do that given your circumstances. You did the right thing. Now go live your life! Good luck, OP…” – Liagirl1953
“So, you were 17, your dad was 48, and his fiancé was 24 when they got together. Your dad was twice her age. What a predator. I feel bad for her, but you’re still NTA.” – bluebirdmorning
“NTA. I’ll never understand parents who don’t take into account their children when dating and moving someone else in.” – LumpyPosition8502
“I have to say you’re NTA on this one. Yeah, you were kind of rude. But your dad allowed this woman who was barely older than you to move into your home, colonize, and try to assume the role of mother when you were still strangers.”
“That makes me suspicious that the ultimate goal was to alienate you and get you to move out. And in the intervening years, it does not sound like your dad has done much to repair your relationship.”
“Suddenly asking you to dinner to drop this news on you with the expectation that you would be happy seems a bit oblivious to me.” – Dittoheadforever
“She’s closer to OP’s age than his dad and then she tried to parent him… the raising was done by then. She should have been initiating an adult relationship with OP instead. That said, NTA.” – Bigolbooty75
“She’s, what… a whopping seven years older than you? She tried to control you… she took over your home. He let her. He sacrificed you.”
“And, what… they want you to ‘like’ her?”
“My dad had one of these. She was eight months younger than me. They were married for 16 years. I have not had a relationship with my dad for… I don’t remember any more.”
“She dropped him like a hot potato the second he showed any wear and tear. He even had a facelift for this cow. He no longer resembles my father.”
“In the end, they both got what they deserved. NTA.” – Luna_Leeloo
“I swear to god. My father did something similar to me when I was younger, in which, right before I met his girlfriend at the time, he said something along the lines of, ‘Don’t act up and cause problems for me while she’s here.’ This, along with your father telling you to ‘try’ for him, is just so wrong.”
“I’m so sorry your father doesn’t respect you as much as he should. You have every right not to approve of their wedding, and while what you did may seem a bit harsh, I’d say its fair since they clearly weren’t listening before you moved out.” – Financial_Cup2146
But others thought the OP could at least try to be empathetic and kind.
“Stop being a drip. You’ve got your whole life ahead of you, your dad won’t be part of it except for the usual bulls**t events, he has found someone who he loves to share his time with and he’s asked you, whom he loves, to be his best man and you patched him like a spoiled child.”
“You say you moved out voluntarily, no one made you leave. I understand being 17, it would be f**king annoying having a 24-year-old trying to mother you, but it was six years ago and she was 24 in a relationship with a teen’s dad… she was flying by the seat of her pants and making s**t decisions.”
“This is the sort of s**t that SHOULD BE funny. Life’s too short, let your old man be happy and grow up.” – Yurtle-Turtle-
“Look, that’s a s**tty situation and your dad is a bit of a creep. But laughing in his face when he tried to share something important with you?”
“Also, her taking a parking spot does not prove he would choose her over you in a heartbeat.” – bigchicago04
“YTA. And a whole lot of petty to boot.”
“If you care about your dad, you should care about his happiness. If she makes him happy (which she apparently does after six years), agree to be HIS best man. You don’t have to agree with his choice of a mate, because you are not the one marrying her, now are you?” – HordeMaster-50_12
“As the child of a step-parent, YTA.”
“My step-dad parented me, and I didn’t like it either, but that’s what you do with children. You were a child. She was trying her best. God forbid you contribute to the home now and then by cleaning up dog pee.”
“You laughed in your dad’s face when he asked you to be his BEST MAN. What the f**k is wrong with you.”
“There are people whose parents ACTUALLY mistreat them. Get real problems.” – sk8r_barf
“YTA. Grow up. No s**t your dad would choose his fiancée over you, you are a grown man. When you pick your life partner, you will/should pick them over anyone. You should laugh with them about her bad attempt to mother you.” – No_Industry_9218
“YTA. Aren’t you 23 now? It’s kind of time to let your dad live his life. Yes, it was wrong to move her in so early but it’s been six years now and you’re out there living your life. The rift is caused by your dislike of her but the grudge does not have to continue to be held. Time to move on.” – religionlies2u
“I’m sorry but YTA. You were 17, you didn’t like her rules and moved out. However, that was six years ago. This has long ceased to be about her telling you what to do. This is about you acting like your father shouldn’t have someone in his life.”
“Not sure if it’s because she tried to replace your mother or that you feel she is driving a wedge between you and your dad but six years later and hopefully a lot growing up hasn’t solved anything.”
“You’re still acting like the rebellious teenager you were at 17. Why? A grown-up will look at this and say, ‘Well, if she makes dad happy, I should be happy for him.'”
“Clearly, they were offering an olive branch and you snapped and threw it away. Again, why? Why can’t you be happy for your father? You don’t have to like her to act nice around her. You can give her credit for making your dad happy. Why is this so hard for you to get?”
“How long will you hold a grudge for something that happened at 17? You’re only hurting yourself. You’ve effectively destroyed your relationship with your father. Is he that bad a guy you want to keep him from being happy?” – Iffybiz
Observing a relationship you don’t agree with is admittedly a hard thing to do, but a person can choose whether to learn to accept it or move on and out of the couple’s life. That was clearly something the OP needed to do, and the subReddit was divided on which approach to take.
Some completely understood the OP’s discomfort and focused on the age gap in the relationship, and they encouraged him to go on and live his life without this part of his family.
But others thought it was time for the OP to let his father be happy and let him live his life with his future wife, whether he particularly liked her or not.