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Teen Upset When Newfound Dad Won’t Blow Off His Other Kids To Spend Time Getting To Know Her

Teenage girl with skateboard texting on smartphone.

Thanks to all of these advanced DNA testing places, so many people are discovering relatives they never knew about.

It can be overwhelming to find a long-lost relative.

And there is no proper etiquette for the occasion.

When a person learns they have a loved one who has been hidden from them, that can hit differently.

Case in point…

Redditor PersimmonOk1678 wanted to discuss his experience and get some feedback. So naturally, he came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

He asked:

“AITA for telling my daughter it’s unreasonable to expect me to spend all my time with her?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“When I (36 M[ale]) was in college, I dated Margot.”

“In our sophomore year, she transferred to a different university, causing our break up.”

“It was amicable, but given our different paths, we lost touch.”

“I’ve now been married to my wife, Cathy, for ten years.”

“We have three children: a 9-year-old boy, an 8-year-old girl, and a 2-year-old girl.

“Last year, I got a friend request on Facebook from Margot.”

“Shortly after accepting, she messaged me and asked if we could talk on the phone.”

“I found it weird, but something told me to go through with it.”

“So, I called her and she told me that she had a 16-year-old daughter, Paige.”

“I was in shock and at first almost didn’t believe her.”

“She begged me to at least take a DNA test.”

“After speaking with Cathy, I agreed.”

“Turns out, it’s true, I do have a 16-year-old daughter who’s lived just an hour from me her entire life.”

“Margot says she didn’t tell me as she thought she could be a mother on her own.”

“But now Paige was older and wanted to know me.”

“I agreed to start a relationship with her.”

“At first things went pretty well.”

“We did a lot of stuff one-on-one, as well as some things with my wife and other children.”

“Initially, Paige wanted to spend a lot of time just us, which made sense as we had a lot of catching up to do.”

“I see Paige at least once a week.”

“She usually comes down to stay with us every other weekend, and I’ll go up to see her on the weeks in between, just me, not the rest of the family.”

“While I love my time with Paige, I do also have to balance time with my other kids.”

“Something she doesn’t seem to understand.”

“I’ll invite Paige to join family things, and she’ll turn it down.”

“Or, she’ll find out I’m doing something with one of the other kids and want to come along or ask me to cancel the plans to spend time with her.”

“The biggest incident came this past weekend.”

“My son had a basketball game.”

“Paige asked if I could come hang out with her.”

“I explained why I couldn’t but said she was more than welcome.”

“She got irritated and said no.”

“I offered to come up the following day.”

“She asked why I couldn’t just blow off the basketball game.”

“I told her that it was important to her brother.”

“She said I had more time with them, and they could ‘do without me for a few years.'”

“I told her that absolutely was not going to happen.”

“I said I love her.”

“I want to spend time with her, but I also have other kids to consider.”

“She is always welcome to join our activities that aren’t special one-on-one days, and I’ll always make sure I spend one-on-one time.”

“She said she never asked for little siblings, and while I sympathized, I said they exist, and I have to balance everyone.”

“I said if she doesn’t want to hang out with the other kids and my wife, that’s fine, but expecting me to blow them off isn’t reasonable.”

“Now, she’s very upset with me.

“I have offered therapy. She refuses.”

“I’ve asked if there’s anything my wife or other kids did.”

“She says no; she just doesn’t want to share me.”

“She still claims that I should put her above her siblings.”

“I can’t do that.”

The OP was left to wonder:


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. She never asked for siblings, but you never asked to have a daughter hidden from you for 16 years (though that’s not her fault but her mother’s).”

“You’ve shown a lot of care and compassion, but you are correct that you have to balance everyone.”

“You were correct to tell her that you aren’t going to dump your family for her, and I agree with you that she could use some therapy.”

“I would get therapy.”

“Make those appointments, pick her up, and the two of you can be in therapy together for your one-on-one time.”

“I think it would help a lot for a neutral third party to assist her in navigating this new relationship and its complications.”

“Reach out to her when there are family events that you can bring her to. Invite her every single time.”

“Let *her* be the one to decide whether to engage with your family or not, but keep offering.”

“She’s going through a lot and I think it’s really lovely of you to accept her so quickly and try to integrate her into your family, just don’t give up.” ~ Swimming-Fix-2637

“I agree OP is NTA here.”

“But I don’t think the daughter is either.”

“She’s a victim too.”

“There is one AH and villain in this story, and it’s Margot.”

“I actually don’t understand how, as a society, we even normalize hiding a child from a father to the point where it is even considered an option for a woman, in any case, other than those that involve fleeing domestic violence.”

‘At the very least, Margot should be a social pariah for what she’s done, and a part of me even thinks this should be a felony crime akin to kidnapping.” ~ Grumpy_Troll

“Given how there are few details here, I think it’s unfair to make such assumptions about Margot, To Be Honest.”

“That said, this is definitely an unconventional situation, and I think anyone would struggle with trying to reconcile such conflicting needs and feelings.”

“I think the OP is doing a great job of trying to manage his familial responsibilities and relationships, and he’s balancing things out well.”

“Poor Paige, though.”

“She definitely wants more love and guidance from her dad, and it sucks that she can’t get an equal amount of it as her brothers and sisters did due to these circumstances.”

“I wish everyone the best. NAH, OP.” ~ mrcatboy

“OP is NTA.”

“Margot is the a**hole in the story, and everyone else is dealing with her decision.”

“OP is right that he needs to balance all of his obligations — but remember, his ‘new’ 16 y/o daughter has never had to share a parent before.”

“And after all… she’s 16.”

“She’s still a kid, and she’s dealing with a tough situation.” ~ BlackCardRogue

“This girl is 16.”

“She can drive, she can work, hell, in 2 years time, she can vote.”

“When should she be expected to be an adult?”

“Because she doesn’t seem near it now.”

“Hell, she’s only four years younger than her mother was when she had her.”

“She’s pissed because she has to share a father with a 9-year-old?”

“OP is the only NTA.”  ~ Fluffy_Macaroon1427

“A brain develops until you are 23.”

“Even between 18 and 23, there are still major changes.”

“Legal borders are not the same as being an adult or not.”

“They need proper guidance and need to be taught about what is normal and what is not.”

“I can imagine that as a single child of a single mum, she had undivided attention when her mum was not working.”

“That is something that she sees as a standard for her living.”

“It is hard to get used to different standards when you have raging hormones and so much is changing in your life.”

“She needs counseling.”

“But that is also a difficult topic at that age because it makes her feel something is wrong with her and that she might not be accepted the way she is.”

“But it is something she needs in order to make things work if she cannot accept what her father told her.”

“Maybe the mother can do something in this case as well to try to explain things.”

“OP is NTA of course, but it is a difficult situation for all people involved.” ~ InvSnake

“I think the only AH here is Paige’s mother.”

“I can’t really blame a 16-year-old in such a tough spot for not being very mature — she’s a kid who just met her dad.”

“I can sympathize.”

“I think both parents should really try to convince her to go to therapy because she’s in such a tough situation!”

“She wanted a dad, but he comes with a step-mom and 3 step-siblings. NTA.” ~ sleepyplatipus

“They can do without you for a few years??”

“She didn’t ask for little siblings, well her siblings didn’t ask for an older sister to show up out of nowhere and try to keep their dad away from them. NTA.” ~ wren_boy1313

“NTA at all, but I can understand why your daughter feels that way.”

“Suddenly, she has a dad, and she’s missed out on all these years of having a dad.”

“Perhaps seeing you with your younger children/her siblings only reminds her of the time and experiences she’s already lost with you.”

“I think therapy is in order, whether or not she thinks she wants it.”

“Perhaps family counseling where you two go together.” ~ fallingintopolkadots

“NTA. I’d query if Margot has secret ideas about breaking up your marriage via the actions of Paige.”

“Either way, definitely talk with Margot and keep those great boundaries firmly locked.” ~ LogicalTexts

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

You have a responsibility to all of your kids.

Like Reddit said, it might be time for everyone to be in therapy.

Maybe you should have a long chat with her mother so she can help ease the situation.

It sounds like you’re a good dad doing you’re best.

Good luck.