No matter your age, seeing a parent get married is not something anyone ever expects to witness.
For children of widowed parents, seeing a parent get remarried is still a strange sensation, but more often than not a happy one as they know their parent has found love again after suffering a painful loss.
For children of divorce, things get a little more complicated, as no matter their feelings toward their parent’s new spouse, this second marriage still serves as a reminder that their first marriage didn’t work out.
The ex-husband of Redditor CalligrapherGrand439 had a hard time after their divorce.
Making matters worse, the original poster (OP)’s children blamed her for their father’s downward spiral, causing a rift in their relationship.
As one might expect, the OP’s children didn’t take kindly to the news she was getting re-married, even threatening to boycott her wedding.
To which the OP had one, simple response.
Worried she might have overreacted, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling my kids that if they don’t go to my wedding I will not be attending their’s?”
The OP shared what she planned to do if her adult children didn’t attend her second wedding:
“I’ll start at the beginning, my ex-husband was a good father but a terrible husband.”
“I divorced him when my oldest was 14 and youngest was 10.”
“Well he ended up spiraling and the kids were exposed to that.”
“I was blamed for ruining Dad.”
“He got better after a few years but ended up doing it again when he learned I was dating.”
“So the kids kept trying to get me not to date since it will affect their dad.”
“It was an awful time since to the kids I was still responsible for what he did and reacted to things.”
“In the end I just kept my dating on the low end which wasn’t hard since it wasn’t introducing the kids to the men anyways.”
“All I had to change was not posting on social media.”
“Also yes I sent the kids to therapy.”
“They all stopped when they hit 18 or my middle child refused to talk so I pulled him.”
“The oldest is now 25 and youngest is 21 and I got proposed too.”
“I sat them down and told them, they were not happy and were pissed I was doing this to dad.”
“Lots of talked later and I thought it was good.”
“The wedding is in two weeks.”
“I got a text from all the kids saying they will not be at my wedding, that they need to support dad during this time.”
“I had enough and texted them that if they do not go to my wedding, it will damage our relationship and I will not be attending their own weddings when they get married.”
“They were pissed, and it started an argument and all of them think I am huge jerk.”
“I truly hate that I can’t do anything that makes me happy since it will affect my ex.”
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 community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for refusing to go to her children’s weddings if they refused to go to hers.
Everyone agreed that her children were being beyond unreasonable, with many suspecting that the OP’s ex likely manipulated them into taking his side, and if they couldn’t be happy for her on her wedding day, then she had no obligation to be so at theirs.
“They are adults now and should realize that you are under no obligation to stay single to appease your ex.”
“They are not the only people who have had parents divorce, and yet it seems like they can’t get over it.”
“And if after all this time your ex is still emotionally impacted by your personal life, then he needs to get on with his life and get help because it is not healthy.”
“Also, assuming that they want you to go to their weddings in the future, are they expecting you to go solo and not bring your husband?”- themermaidag
“Ex’s parental alienation campaign against you seems to have been pretty effective.”
“And he’s made the kids believe that you are responsible for his happiness and well-being.”
“Unfortunately, there’s nothing more you can do now.”
“Just give the kids time to wise up and see their father for who he is.”
“Don’t give them ultimatums.”
“Just issue future invites and leave it at that.”
“Live your life, be happy.”
“And all the best.”
“You are allowed to move on!”
“You don’t need to put your personal life on hold just because it doesn’t sit well with your ex.”
“Your children need to be supportive of both their parents (they are no longer bratty teenagers- they are adults now).”
“On the other hand, some info is missing- how is your relationship with your children?”
“Did they live with you after divorce?”
“When it comes to the ultimatum, I don’t think you are an a**hole still, but the approach might not work.”
“It may have been more effective to communicate how hurt you felt and why (including understanding in detail why they are so against you dating anyone else and not supportive of you).”
“Because now if they come, you would not feel good about it as you may feel that you forced them.”
“I would say, though, that it seems that your children have WAY BIGGER ISSUES with you getting married to someone else than just your ex (since it’s a BIG STEP to decide not to come to your wedding).”
“So try to dig deeper and understand what is it.”- lazyBee94
“11 years after the divorce, your kids are adults now, and you’re still not ‘allowed’ to date to protect their father?”
“Unless a lot of stuff is missing, that’s a clear NTA.”- BeterP
“Your kids are absolutely ridiculous from the divorce and up to now.”
“Your relationship with your ex-husband is exactly that, your relationship.”
“The kids have no business getting involved in adult situations.”
“And now that they are grown, they are continuing with that selfish behavior.”
“I guess they expect you to be single for the rest of your life and continue to be manipulated by their father, and now them that they are adults.”
“I would have given them an ultimatum a long time ago, telling them to grow the hell up or move along.”
“If you continue to bow to them now, you will be doing it for the rest of your life and I guarantee you it will ruin the marriage you are about to enter.”
“You provided them therapy, and their dad provided them with HIS psychological burden since they were kids and manipulated them.”
“I hope they wake up soon, but I don’t think an ultimatum like this was a solution, I understand the frustration it comes from, but it’s going to make things worse between you and them.”- CostFickle114
“They’re all old enough to understand that he may have been a good father, but he was an awful husband.”
“You’re not obligated to be alone and miserable all because your ex has failed to move on.”
“Your ex is mentally unstable and, whether intentionally or not, incredibly manipulative and has alienated you from your children.”
“He allowed them to be exposed to his continued mental instability. He traumatized your kids and put a burden on them.”
“If a group of adults won’t allow you to move on with your life, then unfortunately they should not be in your life.”
“Parents may have a duty to their children, but it absolutely does not extend to this.”- Hoplite68
The OP later returned with an update, making a firm decision on how to move forward with her children after reading everyone’s responses:
“I realized I am okay letting them go; I can’t do it anymore.”
“I sent texts it is up to them if they go or not.”
“If they do go I have hope to fix this relationship if not I’m just done.”
“I can’t keep playing this game.”
“It’s for everything. Anytime I have something good, his feelings have to come first.”
“I can’t do that anymore it hurts too much.”
“I could tell them everything he has done, but I don’t feel like blowing up their image of him.”
“Someone private messaging me convinced me to lay it all out for them, so I did.”
“Well, I got my response. They called me a liar.”
“Even with showing old screenshots that were in our divorce case.”
“I think it is over.”
“Thanks to everyone who tried to help.”
“I know this was a no-win situation”
“I did f*ck it and sent every single thing, including this post.”
Even if it is the right decision when parents get divorced, it will permanently affect their children.
Even so, for the OP’s children to solely take their father’s side when she has made every effort to sustain a loving relationship with them is a surprising and immature decision.
One that, it seems, has very likely cost them having a continuing relationship with their mother.