When this dad is conflicted about family therapy, he asks Reddit:
I (49m) have two children with my ex-wife 'Mary' (52f) 'Lisa' (27f) and 'Jack' (24m). Only reason we got married was because she got pregnant and I was basically told by her and my parents that we would be getting married. Big mistake.
As soon as Lisa was here Mary did a complete 180. Before the birth it was agreed that Mary would go back to work after she recovered while our mothers would take turns watching our daughter.
Instead Mary quit her job without telling me and demanded that I take on the full financial burden while she spent whatever money we had to her heart's content.
She would almost never adhere to the budget no matter how hard I tried to explain how important it was to her and we would get behind on bills.
She would always blame me for not working more so that we'd have enough money and complain to her family but never gave the full story so I was seen as lazy when I didn't help with Lisa. That was only because I was so tired from already working 12-18 hour shifts everyday 6 days out of the week.
Eventually, I had to open up a separate account to put money in just to ensure that there was money for bills because I got tired of having to borrow money from family which would create a lot of tension if/when they money was paid back on the original agreed upon time.
Mary would accuse me of hiding money and having a mistress when I refused to give her access to the separate account which always pissed me off because when would I even have the time?
I finally got sick of this and filed for divorce. Mary was angry because she didn't get much alimony and no child support and forced to go back to work. I was over the moon when Jack was finally 18 because that meant I was even more free from their mother, but about a year later my children just stopped talking to me.
I didn't know why and tried reaching out multiple times and even tried to visit but they never responded. This went on for 4 years and during that time my children only communicated once with me saying 'you know what you did.'
Eventually, it was revealed that their mom convinced Lisa and Jack that I had been cheating on her for years and they believed her. Now they know the truth and have reached out to me.
Recently, I found out that they're still in regular contact with their mom and when I asked why they said 'she's our mom' which just pissed me off because I was their dad yet they had no problem cutting me off.
If I was so disposable to them then why have a relationship? I cut contact have saying me peace and my children reach out to me through relatives suggesting Family Therapy, I agreed.
However, when they sent me the information to pay for a session I refused. I told them while I'm willing to put in the emotional labor to fix our relationship I will NOT be footing the bill when I'm both the innocent and wronged party in this situation.
That the act of them paying for the session will be a way to prove to me how sincere they are. So AITA?
Your children are adults. If they are the ones who suggested therapy, they don't get to slide you the bill because you agreed. They cut you out due to their mother's lies, so I agree with you that you have zero obligation to pay for fixing a relationship your adult children destroyed by ONLY listening to mom. NTA.
NTA. but can I suggest you go for therapy, just for yourself. You are hurting man, you have every right to be, but just like when we break our fingers and we see a doctor, when we break our relationships we see a therapist.
NTA. If my kids did that to me, I wouldn’t be paying for shit. They threw you away and didn’t even try to communicate with you about what they was being told by their mom.
They did you wrong and you have accepted a life without them in it. So I wouldn’t pay for it and if they want to repair the damages they did then they should pay for it and that’s that.
Don’t pay for therapy because once you start putting money in, it won’t stop. Plus your opening yourself up to having your ex wife in your life again.