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'AITA for calling off my engagement because my ex-fiance invited my dad to our wedding?' UPDATED 2X

'AITA for calling off my engagement because my ex-fiance invited my dad to our wedding?' UPDATED 2X

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When someone tests your boundaries, it's important to pay attention.

"AITA for calling off my engagement because my ex-fiance invited my dad to our wedding?"

I (29f) met my ex (32m) in college. He knew all about my troubled relationship with my dad. Growing up, my dad struggled with add*ction, cheated on my mom, and left us in debt. I only learned about his emotional and physical ab#se towards my mom and siblings when I was much older.

As the youngest, my memories are fuzzy so family hid this from me, thinking it was best because they wanted me to have a good relationship with him. My dad wasn't actively involved in my life and we didn't see each other often, even though my mom let him come by whenever he wanted. He would promise to take me out on weekends but he'd never show up.

When we did go out he would yell at servers and threaten to b*at/k*ll them, he'd get race stranger and go 100 miles an hour with me in the car, and he'd always criticize my mom to me. I have so many stories but two extreme ones are the times he tackled a boy my age for talking to me and started b#$ting him. He left him bl#$ding on the floor and dragged me to the car, crying and shaking.

The other is the time he took me out for my 15th birthday (like my actual birthday) and he abandoned at the mall. It was about three cities over from where I lived and I didn't know what to do so I decided to try to take the bus home. I got lost and called my best friend. She and her older brother went to pick me up. That was the last time I saw him.

The crazy thing was that at the end of each visit he'd tell me to wait in the car for hours while he went to his friend's house, I just listened to music. It would be maybe 2-3 hours of us hanging out and another 4-5 hours of me sitting in a car. My mom thought we'd be hanging out all day but obviously not. Despite my dad's behavior, we still spoke on the phone from time to time.

I felt bad that he didn't have anyone in his life, he'd tell me that all his family hated him and I thought that was really sad. Then one day my mom decided to divorce him. He refused to give her the divorce until I stepped in, I saw that my mom was finally confident enough to make this step and thought it was so cruel that he wouldn't do this for her.

I basically told him that I thought it was unfair and I would like him to please do it for me. He agreed and I thought that our relationship would improve because he showed me that he really cared about me. Yet even after the divorce, he remained distant and had another child, he only reached out when he needed help with paperwork, writing emails, or other favors.

Eventually, he crossed a line by asking me to forge my mom's signature and I told him I couldn't help him. He called me a stupid b#$ch like my mother. I told my family, he did a lot of reckless things but this was the first time he ever called me a name, that's when they told me the truth about his ab#se and dr#g use.

I knew he cheated and we went through financial issues but I didn't realize the severity of the situation. I realized that all the times he made it seem like he was just disliked and going through a rough time, he actually was just trying to get sympathy from me. It wasn't that he was hated because he cheated, it was because of all the other crap he did.

When I tried calling him he texted me that I was ungrateful since I couldn't help with one little thing (forge a document????) considering he did me a favor by giving my mom the divorce and I owed him.

He blocked my number and his baby momma ended up texting me telling me that all the times he wanted to go out with me he just used me as an excuse to borrow his sister's car and he actually just needed the car to drive to his dealer's house for drugs or her house for s#x.

I confided in my ex about my dad's manipulative behavior and my decision to cut him out of my life when we started getting serious. My ex understood and supported me. I feel like there are two versions of my father, the one I saw was reckless and carless, which I chalked up to him being lonely and missing his family. And a more darker version I never had to encounter.

I realized I should have said something about all the things he did but that I was just trying to make my dad and my family happy. He helped me get out of my people pleasing ways. He helped me stick by my decisions and not feel guilty for saying no. He had a great relationship with my family, which made me feel even more confident in our relationship. I felt like I could rely and depend on him.

When we started planning our wedding, my ex asked about my dad but I made it clear that I didn't want him there. He hadn't been part of my life for seven years, and I wasn't ready to reconcile with him, especially not at my wedding. However, one day I came home to find my dad there, invited by my ex to "bury the hatchet." I was shocked and devastated.

My ex's actions just completely disregarded my feelings and boundaries. I couldn't believe he would do this knowing how I felt about my dad and without asking me first. My dad made a comment about how glad he was I came to senses and how excited he was to go to my wedding. Making suggestions that my half brother could be the ring bearer. I asked my dad to leave and warned him not to contact me again.

My ex was furious since he believed I should forgive my dad and work on repairing our relationship. But I don't understand why I should forgive him when he was the one who cut ties with me. More importantly, I couldn't forgive someone who hadn't even apologized for their past actions.

He believed that enough time had passed to allow me to work on forgiving him but i argued that I it's not fair that I have to put in the work. My number hasn't changed, my dad hasn't done anything to show me that he's changed.

Sure he gave my mom the divorce but he never apologized for any of the crap he pulled and was happy to go along with the facade of him being a guy who cheated and made a mistake so he was vilified. I asked him how long he'd been in contact with my dad and it turns out he'd been in contact with him for six months.

I felt so disrespected and hurt by my ex's actions, I decided to call off the wedding and told him we needed to rebuild the trust and communication in our relationship before we got married. But my ex refused saying that it was either we get married or break up, so I ended the engagement.

He knew that I had issues with the lack of honesty and communication from so many people in my life, the decisions made on my behalf without regard for my feelings, and the years I spent trying to appease others. And yet by trying to force my father back into my life it was like he was deliberately trying to set off my triggers.

I still don't understand why he reached out to him if he said he understood my reasons for not wanting my dad there.I still love him so it hurts but I thought I did the right thing. Now it doesn't help that I'm getting so much hate from my ex's family, who are calling me names and blaming me for breaking his heart.

They're calling me the AH for being so sensitive about this and overreacting.

With the amount of flack I'm getting I'm starting to feel like the AH, did I do the right thing?

Soon after posting, OP shared an update.

Edit: A few people messaged me and asked me to update them. I was planning on deleting my account but the fact that so many people took the time to give me advice and help me actually makes me feel better. I can't express how validating it feels to know that I made the right decision. I was contemplating going back to my ex but now I realize he might not have been the nice guy everyone thinks he is.

And truth be told I was planning to stand up to myself to my ex's mom but I lost my nerve because I started to think I was the AH and that's why I made the post. I also just started feeling like a jerk, I guess if you have a bunch of people telling you something you start to believe it a little. I am going to contact my ex's mom and have a one on one with her.

And I'm going to tell my ex he needs to move all of his stuff out of the apartment. It's been about a month since we broke up so he needs to get his stuff out. I will update if anything comes from that but if I don't have anything else to say I'll delete, thank you all for your support!

Commenters were in OP's corner.

LynnKDeborah wrote:

Your ex is ridiculous. Stop communicating with his family or him. That’s why they’re called ex’s. Your dad sounds like a malignant narc*ssist. No contact is the way to protect yourself.

Leahthevagabond wrote:

NTA - the fact that you were willing to work on this after your dad showed up on your door is insane. Your ex is trash and it’s sooo good he took himself out before you got married. He was the one who ruined this relationship, not you.

virtualchoirboy wrote:

NTA.

Not telling you that he was in contact with your dad was a "lie by omission". In other words, he was lying to you for 6 months. That's no way to start a marriage. Going forward, block the ex and block his family.

Come up with a consistent message to respond to people with and simply repeat the message if they get through to you somehow. Practice saying it out loud so that it's easy to say if you run into them in public. In my head, it's something like this:

[Ex's name] lied to me for 6 months by hiding the fact that he was talking to someone I despise. I will not marry someone that is so comfortable violating my boundaries. Now please, leave me alone and do not contact me anymore.

Holiday-Beginning355 wrote:

NTA. Some people don't understand that everyone has different relationships with their parents. He thinks that because he has a good relationship with his parents that you should have a good relationship with yours. Being in a relationship means that you have to consider the other person's feelings and trust that they are doing what is best for them.

You made your feelings and concerns known to him very clearly, but he still decided that he would invite your father anyway. He probably has his reasons for that, but his own feelings should have taken a back seat to your health and well-being.

I would block him and anyone else who tries to har*ss you over this. You are not in the wrong and you have every right to protect yourself and have a relationship with who you choose to have a relationship with. He also made the mistake of offering up an ultimatum without being prepared for the answer that he didn't want. That's on him.

Friendly-user97 wrote:

He is testing your boundaries. If you had married him he would have escalated. Your fiance told you in his own way that what your father did to you and your mother is nothing. That means he would have done the same things your father did to your family.

Please stay away from him. He is m*nipulating you. He didn’t even respect your wish to stay away from your disgusting father. I am happy you didn’t have kids with him. Run.

A week later, OP shared another update.

Just a quick update! I'm going back to therapy but everyone who responded to my post really gave me the reassurance I did the right thing. My dad hasn't come by my apartment but I'm planning to move out! I've been staying in a sublet apartment since I didn't renew my lease on my last place, me and my ex planned to move in together.

I'm moving in with with my sister she has a den in her house she's converting into a bedroom, it's adding much more time to my commute but it'll do for now. Im going to change my number and I'm not planning to give it to my ex or his family but I did want to reach out to his mom. We've been a part of each other lives for a long time but I wanted her to know that this wasn't how I wanted things to be.

Of the people who contacted me she was not aggr*ssive towards me, I should have been more clear in my initial post, she was just very disappointed. My ex's dad, sister, cousins, and aunts were the ones har*ssing me. And I WAS blocking them but they were using other numbers.

Probably belonging to other family members or their partners and they were making fake profiles online so they can message me through Instagram. Even if a profile is private you can still receive messages. I called his mom and she was cold but I explained how hurtful their treatment of me was.

She was apologetic but said she thinks people were just mad and doesn't understand how I could just end our relationship because my ex asked if I wanted to invite my dad. I was confused and told her that he did ask me when we first got engaged.

And I didn't immediately call off end our relationship I postponed the engagement because he straight up invited my dad despite me telling him I didn't want him there. I only ended the relationship because he gave me an ultimatum. She asked why I never said anything to anyone and I told her because no on asked. I just got sent a bunch of hateful messages why would I respond to people who treated me like that?

She was apologetic and told me she'd make sure her family knew. I told her it didn't really matter but I just wanted her to know because she was important to me and I thought maybe I was important to her too. She got really sad after that and started crying so I guess she does care somewhat. I have gotten a few other texts from people and they've been very apologetic too.

I'm not expecting anything from those who haven't messaged me, but it's nice to know that there are some people are willing to put their ego aside to apologize. I looked online but couldn't really find a response about how long my ex can keep his stuff at my place. When we first broke up I sent him an email and text but he never responded.

So I tried calling him, emailed and texted him again, and I mailed him a letter letting him know that he had 30 days to get his things with copies of my initial text and email asking for him to claim his items. I don't know if he got the letter but testerday he texted me and asked me if when he came to pick up his things we could talk alone.

I was hesitant but I guess I really just want to put all of this behind me and I want to make that clear to him in person I told him we could meet in a public place, and he agreed. My brother drove me to a cafe this morning and waited in the outside patio while I went in to meet my ex.

According to him, he got it in his head that he was going to be making a childhood dream of mine come true. Which was having a real relationship with my dad. I did tell him once that when I was younger, and asked my dad to consider signing my mom's divorce papers, I hoped we could rebuild our relationship to the point where he could walk me down the aisle and dance with me at my wedding.

But that was years ago before my dad blocked me, before I learned the truth about his physical, mental, and emotional ab#se towards my mom and siblings, and before I really came to terms with how m*nipulative and careless he'd been toward me. Plus the whole thing was that I wanted to make sure that our relationship got to a point where he could come to my wedding.

He didn't put in any effort or work to rebuild our relationship, so it makes no sense for him to just show up out of nowhere. He apologized and admitted that when he saw my reaction he knew he messed up but he didn't know how to admit that. So he only gave me that ultimatum as a bluff.

He never expected me actually break off the engagement but he'd already dug himself so deep he didn't know what to do. And he said he lied to his family because he knew he was wrong and didn't want his family to hate him. He asked if we could work on our relationship and go to couples therapy. He told me we could start over but I just said no.

I don't think he had good intentions and pointed out, like so many others did, that he went against my wishes and brought my dad back into my life, he was 6 months in contact with an ab#ser and never told me, his ultimatum, the fact that he realized he was wrong and didn't apologize, and the fact that he lied to his family was all very manipulative.

A few people pointed out he might have a savior complex, I've been reevaluating our relationship and i feel like that maybe be the case. Either way none of that matters anymore, I don't want him in my life. I don't think he'll be trying to come back into my life anytime soon, he cares to much about appearances to try and pull anything.

He's supposed to get his things tomorrow, my brother and uncle will be present and they're both big guys, and I know he's intimidated by them. I'm not planning to stay in the apartment in the meantime, and the only friend who knows where I'm going is my childhood friend of 20 years. I think that's it :) Gonna stay single for a while, go to therapy, and just stay active and enjoy life!

The comments kept coming in.

Emmanulla70 wrote:

Well done๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ I don't know that you need therapy. You have stood up for yourself. You have handled the whole thing beautifully. Block all those people everywhere you can. Move on & have a great life

OP responded:

Thanks! I think I just need to go back to therapy to work through this sudden change in my life and the sudden appearance of my dad is bringing back a lot of bad memories and feelings. Plus, in reevaluating my relationship I realized that there were probably a lot of moments my ex was manipulating and gaslighting me.

I didn't know how to recognize that, or maybe I did subconsciously and chose to ignore it. Either way, I tend to either go to one or two extremes, I get too independent, don't allow myself to get vulnerable, and not be transparent about my emotions. I think I exercised the right amount of self preservation with how I handled the breakup and sticking to my boundaries.

But in the future I might end up going to the extreme again and keeping people out of my life or I end up in a relationship with another manipulative person and ignore the signs, I still have stuff to work on I guess.

Exportxxx wrote:

What really seals the break up is the fact he lies to his family and they attack you over it. Maybe maybe u could of got past it all if u had a break and he TALKED to you instead of ultimatuing you. But having family attack you is just over the line

OP responded:

Yeah, I mean. I feel like he told them because he knew they would attack me and make me feel like I was in the wrong. Like he was trying to break my self esteem and fill my head with lies, it almost worked too which is the crazy part. He didn't admit it but I wouldn't put it past him considering everything else he did.

Trick_Parsley3077 wrote:

You are doing the right thing for yourself…self-preservation is crucial! It is good that those who know the truth have apologized to you. You deserve a happy peaceful life. And when you are ready, there will be a great person out there for you! Good luck on your new future journey!

OP responded:

Thank you! I just have to find the happy medium of preserving my happiness and mental health, but also not running away from new opportunities/love and becoming too independent. :) your comment was so nice, thank you!

Sources: Reddit
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