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'AITA for choosing to visit my daughter in prison instead of going to my niece's wedding reception?'

'AITA for choosing to visit my daughter in prison instead of going to my niece's wedding reception?'

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"AITA for choosing to visit my daughter in prison instead of going to my niece's wedding reception?"

My eldest daughter is in prison and it was her birthday yesterday. On that same day it was my niece's wedding. My other daughter is one of her closest friends and was one of the bridesmaids.

I scheduled to visit my daughter in prison for her birthday and prior I told my niece that I could only make it to the church wedding but not the reception and paying for the meal there, I'd be going after the wedding. I did lie to her about the reason because my daughter's situation is obviously a very painful thing. I said it was an important work related meeting. She was annoyed about it and probably didn't really believe me but she said begrudgingly "fine."

After her wedding, my daughter sorta pulled me aside and was telling me to go to the reception and that my meal was paid for. I was very annoyed and told her no and I had that meeting and she didn't believe me either. It turned into a bit of an argument until I left. I visited my daughter in prison and we had a really amazing and touching chat and when I got home I decided to post one of my favorite pictures of her when she was 13 or 14 on Christmas morning year smiling and being happy and wishing her happy birthday. In hindsight I really should have posted it the day after or even a week after.

My daughter commented on it this morning asking why didn't I use a more recent picture of her and she posted the picture of her jail booking picture and her most current photo in the prison. I was pretty angry and confused about this and called her.

She lashed out at me and said it was despicable I went to visit her instead of going to the reception. Saying I apparently embarrassed her by not being there (???) and that there were family photos that my niece and other family members wanted me to be in and that I wasted her money, she also called her sister some pretty awful names.

I told her that I previously told my niece I wouldn't be going to the reception and that there was no need to buy me food for it (I still gave her money but I did make it clear I wouldn't be there), my daughter said it was obvious I was lying and she said it was despicable to put my imprisoned daughter over the special day and over her. I explained it's her birthday and that she's struggling in prison, and that I couldn't tell my niece that for obvious reasons.

My daughter then said that she deserves it, and all sorts of names and that I'm selfish. I kinda snapped at her and told her that I love my daughter more than I ever have my niece and that she should call me when she's sober. My daughter hung up and on facebook I've gotten some pretty nasty messages for this as well.

So was I in the wrong here? I made it clear to my niece I wouldn't be at the reception and I've never had much of a close relationship with her just the standard saying hi when visiting, maybe looking after her the odd time when she was younger. I don't really understand my other daughter's belief I embarrassed her by not being there.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

ToxicChildhood said:

NTA. You were at the wedding, you watched your niece get married, you let her know beforehand that you wouldn’t be at the reception. You did everything right. It’s not like you changed your mind halfway through the wedding. Everyone knew beforehand what your plan was. Not your fault that they still decided to pay for your plate KNOWING you already stated you would be heading out after the ceremony.

Your other daughter needs to back off. You’re a Dad….. that doesn’t stop just because your child went to prison. Regardless of what has been done, it was still your daughter’s birthday. I’m sure she was so happy that you went to see her.

Screw what your family thinks at this point. Your kid absolutely comes first and above others. I understand that you lied and even though I don’t agree, I understand why you wanted to avoid the bullshit that would come with telling the truth. That part is the only thing I see that you were in the wrong about though. I would have chosen to split the day as well.

-KingSharkIsAShark- said:

NTA. My dad often went to go see my sibling while they were in prison for Christmas when I was a young kid. It sucked not having him around for Christmas, but looking back, I think he did the right thing.

You gave ample warning that you weren’t going to be able to make the reception. True, you didn’t say the actual reason. But it was quite honestly rude of your niece and her husband to try and make you stay when you said you couldn’t. It was also rude, though extremely understandable as someone who has been in similar shoes, for how your younger daughter vented her anger. The name-calling just ain’t it or healthy, and it also seems like she made an event that wasn’t even about her about herself and you.

BlueGreen_1956 said:

This one is a little bit of NTA and a little bit of YTA. You niece might possibly have understood if you had simply told her the truth, but you didn't give her the chance. And after lying about your reason, it still all got splashed all over social media anyway. If you couldn't bring yourself to tell the truth, would it have been so bad to visit your daughter the day before or the day after?

RevolutionaryDiet686 said:

NTA You went to the wedding and showed your support. You spent time with your daughter on her birthday and showed her love and kindness.

Amazing_Main_9963 said:

Straight up NTA: You didn't harm anyone and still made it to the wedding. And it seems your daughter in prison doesn't have any family that would come and see her on her birthday because of her crime. You going and showing up for her in prison may be the one thing that helps her get through her sentence to make it out okay. So yeah NTA for being there for your daughters birthday and you are a good father for making her birthday special to her even if she is in prison. Just knowing someone still loves and cares for her on the outside will mean alot to her.

No-Statistician-9156 said:

NTA. You agreed to pay for your meal that you wouldnt be eating from what I see, you have to schedule prison visits and it can be heart breaking for someone on the inside who is likely looking forward to that and honestly make their time there worse then it is. It's his DAUGHTER who is far more important then a niece. You showed up at the most important part in my opinion, the actual ceremony. Should you have been honest about it yes, but also it is not their business why you did not go.

While the opinions were slightly divided here, most people were on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this family drama?

Sources: Reddit
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