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'AITA for snapping at my dad that I'm already 18 and he no longer has the right to visit?' UPDATED

'AITA for snapping at my dad that I'm already 18 and he no longer has the right to visit?' UPDATED

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Once a kid turns 18, they have full autonomy over whether they want to spend time with their parents or not, and that can be both beautiful and conflict-inducing.

"AITA for snapping at my dad that I'm already 18 and he no longer has the right to visit?"

He and my mom divorced when I was 7. At first he visited me once a week but the visits became less frequent. By the time I was 10, he only came over once a month. Yesterday, my childhood cat was put down. It was also my dad's wedding day. I had already called my dad a week in advance, telling him I won't be able to attend. I had to be there for my cat when she's put down.

He berated me over the phone, saying I shouldn't choose my cat over his wedding. I told him I have already been to his second and third weddings, so what's the big deal if I miss his fourth one. That led to a lot of shouting on his part before I hung up. This morning, he said he's very upset so I told him that if he continues to be a jerk I don't want to see him again. He told me he has visitation rights.

I told him I already turned 18 six months ago and that he shouldn't visit if he cares so little he couldn't remember my birthday. My half-sister, who isn’t related to but is quite fond of my dad, said that I didn’t have to be harsh to him and that it doesn't solve any issue.

The internet had a lot to say in response.

ClassicTrue9276 wrote:

NTA. While you could have picked a different day to put the cat down, it's his fourth wedding. At some point you have done your duty.

OP responded:

It’s the earliest appointment my mom could make. Would have been unfair to prolong our cat’s suffering.

Even_Budget2078 wrote:

I am so sorry about your cat and it doesn't sound like you need to be told this, but don't let anyone convince you that it would have been better to keep your cat suffering and in pain for longer for your dad's fourth wedding.

Andravisia wrote:

NTA. But holy frig that would have been hilarious exchange.

"I have visitation rights!"

"What rights, I'm 18! Your rights have been terminated."

Your father needs to learn that his access to you is now limited to what is mutually agreeable between the two of you.

Ohcrumbcakes wrote:

NTA. Your cat is part of your family. You can’t exactly choose the date someone dies - with pets, you can choose but there’s still always a chance they won’t live that long. Postponing it more wouldn’t be helpful. Your dad is allowed to be disappointed but he’s behaving like an asshole. I’m sorry for your loss. And I’m sorry your dad’s an AH.

Not long after, OP shared an update.

ETA: Some of you think that my mom deliberate scheduled the euthanasia on the day of my dad’s wedding so that I won’t be able to attend. I highly doubt that was her intention. My mom told me this was the earliest appointment she could get and I have no reason not to believe her.

She didn’t try to stop me from attending his second and third weddings, so I don’t see why she’d want to prevent me from going to his fourth one.

And the comments kept rolling in.

Foreverforgettable wrote:

NTA. The fact that he didn’t realize he no longer has court ordered visitation rights to you because he forgot your 18th birthday is reason enough to miss his fourth wedding. He obviously only prioritizes himself. It doesn’t matter if you could have scheduled your cat’s vet appointment for another day; not that you should feel obligated to accommodate your “father.” The point is he barely even knows you.

He’s got some nerve to attempt to make any demands of you. I’m sorry for the loss of your cat. I know it is a pain beyond imagination. I hope your heart heals from the loss. I have a senior dog. I try to remind myself though her time with me is limited it has been my privilege to love her and be loved by her. I hope you remember that your cat felt your love, always.

Sea_no_evil wrote:

Well, half-sister is right, but is kind of missing the point since you aren't going to "solve" the issues between you and your dad single-handedly. The guy seems to want it both ways, being not very present as a parent in the past but then demanding you are in his life the way he wants you to be now.

You are correct in that you are now a legal adult and will decide for yourself how to include people in your life. I like how you are being firm on not letting him tell you who to be at this point. This is likely going to be just one chapter in a whole book of painful experiences with your dad. NTA.

alligatorchronicles wrote:

It absolutely solved an issue, if the issue was not wanting to talk to someone who acts like a jerk. Besides, you can always catch wedding number 5. Seriously, parents need to remember that they get the adult relationship they earned in childhood. You can't be a d%ck to your children and expect them to start with a blank slate once they turn 18.

lissabeth777 wrote:

I'm sure that cat had been there for you all of the times your dad wasn't. The fact that he doesn't even remember you're 18 is really sad. Take care of your kitty and guide them across the Rainbow Bridge.

Then take some time and really think about how you want to relate to your dad and even if you want to talk to him at all. Sometimes it's better for us to evaluate those relationships and see if we want to keep them.

Kalena426 wrote:

NTA, in fact, I applaud you. Once you turned 18, you became an adult and can decide who you see and when you see him.I was a single Mom, and my son saw his father 5, maybe 6 times in 13 years.

You deserved a father who loved unconditionally and showed up. You are worthy of love and happiness. When he calls you to berate you, be honest and frank with him. You are worthy of all good and happiness.

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