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Unfaithful man tells daughter to never contact him again after 17 years of estrangement. AITA? + Update

Unfaithful man tells daughter to never contact him again after 17 years of estrangement. AITA? + Update

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"My daughter just contacted me after 17 years asking if I want to meet my granddaughter. AITA for telling her that I don’t care about her or her daughter and to never contact me again?"

WideCorners

I am not sure if am I an AH. Going to provide some background. I am in my 60s now. I was married to my ex wife, and we had a daughter. Our marriage was going through its ups and downs but I was really close with our daughter.

But as our marriage was going through its difficulties, I made a huge mistake I still regret to this day. I started having an affair with my coworker. She was in an violent physically abusive relationship at home. We became friends at work, and things just escalated from there.

She got “an out” from me, she got the support she needed to file for divorce from her husband, who is currently in jail now. The affair went nowhere and we called it off shortly after, but I was glad that she got off her abusive relationship and that she was safe.

But when my ex wife found out about the affair, things expectedly didn’t go well. She lashed out and said a lot of horrible things about me to our daughter, who was 15 at the time.

I admitted full fault with the affair, but even after the divorce, I sensed that the distance between me and my daughter was growing, until one day, my daughter said she wasn’t going to speak with me anymore, and she was going to cut me off from her life forever. That was the most painful thing anyone had ever said to me. I begged her to please reconsider. I still remember that day.

But time passed on. My daughter kept her word, and after trying to connect with her for the first year, I gave up. I found out from one of my mutual friends that my ex wife married a great guy.

I was happy because I was hoping that would remove the hatred from my ex wife and my ex wife would advise our daughter to at-least rekindle a relationship with me. But that never happened. I moved states a year later.

I am at peace now, but still have some aching sadness. I have retired. Both my parents have passed away, my brother passed away tragically a couple of years ago. To be honest, I am waiting for my turn. I have only my dog and my sister left.

A couple of hours ago, my daughter called me on my phone. I haven’t spoken to her in 17 years. I instantly recognized her voice, but I didn’t feel anything. No happiness, no sadness, just indifference. She was crying a lot on the call, and we caught up on life.

She’s married, and she has a daughter who’s now 12. She apologized for cutting off contact, and she says her mom asked her to reconnect with me, as her mom felt guilty about how everything played out.

She said she really wanted me to meet her daughter, and her daughter was constantly asking about granddaddy. But, I wasn’t feeling anything. After we caught up on everything in our lives, I told her I don’t care about her or her daughter, and to never contact me again. I then hung up. Was I the AH?

UPDATE:

Look, I was extremely drunk last night. The words which came out of my mouth weren’t the best, and my comments on my post weren’t great either. Seeing how everyone said I was the AH, I decided to call my daughter again an hour ago.

I didn’t really expect her to pick up the call but she picked up immediately. I apologized for last night, and she said there was no need to apologize. I then sent her a link to this Reddit post on messages, and told her I know I was the AH, and thousands said so. She again said I wasn’t the AH. She started crying again.

I told her she’s free to come to my house anytime the next 4 months, because after that I will be leaving the country with my sister and our dog. Our parents left us a nice farmhouse in their home country, and we will be spending the rest of our lives there.

I sent her my address on messages, and my daughter said she’d come with her husband and her daughter by end of next week. She asked if she was welcome to stay there for multiple days, and I told her she could stay for however long she wanted, as our house was spacious enough.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:

chezibot

It is true no one falls in love faster than two married coworkers.

moooooolia

You wouldn’t get it, he was saving her! You wanted him to offer a safe space and comfort WITHOUT getting intimate with her!?

midnightsunofabitch

Here's the thing. No doubt OP is the AH on multiple levels, starting with the affair (with a vulnerable colleague), followed by only trying for one year to repair the relationship with his daughter. I mean...who writes off their own child when they're 16?!

Did it never occur to him she might be more receptive to a reconciliation as an adult? Cause lord knows no one has ever wavered on a conviction they held at 16, followed by his callous response when she called.

Having said that, if you're trashing your ex to your child, after an ugly divorce?

You. Are. A. Bad. Parent.

According to OP's daughter, OP's ex felt guilty for encouraging a rift between father and daughter. If that is the case, OP's ex is also the AH. You should not be getting back at your ex through your children. You should not be trashing your ex to your children, however ugly the divorce. To do so makes you a bad parent.

Someone on another sub was talking about how his parents divorced when he was 14, but he didn't find out it was because his mom had cheated on his dad, until he was 21.

His parents didn't want to burden him with that knowledge, or risk damaging his relationship with his mother at such a young age. At 21 he was more capable of seeing his mother as not just his mother, but an actual flawed human being.

His father was gracious enough to hold his tongue, not out of any sort of obligation to his cheating ex-wife, but because he knew that knowledge would only hurt his adolescent son. It's a shame OP's ex didn't have the same concern for her daughter. That poor girl was burdened with two atrocious parents.

dcamom66

This unreliable narrator tells us the ex trashed him. I think she was rightly angry that he was that he had an affair and she had to discover it on her own. This is a guy who is self-centered and self-serving and blew up his daughter's life as a vulnerable time in her development of her relationship to the opposite sex.

He gives it one year, If that, then writes her off for life. Now, he wants no chance to build a relationship with his adult daughter and grandchild. This guy's a major douche and AH. He's as selfish as they come, and I'm sure his daughter and her family benefit from not having him around.

I'm sure it hurts her to have that hole, so she was open with him, gave him a chance to do the same with her, and he hurt her AGAIN. Then he has the audacity to come on here to ask if he's an AH. Yes, yes, you are a massive one OP.

tytynuggets

This is one of the most obvious YTA posts I've seen here, good lord.

afspouse123

YTA I hate when adults make very bad adult decisions that affect their children and then blame the children when they respond in a very child-like manner. Your daughter was a teenager. That is a rough time for kids even when their home life is stable.

You gave her one whole year before you cut bait and gave up on her. Then you moved away. You told your daughter that she wasn't important enough to fight for and she believed you.

Now that she is an adult with a child of her own, she has reached out to you and you again told her she wasn't important to you. She now knows she was probably right to cut you out the first time.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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