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'AITA for not pleading with my stepdad to change his mind about walking me down the aisle?'

'AITA for not pleading with my stepdad to change his mind about walking me down the aisle?'

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"AITA for not pleading with my stepdad to change his mind about walking me down the aisle?"

I (25f) asked my stepdad to walk me down the aisle and do a father/daughter dance with me at my wedding and he said yes. Now, I did this because I knew and was told enough times that he would love to do it and would be hurt if I didn't ask him because he's been my stepdad for 17 years.

I didn't really want it to be him. But I knew it meant a lot to him and he has tried to be a second dad to me and he loves me, I know, and he has done a lot for me too. I just don't consider him my dad or even my primary father figure. That goes to my paternal uncle. But he's also a great husband to my mom and dad to my half brothers. So I asked him despite him not being who I would prefer. And he was so happy.

This did not ask long. About a week after he said yes he asked me when I had decided to let him do it because I always implied heavily it would either be mom or my uncle. The question caught me off guard and I told him when I realized it meant so much to him.

My answer upset him and he asked me what I meant by it meaning so much to him, didn't it mean something to me. I told him I was glad I could honor what he has done for me. But again that wasn't what he wanted to hear. He asked me did I ask him because I wanted him or because I felt like I had to. I asked him if that really mattered and he said yes.

He told me he thought I had finally come around to accepting him as a second dad. Then he went on a rant about how for years he knew I never considered him a potential father of the bride and that I had put so many people before him for who could do the duties of a father of the bride.

He said it always broke him when I got sad about dad not being able to do it because he liked to think I would see that I had an option that was just as special in him. But he said clearly I don't want him to do it and so he won't. He told me he wasn't going to walk me down the aisle or do a father/daughter dance with me if I didn't genuinely want him to, because he's not taking a pity ask.

A couple of weeks after this my mom told me how hurt my stepdad is and how he had expected me to plead with him to change his mind. We talked and she said she understood because my feelings had always been the same on him but she wanted me to know that she would say no if I ask her to do it now because it would destroy her husband.

It's been a couple more weeks since then and my stepdad approached me while we were at a family member's house and he told me how angry and hurt he was that I had not asked him to reconsider. He thought I would have a real change of heart after hearing how hurt he was.

I told him I couldn't change how I feel and given he didn't want to do it unless I truly wanted him to, I felt it was best not to beg or plead. He told me he deserved to be pleaded to after all the years he's been treating me like I'm his daughter. AITA?

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

jedirieb said:

NTA. You know, up until the whole rant and "he had expected me to plead with him to change his mind", I was really respecting the guy. Like, good on him for making sure the person who walked you down the aisle really mattered to you.

But clearly that wasn't his intention. He clearly thinks he is owed a particular relationship with you, rather than the one you actually have. He could have taken the "pity ask" without question, or even taken it after you explained yourself...

...accepting that, while the relationship isn't what he'd like, he still clearly means something to you. Instead, he asked some questions to which he really didn't want the answer. That's his fault.

eenySod said:

NTA. It *did* mean something to you - acknowledgment of how he has done his best by you. He's not your dad - you had one of those, and I'm sorry he's no longer in your life, as they can never really be replaced. Your stepdad is being ungracious to not accept that you DO care about him, just not in the way that HE wants you to - and you have no obligation to do that. Sympathy that you've ended up in a mess just for being honest :(

KaliTheBlaze said:

Well that was a bit of a mindf%ck he pulled there, wasn’t it? It’s not good enough for you to respect him and care about his feelings, you’re supposed to force yourself to feel something you never have, or at a minimum convincingly pretend to feel something you never have.

Relationships can’t be forced, no matter how devoutly one party (or even both parties!) may wish for it to happen. You can’t command the heart. It just doesn’t work that way. NTA.

fwzy_agina said:

NTA. Being a true father would want what is best for his daughter, without expecting anything in return. From what you have said he seems like a decent man, but it does not mean you owe him a relationship you don't have. He should've graciously accepted and moved on.

Ace_boy08 said:

NTA gosh, step dad sounds exhausting. I get that he doesn't want to be a pity pick, but come on , he knew how you felt for years. You asking him because you knew how much it meant to him was a very selfless act imo.

Many would have been touched by the sentiment. If he can't take that as a positive gesture, then there is no point in discussing this further with him. His ego and pride are just too big for him. Please just ask your paternal uncle to walk you down the aisle. Maybe that will stop his moaning and carrying on about it.

Smooth_Chemistry_276 said:

NTA - he is creating drama for drama sake. He got what he wanted but he wants you to feel a certain way about it. You simply don’t feel that way. He said he doesn’t want to do it now. Now he’s writing a script of how he wants you to react to his reaction? So if you ask again is it going to be the same where he questions your motives and then rage quits?

If he treated you like his daughter all these years in order to get validation that’s not a good reason to do it and you probably picked up on it even when you were younger, tell him you wish he treated you like a daughter simply because he wanted you to be his daughter, not because he wanted to be recognized for doing so. Also ask your uncle and be done with it, he had his chance.

M312345 said:

NTA, but do you and your mom realize how manipulative this man is? Now he's making his wife feel guilty about possibly being the one to walk you down the aisle, like if HE can't do it, NO ONE can. He tried to manipulate you to plead with him so he'd feel loved and accepted and wanted as your dad/father figure.

Then he ropes his wife in by telling her how hurt he is and how she can't possibly walk you down the aisle because it would DESTROY him oh so badly. You would then see the light and ask him wholeheartedly to walk you down.

Then when THAT doesn't work he tries AGAIN at a family gathering (cause how can you say no in front of witnesses) because this man just can't understand how you could reject him since he's been such a great dad to you all these years. Sheesh, I mean seriously, all this drama when he could have just gracefully taken the L and moved on.

Makes me want to question if he was such a "good dad" after all, if all he was doing was putting on an act to try and win everyone over so he could feel loved and accepted and be the ONLY father in your life, like you would reject your bio dad in favor of him.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this wedding drama?

Sources: Reddit
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