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Bride devastates her father when she says, 'My Stepdad is walking me down the aisle. You've done TOO MUCH DAMAGE.' AITA? UPDATED

Bride devastates her father when she says, 'My Stepdad is walking me down the aisle. You've done TOO MUCH DAMAGE.' AITA? UPDATED


When this woman upsets her family when she decides to let her stepdad walk her down the aisle, she asks the internet:

"AITA if I ask my stepdad to walk me down the aisle instead of my dad?"

When I (28f) was 4 years old, my dad cheated on my mom with his now wife and mom divorced him. She got 50-50 on the custody. I hated going to my father's house because I didn't want his wife to tell me what to do.

My dad reduced his time when he got married. I was 6 at that time and wasn't even invited to his wedding, but his step kids were. His excuse was that I am still bitter and will ruin the ceremony.

Overtime, he only paid just the child support and I was completely neglected. When my dad had my half brother, he was busy with him and ignored me. He even stopped taking me to his house for the weekends.

He would ignore me. He would tell me that he wouldn't talk to me unless I act like a good child aka call my stepmom "mom" rather than her name. He would make excuses not to take me to ice-cream or do any activities. There was a time when I graduated elementary school and he promised that he and I will go fishing.

He ghosted me and told my mom there was an emergency. I was again abandoned. By that time my mom started dating my stepdad, Lenny. Lenny was the father I never had. He was a single dad but he still treated me like his own child.

He taught me how to swim, how to drive my car, he attended all the school functions I was in. He was there every time my dad abandoned me. I went very low contact with my dad, only contacting him on Christmas.

I don't even call him on father's day. So fast forward to now, I am getting married. I have asked Lenny to walk me down the aisle because he is the only dad I have ever known. My dad and his family will be coming as a guest.

This infuriated my dad. He told me I am his only daughter. I shouldn't keep him away from his rights as a father. I am getting calls from his side of the family too. My father is upset and I am sidelining him.

According to him, he has been a great father and I am being unfair to him. Also he doesn't want Lenny to walk me down the aisle at all. I told my dad he can walk his stepdaughter on the aisle and he will only be a guest.

I have made my decision. He called an asshole and told me he didn't paid child support just so I could grow up to be an ungrateful brat. So was I wrong? I know he is my dad but I just don't feel like he is.

Before we give you OP's update about her wedding, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

chicay writes:

NTA! Your wedding day is about you and your partner. You need to feel comfortable and confident, not go around appeasing other people’s wishes and desires. It’s their job to put those aside and prioritise you.

If they can’t do that, that’s on them. I think it’s lovely that you’re honouring your stepdad Lenny this way. He’s been there for you time and time again, and he will appreciate this more than you think.

I’m sure the symbolism of this decision is a little painful for your dad, but it is what it is. He was absent and didn’t make much of an effort, and now he’s shifting the blame on you. Not okay. Don’t feel bad.

He was the adult who could have made things right with you a long time ago. In short, you do you and enjoy your special day however you want!

knownconclusion writes:

It's YOUR day. It's YOUR choice. No one gets to make it but you, and you're under no obligation to explain or defend it. He chose your half- and step- siblings. You chose your step-dad. And the child support is a non-issue.

He didn't pay it so he could dictate your life. He paid it to help with the expenses that come with having a child. He paid it because it was his responsibility to. His right as a father? He has none. A parent has privileges.

A parent has responsibilities. A parent has no rights over an adult offspring. But none of this is about what he has or hasn't a right to, what he does or doesn't want, or what he does or doesn't expect from you. This is your wedding day. It's not about him at all.

Tell him he's lucky to even be invited, but if he's going to be the AH (that he's accusing you of being) then he can keep his self-righteous, self-entitled, self-centered behind at home.

2ndcup writes:

Also tell him paying child support was not a gift he could choose to give you; he was legally required to support your continued existence even when he abandoned you emotionally. Tell him about your step dad.

Let him know how a man, who had nothing to do with bringing another man’s child into this world, stepped up to fill the void your bio dad left in your life. Bullet item how he was there for you teaching to drive, attending your events, and letting you know at last what a father should be.

Tell him paying child support is his idea of doing enough, as was insisting that you erase your mom by calling the woman he cheated with mom. Tell him you are showing complete respect for his obeying the law and paying child support as his belief that was the only obligation.

He had to you. The flip side of that is walking you down the aisle has no connection to the role of a man who believes he should receive gratitude for paying court ordered child support for the daughter who lost her dad.

Likewise, your step dad lived you and was a real dad to you. He willingly stepped into your bio dad’s empty shoes. Remind dad that he has taken care of his second family in a similar way; that you are sure he has been there for his second family so he should look to his one time mistress and her kids to honor his role of father to them.

popojag writes:

NTA. Respond back that it is not his right as he never earned it. Paying child support did not make him father of the year and him not actively participating as a father put him as not the person who gets that privilege.

That Lenny stepped up as my dad and made sure I knew that I was accepted and loved as a daughter. Let him know that Lenny was there for you in your school functions, taught you how to drive, taught you everything that you wished that he has done but refused.

For me, petty sake, I would send it as a text message to him and his family. And let them all know that Lenny has earned the father of the bride role, and all it entails, even father daughter dance.

And if they say another word, that they can consider themselves disinvited and cut off from your life and all that this will entail. Treat you like crap and wanting the benefits of being your dad when he couldn’t step up to the plate for all of these years. That you are open to a relationship with him if he ever step up to the plate bin the future.

But please, if you are not coming, let you know. At this point in your life you are used to it. That you invited him and his family to give them another chance to be a part of your life.

My bet is that neither him or any of his family members who have no heart will not attend. And that is okay. It will tell you how you stand in their lives. And it is trash taking themselves out.

Be happy and embrace only those who matter to you and them. Walk away from those who are toxic

zelousideal writes:

Nta. Your dad only cares about not walking you down is because this will reflect badly with his family and other people. He knows he's been a bad father who chose his second family over you dozen of times.

He knows hes a bad person for ruining your life with his infidelity and had neglected you. He didn't even bother contacting yoi when you no longer bothered having a relationship with him.

He just doesnt want to take accountability for what hes done. It's most likely his side of the family doesn't know that he's been neglectful and is twisting the narrative. Like you said he can walk his stepdaughter down the aisle as it's clear he favored them over you.

He'll still continue to be a bad father and go contact after the wedding. This whole thing is probably a power play and he's mad that your mom not only found someone else but is going to experience a major milestone in his supposed daughter's life and that's going to hurt hie ego.

Go through with the plan and tbh uninvite him and his entire family if it's not too late. It's just not worth the drama.

hornyenigma writes:

Absolutely NTA. There's the phrase blood is thicker than water, but that isn't the full phrase. "The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.”

Paternity doesn't make you a good parent and neither does money. As another person with a POS bio father, my stepdad would 100% be the one walking me down the aisle if I were to have a wedding.

He's always ALWAYS treated me as if I was his own. It's yours and your partner's day. No one else gets to dictate the choices you make to celebrate your relationship.

xsabath writes:

NTA. Honey, this is YOUR wedding. If you feel he wasn’t much of a parent then he doesn’t get to even remotely say who gets to walk you down.

I can sympathize with you greatly on this as I feel the same way about my dad. Choose who you like to walk you down.

And if bio dad is gonna make a stink and continue to make it worse or if you’re scared he’ll make the day go bad then uninvited him. The way I see it, if he was absent most/all your life it shouldn’t bother him to be absent for your wedding.

fergie89 writes:

You are NTA at all. So from my understanding, your dad wasn't a father at all. He was a sperm donor only turning up or tuning it when it suited him.

Your step dad, stepped up (no pun intended) he was a master of blended families and made sure you felt loved and cared for as his wife's child, therefore you became his. He was there for you when it mattered and cared for you. He taught you how to adult, look after yourself, cars, friends etc. He is your father.

Just because someone helped create you, doesn't give them automatic assumptions to have a part in your life, let alone your wedding.

I'm an orphan (now 31 so not sure of the phrase). My godfather gave me away, he was the man who taught me not to take shit, how to change a tyre, he was the sorting hat of men I dated and he loved my husband to pieces.

This sounds like your step dad is the same kind of guy. Stay true to yourself and have your step dad give you away, not a waste of space. And congratulations on your nuptials!

az6 writes:

NTA, and i would uninvite him and everyone associated with him who's currently siding with him. this is supposed to be a happy day. be happy.

I remember reading a story around here about a step father who raised his step daughter like his actual daughter from the age of 1... had been there for her and even gave his blessing when she tried to find her bio dad after she turned 18, because the deadbeat never once tried to contact her.

she found him, and he ghosted her after taking a few hundred bucks from her, as i said. total bum. well she was getting married and step dad was paying for the whole thing, like 80k type of money, and suddenly biodad shows up out of the blue,

and at the last minute the daughter is kicking step dad to the curve and having biodad walk her down the aisle. apparently she made this decision months prior but didn't tell step dad till the day before the wedding, so that there was no issue with him paying for everything.

well stepdad was crushed and somehow with a broken heart still went to her wedding, only for biodad to skip the wedding entirely. the daughter threw a fit and cancled the whole wedding, and now was upset at step dad for no longer talking to her or paying for a second wedding after he was out 80k from the one she cancled.

the amazing thing was she was the one posting the story, and she felt her step dad was TA for not paying another 80k so that she could have the wedding of her dreams with her "real" father walking her down the ailse. sureal stuff really. no you're not TA, please don't give those people the time of day. they're awful.

And now, OP's update (about the wedding):

Sorry guys, I didn't get the time to respond to replies. But I did read them in my spare time. I am currently at the airport waiting for our plane to our honeymoon so I thought I should give you an update.

And I got married 2 days ago. I can say that I am relieved to know people don't think I am doing the bad thing. So, I did just that. I just texted my dad that I am not changing my decision, if he wants to come to my wedding he can. I am not going to force him.

That didn't work. He called my mom and asked to talk to me about this situation. I was hoping he would drop this but no. He had to act as an entitled person. I wrote him a long ass message. I did not want to talk to him without getting interrupted. My dad interrupts a lot.

I told him that give me one good reason that I should let him walk me down the aisle when he never been a dad in my life. He never cared enough to make his marriage work with mom and decided to betray her and our family. Despite all of that I still loved him but every time he left me and abandoned me.

Lenny has been my dad growing up. I doubt he even knows anything about me. He is just some guy who used to pay my child support and with whom I share DNA. He is nothing like my dad because he missed all the big events in my life.

He never cared or even tried to be there for he and he has the audacity to call me his daughter. Since he didn't do his fatherly duties, I don't think I should do any daughter duties towards him.

How can he possibly think he could "give me away" when he already gave me away 20 years ago. Few minutes go by and then he calls me and asks if this is what I have thought about him my entire life.

I asked him where was he when I was graduating? Where was he when I won first prize in my dancing competition? Where was he when I needed someone to guide me? I dare him to tell me one thing about me. How much does he know me? When was the last time he initiated any conversations with me?

He went silent. He asked me if I was still mad about the past? I told him past was the reason I know he is an unreliable man. All these years if he has taught me anything it is that he is a shitty father and someone like him cannot be trusted. I made the biggest mistake of my life believing he would come through.

The only reason I never even bother because of what he did in the past. Lastly I will not push him to come to my wedding. That is his choice. It's not he is paying for it anyways.

That was it. Later I got a message from my stepmom that what I said has broken my father. He is very much upset. I told her well if he upset by the truth then he shouldn't have asked and pushed my buttons. He has ignored me all my childhood. He doesn't get to play the dad.

My wedding went smoothly. I would say majority of my father's side of the family bailed. I had mom's side and some of Lenny's family as well. But overall it was fine. I cannot be more thankful to Lenny. Though it still hurts getting betrayed by my own dad but I am okay. My kids will know Lenny as their grandfather.

Readers continued to weigh in on OP's update:

I worry all the time about whether I'm doing the right thing or not, whether my motives are pure enough, whether someone might have the right to resent me... and then I see people like OOP's dad who apparently have zero insight into themselves or the effect they have on the world.

It's wild. Man's really like "wow did you think I was a bad dad this whole time?" DID YOU NOT NOTICE HOW MUCH YOU WEREN'T DOING.

My takeaway is, I could probably stand to worry less and they need to worry a LOT more. But also it helps with understanding why some people are the way they are.

They actually don't have the ability to self-examine so they just... do whatever, without counting the cost. I think that's a skill that can be taught (to an extent, at least) but a lot of people don't have anyone to teach them. And it's hard to pick up that habit as an adult.

Not an excuse for being a shit, but I have some empathy -- imagine not understanding why people react to you the way they do, and having no idea how to change it.

It must feel like everyone's just out to get you for no reason, so of course you get mad and hurt and act even worse and pretty soon you've fucked up your entire life, without ever realizing how or why.

crum7 writes:

Just because someone donates some DNA, doesn't make them a parent. OOPs "father" wasn't a father to her. As she said, he didn't bother with her for her whole life.

And when he made an attempt, he'd find some excuse by spouting crap like "I'm not taking you out until you stop calling 'step mom' by her name and start calling her mom". Sounds like daddy dearest only wanted to play father figure when it suited him. He's a broken man?

How about how many times he broke OOPs heart when he let her down over and over again? Is it any wonder she went with the man who acted like a real dad to her instead of the deadbeat victim? Good on OOP for sticking to her guns and I'm glad she had a wonderful wedding.

The pessimist in me thinks that maybe "father" has been telling his side of the family that OOPs mother has kept OOP away from him etc. I can't see why else they would side with him if they knew he had zero interest in being OOPs dad, outside of doing his legal obligation of coughing up the payments.

ka165 writes:

You 100% did the right thing. My dad emigrated to Australia when I was about 10 (I'm in the UK). Whenever he came back he'd shower us with gifts which worked when I was a small but not as a tean as I had a fair bit of resentment build up from only having a call once a month and him hardly coming over to visit.

The longest gap was 4 years. He wasn't there for anything - my uni graduations, asking about my school results, he met my twins at Christmas when they were 7 months old so he could kill 2 birds with one stone, and he was never there for my birthday is on my children's.

1 year he completely forgot my birthday and that stings big time. It kills me now how he treats my 2yo niece knowing that he wasn't there for my kids but moved back when GC sister was in a DV relationship - yes she needed help but where was he for me when I needed him? She didn't need him as she had the rest of us, her family, to help like we always do.

The ONLY reason I let him walk me down the aisle was because of my mum. She is all about keeping up appearances so said that I had to have him and not my stepdad which I totally would have had if I had the choice.

Instead I got my stepdad to be a witness on my marriage certificate, but I still regret giving my dad any spotlight. You handled this beautifully by only telling him the truth.

Unfortunately it seems like he will never look in the mirror and see himself as the problem. Don't reward his behavior in any way shape or form - he destroys you as a child now he can deal with the consequences of that.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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