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Father goes on apology tour, daughter not buying 'it was all your mother's fault.' AITA?

Father goes on apology tour, daughter not buying 'it was all your mother's fault.' AITA?


"AITA for telling my Daughter it wasn't my fault I wasn't involved in her life?"


So I had a recent exchange with my daughter, Anna, that has left me questioning my actions. My daughter is now 20 years old, and our recent conversation unearthed some unresolved feelings from her childhood.

During Anna's upbringing, I was not the present father I should have been. My relationship with her mother, my ex-wife, was tumultuous, to say the least. Constant conflict made it challenging for me to be there for Anna in the way she needed and deserved. I acknowledge my shortcomings and regret not being more involved during those formative years.

Presently, I am remarried to a wonderful woman who has a daughter from a previous relationship. Although not biologically mine, I love her as my own, and we have built a loving and supportive family together. I have made a conscious effort to be the best father figure I can be to her.

Recently, Anna confronted me about my absence during her childhood. She expressed feeling neglected and unimportant to me. She conveyed her wish that I had fought harder to be in her life and how my lack of effort had deeply hurt her. Her words stung, but I understood they stemmed from her pain.

In response, I attempted to explain to Anna that it wasn't solely my fault. I shared with her the challenges I faced in maintaining a relationship with her mother and how it impacted my ability to be present for her. I also emphasized my deep regret for the pain I caused her.

However, Anna remained unsatisfied with my explanation. She accused me of not caring enough to overcome the obstacles and fight for her. While I understood her perspective, I felt she overlooked the complexity of the situation.

I expressed to Anna my desire to move past the past and focus on building a better relationship with her in the present. I apologized for my past mistakes and reassured her of my commitment to making amends. However, she seemed fixated on the past, unwilling to let go of the hurt and resentment she harbors towards me.

Am I wrong for wanting my daughter to move on from the past and focus on the present? I genuinely seek to repair our relationship, but I fear Anna may be trapped in a cycle of pain and blame. Your perspectives on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


YTA. I come as a child with a story 100% exactly like yours. I am a lone child, never even had a chance to see my father until I was 18 after I reached out to him myself. He explained that his relationship with my mum was rough and they had to get a divorce.

He explained that my family kept him from seeing me often and only allowed him to come on the weekends. He then explained that he did not want to be the father that comes on weekends and just decided to leave my life completely. I was 3-4 at the time.

He now parents my bio step brother. He gives him all he needs and I think he treats him well.. me? I get calls every few months or even years. Those emotions your daughter feels hurt deeply and every second that goes by that you could be there but are not, you are failing her even more.

No amount of excuses can cure that pain, only actions from now on. The past is long gone and cannot be changed. Show your daughter remorse and respect and try your best to be in her life. Please. If she refuse that from you, ask what you can do to help. If she says "nothing", accept that you messed up and also move on.

The OP responded here:


I will try my best to be in her life. Thanks for sharing your story it's given me food for thought and another perspective.


YTA. You are the parent - it is ENTIRELY your fault that you didn’t fight more for access to her and to be there for her. You also just want to dismiss her feeling on the matter instead of accepting the hurt and pain you caused. So, honestly? You aren’t doing any better than you were.

I want to ask… What is it that you think you did well enough? Cause from the sounds of it? You didn’t do a whole lot of fighting for her and just accepted what her mother said. You also went on to get in a relationship with someone else and treat that child as your own which just proves to your daughter that if you wanted to try? You could.

The OP again responded:


I admitted that I didn't do enough mainly because my ex was making it difficult for me to do so and I didn’t want to deal with her anymore. I'm trying to make up for it now and leave the past behind us because it's too late to change the past now. I apologized already I don't know what else I can do besides be the best father I can be to her now in the present.


YTA. It sure as hell isn't Anna's fault. You were the parent, you should have been able to get over your bullshit with your ex to be there for your daughter.


Tell her what you should have actually done! Accept and tell her that you should have went to court repeatedly, accept and tell her that you should have reported her for parental alienation, accept and tell her that you weren’t a good father to her at all, that her mother shouldn’t have been a deciding factor at all to “not fight” and should have actually made you more determined to fight for her!

The fact is? At the point you are sitting here blaming the mother? You haven’t accepted responsibility for what you didn’t do. You’ve blamed someone else for your poor decision making. You’ve told her that she wasn’t worth fighting her mother. You haven’t accepted any responsibility whatsoever personally - you’ve shifted blame.


How very sad that you'd rather avoid your wife than be there for your child the way you were supposed to be.

So, do you think the OP is the AH here? If you could give them any advice, what would you say?

Sources: Reddit
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