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'AITA for not going to my daughter’s graduation ceremony to teach her a lesson?' UPDATED

'AITA for not going to my daughter’s graduation ceremony to teach her a lesson?' UPDATED

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"AITA for refusing to go to my daughter graduation ceremony?"

Here’s the original post:

I (40sF) have a daughter (18F) who I’ll call B. When she was younger, her father (broke up before she was born) was very involved in her life and she was admittedly a “dad’s girl” but this all changed when she turned 8 and he got married. He barely called and just abandoned her for his new family. This was obviously hard on her and she rebelled a lot.

But she went to therapy and seemed good. B has not seen him since she was 12 and he speaks to her maybe 3 times a year maximum. When he calls, she believes he is now back in her life for good then he ghosts her for the remainder of the year. This being said, B and I have a great relationship, we do everything together. She even refers to me as her best friend so I’d say we have a good relationship.

Recently was her graduation and I was excited. But then she came to me a week before and told me she is going to invite her dad and his son. And cos her dad doesn’t want to see me, I can’t come.B told me that was the only way he was gonna go. I angrily told her, I felt betrayed and wont forgive her for this.

She just told me I have been there for many of her milestones and she wants her father to experience some too. Things got heated and we argued. The night before her graduation, I pleaded with her but she ignored me when I spoke. And only said “I’m sorry but I’m not changing my mind. I left and cried until my sister offered to take me out during the graduation to take my mind of it and I agreed.

I woke up the next morning to my daughter bawling her eyes out. I looked at the time and realised the ceremony starts in 5 minutes. I asked B why she hasn’t left yet. B then tells me her father ditched her and isn’t answering anymore. I hug her and tell her to make the most of her graduation. She looked shocked and asks if I’m not going to the ceremony now her father isn’t anymore.

And how it’ll be embarrassing to be the only one there without parents. I told I’m sorry that I already had plans. She then screamed and called me a bad mom. I apologise once again and got ready to meet my sister. I chose not to go because I felt betrayed and wanted to teach her actions have consequences, even if it broke me that i didn’t go.

Since B returned she hasn’t spoken a word to me. And she looks depressed and like she’s been crying for ages. I’m starting to regret not going. My sister says I did the right thing, but one of the moms at my daughter school said she was depressed at graduation and now I feel bad that I ruined what was suppose to be a day to remember because I wanted to teach my daughter a lesson. So AITA?

What do you think? Was this mom wrong for ditching her daughter's graduation in order to “teach her a lesson”? This is what top commenters had to say:

Mad_Cowboy_64 said:

NTA. You gave her an important lesson about maintaining relationships with the people who are there for you and not blowing them off for the next new thing that comes along.

RoyallyOakie said:

The real AH here is the father. He forced his daughter's hand by giving her an ultimatum. He used his daughter to hurt his ex and then took off. The daughter is technically an adult, but she's still his child.

Accomplished_Cup900 said:

NTA. She should’ve never uninvited you in the first place. She knows her dad is unreliable. She’s an adult. Y’all always tell the 18 year olds that come on here with their parent issues to just move out because they’re adults, but when an 18 year old completely destroys their parent’s feelings to appease someone else, they can’t be an AH because they’re only 18.

Y’all really pick and choose. She didn’t go because her daughter decided that her father’s feelings and comfort were more important than her mother’s even though she hasn’t seen her father in 6 years.

I haven’t seen my father since I graduated 8th grade. I’m halfway through college now. I couldn’t imagine inviting my father to my graduation. He’s just like OP’s ex. Stop acting like it’s impossible for an 18 year old to have some common sense

RelationshipSad2300 said:

I'm sorry. I want to be on everybody's side here, but I can't. She must've broken your heart. And I do get that you're the adult and should rise above it, but jeez, what she did was hardcore. You're not the a-hole, but yikes, this one just sucks. Yo, that father has a lot to answer for as he blithely continues his life.

ladylyrande said:

NTA. She is old enough. She is not 5, she's 18. She took you for granted. Even after her father ditched her, she didn't invite you, she just expected you to fill in the spot as the second class parent you are.



Yes she is young. Yes she is your daughter. But she needs to learn that love and respect are two way streets. She can't stomp all over your feelings on the off chance daddy will love her again, you're people, not just a mother with no feelings expected to always accomodate your child. Kids can be a-holes too. They don't automatically get a pass.

Verdict: Mixed, but most agree either NTA or ESH.

The mom later shared this not-exactly-hopeful update:

I don’t think I’m a bad mom for this one thing. And I accept the judgements and read everything. To answer your question: B does go therapy. This isn’t the first time B has ditched me for her dad, she been doing it for 10 years. This is the first time I have said no to her after he father abandoned her.

I have asked her therapist, if B is being manipulated. and she said no based on B and her father’s messages, and my daughter is just grasping onto a reality that isn’t there

Update: I went to my daughter and apologised for not going to her graduation. I also explained that it is not a nice feeling to be left out and I feel under appreciated. Also, that is fine to want her father there for her, but I should too. B told me that she’s sorry things ended this way and that she loves me(hugged me)and wants things to go back to normal.

And that she acted like a b!tch. I told her nevertheless I should have been there and if I could do this all over again, I would’ve gone. ( honestly I said this as I thought she now knew her dad can’t be trusted- and I felt for her).

Then I asked her if she regret uninviting me in the first place and unsurprisingly she said no. This hurt me but I figured it was because I didn’t go so it was understandable. But no, she continued saying that it was probably best I didn’t go because she would’ve been more miserable as she would have preferred her dad to be there anyway.

Then I got pissed( I didn’t show it). I told her my feeling were hurt, especially since I’ve been there for her. And she said that she’s always going to want her dad there for her big moments. I asked, even at the expense of me and knowing he most likely won’t show. And she replied “ I mean if I have to make sacrifices, I’m going to, to have my dad there."

I repeated the question as she seemed to be swerving it but she just shrugged and went on her phone. I told her not to expect everyone to apologise and turn a blind eye when she doesn’t value them in the real world. And i also said, knowing how she feels, don’t expect another apology from me and this is the last time I’m doing this. She looked teary eyed but I left.

I don’t know how other parents do this. I know her father is going to keep abandoning her and honestly I’m at my limit. And If I didn’t know whether I was wrong or not before, I definitely know I was right in not going. I know I’m going to get a lot of backlash saying this but I’m bitter and angry.

I understand wanting her dad there but I should be on the same level of importance as him. I’m still going to be there for her when he inevitable ditches her again but if this behaviour carries on to her next graduation or wedding day. I can’t say I’ll be that apologetic to her. I should’ve just listened to NTA.

Sources: Reddit
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