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Man returns from Japan; parents throw 'surprise party' with ex and son; it backfires. UPDATED

Man returns from Japan; parents throw 'surprise party' with ex and son; it backfires. UPDATED


Surprise parties can majorly backfire, because of well - the element of surprise.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for not being excited when his parents threw him a surprise party with his son. He wrote:

"AITA for not being happy that my parents invited my son to my 'welcome party?'"

I'll try to make everything as easy to understand as possible, but of course, I can answer questions if I have to. So, when I (M29) was 21 I got a scholarship to study in Japan (I was a college student in the US). I was very excited to go, however, a girl I was seeing ended up pregnant (we were not together, but were exclusive).

Of course, I didn't want a baby with my fwb, and also it would ruin my opportunity to go to Japan. I begged her to have an abortion, since why would any of us want that baby? We were definitely not committed to each other. We had discussed abortions before (as many other subjects), so I knew that she didn't have a problem with abortions.

However, she decided that she was going to keep the baby. I told her that honestly I didn't want to be a father, but that I'll wait until the baby's birth because maybe I'll feel different then. I didn't change my mind when the baby was born. So we agreed that I wouldn't be an active father, but I'll fulfill all of my responsibilities.

I had to cancel my trip to Japan to get a better job so I could pay child support. Thankfully my parents also helped me so I moved in with them, I almost had to drop out of college but thankfully I was able to graduate. I still wanted to go to Japan, so when one of my ex classmates moved in there to work I asked him to let me know if there was any vacancy at his company. I got a job there and moved in October 2019.

Ever since, I couldn't come back to America, because of COVID and also because the rhythm of work there is harder, so I was always working and trying to advance in my career. Of course, I continued sending the money for my son. Well, the thing is that I have vacation now and I travelled for Thanksgiving.

I got here the week prior to Thanksgiving and my parents prepared a "welcome party" with our family and friends. They apparently got very close to my son when I was not here and they invited him and his mother. To be honest, I don't have any problems with them, but we don't have a close relationship either.

When I went to the backyard (where the guests were) I greeted them both, but I was feeling awkward and we didn't talk much. When everyone left my parents told me off because they expected me to be way happier about seeing my son.

We got into a bit of an argument and now my mother and father are upset at me for being so cold? I don't understand why they expected me to be happier, I don't know my son too much, he wasn't very excited to see me either. But it's been far too long and they're still upset, so I need some outsider POV since my friends are agreeing with me, but they might be doing it just to not argue with me.

Redditors had plenty to say.

AngelofSol80 had a big question:

NTA. We can't control how we feel and parents bonding with kids isn't some magical thing that always happens, and even less so when you've had little to no contact with the boy. Were you as upfront with your parents about not wanting to be involved in the child's life as you were with the mother? If so, they shouldn't be surprised.

If not, then I could see them being surprised, but they seem to be taking it personally despite the fact you don't seem to have any issue with them having a relationship. If you were trying to prevent them from having that relationship that would be another story, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Maybe assure them you are fine with them having that relationship and that you have no intention of standing in the way of that? Might help things simmer down.

And OP responded:

Yes, they know that I never wanted to have the baby. They've known my decision. They think I'm "changing too much and I behave like a workaholic" (they literally said that) but I was never close to the child so I don't know what they mean. Also, I don't have a problem with them being close to the child or his mother, I was just surprised because they never mentioned it over our phone calls.

TequilaMockingbird80 wrote:

I literally can’t read another story where the dream location is Japan, they moved to Japan, they love Japan. Every time I see Japan on here now I just assume the story is fake.

And OP responded:

Meh, Japan wasn't my dream location to be honest, I never thought I'd move there. But after I got offered that scholarship I felt proud and happy that I got it, and then I couldn't go so I was frustrated. My ex classmate told me how good his company was and I was working in a sh#$ty company here in the US.

Babygoth3000 wrote:

YTA it’s not about how you feel it’s about not letting a child realize you dgaf about them. And you’re entire back story makes you sound like a jerk. ‘Girl I was seeing ended up pregnant’ - you mean, you got the girl you were seeing pregnant.

ppsmol42069 wrote:

"I had a child and now don't want to parent."

Trust the Reddit mouthbreathers to empower this sort of behaviour. You're a father. Step up and be a father. Your kid isn't some utility bill you can settle at the end of every month with a payment. YTA like hell. And frankly, so is the mother of your child and your parents for allowing you to shirk your responsibilities like this.

Big_Albatross_3050 wrote:

NTA - you're not a deadbeat, you just didn't want a kid and she did and had him. You've done the minimum as the boy's father which is fine. You canceled your trip right after he was born specifically so you could have a good enough job that will take care of him.

You paused your life for a kid you didn't want and when the opportunity arose to live the life you wanted, while making sure he's looked after you took it, can't fault you for that. Your feelings are valid and considering your son doesn't care much either, the only relevant parties in this matter are satisfied with what's happened.

After receiving lots of conflicting feedback, OP jumped on with an update:

Edit: I'm sorry, I didn't realize this was not clear in the post. But I didn't kick my son or his mom out of the party, they stayed till the end. I greeted them, I asked him about his school and his martial arts classes and he told me he's doing fine, so I congratulated him. His mother hasn't texted me at all to tell me that the kid's sad after seeing me.

Clearly, no one can agree on this situation.

Sources: Reddit
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