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Man gets cut from father-daughter wedding dance, says 'fine, I'm not your dad anymore.'

Man gets cut from father-daughter wedding dance, says 'fine, I'm not your dad anymore.'


Parenting a kid after a separation can be even more difficult than parenting them before.

Managing the complications of shifting custody, child support, and the added presence of new step-parents can fracture an already complex relationship. And this doesn't even touch on the relationship shifts that happen once a kid reaches adulthood.

Because of the symbolism and emphasis on family hierarchy, weddings can be a particularly intense time for these dynamics, and regular commenters on the AITA subreddit know this all too well.

In one popular post, a dad asked if he's wrong for telling his daughter he'll no longer be doing 'father duties' after she told him she didn't want to do the father-daughter dance with him.

He wrote:

AITA for telling my daughter that I'm no longer her father on the eve of her wedding?

I (M58) have a daughter Jackie (F24) who was married recently. Jackie's mother and I divorced when she was 2 and they settled in Texas while I'm in New York. I also have a son Mike (M28).

Their mother married Joe (M70??) when Jackie was about 15. I don't have a particularly high opinion of Joe, but no real complaints about him either. Jackie always seemed lukewarm about him.

Despite the distance, I visited every six weeks, would facetime my kids *minimum* one a week. Paid all child support and supported and did anything else ever asked of me. It was VERY expensive to do this, but I never balked, never complained.

I was there for every big event, and also any small event they ever asked me to attend. Jackie was having a very big wedding and I contributed a lot of money towards it. As in more than half the budget.

At the rehearsal dinner, we were going over some of the discussions about the wedding and I brought up walking her down the aisle and the father-daughter dance. Jackie got very silent and told me that she already asked Joe to do it.

I said to her 'but I'm your father.' She tells me she really appreciates how kind, loving and generous I had always been towards her but that she had to make a hard choice. I tell Jackie that I feel unbelievably betrayed.

I also feel very manipulated that she is springing this on me the day before the wedding. Especially after she had me pay the lion's share of the costs.

I asked Jackie if she knew that I wouldn't be getting the father of the bride role when she took the money and she went dead silent. I told her that if I'm not her father at her wedding, then she can't call upon me to be her father elsewhere in her life.

If I've spent 24 years doing the work, paying for college, paying for her wedding, flying all around the country and carrying all the freight of being a parent.

But on the biggest day of her life (her words), if she's pointing to another man as her father, then that's a life choice. Joe can take over paying for her law school tuition and that I'm changing my will to leave everything to Mike.

I'm willing to maintain a relationship, but it won't be a father-daughter relationship anymore. She starts screaming at me how it is her wedding and it is her right to say who is a father to her and who isn't.

So I ask her 'So you are free to determine who is a father to you? I can't stop you. But if you can decide who is and isn't your father, then don't complain that I'm also free to decide who is and who isn't my daughter.'

She then told me I am a sh*t father for abandoning her on the eve of her wedding. I told her that she was the one to announce a change to the relationship.

She can't tell me I'm not a father to her and then have me continue considering her a daughter. Also, she chose to announce all this on the eve of the wedding. So, that's my story. AITA?

EDITS to answer common questions:

-- No, I didn't find it odd that there wasn't any discussion of it before the rehearsal dinner. I've been in a few weddings, the instructions are usually pretty simple--stand here, walk out to this song and then go there. Obviously wish I asked about it.

-- She never gave me a straight answer as to why she didn't choose me. Just that it was 'a hard decision, but it is her decision.' Some people ask if her mother might have pressured her. I suspect that, as does my son, but ultimately I have no proof.

-- Something I get a lot is that the relationship was all about money. Summing up a 24 year history and relationship as well as the actual conflict in 3000 words can't get everything.

I obviously can't teleport, so I can't have been in Texas every other weekend. But we talked all the time and about all of the things in her life.

Giving her advice on getting into law school (I'm a lawyer), talking about her relationships (she'd always ask me for my advice), telling me about her friends--everything. It isn't like I was just paying child support and f**king off.

People weighed in with their thoughts and hot takes.

Specific-Quick wrote:

NTA you are simply following her lead because she told you how she expects the future of the relationship to go. Walk away go NC and she'll probably eventually be reaching back out crying I would take it with caution.

jotefr1983 wrote:

NTA. Why couldn't she have both of you walk her down the aisle? I've heard of that before, then no one gets hurt.

I'm going with NTA but more on the fact that they hid this from you until the eve of the wedding.

Bibingka_Malagkit wrote:

The money part, that's your call but my guess is that they hid this 'fact' from you until the very last minute, else you might pull-out of funding a large chunk of the wedding.

Not sure about the dynamics of their relationship with his step-father but it's plausible that despite what you did to support your daughter, he might have done significantly better. It's just that you maybe aren't aware of.

Things like this should have been discussed properly during the planning phase.

Opposite-Guide-9925 wrote:

NTA. What a kick in the nuts, I can see why you're hurting. I do have two questions. You said the mother go remarried when Jackie was 15.

How long had they been together before that? It would seem odd she formed a father-daughter relationship with Joe if it was particularly close to her 15th birthday that he came into her life.

Didn't it strike you as a little odd that by the time of the rehearsal dinner you hadn't had any discussion about your role in the wedding? That would've been a warning bell for me.

ContentedRecluse wrote:

NTA She was very manipulative to not tell you this until the day before the wedding. She absolutely knew what she was doing.

She got what she needed from you before she told you that you weren't going to be the father of the bride. If she had told you in advance, I would have had more respect for her decision.

OP added an update after receiving a lot of feedback:

I couldn't put it in the main entry due to character limitations, but she called me sobbing the next day as I was getting ready to go to the airport. She told me she made a mistake and never thought it would hurt me so much.

I told her that people make mistakes and mistakes can be forgiven if people are honest about them and look to make them right. She said she was.

I said if she wants to make it right, I'm still willing to go to her wedding and put the whole thing behind me if she puts things right by having me as the father of the bride. She says she can't do that.

Then I ask her how it is she can call me, apologizing and saying yesterday's decision was a mistake when she's being given the chance to re-do it and choosing to do the exact same thing.

I told her that she wasn't actually sorry or consider it a mistake, but rather that she just didn't like the consequences. I also told her to never call me Dad again. I'll still talk to her and have a relationship with her, but I'm not her father anymore and she should call me Rodrigo (fake name) from now on.

Sadly, it looks like OP's relationship with his daughter will forever be fractured moving forward, through no fault of his own.

Sources: Reddit
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