Why Was the Woman Upset?
The woman felt deeply upset when her daughter expressed the desire to invite her estranged father to her upcoming graduation party, just one week before the event. However, the father’s willingness to attend came with a condition that left the woman concerned and emotional.
On June 1, 2022, an anonymous woman in her 40s shared her story on the “AITA” subreddit. She had an 18-year-old daughter, B, who had been very close to her father during her early years, despite her parents breaking up before her birth.
However, their relationship changed when B turned eight, and her father got married, becoming distant and eventually abandoning her for his new family. This abandonment had a profound impact on B, leading to rebellious behavior. Despite her struggles, B attended therapy and appeared to be managing well.
B hadn’t seen her father since she was 12, and he spoke to her only a few times a year, often making empty promises of rebuilding their relationship. Nevertheless, B and her mother shared a strong bond, often doing everything together, and B referred to her mother as her “best friend,” highlighting the closeness between them.
As B’s graduation neared, the woman was eagerly looking forward to the event. However, a week before the graduation party, B approached her mother with a surprising request: she wanted to invite her father and his son to the celebration. The condition set by her father was that the woman could not attend the event if he were to come.
Feeling deeply hurt and betrayed by this ultimatum, the woman expressed her anger towards B, feeling unforgivably betrayed. In response, B explained that she wanted her father to be a part of her significant life moments, just as her mother had been present for many of them. This disagreement escalated into a heated argument between them.
On the night before the graduation, the woman made a desperate plea to her daughter, hoping to change her mind about inviting her father. Despite the emotional conversation, B remained resolute, saying, “I’m sorry, but I’m not changing my mind.” Devastated, the woman left, her heart burdened with sorrow, and cried until her sister intervened. Her sister suggested they go out during the graduation to help divert her thoughts, a suggestion the woman accepted.
On the morning of the graduation, as the day arrived, the woman woke up to find her daughter in tears. Looking at the time, she realized the ceremony was about to begin in mere minutes. Perplexed, she asked B why she hadn’t left yet. B, her voice filled with disappointment, revealed that her father had once again abandoned her and was no longer responding. The woman hugged her daughter tightly, offering support and advising her to make the most of her graduation despite the challenging situation.
In response, B questioned whether her mother would still attend the graduation now that her father wasn’t coming, fearing the embarrassment of being the only one without parents present. The woman expressed regret, offering another apology, and explained that she had prior commitments. B, overwhelmed with anguish, screamed at her mother, labeling her a bad mom.
Despite the turmoil, the woman made the difficult choice not to attend the ceremony, standing firm in her decision to teach her daughter that actions have consequences, even though it shattered her to do so.
Since B’s return from the graduation, she has remained silent, appearing deeply despondent and as if she had been crying for an eternity.
The woman found herself grappling with regret, questioning whether her decision had been too harsh. Her sister supported her choice, but a comment from another school mom about B’s apparent depression at the graduation weighed heavily on her conscience. In this emotional turmoil, the woman sought guidance and wondered if she had been wrong in trying to impart a lesson to her daughter.
In a further update a day after her original post, the woman shared that her daughter, B, had consistently chosen her father over her for the past decade. When she consulted B’s therapist, there was no indication of manipulation. Instead, B was holding onto an idealized version of her relationship with her father.
In their conversation, the woman apologized to her daughter for not attending the graduation and expressed her feelings of being left out and unappreciated. B also apologized and expressed her love, wanting things to return to normal.
However, when asked if she regretted uninviting her mother, B insisted it was for the best, as she preferred her father’s presence. This deeply hurt the woman, who confronted B about her disregard for her feelings. B remained resolute, stating that she would always prioritize her father, even if he might not show up.
Feeling bitter and angry, the woman acknowledged her limits, realizing that she might not be as forgiving in the future if B’s behavior continued. Despite the potential for backlash, the woman expressed her frustration at not being regarded with the same importance as her daughter’s father.
She reaffirmed her commitment to being there for B in the future but questioned her willingness to continue this pattern if it extended to significant life events like future graduations or weddings. She regretted not following the advice she received from the online community, the majority of whom deemed her “Not the A**hole” (NTA).
In her final update in October 2022, the woman reflected on her handling of the situation, acknowledging that she had acted immaturely by asking her daughter if she regretted uninviting her. She clarified that despite being referred to as her daughter’s “best friend,” she maintained a parenting role, which included discipline.
Following the graduation incident, the woman tried to reach out to her daughter’s father (referred to as F) and received a letter in response. F claimed that their daughter had been aggressive and threatening toward him and his family, which led him to distance himself. He accused B of stalking and threatening his family and insisted he had tried to have a healthy relationship with her.
The woman then had a conversation with B about these accusations, which resulted in a confrontation. During this confrontation, B blamed her mother for the breakdown in her relationship with her father. Subsequently, B left for college, cutting off contact and refusing to communicate.
Despite the pain, the woman expressed a sense of relief, as her self-esteem had suffered throughout the ordeal. She started therapy, experienced a slight improvement in her well-being, and even went on a date for the first time in a decade without feeling guilty. She acknowledged the imperfections in her relationship with B and recognized the challenging circumstances they both faced.
Comments from Readers
What do you think about this story? Do you think the woman should have forgiven her daughter and attended her graduation ceremony?