A man recently turned to Reddit after deciding to skip his son’s wedding. Instead of going to the ceremony, he’d spent the day with that same son’s ex-wife. It sounds bad – and is. But don’t cast your judgment just yet. The guilt may lie elsewhere. Here’s the story:
The Original Poster (OP) started by talking about his son’s first marriage. After high school, he moved out of state to attend college, where he soon met and fell in love with a girl. Aged 19, they got married – a decision OP had tried to dissuade him from making. In his opinion, his son was too immature.
Regardless, they went ahead and dropped out, then moved back to OP’s home town and had two children over the next couple of years.
Their Daughter-in-Law Wasn’t Happy
It wasn’t long after they had their first child that OP’s daughter-in-law (DIL) started to seem unhappy. At first, they put it down to PPD. But that changed when his son and DIL separated following the birth of their second. She’d bring the kids around to visit and started telling OP what had been happening.
OP didn’t give specific details, but whatever she’d revealed was serious enough that he confronted his son multiple times to talk with him about the marriage. His son refused to accept responsibility for whatever had happened.
He Got a New Girlfriend
His son and DIL entered counseling, which seemed to make a difference on the surface. But a year later she filed for divorce and three days after that OP’s son announced his new girlfriend on Facebook. They got engaged a month after.
They Helped the DIL
OP went on to reveal that his son had essentially forced his first wife to become a permanent stay at home mom. But she didn’t know anyone – she’d moved there to be with OP’s son and had no friends or family. Knowing her predicament, OP and his wife went behind their son’s back to help her. They got her an apartment and gave her financial support when she needed it.
They Received the Wedding Invitation
OP’s son didn’t even wait until the divorce was finalized to send out invitations to his second wedding. OP decided not to attend, and told his son that he didn’t have his blessing for it either. He even stopped his son from bringing his fiancé to their house.
He Didn’t Go
While his wife chose to go, OP and his daughter both decided not to attend the wedding. Where did they go instead? To spend the evening with his son’s ex. OP hated the thought of her being there by herself, while her children went to their dad’s wedding. They went out for the evening instead, tried to keep her mind off what was happening, and reassured her that they still saw her as part of the family.
As you’d expect, his son’s ex was incredibly grateful for their thoughtfulness. His son, on the other hand, wasn’t happy. The day after the wedding, he phoned to tell OP what a horrible father he was for not going. Later on, when he found out where OP had been, he said it “was the ultimate form of betrayal.”
OP’s Happy with His Decision
Despite the problems with his son, OP’s confident he made the right decision. The only thing he regrets is that his wife did choose to go. After posting the story on Reddit, which went semi-viral at the time – it soon became clear that everyone else was firmly on his side, too…
Unsurprisingly perhaps, people on Reddit thought his son had behaved horribly and that OP was firmly in the right. In response to the part of the tale where the son announced his new girlfriend just 3 days after the divorce was filed, the most upvoted comment said, “Eww. The best children are the ones you choose.”
Another wrote, “He’s honestly giving me either narcissistic or even potentially abusive vibes unfortunately. I feel bad for his ex wife. I think it’s good that he’s seeing boundaries from OP and his sister because he sounds like he needs more experience being told no or that he’s wrong.”
His Son Doesn’t Value His Relationships
One Reddit user was confused. “Why would anyone care to earn a relationship with someone who clearly puts no value on the relationships he already had? He didn’t care when OP said from the get-go he wouldn’t attend, because he just assumed he would get his way in the end. The only relationship this guy values is the relationship with that guy in the mirror.”
OP Doesn’t Respect the Son
Someone else chimed in with a one-sentence summary of the situation: “The whole post is basically OP describing why his son is someone he doesn’t respect.”
What Do You Think?
Can you empathise with OP’s son at all? Or is it obvious that he’s the bad guy? Should OP have attended the wedding to support his own kin? Or was he right to take a stand and show his disapproval? Drop a comment to let us know!
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