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Father Cuts Off Financial Support to His Estranged Daughter, But What He Does with the Money Instead Is Truly Unprecedented.

In a tumultuous saga of family discord, the Original Poster (OP) grapples with the heart-wrenching decision to withdraw financial support from his estranged daughter, Lauren, sparking an inferno of conflict within the family. The climax crescendos as OP, torn between his principles and family peace, resolves to redirect the funds towards his supportive son, Ben, and his own early retirement.

The Separation

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OP, a divorced father, was always diligent about taking care of his two children, Ben and Lauren, both financially and emotionally. Despite splitting custody 50/50 with his ex-wife, he went above and beyond to ensure their needs and desires were met, including setting up a significant college fund. His relationship with his children, however, was starkly different: Ben was the enthusiastic son, always eager for his company, while Lauren was distant and detached.

The Silent Daughter

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Despite OP’s consistent efforts to establish a bond, Lauren began to pull away at an early age. Her withdrawal from her father seemed resolute and final, causing a deep chasm in the family dynamics. Therapy sessions didn’t help to bridge the gap, leaving OP with a feeling of loss and failure.

The Dissonant Siblings

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Ben, watching his sister’s cold attitude towards their father, grew resentful of Lauren. He found her behavior ridiculous, but OP always encouraged him to be understanding. This underlying tension further complicated the family relations, bringing additional stress to the father-son duo.

The Empty Nest

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The day Ben left for college was a pivotal moment for OP, making him feel like he’d lost his only child. Lauren’s silence continued, and the burden of trying to mend an unresponsive relationship became too heavy. Over time, OP grew accustomed to his estrangement from his daughter.

The Unexpected Call

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Several weeks later, OP received a surprising call from his ex-wife and Lauren. The call concerned Lauren’s college tuition and plans, a subject that hadn’t been broached for some time. However, OP sensed he was being involved not for his input but for his financial contribution.

The Standoff

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Feeling used, OP declined their request for his financial support towards Lauren’s education. He communicated his intent to redirect the funds that he had initially saved for Lauren’s college toward their son. This decision brought an uproar from his ex-wife, silence from Lauren, and support from Ben.

The Haunting Question

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OP was left with a pressing question – should he relent and pay for Lauren’s education? His decision had already caused a fallout, and he was torn between his sense of justice and preserving the peace in his family. He grappled with whether he was in the wrong for sticking to his decision.

The Decided Future

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OP decided to maintain his stance and not finance Lauren’s education. He planned to retire early, focus on his own life, and aid Ben in acquiring his first home. The finality of the decision left him resigned to a future without a relationship with Lauren.

The Distant Closure

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OP finally accepted the reality that his relationship with Lauren might never be mended. He decided not to be used as a mere ATM for her needs, realizing that his financial responsibilities would end with the cessation of child support. As painful as the truth was, he accepted it, understanding that he could not force a relationship that one party was not interested in maintaining.

The Therapy Void

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Over the years, Lauren had been going to therapy, a service financed by OP. After his decision to withdraw financial support, this arrangement was also destined to end. OP expressed a grim outlook on this, doubting that the absence of therapy would significantly affect Lauren, as it had not notably improved their family dynamics.

The Repercussions

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Lauren’s reaction to her father’s decision remained silent, an eerie echo of her long-standing demeanor toward him. OP’s ex-wife was furious at his decision to withdraw Lauren’s college funding, further straining their already brittle relationship.

The Acceptance of Reality

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OP started to come to terms with the prospect of a permanent estrangement from Lauren. Although the realization was painful, he started seeing it as unavoidable. He began to make peace with the fact that he might never mend his relationship with his daughter.

The Determined Mindset

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He realized that while he couldn’t control others’ actions, he could control his own – and for him, that meant refusing to be just a financial provider but a father who demanded respect and acknowledgment.

Was The Father’s Behavior Appropriate?

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OP remained conflicted about his lack of relationship with his daughter. He posted his story to an online community for feedback. The readers in the forum had strong views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:

Forum Responds

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One reader said, “Kids don’t just cut off their parents forever because they want to see their friends. Since you have the money saved, I do think you should give it to her for college. You have the right not to, but if you had any hope of her coming around as she gets older and building a relationship, you can forget it.”

Another Commenter Thinks

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Another responder wrote, “You’ve had years to discuss this with your ex and daughter, but instead, you waited until they were actively looking at schools to tell them that you had withdrawn support.”

A Third View on The Story

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A different person stated, “Parents are human beings. They aren’t infallible individuals with no feelings. Lauren is being incredibly selfish and extremely entitled to think she should be funded for college by a person she has chosen to ignore. OP is not a walking bank.”

A Final Perspective on the Matter

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Another reader commented, “It is your job to keep your relationship with your child open, not hers. She is a hurting child – your child – and you feel free to just walk away because she didn’t make it easy for you to love her.”

What Do You Think?

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What are your thoughts on their actions?

What would you have done in this situation?

This story is inspired by a Reddit thread.

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