In a complex weave of estrangement and financial obligations, the Original Poster (OP) finds himself at the center of a familial conflict with his son Marty, born from a one-night stand eighteen years ago. After years of distant financial support, a desperate call for college tuition ignites a heated exchange that forces OP to confront his detached fatherhood. The story unfolds when OP’s reluctant involvement takes a surprising turn, leaving readers questioning if the strained relationship can find redemption.
A Stray Night
OP, a college student, has a one-night stand with a girl named Jade. To their surprise, Jade becomes pregnant and decides to keep the baby. Although he doesn’t like the idea of having kids, OP accepts financial responsibility for the child, Marty.
A Solo Journey
Jade, having never found another partner after her encounter with OP, raises Marty alone. She does a commendable job despite the challenges. OP and Jade remain on friendly terms, with minimal contact between OP and Marty.
The Academic Ambition
Now an 18-year-old high school graduate, Marty aspires to attend college. However, tuition is steep, and Jade, a single parent, can’t afford it. This economic hardship prevents her from supporting Marty’s higher education.
The Unexpected Call
Marty, in need, secures OP’s number from Jade and calls him for financial aid. He argues that given OP’s well-paying job, he should at least fund his college tuition and support Marty’s educational needs, a fatherly duty that he’s never undertaken. This takes OP by surprise.
The Unyielding Stance
OP flatly refuses Marty’s request. He emphasizes that he’s been paying child support and additional money to Jade for Marty’s entire life. After all, his deal was to finance Marty’s upbringing, not to involve himself in it.
The Accusations Fly
Marty accuses OP of selfishness and denies his paternal obligation. OP retorts that his obligation was fulfilled by ensuring Marty’s well-being until adulthood. Despite this, Marty still feels deprived.
The Silent Contributions
OP points out his contributions made through Jade over the years. He provided money for extracurriculars, occasionally covering bills and groceries during difficult times. Yet, Marty seems to overlook these efforts and money that were provided throughout his life.
The Mother’s Verdict
Jade agrees with OP’s decision and expresses gratitude for his ongoing financial support. She reminds Marty of his other potential avenues to finance his education. However, her stance strains her relationship with Marty.
The Brewing Storm
Marty becomes irate at Jade for siding with OP. He labels OP as unsupportive, believing his father has done nothing substantial for him throughout his entire life, only the bare minimum that was legally required. This escalates the tension between the trio.
The Unveiling Truth
In the face of Marty’s accusations, OP and Jade reveal a hidden twist. OP has not only paid child support but also covered other unexpected costs over the years. Marty begins to hear his mother’s explanation but still doesn’t accept his father’s indirect involvement in his life.
The Revelation’s Aftermath
Marty, overwhelmed by the newfound truth, goes into a state of silence. He’s torn between his initial feelings of abandonment and the reality of his father’s support. This introspection brings a temporary calm to the situation.
The Scholarship Opportunity
Meanwhile, an unexpected turn of events arises. Jade learns of a scholarship that Marty may qualify for, providing a chance for Marty to fund his education. However, the competition is tough.
With the scholarship application deadline looming, Marty is under pressure. Struggling with the extensive application process, he contemplates reaching out to OP for assistance.
The Offered Assistance
Despite their differences, OP offers to help Marty with the scholarship application. He draws upon his college experiences, providing insights and guidance. His assistance comes as a surprise to Marty.
The Estranged Bond
Following the joint scholarship work, Marty finds himself grappling with his feelings toward OP. While he still harbors resentment for his father’s emotional absence, he can’t deny the recent support he received. This contradiction further confuses his feelings about OP.
Marty decides to confront OP about their strained relationship. He expresses his feelings of abandonment and the impact of OP’s absence on his life. Simultaneously, he acknowledges OP’s recent help and financial contributions over the years.
The New Beginnings
In the face of their past issues, OP and Marty agree to take small steps toward improving their relationship. They recognize that the journey might be challenging, given their history. However, they commit to understanding each other better, setting the stage for a new chapter in their lives.
Was The Man’s Behavior Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “Don’t pretend that you don’t deserve to be called an unsupportive bum by your son. It absolutely sounds like the truth, given what you’ve written. You gave Jade the monetary support, not your kid.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “If OP were a woman, he would probably have interrupted the pregnancy or put the baby up for adoption because he didn’t want to have children. But that’s not a choice he can make. He paid for support until his son entered adulthood.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “You do understand that your son is a human being, right? He is your son and not just an obligation, and he is in no way responsible for you conceiving him.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “I give you credit for being financially responsible. What others may forget is that there are some custody situations where, in order to not pay child support, the father gives up all parental rights to the child. I can only assume that you paid because you do feel a sense of responsibility. Which is a credit to you.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a Reddit thread.