The Original Poster (OP) recounts the emotional turmoil surrounding her daughter Mia’s upcoming wedding, with Mia’s desire to have her estranged, often absent father walk her down the aisle, creating rifts within the family. As the past resurfaces, memories of a narcissistic partner, lavish compensations, and a stepfather’s dedicated care clash dramatically. With threats issued and loyalties tested, the family stands on the brink of irrevocable change.
OP was in a tumultuous relationship with a controlling, narcissistic partner. His emotional abuse and constant gaslighting caused OP immense pain. Together, they brought a daughter, Mia, into the world.
When Mia turns eight, her father leaves the family behind. Even as he globe-trots, he ensures $1,500 monthly for her care. But his absence on special days, like holidays and birthdays, leaves Mia with a wounded heart.
Mia’s birthdays pass without her father, bringing tears and meltdowns each time. To make amends, he sends lavish gifts—gaming consoles and luxury makeup. But objects can’t replace his presence.
Wedding Plans Begin
Time flies, and soon, 22-year-old Mia is preparing for her wedding. Amid the excitement and guest list planning, the subject of who will walk her down the aisle becomes a focal point of conversation.
Mia’s Surprise Revelation
Avoiding the topic initially, Mia finally admits she wants her birth father by her side on the big day. She reasoned that his financial support over the years shows he still cares about her and wants to be involved in her life.
A Stepfather’s Heartbreak
OP’s husband, who raised Mia, feels the weight of her decision and voices his pain, feeling overlooked despite years of love and care. In his hurt, he seeks solace at a local bar. His years of dedication to Mia feel undermined by her recent choice.
Letters in Secret
Mia reveals to her mother that she’s maintained correspondence with her absent father. Their letters exchanged over time have kept their connection alive, unbeknownst to OP. Her birth father also bought her a car four years ago and gave her money to buy a purebred puppy.
Overwhelmed by emotions, OP gives Mia a threatening choice. Either she forgoes inviting her birth father, or OP won’t attend or lend her a wedding dress. Mia cries dramatically and runs out of the room.
When she recovers, Mia’s response to her mother’s ultimatum is heartbreaking. She chooses her father, saying he is always available to talk even though he’s not present in person, leading to further fractures in the mother-daughter bond.
As word spreads about the disagreement, the family reacts. Accusations of heartlessness are directed at OP, intensifying her isolation. While OP’s husband did spend several years raising Mia, he wasn’t always the perfect dad either.
The relationships within the family stand at a precarious point. The pain of Mia’s earlier years, marked by her father’s absence, resurfaces. Yet, she can’t forget the material comforts he provided, complicating her emotions.
The Stepfather’s Struggle
OP’s husband grapples with feelings of inadequacy and rejection. OP is torn between her traumatic past with Mia’s father and her daughter’s wishes. Her protective instincts wrestle with her desire to see Mia happy.
While Mia yearns for her birth father’s presence, she’s confronted with the consequences of her decision. As the wedding approaches, family members and friends weigh in. Their perspectives and advice add to the unfolding drama.
Was The Mother’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts her story online to find out if the whole world thinks she’s the villain in this story. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “You and your husband can be disappointed and hurt, but she’s allowed to have a good relationship with her birth dad even if he was an abusive partner and absent father in the past.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “Daughter is not entitled to the wedding dress or her mother’s attendance either. A man who sends money but does not do any emotional leg work is a deadbeat ATM dad.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “It’s honestly Mia’s choice. If my ex, who was a verbally abusive alcoholic, was the one that she wanted to walk down the aisle with, then I have to deal with it. It’s been 20+ years. I have no reason to fear for my safety, and I don’t have to interact with him.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “I feel like you and he could’ve done a better job explaining to her why this is such a problem. Before making your decision, there was a missed chance to de-escalate the situation.”
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 thread from an online forum.