This Redditor has a tradition of going on father-daughter lunch dates. But when he got a call from his daughter-in-law demanding to join, he shut her down and made her cry!
Tight Family Bonds
OP (Original Poster) is married and a proud father of both boys and girls. When the kids were younger, his wife realized he was spending more time with the boys, and she was spending more time with the girls.
To change this up, they arranged father-daughter and mother-son dates. It has been a tradition ever since.
Enjoying Time Together
All of OP’s kids are adults now, but they continue to do the dates every so often.
His youngest daughter picked a tea house for them to go to, and it just stuck as their preferred place after that.
OP’s oldest son has since gotten married to a girl named Sue. She’s nice, but OP mostly only sees her at holidays and other family events.
However, one day, OP unexpectedly received a call from Sue asking when the next tea time was. He was confused and asked her what she meant.
Trying to Squeeze In
His daughter-in-law responded that she knew about the father-daughter lunch dates. And, as if it would solve all the unanswered questions, she added, “I am your daughter-in-law.”
Not for Her
OP kindly explained to her that this lunch date was only a thing between him and his daughters. No one else was allowed on these.
Unable to Understand
Sue seemed to struggle with processing what he had told her. So, she repeated that she was his daughter-in-law, as if that once again explained everything.
Not My Blood
Finally, after they went back and forth several times, he outright told her that she “wasn’t his kid” and that she was not invited to these lunch dates.
She hung up immediately, and he hoped that was the end of it.
Not long after, OP received a call from his son—Sue’s husband—and was called a “jerk” for “not welcoming” her into the family. For his son, she was his daughter-in-law, so she deserved to be included in family events as well.
Source of the Problem
Later, when things seemed to have calmed down, OP managed to have another conversation with his son. During their talk, he found out that his son was the one who mentioned the lunch dates to Sue.
Pinpointing the Misunderstanding
They rehashed what had happened, with OP’s son explaining his side and how he had interpreted events. He thought OP “flipped out” on Sue since she was crying, which ultimately led to him calling his dad a “jerk.”
Coming Together in Harmony
OP then had a conversation with Sue where she apologized, and OP then apologized in turn for “being harsh.” It had all been a misunderstanding and not one worth the entire family being upset at each other over.
Finding Ways to Bond
Sue admitted to OP that she’d heard about the lunch date from his son—her husband—and thought it’d be a perfect way to “get closer to his daughters.”
Not One to Break Tradition
OP explained the history behind the father-daughter lunch dates, and Sue replied that she understood from the first call. She had just panicked because he’d told her ‘no’ so bluntly, and she ended up just repeating herself.
Water Under the Bridge
Sue confessed she was terribly embarrassed over the entire situation and wanted to know if she’d still be invited to the Halloween dinner that was coming up. Since the issue was over and done with, OP assured her that she was.
Tired of Being the Only Girl
She also went on to let OP know that she was genuinely interested in deepening her bond with her sisters-in-law because she’s the only girl on her side of the family. So, OP told her that she should reach out to his daughters herself but that trying to “force” her way into a tradition won’t help that pursuit.
OP then did his best to give Sue some ideas, such as suggesting that she invite his daughters to a winery or something along those lines.
Uncovering the Public Post
In an update, he noted that Sue had found his Reddit post. But since he hadn’t said anything unkind or malicious in his story, no further drama occurred.
What the Community Thinks
The community was torn on the issue but felt no one was the a**hole in the story.
One user said, “She probably had it in her head that she was invited and was just figuring out where and when to show up. When she was told that she wasn’t invited, she was likely shocked and hurt. She probably wasn’t at her sharpest when she responded, as most people don’t keep their composure in this situation. I vote for not the a**hole.”
Others clearly felt sympathy toward the daughter-in-law, with one Redditor saying, “Actually, I’m a bit sad for your daughter-in-law, not because you don’t accept her but because somebody told her that she could come and that it was important for her. I understand why you refused, but I also see how she could be sad about it because it was clearly important for her.”
Missing Out on a Beautiful Bond?
Others pointed out that this was a missed opportunity. Should OP have allowed Sue to come, it could have been a beautiful bonding experience for everyone.
One said, “Yeah, she’s not a birth daughter, but she’s part of the family now, and if you guys get along as already stated, I don’t get the harm in inviting her. It could’ve been a beautiful bonding experience.”
In contrast, some argued against this, with one Redditor saying, “Sure, all good points, but it’s not a family event like Thanksgiving or Christmas, but a father-daughter thing. One would not expect to be invited to something like that.”
Was Sue out of line? Do you think OP was right to maintain his exclusive father-daughter tradition, or should he have been kinder and included his daughter-in-law?
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This post first appeared as He Banned His Daughter-In-Law From Their Father-Daughter Lunches, Saying It’s for “His Kids.” He’s Labeled a “Jerk” for “Not Welcoming” Her Into the Family, but He’s Adamant She Can’t “Force Herself Into Their Traditions!” on Quote Ambition.