He cared more for his son than his daughter and spent more time, attention, and money on him. No one can blame the girl if she feels like her father abandoned her!
Broken First Family
OP’s (Original Poster) first wife had drug problems, yet she still got primary custody of their son. Since OP was still young then, he never fought for him.
Understandably, when his son got older, they weren’t close, so he felt awkward asking him to live with them. Aside from that, the kid’s mother prevented them from communicating and moved around a lot.
This made it difficult for OP to spend time with his son until he got his phone. Thankfully, they were able to mend their relationship and now have a close bond.
Responsible and Intelligent
On the other hand, OP’s second wife is entirely different from his first wife. She’s hardworking and exceptionally successful financially as an engineer.
As a matter of fact, she makes more than OP. Just like his wife, OP’s daughter is a straight-A student and will return to school to be a nursing practitioner.
A Distant Daughter
However, OP’s wife is mad at him because he and his daughter aren’t close. She confides in her mom more and goes to her for everything, unlike OP, whom she doesn’t speak with much.
OP wrote, “We were close when she was young, but since high school, it’s like she pretends I don’t exist. I try to reach out, but it’s met with silence. I think my wife poisoned her against me because I have spent most of my money on my son.”
Zero Bills, Zero Effort
According to OP, his wife told his daughter that he didn’t pay a dime for her college and that his spouse provided all the savings. Sadly, this turned out to be true.
OP explained, “I didn’t really contribute to my daughter’s college fund. I didn’t pay for any piano lessons, etc.”
Sole Recipient of All His Efforts
The only thing OP did pay for is half of the family expenses, along with his wife, such as the mortgage. But his extra money has been going to his son.
Though it was mostly for child support, OP noted that he’d been contributing outside of what was required.
Barely Hanging On
OP’s son didn’t finish school with good enough grades for college, so he gave him money to upgrade them and helped him acquire a place to start his tertiary education. He was only able to finish two semesters before leaving because of depression.
He wrote, “He has a lot of issues from growing up with his mother, and I feel partly responsible because I didn’t try to fight for custody. I give him money for rent, and he has issues holding down a job, so he needs support.”
Missing a Traditional Detail
Recently, before OP shared his story, his daughter reached out to him with a schedule for her and her fiancé’s wedding. It had a mother-son dance but no father-daughter one, which confused OP.
A Foreseeable Result
With that, he asked his daughter, and she said, “We aren’t close enough for that.” OP was shocked and asked why she would think that.
Firm on her decision, she answered, “Well, you basically disinherited me.”
Leaving Her High and Dry
So, OP called her and asked her to explain. She reasoned that her mom paid for college and would help with her nurse practitioner degree.
She also accused OP of not “giving a crap” about her after middle school because of his son.
Just a Stranger
OP explained to his daughter everything she needed to know, most of which she was already aware of. Then, she said OP should have split his funds and balanced his time between them.
He wrote, “I told her I felt like I did, and she got angry and said I didn’t, and it’s like she was raised by a single mom, and that’s why she is uncomfortable with having a wedding dance with me because it would be a lie.”
From His Point of View
Still, he felt like he was fair to both his kids. He lived with his daughter, but he just didn’t pay for things besides food, mortgage, utilities, etc., because OP felt like his wife already had it covered.
To Favor One and Ignore the Other
On top of that, his son was getting nothing. OP’s ex-wife didn’t save anything, and OP wanted to help his son since he was having a more difficult time than his daughter, who had a responsible mother.
He added, “But she felt I was prioritizing my son and, in her words, ‘disinherited her.’ I feel like she should understand the situation, but she didn’t want me to be included in the wedding much at all.”
Redditors’ Two Cents
People of Reddit have chosen their verdict, and according to them, OP is the a**hole. He was clearly biased and treated his kids with inequality.
A Redditor said, “You’re the a**hole, and you sound like an all-around s***** parent to both your kids. You let your son stay with a drug-using mom and didn’t pay attention to your daughter. Why are you surprised she does not want to be around you?”
Another person wrote, “You’re the a**hole. You admit that you spent most of your money on your son, but you also throw in a line where your daughter accuses you of not splitting your ‘money and time.’ Seems like you left out details about how you failed your daughter. It sounds like she has plenty of reasons not to feel close to you.”
Yours to Fix
Parents ignoring their children is a common problem, but that doesn’t mean it’s justifiable. For users, OP should work on himself and try to fix his relationship with his daughter as much as possible, but if she doesn’t want to, that’s not surprising.
A commenter said, “I know you meant well, but you’re the a**hole. You fell into the very common, but still unacceptable, trap of ignoring the child you think didn’t need you, at least not like your son, and overcompensating with the child you perceive as needing more.”
The same Redditor wrote, “If you can manage a sincere apology and work on yourself through therapy, maybe your daughter will come around. Your end goal, however, should be to realize your mistakes and be better, not corral her into the relationship you want. She doesn’t owe you that.”
Have you ever seen yourself in a similar situation like OP? What would you do if you were in his shoes?
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This post first appeared as He Ditched His Daughter for His Son, Essentially “Abandoning” Her. Now She Refuses to Have a Father-Daughter Dance During Her Wedding, Claiming He “Disinherited” Her and Doesn’t Have the Right! on Quote Ambition.