This man raised a strong and independent woman. However, when it came to her wedding, it seemed like her independence became borderline rude and selfish!
His Independent Daughter
OP (Original Poster) is a 48-year-old man with a 19-year-old daughter. She’d always been independent, and OP was proud of that fact.
He said, “I raised her to be independent and think for herself, which I’ve always appreciated.” However, they recently got into a conflict.
His daughter got engaged and decided she didn’t want her dad, OP, to walk her down the aisle.
She argued that OP and her mom didn’t “own” her, so they had “no right to give her away.”
As a dad, OP was hurt. He said he and his wife never treated their daughter like an “object or piece of property.”
OP wrote, “Rather, we’ve tried our best to provide her with a wonderful life.”
For OP, his daughter’s beliefs were a bit “extreme.” He said, “Despite discussions, she’s refusing to budge on the issue.”
While he respects his daughter’s feelings, he believes she’s, in some way, disregarding his and his wife’s emotions.
Because of his daughter’s adamant refusal, OP ultimately decided he won’t pay for her wedding.
He said, “I don’t want to come across as controlling or manipulative. It’s true. I don’t ‘own’ her. I also don’t owe her a fully-funded wedding. She can pay for her own wedding if she’s insistent on this stance.”
It’s Not About Me
OP argues that his stance on the issue isn’t so that the wedding would be all about him.
He said, “Walking her down the aisle—while all eyes are on her anyway—and then sitting down is hardly making the wedding about me.” However, his issue is about his daughter’s attitude when it comes to everything.
A Selfish Decision
He mentioned that his daughter had had “every opportunity in life so far.” So, to exclude OP and his wife from this day felt like a “spit in the face.”
OP wrote, “It’s a rejection of everything we’ve done for her, sacrificed for her, given her. It’s selfish.”
It’s Not About Ownership
OP also listed other wedding traditions and attempted to explain that walking his daughter down the aisle isn’t meant to be a show of ownership.
He said, “Ninety percent of wedding traditions and symbolism had roots in things we don’t acknowledge today. Should we stop all of them? The rings, the flowers, the dress, the wedding party, the cake, the flower girls. A father walking his daughter down the aisle has been about respect, pride, love, and honoring the father-daughter relationship for far longer than it was about ownership.”
Though OP’s proud that his daughter’s independent and can take care of herself, he said that her independence and confidence do not give her a license to disregard or disrespect others’ feelings.
He wrote, “Independent thinking does not mean rude or selfish thinking. Being an independent thinker does not give someone the license to disregard or disrespect the thoughts, feelings, or perspectives of others. Independent thinking is about maintaining the ability to think critically and form one’s own opinions while remaining respectful and considerate of others. It is a balance between asserting individuality and engaging in meaningful and respectful interactions with others.”
A Strong Relationship
OP also noted that not paying for his daughter’s wedding in full does not mean he’ll abandon her or turn his back on her. He believed something like this would not ruin their relationship.
In fact, he said that they were still close to each other despite the issue. He said, “There is zero chance of her not inviting us to her wedding—regardless of who pays for it—or cutting off contact and withholding grandchildren. I feel sorry for anyone who suggests that as a possibility. Likewise, there is zero chance of us refusing to go to the wedding or cutting her out of the will. In life, people disagree—even strongly—it’s a natural part of life. We don’t end life-long relationships over it.”
The Gift I’ll Give
Instead of fully funding the wedding, OP decided to gift her daughter the same amount he gave her older sister during her wedding. He told her that she could use the money however she wanted to.
Though his daughter was still adamant about not wanting him to walk her down the aisle, she agreed to figure out a way to include OP and his wife that doesn’t involve anything close to “giving her away.”
OP wrote, “We are still in the early wedding planning stages, and she is almost 20. So she will likely be 21 before the actual marriage.” He also noted that he approved of his future son-in-law, so there’s no problem in that aspect.
Agree to Disagree
Though OP and his daughter have disagreements, they both believe it’s nothing worth ending their relationship over.
OP said, “My daughter is laughing hilariously at all of you that are saying she will disinvite us from the wedding or cut us off from grandkids. I just feel sorry for you all. That is petty and manipulative, and regardless of what you all say, I’ve raised her better than that.”
Redditors’ Thoughts and Suggestions
For people in the community, there’s no problem with what his daughter wants nor his decision to not fund the wedding.
A person said, “You don’t ‘own’ her. Why are you paying for a wedding to give away a possession you don’t own? Not the a**hole and less financial stress for you!” Another wrote, “He doesn’t have to own her to pay for the wedding but pay for it as a gift or out of love. But it doesn’t matter if he owns her or not; he is not responsible to pay regardless.”
What Were Your Intentions?
Some people also question OP’s true intentions for offering to fund the wedding.
One said, “I can understand why your feelings are hurt. However, were you planning on paying for the wedding as a gift to your child to celebrate their marriage or because you would get to symbolically give your child away to a spouse? Were you only going to fund the wedding because ‘you own your child,’ therefore if you don’t own your child, you don’t owe paying for a wedding, per your attempt at throwing in your child’s face their stated reason for not wanting to be given away? Your child isn’t saying that you treated your children like property, but they probably see the symbolism and where this tradition stems from and don’t wish to participate. Try to respect your child’s independent thinking and point of view, and you shouldn’t expect your children to always compromise their principles because of your feelings.”
Do you think there’s something wrong with OP’s logic? What do you think about this issue?
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This post first appeared as His Daughter Told Him He Doesn’t “Own” Her and Has No Right “To Give Her Away.” So, He Won’t Give a Penny Because He Doesn’t Owe Her a “Fully-Funded Wedding!” on Quote Ambition.