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Absent Father Walks Out Of Son's Wedding After Being Excluded From Speech

Photo: Marius Muresan via Unsplash / Ysbrand Cosijn via Shutterstock
bride and groom and man in suit

A devastated father posted to the AITA subreddit wondering if he was wrong to walk out of his son’s wedding after not getting a mention in the wedding speech.

In his post, the father wrote that his son, Justin, recently got married. However, Justin didn’t mention him in his speech — and it seems there was a reason for that. 

The father explained that he and his son never really got along because he was absent from his son's life.

“I wasn't physically involved in Justin's childhood because his mom and I got separated and I had to travel a lot for work so his stepdad was more available then I was,” he wrote. “During his teenage years, Justin started having fights with me saying stuff like I prioritized work over him…even though I provided for him financially but he claimed that ‘it's only because the law made me’ which isn't true at all.”

However, he mentioned that, in recent years, they had been getting along fine. He had even been acquainted with Justin’s wife before the ceremony. But things didn't go well at the wedding for the father.

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Despite paying for the wedding venue, the father still wasn't mentioned in his son's speech.

He felt disrespected after hearing his son’s speech that didn’t include him, so he got up and walked out.

“I felt so heavy I decided to leave the wedding early. I went home and broke down but then I calmed down,” the father wrote.

Later, Justin called him and asked why he did such a thing. The father tried to brush it off at first, but after Justin’s insistence, he opened up.

The father voiced his feelings but Justin ridiculed him for feeling that way.

The father wrote, “I asked him to respect how I felt but he argued he wasn't going to lie to make me happy. I asked what he meant because as far as I know, part of his wedding was paid for by me.” 

That discussion soon ended and they hung up. However, the father was quite upset, so he called Justin and this time, their discussion led to an argument. The father believed that he deserved a little respect since he paid for the wedding. However, Justin felt differently claiming, that he owed his father nothing. The man’s wife also agreed with Justin and told him how he had ruined his son’s wedding by walking out like that. 

So, the father went to Reddit to ask for an unbiased opinion.

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Gift-giving shouldn't have strings attached.

Many people claimed that he was just trying to compensate for his absence in his son’s life with money and that he had no right to feel upset.

“Tossing some money his way doesn't suddenly make you a dad or a very important part of his life," one person wrote, noting that money can't buy love and the biological father shouldn't have expected it to. 

Paying for the venue was a gift, and gifts shouldn't have strings attached, and as Susan Newman, a social psychologist and author of 'Nobody's Baby Now: Reinventing Your Adult Relationship With Your Mother and Father,' told the New York Times, gifting an adult child and expecting something in return is a type of controlling behavior. As another Reddit commenter pointed out, “You weren’t there for most of his life and now you’re surprised that you’re not as significant to him as his mom and step-dad who WERE there? Be grateful for the relationship you have now, be grateful you were even invited to the wedding.” 

Some people also pointed out that both of them were in the wrong. People felt that they could’ve handled the situation more maturely since they are adults.

“Of course you felt hurt that you weren’t mentioned. And of course your son was hurt that you weren’t around. You’re both hurt!" one person wrote. "Now start apologizing to each other and trying new approaches.”

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Sanika Nalgirkar, M.F.A. is a writer who covers entertainment & news, lifestyle, and pop culture topics.