Excluded from Graduation: My Daughter’s Decision Amidst her Father’s Ultimatum

A mother and her daughter grew close after the father left for a new family. A week before the daughter’s graduation party, she expressed a desire to invite her estranged father, with attendance conditioned on her mother not being present.

The woman, in her 40s, shared her story on the “AITA” subreddit on June 1, 2022. Despite B’s close relationship with her father in her younger years, his remarriage at eight led to abandonment and rebellious behavior. B, now 18, attended therapy but hadn’t seen her father since she was 12, despite promises of rekindling their relationship. B and her mother shared a strong bond, with B calling her mother her “best friend.”

As B’s graduation neared, she wanted her father at the celebration, leading to an ultimatum: the mother couldn’t attend if the father did. Hurt and betrayed, the woman confronted B, resulting in a heated argument. The night before the graduation, the woman pleaded with B to change her mind, but B remained resolute.

On graduation day, the woman woke to find B in tears. B revealed her father had abandoned her again, and he was unresponsive. Despite this, the woman advised B to make the most of the graduation. B questioned her mother’s attendance, fearing embarrassment. The woman expressed regret and apologized, but B, in anguish, labeled her a bad mom.

Despite the turmoil, the woman chose not to attend, teaching her daughter about consequences. B appeared despondent since the graduation. The woman wrestled with regret, seeking guidance and questioning if her lesson was too harsh.

In an update, B had consistently favored her father over the past decade. B’s therapist confirmed an idealized version of her relationship with her father. In a conversation, the woman apologized, expressing feeling left out. B apologized but insisted uninviting her mother was for the best.

Feeling bitter, the woman acknowledged her limits and expressed frustration. She affirmed her commitment but questioned continuing if the pattern persisted. The aftermath involved attempted contact with B’s father, who accused B of aggression. B blamed her mother for the relationship breakdown, left for college, and cut off communication.

The woman, despite pain, felt relief, started therapy, and went on a date. Readers were asked if the woman should have forgiven her daughter and attended the graduation.

Comments from Readers

What do you think about this story? Do you think the woman should have forgiven her daughter and attended her graduation ceremony?

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