Dad Paying For Son's Wedding When He Made His Brother Elope Splits Internet

Reddit is debating whether or not a father is right to pay for one son's wedding while he made his other son elope.

The original poster (OP), u/throwawaywedding267, earned over 7,400 upvotes and 1,500 comments for their post to the r/AmITheA**hole subreddit, "[Am I The A**hole] for paying for my sons wedding when I made my other son elope?"

The OP has two sons, "Carl," 38, and "Jacob," 36. He says that Jacob was the first to get married when he was 18. Since he thought Jacob was too young to marry and that being together one year wasn't enough time before marriage, he refused to pay for the wedding. Since Jacob didn't have enough money to pay for it either, the couple eloped.

One year after they got married, Jacob and his wife had a son. A year after that, they had a daughter, "Jade," but realized they weren't ready to have two children. In a comment, OP said that the issue wasn't financial, but that "taking care of two kids is too hard and they want to focus on raising their son."

"I was angry at them because I had warned him about it. I told him they are too young to have a kid, let alone two kids but they didn't listen to me," u/throwawaywedding267 wrote.

Since they rejected the OP's offer to let him and Jacob's mother help Jacob and his wife raise her, he was able to convince the couple to let them adopt Jade. Soon afterward, he and his wife moved to another city, and Carl moved with them. He added that though he and his wife are the official adopters of Jade, Carl raised her and she considers him her dad.

Cut to the present—and Carl is now getting married. His fiancée, "Maya," has been dating Carl for five years, and they got engaged last year. The OP calls Maya "amazing," and says she's been like a mom to Jade, and OP considers her his daughter.

At the same time, they recently made a family trip to see Jacob, as Jade was initially having difficulty after she found out she was adopted, but was ready to finally meet the people she considers her aunt and uncle.

During the visit, Jacob and his wife asked about Carl's upcoming nuptials, and Carl revealed that their father is paying.

"Jacob and his wife went mad. They told me its not fair that I'm paying for his wedding when I made them elope. They said I'm showing favoritism," u/throwawaywedding267 wrote, adding that Jacob won't speak to his dad until he earns his forgiveness.

wedding elope money aita reddit viral sons
A father paying for the wedding of one son while making the other elope has the internet debating if he's in the wrong. iStock/Getty

Sometimes a parent can be sad to discover they don't approve of their child's relationship. Not much can generally be done, Jenna Fletcher writes for PsychCentral, but she recommends a parent make their concerns known, but only once. Fletcher also urges strongly against ultimatums, as they add stress and force a choice between two people the offspring presumably cares greatly for.

As for paying for a wedding? Though it was traditional for either the families of the bride and groom to divvy up expenses, MarthaStewart.com says it's more common nowadays for the couple themselves to pay, and urges newlyweds to budget appropriately.

Reddit was split on who, if anyone, was in the wrong.

"[Not the A**hole]. Jacob and his wife are entitled [a**holes] who are more focused on what they can get than the fact that they abandoned their own child," u/Legally_Blonde_258 wrote in the top-rated comment with 11,100 upvotes.

"[Not the A**hole]— you and Carl already made it up to him— you raised his kid," u/Pumpkinkra agreed, suggesting a potential way the OP could "make things up" to Jacob: "'Sure— I matched the money into a college fund for Jade. You're welcome!'"

Redditor u/throwawayshirt laid out three reasons they think OP is in the wrong:

You kinda are [the A**hole]. Maybe not for the wedding $ but:

  1. Jacob is still married 16 years later, but you won't admit you were wrong about the relationship.
  2. Jacob and his wife (I notice she doesn't get a name) have a son, your grandchild, that you cut off bc you don't like his mom (he also doesn't get a name in your account).
  3. You adopted a child but let your other son raise her? What is wrong with you? It's like you adopted for spite, then let someone else do all the work.

"Soft [Everyone Sucks Here]. I get why jacob is mad. Especially if he's still married to the same person (showing that he wasn't too young to get married) Also, imagine the outcome if you would have been supportive from the beginning. Do you think if you would have been supportive he may have been able to raise both his kids?" u/wubbly-wump wrote. "I'm always baffled when parents treat their kids differently especially with finances and then are surprised when a kid resents them."

"I'm gonna say [You're the A**hole] here. You can't hold the fact that you adopted Jade over their heads forever. They didn't dump her on your doorstep and run off into a life of debauchery. They were young, felt they couldn't offer her a good quality of life and decided to put her up for adoption," u/nisharfa wrote. "If they had adopted her out to non-family members, nobody would be attacking them for 'not raising their kid'. Plenty of people have been adopted out by parents who felt they couldn't care for them. It is not fair to vilify them for it."

"So [You're the A**hole]. For not supporting Jacob, for arranging an adoption that you then held over their heads, for cutting contact with him, for keeping Jade in the dark about her adoption, for preferential treatment of Carl," they added.

"[You're the A**hole]. Not about paying for the wedding, no one is entitled to your money- but for shaming your son for recognizing his limitations in parenting, strong arming him into letting you adopt Jade and then throwing it in his face. Also, by going low contact with him you appear to have 'abandoned' your first grandchild," u/brigiliz wrote. "Its clear you like Carl better, that's okay. But you can't be mad at Jacob for feeling slighted, particularly after successfully being married for 18 years after going through some pretty hard times with none of your support. it seems like Jacob wasn't completely devoid of sense when picking a partner."

"[Everyone Sucks Here] except Jade, but not necessarily because of the money. As an adoptive parent, you don't wait until a child is 7 to tell them they were adopted. My 7yo has known since birth that she was adopted and still has questions and emotions about adopting. To Jade, it probably seems like she has been lied to her whole life," u/Agitated_Duck_129 wrote.

"No, [Not the A**hole]. I get it. First off, be fair, it's your money. You get to do what you want with it. Second, you had serious red flags on Jacob's relationship. I get not wanting to give that your blessing. It was half his life ago, and if he's still acting like this over it, that's on him, not you," u/BusyDadGaming wrote.

Newsweek reached out to u/throwawaywedding267 for comment.