'He Had Chosen': Dad Banned From Eldest Son's Graduation Slammed

A father is being slammed after being banned from his eldest son's graduation for treating his son as if he's less-than.

Writing for the popular r/AmITheA**hole Reddit forum, u/Cheap-Tour9949 earned over 10,200 upvotes and 900 comments in seven hours for his post, "[Am I The A**hole] for giving my dad his money back in front of his other kids and telling him he was no longer welcome at my graduation?"

The original poster (OP) says he's nearly always had a fraught relationship with his father. His dad divorced his mom when he was 4, and for a while they had a good relationship, but when he was 10, his father met the woman who'd become his new wife.

"They got married when I was 12 but I would say even before that I felt like he prioritized her kids over me a lot," u/Cheap-Tour9949 wrote.

He says that he felt like his father was favoring his new family, as whenever he wanted to do something, his dad would either cancel, or change the plans to do whatever the new kids wanted to do.

"Think going for a hike with me vs taking them to an indoor play area. Or seeing a movie with me vs the kiddie park," he wrote.

In a more egregious example of favoritism, he says that when he broke his arm, his father didn't come to the hospital because one of his other children was having their tonsils out and wanted both parents there. In another instance, u/Cheap-Tour9949's dad was supposed to get a ticket to go to a concert by an artist he and his son love—but at the last minute, he used the money instead to paint the room for his youngest child.

Though his father just said "it was natural to feel jealous" that he was "sharing his attention," it was a recurring theme. The situation came to a head a few years ago when he told the OP's mother they'd split the cost of a trip u/Cheap-Tour9949 wanted to go on with one of his clubs. His mom saved her share of the money, but when it came time for his dad to pony up, he refused, saying that he needed to spend money on his twins' birthdays.

Instead, he offered that they could do something as a family at the same time as the trip, and u/Cheap-Tour9949 refused, telling him "he was making it clear who was more important," and would stay with his mom. His mom, however, was able to borrow the rest of the money for the trip, so OP got to go after all.

Initially, that appeared to be a wake-up call for his dad, and they were starting to work on repairing their relationship. He'd given his son the money for a graduation party. The plan was, similar to the trip, that he and his mom would split the money to pay for the party and would both host.

But when the party neared, the situation changed.

"A week ago he called and told me how one of the stepkids was being bullied, how bad of a time they're having it, and with that money they could help cheer them up for their birthday," u/Cheap-Tour9949 wrote.

Livid, the OP hung up the phone. Two days later, he visited his father, gave him back the money and said he didn't want to see him or his family at the graduation.

"He had chosen who was more important so he better stay out of my life. His stepkids and two younger bio kids were there. I didn't stick around," he wrote.

Afterward, his father called and said that the OP had hurt his kids' feelings, and they needed to "talk it out like adults." In addition, his dad's new wife "freaked out on" the OP, so he blocked her.

bad dad graduate money favoritism divorce new
A father is being lambasted online for favoring his new family and treating his eldest son as if he doesn't matter. iStock/Getty

As Dads and Grads season kicks into high gear, there have been a number of problems and AITA posts involving parents, graduations and money. In one, a divorced dad threatened his son with refusing to pay for college, as the son was the result of an affair, and not his own biological son. In that case, the father was bashed for being so cruel, and taking out his pain on an innocent victim.

In another, a mom refused to go to her daughter's graduation, after she invited her father instead. Like the dad in this story, her father prioritizes his new family, and though he initially told her he'd go to her graduation, he bailed a week before the event. Her mom, still hurt, refused to go, even though her daughter would have no parents there for her special day—to the applause of the subreddit.

Another divorced dad considered bailing on his daughter's high-school graduation because her stepbrother was graduating elementary school on the same day. She threatened that he'd never see her again if he missed his graduation, as he'd already missed nearly every other milestone that year—and Reddit backed her up.

Reddit also backed up u/Cheap-Tour9949, calling out his father for his favoritism.

"As a mom with kids from two marriages, I will say absolutely [Not the A**hole]," u/CadenceQuandary wrote in the top-rated comment with nearly 14,000 upvotes. "Your dad consistently and constantly chose everyone else above you. This is not ok. Making and breaking promises is disgusting. Saying one thing and then backing out is gross. And asking for the money back???? No. Just freaking no."

"He is not a father. He is a spineless sperm donor who deserves nothing from you. You needed a father and he was absolutely not it. And I'm sorry," she added.

"I wanna add OP, his behavior has NOTHING to do with you. You are worth everything he failed to do and more. His behavior shows the person HE is. Always will and always has," Independent_Big3345 agreed.

"OP, block him on everything and move on with your life. I can BET one day in the future, when he needs something, or realizes he's getting older, he'll suddenly apologize a lot and step up, but don't let him. He's burned that bridge," u/crystallz2000 wrote.

"[Not the A**hole]. You have talked it out like adults multiple times. Block them on everything and move on. It hurts for me to say it but it doesn't look like your dad will ever change. It's been years of putting you last and backing out of promise. Start putting yourself and your mental health first now," u/Murderbunny13 wrote.

Newsweek reached out to u/Cheap-Tour9949 for comment.