In a post shared to the popular “Am I The A**hole?” Reddit Forum, the parent, who goes by the username u/Medical_Comment_5527, asked if he was in the wrong for leaving his son, Alan’s, wedding early.
He started off the post by explaining that, while he loves his child and daughter-in-law, Helen, “very much”, he “really dislikes” large parties. The father also said that when he’d initially heard how many people were attending the wedding, he told Alan he wouldn’t be staying for long.
“I’m not sociable at all and I really just dislike them. So it was kind of a downer when I heard that Alan and Helen were going to have a wedding with around 150 people,” he wrote. “I told Alan ahead of time that I would probably leave early, and that me and the rest of our family would take two cars, so that they could stay if they wanted to. He looked like he didn’t mind at the time.”
The father noted that after he told Alan that he was heading home during the ceremony, the groom asked him to stay for “cake or for food”. He claimed that the food “didn’t look all that appetising” to him, so he told his son that he still wanted to leave, to which the groom allegedly responded: “Alright whatever just go.”
He said that when he told his wife he was leaving, she “said she didn’t feel comfortable driving back alone,” as the venue “was very far away”. He claimed that after “some hemming and hawing,” she agreed to leave the wedding with him. However, according to the Reddit poster, he and his wife later received messages from Helen, as she expressed that she was upset about them leaving early.
“Alan’s new wife bombarded me and my wife with messages that she was disgusted with us, saying horrible things about us, and insulting us as people and as parents,” he wrote. “Really just sickening. I told her off and asked why she thought it was okay to talk to her in-laws like that, and she said that us leaving ‘ruined’ the wedding for Alan, and that he was very upset for the rest of the night.”
He claimed that when Helen continued to “berate” him and his partner, he “politely told her to leave” them alone, before calling Alan. He noted that while he mainly wanted to inform him about his wife’s “temper,” his child was also upset with him on the call.
“When we talked about it he basically started berating me too and said things like ‘you always do this” and ‘just leave me alone’ before hanging up,” the Reddit poster continued. “I feel like I’m justified since I told him ahead of time that I wasn’t going to stay.”
The Reddit post has quickly gone viral, as it has more than 13,300 upvotes. In the comments, many users criticised the poster for leaving such an important event in his child’s life early, even though he said he wasn’t a fan of big parties. Other people condemned him for leaving before dinner was served at the wedding, since his meal had already been paid for.
“You didn’t even stay for the meal that they’d paid for. What an absolutely disgusting lack of love and respect from you as a parent,” one person wrote. “You also strongly armed your wife into leaving too so your son had no parents present at his reception. How you don’t see that you’re the [a**hole] is a mystery to me.”
“It’s your son’s wedding and no matter how uncomfortable you feel, it’s your duty as a father to be there,” another wrote. “It’s one evening. Suck it up man.”
“You missed all of the traditional wedding reception things. You didn’t make a speech, your wife didn’t dance with your son,” a third wrote. “He didn’t have his parents there to celebrate with him, even for an hour or two. You didn’t express love, just a ‘hey you look great but I am going to leave,’ and then you dragged your wife with you all because you couldn’t be bothered to give him two hours of your time at his WEDDING.”
Other people went on to defend the bride, since her father-in-law had criticised her behaviour in the Reddit post.
“Now he’s playing the victim card when the new daughter-in-law called him out. Why even bother going if you can’t be there fully for your son on his wedding day,” one wrote.
“‘That’s no way to treat your in-laws’.....who don’t even have enough love and respect for you to stay for their own child’s wedding,” another added, quoting the father’s post.
The Independent has contacted u/Medical_Comment_5527 for comment.
This isn’t the first time that a parent has sparked a debate over their opinions about weddings. Last month, a father on Reddit sparked outrage for calling his son “spoiled” after his child said that he couldn’t host a wedding for less than $7,000.
The former Reddit user explained that when he told his son about the $10,000 being contributed - from himself and the bride’s father - the 23-year-old told him that “it wasn’t going to be enough” for the wedding. From there, the groom and his father had an argument about wedding costs.
In the comments, many readers expressed their anger at the father, claiming that he didn’t realise how expensive weddings have become over the last few decades. Others believed that he shouldn’t have called his son spoiled.
According to The Knot’s 2022 Real Weddings Study, which examined about 12,000 couples who were married last year in the US, the average cost of a reception venue is $11,200. Meanwhile, a live band costs usually $3,900, or a DJ costs $1,500.