A young man looked to Reddit readers for advice on a difficult family situation he was experiencing. The 22-year-old told Am I The A**hole (AITA) readers that after hooking up with a woman on one occasion, she texted him a year later to say she had a one-year-old and he might be the father.
A Paternity Test Was Ordered
After they took a paternity test that confirmed the woman’s suspicions, the man soon found out that the child was indeed his. The man was angry that he wasn’t told about the pregnancy or that his daughter was born. Because of this deception and other circumstances, the original poster (OP) doesn’t go into it; he decided he wanted nothing to do with his daughter.
He Did Offer to Pay Child Support
Despite not wanting to spend time with his daughter, the OP did offer to pay child support but nothing more. While he is angry that he could not bond with his daughter from birth, it was revealed that his mom was very interested in getting to know her granddaughter.
His Mom Loves Children
The man’s mom adores children, so he was excited to meet his daughter and her mom regularly, which he says he had no issue with. His mom and daughter are now very close, but he keeps a distance. When his mom broke her foot, the OP moved back home to take care of her until she was mobile again. He talked of looking after his mom’s cats, cleaning the house, getting food in, etc., which readers found sweet.
He Was Awoken With a Surprise One Day
One morning, the man slept late after a late night with friends (not partying, just talking) and was woken up by noises from his mom’s bedroom. He was in the living room with no door, so it was clear for him to hear that the voices were his mom’s and his daughter’s and her mom’s, much to his surprise.
He Left as Quickly as He Could
The OP was adamant that he did not want to speak to his daughter and her mom, so he just got up and left. He was annoyed that his mom didn’t wake him up so he could leave before they came to see her, so he didn’t even say goodbye.
He Got Angry Text Messages
Later in the day, his mom and Grandma texted him to say they thought he was horrible for simply leaving without saying anything. They said “hurtful stuff about me being like my father,” and his mom said he was a horrible son. His family’s behavior prompted the man to ask readers if he was in the wrong.
There’s Plenty of Time to Bond
Readers leaped to his mom and Grandma’s defense as they felt he was being an a jerk. One person pointed out his failed logic about bonding, saying, “You can bond with a 1yo. Your objection is arbitrary – if you don’t want to be in your kid’s life, be honest about that and accept the consequences of that.” Another reader agreed, saying, “Except his reasoning for not being in her life is he didn’t get to bond. The kid is 1, not 10. He can bond with her. He’s an a*****e.”
His Own Father Was Not a Good Role Model
In an edit to his post, the man explained that he was hesitant to meet his child as his father had let him down. Due to his bad experience with his dad, he wanted to think things through as, at this point, he doesn’t think he is good for her. However, others thought his poor experience should mean he steps up his game, with one person commenting, “Fulfilling child support is the bare legal minimum- he can still be a jerk by completely ignoring he has a child.”
His Mom Shouldn’t Have Pushed Things
There was some support for the OP, with one person saying, “Nah, his mother was the mean-spirited individual for trying to spring a surprise meeting on him.” Many others agreed that while he should consider meeting his daughter, his mom should have encouraged him to do it on his terms. Another person commented, “At best, he is the AH for being on the fence still on whether or not he wants to be in her life.”
There May Be A Happy Ending
Listening to feedback from regular AITA posters, the OP has had time to reflect on the situation. In a final edit, the man has made up his mind and is planning to see his daughter and will provide an update on how it goes. We hope it goes well and the father and daughter can finally bond and compensate for lost time.
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