A bride-to-be has been defended after choosing her mother to walk her down the aisle instead of her stepfather.
In a recent post shared to the popular “Am I The A**hole?” Reddit forum, the mother – who goes by the username u/PopShort7064 – asked if she was in the wrong for agreeing to walk her child down the aisle, in addition to doing a mother/daughter dance at the wedding. She specified that she also has a husband, who’s been a stepfather to her daughter since she was 10.
The parent went on to give more context about her family, noting that she lost the father of her children - Calla and Hawthorn - when they were six and eight. She then shared that she remarried four years later, before opening up about her relationship with her second husband and how her children reacted to it.
“We were friends for several months, dated some, stronger feelings developed and I introduced him to the kids to see how they would get along,” she wrote. “We halted for a year while my kids and I did some therapy because their reaction to my husband was strongly negative, because they didn’t want to replace their dad. But once therapy was ongoing, they were doing better. From there, things move faster but the kids were on board for things to move on.”
The mother specified that it was clear to her children that her husband “was not going to be filling the role of a dad in their lives”. She added that her partner “was fine with that, as long as he was respected and they could work toward being a caring family”.
She continued to note that while she had a close relationship with Calla, it was “extremely tough” for her child to lose her father. She specified that while her child has a good relationship with her stepfather, “it comes nowhere close to the bond she had with her dad”. She also shared that she continued to get close to her daughter after she turned 12, before recalling a point in Calla’s childhood when she asked her mother to walk her down the aisle.
“She was 15 when she told me if she ever got married she would want me to walk her down the aisle and for us to do a mother/daughter dance instead of a father/daughter one,” the parent wrote. “I told her we could dance to the song her dad used to sing to her. She said she loved the idea.”
The Reddit user expressed that she “always assumed things would change” down the line, with her daughter either choosing to walk alone or with her brother, “as a representation of her dad”. However, she shared that when her daughter got engaged, she “asked [her mother] right away” to walk her down the aisle.
“She brought up our past conversation and told me she wanted exactly that. I told her I would be honoured,” she wrote. “We cried tears of joy together. I told her that her dad would be so proud.”
However, according to the Reddit user, her husband didn’t take the news as expected. She explained that he asked her a series of questions, with the first one being if she asked Calla if both her mother and stepfather could walk her down the aisle. The woman noted that she didn’t ask her daughter that.
“Then he asked if she ever considered asking him, and I said I could not answer that for her. He asked me if I thought of him when I said yes,” she continued. “He asked whether I gave any thought to all he has done for Calla, for both kids, and the fact he’s still not looked upon as a fatherly figure all these years later. I told him I did not think of him when asked because I was overjoyed. He told me I should have given him a lot more consideration and I should have tried to compromise with my daughter.”
She claimed that three weeks after the incident, her husband hasn’t changed his stance and he still feels like his wife “was wrong”. She also said that he told her he “felt he deserved more from all” of the family, and that his wife should be “making sure he is respected and honoured for his contribution to the kids’ lives”.
The Reddit post has quickly gone viral, as it has received more than 6,500 upvotes. In the comments, many people have gone on to defend the bride’s mother, noting that her husband should respect Calla’s decisions for her wedding day. They also criticised the stepfather and claimed he should be more considerate of Calla’s bond with her late father.
“I can tell you that no man, as you know, could ever hold a candle to my father so I feel comfortable saying that your daughter would probably never ask him [because] it would be like disrespecting the memory of her father,” one wrote. “And if your husband is close enough to your daughter, he could just ask her himself. It probably isn’t as personal for her as it is for him, especially if you and your husband did not have any more children.”
“This isn’t about him and all he’s done. It’s about Calla,” another added. “She lost her dad and, while the grief fades a bit over the years, big events bring it roaring back in (at least that’s been my experience). Her wedding is going to be bittersweet. She needs her parent (the one she’s always had and the one who loved her dad) to ‘give her away.’”
A third wrote: “The real question here is why does your husband believe he’s more entitled to this honour of walking your daughter down the aisle, and ‘giving’ her away than YOU? You, who is her mother, who has been there through it all, who has comforted and given her a home and place to be herself, unconditionally?”
The Independent has contacted u/PopShort7064 for comment.