My Dad Refused to Go to My Graduation Because of His Stepdaughter; I’ve Had Enough

Family & kids
4 weeks ago

high school graduation day is meant to be joyous and proud. Loved ones being there makes it even more special. But in today’s story, a father’s decision not to come has darkened the event. His missing presence felt like a major letdown.

He shared his story online.

I’m an 18-year-old guy graduating high school at the end of the month. Two nights ago, my dad broke the news that his stepdaughter, who’s 14, has an award ceremony for a competition she won, and it’s in another state on the same day as my graduation. She really wants him to attend. He said he can’t be at both events and since his wife and their kids are going, he has to go too. He promised we could celebrate another time and that he’d make it up to me.

I still live with my dad, but not for much longer. My mom passed away when I was 7, and he remarried when I was around 11 or 12. His stepdaughter never knew her biological father, so my dad took her in as his own and has focused a lot on her over the past 5 or 6 years.

This shift isn’t always obvious, but it’s noticeable. Our father-son time was put on hold, and instead, he said we needed to include her in our activities. He also spent time alone with her for father-daughter moments. When I brought this up to him, he said I wasn’t trying to get closer to her, and he wanted us all to bond, not just focus on my relationship with him.

If my basketball games and her dance events happen at the same time, he always goes to hers, even if my game was scheduled first. When we go out for family days, and they let the kids choose the activities, he always picks her suggestions over mine. He says it’s because her choices are more fun for everyone, but he admits later that he just wants to make his little princess happy.

Our refrigerator and shower broke down simultaneously. With his stepdaughter’s birthday approaching, he used money from my birthday fund to cover the repair costs, ensuring she still got her desired gifts—a Barbie house and a fashion set totaling $250. When my birthday arrived, he hadn’t managed to replace all the money, so instead of the new monitor and keyboard he had promised, I received a $30 gift card. The monitor and keyboard were meant to go with the computer my grandparents had given me.

When my dad said he would miss my graduation to support her, I told him that was something he couldn’t make up for and that he could forget about being part of my life in the future. He promised to make it up to me, but I told him I was tired of always being second to his “little princess,” and I wasn’t okay with it anymore. I told him this was the last time he would push me aside. He pleaded with me to be reasonable, but I just walked away.

I then invited both sets of my grandparents to my graduation, and they agreed to come. His wife said I could join them and skip the ceremony to support “my sister.” I responded that her daughter isn’t my sister and I don’t want to support their family anymore. I added that I’d be out of their lives soon. She called me selfish and said I couldn’t deny her daughter a father.

People in the comments completely agreed with him.

  • “There is no coming back from this. What other milestones does your father plan on missing for you? Wedding? Grandchildren? It’s better to cut your losses as soon as you’re able to and move on to avoid other disappointing moments down the road. You are wise to catch this now instead of pushing it down.” VictoryShaft / Reddit
  • “This is emotionally abusive behavior on their part, and I wish you every bit of luck and happiness in your future. I’m not sure when I started to realize it, probably in my late 20s, but you can create an amazing family without any bio connections. I’m sure you’ll find people who will care as much about you as you care about them.” MeldoRoxl / Reddit
  • “It’s his job to be there for you. It’s his job to be your dad, and I’m so sorry he’s failing at that and doubling down when it’s pointed out. Don’t ever let yourself feel guilty for going to NC after this if you decide to. He decided you weren’t worth his time as a child, so you’ve decided that he’s not worth your time now. That’s valid.” TheBerrybuzz / Reddit
  • “Have you told your grandparents just how bad it is? They might be able to talk some sense into him and salvage something from your relationship with your father.” squirrelfoot / Reddit
  • “Please, don’t waste your energy. My mother never cared about me once her new husband came along, and my dad died when I was young. Your dad will never change, because he doesn’t see what he’s doing wrong.” small***er / Reddit

Though the future is unpredictable, this situation has shown us that forgiveness is a personal and complicated process. Right now, he needs to focus on his achievements and lean on the people who have chosen to support him.

Comments

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Personally, I think I would take it a step further by getting him on the phone and taping him so that you have him saying that his wife is not able to take a trip alone with the other kids so that he could be at your day - I would make a list of everything and how he has taken away from you and the very last thing I would leave him is a copy of the judges approval for changing your last name to ________________and whiting it out so he can never bug you again - he won't be able to find you - but I would do your real moms maiden name - just to add more sting to the cut...I would never ever come back to his wants/wishes/ or needs hopefully he will get older and all these kids he has spoiled will turn their backs on him when he needs them most .

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TOTALLY UNFORGIVABLE!!! I am SO SORRY that he did this to you, sweetie! Your high school graduation is the first major accomplishment of your life, You've worked 13 years for this, and DESERVE all the glory and celebration for it. Her mother could've gone to her thing, but YOUR DAD should have been there for YOU! Stepsister HAS a mother, you don't. Your dad should've given you even MORE of his time because he was your only parent. Thank goodness your grandparents were there for your graduation. Please don't allow this to hold you back from college and becoming successful. You don't need him. Sometimes NO father is better than a BAD father. You'll find your person soon, as well as friends to become your family. I wish you all of the LOVE and HAPPINESS that you deserve!!!

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