It’s common for parents and children to develop vastly different outlooks concerning topics like religion, politics, and general life points. Other topics like having children, parental decisions, and boundaries can also become points of contention in parent and adult-child relationships.
One such man found himself between a rock and a hard place recently when he learned how his father truly felt about him and is now wondering if he was wrong to cut off communication.
Here’s the Story
Reddit user @wishingwaters21 is 46 with a dad who’s 70. Apparently, the dad likes to post on social media and seems to prefer to use it as a platform to ridicule groups he disagrees with. The problem arose when he found a particularly misleading post on current issues his father had snidely commented on.
OP responded, and his father’s incoming messages let him know his father had been hiding similar posts from him for months.
OP’s father disclosed he’d been hiding the posts to spare his son’s feelings because – as he puts it – his son is “very” in line with the views he was openly mocking. After a few messages back and forth, OP dropped his dad from his social accounts, and the two stopped talking.
OP eventually reached out to his dad and let him know just how hurtful it’d been to find out his father had been posting about “people like him” to avoid discussing the topic outright. OP’s dad dismissed his son by saying, “It wasn’t about his feelings.”
OP says that for most of his adult life, he and his father have lived apart, and while it’s not a loss on a day-to-day basis, it’s still a bit weird. “I can’t reconcile welcoming anyone in my life who feels that way about me and feels the need to share it on social media, even if he is my dad.”
Family relationships are some of the hardest to navigate. It’s difficult sometimes to know which direction to take, and OP wanted others’ opinions about whether he’d been in the wrong.
Here’s What Redditors Had to Say
Reddit user @Sylenia23 thinks that OP is NTA and has the right to cut off communication with anyone for any reason. “NTA and something to remember we don’t have to agree on everything, but if they are things you can’t look past you are within your rights to not associate with folks like that. Family or not.”
User @Thats_a_paddlin_2006 thinks people should follow this general ‘rule of thumb.’ “Rule of thumb – never actively participate in any social media your parents are on.”
Reddit user @DogIsBetterThanCat thinks some things are obvious. “NTA. It’s obvious what he thinks about you then.”
User @Jordan-Peterson_Fan definitely thinks there’s a downside to keeping secrets or hiding your true feelings about something. “NTA. You’re never the AH to go NC (No Contact) or LC (Low Contact) but I can see how it hurts to learn something like this after so many years.
Seems like he’s the AH for hiding his true thoughts/feelings with you. He might have thought he was doing you a service by sparing you from pain, but that strategy only works if you can keep it up forever and never let the secret out. Once it gets out, it releases all the pain he tried to avoid PLUS the pain of being lied to.
I say this as someone who probably agrees with most of your dad’s political opinions, but would express it entirely differently.”
Family dynamics can take up a lot of time and effort that might eventually not be worth it. Do you think OP was right or wrong in this instance? Would you make the same choice if it was your dad you were cutting off?