Over two decades after a divorce spurred by disagreements about priorities, the Original Poster (OP) finds himself embroiled in a new conflict with his daughter, Cassie. As she takes unexpected turns in her life journey, reaching out for support in her return to education, tensions flare between family responsibility and expectations. Just when OP thinks he understands his daughter’s path, an unforeseen request pushes their relationship to the brink.
OP and his ex-partner divorced 23 years ago due to a demanding career that drove a wedge between them. After the divorce, their daughter Cassie lived primarily with the ex. However, OP ensured that she spent weekends with him.
A routine of weekend visits and monthly child support payments was established. Determined to provide, OP showered Cassie with everything she desired, from the latest clothes and gadgets to vacations. Cassie was never left wanting, as her father prioritized her happiness.
As Cassie matured, OP felt the need to teach her values. He emphasized the importance of a strong work ethic, education, and a successful career. OP believed Cassie had the potential to achieve great heights.
Cassie’s academic prowess suggested she could attend an Ivy League institution. However, her mother influenced her to choose an in-state college. While OP wasn’t thrilled, the financial savings were a silver lining.
A Troubling Trend
After a promising start in college, Cassie’s academic performance began to waver. OP noticed a decline from her usual 18 credit hours and top grades. The decline was significant and concerning.
A Heartfelt Confession
Cassie, struggling with her studies, opened up to OP. She confessed her inability to continue her education. Instead, she wished to work and earn her own money. OP couldn’t fathom Cassie’s decision.
Clash of Perspectives
Given that he was financing her education, a heated argument ensued. Neither could understand the other’s viewpoint. The disagreement was so severe that it led to a communication breakdown.
OP and Cassie ceased talking. After a prolonged silence, Cassie reached out. She updated OP about her life – she had moved across the country and was estranged from her mother. These were startling changes.
An Unexpected Ask
Reconnecting with OP, Cassie expressed her desire to return to college. However, there was a catch. She needed OP’s financial support. OP, recalling their past disagreements, was reluctant to comply.
Drawing a Line
OP believed his grown adult daughter Cassie, now 25, should be financially independent. He refused to be treated like a mere source of money after being cut off for so long. OP’s refusal didn’t sit well with everyone.
The Strain of Decisions
OP’s current wife and Cassie both believed he was in the wrong. OP grappled with the consequences of his decision. He faced criticism from those closest to him. The past and present are intertwined in a complex web.
OP considered Cassie’s feelings on the subject. She had experienced a great deal of change and was seeking support. OP wondered if he had made the right choice in declining her request to fund the rest of her college tuition.
Age and obligations were at the forefront of OP’s mind, yet he also felt the weight of a parent’s duty. Despite Cassie’s attempt to bridge the gap, the relationship remained strained. OP’s refusal continued to be a point of contention.
Both OP and Cassie were in a tumultuous phase. They needed to find common ground and understanding to move on with their relationship and repair their bond. Their journey towards reconciliation had just begun.
Was The Father’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posted his story online, hoping for constructive feedback and unbiased opinions. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “Being a parent is NEVER not your responsibility. Taking some financial responsibility for your 25-year-old is common for parents who can afford to do so, even if your legal requirement to pay has ended.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “Sounds like your ex was toxic if not emotionally abusive towards your daughter, who must have been seriously struggling as a child and couldn’t handle college because she had a lot of issues.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “The fact that she’s no contact with her mother shows what a toxic relationship they had- if she was that unhappy at college, of course, she failed. The choices she made were probably not her own.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “Kids don’t go from taking 18 credit hours (a horrifically stupid thing to do that no one should have let her do) to flunking their courses unless they suffer profoundly in serious ways.”