Advice, please- potential family drama with alcoholic dad's family

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 3
42101 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@FutureMrsHarris2014: I would thank her for the thought , but that tell her that you” do not feel comfortable attending a shower. Please express my regrets to everyone.”

My Dad was an alcoholic but a functioning one who stayed with my Mom. I wasn’t his target, that honor belonged to one of my sisters. Nothing sexual or abusive other than yelling, but I do remember the fear I felt as a child- not just that something would happen, but that he would walk out on all of us and leave us destitute. I think that’s where my frugality comes from,that and my ability to cook. It doesn’t take long to learn that if you can get a drunk to eat, they stop drinking- at least for that day.

If I were in your situation I would feel no obligation to invite my bio dad or any of his family.

Post # 5
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

These people aren’t involved in your life. Keep it that way. Tell her thank you and no.

Post # 6
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

It is a hard one, but I might consider accepting.  Maybe she is trying to build a relationship with you and mend things a bit and this is a gesture representing that.  That doesn’t mean you forgive your dad or anything like that (the actions of your aunt have nothing to do with your dad).  But maybe consider giving your aunt a chance.  That doesn’t mean that is THE bridal shower- many people have multiples. 


The tricky part of this, is the people who are invited to the shower are invited to your wedding… and that is completely up to you.   It is a hard choice.   Maybe the better idea would be to do something smaller.  Kindly reject the offer, but maybe ask your Aunt out for lunch or coffee.  

Post # 7
4878 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I think it’s clear from your post that you don’t want these people in your life.  Why let your aunt get a foot in the door?  

Four hours away is hardly convenient for you, the bride.  I would politely decline without explanation.  I woulndn’t engage in any dialog with any of them, frankly.


Post # 8
7630 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

I wouldn’t invite any of your dad’s family.

If you want to talk to your aunt, why not turn down the shower but say you should meet for lunch? Maybe she’s feeling bad about the past and is trying to reach out to you. 

Post # 9
1666 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

@FutureMrsHarris2014:  I would probably thank her politely, but decline. No need to give her a reason or explain yourself. Just say no and leave it at that.

My dad is a very good person, but he is an Alcoholic as well. Luckily, he’s a happy drunk (gets really red in the face and laughs like crazy). He has made some pretty bad choices though; for instance, driving me (and my sisters) home after drinking at a party. It was less than a mile, but still. He also wound up collapsing in front of us when I was 8 and mom wouldn’t let us help him because he was drunk. She let him lie on the floor the entire time we were eating dinner. Then there was the time he got an ultimatum from work – got to AA and get sober or you’re fired. It could have been worse though, he never got abusive with anyone.

There isn’t anything you can do for your dad. He has made his choices and has to live with them. Same goes for his family, who didn’t show you the proper love or support when you were growing up. If you feel that your Aunt is attempting to show how sorry she is for the past then maybe consider getting coffee or lunch sometime. . . but you don’t need to attend a shower or invite any of them to the wedding if you aren’t comfortable.

Alcoholism is an addiction. The only way to beat it is to make the choice not to drink and to get counseling. If your dad isn’t willing to do that then there isn’t much you can do. You have my sympathy.

Post # 11
1036 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@FutureMrsHarris2014:  Please don’t accept or let him come and ruin your day. Not only does he not deserve it, but you need to protect yourself and everyone else there that could be affected by his alcoholism

Post # 13
1036 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@FutureMrsHarris2014:  No problem. 🙂

Sometimes remebering you have to protect those around you as well, helps put it into perspective (that’s how i thought about it for my wedding and im so thankful i did).

Its easy to be hard on ourselves and think we “should” or “should not” do something, but you and the people you have to protect are so much more important. You’re celebrating your love – So dont allow anyone who doesnt represent that love within a 100 mile radius of you on your day! (or any of the days/events leading up to it for that matter!)


Post # 14
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

Definitely don’t invite your dad or any members of his family. They definitely don’t deserve to be there!

As for the shower, I would sweetly say “Thank you so much for the generous offer! But someone has already volunteered.”

Post # 15
872 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@FutureMrsHarris2014:  its so tough- I feel for you. My dad is a functioning alcoholic and has 9 siblings that ALL have substance abuse problems. FI’s mom’s sister is a severe alcoholic. We are picking and choosing carefully who we invite and it’s causing stress because I’m worried it will cause drama between those that are invited and those that are not. But seriously we have to cut it off somewhere- one of my dad’s sisters tried to kill one of his brothers. Like, they are that crazy. 

Go with your gut. If this woman is not in your life and has never been supportive of you, feel free to tell her no and be convinced in your decision you are doing the right thing. This is your happy time and you don’t need substance abuse and manipulative people making it difficult for you!! I want to give you a hug after reading about your dad. I hope that your family doesnt put too much of a damper on your wedding planning.

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