Post # 1
We are in the beginning process of engagement and wedding plans. While he hasn’t officially proposed, it’s coming soon. Last night we were talking about our wedding and what we wanted. We both want a very small intimate wedding with immediate family and close friends. I have 2 close friends that I want there. My family however, I’m not sure. Both my parents struggled with an addiction to alcohol, my father is the worst. At times he can have some great days but at times it gets bad. My mother enables it and so does the rest of my family. It’s a very strained relationship that I have with them. I only speak to my parents on a regular bases, my other family I’ve separated myself over different issues.
My fear is having my parents there and my father can’t control himself. He says things that are not appropriate and can make a huge scene. My mother wouldn’t be able to control him. I’ve had some major events in my life ruined because of their drinking; school functions, graduation, etc have always turned about them. The reception will be held at a private room at a restaurant, and we won’t cover the cost of alcohol. That doesn’t mean he won’t drink before hand.
Then I face the guilt of excluding them from the wedding and not inviting them. I feel like I’m being selfish. I would only have my close friends and their husband to support me. I would make my family extremely upset by not including my father and no one else would attend.
Post # 3
Why not have an early wedding? If you have it earlier in the day, the parentals will have less time to get into trouble..
Post # 4
I would talk to him and tell him how you feel. Tell him, either he comes sober or not at all. Maybe it will be motivating for him?
Obviously I don’t know the depth of the situation so this may be a bad idea.
But its all I got. I hope it helps.
Post # 5
I’m sorry you’re having so much anxiety at the very start of your wedding planning process. It’s so tough when someone has a problem, but I think it’s even tougher to deal with enablers. They will defend the person with the problem come hell or highwater.
Do you think you could discuss your concerns with them without having them blow up and play the victim? Maybe it would be some kind of wakeup call as to exactly how strained they have allowed their relationship with you, their daughter, to become?
Post # 6
- Wedding: March 2010 - Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
how about one intimate wedding celebration without your parents, and then just a more casual dinner/picnic/brunch/whatever celebration with your parents included?
of course i don’t know all the details, but it sounds like they have not really stepped up to the plate and behaved responsibly at major life events. i know this is a bit harsh, but i don’t think you should feel guilty for excluding them from an important event that you would like to remember without stress and emotional difficulty.
then you could have a follow-up, super casual get-together that involves them, where you don’t do much planning and they can do what they like, and you’re not as invested because you’ve already had your special event.
Post # 7
Thank you for your replies. I’ve tried to talk to them several times, it’s excuse after excuse.
There was about a year where it was really good, my dad was back to doing things he enjoyed. I was able to count on them when needed.
It’s just turned around this last 2 weeks. That’s what I’m scared of, that things could be going very well and right before our wedding it gets bad again.
My boyfriend’s family is extremely important to him and it would break their hearts if they weren’t at our wedding. I don’t want to “punish” them for my drama. They do live out of state and I’ve thought about getting married in his home state. My parents wouldn’t have the finanical means to go, which would avoid this issue.
Post # 8
#1 Can you ask him not to drink?
#2 Don’t have alcohol at the wedding…that makes it easier to tell him he can’t drink and to tell him to leave if he is drunk.
#3 Have another large, male relative keep an eye on him? That way, he can ask him to go if it getsout of hand.
Post # 9
I posted before I saw your most recent post. I have a suggestions you might not like, but I feel strongly about alcoholism and druf addiction as my family has a lot of issues with addiction and abuse.
I suggest that you tell him that you only want him at the wedding if he will seek treatment (a therapist, AA, doctor, rehab…whatever works for him) and be sober at the event.
Tell him that you need him as a father and love him but that if he is going to be drunk, he is no good to you anyways. Tell him you are doing this out of love for him even though he may not understand, but that you don’t want an alcoholic in your life or your childrens lives in the future.
I hope that doesn’t sound to harsh, but it’s what a psychologist told me was the right thing to do when I was dealing with an addicted relative. You may want to seek the advice of a therapist on this one as well, someone with experience in alcoholism.
Addiction follows patterns, so it is predictable and can be manipulated.
As long as there are enablers close to the person, they WILL NEVER stop. And neither will the destruction.
If you need someone to talk to, feel free to PM me anytime.
Post # 10
Good advice, coffee kitty. I’m a fan of this method of giving clear consequences – you do X, then Y happens. Even if it’s hard, it’s worth doing.
Post # 11
I am so sorry to hear about how you have been affected by someone else’s alcoholism. There is a 12 Step program called Al-anon for families and friends of alcoholics. http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/S17web.html