Post # 1
About 9 or 10 years ago, my dad had an affair that produced a daughter. My parents are still together after a lot of therapy and a lot of strength from my mother….but the daughter is a large source of pain to my mother. She’s the reminder that can’t be put away. She stays with them about once a month and my mother typically stays at my aunt’s house that weekend.
I don’t have a relationship with this girl, I don’t want to. I don’t see her as my sister. I met her once, awkwardly, when my dad set up the situation for us to meet. My dad knows how my family and I feel about her and still shoves her in our faces periodically.
When we first got engaged (last year), Dad suggested this girl be the flowergirl in my wedding. I’m not even planning to invite her to my wedding… I said I already had a flowergirl (my sister’s daughter, his granddaughter) and just kind of changed the subject.
He keeps mentioning her being excited about the wedding and I don’t know how to tell him it’s not happening. It’s not so much that I care about the kid being there, I can ignore her. It’s mostly that I don’t want my mother to be forced to be stuck with her for the whole weekend: dinner, wedding, the car ride there (about 15 hours), the hotel room… Also, she’s already embarrassed about the affair and I know parading her around our family is going to make her uncomfortable the whole time.
A few times, I’ve mentioned that we’re not planning to have kids (other than the ring bearer and flower girl). He doesn’t seem to get it.
We have plenty of time to deal with this but I am thinking it might be good to start to tell him now… I just don’t really know how to go about doing this.
Any suggestions? I can’t imagine a lot of people have this issue but I’m sure there’s people who want to avoid inviting certain people.
Post # 3
I’m really sorry you are going through this. My only words advice would be please don’t blame this girl for your father’s mistake. She is your sister, and just a little girl, and she shouldn’t be cut out of your life and the chance to know you for your father’s mistake. I can’t imagine how hard it must be as she is a tangible reminder of his betrayal to you and your mother, but you she is your blood regardless.
I wish you well and hope your family heals. I also wish you the best for your wedding and hope you reconsider not having her there (not necessarily as your flowergirl, but just to be there for her sister’s big day). Good luck with everything and may you have a joyous wedding and marriage!
Post # 4
A simple, “I am NOT inviting her” should do it. Don’t try to hint at it. Just say it outright and deal with the consequences.
But in the future, I would try to make some effort to get to know her. It’s not her fault.
Post # 5
@shannancurt14: I definitely won’t try to change your mind because I can completely understand how a walking, talking manifestation of cheating and stepping out of a marriage is not exactly a great symbol to have at your wedding. You have no relationship with her and it makes your mom uncomfortable – both are valid reasons for your decision. Couple that with the fact that you aren’t inviting kids, and you have plenty of reasons to tell your dad.
Just because your mom forgave him doesn’t mean you have to and it doesn’t mean you need to accept his mistakes into your life. Yes, it’s a child, and I am not saying to be mean to her. You can continue to be how you are – which would not include inviting her to your special day – and I can’t see how anyone could complain. You aren’t doing anything differently and you shouldn’t have to.
Post # 7
Sorry–I didn’t see that you aren’t inviting kids at all to your wedding. In that case, you have a valid excuse not to have her there, but I would still reconsider making an effort to get to know her.
Either way, may your wedding be fabulous! 🙂
Post # 8
@shannancurt14: She’s your sister, and she’s a child. She shouldn’t have to pay for your father’s mistakes. She deserves a chance to know & be involved with her family. I can’t imagine how hard it is for your mother, and the yourself, but things like this have a way of getting easier in time. Obviously, your father seems dedicated to trying to be a decent father to this little girl, so at some point your family is going to have to find a way to cope with the pain of what happened. Its not like this is going away. Hugs & Best of Luck.
ETA: I didn’t realize you weren’t having kids at the wedding. I guess it puts slightly different spin on things.
Post # 9
I agree. This is a child, she can’t help that she was born. I mean she is a young girl and you are her big sister. She obviously wants to be a part of your life because she is excited about your wedding. Can you imagine how horrible it would be to be a kid and feeling so unwanted? It can really mess a kid up.
I guess just be honest and tell him she can’t go. I’m sorry you’re in a difficult situation. Good luck!
Post # 10
@shannancurt14: I understand your situation more than I wish to. My father also had children from extramarital affairs. Just be honest with him and straight forward that you do not have a relationship with the child and do not want to make your mother incomfortable and what should be a happy occasion for her. Just point blank tell him that the child is not invited
Post # 11
I’m going to disagree with a few previous posts. Yes, she is a child, and is your sister. However, your own mother doesn’t seem be be comfortable around her. If you and your mom are close, then for this reason alone, I wouldn’t invite her. If my mom and I were close, I wouldn’t want her to feel uncomfortable like that at my wedding.
On the other hand- I do think (in the future) you might want to consider opening up to a relationship with this girl- as a PP said- it isn’t her fault she was born. You just aren’t required to embrace her into your family (especially at your wedding – kids or not -) with open arms. Your dad will just have to get over that.
Post # 12
@shannancurt14: I have seen posts here from women in the same position as your half-sister. The poor girl is shut off from her father and her relatives because of her father’s wife. In effect the father is forgiven for his mistakes, but the daughter is never forgiven for something she didn’t do.
I agree it’s awkward to invite her. But regardless of whether you invite her, I think you should rethink your attitude to her, and build a relationship with her.
Post # 13
I think it’s ok for you to not invite her to your wedding. You can insist.
BUT **deep breath** I am that girl and that is my situation. Pretty much exactly, except that I’m 27 now. Your post reads very harshly.
I have to echo the other posters in asking you to not blame her. My stepmother is VERY cold to me also, and one of my “sisters”. When I was a teen and would go to their house, she would refuse to be in the same room with me, even though I was always on my best behaviour there. Ouch! I don’t even speak to their family except for some, but not all, of my siblings. It was terribly hurtful and your post… Is straight up awful. [comment moderated for name-calling and personal attack] She did NOT ASK TO BE BORN. She has to deal with this rejection for her WHOLE LIFE. You don’t need to be her best friend, but shit. Give her a chance at least. And tell your mom to be nicer too. You have no idea what this feels like to this girl. No idea. So smarten up.
I still agree that you shouldn’t have to invite her to your wedding. My sister that acts like you didn’t invite me to hers and I didn’t think it was a big deal. She’s not invited to mine either.
Post # 14
I agree that it isn’t the childs fault but I don’t think you have any obligation to have a relationship with her if you do not feel comfortable. If I was in that situation I would not want a relationship and I would most definitely not want her at my wedding making myself, my mother, and probably everyone else uncomfortable. It is your day!
Your father made the mistake so I would just tell him directly that she is not invited to your wedding. No explaination should be needed beyond that as the past behavior should dictate that you do not want her in your life, yet alone involved in your special day.
I know this may sound awful to other posters but you won’t be able to enjoy your day if you are constantly worried that your mother is not comfortable.
Good luck with everything 🙂
Post # 15
No kids allowed. She’s a kid. She’s not allowed.
+1 to the relationship thing. Its super unfair of your dad to surround her with people who will deeply resent what she represents to your parents’ marriage, but she can’t really help the custody situation. I’m sure it sucks to have everyone snurl their lips at you while you’re just trying to visit your dad. Try and make visits easier on her if you can, and take her under your wing a little if you can stomach it. Prayers out to everyone in that mess…
Post # 16
@shannancurt14: I agree with the PP who said to reiterate to your dad that you aren’t having kids at the wedding besides the ones who are in it. I know he wants you to have a relationship with this girl as she is technically your sister but, really? Why make your wedding the place for that to start? It would be awkward for everyone, including that little girl who had nothing to do with what happened all those years ago. I also agree that you should try to get to know her again, but your wedding is not the place for that to happen. Good luck!