Post # 1
- Wedding: July 2014 - Barn
Hi everyone, a little backstory is needed here, I’ll do my best to make it short.
My dad cheated on my mom with a woman and he’s still dating her. It’s been 8 years since my parents split up. This woman is a complete psycho and I’m truly not just saying that because of my emotional involvement. She’s a raging drunk who appears normal and average. A wolf in sheeps clothing. It’s an abusive and horrible relationship. She abuses my dad verbally and emotionally, but he hasn’t left her and they always reconcile. She always kicks him out of the house they share. She accuses him of having an affair with my mom (the irony here almost makes me laugh) all the time and is highly paranoid, and has, on occassion, stalked my mom online and in real life.
All of this I hear from both my mom and my dad, but every time I’ve met her she’s so normal and talkative. Personally I find this very frightening, how someone can seem normal and be so twisted on the inside. She has done some fairly mean things to me as well, and manipulates my dad so that he can’t come to my big events because my mom will be there. Sometimes he has to lie to her just so he can see me or my brother.
For obvious reasons, I can’t have her at my wedding. I cannot. Every time I see her I am sucked into this emotional dark place, plus my whole extended family on my mom’s side will be there (they obviously hate this pyscho woman). And I want my mom to feel comfortable and focus on all the happy things, not this crazy lady.
The problem is, she will know I’m getting married and will likely expect an invite. As I don’t see her often (not in the last three years), it will be up to my dad to tell her she isn’t invited and I’m really worried about what she’ll do. I’m not worried about his physical safety, as it isn’t that type of abusive relationship, but I don’t want to put him on the frontlines and make him deal with her response. This is the type of thing that will provoke her into an episode. I also don’t know whether my dad will expect her to be invited, and I may need to tell him that she isn’t.
I have a year to sort this out, but it makes me so worried and I’ve worried about it for ages, even while I was in high school! Thoughts? Opinions?
tl;dr: Cheating dad’s gf is a psycho b!tch and I don’t want her at my wedding. What to do?
Post # 3
@allinoelle: If FI and I weren’t eloping, I would have had to address a very similar situation.
My two cents: Tell your dad that your wedding is only for family and friends; his girlfriend is neither your family nor your friend. Given that she is the reason your dad cheated on your mom, it would make your mom incredibly uncomfortable to have her at your wedding. His girlfriend being at your wedding would be stressful for you, and you don’t want to be stressed on such an important day. It would be best for everyone if she wasn’t there.
Will his girlfriend be pissed? Probably. Your dad will just have to deal with it. I know you don’t want him to bear the brunt of her reaction; unfortunately, that’s what he gets for dating a crazy person. There is absolutely no way I would invite my dad’s SO to my wedding, etiquette be damned.
I hope everything works out! *hugs*
Post # 4
You really can’t NOT invite the woman your Dad has been living with for 8 years. Lots of our guests have partners we don’t like, but you don’t get to pick and choose their dates.
I would have a talk with your Dad and his girlfriend, and also with your Mom, and tell them that you expect them to behave civilly and courteously to each other on your wedding day.
Your Mom will have to put her big girl panties on and deal with the presence of this woman. She isn’t the first woman whose husband cheated on her, and she won’t be the last. She can hold her head up high and rise above any drama.
Having been in your position, I empathize with you, but you too can rise above the drama and ignore “the other woman”.
Post # 5
@allinoelle: You need to talk to your father about this. But you’ve got to ask yourself, what happens if your father says she insists on coming? What would you do if your father refuses to come if she’s not invited? What is worse, her being there, or your father not being there?
I agree with @julies1949: . Your father has every right to expect his partner of 8 years will be invited. So you might have to invite her to keep the peace. Of course your father might be co-operative and say he’s fine attending without her. But if he’s not, then just sit your father and her well apart from your mother and her family.
Your story is similar to mine except my father and stepmother have a happy marriage. My mother detests my stepmother, but at her children’s weddings she has not let my stepmother’s presence spoil the day. After 8 years, your mother should be able to cope with spending one day near your father and his partner.
Post # 6
Normally, if it was a situation where you didn’t like her much, or if your mom was jealous/upset but it wasn’t for such valid reasons, I’d say you need to invite her.
However, if it is something so upsetting to you that it WILL ruin YOUR day, I say fuck etiquette. Seriously, where was hers or your fathers when they were screwing around behind your mothers back? Where’s her etiquette when she’s stalking your mother or treating him/you like she does?
If you choose to tell your father she is not invited, don’t worry too much about what he’ll have to go through, he made this bed, he can lie in it.
Post # 7
I couldn’t bring myself to write my dads wife on an invitation. Just… Couldn’t do it. I decided not to invite him either, in the end. It actually would be so upsetting that it would ruin at least part of the day.
I think etiquette doesn’t apply to estranged parents, although I don’t know the entire situation here, of course. (My dad) Had 7 kids with 5 different women, abandoned the eldest 5 scattered across the country? Sorry, he doesn’t get any more consideration than he showed us.
I’m sorry you’re going through this, OP.
Post # 8
I have to say I agree with the other posters saying don’t invite her. It sounds like your main concern is that your dad will take the brunt of the negative reaction this woman will have to the news that she can’t come, and that your dad’s potential expectation that she will receive an invite comes second. In your position (assuming your father doesn’t live too far away) I would set up a time to have coffee with him and talk about what your wedding is supposed to celebrate: you marriage and the family and friends who will support you and your FI in your new life. And then explain, calmly and kindly, that this is why his partner is not invited. Explain that this isn’t a reflection on him, that you aren’t trying to punish him and that you love him. But you also can’t have someone who has actively sown discord in your family at your wedding: that is not the time or place for trouble-making.
I would also offer – given your primary concern – to break the news to his partner yourself, so that less of her anger is directed towards your father. You could do it in person or in a letter, but either way make sure to be civil and don’t list all her previous wrongs. That will only make her feel persecuted and possibly more righteous about her situation, and more likely to act out. Instead, explain that you know she is a part of your father’s life but that this is an event where she will not be welcome (you can express fake regret, if you feel up to it), but explain clearly and directly that she simply cannot come. If you want to make an excuse as to why (limited seating/cost of food/etc) absolutely do not mention your mother or her feelings. Keep it brief, and don’t invite further communication which may lead to drama. After that it is up to your dad to deal with her. Of course, you have no obligation to do this: as another poster said, “when you date a crazy person this is part of the deal”, but since it sounds as though you genuinely wish to keep some level of peace between her and your father this is the simplest course of action I can think of.
Post # 9
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
If dad has been dating this woman for 8 years and is living with this woman then she gets an invitation. I’m sorry. However, you have every right to pull dad aside for an adult conversation before the wedding and let him know you expect him to either control her or leave her at home. He may end up not coming to your wedding as a result but at least at that point it will be his decision. I would make sure to seat this woman as far away from your mom as possible as well (two rows back at the ceremony minimum.)
Post # 10
@allinoelle: I’m a little scare about my wedding, too. So you have my sympathy (I recently posted something about crazy FI stepmother), tons of it actually!
What my friends have been telling me (and I’m trying really hard to believe them, especially since at least 2 of them were in a similar situation at their weddings) is that people try to behave their best at somebody’s wedding, despite the drama they put us through beforehand. I hope they are right, because I’m dealing with the crazy stepmother and a completely insane aunt of the groom here, together with a lot of bad emotions piled up over the years in FI’s family.
My advice would be to try and invite her together with your Dad (who obviously shares his life with her now). I understand your feelings. I understand your mother’s feelings. And it sucks! But I guess your Dad would want her to be there (maybe talk to him beforehand?). You could appoint somebody from your wedding party (best man for example) who will have a look at her once in a while and if she starts behaving ugly he can warn her and then throw her out. This way, you won’t get your hands dirty and you will make sure she will be in check. Also, have a talk beforehand how you expect things to be.
Post # 12
- Wedding: February 2014 - Silverthorne Town Pavilion
@julies1949: She can absolutely NOT invite her. It is not the girlfriend’s wedding and she is not tied to the family in any meaningful, positive way. I am doing the same thing. Frankly, she would be paying for this woman to either undeservingly enjoy a nice dinner and evening or pull some crap and completely ruin it. If the father’s girlfriend was helping pay for the wedding, then she would be obligated. Etiquette be damned; if this woman is clearly poison there is no obligation to invite her.
Post # 13
- Wedding: February 2014 - Silverthorne Town Pavilion
@lia22: +1 for fuck etiquette. Love it.