Post # 1
My father and I have never been very close. He and my mother are still married and I see him on holidays, but we are mostly just civil to each other at best. At worst, we get into long arguements over politics, my career, my choices, etc. He is a very conservative, traditional, country loving man. I am a liberal, modern, city loving woman. This shouldn’t be an issue, but he is extremely controlling and insults me for being different from him often. He tells me that I am an idiot for having more liberal political views that him and tries to start confrontations about politics with me every single time I see him. He tells me I am stupid and haven’t amounted to anything. (I’m in graduate school getting my PhD.) And so on.
Originally when I got engaged my mom had said they would pay for the wedding. He started insisting months later that they shouldn’t pay – or should only give me what they gave my brother when he was married. (Being the groom, he didn’t pay for hardly anything.) It isn’t because my parents are unable, he just holds a grudge against me. He spends more money on his hobbies in one year that my wedding will cost. He also told me he didn’t care about walking me down the isle since my fiance never asked him for my hand in marraige. (We didn’t follow that particular arcane tradition since I am not my father’s property and had not lived at home in 8 years when I got engaged.) In short, he has been an ass to me and about the wedding. I find myself wishing more and more that I didn’t have to have a wedding with him there. It’s likely I will distance myself from him almost entirely in the next few years. However, he is still married to my mom so I don’t know what I can do??? My mother thinks he is being a jerk too, and doesn’t know if he really wants what is best for me in life – but she thinks I should continue to put up with his crap because he is family. I’m not so sure. Help?
Post # 3
Ugh, sorry to hear this. This must be putting such a damper on the whole wedding process! 🙁
Can your FI and you afford the wedding without your parent’s help? If so, definitely go that route. I don’t think you want your dad to have that to hang over your head whenever there’s a disagreement. Money can turn things nasty, quickly.
Secondly, if he doesn’t care about walking you down the aisle, don’t let him! Have your mom walk you. Or walk alone. I mean, you don’t have to make a big deal about it or be mean. When it comes up, just say “Oh, Mom’s going to walk me.” and that’s that.
Good luck. 🙂
Post # 4
@Ann26: That sounds dreadful. But what exactly is your question – are you wondering if you should invite him to the wedding? Ask them to pay for it?
Post # 5
I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I think it’s important for you to stand up for yourself but you really should exhaust all your options with yoru dad before writing him off. Especially if you want to keep a relationship with your mother. I’d say you need to have a serious conversation with both your mother and your father and set clear boundaries that you want a good relationship, but your deserve respect. And call him on it when he is being disrespectful. If he can behave civily then that is great and even if you aren’t close you can still function together . If he can’t behave then you may have no choice but to cut off the relationship.
How this all works into the wedding planning depends on your wedding. What are your wedding plans thus far? Are you planning on inviting the rest of your family? I think it would be very awkward to invite your whole family except your dad. And it would probably destroy any remaining relationship you had with him. However, if you’re eloping then you can just not invite anybody, him included.
Post # 6
Okay, from your description of the situation, it does sound like his behavior is rather deplorable. I’m not excusing being a jerk no matter what side of the political spectrum one’s beliefs fall to.
However, I would also point out that one thing that could be making the situation worse would be that your post indicates that you want to throw out some traditions he might consider a sign of respect while still expecting to follow other traditions that put him on the hook. For example, you said your FI didn’t ask for his blessing. Many couples do this not because they view it as a property issue, but because they realize that merging two families is something that impacts more than just the couple. Clearly, that kind of family outreach was important to him and you guys willing chose to ignore him on it. But then you expect him to pay for a bigger percentage of your wedding than your brother’s wedding just because you’re a girl? That doesn’t seem to mesh with the ideas you presented on why your partner didn’t feel the need to seek the blessings of your parents.
To be honest, I could never imagine a situation where I would ask my mother for more than what she gave to my brother for his wedding. Actually, I would never expect my mother to pay for any part of it just because she helped my brother. I certainly would never have that expectation if I willfully ignored something as simple as a courtesy phone call or outreach to start the conversation about merging families that was important to her.
Basically, while I can agree that it sounds like he’s not behaving well, I also think it sounds like you want it all – to disregard things that might be important to him because you are still his little girl (at least in his mind) while expecting him to give you more fun money than your brother just because you’re a girl.
My advice is to go ahead and take all the responsibility of being independent, especially if you are planning on cutting him out of your life in the future. Pay for the wedding yourself and don’t accept one penny from your parents. You didn’t want them involved in their growing family at the beginning, so don’t expect them to fork over the cash for the party to celebrate it. Walk yourself down the aisle so you don’t have to worry about your dad. Be civil and polite, but be a bigger person than him in not starting family arguments over the things you disagree with in life. It sounds like you’ve already largely cut him out of your future, don’t expect him to hop on board and love it while funding it.
Post # 7
@LibertyBelle: Money is not the main issue. They did say they would pay, without me asking. Only now my father is trying to hold it over my head until I conform to the person he wants me to be. His controlling nature is what bothers me, not wether or not they will pay for the wedding.
In addition, I can understand that he may feel disrespected by not being asked for my hand…HOWEVER, he needs to understand that if my fiance had asked him I would feel disrespected. His inability to see how that particular tradition treats me as less than an autonomous being AND his unwillingness to respect that our choice was different in this respect than the one he would have made is concerning.
Post # 8
@AshleyR83: We are thinking of just eloping, with no real guests to speak of. That way…he wont be there and the wedding wont be the cause of bickering between my parents over money. It seems great except that my mom is desperate to see me walk down the isle and be there for me on my wedding day. I would hate to hurt her feelings, but I can’t easily invite my whole family except for my dad.
Post # 9
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
Since money has been offered (and as you said, you didn’t ask for it, it was volunteered), can you get anything upfront, or is their (I suppose we have to say “his”) plan to dole it out as he sees “fit?”