- 3 years ago
- Wedding: October 2013
I am really struggling with whether to invite my father to our wedding.
When I was 7 years old my parents divorced. The reasons for the divorce differ depending on who you speak to, but weeks after the split my dad was in a relationship with a family friend, and every single time I saw my dad on weekends we would go straight to her house. As a seven year old, I was struggling to come to terms with the split, and felt super uncomfortable that this woman was being forced into the picture so soon. I told my mum how uncomfortable I felt and she encouraged me to talk to him about it, which I did. His response? “Ms X part of my life now… I love her… If you don’t like it, then don’t come over”. Ouch.
From that day on, I didn’t spend any childhood time with him. He would always give me a birthday and Christmas present (like that’s what really mattered?!) but never apologised to me or made any efforts to spend any time with me. He would come and collect my brother and take him out, but I stayed home with mum.
Fast forward 12 years. At the age of 19 I had a brief stint in church youth group, and church friends encouraged me to forgive. So I made contact with him, and asked if we could go for dinner. Of course his new wife (same woman) came along too. I guess I suppressed my feelings of rejection and gave him the benefit of the doubt – ‘of course, if he had his time over, he would have done things differently’ I thought. ‘Of course he’s sorry, even though he has never apologised’ I thought. So for years I have maintained this facade of politeness and falseness with him. That is, until this January.
in January I was chatting with both of them and my fiancée and they had had a few wines so lips were loose. for some reason the time when I was seven was raised – with my dad expressing that he felt he was given an ultimatum by me. Then his wife chimes in “but you need to understand that I COME FIRST – I always have, and I always will”. And dad was silent. Ouch. In the same conversation they offered a meagre sum of money towards our wedding (they are financially very comfortable but we had asked for nothing at all), however his wife again chimed in “we will pay for something, but not the whole wedding – I DON’T GO TO WORK TO PAY FOR YOUR WEDDING”. We had not asked for a cent and felt so insulted.
Following this, I was devastated. I wrote to Dad telling him how upset I was and that I always thought he was remorseful for his actions at the divorce, but I must have been wrong. I also told him how insulted we were that she felt the need to set parameters on financial contribution that we had not so much as hinted at. His response? Attack me, defend her. It was horrible. I cried for two days and had to take time off work as I was so heartbroken, and so annoyed at myself for giving him the benefit of the doubt – he is SO not sorry for anything, and I just can’t understand how a father could be so selfish and unfeeling towards his only daughter.
Im at a crossroad about inviting them. The impulsive and reactionary part of me wants to leave them off the list. I worry it will upset me to see him there after all that has happened. But the moral and measured thinking side of me feels like regardless of my feelings I should invite him because its the right thing to do.
What would you do in my situation?