Post # 1
So, I come from a divorced family. A BITTERLY divorced family. Neither of my folks like one another in the slightest, and as a matter of fact routinely do things to one-up one another and fight over their childrens ‘love and affections’ so to speak. So, to say their relationship isn’t amicable is an understatement.
After we got engaged, the dreaded walking down the aisle conversation happened. I have a step-father who has helped raise me since I was around 10 years old or so (now 26 turning 27). However, my biological father and I have also had a close relationship. In passing, I said I wanted to walk with JUST my biological father down the aisle. This wasn’t meant as disrespect to my step-father, just that I don’t have many fond memories with just my biological father and I and that I really wanted a moment like that to look back on fondly (Mom has a way of shoe-horning her way into everything). Also, I know how important it is to my father. When I told my mother that she burst out into hysterical tears and said “How can you do this to us, Jimmy is your father”….er…no? He’s my step-father and what about Dads feelings? I quickly corrected my mother and I thought the issue was put to rest.
Fast forward, and she won’t drop it. She continues to say things like “Well, what if Jimmy hands you off to Dad, can he do that?”—NO. “What if he walks you 1/2 and Dad walks you 1/2”—NO. I finally say to my mother “If anyone is walking me with Dad, it should be YOU! Not Jim, you’re the one who made all the sacrifice”
And thats when the tables turned. Suddenly it turned into “Oh, Dad won’t mind if I walk with you, once Jimmy heard I’d be walking with you he was 100% OK”
I have put off telling her I don’t want her walking with us until tonight. She knew I was undecided and emailed me today to ask what my plans were, she said she supports me no matter what but I somehow doubt that. She’s been acting strangely towards me because I think she knows I don’t want her to walk.
I feel so sad bees. The last thing I want to do is upset my mother on what is supposed to be a special day for her too. I feel like no matter what I do its never enough for her and just feel incredible sadness that I didn’t stand my ground.
Any pearls of wisdom for a sad oyster?
Post # 3
It’s so irritating when parents make us responsible for their emotions. Your reasons for wanting to walk alone with your Dad are perfectly valid, and your mother needs to take a deep breath and remember that this is not about her.
Not saying her feelings ought to be deliberately hurt, but there’s no need for you to accomodate her desire to minimize your dad’s participation.
She may throw a bit of a fit, but as long as you’re calm, collected and firm in stating your preferences she’ll get over it.
We went through something similar with my MIL and giving a reading, and the only thing that worked was endless repeating, as coolly as possible, what we were going to do and who would be participating. She wasn’t thrilled, but now, six months later, I doubt she even remembers the kerfuffle.
Post # 4
I agree with teaandtoast. Just stay calm and let her know that this is how it is. You might try the line “you may not like my decision, but I expect you to respect it”. That usually works pretty well.
Post # 5
I am so sorry, this must be terribly hard for you. Are you close enough to your step father to talk to him about it, maybe he could be the voice of reason for you. I would think another man would understand how important it is to walk his daughter down the isle.
Post # 6
Thanks girls, I really appreciate all your kind words.
The part that is most difficult for me is that my parents are just so hypocritical. When my stepfathers daughter got married she wanted both of her parents. My stepfather refused to allow her mothers participation because it was “his moment”. My mother also refused to allow my step mother to be involved in my day of wedding hair appt because it was “her time” why do they always want to have their cake and eat it too? How does my mother not recognize this as my fathers moment during my day?
I guess I just feel lost because I’m caught between this weirdly sad and angry at the same time emotion. My parents have little to no regard for the other and expect me to make up all the middle ground.
Tonight I’m going to be kind, but firm. I even have a special flower ceremony planned for her and FMIL during the wedding that she doesn’t know about. Also, I’m doing 2 father daughter dances and intended on having a special message recorded by me for my stepdad. He will have his moments, I just want them to be separate from my fathers, is that so wrong?
Post # 7
No its not wrong. I think it is very kind of you to include the steps at all. I am a step mother myself. When the FHs wife was alive we had spoken about upcoming life events. I asked to be left in the background for all of them as these were moments that should be shared as parents not as seperate households (but that is just me). I wish you all the peace for your wedding day.