Post # 1
I’m not even sure where to begin with this. I’ll try to keep it as short as possible. FI’s father died many years ago and his mom remarried shortly after. FI and step-father’s relationship has always been strained with FI being told many times, from his step-father, that he was “not his son” and that he wouldn’t take part in ‘parent-like’ activities such as school ceremonies, sports events, etc. FI’s mom stands by her husband and this has made a craptastic relationship between them all. So, just to sum up, step-father is an ass (sorry for the language but it’s a fitting description) and the Mom is a very committed spouse.
So, here we are less than a year from the wedding and FMIL is saying she may not attend the wedding at all. Step-father will not be coming and she wouldn’t feel right coming without him. UGH! Sooo, herein lies some issues I need help with:
1. do we still invite them both, just the Mom or neither? (I say take the high road and invite them and let them choose, FI says why bother)
2. can I still have a father-daughter dance? This would mean a great deal to my Dad and I but would it just draw more attention to the fact that FI doesn’t have his immediate family present?
3. wording on the church programs: good grief!! Do we include just my parents? his parents? no parents at all?
Any help at all would be great! I need some clear heads and impartial people to help us sort through this mess. Poor FI is so embarrassed and hurt by all this and my family seems like they are getting excluded. (though they’ve been super supportive and empathetic about it all)
Thanks so much 🙂
Post # 3
i think with a year out, you have plenty of time to figure this stuff out, and most likely you won’t be able to answer those questions for quite a while. i’m confused though- is she saying she won’t come if the stepfather isnt invited, or she wont come period? if it’s the former, i’d say just invite the stepfather.
Post # 4
I would say include them in the program and invite them. If they choose not to come then that is their choice. I think you would be ok having a father daughter dance. I have been to a few weddings where just the bride and her dad have danced. I think you should do what makes both of you happy. Plus you do have plenty of time to see what happens and figure things out.
Post # 5
I think you should still invite them both and let them decide. But why would step father not want to come? And really???? His own mother would miss his wedding cause her husband does not feel one inkling of connection to her son? (An aside, but I don’t understand how a mother could be with someone with so litter regard to her child!) I would really hope she changes her mind and see her son get married wiht or wihtout her husband. As for programs… i’d cross the bridge when that came and hope that things clear up and get better by then. And your father-daughter dance, if your FMIL really did not come, I think if it meant that much to you and your father, I’d still do it. You can’t help if FMIL hurts FI by not attending, but I wouldnt take that away from my father.
Post # 6
Wow I feel really bad for you FI. I hate it when women are so dependent on their spouse and they totally don’t support their children. It totally sucks.
I think you should still invite them both. Leave it open for them to decide (a lot can happen in a year) but don’t expect them to change their mind, so you or FI aren’t too hurt when they offically say “yeah we’re not coming”.
Include them in the program. Also have your father daughter dance. Here’s a suggestion, depeding on how close FI is to your fam. would he want to dance w/your mom? Or maybe a grandmother or aunt? I think it will be fine without him having a dance of his own, but if he really wanted to have his dance.
Post # 7
Thanks so much! I know a lot can happen and change in a year but sadly it doesn’t look like this thing is going to get much better by then. FI and step-father haven’t even spoken in over a year and FMIL has completed distanced herself from us as a result. She will not come to the wedding if her husband doesn’t attend, she has told me this herself. She is in a place where her husband has asked her to choose her son or her marriage and she has opted for the second. It’s all so bizarre to me 🙁
Thanks again ladies!
Post # 8
I’m sorry they’re being such turds. I will say that when I got married, my husband didn’t have a mother/son dance because his mom passed away years earlier. So in a sweet gesture, he dancd with my mom instead. That endeared him to her:)
So I think if FMIL doesn’t come, having your FI dance with your mom would be a great way to celebrate his new family. It sounds like he’ll end up being closer to your family over the years anyway.
Post # 9
@puddingpop: I understand in a lot of ways. I grew up in a loving family and everyone is so good to eachother. Don’t get me wrong we are all crazy, but more of the fun crazy. My FI isn’t so lucky, his family is full of drama and we have had lots of issues with wedding planning because of some of the situations.
I took the high road. I invited everyone. His Father and Step-mother even though she is the same as your FI’s step-father. She “never wanted to have children and won’t pretend that she looks at them as her children just because she married a man that has children” I did not however put her on the program. I listed his bilogical parents on seperate lines.
His mother who is not remarried and still feels like her and FI’s dad should do everything as though they still are is going to suck it up. She will be introduced with her grandson our ring bearer. She has mentioned not showing up if we don’t submit to the way she wants it and so be it then. I am not trying to have the this is my day princess attitude, but we are going to do what we think is right.
Trust your gut. We are 2 months away from our wedding and people seem to be coming around and dealing with the decisions we made.
Post # 10
Wow! That is a very difficult situation.
I would say invite them both and leave it up to them to attend. That way “the ball is in their court” and they can not say “you guys excluded them” and try to blame you and your FI. As far as father/daughter dance… I would say definitely do it. You shouldn’t take that honor/pleasure from your Dad because of your FI Mother’s decisions. I don’t believe it would be awkward @ all. As far as invitations, if you and your FI are hosting then your names only is fine. If your family hosting, then list your parents and you can leave out his Mother/Stepfathers name completely without any issue. good luck.
Post # 11
I agree with PP – invite them both, include all names in the program. Make sure in include something about his father who passed away – in memory of – type of thing. I would still do a father daughter dance. It’d be nice for him to dance with your mom if his really ends up not coming. I highly doubt they’ll bail when it comes down to it closer. Sounds like they’re just being dramatic since it’s so far away!
It’s very rude of step father to do this – when he married his mom he knew what he was getting himself into! We all know you can’t just marry 1 person, you’re in their whole family now!
I would let them know your ideas and feelings and speak to him mom alone maybe, send some nice emails letting her know how you’re planning is going. Maybe ask her to help you go shopping or invite her to a shower or something. Then she’ll see that it’s about you and her son, not her snobby husband.
Post # 12
Thanks again! I appreciate all your feedback and advice! I think I will go ahead with the father-daughter dance and mention your idea to FI if he would like to dance with my mom or his Aunt (who he is super close to) incase his mom is a no-show. I will also be doing an “in Memory” page in our programs for his Dad! I’m hoping that as the big day draws nearer some kind of miracle will happen and FI’s parents will just suck it up!
It’s kinda funny to think that MY FAMILY are the “normal” ones in all this..haha!
Big hugs and thank-yous!