- 5 years ago
- Wedding: September 2013
I will try to explain this in the most uncomplicated way possible. I have no relationship with my biological father. He is not invited to our wedding.
From the time I was 4 to the time I was 12 years old, I was raised by my mother and her boyfriend. They never married and at 11 years old, they split up. To this day, I call this man my Dad. While this man never adopted me, he cared and provided for me like his own daughter. From the time I was 12 and through high school we had a rocky relationship that existed over the phone because my mom and I moved eight hours away from him and also largely due to the emotional damage that was done – I felt unwanted and my self-esteemed suffered.
When I want off to college, we repaired and maintained our relationship mostly over the phone once a month. He still sends me holiday and birthday cards but had no part in financially supporting me and my mother. He went onto marry another woman; I was invited to their wedding when I was 14 years old. I have seen him twice in the last ten years. I have only ever told a handful of my closest friends about our estranged relationship. Most all of my friends have never even met my Dad. I never shared the full details of my relationship with my fiance until we got engaged. My fiance was kind, patient, and gracious when I finally opened up about my estranged relationship with the man I call my Dad.
My mom went onto marry my stepfather five years ago and he has been wonderful and loving to me. My mom has said that she and my stepfather will walk me down the aisle. While I agree, I also wonder how I can honor this man that raised me as a child when he had no obligation to? To this day, I maintain a relationship with him and he calls me “his girl”. Also, do I invite him to the rehearsal dinner? My fiance has never even met this man – how will I explain to my future in-laws? I worry about hurting my Dad’s feelings by not including him in special wedding traditions – walking me down the aisle, father/daughter dance, etc. Also, do I include him in family pictures? I honestly do not think that he would expect to be a part of those traditions. I am less than three months away from our wedding and have never mentioned anything to him about it during our phone conversations. One idea I have is to perhaps have a slow dance with him during the reception – not a father/daughter dance where we are the center of attention, but just to make sure to carve out a special time where we can dance together. My mom wants us to do a mother-daughter dance, which I have agreed to largely because she has raised me as a single mother for most of my life and deserves the honor of that recognition and also, because when I was younger, her and I used to dance around and twirl one another, so it’s not so weird for us to do that.
I want to say, I have no room in my heart for hurt or anger any longer. I would love to hear from others who might have a smidge of a similar situation or any helpful, encouraging advice.