(Closed) Advice on NOT having my dad walk me or dance with me….

posted 10 years ago in Family
Post # 3
30 posts
  • Wedding: August 2011

Hey there,

Dont worry about that your reasons are completely understandable.  My dad was never around, and although he will be at my wedding, my mum is going to walk me down the aisle.  Thats my big thank you to her for bringing me up on her own, sod tradition, I love her and I am grateful so she can give me away.

Another example, my friend is getting married two months before me.  Her dad was abusive to her and her mum when she was younger (he hit her mum so hard he gave her epilepsy).  Since she was about 15 she has always classed her step dad as her proper dad.  So as not to upset her mum she isnt even going to invite her ‘real’ dad, (even though this has upset her grandma) yes he might have changed, but he gave her mum such a hard time that she doesnt want things made difficult by him on the day. 

So dont worry, plenty of people in a similar boat if not exactly the same.  Weddings bring up so many difficult decisions, its hard isnt it, but the right decision isnt always the easiest!

Naomi x

Post # 4
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

Your step mother surely can’t expect you to have your Dad walk you down the aisle when he won’t even return your phone calls! That would be way out of line for her to make you feel like that. I still haven’t decided if I’m even inviting my Dad. He put our family through a lot (domestic violence etc.) and has been a bit of a deadbeat really. He’s shown NO interest in the fact that I’m getting married (I think he just doesn’t rate marriage or wedding’s as a big priority) and so I’m leaning towards not inviting him. I feel like he hasn’t done anything to deserve being there – esp. when so many people who WILL be there have bent over backwards to help us out. It’s a difficult situation (I had to tell my dad that he wasn’t walking me down the aisle – he was cool with it – suprise, suprise) but my advice would be don’t feel like you owe him anything, and don’t feel like you have to do thing just because it’s tradition. You have to be true to yourself. Goodluck!

Post # 5
339 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I think you’ve done all you can for right now, which is to decide what it is you want.  I’m in a similar situation (my father isn’t being invited to my wedding for a variety of reasons) so I’m having my grandfather walk me down the aisle.  I would happily have my mother do it, but she doesn’t like being the center of attention.

I think you should just carry on your merry way about it.  Surely your father cannot expect to have the honor of walking you down the aisle when he cannot return your phone calls.  Also, if there’s not another male you’d like to dance with during the normal father/daughter dance time, then simply dance with your new husband (yay!) then forego the formal parent/child dances.  He can dance with his mother later in the evening, it just doesn’t have to be spotlighted with everyone watching.

Post # 6
172 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I have a strained relationship with my biological dad and did not have him walk me down the isle (my mom did) or do a father-daughter dance with him when I was married before.  Most people did not wonder about it because they already knew I wasn’t close with him.  I didn’t really think about the other people or care what they thought.  No one ever asked me about it (including step-mom).

I think you should do what you are comfortable with.  If you don’t want to walk down with him or do a dance with him, don’t.  You don’t HAVE to.  In my opinion, it is a privilege fathers earn; they don’t just get to.  If your step-mom gets into it, tell her she doesn’t get a vote (and she doesn’t).  Thank her for her input (if you want) and then tell her there is no conversation to have.

I know how hard this can be – be strong!  You’ll be okay ๐Ÿ™‚  Good luck

Post # 7
457 posts
Helper bee

I wouldn’t worry about what others will think and feel. Yeah, some people will wonder why he isn’t, but then again if you have him walk you down, people who know the past about your father will wonder and have an opionion. Someone will always have a thought about something. You have to do what’s right for you and what YOU want. Screw what other people want you to do, it’s your day and you want to look back on it with fond memories, not hurtful ones.

Post # 8
1129 posts
Bumble bee

I’m going to be the voice on the other side of this and give you a short version of my situation.

I went through some serious stuff with my family as a kid – and also spent years in therapy as a result.  That being said, nothing is ever perfect despite the fact that my Dad has improved over time and I have gotten better at dealing with him.  By no means would I call us ‘close’ but what I have learned to do is love him for who he is and expect absolutely nothing in return (easier said than done, sometimes…)

I told my Mom a few years ago that when I got married, there was no way in hell my Dad would walk me.  About 3 weeks ago, I was still at that place.  Not out of being angry, but out of believing as another poster mentioned – it’s a privilege, not a right.  I then got a phone call from my Mom, who basically said to me that she knew all had not been wonderful, but she wanted to talk to me about what my Dad was like when I was a baby, how he doted on me, loved me and took care of me when I was small (this is before the bad things happened – and sadly, before most of my childhood memories).  Hearing her say those things did make me think again about my decision.

My Dad may not be perfect, but he loved me as best as he could.

And now… my Dad is walking me down the aisle – and I’m dancing with him in a F/D dance.  I made this choice because at 29 years old, I’ve watched (literally) my best friend’s Dad (who was far from perfect as well) die 6 months ago before ever reaching 60.  6 years ago, another good friend’s father died as well.  My own Mom has nearly died three times in the last ten years due to heart problems.

Our time with our parents – whether it is good or bad – is LIMITED.  As much as I can hear the hurt in your post, I really caution you against making this decision until much closer to your actual wedding date.  You still have 18 months left before you walk down that aisle – and so much can happen in such a short time.

It’s up to you what you want to do and I think most everyone here will say they support whatever decision you make because it is YOUR wedding.  Just don’t make that choice too early, with anger or frustration in your heart – make it because you are 100% sure in the months leading to the wedding date.

Whatever you decide, you will be supported.  ๐Ÿ™‚  WB or otherwise, people will understand.

Post # 9
5976 posts
Bee Keeper

I think you have every right to make this decision for yourself, and to not have to answer to anyone for which you choose. You don’t owe your stepmom an explanation as to why you don’t want him walking you down the aisle and why you don’t want him dancing with you. It’s 100% your decision, and only you know the true reason. The way he’s made you feel growing up, with the abuse is enough to not want him to do either. I think you’re fine in just skipping that altogether and not giving anyone an explanation.

Post # 10
36 posts
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think you are making the right decision.  I am in a similar situation only have decided not to invite my dad.  I told him (after not speaking for a very long time) that i was engaged and that I was on the fence about inviting him – but I wanted him to know…come to find out he knew I was engaged and didnt have the decency to call and congratulate me.  And then he expected to walk me down the aisle…And I said no.  You need to stand your ground and not feel guilty.  Just like my dad, he didnt earn the right to walk you down – he wasnt there when you needed him the most – I agree, nobody is perfect, but when someone repeatedly makes the same mistakes over and over – there is only so many times you can go back to that same place.

You are making the right decision – and I think walking alone is admirable.  If you dont want to walk alone, consider having a sibling or your Maid/Matron of Honor walk with you ๐Ÿ™‚  You can also walk down the aisle to fun music to lighten the mood and your nerves.

Hope this gives you some reassurance that you are making the right move.

Hang in there – this is your day – remember that – and dont let anyone convince you otherwise!

Best wishes! ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 12
8 posts
  • Wedding: April 2011

Thank you for posting this.

I am going throught the SAME situation. It’s nice to see that I am not the only one confronted with this difficult decision.

Post # 13
5789 posts
Bee Keeper

I’m not sure why you even think he’s thinking he’ll be walking you down the aisle? Was it something you two discussed at all or do you just assume he thinks he will?

You said you wanted nothing from him, but in your first few sentences you said you asked if he wanted to help with anything…did you mean financially or in another way?

You have some time before you sort all this out and many things can change. If he won’t return your calls or emails I’m not sure how you’ll resolve anything at this point.

Post # 14
834 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

literally, copy that and thats my story…same thing.. i keep texing my dad..nothing. why would u reconnect then ignore me?? at any rate… im doing what u r doing. paying for my ow $hit, no dance dad, and my bro is walking me down the aisle. i just told my dad i chose my bro since i was lil….so he understood. screw anyone that makes u feel bad, cause when u look back at your wedding, and u do something u dont wanna, it will sicken u. if u wanna walk alone, good for u, but has there or is there a figure in your life who has been an inspiration u could have walk u. i dont want u to regret walking alone. but dont worry about your stepmom…ignore her….not her wedding, not her memory. she wasnt there,she dont know….

Post # 15
30 posts
  • Wedding: August 2011

It doesnt matter if he gives you any money, or how big or small a gift, its not about that the day is it.  he can’t buy a place at the wedding can he.  If he gives you a gift like that, then lovely, but it doesnt mean you should feel obliged to do anything you dont want to do.

Post # 17
33 posts
  • Wedding: October 2012

The way I define adulthood is making a conscientious choice to ACT, not REACT.

You said you don’t want anything from your father. But just before that you mentioned you had asked him to financially help with the wedding. When he stopped responding to you, you then didn’t want him to walk you down the isle.

I bet no one in your family has brought up the fact that your father expects to walk you down the isle –I think this is actually YOUR expectation of him. Am I right?

It sounds to me like you are angry. I understand. I also had a father who didn’t want to be fiscally responsible for me while I was growing up. He died 17 years ago when I was 22, so the question of whether or not he will help with our wedding or walk me down the isle is a nonissue today. But I have come to realize that my father was a very insecure person. He had a lot of pride and he didn’t know how to be vulnerable. He certainly didn’t know how to be parental.

That being said, it doesn’t excuse his negligent behavior towards me. But I do have some compassion for him. Developing compassion helps me to let go of the expectations my father failed to meet and see him as a boy who lack the development of being a man. In short, my father never really was an adult.

When I get resentful, I have it ask myself, am I ACTING or REACTING? When I react, I am a little girl again who is angry her daddy isn’t doing what I want him to. When I am making a level headed choice to act, I am an independent woman with autonomy and integrity. I don’t let myself get involved with pity parties. Why? Because no one is in control of my life but me.

I think you do want something from your father — love, protection, and acceptance. I understand! But when you are able to give these things to yourself, you won’t be as tied up with how your father shows up in your life. And when and if he does show up, you’ll be able to embrace him with no strings attached… for your own benefit.

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