Post # 1
Hi everyone! I came across these boards while googling this issue and was hoping you all could help me
My parents divorced when I was a kid and both remarried when I was a freshman in high school. I’m very close to my stepdad, we lived with him and my mom and he has been there for me every step of the way from the time I was 10 years old. I also still see my dad, but we are much less close and I only see him once every few months (we all live in the same city). I have issues with my dad because while he likes to act like we’re close, he really makes no effort to be a part of my life and acts like he wants to know about me but doesn’t listen. He just cares that he projects the image to others that we are one big happy family. When the chips are down, my stepdad is always there for me and my dad always has an excuse.
I want both my dad and stepdad to walk me down the aisle. My dad and stepmom are EXTREMELY upset about this. They feel that since my dad wasn’t a deadbeat dad that he should have sole rights to walk me. I’ve tried to talk to them several times in a reasonable manner about this, but I’ve gotten nowhere. While I obviously haven’t outright said that I’m closer to my stepdad, I’ve tried to spin it as “You both helped raise me, and it’s very important to me to have you both do it”. However, they don’t care about how I feel.
My dad is also the type to love his “moment in the sun” and he can’t put aside his desire for that to let his daughter have what she wants on her wedding day. They are also talking to my very large extended family and it has the potential to cause a lot of drama.
I should add that when my sister got married two years ago, my dad brought up after the fact how mad he was that my stepdad walked partway down the aisle. It has caused anger and a rift that lingers to this day. We are purposely not accepting any money from my dad for the wedding to keep him from feeling he has decision rights over this (he paid for part of my sister’s and still holds it over her head).
I really don’t know what to do. This is one aspect of my wedding I refuse to budge on but I really want to avoid a war with my dad’s family. Do I keep trying to talk to my dad? Should I be more forceful? I’ve been very diplomatic up until now, because if I get angry he will only tell my family that I’m an unreasonable bridezilla (he did that when my sister got angry about her situation).
Also, should I try to talk to my extended family? Most of my extended family is on his side, but I think it’s due to the fact that my sisters and I are the only ones who have both a dad and a stepdad and this is uncharted territory for them.
Any help would be appreciated! Sorry it’s so long!
Post # 3
Hugs. This sounds like my dad too. He wants what I call “photo opps” but never cared about getting to know me.
Are you using a wedding planner? Perhaps a wedding planner or the officiant can try to talk to your dad.
Post # 4
@juanita.kelly.9: Hugs back! “Photo ops” is a great way of putting it! I’m sorry you have to deal with the same thing.
I’m not using a wedding planner, and our officiant will likely be a friend who is firmly Team Stepdad, lol. But it’s a good idea to try to get a neutral 3rd party involved. Our venue coordinator is really awesome, maybe I’ll talk to her. Thanks!
Post # 5
@strawberry53: This is the time to have a real talk with your dad. Deep down your angry at your dad, bc he has not done right by you as a father. I think this things is much deeper and you need to have a talk with him about your feelings not about him walking you down the aisle. Once you have your talk with him take a few days and rethink about things and if your change your mind and want your dad to walk you and not your step dad so be it. Def. you need to discuss your feelings about how he has treated you. I would never let the convo go in the area of the wedding or about how he treated your sister with her wedding. ONLY about how he treat and made you feel over the years.
Hope this helps!
Post # 6
I think you’ve made the most reasonable compromise possible, aside from having your mom do it or walking yourself down the aisle. Personally, I’d be inclined to just say, “This is the decision I’ve made, please respect it” and let the chips fall where they may. I would not discuss it further with any of them, as it would only give them an opening to try and guilt you into changing your mind. This is your wedding, not a time for symbolic grandstanding.
Post # 7
@Amandarhill: You are definitely right that there is some anger from the way he treated us as children/young adults. I’ve tried to talk to him a few times over the years, but it usually just turns into him trying to guilt trip us and him talking smack about things my mom allegedly did. I’m going to try to talk to him again when I see him in 2 weeks, hopefully I can get somewhere. I’ll try to frame it this way rather than just about the wedding.
Thanks for this, I needed it. My mom suggested me walking alone, but my stepdad has no kids other than us, and I feel like he earned the honor of walking me down the aisle. As a side note, my stepdad has said he will do whatever I want him to do, which to me shows how much he cares and demonstrates why he should do it.
If my discussion above doesn’t work out, I’m just going to repeat your line as a mantra and hope nothing crazy happens. My dad said he almost didn’t show to my sister’s wedding when he found out. I will just have to prepare myself for the possibility that he and/or some of my extended family might not show and know that the people who truly know me and care about me will come and know why I chose to do things how I did.
Post # 8
I am going through something similar to this right now :/ My dad entered my life when I was nine but was never really around then cheated on my mom after 8 years with my best friend’s young (23 at the time and he was 42) step mom. My oldest brother has been my rock my entire life but I have tried to keep in contact with my dad even though if I went a year without calling I wouldnt hear from him. I asked him to walk me down the aisle with my brother and he at first said yes then threw a fit and said he wouldnt do it and now is saying hes not even coming to the wedding. I am the only kid (he has three) that has anything to do with him. Let me also add that he is and has been a preacher my entire life. To make matters worse he is now opening a law suit against my mom beacuse he is accusing her of taking 10,000 bucks from his mother (he took the money that my gma gave him to put in savings for her and bought a rental house but when she found out he proposed they go after my mom to get her money back and he wouldnt be in trouble) … how do i know this?? my aunt (his sister who I was very close to and is nothing like her brother) told me 3 weeks ago and sadly went to be the Lord a few days ago. Needless to say we havent spoken since he refused to come to the wedding and then finding out what he is doing to my mom and my step dad just put the last nail in the coffin. Sorry to vent on here but after reading some of these stories it just frustrated me even more to see the kind of crappy dads that are out there. I will keep all of you fellow bees in prayer.
Post # 9
@strawberry53: Let me also add that what you do is solely up to you but as hard as the decision was for me to make (even after the abuse and lies I have been through with my dad) finally not talking to him at all now has been the best decision I could have made for me and my upcoming marriage. My dad does exactly what you described you dad does .. Talks bad about his own children just to get people to feel bad for him so I understand where you’re coming from. Some people dont understand how hard it is to make a decision like this but know that there are others that do understand. Whatever decision you make God is there.
Post # 10
@lilhenry89: Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry you are going through all that! Please accept my sympathies toward the loss of your Aunt, who sounded like a rock to you. I hope your mom finds an excellent attorney and gets that thrown out quickly! In the meantime, I’m glad you have your brother to lean on for your wedding. You sound like a wonderful person to try to keep in touch with your dad, but I think I agree with you that it’s time to cut him off.
You are in my thoughts. **hugs**
*Edit–thanks for the kind words. Stay strong!
Post # 11
While I obviously haven’t outright said that I’m closer to my stepdad,
Maybe you should. Be honest. Give him the choice it’s either both or just stepdad. He seems to be quite munipulative and you can’t let him manipulate you.
Post # 12
If I were a relative of your dad’s and I heard thar you were being walked down the aisle with both dad and step-dad and so was your sister, I would assume that you two had very good reasons. I wouldn’t just blindly take your dad’s side. When your sister did it, sure I would probably see your dad’s point, but you’re doing it too so I would understand (if that makes sense).
Anyway, hugs to you. I think you are making a great decision to pay for it yourself and have your step-dad be part of it. Stand your ground.
Post # 13
One of my good friends has chosen ONLY her step-dad to walk her down the aisle. Her father, who has been vaguely in her life the whole time, is invited and expected to come. He’s apparently not pleased with the situation, but can’t argue that since the age of 5 my friend has been cared for (emotionally and monetarily) by her step-dad, who is the most wonderful man. Sometimes hard decisions have to be made, but my friend knows which of the two of them is really her “dad” when it counts.
Post # 14
@Atalanta: Believe me, I want to, I just know that with my dad, it will not help matters at all. He is very manipulative and the only way to beat him at his own game is to make something seem like it’s his idea, or he will look really good by doing it. But if it comes down to it, I will say it. I’m standing firm with my decision.
Thanks for standing behind me. I do have faith that the family members I’m closer to will understand what I’m doing and support me. I’m mostly worried about a contingent of very gossipy aunts that through Telephone things turn into something much worse than they really are. Word about other things have gotten back to me through cousins I’m close to and I’m like “how the heck did it turn into that?!”
Good for your friend! I wish I had the guts to do that from the get-go. If my dad keeps it up, I may be doing the same thing
Thank you all for your great advice! You guys are making me feel much better about standing my ground and giving me good ideas on how to address it.
Post # 15
First and foremost I’d like to offer you (((HUGS))). I know that this is a really tough situation to be in, because I have the same issue. So I know from first hand experience that its hard to avoid hurt feelings, while still remaining true to yourself, and properly honoring a person who has played such a significant role in your upbringing.
I love my own father dearly, but quite frankly, he just hasn’t been there for me the same way my stepdad has. He’s always been quite selfish, and he missed almost all of my childhood. He wasn’t there for my 1st dances, proms, graduations, softball games, band performances, broken hearts, awards days. . . nothing. It was my stepdad that was there for all of that stuff. My dad and I just started rebuilding our relationship about 4 years ago, but there has been a lot of bumps along the way. On top of that there is my stepmom or shall I say “step-monster”, who is horribly jealous of my mother (who has been remarried for over a decade & has absolutlely no interest in my dad), and tends to take out her ill feelings towards my mom, on my sisters and I.
But to avoid hurt feelings, and to make sure my stepdad still has an important role, I’ve decided to do the following:
1. My father will walk me down the aisle
2. When the officiant asks “who gives this woman to be married to this man”, my mother, stepdad, and the stepmonster will all stand & in unison all 4 parents will say “We do”
3. I have a very special song picked out for the Father daughter dance, and I will be dancing with my stepdad.
Good Luck with your Situation dear! and more HUGS to you!
Post # 16
@SincerelyShe: Thanks!! I can totally relate to your situation and I think you came up with a brilliant solution! My stepmom thankfully isn’t as bad as your stepmonster. We had some pretty bad moments when I was a teenager, but luckily we get along pretty well now. I do see her as someone who likes to stir the pot though, and I see her more as a cool drinking buddy than a mother figure, lol.
Hugs back! It sounds like your ceremony will go beautifully!