- 8 years ago
- Wedding: April 2013
I really just need to vent a bit. If there is anyone that’s dealt with something similar (and I’m sure there is!), I’d be happy to read your stories and how you handled it.
Background, I’ll try to make it as short as possible: My parents divorced when I was 14 and my dad moved across the country almost immediately after the divorce. He still paid child support, I talked with him a few times a week, and visited him a few times a year, so he definitely has been in my life still. But there is something about geographic proximity too that impacts a relationship.
Very shortly after the divorce (I was still 14), my mom remarried an AWESOME guy, my step-dad. There’s more to the story, but she’d known him since she was a teenager and my dad knew he was too, so he wasn’t a total random stranger. My step-dad is just a great guy and was 100% completely there for me from 14 until now. They live in the same state I do and he’s been my in-state go-to-guy since then any time my car broke down, I needed help moving, etc.
I am an only child. My step-dad has no other children. I will be 28 when married so it has been half my life with him.
I would really like to have both my dad and my step-dad walk me down the aisle. I know that is pretty common. I’ve tried to think of other ways to include my step-dad, and at the end of it, I really just believe step-dad deserves the honor of walking me down the aisle in some way.
I am out visiting my dad this weekend in the state he moved to (after getting engaged just over a week ago). This is a wedding discussion trip.
Yesterday my dad said something about what he’d wear when walking me down the aisle (making a joke about wearing something horribly ugly), and then I asked him, “Well…. what would you think if both you and Step-Dad walked me down the aisle together?”
To his credit, he didn’t say “Over my dead body!” So it could have been worse. But he just looked really really hurt and then sort of shrugged and put up his hands and said, “It’s your wedding.” I know it sounds like he is giving approval when you read it in writing, but you have to have heard the tone and know my dad. He’s really hurt about it.
To further complicate matters, my dad’s wife of 6 years seems to have my dad on a relatively short leash and my dad told me I needed to “get her invested, if you know what I mean.” My dad and his wife are pretty well off, and I’m hoping they’ll make a large contribution to the wedding. So it’s not like I’m planning on paying for it 100% by myself and I can just say, “Well, your opinion doesn’t matter.” And even if I was, I’m just not the type of person who can easily let go hurting someone’s feelings.
Bottom line though: I’m not willing to sacrifice my feelings and hurt my step-dad’s feelings to spare my dad’s. While we both wish we weren’t having to deal with the issues of divorce, that’s the reality of our family.
I am going to try to talk to my dad privately later today or tomorrow more on this topic. I’d like to give him the choice of them both walking me down together or my step-dad walking me part of the way and handing me off to my dad.
The analogy I am going to use (in a very kind way) is that my step sister’s (dad’s wife’s daughter) kids call my dad Grandpa. My dad wasn’t around until my step-sister was older, he was never involved in raising her. That really stings when I come out here and see plaques in his garage that say “Grandpa’s Workshop” or a little footprint thing that says, “Grandpa, I’d follow you anywhere.” Being an only child, I would have never expected to have someone else’s kids calling my dad Grandpa. HOWEVER, I am really happy for him that there are more people in his life that love and appreciate him, so I set aside my petty feelings and just try to be happy for him, even though there’s a bit of a sting. I hope he can do the same thing with my step-dad.
WHEW. I really just needed to type that out. I don’t want to get all emo over this issue with my friends, and obviously I don’t want to talk to my mom about it.
Anyone faced something similar?