Post # 1
I’m getting married next year and something has been bothering the HELL out of me, and I’ve been getting so much mixed advice from my close friends and family that know my dad but it hasn’t been very helpful so I decided to reach out to people who don’t know my dad or know my story just to see if you guys can help me come to a decision, based on what I’m about to explain to you.
My dad was not there for me from the beginning, as soon as he found out my mom was pregnant he left her, and they had split custody where I would go spend every other weekend with him. But that’s pretty much it. He never paid child support, my mom had to work more than 2 jobs to support me and my stepbrother. If we’re being honest he knows little about me…every year on my birthday he gets my age wrong, just to give you an idea. When I was old enough to have a job, we stopped doing the whole every other weekend thing because work would interfere with the set custody schedule. Whenever I did have weekends off I would call him to see if I could come to visit for that weekend etc… For the last 10 years, I’d say we saw each other maybe 5 times a year and we call each other maybe once every 3 months. He comes in and out of my life when he pleases and thinks nothing of it. Because we barely talk or see each other, having him in my life makes no difference to me. I’m at the point that I’d rather not have him in it at all than have him come in and out because each time I get more and more resentful. Everybody has a limit and I reached mine a long time ago! I want to have a conversation with him about how I feel because up until today he thinks that everything between us is fine and he thinks “our father daughter relationship” is normal.
(I’m getting to the point, I swear!)
Because he wasn’t around when I was younger it caused me a lot of pain and anger towards him. Before I got engaged I had never thought about who would be walking me down the aisle. I decided that he will not be the one walking me down the aisle because, in my opinion, he doesn’t deserve that privilege, I will be having my mom giving me away since she was both doing both roles at once when I was growing up and no one deserves it more than she does. I’d say for the last 2 years I’ve been wanting to talk to my dad to let him know how I really feel. We’ve never had a heart to heart moment and every time I talk myself into having this conversation with him, I chicken out and… it’s almost like another side of me is terrified to talk to him because I’m scared of how he will react. I’ve never talked back to my dad I’ve always been intimidated, and I always did what I was told. I still haven’t told him about my mom giving me away because clearly, I haven’t express to him how I feel about anything and it would be odd for me to just to randomly just bring it up in a conversation and lucky enough for me he hasn’t asked.
I’M TIRED… I’m tired of keeping this bottled in… this is a conversation I NEED to have with him!
My family and friends have told me that I need to have this conversation with him before but the thought of it makes me nauseous and to be honest has probably caused me more stress than the actual wedding planning itself. I’m over it and I’m done feeling this way.
Should I have this conversation with him before…or…after the wedding?
Any advice or opinions is GREATLY appreciated.
Thank you in advance!
Post # 2
Have your mom walk you down the aisle. You’re right – she has played both roles for you and raised you with very little help from him. Him thinking your father-daughter relationship is normal just speaks to his immaturity and self involvement.
I would have the convo before your wedding, but be prepared for it not to go how you hope. Usually they’re not able to own up to their own mistakes, no matter how egregious.
Do you even want him at your wedding? It sounds like him coming in a small your life so arbitrarily is just causing you more harm and making you feel more resentful.
Post # 3
Send him a a letter! Explain that it’s hard for you to say these things in person but that you have to get some things off your chest. Then spill your heart out in a letter and send it.
Post # 4
Sorry, this post is kind of long so i’m not sure I’m getting what you’re asking.
are you asking if you should have a conversation with your dad about how your mom will walk you down the aisle before or after the wedding?
how would it even be relevant to have that conversation after?
Post # 5
My answer is neither.
Some conversations really don’t need to he had. What is the action you are hoping will result from this? Is this conversation to end your relationship once and for all? Is it just to “unburden yourself”? Is it to hope he’ll have an epiphany and change his shitty ways (because lots of people claim they don’t care, but are secretly hoping this will be the case)?
In my experience, shitty people either know they are shitty or don’t care if they are shitty. Either way the end result is the same. Telling them does nothing. If shitty people cared they were shitty, they would stop being shitty. So the conversation is pretty much “Hey, I finally know that you don’t care and I don’t care you don’t care.” It’s like pissing into the wind. I also promise you that he does really know what normal is and even though he claims that your relationship is normal he just means his version of normal. Unless he’s lived under a rock with no access to television he’s seen a variety of Parental relationships. I’m sure he’s seen The Brady Bunch. I’m sure he’s had a plethora of examples of good parental relationships. He just doesn’t give a s*** and what you have is good enough to be his normal. You telling them otherwise isn’t going to change that.
Honestly it sounds like you’ve built this up like it’s going to be some big revelation when truth be told it’s probably going to be met with the same indifference he’s been meeting you with for however many years you’ve been alive and then that’s just going to piss you off more. Has he even told you he expects to walk you down the aisle? Or said anything to lead you to believe he assumes he will be? Or that he cares whether or not he walks you down the aisle?
There’s that saying that the opposite of Love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. The fact that you are all riled up ready to give this big revelation of a speech tells me you’re not as indifferent as you like to think you are. You aren’t as done as you want to be.
So I guess this is my way of saying if it doesn’t come up organically I would just meet his indifference with your own indifference. That’s the only language he speaks. So if and when he does finally asked whether he’s walking you down the aisle just simply say I feel much closer to Mom and she raised me so she’ll be walking me down the aisle. The next time he tries to connect after ghosting you for however many months simply say no. Tell him that you don’t wish to connect because you don’t accept having a father who half-assed his fatherly duties and comes and goes as he pleases. If you prefer to not be at the wedding then you simply don’t invite him. And if he asks then you can tell him it’s because you’re not that close . But I almost guarantee this big revelation of a speech you have build up in your head is probably not going to have the satisfying impact you think it’s going to have.
Post # 6
Yes, that’s exactly what it’s doing! I don’t think it would change anything if he was at the weddin or not. It won’t make things right between us if he does show up and if he’s doesn’t I’d probably be at ease knowing there won’t be any drama between him and my mom.
Post # 7
That’s a great idea, i’ll consider that! Thank you!!
Post # 8
sorry for the confusion lol the ultimate question was if I should talk to him about how I feel and how much pain he’s caused before or after the wedding.
Post # 9
what are you hoping to get out of that conversation?
Post # 10
I think you need to tell him your Mom is going to walk you down the aisle. It’s really not fair to spring that on him publically at the wedding.
I also think a conversation about how you feel will naturaly follow after you tell him. I thnk you care a lot more than you want to admit and are very hurt by his absence in your life. Tell him.
Post # 11
Agree… write him a letter to express your feelings but try not to expect positive change or apology.
Post # 12
Wow! You totally just opened my eyes, you’re absolutely right! The end result will be the same! Either the relationship will end or he’ll apologize we’ll both move on and he’ll still be a shitty person. There’s no sense in me getting worked up about it. I guess I just feel that I need to get it off my chest.
Post # 13
Im in my minimalist phase… so Im cutting out everything that I dont like, everything that makes me miserable, and things that dont serve me (as much as possible) it’s a work in progress. So my advice is if your relationship whith your father doesn’t make you havppy, if you dont see it or dont feel like putting in any effort or time to improve it is worth it then let go.
Post # 14
- Wedding: December 2018 - City, State
I have had many conversations with both sets of my parents. for years they were unproductive but this year finally jad a breakthrough because they finally acknowledged things that happened when i was a kid and apologised for them.
Things arent perfect but it was a genuine leap forward for the first time in my life…
So if it was me I would not have this conversation before the wedding because it likely will not be resolved. I would let him know I want to honor mum for her part in my life amd jave the convo you want after the fact. Before the wedding will blow up and be stressful…. additionally he is likely to assume you are just acting out in wedding stress and not take you seriously.
just my 2 cents
Post # 15
Given your updates , I think you are probably going to forgo The Conversation anyway. I think that’s a good thing , I would wager anything it will not go as you want . He will NOT say , “omg, you are right, I never thought about it , but yes I have been remiss and careless all your life and I deeply regret it it and will change my ways immediately ”
Chances are he will argue with you , tell you why you are wrong and how hard it has been for him etc etc . Or he be affronted as hell , even angry, and make you feel flustered and intimidated .
I’d just make your arrangements with your mum, and if he asks about his part, tell him he’s a guest , and don’t engage further .
All the above is if you think he might change because of The Conversation, if you just want to vent , that’s different. Either way though, you’d still have to deal with his responses .I’d leave it as it is OP, flawed but not actively encroaching on your peace.