(Closed) Estranged family members

posted 7 years ago in Family
Post # 3
2889 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Honey I am so sorry that your dad was abusive : (

You dont “owe” anyone an explanation. If people ask and you dont feel up to going into it, say “he isn’t a part of my life and good riddance- end of story.” If people push say that it is a sensitive subject for you and you would rather not talk about it. It is too painful. The majority of people will accept that response and if they don’t just stare at them like they have three heads. I really wished I had learned to handle nosy/pushy people a lot sooner in life 😀 {{hugs}}

Post # 4
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I don’t have this issue with a parent, but I do have a brother who I have removed from my life for a variety of reasons. When my SO’s parents or relatives ask things (ie, “Are you an only child?” etc), I just say, very straight-forwardly, “I have a brother, but he’s no longer part of my life.” I like my in-laws very much, but I don’t feel comfortable talking about it further, and I think that a lot of people can understand, from a sentence like that, that you may not want to explain the situation. If you do want to discuss it with them, however, remember that your partner knows and still loves you and understands that you’ve got some family baggage (and who doesn’t!). Would you feel more comfortable if your boyfriend explained it to them privately? I think if my SO’s family ever wanted to know more, I would personally feel better if he explained the situation to them than if I had to, but I know that’s not true for everyone.

His family is excited to have you as a part of their family, and I’m sure they will take this in stride if you choose to tell them.

Post # 5
2188 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2024

You don’t owe him shit. If you mom is pressuring you to invite him say no and tell her the abuse he put you through and that you don’t want him involved in your life and your step dad is who you consider your father.

You don’t have to tell your SO’s family anything. If they ask about him just say you are estranged and haven’t seen him in years and you consider your step dad your father. End of story, they don’t need to know anything more.

Post # 6
543 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@bkrocks13:  i have basically the same situation. I havent spoken to my father in years and dont even know of a way to contact him if i wanted to. My stepdad has met my soon to be inlaws and my step dad will walk me down the aisle. I keep getting really upset thinking my own dad wont be part of my wedding, or know his grandkids and be part of their lives. but that is something he gave up years ago when my parents divorced. It is a really hard thing to deal with, and although my fiances family knows a little of my family dynamics they do not know the entire story, and never once have they pushed to know more. the only thing i dont really understand is why your mom would pressure you to invite him or have him be a part of it. i think if you just explain it is your wedding, and he is the last person you want to invite, she may just be feeling like you want him there.

Post # 7
7770 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

@bkrocks13:  So, you are thinking about not inviting your bio dad to the wedding?  It is so hard, isn’t it?  It seems you really want to break off the relationship (any/ all contact) with him, and are having a hard time doing it/ distancing yourself?  Or are you worried he will get too drunk at the wedding and cause a scene?  Or both?

Darling Husband and I both have very difficult, abusive, some mentally ill, and some substance abusing family members, along with (unfortunately- some extreme criminals).  I wouldn’t wish it on anybody!  We struggled with who to invite and have now (though it took a few years) successfully cut off all ties with his family.  We keep all the distance we can from mine.  (I see them once a year, my mum I have not seen in 5 years, and we do see my dad and his relatives more frequently- so at least we have that.)  We decided his family could not be at our wedding and my family was horrible to us about it.  (But note- my family is horrible!)  We ended up having a small wedding- just us and two witnesses.

I think you need to decide if you are done with all contact with your dad (or at least are okay with being for a little while.)  If you really are done, I bet you can be honest and people will support you.  If not, I would invite him- otherwise it might put more of a rift between you.  It is hard with family and sometimes you just need a break.


Post # 8
4505 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

You don’t have to explain any of this to your BF’s family, ever. Honestly. It’s none of their business, and I can’t imagine their asking. A lot of people have stepdads who act as their fathers. If you have to, just tell them you haven’t been in contact with your bio father for a long time.

As for your mom, you might have to tell her the full extent of the abuse so she stops bugging you to invite him. I hope she listens. Good luck to you!

Post # 9
2838 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@bkrocks13:  I can relate to you.  I didn’t have contact with my bio mom from the time I was 15 until I was 21(almost 22). Nearly 7 years.  My stepmom has become my mom and has been more of a mom to me than my bio mom ever was capable of being.  While I was not physically abused, my bio mom and her family were extremely emotionally abusive.  I was also very neglected (at 14 I was too unhealthy to have a period and weighed much less than 100 lbs at 5’1″). 

I won’t give all the details of our relationship (it is long and complicated), but here is what caused us to stop talking: My birthday is in May right after mother’s day. The year after I left, I very immaturely decided not to call her for mother’s day because I was very hurt and confused. So I never heard from her on my birthday either. Then a month to the day of my birthday I received a gift in the mail with a note that said, “Because you didn’t call me on mother’s day, I didn’t call you on your birthday.” I didn’t call her after that and she didn’t contact me except with flowers once a year on my birthday through my 18th birthday. At the time, I wasn’t old enough to be the adult, and she wasn’t (and still isn’t) capable of being the adult.

We got back in contact several years ago. Very cautiously and through tragic circumstances (the death of her dad). We live in different states so I tried to keep in contact with her some, but keep her at an arms length for my protection. Once a year, while visting other family, I am in her area and I will spend a day with her.  It is still very hard on me emotionally.  But I have chosen to forgive her. A few years ago, she quit trying to keep in contact with me.  I asked her why and she said, “Well, I figure at some point you’ll decide to stop talking to me so I thought I’d do it to you first.” We hadn’t fought or anything. She just isn’t a mentally or emotionally healthy or mature individual. I tried to explain that her logic doesn’t create an adult relatioship. But I can’t change her.

I am a Christian, and I want to honor my mother. So the only way I know how is by calling her a few times a year, and visiting while I am in the area, to tell her that I love her.  I can’t fix her.  She is broken.  Your dad is broken, too. Love does not equate a relationship. Forgiveness does not restore a relationship.

My in-laws know that my stepmom is not my bio mom, but they treat and respect her as such.  They know about my real mom. I was honest about her problems (and more detailed than here). They don’t think less of me for any of it.  I don’t think yours will either.  Ultimately, both your mom and your in-laws will need to respect the decision you make on the type of relationship you have with your bio dad, even if they disagree with it.

Best wishes to you.

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