Post # 1
I could really use any helpful advice you have to offer. How do I tell my dad that he AND my stepdad are BOTH walking me down the aisle at my wedding??? Before any of you say, “tell him how you feel,” let me give you a little background to give you some insight into the situation… My parents divorced when I was 6, and I spent an equal amount of time between their homes growing up. My stepdad has been a part of my life since I was 11, and he is a great guy who’s had to put up with a lot. My dad on the other hand, does have good qualities and he has done a lot of good things for me, but my goodness he’s a handful. My relationship with him is far from the ideal “daddy-daughter relationship.” To put it plainly, he’s a narcissist and he loves to guilt trip and manipulate people to get what he wants. Any time he feels underappreciated, he immediately launches into “I do this… I do that… If it wasn’t for me…” The list and his demands are endless. I have no doubt that my dad “expects” that he’s the only one walking me down the aisle. He also assumes that we’re super close and have this great relationship. We’re not and we don’t. And yes, a couple years ago I did tell him how I felt about our relationship and how he’s treated me over the years, and it did not go over well. He seemed receptive at first, but then launced into, “after all that I’ve done…” So that was the end of that.
My relationship with my stepfather, on the other hand, is great. He’s been very kind and comforting to me when my own father was unable to do that for me. He has a son from a previous marriage, but no daughters so this would be the only time he’d be able to do something like this. Having my stepdad walk me down the aisle would be a sweet way for me to show my appreciation for him and thank him for all he’s had to put up with over the years. He supports my decision regardless of what I decide, which makes me appreciate him even more.
Another fyi, my dad is NOT financially contributing to my wedding in any way, shape or form. I haven’t taken any money from him in years, because he especially loves to use money to guilt people into getting his way. I also haven’t asked for any non-financial help from him, because again, I’m afraid he’ll try to find some way to hang it over my head. Basically I haven’t asked him to do anything for me for quite some time. With all of that said… How do I address the situation with him? Keeping in mind that he is a narcissist, manipulative and takes everything personally?
I know walking by myself is one way to do it, but I would ideally like both of them do it. Any constructive advice would be super helpful! Thanks! 🙂
Post # 2
- Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course
Take my opinion with a huge chunk of salt bc I’m 35 and find the older I get the less I care to handle people with kid gloves. If it were me I’d briefly let him know your plan, firmly state this is your decision and not leave any room for discussion. If he chooses to throw a childish tantrum or threaten not to walk with you at all then thats on him. At the end of the day its your decision.
Post # 3
If he is a narcissist, you know this is not going to go well. At. All. Stand your ground. Do not explain, discuss, try to reason…. state the facts and he’ll do what he’ll do.
And, having had a narc father, I can tell you to be prepared for him to walk out of your life if you don’t bend to his will and “honor him”.
Please do not let this deter you from doing the right thing for you and for your stepfather.
Post # 4
I would tell him your decision with no explanation. If he tries to argue just say “This is what I’ve decided and my hope is that you can respect my decision and be happy to share walking me down the aisle, however if you can’t I completely understand and your welcome to sit it out.”
Post # 5
I’m all for having mothers escort the bride, if they’ve been a constant presense in your life. Or walk by yourself, with your future husband, or have hubby meet you half way?
In my family/social circle it’s very common for both parents to walk with the bride, and it has nothing to do with religion, ethnicity, etc.
I have an aquaintance whose daughter asked her grandmother to escort her, despite both parents attending (and still married); the grandmother had always lived with the family.
Post # 6
Your call for sure, but why do you feel you have to tell him at all?
Let it happen naturally at your rehearsal or on the day.
Unless you think he’d make a scene, he’ll either be in or out. You’ll have to decide, of course, whether you want to deal with whining and guilt heaping for the long term or not.
Hope everything works out beautifully!
Post # 7
I have a narsasstic father and he isn’t even invited to my wedding, my stepdad is walking me down the isle. If I was in your situation I wouldn’t have him walking me down the isle at all and just stick with your stepdad. Either way, explain to your father very clearly that you want both of them to walk you down the isle. Stay firm if he kicks off and explain that if he can’t cope with that then just your stepdad will walk you.
Post # 8
A. Freaking. Men.
As someone else who is in their early 30’s, with divorced parents, I made the decision a long time ago that I don’t negotiate with emotional terrorists. I have no time in my life for people who aren’t supportive. Just tell your dad is a nice but respectful way. If he wants to react and behave badly tell him he’s welcome to attend as a guest and not walk you down the aisle at all.
I disagree with those who say just have your mom walk you down. You shouldn’t have to punish your stepdad because your dad acts like a child. My stepmom is a huge part of my life and we are very very close. It was very important to me that at my wedding she was treated as a mom, because she is one, and just because my mom was also there didn’t make my stepmom any less important. If my mom had a problem with that I would have 100% told her she was welcome to stay home.
Post # 9
“I’ve decided to have the two most important men in my life walk me down the aisle, you, dad, and *insert stepdad’s name here*”
Nothing says your biological father (or anyone for that matter) needs to walk you down the aisle.
For my my first wedding I had my stepdad walk me down the aisle. My bio dad was in attendance.
For my second wedding I had my eldest son walk with me.
I know family dynamics add an entirely new set of worries to a wedding, but I think you’ll figure out the right way to do this for you. Take care!
Post # 10
Thank you to everyone! Your comments and feedback are very helpful, and it definitely gives me a lot to think about. At the end of the day, as many of you have said, I need to be firm and stand my ground. My father is used to getting his way and walking all over everyone, including me. It’s my special day, and I am not going to let him dictate how it goes. He was able to get away with being a bully to me for my entire childhood, but not anymore. I just need to be strong and confident in whatever way I address it with him. Again, I really appreciate everyone’s input, it means a lot!
Post # 11
I don’t really have advice. but I wanted to comment and say how sweet of you it is to include your step-dad. I am a step mom and it feels great when my step son includes me in his drawings or what not (He’s 6).
Do what makes YOU happy. I know this may sound mean but if you’re dad refuses or throws a fit, then forget him and remember you have your step-dad. You’re dad should put his feelings aside for your sake and walk you down the isle with your step-dad and if he can’t that is so sad..
Post # 12
Maybe I’m biased on this. But I had a friend who had a steptfather who had been a part of her life for as long as she could remember and she chose to only have her stepfather walk her down the aisle instead of her biological father because to her that was her father. And I would have done the same thing.
I would talk to your father and if he has any issues or opinions you can tell him that your stepfather will be walking you down only then. Your dad needs to understand that your stepfather is every much your father as he is.