Post # 1
My dad and I have had a strained relationship for as long as I can remember. My parents split up when I was a kid, and my dad is what I call “emotionally constipated”. He has trouble sharing his emotions and showing people that he cares. He got remarried also when I was kid and his wife has been nothing but trouble for the last 15 years. My stepmother is a very difficult person, she tears me down and discredits my character. My dad sees this and never stands up for me.
After getting engaged, my dad offered to help with paying for the wedding. After a couple of months, I received a message from my stepmother informing me that they were not going to contribute anything and that we were spoiled, entitled, and that women who call themselves feminists shouldn’t expect their parents to pay for things for them. We had never expected anything, let alone ask for it. We were both very hurt that she spoke to us that way and that after offering to help us, they also pulled out any financial support.
Due to the issues that I’ve had with them over the years, I’m sick and tired of the BS. Not only have my dad and I never been close, he also allows my stepmom to regularly put me down. It happens every time I see them. My dad has already made a comment about expecting to walk me down the aisle, but I am feeling less and less comfortable with that. I would prefer to do it myself. You don’t get to pull out from the typical “dad” responsibilities AND still get to walk your only child down the aisle.
Have any other bees dealt with situations like this before? I would love some input. Thank you! <3
Post # 2
alexvespertine : I think you should write your dad a letter. Walking a daughter down the aisle is usually very important to a father. This may be the perfect time to talk with your father about your relationship with him and the awful stepmother. I would write out your feelings and detail times your step mom has insulted you. Call your father and ask to meet him for coffee, explain that is very important to you that he meet you alone. Give him the letter explaining how hurt you are… 1 of 2 things will happen. He will step up and be a father. He will side with the awful step mom – either way you will have a set answer. Hugs bee! I hope your father makes the correct choice.
Post # 3
The financial help and relationship (or lack thereof) with your dad are two separate issues. If you don’t want him to walk you down the aisle, that’s fine. However, if you were planning on having him walk you down the aisle, but changed your mind when the funding was pulled, that’s pretty crappy. Also, in the future, I would recommend not taking financial help from people that have “been nothing but trouble for the last 15 years.” Pay for your own wedding and avoid the headache. Sorry you’re in a tough spot.
Post # 4
I wasn’t in this bad of a situation…and I did have my dad walk me down the aisle, but it was a hard decision and I was very very specific in the language that our officiant used that there was no “giving away”. My dad isn’t perfect, but he has tried hard at times to do the right thing. So I am glad I shared that tradition with him, but even if I didn’t mind the “giving away” thing–he kind of had long ago lost that right/privilege. I know that’s not helpful, but basically, whatever you decide, stick with it. I would consider asking yourself: what is the message you want to send to him/the people at your wedding?
Do you want to make a point that he is there but not walking with you? Or do you want to show that even if he wasn’t there for you like he should have been, you still recognize that he is your father and you wanted the tradition of him escorting you on this occasion? Or do you want recognition of your own indpendence? Or do you want to punish him? Just think it through and that will help you decide and be able to explain to him your decision. But again–it’s okay to do what YOU want. Maybe just talk to your fiance first and make sure you have someone on your side to help you stand firm if you tell your dad no?
Post # 5
housebee : We ARE paying for our own wedding, however I was surprised and appreciative when he offered help to take some of the pressure off of us. I never wanted him to walk me down the aisle. My mom died when I was 16 and it didn’t feel right to have anyone do it as there was no one who had earned the right.
I spoke to him about it recently, and he argued with me claiming that she wasn’t being rude or anything. I could have another conversation about it, but I’m scared to open the can of worms anymore as I’m afraid of the consequences ruining our relationship permanently. I love my dad dearly, but it’s always uncomfortable when I’m around him and it’s very hard to talk to him. 🙁
Post # 6
alexvespertine : Your dad is barely more than a stranger to you, and he enables/defends his wife’s verbal abuse towards you and your husband. You shouldn’t feel obliged to honor (or even formally acknowledge) him at your wedding. He’s been a disappointment to you your whole life, tough cookies for him if he’s disappointed he can’t publically pretend to be a good dad for one day.
Post # 7
Speck_ : Thank you. It helps to have someone else reinforce the issues, rather than ignoring them for the sake of tradition.
Post # 8
Are you sure you’re not doing this to spite your step mother? I know you’re reasonably upset with your dad but it seems most of your beef is with Step Mom. If so, it’s a bit of cutting your nose off to spite your face as the only two folks who will be hurt are you and your dad. Take a step back and reassess the situation. Did you really want to share that moment with him but won’t because your step mom pissed you off? I’d say compartmentalize and don’t let her and her BS control that aspect of your day.
Post # 9
cassiegirl : Nope, it’s definitely because my dad and I haven’t been close. Don’t give a shit what she thinks.
Post # 11
I just wanted to throw in make sure you are really sure about this because it could potentially be a relationship ending move for you and your father. I know my father would never ever forgive me if he wasn’t allowed to walk me down the aisle.
Post # 12
Here is the thing, as much as he has been a pain, this is something you may seriously regret one day. I say let him walk you down the aisle. It will save a lot of drama for a very brief moment in your big day.
Post # 13
I agree with Speck. He hasn’t been a dad so he doesn’t get that honor to look like it in public. The end.
Post # 14
I had a similar situation. My parents split up after I was out of high school though and I still have my mom. I have a “civil” relationship with my father, not a “loving” one.
I ended up having both my parents walk me down the aisle, but I don’t necessarily feel “glad” that I had my dad there too. (Honestly, it still feels a bit weird.) I guess my advice to you is, do what you feel is right for you and don’t let the people saying it’s about money or your step mom get to you. Having been there, I know what you’re feeling.
Post # 15
I’m in a similar but different position – my dad has been MIA since I was a kid, and recently his new Girlfriend added me on FB and makes tons of comments about me/the wedding/etc. They aren’t invited! So they’ll find out after the wedding, but I don’t really care.
In your situation, I wouldn’t bring it up with him. However, the next time he makes a comment I’d just say your alternative plan. IE “actually dad, i’m going to walk down the aisle alone/meet Fiance half way/have my dog walk me” whatever. He will probably be hurt, but you can move on and change the subject.