(Closed) I’m getting married, but my parents are on their way to a divorce….(long/vent)

posted 7 years ago in Family
Post # 3
686 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’m so sorry.  We have a family member who will be part of our wedding who also has very similar issues with bipolar disorder.

Do you know if he is on meds for the bipolar?  When he’s not manic or depressed, you may be able to reach out to him and say something like, “Dad, I love you and have wanted my whole life for you to be at my wedding – but I’m really concerned about your well-being, to the point where I’m afraid that it might be best for you to not be a part of my big day.  That will make me so sad, Dad.  It would mean so much to me if you were to consider seeing a therapist and trying medication – even if it’s just for the wedding – so you can be part of my big day.”

For our wedding, we had the 1st (of what will likely be many) conference calls on how to set this family member up for success – and on how to set up backups for if she acts out.  We’re flying in a support system (people who know her well but we wouldn’t have invited otherwise), ensuring there’s transportation if she acts out, even knowing how to get in touch with security if it gets bad.

I don’t know your dad, obviously, but I think tackling the “what can I do before” and “what can we do for the day-of in case it gets bad?” is the easiest way to break apart a huge dilemma. 

The other thing is: DON’T FEEL GUILTY.  It’s not your fault.  And yes, he’s sick, but you also can’t enable him. If you ultimately decide that you need to exclude him, that is okay.  It may be the best decision that can be made at the time given the resources at hand.  And if he’s better later on, you can have a renewal of vows with him.

Don’t dismiss that the importance of this day may be the motivation he needs to seek and ask for help.

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