Post # 1
Trying to make a very long story short. My dad has been distant and estranged my whole life. He never supported me emotionally, financially, etc. He was never around and has made excuses for his behavior for years. He also has treated me terribly. He is emotionally abusive and manipulative. I think he is unable to think about anyone but himself, and lives in an alternate reality in which he is the victim but was a good dad. He always did small things like send me cards on holidays, and he points to a handful of things that he did that make him a good dad, and blames my mom for all the reasons he wasn’t (i.e. she won custody, she lied to me about him and brainwashed me, etc.) But the reality is he has let me down and hurt me over and over.
Recent drama arose last week in which I found out he had done something pretty terrible to me so I called him to get the real story. He blew up at me (probably out of shock that he was discovered) and has put me through HELL the past week rehashing old stories and blaming my mom for everything. The things he has said are unforgivable, all the while saying he just wants to smooth things over for my wedding day. He only wants to smooth things over if it is on his terms.
I had originally planned to have both my parents walk me down the aisle because (as anyone in my life will tell you) my mom deserves this honor, and I didn’t want to rock the boat with him. I had learned to be indifferent about him and thought it wouldnt matter to me. But now that he has done nothing but treat me horribly this past week, I have come to realize that I’m not okay with faking it and do not want to recognize him in that way. It just doesn’t feel right. When I think about the photos, and the symbol of it all, it should be my mom and only my mom.
I told him this last night and he said if he can’t walk me, he won’t attend the wedding. He told me it would devastate him. Though I repeatedly asked him to think about my feelings, do me this one favor, etc. he just turned it around on me every time — just give him this one thing he was “destined” to do since I was born, etc. He even went as far as to guilt trip me by saying he was only “staying alive” in order to do this. Just an FYI, a counselor who had his behaviors described to him said he is no doubt a sociopath.
… what do I do? The thought of giving him this honor makes me sick. But if he doesn’t come, I fear that will just be endless drama. I don’t want to make the wrong decision.
Post # 2
It sounds to me like he doesn’t deserve the honor. Your mom also might feel insulted or upset if he also walked you down the aisle.
I think it’s simple: putting drama aside, do you want him to walk you down the aisle? Does the idea fill you with joy?
Post # 3
It’s your day, he can get the fuck over it. If you don’t want to have him do it, he doesn’t do it.
“Sorry you feel that way. This is my decision and its final. If you change your mind we’ll keep a chair for you.”
im assuming you gave your caterer final numbers already (sounds like we’re both getting married on 9/23!), but I’d leave him in *just in case*. I’d hope he wouldn’t miss his child’s wedding but who knows.
i didn’t even invite my dad lol. So I know daddy drama bee. Hugs! We’re almost there!
Post # 4
honeyBee17 : personally, I wouldn’t even want him there. But you’re right, your mom deserves that moment and he doesn’t even seem to have you in order to “give you away”
Post # 5
He is undeserving and your mother does not deserve to share this honor with him.
If he does not attend it is his loss. And it might, in the end, be a much easier day for you, surrounded only by people who genuinely love and support you on such an important day.
Post # 6
jellybellynelly : date twins! It is very typical of my dad to cause drama right before a big event, so I’m not even surprised I’m so close to the date and this is happening. sigh.
I don’t even care about the money or the numbers at this point. I just want to be happy. How did your dad react to not being invited?
The issue with my dad is even though he is 100% estranged, it is like he doesn’t realize it. So it is harder because he just assumes he gets these honors.
Post # 7
I have a similar situation, but it’s my Mother instead. I’ve had to cut her out of my life completely. I’m not suggesting this to you, but I got to the point that my life was being made so difficult by her and her love for conflict, that I needed to distance myself from it. She’s not allowed to the wedding or near me.
Do what you need to do for yourself.
Post # 8
You have to follow your heart on this.
It sounds like you have been emotionally abused by your dad, and in case you feel like you need it, I formally give you permission to stand up to him.
Take it for whatever it’s worth from a total stranger on the internet, but I think you deserve to say “no” to your dad – about walking you down the aisle, and about letting his continued toxic presence into your life. You’re an adult, now, and he can only keep hurting you if you continue interacting with him.
Post # 9
I’m surprised you would include him at all given the information you provided. I certainly wouldn’t have invited him to walk me at all. At this point, I would simply tell him that you think it’s best for him not to come. He sounds like he’ll only detract from the events.
Post # 10
Your Dad won’t stop manipulating you and manipulating history, until you stop letting him.
Being a sperm donor is not a qualification to walk you down the aisle.
Post # 11
He was “destined” to be an actual parent but he chose to ignore that. Now he wants the honor associated with the work? It doesn’t work like that.
any drama he’s going to dish out is not as bad as you will feel pretending to be okay on your wedding day, knowing he is not a real father to you.
frankly you should be proud of yourself for standing up to him and don’t let his guilt trip (unbelievable that he’s claiming this is what he’s living for, that’s rubbish) manipulate you.
Post # 12
honeyBee17 : The fact that he’s making you choose should be your answer. He obviously doesn’t want to be at your wedding for the right reasons, he only wants to be there if it benefits him. I say stand your ground and it will be better in the long run if he’s not there anyway.
Post # 13
- Wedding: July 2018 - Fremont, CA
It’s not about him. It’s about you. Do what makes your heart happy.
I would turn this one on him: “This is my final decision. If you’d rather miss your own daughter’s wedding over it, that will just confirm that you are indeed an unsupporting father”.
Post # 14
- Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle
He clearly wants to play Father of the Year in front of your family and friends. He sounds like a narcissist as well as a sociopath – is this an accurate depiction of how he operates:
A Narcissist’s Prayer
That didn’t happen.
And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.
And if it was, that’s not a big deal.
And if it is, that’s not my fault.
And if it was, I didn’t mean it.
And if I did…
You deserved it.
Stick to your guns and have your mom walk you down th aisle.
Post # 15
KiwiDerbyBride : wow. that prayer is every conversation I ever have with him.