Post # 1
It’s not fair. My Fiance is an amazing son. He’s one of four siblings. His siblings aren’t the problem. The problem are his divorced parents.
On their own – his mother and father seem like perfectly nice people. His mother is a very nice woman but she’s always so busy with other things. She never calls or visits my Fiance and when he finally does get her on the phone she says she’ll call back but never does. It hurts his feelings. He’s the middle child and he’s always felt (even at the age of 30) he’s been treated like one. Always feeling forgotten. To be fair…his mother did pay for his expensive education. I’m not saying she’s a bad person. I just really feel for the Fiance.
His father has MAJOR issues with his mother. They have been divorced for years but he’s not over it yet. He still hates the mother, hates her new husband (even though the “new” husband has been around for 10+ years) And emotionally blackmails his kids constantly. FI’s two siblings have both had weddings in the last 3 years and there was so much drama. His dad gets upset if they are friends with the stepdad on facebook, or where he has to sit at the wedding, that his stepdad was mentioned in the program/invitation (the stepdad did pay for basically everything in both weddings.) This father has also confronted my FBIL’s friend because his friend was talking to the stepdad at the wedding. That’s right…he even puts his drama on his kid’s FRIENDS.
My Fiance wants a traditional wedding (I’m more up for eloping/something super small and chill) but he feels like he has no choice but to elope. This isn’t fair. My Fiance deserves to be happy. He doesn’t deserve to get ULCERS ON HIS WEDDING DAY because his parents can’t pull it together and take a picture together. I just want to scream at his dad and tell his mother to call her son back when he calls to see how she’s doing. She should be thankful her son wants to talk to her as much as he does.
I want to scream at them (particularly the dad) is this why you had kids? to use them as pawns to get out all of your troubled emotions? do you have any idea how much you screwed them up? How much you continue to screw them up? I know you do! And you don’t care! That makes you a shitty father!
Post # 3
You’d be surprised how well adults can behave on a wedding day, or any special day, when it involves their children. I think you two need to take the bull by the horns, bite the bullet and just deal with it. Adults, divorced adults, know how to act like descent adults when they need to. I see it all the time in my line of business.
Post # 4
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Tell his butt to elope. Make Exhibit A sibling #1’s wedding and make Exhibit B sibling #2’s wedding. Tell him you can throw a small reception when you get back if he still feels guilty about it but at least then his parents wouldn’t be ruining the actual wedding day.
Post # 5
@rickhurst35: Well that’s the problem – his dad CAN’T act like an adult. He won’t throw punches but he’ll leave the venue or fake chest pains to get attention (yes – he’s done it before.)
His kids have “bit the bullet” enough in their lives to deal with their parents drama. It’s not his job to bite the bullet – he’s been doing that all his life. The parents can bite the bullet.
Sorry – I’m just really upset and tired of seeing their kids having to be the adults constantly instead of the dad
Post # 6
@mousepeach: I’m sorry that you’re going through that 🙁 It sounds like his parents need to grow up and move on from the past. It is not fair to put your Fiance under that much pressure. Is there a particular place he would be excited about eloping in? We are eloping and it is the best decision for us. I think you guys can have a GREAT time and get just as excited about it as a traditional wedding (at least you have no chance of someone ruining it for you!)
Post # 7
I’m so sorry that you and your Fiance are having to deal with this. However, I think if your Fiance and you would like to have a traditional wedding, you should be able to have one. I would seat his parents at different tables and not require any joint photos. As for the rest of it, I would let your FI’s father bear the responsibility for his own inability to handle these situations; you and your Fiance should do the best that you can to be fair and then simply refuse to take responsibility for your FFIL’s ongoing negative feelings.
Post # 8
@BoxerLady: Thanks. My Fiance has major issues with always feeling guilty. After the divorce he and his brother lived with the dad from the ages of 8 and up. His dad’s main goal was to guilt his kids….constantly. IMO it was total emotional abuse. So obviously the Fiance still takes that with him.
He’s afraid he’ll feel guilty if we elope and he excludes his parents….though he is warming up to the idea. It also gets complicated because I really want to have my mother involved in the wedding – she’s really excited about this and this might sound silly but I don’t want her to miss out on the chance to celebrate her only child’s wedding because of his family’s drama. It’s unfair for so many people. We eventually have to make a decision but I’m resentful of his father for making this a constant cloud.
Post # 9
Part of the reason his parents continue to act this way around him is because he allows it. Your fi should sit down with all his parents, step-parents, whoever else is in this little drama party and explain that they are ALL invited, that it was his choice to invite them, and that he is expecting each of them equally to grow the eff up and behave like adults for a few hours for his wedding, or they can stay the eff home. Period. If they start acting up, be it on the phone, on facebook, in person, whatever, your Fi should tell them to sort out their drama without his being stuck in the middle, and end the conversation. Once they stop having an audience, they’ll stop acting like idiots.
Post # 10
@fishbone: Thanks so much.
I think there is no solution that will work. Like I said before – he’s had two siblings that were married in the last couple of years and believe me when I say that they (including the FI) have tried EVERY method under the sun to get his parents (dad) to behave.
- tell him how screwed up he is making everyone
- total confrontation about their feelings
The dad just gets defensive. The dad never feels guilty or says sorry. To be honest – I think the dad is just sick. Sometimes you would never know it and he seems totally rational about a lot of things but something about that divorce and anything associated with it has crossed wires in his head and it makes him go off the deep end. As my Fiance says “It’s like he’s possessed, as if he just can’t help it.”
Post # 11
I wrote a post a while back about my issues with Father-In-Law and 1 comment was particularly helpful: you need to change your expectation of how a father should behave.
Now, my issue isn’t quite the same as yours, but I do have a lot of ongoing resentment towards the man- his grumpy attitude is the only negative memory I have of my entire wedding day and he’ll never admit that he acted like a child. Since I could not make him change, I had to just concentrate on my own and DH’s happiness and ignore any other bullshit. I know its easier said than done, but hopefully it helps a bit.
Post # 12
Your Future Father-In-Law = my mother.
My parents divorced 25 years ago and I’m still putting up with this sort of shit from my mother. She’s the Queen of emotional blackmail, believe me…and more bitter and angry about my father now than she was the day he left. And like you say, my mother is sick, she’s needed psychiatric help from before I was born…
Some people actively choose not to get over divorce. Nothing you and your Fiance will/can do will make any difference – I’m guessing that your Future Father-In-Law is probably in his 50s, at the youngest. He’s not about to have a ‘road to Damascus’ moment.
Your Fiance need to choose whether he wants the ‘proper’ wedding with all the drama from his father that will entail, or elope. Don’t feel guilty if you do end up eloping, I think you’d be doing your Fiance a massive favour.
Post # 13
you and your fi should have the wedding you want.
solution = don’t invite his parents unless they agree to behave.
Post # 14
Enlist the help of the recently married siblings to: talk sense into Dad but more importantly – run interference as needed on wedding day.
Post # 15
@kay01: Good idea – that’s what my Fiance did for his brother at his wedding. Though my Future Brother-In-Law was still distracted by the dad and his standard sulking in the corner of the venue attention freakout.
Post # 16
@mousepeach: Well, for that you just have to convince your Fiance not to think about dear dad but instead think happy thoughts – you, other friends, family. If he won’t be able to do so, then consider whether you want to invite Future Father-In-Law.