- 7 years ago
- Wedding: September 2012
I am the Fiance of a user here, facing a potentially very explosive problem with our rehearsal dinner.
My family has been broken for a long time. My father has not spoken to one of his daughters from a previous marriage in upwards of 20 years. While he holds no hard feelings and actually blames himself for most of the problem, my mother (his second wife) absolutely hates the woman with an extreme, vicious passion as there was a fair bit of blackmail and meanness coming from the daughter shortly before they stopped speaking to one another. She raised me to hate her too and it caused me anger problems that have taken years to solve. I was recently reconciled with her in part via efforts from the daughter my dad does talk to. My mother made every effort to dissuade me from reconciling but I ignored her and did it anyway.
How this relates to our wedding–my Fiance wants her brother and his wife to be honored guests. Completely reasonable. We agree that logically, my half-sisters should ALSO be honored guests, although I’ve only recently developed contact with one of them.
My mother is extremely domineering, and my dad is an enabler. She decided she wants to invite the out of town family guests to the rehearsal dinner; I was OK with this as was my Fiance. When I first mentioned that I wanted my sister at the rehearsal dinner as well, she claimed that since she’s paying for it, she gets to decide and the answer is “no”. It hadn’t occurred to me until yesterday as we were building our website that my sister was going to be an honored guest at the wedding, meaning she would be IN the wedding–walked down the aisle–and that she would thus need to be at the rehearsal, and obviously the dinner.
I feel like I have to walk on eggshells with my mother about this, but that there’s really no way I can let her have her way on the issue. When I last brought it up she asked me to “consider her feelings”–at my wedding. As of late, she has been fighting with my father quite a lot and has decided to seek therapy, a first for her. She is always extremely difficult to get along with this time of year. I have little doubt that this will lead to me paying for the dinner–which is not a big deal, I make enough money–but it will likely also lead to my mother not attending the dinner and possibly not attending the wedding.
My Fiance has been wonderfully patient with this which has made my life much easier–having pressure from both ends is a terrible thing. My sister was extremely pleased to be invited to the wedding (by telephone–we are more than 10 months out and haven’t even sent save the date cards yet) and has not yet been informed of our desire to make her an honored guest. In reconciling with her I avoided discussion of our father and my mother; I have no idea how she feels about them and focused on the two of us reconciling.
How the hell do you deal with age-old family grudges like this? Should I get my sister’s take?