Post # 1
Hi bees, I need some advice: My fiance called his father (who he doesn’t have a great relationship with, but is trying to forgive / repair his relationship with) to invite him to our upcoming wedding. His father said that he wouldn’t miss the wedding for the world, but that we would need to pay for 100% of his travel in order for him to attend (to the tune of approx $700). I should also mention that when this father attended his daughter’s wedding last year, they also had to pony up for accomodations and a new suit / shoes in addition to travel. Fiance asked me what we should do. I’m at a complete loss. I think it’s a great idea to have his father attend the wedding, so they can begin to repair their replationship – he is more than welcome. However, I personally think it’s outrageous for us to pay to have him there. The father doesn’t work by choice (he never has – but that’s another story) and lives in my fiance’s mother’s home for free. Why should we pay? We each work full time, and own side businesses to secure our financial future. And our hard-earned money is going to support somebody that is jobless by choice. That doesn’t feel right. Plus, he should have plenty of extra money, since he doesn’t pay rent…
That is my immediate reaction. But now, I’m trying to process this calmly and see it from a different perspective. It’s my fiance’s wedding too…and I want it to be a special day for him. Fiance vocalized that it’s not our responsbility to pay for his father, but I think he would like to have him there. But, I also don’t want to set a precedent of paying for his family because they’re irresponsible. What do you think is the correct way to handle this?
Post # 2
Seems easy. If your fiance wants him there, pay for him to come.
Post # 3
Can you afford to pay his travel? What does your Fiance want to do? If he wants him there then…lools like you’ll have to pay.
Post # 4
You seem hugely against paying for his father and have a very me, me, me attitude. ‘Why should I spend my money to help out anyone else?’
Personally if my partner wanted a parent to attend our wedding and they couldn’t afford to travel for it I would never dream of not paying for them to attend purely for the principle.
Post # 5
If your Fiance wants his dad there and this is the only reason he wouldn’t be, I’d pay. $700 is a small price to pay for helping rebuild poor familial relationships.
Post # 6
- Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California
This is a huge life event & I would absolutely extend the olive branch (assuming you two can afford it). I certainly wouldn’t be lending your Father-In-Law money on the regular, but I think a wedding is different.
Post # 7
Is his father doing his part to repair the relationship as well?
It sounds like the father has led a rather dysfunctional life and it sounds like your fiance is trying to extend the olive branch and forge a relationship with him (which is big hearted of your fiance but also leaves him vulnerable to being taken advantage of)….so my big question is: what is the father’s attitude toward your fiance?
If it’s “I’m sorry I haven’t been there for you son, thanks for reaching out I’d love to build a relationship with you, talk more etc. I wish I could go to your wedding but I just can’t manage it financially” , then I say pay his way if you can do so without hardship to yourselves, even if the reason he can’t pay his way is due to his own dysfunctional life choices.
If his father’s overall attitude is more “Well if you want me at that wedding you’re going to have to shell out for it” remorseless take-advantage, then I wouldn’t pay a single penny for him to come.
Your fiance may be trying to create a relationship with his father that mirrors the relationship he’s always wished he could have had with a dad- however if his father is an unapologetic user and a disinterested parent, all your fiance’s efforts can’t make his father into ‘great dad’ material. Watch your fiance’s back for him to make sure your Future Father-In-Law isn’t taking advantage of this.
Post # 8
Plus, he should have plenty of extra money, since he doesn’t pay rent…
How would he have extra money if he doesn’t work?
You are not going to change his father. He doesn’t have the money to travel.
I would leave this decision up to your Fiance and support him in whatever decision he makes.
Post # 9
“Wouldn’t miss it for the world” Except you have to pay for it?
I also so think we need more background on the relationship and why they don’t get along. Is it that they just don’t see eye to eye on things? Or is it something much worse, like abuse as a kid or the dad just abandoned him? If it’s the latter, I wouldn’t be paying for anything for this guy
Post # 10
- Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course
Fiance biological dad has been MIA since he was five. He doesn’t reach out to him and the last time they spoke he asked for money. This was on Fiance birthday mind you but he had to call the deadbeat to remind him about it. He lives out of state. I asked over a year ago if he’d like to have this man attend and his response was, “I have a father here. I’m not going out of my way to invite the sperm donor when he can’t even recall his granddaughters name.” So if this man has put zero effort into repairing their relationship I personally would have no problem with his absence. Yes, its a major life event but if he hasn’t given a sh*t about his son any other day attending the wedding will not change that. But I do agree with supporting your Fiance decision so if he decides he wants the man there then pay for him.
Post # 11
If your husband wants him there and it seems that they are trying to build a relationship then I would say go ahead and pay. My husband and I both offered to pay for our moms’ to attend our wedding, because we knew they didn’t have the resources. They’ve both made bad decisions in life that got them to a place where they have no money, but it was our wedding and it felt like the right thing to do.
However, it sounds like his dad just expected you and your fiance to pay? Did he actually say I’d love to come but you will need to pay for me? I would take issue with that. It seems rude and pretty entitled. If your fiance will regret not doing it and you can afford it then maybe you should just pay, but I think you have every right to be unhappy about how his dad handled the situation.
Post # 12
I may be coming off a little harsh, so maybe some background and context would be helpful: My fiance has a strained relationship with his father because he suffered abuse from him, and so did his mother. Fiance’s father was never married to his mother, but they were in a committed relationship. He has 4 siblings, and because the father never worked by choice, his mother was forced to move to the US and left her kids with the father so she could save money and sponsor the kid’s for citizenship. While she was hard at work / separated from the children, the father was jobless and passed his time abusing the children (for example, he beat them for eating almonds) and cheating on her in her family home. He even brought these women into the house while the children was there, while the mother was there! They’ve since found out about 20+ additional children he fathered besides the 4 children by fiance’s mother, some even have the same names and ages. Disgusting. Fiance has told me that biggest goal in his life his to be a husband, father, and man that resembles nothing like his father. Sad.
The only explanation the father has given to the kids is that he was young and stupid – he has never apologized. Now, the father says that he is trying to change his ways. Some siblings have been forgiving and started opening up to the fathers, others – not so much. He recently got married in July and has since has been calling and reaching out to Fiance more often, and I do think that Fiance appreciates the effort. But, I can’t help but think there is an ulterior motive behind it. And I’m quite taken aback that his presence at our wedding is something that we have to pay for. In my opinion, he hasn’t invested in fiance’s life in any positive way for us to make that kind of sacrifice. That’s what’s fueling my thought process behind my initial question. Fiance seems quite conflicted as well. It’s a sad situation all around, to be honest.
Post # 13
We can afford to pay, but the question is should
we pay especially considering that all of our spare funds are being slated toward certain obligations (whether it be saving for a house, retirement, new car, etc – wedding/honeymoon are paid in full). Fiance is conflicted on that and asked me my thoughts. But I haven’t answered yet because I honestly don’t know what’s the right thing to do.
I updated to give a little bit more background as to why I’m a little salty about paying FIL’s way. I think that if the reason he couldn’t come was because he couldn’t make ends meet with his current job, I wouldn’t feel the way I do. I’m not trying to make it all about me, me, me and my money… But, FIL doesn’t work…by choice. He’s not disabled. There is no lack of work. And he has free living essentially. And then he boldly told FI that we would have to pay for him. That’s incredibly rude. He didn’t say, “I would love to come, but I just can’t afford it. Coudl you help?” He told us that we need to pay. That seems kind of entitled and presumptuous of him.
Fiance seems conflicted, says we shouldn’t have to pay for his father…but I’m not sure exactly what that means. He never concretely decided that we shouldn’t have to pay, so therefore he’s okay with the fact that his father won’t be able to attend. You know? It’s still kind of up in the air.
Post # 14
julies1949 : I know I can’t change his father – but I don’t usually feel like I need to pay for somebody else’s bad choices, you know? Father-In-Law doesn’t work by choice. So, he has no money by choice. So, he can’t travel by choice. To me, it just seems crazy for him to ask other people to pay his way through life, because he’s too lazy to work.
We have a deal where we consult each other and agree on the course of action prior to making big financial decisions, especially since our finances are joined and we’re saving for some pretty major things. That’s why Fiance wants my input…
Post # 15
the father got married in July but is living rent free with your fiancés mother?
You can have your concerns and reservations but I really think this is your fiances choice.