Post # 1
I’m not a regular poster, but am hoping that you lovely ladies could give me some guidance and support. My parents recently split in a nasty separation after 30+ years of marriage (might as well be a divorce, although nothing is final) that involved a lot of really ugly deception. It’s about as bad as it can get short of physical violence. At the same time, my boyfriend and I were planning our engagement and expected to set a date for this coming December.
Here’s my question — how do you plan a wedding when the institution of marriage has fallen apart around you? I don’t know that I want my dad to walk me down the aisle, and I used to be very close to him. My parents are civil, and I am sure I can trust them in the same room, but I imagine the tension would be unbearable. I NEVER envisioned planning a wedding without both of my parents! Has anyone gone through this? I wish I could elope, but I think it would break my mom’s heart further.
Any suggestions or advice on how to deal would be HUGELY appreciated!
Post # 3
@Evie: I’m in a similar situation, only I didn’t find out how bad things were between my parents until only 5 months left to go before my wedding. I guess my mom tried to put on a happy face until after the wedding, but snapped and spilled everything, including some things I could have lived without knowing. Now, my once tight knit family has crumbed and I’m left absolutely livid at BOTH of my parents for the way they have handled themselves in front of my younger siblings.
Have you considered postponement to put a little bit of distance between your parent’s issues and your wedding? I’m considering going that route.
On the other hand, you shouldn’t have to change your plans just because your parent’s marriage didn’t work out. Was your dad going to be heavily involved in the planning process before this happened? You may just have to get used to the idea that you and your fiance and/or friends will have to do the bulk of the planning. Also, its a huge plus that you can trust them to be civil in the same room. It sounds like the situation is fairly calm and that is more than I can say for my own situation! Give yourself some space to figure out your feelings towards your parents and what roles you want them to play at your wedding. Then, try to dive into planning and focus on your marriage (easier said than done maybe but what else can you do?)
Post # 4
SweetTea, thanks so much for your response! I am so sorry that you are dealing with this, as well. I am definitely considering pushing the wedding back so that some of the tension has eased.
Still — and I’m sure you’re experiencing this too — there’s no way for anything to be the way it once was. I always wanted a tiny, immediate family & close friends-only, wedding, but now I feel like having only a few people would make everyone uncomfortable. Do you think it would make a difference to invite more people, or does it even matter?
Best of luck as you go through this! HUGS!!!
Post # 5
I am sorry you are going through this. Both my and DH’s parents are divorced. My parents get along well, but his mom makes eveyone so uncomfortbale when she is around Father-In-Law, it really stinks.
I would try to keep both of them involoved. Maybe going out for dinner with them seperately. As long as they are able to stay civil, then I don’t think you will have to change your wedding plans. Hopefully as things are more finalized ,things become more normal for your family with the way things are now, and by December it will be easier foreveryone. Best of luck!
Post # 6
My parents split up about four years ago after 30 years as well. It was nasty and they haven’t spoken since the day when my dad walked out except when absolutely necessary (and even that was only through email). To top it all off, my mom’s family are exactly my dad’s biggest fans these days. Our relationship isn’t great either. I know that everyone would be civil for me, but the tension would be awful, even four years later.
Two weeks ago, my dad emailed me and told me that he thought it would be best if he didn’t come to the wedding. He said I would be a basketcase knowing that they were all in the same room. Plus, he said that he wasn’t ready to see everyone yet.
I’m an only child and was Daddy’s girl for my whole life. The thought of not having my dad there actually made me cry.
Now, I’ve kinda accepted it and realize that it would probably be for the best. I would be a nervous wreck and it would take away from my day. Like you, I never imagined planning a wedding under these circumstances.
Anyway, all that to say that I wouldn’t necessarily push back the wedding until it all blows over. I don’t want to be Debbie Downer, but it just might not ‘blow over’ anytime soon.
Oh, and big hugs! It’s an awful situation to be in.
Post # 7
I had the same thing… parents separated a month before my wedding… It sucks. My suggestion is to just focus on you and your fiance’s relationship with each other and to learn from your parent’s mistakes. Focusing in on my relationship and letting everything else around me just be helped a bit. There’s gonna be drama and more obsactles with the planning and logisitcs and more stress than normal, but focusing on my own relationship and not getting caught up in theirs helped me.
Post # 8
I went through this. My dad was not able to walk me down the aisle. My mom was not involved in my planning. It was all okay.
I remember being happy that my parents were finally moving past the years of resenting each other. Now, with the divorce, they would be able to grow as people in the direction that was right for them. During a celebration of love and lifelong commitment, it is in the good spirit of the day that your parents not be suffering and struggling in a damaging home environment.
I have been told that when adult parents divorce, the children end up taking on the adult role. It was true for me in many ways. You need to be patient with them in some ways, and firm with them when they are asking or expecting what you are not able to give to them during your engagement/wedding day.
Just take it one day at a time 🙂 and if something specific crops up, the hive is here for you!
ETA that my father also threatened not to come to the wedding. He came without telling me otherwise and did his best to piss me off royally the whole day. I heard second hand that my wedding really did set him back in his, uh… healing journey. Something to consider. He was also the one who was ‘left’ and causing the ‘one step away from physical violence’ that you said you were experiencing also. If your situation is similar, might be a tough one for dad.
Post # 9
I suggest a long engagement. My parents split up literally the week after I got engaged, after more than 25 years together. It came out of nowhere (not really, they both knew there was trouble, but everyone else didn’t suspect anything). Taking time to let everything heal has helped a lot. They’re civil, but there are definitely stages to divorce/separation. They were really civil for a couple months, then it was rougher, and now its a lot better. Also try to think of some other role models for your marriage. I know looking at my FI’s parents’ relationship helped fill in the gap for me, because I really questioned the idea of marriage right after my parents split. Having a couple who has been together a long time to look at helps. Another good place to looks is your grandparents (though all of mine are divorced and most are remarried). Also every case is different, and the circumstances surrounding your parents’ split is probably very different from mine.
Post # 10
Will you be inviting grandparents,aunts,uncles, etc? If so, each of your parents will likely have family there to keep them busy on the day of the wedding. If you weren’t planning on inviting extra relatives, I still probably wouldn’t go to the extra expense of inviting more guests in order to create a buffer. Everyone will just have to behave!
I hope you are finding comfort in these other posts! My heart breaks for everyone else who has had to deal with this at all and especially close to their wedding, but it is nice to know that it is survivable. Best of luck to you as well and HUGS right back! 🙂 I’m sure your wedding will turn out amazing and beautiful whatever you decide to do!