Post # 1
Here’s a little background….
My father is 1 of 6 children. He has VERY limited contact w/ his brothers and sister and father (his mother passed a couple of years ago) since they are pretty vindictive and all around shitty to my father. Basically growing up as the youngest, my father was forgotten about, never had anything new, no one remembered his birthday, and he cared for himself (his mother was someone who should have NEVER had children). Finally when my father got into his twenties he stood up for himself and didn’t want to be sh*t on anymore so he distanced himself. Along came my mother – they hated/still hate her. She couldn’t understand why someone would treat my father the way they do so she began to resent them and never spoke to them. I grew up w/o knowing that whole side of the family (to the point where I ran into them at a family funeral and my grandfather had to be introduced to me – although I knew who he was from previous interactions – talk about embarassing to me).
Anyways, my father (53 years old) still goes to visit his father, tries to be civil to his family, since after all, they are still his family – and he still believes that one day they may change.
My father asked to invite his brother and his wife to the wedding – he still has a decent relationship w/ him. I agreed. He also mentioned something about inviting his father to the wedding. I told him it was up to him – I hold to ill feelings towards him. Do I think how he treated my father was right? Never in a million years. Do I resent him for not being there while my brother and I were growing up? In a way, but I had 2 other wonderful grandparents who took there place 100%. But the past is the past, and I, like my father, is trying to give him another chance.
I mentioned to my mother this weekend (while we were finalizing the guest list) that my father’s father (lets call him “Mr. X” ) would most likely be getting an invite. Mr. X most likely will not come since he won’t know too many people and the drive is almost an hour for him. SHE FLIPPED OUT!!!!! She said that if he comes to the wedding she will surely make a scene and let him know just how unwelcome he is and she will embarrass him. She said under no circumstance is he invited to the wedding.
WHAT?!?! Why would she ruin my day like that? There will be 150+ people there – she can easily avoid him!!! And let me say that, YES, she WILL make a scene – its not an empty threat. She did this at a funeral and My whole family was embarrassed by the childish way she acting.
My father caught wind of her threat and now he said, “Don’t bother inviting my father – I don’t want to cause a scene and ruin your day – its not worth it.”.
How can I make everyone happy and most importantly – Why the hell would my mother say something so hurtful?
Post # 3
Ugh…sorry you have to go through this. It sounds like you are definitely in a tough spot. If I were in this situation (and this is just me and may partially be because I’ve had it with other people during my wedding planning) I would tell your mother that this was your father’s choice, not your own. If she has any problems with it, she can take it up with him. And then I would probably inform her that if she were to think seriously for even one minute that she would cause a scene and ruin my day, she will be the one who is asked to leave. But again, that could be just because I am on the verge of screaming about my own wedding. Good Luck!
Post # 4
Wow we could be family twins! My dad is in the exact same situation, but my mother knows when to keep her mouth shut. Sadly since I know the situation it would be easier for you not to invite him as horrible as that sounds. Unless you come to grips your mom will make a scene and just have some light-hearted way to deal with the guests afterwards. If you don’t want a scene, don’t invite him though.
I know my mom is spirited enough to start up yelling at my grandma (whom I despise btw), but she has always been civil and polite for past events.
Post # 5
Seriously…why do GROWN adults think its okay to throw a temper tantrum?!? I’m pretty sure I didn’t get my way when I threw one so why is it okay for them to do so – and its not even THEIR “day”!!
Post # 6
Hrm, it’s a tough spot. In a way I can totally support how your mother feels about the whole situation. Think about what your mother endured in her relationship to your father and how much crap she put up with to be with him. I don’t blame her one bit for being resentful toward your father’s family at all.
Although it would be the fair thing to do to invite Mr. X… it’s simply not worth it to extend the olive branch in this situation. You have to pick and chose your battles sometimes. There have been many opportunities for you to build a relationship with him and him just showing up at the wedding is just going to lick old wounds.
My mom put me in a very similar situation. My mom despises my dad’s adoptive family b/c they totally neglected him growing up and left him to fend for himself. My dad has had a really crappy upbringing and I still believe he is scarred emotionally from it. Also his family talks crap about her and tried to break my mom and dad up. My mom put her foot down and forbid my dad from hanging out from them b/c of how toxic they are.
When I brought up that I was considered extended an invite to my dad’s niece and her family (b/c they are my dad’s only family) my mom flipped the heck out! She said she wouldn’t attend the wedding if they were there (that’s how much she hates them). After that I decided that it wasn’t worth the fight. I didn’t have a relationship with this family so it wasn’t a big deal that they don’t come. Just wanted to share my story.
Post # 7
If this isn’t typcial behavior for your mom, (as in she’s normally sane -minus interactions with father’s family) I’d say some serious stuff had gone on. Perhaps you’re not even privvy to it all.
It does sound like a bit much for her to react that way. But who knows what went on? It also kind of sounds like your dad isn’t that bothered by it, and you’re not that close either. So maybe it is easier to not invite him.
Do you think he’ll be really upset?
Post # 8
Maybe you really caught her off guard and like Tanya123 said, more stuff than you know about happened. I bet anything she’s been thinking about this situation for years before you were even engaged and how she and your father would handle it when the time came. Well it’s here and it’s very stressful and brings up a lot of emotions and memories. Good luck!
Post # 9
Sounds awful! My Mother-In-Law is a lovely woman who didn’t interfere in wedding planning at all…EXCEPT for the day when she asked if we were inviting Father-In-Law (i.e. her ex husband), Darling Husband said yes probably, and she threatened to not come if he did. OMG. What is it that makes mothers say such hurtful things???? Like you, we didn’t expect Father-In-Law to come, the invitation was more of a courtesy and so we could rest easy knowing we’d done the right thing as far as family obligations went. Father-In-Law didn’t come and Mother-In-Law never mentioned it again but I know it really hurt DH’s feelings. Even though MIL’s feelings were more important to us since she is in our lives and Father-In-Law isn’t, it was an icky situation.
I would probably follow your dad’s advice to keep the peace, assuming your mother’s feelings are more important than your grandfather’s. But they’re not more important than your father’s, especially since it’s HIS father we’re talking about, so I think this is probably something your parents need to talk about together, without involving you too much, and then let you know of their decision. Good luck!!
Post # 10
That’s very tough. How would you feel if you were in your mothers shoes and the man she loves more than life was subject to a childhood of abuse from these people? There are things you may have no idea about. They could have said and done some very awful things to her too.
Imagine having this husband and then having your dear children and these people having no interest in them. His father effectively ignored her babies in her eyes. That may have caused her huge offence.
It’s hard because you want people to put aside emotions and drama for your big day, but sometimes things are so hurtful that we can’t ever get past them. This is a day which is very special to them as well as you, they are watching their baby girl walk down the aisle.
Just remember, they aren’t your cousins, aunts, uncles, they are your parents and this is a big day for them. Yes, it’s a huge day for you, but it’s a big milestone in their lives.
I just wanted you to think about the shoe being on the other foot.
Post # 11
Thanks for the advice….
Like you guys mentioned earlier, there was some other issues that I was privvy to, just didn’t feel like listing them all (like the grandfather blaming my mother for him having a heart attack, even though he was the one who called HER up screaming at her) and then them asking my father for $$ during his mother’s funeral FOR the funeral (WTF?!?!).
I just wished my father wasn’t a pushover when it comes to stuff like this and I wish I didn’t have to deal w/ this (but don’t we all?).
@Tanya123 – my mother does like to be the center of attention slightly – but this was pretty much out of character for her.