- 11 years ago
- Wedding: October 2009
Hi all my fellow bees– I could really use your help on this one. I’ll apologize in advance for the lengthy story, but I think you need to know the background to make an informed recommendation. So here goes…
My parents divorced when I was in middle school. We lived with my mom, but my dad only lived 10 minutes away and we saw him all the time. I had a pretty good relationship with my dad until I went away to college, but since we really don’t have much in common- we definitely drifted apart a bit after that. An issue that I’ve always had with my dad is his social awkwardness. I don’t even know that you can call it that, bc it’s not that he doesn’t know what to do in a social situation, he just doesn’t care what anyone else thinks of him- so he has no issue telling someone exactly what he thinks, no matter how rude or hurtful it could be. He’s said similar things to me over time and then would come back afterwards and try to apologize for hurting my feelings or upsetting me. Well- I took it when I was younger, but as I got older- I know longer let him get away with it. If he said something that was rude or mean-spirited, I called him on it and tried to make him understand that it was not acceptable, at least not with me. He’s never changed though.
So moving to more of the present time. My parents have always had an amicable divorce- they weren’t buddies or anything, but they tried not to put us in the middle of things and got along well enough. I relocated from Florida to North Carolina after college graduation and have been here now for almost 9 years. In that time- my mom has come up 3-4 times per year to visit me- my dad has been once in that whole time. We’re just not really close. I talk to him once every few weeks to catch up and that’s about it. When I got engaged, my mom was thrilled and we started wedding planning. When I told my dad- there was really no reaction.
The first issues came up about money. My mom asked him what he might be able to contribute and he basically blew her off, stating that my fiance and I make good money, we could pay for it ourselves- plus, what a waste to spend money on a one day thing like a wedding. When I talked to my dad after the fact, I didn’t bring up the discussion I knew had happened with him and my mom. He did bring it up and basically said he didn’t really want to come to the wedding due to the issues with my mom. He even brought up the fact that spending money on something like this was crazy if you look at all the DIVORCES that happen. SERIOUSLY?!?!?!? I about lost it- and yes, I made him feel guilty (which I think was well deserved). It wasn’t about the money to me, it was about the fact that his relationship with my mom really should not affect the fact that he should want to be there for ME. This is something he should want to be a part of in his daughter’s life- it’s my WEDDING. Again, he felt bad for upsetting me and said we’d work it out.
Fast forward 3 months. My brother lost his job and had to move out of his apartment, so my dad offered that he could come live with him. My dad was traveling for a few months, so he said that my brother could move in and move stuff around to make room for himself. Let me preface this section by saying that my dad is a packrat– there are literally stacks of newspapers from the past 10 years all over his house and it is a total disgusting dirty mess. So since my dad wasn’t around- my mom helped my brother move in and clean up. Long story short- a lot of stuff was thrown away (all junk/trash) to let my brother have some basic room to live. Well, my dad comes back home and has now determined that my mother has stolen from him and purposefully destroyed his things. He sent a very threatening type email to her stating that he wanted nothing to do with her ever again and that if there were any more issues, there would be a price to pay.
This is how my dad reacts to things- knee jerk reaction first, think things through later. He doesn’t have many friends and is pretty much a loner. I think part of why he didn’t want to go to the wedding in the first place is that other than my brother and my mom’s family, he wouldn’t know anyone (we’ve never been close to his side of the family, so no one from his family will be there). As I started to think about things- I thought that if he didn’t support marriage overall and didn’t really want to be there– why did I want him there? Plus, with all of this new drama- I was very worried that he might start some kind of scene at the wedding with my mom and that was just something that I didn’t need to worry about. So since he’d said that he didn’t really want to come, I wasn’t going to force the issue.
Fast forward to a phone call a few weeks ago between him and I. Something came up about the wedding and I asked him what he was thinking about it. I told him I understood his position and that it wouldn’t be that fun for him and that I understood if he didn’t want to come. He then proceeds to tell me that he wants to be there for me and that if I want him there, he’ll be there. I asked about his issues with my mom and basically told him that I don’t want to have to worry about some big scene happening. He swears he won’t start anything, but is really concerned that my mom has poisoned others against him and there is no telling what they may say to him (which is total junk- the rest of my family would have more respect than to make some type of drama- especially since they do know how he can react).
So we are left here. I don’t even know that I care to have him there anymore, especially if it’s going to cause me so much stress worrying about what might happen. Plus, I feel like it’s a little disrespectful to my mom and step-dad, who he has basically threatened via email, and who is paying for the whole wedding. I know everyone says, don’t worry about other people, this is your day- but I do worry. So, if I invite him, he’s coming. The only way for him not to come is to not invite my dad to my wedding. I never thought it would come to that. Me having to make the final call on whether or not my dad comes. So this is my dilemma. I’ve talked to my friends and fiance, who know me best, and it’s split. Some totally understand how I would worry and don’t want my day spoiled by what might happen or even the worry about what might happen if he comes. The others understand my concern, but are really worried that I’ll regret it down the line if I don’t invite him. What do you think? I could truly use some unbiased opinions here 🙂 Thanks all (and sorry again for the book!!)