Post # 1
My Fiancé and I got engaged and we have moved in with each other and are getting married next week. We have lived together now for about six months. We opted to just go for a small ceremony for numerous reasons and we are all just going to go out to dinner after the ceremony.
He has shared custody of his 2 kids and I have primary over my 2, so they are all together half a week. The older of my fiancé’s two has said he hates me and does not want to be at our wedding, the other doesn’t care. Both of my children have expressed an interest in being at our wedding. Just to clear up any questions, the children’s ages are 12, 12, 10, and 9.
I know where it’s coming from and am not taking it too personally where his son is concerned, but should we make the kids all be at the wedding? One psychologist told us that the kids should be there so they can see and it makes it real for them. I think it will only cause more resentment if we make him be there. But then that raises another question. If one of them is not there, should we allow the others to be there? I don’t want anyone to feel left out down the road.
I am so stressed over this. My kids have said they won’t be upset if they aren’t there, but I can’t help feeling that it will hurt their feelings deep down and they just don’t want to tell me that. Having a blended family is difficult enough; I don’t want to do the wrong thing where the kids are concerned.
Does anyone have any advice to offer?
Post # 3
Forcing him to come will probably only cause more problems. I wouldn’t. I think its up to your fiance to talk to his son about what’s going on. To be honest its not all that odd to me that he’s not onboard. Its hard when parents move on, there might be other issues that come from being in a blended family, and he’s 12 (kids that age always seem to be a bit more moody/emotional). I think he probably knows this is real, but its hard for him to deal with. From his perspective…he has no control over how his home life and family have changed…he needs space and might need more time than the others to adjust.
Post # 4
I’m not a psycholigist, but I would have to agree with Bamboo. If any of the children don’t want to be there, I wouldn’t force them. Maybe get photos or video incase down the road he’d like to see it, but having a grumpy 12 year old being held against his will is just going to put a damper on the day anyway, wedding or not lol Just give him some space. If you do anything after the wedding, I would try to include him in that though (like a dinner or anything).
Post # 5
Have all the kids had an opportunity to work through what they are feeling with a counsellor/psychologist?
I think that if the psychologist you talked to has actually evaluated the situation, then you should go with their recommendation. If not I think that it might be helpful to all the kids to have an impartial 3rd party to talk to, and that person would probably be the best able to make a plan as to whether all, none, or some of the kids should be involved.
Post # 6
I don’t know, i think I’m the only one who is going to disagree. I can’t imagine getting remarried w/o ALL the kids being there. Ours are on board (or at least not vocally opposing it) and all 5 will be there.
I wouldn’t get married any other way. That’s why we didn’t elope. I know that when my FI’s ex got remarried the boys weren’t too happy about it, they were around that age at the time, but their mother didn’t give them any choice and they went and that was that. I don’t think I would offer a choice either.
But if I knew they were THAT opposed to the marriage I’d probably hold off for a bit to get things straightened out. Any chance you want to do that?
Post # 7
I was 8 when my mom remarried and REALLY didn’t want to go. She invited a family friend she didn’t want to because I liked her, had my dress specially made, got my hair done at a salon even though she did her own hair that day, and got me a beautiful bouquet… all to cajole me into going. Even though I was practically dragged and seriously coerced, I can’t imagine the sadness I would feel to know that I wasn’t there. While you shouldn’t tie him up and throw him in the trunk of the car to get him there, I would try as hard as you can – or have your Fiance try – to get him to come. I think it will mean something down the road, and I think it does set a precedent that says, “You are wholly a part of this family, and this is a family day. There’s no opting out of family.”
Post # 8
My mom remarried right before Christmas and neither his kids (3) nor my siblings or myself (3) were invited (well, no one was invited really!). It makes me sad that I missed such an important moment in my mom’s life! I think the kids should all be made to come. It cements the relationship for them and for you. The kids who doesn’t want to come may look back on it with regret years down the line if he misses it, especially if the other kids, his new siblings!, are there to experience it with you. While there are usually issues with combining two families, I think the older kid needs a firm hand. His father needs to show him that disrespect of yourself, your children, or the marriage will not be tolerated. He may come around if he likes the other kids or if the food is good. Food will win over many a cranky child! 🙂
Good luck and congratulations on your pending marriage!