- 4 years ago
- Wedding: September 2015
I’m not really sure what my question is yet – just have to get this off my chest!
So we are having a really small (like 16 guests) wedding in September. It is a 6 hour drive from my hometown on the west coast, while I am currently living out east. My father and I have never really been close since my parents divorced when I was 14, but we both do make an effort to see each other when I am in town and write emails once a month or so.
Fiance and I have been dating for almost 13 years, and for most of that time my dad liked him just fine. Then a few years ago, he decided he disapproved of what my Fiance was doing as a career (studying Japanese history/language at the time) because my dad is prejudiced against Japanese people. Even though Fiance has since changed careers entirely, my dad still gets upset about it. He is also upset because he thinks I spend too much time with my inlaws – mostly because we live in the same city as them now, and Fiance and I actually lived with them for years while we were both in school. My dad has never met my inlaws, has never met most of my friends, and when I invited him to both of my university graduation ceremonies, he got upset with me and decided not to come because he felt I was deferring too much to my inlaws and not paying enough attention to him (I disagree – from my POV I was just trying to wrangle everyone who was flying in for my graduation, but whatever).
Now with the wedding, he is being super weird again about who is invited. He wants to know who is going to be attending, and has said he will only attend if I agree not to pay attention only to my inlaws during the ceremony, and promise not to ignore or neglect him, though paying attention to my other family and friends is “fine”. He also threw in a bunch of stuff (this is all via email) about how he hopes there no “Japanese crap” at our wedding (WTF??) and that we better not be getting married in a church by a priest (neither of us are religious, we are getting married on the beach by an officiant, so again WTF). These emails are all coming across as pretty confrontational and demanding to me, and now I am overwhelmingly anxious that he is going to be rude to people at the wedding and that I will be super embarrassed and start crying and everyone will remember our wedding as that time when the bride’s dad made a scene and she cried. (this is not coming out of nowhere… in my childhood he used to yell at waiters and stuff sometimes… he had a real temper problem, and though I admit he has gotten a lot better, I don’t trust him).
I can see how a lot of this is probably him feeling neglected because we aren’t close, and I do spend a lot of time with my inlaws (mostly by virtue of location). I will definitely try to be diplomatic about that, and I have told him a few times how important it is to me that be at my wedding because he is my dad, etc. I will continue to do this, but honestly, I would feel a lot less anxious if he decided once again not to go. I will do my best to give him the attention he is due at the ceremony/reception, but I don’t want to have to be stressed about being on my best behaviour or else. Like I’m not 12 any more… I wish for one day, my big day, I could trust him to keep his temper in check for my sake.
I know every bride struggles with family drama. I just don’t know what to do. The worry about his potential behaviour is making me sick to my stomach.
Thanks for reading.