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Father woes--my first vent

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So...common story around here, my parents have been divorced since I was three. I grew up with my mom 5 states away and only saw my dad for summers. As an adult I see him once or twice a year when he comes through hunting. I have tried to build a relationship with him and my sisters but they are not interested. I have attended all of their graduations, weddings, showers and the like. They have not reciprocated EVER.

 

So I have told my father all along the way what we are planning. We have finally got the information to book from the TA and I called him yesterday to confirm dates. I wanted to make sure that I was not scheduling him and my step mother out of the wedding.

 

I got the lecture about how I was being selfish. My sisters will not be able to make this and he is not sure that he and my step mother will attend. Seriously?! He paid completely for my sister's fairytale wedding two years ago. He has made it clear that he won't pay a dime for mine no matter where it is, and he can't even be bothered to attend. My sisters and step mother have never set foot out of their home state for ANY event about me. Why would it be different for my wedding regardless where it is? It isn't like I expected them to come and knew it was possible that my dad wouldn't either, but the guilt trip?! Really?? And now that we are ready to book?? Why not say all of this months ago?

 

Thanks for listening.

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I completely understand. My FI and I recieved a similar letter from his father last night saying essentially that we were being selfish and if we held it anywhere else they MIGHT come but they weren't prepared to participate the way we have it planned. In my instance some of the points were fair... but to guilt trip us about everything when he had ample opportunity to let us know his opinion a year and a half ago is unfair.

 

I guess the things is there are ALWAYS going to be people who put up resistance no matter what plans you make. I AM sorry that your father is being so ... difficult about the situation. There really is no call for it. A simple ' no but thank you for asking us' would suffice. As you said it isn't like you expected him to attend really.

 

Just don't let it get to you and go ahead with your planning :) I'm sure everything will still be lovely on the day. :-)

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I also understand. I don't mean to get to psychological on you but this is what I know to be true. As human beings we love to us each other's emotions against one another. We do it best when we know exactly what will push the buttons of the other person. With that said what your dad is doing (the guilt trip) is big time "projection". He is projecting onto you all of the guilt that he has built up over the years. He as well as your stepmother and sisters know and are aware that you have always done everything to be a part of their lives, so they have gotten used to you being the proactive one, making sure that you are a part of their lives, but they really weren't a part of yours. So now that you are doing something for you, they are surprised, or rather he is surprised and up in arms because he thought that you would always put yourself aside for them. Well, this time I say to you, do what makes you happy. If he and them want to be a part of your life, a part of your family, then they will do the needful and go the extra mile. It seems like you already know where you stand with them, so the ball's in their court, and if they don't then once again it will be his (your father's) and well as their collective loss, not sharing your important day or not being a part of your life.

 

Like you said this is a common problem. I was also three when my dad walked out on my mom. It took me 23 years for me to forgive him and to even acknowledge him. Cause where as you visited your dad, my father divorced his six children with my mom at the same time he divorced her. He got a new wife, new children, new life and we didn't exist. Now he loves walking around telling people that he has a daughter that is an attorney, a doctor, etc... As though he had a hand in any of it. Well, it is his loss because yes we are successful and we are happy and that is because of our mom and us having each other.

 

So you go have the wedding that you want. Be happy with the people that love you.

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I think it is so unfortunate that people act this way. We are going through something similar, and we are planning our DW less than two hours from where my fiance's family lives (in NY, we live in GA). However, we got the whole "selfish" thing and threats of his parents not coming because they don't like when and where we are having it.

 

I think AishaB is right. Your dad knows how poorly he has treated you in the past, and he is just letting it all out as anger because he doesn't want to deal with it.

 

If I were you, I just wouldn't mention it anymore to your dad. He knows when it is, and if he decides to come, he comes. If not, I know you will have an awesome day with everyone that does join you.

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I agree with the ladies who posted before me. You couldn't rely on him before this, so essentially, nothing's changed. You still can't rely on him to be there for you, so put him (and your ungrateful sisters) behind you and do what makes YOU happy. Think happy thoughts smile123.gif

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My default response when someone presumes to tell us how they think our wedding should be is to say "Oh, you're going to pay for our wedding! That's SO KIND of you! Thank you SO MUCH!!"

 

It's stupid for people to think you should go into super-debt to finance THEIR dream wedding. And your father is no exception. I'm sorry that he's being a PITA, and I really hope he realizes that not going to your daughter's wedding (even in Mexico) is pretty unforgivable unless you're in the hospital or not allowed out of the country.

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Think about this in another way- if he were a stranger and had treated you in this way would you want him to be at the wedding? You want people who wish you well and want the best for you surrounding you on your day. His loss!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AishaB View Post
He is projecting onto you all of the guilt that he has built up over the years. He as well as your stepmother and sisters know and are aware that you have always done everything to be a part of their lives, so they have gotten used to you being the proactive one, making sure that you are a part of their lives, but they really weren't a part of yours. So now that you are doing something for you, they are surprised, or rather he is surprised and up in arms because he thought that you would always put yourself aside for them. Well, this time I say to you, do what makes you happy. If he and them want to be a part of your life, a part of your family, then they will do the needful and go the extra mile. It seems like you already know where you stand with them, so the ball's in their court, and if they don't then once again it will be his (your father's) and well as their collective loss, not sharing your important day or not being a part of your life.

So you go have the wedding that you want. Be happy with the people that love you.
I couldn't agree more with Aisha. Well said! I'm sorry that anyone has to go through such a heartwrenching experience at what is supposed to be such a happy and joyous time in their life.

side note for Aisha: congrats to you, your sisters and mother for all being so successful at loving and supporting each other! when you have [LOVE] and support in your life you can acheive anything!

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Thanks everyone for being so supportive. As you all have said, my dad was never one of my "must have" people at my wedding. Those folks are coming and have been supportive as always! It is those folks who have helped me get to this point and will share the day with us.

 

Aisha--you are so right! It is my mother who supported me, laid all the foundation, and is responsible for me being a successful lawyer! My father had little to do other than genetics. That is why he was never going to be giving me away in the first place. On a separate note, my FI is basically unemployed right now and I know what you meant on the other thread about planning a wedding that way. It means a LOT of compromise and positive thought and creativity to plan the day the we have always wanted. I sometimes thinking we are doing this on a wing and a prayer as any financial setback could place things in peril. That's what we paid the insurance for right! :)

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