Crazy father- LONG and Complicated

Hi Everyone, 

My parents divorced while I was very young and my mother raised me with really no help from my dad. He has been in and out of jail, a drug addict and we have had periods of time in which we didn't speak for years. Last year, after 3 years of no contact with him, I decided it was time to make peace. I now live in Florida, where I will be married and he lives in NY. I asked my grandma to walk me down the aisle and share a dance with me, as my mother is now deceased. As it is, the planning process has been very emotional without my mom and he is a constant source of stress. I have to be honest, the times he shows interest and talks about traveling to attend, I feel a glimmer of hope, that my father will actually do something for me, something a normal, loving dad would do, but he always manages to mess it up. Our wedding is small, because we are paying for it entirely by ourselves. We had to decide on a adult reception bc of both the cost and to keep certain relatives from coming (heavy drinkers, inappropriate behavior) all from my dad's side mind you.He is telling people he is helping to pay, and also telling them just to show up with the kids...no big deal. He responds as if, I am being a bridezilla, and said if I wanted everyone to come I would serve burgers and hotdogs. I have worked really hard to make my mother proud, put myself through college and grad school to live a decent life. I mean, what father wouldnt want a nice wedding for their first child? Doesn't he think I deserve it? It is so super frustrating to worry that what is supposed to be the most magical day in my fiance and I's life will turn into a ghetto spectacle bc my dad has no clue.. Also, he is trying to get a ride down, rather than fly...why idk? But he wants me to invite people who I havent spoken to in years just because theyd be willing to drive down...that way he could come. Initially I said, well if this means you'll be here then we can eat the cost, but at this point I am not so certain I want him here. I know he will expect to walk me down the aisle and a dance, which puts me in a very uncomfortable situation.... My grandma is all I have left of me mom and had she been alive, she'd be walking me down that aisle.

Are any of you dealing with dysfunctional family issues? I've worked so hard to create a happy, healthy life for myself and Anthony...I just do not have the energy to deal with my dad.

Posted on December 22, 2013 at 9:02 pm
flowerchildbride
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(6) Comments

Canooknic
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07/19/2013
Canooknic

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Canooknic

 So sorry you are having to deal with this unnecessary extra stress in the lead up to your big day - families eh???

There have been many (many many!) family issues through the PW boards - I have a horrible relationship with my inlaws but luckily I don't have an emotional connection with them so it's easy for me to limit any contact with the  - I'm sure you'll be able to get lots of great advice from the PW ladies.

The only thing I can really suggest is having a very straight-to-the-point conversation with your Dad to lay down the ground rules. This is your day and if he wants to be a part of it then he needs to accept how you want things done or maybe stay away if there is a risk of you being upset on your day.

I hope everything gets sorted out xxxx

Posted on December 22, 2013 at 9:25 pm
flowerchildbride
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flowerchildbride

 Thanks..I am looking forward to feedback from the PW ladies.  I want to be a good, forgiving person, I just do not want to be disapointed or embarrased on our wedding day.

Posted on December 22, 2013 at 9:27 pm
krosa
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 honey i am sorry you are going through this.  i had a  lot of disfunctional issues in my family too.  my dad worked hard all his life and was never really around when i was growing up.  he was always working.  we never really got along.  after i finished college i moved 1000 miles away to Kansas City and lived there for 5 yrs.  i loved it.  i grew so much as a person.  my relationship with my dad started to get better too.  i eventually felt it was time to move back to south carolina.  my relationship with my dad got worse again.  then in 2010 dad had a heart attach and later that year a stroke.  he was never the same.  his entire personallity changed.  he was really mean.  in july 2011 he got angry at me and kicked me out of the house.  a year later he died.  just before my wedding.  he made those last years so difficult for me.  and the way he treated me the last year was so terrible.  those are my last memories of my dad.

i have had some health issues and know for a fact that stress is not good for you.  i physically feel stress...it causes me to hurt all over.  i know you would love to have your dad with you on your wedding day and have him see what he missed all those years.  but i really feel like the stress he brings is not what you want to remember on your wedding day.  have a videographer and make a dvd for him.  i wouldnt invite more people than you had planned just to try to make him happy.  because in the end, i seriously doubt he would be happy in the way you want him to be there.  it isnt fair to you to have someone who was never really a big part of your life "give" you away.  make the wedding everything you hoped it would be.  as far as him talking to everyone, if you are sharing wedding plans with him, then i would stop.  if the people he invites tried to come to the wedding would you be over your maximum number of people for that venue?  acting like it would may not be a bad idea.

i struggled with wanting that hallmark movie relationship with my dad and not having it.  but then i realized that my dad taught me so much.  by watching him i learned what i did and didnt want in a husband and father to my future children.  i figure my kids will have the relationship i wanted with my dad and it will be because i used my dad's example to figure out what i wanted for myself.  i hope that maybe this will help you too.

Posted on December 22, 2013 at 9:51 pm
MOBRIDE72
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MOBRIDE72

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MOBRIDE72

Am currently struggling with whether or not to invite my mom. My dad passed away in 2010. They werent married when he died. I use to be close to my mom but the last 17 years has been bad. I want her there because I wanted to have those pictures with my mom helping me get ready but out of 6 daughters only half of them speak to her. My mother was nentally, emotionally and physically abusive when we were younger. My sister that is my Matron of Honor wont even be in the same room with our mother. I want that relationship with my mother but I have to accept its not gonna happen. I think you need to lay down the rules to your dad. This is your day your way. You have to set boundaries and if he cant respect them he needs to stay home.
Posted on December 23, 2013 at 12:17 am
NicoleJuliette
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11/12/2011
NicoleJuliette

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 So so sorry youre having to deal with this, I really wish that people understood better that weddings are about the bride and the groom joining hands forever, and nothing else matters! I don't have much advice, but I do think that an good honest conversation with your Dad might be a good idea. Tell him you can't afford to add a whole list of people, also let him know straight away that you would really like for him to be a part of your day, but your Gram will be walking you down the aisle. Maybe you can share a dance with her and with him seperatly (if you even want to include him at all). Good luck, and feel free to vent any time!

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 8:29 am
flowerchildbride
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flowerchildbride

 Thanks ladies....I sometimes feel, sheesh I am 34 years old, when will I give up this dream of having the relationship with my father I have always wanted? At the least, I see many of you are dealing with similar issues and you are right, sooner than later I am going to have to discuss things with him, honestly and firmly as uncomfortable as it makes me. I always feel it's going to turn into another 2-3 years of silence between us. Initially, I didn't share too much because I didn't seriously think he would show up. Now that it is a possibility, I suppose I should talk with him about what his role would be and explain that we cannot afford all of these extra people. He thinks its a party,  but for us it is a really initimate celebration including only those we love and we feel are truly, genuinely happy for us. 

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 8:46 am

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