Father of the Bride?

My father is breaking my heart.

Every single time that I have cried about the wedding has been because of him. Historically, my father and I don’t have a great relationship, but I really allowed myself to believe in the last few years we had made some strides. Maybe we had. But that’s all undone now.

My parents divorced when I was in high school. I don’t remember a time in my life where they weren’t fighting, honestly. What I do remember clearly was how trapped in the middle I felt. My mother and I had always been close, and my father used that fact to pounce on me for information. He was convinced my mother had been unfaithful in their marriage because, well, he had been. I hated being caught up in it all and when their marriage finally dissolved I was relieved, as were my siblings.

My mom moved away from where we grew up, and I eventually moved to join her. My siblings alternated years for a while and then ultimately moved in with my mother as well.  Several years later, my father relocated closer to us as well. It seemed like he was beginning to make an effort.

I have always been hungry for a positive relationship with my dad. A born people-pleaser, I always believed that I was partly to blame for his lack of interest in me. I worked hard to establish a respectable career for myself. I’ve never so much as gotten a speeding ticket or paid a credit card late. I hate letting people down. Which is why, when occasionally my father needed help from me, financially or otherwise, I took the opportunity to show him what a great kid I could be. Even if I didn’t have the money or time to give.

A few years ago, my father had a child with another woman who already had two adult kids of her own. It was a surprise to us all, but we were excited. I had high hopes that the child might bring us closer. I was good with kids. I was the oldest and most capable. The baby was born my senior year of college and was very early. It was a very scary time. I was afraid I might hurt the baby or get the baby sick, both of which would be awful. At least those were my excuses most of the time. The truth was, I was waiting for my father to invite me in. The woman and her daughters spent a lot of time with the baby. My siblings and I felt pushed out. We didn’t know what to do. We’re probably as much to blame as he is there, but none of us felt like we could just invite ourselves over and play with our newest little sibling. And it sucked—it really, really did. As time passed, the woman’s adult children asserted their ownership over the baby and it really didn’t seem like there was a place for us at all. We felt more like cousins, occasional visitors, than siblings. We still do.  None of my siblings will be in my wedding party. We’re not having any children and my adult siblings will have other roles. That’s important to know for later.

The point in all of this is that my father moved on and built a second life for himself. I’m happy that he did. At the end of the day, I want good things for all my family no matter what. However, the caveat to that is that I have to watch my father behave very differently with this new family than he ever did with us. We grew up extremely poor. My father worked swing shifts. There wasn’t a lot of time for us. My father was a strict enforcer. He lost his temper more than one time. There were bruises that had to be explained and cover stories that had to be shared. I don’t bring this up to paint him as a bad guy—he had his moments like anyone else—but when he had his moments they left scars, even if only emotional.

After watching my dad turn a corner with my new little sibling I hoped he had grown. That he would treat us all differently and better. I wanted to believe he could change. I never ask my dad for anything. Not money, not time, nothing. I held my requests in the hope of cashing them in on my wedding day. I wanted to be perfect so that I could have the father/daughter moments I’d always dreamed of.

At first his involvement started out as apathetic. I asked him to select a father/daughter song to dance to. I wanted to be surprised and I was hoping to be touched by his choice. I was hoping to have some fairy-tale moment where song lyrics would suddenly reveal to me that my father has truly loved me all along and that he simply didn’t know how to express it. He wouldn’t do it. He could not be bothered to choose a song. In fact, he started getting agitated every time I talked about the wedding. I asked him politely early on if he would be contributing anything toward the wedding, anticipating he would say he couldn’t. That was fine. We had planned on doing it on our own anyway. Instead, he ignored the question. I dropped it. I didn’t want him to feel bad and it wasn’t that big of a deal. Still, watching him be excited and contribute financially to all of my little siblings’ activities felt like salt in the wound. Add in the fact that my father has established a very positive relationship with his girlfriend’s adult daughters and I feel sick. They go out on “dates.” They watch movies together, they get dinner together. And it is constantly rubbed in my face via social media. Ask my when the last time my dad took me out to dinner (or even let me take him out)—the answer is simply it hasn’t happened since my birthday two years ago. I have worked so hard to forgive these things, to let them go. But can you ever truly forget them?

Then, months down the road in wedding planning, he and his girlfriend blew up about the fact that my little sibling wasn’t in the wedding. I explained that we weren’t having family in the party or children at all in the wedding specifically. Not good enough. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you’re not chipping in to help, I don’t think you should have much pull. I was calm, but the anger and resentment from their side lasted. It is heartbreaking to me that a father who has never had my back and that has never been there for me would throw such a fit on behalf of his other child. He didn’t even try to see my rationale. If I wasn’t having my other siblings in the wedding (which my dad had no problem with even though they’re his kids too, by the way), why would I have the little one??? After that blow up he stopped welcoming us over, his girlfriend got into a verbal spat with my mom (who called because she was sick of watching her daughter fall apart and wanted to encourage us to resolve  it all) in which she called me a liar and said I was cruel to her (the possessives are her words) child. I assure you, hive, I have never been cruel. Aloof and distant, perhaps, but never anything else. I tried to deal with her statements but she blew me off. I tried to explain everything to my father, and he yelled over me and refused to try to understand. In his mind, he just can’t see it.

It is now only a few months until my wedding and I haven’t spoken to my father in person since June. We have exchanged one text since then. My fiancé has tried to talk to my dad, but he got the runaround I knew he would. The details are gory and unnecessary. All I will say is that I have cried more in the last four months than I have in my life. I am devastated. I am crushed and I feel fatherless.

The sick thing is, sometimes when people talk about not having a father in their lives I envy them. At least they know where they stand, as awful as it may be. At least they can make decisions for themselves without guilt or worrying about the way it will look to the world because the world already knows that father has blown his chances. My father, to the outside world, looks great. He’s good to his kid, he’s funny and nice, and everyone loves him. It’s easy to love the surface.

So I need help”¦ Do I include him in my day? Do I let him walk me down the aisle? Do I dance with him? Even though doing all of that will feel like a lie, purely for show. Or do I make a statement? Do I go it alone, or with my mom, or brothers? How do I move past this? Is there any hope for us?


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Classifieds: September 13, 2013
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  1. Member
    elysion 3813 posts, Honey bee @ 12:01 pm

    Reading this was so sad. No, you shouldn’t include your father in your day. It’s clear that he has not been there when you need him, and that he has not been interested in participating in your wedding. Stand your ground and stand by your family members who have actually stood by you.

  2. Member
    sapphire-dreamer 3478 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:05 pm

    First of all – *Hugs*
    Second of all. I would invite him as a guest but give all the honors to your mother and brother/s. He doesn’t deserve to play such an important role if he never did anything to deserve it. You know where you stand NOW, and though he is your father and should ATTEND, he isn’t ENTITLED to any of the honors that come with being the Father of the Bride.
    I hope you make it through your day ok, and please remember this thing – It isn’t about the people who deserted you or left your or did this, that or the other. It is about the people who STAYED, who stood by you and support you in this happy occasion. Honor THOSE people and let the chips fall where they may.

  3. rucksack Member
    rucksack 518 posts, Busy bee @ 12:09 pm

    Having my momma walk me down the aisle was one of my best decisions. She’s the one that has always been there for me and she had to be the one to give me away. I’d think about having an adult discussion with your father and explain that you feel like he’s not interested in the wedding and rather than have him feel forced or uncomfortable, you’d love him to come as a guest and enjoy the day. Good luck!

  4. Member
    HappyGirl2014 9 posts, Newbee @ 12:16 pm

    I am so sorry to hear this. I unfortunately think you should consider NOT including him unless he insists he will do a 180 degree turn around. I am in a similar situation. My parents and grandparents refuse to come to my wedding because it is of a different denomination than they agree with religiously. I have made clear to all that if they do not think they can “happily” attend in a positive manner, I do not want them there as well. It seems difficult now but when you officially shut the door I promise you will feel stronger and more at ease with your decision.

    Good luck!

  5. mstreasure Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:19 pm

    It’s unfortunate that your father has acted so coldly to you your entire life. If I were in your position, I think I would choose not to include him in your day. Invite him to attend, maybe, but I wouldn’t have him walk me down the aisle or share a father/daughter dance with him. He’s made his bed, and now he has to lie in it.

  6. Member
    njeeoann 4 posts, Wannabee @ 12:28 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this and please know that you are not alone. You have described almost the same issues that are between my father and I and it is truely heartbreaking. I don’t have an answer for you, I think the only person that can answer whether your father deserves the honor of walking down the aisle is you. And walking you down the aisle an honor – not a right. Your wedding is about you and your fiance starting your own family, don’t let your decision be influenced by someone else.
    Take care :)

  7. Member
    Tardis 14 posts, Newbee @ 12:28 pm

    There’s an old saying, “My son is my son until he takes a wife, but my daughter’s my daughter the rest of her life,” and I think you’re experiencing an extremely emotionally charged version of it.

    I don’t think it’s a question of who deserves to be a part of your day as much as what will make you feel best. Most of your wedding day is such a blur, you barely notice the people who weren’t there to be honest. If your father hasn’t spoken to you since June, and continues to not speak to you as your wedding day approaches, I’m pretty sure the decision has been made. I wouldn’t uninvite him or anything, because there are some things in this world you can’t take back. But I would give serious consideration to walking with your mom.

    I would also suggest exploring some of these feelings with a counselor or therapist. No one can hurt you quite like the people who mean the most to you, and working through these emotions might be helpful in guiding you through the emotional minefield of wedding planning. I got a referral from my PCP.

  8. Member
    cococlassic 1028 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:28 pm

    Reading this made me very sad for you as I can relate to some of what you posted but the fact remains that no matter what your father has said to you he has SHOWN you how he truly feels by treating you as if you are disposable. You will never really know what made him turn the way he did and really and truly at this point it might not even matter. Every daughter longs for their dad but not many men can stand up IN that role.

    What I feel you need to do is resign yourself to accept him and his lack of caring for what it is, focus on YOUR self preservation and the happiness of your wedding day. Not the sadness of the non-existent relationship with this man (cant really call him a father). As Sapphire-Dreamer said, focus on the ones who have loved and supported you every step of the way, meaning your mother and siblings.

    Best of luck to you and I hope you have a wonderful wedding day!

  9. penguin Member
    penguin 3490 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:30 pm

    This is such a heartbreaking story. I hope you get to think about it from your perspective – how can you handle it so that it provides the LEAST amount of emotional stress on you. I don’t have the answer – only to say that I hope that the decisions you make take into account how they will affect YOU and how they will make an impression on how you look back on your wedding day. Perhaps making this a “teaching your dad a lesson” moment will amount to a crazy blow up where there is a huge fallout/scene on or around your wedding day. I’d hate for that to happen to you—you don’t deserve it.

    If this were me, my instinct would be to say “screw him – he doesn’t deserve any moments at my wedding.” But, would taking a big stand like that scar your wedding day (would he act so selfishly to cause you emotional harm on your wedding day)?

    I almost think sometimes the answer is to find the most peaceful solution – I don’t mean to say that you should do things that you don’t want to, but sometimes compromises for peace in preservation of making sure that the harm to you will be the least is the good way to go. The high road is the hardest road.

    The most important thing here is to protect your own emotional well being – now, on your wedding day, and after. I hope you are able to make choices that protect you. Maybe that means conceding to a few of their selfish wishes now, then finding a way to cut off all communication after your wedding day is over and you’ve had good memories of the event. It seems like this was a “last chance” situation that he’s clearly failed you in. If you’re ready to let go, but he’s already going to be a part of your wedding day, find ways to ensure that he’s involved (or not involved) in a way that will result in as much peace for you/all involved.

    Then, after your wedding day, you can make clear and serious steps towards cleansing yourself of this toxic relationship.

    My heart truly breaks for you. And I don’t think that this comment was particularly helpful in finding you resolutions. :( All I can really say is that whoever you are, all I hope you can focus on the most is you having a positive, memorable wedding day.

  10. Member
    cococlassic 1028 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:31 pm

    @Tardis: What a wonderful response Tardis! Truly loved what you had to say – thoughtful and very honest.

  11. Member
    cakeyp 2562 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:57 pm

    I think you should pretty much take this post, turn it into a letter, and hand it to your father sometime after your wedding. Don’t talk to him about it, let him draw his own conclusions for it. If he wants to talk to you about it allow him, but not after you have a few months to get his behavious out of your system – you don’t deserve this crap.

    After that (and especially if he doesn’t want to talk about it), get him out of your life – you will be much better off for it.

    As a former person who wished to be on good terms with her father (or even, when I was younger, any terms at all) getting him out of my life for 10 years made an amazing change in my happiness, my confidence and my self-worth.

    Think about it. I know it seems harsh (because it is) but if it’s a choice between having a disruptive father in my life or moving ahead, I know which one I’d do all over every time.

  12. Member
    trousseauhorse 240 posts, Helper bee @ 1:00 pm

    If I were you I would find a counselor who can talk you through letting go of your dreams for a relationship that are pretty clearly never going to materialize. I’ve done that at the end of romantic relationships and I found it very helpful to get some professional outside perspective.

    My father is mostly absent but when he chooses to show up we have a pleasant relationship, so my situation is not at all as bad as yours, but I am still not really including him in my wedding because it would make absolutely no sense to honor someone who is so minimally involved in my life.

    My FI is Jewish and is having both his parents walk him down the aisle and I will do the same (*if* my father manages to show up on time – we will not be holding up the wedding if he doesn’t), otherwise I have always intended to have my mother walk me down alone. We are not doing a father/daughter dance and we will not be doing a mother/son dance either because we don’t want to call attention to the imbalance. So essentially all my father will be doing is showing up as a guest and *maybe* walking me down the aisle if he seems to want to.

    He has shown absolutely no interest in the wedding so far and I can only assume he received the save the date I sent. He has texted a few times about seriously random stuff (e.g., “I’m at a rodeo!” “Today is the 387th anniversary of the Fire of London”) But he has not mentioned having received the STD or asked any questions whatsoever about the wedding, other than confirming that I am marrying the guy he met once last Christmas.

    I was actually surprised how awkward all the wedding etiquette makes children of divorced parents feel. When my FI’s parents put our engagement announcement in their local paper it read “FI, son of Mr. and Mrs. FI of Hometown and TrousseauHorse, daughter of Mrs. Horse of City, State and Mr. Horse of City, State.” Like everyone in their town and their extended family needs to know my business?? I’m surprised that I care, but I do.

    Based on that experience, we’ll be addressing the invitation along the lines of “Together with their parents…” so that my father is included by implication even though he’s not contributing a penny. Because otherwise it would read like “Mr and Mrs FI and Mrs Horse (but definitely not Mr Horse even though he walked her down the aisle omg isn’t it all just so tawdry!) invite you to…”

    Anyway, hope this is helpful to read, since your post was helpful to me. I hope you are able to feel better abut this!! (((hugs)))

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Cristina, Guest @ 1:06 pm

    After hearing this story, it really resonated with me because I have the same kind of relationship with my father. He too has younger children that he treats way better than he ever treated me and my siblings. He thinks that sending a birthday card every years with some money in it means that he is actually being a good father. Last year, I was blessed with a daughter and I was hoping my father would make an effort to see and spend time with his granddaughter but she is 16 months and he has yet to meet her. He doesn’t ask for pictures of her or to talk to her but he does manage to send me pictures of his new children like I am supposed to care about his new life. Whenever my sister tries to bring up the issues we have he always makes it about him. So now I am getting married next year and I was debating if I should invite him but I have come to the conclusion that I won’t because ultimately it is My day and I was the people who have been there for me, my fiancee and my daughter. I don’t think you should invite him either because he you want to remember your wedding to being the greatest day of your life and having to worry about you father and his feelings is going to take away from that. You want to feel happy and believe you won’t if your father is there especially if he has been causing you soo many problems. LOVE is the energy that you want around you on your special day jot negativity. I hope this helps :)

  14. Member
    beachbride1216 9137 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 3:21 pm

    I know someone who was in a similar situation with her dad. He pretty much abandoned her and her siblings, then became an entirely different person and raised another family as an amazing and involved dad. It hurt my friend’s feelings to the core.

    It took her over 20 years to start the process of forgiving him. She now thinks he spent years ignoring her and her siblings because he wanted to forget the past and how bad of a person/father he was back then and part of that was severing ties with them. She also thinks he is overly involved as a father with his younger kids to make up for being such a bad father to her and her siblings.

    She doesn’t think she will ever totally get over it because it was her childhood and her father. But she has chosen to only allow him into her life on her terms so that she can limit the disappointment when he spends the entire time talking about his other kids and how much he does with them.

    I say send dad an invite for him, his wife and the kid(s) and leave it at that. He has already indicated he has no desire to help pick out a father-daughter dance song and there’s been no mention of him walking you down the aisle. Toss the father-daughter dance and have your mom walk you down the aisle. If he wants those honors, then he needs to step up and do them. Don’t chase him down and beg him only to be disappointed like you have been with the father-daughter dance song.

    Oh, and don’t cave on the younger half-sibling being in the wedding. Allowing one family member and not others will only cause more hurt feelings and drama with other siblings. Stick to your guns on this and change the subject.

  15. daffodil Member
    daffodil 598 posts, Busy bee @ 3:57 pm

    I am so so sorry to hear about this. Have you ever expressed your hurt to him? I know it would put you in an incredibly vulnerable position, so definitely wouldn’t do that unless you feel like you can handle it, but it might be worth asking if he would be willing to meet up with you, and rather than discussing logistics, to be open about how his actions have made you feel. And also the fact that this is your day and about the people who have been there for you in your journey. If he gets angry or defensive or just continues to push for his other family without listening to you, I would have to agree with the other commenters and invite him as a guest, but give the honors of the day to your mother and those who have been there for you.

    Don’t let them bully you into anything. Your wedding day is about you and your future hubby. It is not about pleasing anyone else. I have been down that path of doing things just to please others, and you will only end up regretting/resenting the fact that you did (it is only going to get worse if you don’t put your foot down now). Do what is true to your heart, in an honoring way to others of course, but one that is firm and that ultimately stays true to you.

    Sending lots of love.

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    laurenst, Guest @ 6:26 pm

    I would NOT invite that man to YOUR wedding. He has caused you enough pain up to this point, why would you want that much bad juju around on your wedding day? He does not deserve to even be in your presence, let alone witness what should be a very happy day for you. You deserve much better than that scum bag! Eff that!

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    39bride, Guest @ 4:17 am

    “She now thinks he spent years ignoring her and her siblings because he wanted to forget the past and how bad of a person/father he was back then and part of that was severing ties with them. She also thinks he is overly involved as a father with his younger kids to make up for being such a bad father to her and her siblings.”

    I don’t have advice on what to do, but I wanted to point out beachbride’s fantastic comment. Her friend is exactly right. This is very common with fathers who have gone through ugly first marriages and then find someone new and have a child/children with them. They are guilt-ridden over their failures, and the new and healthier relationship just highlights their past inadequacies even more.

    I know this isn’t an answer, but hopefully it will help you realize that it’s not about you, it’s definitely about him. And I second those who have said you should find a counselor. So much about what you’ve written here is so common to those in your situation, and a good counselor could help you understand much that would allow you to find peace about your relationship with your father. Hugs to you in this difficult time!

  18. Member
    jacofblues 1468 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:16 pm

    First of all this story touched such a chord in me. An old friend of mine had a very similar relationship with her father. He was a drunk and quite abusive but when he got his new girlfriend pregnant he suddenly went on the straight and narrow. Her realtionship was then very similar to yours, having trouble connecting to her new siblings, to the girlfriend and her father.

    The shining light in her family structure was her mother and siblings. She had two very close siblings (a brother and a sister) and her mum that had been with her and there for her through thick and thin.

    If she was to marry, to tell you the truth I think it would be either all three or one of them walking down the aisle.

    Yours is a very sad and personal issue and at the end of the day you need to put this stress behind you because you are starting your own family and a new life for yourself with your future husband. As hard as it is you need to do whats best for you and your new family. And by the sound of the amount of heartache you’ve been caused by this issue, I think it would be best to choose one of your siblings or your mum to walk down the aisle.

    I know it might not be what you have dreamed your entire life, but sometimes when planning a wedding there are dreams that come true and some that don’t. I NEVER in a MILLION years thought I would marry in a church, but it was important to my husband, so I got married in a Church. My bubble popped, I had always dreamed of getting married outside in a beautiful garden like my parents. Its hard, there will be tears, but in the end you did what was best for you both.

    Although my situation was very different, I hope it helps you, if I had someone tell me that maybe all my dreams weren’t able to come true sooner I would have reached a little less high.

    My heart goes out to you and I hope you make a decision that settles your heart *hugs*

  19. Member
    daniellekira 573 posts, Busy bee @ 1:16 pm

    I am very sorry to hear about this. I would not include him if I were you. He hasn’t shown you the love, care and affection that a father is supposed to show you. I know that it hurts you to go through this, but I think you would feel guilty or upset down the line that you included him and it was fake. I think you should have a talk with him if you are able to and tell him you want him at your wedding, but you want your mom or brothers to walk you down the aisle as you feel your father isn’t as excited about this wedding as you hoped. Say you want him and his new family there to support you and see his oldest little girl walk down the aisle and hope for the best. It is a tough situation and I am so sorry you have to go through this. You should never feel second best to your parents. They should love each and everyone of you the same.

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    anonymous, Guest @ 9:25 am

    I’m a little late to this, but here are my two cents: Do whatever you need to in order to feel as good as you can on that day.

    It’s easy for an outsider to say, “Get rid of him. It’s not worth it. He’ll ruin your day.” But those attitudes come from a place of total emotional distance. I don’t know your dad. I have nothing invested in him. I have nothing invested in him loving me. You do. No amount of rational thinking and “kick ’em to the curb” mentality is going to magically erase your yearning to feel loved by your father. You’re human.

    I have a slightly (emphasis on slightly) similar relationship with my own dad. I too am a born people pleaser. I do pay bills late occasionally, but I feel totally ashamed doing it. 😉 My dad also has a temper. He never beat me, but I have some emotional scars that it took a long time for me to recognize came from emotional abuse. One big difference for me is that my dad and I are close. I generally adore him, and I generally feel like he adores me. But his temper and anger controlled me for a long time. I would do anything to avoid upsetting him. For most of my adult life, I have made decisions desperately aimed at pleasing people and obtaining my dad’s approval. Then, the decision to move in with my (now) fiance came up, and I was avoiding it because I knew my dad would disapprove. I was in my late 20s at the time, and I realized it was time for me to be an adult. I couldn’t allow every decision in my life to be predicated on avoiding my dad’s anger. So we unceremoniously moved in together. I didn’t say a word about it to my parents, because I didn’t want them to feel like they had a say in the matter. They figured it out on their own and have dealt with it on their own.

    That doesn’t mean that things have suddenly become picture perfect. My dad has since made digs about my decision not to ask them for money for our wedding being a statement that he wasn’t allowed to offer his opinion (total passive aggression). I still desperately long to avoid not only my dad’s anger but anyone’s anger. The difference is now, I try really hard to make conscious decisions not to let that control me or my decisions. It still hurts, but it hurts less.

    So all that to say, your dad is who he is, and you are who you are. Try to be as self-aware of your feelings as you can, acknowledge them, but try not make decisions based on unhealthy urges to somehow earn or coerce your dad’s love. In the end, you owe your dad nothing. Not because he’s hurt you so much, but because you are his daughter, and it’s a parent’s job to care for their child.

    Then, picture yourself on your wedding and decide what you need most. If you need to release him and the drama he brings and have a day surrounded only by those who support you most, then make the intentional choice to let go of him as best you can. If his absence will be a constant hole that will nag at you throughout the wedding and after, then ask him to be there, but work hard not let yourself expect anything more than his presence.

    In the end, neither option will be easy or perfect. Family seldom is. My heart goes out to you!!

  21. Member
    wfmetalica 17 posts, Newbee @ 6:33 am

    Oh gosh. I started tearing up reading this. This is almost word for word my exact story except my dad had a son with a horrible woman, who is no longer around, and is a single, caring, involved parent as he approaches 60. Then of course, I have a stepfather.

    I can personally tell you that I have been through counseling over him, have cried way too many tears, and will never have the relationship that we should. That being said, I realized in college that no matter what I did or said, I would never magically have our worlds changed. But that is on him, not me. And that is pretty much how you have to look at it. As hard as it sounds, he is my father – not my dad because that is what he chooses to be.

    As far as my wedding goes… He is a guest only. As a matter of fact, he and my half brother are he only people from that side invited out of 8 aunts/uncles and their spouses, 37 some first cousins and their spouses and children, and my only living biological grandparent. There will be no father daughter dance, and he will not walk me down the isle. In fairness, neither will my stepdad although he is way closer to that role than my father ever was. My mother has always been my rock, so she will give me away. :)

    I know that it is a very emotional roller coaster. It’s hard. But you need to do what makes you happy on your day, and not depend on him for that. You may never get it. I hope my 2 cents has helped in some way – even if it is just to know there are others out there in the same (almost identical) situation.

  22. Member
    octoberbride102013 22 posts, Newbee @ 12:19 pm

    I feel like your situation is so very close to mine and I really feel for you. My parents divorced when I was 7 and I am now 32 and my father and I have never been close, we didn’t talk for ten years and my mom is the one that raised me. We started talking again about 6 years ago but I see him maybe once a year and I get a phone call once every few months that lasts for about a minute. When it came time to the wedding I went back and fourth on whether to have my dad walk me down the aisle or dance with me and the more I thought about it the more I realized it was not what I wanted and was just doing it because I felt guilty. In the end I ended up asking my mother to walk me since she raised me and is my best friend. Well because of this my father sent me a letter and not only is he not coming to the wedding but he said that I am no longer his daughter and he has cut off all communication with me and so has the rest of the family on my fathers side. I have to say this hurt like hell but in the end you have to do what feels right to you and what is going to make you happy on your wedding day, just know that your decisions could cause you to loose family so when you make those decisions make sure you are 100% sure and just be strong. and prepare yourself, in the end go with your heart!

  23. Member
    sleepywarlord 5 posts, Newbee @ 12:22 pm

    *hugs* I cried reading this because while we don’t have similar dads, I feel a lot of sadness thinking about my wedding and my dad. I really, really hoped he would be there to walk me down the aisle but he absolutely refuses to be in the same room as my mom, despite all these years. He sounded like he was going to for a while but when my grandfather passed he said he was relieved because he (my grandfather on my mom’s side) wouldn’t be walking me down the aisle (this came to light after he finally refused to attend). It breaks my heart to hear of your story, and I wish I knew some good advice or answers to tell you. It’s horrible what he’s putting you through <3 I agree what others have said though, stick to your guns and do what you feel right/what you feel comfortable doing. Why do these things for show when he doesn't even want to choose a song? When he only cares if his most recent child is included, and nothing about your happiness? He's being really selfish and I half-expect him not to attend out of spite, but I could be wrong. I would let your mom walk you down the aisle, because she's been there for you since day one it sounds like, if you want someone to give you away.

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    Rachel, Guest @ 12:41 pm

    @anonymous: @anonymous:

    I couldnt have said it better.

    I feel for you and think you are so brave (and well spoken). I agree with the above commenter who said “Do whatever you need to in order to feel as good as you can on that day.” I have had some issues with my sister and the only thing that has prevented our issues from ruining what is supposed to be one of the happiest times in my life, is making the choice to do what is best for me. I am leaving a space open for her to be a part of the wedding but (with the help of therapy) i am moving forward with the understanding that she very well may not be. My best friend who has loved and supported me since middle school will be my maid of honor, because she deserves it and because i want her there next to me.

    At the end of the day, its about you and your fiance. Trying to make your dad into something he isn’t for the sake of appearances at the wedding may feel really inauthentic to you and might even hurt more, since it sounds likely he wont act or emote the way you would want him to that day. But he is your dad and i understand that as well.

    I think you know what would be the right thing for you but maybe hoping it will turn out surprisingly different. I don’t blame you for that. But you deserve to walk down the aisle with someone at your side who’s ALWAYS been there.

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    Mrs. Kitty, Guest @ 12:50 pm

    I am perplexed by the entire tradition of just the father walking the bride down the aisle, even when the father has been absent and Mom has been the one doing all the work. Never should he have been the one walking you down the aisle, your Mom is your true parent. He’s the other half of your DNA.
    Jews have both parents walk the bride AND groom down the aisle, but when there is a divorce usually it is just mom. Stop worrying about the d-bag. If you haven’t sent out invites then don’t send him one, but understand that you have officially severed the relationship completely.

    ANd honor your mother with a walk down the aisle, and a dance. She is the one who has raised you, she is the one who has sacrificed for you. She is one walking into your next phase of life. All that patriarchal b.s. about the father “giving you away” is nonsense and you shouldn’t feel like you have to follow this tradition that makes you just property to be given. Your mom will escort you and be part of the celebration, so go pick her out an amazing corsage and ask her to pick out a mother daughter dance song to remember!!!!

  26. Member
    neko 1 posts, Wannabee @ 1:04 pm

    I don’t know if I am too late to the party but I had a similar experience with my own father. Mostly broken promises on his part leaving me to deal with my mother-in-law and mother to put me in the middle of a “lets not talk about it but he is the scum of the earth”. Talk about uncomfortable. I was straight forward with my dad, I told him that I didn’t want to have him walk me down the aisle. Not only do I not agree with being “given away” but I didn’t feel he really deserved it since my step dad has been a better dad then him.

    I origianlly was going to have my brother walk me down the aisle, I didn’t want to go it alone, but when he was late/absent for the rehersal, I decided to do something crazy. I had my Husband-to-be walk me down the aisle. I loved it, it was non-conventional and to me, it signified that we are both going into it together as equals.

    And you know what, I am so glad that I did it that way. I still did dance with him, but it was mostly for my husband’s sake. His mother desperately wanted to do a mother-son dance, so I agreed to dance with my dad at the same time so my husband wouldn’t be the only one dancing.

    and also, I hope things go well for you! I’m sorry that you have to deal with this, the stress of doing a wedding is enough without added family stress

  27. Member
    iwinatcookie 55 posts, Worker bee @ 2:29 pm

    I am in a very similar situation to yours, and I understand how difficult it can be. My father doesn’t have a new family, luckily, but ever since my parents divorced right after I left for college, my father has made very little effort to be a part of my life. My little sister lived with him for a while in high school and he keeps in touch with her a little better than he does with me. I talk to him maybe twice per year on the phone, and that’s it. He’s shown very little interest in my upcoming wedding or in my fiance.

    I don’t know if this is something that makes sense for you, but what I’ve decided to do is forego all the traditional father-daughter things and just invite him as a guest. I’ll walk myself down the aisle, there won’t be any special dances, I’m just hoping to do whatever I can to try and tone down the awkwardness of the situation by doing more of a non-traditional wedding. My dad is a little more passive than your dad sounds, though, so it might not work for you to invite him at all. It sounds to me though like he has no interest in being a part of your day, as heartbreaking as that is. If it was important to him, he should make it clear to you. Sometimes our loved ones just aren’t as big a part of our lives as we want them to be, but that’s not your fault.

  28. Member
    elven_princess 17 posts, Newbee @ 2:29 pm

    It’s really sad that you may never have those special moments at your wedding with your father; but even if you could have them, that he would agree to be a part of it, would you really want it? Would you really want him to share that with you even though there is no reason that he should be? The reason a father has a part in the wedding like that is because he was and is a part of your life, which your father really wasn’t. A father also is part of the wedding because he takes joy in his daughter, her life, and her future. Your father shows none of that, so why ruin the joy of your wedding with someone who won’t share in that joy or will only pretend to? I say you should not have him there. Focus on your husband, that he’s a man that’s there for you unlike your father. Perhaps your father will then wake up and realize how terrible he was to you and how much he missed out on.

  29. Guest Icon Guest
    wedding_in_seattle, Guest @ 3:50 pm

    Its your day. Its your decision. Follow your breaking heart. We all have opinions about it because the story you tell is of a present father who has emotionally and otherwise abandoned you. If you’d told a different story, we might have different responses. So…. if we can see what you should do, I bet you can too.

    Have a wonderful wedding day and an even better marriage.

  30. Member
    criscont 18 posts, Newbee @ 4:12 pm

    Remember you’re not alone. My story is so much like yours I can’t even begin to tell you. Divorce has really changed my father and it’s sad to see that although our fathers are in our lives they don’t know how to be a father. I have sent out my save the dates and as of now my dad is not invited. I think if he were to come, everything would be just for show. It’s a very hard position to be in because guests expect a father daughter dance and for him to walk you down the aisle. How do you invite him as a guest? .
    I think at the end of the day you should remember it’s your day and your wedding should be one of the happiest days of your life. If there are people in your life that you’re not happy with I think it’s best you leave them out. I will be making that decision with regards to my father.

  31. Guest Icon Guest
    Isabel, Guest @ 4:24 pm

    Honestly? I would have him read this post.

  32. Member
    Blueskiesinjune 11 posts, Newbee @ 4:50 pm

    I understand – to a degree – how you feel. I also have a contentious relationship with my father. He and my mother got divorced almost 15 years ago and he and I only speak when absolutely necessary – he’s not a very good person and made quite a few decisions that affected my brother, mother and I very negatively (though he would disagree, which is part of the problem). When I got engaged, my mom and I had the conversation – are you inviting your father? Who’s walking you down the aisle? It was a difficult decision to make, but in the end I felt that it would be only for “looks” if I asked him to walk me down the aisle – it would be an extremely awkward situation for me on what should be a special, memorable day. So, I asked my brother to walk me down the aisle and give me away – he was thrilled to do so.

    But the harder question was whether or not to invite my father to the wedding AT ALL. In the end I reflected on the last time my dad and I had been together for longer than an hour – my brother’s wedding 6 years ago. My dad drove me nuts. He was rude, argumentative, and I could hardly stand to be in the room with him. Did I want this experience at my wedding? I knew that I didn’t want him in any of the family photos because I didn’t want to look at a photo on the wall years from now and remember the resentment and awkwardness I felt in him being there.

    Was I willing to tell my dad that he could come to the wedding but that I didn’t want him to walk me down the aisle OR be in the family photos? My final decision came down to that. I decided not to invite him, and I didn’t ask him to contribute towards the wedding expenses. I wanted to my wedding day memories to be beautiful – not ugly.

    I got married 4 months ago still don’t regret my decision. If I regret my decision in a few years (as some of my friends and family counseled me that I would), then I’ll cross that bridge and make some apologies.

    For now, I’m content in looking through my wedding photos without resentment or anger. Everyone who attended our wedding was a family member or close friend (we had less than 75 people at the wedding) who I can honestly say has been a positive influence in my life. My father being present would have changed all of that for me, and for that reason, I’m glad that I made my decision and stuck to it when others advised me to invite him.

    The only person who can really make the decision to disinvite your father is YOU. How will you feel at the wedding? Do you expect that he will act differently than he has through the years? Will you look back at wedding photos and be sad? Don’t worry about hurt feelings, because it sounds like he’s imposed plenty of those on you.

    Your wedding is the one time in life when it’s ok to be a little selfish (or so people tell me). Good luck – I know from experience that this is a tough decision. Remember that whatever you decide will be the right decision for you and your situation!

  33. Guest Icon Guest
    Azslp1842, Guest @ 5:05 pm

    I am so sorry that you are faced with such a tough decision. I have a strange relationship with my dad, although not to the extent that you do. It has actually deteriorated as I have gotten older. I just had to comment because TrousseauHorse said it so perfectly, about how all of the wedding etiquette is so awkward for children of divorced parents! My husband and I both have divorced parents, mine do NOT get along, and his were secretly getting back together right before our wedding! So needless to say, there was a lot of confusion and strange feelings all around. We probably should have eloped. I don’t really have any helpful advice, although I was extremely glad that I had both of my parents walk me down the aisle, as my mother has been the rock in my life. I made sure she was more involved in the ceremony, and I kind of wish I had done a mother-daughter dance too. Do what will make your day happy and relaxed. It should be a day full of love, where the focus is on you and your husband.

  34. Guest Icon Guest
    Ellie, Guest @ 7:51 pm

    Giiiirl, I’m so with you. I uninvited my absentee father from my wedding. Long story short, I feel very relieved. I suggest you not put on the show… It would have hurt me to do that with my charismatic charming (abandoning deadbeat) father. I refused. I put my foot down. My beloved oldest brother will walk me.

    Like you, he had been the source of every. Single. Wedding. Meltdown. That’s so not fair. If he wanted to be involved, he should have been involved.

    It’s possible that when your half sibling grows up, they’ll come find you. My father has scattered kids all over the place. (7 with 5 different women!) We all tracked each other down in adulthood, and stay in touch. Maybe send a birthday card every year or something, they’ll remember it and know that you actually care. My (22 years older) older brother wasn’t around much, but he made it clear that he was happy to know me and that I could call him anytime. I can’t say how much I appreciated that.

    Big hugs from Canada.

  35. Member
    Alicia2Vila 27 posts, Newbee @ 5:01 am

    I had a similar (although not exactly the same situation). My dad and I have had a strained past. My parents divorced in middle school, and my dad never put up any fight about not seeing us at all. He had actually told people at his office that he could “take them or leave them” about his own children (my brother and me). He then began living with a woman and her two children, a boy and a girl, each one year younger than my brother and me. He treated them like royalty! They went on family trips all the time, he spent time with just the kids alone, did father/daughter/ father/son things with them.

    When I went off to college it looked like he was going to make an effort to be a part of my life. We started talking on the phone once a week and he would occasionally come see me at school. Then his wife blew up at me one night (the long version of this would take days), and it really strained our relationship again.

    So a few years later and I’m engaged to my boyfriend of 6 years, I tell my dad in May that we’re planning a wedding in December. He said he already has a vacation to Australia booked for him, his wife, and her two kids. He refused to do anything to go a few days late (to a month long vacation). We had planned on signing our marriage license a few days before our wedding on our anniversary, while my dad was still in the country. Well, he couldn’t even bother to come to that. He was still in the country for another 2 days and couldn’t be bothered to come because “well I need to pack then.”

    So my brother walked me down the aisle and it was the best decision I could have made! I probably would have had my brother walk me down the aisle anyway even if my dad had come. Everyone said how sweet it was. No one mentioned my dad not being there. So don’t feel bad! No one will think less of you if you have your mom or brothers walk you down the aisle!

  36. Guest Icon Guest
    Nicole, Guest @ 5:50 am

    Don’t include someone like that on your wedding day, he doesn’t deserve to be there. I was in a very similar situation when I got married. I didn’t invite my father or his wife and that caused them to stop speaking to me and delete me from all social media sites. It feels like a relief now that he’s not in my life because now he can’t hurt or disappoint me anymore. I had my mother walk me down the aisle. She’s been there for me through thick and thin, good times and bad, she’s the one who deserved to have that moment with me. Not him.

  37. Guest Icon Guest
    TheNewMrsA, Guest @ 5:55 am

    I have never ever replied to one of these posts, even ones I’ve really enjoyed reading. However your post really moved me.

    What I gave to say us pretty long winded, so please bear with me :)

    I didn’t have my father around when I was growing up, my mother left him when I was a baby. Six years ago my father contacted me. We spoke for a while, but he became very overbearing very quickly. Calling me multiple (and I do mean MULTIPLE)times a day, getting angry when I couldn’t talk for long, etc. He lived across Canada from me, so meeting him right away wasn’t exactly in my financial reach. He did not offer to come see me, refused to meet me part way etc, etc.

    Eventually his wife AND step-daughter called mr to tell me I was being a terrible person and daughter, they verbally attacked me, with my father just letting it happen (he was there on their end in the background)

    Needless to say I cut off all contact with him.

    A couple of years later his wife contacted me on Facebook, and wrote on MY WALL of all things that my father was dying of lung cancer. This of course goaded me into finally taking the trip to see him (I had a much better job by this point)

    We stayed in contact for quite sometime and became fairly close. When I got engaged I even began to let myself fantasize about all the father/daughter stuff I’d get to do that I never thought would be possible growing up.

    It wasn’t too long before I found out his cancer was absolutely one hundred percent fictitious. I confronted him, was attacked once again by his wife and step daughter and I have not spoken to them since.

    My family is nuts, bear with me here;

    My oldest sister started acting very erratic and jealous from the moment I got engaged. She is a single mother if three children (three different fathers, none of which she is on any kind if relationship with) and so I could understand where she was coming from. I tried not to rub anything in her face, rarely talked about my wedding planning in hopes of alleviating the tension.

    She got sloppy drink and acted a total fool at my engagement party, my wedding social (it’s a Manitoba thing) AND finally at my bachelorette. My bachelorette was two weeks before the wedding trust me when I say she was too drunk to remember a thing, and I was honestly not drunk (not a huge drinker). She went on to tell my mother that my friends and I made fun of her all night, and that she left crying. Complete and total lie.

    My mother told me she would not attend my wedding because of ‘what I had done to my sister’. In truth my sister threatened to never let her see the children if she came to my wedding. (She uses her kids this way pretty often, and she tried the same thing with my other sister)

    I was upset to say the least. My fiancé suggested I ask my best guy friend to walk me down the aisle. He accepted with all the gratitude and happiness I was hoping for.

    So after all of this drama, all the heartache and tears, I got married in August of this year.

    And you know what? I couldn’t have asked for a better day. I didn’t think about the people who had hurt me, not once. I was so surrounded by the love of my close friends and in laws. My husband I got married in front of people who truly care for us. And there was not ONE dramatic/upsetting moment the entire day!

    I guess this is my long winded way of saying I understand. And of course, do what makes you feel good, because that’s all that matters at the end of the day.

    Choosing not to include my family in my day (and having it chosen for me) was what was best for me. When I think back about my special day, I remember all the moments of course. But mostly I remember the general feeling of the day which was complete happiness. If my mother, father or sister had been there, I know I would be remembering plenty of negative feelings as well, so in the end I’m actually thankful that they (however ungraciously) bowed out.

    Anyways, good luck! I truly hope your day is all you hope for, every bride deserves that!

  38. Guest Icon Guest
    Didi, Guest @ 8:36 am

    I teared up when I read this because this is pretty much what I’m going through with my father. I’ve decided that he’s not coming to the wedding. I’ve cried too much and tried too hard with nothing to show for it and I’m not starting my new life with the love of my life worrying about someone who hasn’t worried about me in decades. Your day should be happy and he would take that away from you.


  39. Guest Icon Guest
    Anonymous, Guest @ 5:53 pm

    I think you need to do whatever will make you feel the most comfortable on your special day.

    I have a strained relationship with my mother(we have spoken only at family functions for the past five years). Although she really wants to be a part of my wedding planning and wedding I have decided not to invite her. This was not any easy choice, but I knew if she was there she would try to make the day about her and I didn’t want that. I also knew that even if she was on her best behavior I would spend the entire day waiting and watching for signs of a blowup and would not enjoy the day. After making the choice with the help of my fiancee, sister, and other close family members who know all the details of our relationship I realized that I was going to miss having “a mother” for this process, but I was not going to miss having my mother there. I wish we could have a better relationship and that I could have a mother who would help me through my milestones but eventually I just had to face that that is not the life I have. I am grateful for the wonderful family I do have and I know they will do their best to help me fill the void.

  40. Member
    coccinnelle26 9 posts, Newbee @ 7:24 pm

    I don’t ususally reply to post often but I felt compelled by your story as it hits so close to home.

    I too have a father who couldn’t care less about me and my brother and it’s been like that forever.. he would take care of all my cousins before he would take care of us so he always seemed like a good father but in fact he wasn’t… of course the details in both our story are a bit different but the result is the same… YOU are hurt by his own selfish ways and there is NOTHING you can do to change that. It’s NOT your fault at all for you are the child in this story and he is the adult. He should be ashamed to act this way with his first family for children are a blessing not a curse.

    I got married in july 2012 and I wasn’t even talking to my father at the time of our engagement but since I felt it might be important that he’s part of it… I contacted him and we met and I thought I might give him one last chance to take his place and be my father once again… thought he would take it seriously… but as we progressed in the planning … he got less and less involved and so my future husband began to see him as for what he really was … a selfish man with only his best interest at heart. He didn’t even contribute any money to the wedding but he acted as if he paid the whole thing. Anyways my only advice to you would be to do what’s best for you and your husband … not for what everybody else think you should do …. I’m telling you because I gave him a place in the wedding that he didn’t deserve (walking me down the aisle… the father and daughter dance… the pictures the limo the whole shabang!!!) but now I regret it all every time we look at them and you
    do not want to have regrets … so good luck my dear

  41. Guest Icon Guest
    Future Mrs. H, Guest @ 7:59 pm

    First let me say that my heart breaks for you. It was so sad to read this and know other Brides face tough choices like I have. My situation is somewhat different, but in some ways the same.
    My father has always been in my life, but is difficult to get along with at times. Two years ago we had a falling out, and by my choice we stopped speaking. Then I met the man of my dreams. My father lives a distance away and came for a visit. I tried to patch things up and took my fiance to meet him. It went ok, but our relationship is very strained and we really don’t talk. I am in my 40’s and this is not my first wedding so I decided to walk down the isle solo. There will be no parent dances as my fiance’s parents have both passed.
    I struggled and cried about sending my father an invite. I don’t want to hurt him, but honestly don’t want him there. There is usually drama of some sort, and everyone will be tense. I consulted my pastor, who advised to invite him so I have no regrets and then pray like crazy that he rsvps no. That is what I did and he rsvped no. Now we can all relax and have a good time and I will have no regrets.
    Seek some advise from your fiance and a professional that is not involved. If you are a christian then pray and leave it in god’s hands as I did. Unfortunatly no one can give you an answer as to what to do, you will need to figure out what will bring you the most peace. This is your and your finace’s day, enjoy it!
    Best of luck to you! I will pray for you.

  42. Guest Icon Guest
    Helen, Guest @ 1:00 am

    First let me say how sorry I am you are going through this. I have a similarly difficult relationship with my mother and I know how stressful it is in the build up to your wedding. But it helped me to know I wasn’t the only one who had the issues I did, so I hope it helps you too. You are not the only one with a difficult father or parent, it is not your fault and no one is judging you. The only person who will judge you on the decision you make about your father (and girlfriend and her children) are them! And when you realise that, it’s an easier pill to swallow.

    If he isn’t talking to you at the moment then you have two choices. Leave it that way, or try to send some kind of olive branch. I imagine you really don’t want to leave it. akthough other people may say ‘he deserves it’ or ‘he can’t upset you if he’s not there’, that’s not the case at all and i get that. But if you do reach out, make sure that olive branch is something that does not compromise your position. I know how important it seems that your wedding is a fairy tale affair and all the bad things in life somehow get magically solved, but that isn’t going to happen. The best you can do is minimise the problem for that day.

    If I were you I would write him and her a letter saying you would still really like them to come, but that unfortunately there is no role for her child and you hope they understand that. Perhaps you can offer the child something else? a special picture with the bride? it’s a token, and everyone will know it, but no great loss if they take it or don’t. if you still want to dance with him, then say that. if you want him to do a speech, then say that too. but whatever you say, make sure its because you actually want those things for what they are. Don’t kid yourself that he’s going to magically become the father you’ve always wanted, or reveal some deep dark secret that proves he wasn’t the father you knew him to be (failings and all). as happy and wonderful as weddings are, they are not magic. As for him walking you down the aisle. That decision was pretty easy for me. I simply chose to make that walk that by myself. My husband asked me to marry him and I said yes. No permission sought, no permission granted. So I didn’t feel I needed an escort. I told my mother this and she never commented on it. If she was upset, she didn’t say and I know it was the right decision. I remembered the most important thing and that is that this wedding was for me and my husband. No one would remember it like we would so we had to do it how we wanted it.

    One last thing. Some people will tell you that on the day you won’t care about the little things. To a certain point that’s true but for things which will come up in the future (in disagreements and arguments, used as ammunition against you) that is not true. I minimised the future ‘pay back’ in everything to do with my mother and sister but without compromising my or my husband’s day.

    I hope some of this helps. And please don’t lose sight of the fact that this is going to be a totally FABTASTIC day. It may seem like all this stuff with your father has the potential to ruin it, but I assure you. It won’t. Have a great time.

    H xxx

  43. Guest Icon Guest
    Carrie, Guest @ 5:26 pm

    No to the aisle-walk. Invite him as a guest. The high road is a good thing. I’ve learned the hard way not to be too strict on wedding invitations (or disinvitations). If he asks you to dance, do it briefly. Then beacon others to join in. And switch to your husband. (You COULD kindly ask him not to attend the reception (just the ceremony) as there has been too much pain in your relationship. That’s a win-win. He’s there, but he’s not.)

    Realize that he is a very, very selfish, immature person, and it’s his own limitation. Try to put that thought in a box with a lid on it, and don’t let it hurt you. Think of his actions as those of a child. A two year old’s tantrum cannot hurt an adult. It’s pure childishness. The folly falls by its own demise. One thing: HIS ignorance and ugliness are NO reflection of YOU or his potential love for you. It’s like he’s too out of it to even open up his eyes and see you. Truly. This has not a THING to do with you. Yes, he is your human father, and there was a day when he was in touch with that adoration. I promise. And there will be a day when he returns to it, here or hereafter. Let a piece of your heart forgive him. But act in a practical manner to protect yourself. In the mean time, know that your true Father in heaven is watching you and dancing with you. And you probably have a wonderful father-in-law.

    On the subject of children: They’re so pretty at weddings. Have one. Why NOT have his little girl in the ceremony. It would be like having a piece of your Dad to satisfy that little romantic notion of yours. Only this little girl can’t possibly hurt you, she’s a baby. She’ll be a sweet, fresh memory. There would be no resentment from the family. In fact, Dad and his little daughter could be there for the ceremony and graciously be on their way after that. Then you live it up at the reception with everyone else!

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