To not invite my dad's wife to my wedding?

(234 Posts)
weddingfamilywoes Sat 01-Sep-12 23:03:59

I'm getting married next year, and deciding how to deal with my divorced parents is causing me a lot of stress. They have been divorced for almost 20 years, but its still a big deal for me to have them in the same place. Since they split up, the only time I have seen them in the same place was at my siblings' weddings. My dad never went to any graduations etc, it was always accepted that my mum would be the one to go.

At my siblings' weddings it was clearly a big deal for my mum that my dad was there. So much so, that she took a tranquilizer before one of the weddings. I also remember my dad talking to her at once, and it really rattled her.

My mum has never remarried. She hates my dad, but I think underneath there is a lot of regret and some feelings still there for him. When my parents split up, he left her for another woman (although I don't think my mum was blameless in the breakdown of their relationship). He later remarried (but to a different person).

I like my dad's wife (stepmother I guess) a lot, but I'm not sure whether to invite her to the wedding. I anticipate that my mum will react badly to the news, perhaps terribly so. I have always had a somewhat tumultuous relationship with her. She has quite low self-esteem and is prone to depression. When my dad got remarried (~10 years ago), I told my mum I was going and she got hysterical. She phoned my grandparents and shouted at them down the phone, and asked why they were supporting this. I backed out of the wedding. I'm kind of expecting the same thing if I invite my dad's wife this time. And I'm worried whether it would be too big a thing for my mum to handle. She had cancer earlier this year and has generally been more depressed since. But on the other hand I feel really bad for my dad and his wife if I don't invite her. Neither of my siblings invited her to their wedding. I guess they felt it was best to avoid the stress for themselves and my mum.

gimmecakeandcandy Sun 13-Jan-13 18:18:49

whathaveigotoday have you actually read the whole thread before dishing out your 'advice' ? [hmmm]

Op ignore this posters advice. Please invite your sm and don't let your mother emotionally manipulate and abuse you anymore.

startlife Sun 13-Jan-13 18:20:56

My DH could have written this post some years ago. His mum & dad divorced 20 years previously but his mum refused to attend joint family events. DH's brother had no one at his graduation because he wouldn't choose between then. However for our wedding we refused to let this happen. DH invited his mum said his dad would be going, he wanted his mum there but of course he respected her decision.

She vented in exactly the same way as your mum, she would feel awkward, wouldn't enjoy the day etc. She was so used of getting her way, all of her life so this was wake up to her and she didn't like it.

DH perserved, during the run up to the wedding and she did come and you know what it was a non event. No drama at all. The best thing was that it actually positive for her- she had been stuck in the victim mentality for so many years it was holding her back.

The run up to the wedding might have been stressy for her but sometimes we all have to face our fears, it was a growing experience for her. Her life has changed for the better since then and she now has a new relationship.

Please make sure you invite your Step Mum, your mum needs to get over this for everyone sake (including her own).

TheFallenNinja Sun 13-Jan-13 18:59:02

No, but it will put the old man in a spot.

bubby64 Sun 13-Jan-13 20:12:06

We had a similar situation with our wedding, except it was DHs mum, not mine. We invited her and FiL and his wife of the pat 12 yrs, and MiL kicked up in all sorts of ways, blaming me for the invite and she got really nasty at one point. In the end, she said she would come if FiL and SMiL were sat on the opposite side of both the church, and reception. We arranged all of this, and TBH FiL was willing to comply with her demands to keep the peace, but, on the actual day, she just didn't turn up!
It did upset DH, but, as he said later, if she had decided to come, she would have been a drama queen the whole day, and done her best to ruin the day for all involved. What I am really saying is that I would invite all 3, and it will be up to your mum as to whether she can accept the situation. DH and I still get on with SMiL much better than MiL, as do our kids, so I'm glad we didn't exclude her for our wedding (13 yrs ago now!)

LesBOFerables Sun 13-Jan-13 20:16:51

She is playing you like a fiddle, OP. I feel very sorry for your dad and his wife. Why is it that the most outrageously behaved people get pandered to, while perfectly reasonable ones have their feelings ignored just because they don't parade them in front of everyone? It's hideously unfair.

EugenesAxe Sun 13-Jan-13 20:48:35

I agree with everyone saying to invite your step-mum & that this is not your problem but your DM's. If she accuses you of being selfish I think you could reasonably direct that back at her. You need to be kind but firm - you're sorry it didn't work out between your parents, but she must accept you have a relationship with your DSM and that to ask you to not invite her to this special event in your life would be cruel to both parties. It also wouldn't change anything for the better from your DM's perspective; it's more likely to change things for the worse.

I think bubby also voices a lot of what I've thought. I guess you do need to think about how you'd feel if your DM didn't come & factor that into your decision, ultimately.

ilovesooty Sun 13-Jan-13 21:18:54

I think the posters who've suggested getting them on separate tables but none of them on your table are wise.

I think it would be pandering horribly to your mother and an appalling snub to your father to put her on the top table and demote him to a lower one.

FriendlyLadybird Sun 13-Jan-13 21:21:42

I'm another one who thinks you should invite your step-mum. My DH and his ExW absolutely loathe each other, over 20 years after they split up. However, they managed to pull themselves together and be the picture of civility for DSD's graduation, because they both knew it wasn't about THEM but about her. Your mother CAN do the same, just for one day.

Maryz Mon 14-Jan-13 16:30:48

This thread has really saddened me sad

Your mum has you exactly where she wants you doesn't she?

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