to not invite father's partner to wedding?

(120 Posts)
josparkle Wed 12-Dec-12 12:03:11

Looking for some impartial perspective here as my father thinks thinks I'm unreasonable and I'm really not sure if I am.
Wedding is in very early stages of planning, have decided will be close friends and family, about 60 guests. I discussed with DF that we were not planning to invite his partner, he thinks this is unfair and was upset.

Background is that DF left DM for this woman 5 years ago after having an affair with her. She is a nice enough person and I get on okay with her but her being at ths wedding would be upsetting to DM, my grandparents and the rest of the extended family. My brother has never liked DF's new partner and finds it very difficult to be around them and DF due to the hurt the affair caused in the family.

DM has not had a relationship since DF.

There is no other family on my DF's side, so if his partner wasn't there he feels he'd be very alone and outnumbered by DM's side of my family.

I just think that not inviting.her would make for a better day as I wouldn't be worried about DM and brother being upset, am I being unreasonable?

josparkle Wed 12-Dec-12 15:36:39

Thank you for all the replies, its really helpful to look at this from the different angles you've all given.

To all the posters that said DF's partner might not want to come, you are totally right. I'm going to speak to her directly about it because, affair aside, I do believe she is a reasonable and thoughtful person-I don't believe that the affair defines them as people. It's DF that's been pushing that she must be invited so I'm going to get her take on things before broaching it with DM.

Waltermitty- now you mention it, does seem odd she doesn't sign cards! I think she does that from a good place though of she didn't at first as seemed inappropriate.

CremeEggThief Wed 12-Dec-12 15:37:52

I don't think you should invite her. Your father chose to have an affair and break up his marriage and this is one of the consequences he will have to deal with. If you invite her, you risk upsetting many more people than if you don't.

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 12-Dec-12 15:43:09

Don't invite her. I liked YellowTulips post on pg 2.

If you like her, and it sounds like you do, just talk to her about it. She probably wouldn't want to attend, either, as if she's a kind personality she'll know that there will be drama involved and she won't want to be part of it. Maybe an invite to the evening do, or something else, would suffice.

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 12-Dec-12 15:43:34

sorry xposted, I see you're going to talk to her. smile

Paiviaso Wed 12-Dec-12 15:46:19

I wouldn't invite her. I think it is a bit rich for your dad to throw a strop because he can't bring the woman with whom he had an affair and left his marriage for to your wedding which is a celebration of love and commitment...

JamieandtheMagiTorch Wed 12-Dec-12 15:49:00

I presume your mum won't be over the moon to see your dad, and he's the one who decided to have the affair.

Mumsyblouse Wed 12-Dec-12 15:49:44

I really disagree with those saying the consequences should rumble on for years or decades, or he did the wrong thing so should be punished by having his new partner excluded (for how long, for ever?) The repercussions are usually awful initially, for a year or two, but then people move on. Sometimes second marriages can be very happy, even those that started through affairs. It's crazy to pretend this is never the case and all people who have affairs need eternal punishment (and I say this as someone who has never had an affair and would be very angry if someone else did!)

Also- if you go on to have children, how long are you going to keep up the exclusion? My children don't know that their grandpa's partner was the OW, and so they love seeing her, she takes them on holiday, cares for them, looks after them. Luckily, my mum is mature enough to see that this is good for the children to have loving grandparents, and she has also moved on in her own relationships, so there is no issue.

I would check a) how upset your mum really will be and b) consider the future of these relationships, especially as you seem to get on fine with this lady yourself (it is possible not to condone an affair but still like the people concerned). I also agree with whoever said try writing to both parents asking them to sort this out amicably for your sake.

JamieandtheMagiTorch Wed 12-Dec-12 15:51:55

I agree your dad should be sensitive enough not to throw a strop, but I think who you do and don't invite should be your decision, as an adult, and not your mum's?

On balance, i think the best thing to do would be to talk to yaour dad's partner about it. Maybe she'll be more. Undertsanding than your dad.

CremeEggThief Wed 12-Dec-12 15:52:57

I think you could point out to your father he should be grateful to be invited at all, if he carries on being difficult. As I said earlier, his choice had far-reaching consequences, and IMO, it is unfair to you that you're the one who is feeling anxious about this issue.

fairylightsandtinsel Wed 12-Dec-12 16:03:52

5 years? Ha! DH's parents got divorced twenty years ago after DMIL had an affair. She is still with the OM and DFIL is remarried also but there is still a huge amount of politics about when how they will be around each other - makes life difficult now with GC in the mix also. At our wedding, DMIL was alone for most of the day because her partner (the OM) was called away to a family emergency - my parents swapped seating around to include her with them but OM and DFIL would always sooner not be in the same room, even after all this time. I think that if your father's partner is ok with not going, it would be best - surely his kids (your siblings) will speak to him no? MAybe he'll choose to come for the ceremony and meal but then go?

I didn't invite my dads OW to my wedding (10 years ago now!) but I invited my dad. He didn't come after saying that he would - I gave myself away. I don't know why I was surprised that he choose his OW over his children again but I felt very left down. I didn't invite her because I decided to put my mum first - it wasn't her that had an affair, she was the one that stuck around to being us up, I didn't ask her how she felt about the OW being invited or not as I had already decided not to invite her out of respect for my mum. We were young teens when he left though and then rarely bothered with us, so didn't deserve any consideration of his feelings imo, just as he didn't consider our (my sister and brother) feelings when he repeatedly didn't turn up to see us etc.

Although 10 years later, I did invite them both to my ds's Christening. He came his OW didn't. Not really an OW anymore though as they were married with children. My mum had also remarried and had more children and the past was firmly the past. She said she wasn't going to come as she didn't want to make things awkward for anyone (elderly relatives with long memories!) but we sent photos and she put them up and sent is a present so there was no bad feeling this time.

EuroShopperEnergyDrink Wed 12-Dec-12 16:10:54

I wouldn't invite her.

But I wouldn't invite my father in that situation either if he had done that to my mother.

FestiveDigestive Wed 12-Dec-12 16:25:16

We had this situation with DH's father - it was 3 years after he left for the other woman and MIL was still in pieces.

We tried to compromise by inviting DF's partner to the evening but not the daytime. She wasn't happy and was very vocal about the fact that she thought we should be inviting her to the day! FIL threw a strop at one point & said he wasn't coming. We stuck to our plan & eventually he came to the day alone. When his partner arrived in the evening, MIL went off to her hotel room and hid out up there (missing our first dance). It felt a bit awkward even though there were lots of people there & FIL didn't stay for that long in the evening.

I'm glad we didn't have her to the daytime. She's not part of our family & having her there would have just vast a shadow over the day. I've no idea why she was so keen to come! She'd been secretly having an affair with FIL for years before he walked out. Then they both wanted to play instant "happy families" & for his children to accept her & include her in birthdays and family events. I still find it hard to understand why FIL in so pushy about trying to make his adult children like & spend time with this woman. He's chosen to be with her, why force her on everyone else?

MrsMelons Wed 12-Dec-12 16:27:50

So Euro you base this judgement purely on the fact he had an affair? We don't actually know anything about the parents relationship and its still her father regardless. It doesn't sound like the OP has a terrible relationship with her dad unless I have missed a post.

FellatioNelson Wed 12-Dec-12 16:34:08

I would agree that you are quite within rights to not invite your father's partner. You are going to upset someone whatever happens, so it may as well be the people who caused the upset in the first place. If you invite her you run the risk of spoiling your day with a terrible atmosphere, and getting it in the neck from all of your relatives for upsetting your mother - is it worth it?

Yes, five years is a long time, and perhaps your mother should be moving on emotionally by now, but that is not the point really. You don't owe this woman anything, and you should do whatever feels most comfortable for you. Your Dad and his partner will just have to take it on the chin.

Let's face it, if she is devastated at the prospect of not coming it will not be because she is so close to you and desperately wants to share your day - it'll be because she wants to be seen publicly with your Dad and show everyone in your family that that she has 'ownership' of him now, and that she won't be sidelined. Fair enough in every day life, but in this instance she should be able to put her own ego aside for the greater good. If I were her I would back off with good grace, wish you well and leave you to it.

I am really shocked at how many people want to bear grudges for years afterwards. I am not surprised many families never move on and heal.

FirstPersonPlural Wed 12-Dec-12 17:32:03

Me too, Sparkle. It's depressing.

Viviennemary Wed 12-Dec-12 17:35:22

I'm afraid I would not be prepared to attend any social event or communicate in any way with a woman who had broke up my marriage of 28 years. If you behave in a disgraceful manner then expect to be ostracized by those affected by your behavior.

nkf Wed 12-Dec-12 17:46:05

If she us.kind, she won't want to come.

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 17:48:06

Vivienne it was the father that broke up the marriage of 28 years. I don't disagree that I wouldn't want her there, but on the basis of your post, you wouldn't want the father there either

waltermittymistletoe Wed 12-Dec-12 18:17:30

I can how that might have happened with the cards to be fair. I absolutely think speaking to her first is the right thing to do. It sounds like she probably would stay away and at least this way you can be sure there's no ill feeling afterwards.

A completely awkward situation for you though.

CaHoHoHootz Wed 12-Dec-12 18:28:33

I think I would elope confused

What a horrible situation for you OP, lots of good advice here apart from mine

CremeEggThief Wed 12-Dec-12 18:30:05

With respect, it's not up to anyone to put a timeframe of how long it should take for someone else to heal and 'move on'. And I don't think some posters on here have any idea how devastating and lifechanging recovering from the aftermath of being betrayed and discarded for someone else can be. This is understandable, as I didn't either, until it happened to me six months ago.

ZZZenAgain Wed 12-Dec-12 18:37:35

I would not invite her in this situation but since you say you find her a nice enough person, I would try to find a way of letting her feel that you do like her despite the fact that you feel her presence at your wedding would lead to a lot of bad feeling .

wannaBe Wed 12-Dec-12 19:36:43

given 60% of people admit to cheating on their partners and it can be assumed that a lot more don't admit to it but cheat anyway, there's an awful lot of the population that should be paying for their wrongdoings for the rest of their lives. hmm

There's an awful lot of disingenuousness on this thread IMO. surely people either disagree with the act of having an affair, or they don't. Calls for the partner to be excluded because of "what she did" have IMO nothing to do with people's moral stance on affairs, because if it did they would be applying the same logic to the father, and they're not.

While there is no justification for an affair, the fact is that in this case, it happened, and led to the parties involved moving into a long term relationship themselves. Clearly it wasn't just a fling.

If it were months after the event then yes, I can see the logic to not wanting to invite the parties concerned (but should include the dad in that too), but given it's five years on I do think that it's time everyone moved on. If the mum had a new partner would people still think the dad and his partner should pay the eternal price? I don't think so.

People have affairs, relationships end and move on, and life has to continue.

No-one should have to pay an eternal price for their actions, and equally no-one should get to play the eternal victim.

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