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?

ChristmasSpiritEndorphins Fri 14-Dec-12 09:48:39

I wouldn't invite her if it would bother your mother.

Enfyshedd Fri 14-Dec-12 09:16:28

My parents split when I was in my late teens (am an only child); "D"F had been emotionally abusive for years (probably the entire marriage), DM had begun an affair with someone who bolstered her confidence. I originally left with DM but had to return to live with my "D"F after accommodation fell through and I needed to be able to get to school. For the 4 months I was living with "D"F, he seemed to expect me to pick up all the housework and I accidentally found out some stuff about him which mean that I made a decision that I never wanted him anywhere near any future family of my own (possibly borderline legal). More recently, he appears to have found out about the birth of my DD earlier this year through someone who worked in the hospital she was born on and was abusive over the phone to hospital staff while DD was in SCBU in a second hospital.

I'm now 30 with a DD and 2 DSSs; DP & I are hoping to marry next year. DM is still with her DP - there were a rocky few years, but he moved in with her 6/7 years ago and things are fine. I have not spoken to my "D"F for nearly 12 years. My cousin is planning on getting married next year as well, but as he has asked my "D"F to do a task at the wedding, I have already declined an invitation. Unfortunately, when I get married the chances of keeping the whole thing from his knowledge is screwed because my maternal DGPs still get on with him, so I'm planning on having my cousins as ushers who will be instructed to ensure that "D"F is not allowed in (they know where I'm coming from as they've both have problems with their "D"F, my "D"F's brother).

So much fun...

FellatioNelson Thu 13-Dec-12 18:08:15

I agree with Festive.

I don't think it's even necessarily about whether she should be seen to eat humble pie because of any hurt has she has caused. It is just simply that:

it will be awkward/painful for the people the bride really WANTS there

The OW does not NEED to be there

The OW does not have any entitlement to be there

The bride does not want a horrible atmosphere on her big day

That's all there is to it really. It's merely an exercise in damage limitation.

Imagine this scenario:

OP's brother was engaged to be married. OP's becomes friends with her future SIL., but then SIL calls of the wedding a matter of weeks beforehand, and gets a new bloke. OP's has remained on friendly terms with the girl, but things are difficult and they are not as close as they were, as obviously her loyalties lie with her brother. Brother is devastated and finding it hard to move on. Should OP feel obliged to invite the girl, under the circs? Of course not. What's the difference? The girl will realise if she has any sense that she is a bit of a spanner in the works to everyone having a relaxed and lovely time.

chroniclackofimagination Thu 13-Dec-12 18:00:21

What FestiveDigestive said.

FestiveDigestive Thu 13-Dec-12 17:38:31

I don't understand why posters keep saying that the dad should be excluded as well for causing the hurt. Fair enough, the dad is just as much to blame for the affair and the hurt, but the dad has a pre-existing relationship with his daughter and brought her up! It's pretty obvious why she would want him there. However, the OW is NOT family, has no history or past relationships within the family & no ties to the bride apart from the fact that she is with the bride's father. Therefore, there is no need for her to attend if it's going to cause hurt & awkwardness to the bride's mother.

When we didn't invite FIL's OW to the daytime part of our wedding, she kept saying "But I should be there. I SHOULD be sitting by his side". Why?!! If I had an affair with a married man - who then left his wife for me and nearly broke the family apart - the last thing I'd want to do would be to turn up at his child's wedding a few years later, cause more hurt & awkwardness and be somewhere where most of the relatives couldn't stand to look at me.

If the OP's father really is with a nice person, surely she will stand back & let the day be about the bride/groom and their family & friends, rather than expecting to be invited even though it was upset the bride's mother.

CremeEggThief Thu 13-Dec-12 17:01:25

Yes and they move on when they are ready, not when others think it's time they did. It's not up to anyone else to set a time limit on how long it should take someone else to move on. The person who had the affair unfairly 'got ahead of the game' by starting another relationship while still married.

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Thu 13-Dec-12 15:22:41

Considering your dad was the one who was married and the one who hurt your mum, if she can tolerate him she should be able to tolerate her. It's been 5 years and I think it's unfair to exclude her as like it or not she is part of your family now. Everyone will have to move on at some point.

HoHoHopeForTheBest Thu 13-Dec-12 15:16:39

FryOne How can affairs be the cause of an unhappy marriage? Surely at least one partner (the one having an affair) was clearly not entirely happy in the marriage or they wouldn't be having an affair at all? The other person might not realise it (hence the posts on the relationship board) but if everything is wonderful and fine and you both love each other completely and equally etc etc one of you does not have an affair.

FryOneFatChristmasTurkey Thu 13-Dec-12 14:10:18

dreaming if you think affairs only happen if there are cracks in the marriage, I suggest you take a look at the relationships board to see how wrong you are. Affairs are frequently the cause of an unhappy marriage, not a symptom.

josparkle I'd talk to you mum first, and take stock of her opinion. However, I believe if my dad caused that kind of hurt to my mum, I would not be inviting the person who helped to cause that hurt.

chroniclackofimagination Thu 13-Dec-12 13:52:21

Falling out of love, breaking a commitment, moving on to new relationships is all completely reasonable but affairs have victims and destroy lives. There are circumstances where you have to suck up the pain and be civil for the greater good, for example when kids are involved but the OP should not have to concern herself withe the comfort of two adult who decided their own happiness and well being was more important than anyone else's and justified lying and cheating.

MardyArsedMidlander Thu 13-Dec-12 12:41:01

TBH if my family excluded everyone from weddings who had broken their vows, we'd have saved millions grin

waltermittymistletoe Thu 13-Dec-12 12:08:15

How can you glean that she doesn't like her father from her posts?

And let's not romanticise him here. It's not about him falling out of love with one woman and in love with another. He betrayed his wife and children by shagging outside his marriage!

I don't think they're being punished as much as OP is trying to be sensitive in a difficult situation.

2rebecca Thu 13-Dec-12 10:19:34

I think fathers and their new partners get punished for having affairs and getting divorced more than mothers in the same situation. If your mum had had a new man he would probably have been living with you and your mum would have expected you to invite him to the wedding regardless of whether or not she and him broke up your parents marriage. I am another divorced and remarried woman who doesn't believe affairs come from nowhere though, and who thinks eternal fidelity to one partner is extrememely hard and "marriage for life" can come to feel like a life sentence.
The structure of families change, this woman will be your kids' grandmother.
For how many years do some women want to keep singing the "he was my man but he done me wrong" song?
People change, feelings change, it shouldn't lead to life long feuds.
I suspect if I were in this situation I'd just get married quietly rather than upset my father as to me my father's feelings would be equally as important as my mother's and more important than the views of the extended family but then it sounds as though the OP doesn't like her father much and has never forgiven him for falling out of love with her mother and in love with someone else.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Thu 13-Dec-12 09:59:37

What Wannabe said on previous page ^

SomethingProfound Thu 13-Dec-12 09:31:05

Bunny why is it unreasonable for a father to attended his DD's wedding with out his partner?

waltermittymistletoe Thu 13-Dec-12 09:23:26

I don't think leaving her out is about punishment as much as a wish not to have uncomfortableness or upset on the day.

I really don't understand this exclusion of the new partner in favour of the father who was equally responsible for the affair. I don't think either should be excluded and surely its the husband that has hurt the wife more than the other woman, after all that's where the trust lay. I don't understand it.

I know I'm not the only woman whose husband had an affair but I speak from experience of having my EXH leave me at 37wks pregnant for a woman he was already creating a new family with. Twelve years on I can honestly say I couldn't allow somebody that much influence in my life emotionally. It took me 3 years of hard work on myself to come to terms, accept what happened and move on. If I had to be in the same room as him I would do it because at the end of the day my history with him shouldn't spill over into everyone else's life.

It's over and done with, why keep the drama running?

chroniclackofimagination Wed 12-Dec-12 20:11:14

I am in similar circumstances, my DF has been living with the woman he had an affair with for three years now and the affair had been going on for seven or eight years before that. She was not invited to my sisters wedding two years ago and she will absolutely not be invited to mine this year. She and my Father live abroad which makes it easier and he visits us (and my Mother!) alone every few months. They are returning to the UK soon and I have made it clear she will not meet my children, be in my home or have any access to or involvement in our lives let alone be at my wedding. Why should she expect to enjoy the special family moments when she helped break down that marriage? Why should your mother spend her daughter's wedding (an important day for her too) stressing about it? Don't invite her.

peaceandlovebunny Wed 12-Dec-12 20:03:48

either:
don't invite dad because you can't invite him with partner - it is absolutely unreasonable to expect him to attend without her. tell him why.
or
check with your mother to see if she is ok with it and if so invite the couple.
or
invite dad and his partner, regardless of mother's feelings.

you can't win, so any of the above would be fine. they should all grow up but if someone leaves you for a new partner, it annoys.

BandersnatchCummerbund Wed 12-Dec-12 19:51:38

If she is a kind and reasonable person, then I would have a quiet word with her. Might one solution be to do something like have a special dinner with just you, your new husband, your dad and your stepmother to celebrate the marriage either just before or just afterwards? That means that you can make it clear that you want to include her in the celebrations for your new married life, and that you do regard her as part of your extended family - even though it might be too difficult to have her at the wedding itself.

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.

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 .

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.

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

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.

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