To have left my dad's wedding without saying goodbye to him?

(123 Posts)
stopthebusiwanttogetoff Sun 01-Sep-13 22:17:50

My dad got married yesterday. My sister and I both went to support him, with our children. Total 20 guests. We both made an effort despite rarely seeing him, following an acrimonious (sp!) divorce from our mother when we were teenagers, and him still being with (one of) the woman he left her for.
Anyway, our kids were asked to bring up our wedding presents after the lunch (it was an 11-3 dry wedding).
My son (aged six) snatched the present we had brought from his sister (aged 4) resulting in it dropping on the floor. He immediately started crying, such is his response whenever he knows he has done wrong/ has to do something he doesn't want to (e.g homework). Also he was tired from an early start and long drive.
My dad asked if it could have broken, I said yes. There was a hushed silence (ugh) as he opened it, and yes it was broken. My son continued to cry and walked to me. I told him to leave the room and I would speak to him in a minute, that I was very cross with him.
My dad followed him from the room, and so I did too. (My dad hasn't seen him since last year - dad's choice not mine). My dad told me that my behaviour, in sending my son out of the room, was worse than my son's accidental breakage.
I felt this was grossly unfair as my dad doesn't know my son, hadn't actually acknowledged the gift, and had made me look very bad in front of his guests (who I don't know - his OW's family).
I hated walking back into the room to everyone looking at me, and my dad going to his now wife and speaking to her, then calling my son over and reassuring him that all was fine and not to worry. When my son returned to me (by choice! not summoned!) my dad walked over and told me that this was his day and I wasn't to upset my son again.
I went out and spoke to my sister, who reassured me that she'd have gone mental had her kids done that. I went in and thanked his wife and congratulated her and said goodbyes to a few people I'd been introduced to, I did not approach him, nor him me.
Was I out of order? Was he? He never sees my kid, I wasn't going to beat him ffs I was upset he'd broken the f'ing present! And that my dad didn't acknowledge said gift! I would have replaced it if it had been acknowledged, and if I hadn't been made to feel like a shit parent. My dad, fwiw, barely raised me thanks to his affairs, and when he did was critical and unpleasant. Yet still, the people pleaser set inside me, seeks his approval.
AIBU, and what do I do now? So sorry for the mammoth post.

Bogeyface Mon 02-Sep-13 00:08:12

he doesn't feel the need to be a good father to you, so why should he be able to judge your parenting.

If you do write to him, I suggest you put that in the letter.

daisychain01 Mon 02-Sep-13 05:22:12

F'up this sort of situation reminds me of the maxim "you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family"! And also that if something is going to go wrong it tends to happen at weddings!

Firstly, if you can, may I suggest you try to put the whole sorry story behind you, don't give yourself a hard time, what is done is done. The most damaging thing to do is to continue to replay the event over and over, it will just become increasingly painful and uncomfortable for you.

I can imagine that after the history with your father, you had probably gone to the wedding as a way of putting the past to one side and being there as your DFs daughter to share his day. I can also imagine it was quite an effort! I actually admire you being the big person by so doing. A lot of people would have said "why should I bother?" But you did the right thing. One thing you will be able to do, when all the crap stuff is in the dim and distant past, is to say you did the right thing.

Let's face it, your father is unlikely to change, he isnt going to be the type of person you would wish for, but he is still your father, that wont change. You could just ring him up after he and his new wife have returned from honeymoon, for a general "how was the honeymoon?" type of chat and say (again casually, not make a big thing about it) sorry about the present, DS just got a bit over-excited, I'd be happy to replace the gift as we want you to have something nice to remember your day, blah blah blah. Just keep it very light, not getting into the detail of a post mortem of what happened done. This might diffuse the situation, it puts a lid on it and just enables you and your father to move forward. The alternative is to ring him up and just not mention it, but my concern is that it could just fester in the future and then becomes increasingly difficult to clear the air.

Lets face it, you probably wont get any big apology from him, he probably feels he is in the right. What you know is that the truth of the matter is it wont change anything, even if he doesnt realise that - people can behave in weird ways in an embarrassing situation, and there is rarely a clear cut right or wrong, it was just a really uncomfortable situation on that day, and the sooner you can move on from it, the better IMO!

pigletmania Mon 02-Sep-13 08:06:28

YANBU I would not contact him again, he does not sound nice at all

pigletmania Mon 02-Sep-13 08:10:51

have his number saved in your phone, so when he calls and you know its him you dont answer, hopefully eventually he will give up

ChasedByBees Mon 02-Sep-13 09:16:29

Please don't feel you have to keep in contact with him. You really don't.

PigOnStilts Mon 02-Sep-13 09:25:19

I have a similar relationship with mine too sad and yes I still seek approval from the old bastard.

However, you should be more concerned about what your son thinks and feels. It was an accident, he's six, and he would have already been embarrassed in front of anybody, you didn't need to make that worse! I'd have left the room with him, had a chat, calmed him down and brought him back in to say sorry.

PicardyThird Mon 02-Sep-13 10:28:43

You were too harsh on your ds. He's only 6. It was an accident and he must have felt awful dropping the present in front of all those expectant people. Sending him from the room (humiliating) and (effectively) saying you'd 'deal with him later' was horrible, tbh.

That, though, is a separate issue from your father. I think there is too much history and hurt between you for an issue like this not to be made into an issue between the two of you - I don't say that against you, but rather to perhaps gently suggest that you consider whether this is a relationship you actually want to pursue.

coco27 Mon 02-Sep-13 10:35:58

YABU
Your dad quite reasonably didn't want unpleasantness on his wedding day.Any decent child would have been in pieces over breaking the gift (which your DS was) He doesn't need further 'discipline' and more importantly you can't just go wrecking the atmosphere at someone else's celebration

coco27 Mon 02-Sep-13 10:36:41

The history with your father is a separate issue.

LouiseAderyn Mon 02-Sep-13 11:01:01

I really struggle to understand why so many people persist in pursuing relationships with people who contribute nothing positive to their lives.

Your dad was a shitty husband and a shitty father - I honestly cannot get my head around why you agreed to attend this wedding in the first place, when he was marrying the woman he cheated on your mother with, and when he had refused to attend your wedding. All the way along, he has made it clear that OW is his priority and you are bottom of the pile - the insensitive comments about love at first sight hammer this home.

Stop worrying about what he wants or how he feels - he clearly gives no thought to what you want or feel. Cut your losses - I guarantee you will be happier.

As for the wedding, I think you responded in the way you did because you were stressed. I would be inclined to write my dad a letter saying that he has no right to an opinion given that he was and still is such a terrible parent and that you would like no further contact because he is a negative force in your life. That would be my approach anyway - life is too short to spend it trying to please selfish wankers!

LouiseAderyn Mon 02-Sep-13 11:05:10

And actually, if anyone does deserve to have the atmosphere wrecked at their celebration, it is your father and his new wife - theirs is a marriage built on the betrayal of his family. I don't think that everyone deserves a lovely happy wedding, no matter how they got together in the first place. I think some people deserve a train wreck wedding where they are forced to confront the truth of what they did and who they hurt.

I think that dressing it up like they are Romeo and Juliet is beyond insulting and if that had been my dad, I would have walked out mid ceremony.

whatever5 Mon 02-Sep-13 11:49:44

I think that you were too harsh with your son but it's understandable under the circumstances and your father had no right to "tell you off" about it considering that he's not been much of a father to you.

I would have really bitten his head off if he had told me that it was "his day and you weren't to upset your son". What a nerve! He didn't even worry about not spoiling "your day " when he decided not to attend your wedding.

He sounds very self centered.

coco27 Mon 02-Sep-13 11:56:05

If you don't agree with the wedding then don't go.
It is just plain bad manners to create a bad atmosphereon someone's special day

MammaTJ Mon 02-Sep-13 12:00:06

Sounds like my Dad. One one of his rare visits, he told me off for making my DD say 'ta' for a biscuit and taking it off her when she wouldn't. She was 18 months old and he had seen her once before.

I no longer speak to him, I haven't for 10 years now, such a relief.

VenusRising Mon 02-Sep-13 12:06:56

I wouldn't worry about it.

Give your DS a hug, and get on with your life. Accidents happen, no doubt your DS picked up on your nervousness and was nervous himself.

Sounds like your dad was bigging himself up by putting you down and trying to manipulate your family unit.
Underming your parenting with an audience and trying, unsuccessfully to drive a wedge between you and your DS is pretty classic.

Don't bother with your dad, he sounds very self centred and a bit toxic.

You're probably better off without him in your life. I wouldn't take it personally- he would have done the same if another person had presented him with the opportunity.

ceebie Mon 02-Sep-13 14:29:24

Honey, the thing that I am picking up most from all of this is that you are torn internally between not liking your dad and not particularly wanting contact with him, but at the same time yearning for his approval. I think you are feeling a little hurt because neither your parenting nor your present seemed to meet with his approval. I could be very wrong of course. YOU know you are parenting well, so please remember that - your sister was supportive to you too, of course! Don't worry if, in retrospect, you could have dealt with the DS snatching incident slightly more serenely - none of us deals perfectly with every incident all the time, particularly in stressful circumstances! Never mind, you know you are doing a great job, so don't fret.

ceebie Mon 02-Sep-13 14:33:08

PS If you choose to keep in contact with him, then do so whilst investing less of your own effort and emotions in him. The hamper you made is such a thoughtful gift, and a more worthwhile recipient would have been hugely touched and grateful. Next year buy him a CD of whatever's the top of the charts, even if he doesn't have a CD player. Then it won't matter if he's ungrateful.

cjel Mon 02-Sep-13 14:40:52

My first thought was why did he have to open it if it could have been broken and ds was already crying?

tangerinefeathers Mon 02-Sep-13 14:41:14

Shit like that always seems to happen (i.e. I prove myself to be a bad person) whenever I am in my dad's presence, but it genuinely doesn't seem to happen anywhere else

as others have said you were clearly stressed at being around such a difficult person - he does sound difficult, and that's being generous, given how he betrayed you all, and got overly stressed out about your child's behaviour. Your DS would have picked up on the atmosphere as kids do and snatched the present... I really hope you stop going over it in your mind soon and remember that to turn up at all to such a wedding is a pretty generous gesture on your part and for him to turn around and tick you off about your parenting (one moment of your parenting) is a bit rich.

he sounds awful.

Xales Mon 02-Sep-13 15:00:40

Your dad is a hypocrite thinking he has any say over how you raise or discipline your child as he couldn't be bothered with you and having not seen your DS in over a year has no close relationship.

You may have over reacted slightly however you didn't scream and shout at your DS or smack him around and I doubt you were going out of the room to hit him either.

Unfortunately I think no matter which option you had taken at that moment it would have been the wrong one for your father to use against you and make you look bad.

I would consider just not contacting him again, not returning calls and cutting him out of your life. He doesn't seem to provide any benefit to it.

thebody Mon 02-Sep-13 15:10:42

the relationship between you and your dad is not the relationship between you and your ds.

you are clearly a great mom who made a judgement call, some day harsh some not. so what. we all do things we regret as parents. it was a little incident.

your dad on the other hand made colossal mistakes in parenting and in marriage. he has got a bloody cheek to judge you.

you do know your ds has probably forgotten the incident don't you?

Pinkpinot Mon 02-Sep-13 15:22:37

I would have comforted the child, and not made him feel worse about an accident
I do think sending him out if the room in front of those people was harsh
My son would have been mortified

differentnameforthis Mon 02-Sep-13 15:52:58

Antimatter, because he's my dad and he asked me to

You choose to go, regardless of what has happened in your past, don't blame that on your dad. You could have said no. Perhaps you should have said no.

Don't be a martyr, op! It doesn't help anyone. Do you always do as people ask you? You even compromised on having him at your wedding because your mum said so (there is NO reason why grown adults, when divorced, can't suck it up for one day & be in the same room. It was unreasonable for your mother to put conditions on YOUR day!

I would have been angry wrt to the breakage, but would have dealt with it out of earshot of the other guest so not to bring attention to myself on someone else's day.

or write a letter asking to be excused from his life! What. The. Fuck? Why can't you just say it isn't working? You ARE still seeking his approval & you need to stop (I have been in this position, so I am not saying it is easy) but you are also still seeking your dm's approval too.

When did you last stand up to either of them & say no, or do what YOU wanted instead of what they wanted you to do?

So now I have to contact the twunt and be nice No you don't, not if you don't want to. OP, you are an adult now & don't have to suffer his crap if you don't want to.

daisychain01 Mon 02-Sep-13 16:46:18

It probably isn't a good thing to completely cut a parent out of one's life -

It is frequently the case that offspring seek 'approval' from their parents, which can often be sourced to the parent being extraordinarily controlling and domineering. Agreed, some of the father's behaviour described by the OP sounds remarkably insensitive, but if doors are closed with no way back, that may not be the best long-term solution.

Given that there is a grandchild involved in this situation, it may be in the best interests of that child for the OP to maintain some sort of 'arms-length' relationship, if only to give the child the option as they grow up whether they want a relationship with Grandad.

Despite the history, maybe the step Grandmother could prove to be a positive influence in terms of making the Grandad more aware of his behaviour. Staying open to future possibilities, whilst getting on with your life, might be a more considered approach.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Mon 02-Sep-13 20:34:08

But if the parent is 'extraordinarily controlling and domineering', what are the benefits of someone continuing to subject themselves to that? Or to offering the same experience to their children? How is that in the child's best interests?

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