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?

bradyismyfavouritewiseman Wed 12-Dec-12 12:05:41

Can they really not all be civil and get over it for one day?

mollymole Wed 12-Dec-12 12:06:17

I would invite her. 5 years is a long time and it's not your fathers' fault that your mother has not got a new partner.

I think its a case of the greater good. If you don't invite her, your father will be upset. If you do, your mother and her whole family will be upset.
Its your wedding and it is not the time for stressing about that. Will your father go if she isn't invited? Would this cause upset to you?
If she isn't invited, will your father be lonely or will he have someone to talk to?

Whatever you do someone is going to new upset.

Taking away everyone elses agendas do you want her there?

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Wed 12-Dec-12 12:08:58

Have you talked to your mother about it? How has she told you she would feel?

I know there will obviously still be a lot of hurt and anger, but this isn't about their relationship. This is about you having your parents with you when you marry.

What you need is for them all to agree to be civil on the day and say that anyone who thinks they can't manage that had perhaps better not come.

Mumsyblouse Wed 12-Dec-12 12:09:51

I have been in this situation, and my father's partner (with whom he had an affair) was invited of course. She is now part of our family (5 years is a long time, they may be together 25 years). I think you are trying to be kind to your mum, perhaps she could come with a friend/relative as her companion if it is a big issue. But personally I think 5 years is a long time to continue the hurt and distress and would ask everyone to damp it down now.

helpyourself Wed 12-Dec-12 12:09:53

What does your Mum say?

cantspel Wed 12-Dec-12 12:10:19

After 5 years she is part of your family so i would invite and expect everyone to be able to be civil to each other for one day.

greenfolder Wed 12-Dec-12 12:11:11

my mate had this dilemma (although the partner had a really long term affair). she told her df that it would just be too upsetting for her dm and therefore was not inviting partner.

he sulked enormously- mate pointed out that her and her brother had been very supportive of both parents and situation was not of her making. Like it or lump it.

df turned up at the wedding and gave a lovely spontaneous speech about what a great mum her mum had been!

nowt so queer as folk.

stick to your guns love

cozietoesie Wed 12-Dec-12 12:11:20

We had almost exactly this situation in the family. She wasn't invited - but then my DF wouldn't have expected her to be. The day went much more smoothly than it otherwise might have.

What hec said about everyone needing to accept your decision and behaving like adults our not coming BUT personally I wouldn't be talking to your Mum until you've decided what YOU want. Because it's going to be much harder if you chat to your Mum who says she'd be upset if you invite your dads partner and then you invite her anyway.

hellsbells99 Wed 12-Dec-12 12:15:33

Sorry but I am going against the grain here. I would not want her there. My wedding was similar to this. I discussed it with my father and we agreed I would invite his partner but she would NOT come. It would not have been fair on my mother and therefore would have spolit my day. Your parents should be at your wedding and there should not be an atmosphere. Ask your father if he has a male friend he could bring instead. Your father's partner has no right to expect to be there. Sorry!

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Wed 12-Dec-12 12:16:33

Honestly I think everyone needs to get over it now.

I know how you feel though. My dad left 25 years ago and he and my mum stil blatantly dislike eachother and make such a point of ignoring eachother it's really awkward for other people.

Which is why if I ever get married me and my groom will be eloping! grin

Narked Wed 12-Dec-12 12:21:16

I wouldn't invite her. It's a wedding. She (with your father's full co-operation) broke up your parent's marriage. I wouldn't want her around.

MerylStrop Wed 12-Dec-12 12:23:38

Will they cope with your dad being there?

If they can handle him being there then they can handle her being there.

I think you'd better elope

I was in a similar predicament with a couple of partners of daytime guests of.ours. We invited some partners to the evening only.

Only one person was offended, that we hadnt invited her boyfriend to the daytime, but he behaved like an utter twat at the night time that I told her of I could do it all again he wouldn't have got an invite at all.

Your wedding, your say.

josparkle Wed 12-Dec-12 12:29:31

I haven't spoken to mum about it but I am certain she'd be upset and find the day very hard.
I've never really thought of his new partner as family and she doesn't act that way. For example, birthday cards are just from 'dad'. I suppose though she is his family now, just never occurred to me to see it like that.

They would be perfectly civil if she wasn't there. The 4 of is went out for brothers graduation last year and it was fine. My family and DP's family would be friendly enough if she wasn't there, so there would be.people he could speak to.

He would 100% still come.if she wasn't.invited but he'll be very hurt and he would see it as an obligation to turn up rather than a day to enjoy, he said much.

Ideally I'd want her there, ignoring the affair she is a kind, friendly.person. I just know my mum would feel betrayed Idaho was there.

We had virtually same situation with my fil at our wedding and we did invite her. However we did everything possible to make it as painless as possible- so we didn't have bride and grooms side at the church but instead mixed it up and made sure our ushers knew exactly where to put them. No formal top table- round tables with mil on one surrounded by great friends, and fil and smil on another with people who would not kill them :-)

MerylStrop Wed 12-Dec-12 12:30:50

Actually I think your mother's feelings are important in this, and I would talk to her about it.

Everyone else - including your brother, unless he is 12 or something - can wind their neck in and deal with it.

It does not sound like your Dad's Partner expects an invitation, but that your dad feels that he wants her there. That's understandable. Is there any chance that your dad will feel he can't attend if she doesn't?

josparkle Wed 12-Dec-12 12:31:35

Sorry for typos, on mobile!

sue52 Wed 12-Dec-12 12:31:47

I too would be speaking my Mother before I made any final decision. To be honest, if I were in your position, I would put my Father's feelings last. He has lost the right to be upset.

akaemmafrost Wed 12-Dec-12 12:32:18

I wouldn't invite her and Dad can lump it. Sorry.

Viviennemary Wed 12-Dec-12 12:34:56

Well someone is going to be upset whatever you do. I think since she was in the wrong having an affair with a married man and breaking up the marriage she shouldn't be invited. But that's just my opinion. Everyone's family is different.

samandi Wed 12-Dec-12 12:40:19

YANBU. I wouldn't invite her either, it's not appropriate.

MajorB Wed 12-Dec-12 12:40:27

To be honest I think you can side-step the whole part of who she is in relation to you, and simply go on the fact her views of marriage are presumably very different to yours (I imagine you intend for both you and your future DH to be faithful?)

Why don't you tell your DF that you take marriage vows very seriously and think that people who attend your wedding should hold them in equal high regard.

Your DF's partner has proved that she doesn't believe in the sanctity of marriage, so why would she want to attend a wedding? Your DF is clearly in the same boat, but as a direct blood relation his presence is expected/desired.

In my mind you can't dismiss marriage vows as unimportant when it suits you, but claim you want to be part of a marriage ceremony at a later date; you either believe in marriage or you don't.

samandi Wed 12-Dec-12 12:40:51

In fact if my dad did that he'd be lucky to get an invite.

samandi Wed 12-Dec-12 12:41:30

Very good point MajorB.

HoFlippinHo Wed 12-Dec-12 12:41:32

How long were your parents married?

I know 5 years sounds like a long time but if they were married for 30 odd years then it's a lot to expect your mum to accept your dad's partner at your wedding.

I wouldn't want her there if it's going to cause too much upset for your mum's family.

quietlysuggests Wed 12-Dec-12 12:42:45

I would not invite her and would tell father that since she clearly has no respect for marriage you dont want her there.

FirstPersonPlural Wed 12-Dec-12 12:45:18

I think it's nice that your inclination is to invite her. Sorry that it's all wrapped up in confusion! You probably won't make everyone happy but it is your wedding.

PP's suggestion of round tables and mixed seating the church sounds like a lovely way of diffusing any potential awkwardness.

FirstPersonPlural Wed 12-Dec-12 12:46:15

* at the church

nannyl Wed 12-Dec-12 12:48:33

I think YANBU

who you invite to your wedding is up to you IMO

There is no way on this earth that my vile step dad would be welcome at my wedding.... however thankfully my mum has divorced him, and her new partner will most certainly be welcome and invited when the time comes.

josparkle Wed 12-Dec-12 12:53:45

Sorry, I should have said in first post that parents split after 28 years together, so that is one of reasons why still such issue for mum.
I do really like the idea of no top table and all mixed in at round tables, I think will do this regardless if she us there, so thank you for the idea!

HoHoHopeForTheBest Wed 12-Dec-12 12:55:15

MajorB yes, the OP should hand out a questionnaire with the invitations asking everyone invited to give details about all their relationships just to make sure nobody has ever done anything which might be prove they also "don't believe in the sanctity of marriage". hmm

I can't see how it would be anything other than really rude and inappropriate not to invite her - she is your father's partner with whom you have a good relationship. If your mum was to find another partner, would you not invite them?

cassell Wed 12-Dec-12 12:58:12

I didn't invite my father's partner to my wedding (even though my dm encouraged me to) because she is an unpleasant person who deliberately set out to separate my father from his dc because she was jealous of any attention he paid to anyone other than her.

My F was angry about it (and still is although it was years ago now) but he still fails to understand why I refused to invite her because in his eyes she is the most wonderful kind amazing person and I am a horrible person and awful daughter hmm

I have never regretted not inviting her because she would have done something to ruin my day.

However in your situation if I got on well with her and she hadn't caused huge problems (other of course than the inital affair here) then I would have talked to my dm about it and asked about her feelings and asked if she could be civil.

ENormaSnob Wed 12-Dec-12 13:02:42

I wouldn't invite her.

Agree with majorb.

squeakytoy Wed 12-Dec-12 13:04:47

"Why don't you tell your DF that you take marriage vows very seriously and think that people who attend your wedding should hold them in equal high regard."

All very honourable if you are also going to apply the same criteria to every other guest too. I find it highly unlikely that the OPs father will be the only divorced person at a wedding.

Having said that, I did not attend my eldest stepdaughters wedding. I loathe her mother and the feeling is mutual, and I had been married to my husband for 8 years at that point and have a close relationship with my stepdaughter, however for her sake and to alleviate an atmosphere, I was didnt go so that nobody would feel awkward on the day. My husband went with his mother and I happily spent the day looking after the dogs as the wedding was 100 miles away.

Viviennemary Wed 12-Dec-12 13:06:13

I have thought again. And really she will ruin the day for your Mum. So no way should she be there. Your poor Mum has suffered enough at her hands. I was putting myself in your Mums place and I would be devastated if this woman was there and the day would be ruined if I was your Mum.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Wed 12-Dec-12 13:07:16

I had a similar situation at our wedding - my Mum had a new partner after having an affair with him during her marriage to my Father. I wouldn't have dreamed of not inviting my Mum's partner along (I don't refer to him as Step-Dad as I don't see him like that.) I got on with him and liked him, although he did annoy me sometimes, and would spend time with them as a couple so why wouldn't I invite him.

I guess the difference is that even though me and my siblings were adults when they split, my parents did everything they could to be amicable for the sake of their children. My Dad was obviously hurt by what had happened but he allowed his love for his children to override any negative feelings he had for the man who was now with my Mum. My Mum continued to support my Dad, albeit in the background, when he was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and she was present with us when he passed away. Her partner was supportive of us in his own way without being intrusive on what was a very difficult time for us. For the way my parents behaved after their separation, doing their best to make it as painless as possible for their (adult) children, despite how difficult it must have been for each of them, I will be eternally grateful.

To those who say your Father's partner broke up their marriage, I firmly believe that it couldn't have been broken if there weren't cracks in the first place. I understand that it has been very upsetting for your family but 5 years have passed and it really is time that the adults of the family behaved like mature adults and plastered on a brave, happy face - not for your Dad but for you on your special day.

YellowTulips Wed 12-Dec-12 13:10:28

A general view is this is your day and you should invite who you want.

However, I think its more complex than that. Whilst you can argue "its 5 years move on" I don't think your wedding is the best place for your mother to face the OW for potentially might be the first time (this is not in your post) or if she would feel undue distress, after all the MOTB top trumps just about everyone other than the bride herself :-)

On the other hand there will be other events where this is an issue again, sibling weddings, christenings etc and an ongoing to solution to exclude her starts to be unreaslistic e.g. imagine 10 years down the line, your mother has found someone else, how do you explain to your Dad that your Mum's new partner can attend these events but OW can't or only after a 10 year embargo?

So whilst you can take the view "its one day, my day" you are actually setting precedents for the family going forward that have the potential to become more and more difficult.

If I was you I would invite Parents for the day (wedding, speeches and meal) and your Dad's partner for the evening (assuming this is how your day is structured).

This way your Mum has all the best of the day without the OW being a factor (and she knows you have put her first), but your Dad knows his partner is being acknowledged and you get over that precendent issue.

Best of luck and have a lovely day xxx

jojane Wed 12-Dec-12 13:11:25

If you get on OK with her but do decide not to invite her for your mums sake, make sure you write her a lovely note saying that you aren't inviting her due to the upset it would cause your mum not because you don't want her there. Maybe arrange a family meal pre or post wedding with your father, her and any other family from his side. That way she can still celebrate your wedding with you

Clumsyoaf Wed 12-Dec-12 13:13:24

Josparkle - its your day, do what would make you feel happy!

The run up to a wedding is stressful enough without worrying about all of this again nearer the time.

For me, making the people I care about the most, comfortable, happy and relaxed on my big day is waaay more important then ensuring an invite to half of the issue of your parents break up. My dads feeling wouldnt be right up there.

LilRosiesMum Wed 12-Dec-12 13:22:01

I had exactly this situation and I did not invite my dad's partner to the wedding. You just can't make it so awful for your mum. 5 years is not a long time in these situations. Your dad really can survive a day without his partner's company. If he really feels he will be isolated then of course invite a friend of his, one who won't be an upsetting presence for your mum. My dad had plenty of his extended family there in any case.

Your dad should be considering that this day is about you, not him!

Also agree with Jojane, that you can say to your Dad's partner that this is not about her, either, it is simply to prevent upset to your mum; and arrange a separate meal/celebration of the fact that you are getting married.

WelshMaenad Wed 12-Dec-12 13:22:52

No, I wouldn't want her, or the bad atmosphere that her presence would create. The situation was not of your mum's choosing and I think you need to put her feelings first. Perhaps if they had split then your father had met his new partner, things would be different.

And I didn't quite hand out questionnaires to my guests, but I'm au fait with their personal lives and would absolutely not have invited someone to witness my marriage who had chosen to screw around with a married man. Or woman. So shoot me.

ArkadyRose Wed 12-Dec-12 13:23:49

It's your day, not your father's. Don't invite her.

And I completely disagree that "5 years is long enough, get over it" - no-one has the right to dictate to anyone else how long they should grieve for, and after a 28-year marriage it's unsurprising your mother will still be feeling raw. From the sounds of things the OW's presence would antagonise several members of the family - and I disagree with those who say that after 5 years she's part of the family, as it's quite obvious she doesn't consider herself part of the family.

YANBU. Invite whom you like - but leave her out. Your father will simply have to deal with the consequences of his actions.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 12-Dec-12 13:26:48

I wouldn't invite her and your father and his new partner should understand that. Honestly you have an affair then you have to accept there are repurcussions.

And god - if I was your father's partner I really wouldn't want to be there with all of his ex's family - too awkward.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Wed 12-Dec-12 13:29:32

[ArkadyRose] - can you not see the irony in your comment "Invite whom you like - but leave her out."

The OP said that ideally she would like to have her Father's partner at the wedding because she gets on with her. It is because of her family's feelings that she is considering not inviting her.

waltermittymistletoe Wed 12-Dec-12 13:31:26

Speaking as a stepmother (but NOT the OW!) I won't want to go to sd's wedding. She's 18 so not an issue yet. But, as much as I lover her, there has been a lot of bad blood over the years between all of us and it's too awkward/dramatic/stressful etc.

When she gets married, I will wave my DH off with my DC and wish them all a good time. I will take SD for a meal beforehand and make a giant fuss of her. But I won't ruin her day with politics and forced politeness.

Your mum has more rights to having her feelings adhered to than your dad IMO. I don't think he should be forever punished but should accept that in some situations, his choices mean he suffers the consequences a little.

waltermittymistletoe Wed 12-Dec-12 13:32:27

Oh, and I speak as someone who sees SD as very much a part of my family. Your dad's partner doesn't even sign cards? Weird after five years, no?

EldritchCleavage Wed 12-Dec-12 13:36:38

To those who say your Father's partner broke up their marriage, I firmly believe that it couldn't have been broken if there weren't cracks in the first place

Ouch-not your place to say this, Dreaming, it really isn't. You're fortunate your parents kept things amicable, but the OP's parents haven't quite managed that, so your experience isn't really relevant, and relating it isn't especially sensitive to the OP's situation.

FredFredGeorge Wed 12-Dec-12 13:37:07

YANBU to decide to invite whoever you want.

However, I do think it's rude both to your father and his partner to not invite her, you appear to be showing no care as to your fathers feelings especially as you know you're hurting his, and haven't even discussed it with your mother.

allnewtaketwo Wed 12-Dec-12 13:37:43

"I would not invite her and would tell father that since she clearly has no respect for marriage you dont want her there"

But surely on that basis then the father shouldn't be invited either hmm

CaroleService Wed 12-Dec-12 13:42:37

Can you talk to her privately about it? She might surprise you and say she wouldn't like to risk disruption to your day and will stay at home with a good book.

DumSpiroSperHoHoHo Wed 12-Dec-12 13:44:42

Have only scanned through so sorry if I'm X-posting.

I would definitely have a chat with your mum and her side of the family.

Are you having an evening do that you could invite DF's partner to? That way the formal stuff needn't be affected by any dubious atmosphere and your Dad will have her company to enjoy in the evening when it is easier for everyone to mix and avoid if necessary.

FirstPersonPlural Wed 12-Dec-12 13:51:23

DF's partner didn't "break up the marriage" - DF did as he was the person in that dynamic who was married.

YellowTulips your post is spot-on and you gave very good advice.

OP, I hope you find a way to organise it all so that you feel confident and happy with your decisions.

Mumsyblouse Wed 12-Dec-12 13:52:16

The idea of screening anyone's morals before allowing them to come to your wedding is really odd to me. The divorce rate is high, and presumably the affair rate even higher. Who can really say they don't have one good friend or relative who has not at one time or another cheated? I have several good friends who have made unwise choices, for example, back in their twenties. I think continuing to berate people once their lives have moved on, when they have formed solid and long-lasting relationships, is sanctimonious in the extreme.

I don't think playing the role of the 'wronged partner' is a role for life. I would feel enormous sympathy for anyone cheated on, but I really really hope if my husband did that to me, I wouldn't expect my children and entire family to keep up a barrage of dislike for decades to the guilty parties.

My dad has now been with his 'other woman' for more than 16 years. It's the way the cookie crumbles. I expect my parents to both tolerate each other, and each other's partners (my mum has had more than one) over the years of weddings, funerals, family events.

I wouldn't put myself in the middle of ongoing 'issues'. Five years is a long time in family life and relationships break down, its a fact of life, unpleasant as it is.

I woud invite both, with a +1 each and it is down to them if they bring someone or not. For their daughter's day they should be able to behave in a civil manner and each parent would then happily be able to enjoy your happiness without feeling 'punished' in some way.

That's essentially what is happening to your father, he is being punished by your family by denying him the civil courtesy of bringing his long term partner to a family event, still.

CindySherman Wed 12-Dec-12 13:54:04

The Father has the affair so I don't see how he gets away with any moral superiority here confused

I would invite her. It would infer that your Mum is bitter and jealous after all these years and has not moved on if you don't.

Atthewelles Wed 12-Dec-12 13:58:42

It would be nice if you could please everyone but that's obviously not possible. Therefore I would put your mother's feelings first. She is more important in your life than your father's partner and your father should be able to see that it is a difficult situation and should not be making it even more difficult for you by sulking over this.

SantaWearsGreen Wed 12-Dec-12 14:00:51

I wouldn't invite her. Then again I am stubborn and I don't like cheaters. 5 years is a long time, it doesn't mean that it isn't still raw for Ops dm who I gather did love her df and was heartbroken.. of course she isn't going to want to spend the whole day in the same venue as the ow who was the reason her dh left her ffs.

It will just create a lot of negative energy that you don't want on 'the best day of your life'.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Wed 12-Dec-12 14:04:52

If your parents had split up and THEN he had met his new partner then I’d invite her even if your family weren’t keen. But I wouldn’t in these circumstances.

SomethingProfound Wed 12-Dec-12 14:06:28

OP I think before you make any decisions talk it over with your mum, it may not be as bigger issue as you think.

My parents split after 30 years together similar to your situation dad had an affair and left DM for his now DW. There have been many family occasions, graduations birthdays and engagements where both DF and DM have been invited my fathers DW is a bit loopy and refuses to let him attend alone but all three and extended family have managed to get through each occasion in a civil manner.

The likelihood is that they will have to be in the same room or at the same occasion at some point and I'm sure your DM knows this, if its to soon and she will find it painful fair enough, but an open and honest discussion about it before making any decisions may save you a lot of time, energy and hurt feelings.

Proudnscaryvirginmary Wed 12-Dec-12 14:07:12

I really, really feel for you OP.

I know all about parents' divorces/affairs/new partners from my own experience.

This is the legacy of infidelity and divorce. The ripples extend for years and years and years and impact the children the most - even when they are adults.

This is not fair on you. This is your big day (and I'm not in the bridezilla camp who thinks the bride must have her way on everything and be treated like a princess - I mean it should be a happy, relaxed day and be all about you and your partner getting married).

I would email both your parents and say something like 'I realise there is tension about my wedding regarding yourselves and whether OW comes - can you please, for me, sort this out between yourselves and come to a decision because I am finding it hugely stressful and upsetting'.

grovel Wed 12-Dec-12 14:10:13

Proudnscaryvirginmary, sound advice. Why should OP have to sort this out?

Whocansay Wed 12-Dec-12 14:32:04

I wouldn't invite her. It's going to be an emotional day all round and this can only cause problems. You want close family and she doesn't actually qualify anyway. If it was likely to make my mother too upset to enjoy the day, I just wouldn't bother.

And tbh, is the OW likely to want to come anyway?

Your dad has to suck it up. He ran off. He can deal with the fallout. Its a bit late for him to start playing Happy Families.

Fooso Wed 12-Dec-12 14:38:51

If I was DF's partner - and I thought my being there would cause you upset and potentially ruin your day then I would not want to go - maybe if your DF explains the situation she will understand.

Personally, I wouldn't invite her and I'd expect DF to suck it up. If that meant he threw a tantrum and didn't come, so be it.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Wed 12-Dec-12 15:10:51

"To those who say your Father's partner broke up their marriage, I firmly believe that it couldn't have been broken if there weren't cracks in the first place

Ouch-not your place to say this, Dreaming, it really isn't. You're fortunate your parents kept things amicable, but the OP's parents haven't quite managed that, so your experience isn't really relevant, and relating it isn't especially sensitive to the OP's situation."

Eldritch - it's as much my place to say this as it is anyone else's to say that this woman broke up her parent's marriage. None of us knows the details, other than what the OP has told us - however Father had an affair, and ended up in a relationship with the woman; people don't do that if they are happy in their marriage, do they? Accepting this was how I was able to deal with my Mum having an affair and remain supportive and loyal to both my parents. It's awful that marriages break down, particularly after 28 years, which was only a couple of years more than my parent's, and I know how painful it is to all those concerned, even when things are amicable.

Her parent's have managed to be amicable as they have been in each other's company at the brother's graduation, which is great for the OP, but my view, which after all is what is asked for by the OP (not mine personally but everyone's), is that it is perhaps now time for the parties to go one step further in being civil to each other (for the sake of other people, i.e, the OP) considering that 5 years have now elapsed (although I do appreciate that there is no time limit on grieving for a relationship.) As the OP has said that ideally she would like the woman to be at the wedding, she should invite her and ask her Mum to respect her choice - she would appear to have been supportive to her Mum throughout these last 5 years and in my view it is now time for her Mum to return the favour. I certainly didn't mean to be insensitive to the OP, and apologise to her if my post came across that way. Whatever happens, I hope you have a wonderful wedding day. Many congratulations.

MrsMelons Wed 12-Dec-12 15:14:30

5 years is a long time and its not like it was a fling as they are still together but I can absolutely understand why everyone would be upset.

I think I would have to invite her as its just not right not to. We of course don't know the ins and outs of the relationship with your mum and dad and if your mum had a partner then would everyone be ok with it? If so then you should definitely invite her. If it was a few months since it happened then absolutely NOT!

MrsMelons Wed 12-Dec-12 15:16:48

Also to whoever said that she broke up the marriage - she absolutely didn't - her DF did that as he was the one in the marriage (and possibly her DM as we don't actually know the ins and outs of their relationship before that happened!)!! Men should be quite capable of remembering they are married even if there is another woman out there that shows them some attention!

If you get on well with her, as you suggest, then I would have a quiet word and explain that you don't want any undercurrents at YOUR big day and you hope she understands that. I actually find it hard to believe that she would want to be there. I know that in her shoes, I wouldn't!

ENormaSnob Wed 12-Dec-12 15:30:01

If the marriage was in that much trouble the df could have left before putting his nob in someone else.

A marriage ending hurts.

An affair is deceitful, cruel, sly and hurts just as much if not more. It also has lasting repercussions.

MrsMelons Wed 12-Dec-12 15:33:17

ENormaSnob You are absolutely right but the DF should have ended it properly but the responsibility to do that was his - its unlikely he was forced to sleep with someone else.

Justfor laughs I am not sure I would want to be there in her position either. Maybe just the evening do invite for her is sufficient!

waltermittymistletoe Wed 12-Dec-12 15:34:13

The thing is, are you sure she wants to go?

Does she know your db doesn't like her? I wouldn't want to go in her position. I really, really wouldn't!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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?

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

What Wannabe said on previous page ^

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

What FestiveDigestive said.

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.

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...

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

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

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