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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?

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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?

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