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To not attend my sister's wedding

(145 Posts)
TheRealThursdayNext Mon 05-Jan-15 22:09:40

(sorry for another wedding dilemma thread, will try to be brief)
My sister gets married in May and the guest list includes our father who I haven't spoken to for 20+years, and don't intend to see ever again, particularly not in public at an important event.
So I intend to tell her I won't go if he does. I'm not going to ask that he is not invited, who she has there is her choice, but I do expect her to tell me whether or not he is attending so I can base mine and my family's (partner & kids) attendance on that.
He's not a monster, he just pushed us out of his life many years ago so I made a conscious decision to live mine without him in it as the less painful option, rather than waiting for him to get in touch (he didn't), and my sister is fully aware of this. It's been a successful decision and has allowed me to move on from an unhappy childhood. Naturally my sister isn't estranged from him, although they had a few years of not speaking. I think it will also be pretty awkward for our mother (who has never remarried, to his 2 subsequent wives, one of whom he left her for) who doesn't really have anything to do with him either.
Sis hasn't mentioned to me that he's invited, which I'm a bit annoyed about, it's come back to me via another relative. I will say something to her about it when we next talk and I expect her to tell me I'm being selfish, I think she's a bit naive to expect us both to go, or for our mother to fully enjoy the day. I would be sad to miss her wedding but I'm not prepared to spend the whole event feeling awkward and uncomfortable, avoiding his gaze and that of all the other family members who are aware of the situation, or a possible confrontation. And I couldn't possibly imagine the photographer trying to gather 'all the bride's family' for a cosy photo. so AIBU to not go?

simbacatlivesagain Mon 05-Jan-15 22:12:40

Dont make her chose between you or him in a confrontational way. Just ask her if he is going. If she says yes then decide if you also wish to go. If you don't then be honest and tell her- but dont make her chose.

Bogeyface Mon 05-Jan-15 22:12:46

I think you are BU actually.

This is one day that it isnt about you or your relationship with your father. If you do say "I am not going if he goes" then I suspect you will be saving even more on Xmas cards as she will cut you out too.

Its your sisters day, you need to act like an adult and deal with it.

simbacatlivesagain Mon 05-Jan-15 22:13:13

Is he paying for the wedding?

MildDrPepperAddiction Mon 05-Jan-15 22:14:33

Yes, I think YABU. It's her day, she can invite who she likes (as you have said).

You don't need to speak to/spend time with him. By not going you will just show yourself up to be a selfish brat.

Redglitter Mon 05-Jan-15 22:15:40

Surely you can go and avoid him. Your sis can tell the photographer what photos she doesn't want. I think you'd be cutting off your nose to spite your face missing it. I have a feeling you'll come to really regret it. This is your sisters big day don't spoil it by forcing her to choose between you and your dad.

Spadequeen Mon 05-Jan-15 22:16:43

I would go but be ask to be seated far away from him and let her know that you will not be in any photos with him.

Don't cut your nose of to spite your face, you could support your mum, do tell him chase you away

Lweji Mon 05-Jan-15 22:17:17

VU and selfish

It's not for you or your mother to enjoy the day. It's for her. And both of you should be there for her.

Islander79 Mon 05-Jan-15 22:17:46

My mother and I managed to attend my sister's wedding this year - I hadn't spoken to my dad for 10 years or more, my mum hadn't seen him for 30 odd years. It was a small wedding - just 20 people at the ceremony and maybe 40/50 at the reception.

It was fine.

No eye contact made, everyone on best behaviour because it was my sister's day and SHE wanted us all there. She trusted us all not to cause any issues, and we didn't.

As your dad was a bit shit, rather than abusive, suck it up. For her.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Mon 05-Jan-15 22:19:03

Well it comes down to whether you care more about keeping your resolution not to see your Dad on the one hand or on the other hand being with your sister on an important day for her. To be blunt and put it another way, if your being there would make her happy are you willing to prioritise that over your own feelings?

Families can be very complicated and only you can answer those questions but based on your OP alone you do come across as pretty self-absorbed and unreasonable. There is an air of "I know best" and "I can't be asked to compromise my decision" in your post.

Hassled Mon 05-Jan-15 22:19:27

Sorry - but another who thinks you need to go. The day isn't about you - it's about your sister and what she wants. Talk to her about not wanting an awkward family photo - that's fair enough - but don't make her choose. You'd be putting her in a hideous position on what's meant to be a very happy day.

It's a few hours - you can get through it.

LaLa5 Mon 05-Jan-15 22:19:54

YABU - my mum and dad saw each other for first time on my wedding day since dad walked out. It was tense for a minute but then we got on with the day in our own way. I was so grateful that they all came and no one made a fuss. They are in the photos together and it meant so much to me

This is your sisters day, can you not just let her have her day and be happy with you both there? Smile for cameras, you don't have to talk to your dad but be there for your sister on her special day

FunkyPeacock Mon 05-Jan-15 22:20:50

YANBU to not attend the wedding if you feel so strongly about not being in the same place as your Dad but I think you are BU to be surprised or upset with your sister - it is fairly obvious she would invite her Dad to her wedding if they are not estranged.

What your Mum does is her decision but I don't think it's fair to put your sister in a position where she feels she has to choose between you.

LaLyra Mon 05-Jan-15 22:20:58

I had a similar dilemma when my brother married and invited our mother. My parents were appalling (neglectful & violent) and we ended up living with my grandparents. I'm the youngest so had the least to do with them, brother is the eldest so lived with them the longest. I went because I decided there's no chance I'd allow her to mean I missed out on things that were important.

I wouldn't stay away in your shoes. Personally, I don't think it's too much for your sister to expect you both to politely stay out of each other's ways for one day. Fair enough to say something if she expects you to sit with him/travel with him or tries to encourage you to get back in contact with him, but I don't think it's too much to ask you to sit in the same church or room for a few hours. It's not about you, him or your mother, it's about your sister.

Gavlarrr Mon 05-Jan-15 22:21:16

Go and completely ignore him and act as if he's not there. Be completely happy and normal, it will only show you've moved on with your life and he has absolutely no effect on you whatsoever!

pictish Mon 05-Jan-15 22:21:43

Agree with bogey so what she said.

Vycount Mon 05-Jan-15 22:22:26

You know what? YABU. It's just one day, be big enough to go to the wedding and enjoy it. Stay oblivious to any looks or atmosphere, but honestly, after all that time and at a wedding you might be pleasantly surprised. Hopefully other guests will also have consideration for your sister and her new husband on the day.

IAmAllImportant Mon 05-Jan-15 22:23:36

You could go and not speak to him! That may be the better option. The kinder option. Your DP could be on alert to be a buffer, should he try to approach you and tell him it is not acceptable.

SinglePringle Mon 05-Jan-15 22:24:46

Having been in a similar situation to you (although it was 30 odd years and he'd decided to not keep in contact with me but did with one of my siblings) I didn't attend. My sibling understood and out relationship hasn't changed.

WooWooOwl Mon 05-Jan-15 22:27:21

It's entirely your choice, but I'd understand why your sister would think it was selfish if you didn't go because her father was there, and you just have to be prepared for any consequences of that.

I realise it mightbe awkward and difficult for you and for your mother, but it's your sisters wedding day. One day out of a lifetime of days where you could chose to put yourself out to make your sister feel loved and supported by all of her family. It's really not about you or your mum, it's about your sister andher future husband.

I don't think it's fair for you to be annoyed that you haven't been told that her father is invited, surely it's a given that the father of the bride will be at the wedding if they have contact and a reasonable relationship?

TillyGotTangled Mon 05-Jan-15 22:27:48


You're all grown ups with manners presumably. Fair enough if you don't want to speak to him - I'm sure your sis will have enough wit not to seat you beside each other.

Other than that, stay out of his way rather than upsetting what is meant to be one of the best (and most stressful) days of your sister's life.

FWIW's my DB's wedding consisted of
2 sets of divorced parents who didn't speak
The bride's 3 siblings and their wives - none of the 3 wives were on speaking terms with the bride
Me and my DM who haven't spoke in 3years

And that was only IMMEDIATE family. It was hell on frickkin earth for everyone involved - but you know what? It wasn't about us. It was about them

If you love your sister suck it up

Balloonspaghetti Mon 05-Jan-15 22:28:28


It's her day. Everyone is there for her.

I have a very awkward horrid situation on both sides with my parents and also DHs parents - for good reason all 4 of them spend their lives having no contact with each other.

However, on our wedding day we expected them all to realise that whilst the relationships with each other are irreparable, it would hurt us for anyone to stay away from sharing the day with us because despite their relationship breakdowns - our relationships to them have continued/repaired over time.

It was fine. They all just simply were seated away from each other, and all understood to be respectful by not creating a scene on our day.

I won't expect them to do it for Christmas Day. But for my wedding - yes. And I think it's fine that your sister expects that.

Tbh take it as a compliment that she feels you can be mature enough to realise this... Even if it stings

BertieBrabinger Mon 05-Jan-15 22:30:09

YABU but I sort of understand.
However, the only way you will have really moved on is to go to your sister's wedding, and have a great time whether your father is there or not. I mean this kindly, but if you has truly moved on you wouldn't even be considering not going to your sister's wedding.

Aeroflotgirl Mon 05-Jan-15 22:32:24

Yabvvvvu can't you for one day, act like an adult and be civil for her.

springalong Mon 05-Jan-15 22:35:36

Could you attend the ceremony and slip away afterwards before the reception.

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