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To Not Go To A Wedding?

(91 Posts)
AnnaMagdalene Thu 09-Jul-15 09:49:09

The date is not yet set, so I'm not in the position where I have to make an immediate decision.

My stepdaughter has recently announced her engagement to her long term boyfriend. We've been told that they'll get married 'abroad somewhere.' My husband and I were told it would probably be next summer. However she told my husband's brother it would probably be in summer 2017.

The reasons why I'm not looking forward to his event are:-

I've never really liked her boyfriend, though I've tried to get to know him and realise he has got some real virtues. He's hardworking and energetic. I think it's partly that his politics are right wing and authoritarian. For example during one of the first time that we met he commented on a news story involving the death of a man who'd been caught up in a demonstration, and died in the hands of the police, that the man had clearly been 'out to cause trouble', that he knew these things because of his experience in the cadet force and/or Territorial Army. (An inquest later found that the death was 'unlawful killing.'

My husband and I are actually of quite an 'alternative' generation. Our contemporaries didn't really go in for weddings. Often we didn't get married at all - or only did it after children arrived to secure the legal side of things, and then in a very informal low-key, low cost way. So both of us find long engagements and elaborate weddings a bit weird. Though of coursewe understand that lots of people opt to do it that way

My husband's retired now and I am on a low income. So turning up to some destination abroad, will essentially mean that any alternative holiday we might take that summer is scuppered. The flight and hotel for ourselves and our daughter -who'll be an impoverished student by then - would be a signficant cost.

I'm an introvert who drinks almost no alcohol. I can enjoy small parties and conversations with little groups of people about any topic of mutual interests. Big bashes with loud music where you have to shout to make conversation. I can manage this for a few hours when socially necessary, but being trapped in these situations for long periods is quite stressful. I don't really know my stepdaughter's current friends. She's dropped most of her old friends because they don't really like her boyfriend and he doesn't like them.

Despite the fact that I have been with my husband for over twenty years and was not involved in the breakdown of his previous marriage, his former wife - my stepdaughter's mother - will not make eye contact with me or speak to me. She blanks me instead. Inevitably this makes any social occasion at which we are present, very uncomfortable. (There has been one earlier wedding of a mutual friend, where we were both present, and she wouldn't acknowledge me in any way. It as uncomfortable and distressing.)

I would happily attend any registry office-based or other wedding-related event in the UK. It's just the thought of the greater duration and preparation for something abroad that distresses me.

How would other people approach this?

whois Thu 09-Jul-15 09:54:31

If you consider you and your husband a family unit, and he would like you there, then I think you should go.

The reasons you've given as to why you don't want to go aren't great to be honest. it's your husbands daughter, quite a major part of his life!

Shesparkles Thu 09-Jul-15 09:54:47

What are your husband's thoughts?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 09-Jul-15 09:55:57

I think you should show some support and solidarity to your Husband and attend his daughters wedding.

Your reasons are petty and childish.

NerrSnerr Thu 09-Jul-15 09:58:17

Does your husband want to go?

I'd be very upset if my step mum didn't go to my wedding for those reasons.

MidniteScribbler Thu 09-Jul-15 09:58:52

I'm normally in support of people who don't want to attend destination weddings, but this is your husband's daughter. Your reasons for not wanting to go are pathetic (you don't like long engagements? What the fuck has it got to do with how long they want to be engaged?). Suck it up and support your husband and his daughter.

HermioneWeasley Thu 09-Jul-15 10:00:37

You've been her step mother for 20 years and you're considering not going to her wedding because you don't like her fiance's politics (mainstream, not BNP) and your contemporaries were too cool and groovy to get married.


Lottapianos Thu 09-Jul-15 10:01:02

Your reasons are not 'petty and childish'. I understand why you wouldnt' want to go and would feel the same in your situation, especially since it sounds like a destination wedding rather than something that will be over in a few hours.

However, for me, it would come down to whether my husband really wanted me there - if it meant a lot to him, then I would do it. Do you feel that you can talk to him about your concerns?

MrsLeighHalfpenny Thu 09-Jul-15 10:02:05

What everyone else said. Go. How would you feel if it was your DD getting married and not your DSD?

WinterOfOurDiscountTents15 Thu 09-Jul-15 10:02:31

Alternative generation? No such thing, an entire generation cant be alternative, its oxymoronic. Very flimsy excuses.

If you dont want to go, dont go. But yabu for trying to come up with as many excuses as possible.

LadyMaryofDownton Thu 09-Jul-15 10:02:47

It's your Husbands daughter, you should attend. Believe me there's bee plenty if Weddings I didn't want to go to but I supported my husband by going and not complaining about it.

Like you say it's a bit early in the day to be worrying about it. Try and be pleased for your step daughter and worry about the details when you need to, life's to short.

LilyMayViolet Thu 09-Jul-15 10:03:28

I think you'd be very unreasonable not to attend your stepdaughter's wedding despite your reservations. I do understand the weddings abroad thing, that can be testing, but this is not some distant family member or friend, it's your husband's daughter!

CrystalCove Thu 09-Jul-15 10:06:10

You havent said what your DH thinks and wants?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 09-Jul-15 10:06:12

There is always the possibility of course that you wont be invited.

If DSD is aware how much your presence affects her Mum she may simply issue an invite to her Mum and Dad individually.

BakeItOff Thu 09-Jul-15 10:08:06

Wait, you don't even know when or where it is and you're trying think of reasons not to go?

YABVU and hurtful towards your DSD.

summerainbow Thu 09-Jul-15 10:09:28

Sadly I think you will have to save up and go to this wedding. But I would treat like a holiday with something you have do in middle.

msgrinch Thu 09-Jul-15 10:09:51

yabvu and petty. I can't imagine being this cold to my dsd.

Collaborate Thu 09-Jul-15 10:10:40

I can understand how you'd feel uncomfortable with the ex blanking you (been there myself with another family member) but as this is SD's wedding you really ought to make the effort. The repercussions were you not to attend may be greater than you think.

Teabagbeforemilk Thu 09-Jul-15 10:11:28

How old are you? Out of 4 generations in my family, mine is the first where most are not married. My mums, nanas and great grandmas generation all felt (for the most part, obviously not everyone) felt bri married before children was important. Put of 11 cousins only 2 got married before Gavin children.

I am not convinced by your reasons. You aren't keen on her choice of husband, you still should be there to support her and your husband.

My auntie (in a similar situation to you) went to her step daughters wedding. She is hated by the mother, even though she hasn't done anything. It was fine. My auntie was there for her stepdaughter and her own partner.

If you are going to go and be miserable just let your dh go alone.

Theycallmemellowjello Thu 09-Jul-15 10:12:23

Yabu. Disagreeing with someone's politics (when they are mainstream as hermione noted above), not liking parties and not approving of long engagements (!!) are terrible reasons not to attend. It would be ok to bow out if the wedding is somewhere like Bali and you genuinely can't afford it. If it's somewhere that's a Ryanair flight away and you can possibly afford to attend, I think it would be really bad not to go, given the closeness of the relationship.

AnnaMagdalene Thu 09-Jul-15 10:13:07

I think what I am trying to do is articulate the various things that cause me unease.

For example there is no very clear role for step-parents - as opposed to parents at weddings. It is distressing when people are rude and hostile in public situations.

It's quite common on wedding threads for people to consider the cost of attendance. At the moment I'm earning below the tax threshold and my husband is a pensioner.

The wedding is being arranged very much so that it will be fun for my stepdaughter and her partner's high earning friends. I've no doubt that it will be. However, it's inevitable that such events are a bit of a headache for those who are on lower incomes.

I think there are aspects of their relationship which concern me. My stepdaughter's partner works long hours, but it it is two years since he has come to visit us. (The last two summers we've been to visit them. They live about 3 hours drive away.) He didn't accompany my stepdaughter to visit her mother, when her mother was recovering from major surgery or to see her grandparents at Christmas. He is somebody who does what he wants to do.

My partner describes their wedding plans as 'farcical'. We have very similar views. The difference is simply that he's a dad and I'm a stepmother.

There may well be a second wedding - an Indian one - in the UK for my stepdaughter's boyfriends extended family, and he joked that it might well be preferable to go to that one.

As it's a long way ahead, I don't really have to make any decisions at this point, and my husband's happiness if of real importance to me. I am just exploring the situation in my head.

Teabagbeforemilk Thu 09-Jul-15 10:13:42

I will assume you have children with your dh, since you are married and people of your generation don't get married unless children are involved.

This girl is your children's sister. She isn't a distant relation.

mmmuffins Thu 09-Jul-15 10:13:57

YABU not to go. Your reasoning is very flimsy.

You don't have to like her fiance. What other holiday could be more important than attending your step-daughter of 20 years wedding? As an introvert you plan your days partially with the main party and partially not, to give yourself lots of alone/recovery time. Why does it matter if your DH's ex wife speaks to you? Ignore ignore ignore.

mommy2ash Thu 09-Jul-15 10:16:07

Is this a serious post? Is it you just don't want to go or will your husband and daughter also not attend. Saying it will scupper your holiday is ridiculous it's his daughters wedding

notinagreatplace Thu 09-Jul-15 10:16:45

Sometimes we all have to do things that we don't enjoy - this is one of them. You should do it for the sake of your relationship with your step-daughter.

Unless you actually want to send the message that you don't care about her, of course.

I couldn't quite tell from your OP, were you thinking that neither you or your DH should go?

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