To not go to brother's wedding?(28 Posts)
My brother is getting married in the summer. I don't want to go as our dad will be there, who I am estranged from and who I haven't seen for over 10 years. Brother really wants me to attend and basically thinks I should get over it for the sake of his wedding. He has in the past tried to engineer reunions between me and my dad and also pressure me into extending an olive branch as he wants us to reunite.
I just think it will be very awkward. My dad doesn't know I have children now so will find out/meet them for the first time at the wedding, and I'm also worried that he'll decide to try and build (half-hearted) bridges, which are frankly too little too late.
Am I being selfish not going? I know it's a very important day but the idea of being trapped in a room at the reception trying to avoid him is making me feel very stressed.
I'm afraid you need to weigh up how much you care for your brother with how much you dislike your dad.
This is the type of thing that your brother could remember for the rest of his life. It may also look strange to other family/friends if you're not there to support him on such a day.
This is also an opportunity to show your dad that you can be in the same room as him and not be affected by it.
I can see your brothers point of view in wanting you to get past your differences for the sake of his wedding. He'd like his whole family to attend which I think is understandable. However, I think it depends on how close you and your brother are, and definitely depends on the reasons why you and your dad are no longer in contact.
My in-laws are divorced and don't like to be in the same room as each other. But for our wedding and meeting their grandchildren, they managed to put their differences aside. I wouldn't expect them to speak to each other, but not to argue etc either.
I think if you did decide to go, it'd be a good idea to make it clear to your brother well in advance that you don't want to be pushed into talking to your father on the day, and maybe ask your brother to speak to your father about it too - to explain that you don't want any bad feeling on your brothers big day, so you feel it's best to try and avoid each other.
Why are you estranged from your father? Do you really feel strongly enough that you want nothing to do with him?
I am estranged from my Dad and the same thing happened to me. I hadn't seen him for 5 years when my sister got married. I was a bridesmaid and had to go but would have gone anyway even though I was dreading it. It was just the right thing to do. He approached me at one stage and I told him it wasn't the time or the place. He said it never would be. He was right. I avoided him the rest of the day.
It is one day. It'll be over before you know it. It's now 8 years since I last saw him - it'll be ok, honest
I'm estranged from my dad too, I think you are being a little unreasonable I'm sorry. Also I don't think you should give your dad the satisfaction (if any) of keeping you away from a family event that I assume you would want to be at if he wasn't there?
I think you could tell your brother that you will not be pressured into building bridges with your father on the day of the wedding and just try and avoid him as much as possible.
I'm getting married this summer, I would be hurt if my siblings didn't come to my wedding.
I had the same with my wedding. My brother was estranged from my Dad. I told db that I wanted him there but only if he could manage emotionally and not make a scene or anything. He came and managed fine - I said he could invite several mates to the evening as moral support and I also made him an usher so he had an excuse to 'look busy' and disappear if needed. It was fine.
As a side issue, he never did make it up with Dad and when Dad died, it destroyed him. Feuds always have an antecedent but so seldom are they worth the ill feeling they generate. 'Like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die' as I once heard someone say.
Does your brother know why you're estranged? I'm guessing that if you haven't spoken to him for over ten years, it's a pretty good reason, and the fact he keeps trying to sort out a reconnection is quite disrespectful.
That said, I think you can find a way to make it work. Discuss the situation with other family members, and maybe your brother - if they are the type to support you - to make sure you don't have to engage with him. If he does approach you, tell him politely you are there for your brother, not for him, and walk away.
Or as a PP has suggested, just go to the ceremony.
You also don't have to introduce your children to him. That's okay.
It sounds like a really tough situation
We had DHs very estranged parents at our wedding, including a very bad tempered SDF and new SDM, who was younger than me and very obviously 6 months pregnant.
We just told them all we expected them to play nice for our day. They all did, then went back to their own lives and old ways. They all enjoyed the day, managed polite "Hello"s and nothing more.
So, from my experience, YABU, as even the most narcissist twats (SDF) can manage to be human every now and then!
Could you go and have a swift, emergency exit planned, just in case?
It seems that I am being unreasonable. I thought it might be but was really hoping it wouldn't be! There was no big event causing our estrangement - just that he wasn't very present during childhood (parents divorced) and consistently put no effort in to see us/build a relationship. He got in touch a few years back and I decided to give him another chance but he then went awol again.
Good idea about asking my brother to let my dad know I don't want to be forced into having a big chat though. We certainly wouldn't be having a Jeremy Kyle type screaming match, but I will quietly tell him I don't want to talk if he approaches. It will be very awkward but you're right that it's only one day. Thanks.
YABU if you don't go, it's your brother's wedding and the day is about him not you. Sorry but it's a special day for him, much as I appreciate it'll be hard for you, you need to go.
YANBU to be estranged from your Dad - for me there was maybe an event that was a turning point "the straw that broke the camels back" - but it was more a lifelong build of emotional abuse that I decided was no longer worth it.
A poster above has suggested that perhaps I shall be sorry when he dies but I feel like I've already grieved for a father I didn't have and a man who never really existed. He's just "firstname" to me now. Don't feel bad about that.
YABU to put that above your brothers day, someone you really do love.
My aunt didn't attend my uncle (her brothers wedding) for a far less serious reason than this, a ridiculous one really and he never really forgave her and still brings it up 20 years later.
I would probably go, and avoid him, but I think I would leave the DC at home. It would probably be very confusing for them, and you would have no idea what your dad was saying to them.
Do you have to take the whole family to the wedding?
Think of him as attending in his capacity as "DBs Dad" not "YOUR Dad" if that helps. I sometimes say Hows YOUR Dad when speaking to my siblings because I don't see him as mine. That might help.
I'm NC with my sister, but only this week I've had to be in the same room as her due to a funeral. I have no interest in ever having a relationship with her again, but its not the rest of the family's fault or issue. So I suck it up. Before the first event my parents had words with both of us about not causing a scene, not that I would but tbf they felt if they needed to warn her they had to do the same to me too.
It took my sister a few occasions before she could even be civil though, but it meant the wider family were becoming reluctant to invite her to things.
If you care for your brother then go. Just pre practice you 'this isn't the time for it' speech
Yabu. Just go, even if you'll find it difficult, you'll hurt your brother more if you don't.
I have very little contact with my father for similar reasons, the last time I saw him was 18 months ago at my grandmothers funeral. Prior to that it was around 10 years previously at another family members funeral so basically I only ever see him at weddings or funerals on that side of the family.
Yes it is extremely awkward anytime we meet however in the circumstances I still manage to remain civil, ultimately I feel that it is his loss and not mine that we have never had a relationship, I was a child and he as the adult in my opinion should have maintained a relationship with his children.
Harsh as it sounds but when my father dies at this stage i do not envisage attending his funeral
I'd go but make it clear to your brother that your dad should in no way try to speak to you or try and start to make amends on the day.
I have a similar situation with a relative I am nc with. They used to try and talk to me, hug me etc and it was awful. In the end I made it clear to them through an intermediary that they should in no way approach or talk to me at family events. I cannot stop them being there but I can change it so I am not on edge all the time worrying I'll be pounced on.
If it were me, I'd put on my nicest frock, slap on the war paint, chuck a fortifying prosecco down my neck, stick a grin on, slap my brother on the back and avoid any awkward convos or situations by giving it large on the dancefloor. Chin up, OP, you're a big girl and you got this.
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