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Ungracious reference in civil partnership speech?

(30 Posts)
Burren Sat 12-Apr-14 14:46:45

Not so much an AIBU as a 'would you find this ungracious or out of place?'

I was at a civil partnership ceremony in my home country last week - the couple are entirely lovely, and have always been my ideal 'married' couple in terms of their obvious longterm happiness together for many years.

The ceremony was gorgeous, and the speeches were funny and emotional, but I was a bit taken aback when the father of one of the women said, in his speech, how fond he and his wife had become of their daughter's partner 'despite how difficult we found it to accept her in the beginning'.

It was said completely seriously, not as a joke - I had never met him before, as he lives abroad, but it was obvious he was shy, a man of few words, and was reading a prepared speech, so it wasn't an off the cuff remark or a slip. X (his new DiL) showed no sign of being upset, but her mother leapt up and gave an impromptu speech about how delighted she was to welcome X's partner to the family and how happy it made her to see her daughter so happy.

Am I being over-sensitive here, or is more than a bit tactless/unthinking /plain odd to rake up your own problems with your daughter's sexuality from 15 years ago on her wedding day? (Y had had no previous serious long term girlfriends and came out to her parents by introducing them to Y as her girlfriend.)

It was the first civil partnership I'd actually attended, so I gave no idea whether references to parental difficulties with their children coming out are a regular part of the speeches, but unless obviously meant as a joke, I can't imagine the father of the bride or groom saying he'd had difficulty accepting his child's choice of partner...?

Dreamer789 Sat 12-Apr-14 14:48:05

Maybe be better in Chat rather than AIBU?

PastPerfect Sat 12-Apr-14 14:50:28

Is it possible he meant it as a sort of apology: "we were wrong and now we're very find of her"?

EdithWeston Sat 12-Apr-14 14:52:19

Was it definitely about sexuality?

I read it as the person was the problem (have heard similar at heterosexual marriages) and the rough diamond came good.

PoshPenny Sat 12-Apr-14 14:54:32

to me it sounds like something said straight from the heart, which is borne out by your comment that he is a man of few words usually. The fact he said it, makes it absolutely clear that he has completely come round, got over the fact he won't ever have a son in law or grandchildren in the "traditional" way and is now happy to accept the way things are in his family and especially welcome his new daughter in law. Saying things like that can send out a clear positive message to other members of his side of the family who are less accepting for exAmple. all the recent furore over gay marriage reminds us that the older generations can still struggle with homosexuality.

I would agree its a comment that can be taken two ways though, but I'm sure it was meant the nice way.

sunbathe Sat 12-Apr-14 14:54:59

Maybe better to acknowledge that they had difficulties, rather than pretending it was otherwise?

PooroldJumbo Sat 12-Apr-14 14:55:39

Without being there it's difficult to know but you say the father appeared to be a shy man of few words reading a prepared speech, that suggests to me that he probably put a lot of thought into what he said and it took courage for him to stand up and present his speech. I interpret his words as meaning that his daughter's partner is such an amazing person she won his love despite a difficult starting point in their relationship. It doesn't seem likely to me that he was being malicious.

CoffeeTea103 Sat 12-Apr-14 14:56:25

If the actual person being referenced showed no sign of being upset, why on earth are you so affected by it?
Even if you did find it an issue, so what from here? Unless you are actually going to do something about it (which You wbu to do so) I don't see what's your point of the post?

Blu Sat 12-Apr-14 14:57:48

He was graciously admitting his failings.

HIs dd and dil cannot have been oblivious to those 'difficulties' so had he not referenced them he could have been accused of being a hypocrite, perhaps.

His dil was not upset, and I think you are overthinking this on her behalf.

And how nice that the other MIL made a reciprocal speech. More women should be given a platform to speak at weddings - especially women-woman weddings, perhaps.

jumblebee Sat 12-Apr-14 14:59:05

I think you're being a bit sensitive. It could be said about any couple, gay or straight. Maybe it's not the best thing to say but I don't think it was meant to offend.

The brides mother who stood up sounds like a nightmare tbh confused

adoptmama Sat 12-Apr-14 14:59:41

But they probably did find it very difficult to accept in the beginning and I would take it as him saying how he has come to learn he was wrong. Clearly the fact that he and his wife were their, supporting their daughter and her wife, shows they love her and support her decision to marry. It is not an easy thing for all parents to accept. I don't think it was inappropriate although he may have been clumsy in his choice of words. After all there are a lot of books out there giving fathers of the brides advice on giving their daughter away to the man of her dreams. Not so many helping a dad give his daughter away to the woman of her dreams. He was probably just a bit out of his emotional depth. I don't think it sounds critical of his daughter, her wife or their decision to marry.

NoArmaniNoPunani Sat 12-Apr-14 15:00:25

It does sound like an odd thing to say. I know my mother in law found it hard to accept me as her son's partner but I wouldn't like that brought up on my wedding day

LongTimeLurking Sat 12-Apr-14 15:01:19

To be fair it sounds more like an apology than anything else. "We couldn't accept X at first but then we realised we were wrong..." type of thing.

It may have come across badly but I think the meaning/feeling behind it was genuinely good.

Or perhaps I am just being a bit naive in trying to see the best in people.

Burren Sat 12-Apr-14 15:03:44

I think it would have had to be about sexuality, as his DIL is an utter delight, attractive, warm, clever, successful in a highly-paid professional field, and she has supported his daughter through long term illness and financially (career in the arts, tiny income) for years and years. They have several grandchildren, and X and Y are considering having a child also.

And yes, I think it was definitely well-intentioned, but does that make a difference? If, say, he was white and made a reference to having difficulty initially accepting his daughter's black fiancé, wouldn't it still be foregrounding your own prejudice on a day that's about celebrating the couple?

Perhaps I am being unreasonable. It just threw me and DH a bit.

StampyIsMyBoyfriend Sat 12-Apr-14 15:05:28

Yabu. I'm straight, but that didn't stop my mother disliking my now DH, and taking him aside on our wedding day to apologise to him.

Sounds like he spoke from the heart, and tbh... wouldn't it be hypocritical to stand up and enthuse about how wonderful it all was, if they had in fact taken time to get their heads round it?

insancerre Sat 12-Apr-14 15:05:59

i think it is perfectly acceptable
he is admitting he found the relationship hard to accept at first but has now got over it
its very honest and much better than an overgushing of sentimentality
and exactly the right place to do it- in a public but intimate way
its about acceptance

I think YANBU and it would have been more gracious of him not to say that in his speech, but I suppose at least he has come round to the idea enough to make a speech for his daughter on her big day and you can't have everything - especially as someone said with the older generation.

BackforGood Sat 12-Apr-14 15:12:10

What PoshPenny, PoorOldJumbo, Blu, Adoptmama, LongtimeMummy, and Stampy have all said.

fuckoffbeaker Sat 12-Apr-14 15:12:28

You are assuming its about sexuality so that everyone will grab their pearls and say ooh how dreadful that awful man is

for all you know the partner may have ripped them off to fund her drug habit for thousands of pounds and they have worked through that

guess what, you may not possibly know every secret in their closet, however nosey you may be

I disagree - I don't think a wedding speech is the time for that sort of honesty. If he felt the need to tell his dd and DIL that he knew he'd been wrong and was sorry for that, he should have done it in private. I am not saying he should have lied, and said how much he'd always loved his DIL - but he should have kept it lighter - talking about his happiness now without reminding his dd and DIL of what might have been very hurtful at the time.

That sort of comment runs the risk of really upsetting one of the brides, and putting a really sad memory into what should be a happy day.

StarGazeyPond Sat 12-Apr-14 15:15:43

I think you are REALLY overthinking this, OP.

Love that MNers are thought to clutch their pearls at possible homophobia these days smile

Blu Sat 12-Apr-14 15:17:11

It was presumably one comment -a qualifying half sentence- in a speech which otherwise spoke warmly and gladly of the wedding as a whole?

I'm not sure, either, why the other mother sounds 'like a nightmare' - aren't weddings about parents making speeches about how happy they are to see their children happy?

adoptmama Sat 12-Apr-14 15:31:03

if the dad found it difficult to accept the relationship in the beginning, as he said, it is likely a lot of the family and friends there knew this already.

therefore his comment could also be taken as a very public affirmation of his pride in, acceptance of and happiness for his daughter and daughter-in-law.

i doubt the content of the speech came as a bolt from the blue for his own dd - he probably ran it past his wife, who ran it past their daugher smile as is the way of these things.

i certainly don't see it as 'raking up problems with your daughter's sexuality' as you suggest. i think it shows a loving dad telling both women how he has come to understand, accept and celebrate their love despite the fact it was challenging for him in the beginning. it affirms their love in public and probably meant the world to his DD

GrendelsMum Sat 12-Apr-14 15:55:23

I think it's a difficult one - a friend's DFiL made a similar comment in his speech at their wedding.

We were all a bit taken aback, but accepted it as being a genuine attempt to explain that although things weren't as they'd expected in life, they were happy with their daughter's happiness, so to speak (daughter marrying outside her culture / nationality in this case).

Having said that, it probably wasn't the place to do it, because most of us didn't know that her family hadn't been supportive in the first place.

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