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wedding dilemma about my alcoholic parents

(285 Posts)
kingvardos Sun 12-Jun-16 20:01:58

I have read this site for years and been wanting to put this out there to ask for words of wisdom as I am stuck. I don’t know if anyone can advise. I am getting married to the most wonderful man next August. It is a huge deal as neither of us have been married before. We are in our early forties and both have 2 children. I met him after 8 years of being single (with a few dates in between) and coming out of a 14 year unhappy relationship (with my childrens’ father).

My dilemma: my mum is an alcoholic, and so is her husband (my stepfather). At my twin brothers’ wedding 6 years ago, she and my SD stole other people’s drinks and poured them into their glasses....and she got very drunk and made an awful scene.

I am terrified she will do the same. I have basically had the most honest chat with her about my fears, and reminded her of the many many times the pair who are now in their 70s and 80s have fallen over drunk and made family events just so excruciating. She denies every event I remembered and said my memory was shot.
It isn’t sadly.

My stepdad who is very arrogant amongst other traits (think racist, homophobic etc) demands to meet my fiance before the wedding but I would rather pull my own teeth out, as would he ….(he has heard both of them very drunk on the phone around 8pm when I call) …..I can’t face it. I know they should meet but an overwhelming urge I have is to uninvite the pair to the wedding and go no contact. Both my brothers say I will regret it, you know what they are like etc.....they will never give up.....and are making me feel guilty. But they both emigrated to Australia years ago and are out of the worst of it.

But this wedding is small (30 people including us) and only my best friends are going and one brother on my side. They all know what they are like...........I am terrified of what they may do …..(I am not discounting dancing on tables and saying highly inappropriate things to our guests - especially my fiance’s family as they are very normal)

I appreciate any advice. My back history of awfulness from the pair is too long to go into but I will just say it was bad and has ended me up in counselling to understand why I grew up with such selfish people.
Thank you

iwantavuvezela Sun 12-Jun-16 20:05:08

I can see why you would not want to invite them, and if that behaviour is probable, then I see no reason why you should. Could you have a "fake" wedding dinner with them as the celebration and keep them away from the one that you should be focus sing on yourself, your husband (to be) and enjoying the moment

happypoobum Sun 12-Jun-16 20:08:04

OK. I get this. My DF was an alcoholic and many of his various wives and GFs were over the years.

This is what I would do. Tell them you cannot risk them coming and getting drunk, so they are not invited. If they get terribly upset then you deal with that. But,if they are anything like my dad, they will get over it really quickly, because, sorry to say this, you are just not that important. Not as important as the booze anyway.

Within a year they will get over it - something else will have happened.

kingvardos Sun 12-Jun-16 20:09:09

Thank you iwantavuvezela, I think that may go down like a tone of bricks to be honest. She is adamant her husband needs to meet my fiance, I can't face the 7 hr drive to theirs listening and seeing their behaviour for an evening, and they say they have no money to come up and stay (I offered to pay for a hotel).
I think I could just about meet them in London half way for a meal and get it over with but she wants a 2 day weekend of my partner to get to know him (shudder).

Lolimax Sun 12-Jun-16 20:09:30

Oh King you have my sympathies. Both my parents were alcoholics but although it directly killed my dad it affected my mum mote publicly. Every important event in my life was marred by her drinking- my first wedding, both my DC's christenings, the lot.
2 years ago with her very ill with secondary cancer she came to my second wedding. I begged and begged her not to get drunk. But she did to the point that she had to go home shortly after the ceremony missing everything.
She died 6 months later.
Could I, would I have done anything different? I honestly don't know know. I had a lovely day, it wasn't entirely spoilt but ruined in a 'her' way.
It's your choice what you do. You have to do what's right for you. If they're there you'll be on pins, if they're not it won't be the same and those on the outside won't understand.
Good luck.

kingvardos Sun 12-Jun-16 20:11:18

poster happypoobum. I am really tempted. But they are elderly now and 300 miles away. I never see them. She is sending me the vilest messages saying oh write on my grave that I am was a crap mother sad

Puff42 Sun 12-Jun-16 20:14:08

You're both in your forties. There's absolutely no reason your SF needs to meet your DP prior to the wedding (unless of course he's paying for it grin).

kingvardos Sun 12-Jun-16 20:16:32

ha ha ha! Puff42. Pay for it! Very unlikely! I couldn't give a shit if they ever meet before but SD does, so to my mum I have insulted them ......They are (shudder) huge daily mail readers......and v entitled but skint (spend all their money on booze and fags), and want US to pay for them to stay in a hotel.....

PatriciaHolm Sun 12-Jun-16 20:21:49

I can't see what possible positives there are in having them at your wedding. Why would you want someone there who doesn't seem to care for either of you at all?

kingvardos Sun 12-Jun-16 20:35:08

I guess because she is old, and i would feel so guilty

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Sun 12-Jun-16 20:35:32

OP, I think you have to cut straight to the chase, like it or not.

You pander to the emotional blackmail of your mother, a woman who, through her behaviour and life choices, is of little real interest or importance to you. Or, you progress with a wedding celebration that will make both you and your DF happy. It does sound as though, through circumstance, the two will be mutually exclusive and while that's a sad fact, you can only play the hand you're dealt. You're old enough and experienced enough to make that choice, even though it's not a straightforward one because of the emotional complexities.

If you're badgered into doing anything you're not absolutely comfortable with, then it's totally acceptable to keep telling your mother 'No' with the addition of 'that's not possible' 'that's not how we're doing it' or whatever qualification fits the bill.

Best of Luck and Congratulations flowers

kingvardos Sun 12-Jun-16 20:37:39

thankyou EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard ......I guess its the stuff my brothers said, how hurt she is and upset etc etc and I feel like I am being an utter cow to her.

Bluetrews25 Sun 12-Jun-16 20:38:19

They shouldn't be there.
Good they are skint- they would only drink the travel and accommodation money (if they ever had it!) so you are probably safe from gatecrashing moments. And they'll probably forget the date anyway.
Just leave all contact to come from them, and ignore as best you can.
Sorry - little patience with pissheadsalkies. (Remind me of late MIL and FIL)

Hope you have a lovely day without them

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sun 12-Jun-16 20:40:53


Don't invite them. Any fall out will be easier to deal with than their behaviour leading up to and during the wedding.

I'd also be tempted to block them on your phone.

RayofFuckingSunshine Sun 12-Jun-16 20:41:23

I eloped because I didn't want my alcoholic mother at my wedding and have since gone NC (including with the rest of the family, which is sad. They were flying monkeys though). Not having her there was the best decision I could have made because even if she had of come and been on her best behaviour, remaining sober, I would have been on edge waiting for her to get drunk and make a scene. Totally not worth the hassle.

AlwaysDancing1234 Sun 12-Jun-16 20:43:21

My mother has problems controlling herself with alcohol so I understand. Do try not to the the guilt eat at you. There's no reason she needs to see you and your fiancé for a whole weekend before the wedding.
I deliberately scheduled our wedding for later in the day than usual so that mother didn't have as much drinking time, sad but true.

kingvardos Sun 12-Jun-16 20:44:23

My nan basically brought us all up. Mum was too busy drinking and with men.
I was sent to boarding school age eleven with my twin and got a phone call out of the blue to say she was getting married and I couldn’t come as I would miss school. I asked who he was and she said oh don’t worry you will love him. All his kids were invited but not us. I never understood why. I lost my mum from then. He was a drinker and she wasn’t...
Ever since the shit got worse. He had a partner in crime. But I do love her. And there is the dilemma. But the more I hear from you guys. And the more I remember stuff they did I think you are all right............gulp. Also I paid £18 for my wedding dress. She was (it is awesome! Like a 70s Florence and the machine floaty thing)

ScarletForYa Sun 12-Jun-16 20:49:41

Your bothers are being absolute hypocrites. It's all very well for them to pass judgement from the other side of the world.

I would not have them at your wedding OP. A wedding is a new start, something lovely and full of promise. You don't deserve to have it marred by two such selfish people. I would have the wedding in secret and keep them away, far away from it.


AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 12-Jun-16 20:55:31

"Mum was too busy drinking and with men".

Your mother has not fundamentally altered since that time and there is no good reason at all for your stepfather to speak at (more like have a pop at) your husband to be. He doesn't deserve that ill treatment and nor do you for that matter. And why should they at all meet anyway?

Your brothers are really her flying monkeys here manipulated into doing her bidding. They are not acting in your best interests are they, only their own. They are not your friends here either and they do not want to hear your very real concerns.

I would urge you to read this website as it could well help you move forward:-

Do not invite either of them to your wedding.

GeoffreysGoat Sun 12-Jun-16 20:56:39

How about:

11am ceremony
12:00 naice lunch
2pm everyone fucks off

6pm evening party with all your friends and people who give a shit about you. No parents.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 12-Jun-16 20:58:16

They probably emigrated to the other side of the world years ago also because of mother. It is also hard being the last one left but really you should feel no obligation towards your mother now. She has not felt anything like that towards you, you really owe her nothing.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sun 12-Jun-16 21:05:43

The brothers need you to stay in contact with her. Someone is going to need to take care of her and your SD pretty soon. Or at least be the emergency contact. If you go no contact, they might be on the hook. Also, they can feel better about leaving for Oz because the parents still have kingv They have nothing to gain and everything to lose from you finally stopping contact with your vile mother (even if they don't realise it consciously).

I have a terrible mother. If she sent me a text saying "oh write on my grave that I am was a crap mother" I wouldn't be all sad face. I'd be all "yes, that's true, shame you never cared enough about being a crap mother to actually behave differently."

You absolutely should not have them at your wedding. You absolutely should not introduce your DP to them. They can get to fuck.

I didn't have my DM at my wedding. I don't regret it, despite her best attempts to make me feel guilty. Recently, she bitched about it in front of a group of distant relatives at a big family do. I said nothing. Totally impassive. It worked a charm, the distant relatives knew that if a person doesn't invite their mother to their wedding, there has to be a bloody good reason. I did not feel judged or guilty. Rather empowered actually. She shut up when no one took the bait and I didn't quiver.

AlwaysDancing1234 Sun 12-Jun-16 21:07:27

I second Geoffreys idea

Aussiebean Sun 12-Jun-16 23:19:20

Go With Geoffryes idea and/ or tell her it is a no alcohol wedding.

Serve soft drinks or juices. And withdraw the offer to pay for the hotel

I bet she won't come then and it will be her decision.

HolisticMama13 Sun 12-Jun-16 23:29:11

Tell them you spent so much on your dress you can't afford to travel to theirs nor pay for their hotel wink

PS where did you get such a lush sounding dress at that price!!! Very jealous xx

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