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How you coped with difficult families when planning your wedding............

(7 Posts)
sammysam Fri 17-Jul-09 08:58:53

I have a difficult situation (have talked about it in the relationships topic) where very simply my dad had an affair and left when I was 15. I'd like to have my dad and the 'other woman' there (it happened 12 years ago) as I get on well with them both and also my dad will be paying for nearly all the wedding. My mum IS NOT happy about this at all.

Did you have trouble? How did you cope with it? Did you just do what you wanted and make it clear that they had to fit around that? Or change your plans/dreams to try and make people happy? Would you do the same again?


dizzydixies Fri 17-Jul-09 09:02:24

so your dad has been with his partner for 12yrs then? and he's paying for the wedding?

your mum needs to realise she has to put this behind her, be civil and glorious for the day and for your sake stop making an issue about it

have your mum and your dads partner met under social circumstances before?

ButterbeerAndLemon Fri 17-Jul-09 09:29:37

We had this <shudders>. We wound up in the situation where if FIL's "other woman" came to the wedding the whole of the rest of DH's family wouldn't. I think if it had been my family I would have told them where to stick it, but DH was more conflicted. We eventually wound up that FIL's partner was officially invited but graciously declined the invitation (she came out to dinner with us the night before, though).

For subsequent family occasions we have stuck to an "anyone who doesn't want to come because someone else is going to be there can just not come, then" policy. So FIL and his (now) wife were the only relatives from DH's side at DS's naming ceremony, and now it will all kick off again over DD's naming ceremony... <sigh> The emails, the recriminations, the insistence that it's all FIL's fault that DH's sisters can't come (er, no, you are an adult and CHOOSE not to come. You are not a fragile blossom tossed on the cruel winds of fate. Take some responsibility for your own bloody decisions), the rejection of any suggestion that maybe different people could come for different parts of the day...

It gets more complicated for us because SIL1 will socialise with FIL but refuses to be in same place as his wife, while SIL2 refuses to even be in the same place as FIL (fortunately she hadn't yet developed that policy when we got married). So FIL didn't even get to go to SIL1's wedding because SIL2 said that she wouldn't go if he did... [emoticon denoting great desire to grab people's heads and bang them together REALLY HARD]

I am glad it worked out the way it did for the wedding (although I am annoyed that we couldn't just have our wedding with the people we wanted there), because the emotional fallout, rows and general crap we had to deal with over the naming ceremony when we stuck to our guns was such that I'm not sure I'd have handled it on top of wedding planning stress.

Confuzzeled Fri 17-Jul-09 10:00:27

I had the same problem, except we paid for most of our wedding and parents chipped in.

My Mum had an affair with my Dad's best friend for 10 years. She left him just before her inheritance money came through, leaving my Dad with very little and with no best friend.

It had been 6 years since the split when I got married, my Dad had also remarried. I explained to both my parents that while I understood they hated each other and my Dad threatened to kill my Mum's dh, it was MY day, about me and MY dh, not them. I loved them both and it would mean the world to me if they could put up with each other fow a few hours.

I had no sides at the ceremony, so my family just split itself.

I asked my Mum if she would sit with her family rather than at the top table, she was happy to do so.

I think your parents should care ore about you and your happiness rather than a very old (understandably painful), grudge.

Tell your Mum you need her there. Tell her you love her and you don't want to get married without her.

FiveGoMadInDorset Fri 17-Jul-09 10:16:49

If your father is paying for the wedding and he has been with his partner for 12 years then I think I would say to your mother this is who is coming, if you are not happy then don't come. This happened to us, DH's father said that he wouldn't come unless DH invited his (DH's) sister, DH doesn't speak to his sister so told his father that no she wouldn't be invited and whether he came or notwas up to him. Needless to say he turned up.

Tillyscoutsmum Fri 17-Jul-09 10:23:29

My dad is married to the "other woman" (albeit it was 25+ years ago). DH's parents were also divorced and hated each other.

We just tried to make it as comfortable as possible for them (i.e. not sitting them close to each other etc.). Its one day and I think you need to speak to your mum and explain that, whilst you appreciate it may be awkward for her, it is your wedding day and you would be really unhappy if either of them couldn't be there and ignore be civil to each other for one day.

Does your mum have a partner ? If not, can you make sure she has good friends/family to sit with ?

sayithowitis Fri 31-Jul-09 23:47:34

My mum tried to do this to me when I got married. But I wanted my dad and my step dad to be involved. They were happy with what I wanted, but my mum didn't even see why I would invite my dad, let alone have him play any part in the day. And as for me inviting my step-mum and half sibling!!!!!!

As DH and I paid for the entire wedding, we felt justified in telling her that if she didn't like it she didn't have to come. That we would be sad that she did not feel able to share our special day but that we would respect her decision. And by the way, if she wasn't coming, would it still be ok for me to get married from her house ( where I still lived - no living 'in sin' in those days!) or would she prefer it if I asked my nan to allow me to leave from her house. That was the killer because she didn't talk to my nan at all so the thought of me getting married from my nan's was even worse that the prospect of tolerating my dad and his new family.

When I look at my pictures now, over 27 years later, you would never believe that the woman with the big 'mother-of-the-bride smile could ever have put us through the mire as she did!

So, my advice would be to try to find your equivalent of my nan that will have the same affect on your mum.

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