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Divorced parents meeting before my wedding
19

petalflowers95 · 15/07/2022 15:28

Hi all,
I’m 30 and getting married in a few months. My parents have been divorced for 20+ years and don’t particularly get on but my mum has suggested that we get together for a coffee before the wedding so that my parents can meet each others’ long-term partners and also maybe clear the air a bit before my wedding. I think this is a good idea but I’m worried about what we’ll talk about! Any lighthearted but interested conversation topics or advice from others who have already been through this sort of thing would be gratefully received!

Thanks! :-)

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mathowl · 16/07/2022 15:17

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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girlmom21 · 16/07/2022 15:23

I'd try to go for a general hobbies/work (if they're not retired)/pets/weather kind of conversation.

Avoid anything controversial. No politics!

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Christinatheastonishing · 16/07/2022 15:25

Do you need to be there? If they want to meet up I'd leave them to it tbh, surely you have bigger fish to fry ahead of your wedding!

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Aquamarine1029 · 16/07/2022 15:29

my mum has suggested that we get together for a coffee before the wedding so that my parents can meet each others’ long-term partners and also maybe clear the air a bit before my wedding.

That's a giant NOPE from me. I don't see any benefit to this at all, but I can imagine MANY negative outcomes. Clearing the air? What could possibly go wrong? 🙄

What is even the point of them meeting? The wedding is one day, and they will barely have to interact. Keep it that way.

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Lazydazey · 16/07/2022 15:35

Its a great idea, we did this and although my husband was a little worried they all wanted it to work for him and so there was no bother. I think it’s just small talk , often the new partners aren’t nervous so they take the lead. Topics were neutral like holidays (start this one off by talking about your honeymoon) , hobbies , weather, sports etc. we did a meal, but coffee is good too as there’s always a natural pause when people eat or drink so no uncomfortable silences.

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petalflowers95 · 16/07/2022 16:42

Thank you! This is really helpful and it’s nice to know it worked out well for your husband. They’re great conversation topics - thanks!

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SkeletonFight · 16/07/2022 16:45

When you say "clear the air" that suggests that there is a bad history and feelings there. Is there and if so what is it?

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petalflowers95 · 16/07/2022 18:29

SkeletonFight · 16/07/2022 16:45

When you say "clear the air" that suggests that there is a bad history and feelings there. Is there and if so what is it?

Thanks for your reply. Yes, one parent had an affair. The current partner isn’t the one that they had an affair with though. But obviously there are still some negative feelings there albeit from 20 years ago.

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Newestname002 · 16/07/2022 18:51

@petalflowers95

I'm not sure a meeting like this, with past cheating issues still possibly there, to "clear the air" is a good thing. Surely they can just be placed as far away as possible from each other on your wedding day?

If they do meet, perhaps it should just be them. Not you, and not their partners. They are adults - perhaps let them deal with this as adults, and without an audience. 🌹

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LostMumofTwo · 16/07/2022 19:46

Not sure this is going to do any good.

We had a similar situation with my DH parents and also some other members of the family who had fallen out. It was very much made clear it's our day and any problems or animosity you will just be asked to leave.

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YUPMetoo · 16/07/2022 20:39

I have just been through this scenario - my ex H being at my son's wedding and his affair partner now his wife coming to the wedding. People think you should be "over this" but it is horrible. It spoiled the wedding for me and am glad it is all over. I have suffered the last few weeks after this as it must have dredged up so many awful memories. She was also dressed up to the nines in a red dress and hat - so much for having a low key presence at the wedding. Can I ask was it your father or mother who had the affair?

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FinallyHere · 16/07/2022 21:20

Your wedding, your day. I would be clear with <anyone about whom you have your suspicions> that it is your day and they are expected to behave.

Just no. My mother expressed surprise (over and over again) that she would only meet my in-laws to be on the day of the wedding. She was thinking of her own wedding, 50 years earlier, where all the relatives had to be entertained in the run up to the wedding, in order of precedence.

To say they did not take to each other when they did meet at the wedding was a bit of an understatement.

The topic did not come up again. They never did meet again.

Not the only thing that has changed in fifty years.

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Nutininutter · 16/07/2022 21:22

Oh god do it! My parents and their SO caused a huge brawl at my wedding, it was destroyed (still never had an apology).

I think it’s great they’re offering to do this. Honestly it doesn’t matter what they talk about as long as they’re keeping it light 😊

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petalflowers95 · 17/07/2022 08:38

Nutininutter · 16/07/2022 21:22

Oh god do it! My parents and their SO caused a huge brawl at my wedding, it was destroyed (still never had an apology).

I think it’s great they’re offering to do this. Honestly it doesn’t matter what they talk about as long as they’re keeping it light 😊

Thank you! There’s been an interestingly mixed bag of responses on here but I also thought it was a positive thing that they are both willing to meet.

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LadyEloise1 · 17/07/2022 09:18

@YUPMetoo
I'm sorry that your ex and his ow wife didn't have the good grace to be low key and spoiled your son's wedding
for you.
But they obviously have form for not thinking of the feelings of others !!

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Gazelda · 17/07/2022 09:28

What about meeting up to discuss a particular aspect of the wedding? That'll give a focus on the conversation which isn't about the past.
"Let's all get together to choose wine for the meal"
Or
"Can you all help us write out the place cards. Should only take an hour if we all chip in"
You MUST meet in a public place.

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Nutininutter · 17/07/2022 10:28

@petalflowers95 Absolutely pal, it’s a really great thing, they’re obviously aware there may be tension so I think this is fab.

I was assured before my wedding that IF anything started that both parents would walk away (they even laughed it off that nothing would start) - then a few drinks in and old wounds surfaced (also an affair), they never walked away ending in Mrs Nutininutter’s wedding ending in heartbreak (for me - they all made up after 2 hours of scrapping/brawling, dad and the affair girlfriend went on a night out straight after).

Your parents are legends for this 😊

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petalflowers95 · 17/07/2022 21:40

Gazelda · 17/07/2022 09:28

What about meeting up to discuss a particular aspect of the wedding? That'll give a focus on the conversation which isn't about the past.
"Let's all get together to choose wine for the meal"
Or
"Can you all help us write out the place cards. Should only take an hour if we all chip in"
You MUST meet in a public place.

This is a great idea! Thank you. Great shout to meet in a public ‘neutral’ setting too.

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Kite22 · 17/07/2022 22:15

I agree with most. If they are still feeling antagonistic towards each other, then I can't see any good coming from putting them together in a room without any other Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, cousins, Godparents, family friends to distract them.
If they all feel they want to, then I would let them get on with it and not get involved.
On the day, they can just be kept apart for most of it and behave like adults. that is a bit difficult in a meeting of just them.

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