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Bride requests family dance instead of a father/daughter dance. 'I know my stepdad wanted one.' AITA?

Bride requests family dance instead of a father/daughter dance. 'I know my stepdad wanted one.' AITA?


"AITA for asking for a family dance instead of a father/daughter dance at my wedding when I know my stepdad wanted one?"

I (27F) have known my stepdad since I was 10 and he became my stepdad officially (as in he married my mom) when I was 11. My dad died from cancer when I was 8. I was a real daddy's girl so it broke my heart and is probably why, no matter how loving and kind my stepdad is, he will never be able to earn the title of dad or take an equal place in my heart or life.

And my stepdad is a lovely person. He wanted to be a second dad to me. We discussed this in therapy when I was a kid. He said he would love to have a dad title and nickname and he would love for me to embrace him as the dad my dad sent to me when he couldn't be there.

It was during that whole discussion that I revealed dad wouldn't have sent me another dad, because he even said he would be my only dad, in one of our last full conversations, when I was really sad about losing him and I felt nobody understood.

My mom and stepdad wanted to know if that was the reason I didn't want to call my stepdad a dad name and let him in as much as I did my dad. I told them even without that I wouldn't have wanted a new dad.

We came out of therapy where not everyone was entirely happy. My stepdad was unhappy that he would never hear me call him anything other than my stepdad or his name and that I would not want to work on building a father/daughter relationship with him that would be like what a normal father/daughter relationship would be.

I was unhappy that in compromise, I would not correct and they would never correct people who mistook him for my dad and would say it to us. But I had to give something and that was my part of the compromise.

Even though my stepdad has four bio kids with my mom now, he still feels a loss that we don't have what he wanted us to have. I love my stepdad. But it's very different from the love I have for my parents. It's closer to the love I have for my uncles honestly.

And when my fiancé and I started wedding planning I knew the whole walk me down the aisle/father daughter dance would be an issue. So my fiancé and I planned something more unique.

An immediate family dance. For me it would mean one big dance with my mom, stepdad and my siblings. With my fiancé it would be his parents, grandparents (who lived in the same house as him growing up so were immediate family) and siblings.

I asked my mom and stepdad if they would like to take part in the dance. My stepdad asked what about the father/daughter dance. I said this would be in place of that, so the whole family could take part. He told me he wanted the father/daughter dance.

That he wanted a special moment for just the two of us. I told him I would rather the dance with us all and no father/daughter dance. We had already discussed that I would be walking down the aisle with my fiancé so he was incredibly frustrated and upset that I didn't want a father/daughter dance.

He and my mom told me I was wrong. They told me I should do the father/daughter dance and stop trying to come up with anything but. AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Aggressive-Bed3269 said:

NTA - I'm impressed with your post, honestly. It's really tough losing a parent, especially at such a young age, and it's tough Mom moved on pretty quickly.

I can understand your stepfather wanting what he does, but in my opinion he is WAY OUT OF LINE. In a step parent/step child relationship, the child is the one who determines the extent and depth of the relationship, the adult doesn't get to force the dynamics of the relationship THEY want on you. That's ridiculous.

You've said you love your stepfather but that he will never be a replacement for your father, and that is perfectly understandable and acceptable. This man also has FOUR biological kids of his own. The fact that he is STILL pushing your boundaries and demanding "fatherly" ceremonies sixteen years into your relationship is INSANE.

He really needs to get over himself and focus on being the ACTUAL father of his four biological children and let the 27 year old mature adult live her life.

I think the "family dance" is an awesome compromise to include everyone and enjoy your day. Good for you for coming up with the idea. Anyone who doesn't like it can pound sand, frankly. It is you and your fiancee's day.

northerntropicaz said:

NTA. It's not for them to decide which dance you have, and it's certainly very unfair if they try and get you to do something you aren't comfortable with. This sounds like they are going to cause issues.

It's probably best to be firm and nip it in the bud so they don't keep trying to argue and essentially ruin what should be a special time(planning your wedding).

refillman said:

NTA. You've made your boundaries clear. If your mom and step-dad continue to going you, demote then to a guest or even uninvited them. They've had years to respect your feelings and boundaries, if they won't respect it now, let them know that they are ruining their relationships with you and there isn't a coming back from that.

-Nightopian- said:

NTA. You made your boundaries clear that no one will ever replace your late father. They need to respect your decision. It's your wedding and you can do it however you want.

Megmelons55 said:

NTA. Your compromise is more than fair, is mature, and well articulated. He really needs to step back and stop trying to force a bond with you, otherwise he's going to destroy what he has with you already.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this couple?

Sources: Reddit
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