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'My dad won't walk me down the aisle. Should I uninvite him from the wedding?' UPDATED 2X

'My dad won't walk me down the aisle. Should I uninvite him from the wedding?' UPDATED 2X


Dealing with long-standing tensions when you're trying to focus on your wedding is a LOT.

In a popular post in the Relationship Advice subreddit, a woman asked whether she should cut her dad from the wedding. She wrote:

"My dad (55M) won't walk me down the aisle (30F) and I want to know if I should un-invite him from the wedding?"

I (30F) am getting married in about a month to my best friend (35M). I did not grow up knowing my dad (55M) very well as him and my mom divorced when I was an infant. He remarried and had several kids with his new wife, who hates my very existence.

There was a lot of hurtful things done when I was growing up, like not being allowed in "her" house when I visited that led me to be estranged from my father. He never really made much of an effort but after I was 18 I completely cut him off for my mental health and stopped answering the few calls he attempted.

He tried to get into contact every once in a while over the years but I honestly just ignored him. I was hurt and angry. About a year ago I got back into contact with some extended family on his side and have been forging a good bond with all of them. I invited them all to our wedding and they have been amazing.

Eventually I started speaking with my dad as well back around Christmas and it was tense at first but I decided to just give him a chance. We have slowly been getting a semblance of a relationship back and I saw him in person with my fiance a couple months ago. His wife is not pleased at all and apparently their kids (my half siblings, all adults) are also upset about it.

I think there were threats of divorce, but my dad still decided to go to my wedding. After a ton of thought, I asked my dad if he wanted to walk me down the aisle as I have been hopeful for a better relationship, but he turned me down.

I wouldn't be as upset if he gave a generic excuse, but he told me his wife and (other) daughter requested he does not walk me down the aisle as that is reserved for his (other) daughter and not me. I am super hurt and not even sure what to reply to that with. He offered to stand at the front and "give me away" instead but that isn't what I want.

My fiance thinks we should un-invite him and move on, but I'm not sure if that is the best course of action. He is coming from out of state with the rest of his family so he already bought a plane ticket and hotel room. Part of me thinks to just politely turn him down, have him as a regular guest, and then just stop talking to him again after the wedding.

My mom isn't coming to my wedding because she lives really far away, so I don't really have any other immediate family coming. I'm not sure what the best course of action is and the wedding is getting super close so I have to make a decision soon.

TL;DR: My dad (55M) was not in my (30F) life due to divorce and a jealous wife. We are recently back in contact and I asked him to walk me down the aisle but he declined because his daughter with his wife thinks she should be the only one who has him do that.

People had a lot to say in response.

[deleted] wrote:

I would not want a relationship with a man who saves walking down the aisle for his "important" daughter. What would you want that at your wedding for? He doesn't view you as his daughter. He isn't a father - he's just a sperm donor.

JoHIDeath wrote:

Yeah man. Don't let that stuff get you down. This is a big event and adopted family IMHO beats blood more often than not. This is what I'm thinking: you don't need anyone to walk you down the aisle or give you away, because you are your own woman and got yourself there. You chose him and those outdated policies don't apply.

You don't have to uninvited him, let him endure the shame he will feel as a regular guest that and realize you don't want nor need him to perform in any capacity, but he can certainly bear witness to your triumph.

There's nothing quite so powerful as the realization you are in a place of shame when you are supposed to be in a place of honor, and if his family has a good relationship with you they are going to do all the work for you.

Shame is a useful tool for people to realize they messed up. Anyway, Congratulations on your upcoming ceremony! If nothing else, random internet stranger is super happy for you and your soon to be husband! Best of luck to you both.

FlyFlirtyandFifty wrote:

There's nothing quite so powerful as the realization you are in a place of shame when you are supposed to be in a place of honor.

This is an excellent point of view.

buttersismantequilla wrote:

You do not need to uninvite him, just treat him as a great uncle bob and keep him off to the side, no father dances, no speeches etc. He may attend but he has no right to participate. Are you close with your future FIL? Or do you have a brother? Could they step in or simply walk yourself down. My uncle stood in for me - big mistake! I regret not walking myself down the aisle.

After receiving lots of support, OP jumped on with an update.

Edit: To answer some common questions I am seeing, no his wife and my half siblings are not attending the wedding. I invited them but they won't even meet me, let alone go to the wedding. He has two sons and a daughter with this new wife, all in their 20s. I am not sure if my dad cheated on my mom with my step mom, my mom through all her faults never actually said a bad word about him.

He did marry my step mom by the time I was 2 years old though so there wasn't much time in between marriages. They are also very "Christian" in the worst way (as in they don't really follow what they claim to believe). My mom cannot fly as she has panic attacks. She also is actually a worst parent than my dad in a lot of ways believe it or not. I have no male relatives to walk me down the aisle.

I also never wanted him to "give" me away as I think that is dumb, I just wanted my dad to act like my dad for one moment. My fiance and I have decided to walk down the aisle together as one of you suggested, so that part is settled. I'll update everyone once I decide what to do and if there is any response.

The comments kept coming in.

stellastellamaris wrote:

Do you want this rude, mean, stranger at your wedding or do you not? He isn't going to suddenly turn into a nice person or good father to you. IF you let him come I would absolutely NOT involve him in the ceremony in any way. (Like, he doesn't get a seat at the front, he doesn't get to speak or stand or do anything.)

Perhaps you and your fiance would consider walking down the aisle together, or on your own. It does not have to be with a "father figure", especially not this one, who doesn't see you as a daughter. Do what is right FOR YOU. Your wedding doesn't exist to fix your family.

1SweetSubmarine wrote:

Yes all of this. OP, I'd hate for you to look at wedding photos ten years down the road and be sad because this POS is in photos with you. You're a gem for wanting to try and make things work and he's a dick and an idiot for making little to no effort. I'm sorry <3

OP responded:

That is a great point about the pictures, that is my most important thing for the wedding so having him in a ton of the pictures will just make me sad when I look back.

JealousBed1807 wrote:

Hey OP, I don’t have any great words of wisdom for you other than to say “that sucks” and to send you a big dad hug…it’s what your dad should be giving you as he walks you down the aisle but, in its absence, please accept a hug from a random internet dad who is proud of you and wishes you a wonderful wedding day.

Also, it’s not your responsibility that your dad has bought a plane ticket and hotel room. Kids of emotionally unavailable parents spend all their time trying to look after their parent’s emotional needs in the hopes that their parents might eventually see them and love them.

You don’t need to look after your dad anymore. He made his choice. Listen to your Fiance. It’s not now and has never been okay for your dad to hurt you…he made his choice to appease his wife rather than being fully with you on your big day.

It’s okay for you to make your choice to have your wedding without him. It might feel like it would be nice to have immediate family at your wedding but really having him there would most likely just be a reminder of the love and support you needed and deserved as a child and that you never received.

OP responded:

Thank you so much internet dad, I needed to hear this. My mom isn't much better but I gave up any hope with her a long time ago. Seems like I need to give up hope with my dad as well. On the bright side my aunt and her family are amazing people so they will be great at the wedding regardless.

Four months later, OP shared another update.

Hello everyone, just wanted to start by saying thank you so much for your kind words and advise to my original post, it made me feel so much better! We had an amazing wedding and honeymoon, everything went really well. My husband wants to thank everyone who said some form of "listen to your fiance" haha.

I'll start with what happened right after my (30F) last post - I did un-invite my dad (50M) from my wedding, the whole interaction was too hurtful to let go of. Before telling him I was uninviting him, I spoke with my aunt/his sister Sandy (50sF), who was furious at her brother for what he said to me. She has been such a great support of me and my husband which has been amazing honestly.

After I sent my dad an email detailing how hurtful he had been and that he was uninvited, Sandy called him and yelled at him for being an a*s. He replied to my email with a bunch of nonsense deflection about how he has to make sure both sides are happy, but apparently told Sandy (not me) he was sorry and that it was a miscommunication.

He claims to Sandy that he was only trying to "negotiate" with me and that he would have walked me down the aisle if that was what I really wanted. I highly doubt that. My MIL, who is extremely conservative and religious, actually said my dad needed to "grow some balls," which shocked literally everyone haha.

I replied to him that I stood firm in my decision to un-invite and to not contact me again until after the wedding, but that if he did contact me at all it better be with the understanding that he needs to be present in my life the same way he is his other kids, otherwise to not reach out again.

Around this time, right before the wedding, I called my mom and asked her about what really happened with her and my dad when I was a baby, because she never talked about it with me growing up. Unlike my dad and step-mom, my mom never once said anything bad about my dad to me.

She was always neutral/positive about him, which I have since thanked her for as it let me come to my own conclusions about what a dead beat he is. My mom and I had a good cry about everything and she let me know how ab*sive and awful my dad was to her when I was a baby after they split up.

I also found out that he married his new wife when I was less than a year old, which is insane considering my parents were still 100% together the day I was born. Sandy swears up and down that she introduced my dad and step-mom to each other after my parents split, as they (step-mom and Sandy) were classmates in college.

I don't really care either way at this point, it is just interesting to see how no one has a clear idea of what happened. My thought is that they were cheating and then used Sandy to "introduce" them to cover up their behavior. Keep in mind they are all very "Christian", even though they clearly don't follow any of their religious teachings.

I didn't hear anything from my dad during the wedding and Sandy and her family still came. We all had a blast and everyone was so happy for us. The pictures turned out great and there isn't anyone in them that I wish I could photoshop out, so I definitely knew uninviting my dad ended up being the best decision we could make.

I talked to Sandy about my dad over the holidays and she said that him and his wife/kids were refusing to go to any family dinners or parties because they are upset that everyone else talks to me. I have been in regular contact with Sandy, my uncle Jerry, and all of their kids which makes my step-mom feel "betrayed."

Sandy is pissed at her because they used to be friends but never understood what her issue was with me. I found out my step-mom treated me like crap the second she had her first kid when I was still a toddler, which probably doesn't surprise anyone. I didn't hear from my dad all through December, but finally in late January I got a random email from him.

He sent a long email blaming me for him not being in my life, telling me his wife and kids are more important, but that we need to still be in each other's lives. It was the most BS email he had sent me so far and completely disregarded my wishes back in October when I told him to not contact me unless he was going to treat me like his actual child. I ended up not responding and just blocking his email.

I also told Sandy to not share any of the pictures or videos from the wedding with him and to not talk about me with him. I think this will be the end of the relationship with him, since he clearly is incapable of being a parent to me. I feel a lot more at peace with everything that happened and I am completely ok with how it all turned out.

One commenter on my original post said something along the lines of not knowing if my dad would have been a bad parent since he wasn't around and that really has stuck with me. Thinking about it now, he probably would have been even worse had he actually been in my life.

Unfortunately both my parents are emotionally stunted, but I made a good use of the life that was handed to me and will hopefully break the cycle with my own kids one day. I didn't mention in my last post that my husband and I are going to be moving to the same state as my family in the next year.

I was worried at first being closer to my dad, but honestly he and his bitter wife and kids can do whatever they want, I'm just going to live my life how I want to. We were planning on moving to this state before I ever got back in contact with my family so we will continue to do what is best for us. Anyways, thank you again kind redditors, you really helped me not feel sad or upset for my wedding day!

TL;DR: I uninvited my dead beat dad from my wedding, he continued to act like a dead beat, I have cut him out of my life and feel much happier. My wedding went great and my aunt/uncle and cousins still attended my wedding without my dad. Everyone but the dead beat and his bitter wife are living happily ever after.

People were fully invested in the update.

LadyIceis wrote:

I'm so glad that you had a wonderful wedding! I wish you and your hubby the best in the future! Live the best of your life with hope, faith, and love. Best revenge you can have. P.S. something to think about, step-mom may have told your step siblings that daddy had an affair, and that may be why they hate you.

bored-panda55 wrote:

Good riddance. You don’t need people like that in your life. They are probably mad you grew up well.

Live your life to fullest!

Posterbomber wrote:

One more thing to note. If ever you get a chance to speak with your sibs from you're step-monster's marriage, ask them their perspective on this. Ask them what YOU personally ever did to them and their mother that made them hate you so much that they'd be hurt if your father walked you down the isle or had a healthy relationship.

Zanne54 wrote:

Make sure you keep taking and staying close to Sandy and Jerry. Maybe you can “taint” more of your father’s family away into exile and then your dad will have nobody to share his suffering with but his charming wife. Go be happily ever after.

soulquencher_can wrote:

I wonder if your AH dad had reservations about his paternity. He probably lied to himself and maybe the rest of the family as a way to justify his and their treatment of you. Anyway, what you are doing, living a wonderful life is the best possible revenge you can get. Bon chance!

OP clearly made the best choice: she chose her peace.

Sources: Reddit
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