When this man is upset with his daughter for being insensitive about his late wife, he asks Reddit:
My late wife was a very small person, when we got married she was only 115 pounds. So her wedding dress size reflects that. She passed away two years ago so she will can not attend our daughters wedding that will be in 2025.
Now my daughter wants to wear the dress and I told her it wouldn’t be a good idea since she won’t be able to squeeze into it. She told me she can just up the size of it and I told her I would think about it. I looked into it and they basically cut the dress up to size it up.
I informed her no she can’t wear the dress since they would be cutting it up. This resulted in a huge argument about me gatekeeping my wife’s things. I told her no again, and that she can wear some of her jewelry. She hung up.
My wife always wanted to go dress shopping with our daughters. She loved her wedding dress and I don’t think she would be okay with it being cut up. FYI I also have a younger daughter.
The daughter getting married clearly thinks I am a jerk and my sons are now on me to give up the dress. AITA?
NTA, I’m sure I’ll be the minority unfortunately but most people are unable to fathom how devastating the loss of a spouse is. At the 2 year mark you are still in early grief. My husband died unexpectedly, I gave his daughters some things right off the bat, but others I’m having a difficult time parting with and it activates the “fight or flight” centers of my traumatized brain.
Make no mistake, our brains are traumatized, our decisions may not seem rational to others but they don’t know what this kind of grief will do to you. Before anyone says “SHE LOST HER MOTHER!” I get that, I honestly do, my son was 5 when my husband died and it kills me knowing he will grow up without his dad.
Also, while I vote NTA, I think you should let her wear the dress. I’m not in your position but I can imagine that thinking about someone cutting the dress apart might feel like you are losing another part of her when you have already lost so much.
You’re not losing her again by letting your daughter wear the dress and feel like a part of her mom is with her on her special day. I also imagine it could be extra emotional for you to see her in the dress your wife wore on your happy day together.
Perhaps that’s driving some of your reluctance to let her wear the dress or maybe I’m totally off the mark. If you don’t already work with a therapist/grief counselor I would encourage it, and encourage you to explore your feelings beyond “she wouldn’t want it cut up”.
I always find there are deeper emotions under those hard decisions for me, maybe you’re just not able to put your finger on it beyond thinking the dress will be ruined. The dress will be fine, but you’re risking ruining your relationship instead. Salvage this relationship with your daughter, we are alone enough as it is, you need each other.
Soft YTA - I understand your attachment, but look at it this way...your daughter misses her mom deeply and sees this as a way for her to be there. In the end, the dress is just a "thing". Your relationship with your daughters is much MUCH more important than a dress.
My suggestion: Invite BOTH daughters over to talk about the dress. APOLOGIZE. Explain that you're sorry, you miss her too and your grief got in the way. Ask them BOTH if they want to use the dress and how it could be done. Suggest that the three of you visit someone qualified to make these changes to discuss options.
If they both want to use the dress, a better solution may be to not alter it for the daughter getting married first, but to take pieces of the dress to combine into a new dress. This would allow each daughter to have a piece of their mother's dress integrated into their own dress that they each can keep.
I also recommend that you keep a piece as well to created a shadow box that has other keepsakes of your wife, your wedding, along with photos. That would be wonderful to have up in your house vs keeping her dress in a box in a closet.
Absolutely NTA. That dress is part of the memories you made with your wife and a keepsake of your wedding day and the vows you made together. It is a symbol of your wife, in a way. I completely understand not wanting to see it destroyed.
Ppl who are here saying YTA would probably think twice if they actually were in your shoes. It's easy to be judgy when you have no skin in the game.