Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?
No apologies here for the background information, which is necessary and important in addressing my question. I have 3 estranged adult children: identical twin girls 32, and a son now 30. Note: I'm a faternal twin and their mother is an identical twin. Fortunately my brother and I don't look alike; unfortunatley, their mother is a mirror twin, dominant, very competitive with her twin, withwhom she has identiy issues; all of which carried over into our marriage.
After renewing our vows in the 10th year she comitted adultry with a 17 year old boy. We agreed to consuling and to focus on raising our children. Regretably, we struggled for another 11 years. To our children she was verbally abusive and controlling. I became a referee between her and the kids; who became comfortable with what was a very uncomfortable situation.
After spending thousands on family consuling I decided to retire from being a refree and broke the vicious cycle by divorcing their mother in 1997. At that time the twins were in college and my son joined the Marines for 5 years. During that time he wrote one letter and the girls rarely if ever called.
I remarried in 2000 to a beautiful woman and yes we're still in love. All 3 adult children were invited to our wedding (immediate family only)and they came together 15 minutes late. They and their mother did the same thing at my brother's and grandmother's funeral. Since I've remarried, my son has never visited; the daughter that wants to marry visited once 7 years ago; and the other from time to time, but only to complain on each visit to my wife and her daughter about how bad it was growing up with me as her father. She's informed my wife's daughter (10) that if there's every any problems she can come and live with her (studio apt.)
My children lacked for nothing, including plenty of love; none of them have ever apprecaited the sacrafices that were made, including those of their Mother. Although verbally abusive, to her credit she was dedicatd to their well being and she loved them. Ask any court and they will tell you that a rotten mother is better than no mother at all.
I provided the best I could for 21 years, put up with a lot of verbal abuse and was guilty of saying "yes" to often. I have since learned that the strength of love is also demonstrated in saying "no" when yes is always the easier answer. Suffice it to say we all have our short comings, but as parents (even with mother's verbal abuse) we still get passing marks for having raised 3 children who unfortunatley do not appreciate their parents.
After 6 years of reaching out to my adult children I've simply given up hope on having any decent form of relationship at all. They argue every time they get together. The last family wedding they went to started and finished well; unfortunatley, they got into a petty argument on the way home and the police were called in to solve the problem (my former job). As adults it's pretty pathetic and when this happens I'm ashamed to say that their mine. It's really sad.
Here's my current issue: One daughter, whose lived with her boyfriend for 2 years wants to get married in Sept. I was never formerly introduced to him, but did meet him at a family function last year (1st name only). Last Thanksgiving they drove 6 hrs to visit and discuss wedding plans with her mother. I'm just 15 minutes out of route and for 7 years now I'm passed by several times every year, and she rarely if ever calls; unless she wants something (money).
Here's my problem: I don't want to go to her wedding, which has been politely explained to her, including my immediate family members all of whom "understand" my feelings, but insisit that I go. When asked why, the only reason given is: "she's your daughter." My reply to that is, " and what?"
Given the history, lack of sensetivity, potential for arguments, and knowing that I'll be totally ignored afterwards I really don't feel like going. In fact she refers to her mothers husband, who never raised her, as her step-father. He's a nice guy and I really don't mind abdicating the job to him.
Question: Is there sufficent grounds to stay home? If not, then please state why.
1. For those wondering; yes, they hinted at me paying for some of the wedding cost last summer. Knowing that's not going to happen they've since stated that their paying for everything. So, money is not an issue.
2. The groom was married before; has a 5 year old daughter with whom he shares joint custody.