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Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

Posted by terra1952 (My Page) on
Sat, May 30, 09 at 3:05

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.

Notes

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.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

"In fact she refers to her mothers husband, who never raised her, as her step-father."

He IS her step-father, even if he didn't raise her. Married to her mother = step-father.

The groom being married being is irrelevent to this, not sure why it's even in there.

Other than that, I'm confused. Your title asks if you should walk her down the aisle, but there is no mention of that in the rest of your post. I think if she asks you to attend you should. I doubt she will ask you to walk her down the aisle, but who knows, I could be wrong. If you don't go to her wedding you have effectively disowned her forever. If you hope for any reconciliation, ever, you will go to the wedding.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

terra, please explain more. Is the question whether you should go to the wedding? Or is the question whether you should walk her down the isle?

If the former, were you invited? If you were invited, I believe you should go. You are unhappy that you've been pretty much ignored for several years. Now if you've been invited to the wedding, then she's not ignoring you now. She may ignore you after, as you suggest. If you don't go, she certainly will and that's the proverbial nail in the coffin, in my opinion.

If you weren't invited, don't go.

If your question is about walking her down the aisle, my answer is pretty much the same as the above. If you were asked to, do. If you weren't, don't. And don't mention it to her or anyone.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

were you invited? i also do not understand what are you asking? did she ask to take her down the aisle? if you aren't invited, then don't go. but if she invited you, you msut go. you don't want to go to her wedding why? possibly there is more to this story, her mother was awful yet kids go to her and meet wiht her and plan with her, could it be she wasn't as awful as you described? could it be you weren't as great as you say you were?


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

You've still got a grudge b/c she came 15 minutes late to your wedding to her step-mother, and you're asking if you should even go to hers? You want to give her a reason to hold a grudge?

News flash: her wedding is not about you. Her wedding is absolutely the wrong time to make your point. If she wants you there, go. If she wants you to walk her down the isle, do so. Do you want your daughter to say "My father didn't even come to my wedding"? If she has to say that, will it even matter why you didn't go? Nope. You think it's gonna send a message about your feelings? Nope. At least not the one you desire. And again, not the right time for that anyway.

If you go, but have issues to work out, work them out later. If you don't go, you'll never get a chance to work anything out. It'll be over.

Also, your ex-wife's husband IS her step-father. Your current wife IS her step-mother. No deeper meaning implied, that's what it is. What else should she call him? "My mother's husband?" When I hear someone use that term, I know there is anger in that relationship. But step-father is nothing more than the correct term.

I am sorry you feel hurt and taken for granted. But go to the wedding as she wants you to do, it's the right thing to do. And later, when you start to build this relationship back up, don't ever even say "I almost didn't go to your wedding." Consider it an attempt to start fresh.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

Why should you NOT go?
It's not her sixth or something, is it?

- So she's not the most understanding, appreciative or mature person in the world -- sorry. Even spoiled, selfish, rotten people deserve to have their parents at their weddings.

- So she isn't exactly a 'devoted daughter' to you, and hasn't maintained contact. Do you call her often? The phone works both ways, you know. And your car can travel in her direction as well.

- So she remains closer to her mother than to you, even though in your opinion, her mother was an abusive, deceitful, person with deep-seated identify issues. Unpleasant, but that should not be relevant to the issue at hand.

- So you expect she will be distant to you after her wedding. OK - Are you just wanting her to start earlier, make it stronger, make it last forever, and give it more justification? If that's your aim, that at least makes sense.

- So it may not beyour most enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
So what? Get over it. Suck it up and go.
Put on your best manners. Act gracious and mature.
Drink very little and refuse to be sucked into any arguments.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

Hello terra? Will you come back and address the questions or did you post and bolt?


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

Greetings All:

First, my apologies for the delay in getting back to your questions....still here, just not online every day.

Second, I want each and everyone to know that I appreciate your replies, the feedback and questions. They are received with an open mind and your comments certinaly challenge me to redirect my thinking.

In regard to a reply back on all the questions and comments:

- this is her 1st wedding and formal invitations have not been sent. the date has been set for Oct 18th 2009

- I received a phone call last month and was asked if I would walk her down the isle. I shared with her at that time how I felt about our relationship, which can be summed as: emotionally abandoned and hurt by her lack of interest in family matters.

- prior to my father's death 3 years ago I've always kept in touch: holidays, birthday's, and would call every 4 to 6 weeks. In fact I'm (was) the catalyst in the family unit. Unfortunatley my father's funeral combined with 4 other family events have demonstrated such a lack of respect and interest I'm simply tired of it all. I've come to recognize that whatever I or others do simply isn't appreciated.

- the estrangment is not limited to just me, it includes her mother and extended family members, except her cousins. Although she and her sibs do visit their mother at Thanksgiving and Christmas, she's not getting any calls or special attention.

- "grudge" a feeling of ill will or resentment. The later doesn't apply because I don't feel hostile, but I must admit there is some resentment to the lack of honor. Better descriptor words would be: sad; hurt; wounded; abandoned. I'm really not one to hold or harbor a "grudge" Wounds heal, deep ones scar and the scaring reminds us of the wound.

- in regard to the x-wife we all know that there are 2 sides to every coin. I'm a firm believer that if your part of the solution your definatley a part of the problem. It is extremely rare that a man would be issued an Order of Protection in NYS Family Court. In fact 98% of all Orders issued are granted to protect women and children. Our case fell into the 2% category where the Order of Protection was placed against her; so, yes she's as awful as I described; but, that doesn't matter because she is Mother and the center of so many problems. They gravitate to her like moths to a lighted candel and the old addage that misery loves compnay applies. The odd thing is they know this from conseling, but they choose to stay stuck. You know historically "mother" is the most common last word that dying men speak on the battle field. It doesn't matter if she was good or bad; she is afterall the giver of Life.

Based on ALL the feedback, which again is greatly appreciated, I've decided that each of you have made some very vaild points. I'm really tired (not depressed, but sad) about how things have turned out; I don't feel good about this event; however, your right and it's not about me; and selfish, selfcentered people deserve a special day. I think sweeby said it best, "Get over it. Suck it up and go. Put on your best manners. Act gracious and mature" I will do just that and perhaps even one better: dance like there's no tomorrow and enjoy the moment for what it truly is: Life.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

"- I received a phone call last month and was asked if I would walk her down the isle. I shared with her at that time how I felt about our relationship, which can be summed as: emotionally abandoned and hurt by her lack of interest in family matters."

I'm sorry, but are you kidding??? YOU admit you put your kids in a bad situation to grow up in... they grow up resenting you for it... and you are now putting YOUR feelings on the table for her to consider??? All I am hearing in your posts is how YOU feel!!!

Sorry, I was a kid that grew up in a bad situation too and I can relate to your kids... I rarely speak to my mother. She was a lousy mother. She has always put herself first too. Still does.

I'm not excusing poor behavior, but kids learn what they are taught. Perhaps yours were not taught to be considerate of others... so they come late to weddings & funerals. Perhaps they weren't taught to value family relationships... so they don't call or visit. But you are the adult and they are the children.... and yes, they are adult children now... but any issues they have were caused when they were younger and were caused by the life they had to live. If they still sit around complaining about growing up with you... it must have been really bad and they have not gotten over it or dealt with it. And then you respond by telling them how their pain interferes with YOUR peace of mind... how it makes YOU feel? Why don't you help them deal with how THEY feel and make amends for the life you made them live.... then maybe they might want to have a relationship with you.

One of the greatest things my father has done is apologize for not choosing a better mother for his children. He's apologized for not protecting us from her alcoholism and he's always willing to listen to MY feelings. As a result, I see & talk to my dad daily. Mom has never acknowledged doing anything wrong.... we see her a couple times a year, mainly because we were taught to value family and she IS my mother... I can't cut her out of my life completely.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

I think that maybe you also need to apologize to your daughter for your initial reaction to her request, as well as the month-long delay it took for you to change your position. I interpret her asking you to walk her down the aisle as her extending an olive branch. If I were her, I would have taken your reaction as a huge rejection. She tried to include you in something that's very important in her life in a role that is traditionally the father's role-- a role that really acknowledges you as a parent. She could very legitimately now be feeling the way you say she makes you feel: like you've abandoned her and aren't interested in family things that involve her.

I also think that if it turns out that she no longer wants you to be involved in the wedding, you can't blame her. The most you can do is be apologetic and let her know that you'll do anything you can to make it up to her. You may have really screwed things up with her by choosing that moment to express yourself.

One other thought: if you do end up going, please try to lose the attitude that she's a "selfish, self-centered person" just because you don't have the kind of relationship with her that you want. If you go with that opinion of her, there's a strong chance that she or others at the wedding are going to pick up on it, and it's not going to look good for you. I know that if I had a bad history with my father and he came to my wedding with that attitude, it would probably be the last time I ever had anything to do with him. It would be the final straw.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

I honestly think--for YOUR sake--if all she's asked of you is to walk her down the aisle, and she's accepted paying for the wedding herself--you should do it.

For a number of reasons. If there is ANY chance at all of you reclaiming your relationship with your daughter, this may be it. Take this opportunity, and you will know, in future, that you didn't turn away from her when she asked. You'll be able to feel good about yourself. It may be that your daughter, with age, has come to view the past differently than she did as a kid. Don't keep dredging up your (and your wife's) past mistakes. If anything good can come from all of this, it will most likely be possible only if you both approach the future as if it's a clean slate.

And hey--look at it this way. If your relationship with your daughter doesn't improve, even after you've walked her down the aisle, you've officially 'given her away' to her new husband, right? If you have to, let this sympolize your relinquishing your responsibility to her at this point. Might be a point of closure for you.

I guess the bottom line here is this. If you DON'T go to the wedding and walk her down the aisle, I could see you having major regrets over it in years to come. But I doubt you'll have the same level of regret if you go and participate. You may decide it was pointless and a waste of time, but it's not likely to eat away at you like a missed opportunity would. Good luck.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

Greetings All:

Some of this very poor feedback certainly deserves a response; especially from "imamommy" who clearly lacks understanding, right along with any objectivity in her reply. You dont want to hear how I feel; well, OK, then let me tell you what I think.

I never said or admitted to "putting my kids in a bad situation to grow up in" Be advised that they lacked for nothing, including love and concern with each passing year. The fact that their mother spewed out slop and crap from time to time doesnt mean it was all bad. You can have a GREAT weekend and on Sunday night experience a bad situation and then state that the whole weekend was rotten. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

As for what my children were taught I can assure you they were taught all the proper things expected of any decent human being. Most importantly of all they have the blueprint of Christian teachings. The fact that they choose to ignore them, or fail to embrace those teachings is not mine or their mothers fault. If they, like you, choose not to honor or respect their parents, as so many young people do these days, just know that is not necessarily the fault of the parents.

Hate your mother all you want and ignore her all you like; just remember that there are many social toxins within our culture that will ruin, even destroy all that is good, including people like your Mother and my brother.
Based on "imamommys" emotional reply it appears that shes got some personal issues of her own to deal with that prevents her from giving an objective reply. Its interesting that you rarely speak to your mother on the basis that "she was a lousy mother" and that "she puts herself first" You think that one of the "greatest" things youre father ever did was to "apologize" to you for choosing such a "lousy" mother. How utterly PATHETIC and TWISTED is that thinking?

FEELINGS are a two way street, unless of course you allow others to walk all over you. NEWS FLASH: your father (right along with yourself) is more selfish and self centered than your poor diseased mother, which is exactly what alcoholism is. If she had some other type of illness are you going to sit there and tell me you guys would ignore her or simply toss her miserable life away? I dont think so. Im not a rug for you to wipe your feet on and neither is your lousy, rotten, selfish, self-centered mother. Apparently the apple didnt fall to far from the tree, now did it?

Im not the one with the "attitude" and Im not the one, whos been silent over the years, and its not all about ME. However, it is about FAMILY and the values that have been taught by our elders, right along with traditions that have been conveniently tossed aside.

My daughter and her significant other have been shacking up together for almost 2 years, with absolutely little to no family involvement on their part, not only with me, but with the whole extended family. Now they want a "traditional" wedding and for the parents to pay for it. Thats not tradition, which has been conveniently tossed aside right along with: honor, respect and appreciation.

I know all about alcoholism first hand and I know how devastating it can be. More often then not it requires tough love with the afflicted, right along with compassion and understanding: NOT RESENTMENT. I could easily point a finger here at you and say that you dont appreciate, nor do you care the least about your mother. Why cant you understand her; more importantly "honor and respect" her? Are you that shallow and selfish?

I could also say that I dont know all the facts, but I can appreciate your situation and that I do understand to some degree how you might feel. Ultimately, its your decision how you want to move forward, just as it is mine!!!! Out of 365 days of the year you call your selfish diseased mother 2 times, which equates to about 0.005 percent of the time, but you speak to Dad, who regrets not having picked a better mother, daily. IF thats one of his "greatest" acts he has more serious mental problems than your mothers disease. In fact one could say that your fathers comment is EVIL.

I know myself well and in my situation I can honestly say that I have no regrets and nothing to apologize for when it comes to raising my kids; who are ungrateful children that dont appreciate the upbringing they had. Now thats a very sad situation, which is exactly how I FEEL.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

Sounds like Ima may have hit a nerve...

"The fact that their mother spewed out slop and crap from time to time doesnt mean it was all bad. You can have a GREAT weekend and on Sunday night experience a bad situation and then state that the whole weekend was rotten."

I can see the logic in this statement. But at the same time, regular doses of "slop and crap" on your weekends tends to mess with your mind. Kind of like being married to the man who's wonderful except when he's been drinking and gets violent (but he's always truly sorry later). Or the mother who's as sweet as can be until you embarass her and she turns on you with a vengeance (shame on you). Or the wonderful uncle who's so much fun until his 'tickle fests' get a little too personal (but you're his special favorite).

But hey, most of the time, it was great!

The simple fact is that a dose of "slop and crap" spewed out on Sunday can ruin your weekend -- especially if your life experience has taught you that doses of "slop and crap" will be regular occurances in your life, spoiling weekend after weekend -- that because your Mom regularly dishes out the crap and your Dad lets her, your life will be crap-filled at regular intervals.

Now Mom, we can tell, has got some problems.
Why else would she be dishing out this type of abuse?
But what's Dad's excuse?


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

your children visit their mother on holidays that means
they are not estranged. plenty of families see each other only on hoildays.

as about phone calls, how could you possibly know if your exwife receives phone calls or special attention? My exhusband does not know how many times our adult DD calls me or texts or emails and what attention I get or don't get. I do not know how often exhusband talks to DD, i know how often they see each other because they both tell me, but phone calls? How could you know?

and when your DD called to invite you to a wedding you gave her a lecture? Huh?

It is all very sad, I think you got yourself into a huge mess and your children are the ones who got hurt. Until you admit that they are the way they are partically because of you, nothing is going to change.

also if only one of your children will be estranged from you, i would think one child is ungreatful, but all of them?

you continue to blame others that's why your children estranged themselves from you. and when your daughter made an attempt to reconnect you pushed her away. How "nice" of you.

Now you are having problems wiht your daughter shaking up wiht someone for 2 years and now wanting traditional wedding. now you pretend to have some Christian or whatever other values. Nothing in your posts speak of those values or morals. All there is hate and anger towards your own children!!! That's not what morals and values are! You think morals are not shaking up wiht someone LOL Morals and values are loving other people and treating them wiht respect.

You effectivelly pushed your daughter away but it could be that she and your other children are better off without you. Poor children.

You can be angry at posters here but it is not about us, it is about you haivng your maybe last chance to fix what you broke. You can pass on that chance or take it. Our reactions here won't change what it is.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

You're entitled to your opinion, just as I am entitled to mine. I am not surprised by your response, my perspective is that of the child... and if you have no regrets and nothing to apologize for, then I don't know why you are posting on this forum?

Alcoholism is a disease, yes. My mother hasn't had a drop to drink in years, but she has also refused to get treatment. She knows it was the cause of many if not all her problems in life... DUI's, played a major role in her divorce to my dad (plus her infidelity which may or may not have occurred if she hadn't been drinking), and she knows it caused all of her children pain although she minimizes and says 'it wasn't THAT bad'... how would she know? She was drunk. It WAS that bad! Yes, I have issues with my mother and my childhood & early adulthood were more difficult because of her. Yet, she continues to try and sweep it under the rug... she continues to try and sweep our feelings about it under the rug. She makes no apologies either. Perhaps she feels I am an ungrateful child that doesn't appreciate the upbringing that I had? If that means I got to live in a nice big house and had all the 'things' I needed and advantages other kids didn't have, well I guess that's true. I don't appreciate being given 'things' but I was denied peace in my life, security, and a disease free mother.

My dad apologized because he is taking responsibility for HIS role in 'choosing' my mom to be his wife and mother his children. She was drinking out of a flask in her purse when they met. He married her when she became pregnant (and oddly, my oldest brother looks just like the guy she eventually left my dad for 16 years later... her high school sweetheart) They were young & undoubtedly he didn't know it was going to become the problem it did. Of course, he grew up with an alcoholic father so he wasn't unaware of problems with alcoholics. He's willing to admit he made a mistake in thinking she would change. He realizes that his kids suffered because of decisions he made... how is it evil to apologize for it? When my mom was sloshed and falling over drunk or passed out, I realize she was afflicted with a disease. When my mom chose to stop drinking, it wasn't because she was making her kids' lives hell... it was because she got another DUI. In the earlier years, the cops would escort her home. When they started arresting her for DUI (and she got several in several counties), THAT was her reason she stopped drinking. In my opinion, she is selfish and it's not because she's 'diseased'. She made choices. She just chose to ignore her responsibility as a parent. She doesn't get a free pass because she is 'diseased'. She wasn't so diseased she couldn't stop when something was more important in her life, her freedom.. her money.. her driving privilege. But, it wasn't her husband or her kids... that's selfish.

You may try to kid yourself into believing you taught your children well... Christian upbringing and all. But then you also say 'a rotten mother is better than no mother'. Children are taught in many ways. Yes, you can teach them what is written in a book, but when it conflicts with what they are experiencing in real life... what are they really learning? I can read books on healthy lifestyle, good diet, proper nutrition to my kids... but if I prepare lots of junk food and eat out a lot, what are they going to learn? 'Mom says eat right but she eats junk.' That's pretty hypocritical, don't you think?

If your response to me is an indication of how you 'taught' your children (blueprint of Christian teachings), it's very telling of why the problems exist.

* How utterly PATHETIC and TWISTED is that thinking?
* your father (right along with yourself) is more selfish and self centered than your poor diseased mother
* Apparently the apple didnt fall to far from the tree, now did it?

Is that the 'Christian' way? Is that what your kids learned from you... to lash out with insults and blame, instead of understanding and love?

and what about forgiveness? You are willing to abdicate your role in her wedding to her Step Father? It sounds like you are holding a grudge. There is so much anger in your posts and lack of empathy, lack of understanding, lack of forgiveness, etc. You keep saying you make no apologies. If that's how you feel, why do you care what anyone here thinks?

While you may feel I attacked you, I offered my opinion from the perspective of a child that grew up in a bad situation that you admit you put your kids in... now you minimize that to say it wasn't all bad. You're right, only YOU know your life and only YOUR children know how they feel and why the relationship is what it is.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

good post imamommy, unfortunatelly terra doesn't seem to be that interested to take other people's opinions into a consideration.

Just noticed this line in the first post "I became a referee between her and the kids; who became comfortable with what was a very uncomfortable situation." Apparently children were never comfortable otherwise they would not estrange themselves and would not offer terra's stepdaughter(10) safe place to go in case she needs to. And lets' face if ALL of his children do not have anything to wiht the father, it rings a huge bell. Com'n. They must have been very "comfortable" growing up.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

If there is one symptom common to problems in family relationshps, one serious indictor, it's disrespect, which exist to varying degrees in all of these postings. All of our opinions are like gardens, some are intelligently stated while others have run wild with weeds. Either way the collective opinions of each us has brought forth some interesting statements, comments, and clearly has stirred the embers of our minds.

My present circumstances, including past events are NOT an indicator of my entire character (empahsis added). Each of us is where they are right now by the Law of his or her own being. The fact that I was (past tense) struggling with a decision doesn't excuse any of us for lacking: compassion, understanding, or being insenseative to where another human being is not only in their thoughts, but Life itself.

Posted by sweeby (My Page) on Fri, Jun 5, 09 at 9:19
Sounds like Ima may have hit a nerve...

Not really. I simply don't agree with most of what she had to say, especially when she's misdirecting her personal issues into the post, which in turn resulted into some very misguided comments that had more to do with her past issues. However complicated one's circumstances are the condition of misery or happiness vary so vastly with each individual it simply can't be judged by another person from the external aspect of his or her life (including myself). I don't think she hit a nerve as much as I did. All the Great Religions of the World agree on one thing: Life is Difficult. So, you can expect regular doses of "slop and crap" and once you've learned that then it's not so bad.

Posted by imamommy (My Page) on Fri, Jun 5, 09 at 9:51
He realizes that his kids suffered because of decisions he made... how is it evil to apologize for it?

Think about it....his statement figuratively eliminated (murdered) your mother: the giver of LIfe. IF it wasn't for your Mother you wouldn't be here. It is my opinion that your father's apology is incongruous with his own culpability in raising you and your sibs. There was a moment in TIME when she was the LOVE of his LIFE and that LOVE for whatever reasons resulted in you, your sibs and now your children. IF one were to elimante Grandma you just erased a whole lot of GOOD, which is the opposite of EVIL. Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are. Simply put EVIL is the dark side of Life. Your father's apology is serioulsy flawed and based on the reasons given is about as lame it gets.

To varying degrees all here are guilty of havig read more into the posting(s) than what exist. I know one thing, the good seed bad seed theory applies herein: you can have good parents who end up with rotten kids and you can have rotten paretns who end up with good kids.

The difference in each persons Life are the choices they make. I've made mine. I leave this forum as follows: 1. The feedbacks been interesting, at times frustrating, but definatley enlightening.
2. As stated before, I'm going to the wedding.
3. My apologies to all whose tail feathers have been ruffled.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

terra1952,

It's good that you've decided to go to the wedding, despite how you feel and your fear of the outcome. I think it's a positive step towards improving your relationship with your daughter.

I also tend to agree with some of the issues that imamommy mentioned in her post. I'm also not excusing poor behavior that your kids are demonstrating, however I do realize that it comes from their pain. Also as painful as it may be for you to hear this kids do learn what they are taught. Kids learn behaviors which are modeled to them, and you were very much a part of this equation.

Obviously they still have issues as you do, however I would agree with this insightful observation, "You are the adult and they are the children.... and yes, they are adult children now... but any issues they have were caused when they were younger and were caused by the life they had to live."

I also agree with this statement, "Why don't you help them deal with how THEY feel and make amends for the life you made them live.... then maybe they might want to have a relationship with you."

Yes, "FEELINGS are a two way street". I don't see how taking responsibility for the part you played in their upbringing and the emotional debris that it created and is still creating would be allowing others to walk all over you? Could it be that you felt walked all over by your ex-wife and somehow you are now projecting these unresolved feelings onto your children?

Yes, feelings are a two-way street, however I think in this particular circumstance that you erred in judgement and burdened the relationship further by talking all about your feelings. It was not the time nor the place. Don't make her day all about you and your unresolved feelings.

I would apologize to your daughter, either by calling or writing her. Tell her that you spoke in haste and regret focusing on your feelings. Accept her gesture of wanting her father to walk her down the aisle for her big day. You have the option of feeling positive about this turn of events--that she wants to include you! If you're concerned about the potential for arguments, leave early. Tell your daughter that you will be there happily, but will only be able to stay for a short while. This small step may pave the way for a better future relationship, one in which there may be opportunities to talk about other issues. Look at it as a small step.

I agree that some posts lack sensitivity and sound reactive. However, I would not discount some of the thoughtful insight offered here, despite how hurt you feel. If you can move beyond your own wounded feelings, they may prove useful. The bottomline is that this situation is not about them, it's about you and having a chance to fix what you broke.

Also, have you considered maybe seeing a professional counselor and talking about ways to cope with your residual feelings about these issues and ways to move forward towards reconcilation? It may be a better place and more appropriate for you rather than burdening your children further.

The bottom line is that this emotionally painful situation is presenting you with an opportunity. The choice of whether you take a risk in an effort at reconcilation or pass it up, is yours and yours alone. It already sounds like you have some regrets. I wouldn't want to live with the regret of another missed opportunity. Good luck to you.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

"IF it wasn't for your Mother you wouldn't be here. It is my opinion that your father's apology is incongruous with his own culpability in raising you and your sibs. There was a moment in TIME when she was the LOVE of his LIFE and that LOVE for whatever reasons resulted in you, your sibs and now your children."

The only part of your post I care to respond to is this statement. If it wasn't for my Mother AND my FATHER, I wouldn't be here. You, nor anybody else can say if my mother at any time was the LOVE of his LIFE. Children may be conceived in less than loving situations and for a variety of reasons, including selfish ones. I cannot say with any certainty what my parents said or thought at that time, so how could you? My father's statements, however interpreted, could never be as painful to me as the statements my mother made repeatedly while I was growing up (after the divorce) where she would tell me & my siblings (in an effort to make my dad look like the bad guy) that HE wanted four kids and she only wanted two... thus FORCING her to have two more kids. Well, guess how that made her 3rd & 4th kids feel? I am #3. (along with her statements that he dragged her to the alter because she was pregnant with my brother, that she never really wanted to marry him) Her own statements have done more to 'figuratively eliminate' herself from the family. She may have been one of the contributors to life, but she herself has disrespected the life she gave... by basically saying she didn't want me or my sister, that my dad MADE her have us.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

imamommy,

I basically agree with your observations. I concurr that children are conceived in less than loving situations and for a variety of reasons including very selfish ones. I've heard a lot of parents complain bitterly about all the work their children are, of course not when they are babies and toddlers when their cuteness provides the parents with a lot of gratification and attention. Their anger and complaints are usually present during the less gratifying stages of childhood development, when children are becoming more independent. I've heard a lot of parents reasons as to why they had children too--to have them for when they get old and they need them to take care of them, etc. These selfish parents tend to treat their children like they are a burden. They then twist the situations all around into all about their feelings and the sacrifices that they've made. Once again, it is all about them. I've heard a lot of parents bitterly complain about how difficult their children are, how difficult parenting is, etc., and then conveniently twisting everything around to make it their children's problem using descriptors, judgements and labels such as unappreciative, ingrateful, bad seeds and selfish, etc. It is all about the parent's deficiencies, but they don't see it--their narcissism and self-absorption leaves them utterly clueless and oblivous to all the emotional debris and damage they create.

A lot of women have unloaded and dumped on me in work situations. All is well and happy when they are pregnant and their children are babies or toddlers, then their situations change. I do not solicit their self-absorbed dumping and do what I can to get away from them. I feel for their children and what they have to contend with.

Also, I can unfortunately relate to much of what you describe. In my case my father blamed my mother for wanting all the kids, never considering how it made me feel to hear that. Likewise my mother complains about what a difficult selfish child I was. I'm certain she makes similar comments to my sisters as well. She always focuses on her resentment towards me that I was a difficult child, etc. Whatever. She has mental illness. My mother-in-law was a self-absorbed alcoholic who refused treatment and has never taken an ounce of personal responsibility for her behaviors. She died a few years ago and even illness and almost dying never changed her. She remained bitter, angry and focused all on herself until the bitter end.

I see where you are coming from and agree with your observations, although from personal experience, I wish that were not the case.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

OK I stand corrected. It was wishful thinking on my part to assume that there may have been some love invovled during the time of your conception. My mistake.

So you had a rotten childhood and I've got ungrateful children; that doesn't excuse you or me from being inconsiderate, or misdirecting our frustations onto to others. It seams like everybody has an excuse for something these days. We all have some "slop and crap" to deal with and it appears that you have more than me, but I think Sweeby said it best:

Posted by sweeby (My Page) on Sun, May 31, 09 at 17:43
- So it may not be your most enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
So what? Get over it. Suck it up and go.
Put on your best manners. Act gracious and mature.
Drink very little and refuse to be sucked into any arguments.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

terra1952,

Who are you responding too? It appears that you are responding to imamommy as you are quite selective in zeroing in on particular posts and quotes.

terra says, "OK I stand corrected. It was wishful thinking on my part to assume that there may have been some love involved during the time of your conception. My mistake."

Whats up with the sarcasm? Your replies are quite telling. Why zero in on this particular statement, ignoring everything else and all the other valid points addressed by other posters? She must have really hit a nerve with you, otherwise you wouldnt bother. Does something she said remind you of someone and is that why you reacted as you did?

Terra says, "So you had a rotten childhood and I've got ungrateful children; that doesn't excuse you or me from being inconsiderate, or misdirecting our frustations onto to others." True, so why retaliate with sarcasm?

As for the issue of your children, another way to look at this situation is that your children probably felt that they had a rotten childhood, stemming from your relationship/marriage issues with their mother, your ex-wife and someone who you described as verbally abusive and controlling. Likewise, the "slop and crap" that they had to deal with, again the emotional debris of their parents unhappy marriage, manifests in their demonstrating "ungratefulness" and estrangement issues.

Terra says, "It seems like everybody has an excuse for something these days. We all have some "slop and crap" to deal with and it appears that you have more than me." Its not a contest of who has more slop and crap to deal with and comments like that are not helpful.

As for sweebys commentaries: I would agree with putting on your best manners. Act gracious and mature. Drink very little and refuse to be sucked into any arguments. I would suggest losing the negative attitude of it not being the most enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon. This is your daughter!! Try not to make her into the villain. Make the most of it. Can you be happy for her? Look at this as an opportunity and dont turn the day into all about you and your unresolved feelings! As for the suck it up and go! This is the type of language one uses for unpleasant events, such as invasive medical procedures, which your daughters wedding day is NOT. Good grief. Get a handle on this and lose the negative attitude. This is a fresh start! Good luck to you.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

Dear terra 1952

I am saddened by all the attacks here on you-you came here in good faith for some support-I would like to tell you I know you have been burned and badly-you are being the bigger person here by going to the wedding and walking your daughter down the aisle-when our daughter got married my husband and i both walked her down the aisle and all the people clapped-it was so awesome-i will never forget the feeling of pride i had that day in our little girl-remember the good times terra 1952 and if you have to give a speech make it as positive as possible-she must think a lot of you to ask you do be there-i belong to a group where we support each other and do not judge-if you ever want to check it out it is

estrangedstories.com

I hope you have an enjoyable time and i commend you on your change of heart to attend and participate-take care and god bless......


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

Saying you won't pay for the wedding under the circumstances, entirely understandable.

I am estranged from my youngest and think she's behaved badly, I recognise I'm the adult (ok she is now too) and believe forgiveness and being the adult is more important - if she invited me to her wedding, and asked me to walk her down the aisle, I'd move heaven and earth to be there. I wouldn't be a doormat, but I would see it as a step towards reconciliation, however small. I personally would jump at it. Much of my own situation is similar to yours.

Terra, ok maybe 'grudge' isn't the right word, if you're into precise definitions, but bitterness probably is. You gain nothing by it, and you can be 'right' and 'righteous' and never see your daughter or any future grandkids, and feel in the right, but you will still not see them. Remember, they were kids when it went on. Be the bigger person, and if you can let go of the bitterness, you will be a happier person.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

Plenty of children are conceived in absence of love between parents, plenty of children conceived in bad marriages or no marriages at all. And even if many children are concieved in love, some of them have life of shear misery (such as in terra's situation wiht his children).

We are entirelly responsible for how we raise our children and what we subject them to. Honestly I cannot imagine subjecting my child to verbal abuse, control or any other unneccesary misery coming either from me or from my partner. I know past cannot be changed. But I am yet to see terra admitting his fault, apologizing to his children and sincerely making amends. I don't understand how can someone literally damage their children's life forever, ruin it and yet show no remorse no guilt and do nothing to change it. As a mother it makes me sad to even imagine it. maybe this wedding would be a good start in making amends although i doubt it. I feel awful for these adult children.

Your children are not ungreatful. They are deeply damaged by rotten childhood yet you refuse to see it. I wish your children the best.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

Thank you, Motherload, not only for the kind words, but for sharing some positive and uplifting memories of your own daughters wedding. Unfortunately, a few here have taken things out of context, made assumptions about past events that lack so much information that we cannot possibly pass fair or reasonable judgments(including myself).

In reply to Flowergardenmuse, of course Im zeroing in on Imamommy. In the beginning I summarized 21 years of history to the present the best I could. With that information people are making huge assumptions and leaps to some very poor judgment and personal attacks that are not warranted.

A couple of you have said my replies are telling and your absolutely correct, and so too are your own postings. Many are misdirected frustrations; some lack insights; others lack understanding and compassion. Even when I concluded early on with the majority that I need to go to this wedding; even when I was conciliatory, many of you have been less than understanding.

If you go back and read Imamommys 1st posting her opening remarks are very much a personal attack based on inaccurate facts and assumptions. Its the same error I made regarding past events concerning her parents. Shes very correct in stating, "I cannot say with any certainty what my parents said or thought at that time, so how could you?"

I agree with her but whats good for the goose, is good for the gander.

Posted by imamommy (My Page) on Tue, Jun 2, 09

"- 'I received a phone call last month and was asked if I would walk her down the isle. I shared with her at that time how I felt about our relationship, which can be summed as: emotionally abandoned and hurt by her lack of interest in family matters.' I'm sorry, but are you kidding??? YOU admit you put your kids in a bad situation to grow up in... they grow up resenting you for it... and you are now putting YOUR feelings on the table for her to consider??? All I am hearing in your posts is how YOU feel!!! Sorry, I was a kid that grew up in a bad situation too and I can relate to your kids... I rarely speak to my mother. She was a lousy mother. She has always put herself first too. Still does. "

I never admitted to putting my children in a bad situation, and theres absolutely nothing wrong in telling anyone how you "feel" about any event. To those who cant see the intense aggression by Imamommys reply then your blind, confused, or in a state of denial. Shes definitely been hurt BIG time, but that doesnt excuse her or me for that matter, from being checked by others who take exception to a posting.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

"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."

Terra, this is from your initial post. If this is not an admission that you stayed in a bad situation (in which your kids were placed by you and your ex).. why use the words regrettably, we struggled for another 11 years. and go on to say she was verbally abusive & controlling... you were the referee between her and your kids? If you didn't make a choice to keep your kids in that situation, you also didn't make the choice to leave and remove your kids from that situation... which the way you describe does not paint a picture of a happy home with the occasional problem. Sorry, you painted the picture... not me. I only see it from your children's perspective better than I can relate to YOUR perspective.

My 'attack' as you perceive it, is based on what YOU wrote in YOUR posts... it's all about you, your feelings, how it affects you... Well, all I offered is the perspective of a child that lived with a controlling, verbally abusive mother. (of course mine was worse than your wife, but as someone pointed out, this isn't a contest) If you don't understand how your children may feel, and why they may treat you the way they do, then you will never be able to work things out with them to have a relationship. If they feel that it's your fault for a less than happy childhood, whether real or perceived, whether it was your fault or your ex's, their barriers will grow taller and the distance further. They will wait for an apology... you will wait for them to respect/appreciate you... it becomes a stand off and before you know it, one of you is dead and the other lives with a lifetime of regret or never knowing if it could have been different.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

re⋅gret⋅ta⋅ble  /rɪˈgrɛtəbəl/ adjective
causing or deserving regret; unfortunate; deplorable.

re⋅gret  /rɪˈgrɛt/ verb, -gret⋅ted, -gret⋅ting, noun
verb (used with object)
1.to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment, etc.): He no sooner spoke than he regretted it.
2.to think of with a sense of loss: to regret one's vanished youth.
noun
3.a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.
4.a feeling of sorrow or remorse for a fault, act, loss, disappointment, etc.
5.regrets, a polite, usually formal refusal of an invitation: I sent her my regrets.
6.a note expressing regret at one's inability to accept an invitation: I have had four acceptances and one regret.

To Imamommy: I do appreciate your sincere reply and explanation....serioulsy I do. Unfortuantley, from your position, which is understandably based upon your Life's experiences, it is, in my humble opnion: lacking.

This is especially true when you state it's all about YOU. Of course it's all about me...it's my posting, my question, my struggle, my family, and most importantly of all: my feelings.

No matter how one "paints the picture" the viewer or in this case the reader, will take from it whatever it is they percieve, want or need to see; or perhaps are blind to see it for what it really is. I might add that the canvas may not be large enough for the artist to paint the whole picture.

As for the "choice" hind site is always 20/20, but I don't think a divorce and raising 3 (innocent) children in a broken home and carting them back and forth between parents is a good idea. I didn't have an Aunt Bee to turn to and I didnt' like the idea of putting 3 kids into day care. To my x-wife's credit she agreed to consuling and too remain commited to raising our children together rather than apart. Sadly (regretably) things didin't work out.

As for my children and how they feel, I know both clinically and from first hand experience how they feel, and I even know what their pattern's of behavior are, which is why: I've given up hope to any meaningful relationship; and question why I should even bother with "tradition" like this wedding. We all know that "traditions" are a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting. Perhaps by going to this wedding there is some hope that these time honored events will provide an opportunity for some closure. God knows it's sorely needed.

Lastly, if by chance I've failed to address or satisfy a question, or simply didn't agree with one's opinion, then let us part company with the knowledge that we can agree to disagree. I"m going to go and fix a hot cup of tea and I will drink that tea in honor of all of you, but most of all to Imamommy whose brush has put some color into the tapestry of my LIFE. Please join me.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

If there are children in a bad situation -- like enduring occasional verbal and/or emotional abuse from a parent -- there is the abuser and the other parent.

Clearly the ABUSER is at fault. But the abuser is also 'sick' in a way that is beyond her control - hence the abuse. Which makes her behavior understandable, and to some extent, even forgivable. She just 'is' that way... And the kids learn to deal with it.

Now the other parent is supposed to PROTECT the children. He's not sick. But he didn't do it. Why not? Were the children not worth it? Was he scared of the abuser? Was he blind? Delusional? Uncaring? Weak? This is much harder to understand.

Look at the way children who were abused by their fathers end up *detesting* their mothers. The ones who *looked the other way* and *allowed* the abuse to continue for years. Seems sometimes that the kids have an easier time forgiving the abusers than the onlookers.

Of course you're not responsible for Mom's ONE TIME craziness. But when it happen repeatedly, you're supposed to FIGURE OUT that it could happen again. Then you DO become responsible. But you're absolutely refusing to accept ANY responsibility for the children's abuse at the hands of their mother. Trouble is, I don't think your children share that view.

"why I should even bother with "tradition" like this wedding."

Because to NOT attend is going way outside that tradition. NOT attending is a slap in the face. NOT attending is making a very public and visible statement. Exactly what that statement is supposed to be is subject to interpretation, but the interpretation is never a kind one.


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RE: Wedding Etiquette: Should I Walk My Daughter Down The Aisle?

You said that your children complained to others how bad it was to have you as a father. I had very unpleasant feeling (and I am sure i am not the only one here) just reading few of your posts here- can't imagine whole life like this! I think I understand now what your daughter meant. All 3 children do not speak to you. and you still don't get it.

I will go call my parents now, thanks God for them.


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