Friday, April 9, 2010

Douchebag Dad

I have a bit of a douchy dad. He was a part of my life when I was a kid, but when I became a teenager I discovered he was a bit of a jerk (not jerk like hit me jerk, but just a "spent my college fund on who knows what" kinda jerk). And he married a woman, who for lack of better words; hated me. I moved to live with my Mom full time, and haven't spoken to my Dad in 5 years. I send him an invite to the wedding?



Dear CB,

You don't have to invite your dad to the wedding. But maybe you want to.

Here's what you need to ask yourself: Will his presence (and, you have to assume, the presence of his a*hole wife) make me unhappy/uncomfortable/screw up the day for me in any way? OR Will I regret not inviting him? Is there a little girl inside me who wants her dad to be at her wedding, whether or not he's been a jerk in the past?

Go with your gut.


Photo by Chadwick Tyler courtesy of grey magazine via Vain and Vapid


  1. if you haven't talked to him, why invite him? looking past the sentimentality of having your parents there- it was just as important for them to be there the past 5 years. you're mature enough to be getting married, then you've obviously already lived through that moment everyone has when they realize their parents aren't perfect (and they should be held responsible for their actions, like any adult)

  2. My mom hated her father (and his hateful fiance) on her wedding day, but they were there. She asked him to sit down with the guests while my grandma walked her down the aisle. The invite was a peace-offering, but the "there's no way I'm letting you walk me down the aisle" was a sufficient burn.

  3. my dad is not douchey but he did not attend my wedding, basically because he doesn't travel (tiny bit more complicated than that but that's what it boils down to). I knew that would be the case when we chose to have it in Virginia instead of Maine. The little girl inside of me wanted to have my dad there, but that little girl didn't fully understand life. My dad would have been a fish out of water at our wedding, and his discomfort would have caused me to stress out all day and I never would have been able to enjoy it. I'm just sharing this because I'm someone who didn't have my dad at my wedding and I still had a great time. if you're concerned that your wedding won't be right without your dad there, don't worry. If he's not in your life now and you have no interest in making him part of your future, then I wouldn't worry about inviting him. If you hope to bridge the gap sometime in the near future, then, you probably should at least send him an invite. just don't expect that little-girl ideal of your dad to be the guy who shows up.

  4. esb nailed it.

    figure out what you want- apart from what's supposed to happen, or what's happened in the past.

    don't not invite him out of some sort of revenge.

  5. We aren't inviting Richard's brother to the wedding. We don't hate him, he just has a bit of a temper. So he's still R's brother, just not part of this celebration. You're allowed to draw the line somewhere.

  6. A couple of weeks before her wedding, my stepsister decided to invite her estranged father (my d-bag of a stepdad) because she was afraid she'd regret it later. The whole last minute invite made things a little worse. He knew he wasn't wanted, so he came late and acted the whole time as though he didn't need to be there. You could see the tension in the photos afterwards.

    So yeah, I wouldn't suggest doing that.

  7. I take comfort in what R.A.P said because I am getting married in two weeks and my Dad isn't coming. We are good, he was invited, but he hasn't talked to my brother in 6 years (and my brother is performing the ceremony) so Dad isn't coming. It's sad, and hurtful to me, but I know that I did the right thing for me by inviting him.

    I would say invite yours. Not because you need a Dad there, but because you may regret not doing it. Your Dad can decide for himself whether to come - and that's on him. If he isn't there, there is nothing for you to regret later (not that you will, but just in case). If he is, no matther how he behaves, he won't affect your day that much. At least, that is what I am telling myself.

  8. I second ESB. Your gut probably knows what it wants.

    Are you genuinely angsting over the decision? If so, maybe there is a part of you that wants him there and you need to explore that.

    Or, do you feel like you are supposed to angst over it but you really don't care much? This happens all the time. I will convince myself to second guess an easy decision I've already made because other people keep mentioning how hard it must be. Sometimes it isn't.

    Guts always win, in my opinion. It's just getting yourself to actually figure out what they're saying that can be hard.

  9. Hey CanadianBride-

    With a bare bones story, your dad sounds a bit like my fiance's dad. My mister has created some boundaries around him and has chosen not to have a relationship with him. At first, it broke my heart (i'm a card carrying member of the dead dad club), but it's his relationship with him. And having him at the wedding would make his mom and sister uncomfortable and his allegiance is to them.
    But listen to the gut. In the end, you'll know what to do. And talk about it with your mister.

  10. I had a sorta similar issue with my mom's parents, though they were actually horrible to her rather than me. Decided not to invite them and haven't had any regrets (though the wedding's not until May). I have gotten asked repeatedly by family friends, my dad and stepmom, etc., if they'll be attending. It's annoying to explain (or deflect) over and over but so far I feel good about the decision. I think ESB is giving you good advice should really just be whatever feels right to you!

  11. My parents still don't get along, but my dad is in my life at least. You have my thoughts - take time to think about it before you decide! Good luck!

  12. I agree. Go with your gut, but who am I to tell you what to do? My dad disappeared and reappeared. He's invited, but his 20 something year old gf isn't. Will it be awkward? Yes. Will he walk me down the isle? No. Is there a tiny part of me still hoping to be daddy's girl? Always. Good luck and I hope whatever happens you're still the happiest bride ever.

  13. I also haven't spoken to my dad in 5 years and he is not invited to our upcoming wedding because I have more or less severed all ties with that part of my "family". It would be incredibly awkward to have him there especially because of my wicked stepmother, so whether to invite him wasn't that much of a decision for me. That said, I think it's definitely situational and I'm with ESB on going with your gut.

  14. I had a similar problem with my dad - BIG DOUCHEBAG. However, I did invite him to the wedding because he's my dad. My guess is that you'd probably regret not asking him. I didn't ask him to walk me down the aisle which I would have done had he been a stronger presence in my life.