29 answers

My DH Not Invited to Son's Wedding

My step-son is getting married in February next year. His Fiancé does not want us there.

Her parents were killed in a car accident 2 years ago. She told my step-son that having us there would be too painful. My DH is very upset/sad about this. They have said that we were invited to the reception after but NOT the ceremony. My DH is not O.K. with this as he wants to see his only son get married and exchange vows. It’s very important to him. The ex wife/Mom is not in the picture.

The fiancé is not budging on this and my step-son feels so torn.

My DH is coming to me about this and ultimately thinking he is going to go no matter what and just not say anything. Basically, just show up. I'm supporting him no matter what.

If she found out (not from me) she would likely encourage my SS to elope without saying anything but this will cause so much resentment. No one wins either way you slice it!

Any advice?? What do you think of all this?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all so much! My DH and I are going to talk with them and have a heart to heart. I plan on incorporating some of the advice I received here. Although I agree with all of you I don't think I'll tell her she is being a selfish b%*ch though... LOL!!

Featured Answers

I think its really sad. I understand that it must be really hard for her that her parents died and wont be there, but it isnt fair that she is withholding the joy of having his dad there. If it were the other way around, I would think he wouldnt do that to her. She needs to understand that she is being selfish, and yes its her wedding day but its his too, so he should be able to have his dad there. Its craziness. She should be happy for him.
Think the son needs to have a talk with her, and stand up for his dad.

5 moms found this helpful

It sounds like she needs grief counseling. She has many unresolved issues that need to be addressed. It is inappropriate and irrational for her to demand that you not be there. I agree with other posters who said that it might help to reach out to her now and try to build a relationship.

4 moms found this helpful

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This is horrible!
I understand this will be hard on her after having lost her parents, but is she going to use that as an excuse for excluding you from every single thing for the rest of the marriage? If a wedding is too hard on her, then they should just go away and do it somewhere. As hard as that would be on your husband, it would hurt a lot less than being singled out as not welcome.
I hate to say it, but your son really needs to be thinking this through. Maybe she is not emotionally ready to be married until she resolves some of her grief. (?)
Just because she lost her parents doesn't mean she has the right to take his away from him.
I, personally, wouldn't marry someone who wouldn't allow one of my family members to attend something that important to me.

I hope you get some great advice.

8 moms found this helpful

My personal opinion: This marriage is doomed to failure. What kind of person would not allow their fiance's parents to attend one of the most important events in their life? But it's OK to go to the reception...huh? Who exactly DOES get to go to the ceremony. What else won't she allow? Do you get to visit them? Will you get to see any grandchildren? Marriage is about compromise and excluding a persons parents from a wedding is not compromise. It's cruel and controlling. It seems like she's jealous of the fact that he has parents. If your SS doesn't stand up for himself and his family NOW she will walk all over him for as long as they're married.

8 moms found this helpful

My dad died February 21, 2003. Just the day before he was telling me he was going to take dance lessons to dance with me at my wedding. June 19, 2003 I was married.
Absolutely the most bittersweet day of my life.
I could not even imagine wanting my husband to go through the pain of what I was suffering, just because I was suffering. Our day was made better because his parents were there to share in the joy of that special day.

Love doesn't mean make another suffer simply because I am suffering.

7 moms found this helpful

Why would she want to make the wedding painful for her future husband as well? She sounds very selfish. Good luck with that one!

7 moms found this helpful

WTH??? She is being so totally unreasonable here. The grooms father not coming to his own son's wedding shouldn't even be in the realm of options here and I cannot believe that somebody would have the balls to even suggest it . She is a total control freak and a b#$$ch and I feel so sorry that you guys have to have her in your family. Shame on the son for even letting it get this far. It does not bode well for his future and seriously he should get out now when he has the chance. Can you imagine how she will act with kids???? They should elope if anything. Let this unholy union happen without the "happy" event of a wedding taking place-they do not deserve it.

6 moms found this helpful

I'm sorry, but has any asked her what the death of her parents has to do with the presence of her future FIL? Painful and sad for her? Can't even imagine. But yes, she is starting everyone off on the wrong foot.

Is it possible to meet one on one with her over lunch/tea? Take a walk? And find out why her heart is so lost?

This does not bode well for a happy future for all still left here, now, in the present. She sounds incredibly stuck and getting married will not fix this.

6 moms found this helpful

I don't have any grand advice, but am stunned that a bride could be so selfish and insensitive to her groom. Does she not realize that she wouldn't be having this wedding without her groom? That her groom has feelings and needs too? How does her keeping her groom from having HIS family present serve to help anybody? Is she going to feel the loss of her parents any less because he is also in pain?? That is just absurd!

I think the SS needs to take some time here. He might want to reconsider the whole thing, if his bride is incapable of taking his feelings about this into account. Perhaps he could suggest to her that they post-pone the wedding until she has a chance to grieve more fully, so that having his dad present at the ceremony won't be such a distress to her.

5 moms found this helpful

Does she feel like she is becoming an addition to the family? It sounds as if she resents him having a family when she lost hers. Has anyone made any extra attempts to include her and let her know that by marrying your SS she is becoming a part of the family and you want to be there for her just as much as for your SS?

5 moms found this helpful

She sounds like a crazy b*tch. Perhaps your step-son should rethink this person to marry, if she's this weird now, imagine the hell she will give him later! He really needs to talk to her about this. I know for me, it would be a deal breaker and the wedding would be called off for a time. If this is due to her having difficulties dealing with her grief, she needs grief counseling and some comfort from that. But if this is part of her control issues and who she usually is, that would be a red flag.

My father died a year and a half before I got married, my husband never met him. It would have been totally selfish to me if I excluded his parents, just so he could feel the same pain I felt. It isn't fair for her to punish her fiance as well. It sounds as if they may need a mediator here. It's recommended for engaged couples to have a pre-marriage counseling session anyways.

Really though, your step-son is in a hard place and is obviously hurting. I hope you all don't take it too personally from him (from her though, yes).

I think I would probably go anyways though, show her she can't manipulate you. If she reacts like a nut, she will only make a fool out of herself, let her true colors show. But then again, she may hold serious grudges and if there is ever a grandbaby involved, she'll take her anger out on you and may withhold grandbaby privileges (yes, I DO know crazy women like that).
So really, do what you think will be best for your future relationship with this woman. I would try and foster a good relationship with her... take her to dinner, not to replace her mom, but to let her know she can count on you and would love to have a relationship with her. (JoAnn C said it well)

5 moms found this helpful

How awful. I'm sorry she lost her parents and I can only imagine how hard this is going to be on her to have her wedding without her parents. But to me that should be the reason for why she should encourage his dad and family to be there. To not only give your stepson the support and encouragement but to her as well. This is not the way to start of a marriage nor a relationship with your inlaws. She needs to rethink this. With that said, your stepson, needs to step up and insist that his dad and family to be there. She will need to just accept that and support his desire as well. Sounds like she is being very selfish. If she was getting married to herself, this would be fine but she isn't so she needs to take her fiance's wishes into account too. Your husband needs to talk to them both at the same time and express how hurt he is and how much he wants to be there. But like I said, the son needs to step up to her about it. Good luck!!

5 moms found this helpful

I think its really sad. I understand that it must be really hard for her that her parents died and wont be there, but it isnt fair that she is withholding the joy of having his dad there. If it were the other way around, I would think he wouldnt do that to her. She needs to understand that she is being selfish, and yes its her wedding day but its his too, so he should be able to have his dad there. Its craziness. She should be happy for him.
Think the son needs to have a talk with her, and stand up for his dad.

5 moms found this helpful

Neither of my parents were at my wedding because they are no longer living and I don't understand her logic AT ALL. I also think if I felt that way I would not have asked that of my husband or would ask for more time before the wedding if the hurt was still fresh. What happens at Holidays? The Birth of any children they may have? Is she going to exclude you from those events too? This is beyond hurt on her part. It seems she's holding a grudge and is resentful that others have something that was taken away from her. In my opinion this is a big red flag your step son is missing! It may be that I just can't understand and empathize with her situation but this sure feels mean spirited and manipulative to me. I'd say, have your Step Son read our answers, hopefully some will balance mine out. I do hope that if my understanding of how she is acting is correct he sees it, either acts now so she isn't railroading him all the time or ends it.

5 moms found this helpful

She sounds like a bit of a drama queen here. If your step son wants his dad to be there then maybe they really need to re-think their future together. If she cuts you out of this important day, what happens when grandchildren arrive in the picture? She won't let you around because it's too painful yet again?
My dad died suddenly 4 months prior to my wedding. Sure, I thought of maybe delaying the date, but never once would it occur to me NOT to invite my future in-laws. Looking back, they were a lifesaver during that rough time and I am very luck to have the both of them.
Maybe your step son needs to rethink this...? Better now than later. He needs to step up for himself. And his family.

4 moms found this helpful

It sounds like she needs grief counseling. She has many unresolved issues that need to be addressed. It is inappropriate and irrational for her to demand that you not be there. I agree with other posters who said that it might help to reach out to her now and try to build a relationship.

4 moms found this helpful

This is a hard situation. You have to understand where she's coming from, even though she's being completely irrational. Here parents can't be there, somehow she thinks it make it easier if his aren't there either. Its her pain talking, not her.
Try taking her out to dinner and telling her how happy you are to have her entering the family. Give her an encouraging word about how she's not alone, even though her parents are gone she's gaining a brand new set. Encourage her to call you "mom" and "dad" and let her know that you want to be there for her during this trying time. Perhaps in the lady's room can say something like, "I know you wish your mom was here to help you with the wedding, I can't imagine how hard that must be. I'm here for you if you need me, I'd love to do some of those 'mom' things with you."

If you take that approach you'll be attacking the problem instead of the girl and developing a relationship that will last for the years to come.

3 moms found this helpful

I think your step-son needs to have a talk about selfishness with his fiance. I'm very sorry she lost her parents, but it's bizarre for her not to want her finace's father at their wedding! Seriously, especially if the guy wants his dad there -he should be there. She sounds like she needs some counseling or something before embarking on this life event. My mother died a year ago, but that doesn't mean I don't want my MIL around. Yes, I will admit sometimes during holidays or special occasions it seems to magnify my mother's absence even more, but I think I would be a pretty awful person if I told my husband and my children that she couldn't come around because I sometimes found it upsetting. THAT is for me to deal with on my own and let time slowly take care of. I cannot IMAGINE getting married and telling my future husband that either of his parents wasn't welcome. It's rude, tacky and extremely selfish on her part -especially since her fiance feels differently. HELLO -even though many feel that way -it IS his wedding too!

I think they should elope if she can't get past this. And I'm sorry -it hasn't been 2 months -it's been 2 years. Not that pain over such a loss easily subsides and goes away, but you have to learn to get through it and get through life, and she's had 2 years to manage that. They can have a reception after they get home from eloping, but to have a ceremony and exclude his father and step-mother -NO.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm not sure I really understand why it's ok with her for you and your husband to attend the reception but not the ceremony - how will it be "painful" for her to have you at one yet not the other? I'm sorry she lost her parents, and of course no one can ever replace them, but shouldn't she be looking to you and your DH as her surrogate parents and want you to share fully in this special occasion? I must say I'm really baffled, and can only imagine the tough position your SS is in, having to be pulled in two directions. I feel this is pretty unfair of her to ask. Are the 2 of them doing any kind of pre-marriage counseling? I know this is a requirement in many churches. If so, it is definitely something they should bring up to the priest/minister - perhaps whoever is doing the ceremony will have some insight. I wish them luck.

3 moms found this helpful

I would talk to your SS... maybe he can talk to his fiance about waiting to get married until she is able to feel 'comfortable' with having his parents present for his special day.

I cannot believe his fiance is asking such a horrible ultimatum. I think she may be trying to manipulate him and control him in order to make him more isolated from his family. Usually you hear about the men doing that, but seems the shoe is on the other foot.

How can she love him if she's asking him to painfully not allow his Parents to his wedding just because her's are dead? How can that be beneficial to both? If I were you both, I'd be angered that the fiance hasn't tried to become more part of the family, and maybe even ask your husband to walk her down the aisle in place of her own Father.

3 moms found this helpful

I think the fiance better grow up before she gets married. She is an unbelievable selfish woman. This is the beginning of the relationship with her inlaws that will be her future childrens' only grandparents. Is she going to say to your step son that you can't be grandparents to their future child)ren) because her parents are gone?

I think your step son better get a back bone before he gets married too.

How very sad that this girl does not see this as an opportunity to embrace her in-laws.

3 moms found this helpful

That is ridiculous! Doesn't she realize she's gaining a new family?? Someone needs to point out to her that although she lost her parents, she has an opportunity to forge a new relationship with her new husband's parents. I don't have any advice, but if it were my son, I would hope that he would start a loving conversation with her that focused on how important it is that his parents are there as they begin their journey together.

3 moms found this helpful

This could be a deal breaker meaning no marriage. If my son had informed my husband of this he would have gone anyway. As the statement goes you cannot control the actions of others. Tell hubby to go and enjoy the ceremony from the back and be proud of the wedding if it should take place. Besides I don't know of too many men that want to be henpecked before they are married. She will try to run the show "her" way without considering the husband's feelings. Sounds like we need to have a cooling off period before the big day or this will be a divorce within a year or two.

I wish for the father and the son to come to a compromise and that the future wife takes off her blinders before she is left at the altar.

The other S.

PS She is not family yet.

2 moms found this helpful

On the one hand her wedding day should be all about her, BUT they are starting a union that should last a life time and she should be considerate of her husband-to-be's feelings in the matter.
If her husband still having parents is so painful for her, she could stand some grief therapy because she is still having issues with dealing with her grief.
If she is this difficult over other issues, your Step Son might want to take a step back and really think about what he's getting himself into. A life time of living with someone who can not compromise could be a real problem with lasting consequences for him and any children they might have.
Have they had any pre-marriage counseling? They really should get some.
Additional: Gaining a new family does not replace the one you lost just like having another child does not replace one that died. It will be different, and it could be good in different ways. This is one of the many reasons why she need grief counseling. Things that people often say that are intended to give comfort grieving people find very offensive. The wedding's only a few months away. They've got a lot of things they need to resolve in that time.

2 moms found this helpful

Normally I would say "it is their day" but I am assuming that your son wants you there and is torn because his fiance does not. Assuming you have done nothing wrong to cause hard feelings and this is just about her missing her parents, I would suggest she incorpate a special part of the service for her parents to be remembered....two seats with flowers layed in them (sort of her parents seats). Her bridesmaids could each carry two roses (one to be layed in each seat or something to that effect. Can you talk to her about how your son would feel knowing that his parents can and want to be there?

2 moms found this helpful

Is it going to be a private ceremony between just the two of them with no one else present or are there other people involved and you're just not invited?

I can see if she feels so upset about her parents that she has decided to have NO parents there and just be the two of them. This way she won't have no one there for her and see her future husband there with his family. I can see her logic--I don't agree with it--but I can see it. Can you at least SEE her side? You don't have to agree with it, but maybe by trying to understand it you can have come compassion and therefore be able to talk to her about it.

I would advise if they've chosen a completely private ceremony with JUST the two of them to respect that and go to the reception. After all, a ceremony only needs a groom, a bride and a officiant and perhaps this is the bride's wishes on her wedding day, however crazy that may seem. That's why couples elope--right?

If they have invited others to the ceremony and not you, well then I'd just go anyway and good luck to to your step-son! He's marrying a crazy woman!

2 moms found this helpful

I'm sad for you and for your soon to be daughter in law. I haven't read all the posts so this may be a repeat... sorry. Your son's fiance needs counseling. PERIOD. She is holding resentments and seems so angry. As a future MIL, I would want to be sure she doesn't want you there because of her tragedy and not for some other reason.

You are the only parents she has left... why doesn't your hubby offer to walk her down the aisle? Two seats should be saved for her parents with a candle she can light in their honor... there are tons of ideas to do for during the ceremony. I put a beautiful paragraph thanking my husband's father for helping him become the man he is today in the program. Get involved from a friend/mom angle rather than from a MIL angle. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

This is such a hard situation. But as hard as it is for you and your DH I think you need to respect the bride's wishes or face the fact that you may cause pain on her wedding day.

Loosing a parent suddenly and at such an early stage in you're life is really hard. My mother died suddenly when I was 19 and I can tell you from personal experience that it was hard to see other girls with their mothers. For years I couldn't stand Mother's Day. And had a real issue when I heard daughters arguing with their mothers. There is a certain horrible stage of hurt and jealousy that a person has to go through. Sometimes it can take years.

20 years later and it still stung a little getting married without my mother being there. Luckly I had my dad.

Going through something similar, I can see how it would add salt to the wound. It really stinks that you and DH have been asked to stand aside on such a wonderful occation but please know that the bride is not doing it out of selfishness. She is still mourning and as hard as it may be out of respect for her loss I think you need to abide to the wish. In the long run, the bride may see it as a compassionate wedding gift.

ADDED LATER

OK, I just felt I needed to add something. I just read some of the posts and found some of them down right rude. I don't mean to at like the snob and tell anyone they have not right to post on this because they don't belong to the "lost parent" club.... but.

First of all it's only been 2 years and people heal differently and respond to a tragity like this differently. Sure, some of you know someonoe who went through this and bounced back quickly, but that doesn't mean she can or has. You don't know what she has gone through unless you have gone through it yourself.

Have some compassion ladies. She will not have her father to walk her down the aisle. She will not have her mother tend to her dress and veil. How would that make YOU feel? Think hard about it..... "step-in parents" or not, it won't be the same.
Strong character or not....She will have sadness on her wedding day.

If you must, yes, talk to her about it. But please!!!!!! Don't pressure her into giving in. If she's not ready, she's not ready.

1 mom found this helpful

I think the daughter in law (to be) needs some counseling. Brides should generally get their way - but it is not a good way to start a marriage by making your new husband resent you for not allowing his family to be apart of the ceremony.

I would try to talk to her and tell her that you understand she is in pain from the loss of her own parents but it is not right to cause pain on your SS (her husband to be) by rejecting his desire and wish to share HIS special day with his own parents.

I am already worried about this marriage - these are the kinds of issues people need to work through before they get married or they may not be married forever...

Best luck to you...and I would support your husband and allow him to do what he feels is right, but beware of the long term conflict this may cause (seeing your SS in the future, seeing future grandbabies etc.)

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Wow, N.. After reading this I am very sad for your husband. If your future daughter-in-law is willing to keep her son's dad from their wedding she will most likely withhold him from any major event. This is a HUGE red flag for me. I have many friends who lost both their parents and brought adopted parents to their wedding to stand in. Something does not sound right about this and your husband would be smart to encourage your son to cut bait quickly before he's locked in forever.

1 mom found this helpful

How sad. My thought is that if she does not want family they should have eloped and had a celebration for their family and friends together. This is hurtful. I'm sure that it is difficult for her but she is lost in her own sadness and not seeing that your stepson should be considered. He is a good fiance/partner to her but I believe that encouragement to have a professional assist her with her empty feelings of not having her parents present would be more supportive and helpful at this time than giving in to her not allowing his parents (you and your husband). It is more about their marriage working at this point than a day...this is most likely going to flood into holiday gatherings and babies etc...she needs therapy and closure it sounds like...

Good luck but this is not going well and i hope that in the near future she is happy with your family being there for BOTH of them.

1 mom found this helpful

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