Divorced Mom and Dad Dance at Wedding?

Updated on July 26, 2018
M.A. asks from Melbourne, FL
26 answers

My boyfriend was recently asked by his daughter to dance with his ex wife (mom of bride) at her upcoming wedding in September. They have been divorced for 20+ years, have both remarried, and divorced again. Her latest divorce was fairly recent. We have been together for 2 years. He doesn't want to get married again, so I am his 'significant other.' and he has given me a sapphire and diamond ring which is worn on my left hand signifying his love for me. I treat all 4 of his daughter's as if they were my own. Together we have 6 girls, 1 boy, and 11 grandchildren. So as you can see this is inevitably going to come up atleast 3 more times. We were informed by his daughter last year, when planning began, that he and I would be dancing together. We were so happy to hear that I was being included, given the fact of all WE do for them. In the last month he has admitted that the girls are trying to get him and his ex (mom of bride) back together and that it will NEVER happen AND that his daughter wants them (mom and dad) to dance together at the reception. I am having a hard time swallowing this because it seems like it's due to the fact that she is now divorced (again) and will not have a date for the wedding. To me this is unacceptable. I understand that it's mom and dad. What I don't understand is why such an intimate moment would be spent dancing with her and not me, especially after the admission that they (the girls) are trying to get them back together and it will NEVER happen. She lives in New York and the kids live in Florida not far from us. When they need something it's he and I that deal with the issues and help them out with everything. I understand the pictures, the seating/ushering at the wedding, and all of the other things that come with divorced parents of the bride. I have no problems with any of that. My thoughts are why should I now have to endure watching that intimate moment take place knowing what his kids are trying to do. I have spoken with him about it and his response is 'who am I going home with?'. It truly hurts me. I probably wouldn't be so upset, but given the fact that they are trying to rekindle something that's not there, I am extremely hurt. Should that dance take place? I spoke with his sister's husband (who happens to be mom's best friend) and he said that he would graciously dance with her so that dad and I can dance. Did I mention this is a huge Italian family? There will be hundreds of guests watching this intimate moment take place...and as much as I want to celebrate this happy time with them....this is the one moment I will not be able to. I've asked him to speak to the bride to let her know how I am feeling but he doesn't like to tell his kids 'no'. Please help me figure out how to deal with this and whether or not it's acceptable.

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answers from Portland on

weddings are for the bride and groom. It's not about you.

Other than that - I don't have any advice.

So my answer is - yes it is acceptable.

How do you deal with it? You suck it up. Sorry - don't mean to be rude/insensitive, but I wouldn't take it personally. You're choosing to do that. I don't get the sense they're trying to upset you. It's a typical request at weddings. How you choose to perceive this is entirely up to you.

How you choose to react to you and whether you get people involved, etc. will only create drama and then that is how you will be viewed from here on in. Something to think about.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

This man will be forever tied to this woman. It's a dance. NOT SEX.

This isn't about you. This is about celebrating a marriage. It was because of those two that this woman was born. Doesn't matter that they are now divorced. The fact of the matter is they were together and created children together.

Stop making this about you. It's a 3 minute dance.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Mayaguez on

Sister’s husband is duchess a gentleman! Him offering to dance with the mothers of the bride seems the perfect solution. Hope the bride accepts it.

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answers from Washington DC on

oh my. 'endure watching that intimate moment.' 'truly hurts me.'

it's a dance.

at his daughter's wedding.

either you trust him or you don't. and wanting him to intervene with the bride on your behalf, especially since the dance is the bride's request, is alarmingly insecure.

it's not weird for a girl to want to see her parents share a single dance at her wedding.

it's sad that instead of enjoying the special occasion you are consumed with angst over the perceived matchmaking.

if you are unable to handle the bride's relatively simple request, then don't go to the wedding.

if watching the parents of the bride share a single dance together is going to wound you so badly, then that fancy ring you wear on your wedding finger doesn't really mean that you're okay with the status quo.

but this day is about the bride. either be gracious (and for the gods' sakes, at least a LITTLE confident in your relationship) or be absent.


14 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I think you're making way too much of this. Phrases like "intimate moment" used over and over show that you really aren't secure in your relationship.

I had a similar situation when my stepdaughter got married. No one is trying to get the exes back together, but my husband really didn't want to dance with his horrible ex. I urged him, for months, to do it as a gift to his daughter. So I suggest you do what we did: he dances with his ex but holds her at an acceptable distance (think: President Ford dancing with Queen Elizabeth - his left hand holds her right, his right hand is at the small of her back. Nothing else touches.) He smiles. If the ex gets chummy, he lets go with one hand and points to the happy couple (thereby decreasing his touch with her) yet sharing the happiness of their child, the bride. You stand/sit at your table and smile approvingly, like you don't have a care in the world and like you have the greatest guy in the universe. Thereafter, he dances with you, holding you close, smiling and laughing, whispering sweet intimacies and so on. You laugh and look at him with the same moon eyes he shows to you. You stand straight, walk with confidence, and rest your hand (ring showing) on his arm when you can (if you really want to rub it in).

Otherwise, you will seem to be the bitter and worried woman who cannot trust her man. Remember that a 3rd party never, ever broke up a good relationship. So the ex can't do it, and the kids can't do it.

I think you should stop getting involved with asking other people to dance with her - it actually weakens your position. This day is not about you or your boyfriend. It's about showing your support for the couple and putting your best food forward with the big family.

The rest of the stuff about how he can't tell his kids "no" for anything - that's a bigger and ongoing problem. But don't make the wedding the place where you draw a line in the sand.

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answers from Dallas on

This is not about you. It is the bride's day.

I see nothing wrong for her to want to have her parents dance together. Expect a "family" portrait without you as well. You are not even married to him and you are tying to call some shots on HIS daughter's wedding?

Your bf is right... who is he going home with? You trust him or you don't.

If you can't deal with this you need to stay home and not attend the wedding, or any more weddings to come. These are HIS children and HIS choice as to what he does at the wedding. You should not be coming between him and his children.

Your perceived notion that there is matchmaking going on also shows your insecurity.

Good lord, it is just a traditional dance at a wedding. Your "intimate moment" comment makes it sound like they'll be making out on the dance floor or something.

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answers from Santa Fe on

My opinion is, eh, who cares. It's just a dumb dance. You can dance with him during all the other dances. It's not an intimate moment. It's not something you should take personally. It's just a silly tradition. No one is going to think anything about it except that all you parents are being gracious.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I'm sorry to tell you that you will always be second fiddle because he won't marry you. Add this to it being a big Italian family, and you will not be listened to.

Your boyfriend doesn't want to rock the boat. It's his daughter's wedding and he's going to give her what she wants. He will dance with the mother of the bride, and then he will dance with you. If you were married to him, it might be different. But you aren't married to him.

He is right when he says "Who am I going home with?" You'll have to live with that.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

They are her parents. If they are on good terms I honestly don't see this an intimate. Its a dance between two parents of a child getting married. That said, when my son got married last year, my husband and I didn't dance together for any special dance. It was mother-son, father-daughter.

I think you are making way more out of this than needs be. Asking his sister's husband to dance with mom was stepping over the line. That wasn't your place.

I think you need to be the bigger person and just smile and clap after they dance.

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answers from Boston on

Yes its weird but here's the deal. Its a day that the bride and groom get to plan. She would love pictures of her parents dancing 1 dance together. Surly if you love his daughter as much as you claim you will understand this and is a photo op and not a rekindling of their romance.

At this point you need to stop talking to everyone about it because you are making yourself look childish and jealous over nothing. Its one dance out of an evening of a hundred other chances to dance. Plaster a smile on your face and for 5 minutes and it'll be done. After 2 yrs if dating their dad you don't have the right to ask them to change a single thing in their special day.

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answers from Abilene on

I think you can potentially have two outcomes:

Pitch a fit and alienate your boyfriend’s daughter and other family members who will judge you as petty or hard to deal with. Potentially your BF may feel he has to make a choice between making you happy or her happy. Possibly resenting you for making things harder for him.

Put on a smile and fake it until you make it. Not making it hard on anyone. Realistically this dance will last all of 3-4 mins and be over.

Weddings and funerals bring out the crazy in families sometimes. Try hard not to add to that or cause more drama. Sometimes loving someone calls for you to put your feelings aside and make it easier on the other.

You can always say “you know I would rather keep you all to myself, but I’ll look forward to dancing the rest of the night with you”. That will more than likely make him very grateful for your choice to put your feelings aside. I think grateful trumps resentment every time.

Choose wisely...future relationships are at stake here.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I’m a stepmom too. It is not always the easiest role. My go-to question when I am faced with a tough blended family situation is: what is best for the children? If this is something the bride wants I would go along with it. It is ok for this bride to want her parents together (to dance or even to get back together). Those are natural feelings so don’t fault her for them. You can do this!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

You and your significant other know that the dance will mean nothing to him, other than fulfilling a favor to his child, so I would go along with it. If anyone says anything about it to you or to your SO, simply say "His daughter asked him to dance with her, so he's doing it for his child." I'm sure that there will be more than 1 slow dance, and after the one official dance between your SO and his ex, I'm sure your SO will spend plenty of time with you on the dance floor.

In short, be the bigger person and let this go.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I don't know. It's just a dance, not sex. A dance in front of hundreds (maybe more) people. If they were being set up on a date, yes, I'd find it offensive and disrespectful. I recently started dating a man who has an ex-wife and they are pretty friendly. I am not the least bit offended by it. I have been around them, and don't feel threatened by it at all. I understand people can be great friends without having feelings of lust or love anymore, or realize there is no possibility of a relationship due to addictions or mental illness because I have been there. I am friends with ex-boyfriends and have no romantic or sexual feelings whatsoever. They're just people I was friends with before dating, or people I find easy to talk to, so why should the ending of our relationship be the end of our friendship or ability to get along? Learn to trust, if there's no reason for you to doubt him, then don't accuse him of wanting to get back with her.

Besides, the daughter isn't excluding you from the wedding, as if you're a nobody to her and her father. They are wanting your presence. It is just one dance and the rest of the dances are for you and your boyfriend to share together. Have you not danced with a friend or family member that was married, ever? Sometimes people ask you to pick random people off the dance floor for a dance (or someone picks you up), doesn't mean it's anything more than that, there doesn't need to be inappropriate closeness or touching. A conga line isn't something intimate or a reason for a spouse to blow up, for example. While it might have been offensive to admit they are hoping mom and dad get back together, I think all kids of divorce secretly wish this, however unrealistic it may be.

Trust your boyfriend, after all, it takes two to tango and he isn't interested in tangoing with her, but with you. They don't even live in the same state, so what is there to worry about? He is right, he is going home to you and making love to you. Isn't that good enough? If he really wanted her back, he'd ask for that ring back and dump you. He hasn't, so why fret over a dance and imagine all these crazy scenarios where they end up together? It's been over 20 years that they have been apart. I highly doubt he still has feelings of love for her or he would have dumped you the minute he knew she was single, and would be arranging for ways for her to move to Florida.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

This is only as intimate as they make it. I would not worry about it at all. And it doesn't surprise me she wants her parents to have a dance. If they can't stand each other one bit that would be different. Let his daughter have this. He will be dancing with you I am sure plenty.

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answers from Philadelphia on

It’s only a dance. (Probably less than 4 minutes) Certainly not an intimate moment especially with hundreds of people watching. Don’t let it ruin this day for you and create tension between you and your BF.

I’m wondering if you would be more secure if he wanted to marry you. Personally speaking, this arrangement wouldn’t work for me. Perhaps it doesn’t really work for you either. IDK but perhaps something to think about.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Having the parents of the bride dance together during the reception is perfectly normal, my parents had zero issues with it at my wedding even though they had been divorced for several years and the divorce was pretty ugly. They never even questioned it because it was MY day and they are MY parents. We of course also had them dance with their SOs and I danced with both my dad and step father and well as my FIL. There is absolutely nothing wrong with her wanting her parents to share a dance on HER special day. If you trust your BF it shouldn't matter if you think anyone has ulterior motives or not. My advice, don't let your insecurity or jealously interfere with your SDs special day, let her have things the way she wants them including having her bio parents share a dance, and just be there to support her along the way.

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answers from Lansing on

I agree with a lot of the others I think your focusing too much on a dance being intimate. It's just a dance. Let them do it and move on with the rest of the night. A dance does not have to be intimate. And from the sounds of it your boyfriend is not going to make it that way.

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answers from Washington DC on

Welcome to mamapedia.

If you are so secure with your relationship - why are you having such a problem with ONE DANCE?? It's not like they are going behind closed doors and having sex. It's a DANCE. I am SURE the groom's parents will be dancing at the same time with the bride and groom - correct? So it's not like they are in the "lime light".

I say - if you are secure in your relationship? Just support this and say - have a blast! Heck your boyfriend can say - I'd like to split the dance between your mom and Sally. And then at a "key" time - you gently slide in.

Personally, I think you're making a mountain out of a mole hill. If "it will "NEVER" happen?" what are you worried about? What's wrong with PARENTS sharing a moment?

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answers from Seattle on

I am not sure why it's an "intimate" moment? Are they embracing, face to face, staring into each other's eyes?
I mean, he can control how intimate the dance is.
You know your position in his life. You are comfortable as his significant other. You know that there will be a lot of these instances because you are a blended family. They are the parents, I think it's perfectly acceptable for them to dance.

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answers from Norfolk on

A bride dancing with her father I've heard of.
Parents dancing if their are together - ok.
Parents dancing if divorced - ok if they are amicable and not going to start world war 3.
Parents dancing if divorced and can barely stand being in the same room together? makes me think the bride is out of her mind.
The brides marriage isn't her parents marriage and wanting to stage it like her parents are currently happy together makes no sense to me.

As for you 'watching an intimate moment' - it's a dance, nothing more and if they can get through it without stomping all over each others toes then good for them.

For your boyfriend to ask 'who am I going home with?' is just insensitive on his part.
(Wait a minute. Is he asking you to taunt you or is he asking you to drive home the point that he IS going home with you? This is one of the things you can't get any verbal inflections from text.)
My answer for a taunt would have been 'if you don't come home with me then don't bother coming home at all'.

Sorry you are insecure but you and he need to work on that and not at his daughters wedding.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Geez! Dancing together is does'nt have to be intimate. I suggest you'll see some other couples dancing without much intimacy. Dancing at a wedding is different than dancing in a club. It's much more formal.

Your SO can make it intimate by dancing close, kissing and talking sweet nothings. Are you afraid of that? It's likely they will talk about their daughter and the wedding. Does that bother you?
You will be dancing with him. She isn't asking her Dad to only dance with his.ex.

I too suggest that you don't feel secure in your relationship. I also suggest that if you turn this into a big deal, you'll put stress on your relationship and not be welcomed at family events.

BTW divorced parents often dance one dance together. Even tho they are divorced, they are still the parents of the bride. Your SO will always be connected to his ex through his children. I hope you can accept that relationship.

And this is his daughter's wedding. It's her day to do as she wishes. I think it would be cruel and harm your relationship with your SO and his family if you continue to take her choice as.a statement about your relationship with him, you won't have fun and you'll be putting a cloud over the daughter's wedding. Do you want to be "that woman?"

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answers from Boston on

It's weird to specify that the parents of the bride or groom will dance. The dances are for the couple, and then mother-son or father-daughter if wanted. I would have your boyfriend talk to his ex and get on the same page that this is awkward and inappropriate and they can present a united front that while they are happy to be "family" for photos, seating, etc. and are both looking forward to this day, that they will not share a special dance, period.

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answers from Sacramento on

I guess I'm a voice of support here in that I think it's very bizarre they're asking divorced parents to dance together. I never would have asked my long-divorced father-in-law and mother-in-law to dance at our wedding, even though they're amicable. It's just plain odd and I find it creepy, since the kids have decided they want to get them back together. It's not really an intimate moment and really just a dance, but who pairs up divorced people for a dance?

It's the bride and groom's day, yes, but they don't get to dictate bizarre requests like this. As adults, you have the right to say no, this is too bizarre and not for us, we'd rather dance together as a couple that's actually together.

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answers from Austin on

They will forever be linked by their children and as long as they are on good terms with each other I don’t think it would be a problem. It is about the bride and groom and what they want. I do think you’re thinking more about yourself and being jealous of the exclusion. If you’re boyfriend says they will never be back together then you should have a little faith and trust in him. In our case we were worried my husband’s parents would get too close and she might cut him so we didn’t request they dance together and it didn’t even cross our mind but my uncle and his ex are still great friends even though they have no interest in being together. Enjoy the wedding and trust it will all turn out ok.

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answers from Kansas City on

Ok I must admit I am sort of surprised by all your responses. I tend to agree with you. I think it's super weird. I think I would be upset in your position. According to everyone below this is normal, maybe it is, but I haven't been to a wedding and seen two divorced parents dancing together.

You don't really say how your BF feels about it. Does he want to do this? I think he needs to really tell you how he feels. If he feels like it's no big deal and he's just trying to abide by his daughter's wishes then that's something to consider. Your feelings definitely matter, but so do his. And of course the bride's wishes matter too. I know you feel like she has ulterior motives, and maybe it's true, but maybe it's harmless. I don't know what the real advice here is except that I think you need to really get a better handle on your husband's position and go from there. Tell him how you feel without getting emotional and accusatory.

2 moms found this helpful
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