Wedding woes: partner not invited

Father-of-the-bride Harry is experiencing some wedding woes, so Jo Lamble suggests how he can tackle the delicate nature of his situation.

Q. Harry
My partner of 20 years hasn’t been invited to my daughter’s wedding but my ex-wife’s new husband has. Is this fair? Should I push for her to be invited or boycott the wedding altogether?

A. Wow, that does seem unfair and very hurtful for you and your partner. Was this a shock or have you been aware that there was some sort of issue with your partner? Does your partner have any idea what might be going on? Perhaps the issue is between your ex-wife and your partner and she has made the request. I would strongly recommend that you talk to your daughter about her decision. Start very gently and with as much empathy as you can summon in the circumstances. Maybe say something like: “I know it’s your special day and all I want is for you to be happy. There is obviously some issue with my partner and I’d really like to understand what it is so that it doesn’t affect our relationship going forward.”

Ask her if there is anything you can do to smooth things over and make it easier for you all to get along for the one day. If she doesn’t tell why but insists that your partner isn’t welcome, then you have a decision to make. Do you support your daughter or your partner? The father of the bride is clearly a significant role so it would be hard to boycott the day, but you can’t deny the fact that you are being placed in a difficult position.

Hopefully your daughter will soften and invite your partner to the wedding. If she doesn’t and you decide to go to the wedding, it will be important for you to give your partner a lot of empathy and support. Ask for her understanding in going to the wedding without her and let her know that your decision to be there for your daughter is not an indication of how committed you are to her.

Related articles:
Discussing a previous marriage
Spotting relationship warning signs
My house, my rules

Written by Jo Lamble

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