“He’s said sorry for not keeping in touch when I was a child and we really get on, but my mum is laying the law down about my big day.” Coleen gives her advice
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My parents split up when I was four and my dad moved to Spain and only kept in brief contact with us. My mum remarried and my stepfather is lovely.
They had two sons, my half-brothers, who I get on really well with.
I’m now 25 and engaged, and I’ve recently contacted my dad through his sister, whom I kept in touch with.
My dad has now moved back to the UK and lives about an hour away from us. I met him recently and we took my dog for a walk and went for a pub lunch.
He apologised for leaving when I was small, but said it was because of him and my mum and it had nothing to do with me.
He acknowledges he could have been a better dad and stayed in touch, and he said sorry. However, my mum is finding this situation really hard.
She keeps telling me my dad is a waste of space, but I actually get along with him and like having him in my life.
He’ll never replace my mum, who did everything for me, nor my stepfather. But my mum is adamant I can’t invite him to my wedding, which is really upsetting. What do you think?
I’d sit down and have a conversation with both your mum and your dad. In many ways I understand how she feels.
From her point of view, having had the tough job of raising you all on her own, to her this probably just looks like your dad is swanning back into your life when things are lovely and then he can enjoy your wedding.
However, I also get that you’re enjoying having your dad back in your life.
I do agree with your mum, though, that it might not be a great idea for him to come to the wedding. After all, there will probably be lots of relatives there who haven’t forgiven him for abandoning you both.
People drink at weddings and emotions run high, and the last thing you’d want is for there to be any conflict between your dad and your family on such a special day. It would just put a cloud over it all.
It’s nice he’s finally got back in touch and apologised, but I think it’s too soon for him to be at your wedding. What about the speeches, which will probably mention you growing up?
And, putting your mum aside for a moment, how will it make your stepfather feel to have your dad there?
Maybe not attending the wedding will show your dad that there are consequences to him not being there for you growing up.
You don’t have to cut him out of your life altogether – perhaps you can go for a nice meal with him with your new husband after the wedding. But I have to say I’m with your mum on this one.