I’m getting married in September.
My parents separated when I was 7; I was raised by my stepfather, whom I love. However, I’m occasionally in contact with my real father, and feel it’d be rude and selfish if I don’t invite him to the wedding. But I don’t want to hurt my stepfather, as he’s very sensitive.
Should I just invite my biological father without telling my stepfather and let the chips fall where they may, or ask my stepfather if he would be okay with it? What if he’s not? Or do I not invite my father and explain why?
I’m proud of my stepfather and appreciate the good upbringing and don’t want him to feel jealous or insecure. There are no battles between the two men.
This is my wedding and I don’t want anyone to be upset, feel insulted or left out.
Also, my biological father has recently become ill with cancer and might not even feel up to coming to the wedding.
Since you feel even the question could hurt your stepfather’s feelings, then it’s obvious how he’d really feel, no matter his answer. So decide against inviting your biological father, but create another occasion.
Since he wasn’t in the picture all these years, he cannot feel “left out” of the wedding party. You and your fiancée can give him separate acknowledgement and honour by visiting him together and making a celebratory occasion of it, by sharing a toast together, possibly dining out if he’s up to it, or bringing treats to enjoy together at his place.
Take photographs, make it special… but keep it apart from the wedding ceremony that your stepfather has worked hard to participate in, as your parent.
One of my best friends has been with his girlfriend for two years and I was happy for him; I’d introduced them originally. However, he recently discovered his girlfriend was hanging out with another guy and kissed him on the lips; my friend was upset.
Something similar had happened a while back but it wasn’t as serious as this. My friend forgave her but my trust in her was gone.
Through time she built it back up but I still got an odd vibe from her. The first time, I suggested to my friend that he rethink this whole relationship; he didn’t. Also, she’d freak if he even talked to a female friend at school but he’d never cheat on her, and has never thought about it.
Then, when she strayed again, my friend did appear to be re-thinking. He wanted to go to her place and get his stuff back and she even wanted to end the relationship, too. But they patched things up again.
I’m worried he’ll get hurt again. Do I have reason to be alarmed or is the third time the charm?
- Concerned Friend
Much as you may care, you not only have no say in their relationship, but you also risk the friendship by showing too much concern.
He knows the situation, has decided to stay with her, and doesn’t need to be reminded or questioned about these “incidents.” And trust me, your worry will come between you two friends, unless you give up your role as his Protector.
If he gets hurt, he chose to be in the line of fire; that’s his right. He may well need you to be supportive should things go sour again, but until then, back off.
My friend of 20-plus years is a smoker; I can’t visit her house anymore, as I end up smelling of smoke (even if no–one’s smoking) and with a headache.
Being in her car also gives me headaches.
She sews and knits lovely gifts, but unfortunately these gifts are smoke-infused.
How can I tactfully explain why I can’t visit her and always have to drive my car when we go anywhere? I don’t want to hurt her feelings.
- Smoking Woes
If you can’t be honest, it’s a frail friendship.
Say that you’ve become allergic to smoke, it gives you headaches; it’s unavoidable in her home and car, even when she isn’t smoking. Don’t preach, or you’ll push her away. These are facts, and you’re sorry about them, but you need her to understand your difficulties with smoke.
Work on solutions together – meet in restaurants, go for walks together, visit at your place.
Tip of the day:
When stepparents do all the work of raising children, their feelings as parents count for more than biology.