I’m an older man with a grown daughter who was not a very big part of my life (due to her mother's infidelity and refusal to allow visitation – after multiple court battles and one contempt charge).
I’ve met someone and we are planning to get married.
But recently my fiancée informed me that she did not want my grown daughter to be at the wedding (nor any of my friends, either).
My fiancée has been most insistent that I try to have a relationship with my daughter, but that the relationship would not include her (i.e. the fiancée).
I have been maintaining contact with my daughter but we are several hundred miles apart, so it is not a "drop-in" type of relationship.
I am hurt and upset but don't know what to do other than to acquiesce since it really is the "bride's day.”
It may be “the bride’s day” but it is the groom’s life –yours - that she’s trying to control.
This is a red flag.
Without your describing any more explanatory reasons for her demand that neither your daughter NOR your friends attend, leaves the impression that your fiancée doesn’t want any attention on who you are and whom you have been.
Worse, she has no interest in meeting or getting to know your only daughter… as if that occasional contact would also take attention away from total focus on your marital relationship.
I urge you to think through carefully what marriage to this woman would mean for you.
So far, I see too many restrictions being imposed on you, plus every decision hers, with you as an accessory to her life.
Postpone the wedding and consider going to couples’ counselling with her (if she’ll go).
It may provide a better chance at hearing any logical reasons behind her arbitrary (and mean) commands.
We have a friend who won’t eat our food. If I prepare a meat dish, he’ll announce that he only eats fish.
If we order in, he’ll have heard from others that the restaurant is filthy. Nothing makes him happy. Every dinner party or celebration is ruined.
On New Year’s Eve, he arrived but wouldn’t speak to anyone because he’d had a disagreement with his spouse.
If he’s in an acceptable mood, he’ll discuss his office problems for the whole night.
We like to chat about light things and not get into heavy topics. How do we handle this situation?
You obviously feel some obligation to keep inviting this man and his wife, but if there’s any “out,” you could at least lessen the pain by cutting down on the frequency of invitations.
If that’s impossible, then discuss the menu and his food preferences first, as in, “If I make a roast beef which everyone else wants, will you eat it?”
If the answer’s “No,” you can choose between asking what he wants or suggesting he bring what he’d prefer. (I’ve personally done and seen other hosts do both, to accommodate people known to have sensitive food requirements).
Also, when ordering in, alert him ahead and tell him to choose what he wants, or, if necessary, to order his own from elsewhere.
Mostly, this man appears to be an attention-seeker, not only with contrariness about food but also through negative paths – troubles at work, spousal argument, etc.
Try to ignore the comments and mood.
Break into his “story,” and change the topic to something of common interest to the rest of your guests.
Readers Commentary Regarding the writer’s girlfriend whose mother arranged a social evening with a family friend who drugged and raped her (Nov. 29 and Jan. 6):
“The victim-blaming commenters are contributing to rape culture.
“When you blame a sexual assault victim for the abuse or atrocity they suffered, you increase the number of rapes in your community.
“By taking the responsibility away from the rapist, you create a socially-protected class of offender unlikely to ever see justice.
“This leads to more rapes because victims can't come forward without reprisal, aren't supported, and will likely bear the burden for another's actions even while (sometimes), they themselves were unconscious.
“It's not a sin or a crime to have a drink or have sex or go out, yet victim-blamers with this mentality help create an environment supportive and sympathetic to sexual violators.
“None of those commenters is telling the rapist to take responsibility.”
Tip of the day:
Beware “Bride’s Day” controls that set the pattern throughout the marriage.