Hurt my Father's feelings... advice for a wedding dummy?
My father is upset with me because I informed him that I would like to have my step-dad walk me down the aisle as well as him. I can’t pick between the 2 of them so I would rather walk alone than give into my father’s fit.
Background: my biological father was present in my life, but not a great dad. He treated my mom like crap and denied that I was his real child until a few years ago when I finally confronted him about it (he thought my mom cheated on him as he thought he was sterile, sorry tmi). My parents divorced when I was 12 and my mom met my step-dad when I was 16. My father paid very little child support and rarely visited me.
Though I was a bit older when my step-dad came into my life, he has been a rock for our family. He supports me in every way he can and has taken care of my mom in some tough times, for which I am truly appreciative. I consider him my chosen dad.
Fast forward to my wedding and I ask both if they would be okay with sharing the walking me down the aisle responsibility. My step-dad was so honored and happy; he was 100% on board. My biological father though blew up and accused me of not considering his feelings and hurting him on purpose. I have apologized a few times now and tried to explain that he is not being replaced, but my step-dad is an additional, supportive parent that deserves to be included. I do not wish to diminish his role, but I cannot exclude my step-dad.
The funny thing about all this is that my father hasn’t seemed keen to coming to the wedding at all. He is prepping me with potential excuses for not coming like: I might start a new job and can’t ask for the weekend off, not even for a wedding; I might have too much yard work that weekend (he manages an apartment building), etc. I don’t want to assume the worst, but this is typical of him to set up with excuses and then bail the last second. If he is on the fence about even coming, why would he care who walks me down the aisle? Maybe another potential excuse…
My question is, has anyone been in a similar situation and can offer advice for managing my father’s feelings further? I left the ball in his court last time we spoke, telling him if he doesn’t want my step-dad to be included then maybe we shouldn’t do it at all. As in, the whole family will just sit in the front row and enjoy the laid-back ceremony. At least that’s what I was hoping for… We haven’t spoken since and I’m worried that this will just make him not come. I really want him there, but at the same time, I don’t negotiate with emotional terrorists.
Be honest, even if it’s harsh. I need a dose of reality. Sorry for the long post.