Wedding Woes

Again...say nothing, do nothing.

Dear Prudence,
Any suggestions on how to tell my mother that I do not want her at my wedding? She has been a mean and manipulative alcoholic my entire life. I finally stopped talking to her about two years ago after she caused serious legal troubles for my sister. Around the same time, I graduated with my master’s degree, and she didn’t show up to the ceremony because she was too busy at an AA meeting. She emails me once in a while to say she loves me, and it breaks my heart, but I don’t want to risk inviting her and have her not show up, or show up and get drunk and vicious. She has never been able to act right at major functions. She has not given me any reason to believe that she has gotten sober and stayed sober. Please help! I haven’t even told her that I’m engaged.

—Estranged and Happy

Re: Again...say nothing, do nothing.

  • Has she never heard of a "Dry" wedding?!?!?  Fastest way to get an addict to not show up or leave early is to take the booze/fix away!

  • Don't tell her she is not invited. Don't tell her when it is or anything else. Hopefully you aren't having a large event with every other member of the family. 

    I can't imagine the pain of growing up with an addict parent and how hard it is to cut them out of your life. I will not say to reach out to see if she is sober or how that is going. Only LW knows if that is a good idea or not, sounds like it wouldn't be.
  • I disagree, @mesmrewe. LW specifically said she didn't want her mom there. Like Mrs. Conn said, she should do and say nothing - not even tell her mom she's getting married, IMHO.

    Having a dry wedding is all well and good, but if LW wants alcohol at her wedding, she should be able do. But that's totally separate from the issue with her mom.

    My mom was an active alcoholic for a big portion of my childhood. She was sober by the time I became an adult and we had a great relationship until she died, but if she was still drinking, I would have done the same as LW and I would not have invited her to my wedding.

    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
  • My Dad is an alcoholic and he's been sober for 5 years. We had a terrible relationship when I was growing because of it. Had he not been sober I wouldn't have wanted him there either. There is a lot that children of alcoholics feel they can't control (bc obviously we can't) when it comes to the alcoholic parent and some of that is safety. If LW does want her mother there for whatever reason she should just not invite her. And if there had been a dry wedding my dad was invited to when he was drinking, he just would have been drunk before he went. 
  • Same here, @charlotte989875

    When I was about 16 I remember telling my mum that I hoped my dad was dead and gone by the time I got married because I would never let him near my wedding, or walk me down the aisle. Luckily things have moved forward somewhat for us, and our relationship has improved.  I meant it at the time though, and I don't think I was wrong to feel that way. This is not LW's fault, she doesn't have to invite anyone she doesn't want to, family don't get a pass just by being blood. I agree she should keep her mouth shut.
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