By all accounts, I had a great dad. When I was born, he left his corporate job to be a stay-at-home father. My father did everything, but my mother complained and criticized him for being a deadbeat. This turned into her calling him “violent” and “gay.” Before long, they were in counseling, and my mother called the police for “claiming he was going to kill her.” She had us testify against him for being a “child molester.” He got a full-time job, but she got him fired. During it all, my father never wavered in his love. He tolerated my mother’s abuse and continued to take us to activities and push us academically. We learned my mother was having a long-term affair and became secretly engaged to someone else.
When Dad finally divorced her, my sister became ruthless, refusing calls and texts. I followed suit and haven’t spoken to him in four years. Though I knew my father was sad, lonely, and suffering, we kids pitted our parents against each other to obtain trips and material items. Eventually, my father gave up. My mom, on the other hand, started being a caring mother. I learned on Facebook my father met a woman and is happily helping to raise her children. It saddens me that we never provided that for him.
Now I am getting married. I want my father there. My mother will be livid. I don’t think a wedding is a place for a reunion, but I feel if he isn’t there, I would, again, have betrayed him. I know my siblings will be equally harsh and I risk being ostracized. My mother still maintains her innocence and claims he “abandoned the family for being gay.” I don’t want to get married to avoid all of this. I am also afraid that my father, rightfully so, likes his new family better. What should I do?
—Estranged Father of the Bride