Wedding Etiquette Forum
Options

How to handle FOB problem - advice please

Ok, so my father has been in and out of my life since I became an adult.  He was a no good, unfaithful husband to my mom who passed when I was 16.  They divorced when I was 2 but shared parenting and he was very active and involved in a good way right up until I became an adult.  Then, when he couldn't dictate my life to me as a kid anymore and I disagreed with him on some things, he became extremely distant, left the state and barely spoke to me. 

I recently received collection notices on his behalf at my address making me wonder if he fraudulently put my address and phone number (I got calls too from billers) down for his delinquent accounts.  Recently, after a couple funerals in our family he stated that he wants to be a better person even though he is struggling with deciding if he wants to put his stamp of approval via his presence on my impending marriage (not that it would  matter to me). 

So in a nutshell right now he doesn't know if he will be prepared to come as either a guest or to walk me down the aisle but he wants me to keep an open mind just in case he decides that is what he wants to do. 

I am torn because on the one hand I want to give him a chance to straighten up and fly right.  But on the other hand, 1) I don't trust him and 2) my amazing uncle has already offered to walk me down the aisle and I said that would be great.  I don't know if it would be the right thing to do to allow my dad to dictate when he wants to be a part of things or if he wants to be a part of things, and then potentially tell my uncle, oh, my dad is ok with everything now so he'll walk me. 

Another thing is that right now my uncle is walking with a cane and I'm not even sure if he'll be able to walk me.  If not, I was planning on having another family member walk me.  But letting my dad jump in and out when he wants just feels wrong.  I'm leaning towards not giving him that privilege.  What do you all think?

Re: How to handle FOB problem - advice please

  • Options
    AddieCakeAddieCake member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited January 2013
    I would have your uncle walk you. It is not fair of him to expect you to kind of hold a place of honor for him on the off chance he will do right. Asking you to "keep an open mind" is ridiculous. If he wanted you to keep an open mind, he needs to step up NOW and decide to do right, not keep you wondering if he MIGHT. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
  • Options
    Your dad is a jerk. You should not keep an open mind towards him. He can't decide whether he's okay with even coming? You do not wan this person in your life.
  • Options
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_how-to-handle-fob-problem-advice-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:dd7aa941-9783-4946-8f1c-1739850d9cb4Post:59c3989c-e8f0-4047-bc7a-80b3ea5fa147">How to handle FOB problem - advice please</a>:
    [QUOTE]Ok, so my father has been in and out of my life since I became an adult.  He was a no good, unfaithful husband to my mom who passed when I was 16.  They divorced when I was 2 but shared parenting and he was very active and involved in a good way right up until I became an adult.  Then, when he couldn't dictate my life to me as a kid anymore and I disagreed with him on some things, he became extremely distant, left the state and barely spoke to me.  I recently received collection notices on his behalf at my address making me wonder if he fraudulently put my address and phone number (I got calls too from billers) down for his delinquent accounts.  Recently, after a couple funerals in our family <strong>he stated that he wants to be a better person even though he is struggling with deciding if he wants to put his stamp of approval via his presence on my impending marriage </strong>(not that it would  matter to me).  So in a nutshell right now <strong>he doesn't know if he will be prepared to come as either a guest or to walk me down the aisle but he wants me to keep an open mind just in case he decides that is what he wants to do.</strong>  I am torn because on the one hand I want to give him a chance to straighten up and fly right.  But on the other hand, 1) I don't trust him and 2) my amazing uncle has already offered to walk me down the aisle and I said that would be great.  I don't know if it would be the right thing to do to allow my dad to dictate when he wants to be a part of things or if he wants to be a part of things, and then potentially tell my uncle, oh, my dad is ok with everything now so he'll walk me.  Another thing is that right now my uncle is walking with a cane and I'm not even sure if he'll be able to walk me.  If not, I was planning on having another family member walk me.  But letting my dad jump in and out when he wants just feels wrong.  I'm leaning towards not giving him that privilege.  What do you all think?
    Posted by zantster[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div><div style="font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:10px;background-color:initial;color:#1f1f1f;font:normal normal normal 11px/14px Arial, sans-serif;text-align:left;background-image:none;background-attachment:initial;background-origin:initial;background-clip:initial;line-height:normal;">I'm sorry that you are even having to deal with this sort of issue. Your father sounds just as selfish and entitled as you say he was during your childhood. If you can honestly say that you don't trust him then take that as a sign from yourself. Trust your instincts instead. </div><div style="font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:10px;background-color:initial;color:#1f1f1f;font:normal normal normal 11px/14px Arial, sans-serif;text-align:left;background-image:none;background-attachment:initial;background-origin:initial;background-clip:initial;line-height:normal;">
    </div><div style="font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:10px;background-color:initial;color:#1f1f1f;font:normal normal normal 11px/14px Arial, sans-serif;text-align:left;background-image:none;background-attachment:initial;background-origin:initial;background-clip:initial;line-height:normal;">As to the bold: The very idea that he is dictating what he may or may not be willing to do for YOUR wedding is preposterous and insulting. You are an adult and should not have to stress over something like this. If I were you I'd let him know that he is welcome to show up as a guest but that the option of him walking you down the aisle is not on the table. Tell him you've already made the arrangements for your wedding that YOU want and that you don't need him to show up to give his "stamp of approval" -seriously, that statement alone is offensive enough not to even extend an invite, but that is completely up to you.</div><div style="font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:10px;background-color:initial;color:#1f1f1f;font:normal normal normal 11px/14px Arial, sans-serif;text-align:left;background-image:none;background-attachment:initial;background-origin:initial;background-clip:initial;line-height:normal;">
    </div><div style="font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:10px;background-color:initial;color:#1f1f1f;font:normal normal normal 11px/14px Arial, sans-serif;text-align:left;background-image:none;background-attachment:initial;background-origin:initial;background-clip:initial;line-height:normal;">Again, I'm sorry you are dealing with this. My relationship with my own father has seen its fair share of ups and downs since my parents split (and I was 20). So I understand how awkward wedding planning can be when you have a confusing relationship status with a parent. I encourage you to be strong and not let him pressure or manipulate you. This is YOUR wedding... it's supposed to be about you and your FI, not your father. </div>
    </div>

    Anniversary
  • Options
    I agree with Stage. Walking you down the aisle is a privilege for you to grant, not a right for him to decide if he wants it or not. Rekindling your father/daughter relationship is something he should want to do regardless of your wedding, not because of it or for it. Good luck with your decision!
  • Options
    Thanks so  much everyone!  I can't help crying as I write this.  Because I have struggled so long with loving a man who is my father but also is a selfish user in every sense of the word.  My mom never wanted to be blamed for not allowing us to get to know him.  I don't know how she steadied a parenting relationship with him after he treated her so abusively emotionally, verbally and physically.  I had decided at one point to not invite him but have been waffling about that after he supposedly wanted me to give him a bit of latitude in the wake of a couple family members passing away.  To be honest, I was afraid that it would be my fault if we didn't become closer if I didn't invite him or allow him to walk me down the aisle IF he wants to.  But thanks for the nugget of therapy Stage.  You're right.  It has nothing to do with me since I cannot control another person's decisions.  And if he feels he can take his time and change his mind about whether he accepts my marriage and still be entitled to all the privileges of being a FOB he's got another thing coming.  I guess I needed some of you knotties who are not remotely close to the situation to tell me what I sort of knew already.  He is still no good and won't change.  Now I just have to decide when to tell him.  Should I bring it up to him the next time he gets in touch? Or just ignore him and don't invite him?  Or invite him as a guest only?
  • Options
    I wouldn't go out of your way to tell him. If he contacts you about it then go ahead and tell him that you've made other arrangements. If you choose not to invite him them you can either let him know that as well... although this will lead into a more serious conversation regarding your relationship (or lack there of) so beware. If you're prepared to have that discussion then go for it and stay strong... he will not change. 

    Otherwise, just ignore him and don't send an invitation. Either way he'll get the message. 

    I, personally, don't think he deserves an invitation nor the privilege of walking you or any other honors. You don't owe him any explanations if you don't care to give them. Do not let this stress you out or take away anything from your bridal experience. Focus on your wedding and your new life with your FI. Focus on love and good energy and surround yourself with the people that love you and are good supporters of you and your FI - THAT is what really matters.

    Anniversary
  • Options
    You don't need his stamp of "approval," and considering how he treated you throughout your life, I wouldn't even invite him to the wedding.  Have your uncle walk you, and make clear to your sperm provider that he already made his "choices" when he left you, so you had no choice but to ask someone else.

    I agree with brita722 that you should stay focused on those things that make you happy, like the fact that you're getting married to someone who loves you and whom you love, who will give you the support you need.
  • Options
    Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited January 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_how-to-handle-fob-problem-advice-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:dd7aa941-9783-4946-8f1c-1739850d9cb4Post:06510992-d29f-46f1-8cab-b2e60585f6cb">Re:How to handle FOB problem advice please</a>:
    [QUOTE]I agree with PPs that said he should not walk you down the aisle, as you have asked your uncle. Whether or not he can physically walk you is irrelevant, at least as it pertains to your father. I do, however, think you should keep the invitation as a guest to your wedding open. Then , let it be. Whether he chooses to attend is also irrelevant. You have done the most mature thing in your power, I don't ever think you will come to regret a mature action.<strong> I think uninviting him will only hurt you in the long run, because I think you will come to regret it. It will basically hand him a reason to be as childish as he is being, and give him ammo to use against you. </strong>And he would take advantage of that, from what you have written about him. As long as you act with grace and maturity, you will never have regrets in life.
    Posted by BartenderBW[/QUOTE]

    I disagree.  This guy clearly uses his daughter to pat himself on the back and stroke his ego with no concern for her. She's said above that she doesn't need his approval and doesn't expect him to change for her, so I think she has nothing to gain by inviting him-and nothing at all to "regret" by not doing so.  In fact, I think if she feels any regret, it might be <em>because</em> she invited him and he lived up to his crumminess as not only a father but a person, and inviting him <em>will</em> hurt her.
  • Options
    Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited January 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_how-to-handle-fob-problem-advice-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:dd7aa941-9783-4946-8f1c-1739850d9cb4Post:dd8ba68c-ed0e-475a-8b28-4fa1c5bd7de6">Re:How to handle FOB problem advice please</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:How to handle FOB problem advice please: I do totally see your point. And if she thinks seeing him would totally crush her spirit, then she should protect herself no matter what. But when I look back at my life, I don't regret the bad actions of others. I regret, even in situations where I was hurt, the things I had control over. She has control over inviting him or not. If she doesn't, and looks back at her life 20 years from now and is sad her father is not in it, she's probably going to wish she had been the bigger person and invited him. If she does invite him, and looks back at her life 20 years from now and is sad her father is not in it, she has the personal satisfaction that she did what she could, and it's his loss. Again, I don't think inviting him would be a favor to him, as I don't think he deserves any favor. I think keeping the invite open to him as a guest, gives her the opportunity to control her actions, which is all she can do. <strong> I'm just speaking from personal experience. In the end, she must do what she needs to do in order to feel good about herself. That is not going to be the same for every person.</strong>
    Posted by BartenderBW[/QUOTE]

    That's exactly it.  You might have had regrets not inviting him, but that's not necessarily true for the OP or for anyone else.  So blithely saying "You'll regret it later if you don't invite" someone who has treated you very poorly just doesn't work well as general advice.
  • Options
    Well, you're right, we can agree to disagree.

    It may be a mature action to invite someone, but it's also a mature action to realize that someone who has let you down your whole life isn't going to change his coat because you are getting married, and decide on that basis that it isn't worth inviting him because his presence won't add to your happiness. 

    It actually isn't a mature action to invite someone with that bad a record and hope he will change for good-it's kind of childish, and it's opening the door for getting hurt even more.
  • Options
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_how-to-handle-fob-problem-advice-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:dd7aa941-9783-4946-8f1c-1739850d9cb4Post:0d9d4748-873f-4e10-95b8-33a063bd1d27">Re:How to handle FOB problem advice please</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:How to handle FOB problem advice please: I think you are misunderstanding what I wrote. I in no way thought that OP should invite her father with the hopes of having him change for the good. I think it would be healthier for OP to have NO expectations of her fathers behavior. My advice to her was to empower herself by taking control of her own actions and invite him as a guest. Then, whether he attends or not is out if her hands. She did what was in her power to be cordial, and, as stated before, I don't think anyone ever regrets being polite, and mature. If inviting him would do damage to her mental state, or if she has no wish to ever see him again, then of course she should not invite him. But the tone of her post suggests she is struggling with the decision. As such, I think inviting him as a guest, and relinquishing her expectations if him, letting whatever happens happen is the healthiest way to get through this very difficult situation
    Posted by BartenderBW[/QUOTE]

    While no one ever regrets being polite, when it doesn't bring the results one is hoping for, I think one does have regrets doing that action at all.

    It wouldn't be impolite not to invite this guy.

    I have concerns with the fact that he is claiming he "needs to put his stamp of approval" on the wedding.  That makes me believe that even if he was invited solely as a guest, he's not going to understand that he is not going to be performing the FOB role or accepting that with good grace...and it could come back to haunt her at the wedding if she invites him and he makes a fuss.  For that reason I don't advocate inviting him.
  • Options
    OP, others have said everything I could and better.  By his stating that he is thinking about giving his stamp of approval, by stating he's not sure about walking you down the aisle, you keeping an open mind about letting him if he decides to do so, etc. is just his way of once again trying to control you and your actions.  He has once again found a new button to push and is pushing it hard. 

    I have a dad who was nonexistant in my life, and now my kids have a dad who has choosen to move out of state and be out of their lives and I know the pain you feel and what mine will feel.  There is a part of us that really really wants that "Dad" and will do almost anything to get it, even doing things most wouldn't just to get that daddy-daughter relationship somehow, someway.  From a lifetime of misery, it isn't worth it.  I have choosen to have a friend type of relationship with my father, but keep it very much at arms length.  He now really really wants to have that father daughter relationship but acts like the previous 30+ years didn't exist and BOOM he is my "Daddy."  Not going there. 

    Do what is best for you, and that means being in control of your life and actions.  If you want your dad to walk you down the aisle as the person he is now, than do it.  If you don't, don't wait and see if he comes around, he probabaly won't.  If he does change, it most likely will be temporary.  That is the cycle of abuse, it keeps us holding on for the "change" that we know they can be that better person if just given enough time, love, etc.  Very few abusers change their ways and if it does happen it's because they want to change, not because you changed first.  
     
    As for your uncle, if he physically can't walk you down the aisle, perhaps he can "wheel" you down the aisle instead.  Look into renting a small wheelchair or scooter for the day.  Or perhaps he sits in the front row and stands by you after you walk by yourself.  Don't take away that honor if you really want him to be there by your side. 
  • Options
    loca4pookloca4pook member
    First Comment Name Dropper 5 Love Its First Anniversary
    edited January 2013
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_how-to-handle-fob-problem-advice-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:dd7aa941-9783-4946-8f1c-1739850d9cb4Post:59c3989c-e8f0-4047-bc7a-80b3ea5fa147">How to handle FOB problem - advice please</a>:
    [QUOTE]Ok, so my father has been in and out of my life since I became an adult.  He was a no good, unfaithful husband to my mom who passed when I was 16.  They divorced when I was 2 but shared parenting and he was very active and involved in a good way right up until I became an adult.  Then, when he couldn't dictate my life to me as a kid anymore and I disagreed with him on some things, he became extremely distant, left the state and barely spoke to me.  I recently received collection notices on his behalf at my address making me wonder if he fraudulently put my address and phone number (I got calls too from billers) down for his delinquent accounts.  Recently, after a couple funerals in our family he stated that he wants to be a better person even though he is struggling with deciding if he wants to put his stamp of approval via his presence on my impending marriage (not that it would  matter to me).  So in a nutshell right now he doesn't know if he will be prepared to come as either a guest or to walk me down the aisle but he wants me to keep an open mind just in case he decides that is what he wants to do.  I am torn because on the one hand I want to give him a chance to straighten up and fly right.  But on the other hand, 1) I don't trust him and 2) my amazing uncle has already offered to walk me down the aisle and I said that would be great.  I don't know if it would be the right thing to do to allow my dad to dictate when he wants to be a part of things or if he wants to be a part of things, and then potentially tell my uncle, oh, my dad is ok with everything now so he'll walk me.  Another thing is that right now my uncle is walking with a cane and I'm not even sure if he'll be able to walk me.  If not, I was planning on having another family member walk me.  But letting my dad jump in and out when he wants just feels wrong.  I'm leaning towards not giving him that privilege.  What do you all think?
    Posted by zantster[/QUOTE]

    Personally, I would go with the uncle. IF your dad has to "think about it", he's not the man for the job. I can't imagine that my dad would ever have to "think about it", he's been dreaming about it since I was young. To me, that is the hugests red flag there could be
  • Options

    I was following the posts and really wanted to soak up what everyone was saying before adding more.  Jenajjr you really described that push and pull inside of me to want my "Daddy" but not be mistreated either.  After everything that's been said by PPs, I realize that the words that describe the feelings I have about his potential presence there are apprehension, anxiety and a propensity to cringe.  On top of everything, my father is a narcissist who has never seen a microphone that he doesn't like.  At the last two funerals (one was for my first cousin this past Saturday) he made sure he was the last one to get up and talk at length about himself more than the deceased! He even decided to talk at my grandmother's funeral in September (his mother) yet could not seem to find time to come and see her as her health deteriorated.  So I cannot imagine risking him having the nerve to take the mike at my wedding.  Unfortunately, this knocks a few other people off the list who support him but that's life.

    I don't think these are healthy feelings and certainly not ones I should have on my wedding day as a result of inviting him.  So, though I do still have some months left to go, I do not believe that as long as these feelings are dominant where he is concerned that I will be able to invite him in good faith.  Even though that means our relationship as it is may become nonexistent, I think that perhaps that might be the healthiest road for me because he is still the abuser that my mom married.  I think it just manifests itself in a different form where I am concerned.  I cannot predict the future and hope I have no regrets.  But I have to do what's best for me and FI based on the present since that's all I have control over right now.

    You all are amazing!!  I could not have dug through this minefield of emotions without you so thanks!  And any other insights you have please feel free to include them.  I can always use more wisdom on something as complicated as this.
  • Options
    I'm sorry that you were faced with such a painful decision, but I'm sure that you are doing what you feel is best for you.  Best wishes!
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards