I tried to explain to my mom my rationale for choosing bridesmaids and that, as the mother-of-bride, her role is a lot bigger role than a bridesmaid. I don’t understand why she dislikes Marie so much. She and my dad were over long before he met Marie. My mom also says she won’t be coming to the wedding if Marie is my bridesmaid, which I find really immature of her. It turned into a huge argument and she began to cry. Also, since my father is not here to walk me down the aisle, I wanted my brother, who is 11, to do so. My mom says it would look ridiculous for him to do it.
Since my fiancé and I are the ones paying for everything, I feel like we can chose whomever we want and not care about what others think. Am I wrong for having my stepmom be one of my bridesmaids? And should I care what others think of my brother giving me away? Am I doing something wrong here? — Annoyed and Upset Bride-to-Be
You’re right that your mom is being really immature. She’s making your wedding about her and, worse, stealing the joy you should be feeling as you anticipate one of the most meaningful milestones of your life. It only adds insult to injury that she’s doing this on the heels of your father’s death, and criticizing how you choose to fill a role that otherwise would have even reserved for him. It’s cruel – unfathomably so, really – and I’m sorry you’re dealing with this.
As counterintuitive as it may feel, there is a silver living in being treated like garbage by someone you love and care about: It liberates you from worrying too much about their feelings. Your mother has abandoned your emotional needs – at a time when they are likely most acute – and so you are free to move her emotional needs way, way down on your list of priorities. Having your stepmom in your wedding bothers her? Oh, well! She thinks it’s “ridiculous” that you would have your younger brother give you away? Too bad! She is threatening not to come to your wedding? Ok, then.
You cannot control someone else’s behavior; you can only control your response to that behavior, and I urge you to respond in a way that requires the least amount of your precious energy. Truly, an “Ok, we’ll miss you then” is more than adequate. Don’t engage in an argument. She’s baiting you to divert the energy you’re spending on wedding-planning, and even grieving your father, and investing it in her instead because she’s an emotional vampire (or, at least acting like one in this scenario). Don’t take the bait. Keep your energy. Don’t let her steal it OR your joy. As painful as it is not to have your mother’s support during this time in your life – and the ramifications this means for your relationship with her going forward, focus instead on the support and the people who are there for you (the very people you’re honoring with roles in your wedding).
As for what people will think, they’ll probably think you’re a beautiful bride, that your wedding is full of light, that you are beaming with the support of your loved ones and glowing in the love you’re celebrating with your spouse-to-be. And if there’s anyone who thinks otherwise? Oh, well! Like your mom’s little temper tantrum about your wedding party, it’s not worth your energy worrying about.
This brought up problems with my wife, so I told her we needed to air everything out. I told her all my history, and when she started telling hers, the lies started coming out. When we were dating, she told me she had been intimate with her first boyfriend and the person she was with when we met. Then after I was out of town for two months, she had been with one other person because she thought I was not coming back. Now in the present, as we’re trying to clear the air, she denies that she ever told me she slept with the guy she was seeing when I met her and was never with anyone while I was out of town early in our courtship.
These are not statements I made up. Why would she lie about this? Well, I just gave up and accepted what she said and dropped the subject. Also, she indicated that she never slept with the person she was dating for our year apart. — Husband of a Liar
I’m not sure what your question is here—-Why is your wife lying? What do the lies mean? Is your 40-year marriage doomed?—-but the question that matters the most and the one I’m most interested in addressing is how to handle your daughter’s wanting to contact the child from your affair. First, does that child know about you? Do you have a relationship when them? A way to contact them? If so, the first step would be to share that contact info with your daughter, give her your blessing to reach out, and tell her you’re there to support her through this process. She may want you to be very involved – perhaps even being the one to reach out to her sibling first – or she may want to pursue this completely on her own. Whatever she chooses – this is HER path and one you have to support in whatever way she needs from you.
As for you and your wife, it sounds like some couples counseling is long overdue. I don’t necessarily see your issues as insurmountable, but clearly you need some help wading through what has been decades of at least occasional dishonesty and betrayal and figuring out how best to move forward. Good luck!