Dad's New Girlfriend?

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Guest
Dad's New Girlfriend?
Posted: Oct 30, 2007 5:23 PM

My parents divorced about a year ago after 27 years of marriage and three months after my dad filed for divorce his new girlfriend moved in. I don't really know the woman very well because I don't even live in the same state as them, but my dad is insisting that she gets involved in all of the wedding planning so she won't feel left out.  The latest argument being the shower.

 Since the divorce my mother has moved to Texas and she will be attending the showers for my wedding in the upcoming weeks.  My father is insisting that his new girlfriend be present at all of the showers.  Is it ok for me to request that she only attend a shower that my mother is not attending?  I barely know his new girlfriend and I don't want my mother to feel awkward.   

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Dad's New Girlfriend?
Posted: Oct 31, 2007 1:32 AM Go to message in response to: Guest

This is a tough one. I certainly wouldn't involve this virtual stranger in wedding "planning." If you're having more than one shower, it's nice to invite her to one of them--but not all. You can simply finesse that one by saying that most people, other than the wedding party, are only invited to one of the showers. If that's not good enough, then you'll have to put your foot down and tell Dad that no way in the world will you allow your mother to be made uncomfortable at an intimate event like a shower.

As for the wedding itself, if she and Dad are living together, there's not much you can do about inviting her. All adults involved will just have to suck it up and be polite and mature.

myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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Guest
Re: Dad's New Girlfriend?
Posted: Oct 31, 2007 9:06 AM Go to message in response to: Guest

I know that she's going to be present at the wedding.  We have all ready had that discussion.  Is it too much to ask for her not to sit in the front row?  She'll know people at the wedding and she could sit with them instead.

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10042008Bride Posts : 82 Registered: 9/11/07
Re: Dad's New Girlfriend?
Posted: Nov 2, 2007 2:21 PM Go to message in response to: Guest

Absolutely not.  As much as you hear this the wedding day is your day.  I would simply explain to her that you only want your parents and other "close" relatives on the front row and since you all are only beginning to get to know each other you'd prefer it if she'd sit somewhere else.  However, your dad may say that he wants to sit with her after he gives you away so you'll have to take that in to consideration.

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Guest
Re: Dad's New Girlfriend?
Posted: Nov 2, 2007 4:21 PM Go to message in response to: 10042008Bride

I was thinking the same thing Soon2BMrsPotter.  My dad is walking me down the aisle and it would be odd for him to walk me to the front of the ceremony and then turn around and walk all the way back down the aisle.  My other idea was for them to sit in the front row, but have my family (ie grandparents etc) seperating my parents. 

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10042008Bride Posts : 82 Registered: 9/11/07
Re: Dad's New Girlfriend?
Posted: Nov 2, 2007 5:13 PM Go to message in response to: Guest

My cousin got married last summer and had step-parents on both sides.  She had her stepmother sit on the 2nd row with her sister and mother who came.  After her father walked her down the aisle he slipped into the 2nd row with his wife.  Her mother and her husband sat on the 1st row.  Chances are most of the people who'll be coming to your wedding or showers already know the situation with your parents so I wouldn't worry about anything looking odd. 

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kennysoldwife Posts : 3,859 Registered: 4/28/07
Re: Dad's New Girlfriend?
Posted: Nov 2, 2007 5:24 PM Go to message in response to: 10042008Bride

Excellent idea, this way your father is in the front of the church but you do not make your mother to uncomfortable.  I think having girlfriend on the first row this soon after the divorce would be very uncomfortable for mom.

When is my wedding

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Dad's New Girlfriend?
Posted: Nov 2, 2007 8:49 PM Go to message in response to: kennysoldwife

When parents are divorced, I think it's typical to have the mother in the front row (with her new SO, if she has one), and to have the father and his new SO in the second row. I think it would be perfectly fine to have your parents in separate rows, since they are so recently divorced. It would be more appropriate than having them in the same row. 


I agree that it would be best to include dad's new GF in a separate shower from your mother, if you're having more than one shower. If you're just having one shower, you should explain to your dad that you don't want to make your mother uncomfortable...and since you're only having one shower, your mother's comfort is far more important to you than making a stranger feel included.

I'm sorry that you're going through this. People give much more attention to divorces that involve young children, but it must be tough to see your parents divorce after 27 years. My parents have been together for 26 years, and I can't imagine a world in which they weren't together. I hope you're doing Ok with this, but it sounds like you are, since you seem willing to accept your father's new GF. I hope it goes well!

DaisypathWedding Ticker

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Guest
Re: Dad's New Girlfriend?
Posted: Nov 3, 2007 1:46 PM Go to message in response to: Guest

Thanks so much for the advice ladies.  I think sitting them in seperate rows is an excellent idea.  I'll do that.  I was also wondering about the receiving line.  My FH really wants one of these and I'm indifferent to the whole idea so we are going to have one.  My dad is once again insisting that his new girlfriend be in the receiving line.  FH says absolutely not.  My FH really likes my parents but thinks that my dad is being really immature and inconsiderate to my mother and I.  Meanwhile, my father sees no harm including the new GF in EVERYTHING. 

I know why he's doing it.  He just wants everyone to know that he's moved on blah blah blah.  I think it's really immature too but everytime I try to explain this to my father he gets defensive and says that I just want him to be miserable and unhappy like my mother.  Ouch.  I don't want him to be unhappy, but showing off his "new" life isn't very appropriate at my wedding.

How do I even talk to him without my dad getting defensive?

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Dad's New Girlfriend?
Posted: Nov 3, 2007 8:51 PM Go to message in response to: Guest

Well, you know your father better than we do. it might be that it's impossible to say anything to him without his getting defensive. You just have to try to stay calm and mature. In this case, there are good reasons for what you say. Dad's new GF does not belong in the receiving line, because she is not hosting and she is not family. Since she knows people at the wedding, she should be "mingling" with everyone else. I guess you can haul out a couple of etiquette books to show him if you can find one that deals with the situation.

myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Dad's New Girlfriend?
Posted: Nov 4, 2007 6:16 PM Go to message in response to: myra

Since the new GF has no relationship with you, she shouldn't be included in the receiving line. I don't know what the etiquette books say about divorced parents and receiving lines, but personally, I think that the people in the receiving line should be people who have a close relationship (ie, gave birth to or raised) the bride and groom. 

DaisypathWedding Ticker

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10042008Bride Posts : 82 Registered: 9/11/07
Re: Dad's New Girlfriend?
Posted: Nov 5, 2007 9:35 AM Go to message in response to: Guest

No way!  The receiving line is where I would draw the line.  Your father should absolutely understand that. 

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newsjunkie Posts : 3,417 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Dad's New Girlfriend?
Posted: Nov 7, 2007 12:56 PM Go to message in response to: Guest

Who is paying for this wedding?  If it is your dad then you may have to go along with some of his requests.  If he is NOT paying or not paying for much of it then you have more wiggle room to do things the way you want to do them.  Personally, I would HATE to have to treat this woman I barely know like she is a close relative.  It would be one thing if she and your dad were actually married (and even then I wouldn't like it if I didn't personally know her very well) but they are just living together and you barely know her so, IMO, your dad is asking way to much.  Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if SHE didn't really want to be so closely involved in the planning and that this was coming more from your dad.  If I were her I think I would feel very awkward being around my boyfriend's daughter who I barely know as she plans and celebrates such a big day.  Was she partly responsible for the breakup of your parent's marriage?  If so then I would DEFINITELY not go out of my way to include her.

So, if it is up to you and you want to keep her at arm's length but still appease your dad I would invite her to the shower that your mom will not be attending, have her and your dad sit in the second row (because it would be weird to break them up and have her sit with other people), and you didn't ask about it but I wouldn't get her a corsage.  Corsages are supposed to be for close relatives and she is not one of those.

If your dad puts up a fuss tell him what you told us- that you don't want your mother to feel awkward.  If they had a nasty divorce he very well may be doing this purposely to make her awkward and may need to be told that it is not acceptable, that you want everyone to be as comfortable as possible at your wedding.

Best of luck to you, please let us know how it goes.

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Guest
Re: Dad's New Girlfriend?
Posted: Nov 8, 2007 10:42 AM Go to message in response to: newsjunkie

An update on the situation:

The first shower is this weekend and my dad's family is refusing to attend the shower because dad's new gf isn't invited.  Strange how quickly they turn on someone huh?  Anyway, I relayed to them that if they didn't want to come that it was ok and perhaps they could just attend the other shower that dad's gf will be attending.  Let's hope that works.  My dad is now asking that I go dress shopping with the new gf to help her pick out a dress.  I'm not thrilled but I'll make it a positive by making sure she doesn't get the same color or style of dress as my mother. 

In addition, my FH and I are going to present our mother's with roses during the wedding ceremony.  My dad wants me to acknowledge new gf.  I almost exploded.  I just calmly said that I felt that was inappropriate since new gf didn't raise me.  Dad told me to think about it. 

 As for the other question, yes my dad is contributing some money for the wedding.  As for my dad's gf breaking up my parent's marriage, I think it was a contributing factor but not the sole factor.  Like I said, I'm trying to do the right thing and not be mean, but make my mother comfortable.  I really like the idea of the second row seating idea for the ceremony.  I honestly think my dad has lost it though. 

Weddings should not be this stressful. 

 

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kennysoldwife Posts : 3,859 Registered: 4/28/07
Re: Dad's New Girlfriend?
Posted: Nov 8, 2007 11:48 AM Go to message in response to: Guest

I think you are being very gracious and mature about this whole thing.  I don't know that I could.  I just recently had a vow renewal and my father escorted me down the aisle.  He is married but his wife did not sit on the first row or even in the front of the Church.  He knows how I feel about her and did not try to push the issue. She was invited and that is the best I could do.  I think you need to put your foot down.  It is nice that girlfriend is being included but there are somethings that just don't involve her and your father should know that.  She is not your mother or even your stepmother and she does not deserve the honors that your mother will receive.  She did not help raise you or even get into the picture until recently what you have given is more than enough.  Hopefully your father will come to his senses and see he is being entirely to pushy. Seems he is a little insecure or something. 

Good luck with everything.



When is my wedding

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