Monday, May 5, 2014

Do I Go To My Step-Daughter's Wedding?

Dear Jocelyn,
I met my ex-wife in 1993 and we moved with her two youngest children of seven from the east coast to the west coast in 1994. They were a 6yo boy and an 8yo girl. Over the next year or so all but one of the other five kids moved west. In 1995 the ex and I had a girl of our own. In 1996 my ex was divorced from her first husband. The 8yo girl moved out on her own when she was 18. In 2000 the ex and I got married. In 2009 we separated. The divorce was final in 2011. Last summer my daughter graduated from high school, turned 18, and moved out of her mother's house. The intent was not to move in with dad, so I moved back to the east coast. I am currently engaged to someone I dated some thirty-odd years ago who found me on Facebook after my separation.

Today: the stepdaughter that my ex and I raised is getting married. Her father (who didn't raise her) is giving her away. While this ruffled my feathers a bit, my fiancée and I had still planned on flying to the west coast for the wedding, then visiting friends for a week, and then my daughter was going to fly back with us for a couple weeks. I was just informed by my daughter that my stepdaughter doesn't want me to bring my 
fiancée in deference to their mother. At this point I'm not sure what to do, what to say, or how I should feel...I'm thinking of scrapping the whole trip west and just flying my daughter out for a couple weeks. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Dear Stepfather,
It sounds like the best thing might be to discuss this with your stepdaughter. Explain you are hurt that she doesn't want your 
fiancée to come to the wedding, and that your fiancée will be a part of the family shortly. You need to decide whether or not you will attend your stepdaughter's wedding alone. Consider what will be best in the long term - will you regret not attending her wedding? Will you regret going and leaving your fiancée out? Make sure whatever decision you make is not based on the hurt you feel at the moment, but on what is best for the family dynamics. Discuss this with your fiancée to make sure she is part of the decision-making process.  She might feel strongly about attending, or wish to bow out to keep the peace.

I wish you ease and wisdom in making this decision!