This should be a therapist question. I inadvertently sent it to a lawyer.
My oldest daughter Loryn (age 29) is getting married and has not invited my wife Susan. My wife Susan has been Loryns stepmother since Loryn was 2 years old. Susan and I have two young teenagers whom Loryn adores, her brother and sister. Loryn has invited me and the kids, but not my wife Susan. My wife Susan and I had a difficult couple of years and came close to divorce. Also, Loryn let me know some time ago that she did not want to invite Susan to her wedding, but I kept that information from Susan (that Loryn didn't want her there), hoping Loryn would change her mind. Meanwhile Loryn has been getting our kids ready to be "in" the wedding. Susan has supported this (without knowing that Loryn planned on ‘not’ inviting her) Susan said some time ago to Loryn that the kids would go “only if the parents were invited” meaning BOTH her and I. I did not commit one way or the other, leaving it open to interpretation, and furthering the potential for a mess.. Further, my wife Susan does not want the kids near my birth family who will all be at the wedding. Susan will not talk to my birth family. Susan may have almost no one to connect with at the wedding. My wife Susan will likely be angry and hurt if I go alone, and she won’t let me take the kids. If my daughter Loryn invites Susan and we all go, it will be incredibly stressfull as my wife Susan and my birth family are at complete odds. I may not be able to talk to my birth family, otherwise my wife Susan will feel threatened. If I don’t go at all, then I’ve skipped my daughters wedding. I have asked Loryn to invite Susan, but I have not yet told her that it is all of us or none of us. Being married, my wife is my most important relationship, yet I am conflicted no matter what choice I make. (1.Don’t go to the wedding versus 2. Go and risk divorce or my kids feeling betrayed that I go and they do not) Advice???
At this point I have talked to both my wife and my daughter and information is at least not obscured.
My wife thinks I need to "get my priorities straight" which means be ready to cut ties with my daughter and my birth family in order to keep ties with my wife. I believe that one's loyalties belong with their wife, but I am also afraid of cutting all these ties and the precedent it sets for all of us.
My kids have no relationship with my birth family because my wife will not let it happen, but my oldest daughter has a close relationship with my birth family. I had a reasonable relationship with my family, but have had to cut off communications to appease my wife.
I may be able to get my wife and daughter in a room and will try, but I doubt my daughter will attend.
Is it reasonable for me to not attend the wedding to honor my wife, sending that message to the kids and all? I think that is what my wife prefers, but it doesn't sit well with me.
It is a lot to ask you to cut ties with your daughter. That is asking you to ignore an important part of your life and it puts you in a bad position. Unless your daughter has done something awful to your wife or to you, then it may not be wise to end the relationship. It will be very difficult to ever repair if you desire to do so because of the hurt and pain it will cause.You can decide to not attend the wedding, but that also sends a message to your daughter about who you prefer. That can affect your relationship with her in the future. The issue here is that your wife and daughter do not get along and each is trying to get you to pick them over the other. It is a no win scenario. So either getting them together or making a choice are the only options. Given that your daughter has this one special day maybe once in her lifetime, it might be a good idea to try to attend, no matter how you have to work it.Kate
So after just speaking with my wife on this I wanted to reach out to you again.
My wife wants me to say to my daughter "Invite my wife Susan or none of us are going". Susan believes this would be a display of showing honor for her (my wife). I said I felt it was too confrontational, but my wife got angry and said "so you're not willing to show that you support your wife". I tried to explain that I do support her, but not going to the wedding wasn't the way to "show support". And around and around we go.
This is a common theme and clearly part of a bigger problem... and that is for therapy, but I guess in this exchange with you Kate I am using it as a metaphor for our bigger problem.
So how am I to resolve this successfully? Am I being insensitive to my wife? Or is she being unreasonable?
There is no way to resolve it successfully if your daughter and wife will not compromise. It is a no win scenario in that case. If they will not compromise, it will be up to you to decide if you can miss your daughter's wedding to please your wife or go to your daughter's wedding at least for a while to please her.
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You have been helpful and I will report as such. I'd like one more exchange if that is ok.
My wife feels that my daughter and I are not considering how this will affect the kids. She feels we are being "selfish".
You are right that I will have to make a decision. From what I have shared, do you think that I and my daughter are being selfish?
See my wires Susans note to my daughter Loryn below: