Upcoming nuptials

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2006
Upcoming nuptials
Tue, 04-29-2014 - 11:23pm

Hello Board,

Really not much of a question - just venting. I am getting married in four days to a wonderful man. We've been planning our wedding together for 14 months and I can hardly believe it's almost here! The only problem is that in the middle of wedding planning my parents stopped answering their telephone and responding to emails. When they were talking to me they were completely uninterested. When I called to tell them I was engaged my mother had zero to say and changed the subject to talk about her dog's bladder infection. They declined the invite to our engagement party in October and declined the wedding invitation. My brother, who previously had told me he had his flight booked (the wedding is two states away from my parents and brother), also has now declined the wedding. The last correspondence I had from them was when they declined the engagement party - they sent me a small blank greeting card with a message that said they were "unable to attend due to distance" - they live a four hour drive/train or 35 minute flight away.

Primarily, the problem is I believe both of my parents suffer from a few personality disorders - namely, Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Paranoid Personality Disorder. They have no friends. They are very easily offended, even when the offense is perceived and not real. One time my mother didn't speak to my brother for five years because she "thought" he rolled his eyes at her. There were three other people in the room at the time and we all corroborated that did not, in fact, happen. She told us we were lying and "protecting" him. My father believes everyone looks down on  him and is making fun of him. One time at Christmas services a stranger made a joke to my dad - very light hearted. For YEARS my father harped on what the guy "really meant" and how he should've told the guy off.

Every time I've been in a relationship my parents have done their best to sabotage it. I moved out when I was 19 and have been 100% self-sufficient since then (I'm now 37). I put myself through school and am now about to get my Master's degree. When I was 21 I was dating a man (who I ended up being with for eight years) and my parents badgered me, stalked me, and made up outrageous lies about me and my boyfriend - all in an attempt to break us up. At one point my mother accused us of plotting to break into the house to rob and kill her in her sleep. She accused my boyfriend of "beating and raping me into submission" and of keeping me locked in a closet. I stopped speaking to them for just about two years after they gave me an ultimatum to, at the age of 22, break up with my boyfriend, drop out of school, quit my job, and move back home where they would dictate what job I would work and who I would see because, obviously, I wasn't capable of taking care of myself. When I declined their "offer" my father flew into a rage and said the next time he saw my boyfriend it'd better be through the site of a shotgun. 

Ancient history. I guess I'm not really surprised by the turn of events that has them now ignoring me and my fiance (who they've met twice and liked). Clearly they've told my brother some lies to get him on their side. He's so messed up from childhood though he's an alcoholic in an unhappy marriage. The whole situation just makes me sad. I've been in therapy for almost 20 years and my therapist tells me constantly I need to stop taking so much responsibility for what goes on in my family when none of them attempt to acknowledge, or certainly fix, their own problems.

I understand completely it really is best they're not at my wedding because their drama and ugliness would just ruin an otherwise joyous, beautiful day. It's just hard explaining to people because it's so unheard of that the parents of the bride wouldn't be involved in the wedding planning, let alone declining the wedding altogether - without there being some big fallout or other injustice to point to. I am trying to make the best of all the holes left without their participation. My Maid-of-honor, who is like a sister to me, is walking me down the aisle. For the "parent dance" I am dancing with my father-in-law. Throughout the process my bridesmaids have been the best friends a girl could ask for. Going with me dress shopping, organizing our engagement party, organizing my bachelorette party. My fiance is incredibly supportive and just last night was telling me that we're going to build a new, better family together.

I really am blessed. To others out there who are in hurtful family situations, you're not alone. It definitely helps to focus on all the love and support around you, rather than the relationships you don't have.

Thanks for listening!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Wed, 05-07-2014 - 4:18pm

 You have an excellent attitude...focusing on the positives instead of the negatives.  I am truly sorry that your parents ARE they way they are and am glad you have sought help in your life to understand that you can't fix their problems.  I CAN, however, understand your sadness at your own family not being at your wedding even though, as you said, it's probably for the best.  I have a daughter getting married this year and am bending over backwards to make it the best possible day for her.  My own mother had to have a couple things "her way" at my wedding and it caused problems, so I can understand just a little bit.  Just keep that positive attitude and have YOUR best day ever!  Congratulations!!!!!!!