As joyful of an occasion as it is, wedding planning is hard, especially when family members start getting in the way.
Using they meddle with decorations or the venue or the guest list, but sometimes they stick their fingers in unexpected places.
Sometimes the happy couple will be blamed for their choices by these family members, even if they are their decisions to make, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Ok_Squirrel_4653 found herself in a difficult position with her fiancé’s estranged father, who wanted to walk her down the aisle.
When she saw his reaction, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was selfish to reject him.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing my SO’s (significant other’s) father’s demand to walk me down the aisle and telling him to knock someone else up and leave me alone?”
The OP and her fiancé had different relationships with their fathers.
“My father passed away 5 years ago, and I loved my dad. I’m still grieving him and in my life, no one can ever compensate for his physical absence.”
“My fiance knows that. He has a different relationship with his father as his dad divorced his mom and moved to another city when he was only 2 years old. He now has 3 half-brothers.”
The OP’s fiancé’s father overstepped in their relationship.
“He only reconnected with his father 2 years ago after his second wife (his half-siblings’ mom) divorced him.”
“At that time, we were friends and I was supportive of their relationship as I didn’t want him to have any regrets.”
“However, over the last 2 years, his relationship with his father has definitely cooled down after excessive intrusion from his father when it comes to our relationship.”
Then there was the matter of the wedding.
“Last week, he found out that we were getting married and called my fiance saying that he had something important to tell us.”
“We met him a few days later where he practically started begging me to let him walk me down the aisle.”
“Now, mind you, I’m Hindu, and the only reason I’m having a white wedding is that my SO (significant other) is White and I wanted to respect both cultures.”
“His desire comes from the fact that he lost his firstborn (my fiance’s older sister) and didn’t get to see her before she died (it was an accident) because he lived in another city with his second wife and kids.”
“My fiance was 14 and his sister was 19. It was really traumatic for my fiance and my mother-in-law.”
The OP’s future father-in-law continued to insist.
“Apparently, he sees his daughter in me, wants me to call him dad, (I call my MIL mama because that’s what fiance calls her), and now wants to walk me down the aisle.”
“I always felt he was too intrusive and invested in our relationship and his request sent me over the edge.”
“I told him that I respect his feelings but that he wasn’t my dad and that his newfound relationship with my SO won’t guilt me into letting him walk me down the aisle.”
“I also told him that I wouldn’t be comfortable calling him dad, and that my dad is the only dad in my life and he fully raised me from ages 0-25 years.”
The OP finally had enough.
“When he kept insisting and started emotionally blackmailing my SO, I angrily told him to knock someone up, make a new daughter and leave me alone.”
“He started ugly crying and left the restaurant.”
“He is now mad at me and is refusing to come to our wedding.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were appalled that the father-in-law even asked.
“NTA. Just so you are aware, American wedding culture is pretty well set that the bride and groom make decisions on who is in the wedding and then they ask said persons. No one, and I mean NO ONE, should even be making the request to be in your wedding.”
“To make such a request is tacky and rude as it puts pressure on the couple and can be embarrassing if they have to tell the requestor no. Everyone is supposed to wait for an invitation to participate, regardless of their role (wedding party or guest; still need invites).” – lorienne22
“You don’t ask in this situation, you are asked.”
“The cheek of him to even ask you, his soon-to-be daughter in law is astounding.” – IHaveSaidMyPiece
“It would probably be ok if he had asked about it politely. Just a, ‘I was wondering if you plan on having anyone to walk you down the aisle and if not I’d like to offer.’ ‘No.’ ‘Ok cool, can’t wait to attend the wedding.’ That would have been fine but ranting and ugly crying is not cool.” – ShadowCast2550
“NTA – this girl said, ‘he started ugly crying. Sorry, that’s hilarious.”
“Anyway, stand your ground. This is so weird and cringy to ASK someone to do this… it’s like asking someone to be their hero out of nowhere because they wanna fulfill their own fantasy without acknowledging that you have your own life that you want to fulfill.” – JadoreBootyNoir
Others advised the bride to take comfort in her future father-in-law not attending.
“NTA. Your fiancé had to get really ugly to shut his dad down. Dad asked to walk you down the aisle, OP, and you politely declined and that should have been the end of it.”
“If your future FIL doesn’t know how to take NO for an answer, then it is high time he learned. If he now wants to ugly cry, pout, and won’t go to his own son’s wedding, well, that is on him.”
“Frankly, you should be glad if he doesn’t go. He may still show up and pester you at the last moment to let him walk you. Alert your bridal party – especially any strapping young men – to keep an eye out for him, and keep him away from you. On your wedding day, you will have enough details to deal with without adding an entitled and demanding man to your list.”
“Happy wedding day and good for you that your future husband stood up for your wishes.”
“Edit – it was you, OP that had to be stern with FIL. Make sure he doesn’t gain access to any microphones, either, if he actually does go to your wedding.” – LuvMeLongThyme
“My favorite part is how he’s ‘threatening not to come to the wedding.’ Oh, no. Like, who does he think he’s hurting in that scenario? Not OP. Not OP’s SO.”
“I think this falls under, ‘Don’t threaten me with a good time,’ in that the wedding will almost certainly be a much better event without this guy’s needless drama.”
“Sometimes the trash takes itself out.”
“When people threaten you with a dramatic flounce, the best thing is to just step out of their way so they can take the shortest possible path.” – CaptainBasketQueso
Some were saddened the father-in-law didn’t see the OP as her own person.
“He already knows what it’s like to not be able to be a part of his children’s lives. Is he really going to miss out on his son’s wedding because he can’t get over the daughter that’s already gone? He’s so caught up in pain he’s about to make the same mistake. Just sad.”
“You deserve to be loved as your own person. You’re not a replacement, you’re not a therapist, you’re not a tool or you to make someone else feel better, and you’re not your FIL’s daughter.”
“How disrespectful of him to deny you your own personhood in favor of his grief. Wish you a wonderful wedding. NTA” – Tricky_Bat_5588
“What he asked of you was inappropriate, to begin with. He asked you to walk you down the aisle and justified this ask because you remind him of his daughter?”
“Not only is he trying to hijack your wedding, but he is also making it about grieving his daughter that he chose to move away from.”
“You explained to him politely that it was a no and he kept pushing. Sometimes people are better left outside of our lives and it seems like he may be one of those persons.” – kelsebobelso
After her future father-in-law threatened to not come to the wedding at all, the OP had second thoughts about how she handled the situation. But the subReddit thought differently, pointing out that it wasn’t his place to ask if he could walk her down the aisle, let alone try to persuade her to change her mind.
Though his grief is valid and her final response was harsh, at some point the father-in-law will need to know how to take “no” for an answer, especially if he wants to play a role in the happy couple’s life together.