People can become very emotional around weddings. They’ll cry, they’ll laught, they’l dance, and sometimes they’ll even get angry enough to pull the funding from their child’s wedding. This was exactly what happened after wuth wedding, when one loyal stepfather was hurt and disrespected one time after another by his “family”… until he had enough. Here’s his story:
I have always tried to be a good guy to my girlfriend and stepdaughter. I call her my stepdaughter because I guess you could say her mother and I are “common law” husband and wife. We have lived together for ten years, since my stepdaughter was a preteen. Now, that once little girl is getting married. Anyone who has been through planning a wedding knows how trying it can be on the nerves and the wallet. For six months, her mother and I have spent just about every waking moment working on the wedding or writing checks to pay for it.
There has hardly been a day I have come home from work without hearing that another check was written or a service was arranged for the wedding or reception. I have been glad to do this, as the bride has been in my life as my stepdaughter for so long. In fact, I paid for her schooling at a state university, too. That ran about $40,000. She never had to get a job to pay for student loans or otherwise handle expenses involved in being a full-time student. She lived with us throughout her time in college and has since graduation.
When she graduated from high school I bought her a new car, so she has never even had a car payment. Throughout these past ten years, her biological father would pop in and out. Whenever he would shown up, my stepdaughter acts as if he is Superman. Then he disappears for months, even years, on end. This biological dad has never paid for anything. There was no child support. My stepdaughter wants him in her life, so I have always just let it go and kept paying for everything to support my family I have loved like my own.
The venue my stepdaughter decided on hold a maximum of 250 people. When invitations were being sent, I provided my list of 20 guests that I would like to share the special day. My girlfriend and her daughter both said they would “get the invitations out.”
Last Saturday I went golfing with one of my best friends. I asked him if he was coming to the wedding. He said no, telling me he was not invited. He said he had received an announcement but that no invitation followed. The friend had his mail from several months in the back seat of his car (along with every piece of mail he has probably received in a year). He sifted through the stack and found the announcement. I read the announcement when he handed it to me and was shocked to see that my name was not even on the card. The card listed the bride and groom’s names and only her mother and biological father as “parents.” Of course, there was a pretty messy argument that night with my girlfriend. It was only then that she told me that my list of 20 friends and family did not “make the cut,” as 205 guests “are not enough.”
I was livid. But what can you do, when the wedding is only weeks away? My girlfriend told me that any missing RSVPs would mean some of my friends and family could attend. I was still fuming the next day, when we had a family dinner with the groom’s family. At that dinner, I was surprised to discover the “real dad” was seated next to my stepdaughter. She then announced he was going to fulfill her dream of walking her down the aisle. Everyone cooed in response and gushed over the “great news.” I bit my tongue right then, but was about to explode. I knew I needed to stand up for myself. I was shaking from head to toe, I was so hurt and angry. I then slowly stood up from my chair and dinged my fork against my glass. Everyone grew silent and smiled up at me, waiting to hear what I would say. Here it is:
I have been so pleased to have my stepdaughter – my real daughter, as I’ve always considered her – in my life for the past ten years. I know they say old dogs cannot learn new tricks, but I think I learned something new today. I need to thank the bride and her mom for that.
Everyone started smiling and saying, “Awe, how sweet.” I started again:
These two ladies have proven to me that my position as the head of this family is not real. I have always considered each of us – my girlfriend and the bride, as much as myself – my own responsibility. As part of that responsibility, I have taken great pride in caring for us well. But now I know that my role is not as head of a family. It has been solely as a financial provider for people who do not value me, or my place in their lives.
The room was deafeningly silent.
Since I have not been afforded the role of host and father – as I have so completely performed over the past decade – on invitations or in the ceremony, I am handing over the only remaining responsibility of a true father-of-the-bride to the real dad, George. George is now fully afforded all of the responsibilities of his role, including all of the payments for the wedding. Congratulations on your marriage.
I sat down and finished my drink, barely noticing nobody else had continued eating or drinking. Everyone else was in shock. So I want to know: Was this selfish? Am I truly obligated to hand over tens of thousands of dollars to people I am not bound to by law or respect? I never felt an ounce of regret for my speech. The next day I packed my things, removed all of my money from our joint accounts and requested all of my deposits returned from each and every one of the wedding vendors.