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My son's wedding

(34 Posts)
bookdreamer Mon 15-Apr-13 09:10:00

My son is getting married in 4 weeks time in America.

His dad and I divorced 3 years ago, very acrimoniously. I am 60, 61 in July. He left me for someone else and has left me in a terrible financial position.

We are both going to his wedding. We are both attending the wedding rehearsal dinner the night before his wedding (which is a big thing over there) and both going to the wedding the next day. For the sake of harmony (my daughter and grandchildren all live over there - she is married to an American too) I have said that I will sit at the same table as him at the reception.

No-one from England is going to his wedding apart from us. My ex husband has now arranged for a reception in England for my son and his wife (they fly to England for 2 weeks after the wedding). It will be his family who attend this. I've said that I'm not going to go to this as enough is enough I think.

However I think my son is now beginning to feel that I'm being unreasonable about this. What do you think?

tanith Mon 15-Apr-13 09:17:17

I can see it from both sides bookdreamer I would feel as you do that enough is enough and if its only going to be your ex's family then I can see how you will be feeling. Also can see that your son probably wants you to share in the day with him and his wife... only you can decide if you can tolerate/endure a whole event with your ex's family, I guess it depends on how well you still get on with any of them and that you'll have someone other than son and wife to sit/spend time with..
Thats not much help , if it were me I'd find it very hard , maybe you could arrange a small gathering of your family and share a meal out with them and you son and wife..

Zengran Mon 15-Apr-13 09:19:49

I think that as you are going to the actual wedding in America and being part of your son's big day that is all you need to do. If his dad chooses to give a reception here, that is up to him. Maybe your son just wants you to be part of everything because he loves you. Has he actually said anything about it?

(Just my thoughts! smile)

janeainsworth Mon 15-Apr-13 09:31:30

Difficult one Bookdreamer.
I too have son and DiL in America (their wedding was there too) and I feel I don't want to miss any opportunity to see them. But I can understand that the presence of ex and his family might seem too much to bear.
If you don't go to the reception in England, it might spoil things for your DS and DiL and in the future they may always feel 'Well we cant ask Mum because Dad will be there' and vice versa. There will be other family occasions, birth (hopefully) of DGCs etc.
On the other hand if you do go, you will come across as brave, caring and generous, and you will feel confident and strongsmile
Why not take a rain-check? Say yes for now, and then if you feel really uncomfortable at the wedding, make up some reason for not going to the British reception, or just tell the truth.
I hope you enjoy the wedding.
Americans don't wear hats, so if you wear one, or a fascinator, you will wow everyone sunshine

bookdreamer Mon 15-Apr-13 09:34:26

Thanks for your thoughts. Zengran yes he has on Skype yesterday. He wanted to know why I wasn't going to the English reception. I said I didn't want to spend any time with my ex's relatives. I don't have anything to do with them. They stopped being in contact after the divorce. When this was first mentioned my son said he understood why I wasn't going but yesterday he seemed a bit indignant about it, if that's the right word.

My son and I are very close, and I know he loves me. This must be awful for him. I'm just trying to make things as easy as I can but I just think this English reception is beyond my limits

Zengran Mon 15-Apr-13 09:43:09

I have to agree with @janeainsworth's thought that you say yes for now. This will stop any pressure for you and ease your son's possible nerves and worries over his coming wedding. After the wedding things will be calmer and then you can rethink

annodomini Mon 15-Apr-13 09:58:58

You could see how things go at the wedding and make your decision later. No need to commit yourself fully yet.

cathy Mon 15-Apr-13 13:58:05

I very much appreciate that you wish to spend as little time with your x as possible, however I think this should be about your sons big day and continued celebrations and not about your own marriage

I do not wish to sound harsh at all and as said completely understandable how you are feeling but I think you may regret it if you refuse to attend any celebrations but it will too latesmile

Its a happy time your son is getting married!!

bookdreamer Mon 15-Apr-13 14:09:26

Thanks cathy. It is a happy time that he's getting married and I don't want to spoil things. Will think about it a bit more.

shysal Mon 15-Apr-13 15:03:35

I agree with those who suggest you say yes for now, and see how the US celebrations make you feel. If speeches are planned for the UK 'do', perhaps you could leave straight afterwards.
When my ex and I divorced we were determined to be civilized at family gatherings, which went well until the christening of my youngest GC, where his new wife shouted abuse at me, making me ruin the day for DD by being unable to stop crying and leaving early. She obviously feels threatened by me, although she came on the scene some time after the split. I can see that in the future there will be similar occasions to yours, bookdreamer, which I dread, so I feel for you.
I once bought an outfit for a wedding knowing full well that I was going to be 'sick' on the day! [coward emoticon]

celebgran Mon 15-Apr-13 15:14:53

Book dreamer itis stressful for you.

I had friends in similar position few yeas ago she went her ex insisted in bringing new partner w hard forvhervbut se enjoyed day in end.

I would wait see how you feel and not write off English do as your son may be very hurt but am sure he realises how hard for you!

Hold your head high ad try not to let it get you down at least show your face for sake of your son if you can.

Nonu Mon 15-Apr-13 15:17:11

Good advice all round , the only thing I might add is if you do go to the England "do " have you not got maybe a dear friend or two to take , for moral support .

Don"t think that could be objected to . Possibly know your son anyway .


celebgran Mon 15-Apr-13 15:29:16

Excellent idea nonu

FlicketyB Mon 15-Apr-13 15:41:19

bookdreamer could you have a family gathering also for your side of the family? I know you are not in a good financial situation, but it doesn't have to be anything grand, just invite family round for afternoon tea or a coffee morning.

Eloethan Mon 15-Apr-13 15:59:59

Agree with Nonu. It would be so much easier to go to the English reception if you could take a good friend with you, and surely your son would understand why you might need that support.

bookdreamer Mon 15-Apr-13 16:45:34

Thanks again for all your comments. Anymore would be welcome but I don't mean to be greedy! I am rethinking things

janeainsworth Mon 15-Apr-13 17:05:47

I get the feeling that your son would be very disappointed not to have you there Bookdreamer.
I think you would feel better in yourself if you could feel that you had done everything you possibly could to make DS and DiL's wedding a joyous occasion and not marred by what has happened between you and ex in the past.

Grannyeggs Mon 15-Apr-13 17:29:40

I think Jane and the others are right ,your son would love it if you were there . I have been in a similar position to you in that after my divorce there were a spate of family weddings and parties and I really had to make myself go to them but I dreaded them as each time I had to face my ex and his new partner. Ten years down the line I'm glad I did for my children's sake. bookdreamer I too feel for you. (((Hugs)))

Nonu Mon 15-Apr-13 17:30:35

Hi there , If you have the time later on after the wedding let know how it all went .

Enjoy yourself what ever happens .

bookdreamer Mon 15-Apr-13 17:56:25

Thanks nonu. I will

Deedaa Mon 15-Apr-13 21:28:31

I was also wondering if you have a friend or relative who could go to the english do with you. I would find it a little daunting to go on my own even if I had an ex I was on good terms with.
I hope the wedding itself goes well and you have a wonderful time. flowers

jeanie99 Mon 15-Apr-13 22:12:05

These days when people get married abroad it seems to be the thing to have another reception at home for the folk who couldn't/wouldn't travel, this is generally paid for by the couple.

The fact that you have been to the main event "the wedding service" I don't see any need to put yourself thru what could be a very uncomfortable evening, why your son can't see this could be problem for you I don't understand.

Put your feelings into a letter and send this to both your son and his wife.

Grannyknot Mon 15-Apr-13 22:31:40

TBH I think if you organised something with your side of the family it may seem like 'tit for tat' and actually put added strain on the situation, bit of a tug of war for the happy couple in a way.

If I was in your son's position, I'd rather avoid orchestrating a situation where there might be tension it's surprising that he is insisting. The last thing you'd want at a wedding celebration is a thick atmosphere. It would be easier and less stressful for all concerned if you didn't attend, surely?

But if they really want you there, I'd definitely take a friend or a relative with me if I were you. And dress for success!

Wishes for a happy day flowers, all the best.

Faye Mon 15-Apr-13 22:35:19

I agree with jeanie99 you are after all going to the American wedding and reception. The English reception is really for the benefit of your ex husband's family and friends, why put yourself through a second reception.

Are you also sitting at the same table as your daughter and her family at the American reception bookdreamer?

Please let us know how you go and best wishes. flowers

bookdreamer Tue 16-Apr-13 06:55:20

Thanks again for all your advice. Yes Faye I'm sitting on the same table as my daughter. I'm going to be placed between the two boy grandchildren which I am more than happy with!