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Wedding Fails – The parent who doesn’t care

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Some couples opt to share their wedding fails. I used to find that amazing but I kind of understand it now, given a bit of life experience.

Perhaps there is something cathartic in opening up to the world when your life is falling to bits or when you’re so embarrassed that you feel that you can never face your family and friends again.

Maybe there is a kind of healing, an almost magical transformation at work here. What ever this strange alchemy is, the key is being open, honest, vulnerable and sharing.

Shame, guilt and fear prey on you in isolation and silence. Opening up to the world (the good and the bad) will change you forever and even if everyone is not receptive to your point of view or your honesty, the simple act of doing this is powerful.

So, here are some of the wedding fails that we wanted to share. We pass these on to you so that no matter what your fears and worries are, you will know that you are not alone in it.


1. The parent who doesn’t care

This story comes from Rita in the US.

My mother never cared about me. Looking back, so much of my early life was about trying to win her love and affection. Later, it was trying to figure out why she didn’t want to bother. I suppose I blamed myself. I thought that maybe if I ‘got my life together’ that I could transform into the kind of daughter that she would notice. She always noticed my younger sister. She was the golden child and I was the scapegoat.

My father died when I was a child. Personally, as bad as this sounds, I blame my mother. She constantly belittled him, criticized him and attacked him. He could do no right. He got sick and died way too young and I wonder if it was too much work, lots of stress and a basic lack of self care.

Anyway, back to the wedding. When my fiance Alan proposed to me, I was so excited. Alan is the kind of person who is dependable, quiet and self contained and wonderfully caring. I’m lucky that I didn’t end up with someone like my mother.

Talking about my mother, she almost ruined the entire engagement. It was meant to be a surprise and Alan had called her and my sister to ask them to be there at a party following the engagement (he presumed that I’d say YES and he was right).

My mother called me up and told me not to marry him. I was shocked. She revealed that she knew something I didn’t know (she knew about the engagement) and finally, despite me telling her not to reveal any details, told me the time that he planned to propose.

I never told Alan. I didn’t want to ruin it on him. I gasped with shock and awe and jumped up and down (with genuine excitement) when he popped the question at one of my favorite spots by the beach. My mother and sister could not attend the ‘surprise’ engagement so I called her on the phone. I don’t know why I called her or why I tried so hard. But she simply told me that it wasn’t big news, that people get married every day and that marriage is a waste of money. I was devastated.

Alan and I saved up for our wedding. We’re both graphic designers so we earn a good wage and we are also quite frugal. We paid for my mother’s accommodation when she refused to go because of costs. We even got her transport and dress. We shouldn’t have bothered.

On the day itself, she was belligerent from the start. She insulted Alan’s parents, telling them that they should have raised their son better and that I had had a chance to marry a guy in stockbroking who earned a lot more. She implied heavily that it wasn’t too late for a quickie divorce and remarry. She refused to talk to several of my father’s family and actually made racist and sexist comments about my friends. My sister was getting annoyed at her but still made excuses.

Finally I had enough. I approached her and told her to stop destroying my day just as she was flirting with Alan’s father at the bar. She just stared at me and told me that I was ungrateful. And then something magical happened. I told her NO. I said ‘I’m not over sensitive, ungrateful or playing the victim. I’m just disappointed in you’. And I left.

My sister started hurling abuse at me for insulting my mother. I told her that enough was enough, that neither she nor my mother were welcome in my life.

It was a strange day. I cried after that and Alan came to find me. He wrapped me up in his arms and hugged me telling me that he was my family.


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