Dad on daughter: "She won't let me walk her down the aisle because I divorced her mom"

Amy Christie

*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission

Finding the right partner to get married and raise a family is a time filled with love and happy moments, but that doesn't mean all your family will feel the same way. And sometimes, you could decide who gets to join you on your special day based on past events that affected you or made you upset.

Is it fair for kids to judge their parents' choices and keep them out of weddings if they're still annoyed about something that took place years ago?

My friend David has been married to his wife Cindy for six years. This is his second marriage. Before, he was married for 19 years to his first wife, Sam. He only had kids with his first wife, and his three daughters, Sonja, Cassie, and Frances, are all grown up.

"I decided to end my first marriage after the girls went to college because there wasn't any reason to keep holding on. My first wife no longer cared about me, and she was already thinking about starting a different relationship. It was the best choice for all of us, and at the time, I thought my daughters would understand too since they rarely came back home anyway," David said.

Sonja and Cassie were ok with their mom and dad divorcing and trying to be happy with other people, but Frances didn't feel the same way.

"She resented me because her mom told her I asked for a divorce. But I did that because Sam was going out with someone else. I couldn't go along with that. Frances didn't listen to my explanation, and she decided her mom was being taken out of a marriage she still wanted. I didn't deserve that from my daughter," the dad said.

Once the divorce was final, Sam and David moved out of the home and left it for their daughters to use. They each rented an apartment and started looking for other partners.

"I wasn't going to be alone just because she gave up on me. The decision to end our relationship was hers, and I accepted it. When I was single again, I did my best to find someone who would care about me and want to be together permanently," David said.

In a few months, he met Aubrey, who moved into the same apartment building with him. They became friends, and after two weeks, they started dating.

He proposed one month after they met, and the wedding took place in her hometown with a few friends and family. Sonja and Cassie came to the wedding, but Frances said she was busy.

"I would've wanted all my girls to be there to celebrate with me, but I knew Frances had just gotten promoted, so I understood when she said she wouldn't come," the dad said.

David and Aubrey moved in together after they tied the knot and have been together ever since. Sam, David's ex-wife, keeps visiting him asking for money because her job isn't enough to cover rent, but he's decided to stop supporting her because their daughters are grown up, and there's nothing to connect them anymore.

"I don't want her to depend on me all the time. We're not a couple anymore. We must look after ourselves, and the sooner she gets that, the better," David said.

In the meantime, Frances and Dean, her boyfriend for the last three years, decided to take the next step in their relationship. He proposed on a weekend trip, and they set the wedding date in four months.

Once they got engaged, they went to visit their families to let them know about the special event that was coming. Dean's parents were excited about the couple's plans, Sam promised her daughter they would go shopping together to find a great wedding gown, but David wasn't included much in the celebration.

"Frances came to see Aubrey and me to tell us about the wedding. She told me the date and then asked me if I could contribute at all to the costs. I said yes, of course, and I offered to walk her down the aisle and do the father-daughter dance too. She agreed to send me the bills so I could pay for half the costs of the wedding but seemed doubtful about the rest," the dad said.

As preparations went on for the wedding, several details had to be decided, the wedding cake was chosen, and the flower arrangements were selected.

Through it all, David was prevented from getting too involved because Frances always told him too late about the place where the family met to plan the wedding, and he ended up missing out.

"She just called 20 minutes before or when they were already there, and I have a job and several commitments. I couldn't go there just like that. I'm sorry I couldn't do more and be there," the dad said.

As the wedding got closer, he paid a visit to the couple because he wasn't sure what his daughter wanted the ceremony to be like.

And that's when he found out his role would be very limited if any. Frances wasn't looking forward to dancing with him or walking down the aisle. She had actually excluded those things while planning the wedding, but he didn't know because he couldn't be there at the family meetings. And David is convinced this is because he separated from her mom.

"She won't let me walk her down the aisle because I divorced her mom. It's unfair because I've been there for her all these years. Why would she keep me away like that and treat me like I am a guest like any other, not her dad?" David said.

Unfortunately, the bride doesn't seem likely to change her mind. Frances told her dad he could come if he agreed to just sit at the table and dance at the reception with the other guests, or he could stay away if he didn't like her terms.

What do you think about this situation? Is Frances being fair in refusing the wedding traditions with her dad just because her parents got divorced years ago? Should she reconsider because David covered a significant part of the expenses for the wedding?

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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