There’s even more drama going on with my dad. This thread pretty much explains the entire situation, but here’s the Cliff Notes version:
My parents, both lifelong Protestants, divorced when I was 14. My mom remarried very soon afterwards; my dad just remarried this past November. My husband and I did not attend my father’s wedding because we felt that the marriage was invalid (his new “wife” is a lapsed Catholic who has been married twice before). Needless to say, my dad did not take our decision well.
The current issue: Since the whole wedding debacle, I’ve been making an effort to let him know that we still love him and still want him in our childrens’ lives. After hearing through the grapevine that he was complaining that he didn’t get to see his granddaughter anymore, I called and offered to meet him somewhere so he could spend time with her. So far, he’s cancelled twice (once because of bad weather, once because he claimed he had too much work to do at his home). He did see her last week when she was at my brother’s house. At any rate, I’ve tried to do everything I can to make sure that he knows that we still love him despite our feelings about his marriage.
Anyway, I called him earlier this week to invite him to our daughter’s 3rd birthday party. His response was a voicemail (left at 6:30am this morning), saying that HE would attend, but his wife would not since we didn’t consider them married. He also said that he hoped my mother wouldn’t show up with her husband because we didn’t consider them married either, and if my mother showed up with her husband, “there would be trouble.” (That’s a direct quote.) He also said something about how he hopes our priest wouldn’t be there, since he doesn’t consider either of them (my mom or my dad) to be married. (During the whole wedding debacle, we told my dad we’d talked to our priest about the situation, and my dad called our priest, very upset, and chewed him out about it.)
Frankly, I’m starting to get scared. My father is essentially making threats against my almost* 3-year-old*, threatening to ruin her birthday party just because he doesn’t like our personal beliefs regarding marriage. (For the record, my mother – who is much more sane – also knows how we feel about her marriage. She has acknowledged that it hurts her, but that we have a right to our own beliefs.)
Anyway, I’ve been pretty upset all morning, and I’ve been trying to think how to respond to this. I’m thinking of sending him a letter, registered mail (to make sure he gets it, since I’m not sure he’d read my e-mails and since I want a written record), that says something like this (bracked comments, of course, will not be included):
Elanor’s birthday party is a celebration of her life, and we would like to have the people she loves there to celebrate it with her – regardless of their marital status, or our feelings about their marital status.
Our opinion of a relative’s marital status does in no way alter or affect the love that they have for Elanor, or her love for them – just as my opinion of your marital status does not change the fact that I love you. That is why we invited both you and Joanne to her party, because we know that you love Elanor, and we thought you would like to help her celebrate her special day.
You have brought your significant others to our family events in the past – for example, you brought your ex-girlfriend JoAnn to Elanor’s 2nd birthday party – and neither Collin nor I have ever objected. Accordingly, we do not object to Joanne’s presence (*[Joanne is his “wife” – JoAnn was a different girlfriend *]) at Elanor’s 3rd birthday party. We did and still do think she is a very nice person and she is more than welcome to attend.
However, because you have decided to make threats against our family (“there will be trouble,” as your voicemail to me on 1/9/08 at 6:39am said), Collin and I do not want you to attend Elanor’s party. We do not want her birthday party ruined due to arguments or confrontations between the people she loves.
We are sorry you have chosen to behave in such a way that makes it impossible for us to allow you to come to her party. If you would like to discuss this matter calmly and rationally, please call me at *** (my number) and we can arrange a place to meet and talk. (However, I will not discuss this over the phone as I prefer to speak with you in person.)
Is this a fair, charitable response?*