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Question on Personal Family Situation

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My lil' sis graduates from University in 3 weeks. For the ceremony there are two free tickets (ma' & pa') but any close family who want to watch the ceremony has to buy one.

Problem: At my sister's request, mother's boyfriend Jon of five years, bought a ticket and will be there for the formal service.

Dad has always strongly maintained that for personal reasons, he wants no contact with the boyfriend (they've never even met). Knowing how he feels about him dad considers it extremely inconsiderate for Jon to have accepted the invite at all. He is the father and has priority is his view and the big day will be very uncomfortable for all there as a result.

So Dad will not to go at all now if Jon is there.

Their differences are irreconcilable, there will be no sit-down chats about this. This scenario has to be dealt with "as-is".

Who is in the right here and can anyone see a solution ? I think I'm too close to the situation emotionally to judge properly.


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I don't know that anybody is right or wrong here. They are all pursuing their own self-interest.

The "event" is your sister's. She invited "mother's boyfriend". If your sister is aware of Dad's distaste for mother's boyfriend, then her decision to invite him could lend to some inferences as to how much she does or doesn't care about Dad's issue with him. If she made the invititation, knowing full well that Dad would choose not to come as a result, and if that she had to choose between Dad being there and mother's boyfriend being there, she'd prefer mother's boyfriend, then all is well.

If sis' is not aware of Dad's issue, and is of the belief that both will attend and doesn't realize the result will be that Dad doesn't attend, then perhaps that lack of information as led to a rational, yet non-utility-maximizing decision by your sister.

Further, assuming sis' is aware of Dad's issue, then Dad shouldn't consider boyfriend to be the inconsiderate party. Boyfriend presumably wants to go and wants to respect the wishes of your sister. In the scenario where we assume your sister knows of the discord, Dad should be put off that your sister chose the boyfriend over him.

That said, I don't think it would be right of anybody to tell Dad that he should go anyway "for his daughter" -- especially if she made her decision with knowledge of the issue.

Just my two cents. I'm sure other arguments could be reasonably made.

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She is aware of Dad's issue but expected him just to forget it this once- she was wrong.

My sis and Jon are quite close, not as close as she is to dad, but Jon has really helped her academically. She would like him to be there as a thank you but dad is dad. She's damned is she does and damned if she doesn't, I being philosophically minded was asked to help but I couldn't be entirely sure on a solution.

The best I can come up with is that dad sees this as his daughters big day- not his, and on this one occasion cares more about her enjoyment.

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From the breif overview that you gave, it sounds like your dad is being childish. It is your sisters day, and hes throwing a tantrum because he "wants no contact" with Jon. This is selfish in the wrong sense of the term. Tell him to move on, get over his relationship with your mother, and let your sister have the spotlight, and the support that she deserves on her big day.

Edit: What Im trying to convey is that your dad should want to be there for selfish reasons.

Edited by JayR
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In my opinion it's her event, either her father wants to be there for HER or he doesn't. He shouldn't be able to dictate who she shares the experience with. If he can't peacefully co-exist in the same CROWD of people, that suggests something about pettiness over priorities to me, lacking a fuller context of the situation.

Edited by RationalBiker
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I agree with the essence above two posts: based on the very brief overview you've given, whatever issue your dad has with your mom's boyfriend is more important to him than seeing your sister graduate. That speaks volumes about how much he actually values his daughter.

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