My Dad’s Best Man Isn’t Me

My dad and IWhen my dad told me that he was marrying his girlfriend, I was really excited for him. After mom’s passing a few years ago, he went through a period where he tried to replace her with someone else and that simply didn’t work. Now he finally found someone that he truly enjoyed spending time with and I think she’s an incredible woman and a great fit for him.

I had mentioned to him when he was with a previous girlfriend that if he ever got married that I wanted to be his best man. I thought that being his oldest son, it just made sense that I get to have that opportunity. I made the wrong assumption.

I spoke with my dad over the weekend (he’s been spending the winter down in Florida enjoying retirement) and he casually dropped the bomb that my little brother was going to be his best man and I was going to emcee the event, handling the music and the reception and even writing the vows with Sunshine (since they enjoyed ours so much).

Gotta be honest…I was absolutely gutted.

For my dad, he’s simply trying to include both his oldest and his youngest in his important day. He trusts me with the tasks he has provided to me and doesn’t trust anyone else to do it. That’s important to him so it’s important to me. I realize that and absolutely appreciate that he wants me to be included in his big day.

But I can’t lie…I wanted to be his best man. I thought I WAS his best man. He and I are closer today than we ever were. We have actual discussions that he doesn’t have with my 19-year-old brother. He trusts me to do things and handle tasks that he doesn’t trust my brother with. I’m his oldest son. I’m technically his ONLY son (my brother is the adopted son of my sister…so he’s technically my nephew but that’s a whole other blog post).

It hurts me. It hurts me to the point that I blew up at my brother on Saturday night over NOTHING. I got in his face and we almost came to blows. I didn’t even realize at the time just why I was so upset at him…he wasn’t doing anything out of the norm. As I sat down a half hour later and told Sunshine what happened, I realized just why I had been so irrational and upset.

He was my dad’s best man and I wasn’t.

I apologized and ended up breaking down when explaining why I had gotten so upset. I couldn’t believe that I had taken out my anger on him like that. What made things worse was that he felt guilty over the entire situation. He thought that I was going to be the best man, too…so he completely understood why I was mad. I stressed to him that I wasn’t mad at him, though…he needed to know that he did nothing wrong.

But neither did my dad. He’s not trying to upset me with this decision. In fact, he’s only doing what he thinks is right. So while it hurts me and disappoints me…I can’t be mad at him, either. All I can do is be the best, most supportive son I can be and do whatever I can to ensure that his wedding is a good one.

I never thought it would bother me so much, but it does. I’m just glad that I realized this now and not the day of the wedding itself. At least now I have time to work through these feelings and get my mind right for my dad’s big day.

Still…it’s going to suck to sit in the audience while my little brother is standing up next to him. It may be selfish on my part, but I just want that to be me.


3 thoughts on “My Dad’s Best Man Isn’t Me

  1. I just wanted to say how proud I am of you.

    Weddings have a way of bringing out the worst in families over issues like this. But instead of letting it fester (and potentially ruining what should be a very happy day for everyone) you worked through this. You talked to your brother. You made an effort to understand where your dad is coming from and you realize that his decision isn’t about you and your relationship with him. That’s some good work on your part.

    I’m confident that when the wedding day arrives, you will be able to put aside your own hurt and enjoy your dad’s happiness. Because you’re awesome like that.


  2. I can only imagine how much this news stung you right to your core. You’ve worked to have the wonderful adult relationship you have now with your father. As an outsider, the thing that struck me immediately was that your father felt the need to recognize your brother in some way as part of the action. From what I remember in meeting your brother briefly, he seems to be rather shy and reserved and perhaps this was a way for your Dad to give him some confidence and a feeling of importance in his special day. He knows you’d rock all the gigs he’s picked out for you – I have to say, he’s a wise man – you’re going to ensure the day is memorable, entertaining and special because that’s what you excel at. All of those things are important – so important to a day like this and in my eyes are even more special to be asked to take care of – sure, having the title of best man would be nice but in reality, everyone is paying attention to the bride and groom. At best, you’re a place holder of support and carry a ring and sign a piece of paper. Not having this title or these duties in this wedding does not negate the amazing source of support you are in every other facet of his life. This isn’t a contest and you’re not a loser. Your brother didn’t win a title, he is not the best son or man. I have been skipped over for a few weddings of people very close to me – my one and only sibling and my two best friends. It hurt, so I very much understand how that feels. But, the thing I realized (and this is totally the photographer talking) is that I couldn’t fully view the ceremony from the standpoint of an attendant. I couldn’t get the wide angle view or more importantly, you wouldn’t be able to see your father’s face as he says his vows because you’d be behind him while he faces his bride. Having the vantage point from the audience actually is more special because you see it (and can capture!) it all. In all three cases I was actually very happy I got to watch and not participate because I felt I got to actually experience it better.
    And just to play Devil’s Advocate – I know your dad had the special role of giving Sunshine away to you but had it ever crossed your mind that maybe your dad had expected you’d ask him to stand with you on your big day but (and rightfully so, you had your children stand with you)?
    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who stands up with him…what they will remember is that they had fun, you made them laugh and you were there to help your dad start the next chapter of his life.

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