As far as my mother is concerned, we are a normal family and therefore my father should walk me down the aisle at my wedding. She knows that my dad and I don’t get on well though she hasn’t got a clue why. I won’t go into details here but if I say that we got on well until one night when I was twelve and he was drunk, and that he has never been able to look me in the eyes since, you’ll understand the nature of the problem. I was lucky because I was naturally assertive and so quickly escaped the situation. Neither of us have referred to it since, yet I can’t forgive him and I certainly am not letting him give me away at the wedding. My mother says that all of our friends and relatives will find it strange so now she is getting upset as well. I don’t know how to make this right!
Wo says: Obviously your father was entirely in the wrong and you have every reason to be very angry with him. I am sure that some readers of this will say that you should speak out now so that he has to deal with the consequences of his action, and there is some justice in that. I feel from your letter though that you don’t want to go that far. What is probably true is that this is the crucial point in both your lives where this might be resolved between the two of you, if you choose to take that path and accept an apology after an open discussion between you. Of course, I don’t know quite how bad things got and it may be that there can never be a reconciliation between you. If so, then tell your mother to say to relatives that the two of you have had a bad argument recently and that is the reason for your brother doing the honours. I think most people would accept that.