Ask Alma: My daughter wants mom to walk her down aisle


Dear Alma,

I was married to my wife for 11 years. During that time we had three children, one daughter and two sons. In my opinion, our relationship deteriorated so my wife and I divorced because I had an affair. I have since married that woman and we have two children together, two sons. We are very happy and she’s always had a close relationship with my older children. But understandably, not my wife. My oldest, a daughter is getting married this year. As her father, I am paying for her wedding and very excited to walk her down the aisle. That is until recently when I received an email from her saying she asked her mom to walk her down the aisle. I am very disappointed and am considering not attending. I would like your advice on the matter.


Hmmm, well, first and foremost, it’s her wedding and she has the final word on who should walk her down this aisle. With that being said, my wonder is, did her mother ask her or make her feel guilty into going in that direction? On one hand, you mentioned the affair, upon which I’m sure no one has forgotten, especially since you’re happily married to the other woman. On the other hand, walking her down the aisle – should not be used as a repercussion tool or a “remember you hurt my mama” moment.

My advice is to have a conversation with your daughter. It would be ideal if your first wife (not the second) could be present, but if not, so be it. Tell your daughter you want more than anything to walk her down the aisle. Remind her that being your only daughter is what makes it even more special to you. On that note, look to her mother for support. I wouldn’t take this issue directly to her mom, because it’s not her wedding. Both parents should be willing to walk in the words of the wise and recognize, this isn’t about the past, it’s about the future. Your daughter’s future and what will make her happy.

It looks like you and your new family have moved on, but that’s not the case for all involved. The breakup of a marriage is difficult and divorce with children is traumatic. Evidently, parts of hearts in your first home, haven’t completely healed. Take this left hook on the chin and deal with it. Don’t give up so easily. Once you’ve shared your feelings, all of your feelings, allow your daughter to make her choice.

Yes you should attend the wedding, regardless if you’re in the wedding party. Whatever she decides is what you should abide by. You all will have to live with the decision, just as you did when you divorced. If things don’t go your way, between you and me, pick up your feelings and put them back in your pocket. Prepare to wear your most stylish tux and the biggest smile you can muster. Just as you were mature enough to make a lifelong, difficult decision, based on what was best for you at the time… she will, too.


Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and twitter @almaaskalma.