How 'bout I pay for your wedding if you sucker your friends into giving me money?
June 19, 2012 10:21 AM Subscribe
My father asked me to use my social networks to get my friends to use his business. When I balked, he tried telling me that if I did, he'd pay for my wedding with the money. Am I right to be offended? And what do I do?
My family comes from a fairly traditional culture, where men are the providers, expected to provide for their entire family. My father, however, has not financially been doing well lately - he lost all of his own money due to a combination of bad investing and spending control problems. He previously, however, had significant amounts of money, such that him paying for a child's wedding would not be a thing. These days, he's living well enough, but it is off the money that his new wife brought to the marriage. He has recently sought and obtained a commission-based job in financial planning so that he can have his own money and not feel dependent on his wife.
When the topic of my wedding last came up several years ago, he offered to pay for the whole thing. Now, however, knowing his financial circumstances, my fiance and I did not even consider asking him for money. We're not loaded, but we can certainly afford a modest wedding. He, when told of the wedding, hasn't offered any help whatsoever until this conversation.
First, I'm a little concerned that my father isn't the best financial planner, given the state of his own finances, and I don't want to use my personal reputation to drive my friends towards what's probably going to wind up being a bad deal. I think he's looking at it from a perspective of, "You're family, you should help family out." But my friends also can't afford to lose sums of money in investments or insurance or planning that isn't really going to help them.
Second, I'm really offended that my father's offer of help with the wedding was stated as contingent on my friends buying his products. I should stress, it'd be totally fine if he said, "I wish I could buy this wedding for you, but right now, I can't, but I love you very much." I accept that the only way he could even possibly help would probably be if he did start selling this stuff. But I wish he would just say that, instead of making it sound like a tit-for-tat deal.
Third, I'm also offended at the idea that I would help him for money when I wouldn't help him for love - or that I'd be willing to sell out my friends for money.
My fiance thinks that I'm overreacting, and that in this traditional male culture, my father has no way to admit that his (female) daughter is now more financially secure than him, who is supposed to be the patriarch.
I think that's sexist bullshit, and he's had enough exposure to non-traditional culture by now that he should be past this.
Right now, I don't know what to do: do I have a conversation with him and explain why I was offended? Do I just not recommend him? Or should I recommend him after all, but just caveat to my friends that they should be very careful?