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An older man looking at a bride | Source: Amomama
An older man looking at a bride | Source: Amomama

My FIL Refused to Pose for a Wedding Photo with Me — When I Found out the Reason, I Lost It

Sonali Pandey
Jun 18, 2024
10:55 A.M.

Samantha's new marriage begins with an unexpected mystery when her father-in-law, Bill, refuses to pose for a wedding photo, leaving her puzzled and hurt. Determined to uncover the reason behind his distant behavior, she delves deeper into the past. What she discovers shakes Samantha to the core. Will this revelation change her marriage forever?

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It was a beautiful day. The garden was perfect for our wedding, with flowers blooming everywhere.

A bride and groom in a park | Source: Pexels

A bride and groom in a park | Source: Pexels

I stood next to James, my husband, feeling both excited and nervous.

We smiled for the camera, the photographer snapping away, capturing our special moments.

A wedding photographer taking a shot on his camera | Source: Pexels

A wedding photographer taking a shot on his camera | Source: Pexels

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"Time for the family picture!" the photographer called out.

James' father, Bill, stood nearby but didn't join us.

Instead, he mumbled something about making a phone call and walked away.

An older man standing with one hand in his pant pocket | Source: Pexels

An older man standing with one hand in his pant pocket | Source: Pexels

I felt hurt and confused as I watched him leave.

This wasn't the first time Bill had acted so cold.

A sad bride | Source: Freepik

A sad bride | Source: Freepik

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From the moment we met, Bill had been polite but always kept his distance. He never really talked to me, and at family gatherings, he would always find an excuse to leave the room when I entered. I never understood why.

Did he not like me? Did I do something wrong?

An older man | Source: Pexels

An older man | Source: Pexels

James squeezed my hand, sensing my discomfort. "Don't worry about Dad," he whispered. "He's just... difficult sometimes."

I nodded, trying to push the thoughts away, but it wasn't easy. Bill's avoidance had been a shadow over our relationship, a constant reminder that I wasn't fully accepted by James' family.

A bride and groom | Source: Unsplash

A bride and groom | Source: Unsplash

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The photographer continued to take pictures, directing us to different poses. I smiled, but deep down, I felt awful. This was supposed to be a happy day, yet here I was, worrying about Bill's behavior.

"Okay, let's get a picture of just the bride and groom!" the photographer said cheerfully.

A couple posing for a wedding photographer | Source: Unsplash

A couple posing for a wedding photographer | Source: Unsplash

James wrapped his arm around me, and we smiled for the camera. I tried to focus on him, on us, and the love we shared. James was my rock, always supportive and understanding.

After the photo session, we mingled with our guests. Friends and family congratulated us, their smiles and well-wishes lifting my spirits. But every now and then, my eyes would drift to Bill, standing on the edge of the crowd, phone in hand, looking away.

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An older man busy on his phone | Source: Midjourney

An older man busy on his phone | Source: Midjourney

The day after the wedding, I couldn't shake off the feeling of unease.

James and I sat in our cozy living room, the warmth of the fireplace doing little to comfort me. I knew I had to talk to him about his father. The weight of Bill's behavior had become too much to ignore.

A couple at home | Source: Pexels

A couple at home | Source: Pexels

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"James," I said, "why does your father dislike me so much?"

James looked taken aback but quickly masked it. He hesitated, rubbing his hands together and glancing around nervously.

A worried man | Source: Pexels

A worried man | Source: Pexels

"Samantha, it's not that he dislikes you," he began slowly. "It's... he thinks you have a personal hygiene problem."

His words hit me like a ton of bricks.

I stared at him, shocked. "What? That's ridiculous!"

An upset woman | Source: Midjourney

An upset woman | Source: Midjourney

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James sighed. "I know. But he's been saying things implying that you... smell bad."

I felt my face flush with anger and embarrassment, and memories of the past few months flooded back.

James had made comments about my body odor, and it had made me paranoid.

A woman under a shower | Source: Pexels

A woman under a shower | Source: Pexels

I started showering multiple times a day, applying deodorant constantly, and even asking friends and family if I smelled bad.

They all reassured me that I smelled fine, some even saying I smelled too clean.

A young woman applying perfume | Source: Freepik

A young woman applying perfume | Source: Freepik

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Before I could speak, James went on, "And there's something more I need to tell you. My father... he used this technique on my mom, too."

A chill ran down my spine. "What? What do you mean?"

A shocked woman | Source: Midjourney

A shocked woman | Source: Midjourney

"He believes that if a woman thinks she smells bad, she'll feel too low to cheat, will love only her husband, and will always stay clean. It's his twisted way of ensuring loyalty," James explained, and I could see he was feeling ashamed.

"He did it to my mom, and she never left him. He thought he was helping us by doing the same to you."

A senior woman smelling perfume | Source: Pexels

A senior woman smelling perfume | Source: Pexels

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I couldn't believe what I was hearing. My anger flared up, hot and fierce.

"That's sick, James! It's manipulation, plain and simple. It's not love!"

"I know, Samantha. I'm so sorry. I should have realized it sooner. I let him get into my head," he said sadly.

A sad man | Source: Pexels

A sad man | Source: Pexels

I sat down beside him and gently placed a hand on his shoulder. "We can't let this continue, James. This manipulation is unacceptable. It's toxic, and it's not something we should tolerate."

James nodded, looking more shaken than I had ever seen him. "You're right. I need to confront him."

A couple at home | Source: Freepik

A couple at home | Source: Freepik

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"But know that setting boundaries isn't enough. We need to cut his toxic behavior out of our lives entirely," I said. "We need to protect our relationship from this poison. We need to focus on us and our future without his interference."

James reached out and took my hand. "I promise, Samantha. I'll do whatever it takes to keep us safe from his toxicity. We'll handle this together."

Couple holding hands | Source: Unsplash

Couple holding hands | Source: Unsplash

"Thank you, James," I said softly. "I love you."

James looked into my eyes. "I love you too, Samantha. We're a team, and nothing will come between us."

The next morning, we drove to Bill's house, ready to confront him.

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A couple in a car | Source: Pexels

A couple in a car | Source: Pexels

James parked the car, and we walked up to the grand suburban house. My heart pounded, but I knew this was necessary. James squeezed my hand reassuringly before we stepped inside.

"Stick with me," he whispered, and I nodded.

A house | Source: Pexels

A house | Source: Pexels

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Bill greeted us at the door, looking puzzled.

"What brings you two here so early?" he asked, trying to sound casual.

"Dad, we need to talk. Now," James said.

Two men face to face | Source: Midjourney

Two men face to face | Source: Midjourney

We moved to the living room, and I stood nearby, listening intently.

James took a deep breath and started explaining what we had discovered about Bill's so-called method.

"Dad, we know about your manipulation. The things you've been implying about Samantha... it's not right," he said firmly. "You did it to Mom, and now you tried it with Samantha. It's unacceptable."

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A young man talking to an older man | Source: Freepik

A young man talking to an older man | Source: Freepik

Bill's expression hardened. "James, it's a foolproof method. It kept your mother loyal, and it would have done the same for Samantha."

My anger flared, but I held my tongue, letting James handle it.

He needed to stand up to his father.

An angry woman | Source: Pexels

An angry woman | Source: Pexels

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"No, Dad," James said, his voice unwavering. "It's manipulation, and it's toxic. If you want to be part of our lives, you have to respect Samantha and our relationship."

Bill stared at James, his face unreadable.

For a moment, I feared Bill would argue. But then he sighed, realizing James was serious.

"Fine," Bill said. "If that's what you want. But you're making a mistake."

Sad senior man | Source: Pexels

Sad senior man | Source: Pexels

James shook his head. "No, Dad. The mistake was letting this go on for so long. Samantha deserves better, and so do I."

I felt a wave of relief wash over me.

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James had stood up for us, for our relationship.

A couple holding hands | Source: Unsplash

A couple holding hands | Source: Unsplash

It wasn't going to be easy, but this was a step in the right direction.

We left Bill's house and drove home in silence, both of us lost in our thoughts. I knew rebuilding trust with Bill would be difficult, if not impossible. But I was grateful for James' unwavering support.

As we pulled into our driveway, James turned to me. "Are you okay?" he asked gently.

A couple looking at each other | Source: Midjourney

A couple looking at each other | Source: Midjourney

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I nodded, feeling a mix of emotions. "Yes, I am. Thank you, James. For standing up for us."

He smiled, reaching over to take my hand. "We'll get through this together, Samantha. I promise."

I felt a surge of love for him, knowing we were stronger together. "I know we will," I said softly.

A couple embracing | Source: Freepik

A couple embracing | Source: Freepik

We walked into our home, feeling a sense of renewed hope. There were still challenges ahead, but we were ready to face them. Our bond had grown stronger through this ordeal, and we looked forward to building a life together, free from manipulation and toxicity.

As we settled into our evening routine, I felt a sense of peace. With James by my side, I knew we could overcome anything. Our love was strong, and it would carry us through whatever lay ahead. Together, we were unstoppable.

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A happy couple | Source: Pexels

A happy couple | Source: Pexels

What would you have done?

If you enjoyed this story, here's another one: Tori's world shatters when her cruel parents abandon her and her two little brothers, leaving them to fend for themselves. Years later, just as she begins to rebuild her life, her estranged parents knock on her door, smiling as if nothing happened. Why have they returned now, after all these years?

An elderly couple on doorstep | Source: Midjourney

An elderly couple on doorstep | Source: Midjourney

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This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided "as is," and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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