Step Daughter's Wedding

southernsummer

I can honestly say that's step daughter's wedding last Saturday was the worst day of my life. Does anyone else have similar experiences???

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kkny

Care to share details?

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suzieque

Um, I don't know if I had had similar experiences, because you've not given any details about your experience. So ... ?

I will share my experience of my step-child's wedding if you will please tell me what you're asking.

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dotz_gw

I d like to hear about it too..A step Wedding brought me here years ago....

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southernsummer

Thanks for responding.

I survived my step son's wedding two years ago, mainly because his wife honestly did her very best to include me and make me feel a part of the wedding. As a result, all of the other steps, ex, and former inlaws were angry and didn't speak to us the entire evening.... awkward, but tolerable.

This time was different. My 30 year old step daughter, who we see very rarely, was married last Saturday. My husband and I wrote her a check last fall for $28,000 to pay for the wedding... Her request for her "wedding budget". My husband and his ex have been divorced 27 years. We have been married for 15 years. I am well employed and husband is retired.

After that, we never heard another word until we received a wedding invitation ... My husband and his ex wife "request the honor of your presence... at the marriage of their daughter" ...

Okay, so I paid for the wedding , and I'm okay with not being mentioned on the invitation. It was just awkward because we had no input or knowledge into who was invited, but that wasn't the worst part.

It was as though they were still married, and like I never even existed.
Every invitation was "parents" and "wedding party", and I wasn't in any pictures and not on the program. My husband and ex wife were like a married couple. The engagement party was scheduled on our 15th wedding anniversary, and we already had pans that we couldn't change.

It was really bizarre. The family (ex wife's sisters) sat in the center front pew, and both mothers ( ex wife and groom's mother) were escorted in and each had a bouquet. I sat on the far left of the church... No flowers, of course. I sat with our two kids, who were also not involved. It was incredibly hurtful. I was just completely used and snubbed.

On paper, this doesn't sound as weird and un-nerving as it was, but I was stunned. This was a huge church wedding and a large outdoor reception with a full band and dinner at a local mansion. It was an elaborate wedding that was the ultimate step daughter fantasy that her parents were still married to each other.

She often told me that had I not been in the picture that her parents would have eventually re-married. Seriously????

They divorced due to alcoholism of ex-wife and both of her parents. My husband said he just couldn't stand the constant DUIs, rehab and therapy bills, and disfunctionality. He said it reminded him of the movie "August Osage County".

We all live in the same small town. My husband warned me and predicted that it was going to be bad, but I wasn't expecting this. He even suggested that I not attend, but who knew????

There are a lot more details which I will spare you. I am a strong woman and I have nerves of steel, but I left the wedding after my husband's dance with his daughter, and I cried for days.

There is no advice needed here. Just venting, I suppose.
I never want any further contact with any of them. They are terrible rude people, and I just didn't see it coming, as I should have.

My husband and I have never had any issues, except regarding his awful ex and his kids, who we almost never see. Hopefully, this is the end of those relationships. This was certainly not the first time they have been hateful to me, it's just the worst.

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kkny

I am not certain why you and your DH would write a check without his demanding some input. Were his relatives invited? His close friends? Traditionally whichever parent the bride was raised with gets first dibs on front row, and if she doesn't want SM in front row, SM sits further back. As to the programs, were any other step parents mentioned? I think she might have omitted programs, or listed mom first, and on the next line listed you next to Dad, as in Father of the Bride, Mr. Summer, accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Summer. As to photos, DH should have insisted on at least one with you two and happy couple, but bride should still be allowed family photos without you in them. The bride was in her teens when you got married, so her not seeing you as a SM but rather as dad's wife is understandable. I can see your not getting a corsage. Yes, florists may say well of course every SM gets one, but that is not true. I am sorry you cried for days, but I do not see this as a total snub. The bride may not have wanted to discuss things with you, as she may have felt you would make too many demands. There is no obligation for a bride to have anyone in her wedding party, and as your kids (her half-siblings) are at least 14 years younger she may not have wanted that.

I am sorry you were so upset by this

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southernsummer

I am the only step parent. Ex wife never remarried. We have paid for private school, college, trips to Europe, etc etc.

Ex's sister is widowed, but owns about 200 restaurant franchises. Big money, ranch, homes, etc.

Step daughter lived with us for 6 months after graduation.
We were much closer until SD's trust fund ran out about two years ago.
She initiated legal proceedings against my husband at the time, because she she couldn't believe the money was gone.

We live about a mile from ex wife. My husband raised his son and she raised their daughter. Husband paid her child support on both kids, even though he raised son.

I wasn't in any pictures at all, and not even present. I was told to wear beige, which I did. Moms wore gold satin.

All of my husband's family is dead, so it is just me and our two kids.
She has three sisters, all married with kids and grand kids. Yes, all in photos and wedding party, even new husband of sister married one year.

Mutual friends of husband and ex were invited, but no input into guest list. My husband inquired and she said she didn't have any extra invitations., He didn't ask about anything else, mainly because my husband didn't want to interact with his ex wife and he considered his daughter an adult, and thought she could handle it. There were about 300 people at the wedding, including ex wife's divorce attorney and attorneys who handled trust fund law suit.

I would never have treated someone like that. Literally, it was as though my husband had never remarried and they had been married for forty years. I don't care about front row, just common courtesy. I was simply the person who paid for the wedding and that is all. My husband and his ex were like a couple.... "Who gives this woman? Her mother and I".

Step daughter did contact my husband a few days after the wedding and they had coffee.

I expedited to be treated badly, but someone could have spoken to me, I think I could have been involved in something.

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southernsummer

I am going to answer my own post.

Yes, I was used, and this is my learning opportunity.

Husband is loyal, and my step kids are tacky.

My husband gave my step son his deceased grandmother's three carat diamond engagement ring for his wife's engagement ring. He lied and told everyone that he bought the ring himself . When my step daughter asked my step son about their grandmother's diamond, he told her that I took it. She was furious at me, and I had no idea why, until it all came out.

This is a good time for closure and a clean break.

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sylviatexas1

I'm so sorry.

Your problem isn't the ex & the stepdaughter;
it's your husband.

Although you've been married 15 years,
he didn't demand that they show you any respect,
he didn't demand that you sit with him,
he didn't insist that you stand beside him in the wedding photos.

He did just what they told him to do.

Whether you decide to let is all go by like water under the bridge or whether you smack him upside the head (figuratively of course), please be *very* sure that you are protected in the event of his death or disability.

This is the kind of family that'll swoop down & freeze the bank accounts & pitch you into the street if they can.

& unfortunately, it sounds like your husband would
1) deny that they'd do it &
2) not do anything to keep them from doing it & unfortunately
3) blab to them if you & he make arrangements to protect you & exclude them, which would give them the opportunity to pressure him to change the arrangements.

so you need to be sure that whatever changes you make cannot be 'unmade' without your knowledge & consent.

I wish you the best.

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southernsummer

Sylvia, that does put it into perspective.
Yes we have a trust that protects me.
Very good point.

My husband has a phobia of conflict.

Knowing that, water under the bridge is a good way to describe it,
But I won't be participating in or funding any more step family events or anything else.

My husband feels the same way. He was not interested in creating conflict at the wedding, but has rather cut the cord on the back end. More like, "it was your wedding, but this was the last opportunity you will ever have to treat us badly. "

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dotz_gw

Hi Summer, Pretty much everything that happened to you happened to me too, but my problems began with the shower invitation(or lack there of LOL) " You don't want to come to my shower, do you???" Hhhmmm, No I guess I don't....Rehearsal was fully funded by us, we got an invitation in the mail with YOU RE INVITED!!!!" and her parents name and contact info...No one knew we paid or hosted..Got yelled at for no wine on BMs table by Skid...Hostess told me that in the area dinner was held, you do not put liquor on the ministers table, which was where BM sat..Skid bawled me out in front of everyone and stormed off, as if I purposely slighted BM...DH was critically ill at the time and hadn't received a paycheck for 5 months prior to wedding..He was hounded to pay for half of that also....Even tho skid had the money in the bank..Day of wedding, skid still fuming over no wine for mom put me in the basement of the church while everyone else was upstairs waiting. Escorted me to my seat with a scowl, or no maybe a grimace LOL....DH was allowed 8 guests, party was for 400......I also left early...Never spoke to skid again and its been years...DH also supportive of me, because he s said many times that I ve never been anything but nice to this kid...He has 2 kids, the other is a polar opposite...This Mothers Day, he sent a card and a note that made me cry it was so sweet...I ve never treated them differently...I do believe BM PASed the older one more than the younger one...I hate for DH s sake the family is so fractured, but I m fine with him visiting alone, and I buy the gifts for him to bring to them..But he goes for months without contact, seems he s always angry about something, who knows what?

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kkny

Some of your complaints valid. Some are not.

You say " husband and his ex were like a couple.... "Who gives this woman? Her mother and I""

That question and answer was entirely appropriate. The SD may say that they don't want to deal with you because you are too demanding. Her parents are still her parents.

You make a big deal at first that he is retired and you are working, but now you say there is a trust to protect you. Sounds to me that he has a fair amount of money, which he should be allowed to spend.

You say you could have handled a bigger role at the wedding -- you have no right to ask for that. You were invited as an honored guest.

This post was edited by kkny on Mon, May 19, 14 at 16:50

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southernsummer

Dotz, I understand how you feel.

I was not an honored guest. I paid for the entire wedding myself. Ex didn't contribute anything financially... Never has.

Everything we own jointly is in a trust. I sold 30k of my own stock to pay for the wedding because it was less complicated than pulling money out of a trust. I don't tell hubby how to spend his money , but we have no disagreements about money . It could have just as easily come from a different joint source. But it didn't . I paid for it. Hubby is financially independent due to his parents' death when he was in his early 30's. He inherited a business which he sold after we married. His only brother died 5 years ago. Hubby invested his money well. Both of his kids had trust funds from their grandparents that they ran through. They finally zeroed out a couple of years ago.

I get "her mother and I" but every guest at the wedding was treated better than I was. How was I honored? I waited in the basement also... I didn't think about it until Dotz mentioned it.

Interesting Dotz... Same thing about the shower .... We always leave town for Easter to visit my parents.... She said to DH "of course you will be out if town and can't come ...."

Maybe it's cultural. In the south, we speak to each other and say hello and please and thank you. To have no one from the family make eye contact or say a single word was hurtful. I was literally invisible.

My son's high school graduation is Thursday and my step son says he is coming. It's a free country, and he is welcome to do that.
Would I ignore him and not speak or make eye contact because he is only an honored guest? I know for certain, I am never including any of them again in anything.

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southernsummer

They have never given me a chance.
I have just finally come to realize that they never will.

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kkny

I don't know why you waited in the basement, most guests just go in. If you thought you should be allowed to wait with wedding party, then you were overstepping. If you were demanding to be treated as a MOB or BOG, then they likely decided that was not going to happen. Its like your complaints re flowers, etc. You were not a MOB or MOG, and the tension is clear. As to money, its seems you think that what is yours is yours, but what is your DH's should be yours too eventually. You say you wrote check, but if the SD knows that dad has money and you two chose for you to write check, that's not on them.

I am guessing guests thought you and DH were the rude ones when you left early. I assume he gave bride away, he has dance with her and you were escorted to your seat. You blow up other things. Do what you want, but a lot of the stuff you mention (like your kids and you not getting a role in wedding, you not getting flowers like MOB) are things that you are not entitled to and your complaining makes me ask who is the entitled one here.

This post was edited by kkny on Tue, May 20, 14 at 6:38

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southernsummer

The basement is where my husband, myself and the kids were asked to wait for the wedding to begin. It was like a fellowship hall, so really not that bad.

Okay, so I will just get over it.

Thanks for the advice.

I don't expect to be mother of anything.
Just common courtesy.

They all had money ... Divided about 8 million three ways.
Step kids spent theirs and husband invested his.
Inheritance? Hmmmmm. Since I'm obviously not family with these kids,
That's an interesting question. If they don't consider me family, then maybe I only have two kids and not four.

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dotz_gw

Summer, Congrats on DS Grad..Absolutely speak and be polite.Why lower yourself ??? They set the bar for manners pretty low LOL You don't have to...I didn't see anything in your post where you demanded anything!!! Expectations to be treated like a human being with feelings are the bare minimum at a step wedding!!!! I wanted to be invisible too, was certainly not mouthy or demanding of anything!!! Skid and my bridges are burned over the wedding, I saw him once at a funeral, we did not make eye contact or speak. If he spoke or apologized, I would have been polite back I think...

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colleenoz

Southernsummer, I'd take kkny's comments with the knowledge of where they come from. She hasn't posted here for a while but in case you don't remember she has a down on all stepmothers (except maybe the ones who totally support themselves, have no expectation of inheriting from their husbands leaving the field clear for the kids to get everything, and who have minimal to no contact with their stepchildren).

I do think your stepdaughter was unconscionably rude, she could have treated you politely without giving you the same status as her mother. Especially since you were paying for it (even if she assumed her father had some contribution).

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southernsummer

Thanks, Colleen and Dotz.

I remember KK now. -- For a second I was afraid that she was my husband's ex wife.

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southernsummer

"if the kids don't like you so they are constantly making demands to take the attention away from your relationship, and HE ALLOWS IT, then run. Do not walk away... RUN AWAY!!! If he can't see the difference between meeting the needs of his children by being a good, devoted father and their manipulations to interfere in his relationships (with you or anyone else), then he is not "the ONE". Remember, he is single for a reason. If he's TOO NICE... that is another way of saying they can walk all over him and in that case, it's not a plus. It's great to find a nice guy but allowing his ex or his kids to treat his new relationship poorly is not very nice, is it?"

This is a quote from Imamommy, also on this site. I can so see my husband and myself in this. He is a doormat , and his ex and his kids run over us. Sylvia, you are right....we simply have repeated the same script over and over.

I would rather be alone than put up with people who make me feel alone.
I never allowed my kids to treat his ex with disrespect, and this is closure for me. I'm moving on in my life. I'm curtain off all contact with his kids and ex. They are his problem, and he can deal with the longstanding disrespect that he has allowed to fester for so long. We are moving on with or without him, but I'm not putting up with this crap any more.

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kkny

Yep, I am the unreasonable one. Sarcasm on.

Complaints of

1. SM didn't get as nice seating as the mother of the bride

2. SM didn't get flowers like mother of the bride.

Newsflash -- being dad's wife doesn't make you a mother of the bride. You are an invited guest. And if you leave early over not getting flowers or the best seat in the house, it's your decision.

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dotz_gw

Numerous wedding websites devoted to step issues as to seating and flowers, dad and his wife , row 2, flowers, yes, the only reason to omit them are rudeness, meanness and spite..If you want to raise your children and encourage that kind of behavior, that's your decision....I don't see any hint of Summer wanting to place herself above BM,just normal courtesy.

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southernsummer

Thanks everyone for your help and advice.

My life has changed considerably since the wedding.

I have cut off all contact with steps, whom I now refer to as "his children". plan to never see or talk to them again. My husband can have whatever contact they will allow, but there is no useful purpose in continuing any relationship with them, since my only role has been financial anyway, apparently.

My role is wife to their father, and not family or friend to them.

The flowers and seating are not the issue; the issue is the sudden realization that I mean nothing to them. Now that I know my role, it is much easier.

My husband's son, his wife and baby, and his mother were our house guests that weekend, but for future visits, they can stay at a hotel. I am not a cook, maid, and check-writer; I am a person with feelings. I am only a wife and mother to two of his children, and there will be no other roles, no more hosting events, and no more silent treatment.

For baby's christening, my husband can attend alone.

I returned or gave away all nursery furniture, hand made quilts / items I made or purchased for visits.

KK, thank you for your perspective, because if I am not family, then I feel completely justified in no longer treating them all the same for birthday and Christmas checks, etc. I can double my children's gifts and inheritance.
Feels so good to be free of the aggravation. I have been way too generous and I have def been a doormat. No more, sister.

At least I know my role, now, and I can avoid the misunderstanding that somehow, I am a friend of the family. I won't make that mistake again.

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southernsummer

The second row would have been fine, but I was up against the left wall. I couldn't see anything except the bridesmaids on the left.
I get it.

Why did she assign me a color to wear (beige) if I wasn't going to be involved, except to make sure I looked like a jerk, compared to the mothers (Gold taffeta)?

There's no subtlety here, and I get it.
I just won't let it happen again.

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kkny

Dotz, many wedding sites say SM sits 2 or 3 rows back (and if OW, way in back, or she should stay home), flowers optional for SM.

Pick what sites you want, but SM is not a mom.

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southernsummer

And SD and SS are not daughter and son. No problem.
The gravy train is over. They are just the unfortunate
By products of my husbands failed relationship.

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dotz_gw

Summer, You got assigned a COLOR!!, No one told me anything about what was expected from me!! LOL Lucky you!!!

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southernsummer

Thanks, Dotz.

Sorry about your experience.
It is very hurtful, and as the minister told me,
"Weddings seldom bring out the best in people."

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dotz_gw

Hey Summer, I d say the minister could be right, but I ve seen weddings bring out the best in people too...So proud of my brothers and nieces and nephews weddings...Lets get elderly uncle a ride, or he cant come..Lets send a hair dresser to old aunties house so she looks and feels good...Even tho moneys tight, we cant forget the neighbor who s been so good to us when we were children...Bitter exes with axes to grind look just like what they are...I don't know ANY SMs personally that want to take equal, or better places in wedding than moms, a lot of us would probably rather be anywhere else in the world except a place where the SKs and EX don't want us, but our HUSBANDS do...If they took the position of lets not exclude or hurt dads WIFE, she didn't do anything but marry my dad, her very presence shouldn't offend them, all would be well....I guess some BMs cant rise above the jealousy, bitterness, pettiness of some one else is with my childs father, and pass it along to bride/groom...

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colleenoz

Yes, KKNY, we all know southernsummer wasn't the Mom, but, you know, it seems to me that if someone who wasn't even my Mom gifted me with close to $30K, I'd find it in my heart to be gracious to her. But I like to think I have class.
OTOH, every time you post, I think, "You know, I can totally understand why KKNY's ex is her ex."

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eandhl

If all of you couldn't all sit in first row with M o B having the isle seat then row 2 would be fine. A small corsage would be appropiate if your DH has a boutineer. Telling you what color to wear is just wrong. A few pictures with you included, again appropiate. Bride would want some with just her mom & dad, that is okay. The bride showed her lack of manners. No quest should be treated with such a lack of respect especially her dad's wife!

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southernsummer

Thanks, all.

The final result of all of this is that I am no longer involved at all.

The quiet has been so peaceful.

I wish I had done this years ago.

Thank you for your support and advice.

KK says that this was not a snub, and I shouldn't take it that way.
KK if you had been there, it would have been obvious.

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stepmomofthree

Summer,

sounds like you had to endure an awful experience in order to finally free yourself and your children from a toxic situation. In the long run, this is a good thing, because the alcoholic ex, and her damaged children, won't bring anything good to your lives, or to the lives of your children. Worse, they are going to produce another generation of leaches, that could prey on your children.

I strongly agree with Sylvia that you need to take some steps to make sure that your children receive the benefit of your husband's estate. That may mean transferring some assets into a trust for them now. You have already paid for the stepkids to go to college and have lavish weddings. Now it is time to ensure that your kids have the benefit of the same advantages.

You also need to make sure that your wills are very clear and that your real estate and retirement funds are set up so that your children receive them automatically upon death, and these assets don't fall into the estate, if possible.

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kkny

Coleen, the money doesn't seem clear -- it seems to some people here, dad's money is dad/SM money, but SM money is SM money.

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colleenoz

" I sold 30k of my own stock to pay for the wedding because it was less complicated than pulling money out of a trust."
Seems pretty clear to me. But I know you have selective reading when it comes to SMs.

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southernsummer

It's the rejection that is the hardest to take.
Especially, when my heart was so open to them.

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Karen10125

I can certainly relate, I wrote on this forum about my stepdaughter's wedding, shower, etc. back in 2012. I wish I could tell all stepmoms BEFORE their stepchild's weddings not to have any high expectations. That way there is no disappointment. We gave $4,000 to my stepdaughter's wedding costs and were treated like crap, so I can only imagine how you feel. I wasn't told what to wear either, until the 11th hour and I was told to wear champagne or cream, when I learned that everyone else was wearing dark colors. It was the MOB that wanted me to wear the light color and she hates me btw. A light color would make me stand out and look fat, that's reality. So I found this gorgeous black and cream dress, lost 12 pounds before the wedding and I have to say I looked awesme and thinner than the MOB! I know that sounds childish but if you can't beat em, join em. When I arrived for photos at her house, she made me walk around back instead of through her house. It had rained alot the night before and my shoes and the bottom of my dress got mud on them, but I just smiled and never actually had a photo taken. I laughed about the mud and that irritated her. Keep in mind that 6 months prior we had an engagement party for SD at our home and treated the MOB and her mother like guests of honor. Life isn't fair. Knowing how things would probably go with seating and other issues, my husband put his foot down early in the game and made just a few reasonable demands which I think he had the right to do. But he shouldn't have had to do that, it's all about respect. He had no input on anything else. Summer, maybe you shouldn't be complaining about some of these things, but the bottom line is that you were hurt and I know how that feels. Now you can focus on your children and their future weddings. I'm sorry this happened to you.

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southernsummer

Thanks, Karen. I'm going to look for your 2012 posts.

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wrychoice1

Haven't been to this site or posted forever but have had similar experiences with my husband's adult children. At the wedding of my husband's youngest son, I was treated in a very similar fashion to how others here have described. A couple years later, the oldest son was married. Much better treatment but not without its own issues (rehearsal dinner paid for by DH & I. The ex offered to "help" the bride to be in taking over having invites to the rehearsal dinner printed and mailed. From the way she had them worded, you would have never known they had been divorced...sigh...)

The final straw for me came three years ago when I flew out to join DH who was visiting his youngest son, spending time with his then 10 month old grandson. Since the birth of his son's first child, DH would stay at his son's home, at his son's invitation and insistance. I had stayed there once or twice at the most...it was always awkward and uncomfortable, mostly because the son's wife was always so rude. Anyway, long story short, as I was boarding the plane here on the east coast for a flight to the west coast, DH and his son were having a conversation that went something like this:
"Dad, don't take this the wrong way, but you know when you've been here before, you've always stayed in a hotel...?" Since DH hadn't stayed in a hotel for at least 4 years when visiting his son and, since he had been at his son's house the previous 3 days, DH was confused to say the least. Further discussion made it clear that it was I who was not welcome to stay there. All this was unbeknownst to me. I arrived that evening. Apparently DH thought things would calm down, brought me back to his son's home when I arrived in town that night. The next morning when I woke up and came downstairs, you could have cut the tension with a knife...and we left town early that afternoon. It was only as we were driving away that DH told me what had transpired. To this day, I wish DH would have texted me about his conversation with his son, told me not to board the plane and he would explain later.

Since then, I have given up trying to have a relationship with that son and his family. I encourage DH to visit him and he has done so. A few months ago, a maternal grandparent to DH's children died. This son and his family came back for the funeral. I told DH his son was wlecome in our home --- just let me know if and when they were coming over because I would not be present
--- and I wasn't. I feel some sadness that I don't get to enoy DH's grandchildren with him...but I am simply not willing to allow myself to be a doormat to his son and daughter-in-law anymore and won't subject myself to their presence.

Life is much more pleasant now. :-)

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southernsummer

Wry,

I'm so sorry about the way you were treated. You were kind to allow SS to stay in your home... Especially when they did not welcome you. I agree with your decision to abort the relationships, as I have. We would never tolerate similar treatment from strangers, and your SS would not tolerate similar disrespect for his wife. Your husband was right to stand up for you.

Personally, the tranquility I have felt since removing myself from the steps has been so liberating. It has been like a shroud lifted.

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Mom-of-all-trades

I went to great lengths to make sure SM and her parents were treated with respect at my son's wedding. It was not much of a problem since my children were not raised to treat people like that.

She still carried on like a two year old.

I have to ask are some of you the dreaded "other woman"? That would explain some of the behavior.

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southernsummer

Yes, I met my husband ten years after his divorce.
BUT my SD told me many times that had it not been for me, that her parents would have eventually remarried. So yes, I the other woman.... In their bizarre psychotic stalker fantasy world.

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Mom-of-all-trades

I do understand the bizarre fantasy. Your husband really needs to tell his daughter that he was not ever and will not ever get back with his ex.

I was so grateful when my ex did remarry because I thought maybe he would leave me alone. See, I was done...turns out after he did not have me any more that he wanted me back. I ended up several times reminding him he had a wife and to go home. She ended up getting jealous but like many women blamed the wrong person.

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southernsummer

And my husband's ex-wife was the one who filed for divorce and changed the locks. But she strangely thought nothing would change, and resented the hell out of ME when after ten years, we married.

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PhoneLady

I hear that a lot that the ex spouse who actually filed for the divorce is the one who can't move on. I think they really wanted the soon to be ex to protest, throw a fit, beg for forgiveness ( even if they had nothing to apologize for), or otherwise show they can't live without the one who filed.

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dotz_gw

No "Other" woman here either..Divorced for years and he came to my state after..She did so many things to get him back after she found out he was dating. And also, she wanted the divorce and threw him out...Then apparently realized her mistake...And set out to punish him with false contempts of court, costing us a lot of money to defend against her always false accusations...PAS ed the kids, called our accountant snooping for info, wanted more money, tried to set up meets with him alone, bashed me to the Sks,Honestly, there were about 20 court actions, beginning when we started dating..Previous 3 years ZERO...SK 1 s wedding was a nightmare..SK 2 and I get along nicely, when he gets married I don't think it will be as bad..He never allowed the PAS to color his opinion of me, and for that I m grateful.

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Mom-of-all-trades

I wonder if these women realize how much time they are wasting by not moving on.
The bizarre one in my situation is the SM. She can keep my ex!
It is like she is in some competition with me. Craziest thing you have ever seen.

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southernsummer

My husband and I were invited to the christening of my stepson's baby next month, because they want "all the grand parents" there for the service and lunch at their home afterwards. I very graciously declined for myself. I can spot an ambush a mile away. Hubby can go if he wants to, and they can play fantasy still married if they want to.

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suzieque

Frankly, I'd suggest not calling these people your stepsons/stepdaughters. I'd call them "my husband's son/daughter". Small thing, but it'd give me some internal pleasure!

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suzieque

Frankly, I'd suggest not calling these people your stepsons/stepdaughters. I'd call them "my husband's son/daughter". Small thing, but it'd give me some internal pleasure!

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HappilymarriedinNH

I just have to add one piece to this whole thread:

The idea of the bride's parents paying for the entire wedding is an ancient practice that no longer should apply in most cases.

Today, many couples who get married are in their mid twenties (or older!), have jobs (or are capable of getting one), and often have been living together prior to the marriage, so their household is already set up with all the basic stuff.

Why should parents be expected to pay for a wedding for a couple in those circumstances?

It should be the parent's choice as to how much they will contribute. And there should be no expectation that a parent must contribute anything.

It's time for parents to start looking our for their own financial interests once their children reach the age of 18.

Putting 28K in a retirement account for the parents would be a much better choice than spending 28K on a wedding that more than likely will end in divorce, because if SD treats SM poorly, it's a guarantee she ultimately will treat her own husband the same way if she doesn't get her way all the time!

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dotz_gw

As I said earlier in the thread,SS had enough money in the bank to pay for his wedding. Also bride was only daughter of a wealthy man.. SS said if we paid half, the brides father would pay half, as if this was a good deal for us. This had to be a lie.Why would a wealthy man ask someone else to pay for his daughters wedding? DH was critically ill at the time and had been off work for months, with his disability pay being 10 dollars a week short of weekly CS payments...He never missed a CS payment . But bad timing to ask for a wedding which I m sure the brides father paid 100% for. Pretty sure BM told him to ask DH to pay, so they would be ahead financially ....If he had asked for a loan until after the wedding and pay it back after , that would have been reasonable...That he didn't care what circumstance DH was in, and he blames me for not getting the money galls me to this day.Spoiled, entitled and unappreciative of the rehearsal dinner for 45 people and the nice cash gift for wedding gift...Like Summer, I disengaged and have not spoken to him in years...

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HappilymarriedinNH

Disengagement is often the best answer.

Basically, we have chosen to completely disengage from my husband's family events, because his SD has acted so rudely to us during them. We visit and call his mother, and he still interacts with some of his siblings on an individual basis, but no more family fiascoes for us, thank you very much!

Drama Free is for Me! :-)

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southernsummer

Happily, I agree with you. My husband's daughter is 29 years old, and had been living out of state with her boyfriend, an oil executive, for over a year. But we allowed ourselves to be manipulated.

It was the final straw for me, and it was the closure that I needed to be done forever.

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sylviatexas1

'Drama Free is for Me'

sounds like a nice thing to needlepoint on a sampler!

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HappilymarriedinNH

Southernsummer: I feel so sad that you had to experience the deliberate shunning and disrespect at your SD's wedding. But, I am so happy that you have broken free from her manipulations, disrespect, and negativity! You will find true peace now that she can no longer push your buttons. Best wishes to you and your husband!

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southernsummer

Happily, thank you for your kind words. I have completely disengaged, and DH stays connected on a carefully limited basis. The christening is next week, and DH and my son are going, which is fine with me, as long as I am completely uninvolved.

Drama Free For Me!

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HappilymarriedinNH

Good for you!

We should start the DFFM Club!!!!!
.

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Elizabeth Landers

I see these posts are almost a year old but this seems as good a place as any to put my feelings out there. My step daughter just got married last weekend. Her father and I have been married almost 5 years so I really haven't been in her life for long and I admit that we aren't close. We don't hate each other that I know of. I don't fault her. To start with, we told her we would give her $15K for the wedding or school bills or as a down payment on a house. It didn't matter to us what she did with it. She chose to spend it on the wedding and that's fine. She actually told us she thought she could do the wedding for 15K so we felt we were not skimping. She had originally told us that the wedding would be 6 months later than she ended up planning so that made us need to scramble a little for money but it's her big day so we did it. We live out of state so had no part in planning anything. I guess dh preferred it this way and I don't expect to be included in that way. Her bio mother requested of the daughter that she not tell us what she was giving the daughter for the wedding. Fast forward to rehearsal dinner, no one spoke to me except step daughter and my husbands side of the family. During rehearsal the wedding planner asked for parents and sat my husband next to his ex. It took 15 minutes for anyone to let her know that they aren't still married. So she called me down to sit next to my mother in law and dh. It was really embarrassing. The planner apologized for the error when everyone had stepped away to go to dinner. She said "usually these things are in the paperwork." Truth is my dh could have told her but it's his "baby girls" big day and he wanted to do whatever she wanted. That's the way I see it anyway. The rehearsal dinner was awkward because only members of dh's small family spoke to us. My mother in law and dh's aunt sat with dh's ex. We sat with the bride and groom so that made dh happy. I guess everyone has to sit somewhere. So I tried not to let these things bother me and did my best at keeping a smile on my face. So the day has come, we arrive at the venue. It's an outdoor wedding at farm. We were not sure where to go to wait and I thank the lord that we didn't arrive more than 30 minutes early because this part was painful. So dh goes to stand with the groomsmen and groom and I see my mother in law and stand with her away from the seating for the wedding. So everyone is getting their flowers put on and talking about how pretty they are but of course not speaking to me and of course I don't have a flower. I'm the only person escorted in that doesn't have a flower. I guess I should feel lucky that dh was allowed to walk me in but about this time I wished I was just sitting in the back row. Anyway, the wedding ends and then there are pictures. This actually goes fine. DH wasn't forced to be in the "family" photo with his ex (like he was at graduation). On to the reception and the toast from the father of the bride. Dh proceeds with the toast and he sounds charming, gives a compliment to his ex on the raising of their daughter and compliments the grooms parents and then says something to the effect of "thank you for still loving me" because he left her mother. Anyway, it sounded like an apology and I was fine with it until I really thought about it and then I added it to the other slights and got pissed. Now I was perfect lady. I never waivered. I danced, laughed and drank while pushing all this to the back of my mind. Dh also danced and laughed and drank (too much). So later that evening as we're relaxing I let him know that I was embarrassed to not have a flower and he says "they didn't do it on purpose." He swears he doesn't remember this. But he said it. Later he says he didn't know that bothered me and still later he said he didn't notice it. So that starts my blood boiling and we don't speak most of the 10 hour drive home. If he had just said, "I was pissed too, we paid all that money for a wedding and they couldn't even get you a flower..." whatever. But he made excuses to make his ex look better. Because she of course wouldn't do anything like that even though in dh's wedding to his ex she sat dh's mother in the third row and dh's dad and stepmom in the first row because she was friends with the stepmom's family. I'm over it for the most part. The only thing is we paid for about $13500 of wedding expenses leaving about $1500 still due the daughter. I'm not reminding dh. This sounds petty but I needed to vent.

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val (MA z6)

Edie,

I've never been in a "step" situation, but it seems that weddings often bring out the worst in people, which is pretty sad to say. I agree on both the situations here that these 2 step daughters were completely spoiled. To expect their father's to pay for the wedding (and we're not talking small weddings!) and to go off and not have the decency to make the day inclusive for ONE measly day for their father AND his wife, even if you are not her mother is just completely selfish. People are SO into their worlds, have their own agendas and can't see past their own noses which are stuck up on the air.

These girls were totally entitled to expect so much money and do as they please, but I tend to agree that the fathers should have done more to stand up for their wives....Men just dont want to confront, just let it go. Things dont seem to bother them as they do us women. They just "opt out" and expect us to deal. My husband really is a gem, and i've not had alot of that, but he does take the easier path sometimes.

I feel for both of you, but dont let these weddings ruin your lives. Those girls are NOT worth it. Edie: money still due the daughter? I think NOT! I did not expect my parents to pay for my wedding, I appreciated any help of which they gave some, and I worked on a budget for 100 people. we wanted a small wedding with people we really wanted to be there; and with good food. That was our criteria, and an enjoyable day. I just dont see spending thousands upon thousands for a 'show' for one day. But that's neither here nor there!

Best to you (both, summer if you are reading this) It's a crappy situation, and I think that freeing yourself of these self centered step daughters is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I speak from experience, but not wedding experience. When my father passed away, no one was there for my mother to help or for emotional support, but his family all wanted to tell her how/what she should do so that it worked to their advantage and how they wanted. They were a super judgemental ODD bunch of people and whenever they saw my father, it was usually because they wanted something (loan, money, a gift, to use a car, you name it). Being free of my father's family was SO freeing for me not to have to deal with any of them after they tried to twist my mother every which way. She was not good at confrontation, so we told her to tell everyone my brother and I wanted it whatever way. We truly wanted what SHE wanted and what was easier for her. But alot of people are only happy when they get what THEY want. Consider the source, and carry on

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Elizabeth Landers

Thank you for the kind words, Val. For the most part, I'm over it. I read all these comments before the wedding. I tell you, I'm angry with myself for not expecting it but I'll live and learn. This was only the first wedding...four more to go.

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val (MA z6)

Why are we always angry at ourselves? Because we are too kind and try and be nice and do for others....and then they slap us in the face and we think they can be kind and normal, but apparently they cant. It's really kind of sad. But you are YOU and a much nicer person! Remember that! Live a Happy life and from hereon in may you have no regrete...it's the best revenge HA HA!

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Southern Summer

I'm sorry for everyone who has been hurt in step wedding situations, and I have been there, too. The sad part is that it could be so healing and unifying, but in my experience it was the event that divided our family once and for all. My DH hasn't had any contact with Bridezilla in over a year, since her wedding, and I haven't had any contact with either of his adult children since before the May 2014 wedding. Evidently, this is what they wanted. We have our nice family, and they can all figure it out for themselves.

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ldvilen100

Hello, I just want to add something to be helpful, although at first it may not seem that way. Very few SMs attend a wedding expecting to be
treated like MOB. What they do expect is
to be treated like their husband’s/your father’s wife. In some ways, it should really not be all
that difficult. Your SM is married to
your father, and they are a couple, just like any other couple at the
wedding. So, if you are taking pictures
of yourself with aunt Judy and her husband uncle Bill, then you should also be
taking pictures of yourself with your father Todd and his wife (a/k/a SM)
Ann. If aunt Judy and uncle Bill are
seated together at the wedding and reception and every other couple is seated
together, then father Todd and his wife Ann are seated together too. That is really what most SMs want and expect
at a wedding: To be seated with their husbands and be treated just like any
other couple. Corsages, etc. are simply icing
on the cake or extras.

The
reason why I’m saying this, is that you can see from above, for example, where once you are an adult, to treat your father’s wife like she is a
pain-in-the-butt or not wanted vs. as your father’s wife, can
have LONG-ranging consequences, and can lead to a much poorer relationship with
your father. SM no longer attends these type of events because she doesn't want to risk being bullied = bio-dad not wanting to go to events (no fun to go alone,
without your partner) = less time with dad = poorer
relationship with dad or possibly even zero relationship with dad. Even if just dad shows up, on the
surface that might sound ideal; however, most dads are just going to hang
around for the obligatory hour or two, and then make their exit. Men do want to be with their wives, you know. After all, I’m sure you want to go to events
and be a couple with your spouse. Same
for dad. Just giving fair warning on this, because you can already see that is precisely what happened in a couple of instances above.

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Southern Summer

dVilen, thank you for an excellent comment.

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Karen Peltier

Yes, that is a very interesting, excellent comment and true!

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newgardenelf newgardenelf

SIL just had a similar experience--- One of the steps questioned SIL....."why are you so mad because the bride "forgot" you in a photo?" (SIL found, hired, paid for photographer (and wedding) but SD excluded her from all photos) My SIL answered...."I'm sad about being excluded, I'm mad about being used."

I see step children's poor behavior toward their step parents self defeating How can you enjoy your day carrying around the type of animosity that makes you go wayyyyyyyy out of your way to shun or slight someone? Moreover, how can you expect someone you exclude and/or use to continue to support you given your behavior?


Aka what idvilen said....

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Southern Summer

A doormat will continue with the same behavior. A normal healthy person will set boundaries or end the relationship.

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wrychoice1

"How can you enjoy your day carrying around the type of animosity that makes you go wayyyyyyyy out of your way to shun or slight someone?"

i have thought about this quite a bit in the past. My husband's son and daughter-in-law went out of their way to be hurtful not only to DH but also especially me. They've been married for about 15 years now, so I guess it worked for them but it did cause me to think how can anyone begin a life together when so much of the process leading up to the ceremony and the wedding day itself was steeped in outright meanness toward others...I have at times wished I believed in the old adage of "what goes around comes around..." But I wouldn't wish that kind of treatment on anyone.

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Angel79

I congratulate this step mother for holding her composure. If the parents of the brides pay for the wedding then why did just you and dad pay for it, obviously she has a mother. No step mother shouldn't be treated as mother of the brides but they should be treated with respect while attending. Some people's comments offended me and I'm the biological mom to four yet I'd be damned if my children treated their stepfather or their step mother this way. I was raised with both step parents with my parents but let me tell you this much my step father was to walk me down the aisle not my father. My father even agreed my step father should be the one to do it. All of you condemning this woman for just asking for respect especially while paying for it, i. Hope you never are a step parent because you wouldn't fill the mold. Also as far as her stating the father is retired and the daughter asking for money because he obviously has some, is ludicrous because with the way she acted I'm sure even if he was unemployed she'd still demand he contributed because the SM had money. Oh by the way young ladies it's time for the kids to be grown ups if they want their wedding to cost more then a used car. Set budgets for them if they want more then shh time for jobs. oh ya my SM was the other woman but guess what so what, she gave me a life with a mother and a SF who love each other unconditionally and let me see a version of happily ever after.

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kmf6562

After reading all of this I need someone to set me straight on what I can expect. SD getting married next year and she has lived with her father and I in my home for 7 yrs. Her mom moved out of state when she was in high school(they did not speak for a few years) and I was the mother figure. I have 2 girls of my own but my SD was the neediest of them all and required a lot of attention. All the girls are close and they are in the wedding. I love my SD and we do have a very close relationship. I was there for dances, heart break, college, sickness and everything in between. I have met her mom a few times and she definitely likes to be the center of attention. I can feel myself getting anxious about the wedding. I don't want to add any stress to my SD but I also don't wan to be hurt. My SD had a baby 5 months ago and I was not asked to help with baby shower, just the "real moms" and her 1/2 sister. My SD asked me to help with wedding I jumped right in. I feel ashamed to say I am worried when her mom comes to town I will be forgotten about. I am just being honest so please don't be too harsh on me. I feel I need to maybe take a step back to protect myself. HELP!

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Southern Summer

KMF, you should hope for the best and brace for the worst. Do your best to help SD make everyone SM AND BIO MOM feel as included as possible. A wedding is not the time to act out family grudges, either against you or against Bio Mom, but for some reason it can happen that way and can lead to permanent consequences.

Were you you invited to the baby shower?

This is not a competition, and hopefully everyone will see it that way. Good luck.

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kmf6562

I was invited to the baby shower it was just a shock not to be included in the planning since she has lived with me. I am over that and I did talk to my SD about it. I won't lie, I do feel used sometimes, I am the first person she calls when she has a problem because as she says her bio mom does not have time for her. I wouldn't do anything to ruin this time for her I just needed a safe place to get my thoughts out. My parents were divorced and I know how hard that can be so I wanted to be the SM I never had. I think I feel insecure for some silly reason. My husband appreciates everything I have done for her and he tells me often. I feel a bit selfish, I have to tell myself the more people that love her the better off her life will be.

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azmom

kmf,

You are such a wonderful step mom and an awesome person with big heart, your husband and children (bio and step) are very lucky to have you.

Your post is a breeze of fresh air among step moms' postings, often they are filled with bitterness and resentments.

I believe handling any relationship ultimately is based on each person's value system, outlook and philosophy. We do what we feel right and what make others feel the best. Everything else is just noise.

Occasionally feeling insecure and needing to vent is human nature, as it could happen even between bio mom and daughter. Most of the time kids do not mean to be hurtful, they are just doing things according to their maturity and life experience, which usually are much less than that of parents.

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kmf6562

azmom,

Thanks so much I will focus on what you said about "most of the time kids do not mean to be hurtful". Just dawned on me I may have accidentally hurt her, my youngest is coming home from college and I told SD I needed a little alone time with bio daughter because she and I are never alone. Husband and SD moved in and it was a hard adjustment for bio daughter since it was just her, another bio daughter and me. Since husband is going out of town for a week I told SD I needed time alone with bio for a few days since I don't see her as much as SD. SD is around a lot with baby and fiancé and my husband works from home so there is never any alone time for her and I. I think I will be sending text to my SD so there are no hard feelings. I am sure she understands but seeing as I myself get a bit insecure I want to make sure she knows it is nothing to with her as I am sure the is the same case with me and her mom. Geez....I feel better and like an actual grown up now!! LOL

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Kim Aves

Happy holidays everyone, especially to those following with bitterness and resentments and even to those who like to stereotype all step moms. Best wishes to you and yours.

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colleenoz

What a load of baloney, Kim Aves.

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colleenoz

Totally unlike yours, for instance.

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tete_a_tete

I think that your step daughter might have been trying to let you off the hook, kmf, in not asking you for help with the baby shower. And yes, you do sound like a great step mum.

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emma1420

KMF...you sound like a great step-mother. I would just encourage you to keep in the back of your mind that you SD may do things that inadvertently hurt you to keep the peace with her biological mother. If her biological mother is a drama queen, your SD may not have the time or energy to deal with putting her in her place. So any treatment you may receive (however, right or wrong it may be) may not be a slight again you, instead it may be a way of managing her other parent.

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Southern Summer

Expect to be treated badly so that SD can "prove" her absolutely loyalty to bio mom. Simple truth. Now that Mama's back, expect everything to change. The hurtfulness is not inadvertent. It's safer to snub you than to have to deal with bio mom, and she knows you can't do anything about it.

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kmf6562

DANG! Step daughter just got back from visiting bio mom with her fiancé and 6 month old baby. SD said" I want to tell you something but don't get upset cause I have your back, my mom said the 2 grandmas should walk the baby down the isle at the wedding, it would be so cute" The 2 grandmas would be finance's mom and her, my SD said she has 3 grandmas so that is not going to happen. SD said I would never hurt you like that and I want you to know that.

The wedding is a year away, LET THE FUN BEGIN!!

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Southern Summer

Wow. That's nice.

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azmom

kmf,

Thank you for sharing this uplifting development with us. Your SD's reaction shows your love, care and good intention have been recognized. Sounds to me she is a very good SD too.

Keep up with good work - parenting indeed is hard work even for bio-parents. Going forward, if others want to play silly game, just remember you are too good to participate, take high road and be the wonderful woman who you always are.

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kristine_charrier2013

My SD's (ages 24 and 22) are getting to the age where weddings will start soon, and I am already nervous. A little back story here : I married their father when they were both full grown. My husband and his ex have been divorced for almost 6 years now. My husband's ex (the BM) is...emotionally unstable to put it nicely. She has tried to start drama when we first started dating almost 4 years ago, when we got engaged, and when we got married (married now 3 years). My oldest SD has never had a very good relationship with me, and I think this is because of her BM trying to poison the well, so to speak. Take for example, when the oldest SD graduated college; she did everything in her power to try to keep me from going to graduation (I was engaged to her father at that point). I bought her flowers and a gift, both of which were thrown into the trunk o f her car without even a thank you. She made sure I was ignored by all invited, save for my then fiance. And you can be sure she made sure there were no photos with me in them. I am fearful this may happen with the wedding as well. I hope not, but...To say the least, I am not expecting much as far as the weddings go. However, I did have a conversation with my husband last night about respect towards both of us. At the minimum I would like a photo of me and her father and my SD and her new husband - but I'm not holding my breath. My main point here is that it will be explained to both SDs that her father and I will be sitting together at the ceremony and the reception. Period. End of story. As to the rest, I honestly don't care if I get flowers, or am on the invitations etc. Maybe I am putting the horse before the cart here, but I have been researching wedding etiquette for step-parents, and ugh! I can already tell that unless my oldest SD has matured significantly, there will be issues.

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Southern Summer

Expect issues. Consider a girlfriend beach weekend with people who love you.

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kate1041

Good manners are good manners. A marriage is an opportunity to create a generous rapport with another family. Maybe, you won't see them often, but it is kind for their Dad or Mom, depending on who is what step to be considered with respect. They are people, period. I was treated poorly, before the wedding and, during the wedding ("Would please come with me and sit here". It was eight rows back and behind a pillar). So many slights. No inclusions in any photos etc. I could go on and on. However, it was my husband's lack of sensitivity that allowed the bad manners to occurr. That and an dislike of conflict. Difficult ex-wife. Still a business partner. So, that was my mistake, marrying someone whose ex was still a partner. Regardless, if I didn't know him until they were divorced five years, she wanted them to be a couple at her convenience. Too much power for the ex, whether male or female. At my daughter's wedding my daughter showed such consideration for all even though her father and his wife were rude initially. I over heard her say, "A marriage is a blending of families. This is a, hopefully, a start for us all to be one, a family."

i was very proud. She was 35, which lends maturity to the marriage. Being older means, usually, there is accumulated wisdom. By the way, I left the gentleman who didn't stand by me. He was continuing to build with his ex-wife, excluding me, his wife. That was their deal, let them handle it. His parting words to me we're, "You'll be rich." Well, I am. Rich in family and friends.

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Southern Summer

I'm sorry, Kate. Some husbands have no backbone, and simply can't move on. It is easy to see the red flags in hindsight, but it's good that you set boundaries and moved forward. Your daughter is a very wise and considerate young woman. She is a credit to you, and I know you are proud.

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kwagon

Both of my step-daughters had weddings within 4 months of one another. Both knew that my husband and I had been struggling financially and had plans to move to an area with better opportunities. I was flabbergasted when both women provided lists of items that they expected us to pay for. Having worked in the stationery business previously, I offered to do their wedding invitations for them. I had to pick up a lot of extra work tutoring, but I got it done, doing all of the printing myself (including invitations, RSVPing, directions, postage AND thank-you cards, less than $2,000 for 800 invitations).

My husband and I were never invited to either wedding. His ex-wife happened to ask if we were staying in town for the weddings, which is how we found out a few days prior that we were expected. At both weddings, other guests were rude and dismissive, indicative of the low moral character of many attendees. His ex was never shy about bad-mouthing him to her friends and family, who were all gathered. We sat at the back for both weddings and receptions. The only acknowledgement we received at all was the aforementioned hostility.

My husband and I paid for our own wedding. His ex and her husband paid for their wedding. All of my friends paid for their weddings too. With the exception of one friend, who is from a wealthy family, my step-daughters are the only people I personally know who had the expectation that other people pay for their weddings. Our families are not traditional or religious and neither SDs were virgin brides. Far from it. The weddings were 2 years ago. Although I still feel anger about the assumptions my step daughters made about a lot of things, both were powerful learning experiences for my husband and me.

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Southern Summer

KWagon, I'm so sorry, and we know how you feel. You were generous to do what you did, and luckily, you didn't go into debt to pay for more. Now they have shown their colors, and despite the hurt and disappointment, you can move on. I'm so sorry they put you through this. It hurts so badly.

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Southern Summer
Kkny, I hope you are still out there. I have reread your comments several times, and it has really helped me to approach closure on this stepfamily wedding issue. Now with both stepfamily weddings done in 2012 and 2014, they now have a total of three children. I have met one child twice in 2014, and I have never met the other two. You mentioned that I was too demanding, but actually I didn’t ask for anything at all. I just expected common courtesy. You helped me to realize that they were never capable of common courtesy, and that really helped me to adjust my expectations to nothing at all. We plan to set up trust funds for my grandchildren but not for my step grandchildren. I think that’s only fair. They need to adjust their expectations to match my expectations from them. We are paying for my children’s law school and medical school. We declined to pay for his daughter’s graduate school. It’s only fair. Inheritance is only for my children.

Thank you for helping me to realize that if I should expect nothing from them, then they should expect nothing from me. That has been a gift and I really appreciate your help in helping me to grasp that concept.
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luciacamara55

What an amazing group-am so glad that I found you.

To all those who have tried I salute you but I do agree that there comes a time when you must let it be. Love your partner and let him choose the way he wishes to handle his children. If he chooses to allow their bad behaviour and treatment of you - see it from whence it comes. He does it because he loves them too. . Remember he is in the middle-you can choose to get off the drama stage and just either sit in the last seat of the auditorium or leave the show and wait outside.Love him and your marriage enough to do that. If he asks your opinion give it carefully.

Dont worry about what people say - its your life and your marriage. Remember God Knows and thats all that matters.

I have felt so incredibly alone for the past 5 years. I thought I had been to hell but my father always said Hell is here on earth-sometimes we need to learn to let people have their journey and have our own.

If you have truly done your best then understand that unless there is INTENT on both sides nobody can do anything in a situation like this. Life is not a negotiation or a popularity contest......its a Choice.

To all the women contemplating marriage-put it on hold until you go for stepfamily counselling-its too late afterward.

PS I went for counselling for myself and it has helped me tremendously-I learnt to let go and let God.

Cyberhugs to all

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Kim Aves

luciacamara55, I agree with some of your advice, esp. about getting stepfamily counseling prior to marriage.

However, there are a couple of things I find a little off. You state if DH "chooses to allow their bad behavior and treatment of you - see it from whence it comes. He does it because he loves them too. " I'm sorry, but most SMs are fully aware that DH loves his children as well as his wife, and most SMs have no problem with that. What most SMs have a problem with is when DH treats his children more like a spouse and his spouse more like a child. Of course DH loves both his children and his wife, but they are different kinds of love, and no wife should be expected to put up with a child telling her where she needs to sit in her own home or what SM gets to cook for supper, for instance. In an initial family, roles are well defined, and they should be.

For some reason, it is only with step-families that suddenly everyone seems to think that SM and SKs are on some sort of level playing field, vying for dad's attention, and poor old dad is being put in the middle. No, dad doesn't get a pass or permission to be neither a good parent nor a good husband just because of the divorce or mom's passing. His kids don't get to control the household, and SM doesn't have to suck it up and take it. Love has nothing to do with a DH/ dad allowing that; rather, fear, guilt, or just plain laziness does.

I saw this link was recently posted on another topic:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/stepmonster/201102/stepmothers-strike-how-can-doing-less-save-your-marriage

I agree with most of this. That is my opinion, and in some ways I do see we both agree on the point of "staying out of it," but I don't agree that expecting DH to act like a man/ dad/ husband and set and stick with boundaries is somehow putting him in the middle, and there is never an excuse for allowing bad behavior and treatment of anyone, much less a SM. That has absolutely nothing to do with love.

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Kim Aves

In hindsight, lucia. . sorry for being so hard on you. Most of what you wrote was very sweet.

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Sara Tilmont

I have been a stepmother for over 25 years. I was a stepdaughter for much longer than that. I have friends who were stepdaughters growing up, and I have known many stepmothers.


Here's what I think we all had in common: I don't think most kids want a stepmother. That part is understandable.


Here's what I don't think we had in common: Previous generations were taught to treat others with respect. Kids were expected to treat adults with at least a minimal amount of civility. Although most kids I knew growing up weren't crazy about having a stepmother, they weren't outright obnoxious to their stepparents.


Fast forward to today's thinking. Feel it, say it. You're not being true to yourself if you don't express yourself. You're entitled to speak what's on your mind, to whomever you want. Why? Because you're a special princess, who has suffered through the torturous divorce of you're parents, and hence the only way for you to feel whole is to get everything you stomp your feet for. Nobody likes having a stepmother, and nobody should have to pretend. Your father was yours first, and whomever he is with takes second place. Best to remind her of that fairly often, so she doesn't get too comfortable sitting in the "wife" seat. For those of you not comfortable with blatant confrontation, there are many more subtle tactics that will work. Shunning is a very useful tool, particularly at your weddings. It's a great time to use the full support of your entire family and friends, to pressure your dad into being included, while simultaneously excluding your stepmother. And if you can get your father (and his naïve wife) to pay for this charade, you can really stick it to her good. If your stepmother complains later and your father brings it up to you, it will be so easy to just pretend you don't know what he's talking about. His wife must be so overly-sensitive. That right there is a two-for-one, when you can humiliate his wife and then also make it appear to your father as if she's insecure and unstable. Lastly, nobody likes stepmothers. So while you may be expected to treat your boss, the cop who pulls you over, your roommate, your future in-laws, your neighbors with civility, nobody is ever going to really expect you to treat your stepmother the same. Feel free to act like a sand-pounding toddler with your father and his wife, free of consequence, because everybody knows you've got your daddy wrapped around your little finger.


I think this type of behavior is cyclical. For the same reason Facebook now has declining participants, people are tiring of the "look at me", endless selfies, "aren't I cute", me-centric, Kardashian inspired outrageous behavior. Nobody really likes bad behavior. It's tasteless, regardless of who it's aimed at. I think having class, showing grace in the face of adversity, learning true communication skills, and working to have at least pleasant relations with our step-relatives in order to enjoy relationships with our blood relatives, is going to have to prevail. Nobody really is a princess, worthy of adoration for classless behavior. Not anywhere, and not even on their big, special day.



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Kim Aves

In reference to this paragraph, "Fast forward to today's thinking. . . ." I so agree with you on that entire paragraph. Your comment should be posted everywhere.

I sure hope you are right about the 'look at me!' campaign being cyclical and that it is coming to an end. Can't stand it. Don't even know how it got going to begin with. All I can say is with these "aren't I cute" types, best thing to do is use the power of the word NO. Use it often and use it well.

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Sara Tilmont

If there was one thing I am thankful to my SD's for, it's for showing me exactly how I did not want my own kids to turn out. One of the best attributes my kids have, is knowing that it is not acceptable to deliberately treat anybody poorly. There is no excuse for it. Growing up, my oldest SD trained her siblings how to treat me. She would made them take pacts. Her influence, along with some others, really never went away until I disengaged. I have very little to do with them anymore. If they are nice when they see me, I'll be nice back. If they don't feel like conversing with me, I'll give the same. Treat me like crap, and I'll leave and stay gone for a very long time. Coincidentally, my husband doesn't like going places without me. So, how often they see him is influenced directly by how uncivilized they decide to be toward me. Reap what you sow.

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luciacamara55

The ability to disengage is paramount. Let them be..allow them their own journey....stay on your own....we all have our lessons to learn...maybe we are part of theirs...its ok...cos in the end its between you and God anyway. Just disengage.

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Karen Peltier

Reap what you sow and no more dough! Cut the cash gravy train in any manner, shape or form that you can. That is a part of disengaging as well. It is letting sleeping dogs lie outside the tent while you are inside, nice and cozy with you and yours.

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Sara Tilmont

I think people who are raised to believe entitled, snotty behavior is acceptable, are the ones who participate in these public displays of low class the most. I was at a wedding as a guest, and had never met the family of the bride.

The disparaging chatter at my table was about the father and his wife. Typical smear campaign toward the SM. What I saw, was a snarling biomother. The father was smiling and his wife was too. Looked like a pleasant couple who were doing their best in a contentious situation.

While many stepmothers have felt humiliated at their stepchildren's weddings, and many more of us will encounter the same, I don't think we should assume that everyone at these events are naïve enough not to notice the aggressive behavior of the bride/her mother/other friends and relatives. Nasty games are never attractive.

People with class should know better than to display their family grievances in public. May feel like a short-lived win, but not everyone is going to leave the event cheering for the bullies.




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Sara Tilmont

I know this post is old, but I'm still curious how someone in their 20's blew through 2.5M+. Doesn't sound like she appreciates money. Sort of explains why she didn't appreciate the $28k for her wedding either. Makes me think of the word: Entitled

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Anne

I grew up on a large farm with beef, grain and mostly chickens. My Grandfather had a saying, "keep your head above the chicken****". That was when there was gossip or strife going around. He refused to get down to any lower level. Good lesson....hard when you are the subject of rudeness but in the end it does make you feel good when you can pull it off.

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V.

We have lived an even worse situation.

My SD wedding almost killed my husband (her dad).

Everything was great. We helped my SD and her fiancé to buy a house. We were both in real estate business. They were building a brand new house with our help.

There was a party called social (common where we were living) done at one of my husband's nightclubs. We helped with prizes, etc... It's done to help the new couple to pay for expenses of the wedding.

Everything was going great. My husband was so emotional and looking forward to walk his only daughter down the isle.

We asked her many times what should we wear and about rehearsals and she simply said that she didn't want a traditional wedding and that she was going to walk down the isle with her fiancé.

As disappointed as my husband was, he accepted it. He said it's her day she can have whatever way she wants.

My husband owns many hotels with events center where many people get married but she chose to do her party at another venue. Even though we didn't understand why spend more money doing this at another facility, once again my husband accepted her wishes. He told her that in the end he would also help pay for the party.

The day of the wedding comes, my sweet husband was so excited, crying, emotions were flowing specially it was also his birthday.

We get ready and go to the hotel where the ceremony was going to happen. We get there and we don't see anyone from the wedding party (SD mother and her partner, my SS, grow's parents, etc) just the regular guests. I texted my SS (husband has 2 children from previous marriage) and he tells me to go seat on some reserved chairs on the 4th or 5th roll and says that they are taking pictures around the city with the bridesmaids etc...

So we seat there, wait.

When the ceremony started everything was traditional. Her mother walked down the isle with her Step father, bridesmaids, groomsmen, grooms parents... and then the bride escorted by her grandfather from her mom's side. We were the only ones not included. My husbands face just went from being excited to heart broken so did mine. We NEVER would expect such betrayal, such disrespect, on my husband's birthday. We were humiliated. Treated like nobody, except a bank account.

We set there like two idiots. Could see the entire family looking at us. Gossiping about us. It was the worst day of our lifes.

As the ceremony ended we waited for my SD to come out and my husband went to her and asked if she doesn't have a father. Her reaction was to play victim and cry so everyone would think he is the bad person.

We were ignored the entire time. There was pictures of everyone but us on the walls. We didn't take one photo with the wedding. My husband didn't dance with his only daughter. She treated us like shit. Didn't come to talk to us at all. She set us away from the main table. Her mother had a table right beside the bridal party and so did the grooms parents.

We stayed as long as we could for the sake of some family who flew in just for the wedding. We were disgusted. During the party there was more humiliation. Groom gets up and say: today's is also a special day as it is someone special day also. It's the birthday of.... Grooman... Not his father in law.... Grooman. I couldn't believe my ears. So I went to the washroom and I was furious. I made a comment to one of my husband's sisters about it just so some bridesmaids that were in the washroom could hear.... As I go back to the ballroom the groom gets up and say: we have to clean up a mess. We like to say that today is also the bride's father birthday. It was patetic.

I will spare you of all the other shame we lived that night.

After the wedding we confronted my SD why did she do this? We couldn't understand. We were friends. We talked to her often, we were helping them build a house, etc.... She just blamed the ceremonial people that were apparently according to her BS supposed to have us walk down the isle also. Pure lie.

As a result of this, my husband got so very depressed. He couldn't function properly for months. Sadness was all over us, all the time. Her lies trying to cover up the disrespect she did were too much to handle.

After the party she come to my husband asking him for $50,000 that he had promised to give her to help with wedding party and house purchase (on top of what he and I already did). He didn't give her. She played victim, wined, but he didn't give in. He told her to go ask all the other people who were actually presented to all her wedding guests as family, because he is not just an ATM.

A couple weeks later, he end up in the hospital, we were at home just watching TV and out of nowhere he clapsed on the floor. I thought he was having a heart attack. We spent all night and all day at the emergency room. We sent his kids a message with a picture of him in the hospital bed. Do you think either of them came to see him???? None. They simply didn't care.

My husband was so so sad. So I booked a trip, a week vacation. As we are vacationing we started to look at real estate. We came across a house we fell in love with and right there my husband dedided he was going to move away from the pain, from the toxic people that just caused us so much grief.

And so we did... Now we are far away from the lies and toxicity that comes from that little bitch.

We eventually forgave her. They have visited with us a few times, but there is always this uncomfortable situation, feeling.

I just want her and her BS to leave us be.... Because everytime she is around is drama. I'm so tired of it. So is my husband.

He has had way too much problems with his greedy family. She is the most selfish person I have ever met.

Hopefully she can be happy and have a happy life away from us.

People are so heartless.

Also karma has a funny way to get back to you. So will just let life continue...


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Karen Peltier

Glad to see your husband did/ said this, but not so glad about the circumstances: "He told her to go ask all the other people who were actually presented to all her wedding guests as family, because he is not just an ATM."

SMs getting shat on at weddings is nothing new, and, yes, this can even occur after SM has contributed her own time, money and effort to the event. This shows the clear, unadulterated bias our society has towards SPs--the fact that every other seated person will be with or next to their spouse or SO. Heck, even SS's girlfriend of three months will be seated up front, next to him, in the family section for the big day. But, SM? Nope. No one seems to know what to do with dad's ho at these kinds of events, which is what SMs are mainly seen as by others, let's face it. The proof is in the pudding. Otherwise, why isn't SM auto. seated next to her husband, like every other couple? Why isn't SM allowed in pictures with her spouse, like any other couple? Just like any other discrimatory behavior, selecting out a minority group to be treated differently by others just on the basis of their label or religion or gender, etc., it is a issue that society as a whole needs to own up to and address. SM expects to be and should be treated like her husband's wife because she is her husband's wife. No one other than dad AND SM gets to decide if, where and when SM gets to truly-ooly act like her husband's spouse or not.

Actually, until society gets its act together on this, I'd recommend most SPs either go to these kinds of events owning it or avoiding it altogether. Best advice for SMs regarding weddings: Either go in a red dress, looking like Sophia Vergara, owning and enjoying your 2nd wife status to the max., or avoid the whole thing and spend a spa day with friends, people who actually care about you and who have no problem with you being married to the man you are.

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retiredusafrn

Frustrated with myself for feeling so petty, but it sucks to have felt like no more than an invited guest at my husband's daughter's wedding, and he was writing a majority of the big checks...

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Southern Summer

That’s not petty at all

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HU-471499203

v. i am so glad you moved away from all that crap and karma has a way of coming back to bite her and i hope it does ..

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Dixie Cousins

I married him when she was 4 years old. Twenty years later she had her wedding. Her mother is mean and calls her fat. So I took my step daughter wedding dress shopping, so she would not get her feelings hurt and cry. I paid for the dress. I have done more for step daughter than her bio mother ever did. ( her mother is bipolar). At the wedding I was not mentioned as a mom. I was only asked to be in one wedding photo. (One of a big group). I was mad so it wasn't even a good picture. I really thought we had a close relationship before that. Now I see how she really thinks of me. Step moms NEVER get the credit they deserve.

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Southern Summer

Dixie, I’m so sorry. Sadly, we all know how you feel.

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dotz_gw

My first Gardenweb post was I think 12 years ago about my stepsons Wedding .. one of the worst experiences of my life. Treated like dirt by groom bride. Ignored no flowers Actually had a church elder grab me and husband to be shown the basement to wait for the ceremony to start. I left the reception before dinner was served after a few more episodes. Anyway. Fast forward. Stepson has 2 kids and is divorced now .. i did not speak to him for 10 years after. Stepkids mom passed away 2 years ago. whole new ballgame. Stepson came back into the fold. He wants a family now!!! Brings his kids for holidays. And younger stepson?? I would actually call us close. After his mom died he begged me to go to her funeral. I did go ( didn’t want to). after that when he leaves the house after a visit or hangs up the phone he says Love you. NEVER did I foresee any of this in my years of misery. Miracles happen....

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Southern Summer

Dotz, I’m happy for you, but I’m not as benevolent as you are. I’m not going to forgive and I’m not going to be as nice as you. I haven’t seen any of them since the last wedding 6 years ago. I don’t have any good will for any of them. I don’t see that changing.

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dotz_gw

Aw Southern. I do remember you and I thought of all posters we had the most in common...I also thought we were done ... The divorce wised this kid up. And after the mother was gone the influence she was wielding was gone. Usually I m unyielding and an unforgivi g person. But having been thru divorce I did have sympathy for the kid. Never saw this coming like I said. Husband is grateful I let them back into my life. Marriage better . Life stopped being stressful after she passed. Sounds awful but the interference stopped .... I wish everyone the best. You can’t see the future Good luck.!!!!!

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Karen Peltier

Don't take this the wrong way, but if a SM's only hope is to wait for BM to pass so she can MAYBE get a "second chance," I'm pretty sure most SMs don't want to hold their breath on that one. Miracles can happen, but are far and few between. If anything, I think there is a lesson for SKs in there rather than SMs. But, a sincere thank you for the Good luck!

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Southern Summer

So true, Karen.

BM spent 15 years making us feel unwanted and unwelcome at every family event, so six years ago after the wedding fiasco, I ghosted. Last year, DH finally had his fill and ghosted, too. We live in a small town, so we have scores of mutual friends with SK and BM. BM has begun telling our friends that she is so sad that SKs don’t have a relationship with DH. Whaaaaa? This is what you wanted, guuuuuuuurrrrrrlllll. Or maybe she just enjoyed hurting us, but either way, we are done.

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Karen Peltier

I really think why it worked for Dotz, above, is that her SS realized through his own divorce, how BM (his ex-) can so easily contaminate the well. It doesn't take much. Even a deep sigh from BM whenever dad's name or SM's name is mentioned, sends the signals to the kids that dad and SM make mom unhappy and threatened, so the kids feel threatened. Even as adults, very few SKs can remove the emotion from such and see it for what it is--mom being mom and her reaction is just that, her reaction and not necessarily the reality.

But, when SS lost his own BM and the divorce shoe was now on his foot, it made it, I'd imagine, easier for things to click. I'm happy for Dotz. I've heard this from a few SMs, where after 20 or such years of being somewhat the family punching bag, something clicked, and next thing you know, BM was off somewhere with her new man and adult kids were all okie-dokie with dad AND SM. Some people have the ability to just let it all go and get back in love with whomever. I'm not sure I would. Actually, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't. It'd be very hard to let go of 20 years' memories of being the family scapegoat.

And that is why I feel the real lesson here is for SKs or adult SKs. If it takes too long to put 2 and 2 together re: who on purpose, accidentally, or accidentally on purpose contaminated the well, it may be too late. Then, you lose one of your parents and/ or get divorced, and you have no one to reach out to. Given DNA, bio-dad may be forgiving, but SM may not, and she does not have the DNA connection that is usually required for that much forgiveness. Dotz' SS got really, really lucky. I hope he realizes that!

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Southern Summer

Karen, I get all that. But in a nutshell, when Dotz stepson was back against the wall with no family and no one to turn to... he suddenly needed Family. That’s pretty lame. There was a time when I needed family, too.

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Karen Peltier

Agree. I think it is nice that Dotz and some others gave their SKs second chances. But, they certainly didn't have to. Nor, should it have been expected of them. Dad may have an obligation to attempt to forgive once his son has apologized and seen the light, but SM doesn't. Everyone likes to think, "Oh, all SMs have to do it suck it up for 20+ years, and happy ending!," like the end somehow justifies the means. But, when you think about it, it is like expecting someone to just up and forgive someone who has abused them off and on for as long, and a non-relative too. No one really should have that expectation. That is why I said Dotz's SS got really, really lucky. She certainly didn't have to give him a 2nd chance.

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dotz_gw

I wrote a few comments. Seems they didn’t go thru. At Thanksgiving SS And his 7 year old were sitting next to me at the table and I heard the little boy say DAD (the exwives new husband) says we should... and SS says BOB (new husbands name. Apparently SS ex is forcing his son to call her husband DAD. And I m sure it pains him. So karma is coming around to bite him. Lol. I wasn’t expecting SMS to wait for a miracle. Just one SM story. I m no Mother Theresa I never saw my self forgiving him. I m not really sure I have ... I ve let him back into my home. Maybe not my heart. Yet. And I feel bad that my life got better because someone passed away. I hate that. I cringe when I hear a young girl saying she s marrying someone with kids and a crazy ex .. I still think those marriages aren’t going to work. Not wearing rose colored glasses. Not yet lol. We re coming up on 10 months of truce. Hope we can keep it up. Just feels better than being at war.

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Southern Summer

“Karma... and if you are really lucky, the universe will let you watch.”

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