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imamommy

Bio moms vs. Step mom (including TOW)

imamommy
14 years ago

I didn't want to hijack anyone's thread, but something struck me in another thread about how a mom would not want her ex husband's OW at their daughter's wedding or that step mom's shouldn't feel they are entitled to special seating or the MOB & MOG should 'stand out'. But it was the comment about how dad made his bed and now has to lie in it that touched a nerve.

I'm a bio mom. I have a daughter. She's 18 and while nowhere near ready to get married (doesn't even have a BF), it could be a possibility in the next few years. She also has a dad that she hasn't seen but is trying to get her to have a relationship with him. His dad is married so she does have a step mom too. She has no relationship with her step mom, obviously since she has no relationship with her dad. But, all that COULD change. Years from now, I may have to deal with the guy that ran off leaving me (and he also cheated on me) to raise my daughter alone.. walking my daughter down the aisle. and his wife & other kids may be there too. I can say that whether I like it or not, I will not EVER tell my daughter to exclude anyone or where they should sit or what she should do. I only want her to be happy that day and whatever SHE decides to do, I will smile and accept it. If my son ever marries, I will have to sit in the same room as the man that assaulted me... not something I am looking forward to but I will suck it up because it's for my son. THAT's what a mom does!!!

First of all, not all moms are created equal. Not all step mom's are created equal. TOW/TOM's don't deserve respect if they knowingly have an affair with a married person. I think those are things everyone can agree with. Some bio mom's aren't in their kids' lives like they should be or even at all. Some step mom's do more for the kids than their own mom does. These comments have been debated and not everyone will agree so we wlll have to agree to disagree on it.

BUT... doesn't a mom has more of a responsibility to her daughter/son than a stepmom or TOW? If a stepparent or TOW/TOM is jealous or selfish, isn't it the parent's responsibility to rise above it and be gracious? Isn't it the parent's responsibility to think of what's best for their child first? The stepparent or TOW/TOM may or may not love the child, but the mom is supposed to 'unconditionally'. It would be nice if all the adults acted like adults, but truly.. it's the parent's that have the obligation to their children to act like the adult and be a parent, not a crybaby. They aren't supposed to stress out their kids over THEIR feelings.

It's like a cheating husband/wife. When the cheated on spouse blames the other man/woman for cheating with their spouse, they should be blaming the spouse that has a legal and a moral obligation to them. The other man/woman are wrong for doing it, but they really don't have any obligation to the cheated spouse. The blame belongs on the person with a responsibility and that would be the cheater.

When a parent behaves in a way that harms their child, like causing a problem or scene or throwing a fit over SM or TOW, that upsets the child, the blame still belongs to the parent that should be rising above it for their child's sake. A parent may have justified feelings, but when you are the mom, you are supposed to put your children first, not after YOUR feelings.

Comments (150)

  • finedreams
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    justnomartha,
    then maybe immommy should say that BM of her SD whines not that BMs whine (blanket statement). her statement is a blanket statement that BMs complain, don't work and should give the kids to dads. Nothing about her situation.

    Every BM I know IRL works, and no one complains.

    As she possible maybe meant some BMs then I possibly meant some SMs, certainly not you in particular.

    So maybe from now on if SMs don't want to hear blanket statements about them, they should not write blanket statements about BMs but talk about specific people they know.

    and ceph, that's specific BM you know who said that, right? It is not like "BMs whine isntead of working and taking care of the kids" right? It is specific BM who said that she does not want to take care of the kid. See the difference?

  • finedreams
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    "That has nothing to do with YOU."

    In a way it is. The way my child is treated is a lot to do with me. If my child would come home frustrated that instead of her dad she spent time with his wife or GF. Couple of SMs here described that they are the ones do everything when kids visit, dad often isn't even there. It would certainly upset me if my child goes to dad and he isn't even there and she has to spend time with someone else.

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    Comments (23)
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  • finedreams
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    ceph, he lives with his BM, right? and you take him once or twice a week, recently he was only spending one night a week with you. It is not like he lives with you and she never wants him. or you have 50/50 but she is slacking. i bet you that's not how she sees it.

    that's what i am talking about. most kids live with moms and go to dads here and there and if mom complains about not willing to sacrifice the weekend then she is blamed for it.

    I know your FDH is not Biodad but in most cases there were two of them to make a baby.

  • sandieanne
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    When a parent behaves in a way that harms their child, like causing a problem or scene or throwing a fit over SM or TOW, that upsets the child, the blame still belongs to the parent that should be rising above it for their child's sake. A parent may have justified feelings, but when you are the mom, you are supposed to put your children first, not after YOUR feelings.

    That was the last paragraph of the first posting on this thread. I think the intent of this thread was to show that each and every person involved should be rising above the bull that goes on between either bio parents or bio vs step parents. In the long run, it doesn't really matter how a step parent came about- they are there. Feelings are hurt, but the needs of the children must be a priority no matter how hurt a person is. Ultimately, the bio parents should be the first to rise above the games and not allow their negative feelings to effect the children in a negative manner. It is a given that children are preceptive and will see that the feelings are there, but when those overwhelming feelings do spill out - which will happen- it is ok to use that as a learning experience for the child...not a regular way of life for the children.

    I think everyone on this site knows or should know that sometimes when we are typing and relating our own experiences. A general statement can be made although the generalization may not be be intentional. We sometimes tend to spill out what we personally experience. I think we all know that each family dynamic is different and nit picking each line of a post will only take away from the positive feedback that can be had on this forum.

  • imamommy
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    finedreams, go back and read what was written by me. It's NOT a 'blanket' statement to all BM's. It's a statement about BM's that want or have full custody and then complain that their standard of living is lower while dad's is higher because he can work more or without the worry of handling day to day care of his children. It's not directed at ALL BM's. Not all BM's complain about it.

    and the way your child is treated is a concern to you but what happens in dad's house is not under your control. My SD comes back and complains to her dad that her mom sent her over to the BF's parent's house so they can go out to party and SD is upset over it. My DH doesn't have the control to 'make' BM stay home with their daughter. It may upset you what happens in dad's house but you certainly can't control it. When the BM tries to control dad's house, that is where there are problems. I'd say the same if dad was trying to control BM's house too. and I don't think it matters who is CP or NCP. My husband is CP but he still doesn't try to tell NCP mom what she has to do in her house. and when I said it has nothing to do with you, while it may be upsetting to you, it's really an issue for your ex and his wife to deal with because YOU have no control what they do. I didn't mean you have no right to have feeling about it. The point is that neither parent controls what the other does in their house and when they try to, it causes problems a lot of the time.

  • kkny
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ima, you may be right that FD can't control what happens in NCP house, but that doesnt mean it "has nothing to do with her".

    Sandi, I think a mom can politely stand up to SM (unless dad's money is backing her, which unfortunately is the case at times).

  • finedreams
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    aren't you concerned that SD dances inappropriatelly, watches wrong TV shows, eats wrong, gains weight etc and both you and DH addressed that even if it is not abuse issue. you even called her BF's X-wife to discuss what's going on there. this was clearly overstepping. and didn't BM tell you: not your business? different story with bruises but many other things were overstepping.

    so if DD would come home upset that she does not get to spend time with dad, i would talk to X and maybe revisit visitation arrangements. if he cannot be with her, I'd rather she was with me or other family members. why sending your kid to be babysitted by his wife? what is the point of visits then? luckily it was not an issue.

  • sandieanne
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I don't think BM has any right to 'stand up' to SM- no matter what the financial situation. BM should be 'standing up' to BF. If BF has no problem with what is happening in his home, then it is not up to BM to make changes in his or SM's home. SM did not marry BM. I believe most if not all communication should be between bio parents unless all parties are able to get along politely. Then the discussion of the kids should be limited as Bio parents are the ones ultimately responsible for the children. If there is a problem, BM should talk with BF. In my situation- as I said- each family dynamic is different- I don't deal with BM and that is a blessing. The lawyers and the counselors ALL believe that the parents need to deal with each other on the issues concerning the children. I believe in most cases- the discussions should happen between the bio parents with few exceptions. If there is a case where it is appropriate for BM to speak with SM, it should be politely. As we all know, when emotions and anger arise, polite usually goes out the window.

    My bottom line is, if BM has problems with SM, she needs to address it with BF and BF should discuss with SM. SM should limit being in the middle of the bio parents games. I don't even talk with my SS's BM and she called my work to complain about me. It made no sense...is that a BM standing up to SM? No, that is game playing. The three sentences she has spoken to me have all been mean spirited. Is that standing up to me- no that's game playing. The parents are the parent- they need to deal with each other. I don't like what goes on in my SS's BM's house, but I nor my husband can do anything about it just like BM can't control what happens in our household and shouldn't control my life. If it is a problem that can't be solved by bio parents- there is mediation or the courts to settle the problem.

    I still believe it is up to all involved to rise above the game playing, but as noted above, the parents are the primary roles models and at the very least- they need to rise above for the sake of their children.

  • dotz_gw
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    TOS, No my mom cant lobby me to do much of anything since shes dead, but really she couldnt lobby me, say since I was about 4 years old.She called me high strung...No, I am a rock...I have my books and my poetry to protect me.....:)

  • imamommy
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Nobody says you can't be 'concerned' and yes, we have concerns about things going on at BM's house. That is the reason DH won't just hand over custody back to her. If she takes it before a Judge and a Judge agrees with her to give her back custody, that's fine. We'll think the Judge is crazy but DH will comply. But, DH does not call BM and tell her how to or not to dance, he doesn't tell her what to or not to let SD watch on TV or movies, or what to or not to feed SD when she's there. What he has told her when SD got sick from food, that maybe she should be supervised more in the kitchen. BM says "none of your business!" and with bruises, BM says "it didn't happen here" so DH gets nowhere so next time there's a bruise, she can explain to CPS. That is DH's decision, not mine. BM is the one that has called and told DH that he can't refuse to give SD soda with dinner and he can't refuse to let her watch certain shows on TV and I can't take her to karate, and I can't do girl scouts with her and I can't bake cookies with her or take her shopping. BM has NO RIGHT to demand those things because she doesn't "OWN" her daughter. She may think of her as property, but she is a child and DH can decide those things in his house, NOT BM. When BM decides to take SD to taekwondo, she didn't ask him, she TOLD him how much he owes for it. He paid. She didn't ask him to buy her school clothes, she sent her over in ripped up pants and flip flops a week before school started and told him to get her some clothes. When I took her shopping for the clothes (and paid for them), BM got mad.

    In general, if a child comes back upset that NCP isn't there and spending time with them, then all the CP can do is offer to rearrange the visitation so he can have the child when he is available. NCP can always refuse to change the arrangements. But, demanding that he not leave the child with his wife or GF and that he must be there is not something a BM can control. That wouldn't be much different than a NCP father saying 'give me custody because you work all week and children are in daycare with strangers and I work from home (or work nights) so I will spend more time with them than you do so I deserve custody.' That wouldn't fly so why should a CP mom be able to tell dad who can or can't watch his children on his time.

    I agree that the NCP should be there and I don't think it's right that SD's BM would leave her with other people or make her spend her weekend tagging along to the baseball field where she spends the day on the field coaching her BF's son and SD is alone in the stands or wandering around the snack bar upset that mom is ignoring her. But, BM is making the choice to do that and while we would be happy to keep SD on those days where BM treats her as if she's in the way, SD wants to see her mom. It's up to SD to tell her mom that she feels ignored. DH has told her but BM tells him to mind his own business. If she wants to give up what little time she gets with her child, then that's her choice. But we don't tell her she can't do it. All he's told her is how SD tells him she feels about it.

    and I don't understand what you mean by 'stand up to SM'? If SM isn't treating the child right, it's not BM's place to deal with it. In fact, it would probably make matters worse. Dad should be dealing with it and I don't know what his money has to do with it. I'm beginning to think that kkny thinks of a man as just a wallet. Not all dad's have deep pockets to 'control' everything. Would you mind explaining what you mean kkny?

  • ceph
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    At the time that we asked if we could take him during the week so we could go away for the weekend, he was spending one or two nights a week with us, one or two with his mom and the rest at his Grandma's. So nope, BM didn't have him full-time... In fact, around that same time, A__ went for nearly two weeks without seeing his mom because she picked up a whole bunch of extra shifts so that she could save money to go to Toronto with her BF. And that's great, she SHOULD go on a trip with her BF and I'm glad she was able to make some extra money so that she could go shopping, but I was pretty choked that she totally ignored her kid to do it.

    So sure, if BM had him six nights a week and no help from anyone else, she could b1tch and moan... But she doesn't. Until she got mad at her mom about the fighting incident, he was spending a good three nights a week at GM's place, so I don't have much sympathy for her when her own kid spends three nights a week with GM, usually one at Papa's, and one or two at Dad's. That leaves her looking after her own child somewhere between one and three times a week. Boofrickinghoo.
    Just to be clear - I don't complain about the amount we have A__. I actually think we should have him more than we do and am happy that we've had him a little more lately. If BF complained about looking after A__ for between one and three nights a week, I'd tell him boofrickinghoo too.

  • ceph
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    About the parent not being there when the child is at their house...
    FDH works three different shifts: 7:30am-3:30pm, 9:30am-5:30pm, 3:30pm-12am
    Every fifth week he is on call 24-7.
    So, obviously, we sometimes have A__ when FDH is at work or gets called in for a few hours.
    Back before I was on the scene, he could only have A__ when he wasn't at work, and had to make sure his dad was around the weekends he was on call. But now that I'm here too, it's no problem to have A__ on a school night when FDH works at 7:30, I get A__ up and ready and off to school, then I head to the lab. I've had A__ two nights this week on my own because FDH is on the nights right now, but he gets A__ up and off to school in the morning. When he works until 5:30, he drops A__ off and I pick him up.
    When FDH was out of the country for a few weeks and I had A__ a few times, BM realized that I take care of him too and realized that we have a great relationship. Now she is fine with A__ being here even when FDH is not. If it was constant, and FDH hardly ever saw A__ while he was here, I bet she'd (rightfully) have a problem with it, but she realizes that it's just more practical to do it the way we do now.

  • finedreams
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    ceph, when SS is on dad's time, but dad is working and you watch him, it is OK. But then when SS's grandma watches him, it is not OK? When SS is on BM's time it is up to her if she wants grandma to be involved. He is on her time, she has custody and it is her problem who else watches the kid.

    Went nearly two weeks without seeing mom, so what? What's the big deal? Two weeks is not "totally ignored". Was he in a foster home or with dad, grandma etc? I went every summer without seeing DD and was it totally ignoring my child? I mean if she would be with strangers in a foster care...How is that perfectly OK for dad not to see kids every day but is soooo wrong for mom not to see them for 2 weeks?

    So if you take SS on a long vacation or grandparents take him, would it be OK for mom not to see him for 2 weeks? Or it is ignoring him? It is kind of biased attitude.

    Yeah BM watches him only like three days a week but dad watches him even less.

  • kkny
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ima, I worked the entire time I was married, albeit part time when DD was very little. I offered to X if he wanted to go to law school, OK by me. As opposed to his little eye candy.

  • justnotmartha
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    D@mn Fine - have a bad day today? You are so missing the big picture to pick apart little things today . . . do you just need a fight to get something out of your system?

    Of course there is a difference between A__ going on a trip with a relative for 2 weeks and mom pawning him off so she could work/party/sleep, what ever. You went a summer because DD was visiting her Dad on the other side of the country. A__ isn't visiting a grandma he never sees - he sees her more than mom it sounds! Mom could have gone over to see A__ if even for a few minutes but chose not to - working to make money for a trip with BF was more important. This mom actually complaind that Ceph and dad wouldn't cancel their plans because she wouldn't be able to make any then and have to spend the whole weekend with her son. GOD FORBID! She has custody. She shouldn't be 'watching him', she should be RAISING him. She choses to leave that to grandma, grandpa and the man caring enough to stand in as dad. But you want to pin her up as the poster child for poor, overworked and underhelped moms? Give it up!

  • taximomz
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    ImaMommy, thank you. You have opened my eyes for me...well at least made me realize that I am selfish and I have to change. I have four daughters...they love their dad very much, as well as they step dad. Although they sometimes get angry with him and say his wife is ruining our relationship with our dad and stuff...whenever my girls say, I want my step dad to walk me down when i get married, my husband always says, not hats your fathers priviledge, all i ask for is a dance. But oyu know what? I would LOVE my ex's new wife not to be put on a pedistal...she HAS ruined my childrens relationships with their dad (ex. took away their bedrooms to make a second office and a storage room) anything not to allow them to feel like that with their home. I admit it everyone, I amselfish....I wanna be the brides mom and I don't even want her to get any attention....yet I feel my husband deserves it for raising my girls....BUT I read alot today, and realized that I MUST bite my tongue and agree with whatever my children want. GOD its gonna be hard.....life was so easy before he met her. Thanks for opening my eyes all...

  • doodleboo
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Tax-

    It IS hard to put the kids first sometimes I know. I am in a bit of a different situation though....I'm the step parent of two girls who have a nut for a BM. It has been really really REALLY hard for me at times to think of the girls and hold my tongue. We all need to remember that the most important thing is ALL of us parents, steps and bio, think of the kids that have so much faith in us.

    Good luck!!!

  • finedreams
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    lol justnomartha not a bad day, but I am rather annoyed with what i am reading. I know some SMs do have awful BMs in their lives: drugaddicts, criminals, never see the kids (not two weeks, never), or cause scenes in public places, or abuse their children etc They are awful.

    But for example ceph never said BM in her life is that horrible. Now all of a sudden when she is about to join SM club, BM in her life turns out to be awful! abandoned the kid! complains, whines etc. what changed? Must we all attack BMs so we are all in the same club?

    Com'n what about EOW arrangement. people do not see kids for 2 weeks and nobody is bothered.

    Yes, ceph's FDH is not biodad but he chose to act as dad, it is not like BM made him. There are plenty of not biodads out there. My grandfather was not biodad to my mom, but nobody ever knew her biodad, my mom never saw him, nobody ever saw him, and grandpa was the only dad and the only grandpa. So is he "a man who was caring enough to stand in as dad". pardon me, does not sound too good.

    So if you are SM (hypothetical you) must you always talk how bad BM is? so if i am BM must i start b..ing about my DDs' SM, how bad she is? Why?

  • imamommy
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    well finedreams, I think you might have missed the point then if that's what you think Ceph or SM's are doing. That may be how you interpret what is said.

    I think Ceph is responding to you saying BM's never whine about taking care of their kids and you say you never whined. Neither did I (of course I had nobody to whine to) but the point is, that several months ago, Ceph talked about how BM did whine about keeping her son four days in a row and Ceph has also talked about A__ is being raised in four homes because BM sends him here & there. Yes, it's her right to do that because she has custody. But, she doesn't have a right to complain about Ceph watching him when her FDH is working. I didn't hear Ceph calling BM 'horrible', she was just saying what the situation is. I also see that she says BM doesn't have a problem with Ceph watching A__ because she knows ceph is taking good care of him. But, I have to disagree with ceph that if BM did develop a problem with it, that it would not be 'rightfully so'. The point is that one parent can't control the other parent and what is done in the other parent's house. We can always have our concerns and feeling about it, but unless our child is in danger, we can't 'make' the other parent be there, spend 'quality' time, or otherwise dictate their relationship with the other parent.

    I don't think it's the worse thing in the world to not see the kid for 2 weeks. I've complained that BM doesn't see her daughter when she can/should or call her like her daughter would like. I don't tell BM she's terrible for that, I only say it here to vent. I don't care if she never calls her daughter or sees her again. It wouldn't hurt ME. It hurts her daughter and that is what frustrates me. It's very hard to watch a child suffer and not be able to do anything about it. So, while you think I am beating up BM here, I only vent my frustration because I have never told her any of the things I vent about here. Her relationship with her daughter is up to her to make, not me.

  • theotherside
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    "and if mom's are so worried about their standard of living going down and dad's going up, why not let dad have custody so mom can work and let dad worry about childcare, school projects, homework, doctor visits, etc.???"

    A major goal of child support, at least in my state, is to EQUALIZE the standards of living so the child has a standard of living as high as that of his wealthier parent. The best living situation for a child has nothing to do with which parent earns more money. You are not more deserving of custody just because you make more money. My children shouldn't have a lower standard of living just because they live with me.

  • ceph
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    No, A__'s BM isn't a horrible mom at all! She can be frustrating, and there are days when I think that she considers A__ more of an interruption to her life than a part of her life. But she loves him and wants what's best for him, and when she has A__ she is a really great mom. This is what I've said about her from day one, so my opinions of her up-and-down parenting style haven't changed now that we're engaged. I've always thought that it was immature/irresponsible of her to ditch A__ at her mom's all the time, and I'm glad she's changed that pattern now. If you were to go back over the months, you'd see plenty of mentions of BM's whining and pawning off A__ when she has something better to do.

    If she had EOW custody, and it was the norm for A__ to go two weeks without seeing her, then that would be one thing... But she doesn't have that. She is his ONLY legal parent, so she technically has sole custody and I think she should make an effort to arrange her life so that A__ fits into it. I've arranged my life so that A__ fits into it for Pete's sake and who the h3ll am I?

    After BM got over her initial rude and dismissive attitude towards me, she's been quite nice. I can't say she's someone I'd ever want to cultivate a friendship with, but she's pleasant enough and isn't a complete nutbar like many of the other BMs people here deal with. I've said that many times over the months too - things along the lines of "I know A__'s BM is a walk in the park compared to the drug addicted wackos, but yeesh she's driving me nuts this week!"

    So yeah, there are days that I think BM should pull up her socks a little, because all this pawning him off on whoever can provide food and shelter isn't good for A__. IMO, he should be with her 3-4 nights a week, with us 2-3 nights a week and GM or Papa maybe once a week. Now that she's mad at her mom over the fistfighting stuff, that system seems to be coming into effect and I'm happy.
    I've never once said that she should have him all the time, or that she should have him more because WE don't want him. I have said that she (and we) should have him more because shuffling off to GM's (where he isn't required to bathe, or do homework, or mind his Ps&Qs, etc) isn't good for him.

    How is it different that sometimes A__ is with us while FDH is working than when he is at GM's while BM is working? Well, we could start with that he is supervised while he is here, fed nutritious food (popcorn is not suitable dinner ar our house), has to bathe and do homework, he is talked with, played with, tucked in at night, and he gets to see his dad at some point. When he is with GM he is pretty much ignored (to quote BM "She'd let him run around with a hatchet if she thought he'd leave her alone while he did it") and has no expectations placed on him (resulting in that he has low expectations of himself). GM's place is overrun with pets, which doesn't mix very well with A__'s ADHD and anger troubles. GM doesn't read with him, give him cuddles, or tuck him in at night and gets angry with him if he has nightmares. Besides which, he doesn't see either of his parents when he stays at her place.
    And probably most importantly, we WANT him with us! GM usually doesn't want him there.

  • finedreams
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    well I can see now that he is not properly taken care of at grandma's house. it does make a difference. then it certainly is not a wise decision on mom's part.

  • justnotmartha
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Fine - makes me feel so much better that you are able to say you didn't have the facts and made a bad call. Thanks for that. Glad you didn't have a bad day!

  • lonepiper
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Fine, I'm also glad that you made JNM feel so much better about making a "bad call."

  • finedreams
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    lol and i am glad that lonepiper is glad that JNM is glad that i am ...and so on...lol

    hahah I don't think i made such a bad call though, it is still up to mom if she wants her kids to stay with grandma

  • imamommy
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    "it is still up to mom if she wants her kids to stay with grandma"

    Fine, that is the point I was trying to make. If mom, on her time, wants to leave kids with grandma/BF/SF (even if dad doesn't like it) it is HER call. Just as if dad, on his time, wants to leave kids with stepmom/GF on his time (even if mom doesn't like SM/GF) it's HIS call.

    We all can have whatever feelings/opinions we want about it (like me thinking BM is wrong to give up her time with SD or that she's ruining her relationship with SD & SD is upset at what she's doing) and those are just my feelings/opinions. She still has the right to do what she wants. She just doesn't have the right to call up dad and tell him he can't leave SD with me or his parents or whoever HE chooses to have watch his child while he can't. She is entitled to her feelings about it but unless the person the child is being left with is a danger to the child in some way, it's nobody else's business. I think it goes both ways without regard to who is CP or NCP... (and who makes more money)

  • justnotmartha
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    do I smell sarcasm, lonepiper?

  • hopper_2008
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My SD is getting married this year. If she wanted DH and I to sit in the back of the hall for either the reception or the wedding, I wouldn't care.

    The thing I find odd is the attitude that SMs (whether they are the other woman or not) should not attend at all. Particularly if there are aunts, uncles, cousins etc who are bringing SOs that the bride or groom might not be particularly close to. That seems like some shoddy etiquette to me.

    In my case I was not the other woman. My husband's first wife died of cancer. I, his second wife, met him 3 years after that happened. We have been married for 2 years now, together for almost 8. I am much younger than him, a couple years younger than SD that is getting married.

    I offered my SDs to help with our wedding or be involved in the bridal party as they both saw fit, but they refused. SD did not offer me any role in her wedding. That is completely and totally fine with me. Its actually one less project for me to take on right now (I continued to work full time throughout graduate school and I am working on my dissertation now.) But the odd thing about this discussion is no one has discussed where the fathers/husbands fit in.

    My husband and I very very very close. We work as partners in a high stress job where we have to worry about each other's emotional and physical safety. I know that if SD ever insisted that he not bring me to her wedding, or asked me to sit anywhere but besides him, he would walk out. He would absolutely and unequivocally refuse to treat me as anything less than 100% his wife and partner. Of course when his daughters want time alone with him, they get it...but on something like a wedding event with his entire family there, there's no way he would ever leave me home or not sit with me even if those were his daughters wishes. "My day, my decision..." is fine to some degree. But my husband would make his own decision that his daughter would absolutely not like. I guarantee you, if the forces of totalitarian fascism rose up and marched across the U.S.A. rounding up resistance leaders and intellectuals, they would have to kill us before separating us into two different camps. If anyone ever thought for a second my husband would or should leave me behind due to his daughter's emotional instabilities or insecurities, that is a thought they should get out of their head quickly.

    I know through my husband that we have a very different relationship than him and his first wife because his first wife and I are very very different people. I understand to some degree why SD would be feeling very 'loyal' (for lack of a better word) to her deceased mother on her wedding day. But I met the kids when they were adults (or almost adults) and I have helped them out where and when I can but have no major influence on their lives besides being a pleasant and civil acquaintance (and of course being their father's love and partner.) Just by virtue of my existing they have an obvious point when they say I take time and emotional resources away from them in relation to their father. Of course, but that can't be helped. It takes time and energy to have a spouse (and it would even if their mother hadn't had died.) I know they don't like it, and they wish their dad did not move on particularly before they did after their mother's death, but he did. That was his decision and I believe it was the right one. We have a great relationship and he's happier than he's ever been according to him. Its not something I "caused" or "did to them" so I feel much of my SDs resentment is misguided.

    So I guess in summary, no matter what the SDs feel toward me, asking me to stay home or not sit in the family pew would prompt my husband to walk out. And SD would have no one to blame for her misery but herself.

  • theotherside
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    But you are younger than his daughter? No wonder they weren't happy with their father's marriage to you.

    I wouldn't want to marry a guy who wouldn't put his children first.

  • gigglemonster
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I don't think her age has anything to do with Dad not putting his daughters first. Apparently the daughters were already adults when he remarried.

    However, I would find it odd and highly inappropriate to refer to them as your SD's or that you are in anyway trying to place yourself in a motherly role to them since they are older than you. Or even if you were a couple years older -- I'd still find it extremely odd.

    I know technically they are step-daughters to you, but I'd hesitate to refer to them that way. I'd find it offensive, imo. Not sure why I'm still trying to work that out, I would definitely have some jokes about it if it was someone I could joke with. But I'd definitely hesitate to try and place yourself in that role with them.

  • kathline
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    "I guarantee you, if the forces of totalitarian fascism rose up and marched across the U.S.A. rounding up resistance leaders and intellectuals, they would have to kill us before separating us into two different camps. "

    Em... Huh?

  • kkny
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hopper, if it seems like "shoddy etiquette" to you to expect a woman who was involved with dad while he was still married, I would remind you that part of the wedding is promising to be true -- it is a little incongruous to see dad and TOW there.

    And I agree, I wouldnt push the SM title in your situation -- you clearly indicate that there has been no mothering. You are Dads wife. That isnt meant to be degrotary -- just a statement of fact.

    I tend to think there is less fighting over pews when mom is deceased. When mom is still alive, there may very well be more than one family people.

    It sounds like you dont want much involvment in the wedding, just to be seated with Dad. I assume he and his DD have discussed whether he will give her away -- some people dont prefer that.

    I think that many times there is some arrogance that comes with youth. I dont think it is too hard to get a man 25 years older to fall head over heals.

  • hopper_2008
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    "I guarantee you, if the forces of totalitarian fascism rose up and marched across the U.S.A. rounding up resistance leaders and intellectuals, they would have to kill us before separating us into two different camps. "

    Em... Huh?

    Ha! That's a joke...sort of. Its probably not funny though to Europeans who may have actually had that experience in their families. My grandmother's father was a Communist resistance leader along with his wife in Nazi Germany and he was rounded up while out of the house and they never got to say goodbye to each other, so I shouldn't use it as a "light" illustrative example. It was also 70 years ago though.

    I only referred to her as SD above for the sake of convenience. She is typically my "husband's daughter" in my normal conversational vernacular, it was solely for clarity I used the term SD. His children were all adults when we met, although his youngest daughter was in her last year of college and moved into our home after. She moved out about 2 years ago, but for a while I did end up in a pseudo-motherly role which was odd. I cooked for her, and bought her a car and insurance and some other things. No one seemed to have a problem with that arrangement though. I had the resources; my husband was still paying off college tuition and other bills whereas I was doing well and came into the relationship with a solid income stream and savings for down payments. So while I didn't do any "emotional" type mothering (it was more a friendship type thing) I did some of the heavily family lifting for a while.

    Its funny because I look even younger than I am. I'm constantly getting carded when ordering a glass of wine or beer. But because I started school early, skipped a couple grades and did college credits in high school, I had the advantage of having a college degree at 19. Plus I was on heavy academic scholarships, even for my M.A. so I was never saddled with debt. I had interned with my current employer and got in as a full time staffer at 17. So basically I have many years of seniority and experience (and of course the corresponding wage increases) so in that sense I was very lucky. Now that the economy has turned bad people in my age group are typically worried about losing their jobs, but I don't have to be concerned with that. I escaped the infirmity that is youth so to speak.

    I'm a stepchild as well. I could never imagine asking my mother to not sit with my stepfather or leave my stepfather at home for my wedding out of loyalty to my bio father. I find that shocking. Nor would I ask her to sit in the front pew without her husband! (We didn't arrange any seating at our wedding anyway, everyone just seated themselves.)

    I would understand the SDs resentment to some degree I guess if I fit some "gold digger" stereotype (god, how I hate that word) but I don't. Yes, I'm younger than they are. Yes it has to be jarring to have your father marry someone that is younger than you. They are also very upset that we are closer than he was to their mother. But we are all adults and we all have the right to be with whom we see fit. In fact that isn't anyone, including in-laws, former in-laws, extended family, friends and professional associates who are anything but supportive of our relationship, because they know us and they absolutely know we are better together despite the pitfalls. But honestly, I couldn't be married to man that kowtowed to the lowest form emotional manipulation. This is how it is, you can help who you love, so here we are. When his daughter's make a big deal of it, he walks away. He, nor I, are going to play mind games with adults. He would never tolerate his children dictating the terms of his first marriage, and he won't tolerate them dictating the terms of ours. Its not about "who comes first." That game is silly and self defeating. There are a lot bigger things in this world to deal with than your feelings about someone's relationship. In fact many times when he has walked away from them over an issue that in the grand scheme of things is fairly petty (i.e. bad holiday scheduling, old wedding pictures from his first wife he put away) he has done it not out of anger, but out of disappointment. He doesn't tell his daughter's that, for it would hurt them but he tells me. I find it sad as well.

    Losing your husband while he is out getting bread and radio batteries for the war refugees you have hiding in the attic, that's big stuff. Snarking over your husband's wife's seating at your 6 hour wedding event? Puh-lease. My husband and I can easily choose to absent ourselves from that without a twinge of guilt.

  • theotherside
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Why is it important to you to point out, more than once as a matter of fact, that you are closer to him than he was to his first wife, or that he is happier? And of course they would get upset if he put wedding pictures of their late mother away, after they had presumably been on display for their entire childhoods.

    Yes, you most certainly can help who you fall in love with. You don't fall in love with a guy old enough to be your father if you don't start dating him in the first place. The same thing applies to avoiding falling in love with someone else's husband or wife.

  • kathline
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Although I would question the situation if the kids had all still been at home in their teens, I cant say that the OP and her husband have done anything wrong in dating and marrying. They were both adults at the time, and the kids were all grown up. There was no divorced wife. No one got hurt by their marriage, and they are making each other happy.

    Often, marriages with large age differences do not work out because people are at different life stages, but occasionally they do work. Its not my business to comment on someones marriage, when its clear they arent really hurting anyone else.

  • hopper_2008
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Why is it important to you to point out, more than once as a matter of fact, that you are closer to him than he was to his first wife, or that he is happier? And of course they would get upset if he put wedding pictures of their late mother away, after they had presumably been on display for their entire childhoods.

    He is happier than he has ever been in his life (so I've been told, I can't really judge anyone's happiness before I met them.) We are closer than he was to his first wife. It was as was a major strain in their marriage. She wanted to share in his work that he loved so much, he tried to put her on but had to let her go. The kids still have anger about that. To use a weak analogy, if he is the captain, I am his trusty 1st Lt. The kids and his wife were always resentful of the job, it makes the kids even more resentful towards me unfortunately that I am his first consult, not just relationship wise, but professionally as well. And like I said, its high stress, high impact so we are basically together 24 hours a day. And honestly, I enjoy it. I enjoy his company, his insight, even his relaxing friendship when we get that kind of time. The kids though very naturally ask the question, "why her, why not mom?"

    As far as the wedding pictures go, my attitude is if I moved into the house you put the down payment on and pay the mortgage for, I'll live with whatever pictures you want to put up. My husband and I decided together to put up our things in our home. He still kept the baby albums and the pictures of his first wedding, but they are put away in boxes. I have some personal things also put away in boxes. It doesn't hurt us. I honestly can't help that it hurts someone else. I understand it. I do. But I can't help it.

    Oh, and we never "dated." We worked on a project together and were immediately joined at the hip. There was never really a question of where our relationship was going. It was obvious in the first few days.

    Hope this clears up your questions, but I doubt it will. I'm sure there's something else I've said that will rub you the wrong way. In any event, I only de-lurked to comment on the lack of agency given to the husbands in this wedding debate. I was curious if anyone had any insight on that besides me.

  • theotherside
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am not convinced that the kids aren't being hurt - not as much as they would have been as children/teens (well, I guess they couldn't have been children, because their "SM" would have still been a child herself), but I am bothered by her emphasis on how their marriage is somehow "better" than his marriage to the children's mother. It shouldn't matter to her - the mother is dead, and poses no threat to her whatsoever. If the kids want the pictures to continue to be displayed, why would the father or his wife object?

  • quirk
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I don't think there was a "lack of agency" or whatever given to husbands. My response, and i think mom of 4 also, specifically related to my dad being equal to my mom, therefore blah blah. And while from a totally opposite perspective, tos also responded specifically regarding her children's attitudes towards their father, much more importantly than towards his wife. And a couple others distinguished their own feelings vs. their husband's feelings, or that their own and husband's feelings are the same.

    Losing your husband while he is out getting bread and radio batteries for the war refugees you have hiding in the attic, that's big stuff. Snarking over your husband's wife's seating at your 6 hour wedding event? Puh-lease. My husband and I can easily choose to absent ourselves from that without a twinge of guilt. Or, if you and your husband are really as close as you say you are, you could just as easily encourage him to attend his daughter's wedding without you as a way to try to preserve his relationship with his children with no harm to his relationship to you. Yes, it would be hurtful to be specifically excluded (think i discussed that hypothetical up there somewhere) but once that happened, how would it be more hurtful if he went (with your blessing)? So why not encourage him to do so, with the intent of attempting to salvage his relationship with his child?

  • dotz_gw
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hopper, Totally see where you are coming from on this one, the original point was where do dads opinions or wishes fit in...Agree your age difference has nothing to do with the post(wish it wasnt mentioned, as you may be getting skewed perspective)Quirk, I think she said her husband would walk out or not go if Hopper wasnt welcome, I dont know if encouraging him to go would work if his mind is made up...For my SSs wedding, I suggested to my DH, maybe I should stay home, I wouldnt want to cheat him out of the day, he wouldnt hear of that either..I agree with your statement Hopper, even if you ve done nothing negative to the SKs, just your existence bothers them...Loyalty to mom, yes....

  • finedreams
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My DD was embarassed to say that dad's new future wife (by the way TOW and pregnant already) is 27 (DD is 20). Not like future SM is that much younger than my X, but it is funny because DD is already 20.

  • kkny
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I think it is not only the age but the obsession with showing that she is a better wife, better person that first wife. I hope the SDs doent pick up on this attitude. IMHO, hubris goeth before a fall.

  • theotherside
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    "I think she said her husband would walk out or not go if Hopper wasnt welcome"

    I think he SHOULD go, whether or not his wife goes too.

    I think the age difference has a huge amount to do with how his children feel about her.

  • gigglemonster
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I think all of it is tricky. The age difference, if Hopper is pushing "Dad is happier with me than he ever was" line to them.

    imo, it takes a certain amount of tact and gracefulness in these situations. It really doesn't do anything to bring any of this up to your husbands children.

  • imamommy
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    If one of my children told me they didn't want my husband (Step dad) at their wedding, well first of all they wouldn't.

    My boys are not thrilled with my husband. They don't like him saying ANYTHING. But, my boys know that my husband is now part of the package for them. They were part of my package and my husband also has to deal with their attitudes. They have no reason for the way they feel, other than they could walk on me more easily before I met him. But, they love me and they know that I won't exclude him from anything. They may not like it but they know that is how it is. Just as I would not exclude my kids if my husband didn't want them there. There have been occasions that would have been much smoother if I had not invited my son's to be there, but that isn't an option. They can choose to not come, but they are always invited. Just as there are times it would be easier to not have SD there but she is part of the package too.

    My kids were pretty much grown when I met DH. He didn't raise them and they have a cordial relationship because I insist that they treat him with respect and I insist that my husband treat them the same. It's been harder with my boys than my daughter. If the child knows their parent will leave a spouse at home if they throw a fit, then they might just throw a fit. My boys have tested me to see if they can get me to exclude my husband from things. They know I won't. If they want to spend time alone with me, they can & my husband would never have a problem with that. But, if there is a family gathering or event that family goes to, they know I wouldn't leave him home to apease them. Just as someday, when they are in a relationship and if I don't like their choice of partner, I will have to keep quiet when they bring her to an event. I love them and will respect their choice in partners so if they love me, they should do the same. Doesn't mean they have to like or love him, but they should have respect.

  • serenity_now_2007
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hopper2008, you do indeed seem rather obsessed with demonstrating your superiority, not only to your husband's first wife and children but, like, in a general sense. And I can read this readily, because if I'm not careful I, too, can verge on the braggy side... I, too, have worked hard and succeeded academically and am very proud of it; I, too, have developed a big vocabulary which I use proudly; I, too, look younger than my age and regularly attract men far older and richer than myself (but have not and would not date them merely because they are older or richer); I, too, have ancestors affected by persecution and ill-treatment of some sort (most people do, somewhere along the line). But NONE of that defines me or 'makes' me better than anyone else, and I'd never trot that stuff out as some kind of testimony to my *character*, lovability, worthiness to be somebody's wife or at somebody's wedding, or 'right' to get my way. Book-smarts, fresh face, "trusty 1st lietenant" hero-worship smacking of a daddy complex, and heroic martyred ancestor notwithstanding, none of that proves a damn thing or entitles you to sit on any step-familial high-horse. Perhaps that's where your young age *does* show (I mean, besides your youthfully unlined face, or whatever.) I absolutely don't judge relationships with a big age difference **in theory**, but in actuality/everyday practice, it's just true that a lack of emotional maturity will show itself. Where it shows up in you is in your apparent delicate pride in being so much better in every conceivable way than your husband's first wife (you're younger, more energetic, smarter, more capable, you "understand" him better and make a better and probably more starry-eyed second-in-command); and in your almost gleeful, giddy pride in your opinion that he would "gladly" and "without a twinge of guilt" drop his daughter like a hot potato on her wedding day to nurse YOUR "insecurity" and "lowest form of manipulation". SAYS YOU. And it says a lot.

    EVEN IF you have successfully played "the game of who-comes-first" (which you so deftly make out to be the province solely of SD, knowing full well that such a game takes at least two players) to the point where you have YOURSELF convinced ---and even HIM convinced, at least superficially, at least for now--- of his loyalty falling squarely on your side of a divide, the situation being talked around as "all SD's fault", rest assured he will have lingering feelings and lingering questions. And he will not discuss them with you. Lingering feelings of irreplaceable loss and very-difficult-to-bridge distance and long-lingering guilt over having missed his daughter's wedding because.... because.... [and this is where the questions will come in].... because his daughter had some issues with you being there and perhaps was being immature about it and said you couldn't attend, and instead of you being the one to say "look, it's her wedding, I realize the situation is a bit strained and strange for her, and I understand, so it's not a big deal, go and have a wonderful time", other words (or perhaps just silence evoking doom) made it more than clear to him that it IS a big deal and that if he goes without you, you DO NOT understand. So he cleaves, to YOU, not to SD, seeing that there's no way he can attend his daughter's wedding solo without you hating him for it but he slowly seethes and comes to hate *you* for what he had to miss. Especially when you start getting your first frown lines, or there's an even younger and more "trusty" assistant who "clicks" immediately with him over some project (as you've noted, this can happen in the blink of an eye). As he feels the grip of your control becoming tighter, more inescapable and worst of all more passive-aggressive and denying and deceiving about its own control, he will be actively figuring out how to get his d**k back, along with other things he will come to feel you have taken from him along with the chance to have a close relationship with his daughter that includes here-and-there a moment, or an afternoon, or a life-changing special occasion that should be all about HER without your smug face having to be seated right beside it or else. He will be able to find another young lover/protegee; he will never be able to get back the relationship with his flesh-and-blood and the important moments and decisions that nurture it.

  • wrychoice1
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Gee Serenity,

    Another post that belies your screen name....not to be seen defending anyone else....perhaps this is a post you might have wanted to address to your father's wife?

  • kkny
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My X met his SO through work. He took her to one family function -- and it became all about her. That was the last. Now, it is dinners with X, DD and his family etc. I dont know -- maybe he is waiting till after his parents pass away etc.

    Serenity, you hit the nail on the head. I couldnt understand why someone would have to prove themselves better than a deceased wife -- but insecurity comes to mind.

  • serenity_now_2007
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Point taken, wrychoice, this one does hit home and I'm having a bad day. I think what gets my dander up about hopper2008's posts is what other people have cited (the apparent arrogance and the striking need to prove herself superior, esp. to the former wife & kids), but perhaps I'm taking it more personally because of my situation. The only other thing I really reacted to that other people hadn't already mentioned as irritating is the projection factor. That is, hopper2008 making it out like SD is the one being childish, unreasonable, immature, insecure and manipulative about this situation. Which may very well be the case, but if hopper2008 isn't in some way, at some level, tugging the other end of the rope, then it's a non-issue. If it's a non-issue, then Hopper2008 would simply make sure her husband knows it's okay for him to go to his daughter's wedding without her (and doesn't stand on any principle or misplaced idealism about unity, loyalty or whatever and create a very difficult situation for DH and SD on her wedding day b/c she can't face the reality that she and SD simply don't get along and pushes it at the wrong time & circumstance.)

    I guess I reacted especially much to the projection aspect because my Dad's wife plays that game of telling herself & other people similar things (i.e. "whatever HE wants to do"; "HE's choosing to do such-and-such"). It's crap, don't buy it if you ever hear this sort of thing. No parent except the lowest form would EVER so quickly and unequivocably "choose", "freely", to leave their kid in the lurch, even if said kid was being a brat. These husband/fathers DO NOT WANT TO TURN THEIR BACKS ON THEIR CHILDREN and they DO NOT do so easily. I mean, unless they are scum, in which case I'd have to ask why anyone would want to be with scum like that. These men (or women, when it's women in these situations) may seem like they are "choosing", but they are BACKED AGAINST THE FRIGGIN' WALL and make these apparent "free choices" under tremendous duress of one sort or the other. For example, I know this because my Dad got me a plane ticket to visit him behind my SM's back (via money order) and always calls me when she isn't around; he called NINE TIMES on and around X-mas ---when she was out--- because he felt so guilty about telling me I couldn't come. Because it wasn't what HE wanted. I know for a fact that SM was telling people "he decided" to not have me there, b/c he was so "disappointed" in me, or whatever the H3LL.... Meanwhile, these "independent decisions" of his always seem to benefit SM, for example HER sister and brother-in-law were there at Christmas in my place, and she got some home improvements done (FOR her not BY her, to be sure). My SM isn't fooling anybody! (Well, I can't say that.... she's not fooling ME and several others ---including my Dad--- but maybe she's fooling somebody somewhere.)

    In this kind of scenario, if a parent seems to be making a choice to turn their back on their child ---especially on a really important or significant occasion like a wedding that they would otherwise never want to miss--- and their spouse is acting all "my dog ain't in that fight", or more obviously, even GLOATING about the parent's "choice": look closer, ask some more questions. Barring possible reasons such as the most scummy good-for-nothing parent or child on the planet, in most average situations with average people with average issues and flaws, there is more going on than meets the eye. It's more than one person tugging the rope. One way or another, the spouse is also manipulating the situation, or at the very least, is getting a big payoff (emotional, financial, circumstantial, etc.) from just "sitting back" and 'watching" the fight. Saying things in plain English (i.e. "don't go to your daughter's wedding without me or I will be very upset and might divorce you") is only one possible method of getting one's point across. Other methods include:

    -The Silent Treatment
    -Sexual Freeze-Out
    -Generally Being a Stone-Cold B***h Until He Changes the Situation to Your Way
    -Acting all Hurt and Crying ("Why Doesn't SD Love Me?!?!") to Play the Victim
    -"Forgetting" to Do Something You Promised (such as get groceries to have food in the house) So He Gets the Hint You're Not Pleased About X situation
    -"Forgetting" to Give Him His Prescription Medications That You've Made him Dependent On You For So He Gets the Hint... (a favorite tactic of my SM's; actually all of these are)

    ...and there's probably myriad other sick, twisted ways of controlling a situation that aren't even occuring to me because I'm just not that perverse. (Would have to get in that Stephen King "Misery" headspace to comprehend it more thoroughly.)

    Admittedly I have some bitterness about my personal stepfamily dynamics (on one side of the family anyways), but apart from any offense it gives anyone, I hope that at least hopper2008 and perhaps anyone else who feels they relate to her will perceive in my words the effect that her apparent attitude may inspire in an SD in that kind of situation. And to just be careful, as kkny said, about the hubris factor. It's humbling to hear it, but hopefully it puts things in perspective b/c it's never a good idea to go around thinking of oneself as being perpetually in a catbird seat. Not with the way our society and relations between men and women tend to go. Plus I think it's good 'tactical' advice, to be kind of Sun Tzu about it: a strategic choice to 'lose the battle' (over being at the wedding) in order to 'win the war', or at least *appear* the bigger person and pre-empt any feeling DH might develop about being on a leash and starting to resent it. (Men tend to wriggle out of a leash millimeter by millimeter... you don't see it coming, and then poof! They're gone! Or even worse, they stay...) This particular advice isn't meant to be about pleasing the man, or the SD, but covering your own behind and not thinking you're invincible or always going to win.... or even always going to be around! So picture the points I made in my last post but with a bit less 'edge'... and hopefully it's illuminating.

  • gigglemonster
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I agree with kkny. "Serenity, you hit the nail on the head."

  • hopper_2008
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ha ha.
    OK. It seems that I have to clarify.
    1.) I explain my academic and professional success for the sake of juxtaposing my husband's personal financial situation and mine when I met him. Others had asked if I had taken on a motherly role, and I replied that I had. The way I had taken on a motherly role was via family finances. The way I was able to take on the role of "breadwinner" was via this time line that I laid out. I very plainly said I wasn't better or worse than anyone. I said that I got lucky...very lucky, to have many years of seniority at work and not be saddled with educational debt. In light of those circumstances, I did take on some heavy financial lifting gladly and none of the parties involved reacted negatively to me doing that.
    2.) I never said I am better than the first wife. I believe, as I have been told by my husband (who is in a position to make a judgment) that our relationship is better. What the SDs pick up on, obviously not through any fault of my own, is the fact that I have the one thing their mother always wanted. I know they resent me for it. They have told me this in no uncertain terms. But there is no action I can take that will assuage their insecurities. I had it before I ever knew their mother existed. I won't apologize for that.

    (In fact there are many things that my husband's first wife was that I will never be according to my husband. She was beautiful. I am not. She was more beautiful at 50 than I will ever be at 30. She was graceful, humanistic, a wonderful hostess and exuded class. I will never be any of those things. When people think of a younger woman marrying an older man, they get a mental image of some pretty blond tart with an air of detached coolness. That's not me. I'm disheveled and frumpy, the continual ugly duckling. And always have my hands in things, I'm always getting dirty and thinking out loud like the socially blind but good hearted absent minded professor. I'm not any worse (or any better for than matter) than the first wife....just wildly different. I was just trying to explain that my husband's children are reacting to this fact. I don't believe he didn't love her. I do believe it just wasn't a good relationship for him, as he himself has told me. They married young and grew apart quickly. It happens. It's not an unbelievable and impossible scenario. In fact I suspect many of you have been in that situation. I am simply relating to the facts as I know them. I guess I'm just confused about how this can be read as me being insecure.)

    3.) The issue of my "heroic martyred ancestor" was only told as explanation of a previous statement that a poster thought was odd (see the summary of my character above for further explanation) (Btw: he wasn't a heroic martyr....just one of literally millions in this world who attempt to do the right thing at the price of their own life.) It might seem facetious, but it was illustrative of the fact (and fitting in the bigger context) that my husband would not leave without me by his side in the context of a World War. He certainly isn't going to do it in the context of a family wedding. I know him. I have told him he can go without me. I really don't care. I don't particularly like weddings and can't even say I had a great time at my own. Really. I could care less about flowers and the electric slide. That's not smugness, that is honesty.

    4.) I have no daddy complex. Neither my father, nor my stepfather lived lives I would ever aspire to or would ever be satisfied with. Like I said, I consider myself an odd character. Believe me, most of the time the major downsides to that make themselves apparent through self-consciousness and loneliness. In some bizarre twist of fate, I met a man exactly like me and vice versa. We vary slightly in our strengths and weaknesses. I assure you the hero worship, if one wants to term it that, is very much mutual.

    The issue of attendance at the wedding is very much between my husband and his daughter. I have given no reason for anyone to plainly dislike me besides the fact of my existence. When it comes to anything emotional like a family dynamic, the LAST thing on earth that I am is controlling. My husband is the LAST man on earth that is easily controlled. I would never even be attracted to a man who is "on a leash." The unfortunate thing is, that the basis for me being disliked in this situation is in things I cannot change and issues that existed long before I came along. The act of requesting someone not bring their life partner to a wedding or run the risk of being accused of abandonment is inherently controlling. That is what my husband is reacting to, not anything I did. I absolutely refuse to bear to the responsibility of the choices of others. The simple fact is, if you ask of someone something that you know they cannot give, you need accept the hurt that comes along with not getting the thing you asked. I learned this a long time ago as a child from my own parents, hence I've know not to ask my husband to change his relationship with his daughter solely on my behalf. He won't give that and I will be hurt. I won't hate him for going to SDs wedding solo. He'll hate himself.

    The dictation of the terms in which a family member is allowed to attending your wedding (terms that are different for everyone else no less) is a leash. It is not a leash that I hooked my husband up to. It is a leash, as serenity so astutely points out, that a man will inch by inch wiggle out of.

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