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Am I wrong to not want to attend my step-son's wedding?

Karen Peltier
8 years ago
last modified: 8 years ago

I am literally in fear over this wedding. I am not going to go into too much background, but at my step-daughter's wedding last year, wow!, it was a huge mess. I went to that wedding assuming I would be treated like my husband's wife, and the message in many, many ways was that I was not wanted there one iota. And, no, please do not assume I was having an affair with dad prior to our marriage. I was not. At the time I went to my step-daughter's wedding, bio-dad and I had been married for 14 years and I thought we got along well. However, having now done some research, I do understand more-so the complexities of having bio-mom and step-mom together in the same place, even though bio-mom and bio-dad's marriage may have broken up years ago. Anyway, I am very happy for my step-son and he is marrying a wonderful woman, but things went so wrong at my step-daughter's wedding that I am literally in fear of attending step-son's wedding coming up now this year. I see some sites where step-mothers complain about not getting a corsage or something like that. Geez. I wish that was all that went wrong for me. I would have more than welcomed just that! That I wouldn't have even noticed. To put it simply and politiely, I was pretty much kept apart from my husband throughout the entire wedding, in one way or another, and never saw it coming. Anyway, I feel terrified, scared and frightened at this point to attend step-son's wedding. Now, assuming I even get an invite, could I put something on the invite about I love you dearly, but I am going to politely decline, and dad of course will be there? I don't know. I'd especially like to hear from other steps in similar situation. I know I have to have further discussions with hubby/bio-dad over this too. I just felt so blindsided at step-daughter's wedding. Going to his son's wedding for me would be like walking onto a firing range, which is really, really horrible, because I should be 100% happy for them, supportive, and wanting to go.

Comments (74)

  • Southern Summer
    8 years ago

    Wow. Sorry, Beach Gal. Been there, and I agree with your opening:

    "...my husband FIANLLY opened his eyes after 16 + years......I am now (within the past week) FINALLY getting the support from him that I have been needing and deserving for all these years."

    So true. SD's wedding last year was the mackdaddy of all snubs.

    It has taken me a year and a half to recover. Neither of us have heard from SD since the wedding, and I have not spoken to SS since the wedding. Hubby is in touch with SS, but has become the champion of boundaries and tough love. It's about time, married now for nearly 17 years.

    Hubby has not wavered since the wedding. It completely shocked him, and finally caused him to get a backbone. I have not heard "poor kids, it's their Mama's fault" ... Or "its your fault, you shouldn't have attended..." since the wedding.

    Recently, SD unblocked me on Facebook after 5 years for unknown reasons. So I blocked her, mainly because I don't want any possibility of a reconciliation.

    Hubby removed SD from our will, and we have moved on, which is good, because these poisonous people brought no value to our lives.

  • Southern Summer
    8 years ago

    KP and Tete a Tete.... The rule for our step family was Step mom has to show up so that we can snub her. That goes for all events. So why go? Why lower your expectations? Plan something fun with your friends and spare yourself the torture. It's not worth it.

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  • beachgal2015
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    southernlights..............sounds like you and I have experienced very similar experiences........feeling not so alone........thank you. I don't know you but am so happy for you that your husband has become the "champion of boundaries and tough love" and "hasn't wavered since the wedding". I certainly understand the emotional turmoil you have been through for so many years and totally can empathize with how long it took for you to recover from SD wedding. I have a feeling it's going to take me some time as well from all the aftermath of hate being directed towards my husband and I (mainly towards me but now my husband has my back which helps me deal with it all a little better). Wow.......sounds like some HUGE steps taken on hubby's part. You were so right in blocking his daughter on FB.......good for you, your integrity and your sanity. NO ONE deserves to put up with toxic/poisonous people who are disrespectful, mean and hateful. I choose not to have friends like this, I choose not to work with people like this. So why should I have to put up with presumed "family" members who are like this? I shouldn't have to and I won't. I am so hopeful that my husband will continue with "eyes wide open" as your husband has.

    I completely agree with you southernlights on your comment to Karen P. and tete_a_tete.........."Plan something fun with your friends and spare yourself the torture"......I'll add to this.......and with people who truly care about you, who bring out the best in you, who you really enjoy being around, who you can be yourself with. My experiences in the past 16+ years...........constantly feeling "damned if I do, damned if I don't" whenever it came to attending any husband's family functions with the big doozy of them all being SS wedding.

  • ldvilen100
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Wow!
    Strange how BM and her husband of 2 years stole the show. See, BM is right there promoting her agenda
    every time. And, people wonder why SMs
    are the ones who always are targeted.
    There you go right there.
    BM. BM gets married, kids are
    told to think of her husband as dad, the new man, show respect, etc. Bio-dad gets married, kids are told by BM,
    whom they spend by far the most time with, to think of dad’s wife as nada, you
    don’t have to listen to her, etc. No
    surprise when years later, kids hate bio-dad and SM. Bio-dad never cared for them, SM is mean,
    etc. All came from and started with BM. Little to do with facts, oftentimes. And, BM's reward is a front seat at the
    wedding with her husband of 2 years.
    Meanwhile, bio-dad and his wife of 16 years get second row. Sad thing is, even as adults many children of divorce
    never get or understand this dynamic.
    They just keep thinking dad’s a loser just like mom always said. I think I’d say spa day over wedding day too.

  • Southern Summer
    8 years ago

    True, so screw them all and move on.

  • Karen Peltier
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hello. After a long while getting back to this. First, I want to point out that I have seen
    positive experiences for SMs where they were respected at their SKs weddings. That being said, we got the Save the Date
    card the other day. The wedding is still
    a few months away, but I have decided not to go. My husband and I spoke about this a couple
    days back. I know there have been
    several negative experiences in addition to mine noted here, and I have seen
    others on other forums, but it was my own decision and due to my own
    experiences that I decided not to go.

    I could
    go on and on, but I think what it really comes down to is why was I even
    invited to the first wedding? Talk about
    a ruse. It was clear I was not wanted
    there, yet I was invited like there was no problem with me being my husband’s
    spouse or dad’s wife. The invite was
    addressed to Mr. and Mrs. ABC. However,
    in fact at the wedding, I was shunned and my husband was treated like he was clearly someone else's spouse/date/escort. It
    doesn’t really matter what the situation is, if you are invited to be a guest
    at an event and treated like you are an intrusion and your relationship with your
    spouse or SO is not respected, the shame is on the invitee. There is no shame on you. And, most importantly, wouldn’t you have to
    be nuts to permit this to go on for a second time? I mean, really!!

    This also has me thinking about future so-called family events, where
    I’m sure too the expectation will be that my husband of 15 years is to be BM’s
    spouse/date/escort. My husband may be
    attending those alone as well, which he hates to do and he probably only will
    go for a short while if at all. But that
    was or is not my choice. My middle name
    isn’t Patsy or doormat. Like someone
    said on another forum, this is the year 2015.
    No woman or man has to put up with his or her marriage being
    disrespected by anyone. There is no high
    road in allowing your marriage or relationship to be pissed on. It doesn’t matter where the disrespect is
    coming from, and having it come from so-called family members only makes it
    worse. No one gets a pass on that. Peace.

  • tfitz1006
    8 years ago

    It's so crazy that at weddings, where marriage should be celebrated, your marriage gets frowned upon or ignored. Now that is ignorant!

  • Southern Summer
    8 years ago

    The next two family events for us after the horrible SD wedding were a christening and a funeral, which DH attended briefly alone.

    At the funeral, DH's ex sister in law (witch) cornered DH and said, "why can't we just love one another?"

    DH gave her a brief litany of their rude behavior, and then left the funeral.

    I doubt that he will attend any more events.

    SS can't understand why DH wouldn't want to attend alone without me and hang out with his ex, his ex in-laws, and their adult kids who have been so awful. DH said "you caused this."

  • Kim Aves
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Well, maybe when it comes closer to the actual wedding
    day, something will occur to make you rethink.
    Maybe not. I see that when you are invited to an event, there is an unspoken agreement that both the inviter
    and the invitee are to both be respectful.
    I see nothing wrong with declining an invitation, regardless of the
    event. It is an invite and not a demand to attend. I would much rather have someone
    decline and let me know up front than saying they will attend and not show up,
    which really seems to happen a lot these days and I find disrespectful. There are a lot of different opinions on
    weddings and steps. Being dad’s wife and
    a stepmom, I’ve come to believe that in the end you have to do what works for
    you, because no one has been in your shoes.
    Even other stepmoms may have a very different relationship with their
    husbands, SKs than you do. Seems like
    everyone is always trying to tell stepmoms what they should be feeling or thinking. If you don’t want to go honey, don’t go. Seems like you got caught really off-guard
    and hurt. Sometimes time heals wounds
    and sometimes it don’t. Like I said above, I've started going to fewer events with my husband and SKs. Not to be rude, but I think it will probably be good for both of them.

  • newgardenelf newgardenelf
    8 years ago

    I stayed friends with my dear former SIL. In May, her bio daughter married and I happily attended. My ex husband was there and I chatted with him and all his family. My SIL, her husband (step dad) and her ex husband (bio father) all took pictures together, danced together, and it was lovely to see.

    Last week her stepdaughter married and my heart broke for her as she was treated terribly by her step daughter. Keep in mind my SIL organized the wedding on SDs behalf (biomom never offered to help) including hiring the photographer who is a family friend. So when the family was called over for photos she went hand and hand with her husband of 10 years. SD called out groups for each shot, my SIL was never asked to join any photos even her husband's family photos where both bio and step grandmothers were included but not her.

    There was an after party- she was not invited but SD did ask if she would be sure that the rental hall was clean so the deposit would be returned.

    The groom never thanked her for organizing and setting up the wedding and cleaning or anything. SD left without saying thank you or goodbye. They had plans to come to the house for breakfast the following day, called to say that they couldn't make it but asked if they could they come for dinner.....they never showed or called for dinner.

    I am so sad that SIL worked so hard to make the day special for her SD and was treated so poorly. It's so strange that a 31 year old woman (SD) could not find it in he heart to honor her father's wife or be grateful to the woman who organized her wedding. She lost more than she'll ever know.


  • Southern Summer
    8 years ago

    God bless your poor sister in law. Your story hurts my heart. Your words really hit the nail on the head: "I am so sad that my SIL worked so hard to make the day special for her SD and was treated so poorly..."

    i think that is the key. For so long, my script was that I did too much for them, and then I was hurt when they didn't appreciate it. I have learned to quit doing that, and like your SIL, my husband's children lost a very strong advocate and friend. They don't care now, but someday they might look back and realize it... Probably when they need something.

  • Karen Webster
    7 years ago

    I realise this thread is now nearly a year old, but I am just about to deal with a similar situation. My partner and I have been together nearly 5 years. His eldest son and fiancee are to be married in two weeks. I have just found out I'm being seated as a guest at the church. Then to be seated next to ex wife's new partner and her parents at the after wedding meal. I have had dread of this for the last two years. And despite my unhappy feeling they would pair me with ex wife's partner my partner has done nothing to ensure this does not happen, even to the point he won't discuss the wedding with me. On finding out about seating around 3 weeks ago I have been really upset. All my partner says is he wants me there as it will make him happy despite me being so unhappy. I really don't want to go, but I don't want to let him down. I feel I'm beginning to hate my life and my life with him because of his disinterest of my thoughts and feelings.

  • Southern Summer
    7 years ago

    So, father and mother of the groom will sit together for both events as though they were still fantasy-married? At least you and stepfather are being equally snubbed, I guess. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't attended, but it's entirely your call. I know if I hadn't attended, none of them would have cared anyway, and sadly that's probably your case, too. I'm sorry.

  • PRO
    MDLN
    7 years ago

    Maybe don't take it so seriously and come up with a bunch of fun, very creative stories/questions to ask/tell the ex-wifes new partner during dinner. ("Does she still want to mow the lawn naked?") I dated someone who did things like that; after I got past being horrified at the stories, it was really fun to see peoples reaction.

    While I think adding a couple of seats for new partners of the parents would be most appropriate, I think the parents are being seated with the groom as PARENTS of the groom, not as "fantasy married."

    JMHO

  • Karen Webster
    7 years ago

    Thank you both for your comments. I guess he is being equally as snubbed.

    As for telling stories the ex wife and I went to school together, so I know one or two.

    The hardest part to deal with is my partner is totally ignorant to how I'm feeling, or choosing to be. :-(


  • Southern Summer
    7 years ago

    It does hurt for your partner to ignore your feelings. Ultimately, if you can attend, expect nothing, and get through it for his sake without a lot of drama, then do it and suck it up. If you can't, then make other plans.

  • Karen Peltier
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Here's a comment I came across the other day, and it is one of my favorites. "Best thing for step-mom to do at weddings--either go looking like Sofía Vergara in a red dress and play the flaming 2nd wife to the max., or avoid the whole thing and plan a spa day with friends, people who actually care about you."

    Welcome, Karen W! I am not going to my SS's wedding. My SS is getting married in about two months now, a destination wedding, fortunately, because that makes it a little easier to say No. I told my husband I won’t be going, and he doesn’t want to navigate the airport/passport mess himself, so he stated he is not going either (very interesting reason for him not to want to go!), but I think the real reason is, he doesn’t want to go into the viper’s den by himself. Actually, I'm still hoping he will go alone.


    But, I agree it is 100% up to you, and that is the point I think that needs to be made. When the steps are relegated to the back of the bus, so to speak, there is a it's a "fantasy marriage" vs. a "it's just the parents together" controversy as Ariel A. pointed out so well above. But, no other couple will be split up for the wedding other than SM and dad or mom and her husband. And. think about it, for you non-steps. If you and your husband went to an event and you were fully expecting to be treated like husband and wife because you are husband and wife, and then some other woman came up to your husband and started acting like they were a couple and they were going to participate and eat together, while you were going to sit wherever, how would you feel about that? SMs don't expect this at all, and very few are given a heads up on it. So, again for non-steps, wouldn't you just be furious that some other woman was "pretending" to be your husband's spouse, and to boot, pretty much everyone else at this event was acting like that was a-ok and you're the odd one out!?


    Every woman wants a 100% husband. So, if hubby can't decide who his #1 wife is, then maybe he should go to these events by himself and he won't have to choose. In the end, the point is, it should be SM's or step-dad's decision, and not something they feel forced into or they have to suck it up and take it or they have to load up on booze, Valium, etc. to make it thru, unless they want to, that is. Otherwise, just say No.

  • Southern Summer
    7 years ago

    Missy, you shouldn't do anything. It hurts like hell, and it takes a long time to get over it. I still think about it every day and it's been nearly three years. They have spoken. If you thought you were on equal footing, you were wrong. Me too. Go back to living your life with your husband, and detach from all of his family. Be a wife and only a wife. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

  • Missy Brent
    7 years ago

    Ok thank u. I think i try not to think about it.

  • jakeseacrest
    7 years ago

    I understand that every family dynamic is different but after a rocky start my sister and I love my step father as much as our real dad. When my sister got married my stepdad was as much a part of the wedding as my dad was. He has been in our lives for 20+ years and will always be there. My stepsister on the other hand has had a problem with my mother since the beginning. Her mom has filled her head with so many lies it is ridiculous. Almost 30 years later and she still tells people that my mother broke up her marriage. She conveniently leaves out the fact that my stepfather came home early and found her in bed with someone else.

  • Southern Summer
    7 years ago

    Jake, I would give anything to have a stepson---or a son--- like you. I kept waiting for that "rocky start" to smooth over, but it didn't happen, and we have been married nearly 18 years. Interesting that my stepdaughter is the more difficult one, as well. She always said that I broke up her parents' marriage, even though they were divorced 10 years before we met. Rationale: I prevented a reconciliation.

    Jake, do you think your mother is at fault for the rift in your sister's relationship with your SF? Why couldn't she see through it like you did? My husband blames his ex wife, as well, for turning her daughter against us. They also blame my husband for the breakup, even though she filed for divorce, and if anything it was fueled by her alcoholism.

    Jake, what was different about your relationship with your SF that made it successful? What was different about your mother that caused her to shift the blame to your stepfather? I just can't think of any way I could have reached out to them more than I have. After my step daughter's wedding in 2014, it was clear that I needed to move on, and give up on having a relationship with them. It's just too painful.

  • jakeseacrest
    7 years ago

    Southernlights my sister and I had our ups and downs with my stepfather but when my mom and him met I was 13 and my sister was 12. Of course puberty and being rebellious had a lot to do with the rocky start. My sister and I also knew that my mom was so unhappy in the last few years of her marriage to my dad that her happiness mattered more to us. I didn't feel like my stepdad was taking the place of my real dad, I just knew that I had someone else in my life. To me it was no big deal. He was and still is a great guy so it feels like we have 2 dads. My stepsister on the other hand is just a spoiled brat. She feels like my mom broke up her parents marriage which couldn't be farther from the truth. Her mother is a psychopath that has completely poisoned her mind. My stepdad was completely blind to the way she treated my mother. That was his little girl. About 5 or 6 years ago he finally realized that she was just like her mother. She only cares about herself and nobody else. He had a few health scares over the last few years and my sister and I were by his side in the hospital. My stepsister never called or visited him once! I'm glad he finally sees her for what she is....spoiled, self centered and full of herself.

  • Kim Aves
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    'I know what you mean, southernlights. Years down the road after I got a major reality check like you did, I still keep looking for an opening somewhere. This is a simplification, but I have come to believe that it comes down to manipulative, controlling bio-mom and weak, enabling DH = step hell. Unfortunately, the manipulative, controlling bio-mom can sometimes be strengthened by or replaced by an adult manipulative, controlling bio-daughter (or bio-son). Some stepmoms have been dealing with this scenario for over 30 years.

    It almost has to get the point, as it did for jakeseacrest, where bio-dad or DH finally sees or recognizes the above equation himself. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen. The problem is, a lot of the armchair-wisdom doesn't hold for stepmothers. For example, even so-called experts will tell stepmothers they need to "just keep trying." When in reality, "Regardless of her personality, her desire to befriend them, and the years of patience and effort she invests in 'winning them over,' the stepmother can only have a close relationship with her stepchildren with her husband's support in the household and their mother's wholehearted approval."

    Anyway, if you don't have those two necessary ingredients--DH's support AND bio-mom's support, I do think it is best to let your DH (dad) deal whenever he can. Like you say, your major role is wife to your husband. You are to be an equal to your husband (not a servant to his ex- or children). You choose which events you want to go to, and DH can choose if he wants to go alone or not.

  • Southern Summer
    7 years ago

    Thanks, Jake and Kim.

    My husband and stepson finally realized the enormity of the situation when I quit trying two years ago. They were shocked.

    My stepson and I have never had a positive interaction. Our conversations were peaceful, but, there was always a backhanded hurtful remark or snub, which I ignored for years, and then after the wedding, I changed the locks and dropped out. I have attended no events and won't in the future. My husband goes to some events.

    My stepdaughter is similar to Jake's stepsister.

    Kim and Jake, if a friendship requires a supportive ex wife, then it's a lost cause. That will never happen.

  • Kim Aves
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Yeah, I too think the term "supportive" is a little strong. I think what the author really means is a ex-wife who is not manipulative and controlling, one that at least on some level, gives the children permission to have a relationship with the stepmother.

  • Jerrie Morales
    7 years ago

    My husband's ex-wife of many years is very ill. his children from that marriage made my life miserable until they cut us off a few years ago. recently, the daughter has friended us and came to visit. I believe her mother is very ill from lupus. I used to go out of my way to try and make them happy. I think this time I will tell them to speak to their father and invite him to the funeral. i know he will say no but i rather he make the decision. when i make a decision and get disrespected he would say why did you go? now, i leave it up to him.


  • Southern Summer
    7 years ago

    Tony, I'm so sorry, but don't torture yourself. There is no reason for you to attend. My ex-husband died five years ago, and it was pure relief. Hopefully, the departure of your husband's ex will bring some much needed peace to your family.

  • Kathy Keith Cleland
    6 years ago

    For the past 8 years I have attended multiple graduations, wedding events and baby showers for both SDs. I met my husband in Texas and when he retired last year we moved to NC thinking it would be good to be near some of the kids. My son is in AF with plans to make it a career do who knows where he will live. But left my family and friends to start a new chapter in our life.

    My relationship with the girls was good but hoped moving would only make it better, unfortunately it has gotten worse. Since moving every time we attend a gathering I'm ignored by both girls. This happened even before we moved but became very obvious recently.

    Things took a downward spiral with SD #2 Engagement party I became ill the morning of event and was not able to attend. Even though I was sick I traveled with my 2 hrs hoping I would feel better and could attend. Unfortunately I didn't and ended up staying in hotel room. I was accused of faking so I wouldn't have to attend. There were multiple events for 3 weekends in a row which meant a hotel room each of those weekends. The last weekend had an event Saturday, son in laws 30th bday party and baby shower the next day. We decided to attend the birthday party but decided we would drive home afterwards to avoid hotel expenses. I declined for the baby shower and was quickly belittled by other daughter for not going so to keep peace we changed plans and stayed at hotel so I could attend the baby shower. The weekend was a disaster to say the least. I always make it a point to say hi to both girls and over to help with anything at these get togethers but always just get a "Hi" and they walk off. They talk with their dad at length ever time which I get but understood when we flew in for event before moving her. I also noticf they are sociable to all guest but not me. I do want to say their mother is very friendly to me and we actually have great conversations. She even told me one time that I was good for my husband and he had changed for the better. I got tired of being ignored at the birthday party and did not want to interrupt my husband having a good time with his girls and other guest so I quietly took Uber back to hotel. The next day at shower was even worse. Neither girl said more than 5 words to me. My husband picked me up at shower and I told him I'm done trying. A few days later I made calls to both girls to discuss my feelings. One told me I only hang around with their dad at the events which is far from the truth and when asked why she didn't talk to me at shower her comment was "I didn't feel like it" and told me I was selfish by not attending these important events because my husband is always going to things for my family, which is not true. I got often go see my son and grandkids but my husband rarely goes mainly because he was working. She made no comment when I pointed this out. The other one called me an introvert which devastated me. I told her I'm far from that and told her if she had known me in high school that would be true but I have come a long way and was far from that nowadays. Needless to say when I got off the phone I was in tears and my husband made no effort to comfort me which made it worse. I finally realized I was his everything "after his girls" which devastated me. We started getting into lots of fights over this and fighting was a rarity with us. I eventually went home to Texas to think through things. I finally returned home 2 weeks later with the agreement we would start counseling. We finally worked through the issues and my husband is acknowledging my feelings when it comes to the girls and have learned to walk easily when it comes to the girls. To this date I do not know if he had conversations with the girls about any of this

    A "Save the Date" card came addressed to "Daddy" no mention of me. I took it as a sign I'm not invited to wedding my husband said I was being ridiculous "of course your invited to my daughters wedding. The wedding invitation came addressed to both of us. Things were going pretty good and I was able to get my head in the right frame of mind. Until last week when my husband was told he had to ride I the "party bus with the guys and I needed to drive myself to the wedding". Keep in mind the wedding is 45 minutes from the reception which means I would have to drive from hotel to wedding then back to hotel, park car then walk a few blocks to reception. I voiced my feelings and he said he would not ride the bus but drive with me to the wedding. However I can see my husband caving on this which makes my head spin and anxiety level escalate. If this wedding is anything like the first one I will hardly talk to my husband the entire evening and I will be trying to keep myself busy talking with the other guest that I have never met. I have 3 events related to this wedding I have to attend a bridal brunch, rehearsal and wedding. I found out about the brunch from my husband when he was visiting the girls I finally texted the bride asking for the details and was sent a text with pic of invite and I finally got an invite in the mail 4 days ago and all of this starts 5 days from today.

    I talked with my husbands sister about all of this, she feels the girls are things to hurt me but manage to stay under the radar. Such as the save the date invite my husband thought it was cute. She also states they have always had a sense of entitlement and they can do no harm in my husbands eyes. The one that had baby last of January has posted 4500 pictures on a shared album of the baby in 5 months.

    i feel my husband and his daughters relationship is not your typical relationship of fathers and girls 28-30 and my therapist agrees My husband had to move away to keep his job when his girls were in middle school and ended up divorcing his wide. Their relationship is stuck at that level and had not matured.

    I have decided I'm going to start attending very FEW events after this wedding. i have given up on having a relationship with the girls and we will only have one if they make an effort otherwise I'm done. I did make an appointment with therapist the week after the wedding if needed. Will cancel if no issues but kinda doubt it. This whole thing caught me completely by surprise because I would have never agreed to move to NC if I knew things would be like this.

  • colleenoz
    6 years ago

    Fair enough. If they insist on you attending their events only to ignore you, they're clearly just pulling your chain. They are being rude and childish.

    Your husband is being an ass enabling these girl women and if even his sister can see it then I hope he can. If he goes on the party bus then in your shoes I'd probably head back to the hotel after the wedding and give the reception a swerve. Not being with your husband during the reception isn't a huge sue because that's how social events are supposed to work, people socialise with other people they don't see every day, but walking around town on your own at night just isn't a good idea IMO.

    Next time you get an invitation from one of the girls, I'd say, "Well, I don't understand why you want me there, since we don't exchange two words when I do come. Clearly my presence makes no difference for you, so I'll just wish you well and hope you have a great time." Don't get emotional, dont argue, just be pleasant and firm.

  • Ariel Anderson
    5 years ago

    kk sc, I know you've been posting on another step- forum, but since your discussion involves a wedding, this post might be helpful to you too. (Too bad some of the formatting got messed up on some of these posts.)

  • Southern Summer
    5 years ago

    Kathy,

    you are not required to be friends with your step children. Unfortunately, your husband is their father.


    Be a good wife. That is all. You do not need to go to ANY events or be anything to these people. Let your husband do what he pleases, as long as it doesn’t involve you. Be a good wife, and that’s all. Anything else will cause bad feelings for all concerned. They have declared themselves and this is what they wanted. They will get the message without you explaining it. Be firm with your husband and enjoy your life. North Carolina is a great place to live. Just don’t mix with his little monsters, and you will avoid resentment. Make friends and do things for yourself and your husband. Avoid talking about them. Let it go. They blew it. Too bad for them.

  • Kim Aves
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I wonder how things went for Kathy at the wedding? It was about a year ago. I hope she stays firm in her decision to just sit it out when she feels like it.

    She made this comment in her post, “I have 3 events related to this wedding I HAVE TO attend.” Nope. No SM has to attend any event where she feels she may wind up being fish bait. I think SMs spend too much time wondering IF something might happen and how to prevent that from occurring rather than just saying, “No thanks.” No is a very powerful word, and SMs don’t use it anywhere near as much as they should.

    The only weapon any SM really has in so many of these circumstances, is the word NO. You don’t have to attend anything. Just say NO. DH wants you to go. Just say NO. He can go by himself, if he wants. You don’t have to really explain anything. As a SM, you have to do what works for you, because very few will even think to look at anything from your angle. We are labeled step-parent or SM, but, as Southern Summer points out, we are neither really parent or mom. What we are is a wife (or SO), first and foremost. Yet, for some blanky-blank reason, about 85% of the people out there seem to accidentally on purpose forget this whenever it suits them.

    On another post, I mentioned that the life of a SM can be “death by a thousand paper cuts.” And that is what makes it so hard: “hours, days, weeks, months, years, of frustration, angst, worry, aggravation, anticipating the fall of the second shoe, heartache, disrespect, health destroying stress, loneliness, and even vitriol (towards you, incl. sometimes by none other than the "love of your life"), coming in 2nd every.single.time.” Yet, there is really never any one big, huge episode where you can grab your DH’s face and stick his nose in it and say, “SEE!” and expect him or anyone else to get it. Instead, it is “death by a thousand paper cuts.” No one will ever get it until they have been there.

    Too many people out there will never see you as a wife, much less try to see anything from your angle, a SM’s angle. SMs need to learn to use the word NO. Use it often and use it well. And, most importantly, don’t feel any guilt for saying NO. Truly, it is everyone else who should be feeling the guilt for not respecting your role as a wife, your husband’s wife. Only hang out with people who have no problem with you being married to the man you are.

  • Donna Natale
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    i'm dealing with this right now. over the past 12 years, I have had many problems including but not limited to, death threats from both his ex and daughter. AND FOR THE RECORD, I DID NOT END THEIR MARRIAGE!! She left him, and her kids, for another man. Fast forward, now his son is getting married on an island, and the happy couple are expecting us to travel to a foreign land for their wedding and be subjected to a gang of drunken low lifes who have NO boundaries!! LOL My husband stands by me........WE WILL NOT BE ATTENDING!!!!

  • colleenoz
    4 years ago

    Good move.

  • Sunny Daze
    4 years ago

    just now

    Sadly my husband of 12 years & I have experienced a lot of the same disrespectful treatment at weddings, graduations & holiday gatherings from my husbands adult daughter & 2 adult sons. I am “the best bonus mom ever” when a check or party is needed but once it’s cashed, I am part of the wallpaper in the room. After being asked by my SD for her college graduation party at our house, lots of cooking, cleaning & paying for all the food, plus our gift included a cruise for my SD & her friend, when it came time to thank everyone in the room, she left me totally out & only barely said a word to me the whole day.

    It was embarrassing & everyone noticed the snub including my husband who said nothing about it. It felt like someone knocked the air out of me. I was on an island by myself & questioned my sanity. It happened 3 years ago & I still feel that empty feeling when I think about it. I was blind sided !

    This treatment kept happening & then she snubbed my husband & pulled a “no show” on visiting us when she was in town & only warmed up to us when she needed money for her wedding after we paid her entire bachelors & law school schooling. My husband always made excuses for her & had no backbone to speak up or confront her about it until now. He told her our budget to contribute to her wedding was $10,000 & she flipped out on us.

    We were treated like strangers at her wedding & I was not included in any of the photos after the ceremony & my husband was not asked to walk the aisle or the dance at the reception. It was awful. We flew 3000 miles to be mortified.

    No one would talk to us, the other adult step kids & their spouse families turned on us, god knows what she told everyone.

    I vowed that was the last time I would put myself in that situation. I didn’t deserve it & was not going to put up with it.

    After a separation & marriage counseling for over a year, my husband finally “gets it “ He actually stands up for me & for “us” now & spoke up with “his voice” to step daughter & 2 sons (who did what she said like robots) & now none of his 3 adult children, 35, 33, 31 speak to us for over 2 years...except to ask for money now & then, which my husband says NO & we are done financing their lifestyles & gets off the phone promptly. He is furious.

    We retired & sold the house & moved to another state. We bought another house & travel a lot & are much happier & life goes on for everyone... we never wanted it this way, but did not want to live like doormats anymore. We now live our lives for ourselves & our golden years will not be wrapped around these disrespectful adult kids & just waiting for bread crumbs anymore.

    My advice is to not give in to guilt, depression or enabling entitled adult kids. The best thing you can do is to get on with your life together & make your marriage priority & do all the things that make you happy.

    Time does make it better. Miles apart is a wonderful thing. Life does get brighter & you do feel lighter without it. We stopped obsessing over it.

    You all are strong, giving & loving step mothers & I wish you all strength & wisdom & I hope your husbands realize that their marriage & you is what is most important for their successful future now.

    Hope this helps !

    Karen Peltier thanked Sunny Daze
  • Karen Peltier
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Best advice ever: "My advice is to not give in to guilt, depression or enabling entitled adult kids. The best thing you can do is to get on with your life together & make your marriage priority & do all the things that make you happy."

    Thank you so much for that reminder! Best of luck to you. Best of luck to all of us SMs who settled for years being treated just like part of the wallpaper in the room, finally woke up, and then either went our separate ways or somehow managed to have a Coming to Jesus moment with DH that finally opened his eyes.

    Yes, as a SM, I too tend to wonder what SKs tell others in order to justify their misguided ways or to get others to jump on their malign bandwagon. More than likely they are going with the stereotyped Evil SM scenario, where SM is nothing but a gold-digger and controlling and manipulating dad to the max. (apparently, by putting some sort of mind control dust on his cereal every morning or such). But, I've come to realize that none of that matters. At the end of the day, what you see is what you get. Animals even realize this. They would never keep going to someone looking for some kind of hand-out when that person kicks 'em in the mouth just about every time or even every other time they approach.

    Best advice is to do as you say: Not give in to guilt, depression or enabling entitled adult kids. The best thing you can do is to get on with your life together & make your marriage priority & do all the things that make you happy.

  • Donna Natale
    4 years ago

    I am in this EXACT same situation. Step daughter and bio mom NEVER gave me a chance. Was not invited to step daughters wedding. Had death threats put on me. Bio mom cheated on my husband several times long before I ever entered the picture and yes, they were divorced before I met him. Nonetheless, step daughter hates me and bio mom sides with her. Step son is getting married next year. I am invited to this one but hell no, I am not walking into a lion's den. I AM NOT GOING AND NEITHER IS MY HUSBAND. Someone needs to put step daughter in her place otherwise this relationship is doomed FOREVER. Not going and not concerned about it. You need to let it go. She will NEVER like you. Stop trying. Your husband should be by YOUR SIDE through this and he should not go either. PERIOD


  • Sunny Daze
    4 years ago

    I want to take a moment & Thank you all for your excellent advice & for your loving support, it means the world to me ! I was feeling so alone & now I feel like I have found a bunch of awesome sisters who really get it !! I finally know now that what I was feeling all these years is REAL. I thank you all for sharing & hope my experiences can help you as well.

    Being a step mom is the hardest job I have ever had & no one warned me of the shark infested waters I was about to jump into. I was in my early 40’s when I met my husband & I was very happy & totally successful & independent. My husband was divorced 6 years when I first met him. We married after dating 3 years. I welcomed my 3 step adult kids with open arms & open heart. At our wedding I stood up & gave a toast on how lucky I was to find a lovely man with such nice loving children. Boy, I was so naive !

    It started out slowly, I was so busy trying to feel accepted & approved by the adult kids that I let some disrespectful things slide & my husband never stood up for me. I was on an island, felt like I had no ally. The big wake up call was the terrible experiences at my SD wedding.

    After 12 years we have boundaries set up & I finally have the full emotional support of my husband. He truly has my back.

    I strongly believe that going through past events & letting my husband see with his own eyes & ears how I was snubbed & dis-respected by his adult kids really helped. My husband finally got it when his son texted & emailed a nasty rant against me. My SS actually thought my husband was going to side with him. My SS continued the rants over the phone & when my husband called him out on it & told him enough. He stopped making excuses for bad behavior & stood up for me & for us as a team. Ladies, miracles happen ! This was literally what saved our marriage. I was so done & he knew it.

    My husband finally found his backbone & grew a pair & told them all that disrespecting me was a direct hit to him & he was not having it anymore. He said we will not attend any more events & to leave us alone & let us have some peace. He said that we are retired now & have done enough for them and now living out our golden years in complete freedom & peace ! That was 2 years ago....and counting. We are happier now than we have been in years.

    This is what we have learned:

    Learn the immediate power of these two words “No Thanks”

    It never occurred to me that I could choose not to attend, after all the dread & fear of years of events that I felt like I had to attend and endure the dis-respect, I am finally at peace. We are finally happy & no one family member will take that away from us ever again. I had to “let it go” & truly let go of what other people think...this was a huge growth moment for me. I truly don’t care what other people say, they are not walking in my shoes & wont understand it until they do.

    We are fine, truly happy & the stress is in the rear view mirror now & knowing we are not creating anymore dreadful bad experiences with these toxic family members is a huge relief.

    i actually look forward to the future now & we plan our lives around what we want to do & keep positive people around us that lift us up.

    It’s liberating & fabulous !

    You are all strong, intelligent, loving women & deserve respect, peace & light.

    love you guys !

  • Donna Natale
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    So happy to hear that your husband stands by you. That's the key. When your husband has your back, the step kids paint themselves into a corner by not accepting us FOR NO GOOD REASON and they end up losing their father in the process. You are never alone and it is very real. In fact, there is a saying, "never date a man with a daughter" It's sad, but I believe the root is jealousy and being coddled as they grew up, only to become a narcissist in their adulthood. That's not our problem.

  • Sunny Daze
    4 years ago

    Thank you Donna, yes I have heard that too: "never date a man with a daughter" In fact, when we were just spending time with my husbands 2 adult sons, it was so peaceful & just a nice pleasant time ! We really felt a huge difference & no drama or stress was around us like it was when his adult daughter was there. I noticed when we would go out to dinner & the waiter would put the check next to my husband & His adult sons would all pull out their wallets to pitch in & she just sat there & never touched her wallet. One time she reached over me & grabbed the check & signed my husbands name & filled out the tip & total & handed my husbands visa back to him. I was furious & told my husband to not allow her to treat you like that. We were just dating then, I knew then I was going to have to speak up one day & hoped my husband would back me. Thank God he did, or this would be a very different ending. I would not stay in a marriage & feel like a doormat & have to stand quietly behind my husband while he gets dis-respected by anyone, family or not.

    Thank you for saying I am never alone & this is very real. My hope is that every stepmom out there that is struggling with these issues has a good support system & finds us to vent & just be listened to means the world.

  • Donna Natale
    4 years ago

    Good for you Sunny. I am happy to hear you re at peace with it and you realize IT IS NOT YOU!!! but most importantly your husband sees it and it is not in denial. If you ever need to vent, hit me up on Facebook, I'd be happy to share stories with you.

  • Southern Summer
    4 years ago

    “Never date a man with a daughter” was true in my case, as well. She was the other woman in our marriage. Finally, after years of abuse, my husband quit making excuses for her horrible behavior after her wedding. Now we lead separate lives, thank God.

  • Sunny Daze
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Thanks Donna, We don’t use FB, We have moved & carved out a quiet nice private life after retirement, We both retired from busy retail jobs dealing with public & people for 40 years. Social media was too much with all the family drama, we dropped out & got our MUCH needed privacy. Let me know what a good email is for you & we can yak or just stay here on this venue. I would love to hear your stories, it helps not keeping it all bottled up !

  • Sunny Daze
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I’m so glad you found peace Southern Summer ! I know it’s not the way we all visualized our blended families to be, but we had no choice but to separate & RE-gain our marriage back. I know that feeling & I am so glad your husband realized what was happening & found his way back to your marriage as priority & backed you, his wife, his future.

    I’m so glad to have connected with other SM’s who get it.

    Have a great day & keep smiling, there is a great life out here for all of us !

  • Sunny Daze
    4 years ago

    Thank you Donna, I saved your email for future venting sessions ! Lol It’s been 2 years of peace & quiet, no contact & after what we have been through, we love it.

    Do you have other family members reaching out to you ? Turning against you ? Or do they stand by you ? Just wondering...

  • HU-730924163
    4 years ago

    my husband finally had a backbone after years of abuse and slander from my SD directed towards both of us. it has been peaceful without her. but now she informed my h that she is having a baby, and now he wants to forget all of the past torturous years and be involved in her life. I have told him that my stance has not changed at all, and he can do what he wants, but leave me out of it.

  • colleenoz
    4 years ago

    Fair enough, life is too short to put up with people who give you the irrits.


  • Southern Summer
    4 years ago

    The peace I have found is worth everything I gave up.

  • Raphaël Tétreault-Boyle
    last year

    Technically you are according to science supposed to be a monster fogure to your stepson so no

    do not attend it

  • Anne
    last year

    I have a different view. My husband and I both had adult kids when we met. I am not sure his youngest who is a woman likes me. She has children now. I show up for every thing. It can be awkward but I go and stand back.. I am showing my support of my husband. I love her but she isn'e obligated to love me. Her children will know I love them.

    I know it's an old thread but I would absolutely go to the wedding and if pushed to the side...ok> peoplpe will see