Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Shortcuts: “I Wasn’t Invited to My Stepdaughter’s Baby Shower”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

I didn’t get an invitation to my fiancé’s daughter’s baby shower. The mother is the one who sent the invitations. My fiancé asked his daughter about it and she said she had given her mother our address. I did receive an invite yesterday by text. From my fiancé’s daughter. I then got a call from his ex-wife saying she thought she mailed it. She also said baby showers aren’t fun anyway. I am hurt I wasn’t invited. Please help me make sense of this. — Only Invited by Text


Your fiance’s ex-wife probably didn’t care if you were at the shower or not and so didn’t send an invitation or conveniently “forgot” to send one. It sounds like your fiance’s daughter would like you there (she gave your address to her mother and she texted you when she learned you didn’t receive a regular invitation), and so, if you are up for it, go for her benefit and the benefit of your relationship with her. Be cordial to her mother and try to enjoy the shower even though “showers aren’t fun anyway.”

(Update: I received a reply from the LW after I sent her my advice and she said: “I’m not going. I wouldn’t feel right. Why, when things like this happen, do we have to turn the other way and be the better person? I know I’m so much better, but I’m not doing what makes others feel good — not this time.” So mature. What a great way to kick off a relationship with her soon-to-be stepdaughter).

I started dating this guy two years ago, and six months ago we moved in together. He’s met my entire family, including my children, but I have yet to meet his grown children. He says it’s because when we first started going out, about two months into our relationship, I blew him off to talk to my ex after hearing that he was suicidal. I knew it was a mistake, but he’s the father of my child. And I guess at the time I was concerned. Anyway, he says that I hurt him so badly that he’s making me pay for it — that he is still not over the pain I caused him. I’ve apologized and admitted that I was wrong, but he still throws this in my face occasionally. What can I do for him to feel secure enough to let me in and share his family with me? — Wrong to Check on Suicidal Ex

 
Um, yeah, you WERE NOT WRONG to check on your child’s suicidal father, and your boyfriend is being an immature, uncompassionate dickwad. Why on earth did you move in with him?! Honestly, if I were you, I’d re-evaluate the whole entire relationship, move out, and find someone who behaves like a civil and loving human being. But if you decide to stay with him, you need to accept that he’s just an asshole, that there’s probably another reason you haven’t met his family, and that, sooner or later, you’re going to find out the truth and it won’t be pretty.

I’m in a relationship with a man who is nice and has a lot to offer, but I’m not in love with him. I have a child with him and we can be co-parents and best friends, but I don’t love him enough to spend my life with him. Now I’m in love with a young man who made some bad choices by selling drugs and carrying concealed weapons when he was younger. So he’s a felon who does not have much to offer, but we love each other very much. I’m confused as to what I should do: be with the man who’s provided for and loved me, or be with the one who has a bad rap and cannot provide but with whom I’m in love? — In Love with a Felon


 
Neither. But since you will probably ignore that advice, at the very least keep the felon away from your kid, quit relying on other people to provide for you and your child, and provide for yourself.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

43 comments… add one
  • LadyinPurpleNotRed

    LadyinPurpleNotRed October 3, 2014, 8:05 am

    LW1: You’re not turning the other way. The daughter isn’t the one who fucked things up–it was her mother. Going would show up her mother and make you look like the bigger person. Now you’re just a whiny toddler who is giving the mother ammo to show how badly you behave and how you shouldn’t be invited to things in the future because you can’t handle it.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      d2 October 3, 2014, 8:13 am

      Yep. I think you have this one backwards LW1. By not going, you hurt the daughter (who apparently does want you there) and reward the mother (who apparently doesn’t want you there).

      Reply Link
      • fast eddie

        fast eddie October 3, 2014, 8:52 am

        Jez d2, what flavor vinegar did you put on your corn flakes this morning?

        Link
      • FireStar

        Firestar October 3, 2014, 11:04 am

        Sarcasm? Because what’s wrong with what she/he said?

        Link
  • avatar

    Muffy October 3, 2014, 8:25 am

    Geez, maybe the ex wife was right not to want to invite you if this is how childish you react when your stepdaughter invites you instead of receiving a “proper” invitation. If you think the ex-wife did it on purpose you basically have just let her “win”

    Reply Link
  • gigi

    gigi October 3, 2014, 8:33 am

    LW1 WEES
    LW2 MOA, like 2 years ago! What an insensitive, manipulative ass-clown.
    LW3 Um ……. wow. Put your child’s welfare first & consider letting the father have custody.

    Reply Link
  • mrmidtwenties

    mrmidtwenties October 3, 2014, 8:34 am

    LW1- You’re being ridiculous, sure the mother slighted you, but the daughter wants you there, take the couple of hours out of the day to go and build a good relationship with the daughter, since she is the one that matters.
    LW2- Really? Why would you move in with that bag of turds. You were not wrong to talk to your ex, and even if you were (you aren’t), if he can’t move on from that, like 2 years later, that’s probably not the only thing he’s holding onto and that’s messed up.
    LW3- Propose a 3-way relationship between you, the felon, and the nice guy and see how it works. The nice guy can support you and the felon, and you know…the felon can hide guns and drugs all over the house?

    Reply Link
  • kare

    kare October 3, 2014, 8:50 am

    LW2: it’s really weird this guy is “punishing” you for something that happened almost 2 years ago. Plus it sounds like youb were doing the correct, compassionate thing. Do you really want to be with someone who is going to give you a two year long punishment every time he thinks you’ve made a mistake? What happens when you actually make a mistake? What a creep.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Jax October 3, 2014, 8:50 am

    LW1 – You should go, with a nice gift and a happy attitude. It’s a baby shower for your step daughter, this is an even you’ll regret not going to.

    LW2- Have you thought about ditching this jerk? Just a thought.
    LW3 – Is this real? Like, sorry you don’t love the father of your child, but I don’t think a young felon is really the way to go.

    Basically – what everyone else said!

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    jbk80 October 3, 2014, 9:03 am

    LW2: Any guy who goes out of his way to be mean is not long-term relationship material. It’s one thing to accidentally hurt your feelings, but this guy wants you to suffer. That’s bad. He’s also a grudge-holder (red flag number 2). People like this usually don’t change for the better, so you should consider cutting your losses. I suspect that if you dump him, you will find that suddenly you feel much better about life because he won’t be there dragging you down.

    Reply Link
    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom October 3, 2014, 10:00 am

      She’s let him convince her that she made a mistake by being concerned about her child’s suicidal father and then uses that to manipulate her. It makes me wonder what other correct things she does that he convinces her are wrong. I think he’s hiding something and he finds her “mistake” a convenient excuse to cover whatever he’s hiding. Maybe she hasn’t met his kids because they refuse to have any contact with him. We do know he’s a manipulative jerk so his kids may have nothing to do with him.

      Reply Link
  • something random

    something random October 3, 2014, 9:06 am

    LW1- Don’t go. Baby showers are about the mother-to-be and her child, you would make the whole thing about you.

    Seriously though, if you want to be a loving supportive spouse to your fiancé, don’t hold grudges and be cold to his daughter and grandchild. If you don’t go, make up a reasonable excuse and tell step-daughter you would love to treat her to lunch to celebrate her and her baby. Bring a nice gift.

    Reply Link
    • something random

      something random October 3, 2014, 9:15 am

      Your best bet is really is to go, though. Its fine to feel miffed, its wrong to feed and indulge slighted feelings. Whatever comfort it brings you, you are mostly punishing yourself by not trying to move past this.

      Reply Link
    • avatar

      artsygirl October 3, 2014, 10:48 am

      My only argument about not going is because the host (the ex) has made it pretty clear in a very passive aggressive way that the LW is not welcome. That being said, because the LW made a big deal out of not getting invited which resulted in multiple phone calls – it would look like (correctly I might add) that she is having a hissy-fit if she did not show up. Seriously, this is not about you – it is about your stepdaughter and her child. She has been very kind and reached out to you personally insuring that you were invited and would feel welcome. No matter what, cough up a really nice gift and be extremely gracious.

      Reply Link
      • something random

        something random October 3, 2014, 3:05 pm

        Exactly, lw made it clear her feelings were hurt. Not going now, after all the fuss would look small. More importantly it would BE small. It would be giving this slight WAY too much power. Think how much more would it say about the letter writer if she would to show up and be the most pleasant, giving, fun version of herself. It would be such a better experience and story for the letter writer. Instead of feeling vindicated, she could feel really good about herself.

        Link
  • avatar

    Ladybug October 3, 2014, 9:20 am

    LW1–WWS, WEES. Snubbing your future stepdaughter, who obviously wants you to come, isn’t going to solve anything. Maybe your lack of an invite was a genuine mistake, or maybe it was a passive-aggressive bit of bitchiness on the mother’s part. If you think it’s the latter, look at it this way–by staying home, you’re giving the mother exactly what she wants.

    LW2–The fact that your boyfriend is still “punishing” you for something that happened two years ago is disturbing in any context, but when it’s over something that any reasonable person would understand, like checking on your child’s father during a crisis, it starts to raise some red flags. At best, this guy is incredibly selfish and emotionally manipulative. And that can escalate into outright emotional abuse. MOA before it gets worse.

    LW3–WWS.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Elin October 3, 2014, 9:32 am

    Super-sleuth Elin, here.
    Chiming in about LW2 and how she mentions her boyfriend has met her “children” and then says her ex is the father of her “child” thus indicating her other child(ren) are with other men. So it sounds like she’s settled on men who ultimately aren’t right for her on more than one occasion.
    Get it together gurl. Leave the jerk before you make a kid this time.
    .
    Sorry guys, I’m feisty today.

    Reply Link
  • Miel

    Miel October 3, 2014, 9:48 am

    LW2: I don’t understand how somebody can be mad at you for checking on a suicidal person, almost any person really, the father of your kid even less. And I can’t understand how someone can be that mad because you blew him off. That’s like a few hours of his life that he won’t get back… he just needs to move on! What’s that grudge he’s holding like that? Who still wants “revenge” two years later for such a small thing ?
    Are we in a Quentin Tarantino movie or something ? “Revenge is not a straight line, it’s a forest”… so I’m going to hide my kids from my girlfriend for the next decade ! MWAHAHAHA !

    Reply Link
    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom October 3, 2014, 10:10 am

      I think he’s hiding something. Either he has no contact with his kids and doesn’t want her to know that or he’s afraid his kids would mention things about him that he doesn’t want her to know. Maybe he has restraining orders against him by previous girlfriends, or he was in prison, or he’s cheated on all of his previous girlfriends. Maybe he never paid child support and his kids hate him or he abused them. Whatever it is, he doesn’t want the LW to know about it and he’s keeping her away from the kids.

      Reply Link
      • Miel

        Miel October 3, 2014, 12:10 pm

        That’s too reasonable Skyblossom. That’s why you are not Quentin Tarantino.

        Link
  • avatar

    Laura Hope October 3, 2014, 9:58 am

    LW3–Every woman I know who’s attracted to “bad boys” ends up alone or miserable. You get the rush but ultimately, the crash. You need to reboot your brain. I promise you good guys can be very sexy.

    Reply Link
  • Amanda

    Amanda October 3, 2014, 9:59 am

    LW1 – In the update you asked why do we have to turn the other way and be a better person. Because that’s what being an adult is. It’s treating people with respect – even when you don’t want to. Also, you haven’t even joined your fiancé’s family yet. Is this really the hill you want to die on?

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Cleopatra Jones October 3, 2014, 10:19 am

    LW 1- Go to the damn shower and stopping acting like a whiny brat. “I didn’t get a paper invitation, like everyone else so they must not want me there. wah wah wah”. Honestly, the mother probably didn’t want you there but if the daughter invited you, then go.
    FWIW, I hate when people say ‘my stepdaughter/son’ when you married their parent when they were an adult. Stepparent to me implies you had a hand in raising her and you didn’t.
    .
    LW2- That dude is a grade A- asshat. Dump him and move on, like yesterday. That shit he said sounds abusive and controlling. Nothing good will come of that relationship.
    .
    LW3- That’s a lot of drama, right there. It sounds like one of those really bad urban ‘romance’ novels. Don’t do it because it always ends badly. There’s nothing inherently wrong dating a man who got into trouble in his youth, so I’m not knocking you for that. The question you have to ask yourself, ‘has he changed?’, ‘what is he doing with his life and what are his career goals?’ Because if the answer is nothing has changed and he’s still doing the same stuff that landed him in jail. Then it’s going to be a long painful road for you.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      ChemE October 3, 2014, 10:32 am

      What else would you call them?

      Reply Link
      • avatar

        MissDre October 3, 2014, 10:45 am

        I used to just always say “My mom’s husband” when referring to her husband because even though I liked the guy, he didn’t come into my life til I was 22 years old. So it felt weird to call him “step dad”.

        Link
      • avatar

        Cleopatra Jones October 3, 2014, 11:56 am

        It does feel weird (and annoying). I had this same discussion with my sister about a month ago. I saw my mother’s ex-husband (she passed away a few years ago) and he weirdly keeps telling people that he is our step-dad.
        .
        I was 25 when he married my mom and I’m the youngest of my siblings! So I gave him some big time side-eye as he awkwardly introduced me to his new wife. In my head I was screaming, ‘marriage to my mother does not make you my father. It made you her husband.’ Then I mentally chocked him the deuces and rolled out. 🙂
        .
        In reality though, I awkwardly shook her hand and said, ‘oh, there’s so-and-so I haven’t seen her in a long time. Let me go say hi. It was nice meeting you.’ Then got out of there.

        Link
      • Ika

        Ika October 3, 2014, 10:47 am

        She could just say “fiancé´s daughter”. My parents divrced when I was in my 20s, and I refer to their new spouses as mum´s husband or dad´s wife (when talking to people that don´t know them)

        Link
  • avatar

    ktfran October 3, 2014, 10:23 am

    Wendy, your responses were awesome today! The perfect amount of snark to a lot of WTF’s. Thanks for the smile.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Sunshine Brite October 3, 2014, 10:29 am

    LW1 – How jerkish to not go when it’s clear that your stepdaughter meant to have you there. For all you know it was your mailman’s fault.
    *
    LW2 – Stop dating people who punish you.
    *
    LW3- WWS

    Reply Link
  • bagge72

    bagge72 October 3, 2014, 10:31 am

    I haven’t even read the other ones yet, but that is a terrible update. You aren’t going to the baby shower to turn the other cheek, and be the better person, you are going because your soon to be step daughter actually wanted you there, and that is the person that counts, not her mother. Now you are just going to build a nice little bridge between you and her. It’s just foolish that you are putting your feelings about her mother in front of your feelings about her.

    Reply Link
    • bagge72

      bagge72 October 3, 2014, 10:33 am

      I don’t even want to comment on the other two after reading them.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    haggith October 3, 2014, 10:40 am

    LW1: maybe your childish behavior (are you 12?) is the reason why your fiancee’s ex might not have sent you the invite; and she’s right!
    LW2: Is he related to the LW1’s fiancee’s ex? they should meet; they are probably the same emotional age. However, this is a lame excuse not to introduce you to his children; I smell something fishy
    LW3: maybe the site needs a “if you have to choose between two people, choose neither” neither.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      haggith October 3, 2014, 10:41 am

      *neither = banner

      Reply Link
  • findingtheearth

    findingtheearth October 3, 2014, 10:41 am

    LW3- How long ago were the felon’s convictions? Has he cleaned himself up, remained law abiding, reached out to programs that will assist felons in attending college and getting good jobs. Just because someone committed a crime does not mean they should be disregarded. However, you also have a child and need to think about her safety first before worrying about which male is your match made in heaven.

    LW1- Call your to-be stepdaughter and accept the invite. Attend and have fun. Do this for your relationship with her, not some weird slight by the mother. It will be more beneficial in the long run.

    LW2- WWS

    Reply Link
  • honeybeenicki

    honeybeenicki October 3, 2014, 10:44 am

    LW1 – I know everyone else has said this already, but I don’t think it can be said enough. It appears that your future step-daughter wanted you there. It seems like either it was an honest mistake or a passive-aggressive move on her mother’s part that you weren’t invited. You say you refuse to do what makes others (your stepdaughter!) feel good this time. That’s terrible. And I’m only thankful that your stepdaughter is likely an adult so she won’t have to put up with this petty bullshit in her formative years. I would NEVER miss one of my bonus kids’ events to spite their mother. Never. They mean the world to me and that’s what’s important. The fact that my husband’s ex-wife doesn’t like me isn’t my problem. All that matters is that I love those children and will be there for them and have proven it. And now I’m angry.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    artsygirl October 3, 2014, 11:04 am

    IMHO
    LW1 – Your pregnant stepdaughter has bent over backwards to make you feel welcome at HER baby shower. Maybe her mother intentionally did not mail the invite, maybe it did really get lost in the mail – who knows and who cares. You have made a scene and now you are obligated to go to the shower. When you do, remember it is not about you or even your fiance’s ex – rather it is about your stepdaughter and her child. Be nice, bring a good gift, and at least pretend that you are enjoying yourself.

    LW2: Your ex was in a serious crisis. If your new partner is unwilling to understand why you blew him off TWO FUCKING YEARS AGO and is still upset then he has the emotionally maturity of a middle schooler. Make an exit strategy and move out ASAP.

    LW3: If you are struggling to choose between two partners then the answer is likely you should not be with either. You are taking advantage of the father of your child by asking him to provide material and emotional support even though you admit you no longer have feelings for him. Does he know this? Is he aware you are pursuing a relationship with another man? You need to break up with him and continue to co-parent but not lead him on thinking that your relationship is more than you want it to be. As for the felon – I am a true believer that people can be rehabilitated. Unfortunately it sounds like you have misgivings on his willingness to walk the straight and narrow. While not the easiest way, many felons can overcome their record and get degrees with good paying jobs. It doesn’t sound like this is happening with your ‘young man’.

    Reply Link
  • Guy Friday

    Guy Friday October 3, 2014, 11:12 am

    LW1: Rather than echoing what everyone said — because it’s 100% true, and you’re 100% wrong — let me just say that if I were your fiance and you did what you say you’re going to do, I’d probably pause the marriage planning to revisit whether it was worth building a life with you. That may sound harsh to some, but stop and think about this situation for a second. His daughter is having a baby, the invites went out and you weren’t included, and he calls his daughter, who says “I don’t know what’s going on; I gave Mom the address” and then reaches out to you herself to say “I want to invite you.” I’ve lost count of the number of letters published on this site or in the forums by step-parents who BEG for help figuring out a way to be loved and accepted and included by their significant other’s families (particularly their kids!) and would kill for the chance to be where you are right now. And you’re going to slap the extended hand away? If I’m him, I wonder whether I’m seeing your true colors here, and if this is what I have to look forward to in all future family interactions, and whether I have to choose between my daughter and my wife, and it may seem like more effort than it’s worth.
    .
    Please, LW, read this essay from a month ago: http://dearwendy.com/getting-personal-his-first-wifes-family-are-my-accidental-in-laws/ . Your fiance’s daughter is offering you this. Why would you turn that down?

    Reply Link
    • honeybeenicki

      honeybeenicki October 3, 2014, 11:29 am

      I agree with you completely. I couldn’t imagine acting this way. And you’re right – if I were him, I would re-evaluate what was going on in my relationship.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    Lucy October 3, 2014, 11:17 am

    LW1: All you’re doing is showing your fiance’s daughter that you can be just as juvenile, petty, and spiteful as her mother. So, way to go.
    LW2: Is your boyfriend maybe related to LW1? You can add punitive to the list of adjectives I used to describe her. I’d say he should be over this by now, but that would be dumb, because there isn’t actually anything for him to get over, other than himself. Dump this manchild and find someone who at least knows how to pretend to be a grownup.
    LW3: You are aware there are more than two men in the world, right? So maybe see if you can find one whom you care about who also isn’t a walking disaster.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Ele4phant October 3, 2014, 11:26 am

    LW1 go for your relationship with your soon to be stepdaughter. Sure the ex may not like you, but aside from big time events (like a baby shower) when you cross pass with the ex will be few and far between. The daughter will likely keep her relationships with her mother and her father (and you) pretty seperate on a day to day basis. So who cares if the ex doesn’t like you? You’ll hardly see her anyways.

    However, if you let this incident muck up your relationship with your fiancé’s daughter, that could seriously impact your own relationship with her father.

    Just suck it up, go, focus on keeping things good with the stepdaughter. Don’t give the ex a second thought

    Reply Link
  • kare

    kare October 3, 2014, 12:38 pm

    “I know I’m so much better” – no, not really. Not going to the baby shower after the guest of honor specifically asked you to be there doesn’t make you better than the host that may or may not have sent your invitation. At least she can blame the mail for you not receiving the invite, what possible excuse can you use for not going? Suck it up, buttercup and go.

    Reply Link
  • redessa

    redessa October 3, 2014, 2:15 pm

    LW – If your fiancé’s ex has otherwise treated you unkindly or is generally unstable, I could see your point. In that case, you tell the daughter that as much as you want to be there to support her, you don’t want to be the cause of a scene at her shower. Then you schedule a time for just the two of you to go out and celebrate the new baby. (You could take her out for a nice pedicure shortly before the baby arrives – since pregnant women often have a hard time take care of their feet.)

    But since that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Maybe her mom really would rather you not be there, but it doesn’t sound like she’s willing to make an issue of it and will keep the peace for her daughter’s sake. Which is how it should be. And which is how you should be acting too instead of sulking.

    LW 2 – He actually said he’s “making you pay” for this? I’ve been blown off. Sure, it can hurt your feelings. But when you find out it was because the other person was dealing with a FAMILY EMERGENCY (yes, I think your kid’s father counts as family – a least in a situation like this) you get over yourself and see if there’s anything you can do to help.

    If this guy sees a one time missed date as some massive insult, he should have broken up with you right then when you’d only been seeing each other a couple of months. To drag out such a minor thing for 2 years and for you to actually think YOU are the one who did something wrong baffles my mind.

    LW 3 – Yep, Neilther. Set guy #1 free to find someone who loves him as much as he deserves. And keep guys like #2 away from your child. If he’d used his past indiscretions as a wake up call, pulled himself together and made something of his life (a process that would have taken years) then I could see giving him a chance. But it doesn’t sound like he’s doing that, or it hasn’t been long enough to know yet. You said this happened when he was younger but then you refer to him as a “young man” meaning it couldn’t be all that far in the past. It’s not a risk I’d be willing to take as a mother. At least let your child’s father have custody if you’re going to go around with men like that.

    Reply Link
  • Kate B.

    Kate B. October 3, 2014, 3:10 pm

    LW1: you did get an invitation – from the daughter, whose party this is. Whether her mother left you out purposely or by accident is really irrelevant. The daughter wants you there, so consider yourself invited and go.

    Reply Link

Leave a Comment