Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I’m Afraid to Go to My Boyfriend’s Daughter’s Wedding”

wedding invitation

My boyfriend’s daughter, “Kelly,” is getting married and sent her dad and me an invitation. Her dad and I have a child together, a result of our extra-marital affair. My boyfriend’s ex, “Natalie,” of course, hates me and blames me for everything.

I recently found a text where she called me a slut and said that my three kids are retarded (my son, whom I had with my boyfriend, is autistic). I was so hurt when I discovered this text because it was there in black and white how much she hates me. At least Kelly shows me affection although for the past couple months since she moved with her mom she’s been very distant.

Anyway, Kelly invited me to her wedding. I want to go, but I’m afraid that I will be ridiculed or harassed because I was “the other woman.” And, at the same time, I want to go because I want to feel respected that my boyfriend and I are now a family and because the ex-wife needs to let it go and make peace. What should I do? — Proud and Ashamed

Were you really that surprised to learn that your boyfriend’s ex, whom he was still married to when you had an affair with him, isn’t your biggest fan? Why do you care? I doubt you were hoping to become besties with her and go shoe shopping and out to brunch, so what difference does it really make what she thinks of you? If you’re worried that her feelings about you might taint your relationship with Kelly, I’d say that you skipping Kelly’s wedding after she extended a personal invitation to you would have a much more damaging effect than anything Natalie might say about you.

Rather than make this wedding about you or about your need to be validated or prove to Natalie how you and your boyfriend are a family now, I suggest you focus on whom the event is really about: Kelly (and her spouse-to-be). If you care about her/your relationship with her and if you care about your boyfriend, you’ll suck it up and go to the wedding. If Natalie thinks her daughter’s wedding is the right time and place to harass you for some years-old affair you had with her ex-husband, be the bigger person and ignore her. She’ll only make herself look bad.

You’re very fortunate that your boyfriend’s daughter shows you affection and accepts you and likes you well enough to invite you to her wedding and to be a part of her life. Many “other women” — i.e. woman who had affairs with married men — aren’t as lucky to be accepted and loved by the children of the marriages they may have helped end. Isn’t the acceptance from the people closest to your boyfriend enough for you? Maybe it’s time for YOU to “let it go and make peace.” And you can do that by graciously accepting the wedding invitation and celebrating the daughter of the man you now call family.

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

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.

81 comments… add one
  • avatar

    cdobbs May 27, 2014, 9:06 am

    LW….please don’t let anything your boyfriend’s ex says affect you in any way….you should be able to go and enjoy his daughter’s wedding with your man by your side (you were invited!)….his ex sounds horrible! who would call a child that word! disgusting! my 3 year old nephew is autistic and if anyone ever said something so derogatory about him I would flip out on them! she is obviously hurt, but that is her issue now, all you can do is apologize for what happened and she can either choose to accept it or not (and no you do not have to have anything to do with her!)….the choice is yours whether to go or not….hopefully she would have enough class not to make a scene at someone’s wedding (but nothing surprises me anymore!) hope it all goes well!

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    • avatar

      cdobbs May 27, 2014, 1:14 pm

      how do I get thumbs down on this post? I seriously want to know from one of the people who gave me a thumbs down?

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      • avatar

        bethany May 27, 2014, 1:46 pm

        I didn’t downthumb you, but I’m guessing this sentence had something to do with it: “you should be able to go and enjoy his daughter’s wedding with your man by your side (you were invited!)….his ex sounds horrible! ”

        Even if his ex is horrible, flaunting “her man” around at the wedding and saying to have a great time seems a bit overkill for this woman.

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      • avatar

        cdobbs May 27, 2014, 2:39 pm

        ok, I just meant a wedding is a celebration….she was invited and should be able to go and enjoy herself….not flaunt the fact that you are dating the man who cheated on is ex, but she should be able to go and celebrate the moment with her boyfriend

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      • avatar

        cdobbs May 27, 2014, 2:43 pm

        I meant his ex sounds horrible because she called an autistic child retarded….but that doesn’t justify acting up or making a scene at a wedding (neither her nor the ex)…..adults should be able to go and celebrate the occasion and keep their personal problems on hold for the day…..if it sounded like I was saying she should go rub it in the ex’s face because she called the autistic child retarded, that wasn’t what I meant

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  • GatorGirl

    GatorGirl May 27, 2014, 9:13 am

    WWS. LW, this isn’t about you or Natalie. It’s about Kelly and her soon to be spouse, and they have invited you. GO! Enjoy such a wonderful celebratory occasion, and if Natalie chooses to be rude, be the bigger person. Walk away, change the subject, flat out ignore the remarks etc. Be polite and cordial to Natalie, and otherwise don’t pay her mind.
    .
    Also, It’s entirely possible that Kelly has been “distant” because she is f-ing busy planning a wedding, not another reason. So don’t make and assumptions/decisions/etc until post wedding when things have settled down.

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  • avatar

    bethany May 27, 2014, 9:39 am

    WWS. Go to the wedding.
    Also, if you’re concerned about anything happening, It might be a good idea to just think ahead about what you would do if Natalie tried to make a scene at the wedding, just so you aren’t surprised.

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  • lemongrass

    lemongrass May 27, 2014, 9:40 am

    I think his ex wife should not make a scene for the sake of her daughter but I think you are asking way too much when you say that you are now a family so she needs to let go of her feelings and respect that- clearly you did not give her that courtesy when you were fucking her husband so why are expecting her to make nice?

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    • Lyra

      Lyra May 27, 2014, 9:57 am

      Yeah I agree with this. Just because the LW and the ex husband have a kid together doesn’t mean the ex wife should just forgive and forget.

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    • avatar

      mertlej May 27, 2014, 10:15 am

      Totally agree – I guarantee, nothing will send your bf’s ex into a rage spiral like being told that she “needs to let it go.” Also, for the love of god, please don’t take this wedding as an opportunity to be all clingy and possessive and “SEE WE ARE A REAL COUPLE” about it. My dad and his wife (who was instrumental in breaking up my parents’ marriage) threw an almighty hissy fit about the fact that I didn’t have his wife walking down the aisle with the parents during the processional, because in their minds, this was a way to show how legit they were. It made things at the rehearsal reeeallllly awkward. Don’t make it about you.

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      • avatar

        Marcie May 27, 2014, 10:34 am

        Mertlej, really? I just cannot believe the lengths to which people will make other’s weddings about themselves.

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      • avatar

        mertlej May 27, 2014, 10:39 am

        Yeah, it took them a really long time to grasp the concept of “you may be married, but that doesn’t make you my parent”. And my mom really had to swallow a lot of hurt feelings in order to not make a scene, because she had been imagining these events as a big family event for years and years, and the reality was so different and uncomfortable and hurtful.

        Also, I can’t even tell you the number of times my dad and his wife said that everybody “needed to get over it.” They were happy, therefore everyone else should be too. Fast forward 3 years, they went through a really messy divorce, and now we aren’t even allowed to speak her name. Ha.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra May 27, 2014, 10:48 am

        Karma!

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki May 27, 2014, 10:58 am

        My ex-step-mother apparently started an argument with my grandparents (dad’s mom and dad) because I had my mom and dad walk me down the aisle but not her. Seriously?! She claims she “raised” me but she worked 3rd shift so all I ever remember was her yelling at me and my three younger siblings to be quiet because she was sleeping. I hated her from the moment I knew how to hate someone and she left my dad, claimed abuse (got really mad when she had her attorney call me and I wouldn’t back up her story) and moved in with her boyfriend. Why in the hell would I have her walk me down the aisle?! That’s ridiculous.

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      • avatar

        Scooze May 27, 2014, 11:10 am

        Good thing you didn’t let her be really involved in the wedding. I hope she’s not in every pic!

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      • avatar

        Marcie May 27, 2014, 12:37 pm

        My niece was a junior bridesmaid in my wedding 8 years ago. My bro and sis-in-law thought that her mom was invited also (they all basically hate each other) and called me and my parents and said they weren’t coming to the wedding if the mom was invited. It was the ONLY drama during all of my engagement. That’s fine if they didn’t show up. I would have never forgotten it and our relationship would have been more strained than it already is. NEWSFLASH – it’s not about you! Gah.

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    • avatar

      Marcie May 27, 2014, 10:33 am

      Lemon, you said what I wanted to.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph May 27, 2014, 9:43 am

    I would bet that Kelly had to go toe-to-toe with mom about putting you on the invite (I had to do the same with my mom over people I wanted to invite that she didn’t think I should, most notably we invited about 30 of various cousins’ kids and my mom was all “a wedding is no place for children”), so I think Gator Girl is right that Kelly isn’t being distant, just busy.

    You should definitely go, but not because you need to make you and your boyfriend a legitimate family but because you already are part of the family (whether the ex wife likes it or not) and families celebrate weddings with each other. If the ex wife or her friends/relatives want to start drama, be the bigger person and walk away.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest May 27, 2014, 9:56 am

    Um, if you want women to like you, don’t fuck their husbands.
    .
    This type of uncomfortableness at future family events is exactly what you signed up for, so deal with it.

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. May 27, 2014, 10:28 am

      Yep. She made her bed. Now she needs to lie in it.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 May 27, 2014, 11:36 am

      I wish I could give you a real life high five.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 27, 2014, 11:41 am

        Well then I guess I can let you know I’ve been parked outside your house since around midnight last night. Feel free to come out whenever for your high five!

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 May 27, 2014, 1:03 pm

        I’m at work all day ya creep, or I would bring you a warm beverage, and some cheese puffs.

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  • Miss MJ

    Miss MJ May 27, 2014, 10:04 am

    This seems like a lot of self-manufactured drama to me. Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but nothing here suggests that the LW’s BF’s ex has ever been publicly nasty to the LW. What I read is that the LW went snooping and saw a very unkind, but ultimately private and not meant for her eyes, text and has now hopped on the hysteria train of “The ex-wife of the man I got pregnant by while they were still married doesn’t like me, oh cruel world!” and is threatening to boycott the wedding and all manner of other crap Kelly probably didn’t sign up for when she extended a personal invitation to the LW to her wedding.
    .
    LW and repeat after me: “My boyfriend’s daughter’s wedding is not me. My boyfriend’s daughter’s wedding is not about my new family getting recognized or respect. My boyfriend’s daughter’s wedding is about her getting married. I am a guest and nothing more.” Because, honestly, you seem to be doing your damnedest to make your boyfriend’s daughter’s wedding about you and your drama with her mother and having people recognize your new family. Kelly invited you and has welcomed you into her life. Honor that and help her celebrate her wedding day by dropping your own issues and letting this wedding be about her and only her. Otherwise, after the wedding, you’re going to be writing in about how awful your boyfriend’s daughter is because she refused to introduce you as her father’s new family at her wedding or something and you feel disrespected.

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  • Copa

    Copa May 27, 2014, 10:18 am

    Huh. So, I agree with Wendy that you should go, try to have fun, and walk away from confrontation. BUT I also think that your boyfriend’s ex justifiably hates you — that’s what you get for fucking someone else’s husband. And if I were Kelly, I would probably tolerate you but not be “affectionate” toward you, and were I in her shoes, I’d probably not want you at my wedding because you were likely (at least part) of the reason her family changed.

    Also, I’m really curious about the texts you saw, LW. Who did the ex-wife text these things to? And how did you see them? Does it really take finding hateful texts to know with certainty that your boyfriend’s ex-wife doesn’t like you? I don’t imagine the ex-wife texting either the ex-husband/LW’s boyfriend or Kelly about this, sooo I’m just imagining LW going through extreme lengths to find this out then feeling hurt about what she went snooping for in the first place.

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    • Miss MJ

      Miss MJ May 27, 2014, 10:27 am

      If I had to guess, the ex probably texted the husband this stuff during a fight (yet another reason texting during an argument is a bad idea – unfortunate things said in the heat of the moment are preserved for posterity) and the LW was snooping through the ex-husband/BF’s phone. Either that or she went really nuts about it and went through a random mutually-known person’s phone or something. But that would be completely crazycakes, so benefit of the doubt, the LW went through the BF’s phone. Like we always say, if you’re going to snoop, be ready for what you’re going to find.

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    • Copa

      Copa May 27, 2014, 10:33 am

      Oh, AND — I guess I DO think that the ex-wife should get over it. But, LW, that has nothing to do with you. It’s something she should do for her own sake, not for yours or your family’s. It’s really not your concern whether or not she lets it go.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra May 27, 2014, 10:46 am

        I agree. She needs to let go for herself. If anyone holds a grudge for too long, it will eat away at them. I’m definitely guilty of that. Letting go of emotional baggage is so freeing.

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      • avatar

        Marcie May 27, 2014, 12:23 pm

        I’d say the ex-wife may have to accept reality, but I’m not sure I would ever really be able to let it go. Time may help it hurt less, but it will always be there. It’s not up to the LW to ensure that happens before the wedding. This is not about you, LW. Everyone at that wedding probably knows what happened between you and the bride’s dad. Don’t make this harder on the bride than it probably already is. If you go, be discreet and blend in.

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    • avatar

      bethany May 27, 2014, 11:55 am

      I’m with you. I can be quite spiteful, and if I were the daughter getting married, I can say with about 95% certainty that the LW wouldn’t have been invited to my wedding, and I’d also have my mom walk me down the aisle while my dad sat there and watched.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson May 27, 2014, 12:03 pm

        Hahahha. I like your style.

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  • Jess

    Jess May 27, 2014, 10:27 am

    Hmm. I’d talk with the boyfriend first to feel things out. Ideally, he should talk it over with Kelly to better understand the circumstances. I agree it’s surprisingly gracious for Kelly to extend the invitation but I wouldn’t automatically assume she’d be hurt if LW declined (especially if the decline was explained as a peace keeping gesture). Perhaps she felt obligate to include LW but would be relieved for her to gracefully bow out.

    Another factor missing here is how much time has gone by? I guess I feel that if a number of years have passed and/or LW was married or engaged, it would make more sense to go. If this situation is still fresh, I wonder if attending is the best move.

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    • Jess

      Jess May 27, 2014, 10:33 am

      As a footnote, one thing that comes to mind as I read everyone’s comments is how one decision can taint you forever. No matter how much regret LW may feel, no matter how hard she may try to make amends and make good on the new relationship, no matter how happy the ex ultimately becomes (remarriage, etc), she will ALWAYS be the marriage-wrecker, mistress, etc. It’s a hard yoke to bear, I’d think. Time will slowly smooth out the rough edges but it will always be there. Even as her kids become adults and learn the story of their upbringing, it will resurface. It’s one act (or series of acts!) that comes to define you.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra May 27, 2014, 10:39 am

        Exactly. This is something the LW is just going to have to deal with if she wants any sort of relationship with her boyfriend’s family. It was her decision to sleep with the husband. The ex wife will be around for all major events. Yeah it will be awkward, but that’s on the LW’s shoulders.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 27, 2014, 10:45 am

        Yea, this seems true from my experiences for sure. We’re almost 20 years out from this in my family, and people still have issues about it. (Not that I heard a hint of regret from this LW)

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      • Jess

        Jess May 27, 2014, 10:48 am

        Yeah. I agree that this situation sounds fresh and that our LW has not fully grasped the scope of the situation. I find it interesting though, intellectually, how something like this defines you even IF you turned your life around, you know? It’s a scarlet letter. You just can’t undo it.

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      • avatar

        SasLinna May 27, 2014, 12:56 pm

        I think this depends a lot on how the people involved behave though. If his ex-wife keeps talking about it, then yeah, it’s going to remain an issue forever. It’s also possible that at a certain point she’ll just stop caring and that no one will be interested in keeping the memories fresh.

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    • othy

      othy May 27, 2014, 11:52 am

      I think at least a few years have gone by since she started sleeping with him. Their child is old enough to be diagnosed with autism, which they usually don’t label until the kid is at least 2. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the ex-wife knew about it yet.

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  • Lyra

    Lyra May 27, 2014, 10:28 am

    I’m surprised you’re even invited to this wedding in all honesty.
    .
    Keep in mind this was the path that YOU made for yourself. You chose to sleep with your boyfriend while he was still married (a pretty shitty thing to do if you ask me). Yeah you had a baby with him, but I assume if he has a child who is old enough to get married he was with his wife for a LONG time. No the blame is not all on you for sleeping with him — he’s to blame too because it takes two to tango. BUT his ex wife has children with him so I would assume she will remain civil with him as much as it hurts her. That obviously makes you the target of her anger.
    .
    Yeah, it sucks but look at it from her perspective. The man who she loved and had children with and was married to is now with the “other woman”. How would that make you feel if you were her knowing that your ex husband was with the woman he had an affair with? How would you feel if you were in her shoes and you were trying to enjoy your daughter’s wedding knowing that your ex husband is there with the woman he cheated with?
    .
    In this case you chose this path. If you want any sort of relationship with your boyfriend’s family you’re going to deal with this drama and awkwardness.

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  • findingtheearth

    findingtheearth May 27, 2014, 10:34 am

    If you go, be kind. If she says something to you, say, “I am sorry you feel that way, but this is not the proper venue for a discussion on the matter.” And walk away.

    Don’t try to run the show and your husband and his ex wife, Kelly’s parent’s have their time with their daughter.

    My dad left my mom for another person. The other person made so many special events in my life, like college graduation, very painful because she would not “share” my dad or allow pictures of me with both of my parents.

    You can’t expect to be the good guy in this situation right now. Be thankful you were invited, be gracious, and be humble.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra May 27, 2014, 10:44 am

      That really sucks that the woman your dad left your mom for made your special events crappy. 🙁 I’m sorry you had to deal with that. Not allowing pictures with both parents? Talk about selfish…

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed May 27, 2014, 10:46 am

        I agree it does suck, but that’s also on the dad, not just the woman he left her for

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      • Lyra

        Lyra May 27, 2014, 10:54 am

        Oh I definitely agree. Crappy situation all around.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. May 27, 2014, 10:38 am

    Think of the spot that Kelly is in. She wants her dad to be there, because he’s her dad and she loves him. But, there’s this other woman, the one who contributed to the breakup of her parents’ marriage. Kelly is a better human being than me, because I wouldn’t invite her. If I were the LW, I would not go to this wedding. I would be too embarrassed.

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  • Crochet.Ninja

    Crochet.Ninja May 27, 2014, 9:45 am

    well of course you’re not the mother’s favorite person, and you never will be. ever. if you want to stay with this guy, you need to build up a thicker skin and get over it. you’re lucky you got an invitation to that wedding honestly. the daughter cares about you. you need to go to the wedding.

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  • avatar

    JoanJ May 27, 2014, 10:52 am

    Sad that I’m not at all surprised that no one has blamed the boyfriend at all (or thought to ask him what he feels is best here). #YesAllWomen will be blamed for being mistresses, while cheating guys (who we have no name for) will get off the hook and get to stay with the mistress (who doesn’t seem to have doubts about her boyfriend, though personally I’d be writing more along the lines of “should I stay with and/or trust the guy who cheated on his wife of many years with me, even though we have a kid together?”) The drama is there, but she didn’t cause it. He did. And it should be on him both to not bring it into his new relationship and to tell her what’s best in this situation, given that it’s his family in question.

    Sure, Natalie has a reason to be mad at the LW, but more reason to be mad at the husband! He’s the one who did something truly wrong. If it wasn’t the LW, it would have been someone else. I never blame the mistress unless I know for sure that she was aware there was a wife (which we have no proof of, and anyone who cheats on his wife is bound to be a liar). Even then, I always give her the benefit of the doubt. The homewrecker isn’t the other woman – it’s the guy who cheated, and would have with ANYONE, not just this particular lady.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest May 27, 2014, 10:55 am

      The boyfriend didn’t write in. Why would we talk to him?

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    • Lyra

      Lyra May 27, 2014, 11:04 am

      I actually touched on this briefly above — I think she is trying to maintain a civil relationship with the ex husband because of the fact that they have kids together. I’m sure she’s more than pissed at the man who used to be her husband, but I’ll bet she’s trying to remain as civil as possible. I’m guessing that’s one reason why the LW feels like the ex wife is so ticked at her. No, the LW isn’t the only one who is to blame — her boyfriend shoulders a lot of it.
      .
      In this particular situation though she’s basically asking how she can help the ex wife let this all go and respect her relationship with her boyfriend. That is what makes this crappy. The ex wife doesn’t owe her anything, and she most definitely shouldn’t be expected to just forgive and forget…

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    • katie

      katie May 27, 2014, 11:21 am

      WJS.
      .
      LW, personally i think this should be all on your boyfriend. it is his ex and current family, so he should be the one to say what you both should do, and to talk to his daughter about what is going on, and even talk to his ex about what is going on. i think you should have a much more detached view of this wedding, viewing it much more as a guest being invited out of obligation, even if you are well liked by the daughter. if you guys decide that you should go, go and be gracious and polite. thats it, that is your only job- letting your boyfriend take the leave in deciding the best course of action, and then being gracious and polite about it. making this wedding about you and your “statement” of being a family is almost as shitty as your boyfriend cheating on his wife, making another human being, and then leaving his wife. both are very selfish choices completely devoid of thoughts of the people who truly are hurt in the situation- first, your boyfriend, who should have thought of his wife, and then, you, who should be thinking about the bride and groom.
      .
      i dont think that you created this situation, but you do know what is going on. you know the circumstances, and you are agreeing to them by wanting to be with your boyfriend. if you want to continue a relationship with him, you are going to have to figure out some sort of detached pseudo relationship with his ex and current family.

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    • Copa

      Copa May 27, 2014, 12:11 pm

      I didn’t mention it in my comment above, but I DEFINITELY think he’s to blame, too.

      Maybe this is kinda unfair, but since I could never be with someone who started a relationship with me while he was committed to someone else even if I had NO idea until later — I’d be hurt that the relationship started with a ton of lies, and I’d be horrified to be with someone who could treat another person (someone he once loved, no less) with so much disrespect, and I’d be so turned off that someone could act with so little integrity — that it’s hard for me to NOT say that LW should have realized that staying with him meant she’d have to deal with the stigma, even if it’s NOT fair.

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      • avatar

        Kate B. May 27, 2014, 2:49 pm

        Why is it unfair? I feel as you do. I could not be in a relationship with someone who is committed to someone else. I also agree that the BF must share the blame. But why it is unfair to the LW? She went into this with her eyes wide open. She knew he was married and yet she slept with him anyway. She made a choice and now she must deal with the consequences. I think it’s absolutely fair that she receive the treatment she is receiving. Breaking up someone’s marriage is a crappy thing to do. If this man lied to her and convinced her he was single and then she found out he was married, I’d have a little more sympathy for her. Only if she walked away at that point. But she didn’t. I guess I don’t understand why people seem to think she should get off lightly.

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      • Copa

        Copa May 27, 2014, 4:15 pm

        Do we know she knew he was married? I think it’s unfair to lump people who went into relationships with good intentions only to discover that the person they’ve been dating is not single into the same category as anyone who knowingly has an affair with a married person. I don’t think the two are the same thing because in the former situation, the cheater is lying to everyone. I don’t think we know what the LW knew going into the relationship with her now-boyfriend. So yeah, from that perspective, I think it’s unfair to put so much blame on the LW. But, she’s also an adult and chose to stay with someone who, in my opinion, has weak moral character. And I don’t think it’s a huge leap of logic for the average person to assume that if you decide to stay with someone like that, you WILL be lumped into the same category as the “homewrecker” who went into the situation with full knowledge of the situation.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. May 27, 2014, 4:21 pm

        She states in her letter that her child is the result of an “our extra-marital affair”. That pretty much lays it to rest for me.

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      • Copa

        Copa May 27, 2014, 4:30 pm

        Well, yeah, but the fact that her kid is the product of an affair doesn’t change regardless of whether she found out the father was married the day the first met or the day she told him she was pregnant.

        Don’t get me wrong — I also assumed she knew he was married through the duration of their affair and have little sympathy for her notwithstanding because this letter rubbed me entirely the wrong way. But we don’t know for sure, so it IS unfair.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. May 27, 2014, 4:33 pm

        I think if that were the case, she would mention it in the letter, since that would change the whole situation in a lot of people’s minds. Then it would be unfair to blame her, but as it stands, I think she’s getting her fair share of blame here.

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    • Miss MJ

      Miss MJ May 27, 2014, 12:22 pm

      I do agree, but I kind of feel like who is to blame for the affair is not really the issue in the letter? Sure, he’s as much to blame for the mess as she is, but at the same time, he’s not the one who actively caused a shit storm and is now crying to us because the very person most hurt by said shit storm might be gossipy and mean because of that shit storm. The LW made her choices. Now she has to own the consequences of them. One of the consequences of being a participant in the break up of a marriage is that the ex-wife and her family and friends might not think you’re the nicest person out there. If the ex-husband wrote in crying about how unfair it was that the ex he cheated on doesn’t like him, we’d all say the same thing to him. It’s not about blame, per se; it’s about acknowledging that sometimes, some people understandably think you’re a shitty person and if you’re in that situation, you have to adjust your expectations accordingly.

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  • avatar

    JoanJ May 27, 2014, 10:56 am

    LBH, I didn’t say anyone should talk to him anywhere in my comment. I’m on my phone so can’t reply directly.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest May 27, 2014, 10:59 am

      You said you were surprised none of us were blaming him, but I saw no reason to address him since he wasn’t the one writing in. I totally agree he’s to blame too, if not more though.

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  • avatar

    JoanJ May 27, 2014, 10:57 am

    Ah, I see the confusion. No.LW should ask him what to do, not us.

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  • avatar

    Laura Hope May 27, 2014, 11:00 am

    When the ex wife called you a slut, she was being kind. A person can sleep with as many people as they want with absolute integrity. What you (and your husband) did was sneaky, dishonest and selfish. It is possible to end a marriage cleanly (or at least be up front about one’s unhappiness and intentions). You might want to consider how you would feel about your husband’s new wife attending your daughter’s wedding. I’m not saying you shouldn’t go. But I think you need an attitude adjustment.

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    • avatar

      ktfran May 27, 2014, 11:38 am

      “You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it ok for guys to call you sluts and whores.”

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. May 27, 2014, 11:14 am

    JoanJ, I hold both parties equally responsible. If the husband had written in, I’m sure he’d be getting ripped just as bad.

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  • Amanda

    Amanda May 27, 2014, 11:54 am

    LW, I’m not going to jump all over you for the decision(s) you made. You’re a grown ass woman who had an inkling of the consequences they would bring. You certainly don’t need me to address them. I do think that what Natalie said about your children was out of line – there was no need to attack them.
    .
    If you want to go to the wedding, go. Go to support Kelly. Do not go because you want to prove you’re part of the family. That is not your job here. Your job is to show up, smile, be supportive and civil. That is it. And if you don’t think you can do that, do NOT go. Because I can guarantee that as bad as being the other woman is, being the other woman AND the one who ruined the daughter’s wedding is going to be worse.

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  • avatar

    rieux May 27, 2014, 12:14 pm

    So, I agree that you should do what is best for the person getting married. You know her better than we do, so would that be a) to show up and be the “bigger person” and celebrate her marriage, or b) to tell her “thank you so much for inviting me and I would love to come, but I will understand if you feel it will be uncomfortable with your mother there as well, and would like to do whatever is best for you”?

    Don’t make it about being accepted as a family or making a big statement. She invited both you and your father, which shows that she already understands you two are a family. Whether you accept the invitation or not shouldn’t be about defying anyone who thinks otherwise. Go only if you can behave yourself and if you think it will make her happy.

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    • avatar

      rieux May 27, 2014, 12:37 pm

      HER father, not your father. That would be a whole different kind of problem 🙂

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    • avatar

      SasLinna May 27, 2014, 12:42 pm

      I was just going to write the same thing. LW should talk to Kelly, thank her for the invitation and ask her if it would be awkward if she attended the wedding. We don’t really know what Kelly’s relationship with her mother is and if she’s “taken her side”. The invitation to LW could be more of a courtesy invitation, or she could actually want her to be there. Kelly’s mother ultimately has to suck it up and deal with it if LW is there. (I actually think this is something you risk when you get married and have kids – your spouse could leave you for someone else and want to attend functions with that person. This is something I’m considering very carefully before taking that step).

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      • avatar

        SasLinna May 27, 2014, 12:47 pm

        Oh, and was “my Kelly invited me” a typo in the letter? Because LW, she’s definitely not “your Kelly”. If you actually typed that in all seriousness, you really should take a step back and make sure you’re not forcing a family relationship that isn’t there.

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      • avatar

        rieux May 27, 2014, 1:03 pm

        Yeah, but the courtesy invitation is actually HUGE imo, if the LW cares so much about being accepted as a family (although I am so dearly tempted to ask how much “accepting” the LW did of the fact that her bf and his wife were a family). The invite says, “You and my dad are a social unit that I respect, and I won’t separate you at my wedding.” If she’s looking for acceptance, that says it all!

        Second note – LW, if you *wouldn’t* be able to be gracious about possibly hearing that Kelly would prefer not to have you there, then just go, and ignore my suggestion of talking to her about what she really wants. Don’t ask her for the truth unless you’re ready to hear it! You sound a little bit defensive and like you possibly aren’t ready to be having this kind of conversation with Kelly.

        And frankly, the ex-wife does NOT need to let it go. She needs to behave civilly and stop calling autistic kids “retarded,” yes, and she needs to respect her daughter’s relationship with you, but letting go of the pain she feels at her husband’s betrayal is something she gets to do on her own time, in her own way.

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        SasLinna May 27, 2014, 1:08 pm

        Yeah it’s kind of ridiculous for LW to say that the ex-wife must “make peace” and “let it go”. There’s a big difference between acting civilly and actually making peace. I’m also side-eyeing the “at least Kelly is showing me some affection”, as if she’s owed that. It sounds like there is a lot of drama all around. Given that, the invitation, even if it’s a courtesy invitation, is really mature on Kelly’s part.

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    Tmd260 May 27, 2014, 1:41 pm

    You slept with this lady’s husband & essentially broke their marriage apart. Why in the world would you expect her to be nice/civil with you? Imagine if YOU were the ex-wife… Have you ever put yourself in those shoes?
    Probably not- all you’re thinking about is gaining acceptance from a family you-technically-tore apart. I’m not saying it’s all your fault, because it’s not, but to completely overlook your part in this situation is ridiculous as well…
    Again, it seems people these days make poor decisions, then cry & whine about the consequence… YOU chose to sleep with a married man, you chose to bear his children… Now grow up & deal with the repercussions.
    Go to the wedding, you were speifically invited by your husband’s daughter-again, the fact that she openly accepts you & cares for you is total luck, most people in your predicament wouldn’t even be allowed at the wedding… Focus on maintaining that relationship with the daughter & maybe at some point, everyone else will follow, but don’t expect it & don’t demand respect from the woman who’s husband you stole; not only is this innappropriate regarding the occasion, but also in general.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph May 27, 2014, 3:53 pm

    Word of warning to you, LW… as others have said, weddings are about the bride and groom. But they are also about the bride and groom’s family and community.

    I imagine that this girl will want to get a picture of herself with just her mother and father… can you handle that? Can you handle if she doesn’t want you to get in any of the official family portraits? Can you handle if she has her parents walk down the aisle together, or together with her, or by themselves but without you? Can you handle not being the center of attention at this wedding?

    Think very hard about the answer before you accept the invitation. If you’re gonna be all pouty when the photographer says “Ok LW, step out, lets get one of just Kelly, Natalie, and Dad?” or pitch a fit when you’re not invited to participate in the wedding because you see it as disrespecting your place in the family, then don’t go. Don’t go and make this wedding all about you.

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    • GatorGirl

      GatorGirl May 27, 2014, 3:58 pm

      Oh the photo conundrum. I was left out of family photo’s at my now SILs wedding (we where engaged) and it definitely stung. So yes LW, you should think about the Q’s Steph wrote!!

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph May 27, 2014, 4:01 pm

        I can see why photos can be so hurtful, and it’s ok if the LW would be hurt by that… but she’s gotta be a grownup. I assume you, etiquette loving friend, did not pitch a royal fit when your SIL cut you out of the pics? And I hope that the LW can be a grown-ass woman and do the same.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl May 27, 2014, 4:04 pm

        Hahaha, oh yes I just smiled away and held purses/sweaters while they took the photo’s. Never said a word at all. (And when our wedding rolled around- on our photo list we did some with other SILs long term boyfriend and some with out, so no chance for hurt feelings!)

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      • avatar

        bethany May 27, 2014, 4:28 pm

        In the digital age where you’re not paying per roll of film, it’s always nice to do some with and some without! It takes all of 3 seconds to have someone step in for a picture!

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle May 27, 2014, 5:47 pm

    WHOA I’m late to this, but I think some of these comments are harsh. And yeahhhh, I will out myself (for those who don’t know, since I’ve already repeatedly “outed” myself) as someone who was the “other woman” for a few months before my boyfriend broke up with his girlfriend at the time. It is shitty behavior—shitty of me, & shitty of him, & I totally understand why the girl still refers to me as “skank” instead of my actual name. However, we all (she, I, my bf) play nice at the mutual friends’ weddings we attend together.
    .
    Not… you know…together, but at the same time? (My wording is making me picture us all in the same car driving to the destination, &… no. Sorry, I’m distracting myself—anyway—) Because we’re all invited, we then must drink and dance and converse in the same space for a few hours. And no, it’s not the same situation—they weren’t married, there are no children involved—but I still think the adults in this LW’s situation can drink, dance, & converse in the same space for a few hours, celebrating a young woman they all love, without engaging in any drama? Like, LW, this woman may have called you a slut & your children retarded (which is fucked up—her anger is justified, the name calling—with regard to the children, especially… because, come on, sometimes you default to “that slut!” when somebody bangs your husband?!—is fucked up) BUT she’s not gonna throw any drinks in your face. She’s just not. And you’re not going to have a scarlet letter painted on you, even if it may feel that way walking in. Like Wendy said, this wedding is not about you. So just attend, & enjoy.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra May 27, 2014, 7:05 pm

      You aren’t going around saying “we’ve been together for x years, this is a legit relationship!” though do you? You maybe avoid her and drink more wine than you would normally. This woman is basically saying “validate my family! Forgive and forget and let’s get along!” which is the crappy part. She has no business trying to “encourage” the ex wife along in this process.
      .
      Admittedly, if I were ever cheated on, I would NEVER be able to forgive a cheating significant other nor the person who he had an affair with. The hurt would probably lessen with time, but I don’t think I would be able to completely forgive and forget ever. I can see how some responses could come off as harsh, but I definitely understand them.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow May 27, 2014, 7:29 pm

      I know it’s not popular, but as the daughter of a cheating dad, I kind of think a lot of the comments are harsh as well. I was only 12 when my parents divorced, but even *I* could see that their marriage was D E A D before all that happened. My parents barely talked, and my dad “lived” and slept in the basement for years. I’m pretty sure they wanted to get divorced but were holding on because of us (“the kids!”) and trying to wait until it was more financially stable for my mom to be on her own.
      .
      So yeah, my mom’s side of the family was understandably bitter for a while, but I never had any ill will toward my dad at all…and I actually REALLY liked his “mistress” – who also left her husband for my dad. I know, it sounds incredibly fucked up, but it kinda wasn’t?
      .
      And I’m pretty sure everyone recognized that my parents are better off apart and let it go and forgave and forgot and all that good stuff. My parents always got along in front of us. It’s not always this huge dramatic thing.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 28, 2014, 12:57 pm

        I think this is just different for people whose parents’ marriage wasn’t dead long before the mistress came around though. I think if my parents’ marriage was more like your’s, I wouldn’t have had the reaction I did.
        And for Fab, I think its very different when you are just dating rather than married with kids.

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  • avatar

    Lindsay May 27, 2014, 7:22 pm

    Like others have said, this isn’t about you. It’s about the couple. Don’t use their celebration as a way to work on your image. If you want to support them, go. If you get backlash, then consider the fact that affairs are a gift that keeps on giving. The tradeoff is that you may have gotten the guy, but you have to deal with the consequences.

    As for the ex, maybe it’s not personally healthy for her to harbor so much resentment, but she doesn’t owe you anything.

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  • avatar

    Married By Elvis May 28, 2014, 12:49 pm

    Heck, many people who had nothing to do with the break up of the parents’ marriage aren’t treated this well by the children.

    For example, my MIL had nothing to do with her 2nd husband’s ex-wife’s coming out and the subsequent divorce. I don’t think she even met him until after the divorce. But, his adult children treated her horribly and crafted her divorce from their father. My MIL sure ain’t perfect, but she was never anything but nice to them and their kids and she didn’t deserve that.

    Now their father will live his life out alone and I doubt his money-grubbing kids will look out for him if he can’t take care of himself. I guess it serves him right for letting his kids run his life and marriage.

    Sorry for the vent.

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