Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I Was Invited to a Wedding to Play Babysitter!”

I’ve lived with my boyfriend for close to seven years now and have been included in all family activities. But just a few days ago, after traveling a long distance to my boyfriend’s daughter’s wedding, I was told by him that he volunteered me to babysit his other daughter’s 2-year-old while the guys went golfing and the bridal party had their hair and makeup done. I was shocked that the child’s dad, who wasn’t in the wedding party, took off to golf and was unable to babysit. And suddenly, I had a 6-year-old and a 15-year-old to watch too!

I am currently dealing with a serious medical condition and was in pain and very tired from the trip already. Reluctantly, I agreed but was trying to be nice as no one included me in any of the activities for the groom or the bride. It hurt a bit because I thought I possibly meant more to these people than simply her dad’s girlfriend. My boyfriend’s ex-wife — the bride’s mother — was not invited as the kids do not like her and call her crazy.

I’ve tried as much as possible to be there for my boyfriend’s kids as a mother figure and as a substitute grandmother to their kids, and I had assumed they loved me as much as I love them and their children, but boy was I wrong about that. The guys came back after a good fun game of golf while the women were still getting the spa treatment, and I told my boyfriend that I did not think it was right I had to babysit at all let alone three kids! He told me since I wasn’t a guy, in the bridal party, the mother of the bride, or a part of the family and that since I had nothing else to do, I had to babysit.

This is ridiculous and I feel that I was treated wrongly and taken advantage of by all of the parents and by my boyfriend! I was invited as a guest and not as the babysitter. This has caused a huge fight that I cannot win. It makes me feel disrespected by all who stuck me with their children and went off to have a great day. By the time of the ceremony I could barely walk and felt so sick I wanted to cry.

I feel that I could have been included more in some way, maybe I would have wanted my hair or make up done, but since I’m not a family member, I was not thought about in any way other than to babysit. Shouldn’t they have hired a real babysitter? What do I do to make my bboyfriend understand that it was wrong how I was treated? — Left Out

Show him this column where I, and I’m sure plenty of commenters, will back you up: You were treated like garbage and your boyfriend and his daughter owe you a huge apology. You are absolutely right that a real babysitter should have been hired to watch the kids (or, hell, the 15-year-old could have been the babysitter for the 2-year-old and 6-year-old!), and you should have, at the very least, been given the day to relax and rest after your long commute, especially since you aren’t feeling 100%.

I agree that as the father-of-the-bride’s partner of seven years and as a surrogate mother/grandmother of sorts to the bride and her kids/nieces and nephews, it would have been a kind gesture to include you in some part of the ceremony or pre-ceremony festivities. I wouldn’t say that excluding you means you aren’t loved though; I think it could simply mean that everyone was a little thoughtless or distracted. Wedding planning can have that effect sometimes. If you otherwise have a good relationship with your boyfriend’s family, I would really try to not dwell on this oversight and let bygones be bygones.

I am, however, a little concerned about your relationship with your boyfriend. To show such a stunning lack of consideration for you is a red flag. Is this completely out of character for him? If so, maybe he, too, was feeling the weight of the occasion and erred on the side of total asshattery toward you. But if this is kind of par for the course where he’s concerned: Girl, it might be time to MOA. A man who drags his ill girlfriend a long way to attend his daughter’s wedding and then leaves her to watch three kids while he plays golf sounds like a cad at best. That he couldn’t even man up and apologize after you called him out on his pitiful behavior, and that this has turned into a “huge fight”, is disturbing. Any decent gentleman would have apologized, made some explanation about the weight of the moment or not realizing the plan until it was already underway, and promised to make it up to you and never let it happen again. That it happened in the first place is bad enough; that he refuses to take responsibility for it and make it up to you is a travesty.

My boyfriend and I have been together since the end of January. We love each other and are definitely very good together. About seven years ago his dad died in a car accident — — he had a heart attack and than crashed into a building and it was a very traumatic event, obviously. The anniversary of his father’s death was in May, followed by my boyfriend’s birthday and then Father’s Day, but my boyfriend has only ever talked to me about his dad once, and it was just to say he wished he had spent more time with him.

I can tell that it’s definitely something he still gets very, very sad about, but he doesn’t talk about it at all — not even with his mom and brother — it’s a very unspoken thing. But his best friend has told me that sometimes he’ll just tell him how much he misses his dad. Should I bring it up and tell him that I can tell he gets sad from time to time about his dad and that I’m always here to talk to him or even listen about his dad? I really don’t know if this is my place to say something to him. — My Place of Not?

 
If your boyfriend has never really said much to you about his dad, and you know he doesn’t talk about his death much with his family, I don’t think the best way to broach the subject is to point out that you know he gets sad from time to time. He most likely doesn’t want to talk about being sad, or discuss what was obviously a traumatic event. What he probably would welcome though is the chance to talk about his dad — like, pre-death. You don’t have to wait for your boyfriend to bring him up. And you don’t have to wait for an anniversary or birthday or Father’s Day to talk about him. Just ask your boyfriend some time what some of his favorite memories of his dad are. Ask him what his dad was like — what kind of music he listened to, where he grew up, how he liked to spend his free time, what he taught your boyfriend that your boyfriend would like to pass down to his kids one day if he has them. Your interest in his father will let your boyfriend know you’re there for him, ready to listen and to hear more about this man who raised him. If he chooses to share more of the sad stuff, let him, but I wouldn’t lead with that. Lead with the happy memories. After seven years, that’s probably what he wants to talk about most.

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

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

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

40 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Findingtheearth June 23, 2017, 1:08 pm

    LW1: I think it’s completely horrible you not only were volunteered for something without your consent, but that the family treated you so poorly. You should have been included in someway

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom June 23, 2017, 1:25 pm

    LW1 At the very least you should have been asked well in advance if you would be willing to babysit. Your boyfriend should never have volunteered you and it shouldn’t have been sprung on you at the last minute. Waiting until the last minute to tell you that he volunteered you indicates he knew you would probably say no so he waited until you would feel that you couldn’t say no.

    To be fair to his daughter, she might not have known that you minded. If he volunteered you he may have said that you would love to babysit.

    When it was sprung on you that you were expected to babysit you should have said that you weren’t physically up to watching a toddler and that he would have to stay to babysit since you couldn’t do it. Then you could have added that in the future you expect to be asked. I’ve found that when someone volunteers you to do something that you don’t want to do, as soon as you find out you immediately say that you can’t and you won’t. Cut things like that off before they get going.

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    • avatar

      ktfran June 23, 2017, 1:33 pm

      I agree with this. I think this is more on the boyfriend than his family.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph June 23, 2017, 1:42 pm

        yup totally agree. Your boyfriend volunteered you. I give the parents a pass on this- some grandmas love to babysit and so as surrogate grandma plus the boyfriend encouraging it, it seems totally normal that they might not think twice about it being a problem.

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    • avatar

      wobster109 June 23, 2017, 1:37 pm

      100% agree. LW, the time to speak up was before you started sitting. Say, in front of everyone, in front of all the golfing guys and the bride and groom, “Oh my gosh. I had no idea you wanted me to babysit! I’m not feeling well, and I wouldn’t be up to handling an emergency if anything happened. If I had know about this I would have told you right away.” If they press, keep declining with “no, I couldn’t live with myself if anything happened.”

      This says 2 things: 1) you won’t babysit, and 2) no one told you about it. It sounds like everyone believed you were asked and willing. They would be horrified with your boyfriend that he volunteered you without asking you.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros June 23, 2017, 2:04 pm

      Could they have been more inclusive? Yes. But getting mad at people for thinking you want to babysit when you chose not to tell them not to seems a little misplaced and besides the point. I assume she’s trying to spread out her anger so that she doesn’t have to admit that her boyfriend is no good.

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  • avatar

    Bubbles June 23, 2017, 1:34 pm

    LW1 – WWS! What’s most upsetting is that your inconsiderate BF must know full well of your medical condition and your limitations. The suggestion should have been that 15 year old would be in charge of watching the other two kids with you as the adult nearby, relaxing. But you should have been ASKED first! No exceptions! What’s also upsetting that the bride, your BF’s daughter, did not make it a point to ask you and thank you for watching the kids. Very inconsiderate all around. You have every right to be upset and honestly, I would not tolerate this type of behavior from my SO. If this is a one-time deal, maybe I’d let it go, but if it’s something he has done to you repeatedly in the past then it’s time to MOA. Good luck!

    LW2 – WWS. I would take Wendy’s suggestion to (gently) ask about his dad in normal conversation. Take his initial reaction into consideration as people grieve differently.

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  • avatar

    Essie June 23, 2017, 1:35 pm

    “He told me since I wasn’t a guy, in the bridal party, the mother of the bride or a part of the family and that since I had nothing to do I had to babysit. ”

    Welp. That’s pretty close to unforgivable. Does he always treat you with such open contempt?

    Yeah, the kids should have been more thoughtful and more inclusive, but I keep coming back to the boyfriend’s behavior. It’s hard not to see that “you’re not part of the family” as an intentional slap at the LW.

    LW, you asked how to get him to see that you shouldn’t have been treated that way. I don’t know what to suggest, because any decent person wouldn’t have to be told. And it’s pretty clear from his response that he has very little respect for you. Maybe it’s time to start questioning what you’re doing in this relationship. A boyfriend who doesn’t respect me, and a family that doesn’t include me, even after seven years….I’d have trouble coming up with reasons to stick around.

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  • avatar

    Ron June 23, 2017, 1:43 pm

    So your bf’s daughter marries, and your bf married his daughter’s mother, but after living with you for 7 years, he hasn’t married you? His treatment of you when babysitting was needed somehow seems par for the course. Perhaps it is you, rather than him, who doesn’t want the formality of marriage.

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    • avatar

      Left out June 24, 2017, 4:24 pm

      Ron, I am ” Left Out”‘. My question about the situation had nothing to do with if or when my boyfriend and I got married. Par for course? Lol , I do think you missed the entire point of the situation .
      And for anyone that may think that I am mad at the bride for this situation, I clearly am not. I did not protest the babysitting because I was trying to not put more stress into an already crazy stressful day for the bride and groom.
      Yes I am wrong for not speaking up. It is my boyfriend who I felt was wrong in volunteering me for the job.
      That was the question and I do see what I could’ve done differently.
      I do understand I did not have to be included , but I’ve helped raise his children since they were few years old , as their dad and I have been a couple for nearly 20 years before we lived together.
      And yes I’ve held them while they’ve cried, been there thru deaths and hard times . I’ve held sick children , nursed wounds as well as celebrated births, good times and many other accomplishments as they have done the same for me. So that’s why I felt hurt when I was not included a little more.
      As for the boyfriend , this is the first time he has put me in this situation.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom June 24, 2017, 7:14 pm

        If you boyfriend volunteered you to babysit while the women got their hair, makeup and hails done then they would have assumed you didn’t want to do those things. All of that is on your boyfriend for volunteering you during that time. Unless some of those things were happening at times when you weren’t babysitting this is all a direct result of your boyfriend volunteering you.

        Does the brides mother strongly dislike you? Did your relationship begin as an affair? Does her mom blame you for destroying her marriage? If yes to any of these then they may have been purposely keeping you away from the bride’s mother who would come before the bride’s dad’s long term girlfriend. Maybe your boyfriend helped keep you and the bride’s mother separated. Maybe he was assigned that job.

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      • avatar

        dinoceros June 24, 2017, 7:25 pm

        It may be the first time your boyfriend has volunteered you to babysit, but is it really the first time he’s implied that you’re not a part of the family? If in 27 years, he has not made you feel unwelcome outside of this situation, then I assume this is something that you can easily resolve with him.

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      • avatar

        Ron June 25, 2017, 6:58 am

        No, I think you missed the underlying mindset of your bf and his family. You see your long time together and your contribution to raising the children as “equivalent to marriage in all but the piece of paper and hence due all the privileges”. From what your bf said in explanation: you’re not a relative, so you don’t participate in the things that the relatives do, he and his family simply don’t see you as that. They see you as less than that. Your bf married the mother of his daughter. Despite the lengthy time and living together, he did not marry you. So, in the eyes of bf and family, it comes down to “how do you treat the gf of the father of the bride”. We’ve had many letters addressing that and a lot of disagreements among LW and the families of SO. You say you were hurt because “I thought I meant more to these people than simply her dad’s girlfriend.” You got your answer. You don’t. We live in a marriage-centric society and for many living-together gfs will always be regarded as temporary and lesser-committed than wives and not due the social privileges of a wife. It’s not fair, but often that is the way it is.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom June 25, 2017, 8:02 am

        I went back and reread the original letter and saw that the bride’s mother wasn’t invited so they weren’t trying to keep you separate. I assume your question is whether the bride should have included you in some of the festivities. That is up to her. If she is scheduling the bridal party for hair and makeup and you weren’t in the bridal party she may not have thought about including you because she was counting the bridal party and who needed their hair done and got appointments for that many. You say she doesn’t have a cordial relationship with her mom so she hasn’t spent time thinking about how to include her mom so she may have spent no time thinking about how to include you.

        In the end it is up to the bride to invite who she wants to invite. There is no right or wrong here. There is no etiquette for getting the hair and makeup done before a wedding.

        You shouldn’t have been stuck with the babysitting without being asked but maybe they asked their dad and he said you would love to babysit. Maybe they think you were asked. Maybe he volunteered you before they could ask and so they didn’t need feel the need to ask. Your boyfriend obviously doesn’t consider you a member of the family. We can’t tell whether his kids do. Maybe your boyfriend told them you didn’t want to go to the spa. Maybe your boyfriend didn’t want to pay for it. Who knows.

        Unless the fifteen-year-old is disbled in some way you didn’t need to watch them so you were actually watching two kids.

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      • avatar

        Kate June 25, 2017, 12:44 pm

        @Ron, yeah, but I don’t equate that to “I resent that he hasn’t married me but he married that other lady (who btw wasn’t invited to the wedding). Like I said earlier, marriage actually doesn’t have that much to do with how you fit in with someone else’s family and how accepted you are. I think she wants to feel like part of the group, but nowhere does she say or imply that she wishes they were married.

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      • avatar

        Leslie Joan June 25, 2017, 10:17 pm

        Why was it a stressful day for the bride and groom? They were doing what they had planned for the bridal party. It was your boyfriend who was treating you like a garbage disposal. They could have planned ahead like normal people and hired a babysitter. Instead your boyfriend shoved you into it without even asking, and without giving the slightest consideration to your health condition and your limitations.

        I don’t agree with Ron, but I see his point: you are hurt because you didn’t get treated like a member of the bridal party. They didn’t do anything special to honor the closeness and sharing that’s gone both ways for a long time. I understand that must sting. It would not be unreasonable to expect to have a bit of nice treatment, even though you weren’t part of the bridal party. But instead, not only did you not have the opportunity even just to relax and enjoy being a guest, without honor, you got treated like a servant *for free*, without even the simple courtesy of asking your permission. And you decided to go along with the humiliation and the insult that he threw your way, out of consideration to the bride , and not to stand up to your boyfriend.

        But I keep coming back to the point that you can’t feel hurt about what the bride and groom did without it coming from your boyfriend. He was the one that made the prearrangements with them, not only doing you the discourtesy of volunteering you, but doing it with no consideration of your health. I just don’t see how you can be hurt at them, and separate your boyfriend from it, when he is behind the whole setup. It just kind of seems as though you’re trying to protect him, and get mad at them (or “hurt”) where he doesn’t deserve to be protected. You say he hasn’t done this before. I’d like to believe that, but I find it hard to believe that someone can suddenly display such a level of jackholery out of the blue. I am getting the sense that you get upset about things and then dismiss them later – or rather, you let him dismiss it and you drop the subject but not the hurt, and just go along. I really think you should consider this dynamic more fully.

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    • avatar

      Kate June 25, 2017, 7:18 am

      I don’t really see this. I looked for your quote in her original post, to see if she actually said that, and she didn’t. I’m not sure it’s even implied. You think she’s upset because she’s not married to this guy after 7 years although he did marry someone else, but all I see is her saying she thought she was part of the family. Which a girlfriend absolutely can be, and which she probably IS. It would make sense that they do see her as part of the family, like a grandmother, if they naturally see her babysitting the kids. And like other people said, if he volunteered her, they probably assumed she wanted to do that instead of getting her hair done. He was way wrong to volunteer her for that and not tell her, but I’m not reading into this that she resents that they’re not married, or even cares about that, or has felt at any time up to now that she’s not part of the family.

      I think she’s been generally happy with the relationship and family situation, but this is a serious offense on his part that should make her take a harder look at things.

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      • avatar

        Ron June 25, 2017, 12:37 pm

        She specifically says that her bf told her since she’s “not in the wedding party and not in the family”. She complains that she thought she was part of the family but that she is merely seen as the gf of the father of the bride.

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      • avatar

        dinoceros June 25, 2017, 1:48 pm

        Not only that, but according to her, they’ve been together for 27 years. 20 years and then 7 years living together. I find it hard to believe that this is the first time she’s finding out she’s not part of the family. Either she’s been treated well for all this time and this is a very bizarre anomaly (which is hard to believe that someone would suddenly become super cruel out of nowhere) or she’s been treated this way by her bf and is just now realizing it/coming to terms with it.

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    • avatar

      Kate June 25, 2017, 7:24 am

      Oh also, it’s totally normal for only the bridal party and moms to have hair appointments made. But sometimes when I go to a destination wedding, I want my hair done too, so I *make an appointment way ahead of time* to be sure they can fit me in around the bridal party.

      Again, it was totally egregious, Left Out, for your boyfriend to volunteer you to babysit and not tell you, but you also could have asked ahead of time what the plan / schedule was for activities and if you could make a hair appointment. You kind of have to manage these things and not just assume.

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    • avatar

      Kate June 25, 2017, 7:30 am

      Sorry, one other thing. I really disagree that wives get the family privileges and girlfriends don’t. A second wife can be treated like crap by the family, as we see in letters. Hell, even a first wife – that recent letter about the lady who didn’t want to lend her car and was told she’s not part of the family. A girlfriend can be beloved. It is really situational and not dependent on marital status, how accepted you are by the family.

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      • Lianne

        Lianne June 26, 2017, 8:29 am

        Totally agree with this. My FIL has a long-term girlfriend/life partner and they live together. She is my son’s Nana and we treat her as part of the family. If the LW has been there and done all she has for the BFs kids through the years, and now the grandkids, the whole family are a bunch of ungrateful assholes. She should have had a part in the wedding AND been included in any pre-wedding events. Sorry, but this is just tacky.

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      • avatar

        Ron June 26, 2017, 10:22 am

        Perhaps the LW’s bf, the father of the bride, simply demeans all of his SO’s to his family. The bride’s mother was totally excluded, because, in the words of the LW, she’s “crazy”. The LW is relegated to babysitting, because in the boyfriend’s words, she’s ‘not family’. So both women who basically raised the bride are excluded and the bf/father-of-bride seems to be pretty much running the show.

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  • avatar

    Ashley June 23, 2017, 1:45 pm

    I have a feeling that this isn’t the first time this kid of thing happened, but it’s the heightened feelings around the wedding that finally made you say something. Obviously, your bf is ok treating you more like a servant, his family takes his cue from him, and if it’s been like this for 7 years what incentive does he have to change now. Hold onto your gut instinct that this is a big deal. He’ll try to make you feel like it’s not a big deal, but they’ll only continue to treat you the same way unless you show you are willing to stand up for yourself. Did the bride at least thank you? Pay you? Offer a gift? Most people are putting this squarely on the bf but I think a genuine thank you may have gone a long way here.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph June 23, 2017, 1:55 pm

    LW1 I don’t really see anyone else disrespecting you besides your bf.
    I was out of my parents house for 9 years when I got married so someone who started dating my dad 7 years prior would not have really been a surrogate mother to me and it’s a little presumptuous to expect to be included in bridal party things. In this I think you expected a bit too much. You were invited to the wedding as a guest, not a mother of the bride.
    Your bf sucks though, for sure. At a minimum he should ask before volunteering you to do anything. And is he always so careless about your medical condition?

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    • bittergaymark

      Bittergaymark June 25, 2017, 12:58 pm

      I agree. I am so baffled by this letter and many responses to it. NEWSFLASH! If you are not in the bridal party — you don’t get invited to bridal party events…

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      • avatar

        Janelle June 25, 2017, 2:48 pm

        I thought this too.

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      • Lianne

        Lianne June 26, 2017, 8:31 am

        I would say this is true if it’s JUST the wedding party. If it’s wedding party, plus other family members (i.e., mother of the groom, SILs, nieces, aunts, etc.) then she was purposefully excluded and that’s shameful.

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      • avatar

        dinoceros June 27, 2017, 6:09 pm

        I was under the impression that the babysitting was to take place while they were doing all the bridal party stuff. So if she was volunteered and implicitly agreed, then she couldn’t go do the fun stuff AND babysit at the same time.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros June 23, 2017, 2:02 pm

    LW1: I think you need to focus most of your anger on your boyfriend. He’s the one who volunteered you. Sure, the family should have included you, but it sounds like your boyfriend has taught them not to value you as a part of the family. I’m not sure you’re still with him. The fact that you agreed to babysit after he volunteered you seems like snapshot of the larger picture of the relationship — that you just sort of put up with crap no matter how much you resent it. You don’t have to be treated that way, but it’s on you to actually move on.

    LW2: What Wendy said. I assume that he’d rather spend time remembering his dad than ruminating on how “sad” he is. And it’s a lot less awkward of a conversation.

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  • avatar

    Anonymous June 23, 2017, 2:33 pm

    Your BF is in the wrong, first about volunteering your help without discussing it with you first and dismissing your hurt feelings after.
    I’d give the rest of the family a pass; if you didn’t speak up before hand or indicate after that this was something you didn’t want to do, then yeah, everyone else probably thought you were glad to act as babysitter.
    You should think long and hard about how much he values you in the relationship.

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  • avatar

    csp June 23, 2017, 2:59 pm

    LW1-

    This is 100% on your boyfriend. There are some people who would love extra time with the kids and I am sure that your boyfriend told the family as much. You indicated that you try to be a substitute grandmother for these kids. Trying to honor everyone at a wedding is very hard for a bride and groom and to be honest, while you have been in a long relationship, you are not married.

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  • FireStar

    Firestar June 23, 2017, 3:37 pm

    Your boyfriend is an ass. You don’t volunteer anyone else for work without asking them first. Much less childcare which is no joke on the best of days.

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  • avatar

    Leslie Joan June 23, 2017, 9:42 pm

    Left Out, this is all on your boyfriend, who seems like a jerk of the first order: he *volunteered* you to babysit?!! And conveniently (for him only), he didn’t even let you know this until you got there, and then just stuck you, tired and ill, with the kids, in a position where you were on the spot. Then when you register a complaint, he has the gall to tell you that because you’re not a guy (what, like you can’t babysit if you were born with a tassel?!) and didn’t fit into some other arbitrary category, that you HAD to do this??! The heck with that. That is sexist, grossly disrespectful, and entirely inconsiderate. They need a babysitter, let ’em plan ahead and hire someone local, and someone young enough and in good health to deal with the kids. Your beef is not with the others: they took their cue from HIM.

    I find it hard to believe this is the first time he’s treated you like a garbage can. You really need to consider what else he does, and how you excuse his craptastic behavior. Garbage rolls downhill, and his family is getting it from HIM.

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  • avatar

    Kate June 24, 2017, 7:51 am

    @LW2, my dad’s dad died in a car accident in 1967, when my dad was 18 and home on Christmas break from freshman year in college. It was a few days before Christmas and he was coming home from his office holiday party but didn’t make it. Apparently he had had some alcohol, which was really really weird because he had never been known to drink. He didn’t hurt anyone else in the accident, fortunately.

    Anyway. My dad has told me that it took him a good 12 years to feel ok again, by which point he was 30 and married with two kids aged 4 and 7. He doesn’t talk about his dad much in general, though when he does, he says good things. We went to the memorial service for his dad’s sister, who lived to be 100, and we saw his dad’s grave, where his ashes are under a plaque from the US Navy. I could tell my dad got emotional and was feeling a lot of feelings, but none of us talked about it, we just each laid a flower on the plaque and then went to the family lunch.

    I would say, don’t bring it up. If he wants to talk about his dad, just listen, maybe ask questions about what kind of guy he was. But let him grieve in his own way and share what he wants to share.

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    • avatar

      Kate June 24, 2017, 8:11 am

      Another thing, he once said he was struggling with a lot of irrational anger toward his dad after his death, I guess for dying and leaving them. He knew it didn’t make sense, but that’s how he felt… and then he probably felt bad for feeling anger. Your boyfriend might feel something like that too. He’s probably mad at the world, and maybe mad at his dad for not going to the doctor, looking after his health, who knows. Grief has a lot of stages and nuances beyond just sadness.

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  • avatar

    Morecoffeeplease June 24, 2017, 10:21 am

    LW1, You should have said no, you can’t babysit and stuck with that. Your boyfriend should not volunteer you for things like this. Say what you really want and feel in life. Don’t let him walk all over you. Does he do this often? (I agree with the others that you should not be angry at the other family members. Perhaps they thought you wanted to spend time with the grandkids and you volunteered to do it).

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  • Monkeysmommy

    Monkeysmommy June 24, 2017, 5:31 pm

    Yeah, the 15 year old should have been the babysitter. My daughter is 14, and babysits all of the neighborhood kids. It is total bullshit your boyfriend pulled that shit. For all you know, he told the bride and his other daughter that you were happy to help, and they didn’t know any different. He is your real problem. Personally, I would have spoken to the bride when I arrived and said “I am so sorry that John has given you the impression that I am babysitting. That will not be happening, I am so sorry you were misinformed. I hope you are able to find a suitable replacement. Perhaps John can chip in on hiring one since he made the mistake.”

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    Sarah June 25, 2017, 2:15 am

    Not being included and bring forced to play babysitter are two different issues.

    Not being included: I don’t think you should have an expectation of being included in any special way. You’re probably not thought of as a parental figure. Also, it is usually just the wedding party that gets their hair/make-up done together (at least from what I’ve seen).

    Being forced to baby-sit: Wrong of them to make you; I like to think I would’ve been brave enough to decline in such a scenario. It is hard and takes courage.

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    LS June 27, 2017, 4:55 pm

    I think a lot of people are being harsh on LW1 about wanting/expecting to be included. After a 20 year relationship and 7 years living together and having the level of interaction she seems to describe with the family–I don’t think it’s out of line for her to expect a different level of inclusion.

    That said, I agree with Wendy. Although she’s allowed to FEEL disappointed/upset about it, she should let bygones be bygones on this one and chalk it up to the toughness of trying to plan a wedding that pleases everyone. And she should be allowed to express her feelings of disappointment to her BF and expect to receive at least a sympathetic ear!

    As some others have said, maybe it would help to think about the willingness of everyone to accept that she would want to babysit to be indicative of how much they think of her as part of the family–that “of course it’s a given that grandma will watch the kiddos, she loves them”! (as opposed to thinking of it as “dad’s gf isn’t doing anything, make her watch the kids”). Trying to give some benefit of the doubt to the rest of the family that they had good intentions.

    However, I don’t think that means letting BF off the hook here. It was rude of him to volunteer her without asking, and it was even more rude to not acknowledge, respond sympathetically or apologize when she expressed that she felt it was wrong–and even MORE rude to double-down on that by saying she isn’t part of the family. Regardless of how LW and her BF feel about marriage, they need to get on the same page about what their relationship means to each other and in the context of their families. And BF needs to apologize for letting this turn into a huge fight rather than apologizing for his bad behavior from the get-go.

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