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.
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.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.