Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend Never Allows Me Near His Ex”

ex

I have been dating my boyfriend for three years. When we first started dating he didn’t allow me to come to his daughter’s engagement party. When it was time for her shower, I had to plan it because her mother couldn’t be bothered. My boyfriend allowed me to go to that. At the shower, his ex-wife was nasty and disrespectful but always being a lady and taking the high road, I ignored the rude comments. Since the shower, my boyfriend had asked me to marry him.

At the wedding his ex-wife was again rude and nasty and said I wasn’t wanted at the wedding. When it came time to go to our table, she sat me at one table and while she and my boyfriend sat together at a different table. He had my chair moved to their table but I felt disrespected and hurt. He said he didn’t know what the seating arrangements were but several weeks before the wedding he kept saying he might have to sit with her, and I kept saying that’s not proper etiquette.

I excused myself from the party to use the ladies room and to check on my four children who were supposed to have been picked up by my ex. Upon calling, I discovered that he was being hospitalized and my kids had to stay at a friends instead of with him because I was three hours away. I was obviously upset and started crying. When I returned to the party my boyfriend confronted me saying I was gone to long and that I was embarrassing him. I did not say a word and instead conducted myself like a lady, which was confirmed by everyone the next day. My boyfriend, however, continued to insist that I ruined the wedding.

Months later, his son got engaged and he lied about the party and said he was golfing when in reality, he attended the party. When I found out about it he said I couldn’t go because it was none of my business, I didn’t belong there, and it was private and he didn’t want me to ruin another party. His daughter was pregnant and I wasn’t allowed to attend the shower because he said I don’t belong. When his daughter had the baby I came to the hospital to bring a gift and he attacked me verbally in the hospital as did his ex-wife. She said that it was private and I didn’t belong there. She said I only belong at family things once I marry my boyfriend and not before.

When my boyfriend’s father died he asked me to come to the memorial but when he found out his ex-wife was coming he said he didn’t want me there because I didn’t belong. He only allows me to attend things that don’t involve his ex-wife. He tells me I’m crazy and that I am not normal, which is everything his ex-wife said to me at the hospital, word for word. She obviously fills his head and I know he is his own person, but will not go against her. All I do is cry and feel like I’m going crazy but I know if you’re in a committed relationship you’re supposed to share your lives, events, holidays, and everything together. Please tell me I’m not crazy. — Losing Battle with His Ex

I don’t think you’re crazy for expecting a partner — especially one you’re engaged to — to include you in family-themed milestone events and special occasions. But I do think you’re crazy for sticking with a man who not only lets his ex-wife treat you so horribly without defending you against her, but treats you like garbage himself. How many hits are you going to take from this man before you wise up and MOA? Also, if this family makes you feel so unwelcome at their special events, why did you take it upon yourself to plan a shower … and then wait for “permission” to attend it? Something smells fishy, and I suspect we don’t have the full story. At any rate, this relationship sounds over from the start.
***************

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

134 comments… add one
  • Stonegypsy

    the_other_Wendy March 4, 2013, 9:06 am

    Your soon to be husband is verbally abusive. MOA

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    • avatar

      ricky July 7, 2013, 12:43 pm

      Not just that. It might sound judgemental but I think he is also a coward and spineless.

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  • avatar

    EB March 4, 2013, 9:12 am

    “He tells me I am crazy and not normal”

    LW you could of skipped the rest of the letter, this line alone makes me think the only thing that is crazy and not normal is the fact that you are still dating this guy.

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  • avatar

    ktfran March 4, 2013, 9:12 am

    MOA. Like last week.

    And I agree with Wendy. I don’t understand why, LW, you planned the shower when you weren’t invited to the engagment party. Something doesn’t add up.

    Regardless, MOA.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray March 4, 2013, 11:20 am

      1. WWS for sure
      2. Where have you been? People, you can’t ever just stop commenting on DW because people like me do not handle change well. It throws off the balance of the universe.
      3. Someone tried to get MOY started – move on yesterday – or something like that, who was it? We need to get that to become a thing, like JK’s WWS. Speaking of disappearing, JK has been gone too. I CAN’T HANDLE PEOPLE DISAPPEARING. Everybody, come back to DW now. Budjypoo? You still there?

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      • avatar

        ktfran March 4, 2013, 1:20 pm

        Swamped. I’ve been swamped at work and haven’t been able to devote time to DW. Stupid work getting in the way of fun. I’m so glad to read my presence was missed by at least one person! Thanks AP. You made my day.

        Ooh, I like that. MOY!

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      • avatar

        MMcG March 4, 2013, 2:42 pm

        That was me!!! MOVE ON YESTERDAY – MOY MOY MOY. 😉
        What an affirming Monday… The rock star update and now MOY is catching on!

        LW, at best your bf is a loser still completely whipped by his ex wife who thinks she’s the Dowager Countess of your lives and he’s too wimpy to do anything about it. At worst case your bf is a gaslighting manipulative asshat. MOY.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 4, 2013, 4:21 pm

        Well done, MMcG, well done!

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  • avatar

    MISS MJ March 4, 2013, 9:19 am

    You’re not crazy, your boyfriend is a jerk and his family dynamic sounds awful. MOA.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle March 4, 2013, 9:20 am

    Something is not right here. And I think the first thing you need to do, is realize that the “something” is…your boyfriend. You seem to want to blame his ex, but ~he’s~ the one telling you you’re embarrassing him, that you “don’t belong” at his family events. He’s the one “verbally attacking” you, siding with his ex when she’s being nasty, & lying about events he’s attending without you.

    I’m taking your word for it that there’s nothing about you giving these people a reason not to like you? (Which, even if there was—the behavior you describe from them is pretty inexcusable.) So please—I think you just need to move on. This man is not ready for a life with you, to phrase it mildly. It doesn’t seem like he even wants you around at all.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 10:25 am

      Also, wasn’t it upsetting to her that when she was worried about her 4 children, rather than be concerned with her, he just berated her more? There’s so much wrong with all of this. I feel sorry in a way for the LW. Plans a shower and wasn’t even invited to it?!

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary March 4, 2013, 9:21 am

    You are not crazy. The way your boyfriend and his family are behaving is not normal, nor is it socially acceptable. Please read up on Gaslighting through articles like this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yashar-hedayat/a-message-to-women-from-a_1_b_958859.html

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey March 4, 2013, 9:23 am

    Jesus, WWS.

    Your problem is not with his ex-wife, it’s with him. He’s ignored you, called you names, told you that you’re unwanted…and you still think the problem is with his ex-wife?

    In my opinion, yours is a case of willful ignorance. And it makes sense. Blaming his ex-wife for all of the mistreatment and shitty relationship drama is convenient. But it’s not the truth, and I think you know it. I think it’s about time to collect your self-respect, MOA and start unraveling the “whys” of how you’ve allowed yourself to be in an unhealthy relationship that eats away at your self-esteem and self-worth for this long.

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    • avatar

      PFG-SCR March 4, 2013, 10:34 am

      “…start unraveling the “whys” of how you’ve allowed yourself to be in an unhealthy relationship that eats away at your self-esteem and self-worth for this long.”

      My guess is that she’s in this unhealthy relationship because her self-esteem and self-worth were low to begin with, because very few women with healthy self-esteem and self-worth would allow themselves to be treated like this. As I mentioned in my comment, she is so concerned about behaving like a lady, instead of standing up for herself and demanding respect. My guess is she grew up in an environment where she was expected to be obedient and “be seen and not heard.”

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  • avatar

    csp March 4, 2013, 9:25 am

    LW, being a step parent is hard. I imagine you have ex issues too. However, you showed up at the hospital of your boyfriend’s daughter without being invited? That seems very invasive to me. You weren’t welcome at the shower and you thought it was ok to show up at the hospital? Like 50 women go to a shower and maybe 10 go to the hospital. I think you need boundaries.

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    • avatar

      Trixy Minx March 4, 2013, 9:49 am

      I think you’re forgetting the part that she planned the shower so of course she should be invited!

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 March 4, 2013, 11:20 am

        Different shower, she planned the wedding shower, not the baby shower.

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        csp March 4, 2013, 1:56 pm

        To the hospital room? without telling her fiance? why didn’t they go together? why wouldn’t she run it by the fiance after she wasn’t invited to the shower? If she loves this man, why didn’t she talk to him about this?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 2:00 pm

        I would never wait to have my (long term) SO tell me its ok before visiting his family. Nor would I wait for his approval on doing something I simply thought was harmless and nice. All this “permission” nonsense is bizarre to me.

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      • avatar

        csp March 4, 2013, 2:10 pm

        LBH, you and I normally are so alike. this shocks me 🙂 You wouldn’t think that a couple would go to the hospital together? why wouldn’t they drive together? They are in a committed relationship. why wouldn’t she say at breakfast, “I tought we would go to the hospital tonight and see the baby.” Not a word? I run every mundane thing by my husband so he is in the loop. I wouldn’t imagine not mentioning this.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 2:14 pm

        I suppose its likely a couple would go together, yes. But maybe they were coming from work or something. Or he was already there and she figured its Sunday, I’ll stop by with flowers.
        I get your point, its a little weird they didn’t go together or mention it to each other beforehand. The whole situation is pretty weird to me. But, assuming he went straight from work and she did too, just assuming it was cool, in that event, would you call your husband and ask if its ok that you stop by too? I wouldn’t.

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      • avatar

        csp March 4, 2013, 3:29 pm

        You are right, this whole situation is very strange. But is sounds like alot of contentious divorces I know. If this was one big happy family, I wouldn’t think it was wierd that she went. But taken in the middle of this story, I would never dream of going. I just think if you are not close enough to go to an engagement party then you are not close enough to go to the hospital.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 10:26 am

      In my world, it’d be rude if she didn’t go to the hospital with a little teddy bear or something. Maybe everyone I know, myself included, is invasive though?

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      • avatar

        csp March 4, 2013, 1:46 pm

        But her fiance said to her that this was really innappropriate. This is the man she loves and she didn’t mention or run by him that she would be stopping by his daughter’s hospital room? After everything that happened? It sounds like a power grab to me.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 1:58 pm

        I doubt this woman has ever tried a power grab with this guy, I could be wrong though.

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      • katie

        katie March 4, 2013, 2:55 pm

        i totally agree- thats why i think that there is more to this then the LW is letting on. while its true that she is going to be a “part of his family”, she doesnt just get to insert herself in his life- and that would be true no matter the circumstances. if you were just meeting/getting along with a SO’s family, you dont just show up to stuff and assume a “spot” like i feel she is doing. you become a part of a family, you dont take a position in a family…

        i dont think the LW is blameless in this. i think she *is* pulling power plays, all the while rattling on about proper etiquette and the fact that she is so polite as a passive aggressive way to get her way and insert herself where she feels she is supposed to be.

        this is not to say that the boyfriend and his family are blameless either- i just dont buy the “woe is me they never let me do anything with them” from her.

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  • avatar

    Older and (hopefully) wiser March 4, 2013, 9:34 am

    Are you the one who broke up the marriage? Because that would explain a lot.Except why your future husband is abusive.

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    • avatar

      MrsRainey March 4, 2013, 10:09 am

      That makes a lot of sense why the ex-wife completely hates her.

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    • landygirl

      landygirl March 4, 2013, 10:50 am

      Some ex-wives just hate their ex-husbands girlfriends. I dated a guy whose ex hated me and they had been divorced for years. She was the one who initiated the divorce too.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 10:58 am

        Its so weird, right? My stepdad hates my dad. My parents have been divorced for like 20 years almost. Let it go dude.

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      • landygirl

        landygirl March 4, 2013, 11:15 am

        He went to visit his kids on Christmas Even (we were still together at this point) and he never came home, didn’t call to say he wasn’t coming home…nothing. I finally got a hold of him and he said he was back with her. She dumped him not long afterwards because it wasn’t about anything but her winning. He was her possession and nobody was going to have him.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 11:26 am

        Wow. People are crazy!

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      • landygirl

        landygirl March 4, 2013, 11:31 am

        She is for sure. It runs in her family.

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  • avatar

    AmyP March 4, 2013, 9:35 am

    “However, you showed up at the hospital of your boyfriend’s daughter without being invited? That seems very invasive to me. You weren’t welcome at the shower and you thought it was ok to show up at the hospital? Like 50 women go to a shower and maybe 10 go to the hospital. I think you need boundaries.”

    Totally agree. Hospital visits need to be cleared with the patient in advance and kept very short if it’s not a very close friend.

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    • avatar

      ebstarr March 4, 2013, 10:29 am

      Wait, but what if she just showed up in the waiting room to give her husband the present to pass along, not expecting to be invited into the room? Is that OK? Because that doesn’t seem that weird to me, at least it wouldn’t if this were a normal relationship.

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      • avatar

        csp March 4, 2013, 1:58 pm

        no, but why wouldn’t she call her fiance before doing that. wouldn’t you give a heads up call like “I thought I would drive over and drop off a present?”

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        ebstarr March 4, 2013, 2:52 pm

        I would, personally, yeah. But in a scenario where he says, “OK, I’m going to be at the hospital for the next twelve hours,” I wouldn’t think it was all THAT weird for her to drop by. It’s weird in the sense of “don’t you have a cell phone?”, but I don’t think it’s like, boundary-crossing weird… unless you have an incredibly critical, defensive, “privacy”-obsessed fiance who clearly doesn’t want you around him most of the time at all. 🙂

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      • avatar

        ebstarr March 4, 2013, 2:53 pm

        (This is assuming that she wasn’t inviting herself into the actual hospital room, but just coming to the hospital to see her own fiance who has just become a grandparent.)

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      • avatar

        csp March 4, 2013, 3:55 pm

        Right, I just think if I was meeting my husband anywhere, i usually call and say “I’m on the way” or “do you want to ride together.” I mean who doesn’t do this in a relationship? I can tell you, I wouldn’t show up at my inlaws without calling or driving with my husband.

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      • avatar

        ebstarr March 4, 2013, 3:10 pm

        But actually, reading some of your other comments, it does seem like she probably should have known her boyfriend wasn’t cool with it, as you’ve been saying. Honestly, though, I think she’s being treated so terribly that it might be hard for her to get an accurate read on ANYTHING at this point. I mean, imagine if you were worried about your kids and how they felt about their father being hospitalized, and your boyfriend just responded by yelling at you for stepping away from an event at which he was acting like you were barely welcome in the first place? Ugh. He is doing NOTHING but setting “boundaries” that are too harsh and completely inappropriate for someone he supposedly loves. If she overstepped one, more power to her.

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      • avatar

        csp March 4, 2013, 3:53 pm

        I wrote below that I believe this guy’s first priority is his kid’s happiness. That means placating his ex wife. The LW is low on that list. This happens ALOT with late divorces and adult children. She has to decide if thier time together is worth being excluded in this part of his life. I know that the wedding thing must have been upsetting. But her kids were taken care of and she wasn’t upset enough to politely leave and get her kids. So I am sure he was like, why do you have to make this happy day about you. It just sounds like a martyr to me. She says, “no, I am fine, I will just cry at this table in the middle of the wedding. I am fine.”

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 3:58 pm

        Right or wrong, you are so spot on with the late divorces comment.

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      • avatar

        ebstarr March 4, 2013, 4:27 pm

        To be fair, it sounds like she left the table to cry and then was berated for leaving, she didn’t sit at the table crying and asking for attention.

        The man has lied to her (attending son’s engagement party without telling her), told her she was “crazy and not normal” (something you NEVER say to someone you’re dating), accused her of embarrassing him, told her she “doesn’t belong,” that major life events are “none of her business.” This is not normal or OK behavior — and I think doing things like stopping by a hospital with a gift for a soon-to-be close relative or taking a phone call about your children in an emergency are normal and OK behaviors.

        She doesn’t sound like a martyr to me unless she’s actively making this stuff up; she sounds like someone with extraordinarily low self-esteem who doesn’t recognize that she’s being treated with cruelty.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 10:30 am

      Ok, maybe I’m missing something. Is this seriously a thing that’s considered invasive? Dad’s fiance isn’t allowed to stop at the hospital and congratulate her soon to be stepdaughter?

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      • theattack

        theattack March 4, 2013, 10:33 am

        I know that I wouldn’t want many people around me after I just gave birth. Only my very best of friends, the father, and the grandparents. Everyone else can wait until I get a shower and some decent clothes on, ya know? I think it’s best to visit one at a time at home after scheduling a convenient time for the new parents.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 10:36 am

        Well no I wouldn’t want her in my room while the doctors are cleaning me up, but usually you are moved to a different room after you give birth, where visitors stop by. You are generally there for a day or two. I just don’t see how that’s rude to stop by. She’s the almost stepmom for goodness sake.

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      • avatar

        AmyP March 4, 2013, 10:47 pm

        I personally don’t like hospital visitors beyond my husband and our kids, and those in moderation. A few issues:

        1. I’m weak and beat up and not feeling pretty.

        2. The hospital gown is open in the rear, so you’re pretty much trapped in your bed if it’s not somebody REALLY close to you or somebody you feel comfortable telling to give you some privacy.

        3. My toddler came and ate the best parts of my hospital meal when I was not up to putting up a fight.

        4. Those postpartum hospital stays are really short and precious, and a lot of us need the chance to rest up before going home to laundry and cooking and cleaning, etc.

        5. There’s a lot of dribbling of blood in those first postpartum days. It requires effort to keep the bathroom from looking like a crime scene.

        6. During my last postpartum stay, the nurses required me to collect my urine in a plastic cap in the toilet. So at all times, there was a cap full of cold, bloody urine over the toilet. I’d die if my dad’s girlfriend popped in under the circumstances.

        7. I should be taking a nap.

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      • katie

        katie March 4, 2013, 10:54 am

        it just depends on your family and friend culture… i know that my friends here in chicago are very everyone goes to the hospital types, but then there was that one letter (i think it was a letter..?) where the LW didnt want her own parents in the room. so it just depends.

        personally, id at least call before no matter what type of people they are. i dont want to walk into a sponge bath or some weird medical test or something. lol

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 11:02 am

        I don’t mean in the room while giving birth, and if the nurses were doing a sponge bath or something, the visitor would be told and the door would be closed likely. I’m sure you’re right that there are people out there who wouldn’t be comfortable, but I just think the “norm” is that its ok and not rude at all. We visit people when they are sick in a hospital, so I don’t see how this is too different.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant March 4, 2013, 11:47 am

        I disagree that it’s the universal norm to visit someone in the hospital. I would never show up unannounced to visit someone at the hospital, no matter the reason they are there. If someone is sick they may not feel up to company and dropping in would be an imposition. That said to you have to wait for an “invite”? I don’t think so, but I would definitely call them, or call they’re main caretaker before making the trip over to see if they are up for visitors.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 1:57 pm

        Its always surprising to me the things I learn are not universal norms on here. Where I am, you get visitors up the wazoo if you are in the hospital, for any reason.

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      • theattack

        theattack March 4, 2013, 11:02 am

        Yeah, I think the key is to call ahead and ask if it’s okay to come, because you just don’t know. Some people are fine with it and some people aren’t. It’s important not to assume anything and make the new mom uncomfortable.

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        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 11:15 am

        I hear you, but at some point can we just stop being so over-cautious or oversensitive or whatever you want to call it and just appreciate that someone wants to congratulate you and see a cute little baby.
        Like, if that’s going to make you so uncomfortable that you have throw someone out of the hospital room bc they have well wishes, you probably need to just chill the hell out in general.

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      • theattack

        theattack March 4, 2013, 11:22 am

        Well I agree no one should be thrown out for something like that, and the new mom should be grateful that someone cared to come. I just think it’s much more courteous to ask before coming. I really value my privacy, and I honestly can’t imagine wanting people around for a couple of days after. I would want to have some alone time with the new baby, to rest, to get to looking better, etc. I wouldn’t be rude if someone came by, but I definitely think it’s more polite to try to schedule something with the new mom than to drop by unexpectedly.

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        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 11:31 am

        I guess you’re right. Can’t hurt to ask first, but it was mean to react that way to someone just trying to be nice.

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      • theattack

        theattack March 4, 2013, 11:38 am

        Agreed.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 March 4, 2013, 11:23 am

        I think some people really don’t want to see anybody, but close family, until they can get home with the baby. I have a friend that his wife didn’t want anyone showing up at the hospital, and he told us that, and it was perfectly fine for us to wait.

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      • katie

        katie March 4, 2013, 11:44 am

        i would never be offended if a new mom didnt want visitors the day or two after birth. i mean, come on. she just gave birth. i see those pictures on facebook sometimes, and the mom just looks absolutely exhausted, hasnt showered in days, ect.. and you can TELL. i wouldnt blame anyone who just wants some peace and quiet after that experience.

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        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 11:50 am

        I wouldn’t blame her for not wanting visitors, and certainly not if she said that in advance, but I would blame her if she was unnecessarily rude to someone who just wanted to wish her well at the hospital.

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      • katie

        katie March 4, 2013, 12:06 pm

        well, yea i mean you really shouldnt be rude to anyone ever right?

        but if we are talking about the LW, it was the boyfriend and ex-wife who told her to leave, not the new mom (at least from the letter). so that was just another situation to pull the “its family and private and nonayourbusiness” card.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 12:09 pm

        Yea, that’s true. (both points)

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        csp March 4, 2013, 2:02 pm

        I would say this is not a normal situation. she wasn’t invited to the baby shower or the engagement party. This is obviously a very sensitive relationship. I would never show up with things that upsetting.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary March 4, 2013, 10:45 am

      In my opinion, the LW is going to be his daughter’s stepmother (technically) and she threw her bridal shower. I don’t think it would be unacceptable for her to stop by the hospital 1-2 days after the birth. It’s not like she asked to be in the room during labor.

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        csp March 4, 2013, 2:05 pm

        you are right, they are going to be family. But why didn’t the LW run this idea by her fiance? this family dynamic is very sensitive. I think she knew her fiance would say no, so she just went to stake her claim.

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        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 2:10 pm

        Stake her claim to what? The baby? Her fiance? They’re already engaged, I don’t think has to “prove ownership” of him at that point.

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        csp March 4, 2013, 2:18 pm

        On her place in the family. She wrote in asking if she is crazy for wanting to be a part of these major life events. So she knows she is inserting herself in these situations and it has been made clear that she is not welcome. But she still did it in the hospital. She named all of these events that were so contentious. I wouldn’t think this was that wierd if there weren’t all these other events beforehand.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 2:20 pm

        I mean, I guess you have a point in that its sorta been made clear she’s not welcome in the family already, but should that stop her from trying to be? (presuming its in a nice way)

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        csp March 4, 2013, 4:00 pm

        Right, she should keep trying. I just think you have to do it with boundaries. Like set up a time to visit. I am envisioning her showing up to the hospital where the fiance and ex wife are having a polite time meeting the baby. Then the LW walks in and the ex freaks and the daughter cries and the baby cries. Then her fiance turns and goes, “Why wouldn’t you call and you just show up?” He would blame her for ruining the beautiful momment. It isn’t about the LW, it is about the broken family that she is associating with.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 4:07 pm

        The more comments I read from you on this letter, the more you change my mind a little. Honestly, I think the only thing to do at this point is for her to accept she will never be part of this family or welcome at all, or just MOA bc her fiance is an asshole to her.

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  • avatar

    Older and (hopefully) wiser March 4, 2013, 9:37 am

    Actually, maybe that would even explain why he thinks you’re crazy for wanting to attend family functions.

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  • avatar

    bethany March 4, 2013, 9:38 am

    LW, why would you want to be with a man who treats you this way? WHY? Seriously, I want to know. This goes for everyone else who is dating a loser who treats you like shit. You do realize that being single is ok, and that there are lots of other people out there you could date, right?!

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  • avatar

    Friend of Beagles March 4, 2013, 10:17 am

    LW, your letter is breaking my heart. Leave him. Leave him and his whole crazy extended family behind. This is not a dynamic you want to tie yourself into forever. Further, Wendy’s right, and here’s some more advice originally written for someone in the same situation (I think you’ll find a number of the comments especially helpful):

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 10:23 am

    YOU ARE NOT CRAZY. Moa, or you will be. And what kind of a boyfriend/fiance tells their SO what they are “allowed” to do?!

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    • LM

      LM March 4, 2013, 12:04 pm

      She kinda sorta already sounds like she’s bordering the crazy line.

      LW – PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE find your self worth. You don’t deserve to be treated poorly, especially if the man asked you to marry him! I mean, let’s put it this way… ask yourself – he asked you to marry him (though it doesn’t actually sound like you accepted) but doesn’t want you to go to any family functions or events? He wants to spend his life with you but doesn’t want you to be a part of his life? How strange does that sound? Now you have the added bonus of an EX wife. She is an EX for a reason. YOU need to be the ex too. If you really need a reason – he doesn’t respect you and treats you like crap and wants to control you. Do you really want that to be your life and having to be told when you can and can’t be included in a family event when this man is supposed to be your family?

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  • avatar

    PFG-SCR March 4, 2013, 10:29 am

    I agree with Wendy and the others, but the one thing that you mentioned several times that makes me wonder about the situation, especially in light of everything else you have shared: You mention several times about behaving like a lady. I’m not sure what that means to you, but that doesn’t mean you act as a doormat, which is what it seems to be the case with your boyfriend. He doesn’t treat you well, at least when it comes to his children, and I would think a man who speaks to a woman like that doesn’t just limit it to a certain topic. He sound controlling and manipulative – the wedding incident is just ridiculous if he thinks you ruined it.

    By the way, I can understand him wanting to “keep the peace” since his ex-wife is so nasty, but it’s more than that – he’s rude and disrespectful to you. He should always be on your side when it comes to her, though, but he’s not ever, it would seem.

    I’d have a long serious talk with him about all of this. I’m guessing you haven’t or you would have mentioned that. But, you have to be ready to decide what action you are willing to take, because he doesn’t seem like the type who is going to think he needs to change. You deserve someone better than that.

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  • avatar

    rachel March 4, 2013, 10:30 am

    Why on earth would you want to be married to a man who doesn’t think you “belong” in his life? HE is the one who is not normal. Cut your losses and MOA.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. March 4, 2013, 10:31 am

    This man is not good for you. Leave him and his crazy family behind. If you marry him, you will be more miserable than you are now.

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  • avatar

    sarolabelle March 4, 2013, 10:50 am

    LW, has your boyfriend ever said to you “I don’t want to be with you anymore and I think we need to break up?” Perhaps it was sometime after the daughter’s wedding? The explanations for why he is mean to you are:

    1. He is a mean hateful guy with a mean hateful family.
    2. He already broke up with you nicely and you don’t get it so he has resorted to being mean.
    3. He is simple minded and afraid of his ex-wife and thinks and feels only what he tells him to.

    I am betting that it is number 2.

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    • Amybelle

      Amybelle March 4, 2013, 11:22 am

      I got that vibe myself!

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      • avatar

        Amber March 4, 2013, 3:47 pm

        me too!

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  • parton_doll

    parton_doll March 4, 2013, 10:56 am

    Please do not marry this man. And take some time out for yourself to figure out why you automatically seem to put his needs before your own, so that you can either work on revamping this relationship (which I do not recommend) or set your self up to approach your next relationship from a stronger position.

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  • katie

    katie March 4, 2013, 10:57 am

    so, i agree that this guy is an idiot and you need to leave him… HOWEVER- your repeat mentions of “proper etiquette” and acting like a “lady” despite him being a jackass make me think that there is more to the story and you are not completely blameless here.

    i just think you need a drama cleanse. get some self-awareness about why you would be with a guy like this, and then why you seem to feed the drama so much. its not healthy, and it absolutely doesnt make you a desirable partner. so cut that shit out.

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    • lynn

      Lynn March 4, 2013, 11:03 am

      +1

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    • Roxy_84

      Roxy84 March 4, 2013, 3:05 pm

      YES. Her language was really odd. There’s something more here, but regardless the LW needs to get out now and do some serious thinking about why she’s “allowed” (another weird one about her husband “allowing” her to do this or that!) herself to be treated like this.

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  • lynn

    Lynn March 4, 2013, 11:02 am

    I’m thinking you should just go ahead and MOA. He treats you like crap and you’re putting up with it — that’s not OK. He seems like a jerk, and I don’t think he is someone you should really want to be with.

    Also, this stuck out to me, “I did not say a word and instead conducted myself like a lady, which was confirmed by everyone the next day.”

    … Did you bring this up to people? Did they bring this up to you? I understand you telling US that you behaved like a “lady” (you know, so we know what role you played), but I hope you didn’t go around asking people if you conducted yourself like a lady or bringing up what happened to other family members. Because I don’t think that’s very lady-like. Being a lady means, to me at least, being polite, poised and classy, and occasionally biting your lip just to save face BUT being a lady does not mean allowing people to walk all over you.

    You should stand up for yourself and should never let anyone treat you like you’re lower than dirt — being lady-like would be taking the high road, telling your fiance that you do not and will not tolerate being treated in such a manner and then walking away.

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    • avatar

      ebstarr March 4, 2013, 11:14 am

      As hilarious as I find the idea of someone walking around going, “Did I behave like a lady yesterday?”, because who says that, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask close friends if they think you behaved inappropriately, especially if your husband is a crazyperson who says that you’re a shower-ruiner because you do things like cry (in private, it sounds like) when someone you know goes to the hospital, or leave parties to check on your kids.

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      • lynn

        Lynn March 4, 2013, 11:24 am

        No I agree. In private, I would ask people I trust and feel close to if I behaved inappropriately (I’ve asked friends that before). But I have an inkling that she didn’t do that, especially since she used the word “everyone.” I don’t know, but the feeling I’m getting is that we are missing quite a bit to this story. Not that his behavior is acceptable, but something is rubbing me the wrong way.

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      • katie

        katie March 4, 2013, 11:32 am

        but who would she have asked? she has no close friends there, i assume- it was the boyfriends family’s event, where everyone evidently hates her. so seriously, who could she possible have talked to?

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      • avatar

        ebstarr March 4, 2013, 11:41 am

        Haha well, both of you ask good questions. I feel really bad for this LW, though, and it doesn’t sound to me like she has the guts to make a scene or walk around asking random people in public if she behaved appropriately, when she doesn’t even have the guts to stand up to her boyfriend and say, “If you expect me to plan a shower without attending it, that is BULLSHIT.” You know?

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle March 4, 2013, 11:45 am

        That’s what I was wondering, too—like ~who~ were these friendly faces telling her she wasn’t acting out of line?

        But then I thought, maybe the boyfriend was SUCH an ass that the people in attendance actually had to console her immediately? Because I could that being the case…if she was visibly upset, or if he was saying things to her within earshot, maybe a few guest came up like “Oh honey, don’t worry…you’re completely in the right, you weren’t being embarrassing at all…”

        I do think the consistent use of “acted like a lady” is weird though; I hope no one actually phrased it that way.

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      • LM

        LM March 4, 2013, 12:30 pm

        I think the phrasing is odd. Maybe this LW is on the older side where the generation might use “acting like a lady” as opposed to “lady like”.

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    • landygirl

      landygirl March 4, 2013, 11:33 am

      I immediately thought of the Skinny Girl cocktail commericals where the woman talks about how ladies are supposed to act.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 11:36 am

        Those are surprisingly tasty.

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      • lynn

        lynn March 4, 2013, 11:38 am

        Haha I’ve never seen one of those.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 March 4, 2013, 11:30 am

    Do his kids like you? They should be the ones deciding if you get to go to their parties or not. They really sound like a pretty crappy family to be part of. Also it seems like you might read into things a little to much, and overreact! Were your kids ok when they were staying over a friends house? Was your kids friends house such a terrible place to be that it drove you to tears, and kept you a way from the wedding for so long?

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 11:36 am

      Is that overreacting? Idk. My dad and stepmom were taking my kid for an overnight and my stepmom called to ask if she could sleep over my stepmom’s sisters bc they were there and her niece and my daughter were getting along really well and wanted to have a sleepover there together. I was put in an awkward position of having to say its fine, but when I got off the phone, I got a little teary about it bc she’d never slept anywhere but at my parents before. My stepmom’s sister is a great person and all, but I wasn’t entirely comfortable with it. So I sorta get why she would be upset about it.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 March 4, 2013, 11:53 am

        I think a specific situation can get added to anything to make it seem like something isn’t overreacting, but I think for the most part it is some place they have probably stayed before, and this LW seems like she is really sesitive, which probably isn’t a good mix with how much of an ass this guy, and his family is.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 11:56 am

        I agree. Just thought I’d add a perspective to it. Plus, I can imagine it might have taken several minutes to make sure her kids’ situation as all sorted out before returning to the wedding. It’d be ruder had she taken the call at the table.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 March 4, 2013, 12:12 pm

        Yeah I will definitely give you that, for some reason, it just seemed like from the way the boyfriend acted, like she was gone for a very long time, but that is just me speculating, I really have no way of telling any of this haha.

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      • avatar

        ebstarr March 4, 2013, 12:51 pm

        It sounds like she was crying partly because her ex was going to the hospital, which is not that weird if they have an amicable relationship, esp since he’s the father of her kids. And if she HAD gone back to the wedding asap while still teary-eyed, then she would have been accused of causing drama by her boyfriend/fiance, his wife, and probably all of us… if it were me and I had started crying, I might have been gone 20 minutes, 30 minutes, especially if I was already on edge from being treated like crap by my weird boyfriend and his weird wife.

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    • kare

      kare March 5, 2013, 11:48 pm

      Another important question – do your kids like him?

      I mean it seems like obviously he doesn’t want you involved in the lives of his children. I wonder how he feels about your children.

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  • beelzebarb

    beelzebarb March 4, 2013, 11:31 am

    Omg LW please tell me you don’t let your children near this lunatic.

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  • Jess

    Jess March 4, 2013, 11:57 am

    Man, I would love to get the perspective of the daughter in this story. Something tells me she did not have a smooth and drama-free wedding.

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  • avatar

    6napkinburger March 4, 2013, 12:36 pm

    I wish there was a requirement that all letters had to include the gender and/or sex; the age and the country of origin and/or country of residence of the LW. Because this letter read a little stilted (meaning it made me think English was not the first language of the LW) and maybe this is not occurring in America, where there are different traditions for hospitals and weddings. Also, there are a lot of children of varying ages (her 4 little ones, his married children) which made me want to know their ages. He sounds a lot older than she is.

    But, the whole thing was so sad… do you live together? Is he ever nice to you? Just so sad.

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  • avatar

    Sue Jones March 4, 2013, 12:41 pm

    Your BF should be creating a united front with you. The fact that he doesn’t makes him suspect. MOA and find someone who treats you better!

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  • avatar

    Anna March 4, 2013, 1:12 pm

    Please LW, don’t marry this guy. Even if you were inserting yourself into social situations that aren’t completely appropriate, it still wouldn’t be ok for him to verbally abuse you and treat you like crap. Take a stand for yourself, give back his ring, and go start your own life with your 4 kids. They are the 4 people in this world that should be #1 on your priority list anyway. You should probably take a break from dating for a little while and just focus on yourself and your kids. I get the feeling that you don’t have terribly high self-esteem, and you should work on that before you date again. You have to love yourself before you can love someone else.

    One more observation: you didn’t mention why he and his ex broke up but it sounds like they still have feelings for each other. If that weren’t the case, he wouldn’t choose to sit by her at a wedding rather than you. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get back together after you (hopefully) dump him. And they both sound like pompous assholes so they’re perfect for each other!

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 1:17 pm

      “Even if you were inserting yourself into social situations that aren’t completely appropriate, it still wouldn’t be ok for him to verbally abuse you and treat you like crap.”
      BAM!So true Anna.

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  • avatar

    AllisonExclaims March 4, 2013, 1:31 pm

    I don’t understand why you have continued to stay with a man that makes you feel so shitty & you have to confirm with other friends/family that your behavior is normal. MOA sweetheart 🙁

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  • AKchic_

    AKchic_ March 4, 2013, 2:19 pm

    Dump this asshole like a bad habit, move on and find someone who will respect you and not have his balls tied to his ex-wife’s purse like a keychain.

    You deserve so much better than this.

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    • avatar

      Anna March 4, 2013, 2:44 pm

      Ah, I love your comments so much. My fucked up mind literally just pictured this bitch with a pair of balls dangling from her purse. Thanks for that visual. lol

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      • AKchic_

        AKchic_ March 4, 2013, 5:18 pm

        You are so totally welcome. When she described the relationship between exes, it’s what I envisioned. I may talk to my 2nd ex-husband on a near-daily basis, but I certainly don’t tell him what to think in regards to his paramours. I simply smile and nod and let him come to his own conclusions unless I have a valid reason for not wanting the chickie around my kids, and he hasn’t provided me with any reason not to introduce someone to the kids yet.

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  • avatar

    Lindsay March 4, 2013, 2:36 pm

    LW, you’re spending time asking whether you’re crazy and trying to prove that you’re not, when you should have just dumped this guy a long time ago. He treats you like crap, and even if he didn’t, he’s letting his ex-wife make your life completely miserable. Why put up with that? I mean, really, why would you want an asshole for a boyfriend?

    Though, I always wonder in situations like this where the new girlfriend or wife is displeased by not being welcomed into the family what else is going on. You never mention how his daughter feels about you, either. My dad didn’t invite my current stepmom to family events until they got serious, so the engagement party thing, since you said you were just starting to date, is not that odd to me.

    I also think you have an odd fixation with “being a lady.” If someone is treating you like shit, it doesn’t matter how you act. You don’t have to have a certain degree of manners to deserve to be treated well (well, aside from really rude people, but that’s beside the point).

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  • avatar

    Tenchy March 4, 2013, 2:51 pm

    Did i really read “I am not ALLOWED”, “he does not Allow me”…Good lord woman, this is 2013. You are the only person who should ALLOW yourself to do anything. The man sucks, his ex sucks. Get out of the situation.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 3:26 pm

    Did you guys know that today is the only day of the year that is a command?

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    • avatar

      csp March 4, 2013, 3:30 pm

      Monday?

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle March 4, 2013, 3:32 pm

      Ooh, I get it!

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    • LadyinPurpleNotRed

      LadyinPurpleNotRed March 4, 2013, 3:32 pm

      March forth (fourth)!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 3:37 pm

        We gotta winna!

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed March 4, 2013, 3:42 pm

        What do I win?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 4, 2013, 3:57 pm

        hmm, a big smile 😀

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed March 4, 2013, 4:04 pm

        yay! I like smiles!

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      • avatar

        csp March 4, 2013, 3:46 pm

        ha, i get it

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    • Diablo

      Diablo March 4, 2013, 5:39 pm

      I look forward to the springtime benediction of “May the Fourth be with you…”

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      • AKchic_

        AKchic_ March 4, 2013, 6:36 pm

        And the following day with “Revenge of the Fifth”.

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      • Lady_Red

        Red_Lady March 4, 2013, 11:07 pm

        Haha, I hadn’t heard that one before!

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  • avatar

    Lily in NYC March 4, 2013, 3:42 pm

    I am willing to bet money your ass of a boyfriend is still sleeping with his ex-wife. Even if he isn’t, why are you putting up with this treatment? Run, run, run and keep running. You are being verbally abused.

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  • avatar

    csp March 4, 2013, 3:45 pm

    LW, on DW, we get the new wife letters or the adult child letters. You didn’t mention this but I am guessing that your fiance was in a long marriage with this woman. They didn’t break up when the kids were 2 but when they were in thier teens or 20s. Marriages with that much history really never get better and the family never gets comfortable with outside relationships.

    My Aunt and Uncle broke up after 25 years of marriage and my Uncle married his mistress. That was 10 years ago. My cousin recently got married and my uncle’s wife did not attend the reception. The new wife sat in the back of the church for the ceremony and quietly took separate pictures away from all the guests then did not go the the reception. She was a wife of 10 years but it didn’t matter because this family was not willing to include her. She made the choice that she would see the kids for part of every holiday but wouldn’t be in the same room as the first wife.

    LW, if this is the man you love, you will have to understand that you won’t be in the “in crowd” of this family unit. This situation will never get better because you are not really part of the family. Is that sad and unfair, of course. But you came into this family late and chances are that your fiance wants to have happy events with his children and is willing to pacify his exwife to do so. These happy children are probably more important than you. Now, many people are totally ok being the 2nd wife and missing these joint events like christenings, grand children birthdays, ect. It is up to you if he is worth it.

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  • avatar

    Lucy March 4, 2013, 5:02 pm

    Didn’t read all the comments, but LW, your fiance is an asshole. Break the engagement and find someone who doesn’t treat you like rubbish.

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    iwannatalktosampson March 4, 2013, 6:04 pm

    I feel like your boyfriend hates you and just doesn’t know how to tell you. This reminds me of middle school dating when you want to break up with someone but instead of telling them you just start treating them like shit and passing notes to other boys in front of them and making plans that they’re not invited to until they get the picture and know that you’re broken up.

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  • avatar

    Ammie March 4, 2013, 6:13 pm

    Like others have said, it’s hard to know whether we’re getting the whole story here, so I’m not going to say who’s being a jerk and who isn’t… it sounds like him, from your letter, but it could be both of you for all I know.

    What I do know is that, independent of rights or wrongs, this does not sound like a loving and healthy relationship. You need to break up and find a better fit for you.

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  • Lady_Red

    Red_Lady March 4, 2013, 11:13 pm

    “She said I only belong at family things once I marry my boyfriend and not before.”
    That sounds horrible! Part of knowing if you really want to marry someone is seeing how you fit in with each other’s families. If you two can’t present a united front before marriage, why would you expect anything to change afterwards? This family does not sounds like it welcomes you, so you need to decide if that’s something you can live with, or if you’d prefer to MOA and maybe find someone in the future who will welcome you into their family.

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    • avatar

      BreezyAM March 5, 2013, 4:13 am

      Either that or he’s had a hell of a lotta girlfriends over the years?

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  • avatar

    BreezyAM March 5, 2013, 4:13 am

    this dude is either still married or should be. Fuck him and MOA.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark March 5, 2013, 5:39 am

    A match made in heaven. He is jerk, it seems. But she goes out of her way to make him act this way. She is wildly inappropriate and tries to make EVERY event all about his children somehow ALL about her. It’s alarming how so many of you on here fail to see that. She is a drama-queen just dying to be the center of attention and it is RUDE to show up at events that you aren’t wanted it at. Especially when it’s all about winning. Ugh. People like this are just so exhausting…

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