Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend’s Family Refuses to Include My Daughter In Their Wedding Plans!!”

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My partner, Rob, and I each have children from our previous marriages (he has three and I have one). We have been together less than two years now and we are planning to live together shortly. We are very excited and we want to feel as though we are from the same family and are treated as such by our respective families.

Recently, Rob’s brother and his fiancée started to plan their wedding. Rob is Best Man and his daughter has been asked to be bridesmaid. My daughter has been asked to be a flower girl, which I thought was a lovely gesture. Unfortunately, the bride-to-be (BTB) is only inviting Rob’s daughter on all the shopping trips to look for dresses and is not including my daughter. These trips are taking place on weekends, which we all typically spend together, and trying to explain to my daughter why she isn’t invited is upsetting for both her and me. If I’m brutally honest, the BTB is making me feel like my daughter is not as important a part of the family as Rob’s daughter is. I’m beginning to think my daughter was only asked to be a flower girl to make it look as though they’re doing the right thing in front of Rob’s family, but excluding her from shopping trips when she’s usually spending time with her step-sister makes it seem like they still don’t view her as family. I’m thinking of telling them that my daughter will no longer be able to attend the wedding as a flower girl.

Also, I am not part of any of the wedding preparations, which is fine, but my partner is Best Man! I don’t like the fact that I won’t be sitting with him at the wedding; plus, I’ll have to listen to him say to the world how beautiful he thinks the bride looks. The BTB has been a thorn in our side since we met by making snide remarks to me when Rob isn’t around. He used to like all of her Facebook selfies, but she texts and calls Rob unnecessarily (texting each other practically every day when I first met him). I never make my concerns about her behavior apparent to her or the family, and I always treated her with respect, but the flower girl situation has me rethinking how I deal with her going forward.

I am at a loss now as to why she is continuously trying to come between us and I am furious that she asked my daughter to be a flower girl only to exclude her from shopping trips! I love Rob so much, but this woman is driving a wedge between us and I don’t know why.* — Furious at the BTB

You’re right — the BTB doesn’t view your daughter as family. And there’s a good reason for that. She’s … NOT family. YOU’RE not family. Your daughter is NOT step-sisters with Rob’s daughter. You’re not married to Rob. You two don’t even live together. You haven’t even been dating that long. I mean, most of my underwear is older than your relationship. And you’re complaining that your 9-year-old isn’t being invited along to your boyfriend’s brother’s fiancée’s dress shopping? I mean, let’s set aside for a moment your issue with your boyfriend — oh, I’m sorry, “partner” — not sitting next to you for a few minutes at a wedding and your fear of his “telling the world” he thinks the bride looks pretty on her wedding day — all of which makes you sound like a jealous 14-year-old at her junior high school homecoming, the fact that you are seriously offended that these people you are not related to and have known for only a year and a half, if that, are not being inclusive enough with you and your daughter in their wedding planning is, pardon me, fucking bonkers.

If you love Rob and hope to one day be part of his extended family — which, again, you aren’t yet! — and don’t want to alienate the whole crew against you, you need to take a fistful of chill pills, pull up your big girl panties, and let these people plan and enjoy their wedding without your influence. Surely your daughter has better things to do on a Saturday afternoon than spending it in some boring-ass bridal shops. Doesn’t she have friends? Birthday parties to go to? Gymnastics class or something? Hell, even sitting around playing with Barbies and making Rainbow Loom charm bracelets sounds a hell of a lot better than trying on dresses with her mom’s boyfriend’s brother’s fiancée. But, if I’m wrong, and your daughter really is super upset to be missing out on the good time that is trying on taffetas in fluorescent-lit dressing rooms, tell her that that type of shopping is usually reserved for 10-year-olds and older but you have something even more fun for her to do (which, basically could be watching paint dry, if you ask me): You’re going to take her to get ice cream and get her nails done (or go to a movie or whatever it is your daughter likes to do). Ice cream solves a lot when it comes to 9-year-old girls, as I’m sure you know.

Finally, your jealousy over your boyfriend’s good relationship with his sister-in-law is sad. If Rob’s own brother doesn’t have a problem with it — and I assume he doesn’t if he’s marrying the woman and making his brother Best Man — why on earth do you? If you’re that insecure to feel threatened by this woman who has extended an olive branch to you by asking your daughter to be her flower girl — which is a very kind gesture — then I don’t see how you’re ever going to be happy in this relationship. Or any relationship. Because the issue you have isn’t really with the BTB; it’s with yourself. And with your seeming inability to behave like a mature adult. Before you ruin what you say is a good thing, get yourself together, stop acting like a jealous 8th-grader, quit using your daughter as an excuse to butt into the planning of a wedding that isn’t about you, and be glad your boyfriend’s family has been as kind and inclusive with you as they have been!

*Some details in the original letter have been edited since it was initially posted.
***************

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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.

62 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Juliecatharine February 4, 2016, 8:20 am

    Afuckingmen Wendy. Lady, you may *feel* married but you aren’t. You don’t live together, you aren’t engaged, you haven’t even been dating that long. Get a grip and stop communicating to your daughter that other people’s special events are yours to dictate. Yeesh. Please check yourself because I don’t even want to imagine what you’re going to be like *if* you get engaged.

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  • avatar

    keyblade February 4, 2016, 8:25 am

    WWS! I love it.

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  • avatar

    karenwalker February 4, 2016, 8:39 am

    WWS
    Seriously, chill out! You’re making a big deal over nothing. It really doesn’t sound like this woman is trying to drive a wedge between you & Rob. You, however, might be because you seem to be reacting in an irrational manner and come across as jealous & insecure about the friendship Rob has with his future SIL.
    Can you give an example of the snide remarks you say she makes when no one else is around?
    So what if you can’t sit next to your boyfriend at dinner?! You can still dance with him and spend time with him at the wedding. Plus, you don’t know for sure you won’t be sitting with him – I’ve seen wedding parties sit with their dates at weddings. When I was a bridesmaid, my boyfriend (not in the bridal party) sat with me.
    Why do you care if your boyfriend says the bride looks pretty at her wedding? Your disdain for this is part of what makes you come across as irrational and jealous. Most people at the wedding will be telling the bride she looks pretty, and I would hope you also plan on telling the bride she looks pretty!
    In regards to your daughter’s involvement as flower girl, you got what you wanted – they are including her! I imagine that the BTB will want to be involved in picking out the flower girl dress. Have you considered that maybe the BTB is planning on taking your daughter shopping for a flower girl dress – maybe she wants to have one-on-one time with each girl so she has time to focus on each girl and get to bond with each? Maybe she doesn’t feel comfortable taking two children shopping? Maybe she wants to take her Rob’s daughter shopping for the dress because the girl’s mother is not involved at all with the wedding?
    FWIW, depending on how far away the wedding is, I don’t think it would be out of line to ask BTB what’s the plan for the flower girl dress. If you don’t feel comfortable asking, Rob can ask. “The wedding is two months away, and we don’t know what you want the Flower Girl to wear. What’s the plan for her dress?”

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  • avatar

    Sue Jones February 4, 2016, 8:47 am

    WWS. My 7th grader acts more mature than this LW.

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  • avatar

    laurahope February 4, 2016, 8:52 am

    Awesome response, Wendy! (And how lovely that bride must be to include your daughter as a flower girl. That’s above and beyond)

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    • FireStar

      Firestar February 4, 2016, 12:08 pm

      Isn’t it? The brother’s girlfriend child in the wedding party?? After a year and a half? How more inclusive can you get? Damn. That isn’t a driving a wedge …that is laying out a red carpet. This LW is crazy town.

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  • mrmidtwenties

    mrmidtwenties February 4, 2016, 8:55 am

    The real title of this letter should be, “My boyfriend’s family is being super nice by making my daughter a flower girl despite not dating my boyfriend all that long and if I keep acting like a jealous brat my boyfriend will become my ex-boyfriend and the family will be stuck with all these wedding pictures with my daughter as the flower girl”

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  • avatar

    TheRascal February 4, 2016, 9:04 am

    WWS. Jesus. Effing. Christ.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh February 4, 2016, 9:09 am

    Do flower girls usually go on shopping trips with brides? Rob’s daughter, not your daughter’s step-sister, is a bridesmaid. Someone who will have to wear the same dress as the other bridesmaids. I’m assuming she needs to be there to make sure whatever dress they pick comes in the correct size/style for her too? Have you thought of that? Or were you too busy being a little on the crazy side?

    Take a deep breath and focus on your daughter. And if you want his family to think you are for sure crazy, have your daughter back out of the wedding. Otherwise enjoy some time with your daughter.

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  • Portia

    Portia February 4, 2016, 9:30 am

    WWS *1000. Also, stop making someone else’s wedding about you. It’s not. Also, why are you telling your daughter she isn’t invited? There are way better ways to deal with this than pointing out that she was excluded.
    .
    In terms of whether or not flower girls generally go shopping with the bigger bridal party, I was a flower girl twice and never went on shopping trips with the bridal party, even when I was close with the bride. I can think of many great reasons for this, the first of which is a little kid would be bored out of their minds sitting and watching people try on clothes. I didn’t even want to do that for my own wedding. And those places are not kid-friendly.

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  • Crochet.Ninja

    Crochet.Ninja February 4, 2016, 9:31 am

    18 months is just not long enough for most people to fully accept someone into their family. i’m sure they do like your daughter, but they may not be there yet.

    and flower girls dont go with the bridesmaids for fittings etc.. that’s just a bridesmaid thing..

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph February 4, 2016, 9:47 am

      LW’s daughter probably hasn’t even known Rob’s whole family for 18 months. My hope is that the LW would have taken things slow* at the beginning and only gradually introduced her kid to Rob’s family after she was sure Rob was a longer-term prospect. So maybe these people have known her daughter a year?

      *and at least kudos for only just planning to move in together at 18 months rather than some LWs we’ve had moving their kids in with their bf after a few months!

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  • avatar

    ktfran February 4, 2016, 9:41 am

    I agree with Wendy of course. While reading, I was thinking “wow.” I’m glad Wendy wrote the response she did.
    .
    I want to address your daughter’s feelings in this because you say not being invited dress shopping is upsetting both of you. It’s upsetting her because I promise you she’s picking up on your negativity about the situation. If from the get-go, you had done as Wendy suggested and explained in a calm, friendly way that this was a special time for BTB and her soon to be niece, or if the shopping was just for the bridesmaids, or something to that effect, your daughter wouldn’t have thought twice about it. Especially if you planned something fun!
    .
    I really do think you’re bringing this all on yourself and you do sound super jealous. I mean, come on, not sitting together at the reception? It’s like, an hour, maybe two, tops. Then it doesn’t matter what table people hang out at. There’s supposed to be mingling. Anyone who gets upset over a separate wedding party table has major insecurity issues.

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    • bondbabe

      bondbabe February 4, 2016, 11:13 am

      I totally agree with you on the daughter being upset (really, though?) because the mother is making a big deal about it. Holy Moses!

      LW, you do realize where children learn the majority of their behaviors and formulate their thought processes and opinions from, right? YOU, the parent. It’s really time for you to grow up, gain some perspective and realize everything DOES NOT revolve around you. Just, wow!

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      • avatar

        ktfran February 4, 2016, 11:45 am

        My mom use to get really upset at perceived slights. It has taken me a lot of years to realize that people don’t do things at you…. they have their own lives going on. So sit back, relax, and everything will be dandy. I’m much calmer about life now.

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      • avatar

        Steph February 4, 2016, 2:57 pm

        THIS! I’m still learning this and it’s been hard. I’m much better and realizing things aren’t always done in SPITE and people aren’t always out to get me. It’s making life much easier.

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      • freckles

        freckles February 4, 2016, 4:48 pm

        Same! My mother is über sensitive and gets upset at the slightest hint of a slight against her. Even when there isn’t one. I ended up becoming very stressed whenever I hung out with her because I felt that I always had to walk on eggshells. As a result, our relationship is not as close as it could be, which upsets her.

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  • Raccoon eyes

    Raccoon eyes February 4, 2016, 9:45 am

    WWS!
    *
    Yes, LW, it is time to RELAX. And these instances you see as being a dig AT you? More likely than not, each time, you didnt even enter into the decision-maker’s mind when making the decision. Dont be all butt-hurt that your daughter isnt invited for dress-shopping. Your daughter will see that and emulate it, and think that is how an adult (female) acts. Time to act like an adult- no jealousy BS about your partner telling a BRIDE that she looks PRETTY (cmon, wtf????), no reading into every action everyone makes because you think they dont see you and your BF as a family, and STOP being a whiny baby. (As an aside, you know how you get others to see you as a family? You BE one, and in time, that is what the perception will be. Just bc you and your bf of 18mo decide that you are a family unit, doesnt magically make you one, poof! It just doesnt- which you should know, Id think, as a previously married woman with two children and one of which is 9 years old.)
    *
    Im sorry to be so harsh, but seriously, you need a reality check. Your life isnt some adult Mean Girls movie.
    *
    If anything, you need to check BTB’s snide comments to you. BUT, I think the high road is a better path here- just be the bigger person and look at her with a look of incredulity and say “I dont know why you would say that,” or even “that was really unkind and unnecessary,” with accompanying look of bewilderment…or even pity. Stop sinking to that level.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph February 4, 2016, 9:53 am

    “we want to feel as though we are from the same family and are treated as such by our respective families”
    Yeah that’s great that that’s what you want, but these things don’t magically happen that way. And as I said elsewhere in the thread, it’s good that you aren’t rushing this for your children’s sake, but you don’t even live together. You aren’t married or even engaged. You’ve only been together 18 months and likely you didn’t meet his whole family on the first date, so they’ve known you for less time. Being treated as part of the family will come with time, and with making further steps to cement your relationship.
    Your daughter’s reaction to this (if she is even upset) is completely created by you. You could spin this however you want. You could make her feel less left out, if you weren’t so busy wallowing in it. And if you were so worried about your daughter’s feelings, I doubt you would pull her out of the wedding just to spite the bride. How should she feel then when she is effectively “kicked out” of the wedding?

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    • avatar

      Vathena February 4, 2016, 10:28 am

      Re: withdrawing from the wedding, I thought that too. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face! “Sorry honey, BTB won’t invite you on the shopping trips, so now *I* won’t even let you be in the wedding!” Yeah, if the daughter is actually upset about missing out on shopping, I can just imagine how much better she will feel when she’s no longer allowed to participate at all. That will go over REAL well.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph February 4, 2016, 10:45 am

        I do think it’s reasonable that the daughter might feel left out. Wendy is dismissive of dress shopping for good reason, but to a 9 year old wedding dress shopping probably sounds like a Disney fairy tale crossed with “getting to act grown up” which I think many girls that age would be totally into. But it’s up to mom to smooth things over, not fan the flames.

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      • avatar

        Vathena February 4, 2016, 10:58 am

        Yes, agreed. I went wedding-dress shopping with my soon-to-be-stepmother when I was 9-10, and it was alternately grown-up and glamorous, and mind-numbingly tedious. Which is pretty much how I feel about shopping as an adult, now that I think about it… But if the LW’s goal is to help her daughter feel better and less left-out, the answer is NOT to pull her out of the wedding.

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      • avatar

        dinoceros February 4, 2016, 12:17 pm

        I’m sure it would be fun, but it’s not an obligation. I was a flower girl at 8 and never really did anything wedding-related except buy my dress with my mom and actually attend the wedding.

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      • avatar

        MissDre February 4, 2016, 12:21 pm

        I was a flower girl at 9 (at my dad’s wedding) and I never even went shopping. I’m guessing his wife picked out my dress. I just put it on the day of the wedding and carried the basket of flowers they gave me.

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      • avatar

        dinoceros February 4, 2016, 12:45 pm

        Yeah, we were just given a color, and went to just one store, so it was essentially my mom saying, “Well, this is the only dress of that color here, so try it on and we’re buying it”

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      • avatar

        dinoceros February 4, 2016, 12:46 pm

        I didn’t like shopping as a kid. I got bored. So, I’m glad no one took me to any extended shopping trips.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph February 4, 2016, 5:40 pm

        Oh, yeah, I’m not suggesting that she should be included just because she might like to go. Just that several people have accused the LW of projecting her slighted feelings onto her daughter and while that may be true, I am also willing to believe that the daughter would like to go (or at least thinks she would like to go, but would actually probably be bored).

        My own wedding dress shopping experience was to try on 4 dresses, try the second one on again just to confirm, buy it, and get out in time for lunch.

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana February 4, 2016, 9:54 am

    You aren’t even married or living together and you are already trying to find ways to put a wedge in between your boyfriend and his brother in the future. This line really bugged the shit out of me ” I never make my concerns about her behavior apparent to her or the family, and I always treated her with respect, but the flower girl situation has me rethinking how I deal with her going forward.” You are going to “rethink” how you “deal with her” going forward? Like trying to prevent your boyfriend from seeing her/her husband which will cause distance between them. I seriously have no patience for people who create this level of unnecessary drama.
    .
    This lady is actually a part of the family, as she is about to marry your boyfriend’s brother. It is incredibly nice that she included your daughter as the flower girl. I think you need to take a massive chill pill and maybe work on your insecurities. Your boyfriend’s FSIL is a part of his family– if I got along better with either of my brothers in laws, or had a ton in common with either of them, I am sure we would be in more contact. I honestly cannot even imagine that my sister, either of them, would ever be remotely jealous or insecure about me hanging out with my brothers in law one on one or talking to them on my own time. Same with my boyfriend– I would really love it he and my sisters had a friendship independent of me. So this is not a normal reaction, and your jealous is going to end up destroying your relationships with these people.

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  • avatar

    Essie February 4, 2016, 10:24 am

    WWS. Times a million.

    I have the feeling this will all be moot, as I expect the LW’s relationship will be over long before the brother’s wedding happens. Her boyfriend is probably having serious second thoughts, given the epic, childish tantrum she’s throwing. What a lovely preview he’s getting of the nasty, petty, mean-girl drama the rest of his life will be filled with if he sticks with the LW.

    A side note: you don’t get to dictate when your partner’s family treats you as a member of the family. You EARN that. You earn their acceptance and affection, and you do not do that by making demands and creating drama.

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. February 4, 2016, 11:40 am

      Yep. I think I know why the LW’s first marriage ended.

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  • avatar

    Ron February 4, 2016, 10:34 am

    I’ll not suggest the typical ‘seek counseling’ and skip straight to ‘find a good psychiatrist’. If you show this column to Rob, my advice to him is MOA.

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray February 4, 2016, 10:34 am

    One of my favorite responses from Wendy!

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  • Bon Vivant

    Bon Vivant February 4, 2016, 10:45 am

    I would like nothing better than to be trying on wedding dresses with a 9 year old in tow.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray February 4, 2016, 10:46 am

      “Are we done yet? …. Now are we done? …. How many more minutes til we’re done? … 1 minute? … Yes?”

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. February 4, 2016, 10:48 am

    Yay, Wendy! LW, all I can say is, I hope your BF (who I guarantee has noticed your craziness) thinks really hard about this relationship. If I were him, I’d be gone. And that wouldn’t be the BTB’s fault.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 February 4, 2016, 10:48 am

    It’s amazing how easy it is to tell that this all stems from the LW’s jealousy of the “BTB”, she has been holding on to this from the very beginning of the relationship, and for some crazy reason she has always seen this women as a threat to her relationship, and clearly holds it against her. My guess would be that the reason this women makes snide marks to you when Rob isn’t around is because you don’t treat her as well as you think you do. People can tell when you are being fake nice to them. Don’t worry LW Rob and the BTB are just friends, and hopefully you can see that before Rob figures you out.

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  • avatar

    Ali February 4, 2016, 10:51 am

    It seems like the real issue here is that the LW is jealous of the BTB because she’s officially becoming part of the family. Everyone else has already pointed out how unrealistic it is to expect his family to act like they’re a “family unit” at this point, but it seems like there’s something more at play that just the LW being immature. She’s obviously run-of-the-mill jealous of the BTB about her pre existing friendship with Rob, but it seems like she’d have that issue with any woman in his life can she feels that she should be his #1 everything and that everyone ELSE should treat her accordingly as well. This is more than that. Perhaps things aren’t moving as quickly as she’d like with Rob and she’s upset that she’s going to this wedding as a girlfriend and not as a fiancée or wife herself, in which case her daughter might (MIGHT) be more included. just a thought.

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    • avatar

      Vathena February 4, 2016, 11:10 am

      So much this. The bit about BTB “continually trying to come between us” is especially baffling. The evidence for this is: bf “likes” BTB’s photos on social media, bf and BTB sometimes text or call each other. I guess I should have been worried about all three of my sisters-in-law from the very beginning, then, if that’s grounds for “coming between us”. (I’m discounting the “snide remarks” because of the overreaction and drama-mongering apparent in the rest of the letter, but I am willing to revise my opinion if LW pops up to provide some examples.)

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    • avatar

      artsygirl February 4, 2016, 2:46 pm

      Completely agree Ali – I also wondered how long ago the LW got divorced. It is possible that she is feeling insecure and unsettled after the end of her marriage and it is manifesting into her hyper vigilance into these perceived slights by the BTB.

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  • Lianne

    Lianne February 4, 2016, 11:00 am

    I was so turned off the whole time reading his. Great response, Wendy. People astound me.

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  • avatar

    TheGrumpapotamus February 4, 2016, 11:21 am

    WWS, WEES, and I must say, I absolutely love it when Wendy goes H.A.M. on LWs who have clearly taken leave of their common sense.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy February 4, 2016, 11:59 am

      Maybe it’s totally obvious (probably), but what does H.A.M mean?

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      • avatar

        Anna February 4, 2016, 12:18 pm

        Please excuse my language HAM is “hard as a muthaeffer” haha 🙂

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      • avatar

        girltuesday February 4, 2016, 12:19 pm

        Hard As (a) Motherfucker. 🙂

        Kanye west has a song titled “H.A.M.” It’s a great workout song, btw.

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      • avatar

        MissDre February 4, 2016, 12:22 pm

        I knew what HAM meant in general but I had no idea it was an acronym for anything. Now I know!

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy February 4, 2016, 12:45 pm

        Thanks, everyone!

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  • avatar

    for_cutie February 4, 2016, 11:37 am

    Yes WWS, WEES. If the daughter is really into the idea of dress shopping, then take her on a Mommy-Daughter date to pick out your wedding outfit. And, for the love of all don’t make it white/ivory or any of the wedding colors. Also remind your daughter she will get her chance to try on her flower girl dress to order it and then a fitting. Her time will come. I feel bad for the daughter here, this is a chance for her to learn that not everyone is invited to do everything. Instead LW is making it about her own jealousy and insecurities. Could it be that the LW is jealous that is it not HER getting married?

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  • avatar

    girltuesday February 4, 2016, 11:45 am

    WWS WWS WWS.

    What I read from this is that it’s not about her daughter at all, it’s more about the jealousy that the BTB is getting allllll of the attention. WTF. Get a grip, lady. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.

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  • avatar

    keyblade February 4, 2016, 11:46 am

    “We are very excited and we want to feel as though we are from the same family and are treated as such by our respective families.”

    You want to be a family unit. This can be a beautiful thing. This unit you are in the process of creating might be healthiest if you allow room for the surrounding family to form their own relationships a little more on their own timetable. I sense a pre-emptive anxiety about others accepting the legitimacy of your family. You want your children to get the message that you are one cohesive unit. I think one way to contribute to this goal is by encouraging acceptance. When you feel comfortable enough to need lead with the fear that other people have the ability to define you or your family, you might be giving your kids an example of the strength of your family unit.

    For what it’s worth, I never went shopping with my flower girl. My flower girl didn’t come to any bridal events accept for the rehearsal. I think you want to continue to spend time with ALL of you on the weekends. You are heavily invested in a sense of family. But the healthiest families I know are able to give each other some space and do things separately some times.

    I have a bias against enmeshment. To me it represents a deeper risk to relationships than a less than enthusiastic sister-in-law.

    “I love Rob so much, but this woman is driving a wedge between us and I don’t know why”
    This woman seems to have too much power allotted to her, in my opinion. You are giving this wedding too much power because you are afraid. If you acknowledge the fear and feel it through, you will come through the other side feeling calmer. It’s okay to be insecure. It’s just a feeling. This is new and you are finding your way. I know there is a lot on the line for you. It’s okay. You love Rob and he loves you. It’s okay if things don’t look like what you envisioned all the time. Your family will be stronger for it. Good luck to you.

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    • avatar

      keyblade February 4, 2016, 11:55 am

      edit- when you feel comfortable enough to lead and react *without* the fear that other people have the ability to define your family.

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  • Monkeysmommy

    Monkeysmommy February 4, 2016, 11:52 am

    I can *kind of* follow you on the daughter/BTB shopping thing; it is hard for kids to understand being excluded sometimes; especially when the mother is framing the girls as step-sisters (which they aren’t). The thing is- maybe the BTB just wants to bond with her soon to be niece. Or maybe she feels that a 9 year old may be too much to handle when she just wants a relaxing trip; the maturity difference between 9 and 11 can be big. I teach a group of 8-12 years olds every Wednesday night, and I am here to tell you that the 8-9 year old girls could drive me to drink, while the 11-12 year olds are calmer. Your daughter also may be (sorry, being honest here) “difficult”, meaning she may demand a lot of attention or focus, or maybe she is hyper. None of this may be true, and if it is you couldn’t say that to your daughter, but you have to consider that there may be legitimate reasons your daughter is excluded other than bloodlines.
    *
    You lost me at your nasty comments about the BTB. She is being lovely in asking your kid to be her flower girl- my BIL is getting married in July and I was shocked they asked our son to be their ring bearer and me to be a bridesmaid, and I AM married to the brother of the groom. She has no reason to include you, and your attitude demonstrates why. Yes, it would be nice if you could sit with him at the reception, but if you can’t then suck it up. if I were Rob, you would already be out of there!

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  • Diablo

    Diablo February 4, 2016, 11:53 am

    Wendy, one of the depressing things I’ve concluded about people after being a smartass for nearly half a century is that many, many people are very, very literal in their use and understanding of language. This is why even here on DW, there have been repeated calls for a sarcasm font and frequent use of the /s. As you made clear, the LW could use a heaping helping of self-awareness to address her feelings of entitlement in this family event that only nominally involves her and her daughter at all. So, yeah, of course I and most of us savvy DWers intuitively understand that you meant it metaphorically, and that there is no such actual thing as a “chill pill,” it scares me when you suggest she take a fistful of chill pills. Who KNOWS what bad decisions this could lead to out there in the midst of the highly literal herd? Heck, I even worry about my phrase “heaping helping of self-awareness” – would someone out there eat a self-help book because I said that? On the other hand, maybe I worry too much. Maybe that is just what natural selection is all about. Never mind.
    .
    Oh, and PS: /s

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  • avatar

    hazel February 4, 2016, 11:55 am

    nice advice keyblade.

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      keyblade February 4, 2016, 12:01 pm

      um thanks. I need a blushing font.

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    dinoceros February 4, 2016, 12:14 pm

    I’m sorry, but your tone and the kinds of things that you are complaining about make you sound insufferable. I think that it’s not a surprise that you’re having difficulties with his family because I’m sure that your disdain comes through. First, your daughter is certainly less important to his family than his daughter. Like, duh. I assume, unless you rushed into meeting each other’s kids, that they haven’t known your daughter for very long. Plus, dating someone doesn’t automatically make them family, especially since you’re only PLANNING a long-term commitment step at this point.
    .
    If you’re spiteful enough to take her out as flower girl, then you might as well break up, honestly. Because you’re always going to be seen as a spiteful pariah in the family. I assume she’s excited about being flower girl, so you’d also be punishing her. I think you can explain that the other girl does stuff with family because she is going with her “grandma” or “aunt” or whoever. I never expected to get treated like a grandchild of my stepgrandparents until they were actually my stepgrandparents, and even then, I had my own grandparents, so it didn’t matter much to me.
    .
    Finally, most partners of the wedding party don’t get to sit with their partner unless they are also in the wedding party. I have spent many weddings getting to know partners of bridesmaids or groomsmen at my table who were unable to sit with their partner. It’s a normal part of life.

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  • SavannahAnna

    SavannahAnna February 4, 2016, 12:15 pm

    H.A.M. = “Hard As a Motherfu*ker

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  • avatar

    Wonderland February 4, 2016, 12:20 pm

    Want to seem like an adult? Never say that someone liking another’s photos on Facebook is at all relevant. I swear I blame this crap on Carrie Bradshaw – the neurotic “what does it mean?” obsessing becoming acceptable.

    He liked her pics…so what? It could mean one of a million things – I have a friend who likes every pic she sees – its her way to say she’s seen it. He could be trying to make his future sister in law feel welcome…there are many options that don’t mean “secretly I want to run away with her”.

    Oh, and why don’t you call the BTB and say “little Jenny is so excited about being a flower girl. I wanted to touch base with you on when its convenient for the 3 of us to look at flower girl dresses? She would love to get to know you better and so would I. Maybe we could treat you to lunch afterwards” This is how an adult handles a situation like this. Likely she will be thrilled because probably she’s working her way through a list of items to get done and bridesmaids are a bigger task to get handled.

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  • avatar

    Boosker February 4, 2016, 12:55 pm

    Whoa, dude, you seriously expect to be included in the wedding planning? That’d be a bit much even if you were married to this guy. I didn’t include either of my sisters-in-law in any of the wedding planning, and we were all fine with it. That’s more of a bride’s side of the family thing. Your expectations are way out of line with social norms here.

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  • BlueKate

    BlueKate February 4, 2016, 5:08 pm

    Planning my own wedding now, I can honestly say that if some girlfriend of my FH’s brother, who doesn’t even live with the brother, tried to “help” me plan my wedding, I’d probably tell her to go sit in a corner till she understands what she did wrong. The audacity of LW is just insane! I mean really, the BTB didn’t have other kids to choose to be flower girls? Really? I highly doubt that. What if she didn’t even want a flower girl? But no, she gracefully extended an invite to your 9 year old daughter, who’s not family to her, to be a flower girl.

    Reading this whole post had me going “nuh uh! oh no she didn’t!”

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  • avatar

    Rod February 14, 2016, 5:21 am

    Wendy is on point with this advice. I am sorry but until you are family or the couple has been together for years and years and people feel you are family you are not and don’t deserve family treatment. I think of folks who treat folks like family too soon and then have to explain who is that in a picture. Oh my brothers ex girlfriend who he dated for two yrs and who we will never see again because of whatever reason and this goes on and on because different exs are in many family photos.

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    • avatar

      Anonymous February 15, 2016, 9:00 pm

      Wendy you are rude to the lady who asked for advice so disgusting

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy February 16, 2016, 7:41 am

        Punctuation is your friend.

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