Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “My Husband’s Daughter Didn’t Invite Me to Her Wedding”

wedding invitation

My husband and I have been married for five years now. I was not a mistress or an affair that caused the split from his first wife. Their marriage had been over for years; my husband stayed in the marriage because of their children despite the problems and his being unhappy.

He has two children, both grown. It has not been a an easy relationship with them, especially the daughter. But over the last two years she’s accepted our relationship and sees that I love her dad. She has recently met a man and is serious in her own relationship. She has brought him over to meet both of us; he is a great guy and we are both happy for her. She has become pregnant and they are planning on marriage. Our relationship (daughters and mine) has grown: They come over for dinners and to swim in the pool with their friends, and the pregnant daughter even gave me a Mother’s Day card and gift, with a message stating that, yes, our relationship has been rocky but let’s be friends. I was so happy.

Over the last month or two, I’ve learned about plans for the wedding and that it’s to be very small and that only Dad and Mom will be there. At least that’s what I’ve been told, not by daughter but by Dad. So, as you could imagine, I was really hurt and torn that I was being excluded. Dad and I talked about it, and I expressed my feelings and hurt. Long story short, Dad made the choice not to attend the wedding and to stand by me since he felt that I should have been included.

So, again as you can imagine, the daughter now hates me and now we have the ex-wife telling us how wrong we both are and that Dad will now be excluded from all in his daughter’s future. I even tried to reach out to the daughter to ask why and her thoughts and, most importantly, tell her that I thought we had grown closer and I didn’t understand why she was doing this.

Come to find out, I had been lied to all along about the wedding and their plans because her mother still hasn’t gotten over my relationship with her dad and didn’t want me there. Now the daughter doesn’t want anything to do with either Dad or, especially, me. And this is all my fault. I’m extremely hurt, confused, and deeply sad for my husband.

Was I wrong and what advice can you give me to maybe make it better? — Hurt To Be Excluded

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

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

84 comments… add one
  • avatar

    artsygirl August 25, 2016, 9:34 am

    LW – You were not wrong to be hurt that you were excluded from a wedding. Your husband is not wrong to decide to not attend the wedding. Your husband’s daughter is not wrong for being hurt that her father will not attend the wedding because of your exclusion. Basically you all made choices and there will always be consequences for those choices. Your husband’s daughter was put in a hard place – if her mother (whom she has always been close to) did not want you at the wedding then what could she say? She is pregnant and throwing together a small wedding in an abbreviated period of time – likely this is not her dream wedding and now her father has decided that he is not going to attend. It is much easier to blame you than either of her parents. Beyond that, I don’t really have any advice since it is a difficult situation. If your husband changes his mind will he even be still invited? If you decide to hold your ground, will the relationship be irreversibly damaged? I don’t have answers and ultimately it will be your husband’s choice and the only thing you can do is support him with his decision.

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    • avatar

      csp August 25, 2016, 12:42 pm

      this was a good, balanced response.

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  • avatar

    Moe P August 25, 2016, 9:37 am

    It seems like you did all you could to bridge the gap between you. It is assumed that spouses are invited together to weddings, even small weddings. That it is her FATHER’s spouse makes it even more assumed that you should be invited. Unless you have a history of causing drama at events, I say you acted perfectly reasonable and have a right to be upset.

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  • avatar

    khs8855 August 25, 2016, 9:40 am

    I just have to say that I think your husband made a terrible mistake by not attending his own daughter’s wedding. She is pregnant. This was a thrown together shot gun wedding that included only her parents, not some elaborate affair that was planned for a year in advance that included every member of the family. You are not wrong to feel hurt and excluded but you yourself mentioned your relationship has always been strained. It is very unfortunate your step daughter’s mother has made her feel like she had to choose her or you. But now your husband has chosen you over his daughter. I cannot imagine if my dad did this to me. I would be devastated. It was her wedding and he didn’t attend. It would be one thing if his daughter was some unhinged crazy person who was abusive to you. But it was a simple matter of only her parents being there. He fucked up, LW. He should have been there to watch his DAUGHTER get married.

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    • avatar

      BecBoo84 August 25, 2016, 9:52 am

      I agree. If it’s true that the only attendees at the wedding were the daughter’s parents, I actually think it is reasonable to the LW wasn’t included. And even if it was slightly unreasonable on the daughter’s part, it is absolutely absurd that your husband has stated that he won’t be attending the wedding. LW, I truly hope you tell your husband NOW that he must apologize, make amends, and tell his daughter that he would very much like to still be included if she will forgive him. This slight is not worth risking his entire relationship with both his daugther and any future grandchildren.

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    • avatar

      for_cutie August 25, 2016, 11:23 am

      I agree. I hate people that make weddings, or funerals, or other big events all about them. Brass tax, it is the daughter’s wedding and it is her call. Yes it is hurtful, but it is not your call. Her father should have been there to support her. A shot-gun wedding is not the time to make a stand about your relationship. The daughter needs and wants her father’s support and instead he made it about his romantic relationship. Sometimes a child just needs the person that raised them to stand by them, no mater their age or current circumstance.

      Your husband has some hard work ahead of him to mend this relationship. Sending a valuable and essential wedding gift (household item, gift card) and baby gift (crib, stroller?) is a way to start that support and the least you can do.

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      • Monkeysmommy

        Monkeysmommy August 25, 2016, 1:19 pm

        The mother is doing the same- making it all about her and taking a stand. Shouldn’t someone tell her to take a seat and think of her daughter’s big day, not her own wants?

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      • avatar

        artsygirl August 25, 2016, 3:55 pm

        We are not truly sure that the mother of the bride is truly behind the exclusion and even if she is, the bride is obviously fine with not inviting the LW so ultimately since it is her wedding, it is her call IMHO.

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  • avatar

    ktfran August 25, 2016, 9:48 am

    I’ll bite.

    IDK. If it really was a small, intimate family gathering with only immediate family, I do think your husband was wrong to decline. And I don’t think you’re wrong for feeling hurt. But this wasn’t an occasion to make a statement about it.

    At the same time, the ex wife needs to get over herself for fucks sake. She’s pitting her daughter against her own father. And if your timeline is correct, it has been 7+ years since the divorce. Despicable. People suck.

    I think you need to lie low. I think your husband needs to reach out to his daughters and try to make amends for missing the wedding. I hope that over time, you will be included, but I do think it will take time.

    I’m sorry, LW, this sucks. You sound nice and thoughtful. Be the bigger person. Let your husband repair his relationship. Be supportive. And I hope that by being the kinder person, it will work out for you. I really do.

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    • avatar

      Taylor August 25, 2016, 9:53 am

      I think I’m misunderstanding the narrative – did the wedding already take place?

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      • avatar

        Vathena August 25, 2016, 9:55 am

        I was wondering the same thing! It’s not clear.

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      • avatar

        ktfran August 25, 2016, 9:55 am

        I read it as it did take place, but I think others are reading it differently. If it hasn’t taken place, I think the dad should do his best to make amends now and try to be their for his daughter.

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      • avatar

        Taylor August 25, 2016, 9:59 am

        Agreed!

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      • avatar

        khs8855 August 25, 2016, 9:56 am

        You’re right. The way I read it the wedding has already happened but after reading it again I’m not sure.

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  • avatar

    Taylor August 25, 2016, 9:51 am

    This sucks! The Mom shouldn’t have pushed her daughter to not invite you, that isn’t cool. The daughter ended up making a choice, likely based on her mom saying she wouldn’t go if you were there. From the daughter’s perspective, she wants both parents there, and likely thought there was no way her father would miss her wedding. Him standing up for himself/you was the unexpected result of this.

    So, the situation is hurtful, but I’d say this is a good place to be the bigger person. She’s pregnant and getting married, her mother sounds like she’s not putting her daughter’s feelings first. If she’s willing, I’d suggest a dad/daughter sitdown. Have him say he’s sorry she got stuck in the middle, he wants to be there for her day and walk her down the aisle. It’s one day. You get to be in the right, but things get smoothed out before the grandkid is born. It’s not ideal, but could sow some good feelings for the future. Send her a nice card.

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  • avatar

    Vathena August 25, 2016, 9:52 am

    I agree with the above posters. BUT. I think your husband should go to the wedding anyway. If he misses his daughter’s wedding, especially with a grandchild already on the way, it could irreversibly damage his relationship with his daughter and grandchild. At the very least, it would take a LONG time to rebuild those relationships. You have a right to feel hurt, for sure. But I think part of loving a spouse in complicated circumstances is giving them the gift of your grace. Take one for the team and tell him to go to the wedding. The daughter is really in a tough spot with her mom, and was probably just trying to keep the peace. Who knows, in the end it might be another point in your column to win her over. She is going to need the support of her parents as she becomes a parent herself; don’t let this drama be the thing that makes your husband miss out on being a grandpa. Taking a stand on etiquette in this case is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Also, I know it’s water under the bridge, but it’s pretty obvious that your relationship with your husband started while he was still married. “Their marriage had been over for years…stayed in marriage because of their children despite the problems and him being unhappy” is pretty much the oldest story in the book. His ex doesn’t get a lifetime pass to be bitter, but maybe cut her a little bit of slack. Her daughter is getting married and it’s probably dredging up a lot of bad feelings about the failure of her own marriage.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom August 25, 2016, 10:06 am

      I went back and reread the first paragraph. It seems to say she wasn’t a mistress but the wording is ambiguous. She definitely could be saying she doesn’t consider it an affair because the marriage was already over and he was unhappy but she omits when he got divorced and whether she was seeing him before he left the wife. Lots of men claim they are just staying with the family for the kids and that the marriage is already over, so do women, and have an affair while looking like the respectable married spouse.

      LW If he was still living with his wife when you started seeing each other it was an affair. If they were still presenting themselves as a married couple it was an affair. If he stayed in the marriage until the two of you decided to get married it was an affair. If he stayed in the marriage until his wife found out about it it was an affair.

      If he had moved out of the family home before he began to see you then it wasn’t an affair.

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      • avatar

        ktfran August 25, 2016, 10:26 am

        Yeah. I took it as she met him after he divorced, but the wording is ambiguous. If it was while he was “still married for the kids sake,” it’s good that the the daughter even warmed up to the LW at all, and it’s understandable that the wife was a strong dislike for her.

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      • avatar

        Fyodor August 25, 2016, 11:42 am

        “My husband and I have been married for 5 years now. I was not a mistress or an affair that caused the split from first wife. Their marriage had been over for years, my husband stayed in marriage because of their children despite the problems and him being unhappy.”

        She dated him when they were married. She’s differentiating herself from those “bad” mistresses that break up happy marriages. Otherwise why mention that the marriage was “over” but he was unhappy and they were staying together for the kids? Why go into all this at all and not just say that they started dating after the divorce?

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      • avatar

        Anonymousse August 25, 2016, 11:55 am

        Yes. And how is the daughter supposed to know any of that, if he stayed in the marriage? So, as abrupt as it might not have been for you, LW, it probably still was for everyone else.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom August 25, 2016, 9:55 am

    I think the dad should have gone to the wedding. You aren’t wrong for being hurt but if you look at the long term you would have been much further ahead if he went without you. Her mom is saying terrible things about you but the reality was that when she interacted with you what her mom said wasn’t true. Now you’ve made it true by having her dad not attend the wedding. Everything her mom said about you will now seem to be true and it will appear you were just trying to act nice but it was fake. Sometimes in life you need to take a long term view and pick the choice that will give the best long term results. In many ways you and your husband chose the nuclear option and now the ex is delighted because she will be able to cut the two of you out of her daughter’s life and the grandchild will also be all hers.

    You not being invited was much more a statement about how badly her mom would act if you were there than about you. You needed to realize that and know that when push came to shove she had to choose between having her mom and having you and she chose her mom. How is his daughter supposed to come back from her dad choosing to not attend her wedding? That is a much bigger hurt than what you felt at not being invited.

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  • Miss MJ

    Miss MJ August 25, 2016, 10:06 am

    Sounds like your husband’s ex-wife selfishly put her own anger toward you** before her daughter’s needs and forced her to choose you or mom. Understandable that she chose mom. She made her choice and there were consequences, one of which turned out to be her dad did not attend the wedding.

    You similarly put your hurt at not being invited to her wedding before your husband’s need to be at his daughter’s wedding and forced him to chose her or you. He made his choice and there were consequences, one of which is that he’s now at odds with his daughter(s).

    This is something you need to encourage your husband and his daughter to resolve. And, in the future, everyone involved needs to understand that what they want isn’t always the most important thing and being selfish results in people being hurt. A little empathy and understanding goes a long way in these situations.

    **The LW wrote: “I was not a mistress or an affair that caused the split from first wife. Their marriage had been over for years, my husband stayed in marriage because of their children despite the problems and him being unhappy.”

    In light of the facts that the LW and the husband have been married 5 years, yet emotions are so strong that the ex wife refused to attend her daughter’s wedding if the LW were there and the daughter agreed, and that the LW says she had a rough relationship with the grown children at first, I suspect the ex wife and children see the evolution of the LW’s relationship with her husband in a very different light, true or not. If this is the case (and at some point the truth doesn’t really matter), the LW, the husband and the ex need to hammer out some way to act like mature adults so they don’t ruin every special moment of the kids’ lives with this crap.

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    • honeybeenicki

      honeybeenicki August 25, 2016, 10:18 am

      Re your last paragraph: Her letter says their marriage had been “over” for years but that he stayed in the marriage for the kids. She doesn’t say that he had been *DIVORCED* for years. So I’m guessing you’re right that they see it in a whole different light. And she said this after saying it wasn’t an affair that led to the split up… she doesn’t say she wasn’t an affair in general. Maybe I’m just reading too much into it though.

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    • avatar

      Baccalieu August 25, 2016, 11:36 am

      I agree that the daughter and the ex-wife probably have a very different take on the LW’s role in the divorce than she does. When someone says their marriage is “over” but they are staying together for the kids, the marriage may be figuratively over, but it isn’t literally over. If the LW’s husband went directly from living with his ex-wife to living with her, then it certainly would have looked to outsiders (which may well include the kids who might not know the emotional situation) like the new relationship ended the marriage. Heck, it might have seemed that way to the ex-wife, too! Was she in agreement with (or even aware of) his assessment that the marriage was over? The LW here certainly seems to be engaged in a creative “spinning” of the facts to her benefit, which is one reason why I was rather harsh on her in my other comment.

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  • avatar

    MiMi August 25, 2016, 10:17 am

    My impression was that the “tiny wedding with only Mom and Dad” was a lie – that the function could have accommodated the LW but the Momzilla took the opportunity to stick it to the ex-husband and his new wife, riding roughshod over her daughter and common decency to cause trouble on a day that wasn’t about her at all. How selfish.
    Honestly, more concerning is the adult daughter, about to marry and become a mother, who doesn’t have enough sense of self to stand up to her mother, confirm her positive relationship with the LW, and nip in the bud any demands that her father be banned forever more.

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    • avatar

      Taylor August 25, 2016, 10:23 am

      There are a lot of competent adults – professionals who kick ass in the real world, who don’t “have enough sense of self to stand up to (their) mother.” You learn, often becoming a parent helps with this.

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      • avatar

        Cheesecaker2911 August 25, 2016, 11:48 am

        I have a lifetime of emotional manipulation and verbal abuse from my mother, and I still can’t quite stand up to her. It’s really not as easy as it seems. I know that I don’t want her and her clear disdain for me to be something my kids see when they arrive in this world, and I know I’m hoping that gives me the extra balls I need to fully stand up for myself, rather than just avoiding seeing her and my equally emotionally abusive father.

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      • avatar

        Taylor August 25, 2016, 12:53 pm

        *hug*
        It’s a really tough thing to learn! Having a kid really helped me stand up for myself, it’s easier to stand up for her than it ever has been standing up for myself (still).

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    • avatar

      Anonymousse August 25, 2016, 12:57 pm

      Or maybe, she just wanted a tiny wedding without all the drama and hurt feelings inviting her fathers new wife, former mistress entails.

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    • avatar

      artsygirl August 25, 2016, 4:01 pm

      You could be correct, but ultimately the fact that the bride was so upset and hurt leads to the conclusion that she agreed at least in part with the LW’s exclusion.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom August 25, 2016, 4:36 pm

      Maybe the daughter really didn’t want the LW at her wedding and did stand up for herself.

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  • Nookie

    Nookie August 25, 2016, 10:24 am

    I don’t know, I read this completely differently. Perhaps in light of the baby and the desire to marry quickly, the daughter really did want a tiny wedding and having just her parents there is reasonable.
    .
    I really feel that the LW overstepped the mark here, she should’ve been hurt and sad not to be invited but sucked it up and the husband should (or should’ve) go to the wedding. This isn’t something to start a huge family fight over and by doing so, the situation is now a lot worse.

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    • avatar

      khs8855 August 25, 2016, 10:26 am

      Completely agree. What would have been a small yet hurtful slight for the letter writer has now turned into a situation that has ruined a relationship between father and daughter.

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  • avatar

    Bostonpupgal August 25, 2016, 10:50 am

    Ehh I don’t know. Married couples, especially married parents of the bride, are always, always invited together. A married couple is a social unit, period. You do not invite one without the other unless there is a major rift or problem (an affair, drug use, abuse, mental or emotional issues, etc) which don’t seem to be at play here. Not inviting the LW was a huge slight. And a husband’s loyalty should always be to his wife first. That may not be a popular opinion but I was raised with the belief that a marriage is the most important bond and that it comes before everything, even children. You choose that person as your partner for life.

    What is really sad is that it seems the LW’s exclusion was instigated (possibly even completely made up??) by the ex wife. If the wedding hasn’t taken place I suggest the LW and the husband sit down with his daughter and try to sort this out. Say how much they love her and both want to support and be there on her wedding day. If it has passed, I’d still try to sit down and explain the confusion and why you didn’t attend. Get them a lovely wedding gift and ask to make ammends.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom August 25, 2016, 11:09 am

      If she was seeing him at a time when he said the marriage was over but he was still living with the wife for the sake of the kids the kids will not see him as self-sacrificing for their well-being but a self-absorbed jerk who blew their family apart with an affair and the kids would be right. In the end the wedding is about the daughter and not about the stepmother. Let the daughter put together the wedding that works for her. The dad may have already proved that he didn’t value the married social unit he had, the one with the ex so why would his kids be expected to value and respect the new one he has.

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  • avatar

    Baccalieu August 25, 2016, 11:21 am

    I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the LW’s desire to have everyone forget about the issue now she’s made her point, although I do have sympathy for the situation she was in. Obviously, she should have been invited and the ex-wife was being unreasonable, and it would definitely have been better if her husband told her the truth about why she wasn’t invited, However, regardless of her hurt, for her husband’s sake, she should have sucked it up and encouraged him to go to the wedding. She chose to make a stand and force her husband to choose between her and his daughter, he did, and now she has to accept the consequences of that. Can she really say now that she doesn’t understand why her relationship with her step-daughter has gone back to being strained? The fact that it turned out to be at the instigation of the ex-wife rather than the daughter that she was excluded should lessen the hurt somewhat. Yes it would have been nice if the daughter had stood up to her mother and demanded she be civil, but it is understandable that she did not.
    It’s not 100% clear whether the wedding has already taken place. If it hasn’t, then tell your husband to go. If it has, and it is very important to you to improve the relations, then even though you were right to be hurt and may not feel any need to apologize, you and your husband are going to have to do some groveling and apologizing. Otherwise you just have to accept the strain in the relationship and hope it blows over in time.

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy August 25, 2016, 11:26 am

    Your husband’s daughter was wrong not to extend an invite to you, the woman married to her dad and with whom she’s been trying to forge a relationship. But the wrong now done against her — her father refusing to attend her very small wedding because of his wife’s exclusion — is a bigger offense and one that will be much, much harder to right. What you could have done was reached out to the daughter personally, expressed your hurt over being excluded from the wedding, expressing your hope that it wasn’t an indication of her feelings for you but an attempt to try to meet an impossible feet (pleasing everyone) as well as she could under the cicrumstances and letting her know that while you would very much like to be at the wedding and would be there in a heartbeat if she decided even at the last minute to invite you that if you had to sit it out, you would still like to celebrate the occasion with her another time and are looking forward to welcoming two new family members — her husband-to-be and child-to-be into the fold.

    You chose instead to let your husband “stand by you” and refuse to attend his daughter’s wedding, thereby ruining their relationship. What could have been some hurt feelings for you is now multiplied and applied to several people. And for what? Do you feel better?

    I suggest you encourage your husband to ask his daughter to forgive him and allow him to attend her wedding. I suggest you write a nice handwritten letter to his daughter apologizing for your part in any tension around her special occasion, letting her know you were hurt to be excluded from her wedding and deeply regret the way you handled those hurt feelings. Tell her it would mean the world to her to see her husband celebrate his daughter’s special day by attending her wedding and that you would regret forever if your hurt feelings were the cause of a rift between her and your husband.

    You’re only human and your’e entitled to your feelings, of course. But now you have to be the bigger person and apologize for the sake of your husband’s relationship with his daughter (and future son-in-law and grandchild).

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    • avatar

      Anonymousse August 25, 2016, 12:01 pm

      Yes, exactly what Wendy said. Please do this now, before this takes off from where it started and becomes much bigger than all of you. If your husband “stands by you,” and doesn’t go to the wedding, and ignores the birth of his grandchild it will forever change his relationship to his daughter. Even if the exclusion hurt you, she was probably trying to spare her mother’s feelings, from (for all intents and purposes) being confronted with her husband’s mistress at the wedding. His daughter has an obviously greater tie to her mother, and you pretty clearly painted how your relationship with your now-husband started. That comes with caveats, like this one, where you respectfully not attend certain events for the sake of attempted harmony.
      Fix this now, and insure your husband continues a happy relationship with his daughter.

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    • FireStar

      Firestar August 25, 2016, 5:28 pm

      Perfect.

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  • avatar

    Fyodor August 25, 2016, 11:36 am

    1. If it is really the case that the daughter is just having her mom and dad there, then it’s reasonable for her to not want her stepmother. The bride presumably has cousins, friends, etc that have a claim on her too, that are not getting to come.

    2. All the people who are talking about how it’s “required” to invite the spouse of the attendees are gargling nonsense. This isn’t some kind of medium sized affair with a fish/meat selection. It’s a ceremony with just the parents of the couple. She’s not a parent.

    3. To the extent that the LW is hurt, getting her husband to skip out on his daughter’s wedding is a horrible thing to do. Your husband should be at his daughter’s wedding, especially given the circumstances above. Put your butthurt aside and encourage him to go.

    4. If, as your first paragraph implies, you had an affair with the father while he was married to the mom, it takes a weapons grade level of chutzpah to make these kinds of demands on the daughter. Take whatever politeness you can get and settle for it.

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    • avatar

      Vathena August 25, 2016, 11:53 am

      I LOL’ed at “weapons grade level of chutzpah”. Well done.

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      • avatar

        Anonymousse August 25, 2016, 12:02 pm

        Ha, ha. Excellent.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom August 25, 2016, 11:40 am

    I think that often someone feels hurt about being excluded because the invitation would validate their own marriage. You should never use the wedding of a child to prove the validity of your own marriage. You prove the validity of your own marriage by having a good, strong marriage. A strong marriage can handle a slight like one spouse not being invited to a wedding.

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  • avatar

    Ale August 25, 2016, 12:18 pm

    Why is everybody so obssessed with getting invitations to weddings?

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark August 25, 2016, 5:04 pm

      Seriously. Weddings are almost as much fucking fun as funerals.

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  • avatar

    Jahaafincher August 25, 2016, 12:20 pm

    You shoulda just let him go. Y did u cause this unnecessary drama?

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  • findingtheearth

    findingtheearth August 25, 2016, 12:22 pm

    Weddings. Causing family rifts since 30000000 B.C.

    But seriously. Your husband’s ex needs to get over it. You have worked hard to bridge the gap between you too. Your husband should attend and if the wedding has already occurred, he should call and apologize and remind his daughter he loves her.

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  • avatar

    Brise August 25, 2016, 12:57 pm

    Yes, you were wrong. This wedding is not about you. The bride can perfectly not want to have you there, and for her mother’s sake, despite accepting you otherwise. That is her absolute freedom. The happy couple decide always who they invite to their wedding, and all people who intervene to say that they should be part of it are wrong, entitled and abusive. Your husband is even wronger to “choose” you over his daughter, what a non-sense. Plus, to his pregnant daughter! Stupid mistake. I understand you could be hurt, but you made an unintelligent fuss. You should have enjoyed this warming relationship with your husband’s daughter and kept your disappointment for yourself. You missed the opportunity to react graciously to a difficult situation for you, and to amend for good this relationship with this step-daughter and her future children.
    So now, you have to mend the fence. Make your husband apologise profusely and go to this wedding, if it isn’t too late. If it is over already, he should do what Wendy suggested.
    Lastly: admit that if you marry a divorced man, moreover if you started seeing him when he was still married, there is pain, hard feelings, and difficult situations to deal with. You acted selfishly and without reflexion about the future.

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  • avatar

    Northern Star August 25, 2016, 12:59 pm

    You had an affair with the girl’s father (from your own words—we all know what “their marriage had been over for years, but he was staying for the sake of the kids” means, as it’s the number-one excuse in the cheater’s handbook), and you’re wondering why the girl’s mother doesn’t want you at the teeny-tiny rush-job wedding of her daughter? I bet she didn’t particularly want your husband there, either, but she had no choice about that.

    You made a huge mess, and your husband is a fool to “stand by you” at the cost of his relationship with his daughter. It’s too bad you couldn’t be understanding and gracious when the moment called for it, but if the wedding has already happened with the bride’s father NOT in attendance, you may have helped permanently destroy THEIR relationship, too. Good luck getting quality time with the grandchild.

    To fix it: Apologize, apologize, apologize. No “But I feel hurt.” No “But you did this wrong…” Just straight-up apologize. YOU WERE WRONG. Accept it, believe it, and make sure the daughter knows you mean it. She may forgive you.

    But if your husband is as self-centered as he sounds, she may not forgive him. There’s nothing you can do about that.

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    ele4phant August 25, 2016, 1:15 pm

    How big is this wedding? Did the bride and groom*really* want just parents the only guests?

    Or is a normal smallish wedding that you got cut-out of? If it’s the former, yeah, I think the couple should have been given more leeway in excluding step-parents or other people who technically “should” get the invite, and for you to not be graceful about it and to get your husband to rescind his attendance was kind of crappy on your part.

    BUT, if it was a regularish size wedding in which aunts, uncles, friends or invited, then yes, you should have been invited. Even if you were the event that precipitated his divorce (And BE honest, he was still married when you got together. He may have felt his marriage was over, but his children and/or his ex may not have been privy to that emotional distance, and that perception matters. People were hurt.), you are officially his wife now, and have been for awhile. By tradition, you should be invited, and everybody else should be capable of being a grown-up by now and being civil.

    And it sounds like your husband is backing you up, which is good. Unfortunately, now that that’s come to pass, and there’s nothing you really can do. The time to have been extending the olive branch was before. Why did you not try to establish some sort of relationship with the ex wife before, or least get to a point where you two could have been civil and both been part of the grandkids lives? It’s been a long time since they split, and she’s never not going to be around. You should have tried, painful though it may have been.

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  • Monkeysmommy

    Monkeysmommy August 25, 2016, 1:18 pm

    I am going to go against what some are saying about the daughter’s right to be angry and upset. I think daughter should have told mom that Dad and LW are both welcome; if mom announces that she won’t be there if LW is, then tell her she’ll be missed, and go about your business. She won’t hold to that. The ex wife is being completely unreasonable here, and is making this about her, just as some are accusing the LW of. Yes, he is her father, but LW is his wife. He has an obligation to them both, but the daughter is marrying and forging her own path, the father is committed to his wife and her feelings do matter here. LW isn’t just a girlfriend like on of our recent LWs. She has the right to be hurt, and I don’t disagree with her husband’s decision. I am divorced and remarried; I certainly wouldn’t bar my ex’s new wife from attending our kid’s wedding. (In fact, if someone could find the man a new wife, that would be great).

    I dont know about the whole shotgun wedding comment, that really isnt a thing in today’s world full of options. Plus LW said they pretty much lied and it isnt a small wedding, just that the mom doesnt want her there.

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    • Monkeysmommy

      Monkeysmommy August 25, 2016, 1:27 pm

      Let me clarify that I don’t disagree that the daughter had a right to be upset now that her father isn’t coming- she does, just as LW has the right to be hurt she was excluded. But frankly, the whole mess rests on exwifes head. Maybe she should apologize for being so petty that she would rather destroy daughters relationship with her father than be civil for one day.

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        Vathena August 25, 2016, 1:58 pm

        This is all true, but the ex-wife isn’t the one who wrote in. Under the circumstances, the best outcome for preserving all relationships involved is for the husband/dad to attend the wedding without his wife. If she can bear the slight now, she may have a shot at developing a better relationship with the kids down the road. As it stands, she and her husband are going to be out in the cold for a long time.

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        Anonymousse August 25, 2016, 6:15 pm

        If my father had been cheating in my mother, I think I’d probably not invite dads new wife if that’s what my mother wanted.
        Even if the daughter has until now played nice and made friends with LW, she still probably views her as a home wrecker.

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      marynn August 25, 2016, 1:30 pm

      Sorry, but he also has a committment for life to HIS DAUGHTER. That is more for life than marriage… you can get divorced, but parenthood is for life.

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      • Monkeysmommy

        Monkeysmommy August 25, 2016, 5:24 pm

        And your kids move out and start their own families, but you build your life with your spouse and hope to grow old together. Works more than one way.

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      ele4phant August 25, 2016, 2:06 pm

      I mean I agree…but the LW is the second wife, not the daughter or the ex-wife. So advice to them doesn’t help the letter-writer at all.

      And it would be very charitable of her to let her husband go be there, and then try to nurse her hurt feelings and work on the relationship in the future.

      Or stick to her guns (she’s technically in the right), but know that her husband and daughter’s relationship may be irreparably damaged. Which again, maybe not her fault. But if she loves her husband and wants him to have good relationships with the ones he loves, maybe for his happiness she can sacrifice her own for the day.

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      Northern Star August 25, 2016, 2:13 pm

      The father already dumped his family for his mistress. And then he chooses her AGAIN rather than his daughter. I can’t believe he thought it was more important to validate the former mistress’s feelings about not being included in the major events of the family she helped destroy than to be there on one of the biggest days of his child’s life. So what if the ex-wife is feeling unreasonable? She has more right than the LW (who has ZERO rights) to make requests of the bride.

      You don’t demand people cater to you when they don’t have any investment in making you happy to begin with.

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        ele4phant August 25, 2016, 2:56 pm

        So, I say this as someone who’s father left her mother to go be with someone else (and ultimately marry them), but sometimes you gotta get over it.

        At the time, it hurt a lot. My father said that he had long been checked out of his marriage with my mom but only stayed with her because of us the kids (just like the LW’s husband said) but that was news to my mom, and she was crushed when he left. And even though we were adults, it hurt us kids too when he left. Maybe I’m projecting, but I assume it was similar to this family. I was mad. I didn’t know if I could ever accept my father’s new partner into my life, and it definitely changed how I see my father.

        But you know what? My father’s wife was invited to my wedding. Because we’re all grown-up and sometimes you need to act like it. This was the woman who made my father happy and who he wanted to be with, my mother had moved on, and weddings are not really about the bride and groom anyways. It’s about sharing a happy occasion with everyone who loves and supports them.

        If the bride or mother of the bride had written in, I would have told them to suck it up. I think the LW is justified in feeling hurt that she should have been invited (with the caveat that this is a normal wedding and truly not a “just parents affair”). She should have been.

        I think it would be incredibly gracious of her to tell her husband to go, but to me, the bad guys in this story are the bride and her mother.

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        Northern Star August 25, 2016, 3:16 pm

        And from my perspective, as the child of divorce as well, who watched my mother carry on an emotional affair that hurt my father and myself (because she was an unhappy, withdrawn person for years) deeply, I can say this: I am fine with the man who is now living with my mom, and I’m happy my dad moved on and found a great life with someone new. Everyone’s happier and in a better place. Everyone will be coming to my wedding in December.

        But if my dad was NOT OK with what happened and asked me NOT to include the person who broke up our family in my teeny-tiny, family-only wedding— I would choose him over the other man every. Single. Time. And if my mom chose not to attend my wedding as a result, I would know what her priorities were as well. I refuse to see the bride as the bad guy in this scenario.

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        ele4phant August 25, 2016, 3:38 pm

        That would have been a hard situation to be in, sure. If my mother had five years after that fact still been so embittered that she gave me an ultimatum, I would’ve been pretty frustrated with her for being so petty and for so long.

        She’s my mother and of course her presence very important, but so is my father’s. And, it she was giving me that ultimatum, that would be shitty position for her to put me in.

        Would I still have chosen her over my father (and by extension his wife)? I don’t know. I probably would have just eloped and gotten married with neither of them there.

        Thankfully, everybody acted like grown-ups.

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        Northern Star August 25, 2016, 3:42 pm

        Perhaps the LW should have tried acting like a grown-up instead of being so “hurt” that her husband had to MISS HIS OWN DAUGHTER’S WEDDING.

        To be honest, I place the blame on him for making such a selfish, stupid, cruel decision. He’ll pay for it by having no relationship with his grandchildren. Consequences suck.

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      • Monkeysmommy

        Monkeysmommy August 25, 2016, 5:26 pm

        You know… we don’t know that. You are making assumptions, and you may be mistaken. Maybe not. OP should come back and clarify.

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      Kas August 25, 2016, 2:51 pm

      Her mom is more important than a mistress turned wife. I’d be dipped on dog poop before I choose my stepmom over the woman who gave birth to me. A wedding is a life changing event, why would anyone choose someone they knew for a few years over their mother?

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom August 25, 2016, 4:40 pm

      The LW thinks it is the ex that kept her from being invited but we don’t know that. The daughter may have decided she didn’t want the LW at her wedding. She may have felt it would be too tense. She may have felt that she doesn’t have a strong enough connection.

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      • avatar

        Gwyneth6 August 26, 2016, 9:25 am

        Yeah some people are private and or just don’t want someone they aren’t close with there. Her perogative if it’s less than 10 people

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    marynn August 25, 2016, 1:27 pm

    WWS. Yeah, you need to get over it. I don’t think it’s a HUGE SURPRISE that the girl’s mother doesn’t want you there, especially if it’s a smallish wedding. Suck it up, get the father to apologise, apologise yourself, and then try to mend any kind of relationship you may still have with the daughter. It’s not the best situation, but you sure made it worse when you didn’t have to. You can feel slighted, but if you make it all worse and all about you, you end up being as crazy as you want to make the ex-wife seem.

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    Ashley August 25, 2016, 1:56 pm

    How does your husband feel about all this? Yes I see a lot of your feelings in your letter, but it’s HIS daughter. I think any overtures to repair the relationship should come from him, because a father daughter relationship is much more important to repair. If when that relationship is back, then maybe you can come in the picture. I can see both sides in this, and see why you were upset, but you put the daughter in an untenable position, when the wedding is not about you, and in her mind not a litmus test to the strength of your relationship. the gracious thing would have been to set aside your feelings, but now that it’s done, your husband needs to be the one repairing the rift.

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    Andrea French August 25, 2016, 2:12 pm

    I get feeling hurt but it’s her wedding, not yours. If she didn’t want you there because of her mom, take it gracefully. It’s not your day. There is no reason her father shouldn’t have gone. You gotta reap what you sow on that.

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  • Stonegypsy

    Stonegypsy August 25, 2016, 2:18 pm

    Apparently not a very common opinion, but I think the daughter and mother are way out of line here.
    I mean, sure – you will have a much easier time mending this relationship if you and your husband apologize, but I don’t know what you’d apologize for.
    “I’m so sorry that I was justifiably hurt when you were incredibly rude and didn’t invite your father’s wife of 5 years to your wedding, and I’m especially sorry that I expressed that to my husband”
    It also doesn’t sound (to me) like you actually demanded that your husband miss the wedding (if you did, that was *way* out of line, regardless of the slight). It sounds like you expressed your hurt feelings and your husband agreed and decided not to attend the wedding on his own.
    So yeah.. if you want to repair the relationship, you should apologize. I guess. But on the other hand, that is giving her and her mother permission to never treat you as a full partner to your husband.

    Also, when LW said “I was not a mistress or an affair that caused the split from his first wife. Their marriage had been over for years; my husband stayed in the marriage because of their children despite the problems and his being unhappy.”
    What I took that to mean is that it was not an affair that ended the marriage, and that he split with his wife as soon as the kids were out of the house. She doesn’t say “I was not the cause of the divorce” she specifically says that she wasn’t a mistress. That’s it. Because if she hadn’t clarified, then everyone would have jumped to the conclusion that she had been a mistress and had caused the split. Yet everyone here immediately decides that what that actually means is that she was a mistress but she thinks it was okay because he was unhappy.

    Anyway, I’m basically taking you at your word here, LW. If you actually did have a relationship with him while he was still married, then his ex and daughter are justified in this decision. If you actually demanded he miss the wedding, shame on you.

    If everything went down as you laid out here.. well, it’s a shitty situation with no good solutions because I’m sure you and your husband want to have a good relationship with his daughter, but I also think that when people do rude things, they are at fault for damaging the relationship with the people they were rude to.

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  • avatar

    Lw August 25, 2016, 2:35 pm

    I want to thank you all for the comments and advice. I’ve taken all in to consideration to hopefully mend.

    I would like to clarify a few questions and in clarity that some may have:

    Yes, they were still married but not living together and hadn’t been for a while.
    Yes, daughters wedding has been.
    Size on wedding details: they were allowed to invite 10 guest, which they choose 9 of their friends and mom and dad. Oh, mom persuaded daughter to invite grandma(her mother)

    Yes, I’m hurt most that dad didn’t attend and accept my own responsibility in this mess.

    Thanks all

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      ele4phant August 25, 2016, 3:07 pm

      Oh this ones on the line. Sounds like it was a courthouse wedding or something where there was a hard limit. And arguably lots of people who “should” have been invited to a wedding got left, including you, wife of the father of the bride.

      I understand you were hurt, but are you really saying she should have chosen you over her grandmother? You’re saying she shouldn’t have invited her own grandmother, someone whose arguably been in her life sense the beginning? With a wedding that small, conventions kind of have to go out the window.

      Full disclosure, five years before my wedding, my father left my mother for his now wife. When I got married, we went to the courthouse and had a max of 15 guests (including us and our photographer). So even with our immediate families being invited (biological parents, remaining grandparents, siblings) we were maxed out. So no aunts and uncles, no friends, no cousins, none of my siblings spouses. And not my father’s wife. And she was very gracious about it, as was everyone else that “should” have been but that we couldn’t accommodate for the actual ceremony.

      She, and all of them, were invited to a bigger reception immediately following. So, given the true smallness of the wedding, you were unreasonable I think.

      And now that the wedding is over, I don’t really know how you walk back from that. Unfortunately, I think you and your husband have irrecoverably damaged the relationship with the daughter.

      I really have no advice for you.

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        ktfran August 25, 2016, 3:25 pm

        Didn’t upthread you say that you invited your stepmom to your wedding? Or was it just the reception and the ceremony didn’t count?

        Regardless, LW, I really don’t think there is much you can do to come back from this. Of course she picked her grandmother over you. I’m sorry that it hurt you, but you and your husband over reacted. HE MISSED HIS DAUGHTER’S WEDDING!

        I think you should quietly back off and encourage your husband to continue to reach out to his daughter, but I think it will take a lot of time. I think it would take a lot of time for me to forgive one of my parents missing an event that was important to me for someone else. Yikes!

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        ele4phant August 25, 2016, 3:33 pm

        Yeah, I realized I should have clarified, wedding was very small and we had limits, reception was slightly bigger (but still really small). The reception was were we invited everyone that should have been invited, in my mind’s eye, was what really counts.

        When I started typing the first response I was like “well, the reception was the main thing, and there were LOTS of people we didn’t invite to the ceremony but not the 10 minute ceremony, so it counts mainly”. But I guess others might look at it a different way.

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        T August 26, 2016, 11:39 am

        Ugh, yes, if GRANDMA barely made it on the guest list, in what world was the LW ever going to be invited? And she is an adult with friends of her own, that override even a lot of her own family. Now that I read this update, I don’t see it as being reasonable for the LW to even be hurt in the first place.

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      Northern Star August 25, 2016, 3:23 pm

      Your husband should accept responsibility for being a selfish idiot. No matter your hurt feelings, which you would get over (what choice did you really have?), he should have been there for his own daughter’s wedding.

      The fact that he chose not to reflects incredibly poorly on him as a man and a father. Shame on him.

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        dinoceros August 25, 2016, 9:11 pm

        Yeah. I re-read the letter, and am more confused now. I don’t fully understand what the LW means when she says they were “lied” to. I guess that she thought the daughter was being malicious and she wasn’t? But why wouldn’t the father have inquired more deeply into what was going on with the invites? I’d think most dads would want to do everything they could to not miss their kid’s wedding (and to avoid the message it sends), so it’s odd that he immediately jumped to that without ever trying to talk to anyone or work it out. Makes me think that maybe he’s not always the most compassionate father and thus maybe that has also affected his/your relationship with his kids.

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    T August 25, 2016, 3:00 pm

    The daughter had every right not to invite you to her (tiny, family only) wedding. I know it stings. But as I was reading through the letter, I was anticipating that the non-invite was going to have something to do with the mother not wanting you there — you really couldn’t put yourself in her shoes and recognize that she probably had a reason for not inviting you, like not wanting to deal with family tension at HER wedding? I know it sucks because you are not the one that has the hard feelings, and you wouldn’t be the one actively causing the tension. But sometimes life is not “fair.” You are the one not related by blood, and it’s the daughter’s decision how she wanted to handle that.

    I feel like it’s SUPER lame and pretty terrible that your husband would be willing to skip his daughter’s wedding, just because his new wife felt snubbed. If the wedding has not happened yet, I think he should take every step possible to try to grovel and make it to the wedding after all.

    If the wedding has already passed, then, again, since this is not your daughter, I think your input here is pretty much done. It’s hard, but try to move on. I would think the father not attending would be pretty irreparable – but regardless, if he wants to repair the relationship, it’s on HIM. There’s not much you can do.

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    dinoceros August 25, 2016, 3:12 pm

    There are two big issues here that I see. One is that you seem to be implying that you are regretful about what happened only because you misunderstood the situation. Surely you realized that, no matter the cause, if your husband chose not to attend his daughter’s wedding on principle that he would severely damage if not permanently ruin his and your relationship with his daughter. Assuming that did occur to you, you were fine with that if his daughter had in fact excluded you for her own reasons? Because that’s a pretty big deal. I think that you’d be right to be hurt and also be cautious after your experience with her, but I think that it’s also important to be able to take a step back from situations and react super quickly and harshly. I think that’s a big lesson here because in this case, things weren’t as they seemed. Even if they were, maybe you’d realize six months down the road that it wasn’t worth risking losing that relationship

    The other thing is related, but just as couples need to look at the marriage and not just the wedding, I think loved ones need to look at their overall relationship with someone and not just the wedding. If you have a good relationship with someone (or at least improving) and there’s one incident (particularly an etiquette landmine like a wedding), then you have to consider whether you want to throw away all of the progress because of it.

    At this point, you need to have a heart-to-heart and explain all of this to her and then hope that she gets it. If not, I think this is lesson that actions have consequences and you need to make sure you’re OK with the consequences before you act.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark August 25, 2016, 4:53 pm

    You acted like a HUGE baby.
    Your husband made a HUGE mistake.
    And now you are both HUGELY fucked.
    .
    Hey, I hope it was worth it.
    I hope manipulating him to chose you was worth it.
    Sounds like it wasn’t.
    .
    Oh, well. Serves you right.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark August 25, 2016, 5:08 pm

      Honestly? I can’t imagine MANY step parents being included in a guest list of ten. Especially somebody who came into the picture after the kiddos were up and out. Reality Check. People have friends. NEWSFLASH! And tend to value said friends more than the second spouse of their runaway parent…

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        Gwyneth6 August 26, 2016, 9:45 am

        Exactly! Who would you expect her to drop from the invitees for you, LW? And why does this the daughter owe you this?have you helped her in life? Sometimes stepparents to adults may get lucky and have a connection, most don’t though. Even if he hadn’t been still married and her mom had been the one to choose divorce, that doesn’t get you into her top five.

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    kali August 26, 2016, 7:58 pm

    I may be a dissenting view here but I think the new wife should do whatever she can to foster a good relationship between her husband and his kids even if she’s smarting from being excluded.
    .
    Mom put the daughter in a tough position and daughter caved. Or maybe it’s what she really wanted. Whatever. It’s her wedding. Insist that your husband go and be with his daughter. Both father and daughter may one day regret it if he isn’t there and doesn’t walk her down the aisle, do the father-daughter dance and whatever else they may have planned.
    .
    If stepmom really wants to be involved, she might offer to throw a reception for the couple or a nice dinner.
    .
    Family relationships are difficult and happy interactions should be promoted whenever possible (as long as no one’s hurting anyone and all the usual disclaimers.) I feel for stepmom but in this instance, I think she should be the bigger person and take a step back.

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      saneinca August 27, 2016, 1:04 pm

      What sort of sappy movie are you imagining ? Girl does not invite her stepmom to wedding and stepmom should offer her a wedding reception ?

      However, I wish stepmom took a higher route and did not indulge in all this drama.
      The father could have expressed his displeasure at his wife not getting invited but could have still attended his only daughter’s wedding.

      There are various degrees of discord – no need to escalate to the level of not attending the wedding. But I blame the father ( and also the mother if she caused this conflict) more than the stepmom.

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