Immediately, Clark’s sister came promptly to his defense and ripped on me like never before. I have since appologized to her and told her she was right to defend her brother; I would/have done so, too. In her ripping me apart, she stated how I am constantly doing this, which is untrue. This is the first time I have ever posted something negative about my husband. She never comments on any of the positive posts I have put on social media about how grateful/lucky I am to have the spouse that I do. This is the only thing she has chosen to comment on — the one negative post.
Side note: Clark’s family has made it more than clear during our whole relationship — 18 years — that they do not like me; I am not who/what they wanted for him, and they even went so far as to try to set him up with someone else after we had been together for about nine years. They have always invited me to gatherings and events and are civil, but they make it known that they are only just tolerating my being there. His mother has been to our place once in 18 years, and while constantly saying that they are “just toooo busy,” can set the same time/date for us to visit them. His sister, despite many invites, has never come.
In just over a month, Clark’s nephew — the son of said sister — is getting married. We were invited before all this happened. I know that if I go, it will make things awkward and tense and that I will be asked something along the lines of, “How dare you show your face after what you did?” If I don’t go, I know it will be something along the lines of, “Well, now she’s just being petty and childish, just like we knew she has always been.” Not sure what to do. — Damned if I Go, Damned if I Don’t
Clearly, there’s a history of drama and over-reacting here, and while it’s impossible for me to tell from your letter where and how it originated, I can at least offer a suggestion for how to end it: stop giving a fuck. It’s been 18 years; if you were going to be close with your in-laws, it would have happened by now. At best, you merely tolerate each other. It seems like this has been ok though, right? You don’t mention your husband and how he feels about this at all, so presumably, this hasn’t been a huge deal in your marriage. You both go to family gatherings that you’re invited to, and you make do without visits from your in-laws.
It seems the biggest problem is that you feel you are just tolerated at said gatherings. But if you stopped giving a fuck what your in-laws think of you, you’d be free of even that burden. You could choose to not go to family gatherings — including your husband’s nephew’s wedding — or you could go and shrug off whatever weird vibes you get from the in-laws. It’s really up to you, and it seems like the only reason to go to the wedding is if your husband would really like you to go and if, for some reason, you actually want to go (maybe there’s a sweet open bar? A big dance floor and a great DJ? Some amazing chicken cordon bleu to look forward to?).
So, talk to your husband and find out what he thinks. If he wants you to go to the wedding, go. If his sister actually says “How dare you show your face after what you did?” SHE is the one who is going to look like such an asshole at her son’s wedding, not you. All you have to say is, “I was invited and wanted to celebrate this union and show my support.” If your husband genuinely doesn’t care if you go to the wedding and you dread going, skip it. If your in-laws bad-mouth you in your absence, remember my advice and: don’t give them any fucks.
I’d also suggest limiting their access to you on social media, and don’t ever vent about your husband on Facebook again. It’s a super-juvenile, passive move. If you want your husband to do more housework, ask him to. If he continues to slack on that front, consider outsourcing some housework to a regular cleaner if that’s in the budget. House cleaners are cheaper than divorce and so much more efficient that passive vents on social media.
If you living in another state and raising other kids who aren’t your own – one of whom is the same age as your daughter – isn’t traumatic enough for her, then your skipping her high school graduation so you can attend your step-daughter’s instead would be a nail in the coffin. Barring a medical or weather emergency, there simply would be no excuse to miss the big milestone in your daughter’s life. Your step-daughter will get over your choosing to attend your own daughter’s graduation over hers. I’m not so sure the same can be said in reverse. If this is something your wife would divorce you over, I imagine your marriage was already on life support and one or both of you will probably be relieved to have an excuse to pull the plug.
Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.
Cleopatra_30 May 31, 2019, 8:18 am
LW2: Your wife is shit balls crazy. She has literally told you to abandon your family for your ‘new one.’ You have one big amalgamated family, your daughter is just as important as your step family. I highly suggest looking at divorce or some sort of mediation with her regardless. Also yes, your gut is right and follow it, go to see your daughter graduate, and enjoy the time with her.
ktfran May 31, 2019, 8:23 am
Wow LW2. Your wife is an asshole.
LW1. WWS. Also, don’t air dirty laundry on social media and stop putting so much importance on what people like or comment on and what they don’t. Social media is a fucking trap. Adults should know better.
snoopy May 31, 2019, 9:27 am
In my experience a large number of adults in their 50’s and older are not social media savvy. No surprise, as they grew up with out it and saw how it was being used by young teens (their kids) in the first wave of its use (my generation) where everyone shared everything on social media.
But I concur, don’t air your shit on social media. And overly positive posts can be interpreted as sarcastic. Praise your husband in person. Fight with him in person.
Ange May 31, 2019, 8:40 am
LW 2 nobody leaps immediately to divorce over a small issue likes this unless they’ve put in some serious time trying to be a controlling arsehole in the interim. I have a feeling you have either ignored or are leaving out a huge amount of shitty things your wife has done previously for the sake of your own comfort and now the chickens have come home to roost. Nobody who genuinely cares for you would deliver an ultimatum like that so the obvious choice is your daughter. Go be the father she deserves.
Salli May 31, 2019, 8:46 am
Absolutely go to your daughters graduation. Since you live with your stepdaughter you can celebrate with her on another day. As long as you aren’t planning to completely ignore this milestone on your stepdaughter’s life (which it doesn’t sound like you are) your wife is being completely unreasonable. You live with them in the same state and are there for all the milestones and every day life, yet that’s not good enough for her.
Poppy May 31, 2019, 8:54 am
LW1 -LMAO really…. What did you expect? Your petty AF for what you did. After 18yrs of marriage you should be able to talk to your husband or have marriage counseling if you can’t communicate. Im so glad i deleted my facebook. Dont have to worry about the dumb crap people post and worry whether or not I’ll hurt someones feelings if I dont follow them. Best mental health break I ever did for myself.
Moe May 31, 2019, 9:00 am
LW2: I would send a letter to your stepdaughter and tell her how proud you are of her and that you wish you could attend. You can’t be at two places at once but this is the next best thing. You are making the right choice by going to your daughters graduation.
Poppy May 31, 2019, 9:02 am
LW2- GO TO YOUR CHILDS GRADUATION!!! Your wife doesn’t sound so loving, caring, and understanding. That shit would not be missed on my end. My dad didnt come to my graduation because I didnt invite his ex-wife, who I barely knew when he married her. I had X amount of tickets to give out and NO she wasnt getting one. Family first. My dad and grandparents said they had car problems om the way to the state I lived in and couldnt make it. A 6hr drive for them. The excuse has always been they didnt make it because of car problems. They had plenty of other options and money. My dad recently told me one of his biggest regrets in life was not making more of an effort to attend. He did make ot to my college graduation.
Vathena May 31, 2019, 9:11 am
Wow LW2…I agree, something is seriously wrong in your marriage if your wife is threatening divorce over this. Does she throw around the d-word a lot? Of course you go to your own daughter’s graduation. I’d suggest that you, your wife, and your stepdaughter all sit down and talk about it, but someone who went straight to the nuclear option probably won’t be open to a rational discussion.
LW1…your in-laws all sound kinda douchey, but then so do you with posting shit about your husband on social media for all your families and friends to see. That’s super awkward; what were you even hoping to accomplish with that? Having your husband’s former coworker comment and tell him to pick up a sponge? That’s the kind of shit you text to your girlfriends or write in to the Dear Wendy forums when you need to vent. But it’s done now, so if you and your husband are fine, then it’s time to give WAY fewer fucks about your SIL. Good luck.
Bittergaymark May 31, 2019, 9:18 am
LW1). You made your status update. Now you have to lie in it a while, I guess. Grow up. Not going to this wedding will ONLY make you look like a fool.
LW2). You know what? Divorce can often be the very best thing… In other words? Call her bluff. Let the deranged, selfish cunt of a woman you married by mistake fly off the rails and end things with you… Trust me. It’ll be a relief.
Bittergaymark May 31, 2019, 9:22 am
Especially for your daughter…
bondgirl May 31, 2019, 10:50 am
I’m actually with bittergaymark on both letters! Bailing on the wedding would just make LW1 look worse. Go to the festivities, enjoy yourself, and as the saying goes, “kill ’em with kindness.” The idea here is to not give them any more ammo to attack you with so just be polite to everyone. Also, don’t ever post your dirty laundry on facebook or any other social media platform. Stick to funny memes and cat videos.
and LW2 yeah it’s not even a question here of whose graduation you should be at. I bet the wife is bluffing too. More likely than not he just gets the silent treatment for a few weeks. Don’t ignore your stepdaughter at this time either. I agree with what other commenters said, set aside a special day and time to celebrate her graduation as well. I’d like to think she’ll be more understanding of you attending your daughter’s graduation…..
snoopy May 31, 2019, 9:32 am
LW 2- There’s a way to support both your bio and step daughters. I believe in this case, priority goes to your bio daughter for attending in person. She’s your flesh and blood and you being there (or not) probably holds so much weight for her.
At the same time, you can be doing really positive things to show your step daughter how proud you are of her and celebrate her. The first would be to talk to her about it and let her know how sad you are that you won’t make her graduation. Then set up a time to celebrate her in lieu- depending on the kind of person she is, is it a special day with the two of you, a special family gathering (maybe with toasts/speeches?), a trip, something to commemorate the day? Write her a card for her to open on the big day. You can show her how much you treasure her even if you can’t be there. Her feelings might be hurt, but by being open with her, you can engage in discussion and reassure her.
As for your wife….threatening divorce is emotionally manipulative and I suggest you face the issue head on….perhaps with some 3rd party help in the form of a marriage counselor.
LisforLeslie May 31, 2019, 9:35 am
LW 1 – go to the wedding. Wear a white, red or black. Put on the biggest fucking jewelry you have. Borrow if you need to. Go be fabulous. Fuck them. Slow dance with your husband and put your hand on his ass. Just a teeny affectionate squeeze but make sure one of the family members can see you do it. Play footsie under the table. Get him ramped up for hot sex. Seriously. Make it a game. Then blow his mind (and other things) and remind him what you bring to the relationship that his family can’t.
LW 2 – Your wife is an asshole. Talk to a lawyer. Call her bluff. Also, consider inviting your daughter on a dad / daughter holiday for a few days, without your freaking wife and stepkid. Just plan it and go. Go somewhere your daughter wants to go. Let your wife stew a few days because she is a grade A top of the line shit head.
anonymousse May 31, 2019, 10:33 am
LW1, your in laws might suck, but bitching about your husband on FB is just so wrong. Why publicly call him out? Was that to shame him? I don’t get the motive. If you have a problem with your husband, go to him with it.
I would expect nothing less of a contentious relationship with his family. Of course they’re waiting on bated breath for you to fuck up. And you just delivered that on a silver platter. That’s ammunition for them. Go to the wedding and be civil.
LW2, call her bluff and go to your daughter’s graduation. Just make sure you lock down your financial stuff before you buy that plane ticket. And then consider staying gone.
Steven May 31, 2019, 12:04 pm
I appreciate all the comments, it really reassured me that going to my daughter’s graduation is the right thing to do. I did talk one on one with my step daughter about this and she was very understandable and even gave the similar example of if her own dad was not able to show because of one of his step kids, that she would be really hurt, so that also made me realize it was right for me to go. All my wife can say to me is that I married her and live with them and that they should come first. She also says that I am not putting her first and that I am always choosing my kids, even though I have been with her for six years supporting her and her kids and have once made an attempt to go see my kids. To me, its a marriage that has felt one sided.
Thank you all for the responses.
Allornone May 31, 2019, 12:30 pm
Thanks for updating. I am so glad your step-daughter has the empathy and understanding that her mother apparently lacks. Your wife still sounds awful. I think you could benefit from marriage counseling. And if she won’t go, go yourself. At this point, you should be seriously considering whether this is a marriage you stay in. And if you do eventually divorce, try to remain in your step daughter’s life as much as you can. You’ve been a significant presence in her life since she was practically a child. I hope you can remain so.
ktfran May 31, 2019, 12:42 pm
I’m really glad you talked to your stepdaughter she completely understood. Do something special with her either before or after you visit your daughter. What a great compromise!
This update makes me so sad though. Your wife is ridiculous. If she’s jealous over your other kids, she shouldn’t have married you. Fuck that. They’re kids. You don’t divorce kids. Yes to counseling, either together or separate. And yes to trying to stay in your stepchildren’s lives. They need someone sane.
Bittergaymark May 31, 2019, 1:10 pm
Your wife sounds terrible. STOP supporting her. Seriously. MOA.
ron May 31, 2019, 1:56 pm
“To me, its a marriage that has felt one sided.”
It seems that way, because it is one-sided. Your wife has tried to separate you from your own children. This fight about not going to your child’s graduation Is likely not about missing her daughter’s graduation, but rather about yanking your choke collar tighter so that that missing her daughter’s graduation isn’t the start of some degree of on-going autonomy for you.
I don’t know if this is true in your case or not, but the root of many such actions is that second wife doesn’t want to risk kids from first marriage getting an inheritance from their father when she wants to hoard all the $ for herself and her kids. In general, how is your wife with regard to your money and your future estate?
Steve May 31, 2019, 3:44 pm
No, money definitely has nothing to do with it, because they really isn’t any there.
Tui May 31, 2019, 2:08 pm
Wait, did you write you’ve made one attempt to see your own kids?? I hope I have misread and that you do have a relationship with your own children. If not, please try to make amends and not just show up for a graduation.
Steve May 31, 2019, 3:47 pm
Yeah, i have only went once to see my kids and that was at the beginning of the relationship with my wife. My daughter does come to stay with me in the summer, so i do get to see her and spend time with her. My issue is having to miss out on the important stuff.
golfer.gal May 31, 2019, 2:58 pm
Please, please see more of your kids. If you have only seen them once in the past 6 years they are likely feeling very distant and unimportant to you. If your wife guilts or threatens you, it’s time to call the bluff and be willing to walk away. Don’t lose any more precious time with your children.
Steven May 31, 2019, 3:49 pm
oh no, I do see my daughter, but its only when she comes to stay with me. I just haven’t been able to go see her, and with her graduating, i don’t see how a could not be there.
Ange May 31, 2019, 9:34 pm
LW please choose your kids, not and in the future. My dad threw his own family under the bus to appease a jealous tyrant he was dating and it never stops hurting. You’ve made a bad choice in partners now but it’s not too late to try and undo the damage.
LisforLeslie June 3, 2019, 5:45 am
Your wife is awful.
My stepmother was a relatively decent woman. She had her faults but I know that my dad almost missed my bat mitzvah and she made him go. He could be petty and immature and she made sure on that day, she put me first. No matter what nonsense she pulled later on (and it’s nothing like what your wife is doing) I always gave her “credit” for that day.
You need to stand up to your wife. She sounds petty and controlling. At some point your daughter is going to have life events – wedding, apartment, college, I have a sinking feeling that your wife is going to insist that you pay for your stepdaughter and not for your daughter. That your nuclear unit is all you should care about.
Because your wife is an asshole.
TaraMonster May 31, 2019, 12:22 pm
I will never for the life of me understand why people air their dirty laundry on social media. It’s just embarrassing.
And LW2 your wife is a horrible person. If you cow tow to her demands, you will be a horrible person, too.
ron May 31, 2019, 1:59 pm
Far too many people think their FB life is their most real life and no longer live in the real world. FB, and a lot of other social media, are pernicious. They rob us of our time, our interactions with live humans, and they totally destroy our privacy.
Mimi May 31, 2019, 1:22 pm
What’s up with people hogging the spotlight that’s not theirs to hog?
LW1, the day is about your husband’s nephew. You must have been around for most of his life so do you like him, have any positive interactions with him, want to be there for him? If the answer is Yes, go to the wedding to support your nephew. That’s it.
LW2, of course you must go to your daughter’s graduation. A sensible man would also be sure to take his step-daughter out for a special [something] before graduation, maybe give her a little gift and let her know you care, even if you can’t be there on the day, and not let her mother run the show.
csp May 31, 2019, 1:47 pm
Totally agree! LW1 – Your Sister in Law will barely have any time to speak to you. Weddings are crazy. People will be focusing on the bride and groom. Say hi at the receiving line and move on. I think you are over thinking this.
LW2 – seriously, you need to sit down with your wife and talk about this. I mean, I think you should honor your step daughter. Tell her that you love her and are proud of her and that you are there in spirit. Maybe have a special dinner when you come back. But go to your daughter’s day.
saneinca May 31, 2019, 9:06 pm
LW1 , I don’t think your effort in making an appearance is going to be appreciated by your husband’s family. No need to go to the wedding.
Unless your SIL apologizes. She shouldn’t have interfered or commented on your marriage. She had no right to blow up at you.
Bittergaymark May 31, 2019, 10:51 pm
I disagree. I think NOT going will be a slight that goes on and on and on through the years. GO. Act civil. Have fun. Be a fucking grown up. REALLY. It’s NOT that hard.
ktfran June 1, 2019, 7:41 am
If you don’t want people commenting on your marriage or personal matters, don’t post grievances on FaceBook, in a public forum or on any kind of social media. It’s really that simple.
The LW opened the flood gates. She invited people to comment on her private life. The SIL owes her nothing.
Bittergaymark June 1, 2019, 1:13 pm
YES! EXACTLY! NEWSFLASH: The only reason ANYBODY posts ANYTHING on Facebook is so that people can chime in and comment on it. Sorry, but the LW cannot exactly be all butt-hurt that somebody (her husband’s sister no less!) commented on what was a highly public take down of her husband in a public forum no less.
Amerre June 1, 2019, 8:08 am
LW2 go to your daughters grad. But give your stepdaughter a nice card and gift/money. Apologize to her directly and honestly about why you’re going to your daughters’ grad instead. Reassure her about whatever love/pride you have for her. If this is not enough for your wife, it’s not your fault. It would be a huge mistake to indulge her craziness here. And why is this so important? Just a guess, maybe she doesn’t want to remind people that you have another daughter and that she’s still important to you. Maybe her daughter doesn’t have a dad in the picture and she feels it’s unfair that your daughter will have 2 parents there. But she was very lucky already you live with her (and her kid) and didn’t follow your daughter. She needs to realize life is not perfect and she can’t control every detail or make this decision for you. You had a daughter when you met her.
MaltaKano June 1, 2019, 5:56 pm
Geez, the pile-on for LW1 is so not necessary. LW started by saying she knows she shouldn’t have posted on Facebook. How is it helpful AT ALL to keep harping on that aspect of her letter? These in-laws suck. If my sister-in-law posted complaining that my brother didn’t help out around the house, I’d assume she was really desperate/unhappy. My first move would be to call my brother, ask what was going on, and tell him to start cleaning.
dinoceros June 1, 2019, 7:35 pm
LW1: What Wendy said. Normal people could hear an apology and then let it go. But it sounds like they aren’t like that and they already treat you badly. I get being embarrassed and not wanting a scene, but it’s not like things have changed that much — I assume they were going to treat you poorly at the wedding anyway.
FWIW, I’ve literally never seen anyone complain about their spouse on social media. So, even if your in-laws weren’t terrible, it’s not that unusual that they’d notice this post and not comment on all the good ones (I mean, the “my spouse is great” posts are a dime a dozen on social media — the social media equivalent of hanging a “live, laugh, love” sign in your kitchen).
LW2: I’m sorry, but if you married someone who is willing to divorce you because she thinks you’re supposed to abandon your child because you got remarried, then you sort of deserve what you’re getting. I assume that she’s not a normally kind person who just suddenly said something out of character, so I also assume that you’ve also made choices that make your daughter see that you basically have traded her in for a new family. Don’t reinforce that again.
Nicole P May 27, 2022, 11:50 am
The first lady forgets that you can edit your privacy. If you’re going to vent choose all the people that you don’t want to see that post. She has a right to her feelings.