“My Boyfriend Treats His Daughter Like SHE is His Girlfriend”
Susie has insisted for years that I’m “not good for him” despite not seeing me since her parents separated. When she announced her engagement to her dad, she also informed him that I wouldn’t be invited. The wedding is in another state and, while I thought about joining him for the trip and to confirm our relationship status with his extended family, I am undecided.
Susie’s fiancé has told my partner that he has “accepted” that I’m part of his future FIL’s life but he’d “escort Susie’s father from the wedding” if I came. (Note: I’ve never seen the fiancé, whose parents are divorced and remarried multiple times, fyi). The fiancé has also said that Susie “doesn’t like me,” “wants to avoid “drama,” and that he “doesn’t think the wedding is the ‘right time’ to introduce me to the extended family.” I also get the feeling that Susie is “protecting” her mother (who blames me for “stealing her man” despite the fact that the marriage was broken when I first met them and I never expected him to begin a romantic relationship with me).
Susie says she’ll be “happy” to spend time with me after the wedding, and that seems to be the attitude of the rest of the “don’t make waves” family. Well, I’m insulted by Susie’s treatment of me (and her own dad) and have no interest in ever spending time with the her or the rest of the family. It feels to me like they’re saying they’re considering allowing me a royal audience at some future time and they expect me to be grateful.
The wedding is this weekend and I haven’t even decided if I should bother with the long car trip there and back since I don’t know if I’ll be ignored. Thoughts? Suggestions? — Not Invited to the Wedding
What is there to decide? You weren’t invited to the wedding. In fact, you were explicitly told not to show up. You boyfriend was informed that he would be escorted out of his daughter’s wedding if he brought you. The bride and the entire family have made it clear that, fair or not, your presence will bring unwanted drama and they’d rather spend time with you at a less emotionally-loaded occasion (and, like, when the woman who believes you stole her husband won’t be in attendance).
“I Don’t Like My Boyfriend’s Daughter. Should I Break Up With Him?”
I don’t know the timeline of your boyfriend’s marriage, separation, and when he began a relationship with you, but, reading between the lines, it seems plausible that there was some overlap. And even if there wasn’t an overlap, it seems some of the major players involved (the ex-wife, the daughter, maybe some of the extended family) do blame you or at least partly blame you for the demise of your boyfriend’s marriage. I’m not saying that’s fair at all. But it would explain why Susie “doesn’t like you” despite not seeing you in many years, and it would explain why no one feels comfortable about your big introduction to the family being at an event that: a) is a celebration of Susie and her fiancé; and b) where the ex-wife, who likely thinks of you as “the other woman,” will be.
Sit this one out. Be classy. Take the high road. And rather that get all drama queen about this, accept that this occasion isn’t about you and that, yes, you will be granted a “royal audience” with your boyfriend’s family at some future time. Whether you are interested in spending time with them or not, they will be much more welcoming and warm to you meeting you in a more neutral setting. And if you care about your boyfriend at all, you won’t make this about you, you won’t tag along to an event where you aren’t welcome, and you won’t blame your boyfriend for the awkward and unfortunate position he’s been put in. Let him go support and celebrate his daughter, and look forward to “confirming your relationship status” with his family at another time when your presence will be welcomed and no one will be escorted away.
Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.
Ika June 3, 2015, 8:13 am
WWS. Like exactly.
Why would you even WANT to go where it’s been made explicitly clear you’re not welcome???
I hate all the BS and etiquette rules etc that surround weddings. But seriously, stay home, and enjoy a drama-less weekend.
jlyfsh June 3, 2015, 8:21 am
Yeah this doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the etiquette, etc. But, rather the daughter not wanting her there. And really if she doesn’t want you there and it would cause drama why would you want to be there??
Ika June 3, 2015, 9:40 am
Etiquette because as a live in GF she “should” be invited. But seriously, the whole weekend sounds like it would be just awful for everyone involved if LW were to show up.
jlyfsh June 3, 2015, 10:01 am
Right brain didn’t even go there!
Mariaan steyn February 5, 2019, 7:19 am
Happen to me also. I was not invited to my boyfriends wedding. But both his two exes was invited. It was also made cleared to me that i would be removed if i pitch up for the wedding. I was hurt to in my stomach. I was informed the day before the wedding after buying clothes for the wedding.
JD February 5, 2019, 8:07 am
Why were you buying clothes for something you weren’t invited to!?
muchachaenlaventana June 3, 2015, 8:27 am
Yeah my first thought after reading this was basically Wendy’ first line- you were not invited to this wedding, there is literally nothing to decide. Choosing your boyfriend’s daughter’s wedding as the time to stake your claim to legitimacy as his girlfriend would be a seriously shitty and dramatic move, not to mention totally attention grabby. As much as I hate to say it-this weekend is about her and her future husband and their family, not about you proving yourself as his girlfriend to their family. Not to mention, if the bride’s mother would be totally uncomfortable for you to be there- just respect her and her family (which you aren’t really a part of) and stay home.
I am sure at a future event, like a birthday or holiday when the mother is not around, the family will be a lot more inviting and warm to you. Also the way you wrote certain things “became a couple, never expected him to being a relationship with me” does make me think there was some cheating or overlap that went on between the demise of his marriage and the beginning to his relationship to you, so respect there may still be hard feelings (this doesn’t seem to have happened all that long ago) and just yeah, be classy about it.
Ika June 3, 2015, 8:30 am
Yeah, it’s interesting that the timeline is so blurry.
Laura Hope June 3, 2015, 8:49 am
Nothing frustrates me more than people letting others walk all over them. But that is not the case here. A family was broken apart and they’re in pain. If you were not in any way responsible, the truth will come out in time. If you were, then consider their willingness to meet with you after the wedding a gift. Either way, instead of focusing on yourself, try focusing on how they might feel right now.(anger and sadness?)
Lou August 8, 2019, 12:53 am
I’m kinda of in the same boat I’ve been with this man 6 yrs he’s invited to my daughters wedding but I’m not invited to his daughters this weekend. And he hasn’t said a word about it I feel disrespected by him for not telling me and for not asking why I’m not. It’s very hurtful and I think disrespecting on both their parts.
Bittergaymark August 8, 2019, 9:04 am
Any idea as to why you weren’t invited?
Liss April 16, 2022, 2:55 am
If he won’t stand up for you now, he never will. Find a partner who respects himself and you who isn’t a coward.
Ani Nani June 3, 2015, 8:58 am
Maybe I am reading this wrong, but it doesn’t seem to me that the LW is planning on going to the actual wedding. I thought that she was coming along for the ride and to meet the extended family, but skipping the actual wedding events. Even if this is the case, I don’t think it is a good idea. This isn’t the time to reaffirm the relationship in the family’s eyes or whatever she thinks will be accomplished. Take the high road, LW. Have a spa weekend or do something you enjoy that weekend.
RedRoverRedRover June 3, 2015, 9:06 am
Yeah, that’s the impression I got too. That she wouldn’t go to the actual wedding, but she’d go on the trip and be with the boyfriend for more casual events around the wedding.
I agree she should totally not do that. Even if she doesn’t technically go to the wedding, the entire point is that they’re not comfortable having her around for this event. So why insist on being around? The situation is that the daughter doesn’t want her there, regardless of the reasons. Forcing her presence on them is definitely not going to make them more welcoming.
captainswife June 3, 2015, 9:02 am
One thing that wasn’t mentioned is how your boyfriend feels about this! Best case scenario is that he says that it really sucks and he feels caught between you and his daughter, but it’s really important to him to be at her wedding.
I’m very curious why the fiance is so hostile. Strange tone to take, in my book. Perhaps they’re young, but I would think that the tone, “Hey, it really sucks with the timing and all, but we would appreciate seeing your GF at another time and place. Can we schedule as soon as we’re back from the honeymoon?” Even stranger is that HE is the one passing on the message. Why isn’t the daughter saying this? Why hasn’t the daughter seen the GF in years?
I think there’s a lot more to this story.
Bottom line, the bride is outside of etiquette for not inviting the GF, BUT…she didn’t ask our opinion and we don’t know the backstory, so can’t really judge on that one.
I would do more than NOT attend: I would send a NICE (elegant, classy) greeting card (or personal engraved stationery) and send a personal message wishing her well and saying you’ll invite them for whatever when they’re back from the honeymoon. And then do it. Graciously.
SpaceySteph June 3, 2015, 9:57 am
I don’t think that the bride is outside of etiquette for not inviting her father’s live in girlfriend… I think that etiquette is pretty fuzzy on the matter of inviting non-married couples such that some people do all couples, or live-in couples, or married couples only, based more on guest list constraints than anything.
It’s fuzzier still on what to do with divorced parents who do not get along or have unresolved issues.
I agree that it would certainly be nice if the LW were invited, but I do not see it as required per etiquette or any other rules. Susie has chosen to prioritize her mother’s comfort over the LW… and I see nothing wrong with that.
Breezy AM June 14, 2015, 12:20 pm
It’s not fuzzy at all.
Couples who live together absolutely are to be invited as a couple. Period. There is absolutely no fuzziness on this issue in any way.
Skyblossom June 15, 2015, 7:55 am
She doesn’t say that her boyfriend is divorced from his wife. She mentions that his daughter’s fiance has divorced and remarried parents. If the parents are still married and the girlfriend is then technically an affair there would be no requirement to invite her. Etiquette would pretend that she didn’t exist because affaird are themselves a breach of etiquette.
SpaceySteph June 15, 2015, 8:56 am
The overarching point of etiquette is to be a good host and to make your guests comfortable. When inviting someone who etiquette says you should invite would make other people uncomfortable, there is a conflict on what to do.
And yes, as Skyblossom says, mistresses, even the live-in type, are not covered by etiquette either.
Ele4phant June 3, 2015, 9:33 pm
Re the hostile fiancé seeming odd – a few weeks before my wedding some of my family was just being impossible – inviting a bunch plus ones to our VERY intimate wedding and making a bunch of other unreasonable demands. I kept saying no, but they ignored me or made other riduculous requests. One day my fiancé came home to find me in tears. He told me he didn’t like seeing me this upset and in all seriousness he would be happy to call them all and tell them all to fuck off. He’d only met some of them a handful of times – or never – but he was willing to take care of business if it would make life easier for me.
Maybe I’m projecting but I could totally see something like that happening here. I’m assuming dad pushed back on Susie when she told him the gf wasn’t invited. Maybe Susie was super stressed out or dad wouldn’t accept her no and the fiancé decided to step in and draw a line in the sand with dad.
Fairhairedchild June 3, 2015, 11:02 pm
I agree with Ele4phant, a similar situation happened to my friend right before she got married. She was having some difficulties with her mother, where her mother was being super picky about some pretty simple details (and they normally get along very well). It was stressing her out so her fiance went to his future MIL and stated that if he felt that Ashley was getting too overwhelmed he would have no problem with either removing the FMIL or themselves immediately from the situation. While this may have come across to some as being “extreme”, Ashley was extremly thankful and everything was smooth sailing after that between everyone invovled. Her mom stepped back some to give the new couple more room on their own choices for the wedding, and I think she actually gained some respect for Nick (even if it initially shocked her for him to speak to her like that). It’s very important to see that your future partner in life will step up and take over enforcing decisions or supporting your emotional well-being.
Stonegypsy June 3, 2015, 9:09 am
LW, this sucks. Your partner’s daughter is being really shitty here, and I don’t blame you at all for being offended (even if the timeline is blurry, it’s been years). It’s not just insulting to you, it’s insulting to your partner as well.
That said, I agree with what everyone has said here. You will be doing yourself and your partner a huge favor if you take the high road on this one. Stay home, treat yourself to a really lovely weekend, send them a really nice card. And try not to hold a grudge, for your partner’s sake. He clearly wants to maintain a peaceful/good relationship with his daughter, and if you care about him you will not let your hurt pride get in the way of letting this go.
ArtsyGirl June 3, 2015, 10:21 am
I am unsure if it has been years. It says she met the bride when the bride was 9 years old, but she states in the first paragraph that she did not start dating her BF until years later. It does not sound like she and the bride have a ‘stepmother/daughter’ relationship which makes me think that Susie was likely an adult or close to one when the LW and her BF started dating. It is entirely possible that this is a fairly new relationship since the LW has not met the extended family.
Stonegypsy June 3, 2015, 11:24 am
Well they’ve been living together for two years. I’m assuming they’ve been together for longer than that. That’s not a new relationship. It’s pretty established. And even if something shady happened (*if*. Everyone is assuming it’s a given, but we really don’t know), laying all of the blame for it on LW is misguided, and not inviting an established partner to a wedding is rude. Period. Especially when I feel like it’s probably been long enough that people should not be total wrecks about it, even if it’s a thing that hurt them.
Again, I feel like it would be a huge mistake to let hurt pride get in the way of having a relationship with the daughter in the future, but that doesn’t make the bride’s actions any less shitty.
Skyblossom June 3, 2015, 11:33 am
But if she hasn’t met the bride during those two years they don’t have any relationship and the wedding isn’t the time to get acquainted. If the boyfriend wanted a relationship to happen between his daughter and his girlfriend he would have gotten them together before now.
This trip is about confirming her relationship status. I think the entire family probably knows his relationship status and if they don’t his daughter’s wedding isn’t the time to make it known. That would be upstaging his daughter’s wedding for his own relationship statement. It is totally inappropriate.
Stonegypsy June 3, 2015, 11:39 am
I’m guessing she hasn’t met the bride because the bride hasn’t agreed to spend any time with her or meet her. I’m not saying that she should go on this trip and crash the wedding and make all this about her. I’m saying that the bride’s behavior in this situation is shitty. Telling the LW to just suck it up and stop creating drama isn’t helpful. She’s hurting, and offended, and rightfully so.
Ange June 3, 2015, 7:03 pm
I’d be interested to see how the father has handled the obvious tension between the LW and his daughter. He sounds like he’s been very passive and allowed it to fester and grow, rather than take some sort of positive action to make things better. I’m taking a personal angle here though, my father was with a horrible woman for 10+ years. He allowed her to cause problem after problem within the family to the point we were practically estranged and I wasn’t allowed in their (her) house and he just sat back and let it happen. Maybe the daughter is just reacting to years of bad feelings that haven’t been worked through?
I also just wonder if a woman who is somewhat hell bent on forcing herself in to a gathering where she’s clearly not wanted is as innocent as she says, I don’t know. Seems like she wants to use someone else’s occasion to stir up drama.
Liss April 16, 2022, 3:05 am
Why is everyone telling the girlfriend to suck it up and take the daughter’s abuse? Dad can wish his bully daughter and future husband well and say he looks forward to the four of them celebrating the marriage at a future, mutually comfortable time. He’d be wise to honor the woman he lives with if he wants a happy life.
Ange April 16, 2022, 8:01 pm
Lol if he was the sort to honour the woman he lived with he and LW wouldn’t have got together.
But this all happened years ago anyway so eh.
Mimi July 13, 2017, 2:51 pm
Stonegypsy, you must also be an OW to reply as you have. Nowhere does it state that the brides parents are legally divorced only that they are separated. LW has placed enough bread crumbs in her post to establish that she is a homewrecker in this situation because she included that the father and her have always been very close (aka long term affair). Of course, she isn’t invited to the wedding. LW felt entitled to steal someone else’s husband and now feels entitled to steal someone else’s weddng day away. She is actively destructive towards this family. Shame on HER not the bride. The father and mistress need a kick in the behind for being selfish and insensitive.
Mollie January 4, 2020, 1:27 am
Mimi spot on!! Agree with every word and adding my own –
A mistress feeling disrespected?? And wanting her relationship to be recognised??
Oh my word
Taylor June 3, 2015, 9:13 am
The bigger issue seems to be this: “Well, I’m insulted by Susie’s treatment of me (and her own dad) and have no interest in ever spending time with the her or the rest of the family. ”
Definitely don’t tag along for the ride, you are angry and resentful, and will interfere with your boyfriend’s enjoyment of a really big day for him (his daughter is getting married! He loves her, let him enjoy it.) What’s the plan? Hanging out at the hotel while he’s at the reception? Would you be mad if he doesn’t spend time with you? See what you can do to get past this anger – spend some time with them after the wedding. If you’re nice, and cool about them, and they’re assholes, you get to be the bigger person, and that’s a way better position to be in than being the angry person.
jilliebean June 3, 2015, 9:17 am
Agree with the others. The daughter has stated that she will be happy to spend time with you after the wedding, and that’s huge. The wedding is one day. The meeting afterwards could be the beginning of a long relationship.
One note: when you meet the fiancé/husband, you might want to not be so judgmental. What on earth does the fact that “(Note: I’ve never seen the fiancé, whose parents are divorced and remarried multiple times, fyi).” have to do with anything?
Dear Wendy June 3, 2015, 9:33 am
I got the impression that the LW is feeling defensive about being thought to be a part of, either unfairly or not, directly or indirectly, her boyfriend’s divorce, and by pointing out that the fiancé also comes from a family of divorce, she’s implying that he should be more tolerant or understanding or less judgmental of his future FIL’s divorce and subsequent relationship.
jilliebean June 3, 2015, 9:41 am
Hmmmm, hadn’t thought of it that way. That could be.
Raccoon eyes June 3, 2015, 10:46 am
Wendy, that is how I took it too. But I think that was definitely a dig at him and his family as well. If anything, it made LW sound even more like a jerk for stating that. Very Mean Girls-y.
Stonegypsy June 3, 2015, 11:35 am
I think the LW is hurting and feeling unfairly judged and attacked, and we’ve probably all had thoughts like that. “I can’t believe they are giving me shit for [insert thing here] when they [insert very similar thing here].”
It doesn’t make her a jerk unless she calls him up and says “Yeah, like your family is so perfect. How many times has your mom been divorced again?”
Or if it does, then everyone is a jerk.
Raccoon eyes June 3, 2015, 12:45 pm
Easy, Tiger. I am not denying that she feels attacked by the family. But that “FYI” is helpful to absolutely no one, the story or to coherency. So, it was a mean-spirited dig. I amalso not saying she doesnt have a right to feel the way she feels. BUT, the picture woven by the words of the letter in my mind’s eye is of LW stomping her feet and pouting in the corner, like a child. That is all.
Stonegypsy June 3, 2015, 2:13 pm
Yeah, I get it. But I also get where she’s coming from. Who doesn’t have an inner 2 year old throwing a tantrum sometimes?
Wait, that’s not just me right?
Stonegypsy June 3, 2015, 2:15 pm
I’ve included things in letters before that weren’t necessary, that just made me sound like a whiny child throwing a tantrum, because I was writing sort of stream of consciousness. Those lines get removed when I go back and edit. I’m guessing she just… didn’t.
I also feel bad that she’s getting kinda torn apart in this thread in a lot of ways, when really she’s in a crappy situation.
Mimi July 13, 2017, 2:54 pm
She only stated that the parents are separated, not divorced. The LW clearly is source of the separation and has no business butting in the bride’s wedding. She has butted in this family enough.
Raccoon eyes June 3, 2015, 9:19 am
I hope LW writes Wendy shortly in a huff to “explain” to us what is being so misunderstood here. LW, I say this, because it seems you are being intentionally fuzzy about time periods here.
Bottom line, dont go. I pretty much guarantee you will be labelled as “the crazy girlfriend” of Susie’s dad by the family if you go. Also, your BF needs to be the one addressing this (NOT at the wedding though). There is no “confirming your relationship status” in real life. I mean…wtf does that even mean? So, stay home and enjoy some alone time- we all need that, and you get a WHOLE weekend of it instead of spending a good chunk of it in the car driving to a wedding you arent invited to. THAT is cause for celebration.
Kate B. June 3, 2015, 9:36 am
Stay home. Whatever the daughter’s reasons are for not inviting you, she didn’t, and you have to respect that. Why? You say you have no interest in spending any time with these people in the future, but if you and your boyfriend decide to make a life together, these people will be your family. If you ever want to be accepted, you will have to come to them when they are more receptive to you, not when they’ve made it clear that they don’t want you at an event. And by the way, somebody else’s wedding is not the time to “confirm [your] relationship status”. I think everyone knows what your relationship status is and, for whatever reason, they are unhappy about it. It does sound to me like there is more to this story than we are hearing. There are a lot of feelings that need to be sorted out here, but a wedding is not the place to do it. And as for the daughter, I have to say that if there was a woman who I believed broke up my parents’ marriage, I wouldn’t invite her to my wedding, either. Not while my feelings are so raw. Maybe in time this will work out, but for now, LW, keep a low profile. It really is the only classy option.
Guy Friday June 3, 2015, 9:40 am
You seem shocked and offended that the family thinks you’ll cause drama, but let’s stop and think about this for a second: you’re considering crashing a wedding you were explicitly NOT invited to for the sake of “confirming [y]our relationship status with his extended family,” which reads to me like you are pointedly going to introduce yourself as his girlfriend, be deliberately affectionate toward him in front of other people, and otherwise do everything short of urinating on him to mark your territory. And I find it particularly telling that you said “the marriage was broken” rather than “they were divorced,” which leads me to conclude that was a deliberate choice of words and you did in fact start an affair with him while he was still married (and you can justify it however you want, but if they were married and he started dating you then it’s an affair.) So, frankly, I think the family has read your signals 100% right here, and they’re acting accordingly, and if you think anyone here is going to blame a daughter for protecting her cheated-upon mother, you’re in the wrong place. And, honestly, I think your boyfriend agrees that this isn’t the time or place to take a moral stand, and I think he’s right to do so.
I want you to repeat this mantra: “This wedding isn’t about me.” Because it’s not. It’s about Susie and her fiancee and her family. And, I’m sorry, but you’re not part of the family at this point. Will you be someday? It sounds like Susie is open to it. If you’re not, that’s a shame, but then you may as well MOA from your boyfriend right now, because I can guarantee you his daughter is going to be an important part of his life, and if you slap away the hand extended to you because it wasn’t extended when you wanted it to be you won’t get a ton of sympathy from anyone involved. You made the choice to get involved with him when you did, and these are the consequences of that choice, and you need to accept that or move on to a different person.
Also, since I hadn’t seen anyone else say it before I started typing this: we give a lot of crap to men who don’t stand up for their significant others, so kudos to the fiancee for having Susie’s back so firmly here. A lot of guys would have pretended they were too busy, but he is so concerned with her happiness that he’s willing to put himself in the middle of this to protect her, and that’s commendable in my opinion.
Kate B. June 3, 2015, 10:06 am
Yes to this. I need to be more like Guy Friday.
Skyblossom June 3, 2015, 10:12 am
The LW must understand that nobody has to ever accept her relationship. You can’t force people to accept you and if your relationship started off as an affair, which reading between the lines it did, his family may never like you. They may not be able to choose who your boyfriend is with but they can choose to never like you. That is their option. You can’t force them to like you. You can’t force them to want to be around you. You can’t force them to not feel offended by your presence. It doesn’t matter if you and your boyfriend spend the rest of your lives together. You can’t force anyone to feel that your relationship is good or legitimate. They already know your relationship status. If they could choose you wouldn’t be together. If you could choose they would welcome you with open arms. Neither of you get to choose for the other. When you start a relationship in an ugly way, which an affair is, it remains ugly to many people. They won’t ever see it as a beautiful thing that was meant to be, they will see it as ugly, sneaky, lying and deceitful. You must realize that when a parent cheats on their spouse they are also cheating on their children. When they leave their spouse they are also breaking up their family and the children take that personally. Those children never have to accept you. Their opinion is theirs to form just like your relationship is yours to form.
FireStar June 3, 2015, 10:40 am
I like every single word you wrote. Perfect!
Raccoon eyes June 3, 2015, 11:09 am
Well said, Guy Friday.
Mimi July 13, 2017, 3:00 pm
Preach it! The post states the parents are separated, not divorced and that the LW and father have always been very close before openly dating (code for long term affair). She really doesn’t have a right to call him her boyfriend as he is someone else’s husband until the judge grants the divorce.
va-in-ny June 3, 2015, 9:45 am
Ah, another “but this wedding has made me feel marginalized!” letter.
Here’s the umbrella advice that applies to all: take a deep breath and repeat “This wedding is not about me.” over and over and over.
Unless, of course, it’s your wedding.
Portia June 3, 2015, 10:19 am
Even if it is your wedding, it’s not totally about just you. I mean, theoretically you’re marrying another person, so at minimum is about the two of you, but it’s probably also about the family/families. So really, everyone should repeat “This wedding is not about me.” I know of a mother if the bride that could REALLY take that advice (her daughter’s wedding is all about the mother, it’s really sad to watch).
SpaceySteph June 3, 2015, 10:46 am
Totally saw a family like that on Say Yes to the Dress (don’t judge me!) where the mom was like “you have to wear a long veil because I didn’t get to wear one at my wedding and I regret it.”
This is actually I think common in my generation with our parents. It was common in my mother’s generation and area for the mothers to plan the wedding and the bride and groom showed up. The expectation was that they would get to plan a wedding for their kids… but now, its common for people to plan their own wedding. So it’s like their generation got skipped. My mother didn’t care and was happy not to have to do work. Some mothers have trouble letting go.
Portia June 3, 2015, 11:06 am
That’s a great theory! I think I’m dealing with that by encouraging my mom plan her own smaller reception/party for us around where I grew up. That way, she doesn’t plan our wedding and she gets to invite her friends to a party, win-win.
It was really interesting hearing Bassanio’s mom’s take. In asking how many friends she could invite (answer: none), she told him how her mother had invited all her tennis friends. She was still resentful of that, so when Bassanio made the connection for her (you didn’t want all those people you didn’t know, neither do we), she kind of got it, but I bet she felt a little slighted.
SpaceySteph June 3, 2015, 11:52 am
I offered each of our parents that they could throw an engagement party or shower and invite whoever they wanted. My mother took us up on it, and so we spent a night schmoozing their friends over appetizers. Fine by me.
SpaceySteph June 3, 2015, 10:20 am
Even if it is your own wedding, it’s probably worth remembering “this wedding is not just about me.”
call-me-hobo June 3, 2015, 10:12 am
Hey, LW. I recently was the “Susie” in your situation. A couple days after after I got engaged, my parents started a very bitter divorce that barely finalized before the actual ceremony. During the divorce, my dad started dating someone. I had nothing against her, she wasn’t the cause of the divorce (although I suspect through your wording that you may have had a role in the divorce in your scenario) but I explicitly told my father that no matter my feelings about this woman, she would NOT be invited to the wedding.
I knew that if he brought her- no matter how cordial or nice she was, it would be serious drama. I literally think my mother would have had been so hysterically angry that she would have been hospitalized. And honestly, I didn’t want to ruin me and my husband’s day by having to run interference between my parents. It would have tainted an otherwise awesome day. His gf was very understanding and actually bought me a small spa day package for the day before the wedding as a gesture of goodwill.
This is not about you. If Susie is actually open to meeting you and accepting you, she’s probably excluding you in an effort to even out family dynamics. If you truly want to be seen as your BF’s partner- be gracious and bow out. It will honestly prove that you are a team more than strong-arming your way into a wedding would.
Dear Wendy June 3, 2015, 10:22 am
Thank you for chiming in. This is a very relevant perspective I hope the LW reads and processes with an open mind.
SasLinna June 3, 2015, 3:42 pm
A 1000 times this. As another “child of divorce”, I can definitely see many reasons why Susie would not want to invite LW that have nothing to do with lack of respect for her.
First of all, children of parents who divorce never asked for all the complex politics that can come up even if the situation is not a hostile one. So I feel like we sometimes get to say “fuck this” and just not invite someone if that’s a choice that reduces complexity. Not every damn event – especially not one’s wedding – should be focused on “oh, here’s my dad and his gf, and here’s my mom, and how do I manage this”. Parents’ new partners will sometimes be the victims of trying to reduce complexity at events, but that’s sort of what you signed up for, and the children never signed up for it.
Second, as a new partner you don’t have any specific rights to being included by your partner’s kids. They should accept you and be civil, and personally I’ve always made an effort with my parents’ new partners, but sometimes it’s just like… they’re not family to me and it’s up to me how much I include them.
Ange June 3, 2015, 7:10 pm
This! My parents split when I was 16 and there was STILL personal drama and bullshit when they were both at my 30th birthday. It’s easy to dismiss all that when it doesn’t suit you as a new partner of one of them but if you do you’re a bit of a shithead yourself.
mertlej June 4, 2015, 9:03 am
Agreed. This happened at my wedding, 5 years after my parents’ very acrimonious divorce with my dad’s current wife of a couple of years (who had been very involved with my dad while he was still married). My mom was being unreasonable about certain things, my dad and his wife were making all of these demands, including wanting her to walk down the aisle in some respect and wanting her entire extended family + all of her friends and their spouses invited, and the level of stress they were all generating was pretty extreme. At a certain point, you just have to say fuck them to preserve some sanity.
chief10 June 3, 2015, 10:21 am
I’m confused about the timeline of all this. LW first met Susie when she was 9 and yadda yadda years later, marriage ends, they become couple and have been living together for 2 years (and probably together longer). And this is the first time they’d ever show up as a couple to anything to meet everyone? They’ve had no contact or nothing with any family member and no one knows they’re together? I’d see if this was a fresh relationship maybe within the first 6 months, but they’ve been together for a long period of time and LW mentioned something about their coming out or unveiling as a couple. So confused, this family sounds so out there.
But as everyone else has said, this wedding is neither the time or the place. Let Susie have her day and just relax and binge watch PARENTHOOD on netflix all weekend.
SpaceySteph June 3, 2015, 10:31 am
There’s a lot of murkiness about the timeline, but I’m betting that some of those 2 years were when the ex-wife (actually is she an ex-wife? the LW never explicitly says they’re divorced, just “separated”) still thought they were working on their marriage.
Also given the fact that the LW and BF have known each other for years, it does seem like a reasonable logical leap the family made that the LW was somehow complicit in the divorce… whether true or not.
Skyblossom June 3, 2015, 10:49 am
“I met the bride — let’s call her “Susie” — when she was 9. Years later, her father and I, who were always close, became a couple and now have lived together almost two years.”
From this I’m guessing they were friends, then had an emotional affair that turned into a sexual affair.
The fact that they’ve been together for two years but she hasn’t met his family may mean that they have been hiding their relationship for most of that time or they just live a long way from his family and haven’t gotten together with them.
Diablo June 3, 2015, 10:45 am
I realize that the LW is feeling all horked off because she is not “being accepted.” But her strategy in dealing with this seems to be to see herself as having the “right” to be at the wedding (as a subset of her full rights as the BF’s now-long-term partner), and she wants to force the rest of the family to acknowledge these rights so her status is secured. Forcing someone to accept you is never going to work. My suggestion would follow call-me-hobo’s story above. The LW should send a gift, just from her, something small but personal, along with sincere good wishes. As Hannibal Lecter would say, you need to establish trust by “being courteous and receptive to courtesy.” Give Susie the opportunity to be the bigger person by being one yourself. Win friends rather than demanding rights.
Ika June 3, 2015, 10:47 am
Any advice from Hannibal Lecter is good advice 😉
othy June 3, 2015, 11:55 am
Agreed. Liver does pair nicely with fava beans and a Chianti.
chief10 June 3, 2015, 10:48 am
Exactly, forcing will just have the opposite effect of you being accepted.
Raccoon eyes June 3, 2015, 10:58 am
Ahaaaahahahahaha, great quote, Diablo.
mertlej June 3, 2015, 11:15 am
hahahahaha horked off. i’m going to find a way to work that into conversation today.
chief10 June 3, 2015, 11:22 am
I love finding a way to work quotes from DW into everyday life. I still marvel and laugh every time I think about/use the quote “The Stakes Are Too High” from a thread a few years back about a woman who couldn’t be invited/go to her significant other’s wedding event where work people would be at.
Cleopatra Jones June 3, 2015, 1:49 pm
My personal Diablo favorite is and will always be, ‘sweaty love pie’. 🙂
TexasT June 3, 2015, 11:13 am
This event is sad and pathetic all around. You think you can waltz into the church and be absolved and the daughter thinks because it is her wedding she can nurse a decade old drama and create a family rift. SMH -__-
I feel for your boyfriend and feel for this harpy of a bride’s groom. IF you are in fact blameless I feel for you too.
Your letter makes me grateful for the awesome relationship my “stepdaughter” and I have. But honestly, if my boyfriend’s daughter was trying to pull us apart with a high school drama/power play kind of situation, we both, as a couple, would politely decline to participate. It really is that simple. She threw the rocks. People who participate in rock throwing games are idiots. Leave them in her wedding court.
You cannot dictate the actions or others but you can dictate your own. You and your partner wish them well, send them your love, then offer to throw them a post honeymoon reception/dinner to celebrate their union upon their return.
Oh and BTW- I would not be advising this if you were a new girlfriend. You would need to stay home. But you have what would appear at least 9 years with this guy, a serious committed relationship, and that may as well make you his wife. I see a lot of people in this thread dont seem to get that.
Skyblossom June 3, 2015, 4:45 pm
This isn’t a 9 year relationship. They have lived together less than 2 years. She met the daughter when the daughter was 9 and then years later, she doesn’t say how many, started a relationship with the father. She has never met the groom so not much relationship has been happening with the daughter and her fiance. In fact, she hasn’t met her boyfriends extended family. Again, not much relationship happening there so far. If her boyfriend hasn’t taken her to meet his family then his daughter’s wedding is not the best place for that to happen. If he wanted the LW to be included he needed to make introductions sooner.
Liss April 16, 2022, 3:16 am
Agree with TexasT
Skyblossom June 3, 2015, 11:27 am
LW two things will determine whether his family likes and accepts you.
The first is how and when your relationship started or their perception of how and when it started. If it started before he was divorced, especially if he was still living with his family, they will probably never like you. They may tolerate you because they have no choice but probably not like you.
The second is what the family thought of his wife. People automatically compare the new partner to the previous partner. It’s just a fact of life. If they loved her they will likely not like you as much. If they didn’t like her or always felt that he could do better then they are predisposed to like you more unless you do something that makes them not like you either.
You can control the first by making sure you don’t start a relationship with a man who is married. If you feel that there is a potential future you need to tell him that you can’t be in a relationship with him until he is divorced. That helps to save the future relationship from being instantly and permanently disliked by his entire family. The second you have no control over except that you can be as nice as possible and hope you compare favorably.
MsMisery June 3, 2015, 11:49 am
Why would you even WANT to go to this? I hate weddings anyway, esp ones where I am not invited and explicitly banned. Let’s say you’re not leaving anything out (like, “btw, I also ran over this person’s dog once”) then they all sound kind of dramatic and hung up. But it’s her wedding and she can invite who she wanna. If you REALLY love your boyfriend, stay home and let him handle this (whatever there is to handle).
Texas T June 3, 2015, 12:04 pm
I have looked at this as a stepmother and as a daughter. As the daughter of a mother and father in this exact same situation, just 15 years instead of 9, I would not dream of ostracizing my father’s partner from my wedding. My mother could suck it for a few hours. We are adults. and If I wanted to act like a child and make power plays and drama like LW’s future DIL, I wouldnt be surprised if my dad refused to play along.
As a stepmother, I know my partner and I wouldnt play along either. When foolishness, rudeness and disrespect occur, it is best to just stay far far away.
And Wendy/Moderator. It takes away from your message and clout when you refuse to post slightly opposing but rational and peaceful opinions on the situation.
Ani Nani June 3, 2015, 1:26 pm
There are opposing opinions posted all the time on this site, so I doubt that your post wasn’t included for that reason.
Dear Wendy June 3, 2015, 1:41 pm
I don’t know what you’re talking about. What opposing opposing opinion did I refuse to post? Your comments were held for moderation as all comments from first-time commenters always are (or commenters using a brand new name), regardless of content. Is that what you’re referring to?
Diablo June 3, 2015, 3:07 pm
Wendy, i had a comment a few days ago that was held for moderation. I didn’t think there was anything controversial in it, but i am famous for not knowing what is going to foment debate in the senate. I am not totally sure if it ever posted, or if I just submitted it a second time. I was perplexed, but didn’t think much of it at the time. I wonder if there is some issue. I’d give you clearer info, but i honestly don’t remember (this is why all you kids need to stay off drugs).
Skyblossom June 3, 2015, 4:47 pm
I’ve had that happen and it was because I didn’t type my user name or email correctly so it didn’t recognize me as a previous poster.
snoopy128 June 3, 2015, 4:44 pm
Don’t worry, your first post posted (2 comments above).
bittergaymark June 3, 2015, 3:01 pm
Gee, LW. after reading your whiney and yet snide bitchy/holier-than-thou letter — I simply can’t imagine WHY somebody wouldn’t want you at their wedding….
kali June 3, 2015, 4:09 pm
LW – this day is not about you. Stay home. Have a fun weekend with your girlfriends and allow the family to do their thing. They will be happier and probably more welcoming to you in the future if you don’t force your presence on them.
As a survivor of many crazy family dramas, some of which I was responsible for, I have learned that it’s often best to assume everyone has good motives/intentions and just be happy. And say only nice things. It really does help smooth life’s little traumas when you don’t kick and scream at every injustice, real or imagined.
dinoceros June 3, 2015, 4:53 pm
Been lurking for a while, but I wanted to chime in. I also read this to mean that your boyfriend may have been cheating on his wife, in which case, I think it’s not difficult to see why there might be some ill will toward you. Your relationship doesn’t have to be the cause of a split to still create those feelings. With cheating comes a sense of betrayal, dishonesty, etc., and if your boyfriend did cheat, then this is going to stick with you for some time. You may always be seen as the other woman. (Especially depending on your relationship with the family — since you knew the daughter since she was 9).
Regardless, I think this is more about him than you. The decision is likely seen as not wanting to let her father bring “the other woman” (if that is the case), as opposed to “she can’t come.” So, instead of taking personal offense, you might be better off viewing this as a family conflict, which you are not a part of. It’s very likely bigger than you.
Either way, despite what etiquette or our morals or whatever tells us, the daughter has no obligation to ever accept you. Muscling your way in and proving that you have right to join the family would, at best, give you the option of physically being at events, but you’d probably be even more disliked. The only way the daughter will choose to get to know you will be because she finds that you are the kind of person she wants to know. This means graciously accepting that you have not been welcomed into the family and perhaps sending good wishes to her on her marriage. Attending a wedding should be about celebrating the couple, not about cementing your own status. In that case, it’s probably best to not attend anyway.
Ele4phant June 3, 2015, 8:20 pm
LW – I understand why you are hurt. I think you are justified in feeling hurt. No matter what your role in the dissolution of your boyfriend’s marriage, he has chosen to make a life with you and if sucks that the people who are also an important part of his life aren’t recognizing that. I get it, I really do. However, consider this, there are some people in that family that hold a grudge against you, who will probably make it very unpleasant for you if you go. So try not to focus on how you are being left out and focus on the fact that you are being spared the shit storm you’d otherwise have to endure. It does sound like the bride is recognizes your importance in her fathers life and wants to build a relationship with you, just not at the wedding.
For perspective, when I was in my early twenties my father left my mother to be with his current wife. It wasn’t entirely her fault – I mean she played a part but my parents marriage had been bad a long time before she came along. Right after it happened my mother was incredibly hurt and my maternal family was PISSED. They hated my fathers wife with a vitriol I didn’t know they had in them. Had I gotten married at that time I would not have invited her – not because I didn’t want her but because nobody would have wanted to endure the kind of day it would have been had she come. As it happened, even though everyone eventually calmed down by the time I did get married she decided not to come. Which really was too bad, by that time everyone grew up and healed, but I guess she found theor early treatment of her so traumitizing she didn’t want to risk it.
Anyways, if the daughter is open to building a relationship with you after the wedding, trust that appreciates who you are in her father’s life and consider your lack of invitation a favor not a slight.
Fairhairedchild June 3, 2015, 11:58 pm
I chimed in earlier and I’ll post a different scenario as well.
My brother got married a few years ago, and it was a very small intimate wedding. Both he and my SIL are “products of divorce” (is there a nicer or different pharse for this?) and so there was some possible tension because of the step-parents or ex-wives/husbands etc. However for the most part it went smoothly. My SIL’s parents were both there, but none of their new spouses were there even though they had been married for years (like 10+ I believe) because she didn’t want them to be. Both of my SIL’s parents acted very polite and friendly with each other as it was a mutual divorce and they have a very healthy post-divorce relationship and are able to be there and be supportive of their little girl together. (They were actually best friends growing up and still remain friendly – but that’s a different story).
Our mom and her ex-husband however were not as easy going for the wedding. (To explain, my brother and I have different fathers, but we don’t do the whole “half-sibling” labeling). His father brought along his wife and step-son to the wedding. While they were very nice people, I could see how it affected my mother to be around them. She actually had a break down the next day about how stressful it was to her (even though the relationship ended 25+ years ago). She wasn’t stressed because she harbors a lot of hate towards her ex-husband and his new family, but because the wedding ceremony itself reminded her of her own wedding to him and the subsequent hurt later going through the divorce. It reminded her of how she had taken similar vows with a man she loved, and how it didn’t work out the way either of them planned and now her baby boy was getting married. It was like a wound re-opening without any reason to back it up, there is no hate or ill-will between her and her ex-husband but she would rather limit her own contact with him, while encouraging his involvement still with my brother. So an already emotional event (seeing your child get married) became more emotional for her, and it caused HER some inner turmoil and “drama” though she did not make mention of it on their big day.
On a side note, my brother’s step-brother introduced himself to me as his brother which kind of caused my hackles to raise a little bit because I don’t ever recall meeting this guy. My reasoning also was that my brother lived with us his whole life growing up, and I felt like the more “legitimate” sibling. There could have been drama there but I laughed (ok maybe it was a little crazy laugh) and said “I’m his sister”. Of course I later told my mom after her break down how I was irritated by his step-brother because of the whole “He’s mine not yours” possessiveness that popped up in me to show she wasn’t the only one feeling other feelings because of the other family.
HOLY COW long story – anyway this just goes to show that trying to avoid causing any waves can be much much easier than trying to make peace or avoid any scenarios where any hurt feelings may be involved. Sometimes people don’t get invited because of the “what ifs”, such as “well if we invite cousin/friend/uncle/co-worker/whatever jimmy what if he gets totally trashed(because he likes to party and can over-indulge) at the open bar and possibly be an embarrasment so maybe we shouldn’t invite him… EVEN though we love him at all other events” etc.
Also LW, if you wanted to “show” the daughter (or anyone else) how much of a couple you and the BF are, then why in the two years that you’ve lived together have YOU not extended an invitation to her (and her fiance after the enagement) to your home where both of you could host them for dinner or a movie etc. This would have provided a good stepping stone to build a relationship with her (and any other members of the family if so invited) and could have made it easier for them to avoid the “what if” game since she really doesn’t know you as a person (since her only memory of you is from when she was a kid) or how you handle different situations. Take the high road like everyone else said, respect that the decision not to include you may not actually be about you either (it could be that the ex-wife or another guest is really emotionaly sensative about your relationship or threatening to create drama themselves if you are allowed to come). I don’t blame her or the fiance for standing firm on this, because it may not be a personal attack at you since they really don’t know you that well. And we just don’t know all the information that they used to make that decision in the first place. What you DO know is that she offered to do something with you after the wedding so that’s at least an open door to something more, don’t slam it back in her face when you equally don’t know her (or her Fiance’s) personality etc as an adult either.
RMc June 9, 2015, 8:47 am
Your daughter is a spoiled brat and the man she’s marrying is a bully. I would tell her the following: “I’m sorry, but I’m not going to attend your wedding without the woman I love, especially since I really don’t want to have to punch your fiance in the face while he tries to ‘escort me out’. Grow up.”
Dear Wendy June 9, 2015, 8:54 am
Umm…. This advice is insane.
mellanthe January 15, 2020, 5:07 am
I saw a similar letter recently about a woman bemoaning that her ex didn’t invite her to his wedding(they have a kid together who is young and wanted to invite her and her partner).
And whilst it’s nice if people can play happy families and get along after, at the end of the day, it’s their party. If they don’t invite you, there’s no debating whether you might turn up to show them who’s boss – there’s no high ground in turning up to an event you’re not invited to, or ruining their day. You might have someone you’d never invite to your wedding; how much would it suck if they turned up when you least wanted them to?
I hope you can work on getting to know her after the wedding; perhaps invite her around, or spend time with her somewhere neutral.
JMc January 8, 2022, 7:05 pm
Same thing happended to me. Why would you want to go where you are not welcome. Dump the boyfriend ! Its sounds as if that you are headed for a world of hurt by sticking around these people. You will always be on the outside looking in and second banana when it comes to his daughter. What kind of people are you with anyway if the daughter’s fiancee has threatned to strong arm his future father in law if you show. Its not as if you have spent 30 years with this guy. Spend time with people that want to be with you. Move on ! Find someone without the baggage that you can be happy with!
Liss April 16, 2022, 3:23 am