Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Morning Quickies: “My Stepdaughter Excluded Me From Her Baby Shower!”

My stepson and his wife had a baby shower that they didn’t invite me to. It was so humiliating to be excluded for no reason. I was the last to find out, too — my other stepson told me about the shower when it was days away. I’m still so angry! This was a deliberate attempt to make me feel awful. This stepdaughter-in-law was so overly sweet until she married my stepson. Then her true colors came out. My husband has a big family; everyone knows I was excluded. My husband and mother-in-law were furious about it at first, and then it was forgotten. My husband’s ex-wife actually asked me to sit with her if I had nowhere to sit—when she knew I wasn’t invited! I would have sat with my mother-in-law as we are very close.

I can’t let this go. If I had tried to pull something like this, my mother would have advised me not to start trouble. My husband adores this phony little witch. Her family has money, and my husband and his sons are fascinated by the family. I hate this girl. She hangs all over my husband, and it makes me sick. I refuse to attend any family functions on his side if she will be present. This hatred and anger are eating me up! My husband tells me to get over it. I can’t. I want to hurt and embarrass her and her classless mother. I am at my wit’s end. I have several serious autoimmune diseases that are exacerbated by stress.

How can I stop this from destroying my marriage and mind? — Stressed Step-grandmother-to-be

I find it very hard to believe you were excluded from the baby shower “for no reason.” There was a reason. Your husband should be reaching out to his son to find out why you weren’t invited. I suspect you had to have some clue about where you stood with the stepdaughter before the shower though. You don’t go from being on ok terms to not being invited to her shower and saying you hate her and calling her a phony little witch. Something else happened before the shower. You said or did something that upset her, whether you are aware of it or not (and I think you’re probably more aware than you’re letting on). Your husband should find out what that something is, and if you care about him, and if you care about your health, you will try to make amends and find a way to have a civil relationship with this woman.

Like it or not, she is a part of your family. Her child is going to be your husband’s grandchild. To have all this hatred and anger towards her, to the point that it’s eating you up and exasperating your autoimmune issues, isn’t normal or healthy. And it’s not all her fault. You are 50% of the relationship with her; you have to take some responsibility for the current state of it. If you refuse to, and if you refuse to offer an olive leaf — an apology, a card telling her you’re wishing her an easy labor, an invitation to dinner at your home, anything to express a desire to be part of her life — for the sake of your marriage and your health, the price you will pay will be much, much greater than the humiliation of being excluded from a baby shower. You will get sicker, and your marriage will suffer. If you really cannot cope with the stress of having a family member you don’t get along with and you don’t know how or don’t have a desire to make things right with her, you need therapy (and before you ruin your life over a stupid baby shower you weren’t invited to).

My 26-year-old daughter has a history of jumping into relationships. By the second week of dating, she’s acting like a bossy wife. Her latest 29-year-old conquest works 20 hours a week (Tuesday through Saturday, 6pm to 9:30 pm) waiting tables. (Our daughter teaches school and works 45 to 50 hours a week at school and numerous hours after school.) His restaurant closed for two weeks during the summer,
as it does every year, and the boyfriend had to borrow money to pay his bills because he hadn’t planned for the two weeks off work. After six months of dating, my daughter wants to include her boyfriend in our weekly dinner visits (at our home), at least some of them, which means he’d be taking off work. We do not want to do this. We said that we would be open to occasional lunches on Saturday or Sunday as we don’t want to start having him in our home weekly. My daughter said Saturdays and Sunday lunches don’t work because that’s their time together, although that’s exclusively when they go to his family’s for visits. Weeknights don’t work for us and we are not willing to include him in our weekly family time with our daughter (we’ve enjoyed every week for six years). What are your thoughts? — Weekend Dinners are for Family Time

 
My thoughts are that everyone in this scenario sounds a little ridiculous, especially you. Your disdain for your daughter’s boyfriend is clear, and it’s obvious you don’t want to help foster a relationship with this man you think isn’t good enough for your daughter (because he’s 29 and waits tables part-time and borrows money to help pay his bills). And, who knows, maybe he isn’t a match for your daughter, but she’s with him now, and if you don’t want to hurt your relationship with her and you don’t want to risk losing the time you have with her, you better start including her boyfriend in your family dinners, “at least some of them,” which hardly seems like that much of a sacrifice. Three weekends out of the month have a family dinner at your home on a Saturday when he’s working and can’t make it, and then on the fourth weekend, make it a Sunday dinner and invite him, knowing he has the day off. Tell your daughter those once-a-month Sunday dinners are so her boyfriend can be included, which should hopefully appease her by showing some effort on your part to be nice to her guy. It’s a fair compromise, and if you can’t bend a little to accommodate a monthly visit from your daughter’s boyfriend, then you are going to be in for a very rude awakening if your daughter actually marries him or someone else you find equally unfit to be her husband and starts building a life and family that you may find yourself excluded from.

Related: “I Wasn’t Invited to My Boyfriend’s Daughter’s Wedding!” and “My Daughter’s Boyfriend Is Taking Her Away From Us”

63 comments… add one
  • avatar

    JD October 2, 2018, 9:28 am

    LW one I think it is clear why you weren’t invited. You clearly hate her and she is likely aware of that. Why would she want you at her special event if you hate her? Grow up! You sound like such an angry bitter person. You want to hurt and embarrass her??? Good lord. I wouldn’t invite you anywhere either. No one would.

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  • avatar

    Allornone October 2, 2018, 9:33 am

    Dang, so much righteous anger in these posts. The LWs both need to just chill the crap out.

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  • avatar

    Lex October 2, 2018, 9:44 am

    LW: WWS! And also, “I refuse to attend any family functions on his side if she will be present”, I’m not sure if you’re saying that for as of now since she didn’t invite you to the shower or if this was standing prior to this but if it was, why in the world would she invite you to her shower if you don’t go to events where she is present anyways?! to an event that is on top of that, all about her and her baby..? You sound bitter and I’m sure you’ve played a role in the fall of this relationship just as much as she has.. theirs a reason why you weren’t invited, maybe try to be nicer and bond to create something civil..

    LW2: You sound a little ridiculous… your daughter is an adult and you don’t have to agree with everything she chooses to do relationship wise, the only thing you can choose is how you handle the relationship between you and her, and at this rate you’ll push away by trying to force her to choose between you and her bf… so you think hes not great based on his job, you have no idea what other qualities he brings to the table and to your daughter that she clearly enjoys… maybe if you just had him over for dinner, you could find out..

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  • avatar

    Poppy October 2, 2018, 9:45 am

    LW1 … Maybe she is a little witch but you are being a bigger witch. Agreeing with Wendy on this one. Are You jealous of her? As someone who also has an autoimmune disease that can get easily triggered with stress, you should go see your doctor and talk about this. I think you need therapy too. LW2…. I could see where it would be annoying to have your daughter bring her boyfriends over everytime you guys got together. Especially when you think its just another conquest. It shouldnt hurt to have him over once a month during “family time”. Once things get serious you can start including him more. Personally, I wouldnt find a 29yr old working 20hrs a week and having to ask for money to help pay bills a catch either.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy October 2, 2018, 11:33 am

      We don’t know why the guy only works 20 hours a week though. It’s short-sighted to say he’s not a catch based only on that information. Maybe he’s in school full-time, maybe he cares for a sick family member, maybe he’s recovering from an illness himself. I have family members who don’t work full-time and it’s not because they’re lazy or whatever — they have genuine disabilities that preclude them from working full-time, and those disabilities don’t make them less of a catch or less of a person that anyone else who is lucky enough to have the health and ability to work full-time. (I’m not picking on you, personally – just addressing the idea that working part-time or waiting tables is somehow a reflection of someone’s worth or value. It’s not.).

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      • avatar

        Poppy October 2, 2018, 1:11 pm

        Well from that perspective I can agree with you. We dont know.

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    • avatar

      ele4phant October 2, 2018, 1:51 pm

      I mean…maybe. I could see how a family might be concerned that their child is hooked up with someone financially unstable.

      But it also sounds like they don’t know him at all.

      So, invite him over, and get to know his deal. Maybe he’s working on something to better his life. Maybe he just adores their daughter and treats her really well. So what if she’s the main breadwinner? If she has a loving, emotionally supportive partner, that’s more than a lot of people get.

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  • avatar

    K October 2, 2018, 9:57 am

    “I refuse to attend any family functions on his side if she will be present.” I’m guessing that you felt this way about her before she excluded you from the baby shower…and that’s probably exactly why you were excluded.

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  • avatar

    Anonymous October 2, 2018, 10:24 am

    LW1:Excluded for no reason? Just from reading your letter, I know why you weren’t invited. Your contempt and hatred for this woman are so far out of control that I’m sure she and everyone in the family knows how you feel. Would you invite someone who openly loathes you to an important family event? Of course you wouldn’t.

    No one owes you respect, inclusion, or love. You earn those things. And right now, all your hatred, bitterness and obvious jealousy are earning you is exclusion from your family.

    Talk to the doctor that’s treating you for your autoimmune disorders. Your out-of-control emotions may have something to do with your illness. At least I hope that’s what’s going on here.

    LW2: Repeat as many times as necessary – you don’t get to choose who your adult children fall in love with. It doesn’t matter that you don’t like him. She does. All your contempt for him will get you is exclusion, just like LW1.

    Instead of rudely refusing to have him in your home, invite him to dinner. Get to know him. Try to see what your daughter sees in him. Because if you continue on the path you’re on, you’re going to break your relationship with her.

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  • avatar

    london October 2, 2018, 10:42 am

    LW #1-Just a comment in general on people marrying into families,step families etc. When you marry someone,you also marry their family. If you can’t stand them-know that this will not improve with marriage. If there is a problem with family members it needs to be dealt with .
    And yes,the letter writer here sounds rude and vindictive,grudge holding etc. Probably jealous too.

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    • meadowphoenix

      meadowphoenix October 3, 2018, 8:18 am

      I that’s the problem tho. The step-daughter is an in-law, so OP couldn’t have known she would come unto the picture. Regardless, this really sounds like someone (OP) who’s generally an asshole, and the one person (stepdaughter-in-law) who is willing to cut her off.

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  • avatar

    london October 2, 2018, 10:42 am

    LW#2 What Wendy said so well.

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  • avatar

    ele4phant October 2, 2018, 10:52 am

    I don’t live that close to my family – would a standing family dinner when you are an adult child be normal? It feels weird to me that someone in their mid-twenties would be expected to come over to their parents’ every weekend, but again, all of my adulthood has been spent living away from my family so I don’t know.

    I guess I could see if the adult child is younger and single and doesn’t have much going on, they might be hanging out with their parents more; but as they start building their own life – particularly partnering up – it would be normal and natural for them not to spend as much of their free time with their parents.

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    • avatar

      Artsygirl October 2, 2018, 11:43 am

      I do a standing weekly lunch with my in-laws every Sunday and I am 33 and my husband is 36. My FIL started making large Sunday lunches when my husband and his brothers were young and it is a big deal for the family. This is then followed up by a mid-afternoon visit with my parents for an hour of two to catch up. We also spend part of Saturday with an aunt who is disabled and mostly housebound. It shortens the weekend, but it is nice to be surrounded by both sides of the family.

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    • avatar

      JD October 2, 2018, 11:53 am

      Until a large majority of my family passed away and moved away we did every Sunday night dinners. That is a bit of an Italian thing though that is fairly common. Sometimes 50 people show up, sometimes 5 but it always happens.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph October 2, 2018, 11:59 am

      My friends who still live in our hometown do this kind of thing.

      Like you, I’ve lived elsewhere my entire adult life and it sounds stressful. I need my weekend to get my life together for the upcoming week, I don’t have hours of every weekend to spend visiting with family. But maybe one of the trades is that if you have your parents nearby they help in other ways that makes up for the time spent visiting?

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    • avatar

      ele4phant October 2, 2018, 12:57 pm

      @Artsygirl and @JD Oh interesting.

      Never having had the option, when I first read that, I was like why do you even expect that much time with your adult daughter anyways?! Of course she wants to spend her limited free time with her boyfriend – if you insist on seeing her once a week you’re gonna see the boyfriend too then.

      But, I guess it’s not that crazy for some to see their parents that often, at least for some.

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      • avatar

        JD October 2, 2018, 1:10 pm

        I should note this was my huge extended family who puts this on, basically grandmas. I don’t see my mom every time, or the same people each time. It is kind of a Sunday open door. My mother would bug me at some point if I saw her that often. haha

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    • avatar

      MissD October 3, 2018, 3:53 am

      Lol there is a UK show here on Netflix all about the hijinx that go down at these weekly standing family dinners and it’s called… Friday Night Dinner!

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      • avatar

        JD October 3, 2018, 6:33 am

        That is something i want to see. Ours are for sure animated. Combine loud Italians with some home made lemoncello and…

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    • avatar

      ktfran October 3, 2018, 7:09 am

      We saw my grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins regularly on Sundays. Usually breakfast or lunch. I saw my other grandparents weekly too.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros October 3, 2018, 8:54 am

      I’d agree with you. I’m sure there are plenty of people who have anecdotes about their family doing it, but that doesn’t mean that everyone or even most people do it.

      Even with my friends who have done it in the past, they eventually had to stop once they got married and had kids because they had in-laws to see and had a lot going on in their lives to where they couldn’t always make it. Obviously, I don’t mean everyone, but I think that a commitment of every single week is hard for a lot of people.

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  • avatar

    Vathena October 2, 2018, 11:02 am

    LW1…where to start. Why on earth would you even want to go to a baby shower of someone you hate, who you think is a “phony little witch”, when you refuse to ever attend any other event where she’ll be present? Sounds like a waste of a perfectly good Saturday afternoon. Given your level of anger at your “humiliation”, I would assume that while you hate her guts and think she’s awful, you are very keen on keeping up appearances and play-acting at the role of stepgrandmother-to-be. That way everyone thinks of you as some sort of saint. Do you even really care about this baby, given your hatred for the mother? Who’s the real phony here? (My own Grandmother is like this so I know the type. Doesn’t *actually* give a shit, but the grandchildren and great-grandchildren are handy props in her pillar-of-the-community act.)

    If I knew someone felt this way about me, I definitely wouldn’t want them at my baby shower either. I would absolutely back up my daughter if she didn’t want to invite such an angry and hateful person to pretend to celebrate the birth of her child. You’re probably not very good at hiding your true feelings.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph October 2, 2018, 12:15 pm

      100%. Waste of a Saturday and you’d have to buy a gift for a person you don’t even like! And I totally agree LW1 doesn’t seem to care about the baby at all, let alone its mother.
      S-DIL was probably nice before because she wanted to maintain the family peace, and now that she’s pregnant she’s either a) worn out/sick/tired and no longer has fucks to give or b) realizes that she’s about to hold all the power and doesn’t have to play that game any more. She’s about to be the gatekeeper to this baby– your husband and MIL are over it because they realize their relationship with SDIL is what will decide how much they get to be in the life of their great/granddaughter. LW1 needs to realize the same– you can hate this “witch” if you want, but if you want to see that baby, you better get better at hiding it.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros October 2, 2018, 1:36 pm

    LW1: Your letter sounds like it was written by a Disney villain. Why would they invite you to their baby shower if you hate her? I can get feeling excluded or frustrated or sad, but the fact that you are provoked into absolute hatred of her over this (despite the fact that your son also chose not to invite you) makes it pretty likely that you’ve driven her away by being the stereotypical nightmare MIL. If you hate her so much, why would you want to go to her baby shower? I think you need to visit a therapist to understand and control your anger.

    LW2: Outside of someone being dangerous and/or abusive, if your daughter is an adult, then I think trying set up strict rules about whether she’s allowed to bring over a boyfriend is a waste of energy. Sure, you can ban him, but you’ll probably harm your relationship with her in the process. Is it really worth it to you? Also, having strict family time with an adult daughter is nice, I guess, but fairly uncommon. Most people don’t make time to eat dinner with their parents every week when they are adults, and I think it might be good for you to be prepared that it is going to end at some point anyway.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros October 2, 2018, 3:39 pm

      I just realized that LW1 is referring to a stepdaughter and not a daughter-in-law. I guess I usually see that kind of vitriol toward in-laws more so because most people pretend to at least tolerate their stepkids. This makes your attitude about this and hatred of her even worse.

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      • avatar

        dinoceros October 2, 2018, 3:40 pm

        Ugh. My reading comprehension was bad. Stepdaughter in law. Ignore my last comment.

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  • avatar

    ron October 2, 2018, 2:11 pm

    Today’s LWs: two very small people determined to emphasize their importance and social standing, who can’t stand having a family member tell them that they actually aren’t all that.

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  • avatar

    brise October 2, 2018, 2:46 pm

    LW1: you are overreacting massively. She didn’t invite you, so what. It is her right. Her baby, her celebration. You are not necessarily close and don’t have to be there. I think you had better accept your role as a step-mother-in-law, that is really on the back seat. Be civil, cordial, decent, give a gift to the baby, be kind and it will be all right. New page. It is really out of proportion to get sick because of a baby shower. Don’t take everything so personally and adjust your behavior with this woman as a decent but not close relationship. You have other problems in life, like your health, don’t take it so dramatically. It is not so important, really.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom October 2, 2018, 3:56 pm

    LW1 You seem to think you can set an ultimatum that will force everyone in the family to exclude the DIL. You can’t. You can give the ultimatum but everyone will continue to invite both of you and she will attend and you won’t so she looks like the warm, friendly one and you look like the bitch who refuses to have anything to do with her husband’s family.

    If she is rude to you and you are always nice to her then everyone will feel that you are mistreated. If she is rude to you and you are rude to her and rude to everyone else in the family then they will all agree she is right about you and they will all despise you. You can’t boycott every family event and look even slightly good.

    You are starting to burn down every bridge you have with his family. Don’t be surprised when you are totally isolated.

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    • avatar

      saneinca October 2, 2018, 4:01 pm

      skyblossom, so do you want to give carte blanche to everyone who wants to treat the LW with disrespect ?

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph October 2, 2018, 4:09 pm

        Not skyblossom, but its hardly carte blanche when we are talking about a specific individual who happens to be the pregnant wife of her husband’s son and who is already reviled and I’m willing to bet disrespected by the LW and therefore wants to disrespect the LW in return.

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      • avatar

        saneinca October 2, 2018, 5:08 pm

        SS, while you could be right, we don’t have that information.

        Telling the LW not to mind disrespectful behavior doesn’t feel right though.

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      • avatar

        saneinca October 2, 2018, 5:12 pm

        However, must say skyblossom’s advise is one of the better ones.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom October 2, 2018, 5:16 pm

        There is a huge difference between minding rudeness and trying to blow up the entire family by trying to make them choose between your presence or her presence. The LW can’t make them choose and if they do choose they will probably not choose her because she is the one putting them in the awkward situation. She is saying she won’t show up at any family function if the DIL is also going to be there. She is trying to insert her dominance in every single family event. She is saying she will create drama at every holiday, pick me or her but it can’t be both. She is going to go scorched earth against the entire family because one member of the family was rude. She is going for collective guilt and collective punishment. They don’t have to play that game and probably won’t. They will roll their eyes and talk about her behind her back. If she wants a better outcome she needs a different tactic. Being nice will go much further.

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      • avatar

        dinoceros October 3, 2018, 8:50 am

        I don’t see why advice about one particular person and situation automatically has to be advice that applies to everything in that person’s life. That makes no sense.

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      • avatar

        ron October 3, 2018, 10:08 am

        SaneInca — You seem to be verging onto Insane Inca here. Nobody has suggested giving everyone who disrespects her a pass. Nobody has said she can’t feel offended. Almost everyone is saying this doesn’t justify reaching for the nuclear option and that LW sounds more than a tad nasty and that she likely did something which preceded this non-invite. Maybe she has been actively seeking an excuse to cut off that whole side of the family. Maybe she never liked this woman and didn’t do a lot to hide her feelings. Yes, we have to assume. We have only her side of the story. Just looking at her side, she seems to have an over-the-top reaction. She seems to relish the thought of burning bridges.

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      • avatar

        Fyodor October 3, 2018, 3:14 pm

        You are absolutely right saneinca. If she doesn’t go publicly batshit insane over not getting invited to this specific event people will walk all over her forever.

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      • avatar

        saneinca October 3, 2018, 4:55 pm

        Simmer down. As I said, I do like skyblossom’s advice. Going nuclear is definitely not the right option.

        It is only the non-reactive part I am objecting to. The LW should find some way to express her disappointment. Otherwise, this could happen again and again. (Fyodor may be joking but that is a real possibility )
        I am not assuming anything more about their previous interactions or who is good and bad because we dont have those facts.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant October 3, 2018, 5:09 pm

        “It is only the non-reactive part I am objecting to. The LW should find some way to express her disappointment.”

        I mean, what do you mean she find some way to express her disappointment?

        Talk over her feelings with her husband privately? I mean, fine, just so long as he knows its just feelings and he’s not being asked to choose between his wife and children. With friends? Definitely okay to bitch about this with them. A therapist? Not sure this warrants starting a relationship with a therapist but if she already has one this would be a great thing to hash out.

        Or do you mean she should find some way to express her disappointment *to the new parents (her step son and his wife)*? If that’s what you meant, I don’t see a way for her to do that that’s not going to blow up in her face.

        EVEN IF she’s been nothing but kind and wonderful to that couple and there’s no reasonable explanation for why they are being pills to her, if she brings this to them it will drive a (further) wedge and pit family members on sides. She’s gonna come across like the witchy stepmother to some, giving the couple further ammunition to keep her at arms length.

        The high road is the answer here – even if she’s not in the wrong at all. If the long-term goal is to integrate with the family, this is her one good option, as much as it might suck in the moment.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph October 4, 2018, 8:40 am

        She already HAS expressed her feelings on this to her husband and his mother, both of whom were initially upset but have gotten over it… probably because there’s going to be a new baby in the family and that’s more important.
        If LW confronts stepson/daughter-in-law about this, the narrative as it spreads through the family will be of her as the evil stepmother.

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  • avatar

    keyblade October 2, 2018, 4:07 pm

    I’m curious if this is the same letter writer:

    https://dearwendy.com/i-wasnt-invited-to-my-stepdaughters-baby-shower/

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy October 3, 2018, 2:18 am

      No, that one is from four years ago.

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      • avatar

        keyblade October 3, 2018, 6:39 am

        Thank you. I see now that she also signed her letter, Stressed Step-grandmother-to-be. Her reaction is so over-the-top I wondered if it was from years ago. I also see that this is from a daughter-in-law, not a daughter.

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      • avatar

        keyblade October 3, 2018, 6:41 am

        * I meant about a step-DIL, not a step-daughter.

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  • avatar

    Kc_24 October 2, 2018, 4:53 pm

    LW1 – No words. Lol

    LW2 – I get the impression that there are some other prejudices at play about the BF. Surely after 6mths they would have overcome any issues with his job/financial prospects but to still be using language like “not willing to include” and generally being difficult about making this situation work and allowing him into their house just screams bigotry to me.

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  • avatar

    Ange October 2, 2018, 5:52 pm

    I can’t imagine why you didn’t get an invite LW1, you sound like such a peach. Seems like a lot of this stems from jealousy over her family’s money and some weird jealousy about how much your husband likes her and you thinking she plays into it. You have some serious poison lurking around in there, sort that out before nobody wants to invite you anywhere.

    (I’m half expecting an update where we’re treated to a manifesto on every single thing this woman has done wrong and why it’s ok to totally hate her)

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  • avatar

    allathian October 3, 2018, 6:12 am

    My goodness! LW1, get a grip or you won’t be seeing much of your step-grandchild.
    LW2, try to include your daughter’s boyfriend at least occasionally in your family dinners, or you probably won’t be seeing much of your daughter. She might just decide she’d rather spend time with her boyfriend than her judgmental mom.

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  • meadowphoenix

    meadowphoenix October 3, 2018, 8:32 am

    LW1: It’s hard to tell whether to give you the benefit of the doubt or not, because I have definitely seen a) the wealthy asshole who marries into a less wealthy family and takes control because of general entitlement/class fascination from the less wealthy fam, and it drives one person crazy that the wealthy in-law gets away with murder because they’re richer and b) that one person who married into a family and finally draws boundaries with the controlling/overbearing element, and it’s hard to tell which is which her.

    But frankly, it doesn’t matter to my advice, which is a) worry about whether is treating you step-son well and leave it alone otherwise and b) give people the benefit of the kindest assumptions possible. You don’t have any control over your step-daughter in laws behavior, and the calmer you act about all of this, the more likely that people either see what a witch your step-daughter in law is or believe you’ve changed and you’ll be more welcome at her family gatherings.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark October 3, 2018, 11:30 am

    It confuses me how somehow the biggest brats even manage to get married. LW1, grow the fuck up already. Honestly? It’s amazing that anybody ever invites You anywhere…

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark October 3, 2018, 11:37 am

    LW 2 — NEWSFLASH — Your daughter likes bossing somebody around constantly, eh? Well, she’s NEVER gonna find that in somebody with a killer career and giant income. No way. No day.

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    • avatar

      ele4phant October 3, 2018, 12:20 pm

      Oh who knows.

      In my experience, like often attracts like, so while I know there’s the stereotype of bossy women pairing up with submissive men (or the inverse – high powered men seeking out complaint, unambitious women who want to have babies and stay at home), in reality I think people today pair up with someone who have similar values when it comes to work, ambition, finances, and free-time.

      So ambitious workaholics often end up getting married to one another because they understand one another. People who are more keen on a life-work balance often pair off because they have similar attitudes when it comes to the importance of making a lot vs having more free time.

      Also – the stereotype that you have to have an aggressive personality to earn a huge income – have you ever met any software engineers (male or female)?

      And just based on the letter – I’m not sure how the LW’s daughter is being bossy with her boyfriend, aside from the fact LW2 said it. It sounds like maybe she’s being “bossy” with her parents, insisting that she’d like to include her boyfriend on occasion because she wants to spend time with him.

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie October 3, 2018, 12:05 pm

    @BGM – it entirely depends on what “Killer Career” and “Killer Income” mean. Many years ago a woman I truly reviled was bragging about her new husband’s income (he was an airline mechanic). I knew that as soon as she made as much or more than him the marriage would be over. And that is precisely what happened.

    So she could be totally fine with a guy who works part time for the city and brings in $40K, where as for you, that would be unfathomable. Nonetheless, someone who works 60 hrs a week and is dating someone who works 20 hours a week -there’s a potential imbalance of ambition.

    LW #2 – just invite him over. The more you push your daughter to break up with him, the more likely she’ll dig her heels in to justify her decision. The more you embrace him while surreptitiously pointing out the imbalance, the more likely she’ll get tired of him. (AKA, “Oh of course you’re tired my sweet daughter, you work so hard. You do so much for so many. You know in my day, it was uncommon for a man to contribute to the cleaning but I’m sure glad that you and bf have a more modern relationship where each of you understands that it’s not the woman’s job anymore.”

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  • avatar

    ron October 3, 2018, 12:32 pm

    LW#2 —
    It sounds like you are trying to infantilize your daughter, freezing in place your relationship to her pre-adulthood. You want a dinner of just family. Well here’s a clue you had best tune into: when your child suggests that you include her SO as part of that family at the dinner, she has already included him as family. As a child living away from home, she won’t suggest including a bf in a family event until their relationship has reached a point where she feels comfortable including him. There are relationship hurdles to be cleared before you even are allowed to meet him. Kids grow up. They marry and have family of their own. The old parental nuclear family either adapts or it withers, as the kids decide it is simply easier and more enjoyable to spend that former ‘family time’ with their SO and friends. You can try to cling to the past. You will lose. You can try to decide who is a suitable SO for your children. You will lose. Your daughter has an independent life outside her birth family. If you persist in refusing to mix the two, then your days of once a week dinner with your daughter will morph into once a month, and that loss will be your fault. She’s tired of playing ‘let’s pretend once a week that you are still a little girl without a bf’.

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  • avatar

    Fyodor October 3, 2018, 3:16 pm

    I would bet ten dollars that LW1 met the father while still married but would tell us that the marriage was “already dead” and she is unfairly blamed for it.

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  • avatar

    Sarah October 4, 2018, 11:20 pm

    LW1… whoa drama queen! A few things:

    “This was a deliberate attempt to make me feel awful.”
    Really? And you know this how? And you’re certain that it’s not a pregnant lady just not wanting to hang out with an old roach who obviously dislikes her?

    “My husband’s ex-wife actually asked me to sit with her if I had nowhere to sit—when she knew I wasn’t invited!”
    How would she have known? (Also, I don’t get why one is talking about seating arrangements far ahead of a baby shower, but whatever)

    “My husband adores this phony little witch.”
    “I hate this girl.”
    Well… if that’s your opinion of a younger WOMAN, can you really blame her for not wanting you there? Or perhaps thinking that you wouldn’t want to be there?

    “I refuse to attend any family functions on his side if she will be present.”
    Is this just since the shower, or beforehand? Because given everything else you’ve said, it sounds like you’ve been giving this poor woman shit for a long time, so yeah, of course she doesn’t want you present at one of the more precious and vulnerable parts of her life.

    “I want to hurt and embarrass her and her classless mother. ”
    Yeah, way to be a high-school Mean-Girl. I can’t even with this.

    Seriously, you’re a narcissistic 2-yr old throwing a temper tantrum. And I do mean that – my friend’s 2-yr old has a better understanding of how to be a decent human being.

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  • avatar

    Sarah October 4, 2018, 11:28 pm

    LW#2 signing off at “Weekend Dinners are for Family Time”

    Well sure, but by your mid-twenties, serious significant others kinda start to count as family. And by your mid-twenties, 6-months can be a serious relationship. I have at least two pairs of friends who (when age 25-30) got engaged very close to their 1-yr dating anniversaries (and both couples are still happily married, now with kids).

    Also, weekly dinners with your parents seems a bit much to me, so be glad that your daughter wants to see you that often. Most people I know in their 20’s and 30’s see their parents a lot less (unless there’s Grandparent daycare for the kids involved)

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy October 8, 2018, 6:20 am

    From LW1:

    “Hello Wendy, Thanks for responding so quickly. I should have clarified myself with a bit more information about my situation.
    Before the baby shower, which I had zero idea I was not attending, my other stepson said ” You will never be allowed to go near that baby.
    I have my own grandchildren, and have a good relationship with my other stepson and daughter in law. He’s divorced and shares custody. I have baby sat these two wonderful little girls since they were born. Yes, he was the one who told me how much they hated me.
    Okay, I’m going to tell you exactly why my stepson hates me. When I married my husband 11 years ago, I purchased a large mother/daughter home so my stepson could have privacy in an an adjoining apartment with it’s own private entrance.
    He got the apartment because he was the oldest at 23.
    I cleaned up his space for him with permission. It didn’t take a long time for me to realize he was a messy bulimic. Vomit on the floor and toilet.
    He wasn’t trying to hide it. Gallons of icecream, cookies, ect.
    I know I should have left it there for him to clean. He “overheard ” a conversation between me and his dad. I was a nurse for 29 years before I got sick. Bulimia is a serious illness. It can also cause gum disease, death due to electrolyte imbalance, and a lethal arrhythmia that can result in cardiac arrest and death as well. That’s only a few effects.
    Anyway, he was listening/eavesdropping. He marched upstairs and berated me. My husband didn’t say one word. He was looking at us like he was walking a boxing game.
    The next day he moved out. All because I knew he wasn’t perfect.
    Have you ever seen someone who can be angry, upset, but when the camera comes out so does the smile.
    I could go on about the awful things they have done for no reason but they could. So, He hates me and she does as well. My 92 year old mother in law was furious about this. My husband is afraid to upset his perfect son. He made me do something for his son to get back in his good graces. I’m ashamed of myself for doing it. It made zero impact.
    This is only a part of the nonsense.
    Are you a life coach? I would pay for you to help me.”

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    • avatar

      anonymousse October 8, 2018, 7:15 am

      Her first letter was all about how her step DIL is a little witch and now it’s all about her stepson.

      LW, you need to see a therapist and stop actively despising your husband’s children. Just. Stop.
      The. Drama. You invaded your stepson’s privacy and made allegations that could or could not be true, all within earshot…which implies you weren’t being very respectful of sharing his personal information.

      And still…what of that has anything to do with this step DIL?

      If you continue on this path of demonizing his children and their partners, when it comes down to who he chooses, he’s probably going to choose his children and grandchildren.

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    • avatar

      brise October 8, 2018, 9:03 am

      So you won’t have a relationship with your older stepson, his wife and their kids. Get used to it. Fair or not fair, they don’t want it, so you shall accept that situation and rejoice in your good relationship with your other stepson. Don’t use him in your war with his brother. Just know that you are broken up with this member of the family, and his family. That happens, unfortunately. You can do the right thing in offering a gift with a card for the baby. So you take the high road. But don’t expect any change in the situation. Anyway, it is your stepson, right? You didn’t raise him, he was 23 when you entered his life. Let him be, with all his problems (real or of your interpretation) and focus on your own life, your health and what makes you feel good. Stop the war.

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    • avatar

      LisforLeslie October 8, 2018, 9:09 am

      Oh LW – you have mistakenly assumed that the DIL can do anything in this situation. Your step son has issues. You know what these issues are. You know his secret. He hates you because not only did you learn his secret but you TOLD his father. You potentially ruined his perfect image with his father. His father by the way, instead of doing anything about it and possibly getting the son the help he needs, ignored it because having the picture perfect son was better than dealing with not-picture perfect.

      You can’t fix this. You tried. You need to accept that you are not going to be allowed at the shower. You are not going to be allowed to see the baby. You have limited options here – you can kowtow to this emotional blackmail and try to prostrate yourself, you can silently accept this and simply not discuss it or you can blackmail him and say that you know his secret and you’ll share it if he doesn’t give in. But unless you have some magical power, say primary control of the assets, then you have limited ability to make your Stepson do anything.

      Your DIL is going to go along with it – she only has his side of the story. Believe me, I’ve seen it. Why should she believe anything you say, she lives with someone who is probably a raging narcissist (needs to be perfect) and is not ready to deal with that knowledge yet.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros October 8, 2018, 10:00 am

      If you all hate each other, then why would you want to be involved in their lives? I think at this point, it’s probably hopeless. Just spend as little time with them as possible so that you can all be happier.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark October 8, 2018, 10:29 am

    Eh…?At 23 another reason for vomit could be drinking too much. Or the flu. And gee — who doesn’t have ice cream in the freezer?. As your stepson is STILL alive all these years later… I dunno… maybe you WERE JUST FUCKING WRONG?!

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