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).
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.