Recently, Rob’s brother and his fiancée started to plan their wedding. Rob is Best Man and his daughter has been asked to be bridesmaid. My daughter has been asked to be a flower girl, which I thought was a lovely gesture. Unfortunately, the bride-to-be (BTB) is only inviting Rob’s daughter on all the shopping trips to look for dresses and is not including my daughter. These trips are taking place on weekends, which we all typically spend together, and trying to explain to my daughter why she isn’t invited is upsetting for both her and me. If I’m brutally honest, the BTB is making me feel like my daughter is not as important a part of the family as Rob’s daughter is. I’m beginning to think my daughter was only asked to be a flower girl to make it look as though they’re doing the right thing in front of Rob’s family, but excluding her from shopping trips when she’s usually spending time with her step-sister makes it seem like they still don’t view her as family. I’m thinking of telling them that my daughter will no longer be able to attend the wedding as a flower girl.
Also, I am not part of any of the wedding preparations, which is fine, but my partner is Best Man! I don’t like the fact that I won’t be sitting with him at the wedding; plus, I’ll have to listen to him say to the world how beautiful he thinks the bride looks. The BTB has been a thorn in our side since we met by making snide remarks to me when Rob isn’t around. He used to like all of her Facebook selfies, but she texts and calls Rob unnecessarily (texting each other practically every day when I first met him). I never make my concerns about her behavior apparent to her or the family, and I always treated her with respect, but the flower girl situation has me rethinking how I deal with her going forward.
I am at a loss now as to why she is continuously trying to come between us and I am furious that she asked my daughter to be a flower girl only to exclude her from shopping trips! I love Rob so much, but this woman is driving a wedge between us and I don’t know why.* — Furious at the BTB
You’re right — the BTB doesn’t view your daughter as family. And there’s a good reason for that. She’s … NOT family. YOU’RE not family. Your daughter is NOT step-sisters with Rob’s daughter. You’re not married to Rob. You two don’t even live together. You haven’t even been dating that long. I mean, most of my underwear is older than your relationship. And you’re complaining that your 9-year-old isn’t being invited along to your boyfriend’s brother’s fiancée’s dress shopping? I mean, let’s set aside for a moment your issue with your boyfriend — oh, I’m sorry, “partner” — not sitting next to you for a few minutes at a wedding and your fear of his “telling the world” he thinks the bride looks pretty on her wedding day — all of which makes you sound like a jealous 14-year-old at her junior high school homecoming, the fact that you are seriously offended that these people you are not related to and have known for only a year and a half, if that, are not being inclusive enough with you and your daughter in their wedding planning is, pardon me, fucking bonkers.
If you love Rob and hope to one day be part of his extended family — which, again, you aren’t yet! — and don’t want to alienate the whole crew against you, you need to take a fistful of chill pills, pull up your big girl panties, and let these people plan and enjoy their wedding without your influence. Surely your daughter has better things to do on a Saturday afternoon than spending it in some boring-ass bridal shops. Doesn’t she have friends? Birthday parties to go to? Gymnastics class or something? Hell, even sitting around playing with Barbies and making Rainbow Loom charm bracelets sounds a hell of a lot better than trying on dresses with her mom’s boyfriend’s brother’s fiancée. But, if I’m wrong, and your daughter really is super upset to be missing out on the good time that is trying on taffetas in fluorescent-lit dressing rooms, tell her that that type of shopping is usually reserved for 10-year-olds and older but you have something even more fun for her to do (which, basically could be watching paint dry, if you ask me): You’re going to take her to get ice cream and get her nails done (or go to a movie or whatever it is your daughter likes to do). Ice cream solves a lot when it comes to 9-year-old girls, as I’m sure you know.
Finally, your jealousy over your boyfriend’s good relationship with his sister-in-law is sad. If Rob’s own brother doesn’t have a problem with it — and I assume he doesn’t if he’s marrying the woman and making his brother Best Man — why on earth do you? If you’re that insecure to feel threatened by this woman who has extended an olive branch to you by asking your daughter to be her flower girl — which is a very kind gesture — then I don’t see how you’re ever going to be happy in this relationship. Or any relationship. Because the issue you have isn’t really with the BTB; it’s with yourself. And with your seeming inability to behave like a mature adult. Before you ruin what you say is a good thing, get yourself together, stop acting like a jealous 8th-grader, quit using your daughter as an excuse to butt into the planning of a wedding that isn’t about you, and be glad your boyfriend’s family has been as kind and inclusive with you as they have been!
*Some details in the original letter have been edited since it was initially posted.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected]earwendy.com.