Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“Should I Skip My Partner’s Daughter’s Baby Shower?”

From the forums:

I have been with my significant other for ten years now. I have three sons and he has two daughters. These girls have grown up in a rich lifestyle. My sons and I have not. It does not bother my partner that I am not wealthy, and he loves my boys like they were his own. His girls do not give me the time of day. I try having conversations with them, but it only falls on deaf ears. I invite them to family gatherings and such, but they are always too busy to attend. Now that one of them is having a baby, I was invited to the baby shower. Is it ignorant of me to not want to attend? The ex-wife will be there, and she is one whom I do not feel the need to be around. Also, over the years I have attended holiday dinners and bought gifts for the girls that I thought they would like only to find them stuffed in the trash. Help!!! — Stuck between a rock and a hard place

I’m not sure what the financial status of your partner’s daughters has to do with a baby shower, especially since you don’t mention any relevance at all? I have to wonder if there has been some jealousy or resentment on your part that the daughters have picked up on and which has affected your relationship with them. Regardless, I can tell you that your skipping this baby shower after you were invited, simply because you don’t want to go, will surely negatively affect your relationship with them. I mean, you get upset that they are “too busy” to attend family gatherings you invite them to (which, you know, maybe they legitimately are!) and now you have a chance to be the bigger person and attend an important function and you want to do the same thing you’ve been upset with them for doing in the past? Come on, grow up.

Go to the shower, drink a mimosa or eat a CBD gummy if it helps you relax a bit, choose a gift from the registry (they’re not going to stuff it in the trash), stay for an hour or two, make some chitchat with the others guests, be civil to the ex-wife, thank the host for inviting you, and then be on your own. It’s such a minimum sacrifice from you that helps preserve at the very least an appearance of civility between you and your partner’s family. Honestly, unless there has been some horrible incident between you and this daughter, I can’t fathom why you’d even consider skipping the shower. And if there has been such an incident, you wouldn’t have been invited anyway. So, go. It’s two hours of your life, and, if nothing else, it will give you fodder for arguing to close girlfriends how unfairly maligned you are by your partner’s daughters when YOU at least go to functions you’re invited to.

I have been dating my high school sweetheart since I was 16, and I’m 23 now. “Kevon” knows all of my family and vise versa, we have traveled together and even almost made a child. Unfortunately, I suffered a miscarriage in May of 2018. When Kevon and I are good, we’re a match made in heaven. I know I’m only 23, but I can truly say he’s the love of my life, and he’ll tell you the same about me. But my question is: Why does love hurt?

Kevon has always cheated on me and even put other people’s feelings before mine. He’ll go get a new “girlfriend” just to cheat on her with me. But if I even remotely look at a guy, he becomes jealous. Kevon has publicly embarrassed me with social media postings of his new “girlfriend.” After everything I have put up with, while on one of our breaks again, Kevon told me he got his ex-girlfriend pregnant. She’s four months now and I am crushed. He was very apologetic and sad because he knew there was no coming back from this. My heart is broken and I feel as though I wasted years on him. I’ll be the laughing stock of town again, and I’ll have to watch him make someone else happy with a child. Although he expressed to the ex-girlfriend that he didn’t want the baby, it’s her body and she’s keeping it.

I can’t even fathom moving on. He wants to work on our friendship and possibly move forward. But I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive him for this. Any advice? — Broken-Hearted over High School Sweetheart

 
You and Kevon are not a “match made in heaven.” Even when things “are good” between you, you aren’t a good match. Being a good match means being treated with respect by your partner all the time and not just when it’s convenient for him or when he feels like it or when he thinks of it. Being a good match means being equally committed to the relationship, sharing goals and values, and wanting the same thing in a relationship. You guys don’t have any of that. And you don’t have love. I know that because love doesn’t hurt, and you say that what you have hurts. Being lied to, cheated on, manipulated, gas-lit, made a fool of – all of that hurts. Sometimes relationships can be hard, but that’s different from love hurting. If you ever again feel like love hurts, take that as a crystal clear sign you are with the wrong person. Kevon is the wrong person. MOA.

***************

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.

26 comments… add one
  • avatar

    cdobbs March 26, 2019, 9:38 am

    LW1 one of my pet peeves is people who you are not close too and haven’t seen or spoken with in years….invite you to their baby shower….it is such a gift grab and obviously the only reason for the invite (one of my biggest pet peeves)….i feel no guilt whatsoever in turning down those types of invites and i think based on your letter you would be totally justified in not attending the baby shower

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph March 26, 2019, 4:09 pm

      She’s not a friend they haven’t seen since college, she’s the wife of the baby’s grandfather. I don’t remotely interpret this as a gift grab. Not inviting the OP would be a snub, for sure, given that she’s the wife of the child’s grandfather. Thus this is the opposite of a snub– maybe not a fully olive branch but at least a gesture of civility and recognition of the OP’s relationship to her father.

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      • avatar

        Steph March 27, 2019, 11:32 am

        I do agree with your advice, but it does not say that they are married. It seems like she’s just a girlfriend of 10 years.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph March 27, 2019, 1:17 pm

        Oh, you’re right. I guess even so, not inviting her would be a snub. It doesn’t read to me like gift grab at all.

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  • avatar

    Hannanas March 26, 2019, 9:46 am

    They’re not just “people” to the LW, they’re her boyfriend’s daughters. By default they are in her life. And she does not even say they have not been close for years.

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    • avatar

      Hannanas March 26, 2019, 9:47 am

      *I meant to reply to cdobbs

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    • avatar

      cdobbs March 26, 2019, 1:07 pm

      It just sounds like the daughters don’t want anything to do with her and so the only reason to give her the invite is clearly for the gift

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      • avatar

        Hannanas March 26, 2019, 4:30 pm

        Maybe they don’t want anything to do with her, but I think the invite in that case would be a friendly gesture.

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      • avatar

        Howdywiley March 26, 2019, 9:05 pm

        I don’t see it that way at all. Obviously her gifts done mean anything.

        I think they felt obligated to invite her.

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  • avatar

    ArtsyGirl March 26, 2019, 10:24 am

    I am a big fan of “kill them with kindness” – get a nice gift from the registry, be gracious, and do everything to be a perfect guest. Since you have been in your partner’s life for a decade, you will know other family members at the event. Hopefully this means your partner’s daughter is warming up to you and you will be able to bond over the baby.

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    • avatar

      csp March 26, 2019, 12:20 pm

      Totally agree. This is the olive branch you have been waiting for. Don’t blow it! Go!

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny March 26, 2019, 12:09 pm

    Oh yes, as much as I would want to stick it to the daughter over this, the best thing to do is to just go. Kill them with kindness as the other comment says! If, in fact, the daughter doesn’t like you or something, not going to the shower will just give her more fuel for that fire.

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  • avatar

    keyblade March 26, 2019, 12:25 pm

    Letter writer two: at some point in your life, you have to decide you aren’t a sixteen year child, anymore. You are nursing a delusional fairy-tale. You’d still be nursing it if you didn’t have to acknowledge the REAL baby about to be born that undoubtedly deserves better . This clown doesn’t insist on condoms and he knows he cheats. You’ve let you be reckless with your health.

    This may sound like I’m trying to shame you because I’m pointing out something that has been important to you for the last seven years. But I’m not. I’m pointing out you can change this anytime you want. You just have to get started and be stick with it. Stop wasting your time and investing in something you’ve enjoyed but has consistently makes you look and feel foolish. Where do you want to be in seven more years? Do you want to be a thirty year old who has wasted your entire twenties chasing an unavailable dad of an elementary-school kid?

    Twenty three is young. Having a love of your life doesn’t mean much if you’ve only been an adult for a few years. A childhood love doesn’t always turn into a mature, adult love. Why would he stop cheating? He obviously gets something out of it and has a lot of luck with women who accept his behavior. But the older he gets, the more of a loser he will be if he continues making the same, stupid choices. You can’t control his choices. You can control your own.

    Stop allowing him to disappoint you. Stop allowing yourself to be lied to and humiliated and don’t give yourself to someone who clearly doesn’t know how to treat any woman in his life any other way. You won’t stop hurting until YOU change. Until YOU decide you’ve had enough nonsense and you focus your time and attention onto bigger and better people, places, ideas, and goals. You’re better than Kevon. You can have more, even on your own feeling lonely. Thank god you aren’t tethered down to him (though I’m sorry for your loss). If he hurts you, what makes you think he will be consistent, giving, and kind to your kids?

    There’s so much more ahead than his nonsense. When you go around town keep your head held high because you’ve learned, you know better than you did, and you have no intention in letting a childhood romance keep you from feeling good about yourself and growing into a woman who likes and respects herself.

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  • avatar

    ron March 26, 2019, 12:30 pm

    LW #2 — You won’t be treated well and with respect by some guys unless you insist upon it. You trained Kevon to know that you would put up with repeated cheating and even with having the cheating publicly thrown in your face. Why would you do that. You should have MOAed at that point if not sooner, but you stayed until he basically dumped you because he got a gf pregnant. When you read all of that it makes you seem very desperate and afraid of being single long enough to find a good bf. Kevon was not even close to being a good bf. He was not a good match. You just started very young with him and have since clung to the familiar, even though the familiar was largely bad.

    You need to find a guy who will respect you and treat you well, even if you don’t insist upon it. Kevon isn’t that guy, but there are lots of guys like that in the world. It may take you a while to find one, but there are worse things than being single. Being tied to Kevon is one of those worse things.

    And no, you shouldn’t try to be Kevon’s friend. Cut off all contact. Get on with your own life. Leave him to try to be a good father. Trust me, a year away, with no contact, will restore the clarity of your thinking and you’ll be surprised that you didn’t previously realize what an awful person Kevon is.

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie March 26, 2019, 12:55 pm

    Oh LW#2 – how can the love of your life be someone who purposefully and deliberately hurts you? Sure, when things are good -that’s delightful, but a relationship can only be successful when you navigate the bad times together. Instead, he’s bringing the bad times, shoving your face in the bad times and saying “I bring the bad tiiiiiimmmmes!!!!” as if it is something to brag about.

    You deserve someone who never seeks to hurt you. And who if they do hurt you, purposely and deliberately apologizes and works to do better. And by hurt you I mean, forgets your 6 week anniversary or doesn’t remember you hate ketchup before dumping ketchup on a plate of fries. Physically or emotionally hurting you – ON PURPOSE – is not love.

    Block him. You can’t be his friend. He made a baby with another woman. If you start dating him again – you’re the other woman. You’d be the one he’s cheating with, not cheating on.

    If you move on, people will know you finally wised up to his nonsense. You look foolish if you go back to him. Don’t go back to him.

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  • avatar

    Prognosti-gator March 26, 2019, 1:03 pm

    Broken Hearted, you need to accept that your judgement in this situation is impaired. You have to treat this like an addiction and put up rules and boundaries to prevent yourself from backsliding. You’ve let this person walk all over you, but you keep going back for more, and worse thing is that you think that it’s the way it should be.

    You need to stop ALL contact with him. Don’t try to be friends. Don’t let him come over to try to talk it out. None of that. If he’s going to be someplace, and you know it, don’t go. If he’s someplace that you are, leave. Block his number. Unfriend him on all social media. If there are friends you have in common, and they aren’t on your side of not wanting to hear from him, block them too. You have an established track record of making bad decisions around this guy, so don’t let yourself be in the situation where that can happen. Having no contact is the best way to make sure you don’t fall back to your old (read: “bad”) patterns.

    Someday, maybe 10 years from now, when you’ve (hopefully) learned how to value yourself better and gotten in an actual adult relationship, you’ll bump into this guy. You’ll then realize how incredibly awful this situation was and won’t believe how you ever allowed yourself to be part of it.

    PS.
    CONDOMS AND TESTING! You don’t specifically say so, but I don’t get the sense this guy was a particular fan of them. Having sex with a partner you know is cheating without using protection is just stupid. You also need to get yourself tested so that when you move to your next relationship, you don’t expose that person to anything. Because TRULY LOVING relationships are ones where you actually care about the other person’s wellbeing (read: “not that last loser boyfriend of yours”).

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  • avatar

    Fyodor March 26, 2019, 1:12 pm

    “I know I’m only 23, but I can truly say he’s the love of my life, and he’ll tell you the same about me.”

    “Kevon has always cheated on me and even put other people’s feelings before mine. He’ll go get a new “girlfriend” just to cheat on her with me.”

    Aim higher.

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  • avatar

    anonymousse March 26, 2019, 1:41 pm

    Ohmigod. No. A man who actually loves you doesn’t cheat on you every chance he gets. Please, go talk to a counselor or call a helpline or even download an app for someone to help you work through why you expect and accept such treatment. Why would you stay with him? And also, get tested for STDs.

    Block, delete. He’s canceled. You can do so much better than that.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph March 26, 2019, 4:21 pm

    LW2, I’m judging you if you came up with a fake name and for some reason decided to go with “Kevon.” wtf?
    Should have named him Trash though because he’s a garbage person. Love shouldn’t hurt. A guy who repeatedly cheats on you is NOT the love of your life. Aim higher.

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  • avatar

    saneinca March 26, 2019, 4:28 pm

    LW2, a guy who cheats on you repeatedly in the 7 years you have been with him is he love of your life ? Lady, you have some pretty low standards.

    And you are the same to him ? How do you know that ? Because he says so ?
    Words are merely words. It is actions that show you if he actually does and his actions make it clear you are not even close to being the love his life.

    This guy is a bad habit you need to quit immediately and permanently.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph March 26, 2019, 4:28 pm

    LW1, I already responded in the comments that I think you should go, but I just want to +1000 Wendy’s point that maybe they are too busy to attend family gatherings.
    I have had it with my own older relatives using one half of their mouth to tell me how much I do (you know, working full time, keeping a home, and raising a child) and then the other half of their mouths to ask me why I don’t call or visit more often.
    I’m fucking busy, that’s why.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros March 26, 2019, 5:01 pm

    LW2: You’re talking about forgiving him as though it’s what you SHOULD do, but you can’t. The fact that it’s so hard to forgive him is a sign … that you SHOULDN’T. People seem to think that you have to forgive everyone. You don’t. Sure, if you have some religious thing related to forgiveness, fine. But in the sense of “getting over someone betraying you and moving forward with them,” no, you should not do that.

    You acknowledge that you’re young, but then you blow right past it to talk about how he’s the love of your life. Why not acknowledge that being young DOES affect how you see things? I’m sure everyone thought they’d met the love of their life at your age. Or at 25 or 27 or whatever. Then they broke up with that person and found out they were wrong. Just because you feel they are “the one,” doesn’t make it true.

    He’s clearly a bad boyfriend, Move on. It’s okay to experience discomfort. You can’t go through live only feeling happy, so accept that you’ll be sad for a while and move on.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymarkright March 27, 2019, 1:12 pm

    LW1) WTF is up with some people creating needless nonstop fucking drama. Go to the fucking party and act like a ,grown up. Or forever be the bitch who didn’t go and fucked up he husband’s relationship with his daughters. Have a blast being the Stepcunt from Hell. I hear it really endears many.
    .
    LW2) Nobody named Kevon is the love of anybody’s life.

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    • avatar

      A_a_ron87 March 28, 2019, 9:44 am

      Why is cant the love of somebody’s life be named Kevon? I know we are all cool with BGM being misogynist, but are we all cool with the racism or nah?

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymarkright April 1, 2019, 12:02 am

        Oh, good grief. Can we reach here a bit more here? Kevon is a pretentious misspelling that is Irish in fucking origin. Irish.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom March 27, 2019, 1:44 pm

    LW2 It’s more accurate to say that Kevon has been the love of your life so far and that there have been some good times but also some really awful times. It’s time to make Kevon a past love of your life and move on. Make yourself available for someone who treats you better. The thing about the right partner is that they don’t hurt you. Your happiness isn’t marred by drama and cheating and babies with other women and embarrassment. Those are all signs that he isn’t even remotely good for you.

    I had a serious partner when I was about your age and I thought we would spend our lives together. Then he cheated on me and it hurt, a lot. I had to break up with him and I was really angry with him for a long time. I was hurt and angry about the way he treated me when I loved him so much and was so loyal to him. He stabbed me in the back. Kevon has stabbed you in the back. That’s why it hurts.

    The thing that happened to me can and should happen for you. Move on. Let yourself get over the relationship. I found someone much better for myself. A better person. A better match who wasn’t lying and cheating. Someone who was also a better match personality wise and education wise. We got married. I reached the point where I was not only over the ex, I reached the point where I was glad he cheated on me because it forced me to break up which left me open to meeting someone much better. You can move on and reach the point where you are much happier and you may one day be glad that you were forced to move past this loser who will never treat you right. You can do better. His life will probably remain messed up because he doesn’t treat his partner with respect. You don’t need to live at that level. You can climb out of that pit and find happiness.

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