“My Husband’s Daughter Didn’t Invite Me to Her Wedding”

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My husband and I have been married for five years now. I was not a mistress or an affair that caused the split from his first wife. Their marriage had been over for years; my husband stayed in the marriage because of their children despite the problems and his being unhappy.

He has two children, both grown. It has not been a an easy relationship with them, especially the daughter. But over the last two years she’s accepted our relationship and sees that I love her dad. She has recently met a man and is serious in her own relationship. She has brought him over to meet both of us; he is a great guy and we are both happy for her.

She has become pregnant and they are planning on marriage. Our relationship (daughters and mine) has grown: They come over for dinners and to swim in the pool with their friends, and the pregnant daughter even gave me a Mother’s Day card and gift, with a message stating that, yes, our relationship has been rocky but let’s be friends. I was so happy.

Over the last month or two, I’ve learned about plans for the wedding and that it’s to be very small and that only Dad and Mom will be there. At least that’s what I’ve been told, not by daughter but by Dad. So, as you could imagine, I was really hurt and torn that I was being excluded. Dad and I talked about it, and I expressed my feelings and hurt. Long story short, Dad made the choice not to attend the wedding and to stand by me since he felt that I should have been included.

So, again as you can imagine, the daughter now hates me and now we have the ex-wife telling us how wrong we both are and that Dad will now be excluded from all in his daughter’s future. I even tried to reach out to the daughter to ask why and her thoughts and, most importantly, tell her that I thought we had grown closer and I didn’t understand why she was doing this.

Come to find out, I had been lied to all along about the wedding and their plans because her mother still hasn’t gotten over my relationship with her dad and didn’t want me there. Now the daughter doesn’t want anything to do with either Dad or, especially, me. And this is all my fault. I’m extremely hurt, confused, and deeply sad for my husband.

Was I wrong and what advice can you give me to maybe make it better? — Hurt To Be Excluded


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  1. artsygirl says:

    LW – You were not wrong to be hurt that you were excluded from a wedding. Your husband is not wrong to decide to not attend the wedding. Your husband’s daughter is not wrong for being hurt that her father will not attend the wedding because of your exclusion. Basically you all made choices and there will always be consequences for those choices. Your husband’s daughter was put in a hard place – if her mother (whom she has always been close to) did not want you at the wedding then what could she say? She is pregnant and throwing together a small wedding in an abbreviated period of time – likely this is not her dream wedding and now her father has decided that he is not going to attend. It is much easier to blame you than either of her parents. Beyond that, I don’t really have any advice since it is a difficult situation. If your husband changes his mind will he even be still invited? If you decide to hold your ground, will the relationship be irreversibly damaged? I don’t have answers and ultimately it will be your husband’s choice and the only thing you can do is support him with his decision.

    1. this was a good, balanced response.

  2. It seems like you did all you could to bridge the gap between you. It is assumed that spouses are invited together to weddings, even small weddings. That it is her FATHER’s spouse makes it even more assumed that you should be invited. Unless you have a history of causing drama at events, I say you acted perfectly reasonable and have a right to be upset.

  3. I just have to say that I think your husband made a terrible mistake by not attending his own daughter’s wedding. She is pregnant. This was a thrown together shot gun wedding that included only her parents, not some elaborate affair that was planned for a year in advance that included every member of the family. You are not wrong to feel hurt and excluded but you yourself mentioned your relationship has always been strained. It is very unfortunate your step daughter’s mother has made her feel like she had to choose her or you. But now your husband has chosen you over his daughter. I cannot imagine if my dad did this to me. I would be devastated. It was her wedding and he didn’t attend. It would be one thing if his daughter was some unhinged crazy person who was abusive to you. But it was a simple matter of only her parents being there. He fucked up, LW. He should have been there to watch his DAUGHTER get married.

    1. I agree. If it’s true that the only attendees at the wedding were the daughter’s parents, I actually think it is reasonable to the LW wasn’t included. And even if it was slightly unreasonable on the daughter’s part, it is absolutely absurd that your husband has stated that he won’t be attending the wedding. LW, I truly hope you tell your husband NOW that he must apologize, make amends, and tell his daughter that he would very much like to still be included if she will forgive him. This slight is not worth risking his entire relationship with both his daugther and any future grandchildren.

    2. for_cutie says:

      I agree. I hate people that make weddings, or funerals, or other big events all about them. Brass tax, it is the daughter’s wedding and it is her call. Yes it is hurtful, but it is not your call. Her father should have been there to support her. A shot-gun wedding is not the time to make a stand about your relationship. The daughter needs and wants her father’s support and instead he made it about his romantic relationship. Sometimes a child just needs the person that raised them to stand by them, no mater their age or current circumstance.

      Your husband has some hard work ahead of him to mend this relationship. Sending a valuable and essential wedding gift (household item, gift card) and baby gift (crib, stroller?) is a way to start that support and the least you can do.

      1. Monkeysmommy says:

        The mother is doing the same- making it all about her and taking a stand. Shouldn’t someone tell her to take a seat and think of her daughter’s big day, not her own wants?

      2. artsygirl says:

        We are not truly sure that the mother of the bride is truly behind the exclusion and even if she is, the bride is obviously fine with not inviting the LW so ultimately since it is her wedding, it is her call IMHO.

      3. Anonymous says:

        It’s brass tacks, not tax. fyi

    3. “Come to find out, I had been lied to all along about the wedding and their plans because her mother still hasn’t gotten over my relationship with her dad, and didn’t want me there”
      What she’s saying here is that the wedding guest list is not limited to the mother and father.
      They are not the only guests.
      That was just a lie to hide the fact that the mother wants the man’s wife excluded from the wedding.
      The mother wants to “play house” with her daughter’s father at their daughter’s wedding.
      I hope the man did not lie to his wife about this and was just deceived himself as well.
      The man needs to be direct and tell his daughter candidly that neither she nor her mother dictate his life with his wife, and they know they’re wrong or they wouldn’t have hidden their true intentions or their true motives.
      The daughter is wrong to participate with her mother in this triangulated, deceptive, manipulation of her father.
      He needs to set boundaries now or these toxic behaviors will escalate.
      His wife is part of this family and if they exclude her without legitimate cause then decency demands that he bow out.
      “Some people just won’t let you be nice”
      He will be forced to bow out.
      Their behavior is cruel and unwarranted. Although their unresolved feelings are understandable, this is not an acceptable way to handle them.
      Everyone’s feelings are equally important. Shunning a person is toxic, bullying behavior and that’s what they’re trying to do and get him to do to his wife.
      His daughter and her mother need to see a therapist, grow up, and become ethical people who respect the humanity of others, not only, but especially, the woman he has chosen to marry.
      Family is not made by blood alone.
      The divorce should have taught them that.
      I might be ashamed of my daughter and angry at her for behaving this way, but probably the mother has always been manipulative and emotionally abusive of this man, and made her daughter complicit and that’s why the marriage failed to begin with.
      If he’s smart, he will stay on the side of empathy and not allow them to ostracize his wife for no reason. He would be complicit if he attends the wedding and leaves her alone, odd man out, at their bidding while they all celebrate together.
      Grandchild or no grandchild, he cannot allow himself to be held morally hostage by these women. There’s no way I would cut my innocent wife’s heart out to give to my daughter and her mother as a wedding gift fir any reason. That would be effectively signaling the end of his marriage to her, which of course is their true goal in doing this. They need to be decent or he needs to check that unethical behavior hard. So much wrong here. SMH

      1. claudette stephenson says:

        No etiquette anymore so lets do the 21st century lifestyle. How would this play out with the x-wife and the new wife. Who would sit at the table for mom and dad. Does Wedding arrangements care about divorce. The bride wants no drama on her wedding day or any possibility of any drama. It hurts but there must be give and take. What is the relationship between the parents and spouses at this time. Its the girls wedding and she wants no drama.

    4. @khs8855 tonight my husband of 10 years just received an invitation to his daughter Erin’s wedding. I have been excluded. It hurts like heck! But I’m not surprised. Her mom has created a choose choose situation and has poisoned her daughters mind for years. As a mom myself trying to blend my family with such a hostile situation has been one of lives greatest challenges and it really hurts to have to be “the bad guy.” My husband is having difficulty saying yes knowing that I specifically am being secluded. My children and children in general are my greatest passion. Advocating for them is my purpose. As much as it does hurt me I told my husband that there is NO way he should miss this. This is HIS daughter and the damage that would result in both of their lives is to BIG. We are given one life and such beautiful blessings….. our children being (at least for me) one of the greatest. His daughter isn’t crazy, she is a young adult that’s life was turned upside down because of divorce. She deserves her dad in her life and he deserves to experience that love as well! I will always support that!

  4. I’ll bite.

    IDK. If it really was a small, intimate family gathering with only immediate family, I do think your husband was wrong to decline. And I don’t think you’re wrong for feeling hurt. But this wasn’t an occasion to make a statement about it.

    At the same time, the ex wife needs to get over herself for fucks sake. She’s pitting her daughter against her own father. And if your timeline is correct, it has been 7+ years since the divorce. Despicable. People suck.

    I think you need to lie low. I think your husband needs to reach out to his daughters and try to make amends for missing the wedding. I hope that over time, you will be included, but I do think it will take time.

    I’m sorry, LW, this sucks. You sound nice and thoughtful. Be the bigger person. Let your husband repair his relationship. Be supportive. And I hope that by being the kinder person, it will work out for you. I really do.

    1. I think I’m misunderstanding the narrative – did the wedding already take place?

      1. I was wondering the same thing! It’s not clear.

      2. I read it as it did take place, but I think others are reading it differently. If it hasn’t taken place, I think the dad should do his best to make amends now and try to be their for his daughter.

      3. Agreed!

      4. You’re right. The way I read it the wedding has already happened but after reading it again I’m not sure.

    2. HannaMarin says:

      The OP states in the post that it was actually a lie that it was just a small thing. The mother hadn’t gotten over the father re-marrying and its down to her that the OP was excluded. My suspicion is that the mother wanted to get him alone to play happy families and when that didn’t happen her way she talked the daughter into excluding the father from their lives. If anyone is to blame its the daughters mother.

    3. She says of the wedding
      “It is to be”
      meaning that it has not occurred yet.
      He should not allow himself to be manipulated into hurting someone else that he loves to make his daughter happy.
      That is one definition of emotional abuse.
      “If you won’t hurt this woman that you love you can’t be my Dad anymore”?! No. Just no.

      1. claudette stephenson says:

        No drama or possible drama at the daughters wedding. So the father takes side with the wife and does not care about the daughtes ability to ensure there is no drama between old and new spouse. She prefers her mother. Father does not go; later he gets divorced; then what.

  5. This sucks! The Mom shouldn’t have pushed her daughter to not invite you, that isn’t cool. The daughter ended up making a choice, likely based on her mom saying she wouldn’t go if you were there. From the daughter’s perspective, she wants both parents there, and likely thought there was no way her father would miss her wedding. Him standing up for himself/you was the unexpected result of this.

    So, the situation is hurtful, but I’d say this is a good place to be the bigger person. She’s pregnant and getting married, her mother sounds like she’s not putting her daughter’s feelings first. If she’s willing, I’d suggest a dad/daughter sitdown. Have him say he’s sorry she got stuck in the middle, he wants to be there for her day and walk her down the aisle. It’s one day. You get to be in the right, but things get smoothed out before the grandkid is born. It’s not ideal, but could sow some good feelings for the future. Send her a nice card.

  6. I agree with the above posters. BUT. I think your husband should go to the wedding anyway. If he misses his daughter’s wedding, especially with a grandchild already on the way, it could irreversibly damage his relationship with his daughter and grandchild. At the very least, it would take a LONG time to rebuild those relationships. You have a right to feel hurt, for sure. But I think part of loving a spouse in complicated circumstances is giving them the gift of your grace. Take one for the team and tell him to go to the wedding. The daughter is really in a tough spot with her mom, and was probably just trying to keep the peace. Who knows, in the end it might be another point in your column to win her over. She is going to need the support of her parents as she becomes a parent herself; don’t let this drama be the thing that makes your husband miss out on being a grandpa. Taking a stand on etiquette in this case is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Also, I know it’s water under the bridge, but it’s pretty obvious that your relationship with your husband started while he was still married. “Their marriage had been over for years…stayed in marriage because of their children despite the problems and him being unhappy” is pretty much the oldest story in the book. His ex doesn’t get a lifetime pass to be bitter, but maybe cut her a little bit of slack. Her daughter is getting married and it’s probably dredging up a lot of bad feelings about the failure of her own marriage.

    1. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

      I went back and reread the first paragraph. It seems to say she wasn’t a mistress but the wording is ambiguous. She definitely could be saying she doesn’t consider it an affair because the marriage was already over and he was unhappy but she omits when he got divorced and whether she was seeing him before he left the wife. Lots of men claim they are just staying with the family for the kids and that the marriage is already over, so do women, and have an affair while looking like the respectable married spouse.

      LW If he was still living with his wife when you started seeing each other it was an affair. If they were still presenting themselves as a married couple it was an affair. If he stayed in the marriage until the two of you decided to get married it was an affair. If he stayed in the marriage until his wife found out about it it was an affair.

      If he had moved out of the family home before he began to see you then it wasn’t an affair.

      1. Yeah. I took it as she met him after he divorced, but the wording is ambiguous. If it was while he was “still married for the kids sake,” it’s good that the the daughter even warmed up to the LW at all, and it’s understandable that the wife was a strong dislike for her.

      2. “My husband and I have been married for 5 years now. I was not a mistress or an affair that caused the split from first wife. Their marriage had been over for years, my husband stayed in marriage because of their children despite the problems and him being unhappy.”

        She dated him when they were married. She’s differentiating herself from those “bad” mistresses that break up happy marriages. Otherwise why mention that the marriage was “over” but he was unhappy and they were staying together for the kids? Why go into all this at all and not just say that they started dating after the divorce?

      3. Anonymousse says:

        Yes. And how is the daughter supposed to know any of that, if he stayed in the marriage? So, as abrupt as it might not have been for you, LW, it probably still was for everyone else.

    2. Anonymous says:

      The fact that the wife of five years is emotionally close enough to her husband know the story of his previous relationship isn’t any kind of proof that she had an affair with him! That is not sensible reasoning.
      Too much is asked of stepmothers to make up for the wrong doing of children and their mothers.
      They are the ones who are unrealistic here.
      The daughter appears to have faked her small affection for this woman.
      The mother is emotionally abusive.
      The man might invite his daughter to participate in family therapy with him and his wife and her mother if she would like to come. But anyone who asks you to mistreat someone else to make them happy should be refused.
      Everyone’s feelings matter equally.
      That is Empathy 101.

      1. ele4phant says:

        Dude, this is a very old post.

        Also – the LW clarified at some point that *9* people were invited to the ceremony. It is entirely possible that it was a courthouse wedding in which there are hard limits on how many people could come with the couple.

        I’m sure lots of people that should be invited by normal conventions were left off. The LW was upset that the bride’s *grandmother* got invited before her. I’m sure the bride did not invite lots of people that “should” have been invited, like her aunts and uncles or even many of her own close personal friends.

        Pretty clear this wasn’t a dig solely against the LW, lots of important people didn’t make the cut.

        I’m not saying the bride and her mother weren’t little turds too, but pretty clear the LW herself was also being unreasonable.

      2. ele4phant says:

        Also – I’m going to take issue with the use of the word “stepmother”.

        My father left my mother when I was a young adult and remarried. His new wife is lovely (she was invited to my reception, but not the ceremony, because it was one of those hard limit courthouse deals), but I take umbrage with her being called my stepmother.

        I met her when I was 26. She didn’t mother me at all, because I was already an adult. I don’t see her as a parental figure. She’s my father’s loving wife, who I respect and appreciate that she makes him happy.

        But you know, she never played that role in my life, nor does it sound like the LW did for the bride here. So it’s weird to hear people call her my “step-mother”.

      3. Bittergaymark says:

        I agree. To me — the term stepmother involves parenting or mothering to a real extent which really doesn’t happen much post 21. I know people who have a good— even great relationship with the spouses their parents later marry… but to me the term step parent seems like a real reach when the relationship starts north of the kids 21st birthday…

      4. Also, as I noted wisely and perceptively at the time, it’s pretty clear that this lady started an affair with the husband while they were still married. So it’s actually pretty obnoxious to expect that she’d have a warm relationship with the daughter.

        “My husband and I have been married for five years now. I was not a mistress or an affair that caused the split from his first wife. Their marriage had been over for years; my husband stayed in the marriage because of their children despite the problems and his being unhappy.”

      5. TEN people were allowed at courthouse. That means five for bride, five for groom. Bride gave 3 of her 5 slots to mom, dad, grandma — totally understandable and normal. So LW thinks bride should use 1 out of 2 slots remaining for her? The woman who had an affair with her dad?
        All of this has long since passed, but it’s so weird to me how people insist on being thought of as a unit. If you ARE a unit, who cares whether other people recognize that or not?

      6. Bittergaymark says:

        It’s superweird that ANYONE took the LW’s side in this one. Rarely has a LW been more wrong.

  7. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

    I think the dad should have gone to the wedding. You aren’t wrong for being hurt but if you look at the long term you would have been much further ahead if he went without you. Her mom is saying terrible things about you but the reality was that when she interacted with you what her mom said wasn’t true. Now you’ve made it true by having her dad not attend the wedding. Everything her mom said about you will now seem to be true and it will appear you were just trying to act nice but it was fake. Sometimes in life you need to take a long term view and pick the choice that will give the best long term results. In many ways you and your husband chose the nuclear option and now the ex is delighted because she will be able to cut the two of you out of her daughter’s life and the grandchild will also be all hers.

    You not being invited was much more a statement about how badly her mom would act if you were there than about you. You needed to realize that and know that when push came to shove she had to choose between having her mom and having you and she chose her mom. How is his daughter supposed to come back from her dad choosing to not attend her wedding? That is a much bigger hurt than what you felt at not being invited.

  8. Sounds like your husband’s ex-wife selfishly put her own anger toward you** before her daughter’s needs and forced her to choose you or mom. Understandable that she chose mom. She made her choice and there were consequences, one of which turned out to be her dad did not attend the wedding.

    You similarly put your hurt at not being invited to her wedding before your husband’s need to be at his daughter’s wedding and forced him to chose her or you. He made his choice and there were consequences, one of which is that he’s now at odds with his daughter(s).

    This is something you need to encourage your husband and his daughter to resolve. And, in the future, everyone involved needs to understand that what they want isn’t always the most important thing and being selfish results in people being hurt. A little empathy and understanding goes a long way in these situations.

    **The LW wrote: “I was not a mistress or an affair that caused the split from first wife. Their marriage had been over for years, my husband stayed in marriage because of their children despite the problems and him being unhappy.”

    In light of the facts that the LW and the husband have been married 5 years, yet emotions are so strong that the ex wife refused to attend her daughter’s wedding if the LW were there and the daughter agreed, and that the LW says she had a rough relationship with the grown children at first, I suspect the ex wife and children see the evolution of the LW’s relationship with her husband in a very different light, true or not. If this is the case (and at some point the truth doesn’t really matter), the LW, the husband and the ex need to hammer out some way to act like mature adults so they don’t ruin every special moment of the kids’ lives with this crap.

    1. honeybeenicki says:

      Re your last paragraph: Her letter says their marriage had been “over” for years but that he stayed in the marriage for the kids. She doesn’t say that he had been *DIVORCED* for years. So I’m guessing you’re right that they see it in a whole different light. And she said this after saying it wasn’t an affair that led to the split up… she doesn’t say she wasn’t an affair in general. Maybe I’m just reading too much into it though.

    2. Baccalieu says:

      I agree that the daughter and the ex-wife probably have a very different take on the LW’s role in the divorce than she does. When someone says their marriage is “over” but they are staying together for the kids, the marriage may be figuratively over, but it isn’t literally over. If the LW’s husband went directly from living with his ex-wife to living with her, then it certainly would have looked to outsiders (which may well include the kids who might not know the emotional situation) like the new relationship ended the marriage. Heck, it might have seemed that way to the ex-wife, too! Was she in agreement with (or even aware of) his assessment that the marriage was over? The LW here certainly seems to be engaged in a creative “spinning” of the facts to her benefit, which is one reason why I was rather harsh on her in my other comment.

    3. Anonymous says:

      Anyone who has ever been a stepmother knows that children will commonly treat you as if you were “the other woman” even if the divorce was long over and done before you ever met your husband.
      You’re treated like Hester Prynne anyway.
      As if the divorce occurred because he was thinking about meeting someone like you someday, and not because their mother was emotionally abusive to him until he couldn’t stand it any longer. As if women can’t be cruel enough to their husbands to make them want to
      I find that people rarely take responsibility for the failure of their marriages and their own divorces even when a new wife couldn’t possibly have been a third party.
      They want a scapegoat and the new wife, especially if she’s a stepmother, becomes that scapegoat. It unconscionable.
      She becomes the reason the parents cannot get back together in the classic “Parent Trap” reconciliation fantasy so many children of divorce ( and their mothers ) share.
      They need to get a therapist and stop abusing their father and his blameless wife.
      She said she wasn’t a party to the divorce. Who are you to question that with no evidence whatsoever? Children often despise stepparents for no good reason at all, and former wives resentment of present wives has never depended on them doing a thing to earn the senseless animosity.

  9. My impression was that the “tiny wedding with only Mom and Dad” was a lie – that the function could have accommodated the LW but the Momzilla took the opportunity to stick it to the ex-husband and his new wife, riding roughshod over her daughter and common decency to cause trouble on a day that wasn’t about her at all. How selfish.
    Honestly, more concerning is the adult daughter, about to marry and become a mother, who doesn’t have enough sense of self to stand up to her mother, confirm her positive relationship with the LW, and nip in the bud any demands that her father be banned forever more.

    1. There are a lot of competent adults – professionals who kick ass in the real world, who don’t “have enough sense of self to stand up to (their) mother.” You learn, often becoming a parent helps with this.

      1. Cheesecaker2911 says:

        I have a lifetime of emotional manipulation and verbal abuse from my mother, and I still can’t quite stand up to her. It’s really not as easy as it seems. I know that I don’t want her and her clear disdain for me to be something my kids see when they arrive in this world, and I know I’m hoping that gives me the extra balls I need to fully stand up for myself, rather than just avoiding seeing her and my equally emotionally abusive father.

      2. *hug*
        It’s a really tough thing to learn! Having a kid really helped me stand up for myself, it’s easier to stand up for her than it ever has been standing up for myself (still).

    2. Anonymousse says:

      Or maybe, she just wanted a tiny wedding without all the drama and hurt feelings inviting her fathers new wife, former mistress entails.

    3. artsygirl says:

      You could be correct, but ultimately the fact that the bride was so upset and hurt leads to the conclusion that she agreed at least in part with the LW’s exclusion.

    4. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

      Maybe the daughter really didn’t want the LW at her wedding and did stand up for herself.

    5. I stay stand firm in supporting your husband’s decision to not go (and if the wedding hasn’t happened yet and he changes his mind, continue to support him.). That’s what I’m doing.. My husband and I are in an a similar situation with my stepdaughter who is being controlled by his ex-wife. He has chosen not to attend her wedding. Yes, he is her father but she is an adult and he has made the decision to not cater to her childish demands and allow her to act like a manipulative, spoiled, brat. I told him I think he should go without me but he is adamant he wants no part of it. He says he loves me too much and it’s me he will spend the rest of his life with, not her, and when he is gone, it will be on her conscience, not his, that she didn’t want to include all of her parents who love her. And it’s her who will be the one to deal with the consequences of having excluded me, not him.

      A little backstory… I raised her for 10 years and have always had a close, loving relationship with her. When she was 20, her mother came back into her life and she suddenly severed all ties with not only me, but my entire family. She claims it’s because it “hurt her mother’s heart she was that she was so close with us.” And her mother “couldn’t be part of her life if she had to compete with us.” Daughter decided she had to choose her mother because blood is thicker than water. I should add her mother married an extremely wealthy gentleman right before she came back into K’s life. It’s pretty clear she has succeeded in using their money to manipulate her. And we found out (from her mother’s own sister…my husband is still friendly with his exes family) that, her mother told her she won’t come to nor will she contribute financially to the wedding if my family and I are included. This disgusts my husband and he wants no part of it. My heart is just broken, not necessarily about the wedding, per say, but about everything. I couldn’t have children of my own, was widowed young the first time around, and having her part of my life brought me more joy than she could ever imagine. I loved spoiling her. We traveled together, I took her to concerts, she was always my best bud. I feel like the grief of losing her has been more devastating than the grief I felt of losing my first husband. And my husband sees my pain and is furious about it. So he has chosen not to go. He knows I support whatever he chooses but it does make me feel very loved and supported by him that he’s willing to stand by my side in such a way.

      And for all of the bratty daughter’s here, newsflash, marriage comes first.

      1. Eh, as we can see with all these extra marriages spouses definitely come and go but your kids are the one constant no matter what.

  10. I don’t know, I read this completely differently. Perhaps in light of the baby and the desire to marry quickly, the daughter really did want a tiny wedding and having just her parents there is reasonable.
    I really feel that the LW overstepped the mark here, she should’ve been hurt and sad not to be invited but sucked it up and the husband should (or should’ve) go to the wedding. This isn’t something to start a huge family fight over and by doing so, the situation is now a lot worse.

    1. Completely agree. What would have been a small yet hurtful slight for the letter writer has now turned into a situation that has ruined a relationship between father and daughter.

  11. Bostonpupgal says:

    Ehh I don’t know. Married couples, especially married parents of the bride, are always, always invited together. A married couple is a social unit, period. You do not invite one without the other unless there is a major rift or problem (an affair, drug use, abuse, mental or emotional issues, etc) which don’t seem to be at play here. Not inviting the LW was a huge slight. And a husband’s loyalty should always be to his wife first. That may not be a popular opinion but I was raised with the belief that a marriage is the most important bond and that it comes before everything, even children. You choose that person as your partner for life.

    What is really sad is that it seems the LW’s exclusion was instigated (possibly even completely made up??) by the ex wife. If the wedding hasn’t taken place I suggest the LW and the husband sit down with his daughter and try to sort this out. Say how much they love her and both want to support and be there on her wedding day. If it has passed, I’d still try to sit down and explain the confusion and why you didn’t attend. Get them a lovely wedding gift and ask to make ammends.

    1. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

      If she was seeing him at a time when he said the marriage was over but he was still living with the wife for the sake of the kids the kids will not see him as self-sacrificing for their well-being but a self-absorbed jerk who blew their family apart with an affair and the kids would be right. In the end the wedding is about the daughter and not about the stepmother. Let the daughter put together the wedding that works for her. The dad may have already proved that he didn’t value the married social unit he had, the one with the ex so why would his kids be expected to value and respect the new one he has.

  12. Baccalieu says:

    I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the LW’s desire to have everyone forget about the issue now she’s made her point, although I do have sympathy for the situation she was in. Obviously, she should have been invited and the ex-wife was being unreasonable, and it would definitely have been better if her husband told her the truth about why she wasn’t invited, However, regardless of her hurt, for her husband’s sake, she should have sucked it up and encouraged him to go to the wedding. She chose to make a stand and force her husband to choose between her and his daughter, he did, and now she has to accept the consequences of that. Can she really say now that she doesn’t understand why her relationship with her step-daughter has gone back to being strained? The fact that it turned out to be at the instigation of the ex-wife rather than the daughter that she was excluded should lessen the hurt somewhat. Yes it would have been nice if the daughter had stood up to her mother and demanded she be civil, but it is understandable that she did not.
    It’s not 100% clear whether the wedding has already taken place. If it hasn’t, then tell your husband to go. If it has, and it is very important to you to improve the relations, then even though you were right to be hurt and may not feel any need to apologize, you and your husband are going to have to do some groveling and apologizing. Otherwise you just have to accept the strain in the relationship and hope it blows over in time.

  13. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

    Your husband’s daughter was wrong not to extend an invite to you, the woman married to her dad and with whom she’s been trying to forge a relationship. But the wrong now done against her — her father refusing to attend her very small wedding because of his wife’s exclusion — is a bigger offense and one that will be much, much harder to right. What you could have done was reached out to the daughter personally, expressed your hurt over being excluded from the wedding, expressing your hope that it wasn’t an indication of her feelings for you but an attempt to try to meet an impossible feet (pleasing everyone) as well as she could under the cicrumstances and letting her know that while you would very much like to be at the wedding and would be there in a heartbeat if she decided even at the last minute to invite you that if you had to sit it out, you would still like to celebrate the occasion with her another time and are looking forward to welcoming two new family members — her husband-to-be and child-to-be into the fold.

    You chose instead to let your husband “stand by you” and refuse to attend his daughter’s wedding, thereby ruining their relationship. What could have been some hurt feelings for you is now multiplied and applied to several people. And for what? Do you feel better?

    I suggest you encourage your husband to ask his daughter to forgive him and allow him to attend her wedding. I suggest you write a nice handwritten letter to his daughter apologizing for your part in any tension around her special occasion, letting her know you were hurt to be excluded from her wedding and deeply regret the way you handled those hurt feelings. Tell her it would mean the world to her to see her husband celebrate his daughter’s special day by attending her wedding and that you would regret forever if your hurt feelings were the cause of a rift between her and your husband.

    You’re only human and your’e entitled to your feelings, of course. But now you have to be the bigger person and apologize for the sake of your husband’s relationship with his daughter (and future son-in-law and grandchild).

    1. Anonymousse says:

      Yes, exactly what Wendy said. Please do this now, before this takes off from where it started and becomes much bigger than all of you. If your husband “stands by you,” and doesn’t go to the wedding, and ignores the birth of his grandchild it will forever change his relationship to his daughter. Even if the exclusion hurt you, she was probably trying to spare her mother’s feelings, from (for all intents and purposes) being confronted with her husband’s mistress at the wedding. His daughter has an obviously greater tie to her mother, and you pretty clearly painted how your relationship with your now-husband started. That comes with caveats, like this one, where you respectfully not attend certain events for the sake of attempted harmony.
      Fix this now, and insure your husband continues a happy relationship with his daughter.

    2. Anonymous says:

      I think that your husband was right to stand by you. The daughter will learn this lesson the hard way when she gets into it with her own in-laws.

  14. 1. If it is really the case that the daughter is just having her mom and dad there, then it’s reasonable for her to not want her stepmother. The bride presumably has cousins, friends, etc that have a claim on her too, that are not getting to come.

    2. All the people who are talking about how it’s “required” to invite the spouse of the attendees are gargling nonsense. This isn’t some kind of medium sized affair with a fish/meat selection. It’s a ceremony with just the parents of the couple. She’s not a parent.

    3. To the extent that the LW is hurt, getting her husband to skip out on his daughter’s wedding is a horrible thing to do. Your husband should be at his daughter’s wedding, especially given the circumstances above. Put your butthurt aside and encourage him to go.

    4. If, as your first paragraph implies, you had an affair with the father while he was married to the mom, it takes a weapons grade level of chutzpah to make these kinds of demands on the daughter. Take whatever politeness you can get and settle for it.

    1. I LOL’ed at “weapons grade level of chutzpah”. Well done.

      1. Anonymousse says:

        Ha, ha. Excellent.

  15. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

    I think that often someone feels hurt about being excluded because the invitation would validate their own marriage. You should never use the wedding of a child to prove the validity of your own marriage. You prove the validity of your own marriage by having a good, strong marriage. A strong marriage can handle a slight like one spouse not being invited to a wedding.

  16. Why is everybody so obssessed with getting invitations to weddings?

    1. bittergaymark says:

      Seriously. Weddings are almost as much fucking fun as funerals.

  17. Jahaafincher says:

    You shoulda just let him go. Y did u cause this unnecessary drama?

  18. findingtheearth says:

    Weddings. Causing family rifts since 30000000 B.C.

    But seriously. Your husband’s ex needs to get over it. You have worked hard to bridge the gap between you too. Your husband should attend and if the wedding has already occurred, he should call and apologize and remind his daughter he loves her.

  19. Yes, you were wrong. This wedding is not about you. The bride can perfectly not want to have you there, and for her mother’s sake, despite accepting you otherwise. That is her absolute freedom. The happy couple decide always who they invite to their wedding, and all people who intervene to say that they should be part of it are wrong, entitled and abusive. Your husband is even wronger to “choose” you over his daughter, what a non-sense. Plus, to his pregnant daughter! Stupid mistake. I understand you could be hurt, but you made an unintelligent fuss. You should have enjoyed this warming relationship with your husband’s daughter and kept your disappointment for yourself. You missed the opportunity to react graciously to a difficult situation for you, and to amend for good this relationship with this step-daughter and her future children.
    So now, you have to mend the fence. Make your husband apologise profusely and go to this wedding, if it isn’t too late. If it is over already, he should do what Wendy suggested.
    Lastly: admit that if you marry a divorced man, moreover if you started seeing him when he was still married, there is pain, hard feelings, and difficult situations to deal with. You acted selfishly and without reflexion about the future.

  20. Northern Star says:

    You had an affair with the girl’s father (from your own words—we all know what “their marriage had been over for years, but he was staying for the sake of the kids” means, as it’s the number-one excuse in the cheater’s handbook), and you’re wondering why the girl’s mother doesn’t want you at the teeny-tiny rush-job wedding of her daughter? I bet she didn’t particularly want your husband there, either, but she had no choice about that.

    You made a huge mess, and your husband is a fool to “stand by you” at the cost of his relationship with his daughter. It’s too bad you couldn’t be understanding and gracious when the moment called for it, but if the wedding has already happened with the bride’s father NOT in attendance, you may have helped permanently destroy THEIR relationship, too. Good luck getting quality time with the grandchild.

    To fix it: Apologize, apologize, apologize. No “But I feel hurt.” No “But you did this wrong…” Just straight-up apologize. YOU WERE WRONG. Accept it, believe it, and make sure the daughter knows you mean it. She may forgive you.

    But if your husband is as self-centered as he sounds, she may not forgive him. There’s nothing you can do about that.

  21. ele4phant says:

    How big is this wedding? Did the bride and groom*really* want just parents the only guests?

    Or is a normal smallish wedding that you got cut-out of? If it’s the former, yeah, I think the couple should have been given more leeway in excluding step-parents or other people who technically “should” get the invite, and for you to not be graceful about it and to get your husband to rescind his attendance was kind of crappy on your part.

    BUT, if it was a regularish size wedding in which aunts, uncles, friends or invited, then yes, you should have been invited. Even if you were the event that precipitated his divorce (And BE honest, he was still married when you got together. He may have felt his marriage was over, but his children and/or his ex may not have been privy to that emotional distance, and that perception matters. People were hurt.), you are officially his wife now, and have been for awhile. By tradition, you should be invited, and everybody else should be capable of being a grown-up by now and being civil.

    And it sounds like your husband is backing you up, which is good. Unfortunately, now that that’s come to pass, and there’s nothing you really can do. The time to have been extending the olive branch was before. Why did you not try to establish some sort of relationship with the ex wife before, or least get to a point where you two could have been civil and both been part of the grandkids lives? It’s been a long time since they split, and she’s never not going to be around. You should have tried, painful though it may have been.

  22. Monkeysmommy says:

    I am going to go against what some are saying about the daughter’s right to be angry and upset. I think daughter should have told mom that Dad and LW are both welcome; if mom announces that she won’t be there if LW is, then tell her she’ll be missed, and go about your business. She won’t hold to that. The ex wife is being completely unreasonable here, and is making this about her, just as some are accusing the LW of. Yes, he is her father, but LW is his wife. He has an obligation to them both, but the daughter is marrying and forging her own path, the father is committed to his wife and her feelings do matter here. LW isn’t just a girlfriend like on of our recent LWs. She has the right to be hurt, and I don’t disagree with her husband’s decision. I am divorced and remarried; I certainly wouldn’t bar my ex’s new wife from attending our kid’s wedding. (In fact, if someone could find the man a new wife, that would be great).

    I dont know about the whole shotgun wedding comment, that really isnt a thing in today’s world full of options. Plus LW said they pretty much lied and it isnt a small wedding, just that the mom doesnt want her there.

    1. Monkeysmommy says:

      Let me clarify that I don’t disagree that the daughter had a right to be upset now that her father isn’t coming- she does, just as LW has the right to be hurt she was excluded. But frankly, the whole mess rests on exwifes head. Maybe she should apologize for being so petty that she would rather destroy daughters relationship with her father than be civil for one day.

      1. This is all true, but the ex-wife isn’t the one who wrote in. Under the circumstances, the best outcome for preserving all relationships involved is for the husband/dad to attend the wedding without his wife. If she can bear the slight now, she may have a shot at developing a better relationship with the kids down the road. As it stands, she and her husband are going to be out in the cold for a long time.

      2. Anonymousse says:

        If my father had been cheating in my mother, I think I’d probably not invite dads new wife if that’s what my mother wanted.
        Even if the daughter has until now played nice and made friends with LW, she still probably views her as a home wrecker.

    2. Sorry, but he also has a committment for life to HIS DAUGHTER. That is more for life than marriage… you can get divorced, but parenthood is for life.

      1. Monkeysmommy says:

        And your kids move out and start their own families, but you build your life with your spouse and hope to grow old together. Works more than one way.

    3. ele4phant says:

      I mean I agree…but the LW is the second wife, not the daughter or the ex-wife. So advice to them doesn’t help the letter-writer at all.

      And it would be very charitable of her to let her husband go be there, and then try to nurse her hurt feelings and work on the relationship in the future.

      Or stick to her guns (she’s technically in the right), but know that her husband and daughter’s relationship may be irreparably damaged. Which again, maybe not her fault. But if she loves her husband and wants him to have good relationships with the ones he loves, maybe for his happiness she can sacrifice her own for the day.

    4. Northern Star says:

      The father already dumped his family for his mistress. And then he chooses her AGAIN rather than his daughter. I can’t believe he thought it was more important to validate the former mistress’s feelings about not being included in the major events of the family she helped destroy than to be there on one of the biggest days of his child’s life. So what if the ex-wife is feeling unreasonable? She has more right than the LW (who has ZERO rights) to make requests of the bride.

      You don’t demand people cater to you when they don’t have any investment in making you happy to begin with.

      1. ele4phant says:

        So, I say this as someone who’s father left her mother to go be with someone else (and ultimately marry them), but sometimes you gotta get over it.

        At the time, it hurt a lot. My father said that he had long been checked out of his marriage with my mom but only stayed with her because of us the kids (just like the LW’s husband said) but that was news to my mom, and she was crushed when he left. And even though we were adults, it hurt us kids too when he left. Maybe I’m projecting, but I assume it was similar to this family. I was mad. I didn’t know if I could ever accept my father’s new partner into my life, and it definitely changed how I see my father.

        But you know what? My father’s wife was invited to my wedding. Because we’re all grown-up and sometimes you need to act like it. This was the woman who made my father happy and who he wanted to be with, my mother had moved on, and weddings are not really about the bride and groom anyways. It’s about sharing a happy occasion with everyone who loves and supports them.

        If the bride or mother of the bride had written in, I would have told them to suck it up. I think the LW is justified in feeling hurt that she should have been invited (with the caveat that this is a normal wedding and truly not a “just parents affair”). She should have been.

        I think it would be incredibly gracious of her to tell her husband to go, but to me, the bad guys in this story are the bride and her mother.

      2. Northern Star says:

        And from my perspective, as the child of divorce as well, who watched my mother carry on an emotional affair that hurt my father and myself (because she was an unhappy, withdrawn person for years) deeply, I can say this: I am fine with the man who is now living with my mom, and I’m happy my dad moved on and found a great life with someone new. Everyone’s happier and in a better place. Everyone will be coming to my wedding in December.

        But if my dad was NOT OK with what happened and asked me NOT to include the person who broke up our family in my teeny-tiny, family-only wedding— I would choose him over the other man every. Single. Time. And if my mom chose not to attend my wedding as a result, I would know what her priorities were as well. I refuse to see the bride as the bad guy in this scenario.

      3. ele4phant says:

        That would have been a hard situation to be in, sure. If my mother had five years after that fact still been so embittered that she gave me an ultimatum, I would’ve been pretty frustrated with her for being so petty and for so long.

        She’s my mother and of course her presence very important, but so is my father’s. And, it she was giving me that ultimatum, that would be shitty position for her to put me in.

        Would I still have chosen her over my father (and by extension his wife)? I don’t know. I probably would have just eloped and gotten married with neither of them there.

        Thankfully, everybody acted like grown-ups.

      4. Northern Star says:

        Perhaps the LW should have tried acting like a grown-up instead of being so “hurt” that her husband had to MISS HIS OWN DAUGHTER’S WEDDING.

        To be honest, I place the blame on him for making such a selfish, stupid, cruel decision. He’ll pay for it by having no relationship with his grandchildren. Consequences suck.

      5. Monkeysmommy says:

        You know… we don’t know that. You are making assumptions, and you may be mistaken. Maybe not. OP should come back and clarify.

    5. Her mom is more important than a mistress turned wife. I’d be dipped on dog poop before I choose my stepmom over the woman who gave birth to me. A wedding is a life changing event, why would anyone choose someone they knew for a few years over their mother?

    6. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

      The LW thinks it is the ex that kept her from being invited but we don’t know that. The daughter may have decided she didn’t want the LW at her wedding. She may have felt it would be too tense. She may have felt that she doesn’t have a strong enough connection.

      1. Yeah some people are private and or just don’t want someone they aren’t close with there. Her perogative if it’s less than 10 people

  23. WWS. Yeah, you need to get over it. I don’t think it’s a HUGE SURPRISE that the girl’s mother doesn’t want you there, especially if it’s a smallish wedding. Suck it up, get the father to apologise, apologise yourself, and then try to mend any kind of relationship you may still have with the daughter. It’s not the best situation, but you sure made it worse when you didn’t have to. You can feel slighted, but if you make it all worse and all about you, you end up being as crazy as you want to make the ex-wife seem.

  24. How does your husband feel about all this? Yes I see a lot of your feelings in your letter, but it’s HIS daughter. I think any overtures to repair the relationship should come from him, because a father daughter relationship is much more important to repair. If when that relationship is back, then maybe you can come in the picture. I can see both sides in this, and see why you were upset, but you put the daughter in an untenable position, when the wedding is not about you, and in her mind not a litmus test to the strength of your relationship. the gracious thing would have been to set aside your feelings, but now that it’s done, your husband needs to be the one repairing the rift.

  25. Andrea French says:

    I get feeling hurt but it’s her wedding, not yours. If she didn’t want you there because of her mom, take it gracefully. It’s not your day. There is no reason her father shouldn’t have gone. You gotta reap what you sow on that.

  26. I want to thank you all for the comments and advice. I’ve taken all in to consideration to hopefully mend.

    I would like to clarify a few questions and in clarity that some may have:

    Yes, they were still married but not living together and hadn’t been for a while.
    Yes, daughters wedding has been.
    Size on wedding details: they were allowed to invite 10 guest, which they choose 9 of their friends and mom and dad. Oh, mom persuaded daughter to invite grandma(her mother)

    Yes, I’m hurt most that dad didn’t attend and accept my own responsibility in this mess.

    Thanks all

    1. ele4phant says:

      Oh this ones on the line. Sounds like it was a courthouse wedding or something where there was a hard limit. And arguably lots of people who “should” have been invited to a wedding got left, including you, wife of the father of the bride.

      I understand you were hurt, but are you really saying she should have chosen you over her grandmother? You’re saying she shouldn’t have invited her own grandmother, someone whose arguably been in her life sense the beginning? With a wedding that small, conventions kind of have to go out the window.

      Full disclosure, five years before my wedding, my father left my mother for his now wife. When I got married, we went to the courthouse and had a max of 15 guests (including us and our photographer). So even with our immediate families being invited (biological parents, remaining grandparents, siblings) we were maxed out. So no aunts and uncles, no friends, no cousins, none of my siblings spouses. And not my father’s wife. And she was very gracious about it, as was everyone else that “should” have been but that we couldn’t accommodate for the actual ceremony.

      She, and all of them, were invited to a bigger reception immediately following. So, given the true smallness of the wedding, you were unreasonable I think.

      And now that the wedding is over, I don’t really know how you walk back from that. Unfortunately, I think you and your husband have irrecoverably damaged the relationship with the daughter.

      I really have no advice for you.

      1. Didn’t upthread you say that you invited your stepmom to your wedding? Or was it just the reception and the ceremony didn’t count?

        Regardless, LW, I really don’t think there is much you can do to come back from this. Of course she picked her grandmother over you. I’m sorry that it hurt you, but you and your husband over reacted. HE MISSED HIS DAUGHTER’S WEDDING!

        I think you should quietly back off and encourage your husband to continue to reach out to his daughter, but I think it will take a lot of time. I think it would take a lot of time for me to forgive one of my parents missing an event that was important to me for someone else. Yikes!

      2. ele4phant says:

        Yeah, I realized I should have clarified, wedding was very small and we had limits, reception was slightly bigger (but still really small). The reception was were we invited everyone that should have been invited, in my mind’s eye, was what really counts.

        When I started typing the first response I was like “well, the reception was the main thing, and there were LOTS of people we didn’t invite to the ceremony but not the 10 minute ceremony, so it counts mainly”. But I guess others might look at it a different way.

      3. Ugh, yes, if GRANDMA barely made it on the guest list, in what world was the LW ever going to be invited? And she is an adult with friends of her own, that override even a lot of her own family. Now that I read this update, I don’t see it as being reasonable for the LW to even be hurt in the first place.

    2. Northern Star says:

      Your husband should accept responsibility for being a selfish idiot. No matter your hurt feelings, which you would get over (what choice did you really have?), he should have been there for his own daughter’s wedding.

      The fact that he chose not to reflects incredibly poorly on him as a man and a father. Shame on him.

      1. dinoceros says:

        Yeah. I re-read the letter, and am more confused now. I don’t fully understand what the LW means when she says they were “lied” to. I guess that she thought the daughter was being malicious and she wasn’t? But why wouldn’t the father have inquired more deeply into what was going on with the invites? I’d think most dads would want to do everything they could to not miss their kid’s wedding (and to avoid the message it sends), so it’s odd that he immediately jumped to that without ever trying to talk to anyone or work it out. Makes me think that maybe he’s not always the most compassionate father and thus maybe that has also affected his/your relationship with his kids.

  27. The daughter had every right not to invite you to her (tiny, family only) wedding. I know it stings. But as I was reading through the letter, I was anticipating that the non-invite was going to have something to do with the mother not wanting you there — you really couldn’t put yourself in her shoes and recognize that she probably had a reason for not inviting you, like not wanting to deal with family tension at HER wedding? I know it sucks because you are not the one that has the hard feelings, and you wouldn’t be the one actively causing the tension. But sometimes life is not “fair.” You are the one not related by blood, and it’s the daughter’s decision how she wanted to handle that.

    I feel like it’s SUPER lame and pretty terrible that your husband would be willing to skip his daughter’s wedding, just because his new wife felt snubbed. If the wedding has not happened yet, I think he should take every step possible to try to grovel and make it to the wedding after all.

    If the wedding has already passed, then, again, since this is not your daughter, I think your input here is pretty much done. It’s hard, but try to move on. I would think the father not attending would be pretty irreparable – but regardless, if he wants to repair the relationship, it’s on HIM. There’s not much you can do.

  28. dinoceros says:

    There are two big issues here that I see. One is that you seem to be implying that you are regretful about what happened only because you misunderstood the situation. Surely you realized that, no matter the cause, if your husband chose not to attend his daughter’s wedding on principle that he would severely damage if not permanently ruin his and your relationship with his daughter. Assuming that did occur to you, you were fine with that if his daughter had in fact excluded you for her own reasons? Because that’s a pretty big deal. I think that you’d be right to be hurt and also be cautious after your experience with her, but I think that it’s also important to be able to take a step back from situations and react super quickly and harshly. I think that’s a big lesson here because in this case, things weren’t as they seemed. Even if they were, maybe you’d realize six months down the road that it wasn’t worth risking losing that relationship

    The other thing is related, but just as couples need to look at the marriage and not just the wedding, I think loved ones need to look at their overall relationship with someone and not just the wedding. If you have a good relationship with someone (or at least improving) and there’s one incident (particularly an etiquette landmine like a wedding), then you have to consider whether you want to throw away all of the progress because of it.

    At this point, you need to have a heart-to-heart and explain all of this to her and then hope that she gets it. If not, I think this is lesson that actions have consequences and you need to make sure you’re OK with the consequences before you act.

  29. bittergaymark says:

    You acted like a HUGE baby.
    Your husband made a HUGE mistake.
    And now you are both HUGELY fucked.
    Hey, I hope it was worth it.
    I hope manipulating him to chose you was worth it.
    Sounds like it wasn’t.
    Oh, well. Serves you right.

    1. bittergaymark says:

      Honestly? I can’t imagine MANY step parents being included in a guest list of ten. Especially somebody who came into the picture after the kiddos were up and out. Reality Check. People have friends. NEWSFLASH! And tend to value said friends more than the second spouse of their runaway parent…

      1. Exactly! Who would you expect her to drop from the invitees for you, LW? And why does this the daughter owe you this?have you helped her in life? Sometimes stepparents to adults may get lucky and have a connection, most don’t though. Even if he hadn’t been still married and her mom had been the one to choose divorce, that doesn’t get you into her top five.

    2. Daughter needs a lesson in etiquette. Get over yourself. Your dad is married therefore his wife is an intimate part of the family!!!!
      Shame on you for putting your dad in such a situation.
      You should have just eloped and not invited anyone if you want to be so hurtful and insensitive to put people in hard positions. I hate people like that!

  30. I may be a dissenting view here but I think the new wife should do whatever she can to foster a good relationship between her husband and his kids even if she’s smarting from being excluded.
    Mom put the daughter in a tough position and daughter caved. Or maybe it’s what she really wanted. Whatever. It’s her wedding. Insist that your husband go and be with his daughter. Both father and daughter may one day regret it if he isn’t there and doesn’t walk her down the aisle, do the father-daughter dance and whatever else they may have planned.
    If stepmom really wants to be involved, she might offer to throw a reception for the couple or a nice dinner.
    Family relationships are difficult and happy interactions should be promoted whenever possible (as long as no one’s hurting anyone and all the usual disclaimers.) I feel for stepmom but in this instance, I think she should be the bigger person and take a step back.

    1. What sort of sappy movie are you imagining ? Girl does not invite her stepmom to wedding and stepmom should offer her a wedding reception ?

      However, I wish stepmom took a higher route and did not indulge in all this drama.
      The father could have expressed his displeasure at his wife not getting invited but could have still attended his only daughter’s wedding.

      There are various degrees of discord – no need to escalate to the level of not attending the wedding. But I blame the father ( and also the mother if she caused this conflict) more than the stepmom.

    2. Anonymous says:

      When the kids are children you might “do whatever you can to help the relationship with their father.
      Kids are supposed to grow up and stop being dependent on parents to get their emotional needs met.
      The whole “it’s ‘her day’ so everyone has to do what she says” thing is a crock.
      That applies to choosing a dress, not lying and intentionally excluding people.
      A wedding is not a “get out of jail free” card to abuse other people at will. You have to treat people decently or others may be offended by you mistreating someone else they love and boycott “your day” . That’s what this father plans to do and I don’t blame him one bit. He loves his wife too

  31. TideSwell says:

    What a selfish “young” lady. You were / are absolutely right in having nothing to do with this arrogant, stuck-up young madam
    Ditch the boyfriend, By the way
    He seems to be a coml

  32. Sue Mulligan says:

    I say “Get over it”. As the mother of a daughter getting married in June, I don’t want to see this new “wife” of my husband…whether she was a part of the split or not.

  33. Chelsea Vaga says:

    1. Since the new wife is being kept away from the wedding, might we rationally assume she will not be welcomed to the baby shower, the hospital visit when the baby is born and the christening? How about the first birthday? If Mommy Dearest wants her out of the picture completely, where does the line get drawn? I think the father of the bride needs to make it crystal clear to everyone that LW is his wife and a step-mother to his daughter and if she is not welcome to participate in major family celebrations, then he should not attend either. She sounds like she has gone above and beyond to accommodate the daughter so she should not be excluded. If I were LW, and my husband missed his daughter’s wedding, maybe they can offer a nice intimate dinner for the couple with others who were left out of the plans due to – ahem- preferring an intimate affair. This BS of people not speaking, stomping off like kids, demanding anything is so immature BUT the father has a right to have his wife with him at these events .” Intimate” does not mean the presence of one person will turn it into a circus. If the mother has a boyfriend or husband, would they insist he could not attend the wedding. Doubtful. LW and her husband need to stick tight to this and not be bullied into a divide and conquer situation. As for the daughter, she is old enough to learn that she cannot disrespect her father by making him choose between his daughter and his wife. Truthfully, I think the father and LW are the only sane ones in this scenario!

    1. Northern Star says:

      I think threatening to stay away from family events allows people to simply shrug and say, “OK.”

      If the LW’s selfish idiot husband follow up non-attendance at his daughter’s wedding with demands about how her future events will be handled= goodbye, grandchildren.

      Perhaps that’s for the best, though. He sounds like an absolute loser, and he won’t be missed.

  34. If the wife was not invited because of the Mom, Dad’s response should have been ‘If she’ll be triggered by my wife imagine what my presence will do to her!’ That would put it back on the Mom, where it belongs.
    The point you’re all missing is that daughter is the one calling the wedding shots & chose to go there. This will never get better because of HER. Best to bow out now rather than be subject to a lifetime of slights hatred & manipulation. Daughter may come to her senses – but probably won’t. Have any of you ever heard of one who has?

  35. Hi! I am so appreciative of this conversation because I am in a similar situation. I know it is an old post, maybe I did not read through properly, but what was the outcome? Right now, for us, from what I understand it is not the bio mom, it is the couple having a family feud with me , stepmom (of about 13 years btw), and my daughter, and bio dad. However, dad was invited and not me or anyone else, including the halfbrother of the groom. A lot of drama and arguing and misunderstanding makes the scenario different, but my husband at this point refuses to go. He feels that upon entering a marriage, you cannot exclude someone’s spouse from an event. It contradicts the marriage. He even posed the hypothetical situation, where if he only invited his son to an event that would exclude his bride to be, would his son attend? The son could not say he would. It’s not about my feeling of exclusion, it is about right and wrong. And personally, I wish that a wedding or a special event would not be the exception to seeing people you may not get along with. Before a wedding, especially, people should iron out their differences, not the day of, or even because of. Who wants to attend anything angry or upset or hurt, and who would want a guest to attend in such a way? I believe we should all make peace, forgive, move on and up, and couples should start a new marriage in a fresh and positive way, if at all possible.

    1. “Before a wedding, especially, people should iron out their differences, not the day of, or even because of. ”

      Wrong. A wedding is not the place/day to litigate the relationship. No one, especially not the father of the groom, should be using the event to make a statement about faaaaaamily.

      Take. The. Effing. High. Road. Why is that hard? Just wish them ALL the best, sincerely, and tell your husband to go and be with his son. It’s ONE day! It’s not a referendum on your marriage or your identity or your daughter. The very best thing you could do to “iron out differences” is to encourage your husband to go to his son’s wedding! It’s unconscionable to me that he isn’t going! Why would you care whether you’re invited or not!?!?

  36. I have to say, I think that the Dad made his own decision and it’s finally great to see a man stick up for his wife. He made the decision not to go. The step mother should believed of any guilt for she did nothing wrong. She sounds like she really tried to be in the step daughters life and was railroaded.
    While going through many child support medications (as my husband had an extremely greedy narcissistic,ex-wife who went through 4 attorneys) a mediator stopped into the room and told us this.
    “I have mediated thousands of divorces and child support cases and people just don’t realize how the kids know how to work the parents going through divorce to get “things” and manipulate the parents , because mom and dad are fighting to be the “cooler” parent.
    This was so true in my case.
    As a step mom (and there was no affair people) I gave it my all to be a good step mom.
    I even used to be friends at one time with the kids mother.
    I got walked all over and taken advantage of, lied to. Etc.
    The children were treated excellently, birthday parties, clothes, overnights for friends, trips. I could go on and on.
    I had had enough and frankly, I can do without them. My husband can go visit them, speak to them but as for me, all done!
    No one knows what goes on in people’s lives and a snippet of situation cannot be summed up for people to judge against the decision of the Dad not to attend the wedding.
    My husband’s daughter is getting married in June and I’m loathing every minute. I’ll be graceful, smile and will be quiet, but no one will tread on me!! Did I mention I have 2 battery reports on the Ex-wife.
    Just because someone decided to get married, doesn’t mean all is forgotten and they can go on treating you badly after “the big day”!
    Read the book “StepMonster” and you will see what step moms have to endure in many cases.

    1. anonymousse says:

      Your situation is nothing like this letter.

    2. dinoceros says:

      There’s more to parenting that giving them stuff.

      1. dinoceros says:


  37. First of all you are not wrong,and it’s hard to be walked on by someone over and over,The daughter need to quit being a brat if she old enough to get married she is old enough to stand up to her mother…Stand your ground and don’t let her walk over you,SITUATIONS GET LIKE THIS WHEN THE HUSBASND DON’T SPEAK UP FOR HIS WIFE…THE DAD CAN HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH DAUGHTER ALL HE WANT TO BUT I THINK HER AND HER MOTHER IS MESSY

  38. While I understand the new wife wanting to go to the wedding, I think she should respect her stepdaughter’s decision and have some empathy for her husband who she claims to love. This is really about her feelings instead of her stepdaughter’s and it’s pretty selfish. Yes maybe the stepdaughter is being selfish too but it is her maybe it is her mom the ex– who knows. If the new wife really wanted the best for her husband- she would just sacrifice her own feelings for a day and never make him choose whether or not to attend his own daughter’s wedding.

    I have recently become an ex wife whose husband cheated, dated, and is now engaged to a former friend of mine (10 year friendship, 26 year marriage). Our divorce was final for 6 weeks before they were engaged.- seeing one another before and after and we were separated. While I’m not at the stage yet for my kids to be married, my son just graduated from high school and we have band concerts, horse shows, etc.. for my daughter in middle school. I don’t expect his ‘new person’ to be there for these milestones that are my children’s, not hers. Since my situation is so new, I’m not going to lie-I’m still trying to process it so if she did show up – she might be ashamed or afraid of me- while in my fantasy lifetime movie world I would make a scene- in real life I wouldn’t -because it would hurt my kids . I am hoping someday that I might consider differently but since their relationship did have a huge hand in our divorce and there was quite a bit of lying and deception and betrayal as my friend-(my kids are old enough to get this), I’m not sure they would want her at any of their events either- but If they did- I would have to acquiesce.

    I think there are a lot of people out there who want to paint all ex-wives as mean and vindictive (mostly the new wives and mistresses to justify their hand in the break up of these marriages that were ‘already over’ – every guy says this to his affair partner ) I don’t think this innocent “new wife” would not have said that IF her now husband was actually already divorced or even separated.

    I don’t think there is an easy answer no matter what.
    If her now husband was single and married to someone the ex didn’t know who he did not date until they were divorced, this might be different.

    That’s not to say the new wife is not nice and maybe she is actually telling the truth about it- but I don’t think so. If the stepdaughter and the ex are behind this to exclude her it’s not nice either- but it’s the daughters decision and if her father going to miss his daughters wedding because of his new wife’s hurt feelings, then I hate to say it- he needs to grow a pair. If she really loved him she would not make him choose. Let the children who are getting married decide what’s best. The parents should stay out of it.

    1. Could that not be said of the daughter too, if she really loves and respects her father, should she not understand he has moved on from his ex wife and not from his children, and if the ex wife is hurt at the new wife being there, is she not putting herself before everyone even the daughter she claims to love?
      How many years does the new wife have to tolerate bad or hurtful behaviour from the ex wife or the step children in order to prove she is worthy?
      Why should she have to?
      Who does the ex wife and step children think they are by putting her through it?
      And if the ex wife and step children are so hurt by their father and husband leaving them, then should they not direct their nastiness at him only?
      Does it not show the weakness in their characters by hurting the new wife in order to make them feel better about themselves?
      Too many questions or to hard to answer, I wonder?
      We all hurt, but why just keep hurting each other, if you love your children it should not even be a question of the fathers wife being included in anything!

  39. Ampcovered says:

    The exwife should have set the precedent for the wedding to be inclusive and acted as a guide to her daughter. This impacts future generations and the mother if the daughter has to be mature enough to see it all and most of all, live and let live.

  40. Be proud of your husband for being a man, a real man. He is doing the best thing by standing his ground. The ex wife sounds like she has been filling her kids heads with hateful thoughts so they only need her in their lives.
    The daughter started to stand on her own when she gave you card but is now being controlled again.
    This lovely man she is marrying, will one day fall short too and sadly the daughter will encourage her child to reject him and any new partner or new child he may have. All because this is the only life pattern she knows.
    However your husband has shown her another, one of loyality to your partner, one of not being controlled by nasty hateful resentful ex wife bullshit. One of thinking for yourself and standing up for what is right even when your faced with great loss yourself. Your husband has done a wonderfully courageous thing, in the face of adversity and manipulation, he chose to stand up for what is right and stand by his woman. You should be so proud.

  41. allathian says:

    This one’s tough. It would be interesting to know how things played out. Are the father and daughter still estranged because of what happened before the wedding. Is the LW still married to her husband?

    New wives, and husbands too, get a lot of flak, but it all depends on how it happened. If there’s the least bit of a chance that the new spouse can be seen as a home wrecker (ugh, hate that term), then basically the wronged spouse and the children, even if they are adults, especially if they didn’t see it coming, are entitled to carry their grudges to the grave (even if it would be healthier to let it go at some point) and the new spouse can expect things to be tough for a while at least.

    People looking for affairs rationalize things to themselves and others. It’s an affair until the divorce is final, don’t kid yourself about separation. If it’s a trial separation, the other spouse may still be hoping for a reconciliation. So don’t get involved with a person who’s only separated rather than divorced, as that often leads to heartbreak.

    So many people only stay in a marriage they’ve mentally checked out of in the hopes of finding someone new and not being alone for very long. That’s the coward’s way. The only decent thing to do if you decide your marriage has no future is to get a divorce before attempting to find someone else. Far too few people have the backbone to do this, however.

    I don’t have any personal experiences of divorce, as my parents are still married after 50+ years and my husband and I celebrated our 10th anniversary this year. But my FIL who was a traveling salesman had a mistress, now his wife, in another city he visited regularly, and carried on with her for more than 8 years while being married to, and continuing to live with, my MIL. She had teenage children from a previous marriage but was AFAIK divorced when they met. When my MIL found out about it, she was understandably upset and filed for divorce pretty soon afterwards. My husband was 16 when they divorced and he has a reasonably cordial, if distant, relationship with his father. My FIL routinely let his kids down, my MIL had sole custody although my FIL had visitation. Mostly he said he’d come and spend time with them and never showed up. My MIL was understandably bitter for a long time, although I’ve never seen that, because when I met my husband she had started dating her current husband. I have a much closer relationship with my bonus FIL than my husband’s father. In the 15 years my husband and I have been together, I’ve met my FIL’s current wife about 3 or 4 times, the last time was more than 5 years ago. Even with all that mess behind them, I’m just glad that my in-laws are on speaking terms with each other. I was glad to see both of them at our wedding. My FIL’s wife was invited but she declined the invitation. I’m glad that both of them have moved on with their lives and that they can share our important life events (Christmas dinner at our house, our son’s birthdays, etc.) in a cordial atmosphere. My FIL’s wife still opts out of all of this, although my FIL and my MIL’s husband are on quite good terms. Not exactly friends, perhaps, but they can carry on a reasonably cordial conversation without any awkward silences.

  42. Man and wife are one flesh. The same person, as far as all others are concerned, for as long as they’re married. Period. That’s why married couples can’t be forced to testify against each other in court. It’s why they get “special rights.” It’s why they can own property together in ways partnerships and groups can’t.

    This is true regardless of how they married or any prior circumstances other than being single at the time of remarriage. It’s true even if you hate marriage or don’t believe in it yourself. What should the father do if his daughter only invited his left side, but not his right side? Inviting part of him but not all of him is not actually an invitation, whatever else is might be. It could even be legally actionable against the daughter or ex-wife for interference with a marital bond.

    Dad did exactly the right thing by demonstrating the power and sanctity of an existing marriage. I guess mom is demonstrating the destructiveness of trying to create her own affair with her currently-married ex, or just pure revenge. If she was really trying to reopen her divorce, the direct way has the only chance of success. She certainly is abusing her daughter by using her as a weapon.

    1. allathian says:

      The possibility of divorce changes things. It was true before, when divorce wasn’t an option, and people only married again if their original spouse died.

      The idea that a married couple is an inseparable unit and should be treated as such is ridiculous. This might have been true when wives were little better than chattels without legal competence to make their own decisions, but that’s no longer the case in western democracies.

      You can divorce your spouse, but you can’t divorce your child or parents, even if it’s possible to go no-contact with abusive family members.

      I must admit that I have very little respect for a marriage that started with adultery.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Where was that sanctity and “man and wife are one flesh” attitude for Dad’s first marriage?

      Sounds like he and LW first hooked up when he was still married, so…you don’t get to have your cat and eat it too.

      Either marriage is a sacred union, or it’s not. You don’t get to disrespect someone else’s marriage and then expect everyone respect yours.

  43. I think you were correct. The daughter made him choose sides and because you are now the biggest part of his life – you matter. It’s set the stage for not allowing them to run you over as well.

  44. I have the same issue at present. My step daughter is getting married and has not mentioned it to me or her father. Three weeks ago we were at his family reunion and the daughter asked him to walk him down the isle, I was not present for the conversation. She never said anything the whole time I was around about the wedding. My stepson who lived with his father and myself since he was fourteen said that his mom had called him several weeks before to ask if he and his brother would walk their sister down the isle. He said that if their father didn’t he would not attend. The mother and I have never been able to be at a function together because she does not know how to act and is always hostile towards me. I have never been ugly to her and have tried to be good to all 3 of the step children. I have decided that I should not attend and my husband is upset with me. I am so confused because we have received no invitation and when he text her about place and time she responded with the town and time of rehearsal and wedding , no address or dress code. Don’t know what to do? She considers me the cause of her marriage ending but that was over way before I was around. She even remarried a year or so after the divorce and we married 3 years ago. The tension is high around here, as the wedding is 3 weeks out. Any suggestions?

    1. allathian says:

      Sounds like you married into an extremely dysfunctional family. I’m sorry.

      If I could give the couple getting married any advice, I’d tell them to elope and get married without any family to witness it.

  45. James Duncan says:

    The daughter has the right to invite who she chooses.
    Her parents are her parents regardless of who the stepparent is or what kind of relationship she has with them. Both the natural father and the mother should realize that. The stepmother needs to understand that she is a stepparent and always will be. I understand how hard it must be but some things are simply what they are.

  46. Anonymous says:

    If you engaged a relationship with her father while he was still married to her mother then im sorry but i totally understand why the daughter wouldn’t want you at her wedding.
    I know you might want to tell yourself that the marriage was already over and he was just staying for the kids but you don’t know that … You don’t know if that couple would have worked it out if you didn’t hesitate to step in the picture …..

    It is her wedding…. She wants her father and mother standing by her side…. And if her mother does have a problem with you ( and rightfully so if you stepped in while the bed was still warm) then why would the young bride want to see one of her parents sad on her wedding day??

    But most importantly…. Why are you making this day about you?? It seems like you just want to make a statement about your relationship and how your feeling are more important than anyone else’s….

    If the father didn’t go to the wedding its probably because You put him in that position…. And since he let you put him in that position then he isn’t worth being in her life, he made his choice now he will have to live with it …..
    I hope you are worth loosing his children…. Just remember that one day he might resent you for it !!!

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