You are here

First Granchild and dealing with events

Done with drama's picture

My daughter is expecting her first baby. She had a baby reveal for the immediate family which did not include my hubby or my former husbands gf. My ex has never met my hubby of two years face to face yet. My hubby is great to me and my kids and would do anything for us. My ex is passive aggressive and drinks a lot. He was diagnosed with cancer shortly after the divorce and is very bitter towards my new hubby. My daughter explained to me that she did not want my hubby at the reveal because she didn’t want drama with her father. My hubby is very hurt that I went without him (although when he heard about it first he said he prob wouldn’t go due to work committments). I made the mistake of saying it was only immediate family going (her hubbys parents and siblings and her parents and sibling). Now he fears anything in the future that has to do with the new grandchild he will not be invited. He wanted me to tell my daughter I was not going unless he went. I couldn’t do this as I felt it would bring stress to her under her condition and would make her feel she had to choose between being anxious about her father being drunk and attacking her step father (who she says she admires) or me not being there for her special event. Now my hubby has got nasty to me and telling me to not expect him to be at ANY of all my family events again. This includes my sibling and parents events. 

I’m at my wits end and feel torn in the middle of it all. What should I do? Should I try to arrange a first meeting between my ex and hubby on neutral ground so future events for my kids should not be this stressful? 

Comments

Siemprematahari's picture

The three of you should go out for lunch/dinner and have a talk about this. Perhaps your H can tell your daughter how he feels and vice versa. I have to side with your daughter, she doesn't want any drama and she knows how her father is who is bitter, diagnosed with cancer, and drinks a lot. I wouldn't want them in the same room either, if I knew something could possibly go down. I hope your H can respect her wishes of not wanting any violence take place and not take it personal. She seems to respect your current H and is trying to make things as peaceful as possible. I'm sure they can compromise and you all can come to some sort of agreement.

Done with drama's picture

It was a tough decision all around. No one wins. 

Did I want my pregnant daughter under stress at her home because I demanded my hubby be included with a possible brawl? No. I could never forgive myself if something happened to her and the baby all because I and my hubby demanded from her that he should be there.

Was I upset that she stated immediate family and not my hubby? Yes but was relieved to hear him say he wasn’t going as not his thing. Then when he heard immediate family comment I felt bad. It’s not that she hates him. She even told him she was pregnant before her own Dad knew. 

My ex’s girlfriend was not invited either - not that I would be starting an argument with her! Maybe my daughter should have invited her and my hubby. I bet my ex wouldn’t have started a brawl with her there. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

What would you tell your daughter if her husband/wife told her she couldn't go to a family thing with him? Would you tell her that she needs to respect her spouse's wishes and suck it up, or would you be upset at your SIL/DIL for excluding her?

My guess is You would be upset because when your daughter married her spouse, they became a package deal. They ARE family. As a couple, they are the MOST IMPORTANT members of their new family. Their marriage is the foundation of their family, and anything dividing that foundation - including other family - erodes and weakens it.

IMO, your daughter made the wrong decision to include her drunk father. You made the wrong decision of choosing your adult chils over your husband - your husband that you CHOSE over all others and who you created a new family with. Your DH isn't the one who caused the drama, and he got punished for it. I absolutely do not blame him for wanting to stay out of future family events where he will get his feelings hurt.

Your daughter may be your child, but she is not a child. She needed to approach her SF and explain her concerns and ask how his feelings would be affected if he weren't invited. She didn't, and now she will reap, as will you, what she sows.

I know I am coming across as super harsh, but it is absolutely unacceptable to put your DH in a position where he is expected to be, and has been, invested in building a family with you that includes your children only to be disregarded when it is inconvenient. Yes, your daughter was in a corner, but that is a corner YOU helped put her in by choosing your ex as her father. Your DH not only is suffering because his SD hurt his feelings, but because he is being punished for your behaviors while you reap the benefits.

So, I side with your husband, and you need to figure out how to make amends with him if you wish to stay happily married and if you wish for him to be an active family member versus just your husband.

futurobrillante99's picture

What occurred was drunk dad was ENABLED to be drunk dad by you, your daughter and other family members. Who was punished? Your husband who by your own description is a good guy and wasn't the person who would be the troublemaker.

Until the whole family starts penalizing the troublemaker, they are actively enabling him.

Done with drama's picture

I do agree the drunk got his way and we all enabled him. I try to put myself in everyone’s shoes and I really don’t think there is a correct answer to this. Did I want my pregnant daughter to be under stress because I should demand he be there when he first said he didn’t want to go as a reveal party was not his thing? If anything did happen at her home between my ex and him and she later miscarried I would never forgive myself. She told him about the pregnancy before her own father and to me that says a lot. I have bowed out of his children’s events at times for the sake of his children’s mental health. Later they invited me but I wanted it to come from them and not him. It’s not about me at THEIR event. But that’s my feelings on it. 

Your marraige should not be based on whether his/her children invite you to THEIR events. Someone has to be the hero in the whole deal and not the demanding and commanding step parent at an event they didn’t want to attend in the first place. Sorry I would NEVER do that to his kids. 

Dovina's picture

SPOT ON!!! This board would be lighting up like the fourth of July if this story had been the SM was excluded because DH's daughter didnt want her there because of potential BM drama.

Kudos to both of your comments.

disrestep's picture

Lieutenant_dad could not of said it better. How would you feel if your husband excluded you from family events? A marriage is a partnership and is about respect. A good partner never excludes the other. Daughter did this to me, I would tell her I will not be there if my spouse is excluded, and I don't care what the reason is.

Done with drama's picture

The thing is it has happened to me with his kids and I took a step back. I bowed out graciously for the kids mental health sake and to be honest when I finally did go to an event I was bored to death lol. No big deal for me if I don’t get invited. But that’s me. 

 

My hubby is much more sensitive to feeling rejected. It’s all or nothing with him and I see that with him. You should also know he said he didn’t want to go and that a reveal was not his thing - before he found out it was immediate family. He never showed for his nieces reveal party - I went alone.

SacrificialLamb's picture

Brilliant post.  I particularly like "Your DH isn't the one who caused the drama, and he got punished for it."

That right there should be the sign hanging above the stairway to stephell.  So many bio mommies and daddies coddling their ADULT children and they end up hurting the spouse who had no part in any of the drama, who just wants to feel included.

OP, you owe your DH a huge apology.  

Done with drama's picture

I have been in the same situation with his kids and took a step back. I did not demand that my hubby tell them to include me in their events, IMO that only makes you a demanding and commanding step parent (more reason to hate you). While I think differently to my hubby - I feel if I did demand he attend and then an episode with my ex happened with him that’s not a healthy situation to put a pregnant woman in at her home. If anything happened to the baby I could never forgive myself and I also think my hubby would never forgive himself. My ex would blame both hubby and I for the whole thing and make sure my daughter saw it that way too. I feel I did the right thing for now but need to resolve the issue before the next event. 

Done with drama's picture

I agree this was not a good position and maybe I should have not gone at all. However my daughter would never forgive me if I did that. Maybe I should have just demanded he come in the first place even though he said he didn’t want to go and show up with him and hope for the best? I admit I hurt my hubby by going. He had no interest in going in the first place either. Should I have been mad at that? 

SacrificialLamb's picture

So it's more important what your daughter thinks than your DH? I guess you shouldn't tell him that either.

notarelative's picture

. Now he fears anything in the future that has to do with the new grandchild he will not be invited. 

His fear has basis in the way the reveal was done. If your daughter feared how your ex, her dad, would behave at the reveal, what is going to change for the shower, the birth, the christening, future birthdays, etc? He sees the writing on the wall (that he will be excluded). 

It's not your DH's problem to solve. It's not up to you to try to get your ex to accept your husband (arrange a meeting). Not inviting your DH solves nothing. It enables her bio dad. A cancer diagnosis does not give you veto rights for who your daughter invites. Your daughter is going to have to figure out what she wants to do. She only kicked the problem down the road with her reveal solution.

You are also going to have to make a decision. Are you willing to exclude your DH from future family events so that your daughter will not be stressed by your ex's behavior? (Realizing that your acquiescence of the exclusion of your husband will affect your marriage.)

 

Done with drama's picture

I think my daughter is in a strange position that I don’t have an answer for. I have had the same thing done to me with his kids and bowed out graciously for the kids mental health. I didn’t make it about me and that worked all around. In the end his ex no longer looked at me as a threat to her kids relationships with her or her ex as I made it clear to her I was no longer looking to be a mother - I have enough to handle with my own children thank you. I should mention my daughter told him about being pregnant before her own Dad. She has let him know she likes him and how he treats her mother is what matters to her. My hubby also had said he didn’t want to go anyway before he heard immediate family only comment. 

Harry's picture

You made the worst mistake you could.  Telling you SO you a family with him. And then pushing his aside 

so you only want a family when it good for you ..   if I was your SO. I would cut off all financial ties with your daughter and totally disengage. 

Done with drama's picture

I have had this done to me with his children and choose to take a step back and not demand I should be included. This worked for me. I didn’t marry his children I married him. Also my daughter doesn’t need any financial support from my hubby nor would she expect it.  

Disneyfan's picture

I don't blame you or your daughter for the choices you made.  I would have made the same choices.  I also don't blame your husband for MOST of his reaction to this. 

Since your daughter is the one who decided to exclude him, she is the only one he should distance himself from, not the rest of your family.  If I were in your husband's shoes, I wouldn't have anything to do your daughter or her child.

 

Done with drama's picture

It is not easy being in a blended family. There were times I took a step back on his side for his children’s sake and it did not bother me to do so for the child’s sake. I did not let it bother me as I married him and not his children. They have a right to their feelings and will (and have) eventually come around to mutual respect. His children still come to our house on the set court dates even though they are older and don’t have to. I would never demand they accept me at THEIR events. Because they do not see me as a demanding SM they now give me the choice if I want to go. Pushing the issue and demanding that they include you only gives them a reason to point the finger at the rotten demanding SM. This worked for me with his children. My children live an hour away and we do not see them as often but they spend time with us often. My daughter came to our house first to announce she was pregnant and her step father knew before her own father. So it’s not like she hates him. She has a lot of respect for him and knows he is a good guy to me and that’s all that matters to her. 

notasm3's picture

It’s your daughter’s decision to exclude anyone she wants. But she will need to accept the consequences.  If I were your DH I would cut her out of my life and home 100%.  And never speak to her again.  And I’d tell you not to so much as utter her name in my presence. But I would not demand that you never see her:

Tell me that I am not welcome and I’ll oblige. 

ETA - I think the whole “gender reveal” hoopla is just crap. 

ESMOD's picture

Here is MY 2 cents on this because my DH has a daughter that had a baby a couple of years ago.  You know what I did?  I decided that I was going to give his daughter the GIFT of my absence at her shower and at the birthday parties etc... Because?  Her Bio mother will be there and we just know that is going to make uncomfortable situations for all of us.  So, I graciously send a gift.

Now, I do have the easy benefit of a DH who works out of town and since we aren't local attending these kinds of events isn't all that easy... Plus, HE has no interest seeing his EX.  He is happy to visit his daughter at other times and I am welcome on those visits.

So, unless your family is one that is constantly throwing joint events.. then I would not get my nose out of joint too much if I was your DH.  It's really not so much about him is as it is about creating an environment where people are able to celebrate in a civil matter.  Now, when it comes to more public events like a graduation or sports game.. of course it's easier to have everyone and avoid the problems.

Crikey... these are the kinds of events most people would give their eye teeth to get out of..lol.

Done with drama's picture

I feel the same way about events with his children. There are times when there were events where I was told one of his daughters didn’t want me to go to her event because she was anxious about how her mother would be. Not because she doesn’t like me. I thought of his daughter and not made it about me and did not want to ruin her event with her being anxious. I stepped back and to be honest I really didn’t feel like spending four hours waiting for her to do a five minute routine. All were happy with the outcome. Funny thing about this whole story above is he told me he wasn’t interested in going as he had work commitments and thought the whole reveal thing is ridiculous, but when he asked who was going and I used my daughters term “immediate family” he blew his top!

s-kill me's picture

I'd blow my top too.  You and your DD demoted your husband as a member of the family to something lesser than you.  I think that was a really crappy thing for both of you to do.  Regardless of whether he originally had other plans or not, the issue is that he was specifically excluded, and you allowed him to be.  That's not being a partner.  I'd be livid if my DH did what you did.  Especially if he had the balls to say that I wasn't immediate family. 

Maybe you should consider some of the other responses here.  You only responded to the person who agreed with you.  It looks like you're trying to find validation for your decision.  I don't think you deserve that.

ESMOD's picture

Wait... so in the past, I am assuming your DH was the one to relay his child's anxiety and you were gracious and bowed out.  Yet... your daughter had the reveal and didn't include either of the new SO's (GF and your DH) and he gets bent out of shape?  And... he wasn't going to go anyway.. but is going out of his way to be angry about the definition of immediate family (which honestly can mean a LOT of different things to different people.. maybe just your blood relations in your nuclear unit all the way up to cousins, aunts and uncles and more).

I think immediate family also means that it was a very small get together and the ability to generally avoid a toxic person could not be avoided.

Now your DH can choose to make this a huge issue where he bulldozes relationships with your daughter and other family or he can take a step back and see why the daughter may have been concerned.  She didn't single your DH out either.. the GF didn't go.  As far as what it means for future events?  Who really knows.. it may be that he will not go to every event.. through his choice or by invitation... that doesn't mean that he can't have a separate relationship with the child and your daughter in a separate lane from her father.