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Old hurts

grannyd's picture



Today, I received an invitation to a bridal shower. We talk about ‘triggers’ on ST and this invite brought me back to an incident nearly 20 years ago. 

My husband’s ex-wife, although a loving mother to her son and daughter, was unreasonably hateful to her ex, my uxorious, handsome, tolerant, generous and kind husband. 

Hey, what yon crazy bitch threw away, this grateful woman embraced with vast enthusiasm. Keeping in mind that, on top of his other virtues (well employed, able to fix anything), my husband could kiss for Canada if smooches were an Olympic sport.

The ex-wife, clearly unthankful for phenomenal canoodles, preferred to take up with an Italian lover. He was a serial cheater and the affair was short lived; she returned to bar-hopping and her life of fun.

When my husband and I began to date, the ex-wife, that old story, decided to play the ‘dog in the manger’. She was so awful! She played PAS to the degree that her son, a brilliant lad of fifteen and his father’s child (who liked me from the get-go), rejected the 50/50 coparenting and insisted upon staying with us full time. As can be imagined, this decision enraged the ex-wife. Despite my continuing politeness on all of her phone calls, she was unremittingly abusive; always hung up with a BANG after I’d provided whatever information she’d demanded.

Following a fierce (and physical) fracas between my stepdaughter and me, the teen resided with her mom, exclusively, for six months. Finally, her mother decided that the loss of her free week of childless partying was not to be endured and my stepdaughter returned with an improved attitude.

Years went by and my beloved stepson became engaged to a lovely, bright and successful young woman. I received no information regarding my step-daughter-in-law’s bridal shower until I received a ‘thank-you’ mail addressed to my very unusual last name. My husband’s ex-wife hadn’t changed that name, despite the fact that she had been living with her current, adulterous lover for some years.

Unmistakeably, the mail had been intended for the ex-wife which made it clear that I, the innocent party in her unremitting hostilities, had been excluded from the shower. Dang! I felt like ‘ol Maleficent, uninvited to the event and ready to invoke a curse, nome sayin’? 

How come the Great Bitch got to call the shots? My husband insists that, because I’m always accepting and kind, our daughter-in-law preferred to take the easy route. Hello, I’m the one who made the wedding cake, produced a generous amount of connoisseur, European eats for the bridal table and donated three grand to its coffers. I’m not claiming that my efforts towards my stepson should be transactional yet, after all these years, I’m still hurt at having been excluded from the shower. Not fair!

Time for some wisdom from ESMOD. Let’s hear it, Hon! Help



Noway2b1's picture

Had a conversation about this very thing. How easy to get along with people seem to get trampled on by those who are not so easy to get along with, that those squeaking wheels do get the grease. At my age now I just slowly weed those people who cater to bad behavior to my b-list people. I don't cut them out because let's face it, we all have our triggers and carry baggage from past bad experiences but life and those we associate with is made up of choices isn't it? I'm willing to give people a one or even two off experience and still move on. What I watch for is consistency in those behaviors. 

So how did your relationship hold up over those 20 years? With the ss and s-DIL? 

grannyd's picture

Hey, Noway,

My relationship with my stepson continues to be the loving connection that we’ve enjoyed since, pretty much, the first time that we met. Now, at fifty-two-years-old, he has not changed much since he was fifteen. He was and is a bright, thoughtful, handsome fellow with an offbeat sense of humour and is a dedicated and hands-on father to his two sons. As can be expected by well parented children, my grandsons are a pure delight; well mannered, kind and performing well at school.

As far as the bridal shower was concerned, I’m convinced that my stepson was uninvolved and left the arrangements up to his bride. My pain at having been excluded from the event was, as my husband suggests, the result of my stepson’s bride having been vanquished by a mother-in-law who trod over everyone. She was a maestro at bullying; the very reason why my stepson abandoned her, at sixteen, to live with me and his father. 

Stepdrama2020's picture

Granny D that stings.

We can go through the why.s and reasons your DIL did ths, but that still doesnt make the sting go away.

Unfortunately in step world when push comes to shove its an easier path to exclude the SM. It doesnt matter how amazing you have been , and you have!

Store this in the vault and know in the future you neednt do for the DIL . Let the fluzyBM do for her. I know your SS is amazing but I am sure he was aware that you were excluded from the shower. It just shows when push comes to shove you are expendable. Wouldnt it have been nice if SS told his fiancee that you should be there regardless of BM. Maybe he did...but still . Even in good step relations this shite happens

Hugs and blessings

grannyd's picture

Yeah, Stepdrama, my stepson, now fifty-two years old, has been a loving and supportive fellow for the last three decades.  When my husband suffered a triple bypass, he (my stepson) phoned me every day to ensure that I was holding up and to insist upon taking care of any difficulties occurring on the old homestead. 

On three occasions, he drove 200 miles, round trip, to cut the grass on our huge, rural property and assured me that he would always be there for me. His sons, my cherished grandsons, bring my husband and me the best joy that oldsters can expect, in our declining years.

Whenever we get together, my stepson delivers the most intense and rib-crushing hugs; can't deny his genuine affection. He loves me, for sure. Maybe, some day, I'll ask him about the shower thang? Dunno....

CLove's picture

You are a wonderful addition to their new family and you were shunted off to the side, is what it appears to have been.

I think that I might be confused however - you recieved a thank you meant for ex bish? How did that occur.

Im so sorry this happened. I dont doubt this will happen to me eventually.

grannyd's picture

Thanks for the 'wonderful addition' remark, Clove! ❤️

My husband and I live in a small village; he has a unique surname that his ex-wife had failed to change. The 'thank-you for the shower gift’ dispatch, intended for my husband’s ex-wife and bearing an incorrect postal code, was delivered to me, rather than to yon 'ex bish'. 

Let's hope, dear Clove, that the hurtful uninvite will NOT happen to you eventually. Unhappily, as stepmothers, we must always be prepared for those little deaths by a thousand cuts, yeah? Sad



grannyd's picture

Yo, thinkthrice,

You, more than anyone on this site, should know about shame and loss. You have endured more from the Gir and her children than several of us combined. As much as we members abhor personal remarks regarding the visages of our stepchildren, I’m compelled to reinforce your recent observations about Chef’s spawn. 

I’ve seen their photographs and must agree that they are among the most unattractive offspring in existence. One thinks of the old Rodney Dangerfield joke; “When I was born, I was so ugly the doctor slapped my mother.” The Gir was probably slapped thrice, eh’, thinkthrice!? Lol




AlmostGone834's picture

I'm so sorry, you are such a kind, loving person and to be treated that way... my heart hurts for you. The only ones missing out here are SS and SDIL. What a loss for them as you did so much. I hope you scaled back after that and I don't know you personally but if you are half as kind in real life as you are with your advice on here to other SMS, you certainly would have been a very welcomed guest at my shower! 

grannyd's picture

Aw, Sweetie,

Thanks so much for the kind words! They made my heart smile. Give rose

Kona_California's picture

First of all, how fun it is to read your writing. Funny, poetic, and relatable. My favorite line: "Hey, what yon crazy bitch threw away, this grateful woman embraced with vast enthusiasm." LOL !

I don't have advice since my SS is only 8 but I will say that I wish I had someone like you as MY step mom. You sound very reasonable and delightful to be around. One thought I had about the SDIL is she isn't as aware of BM's craziness as the rest of the family, so she could feel pressured by BM and following her lead. If SDIL is just as awesome as SS, I would guess she will soon notice who the problem is and come around. 

grannyd's picture

Hey, Kona,

You’ve written:

 ‘One thought I had about the SDIL is she isn't as aware of BM's craziness as the rest of the family, so she could feel pressured by BM and following her lead. ‘

Exactly! My step-daughter-in-law is very passive. Unable /unwilling to stick up for herself she is easily bullied. In fact, she was browbeaten by her mother-in-law to the point where her failure at breast-feeding her first born was an issue that brought the young woman to hysterical tears on more than one occasion.

 I got in touch with the wonderful, experienced ladies at La Leche who swooped in, bless ‘em and had the baby latched on and feeding like a champ in no time. I’m convinced that the ex and her unwelcome advice were the main reason that my daughter-in-law suffered breast feeding difficulties in the first place!

JRI's picture

I'm sorry you're still triggered by this but how well I understand.

How is your relationship with your DIL now?

grannyd's picture

Hey, JRI!

My daughter-in-law is a very reserved person. She comes from a wealthy, English family and was raised strictly and with high expectations. Her father, in particular, was a relentless bully who insisted that both his children succeed and, as a result, my daughter-in-law and her brother are professionals with sizeable earnings. 

My husband’s ex found an easy victim in her son’s new wife and has been intruding in her life since the wedding. I’ve never been particularly close to my daughter-in-law but there is a solid bond of affection between her boys, my husband and me. We are the preferred grandparents and I try not to gloat about that obvious fact. Heh, heh.

justmakingthebest's picture

I imagine that as my life progresses and my SS has major events in his life that we are excluded from, I am going to feel the same way. I agree with your husband though, you are the path of least resistance therefore you are the one who will be hurt and expected to pretend it's ok. Which sucks to be a good person and have to keep playing nice even though you want to cry and tell them how hurt you are!

I wanted to add that "my husband could kiss for Canada if smooches were an Olympic sport"- this line is my favorite thing that I think I have ever read! My husband was a throw away too, and lordy am I glad I scooped him right on up! 

grannyd's picture

I simply could not believe how a sane woman could throw away such a prize for an Italian playboy and serial cheater! Possibly, because my prize was working two jobs in order to afford the down payment on a house and was too exhausted for merrymaking on the weekends? His attractive ex-wife was a party girl and got bored? 

And BTW, I love the house! It was paid for three decades ago, leaving lots of ready cash for our many, expensive, European trips. So sorry, ex-wife (who hasn’t travelled beyond our province).

notsobad's picture

I'm the same! How could you toss aside this amazing hard working loving man????

BM here didn't have an affair but she was also very attractive and thought that she'd be out there being the bell of the ball while he sat at home missing her and wishing he'd never let her get away.

Imagine her surprise when none of her relationships worked out and he's been with me for over 15 years!

I guess he wasn't the problem was he?

SS said a couple of years ago that BM didn't think DH was such a big a$$h0le anymore, lol. Now that she'd been in 2 or 3 disastrous serious relationships and dated countless men, he was looking pretty good, bahahahahahahahaha.

grannyd's picture

Hey, nosobad,

Recalling your posts from nearly eight years ago, I’ve always believed that your husband’s ex-wife regretted the loss of the good man who now warms your marital bed. 

As many of us grateful women can confirm, the throwaways of stupid, selfish, misguided ex-wives became ours to enjoy. Not all of those men are sterling characters yet there are the special treasures who bless our hearts and homes. 

Yup, the lucky second wives know who they are, yeah? Preved

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Grannyd, your DH's exw is as big of an idiot as BioHo. Wonderful men and these twunts didn't appreciate them in the least. Their loss is most definitely our gain! 

I'm sorry for your hurt and the horrid insensitivity that caused it. Love and big {{{HUGS}}} to you, my friend!!!

grannyd's picture

Yo, Ani,

I've seen your husband. Slurp! I am so thankful for having caught my own babe in my loving net before another prudent woman on the hunt claimed him first. He was sitting on a barstool at a popular watering hole in my neighbourhood with a great big smile and a hot, handsome, broad-shouldered bod. 

It was love (lust?) at first sight! I had just broken up with a loser/user and am convinced, to this day, that karma brought us together. I would not trade Mr. grannyd for Johnny Depp, wrapped in diamonds and accompanied by a truckload of gold. Sigh.


Aniki-Moderator's picture

Granny, I'm admittedly blind to every man but my DH. My friends will say, "Ani, did you see that guy? He's got a great bod/butt/face..." And I never noticed him! *ROFL*  So no to Johnny, all the gold in Fort Knox, and the Crown Jewels. Our DHs are rare treasures and far more valuable!

In HS, I sighed over DH from afar. When we worked together, we just clicked. It was a short fall to fall in love with all that he is. I never stopped loving him and vice versa. We are very blessed! *give_rose*

Rags's picture

I get it ladies. Completely.

Not that I do not recognize and appreciate beauty and attactiveness. I certainly do. But, I have zero interest in nor am I drawn to anyone but ... her.

I am a blessed man.


floralsm's picture

I loved reading your writing Granny. I'm sorry to hear this and it's super frustrating when you take the higher road and still get treated like that. 
It hit home for me how you wrote that our DH are handsome and good natured men/husbands and the ex's chucked it all away for a fling or the grass is greener. That's what BM did with my DH. Went galavanting off interstate partying and left their babies with DH. He was a single dad for a few years while she went from man to man and I assume back to him a few times in between until one day he met yours truly, fell in REAL love, and never looked back. Oh BMs head rolled and now she is punishing us ever since. DH for moving on from her and me for being the evil woman he put infront of her. The skids are collateral damage from her manipulating games and SD is a classic victim of a narcissist parent. 
I believe in Karma and I hope it hits hard for BM and good vibes keep coming your way to keep you afloat from the storms Smile

grannyd's picture

At the moment, I'm sitting beside my husband, sipping the cup of tea that he brought me and nibbling away at the bowl of fruit that he prepared. Every morning, he produces a mini feast of fresh strawberries, grapes, pineapple, orange slices etc. This morning, it's fresh mango, blackberries and raspberries. He's a keeper for sure and everything I need to 'keep me afloat from the storms'.

Your husband's ex sounds like a real piece of work but hey, you got the guy! A solid marriage makes many things tolerable.


Birchclimber's picture

Did DH's Ex ever change her last name to something else?  After I married my DH, there were two "Mrs. Climbers", but thankfully after a year or two, DH's crazy Ex changed her name back to her maiden name. 

You are very lucky that you have a good relationship with your SS and your SGSs.  I think your SD-in-Law did take the path of least resistance.  It sounds as though she had an over-bearing father.  Her  mother-in-law has taken on the same roll with her, so she "gets her".   She doesn't have a good understanding of Kind people, like yourself. 

Enjoy that fruit!  My wonderful DH peels my clementine for me every morning...and I wouldn't trade him for anything either!!!  The good ones are so hard to find.  MEN that is.  Not clementines!

grannyd's picture

In fact she did, Birchclimber. About two years ago, the ex assumed the surname of the fellow that she's been living with for the last decade or so. My stepchildren were always confused as to why their mom had neglected to make the change for so long when she hated their dad so fiercely. I suspect that she simply couldn't be bothered, since name changes are such a pain in the butt.

And you are so right, in that good men are hard to find; sometimes it's just the luck of the draw!

notsobad's picture

Ah yes, the pain of being left out so that a sad little insecure woman feels good about herself.

My SD asked her Dad, DH to meet her for a surprise one day in June years ago. What could possibly be happening? I was not invited, DHs parents were not invited. It was something special for only father and daughter, or was it? I was ok with it, I'm happy for them to have time alone together, to go for lunch or a movie. I even called and asked her if he needed to be dressed up?!

Well, the day of, after much speculation, SD told DH to meet her at her old Uni. She had graduated 2 years prior but hadn't crossed the stage. She was in Europe, having finished early, a graduation gift DH and I helped fund. The penny dropped!

She was crossing the stage and getting her degree. Turns out she'd had one more course to finish and had just done it. She was doing the whole cap and gown thing. BM was there. SDs best friend was there. SDs boyfriend was there.

Wait, there must have been a limit on tickets? Nope, the auditorium had many many empty seats.

So why did SD exclude me?

She only wanted "the people who raised her" to be there. That is a favorite saying of BMs. The people who raised you! You see BM has a stepfather whom she loves and calls Dad. But unlike me, her step parent has been there since she was 5 and he "raised her".

BM hated that I was at SSs HS graduation, that I went to all of the skids games, that I am part of their lives in any way. SD knew that BM would not be happy if I was at her graduation so to make her mother feel better she excluded me.

DH and I had talked about it as soon as I figured it out that morning. He was not happy and in the beginning didn't believe that it was a graduation ceremony. When I was proved right he was very upset and let SD know. She had also left out his parents and that was a huge mistake. They were a big part of raising SD and she couldn't deny it. She left them out because BMs parents couldn't make it. Again, she didn't want BM to feel bad, being there alone while DH had his parents there.

DH did go to lunch but had one drink and told SD he was leaving because it wasn't right that SD had left so many people who love her out of this accomplishment.

SD apologized and there were tears but our relationship hasn't been the same. DH and I are stronger than ever and SS made sure that I was invited and part of every aspect of his wedding last summer. But it still stings that SD left me out.




grannyd's picture


Hey, notsobad,

There are not enough apologies nor tears to assuage the hurt that you and your stepdaughter’s paternal grandparents must have suffered over the exclusion from yon graduation ceremony!

 When I think of the celebration that my husband and I enjoyed when my own granddaughter graduated from university, your stepdaughter’s behaviour makes me want to throw up. 

Hon, some actions are beyond the pale and I truly believe that the graduation fiasco is one of those indefensible, inexcusable behaviours. Regardless of the insult having originated from BM, your stepdaughter was plenty old enough to have done better. Shame on her!


notsobad's picture

Yes, Grandma especially was upset. DHs Mom is a lovely giving woman. Once my Mom asked her how she felt about BM and Grandma said "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. You might have noticed that I never say anything about BM" LOL!

SD knew she'd screwed up and appologized to everyone, took the blame but in the end still protected BM. SD always defends and protects BM, I'm sure she always will. The one thing Grandma did say to SD was "Why do think you are always defending BM? Do your friends defend their Moms the way you do yours?"  SD didn't answer but has made more of an effort to spend time with Grandma and she's stopped defending the things BM does. She, like Grandma, now says nothing.


grannyd's picture

You’ve written:

~ ‘SD knew she'd screwed up and apologized to everyone, took the blame but in the end still protected BM~

Not good enough, Hon. I can certainly relate to your stepdaughter’s grandmother and the pain that she suffered at having been excluded from her granddaughter’s graduation ceremony. As I was informed by my elder daughter, on the occasion of my own granddaughter’s commencement, the procedure was the type of ritual that truly matters; it involves gifts to the graduate, a splash-out dinner, numerous photographs and the beaming faces of proud, delighted parents, grandparents and siblings. 

To have missed out on that wonderful, charged and uplifting day would have been overwhelming to me.

When granny passes and the will is read, I sincerely hope that the excluded and hurt (don’t kid yourself, she was devastated!) woman does not fail to pull her punches?! A granddaughter who, metaphorically, spits on her paternal, loving grandmother in order to satisfy a disordered mother, is bound to hand over some of her inheritance to that Great Bitch.