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why did I ever think it mattered if they liked me?

nottheirmother's picture

I have 3 adult children from a previous marriage. My husband has 2 adult children from a previous marriage. He and I have been together for 8 years.
My children obviously love him as much as I do. They are respectful, attentive and playful towards him and it is sincere. He is a wonderful man and they have genuine affection for him. He seems to reciprocate and says they are like his own kids.
His own are another story...Well into our 6th year together his son, then 28, finally deigned to speak to me. He said " I used to be ambivalent about you, but you're OK ". He hasn't said much more to me since then, but at least he keeps in touch with his father. My husband's daughter, now 29, has neither spoken to nor seen either of us in more than 7 years. Four times in the past she has texted her father that she wants to renew a relationship but when he has called her she doesn't answer her phone, nor return his calls. Each time she was engaged and planning a wedding which fell through. Recently she called and actually spoke with her father; to tell him she was getting married in less than 3 months and wanted us at the wedding. We have never met the man she is marrying nor his family, I have never met her biological mother or that side of her family, and through mutual aquiantances I know that she has always and continues to say things about me that are falicious, hurtful, rude and unwarranted.
Her wedding is schduled for the weekend of my birthday - it is a significant landmark age I am reaching and my children have planned a weekend long together for the immediate family to celebrate with me.
When my husband got off the phone after this surprise call and told me she is getting maried and named the date I said " oh, my birthday party is that weekend"....I wasn't able to get another word out. He screamed ( which is VERY uncharacteristic for him) that I could go to my damned party and he would go to his daughter's wedding then carried on so, that I left and went to stay with my daughter for a few days. When I returned and tried to have a rational conversation about his outburst he went right back to the same level of aggitation he had exhibited the first time so I came upstairs and found this site.
Now I am asking you who have lived through this Adult Stepchildren scenario or something like it What Is He Thinking ? ( I already have my own ideas about why SHE called)

Comments

nottheirmother's picture

That's exactly what I was thinking - I was taken by surprise, but all I really meant was I would need to call my kids and tell them they had to reschedule my party - they can do that without too much fuss as it is months away, but it is almost as if just hearing her voice has returned his 'princess' to him and I must have seemed like I was standing in their way.

Starla's picture

I couldn't help but wonder if SD only invited your DH to her wedding. Guilt bc he will let one of you down no matter what. Is he not wanting to let her down to avoid drama? It could be other things too I'm not sure.

luchay's picture

This!!!

He is trying to make you the bad guy so that he can go along and leave you home knowing full well you are not invited is my bet.

Talk to him again, tell him you are very upset at his reactions so far but that you need to discuss this with him.

Then tell him you are happy to change the date of your party (and always were) if that is what he wants. But that he does need to apologize to you for his reaction/behaviour so far.

Then the ball is in his court.

My bet - as above - he is looking for a way to make you the bad guy so he doesn't have to admit she didn't include you in the invite.

nottheirmother's picture

She flew the pity flag - has to have a Friday night wedding because it's cheaper, is renting a Foreign Legion hall and family is bringing food etc.....hasn't come right out and sked for $ this time but that will come, I am sure.

nottheirmother's picture

My kids have already changed hte birthday party plans, without a single complaint. Actually they agreed that a wedding outranks a birthday especially as my husband is so determined to repair his relationship with his daughter. I WILL go, if there is a wedding, invited or not. I am his wife, but I won't wear white. I am not an antaganistic person and prefer less drama, not more. Obviously his daughter has deep issues that have nothing whatsoever to do with me. He was long divorced when we met and neither of his children were living with him at that time so I can't be blamed for anything. His daughter just has such a spoiled rotten sense of entitlement that she must believe her sorry lot in life is his fault and not her own.

nottheirmother's picture

I agree that guilt on both their parts is playing into this scenario, but I am just so sick of being the only person whose motives are questioned and always being wrong. I love this man, but I can't wait til she cashes his check and never calls him again. Maybe that is what it is going to take to open his eyes.

Cocoa's picture

if my dh did that to me, I wouldn't speak a word to him other than the mundane. i'd let him come to me, and i'd continue on my merry little way until he's ready to talk about it. after awhile, he'd break the ice and we'd talk. he feels torn and has to process things. i'd go with what he said, you go to your party, he goes to wedding. and during all this quiet time, i'd really think about the implications this holds for my marriage. sd finally enters the picture and she is AUTOMATICALLY given #1 status - YOUR position. not only that, he has allowed her to cause him to scream at you about her. absolutely no discussion before he made his pronouncement. if there is ever a side to be taken, a man better side with his wife! then the two spouses can discuss what is to be done and come to a an agreement. when you finally DO talk, tell him if he ever disrespects you again like this, making decisions about something this important on his own and screams at you again, you will NOT come back.

I will say that I've learned that men and women process things differently. a woman will think and talk about something and then announce her decision. a man will throw his decision out there first and see what kind of feedback he gets, THEN make a final decision. I just don't think he was ready for your feedback. give him time on this one. but do not gloss over how utterly disrespectful this was, and do not tolerate it again.

nottheirmother's picture

I am the last person he will side with when it comes to his daughter. She had serious emotioal problems growing up which I only found out about through his family and friends - he has ever been willing to share that with me - and frankly I never cared one way or the other. I don't know this woman - she is a stranger to me. My issue is, that if he believes it is OK for him to go to her wedding without me then maybe he will be doind a great many other things without me.

godess-clueless's picture

This is a daughter that has no contact in 7 years? She has waved the "Look, I am going to get married flag " several times before and then it doesn't happen? Never met the ex or her family yet you hear about negative remarks they have made?

See no reason to change your family plans for this stranger. Dh should plan to go alone. [if there is a wedding] For whatever reason she has chosen not to consider you or your children as extended family. She may want her father there but most likely her wish would be without you.

nottheirmother's picture

Exactly - whatever her reason(s) are I and my children have never been of any concern to her and her own father was not a thought in her mind for 7 years - now she has a reason to want him back in her life ( although the reason she gave him is thin) and he is willing to grab at that without any thought for how it makes me feel. No amount of discussion has resolved this problem - it just results in me being the bad one, not wanting to let him go to his own daughter's wedding. What I had told him was that my children could change tthe party plans, but his answer was "I'll go to the wedding and you go to your party". Some comments suggested that I wasn't invited. I don't know if that is true or not, and it really doesn't matter. His willingnes to put her before me is what hurts. I just don't understand how the person who has been right next to him for 8 years becomes inconsequential and the one who disregarded him completely becomes all important. I thought he loved me but I guess I don't know anything about his real feelings.

nottheirmother's picture

Why is it plain and simple to an internet stranger but impossible for him to see ? Is he blind to her manipulations or just unwilling to let me know that he knows ? I don't think having someone in your life who only uses you is of any value, but it is His Daughter, and his choice. I will just grin and bear it until my patience wears out. Then she might hear a thing or 2 from me.

nottheirmother's picture

Over 7 years ago I met her a handfull of times and never had so much as an exchange of words with her - never more than a curt hello and goodby was what she offered besides a few rolls of the eye and other disrespectful gestures. If my husband chooses to attend this wedding he will be taking me with him, that's a definite, whether I am invited or not. I will not back down on that.

nottheirmother's picture

Thanks for the support - I am torn between going to the wedding uninvited and having a miserable time, or staying home alone and having my anger over this situation increase. My husband remembers a young girl who he called his 'princess' and he can't accept that she is anything other than that, even though she has ignored his very existance for 7+ years. You are right, there will be no easy answers to this problem and as long as I am her 'stepmother' there will be occasions for further problems. I cannot comprehend how this stranger to us both can have such a negative effect on our otherwise good marriage, but I can see he has dug in to his position and will put her wedding before anything else. I feel as you do - either I go with him or he can go, period.
Whatever I decide to do, I feel like I will once again be the one to take all the blame no matter what comes about.

SituationalTourettes's picture

Why stay home and dwell on it? Go out. Visit your children or have fun with some friends. Take an overnight spa trip or something with your best friend.

I personally wouldnt go to the wedding only because it's not worth your self-esteem and emotional wellbeing to risk being treated like shit at this wedding. Your DH can't stand up for you before the wedding, he most likely won't when you are there. Not only that then you have to see all the family members who have zero idea what really has happened in the past and who you really are. Those people, good or not, will judge what they see and hear from your SD because they know her. Why put yourself in that position? Just because you are DH's wife, who the hell said you have to put yourself in the line of fire for a woman acting like she's a 13 yr old having a temper tantrum. She wants Dad to bring his wallet as a date.

I would simply make plans and tell Dh to enjoy himself. You aren't there to be a punching bag for his daughter and for him to act like you are an inconvenience. This is rude and hurtful especially considering SD's behavior for last 7 years. He should be ashamed he doesnt have enough balls to support you and say WE would be happy to go.

You deserve better.

nottheirmother's picture

Oh if I didn't think it would start WWIII I would let him read your response. Thanks - I have time before I decide what I am to do regarding the wedding. Between now and then I intend to ignore his daughter, her plans etc...I will not be drawn in to any conversation on the subject, and she will not take up any space in my head -the same way she has ignored us. Earlier I was thinking I would go uninvited, but maybe I ought to let going alone be his punishment.

nottheirmother's picture

I will certainly give your comment(s) thought - there isn't a simple or easy answer to this dilema and I have, from the beginning, realized it is His fault I feel this way. Let's see what he says/does next.

SituationalTourettes's picture

It would be interesting too to see what he plans on telling people who do know about you and ask him at the wedding, "Hey, so where is NotTheirMother?" Will it be you are under the weather? You had to go out of town? Work commitment? Abducted by aliens?

"Well, my daughter finally decided to get married after threatening to for so long and she needed my money to help pay for it even though she's ignored me for seven years so I figured I would take off my genitals for the day and leave them in my bedroom closet while I pretend she really wanted me here and in the process continued to alienate my loving wife who I obviously don't have the spine to defend to my selfish brat adult daughter with the maturity level of a nine year old. Oh, not to worry, I will wander the reception hall pretending to belong and then I plan on going home and having to hear what a nice time my uninvited wife had with her friends since she knew I would just be a big fake here acting like I dont really know deep down my daughter is using me for money and to give the illusion of a closeknit family and chose not to put herself in harm's way of all the negativity. So, what did you think of that football game Saturday?"

Wink

nottheirmother's picture

If he stands up to her and refuses to attend without me, I will be blamed forever. Might as well just find a good divorce lawyer now. If I go and have to be a spectator to his embarrassment I will probably loose any respect I still have for him. All I can do now is wait and see what happens next and decide what the least distasteful option is. Her mother should have had an abortion - cruel, but that's just how I feel right now.

nottheirmother's picture

Right now my anger and disappointmnet in him is so all encompassing if I speak to him at all I will tell him exactly what I think of his daughter and his treatment of me - feels like I'm gonna loose no matter what I choose to do

Cocoa's picture

Rising has some VERY good advice. you will definitely lose if you do not stand up for yourself. if you DO stand up, you have a chance of being someone's first priority, or at least a life where you are not simply someone's option. but really, what do you have now anyway? this is the tip of the iceberg. like Rising said, he'll leave you again, and do you know why? because you allowed him to do it the first time.