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Dear Annie from 9/10

ESMOD's picture

I usually read the Dear Annie column.. and I can't believe I missed this letter.  Honestly, I'm not surprised at the response.. 

"Dear Annie: I'd like to address a few words to "Feeling Jealous," who was putting together a birthday party for her 13-year-old stepson and was upset that her husband's ex might come.

My parents divorced back in the 1960s, after 25 years of marriage. I was a freshman in high school. As you can imagine, life around home was upside-down, especially for holidays and birthdays when we kids had to choose a parent. Their love had always been unconditional for their children. Being outspoken, an uncommon occurrence for a kid in 1962, I made a heartfelt request to both parents to have all the family together for celebrations. They did it... for us. For their sacrifice, I will be eternally grateful. My two half-siblings referred to my dad as "Uncle." My dad and stepdad were always cordial and friendly. Sometimes, what seems impossible can be made real through loving and caring. -- Grateful Daughter

Dear Grateful: I have a feeling that the rest of your family was grateful to you for advocating that kind of relationship. It sounds as though everyone's lives were richer for it. Thanks for sharing the wisdom."


My thoughts? 

O Goodness GRACIOUS.  You were 14 and you couldn't understand that when your parents split that it might need to mean that your "family Christmas" and other holidays/birthdays would need to be celebrated separately.. you know .. like the rest of their lives.  Yes, you were still their daughter but how irresponsible for them to make such a promise that obligated any future partners to this enmeshed dynamic.

And Annie thinks that the rest of the family is "grateful" for her doing this?  I'm guessing at least one of her parents.. probably both at many times didn't want to spend time with their EX.  Your stepdad probably would have rather done their own thing too.. and why no mention of a stepmom???MMMMMhmmmmm

This was a selfish request by an immature and self centered teen.  

I mean, what about the stepdad? Did he not have family he might have wanted to visit? traditions he wanted to follow?  What if there were conflicts with your birthday and something else? daddy has to skip that business trip to spend it with his little angel? 

I mean, great, if you can get along with your EX when you need to that's wonderful.  If your Ex is a respectful person to your new partner and treats them nicely.. that's good too.  If one or the other of your parents don't go to the end of the earth lengths to break their Ex.. financially.. emotionally.. that's great.  But I cannot imagine signing up for some circus like this.. no way.


MurphysLaw's picture

Yep...NO mention of Stepmother and her "half siblings" called her Dad "Uncle"?!?!

Is she referring to her Mother's children with the new husband??? Jaysus!

Gonna bet a dime to a donut "Dad" never remarried and the divorce was because "Mom" whored around on "Dad" with "Stepdad".

Well as long as the kids were happy that's ALL that matters ((((puke))))

advice.only2's picture

Annie must be a skid, for only a skid would hold such reverence for the first family and praise another skid for making the parents always put first family first over all others.  Eye roll!

Lifer33's picture

Just had a vision of having to sit in front of the Christmas tree watching miss piggy cram a whole turkey in her fat mouth sideways whilst still managing to talk about herself as loudly as possible. Happy coparenting holidays! 

lieutenant_dad's picture

I don't blame kids/teens for making these requests. It makes total sense from their perspective. Their entire lives have been spent together, and every piece of media says that "healthy" divorced families still do things together.

No, I don't blame the kids. But, I sure as sh*t blame the parents for entertaining this crap. Yes, I DO think it is ideal for parents to be able to get along for things that can't be easily celebrated separately, like a graduation ot wedding. But a birthday party? Christmas? EASTER?! Those fall under the household, not the first family.

Though maybe I'm a hypocrite. I've invited Eternal Teenager to holidays back when I tried to get along with her. Even now, I host one Thanksgiving meal for everyone. I already host 3 separate Christmases most years, and I'm not doing the same with Thanksgiving. If someone is uncomfortable, they can host and I'll attend. But I'm still only doing ONE.

Stepmama2321's picture

Wow one big happy family! Puke! I can't imagine being in that situation, from any/all of their POVs. I just imagine stepdad and dad with mom in between, imagining how they both know how this woman looks naked. Yuck! Be cordial, sure, but no need to continue being a family. 

Thisisnotus's picture


No way on earth. I put up with a ton of crap in step life and there is just no way. If DH told me that skids demanded they are spend a holiday together....his bags would be packed upon return. 

I have a close friend who was having an affair with a married man...she was also went on for 2 years and they were about to take the leap and leave thier spouses.......they had looked at homes to buy and had it all planned but my fiend told the guy that she would spend every single Holiday with her kids and husband....soon to be ex husband at that time.......needless to say she never actually left her husband....the guy had just left his wife when she told him this...and he just went back home to his wife.

shamds's picture

Ending contact with hubby. We were married with 2 kids aged 1 & 2.5.

but apparently hubby was meant to dump his responsibilities towards us and go to exwife's home with her new husband (the one she was whoring to whilst still married to hubby before they separated, the one she cheated on) all for the sake of putting differences aside or as how eldest sd then 22.5 put it to hubby "get over it!! Whats in the past is in the past" no apology from bio mum or them for their ahit behaviour

why would any man treated this way want to spend time at exwife's home to play happy family. Apparently differences were aside but sd22.5 explicitly said to hubby only him and their brother were to come to bio mums home with stepdad. Me (his wife and our 2 young kids) were to be ignored and not welcome. That scenario never sat well with hubby.

He had spent 9 years since the divorce never seeing or communicating with his exwife one bit. You couldn't co-parent with her or discuss anything cordially so parralel parenting was what happened.

hubby has not seen exwife since 11.5 yrs and refuses to respond to any bullshit texts eldest sd sends to hubby about bio mum rants

december last year hubby finally found his balls and told eldest sd who was now 24 that i was his wife and he never wanted to hear bullshit rants on bio mum and stepdad about their daily life and trying to make them relevant to us when they are not, trying to put me in my place and ordering me around, making executive decisions regarding my kids. Hubby reminded her i was his wife and she was his daughter and not to get the 2 confused...

there will never be a day they can be together for the sake of the kids. I wonder at times what skids weddings will be like?? Hubby knows exwife will cause a scene, take cheap shots at him and not behave and make everything about her. I see Hubby just giving some money to help cover wedding costs and leave it at that. It'll be a total shitstorm

i also had back in late 2018 during our 3rd wedding anniversary weekend where ss20 demanded a holiday from hubby at an all expenses resort for he and his sisters with hubby. Me, our then 2.5 and 1 yr old assumedly were to stay home. Ss demanded this occur right during our wedding anniversary when hubby told me months before he was so busy with work

next thing suddenly available because ss demanded a trip. Hubby tells me to book the tickets and hotels and sd23, ss20 and sd 14 were coming. "NOOOOOOOOOOO" was all he got a few times till hubby asked me confused what do you mean by that??

i told him very clearly he had lost his fu*king mind to think i would want to spend our 3rd wedding anniversary with his 3 disrespectful ferals, the ones who treat us so disrespectfully, who would rant on about bio mum and stepdad during what is meant to be our anniversary weekend celebration and about us, where i and our kids would be ignored and treated like shit. I told hubby i would have left the resort with my kids and he'd come home to find divorce papers. 

i recall telling hubby that i'd divorce his arse if he ever thought he could pull this shit again and that he would never be getting sex again if he thought i would want to go spend my anniversary with his kids. Where will the intimacy be? 

Stepmama2321's picture

Good job to your DH!!!!!

Your SD really expected your DH to be around his exW new DH but doesn't expect her BM to be around her exH new wife? Is she crazy, how is that remotely fair? And I'm assuming your 2 bio kids are this SD half siblings? 

shamds's picture

They sure as hell remind hubby we aren't family but fake it for the inlaws. Some bullshit to do with my kids being eurasian and seen as more attractive and upperclass compared to their darker asian colour and being of lower socioeconomic backgrounds. 

my husband is a dark skinned asian and i am fine with that... they're all bloody cuckoo...

bio mum has even convinced and brainwaeldest sd 24.5 that daddy owes mummy a free home which he bought after the divorce but it cannot benput in her name but skids because she doesn't want current hubby laying partial claim to it...

lovely to see she is still the same horrible person out to screw every man financially even when still married to him... i told hubby what kind of effin marriage is this... she is benefiting off his assets claiming them as marital but anything she gains during marriage is hers alone.. there is no working together for their futures which isnhow normal sane couples function

strugglingSM's picture

I feel that things would be different if there was a stepmom. Would her mother be fine being called "aunt" by her husband's children or gracious enough to be cordial with the new family. From her telling, her dad was definitely in a "secondary" role. 

Also, if this site is anything to go by, BMs set the stepfamily tone 99% of the time and often they have the hardest time with another woman infringing on what they see as their motherly rights.

As a counterpoint to this, I have a friend whose parents divorced when she was in HS. Her parents got together for joint holidays after the divorce until she and her sisters asked them to stop because they found it so strange that their divorced parents were pretending to be a happy family on holidays. 

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I think Thier probably was no SM because of this and DD couldn't keep a relationship because he had poor boundaries and allowed his kids to call the shots in his relationships.

When I met SO he had the SKs almost 24/7. He would go to events with BM " for the kids" even though he said he hated it. He was also being used by BM, to fix her car, give her money for things like buying new tires for her car, letting her borrow his car, helping her move and so on.  He would always say " it was for the kids". I put a stop to that, because she was using him. She would never watch the kids if he asked or do anything in return. I also pointed out to him she had a boyfriend  who she was with, they also had a kid together and he should be doing all those things for her.  

It's funny how as soon as SO stopped doing things for her, she no longer wanted to play nice with him. Now she won't even bother to answer him when he wants to discuss something regarding the kids.

Zen mode's picture

I'm feeling the effects of this mentality 30 YEARS post divorce. Minimal backstory.

They divorced in the 90's very toxic. Mom should have been institutionalized, that's how bat @#$& crazy she was. Dad was primary parent. 

Then lo and behold after a decade of strained relationship grown kids reconnect with mama. She also remarried. So after devoting years of his life to his kids and remaining single DH found there was somehow a shift of the family dynamic he found himself being left out, so he extended the olive branch and they began celebrating holidays and family gatherings together.

Were the kids making up for lost years with mom? guilt? Feeling like dad didn't try hard enough to keep the family intact? Who knows. I mean, I do get it that's their mom no matter what and they want a relationship with her. 

DH didn't "love" these co-mingled events but tolerated it because it was obvious that HE was now second banana in all this then also they didn't have to divide themselves between the two of them for Xmas and thanksgiving. I think there was also the mentality that they had been through so much and missed so much with their mother that HE could be the bigger person and suck it up. She was still crazy. Things were still strained with some of the kids but they all sucked it up for "family". 

Then I come along. During dating our first year we celebrated thanksgiving separately, DH ( then bf) sends me a pic that someone had taken and in it I see him alone in the back looking miserable with various family members grouped together elsewhere. What really struck me was how miserable he looked and that he was sitting alone. Later we go together to the family Xmas party hosted by his daughter of course mom is there,  It was uncomfortable but not intolerable.

Moving forward we get engaged and have a discussion on how holidays will play out, I'm used to hosting my children obviously for some things. We envisioned a utopia of combined family holidays LOL. We even built our house with that in mind, picturing super bowl parties and grandkids co-mingling. haha haha now that's funny. 

Then, I had the the brilliant idea of telling soon to be DH, "oh btw, no ex wife at events at our home" not going to lie, he struggled with the idea. I wouldn't budge. He talked about breaking it to his kids. HIS KIDS WERE ALL IN THEIR LATE 30's!!!! Eventually he did chat with them individually about it, and I brought it up to them as well, reiterating that it was ONLY at our home during our events that we wouldn't invite her, that of course events hosted by them meant they were free to invite whoever they wanted to their homes and we were adults and would conduct ourselves accordingly. Apparently it is still an issue. After hosting various birthday celebrations and a couple Xmas parties and word getting around that there were "feelings" about mom being excluded, we have for the most part decided that we will no longer be offering to host said events unless asked. I am all about creating memories with my grown children and young grandchildren and attempted to do the same with his, and that has ended as well, I've realized that it was only meaningful to me and brought it's own frustrations to me in attempting to do it and wasn't worth the stress. 

As someone here stated on my blog, it's like a post divorce divorce when those ties are finally cut. For myself I would not have married this man (who I have a wonderful partnership with btw) if he had not respected my boundaries around this topic. 


strugglingSM's picture

Isn't it funny how dad is always the one who has to be the "bigger person" and accomodate mom. You don't see a lot of stories about dads needing to still be involved with BM's family after the fact, but somehow BM always needs to still be a "part of the family". 

Zen mode's picture

I kept asking myself "can I be the bigger person and just invite her? I mean it's only x amount of times per year" the answer was NOPE I can't. I'm glad I couldn't because the truth has panned out to be it would have been once or twice a MONTH based on the events they host and have her at. We rarely get an invite btw. Now that's interesting isn't it? 

Iamwoman's picture

Things were a lot different in the 1960's.

That was 60 years ago.

So by the writer's logic, if we should all act as people did 60 years ago, then in 1962, when their parents divorced, the writer's mother should have been locked up in an insane asylum for the rest of her life for even daring to think of a divorce... because that is what happened in 1900.

SMH. Some people just need to stfu.