Extended Family Relationship After Bio Mom Deceased
This is my first time here. Sought this site out because I needed to talk to people who could relate. I'm a stepmother to a 22 yo SS from my husband's first marriage to a German woman. SS was raised in Germany with only some summers and holidays with us. DH and I have been together 17 years/married for 11. We are 51. I have no children of my own. SS has a half-brother who is 30. Also in Germany. They are fine young men who just lost their mother. She died of pancreatic cancer this past June. I was at her bedside, having met her in person just as she was dying.
Here is my problem. I have always positioned myself as a friend to my stepson(s). The younger one asked me (when he was 11) if I would please refer to him as my "son." I think it was because at that age he didn't like to have any special attention when out in public. Plus, he liked being part of a two-parent household. Loved a regular schedule, meals around the table, helping me cook, saying grace...very traditions loving child.
Anyway, his mother passed away one year after her diagnosis. She and I were always respectful to each other, talking on the phone, but never meeting in person until the week of her death.
This past weekend, my SS got a Facebook account. I then, signed up my husband (his dad). His father referred to his two children (bio son and step son) and, because Facebook doesn't have any terms for extended family (like stepchildren, etc.), I added the boys as my "sons." I emailed them and told them that what I was doing, asked was it okay and told them how much I respected their mother. Youngest one responded not to my email, but added his father and me as his "parents." He did not add his bio mother - I think because she is deceased, and obviously has no Facebook account to link to.
WELLLL. His aunt, his mother's sister, got a Facebook account this weekend, too. She saw SS's listing and evidently fussed at him. "How dare she try to take your mother's place." It was apparently a big scene. My husband found out this morning when he called SS.
I totally understand her taking offense at my actions. But how do I make it right? I have limited skills in German. Aunt speaks no English. She has only met me once...as her sister was dying. Aunt has no children either.
DH wanted to send an email saying how sorry I was (I have already removed the offending post), but he forbid any discussion of deceased bio mother because it would upset Aunt. WHAT? I can only explain myself in terms of my relationship to bio mom and her sons. My primary relationship in the family was never Aunt. She is evidently quite emotional by nature and has been possessive of the boys in the past because they spent a lot of time at her house growing up.
I am so hurt over this. I feel misunderstood and like my husband doesn't want to help me explain myself in my own words, just in a way that appeases Aunt.
Would love comments or advice.