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Why do I feel obligated...what to do?

Let_therebepeace's picture

DH and I have 4 children total. My 2 bios from a previous marriage and his 2 from a previous marriage, none together. 

The three oldest are all on track to graduate high school this year.  We've paid for all graduation expenses. 

I want to order the graduation banners and plan a graduation party. Here is my issue...six months ago SD got mad at us over a rule in our home.  Since then SD has been staying other places, only coming to our house a few times (maybe 6 nights in six months). She's basically cut us out of her life, but I don't want to hurt my DH by not including her with my bios.  I've always done the same for them all and feel obligated to continue to do so.   The graduation party isn't a big deal because it's basically all my friends and family coming. I don't want to spend the extra money, specifically on the banner for our yard, when she isn't staying at our house.

I realize this may seem trivial, but if I don't do the right thing (or the right way) it could hurt my marriage.

I'd like to hear what other SP's would do?

ndc's picture

I'd ask DH what he wants to do and go with that. I wouldn't want to stress my relationship over a graduation banner.

Rags's picture

Put her name on the banner. If she shows, great. If not, then explain that she is going through the teen years brain farts and is all butt hurt over a household rule that she chooses not to follow.

Celebrate the two who have a brain if she keeps up her games. State the facts if anyone asks where she is.

Facts are a wonderful thing.

Congratulations on getting 3 of 4 graduated.

Let_therebepeace's picture

Thanks Rags...3 out of 4 is most likely all we'll get to graduate, unfortunately SS is hell bent on dropping out at 17y/o.

I hope you're right about the teen brain.  SD and I have always had a great relationship until this.  To be honest, it was DH's rule and I happened to be the one she asked and had to say no.  

Java_Junkie's picture

I agree to put her name on the banner.

As far as stating the facts, I think I'd defer that and say, "Ehhh, she said something, though I'm not really sure what she meant by it, so I'm just focusing on all of us who are here." If anyone pressed, I'd probably suggest they reach out to her because I wasn't too clear about the reasons or anything.

As far as I'm concerned, leaving that stuff on the ground is best, and eventually she'll realize she's being a doofus and will want to reconnect. Teens can be a pain, step or bio. Healing and enjoying healthy relationships sort of requires some "selective forgetfulness and bad hearing" Smile .

futurobrillante99's picture

You're already doing all the effort for your two, what does it hurt to have a third cake or have her name on the cake? What does it hurt to do a little extra work to include her. When she doesn't show, SHE will look like an ass and YOU will look like a good person.

I mean, what extra work is included? Did they go to a different school? Balloons with her school colors? Streamers with her school colors? Inviting some of DH's family and her friends?

If she was the ONLY student graduating, I'd put it on your DH to do the party. But you're already doing one, so include her. Who cares if she doesn't show?

ETA - why can't your DH get a banner made for his daughter? One was made for our daughter and she put it on her wall when she went away to college. Make a banner - don't put it on the banner with your kids and use the excuse that she would probably want her OWN.

I'm going to be honest - it sounds like you don't like this girl.

Let_therebepeace's picture

That couldn't be futher from the case.  I love this girl.  I am hurt that after years of being her only support system, she's cut us out of her life.  That's why, even though financially it would save us money, I feel obligated to still do for her as I am my bios.  

futurobrillante99's picture

"financially it would save us money" - what? the cost of a banner or adding her name to the other banner for your kids?

I don't get it. Unless you're throwing a huge wedding type party and there is a cost per plate for inviting additional guests to a catered event, I don't get what the big expense is.

There is something "off" in your argument because if you really loved her, you wouldn't WANT to exclude her out of petty spite just because she's cut you off.

If the expense is that you're having a catered event and the added catering costs are "too expensive" then you're full of it because you're well off.

If it's a simple backyard graduation party, you should already have the food and decorations set. All you'd need is an extra banner and possibly another cake or some icing to write her name on the cake.

Something doesn't add up.

Dawn-Moderator's picture

for her too.  If you don't, Sd will just use that against you guys as to why she is staying away. 

Don't give her any ammo.

Like others said.  You're already having a party so it wouldn't be much trouble to just include her like nothing is wrong.  If she doesn't show up or makes a scene, it'll just show who the problem is.

tog redux's picture

Yes, put her name on the banner. She's being a jerk, but you and DH have to be the grown-ups here, and I assume he still loves his daughter and will be proud of her graduation.

Counter-rejecting a kid will just cement the problem.

twoviewpoints's picture

Plan the event with inclusion of all three teens.Banner, cakes the whole thing.

Fact is she is still graduating and been successful whether she's upset about a rule or not. She still worked toward the achieving the graduation and diploma. Even if being a bit rebellious the last few months, I'm sure her father is still proud of her accomplishment (especially as his other son is determined to be a dropout).

If she attends. Great. If not, oh well. Let her father pay for the bit more expense from his own cash which he should be doing for al the graduation cost anyway. Let him work at hosting the event and doing the prep work. 

marblefawn's picture

I broke off a relationship with my mother in August -- just stopped calling her, really and because I was always the one who had to do all the calling, we haven't spoken since.

Now six months later, the original reason I was upset seems trivial because she has not called even once to try to talk through this. It's as if she never knew me. At this point, that hurts more than her original infraction. Fifty-one years down the drain.

I told you all that to tell you this: I know SD walked out of your life and you probably didn't deserve that. But the more you act as if she doesn't exist, the wider that wedge between you will be.

If you want to be rid of her, don't do a damn thing for her graduation. If you want to keep open the door to a future relationship, what skin is it off your back to put her damn name on a cake and banner? Same price. And it shows others (including SD whether she sees it or not) that she is not written off as if she never existed.