Step Daughter Wedding

devorahdinahJanuary 13, 2010

I've been been engaged for over 4 years. We were waiting for my fiance's divorce to finalize. My future step daughter is getting married this year and I have offered to help her. I am upset because she hasn't asked me to help her. In fact, she's asked her future mother-in-law to help makes plans. The father, my fiance, is paying $20,000 for the wedding. The SD only corresponds with her dad. I have always nurtured a relationship between her and me ... lunches, shopping (paying for her) and keeping her company when she was in the hospital. Her bio mom use to be close with her ... not now. The SD is seeing how her bio mom really is and why the parents got divorced. The bio mom has renegged on paying for her shoes and hair. The excuse is her younger brothers moved back home. The bio mom gets a ton of alimony monthly so this is not an real excuse. In any case, the SD was at my house (and fiance's) and mentioned the bridal shower to her father in front of me ... asking if he was going to it. This was the first time I heard of the plans. She didn't look at me or ask if I were going. The father was surprised because "guys don't go." The SD meant after the party. I think this is rude. I kept telling my fiance early in the relationship that she never says "hello" when we meet up together. She acts as if I am not there. This really bothers me. My fiance does not see it. I packed my bags once and she asked him if "it was something she said or did." Four years ago when I moved here to be with my fiance, the daughter hadn't met me and her boyfriend (a different one) phoned from the bar they were at ... he said "you care more about your slutty girlfriend than your own daughter." I do not want to go the wedding. I think the SD is being rude on purpose. I am upset because she doesn't include me in the plans .... she bi-passes me even when I email her directly and emails a response to her dad. Am I crazy? Is this normal behavior? The SD is 25 years and an adult, as I see it. My fiance tells me that I have to be the adult.

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Clearly there is something going on with your SD. She has made it clear by her actions that she isn't interested in your assistance with her wedding, so I would respect her wishes. Judging from the former boyfriend's comment, it is possible the daughter sees you as a rival for her father's affections and/or attention, or the one who came between her parents, or something else. Right or wrong, that is how she feels and she is the one who has to work through her feelings. You say you have been together four years and your BF still isn't divorced. Maybe she secretly hopes he would return to her mother if you weren't in the picture.

The daughter was extremely rude to invite her father to her shower in front of you, making a point of the fact that you haven't been invited. She seems to be intent on snubbing you. If it were me, I would back off and not try so hard to gain her acceptance.

You don't mention when the wedding is. You may want to wait until closer to the date to decide whether to attend or not. Maybe not attending would be the right thing to do. Without knowing all the details of the situation, it is difficult to offer suggestions.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 7:00PM
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It seems like there is more than one thing going on here. First, it sounds like you don't have a great relationship with her. I'm not assigning blame, just pointing it out. It's a complex situation. But you have to remember, she is not your family and you can't force people to like you. Two people are thrust together, what is the chance they will become chums? That said, she should be polite.

However, polite does not entail including you in her wedding plans. Even if you were her stepmother, which you are not, the wedding planning is typically done by the bride, her attendants, and the mothers. I would expect her to include her future MIL before her possible future step mother. It seems like you are trying to force yourself upon her. She doesn't want to include you and she isn't required to.

If you and the mother get along then you should be invited to the shower if all female guests are being invited. But if you don't get along, or it is a smaller affair (only relatives, only close friends and family, etc.), then some guests may be excluded. Remember, you are not her stepmother, you are her father's girlfriend.

Regarding her father at the shower, I think the father came for the end of just about every shower I've been to (and I'm thinking back to the 80s here, so it's not new). In fact, in the last 10 years it seems the groom has gone for the entire time (my DH went to mine, same with my friends).

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 10:50AM
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"I've been been engaged for over 4 years. We were waiting for my fiance's divorce to finalize" - I had a little trouble getting past that. So you were sleeping with a married man, and now expect to be treated well by the daughter? Are you nuts.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 10:35AM
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The stepdaughter probably views you as the reason her parents split...
of course that does not endear you to the family!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 3:54PM
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Sweat Pea and Sue I disagree with you. The "Other Woman" should never expect to be invited to a childs wedding, or related festivities. Whether Other Woman was truly cause of breakup is irrelevant. She is an afront to instiution of marriage. I cant beleive you would overlook this.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 4:54PM
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I didn't overlook it; I just didn't want to blatantly state the issue as I also saw it.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 5:14PM
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Here, from are the top two meanings of the word overlook.

1. to fail to notice, perceive, or consider: to overlook a misspelled word.
2. to disregard or ignore indulgently, as faults or misconduct: Only a parent could overlook that kind of behavior.

I wasnt saying you failed to notice. I actually thought the second possiblity, that you disregarded was more likely. I think any woman was the "other woman" in a marriage shouldnt count on goint to stepdaughters wedding.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 7:11PM
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Uh huh, I also had a bit of trouble with your statement that you were "engaged" to a man who was still married to another woman. Technically, (and I think legally) married people are not free to engage themselves to marry another person. (Unless you're in Hollywood!)

So why go into this? Because it is related to how you see your position to SD, her father and mother and the wedding. Prior to the end of the marriage, these three people had a family. No matter who was at fault or what happened, they are still the main characters in the wedding. It doesn't matter how nice you have been, how much you have paid for stuff or what your intentions are to becoming her new mom, you are a secondary character and should step back, wait until you are asked to participate and be tactful (that means be quiet) to all concerned.

The second wife is hard role, especially with step children, young or grown. I wish you good luck, a thick skin and a forgiving attitude. Don't be surprised if DH understands none of this. Your crying to him will probably be misunderstood.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 9:28PM
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I think in the best of circumstances, the second wife can be a tough role. I think when second wife was involved with a married man it can get ugly. Many etiquette books advise the Second Wife who was the other woman, especially in when the divorce was recent to either sit in back or not attend wedding.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 9:41PM
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Ah, what did I overlook? We don't know she was the other woman (and believe me, I would not be forgiving of that). For all we know it was a situation where he was long separated and met her (based on posts I've read on here, many people seem to be lazy about the actual divorce part). Or maybe the ex-wife left him and even remarried and had more children. We don't KNOW, the OP didn't tell us. Although that isn't exactly admirable (being involved with a technically married man), it is not exactly a homewrecker either. I was actually thinking people on here would think I was too tough on the OP! I even pointed out that she wouldn't (or shouldn't) be invited to the shower if she doesn't get along with the bride's mother.

KKNY, you obviously have some personal problems with all this. Get a grip. I didn't overlook, accidentally or deliberably. As with most of these posts, all the relevent facts were not disclosed. Since they were not, I worked off the facts that were disclosed. You know, rather than make an assumption.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 10:17PM
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Well we are just going to have to agree to disagree. OP has been engaged (a nice euphamism, presumably including sleeping with) a married man. FOR FOUR YEARS. So what was going on -- he was lazy about getting divorced while he was "engaged" to someone. He wasnt technically married. He was married.

You and I will disagree on this. I think there is no way to put lipstick on this pig and make it come out good. I said OP might not be the cause of the divorce, but this is not a situation one should expect to be respected for.

OP has made her bed, now she gets to sleep in it.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 10:51PM
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Sue, how could the ex have remarried. She is still legally married.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 10:59PM
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She said "We were waiting for my fiance's divorce to finalize", not "we ARE waiting...". Meaning they are no longer waiting for the divoce, the divorce has gone through. The ex wife might already be remarried. We were given less than half the story. But anyone who takes 4 years to divorce and remarry when "engaged" doesn't really want to get remarried, let's face it. I am sure the bride to be has picked up on that and it shadows her feelings for the OP.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 2:24PM
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You're right, we dont know exactly how long the affair was going on, but I suspect it was awhile from the way the post went.

Maybe the bride has picked up on her mother's feelings, but maybe the bride has thought about her and her FH wedding vows. And how SM had no problem being a part of someone else breaking their wedding vows. Maybe SD has gone to premaritial counseling (required by some officiants) and has been thinking about those vows. Maybe SD has spoken with wedding planner and described entire situation, not just SM, but SM who slept with dad while he was married.

So lets not blame this on all the mother (as you do, when you say I AM SURE THE BRIDE HAS PICKED UP THAT AND IT SHADOWS HER FEELINGS FOR OP). Maybe SM should take some responsibility for her own actions.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 5:21PM
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I said the bride might have picked up on the fact that the father is taking his sweet time (4 years at least) to marry the OP, THAT shadowing her feelings towards the OP. I wasn't talking about the mother.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 6:49PM
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Fair enough.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 8:57PM
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All that aside, the OP is now either the second wife or girlfriend of SD's dad. As either, her expectations of her participation in this wedding seem unrealistic to me. Unless the bride offers her some type of participation, her status is simply as Dad's guest. She has to carry that off in as gracious a manner as possible.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 3:13AM
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Regardless of what was posted here--It doesn't matter how long you've been engaged, living together. or any one of a dozen scenarios, or even if you were married. This goes not just for you but everyone involved with someone who has children.

Your relationship is with the father not the family. If the daughter doesn't want to include you, then you are wrong to try and push yourself in. Don't take this as an insult, it is often a balancing act for children. Do try and be friendly with the children, but you are not their mother so don't try take her place. If they look on you as a friend that should be your aim.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 8:31AM
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I say continue to offer your help, and be available, but don't push it. In this situation, the SD may not know what she wants when it comes to roles in her wedding. If she wants your help, she will come forward...communication is the key. Yes, 24 is adult, but she may still be stuck in her feelings...

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 12:05AM
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