Daughter's birthday party

triximkyJune 23, 2009

Every year the 'mom' has a huge birthday for their adopted daughter. Usually 'daddy' is invited, but since I've come along, neither he or myself (step-mom) will be invited to the party.

Well, 'dad' and I decided to 'do our own' birthday party, but the daughter insist we go to 'mommy's' party. Since, the 'mommy' is still in love with 'dad, she told us that having us there would cause 'way too much anxiety and stress.

So, how do you explain this to the 7yr. old daughter? The daughter even told us she doesn't want 'two cakes', 'ice cream' etc....what child doesn't want two parties (rhetorical question)?

Anyways, I just feel bad for her and even though me and dad hoped that the 'mom' could, 'suck it up' for the day...she can't...The daughter is very close to me and she made sure I had an invitation too.

What do you do?

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In my honest opinion, having get-togethers involving EVERYONE when parents are divorced does not *usually* work long term. I say *usually* because there are some (rare) cases where people are able to genuinely get along, and work together.

More often than not, though, especially when new significant others/spouses come on the scene, it becomes too stressful for everyone involved.

I don't think there is anything wrong with celebrating a child's birthday separately. It might be "sad" but it's just the reality of divorce.

There always will be occasions where the parents DO have to be together---school plays, holiday music programs, sporting events, etc. But IMO a birthday party is not one of them.

Dad can have his own family party for his DD when she is with you and Mom can have one on her time, as well. I do feel for the little girl in this situation because it sounds like she is used to her dad being at mom's party. That is sad :( BUT like I said--the reality is, mom and dad are not together anymore and this is just how it is.

My SS has a party for his school friends every year and BM and Dad will both attend that. But as far as family parties go, BM has one w/her fam, and we have one at our house w/our family.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 3:34PM
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Be honest with her with out over sharing info. We simply told our twins (his Bio children and my steps) that we were not going to do joint parties and holidays with their mother anymore. BM freaked when we told her we were done doing group celebrations and from now on we would be doing our own. The girls were actually OK with it.

BM is still in love with my husband also but unlike your hubbys ex, she didn't have the sense to not plan joint parties....instead she would drive us nuts untill we'd agree to go and then it would be UTTERLY MISERABLE the entire time. BM would be pouting and skulking in corners. J and I would be on eggshells not knowing how to act. We would be afraid to talk to each other for fear BM would go into somekind of downward self pity spiral. BM would be bad mouthing me to her friends she invited. BM would leave in the middle of the celebration because she couldn't take anymore...etc. etc. Just ickiness in general.

It's a little harder for you because SD is upset by the change and I know that has to be tuff. She's a little older than the girls were when we said ENOUGH! It's an adjustment but it sounds like there isn't any other options. It is a reality for children of divorce that SD will have to adjust to. It will get a little easier for her as time goes by. It is sad but it's a reality.

Good luck and I hope SD has a nice birthday despite the problems you are having.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 3:54PM
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it is too funny how new girlfriends/wives think their husbands'/boyfriends' exwives are still in love with them. My X always wants to have mutual parties, events together with me, talk to me often etc, but NO he is not in love with me. hahah

I never wanted mutual parties and although do get along with X don't want to share parties and events with him. I find it unnecessary. if people want to have parties together they should still be married.

It is necessary to explain to children that mom and dad aren't married and don't want to share parties. Simple.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 5:36PM
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I wouldn't assume that every exW is still in love with the exH, but if the exW told the OP and her DH that it would be too stressful to have them there, it doesn't really matter if it's because she's in love with them or just uncomfortable. Yes, it would be best if she could 'suck it up' and make her DD happy, but two things come to mind in reading this post.

1. Does this 7 year old have high hopes of mom & dad getting back together? Is she in denial that her parents are no longer together and want to continue joint parties, etc.? I agree with LH, it's a sad reality for kids of divorce but they need to accept that the parents are no longer together, whether either of the parents is with someone new... it's unhealthy for divorced parents to send mixed messages to young kids by doing 'family' activities together, even if both parents are still single. If it's made very clear to the kids or if the kids have no fantasy that the parents are not together, not getting back together, etc. then it might not be so unhealthy. But, it is hard to ascertain whether the child harbors those kinds of fantasy unless they tell you.

2. If mom (or dad) is uncomfortable having a joint party.. it's a bad idea for them to force themselves into an uncomfortable position on their child's 'happy day'. The party should be fun and without stress and if both parents being there, makes either parent stressed out, the child will feel that stress. (and I can only imagine that a remarried parent may feel uncomfortable going without his/her spouse, but some people are okay with it.. whatever works) If my presence is going to ruin the day, I'd rather stay home..

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 12:03AM
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just to add that i find it stressful to have parties wiht X, I am divorced for a reason. And NO I am not in love with X. People are divorced for a reason, it was stressful to be married so of course it is stressful to spend time together. His exwife absolutelly do not need to spend any time neither you with you nor with him. It is her rights not to have ex in her house. In love or not. LOL

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 10:33AM
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In the case of the OP and myself the exwife straight up told us they were still in love with our husbands. Bm has told me numerous times that she is and always will be in love with J.

Just wanted to clear that up.

P.s. I find that very funny too.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 10:59AM
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Doodle, she is on drugs and mentally ill. You know what they say how you know when alcoholics and drugaddicts lie: when they open their mouth. Maybe she trully thinks she is in love but I wouldn't trust a word she says anyways. Drugs mess up every aspect of their thinking and feeling. Even if your DH is that great, I wouldn't take her words seriously.

In case of OP BM doesn't want join parties and it is very sensible of her. Doesn't mean she is in love, she is just being smart. Why does she have "to suck" it up and tolerate her exhusband? Dad is the one who is considering attending mom's party even if mom doesn't want him there. She didn't invite him, yet he wants to go. So maybe he is the one "in love". Just kidding.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 11:25AM
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Oh yeah. It certainly does happen where an ex is still in love. It happened in our situation and that was NOT my imagination.

BM used to send DH text messages saying things like "I miss our family" or "want to go to a movie this weekend?"
ETC. She would show up at his door in the middle of the night, drunk and crying about how she wanted to give it another shot.

Time and time again, he would shoot her down, but I guess not forcefully enough, because she kept at it for a few years.

I think that is at the root of a lot of her issues with me. Even though I didn't even meet DH until they had been broken up for a year, she viewed me as her "replacement." I guess that was because I was the first person he got serious with. I mean, she actually called me crying the night before our wedding, saying how worried she was that SS was going to be miserable w/us getting married??? But SS was never anything but excited about our wedding. Seems to me it was BM that was miserable about it.

Funny thing--SHE actually broke up with DH because she felt he was too "controlling." Basically, she wanted to og out and party, he was working all day and wanted to come home and relax w/their baby, and maybe go to dinner or a movie on the weekends. Her drinking and partying really fueled most of their fights and she ended up being the one to call it quits. I think she never expected he would really be okay with it and then when she saw him moving on with his life, she flipped.

She is better about things now because, afterall, SHE is married with another child, but still....I often wonder if DH said "let's get back together" (NEVER WOULD HAPPEN BUT HYPOTETHICALLY SPEAKING) what she would do.

Her mom is always telling my DH that HE is the only one they ever liked, and she told ME several years ago that her daughter and my DH "belong together." I know for a fact her parents do not particularly like her husband.

I have never gotten the impression she is in love with her DH but that it was more out of convenience.

She lived with one boyfriend for 2 yrs after she and DH broke up. Then she broke up w/that guy and moved in w/her parents for a couple months. THAT did not go over well at all because they laid down some hardcore rules---she had to (gasp) get a job or go back to school, couldn't stay out drinking at night, and had to pay rent. She lasted 2-3 months and then her (now) husband started renting a house and all of a sudden, she and he were no longer just friends, but dating. She moved in with him and everyone was shocked b/c she had never dated this guy, but had always just been friends with him; and then she got pregnant maybe 6 months into the relationship....got married when the baby was a year old.

Anyway, she has never outwardly said it in the last couple years, but I do think she might still have some feelings for my DH. It also may just be that she looks at our family and feels we have what she "wants" or even what she once had.

There is definitely "something" there, though.

It might be a component of she doesn't really want my DH anymore but she can't stand the thought of anyone else having him, either.

Now--you all know WAY more about BM than you probably ever wanted to know! :)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 11:28AM
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Doodle, she is on drugs and mentally ill. You know what they say how you know when alcoholics and drugaddicts lie: when they open their mouth. Maybe she trully thinks she is in love but I wouldn't trust a word she says anyways. Drugs mess up every aspect of their thinking and feeling. Even if your DH is that great, I wouldn't take her words seriously.

I hardly understand why it should matter what prompts her to say she still loves him. She said it. You were in a round about way saying we new wives/girlfriends just assume the ex wives are still in love with our husbands. If they SAY they are then I would think that makes your assumption in the case of the OP and myself wrong. No matter how you try to justify it.

BM is still in love with J....whether it's the fact she has kids with him, she can't let go or it's her sickness talking who the hell cares. All I know is she will try to sleep with him and schmooze him if he gave her half a chance. That's why he put the kabosh on joint to do's with her. She took them way wrong and he didn't want her for even a nano second thinking she stood a hookers chance in hell getting back with him.

There are cases of Ex's male and female who will not give up the gost when it comes to dead relationships. If they openly admit it (to the new girlfriend/wife no less) don't expect wifey to be keen on the idea of her husband being around the woman. Thankfully J made the call adn I didn't have to say a word. Snaps to J.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 12:05PM
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"It might be a component of she doesn't really want my DH anymore but she can't stand the thought of anyone else having him, either."

I think this is some of BM's problem as well. I think her calling and dumping her emotional issues on me about her love for J and the failed marriage was partly her trying to run me off. All it did was make J stop having any contact except to hand the kids over and pick them up.

She use to go hang out wwhe he worked and he wouldn't even look in her direction. If she tried to talk he would say I'm working and keep walking. She finally quit going up there. It was pretty lame.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 12:16PM
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So, just an additional thought.....

I just found out that the 'mom of the adopted daughter' invited dad's biological daughter, from a previous relationship, to the 'birthday party'. Well, the biological daughter has decided to go to the birthday party and will not attend the birthday celebration we are planning.

So, now, the only people who will be present at 'our' party will be the dad, me (step-mom), and the daughter.

I am 'slightly' upset about this since we are the ones who have to explain things. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 4:56PM
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doddle, i agree that if ex-wife trully is trying to get back together and is madly in love, then of course it would be very uncomfortable for a new spouse to be there, in fact it would be uncomfortable for ex-husband to be there either. It would be understandable. I would not expect you to hang out wiht the woman who is crazy about your DH. BUT>>>>>>

But this situation is the other way around. Mom doesn't want dad there, is uncomfortable wiht him there and didn't invite him. He is the one who says he wants to attend her party, so does SM. Yet according to OP MOM is in love. It just doesn't make any sense.

I guess no matter, what BM cannot win. If BM invites dad to the parties, and is constantly in his face: "she is in love and wants him back". If she doesn't invite him over and doesn't want him around: "she is in love and wants him back". It is no matter what mom does something wrong.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 5:55PM
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Mom could invite whoever she wants to to her parties at her house, she needs to explain nothing to anyone. You can invite whoever you want. If someone refuses to attend your party, it is nothing to do with mom. Your houses and parties are separate now. Mom and dad are divorced. Hense they are not obligated to consult with each other about events in their houses.

If biodaughter doesn't want to attend dad's party, too bad, maybe she is not that close to him or is busy.

If you do not have other family or friends, who would attend your party, then take a little girl to some fun place and do something else instead of a party.

what is going on in mom's house (absent abuse) should not concern dad.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 6:02PM
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