Post # 1
My parents have been divorced for 15+ years but my mom still holds MAJOR resentment, jealousy, anger, etc. My dad was re-married almost immediately after the divorce, so I have been close with my step mom since I was a child. My dad and step mom have always welcomed my FI with open arms and taken a sincere interest in getting to know him and his family. My mom, not so much, for reasons unknown. When I got engaged, my dad and step mom were overjoyed and threw us a huge engagement party. My step mom immediately asked all the right questions, “what is your dream dress?” “who will your bridesmaids be” etc etc…..my mom, again, not so much. She didnt even ask to see the ring the first time we saw her after getting engaged. My dad and step mom are paying for the wedding. They have a much healthier financial situation than my mom (who never re-married) and I would never in a million years hold the non-financial contribution against my mom. What I do hold against her is her lack of participation in my engagement, wedding, and in building some sort of relationship with my soon to be husband. We are not a family who communicates very well emotionally, we mostly bottle everything up and never let it out, but if we were to talk about the issues, I think she would say, she feels insignificant in the wedding planning because she is not contributing financially and my dad has the means to give us a beautiful wedding. (not that her above mentioned jealousy, resentment and anger are playing any role in this, ha-ha)
So my issue becomes….my mom, dad and step mom have never been in the same room, ever (besides large auditoriums for graduations, etc, but even that was a game of serious avoidance tactics). I am petrified for the wedding, but at least that is a larger venue where they could still avoid each other completely. My bigger issue is the smaller events leading up to the wedding where it would be nearly impossible to avoid each other…bridal showers, rehearsal dinner, having “the girls” over to try on my dress, etc. I am having a hard time “choosing” who will be where, it would be my dream come true to have both of these most important women at every event, but I do not see that as a reality. And also, what “role” each will play on the wedding day. Obviously, my mom is “mother of the bride” but why does she get all the recognition and glory when my step mom has been the one who has taken a serious interest in our lives, our relationship/engagement, our wedding? (and I feel like I have to give her some credit for paying for the wedding!)
Is anyone else in a similar situation? How are you handling it? Or are you just avoiding it all together because its too hard to handle? (like me)
Post # 3
We’re in kind of a similar situation. My FI’s dad is remarried and the dad/stepmom do not get along with his mom AT ALL. Last time they spoke they screamed at each other.
We don’t really have the “recognition” problem because my FI’s mom is actually the one who is being nicer/giving us a little money. His dad/stepmom aren’t really doing anything so we’re not concerned about “honoring” them specifically.
I am super worried about getting them all in the same room though. I am REALLY hoping that there are no fireworks at the wedding… we just plan to keep them separated as much as possible and hope that they keep their heads and don’t ruin things for us!
Post # 4
It makes me so sad when divorced parents (whether it’s only one or both) make their children choose sides. I feel as if my mom does this with my in-laws. She’s always comparing who pays more for what and where we spend the most time. It’s not at all helpful, and it puts a lot of stress and pressure on you.
With that said, it’s difficult to “choose” who attends what and where. Is it possible to have 2 separate showers? I had a friend who had the same issue. Her step mother ended up not showing up to the wedding b/c she was offended by her daughter not being invited. It was a huge mess. My only advice is to tread lightly, and definitely try to balance things out between your mom and step mom. It would be awesome to be able to honor your step mom in some sort of way (maybe on the invitations), but definitely keep trying to include your mom. I think she’s trying to pull away and feels left out and wants someone to feel badly for her. If you try, at least you can say you did try and you didn’t exclude her from things. Know what I mean?
Good luck w/ this. It’s a really tough situation, but hopefully, both your step mom and mom can be adults and stay away from each other at smaller events as to not stir the pot.
Post # 5
ok, I was in a similar situation a few times. I played referee from the start and told everyone (family included) “Ok, this message is being told to EVERYONE-not just you. But this event is about ME and FI. There are going to be many events leading up to the wedding day that involve all family being present in one place – I refuse to choose one side over the other, and we will not be holding duplicate events to please other people. I also have no hesitation to throw someone out of any of these events, wedding included, if I feel like anything to make someone else uncomfortable is being done. I WILL throw people out of my wedding if I have to.” It pretty much nipped it in the bud. Keep in mind, it was directed at my mom and her family, but I did let my dad and SM know that it was said to them. I also had my brother backing me up. During the rehearsal dinner, my mom started acting up and being a brat, so he pulled her aside and told her, “this is NOT about you and your issues right now. Dont ruin her mood” She did calm down a little. Not a ton, but she kept her childish behavior in check more. Long story short, your mom will be a little resentful, but you have to let it slide. Do NOT cave and hold separate events or go abck and forth worrying about this…youll stress yourself out. PM me for some more info if you want, good luckj!
Post # 6
I have sort of a similar situation in that both of my parents remarried when I was really young, and both of my stepparents are important to me. My mothers are doing all right with it and I am treating both of them equally as mothers of the bride. My biological father, though, has a MAJOR issue with my stepfather being treated as an equal father of the bride. We are also paying for the wedding ourselves since he was throwing so many tantrums about having to pay when he didn’t get the “full benefit.” I finally had to sit down and spell it out. He is still upset and hurt, but he has stopped griping, and he has pretty much stopped making me cry.
Post # 7
When my half sister got married the same thing happened. My father’s ex wife *her mother* has a deep resentment for my mother. Only difference is my mother and my father got together 6-7 years AFTER their divorce AND my father had a 2nd wife somewhere in between…
Anyways – they dont get along… mostly her mother with my mother – but… my mother doesn’t like her either. AND my mother had been in her life since she was about 6 years old…
So – my sister and father went to each of them seperately and said “Listen, this day is about Sister – not the problems you have with each other. If you already know you cannot be together during rehersal and bridal showers and rehersal dinners and etc, then you need to be big enough and smart enough to not go. If either one of you make a snide comment or act up in some manner at ANY of the wedding events, you will be asked to leave – plain and simply – This day is about Sister and it will not be tolerated”
It worked… they got along all through the bridal showers – dinners *got along meaning they did not speak but did not kill eachother*. They both attended the wedding and her mother left early after the reception.
Post # 8
I’m so sorry you have to deal with this!
I think KellyV had great advice. Whether you choose to write a letter or say it in person. I like to use letters with people that frustrate me because you’re able to get all of your thoughts out collectively. In person, I tend to get flustered and sidetracked. I also feel that telling your mom that EVERYONE is getting the same message is important. (even if the message to your dad is “here’s what I told Mom”)
I’ve been to small gatherings where I didn’t get along with everyone and I pretty much just had to “suck it up” and be polite.
My X is married and while his wife is NOT someone I want to deal with, the reality is, we have kids. You better believe I’m not missing one school play, one meet the teacher, or anything else, just because the X and his wife are going.
This day and all of the events leading up to it are about you and your FI. You won’t be able to make everyone happy and it’s ok for your mom to be a little resentful – as long as she behaves.
Post # 9
We are in a very similar situation!
FI’s parents are divorced, and his dad is remarried. His mom and dad cannot STAND each other. They had a very nasty divorce. His mom also hates FIs now stepmom, just because she’s obviously associated with his dad. I am too very nervous about the bridal shower, wedding rehearsal, rehearsal dinner and reception. I’m mostly worried about his mom starting drama, or getting drunk at the reception and starting drama.
I’m with everyone else who said that they will all just need to be talked to about their expected behavior. As much as it would stink to have someone cause a scene at the shower or rehearsal dinner, I think it’s better to have it happen there than on the wedding day! If someone starts “stuff” they will be asked to leave, and to not come to the reception. I have my fingers crossed that everyone will get along for our sake though!
Post # 10
I’m a stepmom to three beautiful, grown children who I’ve known since they were teenagers. I also have three grown kids of my own. It is never easy to blend families and it is natural that all of the people involved have to work hard to overcome the disappointment, pain emotions that come with divorce and new relationships. In 15 years, I have never seen or met my husbands ex-wife, and he has never seen or met my ex-husband. Neither of them remarried and both of them have made their kids uncomfortable where we are concerned and avoided family gatherings where we would be present. Fortunately, we live 3,000 miles away so there isn’t much occasion for drama.
We’re delighted that one of my step children is soon to be married. We are contributing the ususal financial support for wedding and my husband will be there as the proud father. But, knowing that her mother will likely kick up a fuss, or refuse to be there if I attend, I have bowed out of attending the wedding with the promise of celebrating with the bride and groom before and after. I explained that this is out of love and respect for the couple and for the family and because it’s their day, not the mom’s, or dad’s and certainly not mine!
To all the brides who are caught in the mess of blended families, I say IT’S YOUR DAY and it should be YOUR WAY, regardless of who pays and who has an opinion. Anyone who makes it about anything else is being uncaring and selfish.
Post # 11
@TooGood: I think that is really sweet of you. I’m sure your stepchild will really miss you you at the wedding, but will be grateful that you were so understanding of the delicacy of the situation.
I have two mothers – my mom and my stepmom – whom I love equally and consider equally to be my mom. I’ve been thinking about this lately and wondering how it’s all going to pan out. My dad and mom don’t really like each other, but after 24 years of being divorced, I think the animosity has died a little. I think they’ll be fine with each other, but it is going to be weird because I haven’t seen them in the same room in I don’t know how many years.
What I’m concerned about is mother acknowledgement and who gets it. Like, who helps me get ready day of. Who’s in the picture putting my necklace on. How do I address my mom and my stepmom and dad on the invitations as parents of the bride? How do I keep my mom from being jealous about sharing mother spotlight with my stepmom? It’s so complicated.
Post # 12
@autumnnuptials10110: I have a similiar situation. So far my Mom and Dad and Step mom have only been to one occasion my niece and nephews baptism. My Dad and my step mom are fne with things but my mom is still bitter and has not even dated since divorcing my dad 10 years ago. I am just going with the flow. Thats all you really can do