(Closed) Divorced Parents / Step parent Drama!

posted 9 years ago in Family
Post # 3
613 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

i can kinda relate.  my mom remarried when i was 26 and gets mad that i dont call her husband on his birthday or fathers day.  ummm…he;s not my dad.  why would i call him on fathers day?

i guess this all depends on your personality.  if you dont want moms husband to make a toast, tell her and him he wont be making a toast.  period.  if you think she is gonna flip about the invites, dont involve her.  she’ll get the invite in the mail and then it will be too late to try to convince you to change it.  (which by the way is crazy.  the brides parents go on the invite, not the parents + new spouses).  who’s paying for the wedding?  you could eliminate all her meddling if you dont take any money from her to pay for the wedding.

Post # 5
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

Just deal with each situation as it comes as calmly as possible. You’ve already laid the groundwork and stated your expectations.

As to the civil ceremony: if you want your parents there, respond to her with, “I’d love for you to come, and my dad too.” See how she responds and go from there. If it’s a pity party or otherwise negativity, say, “I really don’t want to choose between you, so I’ll find other witnesses.”

I would not actively exclude her now husband, but be persistent in not allowing him to take your dad’s place. Definitely choose your battles carefully here. Also treat everyone in the most respectful way possible.

My parents divorced when I was 7 and have each been remarried (and divorced) a couple times, so I know it can be difficult. There’s been plenty of drama. My mom didn’t go to my brother’s high school graduation; my dad didn’t even know where mine was; I didn’t see my dad for about 5 years (my teen years); my mom disowned me several times on account of my wanting a relationship with my dad.

Divorce is never easy, and you’ll never understand where your mom is coming from. All you can do is be the best daughter you can be and try your best not to get pulled down into their drama.

Post # 6
649 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

I am in a simlar situation, but backwards. My husband is the one with your situation and I am the unfortunate passenger in this rollercoaster of crap. My Mother-In-Law pulled some drama herself earlier today, and you can probably tell I’m annoyed.

Anyhow, my Mother-In-Law has tried for YEARS to substitute her husband for DH’s father and COULD NOT ACCEPT that we weren’t inviting any of his family, honoring him in a special way, honoring his mother in a special way. She does not see the world in any other terms other than her husband being his father, and it’s really hard to get into her head (she is also emotionally closed off.)

Little has worked with her, at least little that I have tried. During the planning, my family was financing a lot so we didn’t involve her in details – we simply felt like she was another guest with her escort. She was upset that he wasn’t on the invitations, but she didn’t know that until they arrived. She was very upset about who was on the guest list as I mentioned, but even though she picked a fight with me about it, they weren’t invited. No doubt she had told them all about it and was embarassed to find they weren’t invited. Even afterwards she was trying to involve them vicariously by asking me for a copy of my vows so she could share it with them, because they were “very interested” in how unique a ceremony I had (What? They don’t even KNOW us – I doubt they’re so interested.)

Not giving her any power to make decisions seems to be the only thing you can do. Calling these women out on their delusions doesn’t work, hurts the husband, and makes you feel like a jerk at worst. I have a hard time letting them have their delusions – I want them to knock it off and realize the reality of the world THEY have created by their divorce and remarriage, but they don’t. It’s SO strange that they are the ones that CREATED the step-situation, but they are the most blind to the fallout. Same with my Mother-In-Law and her husband- it’s not his first marriage or child either – they should know how sensitive thie step-family stuff is, but they don’t want to believe it.

in the end, we minimized their role (definitely her husband’s) in the wedding planning, ceremony and afterwards and we know that she is hurt by it. BUT, my husband needed to make a very firm statement that his father was alive, well, and loved by him.


Post # 7
20 posts
  • Wedding: June 2012

@coconutmellie:  This is my situation too, or at least my FI’s family situation.  His mother married the man she cheated on his father with when Fiance was in college. Now, she insists that Fiance refer to him as Dad, although Fiance still has a great relationship with his own Dad.  The invitations are going to be a nightmare, especially since FI’s real Dad (who has also remarried to a very nice woman) can’t stand his step-Dad (understandably, considering the circumstances, although he has been very nice to us).  Plus, to make things worse, Jewish tradition has the parents of the groom walk him down the aisle and stand under the chuppah.  Now exactly who do I include as “his parents”???  They all hate each other!  My wedding’s a year and a half away and I already know everybody’s going to get mad at me.

Post # 8
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Thats tough, im sorry its so ackward.  My stepdad has been in my life since I was 2 but my dad use to shove his second wife down our throats.. It was aweful and caused us distance at the time (I was 7).  I would talk to your mom like an adult and lay out the whole scene beginning to end.  As far as your inviitations go, we are writing “together with their parents” 1. Wed need a scroll to include all of our divorced and remarried parents names 2. we dont want to specifically include or exclude people.  Maybe choose bro and sister in law or a neutral party to sign the marriage license (Grandparents, cousins etc) as to not offend her or your dad.  And say that you and FH would like to go out to dinner with dad, them and whoever signed your licenses or whoever you invite.  Lay it all out very clear and make sure she gets it.  And that its not to slam her or make her uncomfortable but he is your dad and the falling out was not about you… Also, for grandbabies.  I was simply dad that granddaddy makes you uncomfortable, maybe you could choose a non-formal name to call him.  I know you may not be in love with this guy, but he is a step grandpa and in my eyes deserves some kind of title?

Post # 9
5092 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

This doesn’t solve the bigger problem, but for the invitations, one way to get around it is to use the “Jane Smith and John Jones, together with their families, request the pleasure of your company…” wording.  People reading that language can define “family” however they want in their own minds.

Post # 10
649 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

@LeahKS:It’s horrible horrible horrible. We were being split into 3 by the wedding and now I feel like we’re being split again by the holidays. Who the hell do we spend our holidays with if everyone hates each other? The answer is that if we choose one, the rest get angry!

Post # 11
2536 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

As someone who has all kinds of divorce in her family, I understand somewhat. To make things easier at my reception, I told our bridal party to watch for drama and they did. I had several people tell me after the honeymoon that they had to step in here and there. I never knew. They were amazing. As for including your Dad and not step-dad, do what you want to do. If it offends your Mom, maybe she’ll miss your wedding and understand what your Dad’s been put through these past few years. Yeah, harsh, but your Dad is your Dad. The step-dad just so happens to be married to your mother. I’ve dealt with this in the past, but I refuse to bow down to it because once I bow to it, it will dictate my life which I will not allow to happen.

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