Post # 1
My step mother is a vindictive, nasty woman. She has lied to and manipulated my dad for most of my life, created fake scenarios to ground me, verbally and physically abused me and my brother as children. She kicked me out of their house when I was a teenager, and to this day denies it. She even wrote me a letter when I was in college to let me know she’s “forgiven” me.
As an adult I decided I wanted a relationship with my dad, so I’ve managed to be civil and cordial to this woman at family gatherings. It’s hard.
Recently I received a malignant diagnosis, and though I’m in remission now, treatment was tough. My step mom kept texting my fiance asking to come over. I asked not to have visitors during the worst of it. Fiance was polite, but reiterated my wishes. Ignoring my request, she showed up unannounced. I didn’t want anyone to see me at my worst, especially not her. At one point she even doorbell-ditched, leaving a weird present on the porch (it was a bunch of weird trinkets). She didn’t turn around when my fiance called her name in the driveway.
And what do you think she told my dad? That we “refused” her generosity. A bunch of poor-me-victim stuff. He called me wondering why we were “so nasty” to his wife. He wants me to write her a thank you card for all of her “support.”
So the wedding is in two months, and I have this nagging suspicion that she’s going to pull some kind of stunt. At my brother’s wedding she stormed out of the rehearsal because no one toasted her.
I don’t know how to phrase this so my dad will listen. He sees her as an angel that we’re all ganging up on. He doesn’t understand why no one likes his wife.
It breaks my heart that I even have to think about this, but I want our day to be perfect, not stained by step-mom BS. I want this day to be about US, not appeasing her.
Does anyone have any words of wisdom for dealing with wicked step-mothers?
Post # 3
Ugh, this sucks. I’m sorry you have to deal with this.
It sounds like she’s extremely attention-seeking, and the most important thing is to keep her from causing a scene or coming even further between you and your dad on and around your big day. Is there a (relatively unimportant to you but still somewhat time consuming) task you could ask her to oversee, like making sure the flowers and candles are correctly placed/printing and arranging the programs/dropping off welcome bags at your guests’ hotels? That way she can brag about how “essential” she was, you can give her effusive thanks and praise, your dad feels like you’re making overtures and including her, and she gets her attention fix in a relatively innocuous way while you privately roll your eyes. I know it’s intensely annoying, but it’s better than worrying about drama, and if you give her a little card on the morning of thanking her for her help and support, hopefully she’ll feel sufficiently recognized and won’t storm out during your reception(!!). What you do after the wedding is over is up to you.
Post # 5
I am so sorry. This is not an uncommon story. Focus on the wedding, etc. As your life goes on, there will be more and more in it, a husband and children. Yes, you will want to see you father, but it will be less of your life. Think Cats in the Cradle.
Post # 6
Ugh, this woman sounds like a class A bitch. Since when do step parents NEED a toast if both parents are present? No offense to the good step parents, but you catch my drift.
If someone went against my wishes, Id be upset too. Ive had some bad hopsital stays, and sometimes you want to be alone!
Post # 7
Do you have to invite her? I know it will be hard but my SO and I have no intention of inviting his stepmother. Although in his family it is no secret that he does not like his stepmother and she knows exactly why this is.
Post # 8
@mrssrm: That’s sounds like a good idea but I would be worried about stepmother trying to change things around or overstepping her boudaries.
Post # 9
@WhiskeyEverAfter: If I were you, I would ignore her. Let her storm out and assign a family member or friend to watch her at the wedding and reception.
She deserves nothing from you whatsoever.
Post # 10
@WhiskeyEverAfter: Let me start with this: I 100% understand what you are going through. I had a very similar upbringing situation with my step. Thankfully, mine apologized when I was in college and we now have a semi-decent relationship, and I have no issue having my step at our wedding.
I also was lucky enough to have a mother who is alot like your stepmom, who, unfortunately, has not apologized and can be a huge nightmare. I, too, am worried about waht she may pull on our happy day if she feels slighted or like she is not receiving enough attention.
I have no idea what I’m going to do, either. Others are very quick to tell me “just don’t invite them”, but as you know, that creates other family drama, such as with your dad.
I don’t have really any advice to give, unfortunately, other than to say I understand your situation.
Post # 11
@LuvMySailor: Yes, that’s definitely a worry, which is why OP would have to find a task that’s relatively unimportant to her, so that potential changes won’t bug her too much. There’s no perfect answer here, because getting the OP’s stepmom to act like a freaking adult is too much to count on. The key is figuring out what’s the least painful sacrifice to make (details not being quite like she envisioned; a scene at the reception; burning bridges with her dad, etc.) which is just a matter of personal preference.
Putting her in charge of encouraging guests to sign a guestbook or something might also work, especially if that’s not something the OP was originally planning on doing.