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Stepson says i can’t attend his wedding/only his dad

Tracey, on July 21, 2021 at 12:25 PM Posted in Family and Relationships 0 26
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My husband and I have been married for 10 years. Our 27 year old son (my step-son) has asked that I NOT attend the wedding, only his dad (my husband). His reasoning is solely because his mom has not in 10 years time been able to move on and is not wanting to feel “uncomfortable”. My step son said he personally doesn’t feel any animosity towards myself or my daughter. This is all about his mom’s feelings! The young bride-to-be is staying out of it. (She’s very sweet and we are great). This is a horrible situation and feels like a slap in the face to us. The ex-wife can’t put aside her feelings for 6 hours? (We live in separate states and she has never spoken to me). I’d love some thoughts on this difficult scenario.

26 Comments

Latest activity by Lls, on October 25, 2021 at 5:56 PM
  • Jessi
    Super October 2022
    Jessi ·
    • Flag

    I mean it sucks and it's not cool that it had to come to that, but I don't completely blame him. If he doesn't have a problem with you then his mom probably gave him an ultimatum and he felt his hands were tied. At this point you guys have three options: 1. Have your husband go alone as asked. 2. None of you go. 3. You say f it and go anyway.

    I don't blame the bride for staying out of it. It's not her family so it's not her say. I also don't blame him for putting his mom's feelings over yours because if he still has a good relationship with her then there is still a difference. Normally on here we would tell the couple to not give in to that pressure from someone, but he already did and it's not right for you to add to the stress by bugging him about it. I'm sure it was already a struggle to decide to ask you to not come. If it were me I just wouldn't go. It would suck and I wouldn't appreciate any of it, but I'm not one to rock the boat.

    You also never mentioned why they divorced. I know it might not seem like it's necessary after 10 years, but that could be the reason why she "hasn't been able to move on."

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  • JM Sunshine
    JM Sunshine ·
    • Flag
    This is a tough one for all involved...it is very similar to when I got married. My now husband also asked only his dad to attend our wedding because his mom was still hurting over the divorce 10 years later. His dad married the woman he had been having an affair with. His mom was not going to attend wedding if the wife came. His dad refused to come without the wife so my husband told him not to come at all. It still bothers him to this day that his dad couldn't put aside a few hours to be there for his son. They have had a very strained relationship ever since.
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  • Jessi
    Super October 2022
    Jessi ·
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    This is exactly why I feel like why they got divorced is important. There's a big difference between someone being "hung up" after someone cheats versus splitting up because you've become incompatible and one person hasn't tried to allow themselves to let go.

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  • SHY
    Master January 2022
    SHY ·
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    I agree with Jessi. This is such a sticky situation and also very delicate.

    Not the exact situation, but we aren't including FFIL's gf with the parents first look or with getting ready with the ladies. She's not IN the wedding, but she is invited. She just doesn't get along with FMIL and FMIL's sisters, so FH says it's best to keep them separate. His other brothers did the same at their weddings. I feel bad, but I also know it's for the best. I created a post on here asking for advice on how to handle the situation and unanimously everyone said that FMIL's feelings take priority over FFIL's gf. It sucks because I want her to feel included, but I also want FMIL to be comfortable since it's HER son getting married.

    Also, my dad isn't invited to my wedding. He left me and my mom when I graduated high school and moved to another country and hasn't been active in my life since. I love him to death, but I know if he came, my mom would have a meltdown the moment she saw him.

    It's hard, but I think it's best to honor your step son's wishes and not attend. I fear that poking at the issue and/or showing up anyways would harm the relationship that you both have.

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  • Jasmine E.
    Rockstar May 2022
    Jasmine E. ·
    • Flag

    I understand why this is complicated, but ultimately this is the couple's decision and it seems he just wants to avoid hurting her feelings. If you've been married to his dad 10 years, then you probably came into his life when he was a teenager, so you didn't really raise him (hopefully that doesn't come off too harsh). He is putting the comfort of his mother, who has been in his life longer, first. You can't change his mind, you can only decide what YOU and your husband will do about it. As Jessi said above, either your husband goes alone or neither of you go. Or you can host a separate party and not invite his bio mom.

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  • Viviana
    Dedicated October 2022
    Viviana ·
    • Flag

    UGH - I'm so sorry you are going through this - I can't imagine how hurt you must be feeling! I'm trying to put myself in his shoes and I feel like I would always defend my mom and put her feelings first over others - So, I understand. I'm sure he's feeling terrible about the situation as well. I don't really think there's a solution Smiley sad Sorry!

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  • M
    VIP January 2019
    Maggie ·
    • Flag

    This is sad and I can certainly understand feeling hurt. I don't see how it would do anything but make things worse, though, if you or your husband tried to change things. So, I would accept this with good grace and move on with your life. You would be completely within your right to cool your future relationship with your stepson though. He is showing you he doesn't value you, so I wouldn't prioritize him going forward, either.

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  • T
    Tracey ·
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    Thank you for taking the time to respond, Maggie. It surely feels harder due to the fact that my husbands ex-wife is calling the shots despite not even knowing me. I’ll consider your thoughts.
    • Reply
  • Alexis
    Expert June 2021
    Alexis ·
    • Flag

    I am so sorry that you're dealing with this. Your feelings are totally valid! Does your husband have any thoughts on the matter?

    I went through something conversely similar with my dad and stepmom. They said they would not come to my wedding if my biological mom was invited because they didn't want to be in the same room with her, which I thought was totally ridiculous considering my parents had not been in the same room or spoke more than a few words to each other in 20 years. So I told them that if they couldn't put it aside for one day, that was their choice, but I was still inviting her (they ended up sucking it up and coming anyway & they didn't even talk & were never within 20 feet of each other).

    I'm sure it was difficult enough for your stepson to ask you not to come. It seems like there was going to be strain on his parental relationships one way or another, and I feel sad that he was put in the middle and felt he had to make this choice. Giving any pushback may cause further tension. Planning a wedding is so stressful and hard already, I think it's best to respect the decision and move on. I'm really sorry. Smiley sad

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  • I
    Expert August 2021
    Ingrid ·
    • Flag

    I'm sorry you have been put into this situation. . .but call me crazy. . .we are talking about ADULTS who can't come together for their son's wedding, right? This sounds like the biggest BS line of crap in my opinion. Yes, your step son's mother is important, but you are too! I can't imagine how your step son felt about having to ask that of you.

    I get his mother can't get over it, but she is willing to put a giant wedge in to biggest day of her son's life. Is it out of the question to have your husband and you reach out to her and talk through this? It's 6 - 8 hours of your lives, common ground can't be found for 8 hours?

    I know it's a lot easier to me to sit in front of my computer and say this as it's not something I have to deal with, but I truly believe ADULTS should be able find common ground for the happiness of their son on his wedding day!!

    Good luck with however this turns out.

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  • Rebecca
    Master August 2019
    Rebecca ·
    • Flag

    My mother behaves in a very similar way.

    Quite frankly, I believe her behavior is immature and rude (it's been *twenty years* since *she* initiated the divorce against my father), and I refuse to put up with it.

    In the end, she did not attend our wedding (and I'm an only child), because she couldn't get over her own sense of victimhood. (Her particular bugaboo was the wording on the invitations. As she did not help plan, nor pay, her name was not listed as host. My stepmother, *who did help plan and pay* was listed with my father as host. Heck, my mother didn't even ask how planning was going until 5 months into the 7 1/2 month process! It was the first time she'd *talked to me at all in those months*.)

    I think your DH needs to have a talk with his son about how you two are a social unit, that you have no intention of being anything other than cordial to his Ex, and that his Ex needs to Grow The Heck UP.

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  • Samantha
    Rockstar October 2022
    Samantha ·
    • Flag
    This is a sad all around. I know you are disappointed. It’s not fair and you should be able to go.
    By being gracious now - when you could add more stress to their wedding - you are spreading so much good will to them. She is making it a battle, but you don’t have to jump in. You can be the one they remember is kind, understanding and this can be a gift to them. And totally take the wind out of her sails. She wants a fight, but you don’t have to give it to her.
    If they plan on having children, being the grandparent that brings no controlling demands, pressure and power struggles is going to be a good place to be!
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  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari ·
    • Flag

    It's a bad situation for sure, but you need to respect your step-son's wishes. Its completely unfair for his biological mom to put him in this situation, but given the situation itself it's his choice whether to invite one of you or the other, or both knowing one will be uncomfortable. It's really unfortunate that your husband's ex-wife cannot grow up and be a bigger person and allow her son to have a drama-free wedding day. I do think you need to respect whatever your step-son decides, and its not your place to butt in. If your husband feels strongly one way or the other, it might be his place to have a conversation with your step-son or the ex-wife, but it certainly is not yours.

    I'm so sorry, for you and your step-son.

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  • Katie
    Rockstar August 2020
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    Hi Tracey, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. My husband’s parents are divorced but luckily for us, all parents and stepparent involved kept what was most important at the top of their minds which was the day was about us getting married, not about them. We had my husband’s mom, dad and stepmom present. My husband’s parents had their own tables at the reception and we were respectful to make sure we didn’t do anything that would make anyone uncomfortable (introduced separately, husband’s mom had her dance with her son, etc.). Perhaps your husband can reach out to the mother of the groom to have a “parent to parent” chat and tack fully remind her putting their child in the middle is not in the best interest of the child (no matter how old son is). Good luck ❤️❤️❤️
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  • E
    Super July 2023
    Eniale ·
    • Flag

    Wow, these responses floor me.

    All the other threads where people berate posters and bark "COUPLES ARE A SOCIAL UNIT AND ONE SHOULD NEVER BE INVITED WITHOUT THE OTHER EVER" because they don't want to invite their cousin's girlfriend of three weeks....

    But not inviting dad's legal wife of ten years is "understandable" and "a sticky situation" and you should "respect his wishes"? What a load of utter crap

    What your stepson is doing is absolutely rude and disrespectful, both to you and to his father.

    If I were your husband, I would not attend to prove a point. Your stepson made his choice between his dad and his mom when he caved to her by not allowing his dad's legal spouse of a decade attend his wedding.

    Now, of course you can't make your husband do anything, and I would never suggest you do or attempt to. I'm just expressing how I would feel if I were in his shoes.

    I will concede I truly have no advice. I, personally, would not extend grace or goodwill here. When people are wrong, they should know it, and your step-son is absolutely wrong. What happens when they have kids - you're not going to be allowed to see your grandkids because you might cross paths with his mother?

    You are part of the family whether your husband's ex-wife likes it or not, and he should stand up for that. He's a grown man. He doesn't have to cave to mommy's feelings.

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  • Samantha
    Rockstar October 2022
    Samantha ·
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    Well, if the couple were posting, people would say that they were out of line.
    Everyone is commiserating and agreeing that it’s not fair or right.
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  • Jessi
    Super October 2022
    Jessi ·
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    View Quoted Comment

    What her stepson is doing is super rude, but they've already made that decision, so there's not much point in pointing out that what he did sucks. If the son were on here asking if he should ask her to not come everyone would respond the same, but this isn't that. The way the dad and stepmom handle this could affect their relationship with the son forever. If his mom is being ridiculous then why not be the bigger people here and just deal with it. That's going to mean more to the son later on and will probably help him see just how she should be acting. If they cause more drama then they're not much better than the mom is at the end of the day... but that's just how I see it.

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  • Jasmine E.
    Rockstar May 2022
    Jasmine E. ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    I agree; if it were the son himself posting, the replies would be different and people would encourage more compromise. However, the OP is essentially a third party here with limited options. She can't make him change his mind, nor can she force his bio mom to tolerate it. It's always ideal if divorced couples and new spouses can be cordial for a day, but we don't know if that's a possibility in this case. We don't have a lot of info here. So with what we have, OP's options seem to be: 1) attend and risk the mom making a scene, 2) dad attends alone, or 3) neither attends and maybe the son will regret his choice later. It's rude of him, but he won't see these posts, so people saying how rude it is will change nothing.
    • Reply
  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari ·
    • Flag

    Yes if this were the son posting, I would tell him is bio-mom is awful for putting him in that position, and I would recommend he invite his father, stepmother, and bio-mom and let bio-mom decide whether or not to come. If bio-mom is going to make a scene and can't set aside her hatred for dad or jealousy of step-mom for one day, then maybe she doesn't get an invite.

    But that isn't the situation here, its step-mom, who is pretty powerless in this situation, asking for perspective. She can either make a big deal out of it or be the bigger person, accept the decision that has been made, and support her stepson and husband however possible.

    Is it right? Absolutely not. Its a horrible situation to be put in. But to make a bigger scene out of the situation makes it more about HER than about her stepson (the groom) and it feeds into the drama and makes her a part of the problem. The appropriate thing for her to do, IMO, is respect the step-son's decision. Whether or not her husband chooses to go is a decision her husband should make. He's being put into a position between supporting his son or his wife, but if the OP steps in it becomes about her. Its icky all around.

    Grace is what is required in this situation, IMO.

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  • thisismrsb
    Expert June 2019
    thisismrsb ·
    • Flag
    I see what you all are saying, and I understand it, but there's one important fact that you're all missing here: the OP's daughter. The groom's own sister, born to the OP is also not invited because of his mothers feelings? If this is the groom's half-sister, then he should want her there, dispite his mother's issues. That's his sister! And if the half-sister gets to go, so should her mother to look out for her if she's young.
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