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Adviced needed again - this time a relative and a wedding.

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Fireball72 posted 5/10/2013 14:38 PM

I have a dilemma regarding my new H’s daughter (now my stepdaughter). Just for background, she’s 19 years old and hasn’t seen her father in some time. H and her mother had an acrimonious relationship, a lot of fighting, so there’s been a few custody issues and the like (unfortunately, H ended up on the losing end of most of them). I suspect there’s been some parental alienation as well, but I don’t get involved in that – it’s not my business.

When my H and I met and began dating, she had Emailed me a nastygram over Facebook. I shrugged it off at the time – I was once 17 and angry so I sort of understood where she was coming from – but it continued to bother me a bit. Still does.

Anyhow, H and his daughter have repaired their relationship since (it’s been about 2 years or so) and she’s getting married in September. H is going to the wedding; I have not been specifically invited, but his daughter had asked, saying, “She’s my stepmother, I’d like to meet her at some point.” H says that that’s his daughter’s indirect way of saying that she wants me there.
I don’t know if she remembers the message that she’d sent me or not.

Here are my sticking points – maybe they’re silly but I need guidance:
1. I never received an apology for the message that she’d sent me. Not one in 2 years.
2. H has sent her 300 dollars for the wedding and is coming to the ceremony. I pitched in an extra 200 dollars to make it an even 500. I do not know if she is aware of my contribution – I am the only reason that she DID get that much. I do not expect a thank-you. It would be extremely difficult for me to swing the airfare (they are 2000 miles away) in order to come, which leads me to point 3….
3. She has not personally asked me to be there. Only “indirectly”, as my H puts it. That’s really not good enough for me – I would like to be asked/invited if she really wants me there badly enough.

I guess what I’m asking here is:
- Do I have a right to continue to remain angry about the message she’d sent? The message content itself no longer stings, but the fact that I haven’t gotten an apology does.
- If she DOES ask me to come to the wedding, should I go despite the financial hassle?

This girl is permanently in my life, for better or worse, so I do want to try and get along with her, but her previous behavior admittedly has gotten under my skin.

Thanks in advance for any advice, SI’ers. You guys have the best wisdom.

Amazonia posted 5/10/2013 14:41 PM

I don’t know if she remembers the message that she’d sent me or not.

She does.
She's probably either:
1) super embarrassed, or
2) still angry

solus sto posted 5/10/2013 14:51 PM

You state that you were once 17 and angry.

There's your answer.

C'mon. She was upset when her dad remarried when she was a kid.

She wants a relationship with you now.

Typically, invitations are sent to weddings. If she is not doing so, and invitations are by word of mouth---and you have NOT spoken with her in the time you've been with her father---I would accept the type of "invitation" you've received---that she asked and said she'd like to know you.

At 19, she's still a kid, basically. You're not. So be the bigger person. Accept that the 17-year-old she once was was hurt and sad and angry that her father was moving into a new relationship. Accept that she is no longer that 17-year-old.

Someone needs to be the grown-up here.

(Far more worrisome to me than a nastygram from a 17-year-old is the ensuing estrangement from her father; I would move heaven and earth to change that.)

Undefinabl3 posted 5/10/2013 15:23 PM

Being a step parent is so much harder then people think.

Honestly, pack that email away in the angry, confused, immature rant of a 17 year old daddy's girl.

I have said horrible mean things to my step father, and I know that i have said them, but I dont remember what they were. 15 or so years later, I have said things like 'i am sorry for being so mean" but i have never apologized for a specfic thing.

Give her time and space, understand that she may not know how to form a relationship with you since she already has a 'mom' and a 'dad', so she may not know how to have a step mom very well.

Go to the wedding, feel glad that you were able to help her out, and dance with your husband.

Sad in AZ posted 5/10/2013 17:11 PM

1) You can stay angry if you want, but it's going to poison any chance of reconciliation with your SD. IMO give up on the apology. It's water under the bridge.
2) Did your H tell her the money was from you also? That's where you need to start on this one. If he didn't, HE needs to tell her that the gift was from both of you and HE owes you an apology.
3)I didn't send my parents or future in-laws an invitation to the wedding. If my father had remarried, I would expect that his wife would come with, unless I specifically told him that I didn't want her there.

Skan posted 5/10/2013 21:13 PM

You really do need to go. You need to meet her and you need to set a precident of the two of you going to family events together. Your H should tell her that you're coming and also let her know that you contributed to her "gift."

Let the anger go. We were all kids, some of us hurting more than others, and we all did hurtful things. Go!

Dreamboat posted 5/11/2013 09:14 AM

Do you know how many horrible awful things my own daughter has said to me? I have never gotten an apology and I never expect one because she is a child. Yes, she is 16 now but she is still a child. At 17 your SD was still a child and at 19 she is just barely and adult and still have a lot of growing up to do. My point is, you should not get upset by the rantings of a child and you need to be forgiving of their social faux paus because they are still learning how to be a productive and compassionate adult.

Find a way to go to the wedding. Your H will be forever grateful that you did, even if he never says that. If you do not go then it will just be another obstacle in the relationship between him and his child.

Gottagetthrough posted 5/11/2013 09:51 AM

(Far more worrisome to me than a nastygram from a 17-year-old is the ensuing estrangement from her father; I would move heaven and earth to change that.)

I agree =)

she is only 19, and probably not mature enough to come to you and say, I messed up, I am sorry. Don't expect an apology like that for years (if you ever get one)

most people like to just gloss over that embarrassing sort of stuff, and try to forget that they were rude.

Go to the wedding. If possible, think of it as a vacation, and a way to show your new H that you support him. You will be there to support him when he sees his XW and estranged daughter. I would say that he needs you there.

But do go.

[This message edited by Gottagetthrough at 9:52 AM, May 11th (Saturday)]

movingforward777 posted 5/11/2013 10:52 AM

I say go and stand proudly beside your H at his daughter's wedding!
In the future there may be grandchildren and the more you can do to help repair/continue the relationship your H has with his daughter the better because he will want to see those grandchildren and it will make that easier...
Forget about the comment made years ago by an angry may get an apology from his daughter later when she does get to know you and realizes your relationship with her father......HUGS

persevere posted 5/11/2013 21:55 PM

I agree with the rest. This is an opportunity to make your true first impression with your stepdaughter - take it, run with it and nail it. You stay in the background but are incredibly kind and calm and make an incredible impression with her in a very quiet way. All you are doing is setting a positive stage for future possibility of a positive relationship. (Just my thoughts because I've done the SD thing, and despite our divorce, she still calls me all the time and we have an amazing relationship).

Fireball72 posted 5/11/2013 22:48 PM

I appreciate all of the responses so far. Just wanted to clarify a couple of things, though -

It's not that I don't WANT to go to the wedding - I do, if I'm invited. The problem is this -

1. I don't actually KNOW that I am, as I haven't been informed of such, and considering the tone of the previous message, I'm not sure that I'm welcome. I'm only going by what my H says she said - I don't have it on good authority that this IS what she actually said, you know?

2. I honestly don't think I'm going to be ABLE to come because of the financial logistics. It took a LOT out of me just to give her that extra money for her wedding present, to be honest. I'm a Federal employee - I'm on sequestration right now and quite frankly, WE'RE hurting. I had to scrape that 200 together just to send it to her - is this the act of someone that doesn't care about her? She's my H's first born and she's special to me because she's special to him, you know?

Still, I want to be able to try and scrape the plane fare together, if I can.

I would love to meet her, get to know her, I've never felt differently. That's why it really hurt when she sent that message, you know?

I know that she's 19, 17 when she sent that to me. But, hey - child or not, words can hurt whether they come from someone who's 17 or 77. This is all new to me, too - I went from being someone who has no children, won't have children, can't have children - to a stepmother of FIVE in one day. I have a hard time dealing with it too, you know?

I'm sympathetic, believe me. My father was a POS that abandoned me when I was young so I know how she feels, I DO know. I didn't respond to her message at all, in any manner. Does that mean that it's not supposed to hurt me?

I mean, if someone I'd called a "F-ing stupid bitch" sent ME 200 dollars for a wedding present, I'd be sure to curse them out more often, you know? I do understand what you're all getting at, but at the same time, being called things like that - for NO REASON - by someone I've never even met? I'm not supposed to feel even a LITTLE ticked off by that?

My H is trying to find out for sure what the status of my "invitation" is - if she wants me there, wants to meet me, I'm willing to do that and try to forge a relationship. Maybe she didn't mean it, maybe she was young and dumb, maybe she's matured, I don't know. I won't hold it against her, if that's the case.

Being a stepmother is proving a lot harder than I ever imagined. (Luckily the other 4 seem to like me just fine.)

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