So how, exactly, was he supposed to word this? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 11-21-2010, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband is running for office. His lit piece and Web site say this:

 

"(His name), his wife Proto, and children (8-year-old) and E. are proud residents of (our neighborhood)."

 

(I don't want this Google-able, hence all the parentheses.)

 

Well, he gave the lit piece to the 8-year-old, and now his ex-wife is all in a huff about how it's worded.

 

She said, specifically, it casts her out of the picture entirely (FYI: they've been divorced for half a decade and separated for more than 7 years) and makes it seem like I'm the 8-year-old's mom.

 

Now, originally the lit design said, "wife proto and THEIR children," but I actually suggested he edit out the "their" so as to not make the claim that I am mom, in part because people in the neighborhood do know us and some might say something.  The way it's worded now completely glosses over who Mom is, to either child, so people make the leap logically rather than grammatically.  We played around with wording a bit, and that's the best we could do.

 

She apparently wants "He lives with his wife Proto, and their son E. and enjoys weekends with his daughter from his first marriage." Yeah, that will go over well on a political flier.   Even taking out the "first marriage" language calls attention to the arrangement and may prompt questions. (Not that people who would have a problem with him having a child or a prior marriage would be voting for him anyway, but still.)

 

That's my (and the professional campaign manager's, FWIW) opinion, anyway. 

 

(As an aside: If he wins the office, he will be paying about $450 more a month in child support than he is now; it's a full-time well-paid office.  So Ex has a vested interest in him winning.)

 

So...yeah. How would you word this? (If I was running, I would probably say, "Proto, her husband, son and stepdaughter live in Milwaukee," but I don't think you can point these things out if you are the parent to both.)

 

(My husband's already moved on--this is a longstanding pattern with them, that every little inadvertent slight on his part is him trying to harm her psychically. I obsess.)


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#2 of 21 Old 11-21-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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The only thing I can think is to completely reword it to take the mention of all 4 of you out of the same sentance. So something like - "(His name) and his family are proud residents of (his neighborhood). (His name) has two children, (8 year old) and (E), and is married to Proto.

 

If you wanted to make it clear that Proto is not the parent to (8year old) you could even say that "(His name's) wife of X years is Proto."

 

But it's water under the bridge. What's done is done. I think the originial phrasing is fine.


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#3 of 21 Old 11-21-2010, 07:30 PM
 
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I have zero experience in politics, but I think that your wording is great.  I think including anything about the visitation schedule or his first marriage is way too much info for a quick blurb about his life.  And as I recall, your dsd spends the whole week there during the summer, so saying he "enjoys weekends with dsd" isn't entirely accurate. 

 

The only way I could think to reword it might be to state that "(His name) is the proud husband to Proto, father of E and dsd, and resident of (neighborhood)."  This doesn't make it any more clear that you are not dsd's mom, but might appease dsd's mom in that it doesn't state that dsd "lives in the neighborhood" with you guys and only describes your husband in the statement, not your dsd.  It's all just semantics really, but maybe it will help.  I should think that it is not a secret that you are not dsd's mom, especially since it sounds like it is a local position, so I think this is just her being a little (somewhat understandaby) insecure.  I can imagine I would be miffed if people thought somebody else was my kid's mother, but I have read some of your posts and she also seems to like finding things to get upset about, so I wouldn't necessarily go nuts worrying about this one (not that it sounds like you were!) ;)


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#4 of 21 Old 11-21-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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Soon-to-be-guy in office, resident of (neighborhood) has two kids, E and dsd, and is married to Proto?

 

But really, I wouldn't change it at all cause 1st wife is just kvetching to kvetch. People who know the situation, won't be confused by the way you have it posted first, people who don't know won't really care.

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#5 of 21 Old 11-22-2010, 05:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by greenemami View Post

I have zero experience in politics, but I think that your wording is great.  I think including anything about the visitation schedule or his first marriage is way too much info for a quick blurb about his life.  And as I recall, your dsd spends the whole week there during the summer, so saying he "enjoys weekends with dsd" isn't entirely accurate. 

 

The only way I could think to reword it might be to state that "(His name) is the proud husband to Proto, father of E and dsd, and resident of (neighborhood)."  This doesn't make it any more clear that you are not dsd's mom, but might appease dsd's mom in that it doesn't state that dsd "lives in the neighborhood" with you guys and only describes your husband in the statement, not your dsd.  It's all just semantics really, but maybe it will help.  I should think that it is not a secret that you are not dsd's mom, especially since it sounds like it is a local position, so I think this is just her being a little (somewhat understandaby) insecure.  I can imagine I would be miffed if people thought somebody else was my kid's mother, but I have read some of your posts and she also seems to like finding things to get upset about, so I wouldn't necessarily go nuts worrying about this one (not that it sounds like you were!) ;)



Yeah. It's a local position to us, but not to her (she lives two counties over).  There are about 50,000 people in the district, maybe half can vote, and I'd be surprised if my husband's ex had even met 5 of them.

 

People assume I'm SD's mom all the time, simply because that's the default for a woman with a kid.  People thought I was my cousins' mom, and I was horrified until I did the age math (I'm 18 years older than the eldest on that side, so, yeah, definitely possible). My SD's figured out when it's a good time to correct people (friends' parents, people we see); and when it's a good time to not worry about it (sample lady at the grocery store; in the ER--she had an injury before my husband and I married, she wanted me there, and we all realized I'd probably get kicked out if people found out I was neither mom nor stepmom).

 

Thanks for some good phrasing--maybe the next lit piece will incorporate some of it.

 

 


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#6 of 21 Old 11-22-2010, 05:58 AM
 
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My suspicion is that there is no way to word this that would satisfy the ex.  She was going to throw a fit no matter what.  Let it go, and remind yourself that she doesn't have a role in this campaign.

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#7 of 21 Old 11-22-2010, 06:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post

The only thing I can think is to completely reword it to take the mention of all 4 of you out of the same sentance. So something like - "(His name) and his family are proud residents of (his neighborhood). (His name) has two children, (8 year old) and (E), and is married to Proto.

 

I would have chosen this wording. When I know people have used the wording you have (I've seen that exact wording in political literature), but I realize there are stepchildren who don't live with them, it feels weird, as if they're trying to hide that they've been married & divorced. I don't care that they have, but it feels to me as if they think not being entirely truthful is the way to go.
 


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#8 of 21 Old 11-22-2010, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post

 

 

If you wanted to make it clear that Proto is not the parent to (8year old) you could even say that "(His name's) wife of X years is Proto."

 

 

Just as an aside, this would probably draw more attention and make people ask/think that we had my SD, together, and then waited 7 years to get married. Not that that would be an issue for a lot of people, but it probably would be for some.

 

(The backwards math also places my son's conception somewhere in the vicinity of our wedding, so people might even start assuming things about him.)

 

As SD's mom made it clear (in a follow-up e-mail this morning! yay!) that she wouldn't be satisfied with any wording that didn't make it perfectly clear that my SD wasn't my daughter (never mind his daughter's feelings got hurt once when I answered "is your son your first?" with "my first, my husband's second--he has a daughter from his first marriage") (she said, "you know, you can call me your daughter, too"), there's not much we can or will do about it.  "They live with their son and his daughter" might be accurate, but it's awkward and I think my SD feel excluded. I've decided (as I have before) that making my SD feel included is more important than making an ex-wife of several years feel included.

 

I wonder what will happen if/when a family portrait is used on the Web site or in literature. Even if it just has a caption of "Candidate and his family."


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#9 of 21 Old 11-22-2010, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post

The only thing I can think is to completely reword it to take the mention of all 4 of you out of the same sentance. So something like - "(His name) and his family are proud residents of (his neighborhood). (His name) has two children, (8 year old) and (E), and is married to Proto.

 

I would have chosen this wording. When I know people have used the wording you have (I've seen that exact wording in political literature), but I realize there are stepchildren who don't live with them, it feels weird, as if they're trying to hide that they've been married & divorced. I don't care that they have, but it feels to me as if they think not being entirely truthful is the way to go.
 

 

(To be clear: My husband does not have stepchildren who do not live with him...at least, that I know of. ;-) He has joint legal custody and shared physical placement of a child who lives with us about 35% of the time. If he had a stepchild, he'd probably list him or her as a stepchild.)


To play devil's advocate (because overall, I think the above is is decent wording): Wouldn't that also suggest that I am not my son's mother? (And could that lead to questions about what the heck a man with a four-month-old is doing married to another woman?)

 

(And yeah, it still wouldn't satisfy his ex because it doesn't specifically state I'm not her mom.)

 

 He's always truthful when people ask uncomfortable questions: "Are you a Christian?" (This is not an uncomfortable question, but the follow-up to his "no" usually is.) "Do you support abortion?" ("Abortion is outside the purview of this office, but yes, I support the right to choose.") Political literature is so much marketing, though--by design, it places the candidate in the best possible light.


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#10 of 21 Old 11-22-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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This is one of those things to just ignore. And maybe you cam get your DSD a big 8 by 10 glossy of the "family picture" to hang in her room at Mom's house, bwah hah hah. 

 

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#11 of 21 Old 11-22-2010, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is one of those things to just ignore. And maybe you cam get your DSD a big 8 by 10 glossy of the "family picture" to hang in her room at Mom's house, bwah hah hah. 

 



thumb.gif


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#12 of 21 Old 11-22-2010, 03:47 PM
 
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How much trouble can dsd's mom cause to the campaign if she objects to the wording?  I think she's out of line, but if she could hurt things...

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#13 of 21 Old 11-22-2010, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How much trouble can dsd's mom cause to the campaign if she objects to the wording?  I think she's out of line, but if she could hurt things...



I don't see that happening. She complains (loudly), but doesn't exact revenge. 

 

That and she does realize it's in everyone's best interest (including her daughter's) if my husband wins--his placement time won't change, his availability won't change, but his income and future potential will. She's usually pretty rational in public when it comes to that.


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#14 of 21 Old 11-22-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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Okay.  Carry on then.  :)

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#15 of 21 Old 11-22-2010, 07:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post

My suspicion is that there is no way to word this that would satisfy the ex.  She was going to throw a fit no matter what.  Let it go, and remind yourself that she doesn't have a role in this campaign.



Yep.

 

I ran this by DH, to see how he would do it if DSD's mom were running for office, as well as how he would do it if he were running.  His take was that if DSD's mom were running (and married to her current BF who has two kids), was that she should say "Mom and stepmom of five."  No mention of him or her stepchildren's mom, because "As a candidate, you want to cast yourself in the best light possible."  And simplest, IMO.  When I read him what your DH's lit said, he was baffled as to why this was an issue.  He said that his bio would read similarly, as all of the children in the equation are his children.

 

Carry on.  And good luck!

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#16 of 21 Old 11-24-2010, 06:20 AM
 
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I think it's totally fine.  The ex apparently just likes drama.  I mean, I get feeling "left out" or slighted because of things like this -- I've been there in regards to my daughter & her father, but I know it's stupid & move on without making a fuss.  I mean, really, that's the only reasonable way you could have worded it.

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#17 of 21 Old 11-24-2010, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by becoming View Post

I think it's totally fine.  The ex apparently just likes drama.  I mean, I get feeling "left out" or slighted because of things like this -- I've been there in regards to my daughter & her father, but I know it's stupid & move on without making a fuss.  I mean, really, that's the only reasonable way you could have worded it.


 

My husband suggested doing a mock-up of one:

 

"Candidate lives with his wife Proto, their son E who may or may not have been conceived on their wedding night but may have been conceived the week before and it doesn't matter because they were living in sin for three years before that anyway, and HIS daughter from his first marriage, but only 35 percent of the time based on the parenting plan jointly agreed to by Candidate and (EX'S NAME), although in actual practice it comes out to be closer to 37 or 38%, depending on whether EX is doing anything interesting for Christmas."


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#18 of 21 Old 11-24-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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yeahthat.gif       biglaugh.gif

 

But I honestly wouldn't worry what the EX said. Seems to me like you already know she is all bark and no bite. Word it however DH and the campaign manager feel is appropriate and leave it at that.


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#19 of 21 Old 11-28-2010, 09:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by becoming View Post

I think it's totally fine.  The ex apparently just likes drama.  I mean, I get feeling "left out" or slighted because of things like this -- I've been there in regards to my daughter & her father, but I know it's stupid & move on without making a fuss.  I mean, really, that's the only reasonable way you could have worded it.


 

My husband suggested doing a mock-up of one:

 

"Candidate lives with his wife Proto, their son E who may or may not have been conceived on their wedding night but may have been conceived the week before and it doesn't matter because they were living in sin for three years before that anyway, and HIS daughter from his first marriage, but only 35 percent of the time based on the parenting plan jointly agreed to by Candidate and (EX'S NAME), although in actual practice it comes out to be closer to 37 or 38%, depending on whether EX is doing anything interesting for Christmas."


Now that is perfect. thumb.gif

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#20 of 21 Old 11-29-2010, 05:17 PM
 
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:rotflmao
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by becoming View Post

I think it's totally fine.  The ex apparently just likes drama.  I mean, I get feeling "left out" or slighted because of things like this -- I've been there in regards to my daughter & her father, but I know it's stupid & move on without making a fuss.  I mean, really, that's the only reasonable way you could have worded it.


 

My husband suggested doing a mock-up of one:

 

"Candidate lives with his wife Proto, their son E who may or may not have been conceived on their wedding night but may have been conceived the week before and it doesn't matter because they were living in sin for three years before that anyway, and HIS daughter from his first marriage, but only 35 percent of the time based on the parenting plan jointly agreed to by Candidate and (EX'S NAME), although in actual practice it comes out to be closer to 37 or 38%, depending on whether EX is doing anything interesting for Christmas."




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#21 of 21 Old 12-07-2010, 03:59 PM
 
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I'd vote for that guy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by becoming View Post

I think it's totally fine.  The ex apparently just likes drama.  I mean, I get feeling "left out" or slighted because of things like this -- I've been there in regards to my daughter & her father, but I know it's stupid & move on without making a fuss.  I mean, really, that's the only reasonable way you could have worded it.


 

My husband suggested doing a mock-up of one:

 

"Candidate lives with his wife Proto, their son E who may or may not have been conceived on their wedding night but may have been conceived the week before and it doesn't matter because they were living in sin for three years before that anyway, and HIS daughter from his first marriage, but only 35 percent of the time based on the parenting plan jointly agreed to by Candidate and (EX'S NAME), although in actual practice it comes out to be closer to 37 or 38%, depending on whether EX is doing anything interesting for Christmas."




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