Even after 40 years . . . !
Married for 40 yrs, 2 adult bio-daughters, 3 adult stepdaughters. Wonderful marriage, bumpy when all 5 girls were teenagers (when we married) and all lived with us until they married/went to college, etc., but still crazy in love with DH and him with me. Have developed a good relationship with skids & their families, which is very important to me for my husband's sake; however, my daughters are not considered "family" when a get-together is planned by one of the skids. My girls are not invited to "family" get-togethers, a serious bone of contention for me, but I have tried not to make an issue. His daughters are very close to one another; mine are close to each other. His girls’ families are much larger than my girls’. At holidays all or most are present at our home, all get along well. But my daughters are not thought of as "family." Hurts me; my own girls are OK with it, but it rankles me when they are not invited to "family" events other than ours. Of course I attend, with DH, but it’s hard to put on a happy face when I’m feeling resentful that my girls are left out. Does anyone else have this problem, and if so, how have you handled it?
Have you talked to your husband or any of his girls about it? Do your girls wish they were included more? Do they invite his girls over to their places? Is it possible that a few of them don't get along quite as well as you think?
We haven't had the issue between step siblings specifically, but there was one situation where certain people wouldn't attend an event if certain other people were there. My mom was kept out of the loop regarding the issue because neither side wanted to put her in the middle, and she could go on inviting everyone when she was the host. I beieve the thing that eventually tipped her off that something was going on was that she noticed the people involved just didn't speak about each other anymore when they had previously been socializing quite a bit.
Thanks for your reply. It's new for me to be writing about these issues to strangers, but I'm hoping someone can help me find peace of mind.
My girls (all the girls are in their 50s, so we're not talking youngsters) are very different from my husband's. His are quite social, mine not so much. One of my girls couldn't care less; the other is much more sensitive, although it's probably my sense of the issue that is causing me grief. I honestly don't think my girls would want to attend, as the "other side" (and I really don't like to put it that way, as I am in the middle and have developed very good relationships with his girls and their families) is much more social, mine are not as outgoing. But they are very, VERY different, and actually would not blend well socially except in a total family gathering at our home. What troubles me, and, yes, angers me, is that my girls do not receive invitations to events to which all the other family are invited. Case in point: One daughter is giving a party for her son and his little boy in a couple of weeks. The minute we got the invitation, my stomach knotted up: "here we go again." Because we are out of town and will travel back to our home town for this party, and will be there only a day or two, I will probably not see my girls when we are there. To be honest, I don't even want them to KNOW there is a(nother) party to which they have not been invited. It's just horribly uncomfortable for me.
Of course my husband knows how I feel, and it makes him feel terrible. At one point he told his daughter (the same one) that unless my girls were invited to "family" events, we would not be coming. Well, of course she got upset, said they are not invited to MY daughters' "events" (they don't HAVE "events"!), and I know it would have spread like wildfire through that side of the family, who would all rally against me, so I backed down, told DH we couldn't do that. It's an awful balancing act. I don't want my daughters upset, but I also don't want war with his daughters. So here I am, grinning (NOT) and bearing it. It makes it difficult to enjoy the party, even though I love the girls (yes, I actually do) and our grandchildren. Maybe I should be talking to a shrink.
I have talked to my girls and they hate that I feel caught in the middle. They say they don't care, and, again, I seriously doubt they would attend anyway (they stick pretty close together and don't feel entirely comfortable with their SS's). I am just so resentful that they are not considered part of "the family." We've been a "family" -- maybe the wrong term here -- for 40 years. So this is really more about how I handle this kind of thing every time it comes up.
Wow. I didn't mean to unload so much; just haven't been able to voice this to anyone before. I don't expect answers from anyone, really, as I have to find a place where I can be OK with the situation. I don't expect it to change. Thanks for your reply and to everyone for listening.
Hi! Step-daughter here . . .
I thought I would chime in with my perspective as the odd one out of the step-family bunch. My wonderful step-mother (whom I call a "bonus mom") has been married to my father for over 20 years. She has two daughters who do not include me in anything they do. Honestly, I'm just fine with that. Sure, sometimes it twinges a little, but I really don't have anything in common with them outside of the marriage connection. When we have holiday dinners, we get along just fine, but we are certainly not best friends.
Perhaps your daughters are telling you the truth. Their lack of concern, though, doesn't mean that you shouldn't feel hurt. What it means is that the pain you are feeling is about you, not your daughters. I imagine that you feel personally rejected by your SDDs not including your DDs. Going to a counselor wouldn't be a bad idea. Not because you are somehow wrong for feeling this way, but because it would be helpful to have someone neutral to discuss this with and sort out what next steps to take (if any).
I hope you continue to have a wonderful relationship with your SM -- as I actually do with my SDs. Life is just the way it is, isn't it? :-)
You are a sweetheart for replying. All the best to you, my dear!
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