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Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please

My parents are bitterly divorced and my mother just cannot be around my father without suffering an emotional outburst. It's been 10 years since they split (and he remarried days after that was finalized--to his mistress, hence part of the bitter part) and each time my Mom has to be near him and my stepmother, she suffers a meltdown.

This is not my first rodeo. I got married in my early 20s (I'm approaching mid-30s now); nearly 2 years and several thousand dollars went into planning our wedding...only to have my mother denigrate what was supposed to be our elegant special day into a Jerry Springer show. It was awful. Epic. People still talk about it. Mother screaming during family photo time, storming off...mother ripping the gift card/money box out of my stepmother's hands...stepmother exacting her revenge by humping my father on the dance floor. AWFUL.

The marriage lasted only a few months (great guy; we were young and it didn't work out) so now that I've met the man I feel so blessed to call my Mr. Right...

Well, I just cannot go through that again and I feel this is my redemption of sorts. My mulligan marriage; my do over. Not just for me, but for Mom, too. That one day resulted in both my brothers eloping and they don't even have family birthday parties for their children because they can't stand to have my parents together. Mom swears she's over it, but at my master's commencement in 2008, she left the ceremony because she couldn't handle watching me with Dad and family; for my sister-in-law's baby shower a couple years ago, she refused to come because my stepmother was invited and threw a tantrum demanding my stepmother be uninvited.

I feel for her, I do.

At the same time, I'm just learning to accept the situation for what it is and not tempt fate. Frankly, a big part of me wants to elope but the groom will not go fo that. At all. I appreciate that. He's a good man and asks very little of me. The least I can do is have a wedding.

But...I do not want my mother there. Rephrase: I do not want my parents there together in the same room at the same time.

Mom has also said she doesn't want to come anyway because she knows that everyone is keeping an eye on her, waiting for her to do something. She told me she honestly cannot guarantee me that she won't act out; she said the only way she can guarantee that is if she's not there.

But not having Mom there on my wedding day crushes me...but not as much as it would crush me to watch security escort her out (did I mention the day after my wedding she drove to my father's house and refused to leave until the police came to escort her off his property?). Or to have my day ruined (I admit it: knowing my mom is upset crushes me).

My reconciliation is this: hold an engagement party that Mom attends, then Dad attends the wedding. OR this: both parents live in San Diego and I'm in Baltimore; we have an east coast wedding (with Dad and the groom's family) and then a west coast reception (with mom and my friends/family there).

Why does Dad get the wedding over mom? Honestly, he's not the one who ruins stuff.  Sure, he sucked at being a husband, but he's a great Dad to me. I appreciate Mom's pain, I do. I really do. 364 days a year I'm sympathetic to it; but for one day, I just want her to not focus on her and focus on me...and she's proven it's just too much for her.

I'd really appreciate your advice and wisdom.

Thank you and God bless.
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Re: Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please

  • In Response to Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please:
    My parents are bitterly divorced and my mother just cannot be around my father without suffering an emotional outburst. It's been 10 years since they split (and he remarried days after that was finalized--to his mistress, hence part of the bitter part) and each time my Mom has to be near him and my stepmother, she suffers a meltdown. This is not my first rodeo. I got married in my early 20s (I'm approaching mid-30s now); nearly 2 years and several thousand dollars went into planning our wedding...only to have my mother denigrate what was supposed to be our elegant special day into a Jerry Springer show. It was awful. Epic. People still talk about it. Mother screaming during family photo time, storming off...mother ripping the gift card/money box out of my stepmother's hands...stepmother exacting her revenge by humping my father on the dance floor. AWFUL. The marriage lasted only a few months (great guy; we were young and it didn't work out) so now that I've met the man I feel so blessed to call my Mr. Right... Well, I just cannot go through that again and I feel this is my redemption of sorts. My mulligan marriage; my do over. Not just for me, but for Mom, too. That one day resulted in both my brothers eloping and they don't even have family birthday parties for their children because they can't stand to have my parents together. Mom swears she's over it, but at my master's commencement in 2008, she left the ceremony because she couldn't handle watching me with Dad and family; for my sister-in-law's baby shower a couple years ago, she refused to come because my stepmother was invited and threw a tantrum demanding my stepmother be uninvited. I feel for her, I do. At the same time, I'm just learning to accept the situation for what it is and not tempt fate. Frankly, a big part of me wants to elope but the groom will not go fo that. At all. I appreciate that. He's a good man and asks very little of me. The least I can do is have a wedding. But...I do not want my mother there. Rephrase: I do not want my parents there together in the same room at the same time. Mom has also said she doesn't want to come anyway because she knows that everyone is keeping an eye on her, waiting for her to do something. She told me she honestly cannot guarantee me that she won't act out; she said the only way she can guarantee that is if she's not there. But not having Mom there on my wedding day crushes me...but not as much as it would crush me to watch security escort her out (did I mention the day after my wedding she drove to my father's house and refused to leave until the police came to escort her off his property?). Or to have my day ruined (I admit it: knowing my mom is upset crushes me). My reconciliation is this: hold an engagement party that Mom attends, then Dad attends the wedding. OR this: both parents live in San Diego and I'm in Baltimore; we have an east coast wedding (with Dad and the groom's family) and then a west coast reception (with mom and my friends/family there). Why does Dad get the wedding over mom? Honestly, he's not the one who ruins stuff.  Sure, he sucked at being a husband, but he's a great Dad to me. I appreciate Mom's pain, I do. I really do. 364 days a year I'm sympathetic to it; but for one day, I just want her to not focus on her and focus on me...and she's proven it's just too much for her. I'd really appreciate your advice and wisdom. Thank you and God bless.
    Posted by jenferian

    This situation sucks. No two ways about that.  My advice is to let your mom throw you an e-party, and then ask her (or take her up on her offer) not to attend the wedding.

    Dad gets wedding over mom because Mom is the one who causes the drama.  yeah, he left her and he was an asshole at the time. That sucks for her.  But, she is still causing grief and drama 10 years later?  To me, that means she needs to stay at home.  I know that is a horrible decision to have to make. But, having her at the wedding is likely going to stress you the hell out the whole time, just waiting for her blow up.  I would much rather miss her, than worry about her being a psycho.

    I would skip the do-over on the east coast/west coast thing. 

  • I agree, you have arrived at your decision from a thoughtful and reasonable place, not a place of emotional overreaction.

    Let your mother have the e-party, and then your father can have the wedding.  I understand your pain, but she's relinquished her seat at the wedding with her behavior.  She even knows she has, by her own admission.
    Don't make me mobilize OffensiveKitten

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    Anniversary

  • Holy crap.

    My dad isn't over my parent's divorce, either, but not to the point where the cops needed to be called. 
    Your mom needs help, which I'm sure you realize.
    Is your mom seeing a therapist? 

    Has anyone tried to ignore her when she starts in on people? Or does she get violent?
    image
  • LoopysevenLoopyseven member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 5 Love Its
    edited November 2012
    In Response to Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please:
    My parents are bitterly divorced and my mother just cannot be around my father without suffering an emotional outburst. It's been 10 years since they split (and he remarried days after that was finalized--to his mistress, hence part of the bitter part) and each time my Mom has to be near him and my stepmother, she suffers a meltdown. This is not my first rodeo. I got married in my early 20s (I'm approaching mid-30s now); nearly 2 years and several thousand dollars went into planning our wedding...only to have my mother denigrate what was supposed to be our elegant special day into a Jerry Springer show. It was awful. Epic. People still talk about it. Mother screaming during family photo time, storming off...mother ripping the gift card/money box out of my stepmother's hands...stepmother exacting her revenge by humping my father on the dance floor. AWFUL. The marriage lasted only a few months (great guy; we were young and it didn't work out) so now that I've met the man I feel so blessed to call my Mr. Right... Well, I just cannot go through that again and I feel this is my redemption of sorts. My mulligan marriage; my do over. Not just for me, but for Mom, too. That one day resulted in both my brothers eloping and they don't even have family birthday parties for their children because they can't stand to have my parents together. Mom swears she's over it, but at my master's commencement in 2008, she left the ceremony because she couldn't handle watching me with Dad and family; for my sister-in-law's baby shower a couple years ago, she refused to come because my stepmother was invited and threw a tantrum demanding my stepmother be uninvited. I feel for her, I do. At the same time, I'm just learning to accept the situation for what it is and not tempt fate. Frankly, a big part of me wants to elope but the groom will not go fo that. At all. I appreciate that. He's a good man and asks very little of me. The least I can do is have a wedding. But...I do not want my mother there. Rephrase: I do not want my parents there together in the same room at the same time. Mom has also said she doesn't want to come anyway because she knows that everyone is keeping an eye on her, waiting for her to do something. She told me she honestly cannot guarantee me that she won't act out; she said the only way she can guarantee that is if she's not there. But not having Mom there on my wedding day crushes me...but not as much as it would crush me to watch security escort her out (did I mention the day after my wedding she drove to my father's house and refused to leave until the police came to escort her off his property?). Or to have my day ruined (I admit it: knowing my mom is upset crushes me). My reconciliation is this: hold an engagement party that Mom attends, then Dad attends the wedding. OR this: both parents live in San Diego and I'm in Baltimore; we have an east coast wedding (with Dad and the groom's family) and then a west coast reception (with mom and my friends/family there). Why does Dad get the wedding over mom? Honestly, he's not the one who ruins stuff.  Sure, he sucked at being a husband, but he's a great Dad to me. I appreciate Mom's pain, I do. I really do. 364 days a year I'm sympathetic to it; but for one day, I just want her to not focus on her and focus on me...and she's proven it's just too much for her. I'd really appreciate your advice and wisdom. Thank you and God bless.
    Posted by jenferian

    I'm sorry that your mom can't grow up and put on a happy face for you for one day, or can't be sure that she can in any case.  It's sad that 10 years after the fact she is still hanging onto this feud at the expense of her relationship with you.

    The east coast/west coast thing is not a good idea, I don't think.  The reception is the thank you to your guests for attending the wedding, so you will have to host something for anyone who would come to the ceremony in Baltimore.  And a reception on the west coast for people not invited to the east coast ceremony just screams gift-grabby.  The reception and ceremony go together and those invited to one, need to be invited to the other.

    If you really can't imagine your wedding to the man you love without inviting your mom, invite your mom.  But as it sounds like you've already talked about it since you said she said she wasn't sure she could handle being in the room with your dad, I'd sit down and have a frank discussion with her.  Tell her you can't imagine your wedding day without her there, but as crappy of a husband you dad was, he was a good dad and you can't imagine it without him either.  Tell her they don't have to walk in together, they don't have to sit together at the ceremony (1st and 2nd or 1st and 3rd pews.. whatever), you will put them at different tables at the reception and try to make the tables far apart within the room, and the ultimate choice is hers whether she can put it behind her for the few hours of the ceremony/reception so you can enjoy your day with both of your parents present and behaving and leave the choice up to her.  If she cannot commit to behaving herself, than unfortunately she is the one missing out and it is her choice.  

    Would she be receptive at all to seeing someone, a therapist or something, to discuss why she cannot control her behavior around them 10 years after the fact?  A third party may be able to help her start to come to terms with the situation.  What's going to happen if/when you guys have kids and they get baptised, graduate, etc.  Is she going to miss out on all of these milestone because she can't handle seeing your dad?  That's a lot of grudge to hold.


  • Wow, I feel for you more than you can imagine!
         
    I am a MOB, divorced way before our daughter was even thinking about marriage, well, high school even )

    As you did, I simply married too young.  Of course, he was THE love of my life and if we didn't get married immediately, the world would end. (remember the feeling)

    Both my ExH and I adore our daughter.  In fact, we love her enough to do anything to make her happy.  This does include acting like parents when the need arrives.  Neither one of us are bad people, just bad for eachother.  That happens often, I'm afraid.

    For alll of her life, we have gone out of our way to make sure that she came first, way before any old garbage we had between us.   That's the past and you and your FI are working on the future.  We were the two who made the mistake, not you & your FI.

    IMO, I think you just have to lay it out for both of them.   You love them both and want them at your wedding.  They may choose rehashing bad times in the past or the good things that may come with your new marriage.

    I really don't think that there is much you can do other than this.  Hire guards to keep them apart?  I wouldnt  but it's your call.

    The winner is the person who loves you enough to act like a mature adult and put the past aside for your wedding.  I hope they both can do that.

    I wish you a ton of luck and as much happiness.  Do let us know how this works out!!

    Hugs

  • I'm in the camp that's a little more ok with having a second party, I think they can work out fine, as long as they're gone about in the right way.

    I've seen/heard of several brides who do lower key events after the wedding when they have weddings far away as a way to celebrate with people who weren't able to travel for it (note, not that these are people who weren't invited, they were all people who were invited but just not able to make it). 

    The best way it seems to go about this without seeming "gift-grabby" is to make it low key, and avoid traditional wedding elements like cake-cutting, first dances, etc. You can share wedding photos and videos, but it's typically frowned upon to wear the big white dress and such.

    If you decide that you want to have 2 parties (either this or an e-party+the wedding), I think it's up to you which you'd rather do, but IMHO I think either would be fine.
  • Wow. I feel for you. Reading this hits a little close to home.

    My parents divorced 12 years ago. I was 20 years old, a junior in college and didn't see it coming at all. It got pretty nasty for awhile and then there was nothing for about 4 years. I managed to keep a close relationship with my Mom throughout but my Dad just sort of zoned out... he had a girlfriend almost instantly, which my Mom is certain he had before they divorced.

    Anyway, the first 6 years were awful. Huge emotions all around, fights, grudges, silent treatment, court... you name it. The last 6 years have been relatively quiet and slowly but surely everyone has healed. It was a really hard road. 

    Now that I am engaged and planning my dream wedding with my Mom, the emotions have started showing up again. Not too bad... but my Mom really doesn't want him there, nor does she believe he deserves to walk me down the aisle. We've talked about this numerous times and she's been really great about venting her emotions out now. She realizes that this is about me. It's my wedding. Its not about her or them or their marriage. But I did have to tell her straight out that I need her there for me and I need her to suck it up for one day because I need my Dad there too. Once I said that clearly she really got the message.

    My Dad has since married his girlfriend (just this past Feb actually -and he didn't tell me until a few weeks ago, because he didn't know how to tell me after I'd announced my engagement in May... didn't want to upstage me, which is the most grown up thing he's done for me in 6 years!) and she will be at the wedding. I made sure to tell my Mom about this right away so she'd have time to process before the wedding. 

    Why am I telling you all this? Because I feel for you. It always helps me to share stories of crazy emotional parents. Your Mom seems like she's still stuck in flux... 10 years is a long time to still be this affected. I hope she can find a way through this. 

    As daughters, all we can do is try to be there for them -which we have! But yes, I'm with you on your decision. You deserve to have your day. If she really can't control herself than its best that she stay away. But its not because of you, its on her if she can't be there for you as your Mom on your wedding day -regardless of her own misgivings with her ex. I'm sad for her in this case. But you just keep your head up and enjoy your wedding.

    As far as the parties go... I'd have an engagement party in SD with your Mom and her family and your friends. Then plan your wedding in Baltimore. Invite everyone that you want, including your Mom (she may decline), and leave it at that. No need to have an additional reception, etc. 
     

    Anniversary
  • I am with oot here.  My ex-h and I  share 2 grown DD's.  We sat side by side at #1's wedding, we sat together at graduations, school programs, choir concerts, and parent teacher conferences.  We were also at the hospital waiting room together when our grandchildren were born.  We attend the gkid's bday parties and sometimes they are hosted at his house and sometimes they are hosted at mine.  Our girls have always come first.

    Your mom's actions and attitudes are inexcusable in my book.  She needs some counseling and help.  I applaud your brothers for setting boundaries for their weddings and not playing into her garbage.

    I think people WILL wonder if she will have the epic meltdown hissy fit at your wedding and I don't think you should invite her.  In this case I see no issue with having a second reception with your mom as long as all of the guests were invited to the wedding to begin with.

    I am so sorry you are dealing with this and I find it appalling.  good luck with your planning and set some strong boundaries here so she doesn't ruin this wedding.
  • Considering the situation, I do not find the idea of two receptions "gift-grabby". 
    I'm sure people will see it as wanting to have a party to celebrate your nuptials with your mother and her side of the family, and not trying to tick off the last couple of check boxes on your registry.  
    Whether it be an engagement party or a mother's reception, you deserve to celebrate with all of your family.
  • I'm on team "2 events" - have mom host an E-party or a post-wedding party (NOT a 2nd reception- no big dress, ceremony, tosses, or 1st dances). BUT, make sure to invite her to the wedding too even though she most likely will not go.

    I'm NYE and I have a bitter parents situation also- Permanent restraining order on Dad from Mom and the property we live on. They've been divorced 15 years and for the first 12 he could still pick us up on the property and then got ballsy and took some things and broke some things. She has PTSD from the marriage and divorce (had 2 emotional break downs), so every time he's brought up its reliving the whole thing. Right now he's forcing the sale of the house becuase I'm legally emancipated which is making my 24 yo brother (High-functioning autistic with high anxiety, 0 relationship with dad also, was abused by him, and my mom has guardianship over- which Dad fought) revert in his development.

    When my time comes around, IDK what I'm going to do. I may have to notify the police that they will be attending the same event....

    At least your mother is adult-enough about the situation to realize that she will be uncontrollable. Can you skype with her the morning of? Send her pics and talk with her during the getting ready part?
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    In Response to Re: Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please:
    I think people WILL wonder if she will have the epic meltdown hissy fit at your wedding and I don't think you should invite her.  In this case I see no issue with having a second reception with your mom as long as all of the guests were invited to the wedding to begin with.
    Posted by kmmssg
    This. And big cyber hugs to you for going through something so difficult!  
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • arco13arco13 member
    100 Comments
    edited November 2012
    In Response to Re: Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please:
    I would go with seperate parties.  As to who gets wedding v engagement party, that is your call.  BTW, as to your mom ripping the box out of SMs hands, what the heck was SM doing with it anyway?  It may be that SM oversteps/pushes buttons.   Its seems that your mom is looking for solutions, and recognizing her own failings (and may be the only parent you have that is willing to do so). 
    Posted by NYUgirl100
    This is completely beside the point. SM would have to be doing a lot worse than that to warrant OPs mother's behavior, and that wasn't the only incident of poor behavior on OP's mother's part. From someone who has a wonderful mother and 2 wonderful step moms, they're not all like the one in Cinderella.

    OP, I really am sorry for what you're going through. My mom isn't my dad's biggest fan, but they can at least be civil around each other. *cyberhugs*

    ETA: Though I will say after rereading the OP, it doesn't sound like after the card box incidentt the SM was much of peach herself by humping the dad on the dance floor. Either way, neither behavior is really acceptable.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If your mom says that she will decline to attend your wedding, do you think she would be comfortable just attending the ceremony to see you two get married.  I realize she would be traveling cross country for a ceremony, but perhaps this could be a compromise for the two of you.  It would be a shorter amount of time that mom would need to be on her best behavior.

    I also think mom needs to see someone about this behavior. She needs to talk to someone since she still has meltdowns 10 years later.  If she wants to hold resentment towards your father, she can, but the fact that she acts out is not healthy at all.

    If you mom doesn't want to do the ceremony only idea, I would go with the engagement party for mom and the wedding for dad.
  • In Response to Re:Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please:
    I would go with seperate parties.nbsp; As to who gets wedding v engagement party, that is your call.nbsp; BTW, as to your mom ripping the box out of SMs hands, what the heck was SM doing with it anyway?nbsp; It may be that SM oversteps/pushes buttons. nbsp; Its seems that your mom is looking for solutions, and recognizing her own failings and may be the only parent you have that is willing to do so.nbsp; Posted by NYUgirl100
    We should start taking bets on how long it takes NYU to respond to threads blaming the stepparent for other people's inappropriate actions. Seriously, NYU? The SM was HOLDING the card box. How is that in any way, shape, or form "overstepping her bounds"? My stepdad held our cardbox... but gasp, his name was on our invitation, too. The SM didn't cheat on the mother and it was TEN YEARS AGO. I understand there still being hurt and bad feelings, but really? To hold onto things to the point of flying off the handle? Her mother needs therapy. But then again, so do you, since you can't seem to grasp that Daddy Pocketbooks cheated on your mom and his wife is now, you know, his WIFE and not the sole reason for your parents' divorce. Psycho.
  • Ah yes....NYU - step mother basher of all times, strikes again.
  • In Response to Re:Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please:
    Kelley, the first marriage of OP seems to be right after the divorce based on her age at time.nbsp;nbsp; Yes, I think that SM holding the card box etc given the timing was an overstep by her.nbsp; Posted by NYUgirl100
    Seriously, my name is RIGHT THERE and you can't spell it right? And let's be honest, stepparents can do NO right in your eyes, regardless of timing as a result of Daddy Pocketbooks cheating on your mom with his now wife.... shocking, NYU in a thread blaming the stepparent for drama and totally ignoring the other party's apparent need for therapeutic help.
  • TheVirginiansTheVirginians member
    500 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited November 2012
    In Response to Re: Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please:
    I would go with seperate parties.  As to who gets wedding v engagement party, that is your call.  BTW, as to your mom ripping the box out of SMs hands, what the heck was SM doing with it anyway?  It may be that SM oversteps/pushes buttons.   Its seems that your mom is looking for solutions, and recognizing her own failings (and may be the only parent you have that is willing to do so). 
    Posted by NYUgirl100
    Really, you got out of this was stepmom holding the box was the problem? Maybe the bride asked her to hold it. Also, mom was the only parent owning her failing? Nothing led you to believe that. Seriously?
  • edited November 2012
    It sounds like SM acted immaturely at OP's first wedding (dirty dancing if front of her H's recently-Ex-wife), but her mom went flat-out BSC.  Big difference.  And mom went crazy just being in her ex's presence at the ceremony, long before the dirty dancing took place at the reception.  I'm sorry NYU, I have to agree that your hatred of your own SM is probably clouding your interpretation of this situation.

    OP, I think PPs gave good advice.  I'm sorry (to you and to your mom) that she is having such a hard time moving on.  I agree that therapy would probably be beneficial to her.  I think you are handling this situation very well!  I would definitely either let your mom host an e-party or having a post-wedding celebration with her and your friends.  Just make sure that everyone invited to the event is invited to the wedding as well.  Good Luck!
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  • edited November 2012
    In Response to Re: Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please:
    DaveandKristen, my point is we really don't know. WHY would SM pick up the card/gift box at her brand new affair partner/DH's daughter's wedding?  To push a button, or just overstep?  And wasn't that what started the grabbing.  But yes, I agree seperate functions. 
    Posted by NYUgirl100
    Considering the OP described it as "...only to have my mother denigrate what was supposed to be our elegant special day into a Jerry Springer show. It was awful. Epic. People still talk about it. Mother screaming during family photo time, storming off...mother ripping the gift card/money box out of my stepmother's hands..." it doesn't sound to me like mom's behavior re:SM holding the cardbox was warrented.  Like Edie said, maybe she was just moving it somewhere safe, or carrying it from the car to it's location in the reception hall.  Maybe this pissed off OP's mom because she didn't want to give SM any opportunity to do something nice?  I don't know any better than you do, but the point is that OP did not describe this as a problem with her stepmom, she described it as her mother whose behavior was unstable and inappropriate.  Just let your usual SM rhetoric go on this one, it has nothing to do with anything. 
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  • In Response to Re:Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please:
    OK, KELLY, YOU got the timeline wrong, and you critisize me for typo?nbsp; HAHA.nbsp; Yes, it seems like the SM did increase the drama, an not only with the humping on the dance floor. nbsp;At least the mom owns her role in this.nbsp; Posted by NYUgirl100
    It's "critiCize"... but no, I didn't get the timeline wrong. Her mom is saying that she may not be able to control herself now... TEN YEARS LATER. And frankly, even if it was ten DAYS, truly mature adults are able to put aside their differences for ten freaking hours at their daughter's WEDDING. If they can't do that, much like you can't let your father's affair go other than to accept his money, they need professional help. But per usual, your hatred for your dad's wife clouds your view and your advice.
  • Thanks for all your suggestions and personal stories. I especially appreciated those who've been thru this, too.

    Last night, my friend's husband unexpectedly passed away. I woke up this morning incredibly grateful that my biggest problem is that my parents don't get along. I have a man who loves me and parents who want to travel cross country to share in my special day.

    I had a long talk with Mom today. I owe it to her, to me, to my future husband, and our marriage to let go of the past and let this be a NEW chapter.

    I know I said I don't want to tempt fate and invite drama into my wedding, but you know, I only have these two parents. My future husband is my rock and my parents REALLY love him a lot, and they love me a lot, too. I just can't imagine not having Momma there on my wedding day, BSC and all. I'm just going to have to let go and stop focusing on the "what if" and be positive and hope and pray everyone gets along.

    And make sure I have plenty of champagne near me at ALL times. Maybe I'LL be the one who loses her sh*t at the wedding-hahaha!

    Seriously, in the grand scheme of life (and not to be dismissive about the importance of weddings), it's one day. I have no control over anything in life. None. Zero. My job is to put on a pretty white gown, show up, commit myself before God and family to the love of my life...then go and party and have FUN.

    Also: what set Mom off originally was when the photographer asked the bride's family to come forward for pictures and my stepmother rolled up before my Mom. Mom LOST it. I really do not believe my SM was being nasty or bitchy or trying to show up my Mom; I think she figured hey, we're the bride's family.

    And yes, my parents divorced when I was 21 and I got married a year after Dad remarried, so it was still very fresh. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that in ten years, Mom hasn't found a new mate. Her children have grown and married (or are marrying in my case) and have families of their own and she feels left out. My response to this is to include her even more, despite the 3,000 mile difference between us. I think that might help.

    On the plus side, the groom has a bazillon loud Italian family members attending who will drown out any of Mom's screaming ;)

    ...I think sometimes with wedding planning, we get so caught up in trying to control every little thing that we lose sight of the really BIG event--that you've found someone who you love enough to commit your entire life to. That is HUGE. So many people go looking for love and never find it. People are lonely and sad. But us brides--we've found someone who loves us, who wants to see us through sickness and health, who will hold our hands through everything life throws at us. For me, I'm going to focus on that. I'm going to focus on being happy and positive and be GRATEFUL that I am so lucky to have found someone I love so much and that all of our friends and family members want to travel here to share in that truly amazing day with us.

    Thank you, again. I'm sorry I turned on 180 on y'all. It's just my friend's husband's passing last night just gave me that kick I needed to realize what's important and how ridiculous it is to try and control everything.

    Thank you. Take care and God bless.

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  • In Response to Re: Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please:
    DaveandKristen, my point is we really don't know. WHY would SM pick up the card/gift box at her brand new affair partner/DH's daughter's wedding?  To push a button, or just overstep?  And wasn't that what started the grabbing.  But yes, I agree seperate functions. 
    Posted by NYUgirl100
    She picked it up, because she is the wife of the father of the bride maybe?  Cheater or not, she was married to the OP's dad.  Mom went nuts during the family photos.  Mom went nuts over the card box.  Mom generally went nuts, and the thing you focus on is that SM picked up the card box?    Maybe SM was inappropriate on the dance floor, or maybe that's just the way she dances on a regular basis. The point is, she wasn't DOING anything to OP's mom.  OPs mom just lost her shitt.  

    This isn't SM's fault or problem to deal with at all. 
  • Yeah, I gotta defend my SM here. Marriages are hard and I don't blame my SM for stealing my Dad away. Sure, my judgey side would say she lacks a bit of moral fiber, but then the same coud be said for my Dad. And me. And everyone who hasn't walked on water.

    People make my mistakes.

    Like my Mom did when she tried to rip the box out of my SM's hands. Or lost her sh*t screaming and stormed off and locked herself in the restroom (shout out to my BFF/MOH who put my Mom in check and told her to handle herself STAT).

    Now the dirty dancing on the dance floor? Poor taste. But people act nasty sometimes when they're on the defensive. The previous day at the rehearsal dinner, SM offered my Mom a glass of wine and Mom straight up ignored her in front of everyone.

    It's easy to blame the woman. Dad was gonna leave mom. Happy men in happy relationships don't cheat. That's just how it is, sorry. I don't blame my SM anymore than i blame Dad.

    So yeah, everyone acted like a$$holes that night.

    I lucked out with my SM. She has helped me SO much in life. I'm very grateful for her. If I held onto all the pain from the divorce, I'd but a nut job. I have to forgive--not for them, but for me and my sanity. People don't live high up on pedestals, so don't be surprise when someone you place up there falls hard.

    I'm really sorry your parent's marriage didn't work out. It is painfully, brutally raw and painful to watch that. I am so sorry you hurt. Truly. I am really really sorry for your pain. My humble advice is to forgive and move on. Love is acceptance. I love my Dad very much, so I accept that he makes mistakes. So does my Mom.
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  • In Response to Re: Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please:
    Jen, so sorry about your friend's loss, but glad you are moving forward.  It seemed to me that your SM did do a number of things to set off your mother, but your mom is at least mature enough to recognzie it.  Good luck. 
    Posted by NYUgirl100
    I appreciate your comment. However, I have to defend my SM here. She didn't "do a number of things to set off" my Mom. Mom was emotional and still hurting really bad from the divorce. Not only was I getting married, but I had JUST graduated college a week earlier and was preparing to move cross country with my husband. She was realizing how alone she was going to feel, I think, and that much emotional pain erupted at my wedding.

    People do crummy things when they're hurting.

    My Mom recognizes she acted poorly, yes. I believe if there is one thing in life she could do over, it'd be that day.

    I'm choosing to move on.
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  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to Re: Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please:
    In Response to Re: Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please : Not her place to.  She could have spoken to her DH.
    Posted by NYUgirl100
    Oh look, NYUgirl brought her crazy pants to the party. Must be a day ending in a y.



  • In Response to Re: Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please:
    In Response to Re: Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please : NYU, you can stop talking now.
    Posted by Edie Bee
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  • My humble advice, NYUgirl100 (btw, I see you're from Hudson Valley--GORGEOUS area! My mom's family is in upstate NY so I drive thru there up 95...regardless of where you get married in the area, I'm sure it'll be beautiful)...

    Sounds like your Dad cheated on your mom and married the woman with whom he cheated. Familiar story--I can relate, obviously!

    I felt so betrayed by my Dad and was really upset with him. With his wife. My mom. God. Everyone. I wanted to be so nasty to his wife. I wanted to tell her how disgusting she was and what a terrible person she was.

    Then I realized I'd have to use those same words on my Dad becauase he'd done the same thing.

    I love my Dad. A lot. I respect my Dad. A lot. I did not agree with him marrying her. But you know what? I love my Dad SO much that all I want is for him to be happy--even if his happiness came at the cost of our family.

    Out of respect and love for my father, I love and respect his wife. That is his mate. It is his DUTY to put her before you, his friends, family, everyone. Just as it will be your duty to put your husband before all else.

    You have to choices: be nasty or be nice.

    Being nasty hurts you. Just you. Let me make this exquisitely clear: being nasty only hurts you. It's YOU who looks like the ugly Bridezilla when you make it clear to everyone that she's not your mother. You think everyone there doesn't know that?  Even if they do, what does it hurt?

    A lack of planning to tell the photographer not to mistake my stepmother for my mother wasn't going to heal the emotional pain my mother endured. To think it'll save yours or your mother's is, frankly, crazy. Time, therapy, forgiveness, love, goodwill, generosity...now THAT is what will help.

    I really wish you the best. You deserve to feel happiness and love and goodness on a day that centers around love.




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  • s-aries8990s-aries8990 member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Name Dropper
    edited November 2012
    In Response to Re: Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please:
    My humble advice, NYUgirl100 (btw, I see you're from Hudson Valley--GORGEOUS area! My mom's family is in upstate NY so I drive thru there up 95...regardless of where you get married in the area, I'm sure it'll be beautiful)... Sounds like your Dad cheated on your mom and married the woman with whom he cheated. Familiar story--I can relate, obviously! I felt so betrayed by my Dad and was really upset with him. With his wife. My mom. God. Everyone. I wanted to be so nasty to his wife. I wanted to tell her how disgusting she was and what a terrible person she was. Then I realized I'd have to use those same words on my Dad becauase he'd done the same thing. I love my Dad. A lot. I respect my Dad. A lot. I did not agree with him marrying her. But you know what? I love my Dad SO much that all I want is for him to be happy--even if his happiness came at the cost of our family. Out of respect and love for my father, I love and respect his wife. That is his mate. It is his DUTY to put her before you, his friends, family, everyone. Just as it will be your duty to put your husband before all else. You have to choices: be nasty or be nice. Being nasty hurts you. Just you. Let me make this exquisitely clear: being nasty only hurts you. It's YOU who looks like the ugly Bridezilla when you make it clear to everyone that she's not your mother. You think everyone there doesn't know that?  Even if they do, what does it hurt? A lack of planning to tell the photographer not to mistake my stepmother for my mother wasn't going to heal the emotional pain my mother endured. To think it'll save yours or your mother's is, frankly, crazy. Time, therapy, forgiveness, love, goodwill, generosity...now THAT is what will help. I really wish you the best. You deserve to feel happiness and love and goodness on a day that centers around love.
    Posted by jenferian
    <a href=" /><img src="http://gifs.gifbin.com/1233928590_citizen kane clapping.gif" alt="funny gifs" /></a />

    NYU, The situation has nothing to do with SM, just mom's actions.

    OP- give mom the benefit of the doubt in attending, but give her ways out too- E party if she wants, post-wedding get together, or even just a sober BM/GM/Friend to drive her to the hotel if she gets a little BSC.


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  • How'd you do that :(

    In Response to Re: Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please:
    FTFY ;-)
    Posted by Edie Bee
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  • In Response to Re: Bitterly Divorced Parents: Advice Wanted, Please:
    Eddie - even if SM picked up box to move it to safer location, she could have gracefully handed it to mom, when mom came over.  Takes two to fight over it.  But whatever, One thing Jen's story of her first wedding points out is that preperation might have cut down on conflict.   I am giving my photographer a list of photos, and have explained to him who everyone is, and that SM =/= mom.  We do not do generally do gift boxes were I live, but I have pre-arranged that my dad will hold all envelopes. I think letting everyone know ahead of time should cut down on any disagreements.  I also like, someone hear mentioned letting parents see mock up of invites before ordering. 
    Posted by NYUgirl100
    When will you stop? Why does the gift box matter. That was besides the point. The OP said SM was not to blame and her own MOTHER has accepted she was at fault. Gosh Dang It. YOU really know how to push buttons. so annoying.

    And now you're blaming the OP for mom flipping out about the pictures?

    Ugh. Go away.
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