Wedding Woes

Parent Trap? What?

Dear Prudence,
I have been seeing my boyfriend for six years and have lived with him for a year (we’re both older, and all our children are grown). He is kind and tries hard to make my life easier. He is something of a difficult person, as am I, and it isn’t always easy for us to resolve problems that inevitably arise. One of his daughters lives far away and visits seldom. She has a 1-year-old whom I have never met. When she visits, she stays with her mother, and I haven’t wanted to visit my boyfriend’s ex-wife. It makes us both uncomfortable.

I have asked if we can meet her elsewhere, but the answer is always no. Last time she said yes and then locked her keys in the car. Now she is staying at a vacation rental near us—and her mom is staying with her, although she has a house nearby. His daughter says there is nothing she can do. She’s asked her father (but not me) to be part of family portraits being taken in a couple of days. I feel hurt that I’m not considered enough of family to be included in these meetings. Am I being unreasonable? Should I expect to spend time with my boyfriend’s ex in order to meet his grandchild? Is his daughter setting a parent trap? So far I have tried to let this go so that he can see his daughter and grandson without any drama from me. But I really am very hurt to be excluded—and I love kids.

—Out of the Picture

Re: Parent Trap? What?

  • TBH, it sounds like BF's daughter doesn't want a relationship with this woman and LW is wrongly trying to blame ex-wife/daughter's mother.  And that does suck for LW; she also just needs to accept it and not try and force her way in.  Maybe daughter will come around, maybe she won't.  
  • I'm wondering if H's affair with LW is what triggered the divorce - and subsequent shunning by the daughter. 

    My parents are married (~37yrs) and were not previously married to others/do not have kids with others, and I've also never been divorced. I don't have experience with this type of situation, but unless there's some sort of history, I don't get the shunning of the g/f, and not the dad. 
    OurWildKingdomkimmiinthemitten
  • She has a one-year old child and lives far away. This could just be about her wanting to spend time with her mother and allowing her child to bond with her grandmother.

    LW is entitled to her feelings, but I just have to wonder that maybe it's not about her.
    OurWildKingdom
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its

    If I lived far away from my parents, my main priority when I came into town would be to spend time with my mom. Dad would be #2 and his girlfriend would be far down the list, regardless of how wonderful she may be.

    And like PPs said, the ex is just another part of the deal when you date someone with an ex and kids. My dad and stepdad spent a lot of time together over the years and still would.

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    OurWildKingdom
  • The LW is still in GF status, thus, daughter is entirely in the o.k. to exclude her at this point from getting to know the potential GC...  Once she's moved into "wife" status, then it's a different discussion which one would hope they'd already had about her role in the family.. 
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  • I reread the letter and still couldn't figure this out.  Is it the LW who is refusing to go to the ex's house when the daughter/grandbaby is in town?  Or is it the ex who is refusing to allow the LW into her home?  I get the impression it is the LW refusing.

    If so, the LW just sounds ridiculous all around.  Her B/F's daughter, who I'm assuming she doesn't know that well because she lives far away, probably doesn't give two s**ts if she sees the LW during her visits.  So she is not going to make special accommodations for her.

    And, yeah, I wouldn't invite my dad's g/f (not wife) to the family photos either.  Especially since she can't be bothered to visit me, unless I'm willing to jump through her hoops, when I come into town because of her own hang-ups.

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    ShesSoColdOliveOilsMomcharlotte989875kimmiinthemitten
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer

    I reread the letter and still couldn't figure this out.  Is it the LW who is refusing to go to the ex's house when the daughter/grandbaby is in town?  Or is it the ex who is refusing to allow the LW into her home?  I get the impression it is the LW refusing.

    If so, the LW just sounds ridiculous all around.  Her B/F's daughter, who I'm assuming she doesn't know that well because she lives far away, probably doesn't give two s**ts if she sees the LW during her visits.  So she is not going to make special accommodations for her.

    And, yeah, I wouldn't invite my dad's g/f (not wife) to the family photos either.  Especially since she can't be bothered to visit me, unless I'm willing to jump through her hoops, when I come into town because of her own hang-ups.

    I read it as LW won't go to the ex-wife's house because she's uncomfortable. If I'm reading it correctly, LW needs to suck it up if she wants to see the daughter and baby.
    short+sassy
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