I married my wife two years ago. I’d only met her a year prior and hadn’t known her during her first 24-year marriage which she entered at 23. Her groom was 28.
She’s a terrific woman and I fell in love quickly, as a long-time bachelor finally AND happily committed to marrying.
I soon learned how difficult her ex-husband could be. He’s taken the stance of the injured party ever since my wife and I got together, despite that I didn’t “steal” her away.
Her friends and even her children, now realize that she’d been trying to cover up her unhappiness and loneliness in the marriage for years.
She’d sought personal counselling after he’d refused marriage counselling and tried to boost her sense of well-being through her then-teenage children and her job.
She finally separated from her ex four years ago. He was furious, bad-mouthed her, and became even nastier when we started dating regularly and he learned that I was not only younger than my wife but 13 years younger than him.
Things have deteriorated to a mean low point ever since their daughter, 22, announced her engagement to her boyfriend.
They’re both still in university and her father’s already declared that, if I’m present at their wedding, he won’t attend.
He’s even said that she’s not allowed to speak of me as her “stepfather” despite that this very bright young woman and I have an amicable, respectful relationship.
I openly told both her and her younger brother, when their mother and I knew we would marry, that I was not in any way trying to replace their father or his role with them.
My presence in their lives is as a caring friend, and I promised to be helpful whenever they wanted me to be.
What’s so obvious in the current situation, is how this self-centred father still believes that everything is about him.
He doesn’t care how this affects his daughter, nor about how the absence of her mother’s husband may cause distracting gossip among guests at the wedding.
I’m okay, though sad, about not attending if it prevents the more hurtful scenario for the family if the bride’s father wouldn’t show.
But ever since this threatening order was told to me by a very tearful bride-to-be, she’s been very quiet with me when we’re talking virtually while she’s at school.
Her mother, who talks to her daughter privately on the phone, says she’s very hurt by the whole situation but she won’t challenge her father as she feels it’ll make things much worse.
What advice do you have for a husband ordered by his wife’s ex to miss their daughter’s wedding?
Stay supportive of her every way that you can.
You’ve already done the right thing by not challenging his order, especially since his daughter feels that she must accept it.
Your wife and you may wish to do something, with the bride’s approval, such as hosting an engagement dinner for close friends of your own union and those of the bride and groom.
But if that’s too likely to also be problematic, consider what you’d like to do on your own, e.g. offer a special gift that’d be meaningful to the couple such as buying them new technology related to their student life (but not to compete with any financial involvement of her father in the actual wedding).
My close woman friend is in love. She and her “boyfriend” are both divorced, retired and financially comfortable.
They live in different cities where each has grown children, relatives and friends.
Before Covid, they travelled together whenever possible. When that became difficult or restricted, they moved to each other for visits of a month or two.
Their relationship has flourished for four years. My friend now feels, that with both early 60’s, they should plan a full-time life together.
She’s suggested jointly buying a new place in one of their two locations or in between, but he’s not interested in that plan. What should she do?
What they’re currently doing has worked for them both.
Your friend’s wisely thinking ahead, but her boyfriend isn’t ready for a big change.
Circumstances will decide this issue for them. If one gets ill, or getting to the other’s city becomes difficult, a new plan will become obvious and necessary.
Tip of the day:
Divorce is hard enough even on grown children. A new spouse should take the high road if an angry ex-spouse tries to make trouble over his/her daughter’s wedding.