I married a widower. During the first year together, I went with him to parties and social gatherings from his "old life."
Now, I don't want to do that, he supports that, and I don't prevent/discourage him from connecting with his former friends.
So, my question is, what is socially acceptable to say to “where's your wife?” or, “Why isn't she at the party?” (e.g. The upcoming Christmas party).
I don't want to offend anyone, but I really don't want to interact with the old life anymore.
New Wife and Life
If your husband supports your decision, why does he find it difficult to respond?
There are easy excuses – e.g., “It’s the night of her long-time friends’ Christmas party and too far away to get to both.”
Or, it’s your office party, your cousins’ club get-together, etc.
I don’t like encouraging lying, but you say you don’t want to “offend” anyone.
Still I wonder if it’s your husband who’s offended, by having to go to a Christmas party that’s important to him, without you…
Or, if he’s offended you, by letting his friends reminisce in front of you about the “good old days” when they were all together with him and his late wife.
If there’s truly no problem, an excuse isn’t hard to find.
But if there’s a deeper issue here, you need to discuss it further with your husband.
After not seeing my husband's daughter and her husband for the entire summer, we invited ourselves to visit (we never get a proper invite).
We took them to a local pub with their daughter. Our son-in-law asked that all the TVs be put onto the football game.
They spent the lunch watching the game, their phones, checking betting pools, with little conversation.
Our granddaughter, age seven, played with a toy at the table. When friends showed up, she was gone.
When we try to talk with her, it lasts a minute before she goes to watch TV.
We see them rarely.
My stepdaughter worshipped her mother who died several years ago.
My husband had to fight hard to see this daughter as his ex found it easier to avoid our weekend visits.
When this daughter was single, we were the first call when there was trouble, financial or otherwise.
We don't want to go to their place for Christmas. It’s 90 minutes away.
They won't travel due to my stepdaughter’s anxiety problems.
My husband won't handle this, although he agrees with me that their manners are poor.
I don't want to be the "wicked step-mother." My mother is 92 and we need to spend Christmas with her.
Neither of my sons really enjoys visiting their stepsister, either.
What to Do?
Visit briefly, on Christmas Eve or Boxing Day or any other day close to Dec 25th.
Your granddaughter is the more important reason, so focus on her. She’s only seven, so do not view her as hard to reach, and instead reach out harder to her.
But give her an outdoor toy and get your sons and yourselves playing with her away from the TV. And participate with her with any indoor gifts, including a book you read to her.
Your husband naturally doesn’t want to lose touch with his daughter, that’s why he won’t “handle this.”
Stay long enough to show that you’re “family,” and bring a wonderful pie and/or some other food to share.
Yes, their manners aren’t great, but yours are the important role model.
I'm 15, and like a girl who has similar interests.
We’re both shy, intelligent, and enjoy reading a lot, even the same author.
I worked up the courage to talk to her and asked if she wanted to hangout.
She explained she isn't the best socially but when I said that I’m the same way, she said I could hang out with her and her friends.
How should I act around her friends? I'm really positive and good-looking, but I'm usually anti-social. I could mess around on my phone to seem distracted as they usually use their phones, too.
How to Fit In?
Be your positive self but don’t hide behind your phone, unless there’s something you want to share.
Talk to the girl about one of the books you’ve both read. If the friends make comments, be respectful even if their ideas don’t match yours.
Don’t stress, you both just want to be comfortable together.
Tip of the day:
Try to create a respectful bridge between your new life together and your partner’s long-time friends.