Is This Wrong or Is It Just Me?

Updated on May 03, 2012
J.C. asks from Sulphur, LA
23 answers

Ok... history... My husband was married before me, for exactly one year, to a girl whom he met overseas. They have a daughter together and the ex wife moved 6 states away with the daughter when she was 3 months old and they were divorced.
Now... we have been married for 2 years and been together for 3.5 years. We never see the exwife other than for the exchange twice a year with the daughter.

My husband's neice is graduating from high school in a few weeks. My sister-in-law and neice invited the exwife to come stay with them for 4 days and come to the graduation. Mind you they haven't seen each other in 4 years or barely even talk, other than facebook. Keep in mind this was all done in secrecy behind me and my husband's back.

My husband was told that I should not get my feeling hurt and that she will always be family. Am I crazy for being upset about his arrangement??? What should I do??? Say something to the sister in law or just leave it alone? Obviously she is coming whether I like it or not...

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Guess I should have explained history better, but I can't go into detail of the past 4 years. It was a bad divorce and because the child lives 6 states away, we can't see her when we want because it is all up to the discretion of the mother, and when she feels like letting the 5 year old fly down here or us go get her. The arrangements are for the whole summer and either Thanksgiving or Christmas she is with us. But as I said...that is in the discretion of the mother, we didn't get her this Christmas. We will be getting her in a few weeks for the whole summer! She cheated on my husband and the sister in law and rest of the family talk bad about her to me. I guess that is why my feelings are hurt because they are probably talking about me to who knows. Matter of fact I know they are because it has been proven... so it's a bad situation all around and she has done a lot to my child and to try to come between my husband and I. She has even gone so far as to contact my ex husband, who wanted no part of the drama. So has his family.
So, I will stay clear for 4 days and take things from them with a grain of salt. As a daughter of divorced parent's and as having a child with an ex...we wouldn't and haven't played this game with our families. I guess to each his own; I will get over it like most of you have said to do.

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answers from Miami on

Just because a marriage ends doesn't mean the relationships with others in the family ends too. The ex isn't staying with you, that is all that should matter. Try to focus on the fact that the graduation is about the daughter, not the ex.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

It's understandable that you would be upset, however, this is something that you need to deal with when marrying someone who has been married before or has a child. The ex is still family.

What do you want to say to SIL? SIL and niece did nothing wrong. They can invite whoever they choose. If you feel uncomfortable, then don't attend.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Austin on

You should not be upset. You are the one now married to him. She will always be family because she is the mother of your husbands child. Forever.

You do not know how much they all communicate or what type of relationship they all have. Maybe they really are making an effort to see this little girl since she is not around them very often.

Just because you all do not see this little girl very often, which with effort maybe you all could see her more often? This little girl and her mother are fortunate that his family still want to keep all of this civil for this child.

You all will be dealing with each other for a lifetime.

I am a child of divorce and the sniping, hurt feelings, second guessing, was so stressful for me, I still cringe.

Always stay above the drama. Do not be the cause of it and do not join in.

I promise this little girl in the future is going to thank you.

I love both of my parents very much. I think they did the best they could, but I will NEVER be able to totally forgive them for all of the drama that went on surrounding family gatherings and important events in my childhood.

They were the adults and should have quit thinking about anyone but the children in these situations.

Hang in there. I really do sympathize. It would be so much easier not to have the ex in the picture, but this little girl loves her mother as much as she loves her dad. That is never going to change. You all are related.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Well I think you shouldn't bat an eye at it. That would spoil their fun if you acted like it didn't bother you at all. And to top it off, you don't want to come off as the bitchy one. So just don't say anything at all, and say hello when you need to, and spend your time in the other room. I agree that this was not nice of them at all, but you also should think of your step daughter. She deserves to have a nice weekend with EVERYONE that loves her, and it really is nice when everyone gets along. Good luck to you.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Is the niece the same age as his daughter? Maybe she wants to spend time with her cousin? I dont see the big deal. My brothers ex moved 12 hours away and actually comes to stay with my mom on holidays so she can see her daughter and son at the same time. So they all sleep in the same house at the same time GASPPP=) My brother has primary custody of his daughter and his son (hers bio) stays with her so they do what it takes for the kids.
nstead of feeling jealous and upset you should encourage your husband to bond with his daughter in that time! Imagine your daughter/son not having her father in her life

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

They are adults. They can host anyone they want without getting your say. That isn't secrecy, or behind your back. That's an adult deciding who they want to stay in their house. Why would they need to consult you? For all you know, they talk all the time. (Another thing they don't need to consult you about.) This isn't your house, so it's none of your business.

If your husband wants to say something, he can. You have no place.

Personally, I would be HAPPY my husband gets to see his child again! He sees his daughter only twice a year? There is something wrong with that. Actually, THAT would bother me. Not the issue you're talking about.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Leave it alone. You don't get to determine the nature of their relationship.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

High road.

You aren't the family dictator. It may hurt your feelings, but as you pointed out, your feelings might be a bit overboard for the situation.

And it wasn't done in secrecy just because they didn't tell you.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I understand your discomfort with this situation but it really is kindof out of place.

Your SIL gets to invite whomever she wants to her daughter's graduation and to have at her house. Facebook is a viable means of keeping in touch for many since it is free.

Relax, she is the ex-wife for a reason, you are the current wife and your position in the family is solid. Don't sweat this at all.

My father is 1 of eight children. All of my aunts and uncles are divorced. We still have family gatherings that include my mom and the other out-laws (as they love to be called). Everyone is cordial. There is no need tor the drama. I still consider my aunts and uncles that married into the madness that is my family just as much as family as the ones that divorced out of the craziness. It's all good.

Celebrate your neices successful completion of highschool and don't be so skiddish. Everything isn't against you perhaps your neice actually likes your husband's ex.

Afterall it takes a village and she will still need encouragement into adulthood, why not be the one who shows her what a real class act is like.

I truly do understand being upset about people talking badly about you but no amount of talk can eclipse the light of your true character. There is too much life and living to be done to sweat the small things. Why not care enough about your neice to celebrate her graduation from high school regardless of all this extra drama?

It just seems to me like you may need to settle your feelings within yourself before you can move on and get to the good life.

If I got upset or troubled about every one that ever said anything bad about me be it fact or fiction I would drive myself insane. I much prefer sanity so I just don't do it. As for the custody issues that is a matter your husband could take up with the courts and an attorney his daughter is worth that fight. Just my opinion.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

She is family.
They have a daughter.
That daughter is a part of the family still even if they are divorced.
As you said, the SIL AND the Niece... invited the ex-wife. The Niece it seems... wanted her to be there for her own graduation.
That is her choice. It is her graduation.
And sure, they did it "behind" your Husband's back. Because, she is an ex-wife and they probably feel awkward about inviting her. Knowing she is an ex-wife. But well, the Niece wanted to invite her. So they did.

Ex's... are still a part of the family as are in-laws.
Put it this way... when my Dad died... all of his family just IGNORED my Mom, and then no longer even interacted with her. Because she is an In-Law. They do not consider her to be "family" after my Dad died. How did it feel to my Mom? Awful. And insulting and hurtful.
Only about 2 of my Dad's family... actually still include her in "their" family events and special occasions. But other than that... the rest of his family do not even consider my Mom. For me, it is like we "lost" a family too. My Dad's side of the family. They don't even consider us either... though we are their nieces.
So... I can see that side of the coin.
It is hurtful... to the "ex" anything... to then be left out of the family... even if they still have a connection to the family.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

From the view of a second wife I would say leave it be. Don’t get involved in what went on in their divorce, it doesn’t matter if they were married a year or twenty the child is still family and they will forever be connected to his ex-wife.

Remember they are staying at your SIL's home not yours. I would just be polite to his ex-wife and try to spend time with his daughter.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

Leave it alone. You are just anxious over him meeting again and opening an old sore. Your husband has you now and tell him how you feel about the arrangement, that it makes you uncomfortable and leave it at that. His daughter would want his mother there, and your niece knows the situation is sticky so I am sure she felt she was doing the right thing.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Perhaps this has less to do with the woman than it has to do with having access to the child. If they "play nice" and act like she is "family", she'll be more likely to let them be with the little girl.

I would leave it alone. The ex is not going to be around them a lot. She lives far away anyhow, so you won't have to deal with this very much. But if they start talking about the woman in a "family way", THEN speak up and tell them that you really don't want to hear about her because she is not family to YOU! If they have any sense in their heads, they'll get the picture and have some tact.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I will be dealing with somewhat the same stuff. The other side of the family is going to take over and act like they are in control of it all. They have scheduled their party directly after the graduation without asking me if I wanted to spend any time with my daughter. I am going to feel awkward but also know my family will be with me. I would feel hurt if my sister in law doing that to me and could picture my own sister doing the same thing.I hope you make it through it all without any drama.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

It is a messed up situation. But you cant change the way other people think or do. So if she is going to come whether you like it or not, then I think best not to say anything, to bite your tongue and just be civil and polite. You dont have to spend time with the ex-wife or family in those 4 days she will be there. You dont even have to sit next to them at the graduation. Granted you will probably see her but you dont have to have a conversation.

Just keep your cool, and let it pass. It will. Dont make it your problem. If you and your hubby are happy then there's no worries :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I'm not sure to be honest why it would bother you so much. I'm sure it has nothing to do with you at all... Likely the SIL liked the first wife and they kept in touch as women will do. The daughter is your SIL's neice and her daughter's cousin... This isn't about trying to replace you or get your husband back with his ex or anything like that so try not to worry about it. From the ex's point of view, how nice her daughter's family keeps her part of the family. Remember these are her real relatives and it doesn't sound like the ex is a horrible person or anything.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Birmingham on

Since you are aware that the exwife is coming to stay, I wouldn't call that "in secrecy." Who asks permission to invite someone over to your own home? This is all about the niece and her sharing the event with family. Sometimes if people treated family as nice as they do strangers, it would be a more pleasant occasion. Show up for as little or as much time as you can spare (or stand). Celebrate with the family and then go home, hopefully with only good memories from the day.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Unless there is more that you haven't been able to share, this is almost certainly about your niece and your husband's daughter. Not you. Not your husband. Not your sister-in-law. And not your husband's ex.

For all you know, your husband's ex is already dealing with a *lot* of emotions over staying with your sister-in-law, but has set them aside for the sake of her daughter.

Please do the same. You do *not* want to be the person to create drama where there was none. You do not want to make your husband's daughter's life any more difficult than it already is.

Sure, you have feelings about it, but you probably aren't the only one. I'm thinking this is so the cousins can be together. Let it be about that.

And you can still respect your feelings. When you get home, have a glass of wine (or whatever) and spend some time with those emotions. Talk to a friend.

But let it be *after* the fact, because this is probably all about the 2 girls wanting to spend time together - or the adults in their lives wanting them to have that opportunity. And you won't know if your feelings were just feelings -or of they were based on a real issue - until after this time has passed.


ETA: Your SWH came up while I was writing. Don't assume they are talking bad about you (after all, you didn't cheat on your husband). In this case, unless your SIL is a terrible person, I'd say she's DEFINITELY allowing someone she doesn't think well of to stay in her home for the sake of the girls!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Leave it alone. She is family - she is your husband's niece's auntie whether you like it or not. You need to get used to her being around for family events. I'm really not sure why this bothers you so much. You don't say that she's ever caused you any problems, so again not sure why you would think that her being invited to something as important as a graduation is wrong. If you didn't want to deal with your husband's baggage, you shouldn't have married a divorced man with a child.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

You're free to feel any way you do.

SIL is also free to invite any graduation guests and house guests that she wishes.

What would "saying something" to her actually achieve? Bad feelings? An estranged relationship from here on out?

Your husband has an ex wife and a CHILD. I hope he pays child support. Being 6 states away doesn't mean that they don't exist.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Well, I hate to say it, but the neices graduation isn't the first event that will be shared.
My ex husband and I had a very volatile relationship, to say the least, for 14 years after our divorce. Then, a strange thing happened....We had a grandbaby on the way. So, now, we share all holidays together as a family.
I know it sounds weird, but my kids like it and really, and hasn't been so bad at all.
I was a second wife who had to deal with the first wife still being very involved with my in-laws because of the children of that marriage. By the same token, the first wife had to deal with me attending things like her sons' high school graduations and other events.

It may feel like a form of betrayal to you, but your sister in law and neice have the right to invite anyone they want not only to the graduation, but to stay with them at their house. Your sister in law IS the aunt of the child from the first marriage. It may not be so much the first wife that your sister in law is interested in spending time with, it's likely the child she wants to see.

I don't know what your relationship with your sister in law is like. Could you talk openly about how you feel? Or, would there be a chance that she would repeat it to the first wife and then the two of them would be discussing you being bent out of shape about it?

I would just hold your head high and not let on that it bothers you. You hopefully have a solid marriage. The first wife is a great distance away 99% of the time and surely not much of a threat to you.
In a way, I think I kind of understand how you feel. My own sister tolerated my husband a little more than I was frankly comfortable with, but it was because she loved the kids. I couldn't exactly fault her for that, but still it felt a little weird.
Now my mom and sister find it weird that my ex husband and I tolerate each other after all these years. Go figure.

If your HUSBAND doesn't like this arrangement, he surely should say something to his sister, but I wouldn't give the first wife the pleasure of knowing that your feelings are hurt. But, that's just my opinion.

Best wishes.



answers from Dallas on

I dont know if you should say anything. But if your husband feels he can say something it would more be his place to.



answers from Dallas on

Your niece wanted to spend time with her little cousin...that seems reasonable. Her 5 year old cousin travels with her mother...that seems reasonable. Maybe your SIL really dislikes the ex but is taking the high road by inviting her to stay so that the two cousins can have some bonding time together. Whatever happened in your husband's previous marriage should be irrelevant to the kids' relationship...if it's been 4 years since the cousins saw each other, it was way overdue.

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