hurt stepmom

Deborah - posted on 09/22/2014 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Am I overreacting? I raised my stepdaughter since she was six.She is getting married and has bought dresses for the grooms mother and her biological mom.while happy to buy my own dress the other moms are also being treated to hair and makeup, but not me, I am feeling very hurt.

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Sha - posted on 05/26/2015

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I would feel the same too, I would feel used, unloved, not worthy, not important...all that a mother would feel when they have opened their heart & love to nurture & care for their better halfs child/children. If your step daughter really loved you the way you do, she would have included you in all the above it's called 'love' I for one, would never do that to my stepmother if she was in my life from 6 yrs, I would be accountable for my actions & make sure my stepmother is treated just as equal as the others.

Ev - posted on 09/23/2014

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I have to concur with Chet's words here. She has had you as you said from very young thru adulthood. You have been there with her and given her everything a mother is supposed to give a child. Chet may be on to something with the idea that she takes this for granted. That is is always there for her no matter what or that she is having this one fantasy day to forget the awful days before you came to her life, or that she may be trying to have some sort of relationship with her mother that starts now until the ends of their lives. You did not raise this girl and her sibs for a dress, certain place at a wedding, and hair and makeup. You did this out of love and care and wanting more for her than she had before. It even extended to her children too. Just try to understand.

Chet - posted on 09/23/2014

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Deborah, your step daughter has had next to nothing from her mother. Their relationship is clearly not a strong one. It's very likely, if the bride were to treat you as any form of equal to mother-of-the-bride the relationship with her mother would take another significant hit.

This isn't necessarily about kicking you to the curb. It may be about trying to reach out to a mother who hasn't been there in the past, and giving her the chance to be a mom now. Even though you have filled the role of mother, and did an excellent job at it, that doesn't mean a child won't stop wanting some kind of relationship with the mother who abandoned her.

Or this could be about just wanting to have a wedding day where she doesn't need to feel like a child who was abandoned. Treating her mom like a traditional mother-of-the-bride may be about having a fantasy day where she chooses not to think about that part of her childhood.

Oddly, this could be a complement to you. Very often, the parent a child trusts the most is the parent who gets treated the worst. When a child feels secure, and loved unconditionally, they don't treat that relationship as precious or fragile. They take it for granted because they have no reason to ever doubt it. They believe that person will always be there no matter what, and they worry about hanging on to the people they're afraid will leave them.

Or this may be about tradition. It's possible that a lot of people just told the bride she _has_ to do it this way. She may feel that she has no choice.

Again, if this is the only thing that has caused you to doubt the quality of your relationship with your step daughter, let it go. You're reading way too much into it. You didn't raise this child to earn a dress at her wedding.

Deborah - posted on 09/23/2014

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Thank you Evelyn, To try to clarify my relationship with my stepdaughter. Her mom abandoned her and her three siblings when she was six. I was not married to their father yet but opened my home to all. I had known them and they had been visiting their dad at my home for the past year. I had two children of my own. They had been living in filth, came eat up with head lice. We later discovered their mom was an addict. For most of their childhood she was never present. I never called them my step children as I loved them as my own. I battled breast cancer and worked full time as we needed the income. There is nothing I would not do for any of them. This child I always seemed to give more to, as an adult she has gone through and overcome many hardships. I have been by her financially and emotionally all the way, babysat her children so she could work as a single mom. This was not just overnight but weeks at a time as she had to travel. Did all of the children's birthday parties as her money was tight. I would do those things for any of our children as their mom and i have done them with great love and joy. Now I am the only mom who has helped, with several things yet I am excluded. I want her day to be amazing as she deserves the happiness she has found. it's just that I have loved her as my own , always, been by her, shared her when her mom began to come back into her life and now feel kicked to the curb.

Ev - posted on 09/22/2014

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Deborah--I do not know how well this will help you or not but I am a mother of a young woman who got married three years ago to a wonderful young man. They have two wonderful grandkids that I adore. I will make my story short as I can. You never mentioned what kind of relationship you had with your step child such as if you were close or not too close.

When my daughter decided to get married there were a few things going on as well. I won't get into those so much but when her step mom (the second one in her life) found out the reasons for getting married so quickly she got very mad like my daughter had done the worst thing in the world. Her dad and I understood the situation well, for we had been in a similar one when we got married years ago. You also have to understand that my daughter and her step mom were not very close. The lady had only been part of the life of my children six years before that and had at first taken to my daughter because she had only boys at that time. But as time wore on she gave birth to the sisters of my kids. As my daughter got a bit older, the parents (my kids' name for their dad and step mom) would go off to do things never informing my daughter so that left my daughter to take care of three step brothers and her own brother making sure of supper, baths, and bedtime not getting to do her own homework until way late and staying up till all hours of early morning to get done. They took advantage of that a lot. That began to put a dent in the relationship of my daughter and her step mother. And it went downhill from there. So when the wedding finally got started in the planning the inlaws to be took over and did it all from the dress, the church, the food, and anything that goes into the wedding. I was afraid of when my daughter would marry because it would mean dealing with her step mother and her step mother's wishes because this woman can be pushy at times to get her way; so when the inlaws took over that took that stress out of the equation. I helped what I could by making up all the flowers needed for the wedding, helping cook food and setting up, and making sure my daughter had what she needed. The wedding was a success. We did include the step mom in everything but she did not like it that her two older sons had no place in the wedding, that she had to sit so far back on the pews in the church, and other things. But she had not helped prepare for the wedding much at all nor had daddy. They showed up for the wedding and meal and left early not helping to even clean up the church and the fellowship hall like the rest of us did. My daughter did not make anyone feel out of place but there was the issues of finances to set the wedding and get things together, having enough help to do it, and so on. I bought my own dress and my son's usher outfit which I got a deal on. And the step mom was not too thrilled that the brother of the bride was in the wedding because her other ones were not.

It was not the fact that she got slighted in anyway. She and daddy had open invite to help with the wedding and do what they could to make it happen. They never responded. My daughter did what she could to please everyone but that did not happen. As Chet said, its not necessarily about how she felt about you, but the finances, what traditions they are used to having, and so on. I can understand you are hurt by her not doing the same things for you as for her own mother and mother in law to be. But its her day and choices. Maybe she has something special in mind for you and you do not know of it yet. Just hang in there.

Not many step moms are as loving as you appear to be and kind. Not many want to share the spot light with the mom of the bride or try to take the spot light that is for the mom of the bride. And unless there is a good relationship with all the parents including steps its hard to know what to do and say about who gets to sit where, by whom, and recognized. Maybe you could offer to do something to help her out for the wedding like using a talent you have to contribute to the wedding/reception. Mine was making the bouquets for the bride, and her bridesmaids, the boutiners for the groomsmen, brides father, grooms father, my father, and son. I made all the corsages for the mothers of the bride and groom, grandmothers, her step mom, and myself. And in my daughter's bouquet of flowers, I put a piece of my own wedding bouquet that I had when I married her father. So try to think of a way to be a part of all of it and see what your girl thinks.

Chet - posted on 09/22/2014

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Wedding traditions often don't fit very well with modern families. Try not to take this personally. Don't read a lot into every choice the bride makes.

If this is the only thing that has caused you to doubt the quality of your relationship with your step daughter, just let it go. The point of a wedding is for two people to get married - not to demonstrate which friends and family are the most special.

Many of choices about who gets what role, and what gets paid for by who are based on tradition, obligation, what will keep the peace, what kind of budget you have, etc. A lot of biological mothers couldn't cope with sharing the mother-of-the-bride role with the step mom in any capacity, no matter how wonderful and involved the step mom was. The bride may have felt that she had to keep the peace by doing things this way. Or the choice may have been largely financial.

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