This is going to be an interesting post to write. Before I begin I want everyone to know that this post was the mobster’s idea. He wanted me to write it. Thought it would be good to get other people’s opinions. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
The mobster’s son got married on Saturday. Those of you who have been reading for a while may remember that I removed myself from the situation back in February or March. For those of you who are new here is the backstory.
Basically, he and the mobster were talking about the wedding and his son told him that he and his fiancee were still trying to decide if they were going to give both of his parents a plus one, or if neither one would receive one. He also made mention of the fact that they had arranged with other guests to remove people who got out of line.
I let the mobster know that he could tell his son he needn’t worry about my presence. I would not be attending. It was Rock Star’s senior year and vacation was in short supply. I decided I was not going to stress over keeping a day open for a wedding where I was clearly not wanted. I was also smart enough to know that if Batshit Crazy showed her ass it would undoubtedly be blamed on me and the fact that I was there. I opted not to attend so the happy couple did not have to worry about anything spoiling their wedding. With me not there there should have been no awkwardness, no fights breaking out, no angry words, etc.
I did have a moment of weakness in late September and asked the mobster if it was too late to change my mind. He had been telling me for months that it wasn’t too late and I could still go, despite the fact that he hadn’t spoken to his son about it. I asked him on a Sunday and the very next day my mom called me at work to tell me she had bought Garth Brooks’ tickets for us. I then had to tell him that I would be sticking with the original plan and wouldn’t be going to the wedding.
Everyone following so far? Excellent. Fast forward to the week of the wedding.
Tuesday his oldest son flies into town for the wedding along with his girlfriend and his son. I know that this is going to mean the mobster and I won’t be spending much time talking because he will be busy with his kids and grandson. There was lots of quality time spent with his three sons, their girlfriends, his daughter and his grandson. Through this quality time he finally learned that his STBX was indeed invited to the wedding (there was a point where the bride and groom were upset enough at her stealing T’s television and then damaging it that they weren’t going to invite her). I don’t think he ever found out whether or not her AP was invited, despite the fact that I was not going. He also began learning about things they had planned for the wedding, like the unity ceremony.
Wednesday she answers his divorce petition by asking that it be thrown out and her own counter suit for divorce be granted. She accused him of physically and mentally abusing her, and followed that up with claiming he had tossed all of her things into a garbage bag and told her to “Take her shit and get out!” while she begged him to let her stay because she had nowhere to go.
Thursday he tells me that he has told everyone involved in running the wedding that he is willing to go up and do this unity ceremony with her. C and C wanted her siblings and his siblings to dump a vial of dirt into a planter, and then her parents and his parents to do the same, followed by them. He agreed to do so although he told them he didn’t want to walk arm and arm with her and didn’t want to hold her hand while they dumped the dirt. He also told them he didn’t want to escort her to her seat.
I am perfectly fine with this. They are both his parents. Walk up, she dumps dirt, he dumps dirt, they return to their seats.
Friday evening he calls me after the rehearsal dinner. He tells me he has agreed to escort her to her seat. He will walk her across a bridge, stop for a minute so the photographer can take pictures of the groom’s happy parents, and then apparently go on up to do the unity ceremony. He has also agreed to have both of them use a single vial of dirt and both dump it into the planter together. They sat together in the same pew and were seated together for dinner- him, his parents, their daughter, her, and her parents. I later find out that he didn’t “escort” her across the bridge and to her seat. They held hands as they walked.
Important to note is that the bride’s mother had a contingency plan in place if he refused to do any of the above. She had a fifth vial for dirt so they could each have their own. Her husband was going to escort the groom’s mother to her seat.
Also important to note is that neither the bride nor the groom actually told him what they wanted him to do. He admitted later maybe he should have asked them if any of this was important to them.
Still following? Great, because this is where you and your opinion comes into play.
I was absolutely furious. I told him I felt like he was playing happily married couple and I had been completely disrespected and dismissed. I asked him what the hell he would have done if I had attended the wedding, and let him know I would have been beyond humiliated had I been there. The bottom line for me was that I felt like they were presenting themselves as a couple and it was inappropriate. He’s the father. She’s the mother. They do not need to be walking hand in hand and posing for pictures together when they are in the middle of an acrimonious divorce. If you bother to google where to seat divorced parents you come up with multiple options, all which are a much better plan than the one the dipshit wedding planner managed.
He was gobsmacked by my anger. He said he did what he did for his son and he had no regrets. He has no desire to get back together with his wife. He was not playing happily married couple and it was actually a very awkward situation for him. He didn’t want to be around her; he didn’t talk to her aside from replying, “Fine,” when asked how he was. He believes this was simply a transition time what with them not divorced yet and that I won’t ever have to deal with this again because none of the other kids would ask him to do anything like that. He thinks I go to extremes and came up with outlandish examples, i.e. If they wanted you to renew your vows with them would you do that? If they wanted you to fuck her on the altar to show you’re a happily married couple, would you? If they wanted you two to pose together, all comfy and cozy, and coo over a new baby along with them and her parents, would you? What if they wanted you to dance together? What if they wanted you to honeymoon with them; would you do that, too?
Yes, I know. I can get outlandish. I was simply trying to establish where the line in the sand is for him. No, I don’t necessarily see any of the above happening. However, to me that’s not the point. The point is what would he do if it were asked of him? He’s not saying he wouldn’t do it again. He’s saying that none of the others would ask.
The bottom line is he doesn’t think there was anything wrong with walking hand in hand with his STBX, posing for pictures with her, pretending to be a happy couple for the sake of his son. In fact, he says that wasn’t what he was doing at all. Remember, it was very awkward. He also says it’s not about me or us or even her. It’s all about the newly married couple. He did what he did to keep the peace and make the wedding planner happy. As someone who agreed with him asked, “Why is she upset because you walked with the mother of your son?”
I, on the other hand, feel like I didn’t exist that day in order for the wedding to look picture perfect. Divorced people spoil so much. I guess I don’t understand it because as I told him, “I would never in a million years walk hand in hand with CF. Not because I’m a terrible mother who doesn’t care about her daughter (or son, as the case may be), but because we’re not a couple and I would never do that to you.” Also, he’s done horrible things to me and I don’t want him touching me. My kid getting married doesn’t erase all the shitty things he did.
The best explanation I’ve heard is this: I can understand his point of view. He wants to be a good dad and do right by his son. But in doing that he did something very intimate with another person who wasn’t his partner.
At one point he suggested that I was jealous of her and that was the root of the problem. I told him I had no worries about him leaving me to go be with her. I trust him; I trust what we have. And honestly? If he wants to give it another shot with the alcoholic, lying cheater, I can’t stop him. I also know he would regret it in no time. And no, I would not be willing to give him a second chance once he realized he fucked up.
She, on the other hand, I pointed out to him, is batshit crazy and who the hell knows how she will interpret the events? And wouldn’t you know, she ended up calling him this week. She’s blocked so he only got a notification and she didn’t manage to make contact but she attempted it. He thinks maybe she called to talk about the divorce but ultimately says he doesn’t care why she called; he just wants to be divorced from her. I think she called because she thinks they’re back together. Or she thinks he’s at least willing to consider fooling around with her behind her AP’s back.
Right now we are pretty much at an “agree to disagree” truce. I’m not sure he will ever understand how I feel, and why I feel it, although he did say had I been there he might not have agreed to do pretty much everything he did. To be fair, I don’t understand why he made the choices he did, although I comprehend the words, “I did it for my kid.” As I said above, I would never make those same choices so it’s hard for me to understand why he did.
He said he wondered how others would feel and suggested I write this post to see what your thoughts are. He thought it would be a step up from, and an improvement over my post entitled, “Happy International Fake Happy Couple Day” which I wrote in a fit of anger. I thought long and hard before hitting “Publish” and I probably should have thought some more because it was mean and uncalled for. I took it down and I have apologized sincerely to him. I felt it was important to mention that post though because it explains why he suggested I write this one. I didn’t want people wondering why on earth we’re asking the blogosphere to moderate our disagreements, or thinking that he’s just leaving it up to all of you.
So… how about it? How do you think it should have played out? Is it rational to expect a couple in the middle of a nasty, drawn out divorce to walk arm in arm, or hand in hand, down the aisle together? Pose for pictures together as an intact, happily married couple? Sit next to each other during the wedding? Be seated together at dinner? Would you do it? Would you want your partner to do it?
Am I overreacting? Is he totally oblivious? Am I a green eyed jealous monster? Would you have thought it was no big deal? Would you have been angry and upset in my shoes? Should he have said, “No, I’m not holding hands with my STBX; she just accused me of abusing her.” Or, is he just a really great dad who is willing to do whatever it takes to make his kid’s big day special?
42 thoughts on “Opinions Wanted”
I can’t believe the damn internet just erased my epistle. Ok. Start over. Your sweetie is his family’s peace keeper. It is what he has had to do to keep the volcano from blowing. I have read his blog forever and know how painful his life was because of her drinking. You are guarded because you were abandoned and this feels the same. It isn’t. He just kept the peace as usual. This is a bump in the road of two people making a new life for themselves while still dealing with the fallout from two toxic people. Give him a kiss and then move on.
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Well, I don’t blame you for being pissed! I would be furious!
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All due respect to the mobster but WTF?!? I wouldn’t be angry so much as worried about his mental health. She abused him and his trust for years (not to mention the harm inflicted by an alcoholic parent to his kids). She’s accusing him of abuse literally right now. And he’s not just sitting next to her, taking couples photos together, and symbolically showing his “unity” with her but holding hands? Um, Sam – he has some issues to work out before he’s relationship ready.
As a complete side note – IF their divorce had been over years ago – and I mean, many years – and his kids wanted them to treat each other cordially at a wedding – I could see standing / sitting in proximity, maybe posing together in family photos with the kids, or the happy couple and all parents. But even then holding hands is just – weird.
And aside from the weird unhealthiness of it all – yeah it is disrespectful of you. I know you would never do that sort of crap with CF. Try asking him this – if an old boyfriend of yours – say from high school – your first love or some such thing – sat by you at a reunion (one he was not welcome at because he didn’t go to that school) held your hand, took part in a special couples only ceremony and had couples photos taken how would he feel about it?
I’m betting not so good.
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First and foremost: I feel for you and for the mobster. If there is “blame” here, I think it resides with the happy couple. They are adult enough to get married, they should be adult enough to be perfectly straight with all their parental units about their desires and expectations of behavior on their big dad. This includes the specific tasks and behaviors they desire each set of parents and/or their new significant others to perform on their big day. This should have all happened long before the week of the wedding, so everyone involved has time to think about it, talk about it, figure out how they feel about it, and express any and all boundaries about the requested tasks. Everyone is aware groom’s mom and dad are not on good terms, and while allowances might have needed to be made, clear and specific instructions and details needed to be laid out or even written down long before the wedding rehearsal.
I think you were blindsided, because the communication was like trickle truth all over again. It wasn’t like mobster came to you 2 weeks prior to the wedding and said “son and DIL want me to do this/that/the other thing – can we discuss it?” It sounds like it was Wednesday it was one thing, but by the wedding it was quite another and you only got the whole story after everything was said and done.
I also think the mobster was almost coerced into going along for the sake of keeping the peace. It’s a few days before his son’s wedding. Every day there’s a new layer of action requested of him, and he’s on the spot and wants to be part of a perfect day for his son. Not telling him the full truth of what they really wanted until it’s almost too late for him to say no without feeling badly about ruining the wedding is a tough spot to be in. He’s a great dad; I can completely understand the pressure and the sacrifice (it is the only word that immediately comes to mind) for his son/DIL’s big event.
Hopefully his willingness to do this for them – because honestly, that’s the only reason for his behavior – is understood and genuinely appreciated by the newlyweds.
I feel for both of you.
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I would agree with what was said above. I think he was trying to keep the peace. Just watched the same thing happen to my Dad at my youngest brothers wedding. My brother from the woman he left my mom and his first five kids for. My ex step-mom. She left my Dad for her rich boss. My brother hated that man. He left her for some other woman. Wonder how she felt? What a mess…My Dad faked it all to keep pease. He hates conflict. Forgive him and move forward! Don’t let it ruin what you have!
Sorry, but the Mobster lost me at the hand holding.
The dirt and the seating arrangements I could cope with in the spirit of being civil at your kid’s wedding. I’m fine too with the family photos. They are, after all, the groom’s parents.
But waltzing around holding her hand?? Nope. Highly inappropriate and disrespectful to you in my book.
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As I asked Divorce With Me, how are you with only the two of them being in the picture? I figured both of them with the bride and groom and both of them with the entire family would happen, but a picture of just the two of them… I was not expecting that.
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If his son asked for that picture (delusional as it might be) I’d swallow my pride and deal with it. (Not the hand holding part.) Otherwise, well, no. Just no.
Holding hands… a bit much. Walking with each other, escorting her to her seat, taking pictures with them… not a big deal at all.
As a child of divorced parents myself, I love the pictures I have of my immediate family. They are who I care about the most. And especially more since my father is now deceased and I don’t really have a relationship with my former stepmother. Those pictures are ones that I deeply cherish. We took pictures with stepparents too but it was important for me to have some of those moments with my parents. My parents played the role of parent to me, not partner to another person. I think Mobster is trying to say that. He almost seems like an actor in a play.
Now. The really bizarre thing I see here is how screwed up the whole accusation of abuse situation. This makes me think the kids are used to her craziness and have chalked it up to another episode of crazy? I’m just guessing.
I hope he can at least see where you’re coming from. And I hope you can see his point of view. And I hope you can find a happy point so that something like this doesn’t have to come up again.
You know what the best part of this negative incident is? You didn’t seem like you once doubted his intent or fidelity to you. And that’s pretty great coming from what you previously dealt with.
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They didn’t just take family pictures. The pictures they posed for were of just the two of them, posing. I mean, of course, they did take family pictures as well, but the pictures I was referring to were the ones of just them as a couple. Did your parents do that at your wedding?
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Hell no. Lmao
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AND it would piss me off.
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Exactly….just the two of them in a picture? The two of them sitting together? I know ex couples who get along fabulously and wouldn’t do that, it doesn’t make sense to me but what do I know?
Oh I have so many thoughts on this. The things that stick out to me are his willingness to just go along for the sake of peace even though he claimed he didn’t want to….wishy washy boundaries. The other thing that really gets me is his comment that he would likely not have done that if you had attended with him. Here’s my problem with that. You cant have it both ways. Either you respect someone enough to not do something or you don’t. The definition of good character is acting in such a way that is honorable even when no one is looking. He didn’t do that. He allowed himself to be compromised. I can empathize with the stickiness of the situation and being accommodating. This is new territory for him and his children. It’s weird. And it’ll be weird for awhile. I think everyone who has commented already all have really good points. His son should have communicated with him about this well in advance so it could be thought about and prepared for. He should NOT have held hands with her. That was a slap in the face to you…disrespectful, no doubt. It crossed a boundary and shows he has some work to do still, especially if she is accusing him of abuse that did not happen. It opened a door that should not have been open, and that was proven with the phone call she attempted. The family pictures, fine. Whatever. But the pictures of just the two of them…no. At the very most…the two of them together but with the son standing between them. I’m sorry Sam. I think you have every right to be very frustrated, confused, taken aback, all the feelings you are having. I hope the two of you can have continued conversations about this and be clear moving forward about expectations, desires, and proper interactions you can both be ok with with others. It’s a bump, but it can be worked though to prevent it from happening again.
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Sam, I really feel for you. I also had a horrible divorce from a cheater. I then found a great man who had also been chumped. I thought that meant he would get it. Guess what? He didn’t. We are very happy now, but our first few years were very rocky. He also had a batshit crazy ex who alleged all kinds of shit, alienated his kids, and yet I was flabbergasted that he always gave in to her crappy manipulative demands. In fact, sometimes he took it upon himself to give her her way before she even demanded it. Like this: Mobster took it upon himself to hold her hand, dump one vial, and escort her to her seat. He even admits he wasn’t asked to hold her hand and that mother-in-law to be had a back up plan. When choosing whose feelings to protect and whose anger to avoid he chose to protect her and avoid her anger.
Now, he tells himself it was all for the kid–but the kid didn’t make these demands. He is still enmeshed with her and the crazy. He is so used to deferring to her and pick-me-dancing that he is still unconsciously doing it and until he stops and draws some hard boundaries he isn’t ready to be in a real relationship. He will say that it was just this one “special day.” My husband said that too. And then it was the next special day, a birthday, a graduation, the anniversary of a parents death…see? I was well into year two of this stuff and he was lending her money to fix up her mother’s house and helping her install a washer (although both of the boys were moved out).
Finally I just said “ENOUGH!” I told him that I was not going to play “second wife.” I was THE wife. He either cut her off completely in every way (except business like cordiality at special kid events) or I was gone. Did he want to pacify the woman who cheated on him, lied to him, and blew up his kids lives? Or, did he want to build a real reciprocal relationship with a good woman who had never harmed him in any way? I told him to decide immediately at that moment and block her phone number and on social media or he was going to find himself divorced again. I told him that it was cruel to make me insecure in my marriage. I should not have to keep auditioning for the role of wife, that I was supposed to already have.
I would be particularly bothered by this flip the script of calling you “jealous.” That is the old game of it isn’t what I did that is a problem, it’s your reaction. The bottom line in a real, loving, reciprocal relationship, if it is a problem for your partner–then it is a problem. If you tell him you feel hurt and betrayed by this, he doesn’t get to tell you that you are ridiculous or small to have these feelings.He doesn’t get to decide if his actions are harmful to you–you already told him they ARE. If not holding hands with ex-lovers is what you need to feel safe in the relationship (and that is setting a pretty low bar in my opinion), you have a right to express that. He decide whether or not to go along–but he has to be upfront and let you know, so that you can make an informed decision when your find out that your dealbreakers will not be met. Don’t let him make you feel like your needs should be even SMALLER than they already are (again, not taking it upon himself to hold hands with an ex lover who made his life miserable, is a pretty small scale request already).
He told you to put this out there because he is so enmeshed in this kind of unhealthy system where she gets to abuse him and he continues to make nice and show affection “for the children,” that he doesn’t yet see it as wrong. In short , I had to lay out my dealbreakers in an honest, very assertive manner, with consequences immediately attached before my husband seriously questioned the sickness of his dynamic with the ex. My only regret is that I didn’t do it much sooner (like the first time that something that made me go WTF?????!!!!happened). But I knew I had to. The bottom line was that I was not interested in another relationship with a man that put other people’s feelings ahead of mine. I was not interested in a marriage where my needs were considered irrelevant or ridiculous.
I do not think the mobster is “bad,” neither was my husband. But as you know from being in an abusive unhealthy dynamic, it is very easy to eventually convince yourself that not only should you eat the shit sandwich, but you may be developing a taste for feces…that’s where we have been and that is where he still is. You need to lay it out that you are unwilling to go there again. You won’t be an outsider in another marriage where you are supposed to be primary. You won’t spackle over things that make you feel small and hurt. You won’t be the short leg in the sick triangulation of his former relationship. He is either ready for reciprocal healthy relationships that draw reasonable boundaries, or he isn’t. There isn’t anything to fight about. If he wants the image management and hurt that came with his former marriage he should just do that. he cannot expect you to sit around and wait for the day when you are treated like a beloved, committed partner. Maybe your examples were outlandish–but your principle logic of slippery slope boundary crossing, was not. He had the opportunity to create a clear boundary and show his commitment to you and he choose not to do that. He chose to appease the abuser instead. Tell him to get his shit together or go figure it out in therapy, you are WORTHY of being cherished as his number one commitment and priority in life. And you DESERVE the reciprocal love and respect you are already giving him.
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This is so good.
It is indeed disrespectful. Not nearly as much on his part as his son’s part for asking that of him. That boy has been an ass from the start. Divorced and soon to be divorced parents isn’t a novelty. I get that everyone should get along at the wedding, but that was a step over the line. Pictures of the two of them were just beyond disrespectful. I think it sets a bad precedent and that the son will continue to ask him for these stupid things going forward. Hold hands or you can’t see the grandchildren, or come to birthday parties. That kid better figure out how to do deal with these future situations because there aren’t 2 graduations and 2 school performances for those critters. At some point the reality that his parents have moved on and possibly married someone else will hit him. Let’s not even mention what happens if you’ve been together 20 years and he dies. What if the grandchildren form a bond with you? What’s next? Nope, time to make those boundaries very clear for that boy. And that is mobster’s job. Time to shake the peace up a bit.
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I read the post and the comments. I would not be happy about the posing and hand-holding. But I also can see him wanting to keep peace and not disrupt the wedding day. And the kids are grownups and probably should have run it by them if they had to have pictures with both their parents together. That being said, I agree with Moi, give him a kiss and move on…xoxo Dolly –
I also saw a comment that the mobster has a blog – how did I miss this? What is the link?
Hey Dolly, I know it’s been a while but if you were still interested his blog is called Divine Doorknobs and it’s on WordPress. You can click on his name whenever he comments and it will get you right over there.
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Hard to say. Bad boundaries, but at the end of the day, it’s the couples day. I say that because they chose wacky things to do, what a bizarre ceremony, imho. This is the kind of thing I would have lost my shit over in the past. I would try to let it go now. My in laws do this shit all the time, all for pictures.
I’m sorry you’re angry. But it sounds more like stupidity of youth and off the rails wedding goals. Hard to stop that train mid-ceremony. We also don’t know the brides role in what she had to have Instagram/social media wise. It’s so bizarre, I’d let it go. And tell my kids to elope in exchange for cash.
My concern would be the bigger picture. Will the mobster be willing to set and keep stronger boundaries in the future? Will his kids accept that? You two seem like an amazing couple. His kids need to understand that in the future, he is with you. Group photos would be totally fine with me. I think anyone would want a photo with their parents. But holding hands, taking a “couples” photo, etc. would stomp on my personal comfort zone. Their mother behaved in outrageous ways to say the least. They should respect their father enough to not expect him to play happy families with her, as she is actively trying to destroy his reputation if not worse. It’s a sad situation but the mobster shouldn’t be the one to have to pay the penalty from now on for her crap.
The Mobster sounds like guy-friends of ours who just follow along… what do they know about “normal” at a wedding? Doesn’t want to make waves. Doesn’t hate anyone. Is just sick and tired of their shit and wants it to go well for their family.
Cheater-Wife grabs for his hand and since he’s pretending anyway, for the sake of his son and wife and everyone observing, he goes along with it. She enjoys mindfucking him in her sneaky-subtle ways. He’s a nice guy.
A nice guy with terrible boundaries but still with some sense of pride… so when he’s accused of being an asshole when he was being PASSIVE AS HELL, he doubles down and says it was fine. Don’t worry about it.
And then all the things you think come spilling out of your mouth with vitriol… and he doubles down again because that was probably the only way to deal with Cheater-Wife. Double down and let the woman’s fury rush through and past.
He was wrong to be passive. It’s unfortunate that there are now pictures to make the farce permanently displayed.
Mobster needs to stop letting women take a single step on him, before it gets to the point where he can say he was wronged. Mobster- if something is awkward, say so and stop it. That’s real pride; refusing to accept what is false, even if EVERYONE else wants it. Doubling the weak point doesn’t make you stronger, it doubles your weakness. It’s inwardly destabilizing. Stop that.
Sam- you went way past every line. You get to be annoyed that your boyfriend has terrible boundaries and lacks confidence for himself. You don’t get to project your anger at the proactive behavior of CousinFucker and RAGE at your passive boyfriend. You’ve let out the monster and you can’t take that experience back. Something will have changed now, in his mind.
I think there are better people out there, for each of you… and that you each need more time to be present with your SELF only, practicing those boundaries, and THEN add in different relationships. There’s no need to force THIS relationship to work. You can each be good people who need to end what isn’t working and try again.
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Or, fix what isn’t working. And try again.
Wow. That’s a bit of a jump going from talking about passive behavior (which I agree with) to they don’t belong together?!
The Mobster’s wife was a cheating alcoholic – both behaviors have different dynamics that happen to overlap. Life with an alcoholic requires constant subjection of self to the drinker simply to survive relatively unscathed. Life with a cheater leaves you insecure. Now that he is away from his ex patterns can be unlearned as he becomes aware of them.
Sam, my two cents? Don’t think Mobster made a wise decision but I would probably move past it. It sucks it happened, and with pictures to prove it and remind everyone forever, but let this set the stage for relationship boundaries with ex’s AND children going forward.
Well, I did say they could always just fix things and try again. And I’m not saying that they don’t belong together… just that they don’t HAVE to.
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Read about Family Systems. Monster had to be the family fixer. He is a good man who had an alcoholic wife. A family is only as healthy as its sickest member.
Give him a break.
I hear a lot of “give him a break.” I get the impulse. He probably is a great guy. But being “passive as hell” isn’t a great quality in what is supposed to be a reciprocal partnership. Plus, it seems he is only “passive as hell” with his psycho ex and thoughtless kids. He had ZERO problem telling Sam that he was a-okay with what he did AND that she should be too. The bottom line was that he had choices to make and all of his choices left consideration for her feelings out of the equation. I’m not saying he is bad, or, that she should leave him. But I am saying that she needs to START in the way she wants to go forward. Establish boundaries that are important to you at the beginning of a relationship. Anyone who grew up in a family with alcoholism knows how deeply ingrained protecting the sickness and the abuser goes. DO NOT ACCEPT IT. He has to want out of that system–not just the legal marriage ties.
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Boundaries. Nothing wrong with coming together and being all smiles for your kids wedding. Holding hands, posing for couples photos, etc? Nope.
My parents had just finished an acrimonious divorce right before my wedding- I couldn’t even imagine trying to force weird togetherness rituals during my ceremony or reception that would make them (and me) uncomfortable.
I understand the cycle, the mobster had to keep peace for his kids for many years- but that is not his role anymore.
I think that you guys should talk openly about this , but firmly drawn boundaries are important to move from that phase of life to the next.
My personal opinion is that his passivity caused this, but it’s not a deal breaker.
Humans sometimes revert to bad habits in times of stress or pressure.
Maybe give it some analysis and then move on together with firm understanding from both of you that in the future this is not ok.
My instincts tell me that if he left the door open a crack for his stbxw to get her foot into, she will take that opportunity.
That is a deal breaker.
Honestly I would cut him some slack. My oldest got married last year and I couldn’t stay far enough away from my ex. My second gets married next year so it will be a repeat performance. But seriously I don’t see my kids expecting me to hold hands with my ex (over here in France we – the parents – weren’t even seated at the top table so I got to avoid the asshole). And in any case we don’t go for the ceremony stuff of throwing the dirt but I guess if that’s what the couple want so be it. In the end it isn’t about you or him, it’s about them. He probably didn’t know what to do so just went along with it. I wouldn’t read any more into it than that. Honestly, and I mean this kindly, cut him some slack. You know he isn’t interested in getting back with her.
I understand how you feel
100%! And I agree with you. And no, it’s got nothing to do with being jealous. It’s a feeling of disrespect. I get it.
The Mobster is a Man. He had to feel uneasy as
shit. But his actions show his love for his son/children, not his ex. This was not about her. Not about her at all.
So you two kiss & make up & carry on😍
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Somehow, on a special day, for his family, on a day where it was about someone else, he decided to play nice – after all they are still married – you made it about your feelings and then tried to back him into a corner with hypothetical questions?!
It was 30 minutes max together and less than 3 minutes of handholding and he told you about it?
He was honest, clear, and told you? What more do you want?
And still you blew a gasket. Doesn’t sound like the problem is his.
Dolly, and others are right, give him a kiss and move on.
I’m going to respectfully disagree with you on a few of these points , And sort of agree on another.
First, I’m in agreement on the anger level- and I say this because I have caused Krakatoa level blowouts in my own marriage due to my apoplectic fits over small things. Essentially I had to decide if every thing that caused me hurt was going to be the hill I chose to die on.
It took me a long time to calm down.
I’m going to disagree on your assessment of the mobsters actions as “no big deal”. It mattered to Sam, it hurt her. And I know it probably upsets him that she’s hurting over this.
I think flimsy boundaries and the need to just get through the ceremony were probably foremost on his mind- but his kid was trying valiantly to capture something (a fantasy) that no longer exists for the sake of his wedding .
His parents are no longer together and no amount of image crafting management or dirt pile dumping can change that.
I didn’t use the phrase, “no big deal.”
Since I posted this I’ve been talking to others and sharing this post.
Here is where I am Dufmanno, at the moment on his behavior: he is dealing with competing expectations of his family and of SpaghettiSam. At the end of the day, what Mobster chose to do is incredibly important and reveals his truth: what he thinks and believes his kids want is more important than what Sam wants and he acted accordingly.
He shouldn’t regret it. Good for him.
To his credit:
1. He told the truth
2. He didn’t hide it
3. He owned the decision
Secondly, the fact that SpaghettiSam thinks her expectations should trump his kid’s expectations places him in a no-win situation especially since they are simply dating and his kids are his kids forever. SpaghettiSam is fine if he hurts his son and his daughter-in-law but doesn’t want to be hurt herself.
The painful truth is, regardless of the why and how Mobster and his wife ended up in this situation, and where they are, they are still family, and it’s a family because as parents (a topic SpaghettiSam often discusses) they have a history.
So while yes, Sam got her feelings hurt, and yes Mobster hates it, and yes it sucks, his family, is, and should be his priority.
Regardless of the merit of the situation, regardless of how long the Mobster and his wife have been apart, or the reasons, I imagine his wife will always see SpaghettiSam as the other woman.
Perhaps, his kids always will too.
And of course, no matter how it gets spun, if you are a religious person, or their marriage is still legal, SpaghettiSam is the other woman. She is the intruder into the relationship.
However, from SpaghettiSam and Mobster’s perspective, it isn’t like that at all. The soon to be ex-wife is painted as Batshit Crazy.
And here is my point: they are both right. More than one thing can be true at a time. We are complex individuals.
I would be spitting mad too, Sam. It was wrong of his son not to spell out what he was expecting, way in advance, so you two could discuss it. At my daughter’s wedding, XH and I played nice, were both in group photos, but no way would I have held hands and faked happy families. She would never have expected us to do so either. I feel Mobster was backed into a corner slightly, but he could (and should) have stuck to what felt “right” and this doesn’t sound like it did to me. That said, you should probably talk it over some more, set future boundaries and then move on with your lives. X
“Is it rational to expect a couple in the middle of a nasty, drawn out divorce to walk arm in arm, or hand in hand, down the aisle together?”
“Pose for pictures together as an intact, happily married couple?”
Ugh…maybe, if they had been asked to do so by their kid.
“Sit next to each other during the wedding?”
Maybe, but I would want at least 6″ between them, preferably at opposite ends of the pew!
“Be seated together at dinner?”
“Would you do it?”
“Would you want your partner to do it?”
Not particularly, but I would grit my teeth and remind myself it’s for their kid and hopefully shortly after they were seated the opportunity to sit elsewhere, with other people, would arise. Or switch up with someone at the table.
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Also, this felt like one big huge cathartic group therapy session. I’m dying to know if Sam & The Mobster talked through all the comments and what they thought!
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Actually – I just want to know how Sam is doing. This was hurtful – whether it was intended to be or not. It could be good for them as a couple in setting expectations for each other and determining their own personal boundaries as well as their couple boundaries but regardless of how it turns out for them as a pair -which is kinda private after all – I’d like to know Sam is doing ok.
So basically CF and ExWife win. Spaghetti Sam and the Mobster lose.
I wouldn’t give them the damn satisfaction of infiltrating what seems to be such a happy relationship.
Don’t let other people’s awfulness into your things.
I’m a cancerian and I tell you that I never want to fuck up anyone’s wedding, make anyone unhappy, and sometimes it costs me. It’s who we are, so I get the Mobster. I would have done the same FOR MY SON. Not gonna make a scene.
Mind you I don’t know why they would want to mix “divorced hellish relationship” in with their sand, but that’s a topic for another day.
Who cares if ex is calling now? That’s what the decline button is for.
I don’t think it was a good idea to post this poll to be honest because many of the participants have been through hell and back and I don’t think Mobster should be held responsible for the demolition of something he didn’t do.
I just don’t think this is a big deal. I would have done it for family. People who love you should understand and it’s ok to be miffed but are we really going to doubt and malign him? Screw it all this hell because your friends tell you you are right?!
Please dear Sam, this has gotten out of control, it’s unfair to him, and to you.
I don’t mince words because this could snowball quickly and devastatingly. (Well I never mince words👹)XO
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I can’t give this enough likes.
So many people claim, “Well I would have…” or proclaim, “He should have…” They have no idea what they would do in a specific situation until they are in it and have walked in the shoes that got them in that situation to being with…
I think.. You should have attended, you, are now part him (mobster). If you attended, you would have seen it in a different light. I missed how old his son is, but this is important to HIM and his now wife. This day belongs to Mobsters son and his wife. Would I have felt as you do now ? Hell ya. I then would have wished that I attended.
It’s a hard call , I know. And, as awkward it is for you and M in this situations, times it by a zillion for your kids.
You have a few more weddings to go, now is a good time to figure it out. Ultimately, It’s the Bride And Groom day, you (we all ) have already had ours.
Girrrrrllllll I totally would have felt the same way – TOTALLY – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with having those feelings. That’s the thing about feelings – they just are – having any kind of feelings about anything is NEVER wrong BUT how you choose to act on those feelings can be right or wrong. I read your latest post and it sounds like you guys did a GREAT job of acting on your feelings and discussing them. Pats on the back all around.
I can also relate lol. My fiancé ‘s ex wife son died at 27 from a drug overdose. He felt like he should attend the funeral even though this son is the reason they got divorced (the wife refused to implement tough love and kept enabling the son – let son pay for a brand new mustang and fund his life and drugs on husbands bank account – he didn’t find out until one day the son with no job had left his wallet in his truck and he found his own bank credit card in it – yeah at that time he was making so much money he didn’t even miss the money must be nice huh lol). For this reason I didn’t really understand his desire to go and to be honest wasn’t very happy about it. I told him how I felt but also told him that he could go and I wouldn’t be mad and I wasn’t, but I didn’t like it because in his position I would not have don’t the same, but I also realize he can feel differently and I respect his right to do so. He could have snuck and attended and. Would never have known but I told him that I was glad he told me and that meant way more to me. He said he did not plan on seeking out the ex or staying very long but felt it was the respectful thing to do to at least attend (we live in a small town mostly conservative and country where everyone knows you and may be a cousin ten times removed lol). He did attend and the ex did call after which I knew she would but he has her blocked. End of story. Hasn’t been an issue since hopefully yours will be same