First, I want to say thank you so much! I figured I would get maybe 5-8 responses. Instead they kept pouring in. It definitely gave me a lot to think about and gave us a lot to discuss. I appreciate all of you who took the time to respond. I didn’t respond as each one came in because I wanted people to be able to comment without any interference from me. I didn’t want to make excuses or defend my actions. I thought that by offering up counterpoints to anyone I didn’t agree with it would water down the conversation. I wanted opinions and I didn’t want anyone to feel that they had to debate me in order to get their point across.
Second, I am doing fine. To those of you who wondered how I was doing I say again, “Thank you!” I am sincerely touched that you care enough to wonder how I’m doing after a post like that.
Where to begin after getting the formalities out of the way? Well, I suppose I should start with an update. The mobster and I are still together, if any of you had any doubt. We have talked and talked about this. Just the other night he read the comments and we ended up talking about it some more- for around three hours.
Also, regarding the hand holding… We have come to a consensus. He agrees that he shouldn’t have agreed to it.
Now, for a few clarifications:
- While they did indeed take a picture of just the two of them, as he describes it everyone who walked down the path stopped at the bridge for a moment while the photographer snapped a picture. They were not off on a private photo shoot.
- When they did the unity ceremony he told her she could just go ahead and dump the dirt, so they didn’t actually both dump the dirt in together. I don’t know why I felt that was a necessary piece of information but I’ve already typed it out so it’s staying.
- I did not create a huge scene or throw out hypothetical situations before his son’s wedding. The hypothetical situations came about after the wedding when we were talking about this. They came about because of this idea that it was all about the bride and groom and what they wanted. If that’s true then I think it’s only fair to ask what else could they have asked for that he would be willing to do? Fuck her on the altar? Kiss her because the bride’s parents are going to kiss? End things with me? Recite their vows at the front of the church? Spend the night with her? Accompany them on their honeymoon as a couple? Dance with her all night long? I did not start off with, “Oh my God! Would you have done this?” I also did not ruin anything for anyone. The bride and groom did not know, nor would they have cared, that I was upset. They got exactly what they wanted; they had a perfect day, as they should have. The mobster did not realize I was as upset as I was so I didn’t ruin the wedding for him either. He went to the wedding and made the best of it. He thought it was actually an amazing wedding despite the awkwardness that his STBX brought to the event (and that was how he put it; that’s not me “painting a picture” of her as being batshit crazy or making things awkward). I’m pretty sure he had a good time and enjoyed himself immensely. It wasn’t until he wanted to tell me all about it that he realized I was upset and angry.
- Regarding the issue of jealousy. After I reread that I realize it seems like he tossed out, “Oh, you’re just jealous!” That’s not what happened. We were calmly talking about this and this conversation happened after the situation had been diffused. He didn’t understand why I had a problem with any of what had happened because it was done for his son and his son’s wedding. He asked me, not in a judgmental way, but as more of a exploratory way, if I thought maybe it was due to jealousy. He never meant to imply that the only reason I was upset was because I was jealous, and I never meant to convey that he had tried to pull the ol’, “You’re just jealous,” routine with me. It wasn’t like that at all.
- His kids did not know about the countersuit and allegations of abuse from their mom. The mobster did not tell them any of that. I know some people talked of the kids being so used to craziness, or wanting to pacify her, but they were in the dark about her allegations.
- And finally, just so it’s clear, I was fine with him walking up beside his STBX. I was fine with him dumping his dirt in and then her dumping hers in. I was fine with family photos. I knew all of that was going to happen regardless of whether or not I liked it. Like it, hate it, didn’t matter. I fully expected it. They are both his parents. To a certain extent I was okay with them sitting in the same row, although etiquette books all say that when you are dealing with separated/divorced parents who don’t get along you sit the mother in the front row and the father behind her. I think whoever set that arrangement up had absolutely no empathy for their situation and was much more concerned with what was easy and what looked good. What upset me was him “escorting” her like they were together. That was before I even found out they actually held hands (and again, he has admitted that shouldn’t have happened and will never happen again). I was also not real happy with the fact that someone decided they should be seated at the same table for dinner as well. I was not upset at him, however, because he didn’t control where he was seated. Again, it displays an astonishing lack of empathy.
I’m not going to go into detail about everything we’ve discussed. I will share this: He does care deeply about how I feel. He wanted me to know he never wants me to feel disrespected or dismissed. I care very much about how he feels. I don’t ever want him feeling like he has to walk on eggshells around me.
You all gave me a lot to think about in regards to peacekeeping, boundaries, and being married to an alcoholic for many years. I really appreciated that. It made a lot of sense to me. I also took to heart Jojobee’s declaration that you start in the way you want to go forward. That is so true.
So many of you had such great insights. I took to heart many of the points that you made. I appreciated those of you who examined this from a very even handed point of view. It wasn’t a right or wrong thing. It was quite comforting to feel understood and have others empathize with me, and then point out another way to think of things. Everyone seemed to realize that the mobster is a good dad who was trying to do the right thing for his son and the wedding.
I do agree with those who said the marrying couple should have discussed their wants with him far before the week of the wedding. I think this is where the peacekeeping comes in. I know he doesn’t want to burden his kids with the divorce stuff. I know he thinks they will cringe if he ever outright asks questions about whether or not she will be someplace he has to be, or whether or not her AP will be there. I can’t explain it but basically he feels like his kids don’t ever want to discuss their mother with him regardless of the situation. I think he feels awkward bringing it up because in his mind her presence should be no big deal at all. I think he has every right to ask those questions and be prepared. But he wants to spare his kids all of that so he doesn’t.
I also think that getting married doesn’t entitle you to be an ass who forces people into uncomfortable situations. I’m not saying that his son and DIL were asses, but I saw a lot of, “It’s all about the happy couple,” and “It’s their day; it all comes down to what they want,” in the comments.
It’s your wedding and you want all of your guests to wear purple? Fine. You want to ban the color blue at your wedding? Knock yourself out. Don’t want certain songs played? No alcohol aside from beer? No vegetarian choices? No plus one for the single guests? No kids at the wedding? All good. It’s your wedding, your party, you call the shots. But you don’t get to demand things like, “You must play happily married couple with my other parent today,” or “Break up with your partner because it’s not convenient for me,” or “French kiss whomever you’re escorting once you’re on the bridge.”
Ask for civility? Sure. You may not stab my other parent. I don’t want there to be any knockdown drag out fights at my reception. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Please don’t call the AP your pet name for them to their face. Do not pour drinks or food on one another.
Seriously, it was never about me wanting him to shun her or to not be anywhere near her. I am aware of the fact that they have children together and that in most cases those children will want both of their parents there. As I said above I fully expected them both to be in pictures with the bride and groom. I fully expected that they would both participate in whatever ceremony the couple had planned. I also don’t think expecting him not to hold her freaking hand was too much to ask. Thankfully, he agrees.
Ironically, I would say that the comment from InsistOnHonesty was one that made a huge difference. It was her saying, “I think there are better people out there for each of you,” that had a huge impact on me. I felt gutted reading that. But I realized, no, there really isn’t a better person out there for me. He is an amazing man. He is so good to me. When I try to think of life without him I can’t imagine myself dating again. I wasn’t looking when I met him; I definitely wouldn’t be out there looking if he left me. As I told him once I haven’t been this happy since I was 17 years old and in love with Todd. It took me over 30 years to find someone who could make me that happy again. I would be a fool to give this up. So, no matter the trials or tribulations I’m not walking away. We’ll work through it. And really, we’re going to toss away an amazing relationship over one disagreement? So thank you; the thought of ending things over this made me miserable. Ultimately though it reaffirmed the fact that he is the one I want to be with.
I also want to be clear that I did not “rage” at him. He asked me what was wrong and I told him. Believe me, he prefers that over getting the cold shoulder. I was not yelling or screaming at him. We were having a disagreement. We used our words. I had a relationship for over twenty years where I was never allowed to be upset or angry or unhappy. I have no desire to go back to that. I deserve much better. If something upsets me I’m going to tell him. If he disagrees with me he can tell me. And vice versa. Together we can work through it.
Sophia, I love you. You are such a spitfire. I’m sorry you feel CF and the ExWife won. I’m not sure how CF got in the game, but the fact of the matter is there was no way that the ExWife wasn’t going to win. It’s her kid. If both of us can’t be there then the one that shouldn’t be there is me. I accept that. What I don’t accept is this idea that they should behave as a couple because their kid is getting married.
I felt that me being there would be very uncomfortable, what with them not knowing how she would behave. At one point we thought she would be in jail during the wedding so that kind of paved a way for me to attend. Ultimately though, most of her sentence was suspended and days she served prior to her court hearing counted towards her time so she was out in time for the wedding. As I said in my previous post had I been there I’m not sure how she would have reacted and any bad behavior on her part would have undoubtedly been pushed my way.
I’m a Pisces but I still don’t want to mess up anyone’s wedding. If she’s at the next three weddings and my presence will cause her to act like an ass I will once again remove myself from the day. Hell, come to think of it his daughter graduates this spring and I don’t know how that’s going to work out. I know we have a good relationship and she likes me, but if only one of us can attend without a horrible scene, then it should be her mother.
Ultimately, I am doing as most of you suggested and moving forward. We are moving forward. We have talked about it; we have drawn boundaries. Things are good. They’re back to normal. I’m going to be seeing him this weekend so I will definitely be giving him a kiss and making up.