The family reunion I wasn't invited to...

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2009
The family reunion I wasn't invited to...
17
Fri, 05-20-2011 - 10:28am

Hi all,

New poster here but I lurk a lot.

FoodieWorking Mom

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009
I wouldn't necessarily think I'd be invited to a family reunion for a stepparent. If you're not really close with him, I don't imagine you're close with the rest of his family.

You don't need a reunion to go to San Diego for a week, do you?

I think you were too harsh on your mom (refusing her calls for weeks?). And need to quit obsessing over this.

Let it go. It's not your family's reunion.

 

Avatar for lizmvr
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2001
I'm sorry that you're feeling left out, and I can totally see how you could get that impression, especially since your mom admitted to making up an excuse at first and your brother has helped plan the get together. Even if you weren't meant to be invited and your brother wasn't meant to be invited, I think it's weird that your mom wouldn't have just mentioned it in conversation with you if you two talk so much.

I think of it as similar to my boyfriend's mom and how she says and does stuff to make him feel like he isn't a member of his family. His mom is married for the fourth/fifth time (she married the same guy twice). In both cases, my boyfriend never knew about the marriage till afterwards or the day of the wedding. I mean, if you're going to make someone a part of your famiily, I would expect your other family members to know about it. My boyfriend also has step siblings with whom he's never lived, and while his mom calls them his brothers and sisters, my boyfriend only feels like he has one sister, his biological sister who's a few years younger than him. It's odd to me, and I know it hurts his feelings to be considered the same as people that only lived with his mom for a few years, too--many of the other brothers and sisters were kids of other husbands and none of those marriages lasted more than a few years. My boyfriend's 32 and it still hurts him.

I think you should tell your mom how you feel if you are close to her, but I can't promise that she'll start seeing the relationships in a different light and consider you part of her "other" family. You might end up having to accept that the relationship you thought you had isn't as whole as you would hope--I know that sucks. I just don't want you to feel like your feelings aren't valid--I think they very much are.

I guess I tend to think that people deserve to know that we're upset for some reason in order for them to remedy it, but at the same time, just because they now know, they aren't necessarily going to remedy the situation.

Despite the relationship you have with your mom, though, you have two kids of your own and your own marriage, and that's now your first priority when it comes to family. So, hopefully, even if you're not in California for a week in June, you'll have special memories that you make with your own husband and kids. Take lots of your own photos!

Liz


Clinical Research Associate


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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2001
I have regular family and step sisters AND a lot of family pain and being left out, so I understand.
Here is what I think. I don't think this is your mother's choice. I think the family reunion is being dictated by the sister. I think she is the one who wants to keep it exclusive, not your mother. Your mother is only in a marriage by default. I don't think she has much say so she is just going to be with her husband.

I know it still hurts, though. I am an inclusive person. I am willing to "befriend" almost anyone in my family (unless they are rude, etc) but many people are not like this. I was willing to be my step sisters friends but they didn't allow me in. They are very inclusive where, to them, only their side of the family matters. In my situation it really burned when they wanted something from me and all of the sudden claimed to care about me when their actions for years said something different. They are so fake, so phony and manipulative.

Oh, my dad left me out of a cruise that was mostly my step mother's family. I just wanted to tag along but very independently...just meeting up once a day...but he quietly said "no". I would have included him! To me it wouldn't have been a big deal but he did not include me.

Yup I know how it feels.

Remember though, even if you air your hurt, you can't guilt people into including you. I don't know the answer really but I've learned that much.
Soliel
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2011
Ouch is right, I mean, this is your mom!
But I do buy her excuse, I think her SIL was planning a family thing for HER family, but as soon as your bro "invited himself" she should have immediately invited you.
But cut her some slack. In-law RL's can be strange. Maybe she did not feel so comfy with her SIL to just bring her kids to her SIL's functions. I mean, you can't be totally sure what her vibe is like around her DH's family. Just my 2 pennies.
Don't get me wrong, I'd be hurt. Your mom should have asserted herself more and had her children invited.
But hey, she's your mom. Enjoy the good times, y'know?
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2009

If you're not really close with him, I don't imagine you're close with the rest of his family.

Well, he walked me down the aisle nine years ago and, although we don't talk every day lol, he has been my stepfather for 12 years.

FoodieWorking Mom

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009
I misread part of your post, sorry.

Honestly, I've never heard of anyone not invited to a family reunion, no matter the relationship. The more the merrier, I think. Especially as the older ones begin to die off, and the younger ones aren't as interested.

I'd cut your mom some slack, though. I think you've been hard enough on her, refusing her calls for weeks over something most likely out of her control. After all, she's not the host.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2009

Hi Liz and thanks so much for your thoughtful reply.

FoodieWorking Mom

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2009

Thanks for the empathy!

FoodieWorking Mom

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2009

I know.

FoodieWorking Mom

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2009

No problem and thanks -- I feel the same way about family reunions (but apparently others don't agree with us lol).

And yes, I think you're probably right that my mom only had so much say.

FoodieWorking Mom

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