Update and "I don't get it"

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Update and "I don't get it"
12
Sat, 06-22-2013 - 10:44am

  So, recently things have been going better with DDs.  I called all my DDs Memorial Day weekend and had really nice talks with them.  DD29 broke up with her SO of 5 years (he was an artist who she supported).  We all saw it coming, but we did like him.  She admitted to me (and SHE couldn't believe it) that when she decided to start dating again, she's gonna look for someone who's "more of a provider".  lol  I told her I understood.  Anyway, so we had this great talk and haven't talked to her since.  Now, HERE'S the "I don't get it" part...

This week I had to fill out insurance forms at work, so needed all DDs Social Security numbers.  That's all.  So, I sent out a bulk text letting them know this.  The 3 younger ones got right back to me, but not the oldest.  I called her that night and left her a voicemail...still nothing.  This morning, I was on Facebook, so Instant Messaged her.  No response and I noticed she got off immediately once I did that.  Honestly, I don't get it.  I have no idea what I did to deserve this when I thought we were "ok" after our visit Memorial Day.  I even emailed her a few days later...no response.  She uses work as an excuse, but I told her once that she may be busy, but has a family who loves her and would like to hear from her now and then.  To me, this feels like she's deliberately ignoring me for some reason and I thought we were ok.  She told me she and DD27 are both coming home for Christmas Which immediately caused me anxiety as holidays are hard since the divorce.  I had already planned on spending Christmas with my family in AZ, but of course I can't do that when I rarely see my DDs.  So, I let them know I'd stay home and DD29 even said she's stay at my house, but needed to understand why her sister (DD27) won't and I do.  I thought that was very nice of her.  So, why would she be ignoring me now? This morning especially was very blatant...I message her, she gets offline. 

On a positive note, DD27 who lives in NJ called me last night to let me know that she & fiancee are starting the wedding planning.  The wedding will be in October, 2014 either in NJ, Delaware, or PA...wherever they find a place to have it. They want an outdoor wedding, so are going to look at farms and Bed & Breakfasts.  She asked me what kind of part I wanted to play in her wedding planning and I told her whatever part she wanted me to.  She and & fiancee are at an age where I'm sure THEY will do it together, but his parents are THERE, so his mother I'm sure will get to play a larger part in all this than I will which I can't help it...makes me a bit sad.  On the other hand, I feel for the woman...she doesn't have any daughters, just 2 sons, so I need not be greedy.  lol  I did tell my DD, since I have 4 DDs, I'd be happy to share.  :)  I did tell her that if she wanted me to when she goes to pick out her dress, that I would fly out to join her.  That's something I'd like to be there for.  Yes, it would cost, but some moments are priceless.  :)  She did say that since all 4 sisters will be here for Christmas that maybe we could spend a couple days going to bridal shops and look at bridesmaid dresses.  She also asked  if we should include her grandmother (my ex-MIL) in the fun and I said absolutely. She and I are still close (she never condoned what her son did by divorcing me) and she doesn't have any daughters herself, so has never gotten to experience any of this.  I'm sure she'd love it.  :)

The hard part about all this is that, as my DD put it, this is a "destination" wedding for many family members, especially hers.  (Her fiance also has relatives in Florida, but they have money, so can afford to come My family is predominantly in Iowa and AZ).  I have a sister who is poor as are all her adult kids, so my DD doesn't even know whether to invite them or not.  So, here's the question...do you invite people you know full well can't afford to come or not?  She said they're keeping their wedding small (120 people is SMALL??).  My parents also can't afford to go, so that let's them out.  I know my ex-MIL will go (she has so much money she even told me she wanted to take a vacation with ME and she'll pay!) and also my ex's 2 brothers and their wives.  My younger brother and his wife have already said they'd go, so at least I'll have them there.  Other than that, it will just be me and dh from MY side of the family.  :( 

It DID make me sad when my DD talked about how "close" her fiancee's family is meaning ours is not.  I admit, not living around my own family my entire adult life was hard and how can you instill the closeness of a family in your children when they don't live close by.  My DDs hardly know my family.  I asked DD21 to go with me to AZ and I could tell she didn't really want to for that very reason.  She does have 2 cousins there who are 22 and 26, but they are both married and each have 2 kids which is totally not of interest to my DD who is in college.  Speaking of kids, my family is all about kids and my DD27 said there will definitely be no kids at their wedding.  I know she has mentioned her fiancee's cousins' kids and she's not impressed and obviously doesn't want them there.  Kids are important in MY family, so have always been invited to weddings, but they're all far away anyway, so it's a non-issue.  My poor ex-MIL said last time we were together that she was beginning to wonder if she'd EVER get great-grandchildren (she has 8 grandhchildren ages 21-29...none married or with kids).  I told her MY parents have 14 great-grandchildren. ( My sister is only 3 years older than I am - 56 and has 10 grandchildren.) They'd probably be happy to share.  lol

Sorry this was so long.  Guess I was in a chatty mood.  I just wish I knew why my DD29 isn't responding to me.  At any rate, I'm done trying.  If she wants to talk to me, she knows my number, etc...but she seems to be sending a loud message to me. 

 

 

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Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 06-22-2013 - 12:24pm

If someone contacted me 3 times in one week, asking for information they didn't REALLY need, my mental response would be "When hell freezes over".  Many people are very private about their SS#'s, especially if they are concerned about identity theft.  You do not NEED the SS# of the 29yo (or the 27 yo, for that matter) for health insurance purposes, since you cannot cover them.   If it is to add your dd as the possible (after the simultaneous death of your current husband)  1/4 recipient of a miniscule work-provided life insurance policy, she probably isn't interested.   It isn't the end of the world if you don't have that information, and she knows it.  *I* read your insistance as a demand, and expect that is why she is "ignoring" you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

Congratulations on the wedding--something exciting to look forward to.  It is a little hard when everyone in the family is not in the area of the wedding.  It sounds like no matter where it was, it would not be near your family.  I think you should invite your sister & her kids if you are inviting the rest of the family, then it's their choice whether or not to go.  If you don't invite them, the message will be either that they're not wanted (which is not the case) or embarrassing them because you assume they can't afford to go.  I think that you already tried several times to contact your oldest DD and since she didn't respond, you should stop trying.  She just sounds like she has issues--it would not be a big deal to email you her SS number.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

That's great news that relations with your dd's are improving. Very nice that your dd27 is including you in the wedding planning. I would also fly out to accompany my dd for dress shopping, like you said, priceless. 

I couldn't begin to guess why your dd29 is avoiding you. If she doesn't want to divulge her SSN then she could easily say that and be done with it. My suggestion is to tell her "never mind about the SSN" and then drop it, forget about it, and let natural consequences take over if necessary. I'm assuming that its some kind of life ins policy since like Sabr mentioned, our kids go off our health policies at 26. So assuming that you told your dd's the purpose of the request, and dd29 declined to participate, then she may not be included in the event that benefits are paid out. Her loss but her choice. Even if its for something other than life ins, you cannot force a person to give such info so you just leave some blanks in the info for her. Once that has been removed you will know if the silence is due to your request, or to something else. Sorry you have to tiptoe around her moods so much.

I think your dd should invite to the wedding all of the relatives, and let them decide if they can make it. Being over a year away, maybe some of them can figure out how to swing it financially. Maybe you can ask your dd to scope out some affordable lodgings so guests have options.

Thanks for the update, it sounds like in general things are getting better.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Sat, 06-22-2013 - 5:43pm

I agree with Sabr.

I also understand how hectic life can be. She could very well be very busy at work and sending you her SSN is not a high priority. She could be feeling down over the break up; she could be... a host of reasons. 

(I don't understand why the insurance company would want it anyways. Sounds too intrusive to me. )

Don't play a guilt trip on her. Personnally, if I got a voice message complaining that I did not respond "toute suite" for a favor with the line that family members who care talk to each other, I would ignore the request too.

As for the wedding, your daughter and her fiancé should invite whoever they want to. It is their wedding and, I assume, they are paying for it.  120 people is not a large wedding these days, especially if the couple has many friends and relatives. 

People should only be invited based on the assumption they will attend and with their attendance  budgeted into the wedding costs. Invite them, assume they will come and then wait for the RVSP. You do not invite someone hoping that they will not accept because you cannot afford for them to come. What happens if they accept?

If it is important to the couple that certain people attend, they will find a way to help them attend (i.e. getting other relatives to host them in their homes, arranging for a dinner for out of town guests, make it be known that their attendence is enough of a gift...)

People who care for your daughter and her fiancé will not feel slighted if they do not receive an invitation. They will understand that weddings are expensive and not everyone can be invited, including extended family members.

So, I suggest you tell your daughter to invite people who are part of her life and of her fiancé's, who she and he want to be there with them on their wedding day.

By the way, congrats on your DD's engagement.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Sun, 06-23-2013 - 10:08am

Thanks, Music.  I agree with everything you said and know my DD27 will do the right thing.  You can't invite certain aunts and uncles and not others...and, who knows, maybe my sister will save for it and come, however, I doubt it.  Her own son & his wife lived in Wyoming for a year and my sister & her husband never made it a priority to go visit them.  It caused real hurt on my nephew and he quit speaking to them for 3 years.  It really hurt him.  At any rate, I agree...they should give people at least he chance to make that decision whether to come or not and I think they will. 

I agree with you, too, that, like my other 3 DDs, she could have easily texted it to me.  I guess my parents raised me better than that...if someone in your life contacts you, you respond.  If it's a text, one can respond quickly.  It doesn't take but a second.  If it's a phone call or an email...to me, a day or two is what I feel is appropriate, but that's me.  I think to not respond at all is rude and inconsiderate and NOTHING will change my mind about that.  I have a friend who does that and I think the same of her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Sun, 06-23-2013 - 10:12am

Yes...DD29 could have done the same thing DD27 did.  She texted me right back asking me why I needed it.  I told her and she got it right to me, but asked me to delete it from my phone as soon as I used it which, of course, I did.  It's the not responding thing I find so rude and inconsiderate.  My other 3 DDs got right back to me.  It was like, "What HER problem??"  She uses her job as an excuse, but I find it just that...an excuse.  My mother texts me at work and I get right back to her.  People are more important than anything...at least in my eyes.  Suzy Orman always says at the end of her show, "People first, money second, then things."  Well said, Suzy.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Sun, 06-23-2013 - 10:28am

Thanks.  I don't know why having gone through a horrific divorce myself, I would be so excited to have a daughter getting married, but I am.  I LOVE my DDs fiancee...she couldn't have gotten a better guy.  I love him as I would love a son.  I guess that's why I'm thrilled for her.  She never had luck with boys as a teen or in college, so for her to have found love and such a good one...I just couldn't be happier for her.  She's turned into a young woman I'm so proud of and admire. She has grown up so much.  She now calls me out of the blue (the only one who does that) just to make sure I'm alive  and I do the same with her.  lol  It's nice and something I've waited for for years.  I know she'll do the right  thing and the fact she was concerned about what part I wanted to play in her wedding plans spoke volumes to me.  She cares...which I didn't always feel from any of my DDs after the divorce.  It feels good. 

As for the wedding itself...no...they are NOT paying for it themselves...they don't have that kind of money.  I know my ex has $5,000 set aside for each of my DDs and my DD29 told me once that her sister's future in-laws said they'd pay for it as they have no daughters and have money, so I have no idea what kind of budget there is, etc...I did tell dh that I want to give my DD a check when she's home for Christmas and he barely wanted to talk about it.  We're not rich people and this will be a big hit.  But, he knew when he married me that by me putting all my divorce money into buying our home, that it would be HIS money that would have to help pay for my DDs weddings.  But, now the time has come and he's less than thrilled.  I wish I could ask DD what their budget is and give her an amount that I can feel good about.  I told dh knowing what my ex is giving, I would like to give $3,000 knowing it will cost me and dh $2,000 just to GO to the wedding.  sigh  We need new carpet and can't even afford a vacation this year or next.  Of course my DDs wedding is most important, but I do feel bad for dh.  This is not HIS child and so I can understand his not being excited about the money.  We just paid off HIS sons's DOT fines of $3000 and thought we were going to have to buy him a car to get him back on his feet after his 2 years of drug use and THAT got under MY skin.  So, dh doesn't say much anymore as I retaliate and always bring this up.  (I know it's not right, but I get angry WHENEVER he brings up ANY money I've spent on MY children.  It does shut him up immediately.)  Anyway, his son has now decided to join the military (happy dance!), so we at least don't have to buy a car. 

 

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Tue, 06-25-2013 - 11:31am

Congrats on your improved relationship with your girls & the upcoming wedding.

I would just drop worrying about your DD's lack of reply. Yes, she could have responded as it's the right thing to do but many people get overwhelmed by their "work" that they just forget. Then they get annoyed by someone constantly contacting them. They are wrong but there isn't much fun being right either. I wonder if she is depressed & struggling with her life right now. A breakup isn't easy as you know even if you feel it's the right thing.

Enjoy your wedding time with your DD. There is plenty you can do even if you are far away. The internet has lots of ideas & things you can share with your DD. Shopping for the dress is a wonderful time. Having just gone through 2 wedding for my kids in the last 18 mths, I have learned to simply say that the guests were the decisions made by the kids & not engage in any discussions with others about this. DD said no kids except those in wedding party but ended up with about 10 kids at the wedding as some parents just brought them. It wasn't  costly for her as the caterer refused to charge for the kids. But DS decided they wanted kids at the wedding but thankfully most invited didn't show as the 95 adult charge was only reduced to 65 for kids. It was crazy as they got chicken fingers & fries. For this reason, I'm a fan of not inviting kids.  We also chose family layers to invite to wedding rather than specific family members. Both kids had about 120 but SIL's family was huge, so it was only aunts & uncles invited not cousins - he has 28 aunts & uncles and about 55 cousins including their SOs. DD has 6 aunts/uncles, so she got to invite her 4 cousins . They had a huge # of close friends they invited instead of his cousins. DS invited aunts, uncles, cousins & just very close friends. I would invite everyone you want & leave it to them to decide if they can afford to attend the wedding. Our family was invited to a wedding in England yrs ago & DD was asked to be a bridesmaid. We managed to save enough over 18 mths so that DD & I could go. DH & boys stayed home.

Oh the joys of finances in a new marriage. I was lucky in that Mom paid for my wedding from Dad's insurance before she married my stepdad. Then she took the rest of the money & gave it to him to put in an RRSP (401k) once they got married. My stepsister & my stepbrother have  both had loans given to them by stepdad & some never paid back but I was never offered a penny. There were few gifts for me until our gov't changed their policy on the widow's pension Mom received prior to her re-marriage & it was reinstated. Once she had this 200/mth, my kids & I got small birthday/xmas presents from this money. I hope your girls don't know that you paid $3000 for his DS as they will see this as unfair esp since I believe he has been living with you which means you are supporting him. I hope your DH gets over this being "his" money & becomes happy to contribute to your DD's wedding day. Will he attend the wedding?

 

Dee

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Mon, 07-08-2013 - 12:36pm

 My kids do know about the money spent on his son, but see it as the right thing to do.  They seem to feel sorry for his sons...not sure why when they have done EVERYTHING wrong.  I stll help DD21 when she asks, so she feels no resentment.  Her father is paying for her college and she agrees that that IS his job since he was the breadwinner and paid for her older sisters college, so she holds no resentment towards me.  Dh knows I want to give DD27 $3000 for her wedding when she is home at Christmas and agrees it is the right thing to do.  I know her father has $5,000 set aside for each of my girls, but, knowing it will cost quite a bit just to travel to the wedding, I included travel within my amount.  She knows it is a hardship for her family since we are the ones who live far away, so I don't think is expecting much from us.

As for the wedding, honestly, dh isn't looking forward to it.  My DD and her fiance have probably told his parents about the mean new husband and he knows it, so feels like he'll be looked at and judged.  My DD has already said he's invited as she knows with her father's whole family there, I would feel MORE than uncomfortable as MY family can't afford to go since she's having it on the east coast.  Only my younger brother and his wife have said they will attend and I am SO happy about that.  They will be a real comfort to me in an uncomfortable situation.  My DD27 and I have had that deep talk and she finally, I think, understands me and how I feel.  Unfortunately, DD26 hasn't matured to that point, which leads me to my next question...how old were you when you and your mom reconnected?  I simply cannot have DD26 in my life as cruel, disrespectful and hurtful as she has been to me although I have reached out to her 3 times since January.  She said to me just this weekend once again that I "chose" dh over my own children (which I'm sure certainly seemed that way as I did go through that "selfish phase" after my divorce and new relationship with dh).  She always throws it back at me that I'M the one not speaking to HER and puts all the blame on me.  Certainly, I take ownership for the hurtful things I've done, but she refuses to and won't budge an inch.  So, I was just wondering how old you were before you and your mom were able to have a good relationship again.

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Mon, 07-22-2013 - 11:58am
Please understand that I try to see both sides of this situation & I feel for both you & your daughters. However, your kids don't likely see any value in the addition of your DH to their lives. I wonder if they feel the same way about their stepmom. I never split from my Mom but that is more because I was raised to "take care" of her. So when she ignored me, I was always there when she made time for me. Our relationship has always been more where I'm her parent & she is my child although she will tell you that isn't true. It's apparent to everyone else just how true it is. As I matured, I stopped resenting my stepfather some but he was never interested in me being around until he aged & needed my care. Now he says I'm his daughter & he can be much nicer to me than my Mom. In hindsight, I would say that my Mom should have been the one to make more of an effort to deal with my anger/resentment about her marriage but she sided with her DH's wishes. She was happy with him & put him first. Since he was happy not seeing me & made negative comments about me, she went along with him. He would be quick to point out if I hurt my Mom but never cared how much her behaviour in siding with him hurt me. I see my kids & how they still have a home, we may live in a different place than where they grew up but it's still their home. I never had that once my Mom remarried. I missed having this but am thrilled to see how my kids feel & the sense of security they have from knowing that Dad & Mom both make them a priority. It's so much easier to do this when there isn't a 3rd party involved. I'm sure that while your kids seem closer to their Father at times, there is also a distance because of his wife. They say that time heals all wounds. It may be a good thing that your DD is letting her anger out now. I'm actually dealing with the fact that for almost 40 yrs, I have suppressed most of my anger at my Mom & now it is overwhelming me. She is in shock as she has always done things to me knowing that I would suck it up & accept but that isn't happening now. She can't accept that I'm angry at her latest behaviour which is too much to share right now & that I'm walking away from her. Her recent comment was that in our family we love each other no matter how much pain we cause the other person. I love my Mom & always will but I don't like her right now & so I'm finally keeping my distance. I'm sure your DDs all love you but their real or imagined hurts make them not like you at times. Dee

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