Graduation party dilemma - ex step daughters

I am dating a man who was previously married. She had 2 daughters from a previous relationship, plus a son with my boyfriend. They were together for a total of maybe 10 years - about 5 of that married. They have been apart since about 2004. The girls have not been a part of his life at all since the break-up. A few years ago, her oldest daughter graduated from high school. We were invited to (although did not attend) her graduation party. We sent a card with $100 since we could not make it. Last year, the other daughter graduated. We were not invited to the party. Should we have still sent a card with $100 like we did for the oldest ex-step-daughter? I feel since we were not invited, we are not obligated to send a gift. A few months later, his ex texted him before the ex-step-daughter was leaving for college and pointed out "you know, she realizes that you didn't bother to send her a card". I'm sorry she has hurt feelings, but my opinion is if you don't want us at your party, then you don't want or need our money. Who is right??

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Graduation Gift
by: Ms P Etiquette

I find this interesting because your supposition is an invitation and a gift are cause and effect. Good manners tell us gift giving is something we do because we wish to enhance the life of another person, whether or not that person has already done us a favor. Therefore, if the second step-daughter was as deserving as the first then a card and a gift would have been a lovely gesture, even without the ex-wife's party invitation.

Ms. Practical Etiquette

by: Anonymous

While I understand what you are saying, the girls are no longer a part of his life. Therefore, had we not been invited to the first graduation party, we would not have sent a gift. We more or less felt obligated to send a gift because of the fact that we were invited to the party. Etiquette wise maybe we are wrong, but on the other hand, based on what you are saying about it not being cause and effect (you are invited so you send a gift) do YOU send EVERYONE YOU KNOW a gift when they graduate / get married / etc??? Nobody can afford to do that - so they generally send gifts to the ones that they are invited to...

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