by Mrs. Nancy
(Lafayette, la. USA)

Is it polite for my step-mother to invite my ex-husband to our family events at my father and step-mothers house? We all have to drive several hours to get there and I do get along with him concerning topics of our children, grown son and daughter with children of their own, but I have remarried and she does things like this to hurt me. She doesn't even call ME, even though we all try to be as nice as we can, no one can please her. Since my ex was nice and listened to her rant about people because he is nice but sort of spineless, she called h, put him on the spot, he said, and he assumed I did know.

It just doesn't seem right that now- she is 80, but has been doing these things since her 40's--she continues to make me feel awful and not important at our fily get-togethers. I don't tell my children much of this because they enjoy getting to see him. He is pretty lazy about visiting them and our grandchildren only see him when my children visit him- 3-4 hour drive. But everyone else thinks it's odd. Us there someway I can get her to stop doing this. My ex actually doesn't like it much either and my husband of 20 years puts up with it all but doesn't think it is right.

If you knew how many mean things this woman has done! She married my father a year after my mother was killed in a car crash. She left me, and three younger children. I was the oldest, 19 and in college. The yougeat, my sister, was 10. It was awful for all of us, but our dad loved her. Or seemed to. She had never married and had no children . She didn't have the best upbringing and seems to have no manners orich taste, though she has traveled the world with our dad and has more money than she can spend . My dad bought a house on the lake so that we all could enjoy it but she rarely wanted us to visit once everyone was out of the house. (All by 18 or 19 years old) thanks for being my therapist today.

I've cried about her meanness for many years .

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Family Matters
by: Ms P Etiquette

Hello Nancy,

Your family situation seems to be a sad one of long standing, which means no advice from me will fix this. Yes, your step mother's behavior seems rude and mean spirited. Apparently there is no action on your part that can change things unless you simply refuse to participate. However, that will adversely affect your extended family who enjoy the family gatherings. Good manners suggest we take care to not cause others social discomfort, so you have a lot to mull over. I am sorry that I have no magic bullet to save the day

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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