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how to handle husbands new bride on wedding top table with me

(72 Posts)
hamblehoney Tue 04-Oct-11 14:36:07

My son of 29 getting married sep 2012 and has invited his stepmother to be on to table along with me whom I absolutely hate. Have almost said Iwont go to the wedding if thats the case. He is quite stubborn, so am I but he is hurting me so much I cant stop crying.

cjbartlett Tue 04-Oct-11 14:38:42

Well if he has any sense she'll be at one end of the table and you'll be at the other

you have to grin and bear it for your son's sake

and if they have children don't forget you'll both be grandparents at birthday parties, chrsitenings , school plays maybe, even xmas dinner
you have to get used to the idea now as it will only get worse if you can't be civil

Mouseface Tue 04-Oct-11 14:40:38

I'm sorry that you feel this way but the day if for YOUR SON, not you.

Please don't do this to him. Please don't go because of her. You will regret it and you will hurt him so very much.

If you love him and I'm sure you do, you need to put this behind you for ONE DAY and be there for him. He's your son, he's asked you to be there that day for him.

Do as he asks. It's just one day.

Put on your best brave face and support him.

Flowerista Tue 04-Oct-11 14:40:58

That's a shame OP. Thing it boils down to is, do you want to miss your sons wedding or not? If not you're just going to have to suck it up I think. Placement should mean youre at opposite ends of a table which means you don't have to chat or make eye contact. I'd concentrate on buying a killer outfit and out-glaming her ( but then I'm a bit shallow!).

GlaikitFizzog Tue 04-Oct-11 14:42:20

I'm sorry to say this but I think this is one of the times whe you have to just suck it up. This is your sons day not yours. Please don't cut your nose off to spite you face by offering ultimatums.

Perhaps ask if they can arrange the seating so that you are opposite ends of the table.

Your son obviously doesn't have the strength of feeling you do towards his stepmother and want her to be involved in his big day. Don't make it more difficult that it has to be for him and his bride, because the day is really all about them.

pozzled Tue 04-Oct-11 14:43:50

Sorry, but this is your son's day and his stepmother is part of his life. Weddings are a pain to organise without offending everyone, and while I'm sure your son doesn't want to upset you, he also does not want to upset his father by not seating his stepmother on the top table.

For your son's sake you will just have to put up with it. Put a fixed smile on your face, avoid the woman as much as possible, and if you do need to speak to her be icily polite and excuse yourself as soon as you can. But whatever you do, do not make a scene or try to put pressure on your son and DIL-to-be to change their plans.

MinnieBar Tue 04-Oct-11 14:44:35

Mouseface is right - this is HIS day (and his wife's!) and it's not about you. You are just a guest (a very important one, but still).

By all means ask if it's possible to have a different seating plan (top tables are sooo last decade, darling) and explain why, but do NOT use emotional blackmail to get your way. It's not fair and you are putting him in a horrible situation.

stayfornoone Tue 04-Oct-11 14:46:23

My dad gave me away at my wedding. But neither him or any other of that side of my family came to my reception because of my mother being there. I have never got over the hurt or forgotten what it was like being asked where my dad was on my wedding day. I will never ever do that to any of my children, regardless of the circumstances. I suggest you consider going if you dont want to risk damaging your relationship. Its his day.

GooseyLoosey Tue 04-Oct-11 14:47:50

This happened at my wedding. Father said he did not want step father there. Mother (doing martyr routine) said that she would not go then "just to make it easy". I could not have invited my mother without her partner (he had done nothing to dad and was not involved in their split - this might have made a difference).

After several rounds of this, I was very hurt and disappointed with my parents and in the end said "I don't care if none of you come". They got over it quite quickly after that and stopped inflicting their angst on my wedding.

If dad had said to me "I would love to come to your wedding. I can't wait. I'm so happy for you. Could I just ask one thing? To make sure everyone has a great day, could you sit me and X at opposite ends of the top table?" I would have been more than happy to help and would have bent over backwards to do it. You have to get over it for the sake of your son. I would never have forgiven my parents if they had allowed their differences to spoil my wedding day.

gapants Tue 04-Oct-11 14:48:32

What a shame for you, and for your poor son who must feel absolutely torn.

I agree with the others, you have to suck it up. Without knowing the background it is hard to say more. However as cjbarlett says this is the start of possibly seeing alot more of her socially. Perhaps it is time to mend fences?

Anniegetyourgun Tue 04-Oct-11 14:48:43

I had to stand and be photographed with XH quite a lot at DS1's wedding. We'd only been divorced for a year at that point so I was still in the bitter loathing phase. I should have had a medal for behaving myself, but the payoff was a happy day for all concerned.

Remember, she may be sitting on the table with your ex but she will never be your son's mother. She can't take that away from you.

SuchFunSuchFun Tue 04-Oct-11 14:48:44

It's a horrible situation for your son as well, he can't not invite one of you. You and your ex husband both of course have a place on the top table with your son, but she's your Ex's new wife and your sons stepmother so she also has a place there with them both.

If you really can't stand her, have a quiet word with your son and see if you can be at the other end of the table.

Just for the one day I think you need to try and put on a brave face, smile and, for your son's sake, enjoy yourself and show how proud of him rather than how bad you might feel inside.

As cjbartlett said, you might need to get used to seeing her at family gatherings.

LeBOF Tue 04-Oct-11 14:53:33

Ex-husband, surely? There's no reason at all you even need to speak to his wife, so don't let your dislike of her spoil your son's wedding.

KeepInMind Tue 04-Oct-11 14:59:24

How long as she been his step mother?
Did your Ex leave to be with her?
Do you have a new partner?

I think it is just something you will have to put up with

OTheHugeWerewolef Tue 04-Oct-11 15:04:37

I'm on the other side of this, OP - my dad doesn't speak to my mum since she left him 10 years ago, and I'm getting married next year. I lost a lot of sleep worrying about what would happen on the day with both sets of parents and step-parents there, and eventually plucked up the courage to speak to my dad about it. He basically said that he wouldn't find it especially easy to be there but that we would be celebrating my wedding so he and my SM would put a brave face on.

Obviously I'd rather the conflicts and hostilities weren't there, but respecting my dad's feelings I reckon that's the best I could hope for. When he said that I nearly cried with relief.

Please consider swallowing your hurt and anger, just for one day, so your son can have a lovely wedding. If he's anything like me your DS may well have his own complicated feelings about your separation from your exH, his dad, and you will make what is already a scary day a lot more fraught if you, his parents, bring that into the room on the day he celebrates his own marriage.

Tinkerisdead Tue 04-Oct-11 15:12:03

Our parents are all seperated and remarried. I had all 8 on our top table. I'm afraid that this is your son's day and he shouldnt have to choose amongst the important people in his life. You have to be the bigger person here and get on with it.

I've since had christening and birthday parents where everyone has been in a much closer circle than my wedding. Assuming you'll want to share in your grandchildren, this may be the start of many occasions you'll be in close proximity.

Tinkerisdead Tue 04-Oct-11 15:13:12

Birthday parties not parents?!?

OiMissus Tue 04-Oct-11 15:16:24

"but he is hurting me so much I cant stop crying"

He isn't doing this to hurt you. It's not about you. This is his wedding, the most important day of HIS life. It should be your priority to support him and make it as easy as possible.
It's you who are hurting him - organising a wedding is stressful enough already without silly family spats, and ridiculous threats of "If she's there, I'm not coming!"
Get over yourself. Apologise for the silliness. Tell him you will be there and will provide any help you can. By all means tell him that you are uncomfortable about the top table arrangement, and request to be sat at opposite sides, or suggest other top table ideas: The Bride and Groom could elect to be sat at the Top table alone, or with all the children (this is a lovely idea and a lot of fun - all the kids over 5 who can feed themselves will love the attention, they will behave themselves, the bride and groom will be entertained, and all the guests will be happy as their children will not be bored, sat with adults and playing up to get attention), or simply with their entourage of attendants but no parents.
Be graceful, be elegant, hold your head high and be respected.

Rowtheboatashore Tue 04-Oct-11 15:17:26

Try to avoid her as much as you can, just be polite and enjoy your son's wedding. Make sure you look and feel lovely and talk to the people in the family who make you feel good. If the new wife has any grace then she'll take something of a back seat given that it's your son's big day. If she doesn't, take the moral high ground internally...and externally present a picture of serenity and joy!!

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Tue 04-Oct-11 15:18:30

<pins medal on Annie>

Dozer Tue 04-Oct-11 15:19:29

That sounds v hard, but agree with everyone else, just has to be done. Somewhere on MN a while back there was a great thread when someone was in a similar situation, got lots of good tips for getting through the run-up to the day and the day itself.

BelleEnd Tue 04-Oct-11 15:20:43

I had my father and stepfather on my top table. My father was fine about it purely because he loves me and wanted me to be happy on my wedding day.

I can understand it's hard for you, but there are scores of threads on here about family feuds stemming from such things. Be the bigger person: Don't make it about you.

Thumbwitch Tue 04-Oct-11 15:22:44

Tis shit. Tis shittier than the shittiest shitty thing - but you have to do it, sorry.
He's stuck in a bad place as well - he wants both his parents there, his Dad will want the OW there, there will have been Words about where the OW sits; you need to be the gracious one here. You really do - make him happy that you are being such a wonderful generous mum and not creating more angst for him over the wedding, especially when it's so difficult already.

As others have said - the OW should be placed at the other end of the table to you and you have no need to really speak to her at all - why should you?

Sorry that it's so painful for you (I have other friends whose parents were in a similar situation to you and it tore everyone apart but in the end the weddings went off fine, no catfighting or obvious upset).

TobyLeWolef Tue 04-Oct-11 15:24:32

Oh, for goodness sake! He's not doing this to get at you. Rise above it.

gigglepigg Tue 04-Oct-11 15:24:49

a) its nothing to do with you who he invites to top table
b) It HIS day, not yours, its NOT ABOUT YOU!

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