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Dear Captain Awkward,
My family has managed to kill the buzz of new marital bliss…or at least I’m allowing them to in my mind.
After a decade-plus long marriage, children, and lots of misery, I divorced, and later married a long time friend. We have a very solid relationship, my children adore him, and life is as good as it can be with our hectic schedules. Other than my parents, there was no wedding for my family to attend. Because this was my new husband’s first marriage, and he lives out of state, we were married there so that his family could all be present. My family was aware that we were getting married, and explanations were made regarding the wedding location. Our wedding happened, and life moved on. The problem is, I haven’t….at least not in my mind.
Many families are “quirky”, and mine is no exception. Heck, Hollywood seems to have a whole film genre for uncomfortable family comedies. It’s all fun and games until it’s your own, though. Since our marriage, exactly one family member (in my sizable family) has called to wish us congratulations. Not a single card. Lest you say this is sour grapes over not receiving money or gifts, or some obnoxious etiquette whinge…Maybe deep, deeep down there is a bit of truth to that. I can’t imagine not giving my own sibling/niece/grandchild a wedding gift. It is my second marriage, and there was no wedding for them to come to, so it is understandable. My greatest concern is (in addition to the fact that his family now thinks mine must be pure evil and worries about what he has married into), my husband feels hurt and jilted, when he has moved away from his EXTREMELY, UNBEARABLY close-knit family to be here. He has inferiority issues regarding my first husband. He makes less than half of what the Ex made, he is missing the 15+ years of family history my ex had with us, etc. He could use some friends here, or at least acknowledgement that he exists.
No one has reached out, invited us over, or has tried to get to know him in any way. In fact, I was told by my sister not to bring him with me (during our engagement) when I visited her out of the country, “because it would be like having a stranger in her house.” That trip to see her was taken at the cost of our honeymoon. (It was all the money I could save in two years, and all of my PTO from work.) I thought that was the final straw, until no one even acknowledged that I had gotten married at all.
My family does not still seem to be grieving for my previous marriage or Ex. Our divorce was very friendly, amicable, and we still raise the kids together exceptionally well. My divorce did not inconvenience the extended family in any way (not even so much as a babysitting request), so I just can’t wrap my head around what is going on here. Yes, some cards of gifts for our wedding would have been nice, but having them welcome the man I love into the family would have been the best gift of all. Too bad none of them can bother.
Can’t wait for Thanksgiving