As the wife of a man that has minor children that live with us full-time, I’ve learned that navigating blended families can sometimes be challenging, especially during significant events like prom season. Recently, my husband and I faced a situation that left me feeling like an afterthought in the prom day plans, and it brought up a mix of emotions that I want to share with you.
Let me set the scene. It’s prom season in Atlanta, and my husband’s daughter is getting ready for her big night. Her mom has rented a house for the day so that the girls can get ready together, which is a thoughtful and fun idea. My husband randomly decides he wants to see his daughter before she leaves for prom, which he should and he starts getting ready to head over to the house where his ex-wife and his daughter are and a few other parents and their children.
As he’s about to leave, he casually asks me, “Did you want to come?” It’s clear that he had already made plans to go without even considering whether I might want to join. I’m caught off guard, and a mix of emotions hits me all at once.
At first, I feel hurt. It’s disappointing to be an afterthought in a moment that’s supposed to be special for a daughter whose life I am apart of on a daily basis. It’s also frustrating that my husband didn’t take a quick moment and consider my feelings about the situation.
I also feel a sense of exclusion. As the spouse of someone with children, I sometimes experience moments where I’m reminded that I’m not a parent, and this was one of those moments. It can be challenging to navigate the dynamics and feeling like an outsider in certain situations.
Additionally, I feel conflicted. On one hand, I want to support my husband, his daughter and his ex-wife on this important day. I genuinely care about their relationship, and I want them to have a healthy relationship. On the other hand, I also want to be respected, considered, and included in the family plans, especially during significant events like prom.
But instead of communicating my feelings and advocating for myself, I found myself sulking and letting it go, remembering my place – my husband’s wife, I am not a parent.
It’s easy to say, communicate openly with your partner and express your feelings, even if it feels uncomfortable. And to say remember that your feelings and contributions are valid and deserve to be respected in blended families. But really who has time for all of that and is it really worth it in the end
So, have you found yourself in a similar situation, how did you handle it? What was the outcome?