Dear Barb—The Secret Wedding

Dear Barb:

My parents divorced many years ago.  I lived with my mom while growing up, but I am now married with kids of my own.  My mom has dated throughout my life but never lived with anyone or remarried until recently. 

She met George a few years ago and has kept their relationship fairly private.  The few times I have seen George I found him to be pleasant.  He has a son and daughter who I have never met.  I don’t think he is very close to his children.  My mom and I are close, and my kids love their grandma, which would explain why I was shocked when I found out my mom and George got married.  They did not tell anyone they were getting married except for my aunt and uncle who were their witnesses.  George’s kids were not invited either.  When my mom told me they got married, I freaked.  When she saw my reaction, she seemed confused.  She said they just wanted a small ceremony and didn’t want to make a big fuss about it.  I haven’t spoken to my mom since the wedding.  I am so hurt, I can’t get over it.  I cannot understand why my mom would do something like that.  Do you think I’m overreacting?  

Looking forward to your response, Kristen.

Hi Kristen:

Thanks for sharing.  There are many reasons why people choose to elope rather than have a traditional wedding.  One reason is finances, another may be the details involved in planning a wedding and deciding who to invite and who not to invite, especially when divorce is involved.  Perhaps, since George is not close to his children, he felt they wouldn’t want to come to the wedding, and so him and your mother felt it would be easier not to invite any children or family members.

Whether this is right or wrong, doesn’t really matter, it was their choice.  It doesn’t appear to be done out of spite or anger, but possibly they wanted to keep the celebration low key.  I don’t think you should hold this against your mom.  On the other hand, if they had invited George’s children or other family members and excluded you, that would pose a problem and would be difficult for you to get over.  My advice would be to accept the situation and move forward with your relationship with your mother and your new stepdad.  Don’t let this become a wedge in your relationship with your mom.  Best of luck in the future.

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