Please contact Evil Stepmom at ESM@evilstepmom.org with your questions or ideas about stepfamily living with 17-30 year olds.

 



Dear Evil Stepmom
Stepmom Left Out of Wedding Photos
Dear Evil Stepmom,

My stepdaughter was recently married. I paid for most of the wedding, and helped her prepare for her big day. When the time for wedding party and family photos, I was left out. Though I was there, and taking pictures with my own camera, I was not asked to come up for a picture.

I've tried to let it go, but I'm really bothered by this slight. Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks,

I-never-thought-I was-Evil-Stepmom



Dear Not-at-all-Evil-Stepmom,

You are absolutely right on every count. It would have been fair, right, and caring to include you in some family photos, even if she didn’t hang them over her mantle. You are also right that you will need to overlook this one. Your stepdaughter was busy, spread thin, and not being terribly thoughtful. Actually, your husband should have said, “Suzy, I would like a picture on Jane and me with you on your special day…” I’m sure he wasn’t ready all that transpired though—wedding days can be such a blur, and dads seem to be even more overwhelmed that brides sometimes!

Because you sound mature and thoughtful and not at all evil, I would urge you to overlook the slight (I can’t even broach this idea with some of the people who write to me; they are often too hijacked by emotion to understand). To “overlook” does not mean ignore, forget, or pretend it didn’t happen. It means see it and look over it. This is REALLY hard, but it’s also a terrific exercise in maturity and long-sightedness. It will always niggle you, but work on your overlooking and you will build your resilience muscles. If only resilience were an Olympic event, we stepmoms would win every medal, every time!

I have to admit something I’ve never told anyone: when I got our wedding photos back, I was chagrined to see that our photographer got not one singe photo of my stepdaughter. GREAT pics of my husband’s 2 boys, and dad and the boys together, but NOT ONE of Annie. It is still a big sadness for me, and I have never addressed it with her. Maybe I will now. Thank you for bringing it up.

You sound like a good wife and a true advocate for your children—all of them. Your stepdaughter may not realize what happened. She may never realize it. But if you can let it go, things will go better for you over the long haul. You’re right—weddings are stressful, brides get weird, and there is simply no accounting some of the slights, oversights, and straight up snubs that happen during these emotionally intense times.

Your generosity and composure is all your stepdaughter will remember 10 years from now. Until then, all you can do is shake your head, brush it off, and ask your husband to take you to an especially nice dinner to make up for it;)

Sorry it took so long to reply—I’ve been off-line helping my dad get settled back home after a surgery and rehab in Florida. My stepmom is gone now, and, though I would have loved to leave her out of my wedding photos, I’d give anything for my dad to have his companion back. We live and learn…

I’m happy to chat online any time. Keep up the good work. Your husband is lucky to have a partner like you, and your stepdaughter is lucky, too. She just doesn’t know it yet.

Stay strong ~ Kimberly

(AKA: Evil Stepmom)


 
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