Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Stepmother worries about role in new family

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: Ever since my stepson announced his engagement to a lovely lady, his father and I have been treated like third wheels.

First, my stepson told his father that he shouldn't bother showing up at the rehearsal dinner, but told us which part of the rehearsal dinner we could pay for.

His mother, "Jocelyn" (my husband's ex), took charge of the location and arrangements.

Now married, the couple is expecting a son soon. The bride's parents are utterly awesome and, like us, want a big happy family who loves and supports each other.

Jocelyn comes from a huge family with sisters, nieces, nephews and babies galore. She seems to be hell-bent on diminishing her ex's role in both the son's life and now, the joyous gift about to be brought into the world.

What her motives are won't change how awful I feel both for my husband and for myself: due to severe beatings by an alcoholic first husband I never could conceive children.


I had prayed that I could transition from everyone's favorite aunt to bonus grandma. My husband is somewhat resigned to his ex's controlling behavior, but both of us hope to have some equitable quality time with our future grandbaby.

Moving forward, the next steps are unclear.

-- Lots of Love Waiting

Dear Lots of Love: I can't explain or excuse your stepson's behavior, although if his mother is a bear, she will be even more bear-like and possessive during these big life-moments. He is quite obviously choosing the path of least resistance. So is your husband. Nice job, guys.


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