DEAR ABBY: My husband, "John," and I have been married 12 years. My stepdaughter, "Diana," who gave me a "My Second Mom" card on Mother’s Day, is being married in September. Diana is very close to her mother, "Charlotte," who resents me.
Because John and I are paying for half the wedding, we requested that my parents and Diana’s stepbrother and stepsister be invited. Our request was denied. Diana asked me to play a small role in the ceremony, but Charlotte became very upset, so I was excluded.
As things stand, I’m not sure where I will be seated, if I will be included in family photos, the reception line, first dance, grand march, etc. Out of deference to Charlotte, the wedding seems to have been planned as if I don’t exist.
John and I discussed it and I suggested that maybe it would be best if I didn’t attend the wedding. He became very sad and said he really wants me there. How can I support John and stop all this from damaging my relationship with Diana?
— Disappearing Stepmother
DEAR STEPMOTHER: Although you and your husband are paying for half the wedding, it’s clear that Charlotte is running the show. I don’t blame you for feeling hurt; however, you will do more damage to your relationship with Diana if you do not attend. I think you should go — to help your stepdaughter celebrate this important day, and to inject a much-needed dose of reality into this fantasy.