Dear Coleen: Fiancé’s family prioritise his ex while I’m left out

Dear Coleen

I’ve been with my soon-to-be husband – we’re getting married in less than a month – for a year.

We were together years ago and almost got married back then. He was dating a girl for about two years and found out she was pregnant as they were breaking up.

They are not close at all, in fact she’s putting him through hell to see his daughter and I still haven’t met her.

After they broke up and we were living together, his family invited him and his ex together for Christmas. I wasn’t invited. On Father’s Day, I was invited, but was asked to leave early so that my fiancé’s ex could bring their granddaughter over.

Why not just ask us both to deal with it and be grown up and civil to each other?

She stayed for five hours, so I wasn’t able to go back over to spend time with the family. They always ask her over and don’t even tell their son that she’s coming.

Meanwhile, she only lets him have a supervised visit with his daughter for an hour a week. Today I told him that I’d make the choice easy for them and won’t go over there any more.

Please help.

Coleen says

This is a high-stress situation for your fiancé and you at a time when you should be looking forward to your wedding and making plans for your future together.

OK, as far as his parents go, what I imagine is happening here is that, given the way their son’s ex has behaved, they are terrified of not being able to see their granddaughter, so they’re bending over backwards to be accommodating.

This ex has them over a barrel and she knows it. So they won’t want to do anything to upset the applecart, including being seen to favour you.

If you think your future in-laws and your fiancé could discuss the situation calmly, then why not suggest having a talk about a way forward?

I don’t know why your partner only has an hour’s supervised visit once a week with his daughter – and whether that was a decision made by his ex or the court – but he could go for increased access via his solicitor.

For now, focus on your wedding and enjoying this special time. Hopefully the situation with his ex and his daughter will improve, but it might be a rocky road to get there. Don’t let his ex divide you. Good luck.

More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems

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