step mom excluded from address line on step sons hs graduation announcement
I will keep this short.
My husband and I have been married for 18 months. I was a widow and he was divorced. She left and filed 6 years ago yet is as toxic as they come. The list of her inappropriate actions is long. She uses the kids as weapons and has them act as go bet-weens. They are 18, 20, 25, 27.
It seems that one isolated event triggers a domino reaction from her. The latest came from a letter asking for money to pay a bill (that we didn't know existed). In the letter she makes very inappropriate and flirtatious comments to my husband and discusses her financial troubles. (The EW and her attorney came up with all the terms of the divorce. She walked away with well over 100K in cash from pensions and the equity in the home.) She also took large amounts monthly via atm's from the time she left until the divorce was final. At one point she remodeled the home she had (left to her by her deceased mom) and had elective plastic surgery. So 5 years later there is no money for normal household maintenance.
My husband pays his CS on time and is helping with son #1's college. We offer money for Prom, summer youth trips and the like. Yet it is never enough. She puts the kids in the middle and tells them to contact dad when she can't cover an expense she has agreed in advance to do and makes it sound to them, that their dad is a deadbeat.
Anyway, last week she had son #1 call dad and ask him for help in getting home from college because mom had some appliances fail and brother #2 had Prom, and due to that she was finacially strapped. (We helped with Prom) My husband told the son he would help this time but not again (this is the second time something similar has occurred with mom, money and this son). My husband and his son had a bit of a heated exchange becuase my husband said he would not be manipulated any longer and told the son that he needs to tell his mom that he won't contact his dad again for money. That if she wants to - she can.
This is where the domino comes into play. My husband asked son#2 to please mail us 5 graduation announcements: one for us and 4 for other family members. We sent my step son an envelope with a return envelope addressed and included money for postage. My step son said he would get that out to us.
The morning after the call with son #1 my husband texted son #2 and asked if he had mailed the announcements. Son #2 sent back, "mom needs to talk to you about the announcements". We both knew it had nothing to do with the announcements but rather the phone call with the first son the day before. My husband can not communicate with her over the phone. She displays BPD and NPD. He limits his association to text, mail or email. (They live 6 hours and 3 states away, so this is a little easier since face to face interactions are limited). My husband recognized his son was in the middle so called him and left a message basically saying he wasn't sure what his mom needed to talk to him about but if he could ask her to contact him, they could discuss whatever it was she "needed" to talk about. She never called.
Yesterday, my step son's graudation announcement came in the mail. It was filled out in the EW handwriting and addressed to my husband only. In the letter she sent a month ago about the bills, she addressed it to his formal first name, middle initial and last name. The graduation announcement was to his formal first and last name. (the inconcistecy seems odd and that they would have been addressed in reverse due to the formal nature of the second) On the inner envelope she had written - dad, my name and my daughter's name.
My anger stems from the fact that she always has to be in control - thus we received ONE invitation and she has sent the rest to my husbands family - against his wishes. Then the snub on the address line is just one more punch to me in an endless slur of mean and over the top reprehensible behaviors by her to demean me and act like I am not really my husbands "legitimate wife". (There was not affair or anything like that either. I was still married when she left. The year their divorce was final was the same year my late husband passed away). So why she feels the need to do this is baffling.
We dont' respond in kind. We don't bad mouth her, we don't tell the kids they can't talk about her when she is around. We have done everything right and she continues to pursue toxic behavior. We have purchased Divorce Poison; I hate you - don't leave me; and on and on - trying to determine the best way to deal with her and her never ending actions.
We have roughly 4 years left to deal with her but her actions take a toll on me physically - at one point last year I exhibited heart attack symptoms - turns out it was only anxiety attacks (yay). Obviously I am not going to list all that has transpired that would affect me in such a profound way. The examples I have given are in the "mild" category.
My question is this - Do you think it was wrong to address the envelope to only my husband? My understanding is that if people are married and the invitation is of the "formal" category, it should be addressed to both husband and wife. I have been unable to find the proper "etiquette" regarding step parents and this subject.
Your thoughts would be appreciated. BTW - I have always been kind to the kids and they do spend time with us at spring break and so forth. The step kids and I text back and forth on occasion so it's not like they hate me or anything. This stems from the EW and her issues.