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Family Excluded

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My Dad and his wife had all their kids (spouses and grandchildren) to their vacation home for the holiday. My family was not invited. This is NOT the first time this has happened. They have all been there many times. We have never been invited. My sister was married on this island 4 years ago and he didn’t even invite us over then (we were on the island for the wedding).

My hubby thinks I shouldn’t get so upset because it will make me bitter. I don’t think he knows what it feels like to be excluded, not once but many times. While they will invite us to things in our hometown, we never feel as included as the rest of them. It’s obvious my Dad’s wife isn’t my biggest fan, but she is nice to my face. Honestly, I’m not her biggest fan either, but we go to everything because our 3 kids adore their extended family and want to see them.

Yes, I’m an adult with my own family that loves me, but I still feel so hurt that they do this to me year after year. Can I really just blow it off and smile when I see them? Yes, I have asked my Dad about it. He doesn’t have an explanation. He’s been married to her for 18 years.

Should I get some therapy to get over this hurt? I really struggle with it every time. My Dad doesn’t show his love in any normal ways, either, so that makes this especially difficult.


Family Excluded

Answered by on -


It is time to grieve your experience with your father and step mother and move on. Therapy can be very helpful in grieving the loss. If you have already tried to reach your father and explain your pain of being excluded, then therapy will be the best way to move forward.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Family Excluded

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Family Excluded. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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