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The Strawberry Letter: He Let Her Plan My Party

Dear Steve and Shirley,

I've been married for three years, and I met my husband at my nephew's birthday party. He had dropped off a bunch of tables and chairs in his pickup truck, and he spoke to me in the parking lot as he left. He told me that day that he was going to marry me. I got butterflies because he was tall and bald, and he looked through my soul when he talked to me.

We stayed outside talking for so long that I was late to the party. A few days after the party, we went out on our first date, and he admitted that his ex-wife is a party planner, and she owns an upscale events company, and he helps her with the business because he owns a small percentage of it. He says they're good friends and have a good co-parenting relationship.

We got married eight months after we met, and we've had our ups and downs with his ex-wife. She's cordial, but we've never clicked. My husband told me she's not an outgoing person, and she doesn't have a lot of girlfriends because of that. I have to endure her calls to my husband whenever she wants to vent over a business matter. I honestly think she should only call him when there's an issue with their son, but I try not to nag him.

But where I draw the line is having her plan my 40th birthday party. I turned 40 on October 2nd, and my husband had a small dinner catered in our community clubhouse. The next night, he threw me a surprise party at a lounge, and I was truly surprised in more ways than one. The party was beautifully done, and everyone wore black and gold, but the party planner wore an all-gold dress to upstage me. It was his ex-wife. He allowed this woman to plan my birthday party. This is unacceptable. He doesn't see the harm in it. Am I being a brat?