To not meet the Mother of DH's "surprise dd"?

(72 Posts)
MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 07:35:36

It's a long story so I'll condense it. It sounds horribly Jerry Springer too....DH is from another country....an engish speaking one which is a long way away.

We met 12 years ago and now have 2 children aged 8 and 4. We live in the UK.

WHen our DD1 was only 3, we had a phonecall from his MOther to tell us that an old girlfriend of his back in his country had called her and wanted DHs number.

She called DH and broke the news that she had his child and she was at the time nearly 10 years old.

DH had known this woman since school and when they were in their early 20s she had left the city they grew up in and one day she came back for a visit, DH and she had a one week fling.

She was at this time engaged to another man. She left to go back to her city and her fiancee and DH thought no more of this and never heard from her again. He knew she was engaged.

It turns out, she got pregnant and passed DHs child off as her fiancee's.

The time she rang us when DD was 3, it was to tell DH that he had a child. She had split with her by then, husband who asked for a DNA test...so it all came out.

He had been raising DHs child.

DH had a DNA test which we did via postal services but when we saw a picture of the little girl we knew she was his anyway. The DNA test was positive.

Since then, DH has struggled to maintain contact with them, the MOther is not a secure person, ...he's signed an agreement thing so the woman gets her child payments from the government over there, which DH pays to them...and he has been over to visit. We used all our savings for this because the main thing was that his poor DD could meet him

Contact is not great because his DD is now 15 and not that keen,...she barely knows DH... her Mum isn't a lot of help and moves around a lot...sometimes forgetting to update us with numbers etc. His DD wont keep in touch herself but if DH can call and get her MUm, she usually chats.

We're going back there this Christmas to stay wth DHs mum and DHs Mum has invited them to her home for lunch. I' am a bit unhappy about it....I want to meet DHs child but not her MOther over lunch!

It's going to feel very awkward! AIBU? I genuinely do not know. The woman is not known for her pleasant behaviour....she's spiky and when I talked to her on Skype at the start of all this, she asked me what dress size I am! shock

What do I do? Go out when they come? That means I won't get to meet DHs DD in the flesh so to speak... which I want to!

pingu2209 Tue 20-Nov-12 08:22:19

I can fully understand your totally rational and normal feelings over this. However, the child's and your children's feelings are more important than yours.

His surprise daughter may well need her own mother there for support. But more importantly (for you) your own children will need their mother there for their support.

Your own children have a sister. A half sister, but a sister none the less. The child may not be your flesh and blood, but it is your children's flesh and blood. They need to see you in a positive light over their sister. It will be confusing and upsetting for them if they see their own mother struggling with the situation.

If the other mother is a cow and is insinuating that you are larger than her or ugly or anything horrible; rise above it for your own children. In years to come you will get pay back in terms of being able to look yourself in the mirror and your own children in their eyes and be able to honestly say that you supported them through this.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 08:32:17

I don't know if she was insinuating that I am larger....I'm obviously not! But it was rude either way.

I do have nothing but positive feelings for the DD she is my DDs blood and that's enough for me....I'd welcome her with open arms. Truth be told, I am afraid of the woman. SHe's had a hard life and has been involved in some very iffy scenes.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 20-Nov-12 08:34:47

Stay, smile, suck it up. You have nothing to be embarrassed about and you're part of DH's life. If you are worried about being shy and feeling awkward focus on your DDs and meeting their half sister. Your MIL has done a nice thing inviting the mother and daughter over.

x2boys Tue 20-Nov-12 08:37:49

I have some knowledge of what your going through although ours is an entirely different scenario DH had aDD nearly 12 who lives not to far fropm us but ever since I met dh nearly 8 yrs ago his dd mother has done everything in her power to keep him away [despite the fact although they did have a relationship it was more off than on when she got pregnant and most definatley over when he met me].DH pays csa and always sends birthday and xmas cards usually without a word of thanks but our theory is as she gets older DH ,DD might want to meet him and have a relationship with him on her own terms so we always keep the lines of communication open , i by the way have never met the dd although our children have albeit briefly.

ajandjjmum Tue 20-Nov-12 08:39:41

You need to be there because your children will see their Dad being 'claimed' by someone else, and at whatever age, that has to be a tricky situation.

I don't envy you, but you need to pull out your inner actress for the day. You might be shy really, but you'll be the most welcoming, confident woman ever on this occasion! grin

I can understand why you feel like you do, but I don't think staying away is the right way to handle it. Be at the lunch, meet her in person, then be happy as you fly back home knowing you did the right thing.

If she's snippy or rude, rise above it and show yourself to be the better person. Staying away would make you look like the unreasonable / unpleasant one.

DownTheRabidHole Tue 20-Nov-12 08:52:29

YABVU, as much as you don't like it, these two women are part of your family.

There was an article about this in the daily mail a few weeks ago which brought tears to my eyes, a thought-provoking and heart-warming article by a woman whose husband got that phonecall. Please look it up, it was a lovely story.

OwedToAutumn Tue 20-Nov-12 08:52:59

YANBU to want to get out or this. It sounds bloody awful.

The way I see it, you, your DC, and your DH's DD are the innocents in all this.

The girl will have lots of support - her DM and DGM (and DGF?). Your DC will have you and DH, as well as DGP. You will only have your DH, and he needs to realise that.

You have supported him in financial terms. Money that you should reasonably expect to give security to your family has been sent to her and used to visit her and to maintain a relationship with her (obviously rightly). I am sure you have supported him emotionally, when he found out he had a DD on the other side of the world.

Now it's his turn to support you.

He should speak to his DM (and DF?) to put your position across to them, ie that MrsCant is the innocent in all this, and to be understanding toward you.

I think you probably should "do the right thing" and go, but a conversation between DH and his parents is necessary, as is his care and attention to you on the day.

AThingInYourLife Tue 20-Nov-12 08:59:54

You need to stay.

AThingInYourLife Tue 20-Nov-12 09:07:10

You need to stay.

AmberSocks Tue 20-Nov-12 09:09:39

ell your dh how you feel,and his mil too if you feel comfortable talking to her about that.We have a similar situation here and i wouldnt want to meet the mother and no one would or should expect me too!

AmberSocks Tue 20-Nov-12 09:09:56

sorry i meant your mil.

AmberSocks Tue 20-Nov-12 09:11:12

I also dont see why she needs to be there at all,if the dd is 15!

OwedToAutumn Tue 20-Nov-12 09:13:40

Well, maybe the girl won't go without her. Maybe the mother won't let her go unless she is present. The presence of the mother is probably out of the OP's control, I would've thought.

AmberSocks Tue 20-Nov-12 09:20:14

its not out of the ops husbands control though.

I also went through this as a child and i didnt have my parents there holding my hand,i was the same age.

Nancy66 Tue 20-Nov-12 09:37:55

I also think you need to be there.

However, once you arrive your husband needs to tell his mum that from now on she backs off. It's not on that she made this arrangment without clearing it with you first.

I don't blame you for not wanting to meet the other woman, her selfish lies have caused a lot of problems. But forget her and be there for your new step daughter.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 10:21:58

Autumn the Mum says the DD needs her. She's very involved and won't let the DD catch a bus or anyting without her....she wouldn't let DH even take her out for a day without her being there too when he went.

So if MIL asked the DD to come without her Mum, the Mum would not let her come.

DH was going to ask his Mum to arrange something different...he felt that I'd be uncomfortable but I said not to ask as she'd already done the inviting. MIL is nice but a bit ike an elephant in a tea shop. She wouldn't think about it in real terms.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 10:23:20

She's terribly sociable (MIL) and probably has dreams of us all being a big loving extended family (er...right) and it's innocent I'm sure.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 10:25:30

If I think I can cope then i will, but otherwise, I may just take my DDs out for the day....and then tell DH that he and his DD and her Mum, can come and meet us all for after lunch drinks in town....we could go to a nice cafe near the beach that I know.

That way, my DDs will get to meet their sister in neutral territory and MIL and FIL can have DH and his DD and the MOther for lunch without it being weird.

DowntonTrout Tue 20-Nov-12 10:27:00

I have been through something similar. DHs DD turned up when she was 12. Our DD1 was 8 and I was pregnant with DD2.

It was a very difficult time. It has had long lasting effect on DD1. The mother was a nightmare, completely unstable and would ring up late at night threatening suicide. She was convinced dH and she were still in love and going to get back together. DH tried to do the right thing, trying to find her somewhere to live when her DP threw her out, trying to support his DD. but she too had been damaged by her mother. In the end it nearly destroyed our marriage.

DH has some contact with his DD now, I have very little. Sadly it seems she will never be a real part of our family. She was indoctrinated from a young age about how I was the evil woman who stole her father. Not true in any way! Even now, 10 years on, I could not be in a room with the mother.

It is easy for people to say you should put your own feelings aside. It is less easy to do. The only advice I can give is to try and be there, as your DDs will need you. It will be awkward. Try not to give this woman any impression of your discomfort and present a united front. I really wish you luck and hope that in the future it will get easier.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 10:29:45

I feel really uncomfortable about my DDs even being around this woman Trout. I haven't given all the details on here as it's not on to share other people's lives to much but she is very unstable.

She's got a vendetta against men and says negative things about them when we skype...like "Oh you'll learn DD....all men are shit"

And they both swear.

Blu Tue 20-Nov-12 10:33:16

It's just one lunch time, and your only chance, maybe, ever, to meet this girl. Also maybe the only chance for your DC to meet her.

Look at it from her pov. First her father, who brought her up, goes to great lengths to prove that she is not his, and is gone. Now if she sees another family apparantly reject or disassociate she may well feel very rejected. Of course she will suspect if you and the DC are not there.

It will be awkward, but she is a child and you are the grown up. I would just do it. Be friendly and welcoming, talk with her, not the mother.

It will send very strong signals of all kinds if you duck out of this.

AnyFucker Tue 20-Nov-12 10:38:24

I feel badly for you, but I do think this is one of those times you need to pull on your Big Girl pants and do this thing.

You will be glad you did (afterwards)

YANBU to want to avoid meetng this woman but I think you need to for the girls sake if no-one else's. Looking to the not so distant future, she will be a young adult who may want to spend time with her father away from her mother and if you have avoided meeting her it will make it even harder for her. I think I'd go and meet them both and then suggest another meeting without her mother being there where you can be a bit more relaxed but for this occassion concentrate on making her feel wanted by all of you.

SoggySummer Tue 20-Nov-12 10:45:28

It was very presumptious of your MIL to arrange this with no prior consultation.

I think you do need to be there but I think the whole meeting should be on neutral territory. Get MIL to book a local restaurant - somewhere large and busy so at least there is alot of other stuff going on and its not too intmate for others to overhear too much.

This way all parties have the option to remove themselves from the situation easily if the daughters mum kicks off.

It will be easy to arrange - get MIL to phone up the woman a few weeks beforehand to "confirm" details and just say as there is going to be so many of us we have booked a table at X, to save me all that washing up..... etc etc. I would say it would be polite ensure that the mum and daughter dont need to cover this cost though.

Also just be polite and smiley. If the woman is rude or abrupt just be nice and smiley back or ignore. Dont retaliate. She will make herself look a complete tit and others will see this for themselves. You can walk away head held high knowing you did your best for the situation - whatever the outcome. Its just a few hours.

Good luck.

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