My new partner is called 'Daddy' by my kids. Now the ex has reappeared on the scene...

(60 Posts)
Fullyswindonian Mon 21-Apr-14 23:11:00

I left my children's father 4 and a half years ago, taking a newborn and toddler with me. I'd had 7 years of the worst kind of DV.

He visited sporadically for a few years after, but stopped once I couldn't pay his petrol costs anymore.

There's since been no contact with his children for over 2 years. No talking, Skype, birthday or Christmas cards. No response to emails or texts.

A couple of years ago I began a relationship with someone and my eldest now calls him Daddy. We don't live together.

Out of the blue, last night I received a Facebook friend request from their father. He has styled his username under this format: 'Fred jackandjill'sdaddy' then Friend Requested everyone on my Friendlist.

His profile is pictured in a home clearly not his, and he's made little comments on his own pictures saying how much he misses them, is proud of them, and that he's set up this profile in order he can contact them.

He began access proceedings against me last year but failed to appear for Mediation or respond to any solicitor actions. So I'm confused by this development.

The cynical side of me sees the profile as a ruse of some kind. Either to let everyone on my Friendlist know 'He's The Daddy' and I'm the terrible woman for taking his children away.
I wonder if the fact the are photos of my children with my new partner on my profile that has annoyed or upset him.

Or he could genuinely have had an epiphany and want to move forward civilly.

But given his past behaviour including threats a couple of years ago that he would do everything in his power to take the chidren away from me (which would include lying under oath) I'm dubious.

So. Should I accept the Friend Request and see how his game unfolds?
Or ignore the Friend Request?

If he's had the epiphany moment and now wants to be civil and resume contact with the children, will the children be confused as one of them now calls my new partner Daddy and they have both enjoyed a relationship with him for the last few years, seeing him when he stays over weekends and on daytrips and so on.

I'm concerned that by continuing to allow the children to think of my new partner as a Daddy I have failed massively to preserve their emotional welfare, as their bio father now potentially reappearing on the scene may cause them confusion. Should I now discourage them from calling him Daddy and distance the kind of relationship the children have with him??

All of this is causing me distress - something my ex is exceptionally good at.

I genuinely welcome your views.

mummywithsmiles25 Mon 21-Apr-14 23:17:31

1. Do not accept request if he wants contact he will go through lawyers.

2. Maybe just make sure there v aware that he isn't there bio dad and that they do have a bio dad and as they grow up, leave them to decide whether they want to call him dad or not.

RussianBlu Mon 21-Apr-14 23:19:45

If it were me I wouldn't be accepting his request. I find it odd that if he were genuinely interested he would be choosing to show this interest through trying to befriend you on Facebook. I also find it odd that he felt the need to send requests to all of your friends as well! It sounds kind of teenagerish (is that a word??) to me. I would be setting your security settings high so that none can see who your friends are or even send you a request anymore if I were you. As for your children calling the new person 'dad', I don't feel in a position to advise as each persons case in unique. I would probably find it strange myself and not encourage it but I can completely understand it so cant say if it is a good or bad idea.

Anyway, good luck and I think that until he writes you a letter or makes some kind of sensible contact expressing real sorrow I would be staying away.

WaxyDaisy Mon 21-Apr-14 23:21:35

Why can someone you are not friends with see pictures of your kids? Have you thought about tightening up your FB privacy settings?

wheretotheEasterBunnygonow Mon 21-Apr-14 23:21:57

What concerns me is that he has friend requested every one of your friends. This sounds like he is trying to find out about you which would tie in with a controlling person.

If he is genuine he would make a formal request to see the children.

I would be very tempted to close your Facebook account so he can't access information about your private life. If he says anything then just explain that children aren't allowed Facebook accounts so he can't communicate with them in this way thanks

Cupid5tunt Mon 21-Apr-14 23:22:31

I personally wouldn't start my daughter calling anyone Daddy but if she at some point made that decision I would reinforce that she was a biological father.

Don't accept the friends request. His actions arereally inappropriate and FB is not the place for this to play out. Doesn't sound like he would keep tour business private.

Cupid5tunt Mon 21-Apr-14 23:23:41

Has a*

littledrummergirl Mon 21-Apr-14 23:25:35

Decline the friend request, remove all photos of your dcs from your profile and hide the profile.
Tell your friends you do not want your dcs pictures posted.
Wait for an official request for contact and go via a centre. If he has changed he will accept this. Make sure you talk to your dcs about their father and how because he hasnt been able to be part of their lives, you dont know why he hasnt told you, they are verry lucky to have a Daddy who loves them very much.

WooWooOwl Mon 21-Apr-14 23:26:48

You are confusing two separate issues.

Whether you should agree to contact with your ex is irrelevant to the fact that you have allowed your children to call your boyfriend Daddy.

It sounds like you have very good reason to not accept a friend request on Facebook, if your ex wants contact then he can go about trying to get it properly, and Facebook really isn't the way to do that. If he does go through the proper channels and behave civilly, then your children should be allowed to see him.

Allowing your children to call someone daddy when you don't even live with them doesn't seem at all wise to me, but it's your choice. I think you do need to let your children know that he isn't their daddy while they are still young though so they grow up knowing the truth. That doesn't mean you need to limit the relationship between your children and your new man, but you do need to ensure that your children know he isn't their biological father.

Caitlin17 Mon 21-Apr-14 23:29:21

I will make an exception to my usual rule about ignoring anything to do with Facebook. Firstly I don't see the point of Facebook but clearly you do. I would not reply and I would close your account immediately.

Anyone whether friends or family with whom you need /want to keep in touch with can be contacted by text, phone or e-mail.

If he is serious about re-establishing contact this should have been initiated by a letter or phone call either direct to you if he has your contact details or if not via a third party such as a solicitor or a relative.

PolyesterBride Mon 21-Apr-14 23:29:32

Definitely put all privacy settings on the highest so that he can't see your photos etc. Don't accept his request and block him from your Facebook. If he wants contact, he can go through the proper channels.

As for the names, my own experience as a child would warn against calling the 'wrong' people daddy and not being totally honest about who is who. It can really affect children's sense of identity. Can you make a transition by saying "daddy name" eg "daddy john" when referring to your partner? Then they get used to using his name in case they end up referring to your ex as daddy as well?

Caitlin17 Mon 21-Apr-14 23:35:46

Oh and on the other issue personally I think it's a terrible idea letting your child call your boyfriend "daddy". He is not her/his father. I really don't think new boyfriend/second husband should ever be called that unless the new relationship is very, very firmly grounded, real father 100% guaranteed off the scene and possibly even new father has formally adopted the child.

missingwelliesinsd Mon 21-Apr-14 23:46:26

I would send a private message to all my FB friends explaining succintly that:

"I'm so sorry, my ex is acting strangely and inappropriately by contacting you all. I have been separated from him for X years due to DV and he has failed to comply with sessions for visitation/custody through the normal processes. I don't know why he has suddenly decided to FB friend request everyone I know but please understand that I have been trying to arrange a visitation/custody arrangement with him for years now, wherein he has simply not turned up for hearing/mediation sessions. I cannot emphasize enough that he is once again trying to manipulate this situation after being AWOL for years and ignoring all the recommended paths to achieve a beneficial custody/visitation arrangement. I'm sorry that this private business has impinged upon any of you."

Or something like that, I think your friends need to know what he is doing even if it means sharing some personal info.

Caitlin17 Mon 21-Apr-14 23:50:32

No I absolutely would not send that message. It only needs 1 person to pass that on inadvertently and get it in to the wrong hands. Just close bloody Facebook completely. Presumably anyone who is important to you can be contacted by a one to one method? You don't need to explain why you're no longer on Facebook. You don't need to be on Facebook.

Botanicbaby Mon 21-Apr-14 23:52:14

Very much agree with Caitlin17, I don't think its a good idea at all to let your child call your b/f 'daddy'. Esp when their real father is still alive and you don't live with your b/f.

I hated having to call my stepfather 'dad' despite the fact he lived with us and as my own father had died and was never coming back. Can only imagine how confusing it must be for children who still 'have' their dad out there no matter how awful a person he is.

facebook is a nightmare, sometimes I think it sends invites to people you know in common with others despite you not initiating it. However, someone setting up a profile on facebook simply to establish a relationship with their children is not taking the appropriate steps to do so anyway, there must be better channels than this, how do you even know its actually him? hmm

Ignore the friend request, sort out your facebook privacy settings or deactivate your account for a while. Sorry that this is upsetting you and causing you stress, it sounds like you've been through the mill with this horrible man but if he wants to see the children he needs to do it through the correct channels, not via facebook harassment of you.
Be strong, stand your ground, don't let him get to you.

softlysoftly Mon 21-Apr-14 23:52:53

Agree two separate issues.

1 - Facebook is a bad place to play this out. Delete your account. If you won't do that then an least remove all reference to your DCs and private information and request that all your contacts do the same. Don't get into the drama of it just a simple rule NO DC on Facebook.

2 - while I have no issue with DCs eventually having another "dad" my own sister is technically a half sister, there is an issue if they are not made to understand this is an adoptive postiion not bio. You don't say if your kids thing he is their actual bio dad?

Also I think "Daddy" needs to be an absolute, you aren't even living with this man, you need to be absolutely as sure as you can be that a person will be sharing your life forever before you introduce the idea of an adoptive father.

fidelineish Mon 21-Apr-14 23:53:19

* I also find it odd that he felt the need to send requests to all of your friends as well! It sounds kind of teenagerish (is that a word??) to me.*

Yes; juvenile and actually rather manipulative.

He started the 'proper' process last year and then dropped it. If he has (again) changed his mind, why not go through legal channels again? It smacks of game-playing to me.

Can you block and ignore?

Botanicbaby Mon 21-Apr-14 23:55:29

oh just seen the more recent posts, I would not send that message either.facebook is not important here, nor is informing all and sundry of this and that.
how sure are you that the person sending you a friend request is who they say they are?
deactivate Facebook. the first and foremost thing you need to think about is how to proceed with the children calling who dad/contact with their dad or not and staying safe and unharmed by it all.

Aeroflotgirl Tue 22-Apr-14 00:02:09

I would decline friend requests and block him, sounds like he is up to something. Yes tighten your privacy settings and out as little information of your self as you can. If he wants access he can go through court.

kickassangel Tue 22-Apr-14 00:48:39

He has not had an epiphany. He is trying to recruit people into team "I'm a controlling bastard".

Delete Facebook and all pictures online. If he pursues this any further get legal advice. Do you have any evidence if his violence?

Does he have any contacts that could be giving him info about you? How you conduct your current relationship is up to you, but some abusers can get very vindictive if they think their woman has moved on, so it may be wise to keep a low profile, online at least.

eightandthreequarters Tue 22-Apr-14 01:07:12

Real men do not seek to re-establish a relationship with their children via Facebook. I agree with others who advise you to delete your FB profile and all photos. Close down that line of contact completely. If he wants to create a relationship with his children, then he knows the route he needs to take and it's not FB. Do not message him. Do not message anyone else about him. Ignore until he contacts you via proper channels with what seems like a reasonable attempt to have a meaningful relationship with the DC.

As to your children calling your boyfriend 'Daddy' - you should probably put a gentle stop to that by encouraging them to use his name. He isn't living with you, and losing 'Dave' will be a lot easier than losing 'Daddy' should it not work out longterm. If you all end up living together as a family, then one day it may be entirely appropriate and really lovely if they call him 'Dad'. But you're not there yet.

Your ex is a twat. I doubt he'll even pursue contact through the proper channels. He's just trying to get to you.

Cupid5tunt Tue 22-Apr-14 07:29:24

Another saying don't send the message. I would have a chat with close friends and family and request that they don't entertain any contact with your ex but I really don't think informing your FB of your personal situation is wise. If people contact you saying X tried to add me keep it short and sweet and apologise saying you're not sure what it's all about but you would appreciate if they would ignore.

If you keep your FB unfriend the people that accept him, those people clearly don't have loyalties to you and may pass information or photographs on.

gamerchick Tue 22-Apr-14 07:36:31

You need to sort out your privacy settings out. How can he even see your friends list? My friends can't even see nine aside from mutual.

Do not accept this friends request.. just block his profile.

It's too late to stop the bairn calling your dude daddy as long as she knows he's not her bio dad.

Trillions Tue 22-Apr-14 08:27:59

I would block him and delete your FB account. Take down all your photos and any location info first.

It is very odd and inappropriate for your child to call your boyfriend Daddy though. If you don't live together he can't be doing much of the daddy stuff like school run, bedtime, general childcare etc. - so why does he get this title?

LavenderGreen14 Tue 22-Apr-14 08:32:29

I agree block him and hide everything, photos, friend list, likes, everything. You can even hide comments on your profile pic. Change anything public like profile pic to something completely impersonal too.

You can look at your facebook as 'view as' in the privacy settings and actually see what it looks like to someone who is not a friend. Also change it so only friends of friends can add or message you.

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