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.

ChickyEgg Tue 22-Apr-14 08:33:58

Tighten all your FB privacy settings. Remove all photos of your children. I used to have photos of mine but have since removed them with the thought 'its my account, photos of me or friends only'.

What is odd if that he has friend requested all of your friends. How do you know this? Have any accepted? Massive red flag to me. It does sound like game playing.

Alwayscheerful Tue 22-Apr-14 08:41:02

You sound lovely but far too trusting.

Your x sounds very scary controlling and unpredictable.

You must protect yourself, your DCs and your new partner.

Shut down your Facebook. Your x now has a list of all your friends and family, contact each one and ask them to block him explain you do not feel safe.

Any communication regarding contact should be via your solicitor if he truly cares, your x will take the correct action.

VelvetSpoon Tue 22-Apr-14 08:45:02

You should never have let your children call your boyfriend Daddy. Very wrong.

I met my Ex when I was a LP with a toddler aged DS. His father was not on the scene, and there was no risk of him reappearing. At first DS used to call him by his name, after a while (and unprompted by me or my Ex) he began to call him Daddy. I discouraged this at first; however, when I then became pregnant, my Ex said it would make sense to allow it, as obviously the new baby would be calling him Daddy, so I did. However, I was very careful to make DS aware that he did have another Daddy (who was his bio dad) but that this Daddy was the one who would be living with him - I can't remember quite how we phrased it at the time (this was 12/13 years ago!) but DS has always been very clear on that point - because I never wanted to hide that from him. I think you will find it very tricky now to stop your DC calling him Daddy, and they are likely to become confused and upset, especially if their real father is now on the scene and there's potential for him to be seeking access.

FunkyBoldRibena Tue 22-Apr-14 08:52:27

I'd delete ALL photos. Completely. And unlink any that you are tagged in that are on other people's accounts.

I'd block him.

Then I'd tighten up ALL security and then I'd disable my account.

Then I'd give it a while only communicating with close friends to see if this is playing out whilst I wasn't there.

I'd make a pretend account in a completely different name, friend it with myself [before disabling my actual account, obviously] and some close friends who know what is going on, and watch from a distance.

I'd take screen photos of anything worth having for future reference and save it all in a file for a solicitor.

gamerchick Tue 22-Apr-14 09:04:12

You don't have to delete photos.. just change the settings to only me.

TheRealAmandaClarke Tue 22-Apr-14 09:04:30

Your ex is effectively stalking you and recruiting your fb friends into that process. This is not good.
I would delete my account. But at the very least you should improve your privacy settings and avoid any contact with him via fb. Its important that he cant "see" you on fb. Which he can through your friends if your settings aent appropriately set.
Don't send that message (pp above) to ppl as it could be passed to him.

Personally, I wouldn't have a child call a bf "daddy" unless we were cohabiting and he was actually taking on a father role. Which your "DP" isn't. What does it teach them? What d they gain by it? I don't understand it and I think it serves to validate your relationship with him rather than provide them with a father role.
But that's done now. And it's your business and it's not the bigger issue here IMHO.

I would contact women's aid and i would get some legal advice. The children have a right (if safe to do so) to have contact with their father but he doesn't have the right to abuse you. He will not have changed.

ThePriory Tue 22-Apr-14 09:04:51

He is certainly trying to 'assert' his fatherly presence by the name he has chosen for his profile.

I suspect he has somehow found out about your new partner, and that jealousy is driving him to re-establish a very public form of contact.

It's totally unacceptable, seeing how he has been completely NC up until this point. Facebook is an entirely inappropriate medium for re-establishing contact as it is so public.

All my insticts say this is not some 'epiphany' moment, but it is something more sinister, including trying to show you up in front of your facebook friends.

I would delete your account, no one 'needs' to be on facebook. He has to go through the legel route to establish contact if that is what he wants.

It would be wise to explain to your DC's that your new boyfriend is not their 'Daddy' also...

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Tue 22-Apr-14 09:06:25

This is all about control obviously. If I were you I would send a message to all your friends asking them to kindly delete and block, then do the same yourself. Change your settings on Facebook so he can't even search for you and ignore. He can approach you via a solicitor if he wants contact.

PavlovtheCat Tue 22-Apr-14 09:16:33

As said by so many others. Remove yourself from FB. Completely. It is not an essential part of social interaction with others. Take all your photos off so they can't be used by others, send a message to all your friends telling them how they can contact you, and asking to never ever put up photos of your children or mention you in open FB conversations, and close it. Completely.

You can, when this has cooled off, if it does, re-open it with a more cryptic name and with full security protection which it sounds like you don't have now - you need to ensure that none of your photos are accessible to others outside of your friendship circle and that you cannot be found by searching the internet. But for now, remove, it for the sake of your children and yourself.

As far as calling your DP 'daddy' I don't know, that's your call but I guess you need to be very careful especially if your ex gets wind of this and shit hits the fan. Will DP stick around and ride this out with you? Does he know the extent of abuse within your previous relationship? Is he supportive? What does he think about being called 'daddy'?

newsecretidentity Tue 22-Apr-14 09:20:44

OP, this is dangerous. In contacting everyone on your friends list, he's stalking you and trying to find out more about you and integrate himself into those relationships. If he's been violent in the past, there's no reason to believe he's changed.

First you need to send him a letter or message instructing him to direct all contact through solicitors.

Second, block him on facebook.

Third, message everyone on your friends list and let them know that he is an unwelcome contact with a violent history and ask them to block him as well.

Then update your privacy settings.

londonrach Tue 22-Apr-14 09:37:28

You have two choices here, choice one close your Facebook account or two refuse his friend request remove all photos and de friend anyone who friends him. Also tightened up your Facebook security. I'd keep a written record of everything. If you trust your friends explain what's happened. Poor you, you need to protect your children. No way should you let someone that controlling who done DV into your life. If he wants to meet the children I suggest you get professional help and meet in a safe centre. X

lottiegarbanzo Tue 22-Apr-14 09:41:24

How can he see pictures on your profile? Surely just visible to friends, not Jo Public? Change your settings!

Why would you even consider accepting his friend request? If he wants to resume contact he can do so through proper, normal channels.

You've done the right thing for your children. Assert that and stick to it.

Do not even consider allowing yourself to be manipulated, allowing your time to be wasted, allowing yourself to be made to start doubting your decisions. Ignore him until he goes through the proper channels.

Goldmandra Tue 22-Apr-14 09:48:26

Ask everyone on your friends list not to add him and to remove any photos they have of you and your DCs.

Delete your FB account and contact a solicitor.

Don't get drawn into this mind game. He knew what he needed to do to get contact but didn't have the energy or the concentration to go through the proper channels last year. If he wants to try again, let him do the same again.

In the meantime make sure your DCs understand the difference between a biological father and someone who is parenting them. Allow them to choose what to call whom.

BrokenToeOuch Tue 22-Apr-14 09:49:08

You should never have let your children call your boyfriend Daddy. Very wrong.

Exactly. Why would you have allowed this to happen at all, he's not their father confused despite your rocky relationship, your ex is still their Dad.

As for the Facebook issue, get off FB and get some legal advice. Ignore any attempts at contact until you've done that. As for them calling your new DP Dad, you need to sort this out and tell them they have a biological Dad and a stepdad.

Honestly. hmm

Goldmandra Tue 22-Apr-14 09:56:57

You should never have let your children call your boyfriend Daddy. Very wrong.

It's up to the child to decide whether to call him Daddy. If he's fulfilling the parenting role and their own father is not in evidence it is perfectly reasonable for them to choose to call him Daddy. That's what he is to them.

sebsmummy1 Tue 22-Apr-14 10:01:46

I would delete my Facebook profile immediately.

BrokenToeOuch Tue 22-Apr-14 10:09:29

But he isn't, Gold, he's their stepfather. The eldest child was a toddler when they left, and he continued to see his biological Dad for a couple of years after that on and off, so would have been about 4 or so before he stopped seeing his Dad. Regardless of the Dads relationship with the OP, he is still a father to those DC (a shit one), and eldest would have certainly knew who his 'Daddy' was back then, hence OP now in a bit of a quandary.

Partners can come and go easily within a persons life, you only get one mother and father (obviously not taking into account legal paths such as adopting/fostering, though this isn't the case here, OP and her DP aren't living together). What's going to happen if OP separates from her DP? Will she encourage her DC to call subsequent partners Daddy too?

BertieBotts Tue 22-Apr-14 10:20:29

Don't accept his friend request. You are not his friend. He can go through the lawyer. (or for me I would accept email, but I don't want XP on my personal facebook account).

I'm in a similar situation where DS started to refer to (then) DP as "like a mummy" and then when he figured out what a dad was supposed to be (despite still seeing his own dad at this point angry) "like a daddy", this progressed to "other children have a dad, but I have a <hisname>" and then to "My dad" and now he's slipping into "Daddy". We're not discouraging it, because we've just got married, he IS a permanent fixture in DS' life and it's likely we'll have more children together and it feels unfair to shut DS out of that. If he considers him Daddy and wants to call him Daddy, that's fine. Since it was at his lead, I've adopted it when talking to/about him too.

He knows that he had a different daddy when he was a baby and so he has another daddy out there somewhere but that we don't know where he is. He knows (although I don't think this is stable for him) that Nanny is "other" Daddy's mum and that aunty X and uncle Y are "other daddy"'s brother and sister. I've tried to explain that me and his other daddy were the ones who made him so for example his freckles probably come from his other daddy, who he's now started calling daddy-name because that's less confusing. Every now and again I'm going through old photos and will show DS a photograph of him but he hardly ever asks.

XP knows. He got in contact last year and asked for contact, so I gave him the whole story and it seems now there's someone else in the picture (or perhaps because we were moving away) he doesn't want to know. Sad - his loss, though.

Goldmandra Tue 22-Apr-14 11:51:47

Regardless of the Dads relationship with the OP, he is still a father to those DC (a shit one)

Children don't only call biological fathers Daddy and biological status doesn't define the word. It should be up to the child to decide who they would like to call Daddy and if their bio father decides to step back into his children's lives and doesn't like it, he should just suck it up.

CundtBake Tue 22-Apr-14 13:25:17

But OP's DP isn't a stepfather. They're not married and he doesn't even live with them? That seems ridiculous to me and wrong.

"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."

"The cynical side of me sees the profile as a ruse of some kind."
The cynical side of you is right. Listen to it, and keep listening to it.

Completely agree with kickassangel - "He is trying to recruit people into team "I'm a controlling bastard"." If your Friendlist is like mineanybody else's then your 'friends' will be a mix of family, close friends, acquaintances, ex-colleagues, people you haven't seen since you left school etc. Be ruthless. Close your current profile down. Immediately. Those you are close to will ask about his friend request and you can explain your ex is stalking you online. Those you are not close to - meh.

SuperScrimper Tue 22-Apr-14 14:30:53

I will never understand women who allow their boyfriends to be called 'Daddy'.

Firstly, he's not their Father.

Secondly, if it has to happen it should only be ina very stable relationship. In my mind, marriage and then adoption. A non live in boyfriend is not a candidate for being called Daddy.

KingJoffreysBloodshotEye Tue 22-Apr-14 14:43:57

I don't think you need to close down your account.

You just need to block him on facebook so he can't see anything about you.

Then message the people you trust and explain what's going on.

smile

And don't feel bad about the 'daddy' thing. My DS calls my partner 'daddy'. Bio father buggered off some time ago and showed no interest thereafter. He cut his ties with DS. DP is far more of a father than exH ever could've been.

KingJoffreysBloodshotEye Tue 22-Apr-14 14:45:40

Secondly, if it has to happen it should only be ina very stable relationship. In my mind, marriage and then adoption.

Being a father is more than signing a few pieces of paper.

This has been proved on MN over and over and over.

smile

Sallyingforth Tue 22-Apr-14 14:54:04

As others have said above, just close your FB account. Contact your real friends by email etc. End of problem.

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