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.

TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 23-Apr-14 09:47:05

Can I assume you're just conveniently ignoring my question then?

TheRealAmandaClarke Tue 22-Apr-14 21:21:47

And I actually primarily addressed the stalking issue, as I see it.

TheRealAmandaClarke Tue 22-Apr-14 21:19:54

Which of my comments is ridiculous?

I've not had a go at OP.

KingJoffreysBloodshotEye Tue 22-Apr-14 21:02:33

Adoption most certainly involves a great deal more commitment than "signing a few bits of paper"

Which OP's partner may have already proved. Certainly sounds like he has.

OP knows what is best for her children and both her and her children obviously trust her partner.

Your comment is ridiculous. Married men and 'legal' fathers can and do feck off. Marriage and adoption protect you from nothing.

OP has asked for help over a FB issue and it's totally unfair to have a go at her because she's found her children a new (and what sounds like a better) father.

Goldmandra Tue 22-Apr-14 20:45:28

A child can have two people they call Daddy. I know a little boy who has two mummies. He differentiates in a similar manner to the OP's elder child. It isn't a problem for anyone.

The only possible problem I can see with the OP's situation is the bio father not liking it and he gave up his right to an opinion on who gets called Daddy when he stopped bothering to see his children.

TheRealAmandaClarke Tue 22-Apr-14 20:37:02

kingjoffrey
Adoption most certainly involves a great deal more commitment than "signing a few bits of paper"
What a ridiculous comment.

FTRsGotAShinyNewNN Tue 22-Apr-14 18:57:06

I don't think your eldest calling your DP 'daddy' is an issue, she clearly knows the difference between him and her bio father and calls him that as he's her father figure and she's comfortable with it, regardless of your living arrangements which is just geography
WRT your ex, ignore, block and do not engage unless through a solicitor, if he's really serious about being a part of the children's lives he'll make the effort to do things properly

RedPony Tue 22-Apr-14 18:50:30

OP I can't see the issue with allowing your daughter to call your partner Daddy. A daddy is the male figure that is there for the child and helps raise the child and if that's what your daughter sees your partner as then it's up to her if she calls him daddy. as long as she is aware she has a biological father then there should be no problem smile

Andrewofgg Tue 22-Apr-14 18:02:15

From professional, not personal experience:

It's always dangerous to allow children to call anyone Daddy unless they have legally adopted or the bio father is dead.

You can never rule out the possibility that even the most unpromising father will get his act together, sort himself out, dry out, come off drugs, find a job, whatever, and ask for contact - directly or through the courts which might agree with him. Then you've got a problem which could have been avoided.

Fullyswindonian Tue 22-Apr-14 16:59:00

Thankyou for your replies everyone and the Facebook advice has been taken, with privacy settings now locked down.

He has been surprisingly uncommunicative on the issue since which leads me to believe it's a front for proving to Cafcass/whoever that he has been trying to make contact with the children, even thout a Facebook profile is hardly viable.

As for the Daddy thing, the eldest is clearly just looking for a father figure in her life to replace the absent one. She refers to her bio Dad as 'Daddy Fred' and my partner as just 'Daddy'. She's aware of the difference at nearly 7 years old. The youngest child has seen his bio Dad about 3 times since birth and doesn't call my new partner Daddy but by his name, which reinforces my belief that my eldest child has adopted him as a father figure. Because the youngest child has never known his bio father so has never established a father/son bond.

There's no possibility of my allowing them to call 'subsequent partners' Daddy as I don't intend to take another partner if this relationship fails.

I will update if there's any development.

flowers Thankyou

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.

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

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.

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.

"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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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

I would delete my Facebook profile immediately.

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.

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 09:48:26

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.

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.

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

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