Getting married without telling your kids

(135 Posts)
MikeOxard Sun 25-Aug-13 22:12:22

AIBU to think it's not on to get married and keep it a secret from your children until after the event?

If, for example, you did this, what would you expect your children's reaction to be?
A. Something along the lines of a simple 'thanks for the invite'?
B. Something more positive, congratulations etc?
C. Or something less positive, expressing hurt/rejection etc?

Adult or child children?

kickassangel Sun 25-Aug-13 22:14:18

Depends on the age of the kids and how close they were. I would think it somewhere between unusual and offensive, depending on the relationship there was.

I know one guy who rarely sees his dad, so that would not be a big deal. If you see parents regularly, it could be extremely hurtful.

TSSDNCOP Sun 25-Aug-13 22:21:21

Depends on the age of the children for starters. Young or adult possibly NBU, anywhere from say 6-17 yes I think you could cause avoidable problems.

inkyfingers Sun 25-Aug-13 22:23:51

Don't understand why you wouldn't want to tell them, or better still, invite them. Aren't they part of your life,, and surely will be part of you life as a couple?

SorrelForbes Sun 25-Aug-13 22:26:36

DH and I got married without telling his two DC. We had no choice as they would have told his ex-wife and there was a high likelihood of her and her DH turning up and causing trouble (difficult legal issues at the time).

We did have a big 'wedding' a while later with a big party in which they played significant roles.

reddaisy Sun 25-Aug-13 22:26:56

Yanbu. Why?

ScornedWoman Sun 25-Aug-13 22:34:48

My dad did this a few years ago. They just had some friends there as witnesses, so it wasn't o only their children who weren't told/invited. It was what they wanted, so I was happy for them.

DorisIsWaiting Sun 25-Aug-13 22:36:36

MIL did this to DH (and I).

I thought we had a good relationship. She told us a month later (when she wanted dh to phone his cousins to tell her sister. no issues at all then MIL

We could understand why she had done the speed etc etc (been with FIL 20 years he was ill in another country). However DH (and to some extent I) was hurt by the fact that she didn't feel we would want to know or share with them.

MikeOxard Sun 25-Aug-13 22:38:50

reddaisy Just a situation from the terrible wedding behaviour thread. The son in this particular case was 22 and lived with the Dad.

Sorrel If that was genuinely the reason you couldn't tell them, then surely you could have told them the day before, or even on the actual day? Or not told them in advance, but just taken them along on the day for a surprise?

I just can't understand why you would not have your children there, or at least tell them beforehand - even if the same day. Telling them about it afterwards just seems really hurtful to me, I'd be really upset, ad there's no way I'd do that to my own children. I think it's fucking awful tbh.

lunar1 Sun 25-Aug-13 22:39:25

My wanker of a dad and his wicked witch wife did this when i was 13, didnt exactly bring out any warm and fuzzy feelings. Ive not had any contact with them for 16 years.

lunar1 Sun 25-Aug-13 22:41:01

Im with you OP, its vile behaviour whatever the excuses are people find to justify it.

This is a thread about a thread. Mike - I suspect you want people on this thread to back up your views on the terrible wedding behaviour thread, and that could be seen as poor form.

MikeOxard Sun 25-Aug-13 22:43:00

It wasn't just the children they didn't tell/invite btw - it was everyone. I'm not gobsmacked that they didn't tell/invite everyone because they wanted a quiet wedding and there was family politics - that's normal imo, but I am pretty gobsmacked that even in that situation that they wouldn't at least tell and/or invite their own children.

MikeOxard Sun 25-Aug-13 22:45:48

SDTG - It's not a thread about a thread, it's a thread about a situation. I didn't want to hijack that thread with this specific discussion - it's a funny thread with people's outrageous stories, and I didn't want to ruin it by going off topic.

MikeOxard Sun 25-Aug-13 22:47:07

And no, I don't want people to 'back up my views', I'm interested to see what people's views are. That's why I asked.

SaucyJack Sun 25-Aug-13 22:49:23

My dad did it when I was a kid.

And just to really really really shit on my face and rub it in, he asked my two cousins who were a year either side of me in age to be bridesmaids.

*not still bitter in the slightest. Oh no.

My dad did this when I was fifteen. They rang me from their 'holiday' and told me they were at a well known wedding place. I jokingly said 'you're not going to get married are you? Hahaha!' and my dad said 'We already did, this morning!' That wasn't hahaha at all.

I knew they were engaged, they'd even said I could be a bridesmaid, which I'd been so excited about, so this was a proper kick in the teeth to me. I'm not an only child so it was the same for my sibs too.

Having been well brought up by mum I feigned joy to my dad, and then to his wife, and when I got off the phone I sobbed.

It changed my relationship with my dad. He made me feel like a nobody. I found out recently that another family member had known and been sworn to secrecy, but that they told my dad it was a shitty thing to do to his children. Didn't stop him though. I also found out recently that my dad's wife's family all knew beforehand too, so it was just my dad's kids who weren't allowed to know, which seems utterly incomprehensible to me. It was, and in some ways still is, very very hurtful.

LongTailedTit Sun 25-Aug-13 22:58:58

Yup - my mum and 2nd stepdad did a road trip thru America and decided it would be a fabulous idea to get married in Las Vegas. hmm

They rang us at home in Suffolk after, we were all pretty unimpressed, including my grandparents who were looking after us at the time. DSis and I were 13/14ish.

Funny enough they're divorced now. <thank fuck for that>

Jan49 Sun 25-Aug-13 23:20:51

I think it depends on the circumstances - the age of the dc, whether they live with the couple, what their relationship is like.

My ex (my ds's father) remarried and our ds (aged 13) was invited and went to the wedding. I think it was right that he was invited and went but I don't think it would have been a big deal for him if he hadn't been invited or hadn't gone.

BadRoly Sun 25-Aug-13 23:25:56

Fil did this a few years ago. Dh wasn't too bothered but sil was very angry and upset. We certainly had 2 of our dc so no more than 6 years ago making us all in our 30s.

History between fil's wife and rest of the family so nothing she does is that surprising.

Actually, the funniest thing for dh (and worst for sil) was that fil announced the news in identical postcards that fortunately arrived the same day...shock

Pancakeflipper Sun 25-Aug-13 23:27:02

My DP's parents did this. Went to a register office and got married after 30years of being together.

DP was in his early 20's and he was really upset ( he gets upset about nothing usually so it must have been hurting). His siblings also were pissed off. They wanted to be part of it. Or at least know about the plans.

My mum and step dad did it. I had an idea though. We all went to celebrate after wards. They have their reasons why they kept it low key and I fully understand them.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Sun 25-Aug-13 23:32:31

Telling them about it afterwards just seems really hurtful to me, I'd be really upset

So would it be better for a couple who want to avoid drama with their DCs/exs but want to be married for legal reasons to do it in secret but not tell anyone afterwards, and have a 'wedding' years later to which everyone was invited?

ChinaCupsandSaucers Sun 25-Aug-13 23:34:52

* His siblings also were pissed off. They wanted to be part of it. Or at least know about the plans.*

Why? Genuine question, btw - I don't understand what difference it makes?

SunshineBossaNova Sun 25-Aug-13 23:41:23

My dad has done this twice - once when I was a child, again when I was am adult. My step siblings were there both times. It hurt like hell, and confirmed to me that I am a very small part of his life.

MikeOxard Sun 25-Aug-13 23:56:00

China It would be better if they told the kids, and prefereably invited them. There would likely be no more drama for the kids to attend on the day (but not be told in advance if necessary) than for them to be told afterwards. And if there was 'drama' about the kids attending then either don't get married or put up with that drama for the sake of your children's feelings.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 26-Aug-13 00:04:32

mike I see what you mean - in my case, you think it would be better for my DP and I to have the necessary legal docs drawn up for us to sign that gives us the same legal protection than to either 1) get married but not tell anyone ever or 2) get married, tell DD at the very last minute and her have to deal with her Dads behaviour when he finds out.

Pity there's such a difference in cost between a reg office marriage and solicitors fees.

We can't afford the latter, so if anything happens to me or DP, the remaining partner and DCs will have a real mess to sort out sad

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 26-Aug-13 00:05:58

My dad did this too. I was 10 or 11 and my sister would have been 8. They went on a round the world trip and got married in Vegas, in one of those drive-thru things. (Yes, really!) They sent us a postcard hmm I was really conflicted about it at the time, we both were. Excited, happy, but disappointed that we hadn't been a part of it.

I think I'm probably still in two minds about it. It's their life, it was a once in a lifetime thing and TBH it fits them. But OTOH it's the old thing about how a man can have DC and his life doesn't change beyond recognition whereas the woman's does. As a single parent now, it kind of grates on me how he felt it was just fine to go off disappearing on a round the world trip for a year and not see DSis or myself in this time (obviously). I don't remember him coming back either, which I later found out was because he spent another 6 months constantly pissed at this weird farm community thing they lived on at the time, and didn't bother to see us then either. hmm

RevoltingPeasant Mon 26-Aug-13 00:06:32

I don't really get this, tbh. If the children in question are under 18, then yes, I can see an issue. But many people here are talking about adult children. Really, if you are in your 30s and your parents want to have a quiet romantic wedding, why shouldn't they.

DH and I ran away to get married and didn't tell anyone. No one had a problem. Don't see why it would be different if we had (older) DC.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 26-Aug-13 00:07:36

Then again, DP and I are thinking of doing the secret wedding for legal reasons, tell people after the fact, and have a big party later, so maybe I am a massive hypocrite. But at least I'm thinking about the fact that it's going to disappoint my little half-sister massively if she doesn't get to be a bridesmaid at my wedding.

Scarletbanner Mon 26-Aug-13 00:16:36

If the children are adults, I think it would only be reasonable for them to be upset not to know if everyone else knew but them. But if it was a secret wedding, it's entirely up to the parents who to tell and invite. I don't understand why any adult would think otherwise.

RevoltingPeasant Mon 26-Aug-13 00:19:29

Scarlet exactly. No one has a right to be disappointed at not being in someone else's wedding unless they are 12.

SorrelForbes Mon 26-Aug-13 00:30:27

My DSC don't live close by so it wouldn't have been possible to just have taken them along on the day. If we'd have told them the day before, there potentially could have been issues on the day which we wanted to avoid for everyone's sakes. TBH we didn't invite anyone apart from our witnesses. We ended up with ten people there, 6 of which were not invited but that's another thread!

We've discussed the events with the DSC since and they're absolutely fine with what happened. They're teenagers who are, quite rightly, wrapped up in their own lives and honesty weren't really bothered about what we were doing!

Kiwiinkits Mon 26-Aug-13 00:45:53

I think it's very hurtful for the DC to do this, whatever age.

Kiwiinkits Mon 26-Aug-13 00:49:40

Sorrel, you might think your DSC's weren't that bothered but there's a number of people on this thread that have been similarly excluded from their parent's wedding at the same stage in their lives who have said they were very hurt, despite trying hard to come across as nonchalant to their parent at the time.

TheSecondComing Mon 26-Aug-13 00:51:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SorrelForbes Mon 26-Aug-13 00:53:37

I get your point but honestly, they really weren't at the time and still aren't now. They had a fabulous time on our proper 'wedding day' with lots of family and friends around them. They have said that our party day was the best wedding ever as there were no boring bits (i.e. the ceremony!).

EllaFitzgerald Mon 26-Aug-13 00:54:40

My father got married without telling us and the only reason we found out was because I saw a card with 'To My Wife' written on the front and told my mum, who asked him about it. He explained that he hadn't told us because he didn't think we'd want to come hmm At 13, I was the eldest.

If the children are adults, then fair enough if it's all kept quiet. However if teenagers or younger children are involved, then the parents should understand that their children are likely to feel incredibly hurt and unimportant in their parent's life. It's not a case of not being asked to be a bridesmaid, it's the feeling of exclusion.

SaucyJack Mon 26-Aug-13 01:06:47

I disagree RevoltingPeasant and as someone who has actually been on the receiving end of it, I can't imagine it would've hurt any less as an adult to know that my own father thought so little of me that he couldn't even be bothered to tell me he'd got married much less actually wanted me to be there and share it with him.

Your mum and dad are still your mum and dad even when you're in your 40s.

Hissy Mon 26-Aug-13 01:12:11

That level of exclusion hurts like hell, no matter what age, no matter what the event OR reason is.

My mother moved without telling me where. That ffing hurts.

Getting married without telling me would be no different.

RevoltingPeasant Mon 26-Aug-13 02:32:20

Saucy, I guess I just feel strongly that now I am an adult, my parents have a right to their own love lives. My mum came out a few years back and it turned out she had been in an intense relationship with a woman I knew socially for some time. My dad has a girlfriend he won't talk about cos he is weird and a bit Victorian like that.

It is not the same as getting married, but they both have private parts of their lives that they chose or choose to keep secret. I respect that. My mum is on holiday with her partner now, and in all honesty, if she came back and said they'd had a civil partnership, I'd be a bit hurt but I'd get over it in about a day, wish them happy and buy them a present.

IMO they had enough of thinking about the DC when they stayed unhappily married until we were all older to spare us (in their eyes). They are welcome to a bit of romance without having to drag their kids along.

It is clearly different if the kids are kids, though.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Mon 26-Aug-13 06:17:19

My mum and step dad did this a few years ago. Both me and my DB are in our 30s. They didn't tell anyone, their witnesses were two random people off the street. I think at the time I was a little but hurt at finding out afterwards but it doesn't bother me now, it's quite a funny story.

My mum did this too. My brother and I were late 20/early 30's. We're pretty close to them but my step dads kids don't see much of him. They got married six months after I got married and I was pregnant. My mum said how she hadn't wanted to take the shine off my day, how his kids prob wouldn't have come and so they just went and did it. Except they had their best friends as witnesses and got my nan's carer to bring her from her care home.

The following year they had the huge wedding reception, wore the wedding clothes again etc and invited the world and its mother. So I didn't really buy the whole we want a quiet affair thing? Incidentally I was the only child out of the four that attended anyway. I don't mind that they wanted to go off and do it, it was the secrecy about it and getting a text message afterwards knowing other people had gone was hurtful.

Groovee Mon 26-Aug-13 06:45:53

My mum and dad sneaked off with 2 friends and got married. No one knew not even my grandparents who were devastated.

My half siblings never liked my mum anyway so would have boycotted it. I was happily enjoying a day at school unaware that they were getting married. I don't remember the photos being done at my grandparents either even though I have them in an album.

However my dd is most put out that we didn't wait until she was born to allow her to be part of the wedding. How dare we get married without her.

So damned if you do and damned if you don't.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 26-Aug-13 07:35:05

there's a number of people on this thread that have been similarly excluded from their parent's wedding at the same stage in their lives who have said they were very hurt, despite trying hard to come across as nonchalant to their parent at the time.

Isn't that a good thing though? That the DCs behaved appropriately despite being hurt? Or should parents expect bad behaviour, rejection or rudeness from their DCs when they disagree with a decision their parents have made?

I do not believe for one moment that a parent should sacrifice their own lives in order to avoid hurting their DCs feelings.

SilverApples Mon 26-Aug-13 07:57:30

I would assume that anyone that did this had a very dysfunctional relationship with their children. I can understand adults getting married elsewhere and not inviting anyone at all, odd but some might prefer it.
But not to tell your children? Why would you exclude them?

Picklepepperpiper Mon 26-Aug-13 08:03:45

It's truly selfish behaviour to exclude your children from your wedding. My dad did this to me when I was 12, 20 years later I still feel angry and upset about it. His whole family were there and it was a big wedding.

Their excuse was that they were worried my mum would turn up and ruin the day - get over yourself as if someone would humiliate themselves in public like that!

Never an excuse!

AnitaBlake Mon 26-Aug-13 08:06:12

I guess its hard to think of this sort of thing generically, each set of circumstances is entirely different.

I wasn't invited to my dads wedding, and I found out about it on the rumour mill much later. That was very upsetting as a teenager. But I was still happy for him, and its never been discussed really.

My mum planned to go on a cruise with my stepdad and get married without telling anyone. It didn't happen for various reasons, and I certainly would have said 'thanks for the invite ;)' and ribbed them about it for the rest of their lives and mentioned it at the funeral!

I was quite frankly shocked to be invited to my auntys wedding, as despite the closeness, I honestly thought she would elope.

SD was invited to our wedding. But contact was refused by her mother, who is apparently planning on eloping without her anyway.

For me, a wedding is about two people, the bride and groom, no-one else, and their choices alone should be fully respected. As an adult I can see why my dad did things the way he dud, and happily respect the wishes of the happy couples involved.

HurricaneWyn Mon 26-Aug-13 08:13:33

My father did this - in fact still hasn't told me. But, he left when I was 9 and has pretty much disappeared since I was 15. I found out on Facebook. I don't think much about it - he doesn't really feel like a relative now, as he's been out of my life for so long.

I can't imagine doing it to my DC - my DS was so excited when we told him about our wedding. In school, when asked to write about his favourite memory he wrote "My favourite memory hasn't happened yet. My mum & dad are getting married soon and that will be my favourite memory."

Mind you, I can't imagine just leaving & never seeing them again either.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 26-Aug-13 08:14:22

But not to tell your children? Why would you exclude them?

Well, in my case, my exH would involve my DD (12) in supporting him emotionally to cope with the emotions it would created or him - just like he did when we separated, divorced, sold the marital home, hecfaced redundancy, a family member died etc etc. She's had several sessions of counselling over the years to deal with his unstable emotions and has developed coping strategies but it seems unreasonable to expose her to that as a result of something I want, so better not to tell her.

My DSS (10) wouldn't be allowed to see his Dad once Mum found out we were/or had got married - and it would provide more ammunition for her to convince DSS that his Dad has failed him by not remaining single.
DSD (16) would be thrilled, and would try and convince her Mum that she should accept it - which will lead to a screaming match between them which DSS will witness, and end in physical violence between mother and daughter.

Dysfunctional. Definitely. Not unusual for blended families, though!

teacherandguideleader Mon 26-Aug-13 08:28:43

If the whole thing was done in secret and no-one knew, I wouldn't mind.

My dad did this though. My nan mentioned in passing 'oh your dad enjoyed his wedding' - she assumed I knew, my shocked face told otherwise. Got a text later that day from my dad saying he thought he had mentioned it. He also told me that they had no guests anyway as a way of trying to make me feel better (it didn't).

A few months later I was visiting and he had left his laptop on the living room floor while he went to fetch some pizzas. The screen saver came on showing photos of the wedding. Her children and my dad's other children (my half siblings) were all there sad

BitOfAFatCowReally Mon 26-Aug-13 08:45:19

My mum did this and yes, it hurt. Posters are asking why and I can't really explain. But yes, in my case, it is a very dysfunctional relationship.

Turniptwirl Mon 26-Aug-13 09:08:33

I would be fuming if either of my parents did this. Especially as in the case of my dad, all her kids would know and be involved as she's very close to them

GertBySea Mon 26-Aug-13 09:15:03

I wonder if the other thread person will read this.

LookingThroughTheFog Mon 26-Aug-13 09:23:52

Surely it entirely depends on the people involved and the relationship they have? And it isn't up to anyone else to decide for them.

I'd be bloody relieved if my dad got married and didn't tell me. Genuine relief that he was someone else's problem now, and that I didn't have to attend a bloody even and simper and pretend we were all happy families. Relief that there was a clear and obvious example that we don't actually mean anything to him and that I no longer have any obligation.

With my mum it's more complicated. On the one hand, I'd like her to be married to her partner because at the moment she has no legal protection, and the man's an arse. But I don't want her to be married to an arse, so i'd prefer she didn't marry him at all. She was intending to get married last year, but he kicked up a fuss so they didn't. So part of me thinks if he'd be prepared to do it on the proviso that nobody knew, and she wanted to be married to him and had made that decision as an adult, then I'd prefer they were married without us knowing.

My ideal would be that she ditched the arse and found someone who genuinely loved her and treated her like royalty. Someone who wanted her to have her day and who didn't act like a jelous toddler when she wanted to spend time with her children.

But ultimately, I don't feel I have the right to meddle in her life any more than I'd want her to meddle in mine.

I think it's a lot different if there is a closer relationship and definitely if the children are not adults though. I think it's harsh to land a new step-parent on a child as if it's irrelevant in their lives. Even then, I think if there are circumstances where it's in effect a piece of paper, and there would be trouble from other family members, then I don't see it as a big deal.

SorrelForbes Mon 26-Aug-13 09:28:37

I don't want to go into too much detail for fear of outing myself but rest assured my DSC's DM would have turned up.

We would have much rather waited until things had been resolved legally before getting married but things happened very quickly over residency/visas and housing which made marriage a necessity.

smellysox Mon 26-Aug-13 09:29:44

I had a party to celebrate my wedding which had been held abroad. My father turned up and introduced his 3rd wife to everyone and had not even told his kids shock. Caused a big upset and I've not seen him since.

meddie Mon 26-Aug-13 09:33:17

My ex did this. Kids found out when pics appeared online 6months later. My daughter has had nothing to do with him since. My son has an email only relationship. DD cannot forgive him. He has done this twice.
I don t think its the secrecy. Its the fact that he didnt care enough to tell her.

Nanny0gg Mon 26-Aug-13 09:36:57

If parents don't tell their children about such an important part of their lives of course the children will feel excluded. Finding out that other family members knew/were part of it just compounds the hurt.

It just actively demonstrates how much of a family you are (or otherwise).

SHarri13 Mon 26-Aug-13 09:40:47

My mum and step dad did a few years ago. I was 24 and my brother 23. We were both delighted for them and still are. It's about them and their relationship. They really didn't want a fuss, it was the perfect way for them to do it.

We're all very close too apart from distance.

carabos Mon 26-Aug-13 09:41:41

My step father's ex wife did this to her DDs ( my step sisters). They were 11ish / 10 ish at the time. First they knew of it was they came down to breakfast to find a man they had never met at the kitchen table. He was the new husband.

Their mother's reasoning was that she just didn't want to have a big discussion about it hmm. We presumed that the reason there would have been a big discussion was that she had only known him for three weeks shock.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 26-Aug-13 09:42:53

If parents don't tell their children about such an important part of their lives of course the children will feel excluded

But what if it isnt an 'important part of their lives'? What if its just to put in place for financial/legal security?

I wouldn't tell my DD if DP and I put in place the necessary legal documentation to protect each other (and the DCs) in the future, so what is the difference?

My DD knows that me and her DSDad are committed to one another, as do we, we don't need to make promises in front of friends and family to know that - but legally, marriage provides legal status that can otherwise be difficult and expensive to obtain.

LouiseAderyn Mon 26-Aug-13 10:12:18

mostly I feel that marriage is between the two people getting wed and have never understood why people want the world to witness it - it's a private, intimate thing, to me. I would have loved to elope with dh but it would have hurt too many peoples feelings, so we didn't.

I think it becomes a real problem when one person's family/dc know all about it and are included and the other persons are deliberately kept in the dark.

I think in blended families the couple can't always do what they would prefer because it is easy for step kids to feel hurt and excluded from their parent's lives, if not carefully handled.

Nanny0gg Mon 26-Aug-13 10:22:01

But what if it isnt an 'important part of their lives'? What if its just to put in place for financial/legal security?

If that's all it is - but in most cases it means far more than that.

If you know your family wouldn't care, then fair enough, But if you know they would then you take the risk of hurting them and that decision is entirely up to you.

Silverfoxballs Mon 26-Aug-13 10:23:38

There are legal issues as well . It changes who your next of kin is, as my parents were not married and they had been split for years. I had to manage my Dads affairs after he died. There was an actual possibility during his illness that I may have had to agree to end of life aspects, fortunately I didn't but that kind of thing is stressful.

Lets not even start on the inheritance aspects.

WitchOfEndor Mon 26-Aug-13 10:29:26

My Dad did this, everyone else on his side of the family knew and went. He also didn't tell me when my DG (his mum) had died. We found out two weeks later from a friend of my aunts old next door neighbours son!

There's a lot of reasons why I don't talk to him anymore. Cunt.

Nagoo Mon 26-Aug-13 10:31:59

My mum did it to me, I was about 12 I think. It pissed me off, but I never told her.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 26-Aug-13 10:32:21

If you know your family wouldn't care, then fair enough, But if you know they would then you take the risk of hurting them and that decision is entirely up to you.

But surely being a parent doesn't mean that you always put your DCs feelings ahead of your own throughout your life?
Isn't it selfish of adult DCs to expect their parents to live the life their DCs expect?

I know families where the parents have emigrated/moved '000 miles away and the DCs have been unhappy/hurt - should the parents have stayed living near their DCs rather than live where they wanted to?

MikeOxard Mon 26-Aug-13 10:33:52

China "there's a number of people on this thread that have been similarly excluded from their parent's wedding at the same stage in their lives who have said they were very hurt, despite trying hard to come across as nonchalant to their parent at the time. - Isn't that a good thing though? That the DCs behaved appropriately despite being hurt? "

shock NO!! WTF is wrong with you? The important thing is NOT how good the devastated children's poker faces are! The important thing is how they feel. And it's not bad behaviour to say 'I'm hurt' honestly to your mum or dad. I feel really, really sorry for your kids.

"I do not believe for one moment that a parent should sacrifice their own lives in order to avoid hurting their DCs feelings." Then ffs don't have kids! Parenthood is all about sacrifice - usually willing sacrifice for the sake of your kids. People usually modify their own behaviour when considering others' feelings - we behave in a certain way around colleagues, friends, strangers, anyone - to ensure we don't unnecessary hurt or inconvenience them. You should have at least the same courtesy for your children! Or do you just do whatever you want in any situation without regard to anyone else?

Mojavewonderer Mon 26-Aug-13 10:39:42

My husband and I ran away to Gretna green to get married on valentines day! We didn't tell anyone and my mum baby sat my kids who obviously didn't know. When we rang them to tell them they were so happy for us and my mum said she was proud of me for following my heart and doing something romantic. In fact no one in our family was upset and we had a huge party thrown for us when we got back. The day was so special to us and we would do it again! We have both been married before in traditional full family style and both our weddings were disasters so it really was a no brainer for us.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 26-Aug-13 10:40:33

Very wrong and selfish but sadly being selfish isnt rare. I can understand wanting a quiet wedding compared to some of the ridicously expensive "party" type but to exclude your own children from your vows is simply awful.

Its nothing like moving, at least with that there are visits etc. Its one wedding on one day, you cant relive it.

WaitingForMe Mon 26-Aug-13 10:43:45

DHs dad did this. His choice. Just as it's my choice that he isn't closely involved with my family and is thus denied the opportunity to hurt them.

He was an evening guest at our wedding.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 26-Aug-13 10:50:21

we behave in a certain way around colleagues, friends, strangers, anyone - to ensure we don't unnecessary hurt or inconvenience them. You should have at least the same courtesy for your children

So who decides what's 'necessary', and therefore when it is acceptable to hurt people's feelings?

Was it 'necessary' for me to authorise DDs immunisations? To move house when her dad and I split? To intervene in her relationship with her stepsister? To send her to a school she didn't want to go to? They all upset her, hurt her feelings, created negative emotion towards me.
They weren't life or death decisions - I weighed up the benefits and risks of each and made a decision accordingly - which is what I'm doing now.

Will the benefits of a secret marriage outweigh the disadvantages - to me, DP, DD and the DSC?

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 26-Aug-13 10:53:23

Its nothing like moving, at least with that there are visits etc. Its one wedding on one day, you cant relive it.

A marriage and a wedding are different though, aren't they?

A wedding is a public statement of commitment to each other - a marriage a legal transaction - and on its own, quite dull and boring, especially for DCs !

Lara2 Mon 26-Aug-13 11:53:25

DH's DM & DSF did this when he was about 13 and he was incredibly hurt and upset. It still wrankles with him, but TBH it's just one incident in a lifelong list of things that she has done, excusing every bit of bad and selfish behaviour as doing what she thought "was best at the time". Obviously hmm

SaucyJack Mon 26-Aug-13 12:45:29

In what way, shape or form is making a quick courtesy call to your own bloody child to let them know you've just got married/are getting married "sacrificing your own life"?

EllaFitzgerald Mon 26-Aug-13 12:49:08

China I believe that, while they are still children, being a parent actually does mean putting your children's feelings ahead of your own. I'm not suggesting for a minute that parents should only make decisions that won't upset their children. That's an impossible thing to do and certainly wouldn't be in their best interests. What you describe doing with your DD is simply part of being a responsible parent.

However, the issue here is the secrecy. If a marriage is just a legal transaction, then why on earth would anyone keep it secret from their children, who may not be of an age to appreciate or agree with that definition and would only understand that they had been excluded.

I can see that having a big wedding/ even a fairly small wedding and not saying could be hurtful, but my friends decided to get married and didn't tell a soul until afterwards. The kids (aged 4-20) were fine with it, they all had a big meal planned that evening and friends took a small wedding cake along and told them then. They didn't want a fuss and they didn't get one!

SeaSickSal Mon 26-Aug-13 13:04:57

I don't think there is anything wrong with this. If it's a second marriage they might not feel the need to make a big song and dance out of it and just want to slip off and maybe grab a couple of witnesses off the street.

If it's going to bring up lots of family politics and problems I can' see why not. At the end of the day it's a legal formality and you're not obliged to go the party, guests and presents route unless you want to.

Nanny0gg Mon 26-Aug-13 13:24:16

There doesn't have to be a big song and dance about any wedding. It can be as small or as grand as you choose.

But in my personal opinion, I think it is hurtful to not even tell your children you're going to get married, even if you don't want them there.

I would also be hurt if I wasn't invited to my DC's wedding. I would like to be there on such a happy day.

Some may find that unreasonable but that's how I feel.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 26-Aug-13 13:25:33

why on earth would anyone keep it secret from their children, who may not be of an age to appreciate or agree with that definition and would only understand that they had been excluded.

Well, for exactly that reason!

Better to keep it a secret until they are older than tell them something they don't understand and so will upset them, surely?

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 26-Aug-13 13:26:44

In what way, shape or form is making a quick courtesy call to your own bloody child to let them know you've just got married/are getting married "sacrificing your own life"?

I agree. Why not get married and let the DCs know afterwards?

SeaSickSal Mon 26-Aug-13 13:32:54

If they are young children there is often the matter that the parents may feel uncomfortable asking them to 'celebrate' their new wedding when the children may still be grieving for their parents marriage. Or not wanting to rub the ex partners face in it. I imagine it would be very hard packing your excited children off to your exes wedding. Or if there is politics and it would have caused arguments or trouble.

If they are adults quite frankly I think they should suck it up and deal with it.

My dad did this. Sent a card saying sorry you couldn't come to our wedding in Thailand tomorrow (not that we were invited or knew anything about it beforehand).
Can't say it bothered me much but then I was an about 25, if I was a child I would have thought it much much more U.

EllaFitzgerald Mon 26-Aug-13 14:07:49

China I think we may be talking at cross purposes. I wasn't suggesting that a parent get married, exclude their child and then tell them immediately afterwards. I was suggesting that the parent include the child in the marriage to start with.

Even if a parent explains to their child that they're just nipping off down the road to sign some papers and that it's not a big thing, then that is better than keeping it secret.

Obviously, all parents will make the decision that they see fit, but as a child who has been on the receiving end of such treatment, I can tell you that while I don't remember the normal parenting decisions that upset me as a child, the feeling of utter hurt and rejection is still something I remember very clearly.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 26-Aug-13 14:13:33

ella But is it always better?

You say you suffered feelings of rejection when you found out but what if instead, you'd known in advance, but knew that you couldn't tell your other parent because they would rely on you as an emotional crutch? Or knew that if you let it slip, you wouldn't see the parent who was getting married for weeks/months and there would be all sorts of drama involving professionals, court etc?

EllaFitzgerald Mon 26-Aug-13 14:29:39

I do take your point China, I was lucky enough not to have to be in the middle of all of those other issues.

There are enough people on this thread that were in the same position as me though, so perhaps I should clarify that in the absence of any of those issues, I think it's a selfish thing to do to a child.

LottieJenkins Mon 26-Aug-13 14:36:27

My father did this when he married my witch of an ex stepmother!

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 26-Aug-13 14:53:54

Ella I think you're right - there isn't a one-size-fits-all right or wrong to this one; it depends entirely on the circumstances of each family as to whether it is selfish or sensible for parents to invite their DCs or keep it a secret.

Judgements like the one on the other thread, which take no account of the background, circumstances or issues are ill informed and hurtful in the extreme.

Tailtwister Mon 26-Aug-13 15:07:13

My Dad did this a number of years ago. I don't know the exact year/date, but reckon I was around 32 at the time. I asked him outright once (after seeing his partner wearing a ring) and he lied to my face and told me they weren't married. I found out by chance years later.

I can't say that it didn't hurt. We were in regular contact, there was no animosity between us or his partner (they had lived together for years). They had also made a massive fuss about inviting his partner's parents to our wedding (we didn't know them) which although made things very awkward for my mother we did. They also invited a very good friend of mine and his wife to be witnesses, so that involved them keeping the whole thing secret for years too.

I still have no idea why they did it. Her side of the family were there, but there was nobody from my Dad's side. It would have been nice to have been told even if we hadn't been invited. We are still on good terms and I've never had a discussion with his wife about it. No point really.

I don't think it really matters how old the children are tbh. It's dismissive of your existing family to exclude them from such an important event in your life, kind of like they're in your past and no longer important iyswim.

Bahhhhhumbug Mon 26-Aug-13 18:56:44

SeaSickSal Mon 26-Aug-13 13:32:54

If they are young children there is often the matter that the parents may feel uncomfortable asking them to 'celebrate' their new wedding when the children may still be grieving for their parents marriage. Or not wanting to rub the ex partners face in it. I imagine it would be very hard packing your excited children off to your exes wedding. Or if there is politics and it would have caused arguments or trouble.

If they are adults quite frankly I think they should suck it up and deal with it.

I totally agree with this excellent post. I agree it isn't always that simple in step families. Also Op your main gripe seems to be with DCs/kids etc being left out. In my case (and the case of the poster on the other thread, l believe ) when we are talking about adult offspring then the two situations are entirely different. My DH and l went away and had a quickie wedding in similar circs to the poster on the other thread and like her didn't tell anyone whatsoever. I think that is also key - if you dont tell anybody at all fine, you are not singling out anyone for lesser treatment - so l do understand why 'the other thread poster' didn't tell her SS as equally that wouldn't have been fair on the other family members. Also If you tell them all asap after the event ,so they dont 'find out' through gossip or media again - fine imo. I don't think the PA sarky retort of 'thanks for inviting me' on the other thread was acceptable as response to news of a parents happy event from an adult and was designed l would say to make the DH feel guilty and uncomfortable. Didn't she also say he went on about it long after the wedding also?

My adult DSCs one in particular were very resistant to our relationship and would spend every meal or social gathering by talking incessantly about how their dad and mum used to come here etc etc in an attempt to marginalise me and our relationship (mine and his dads obv.). If we invited him out with the two of us he would all but ignore me and talk directly to his dad across me and always about his mum or his mum and dad together.

I am not talking here about a child or an adult with MH issues (had issues obv. but not MH ones) but an intelligent reasonably educated young man well into his twenties. Maybe as Seasick so eloquently puts it he was subconsciously grieving for his parents marriage but either way he would not accept me/us despite his dad and l making every effort and his dad talking with him and encouraging him to do so and me in the face of lots of rudeness ignorance etc from him being dignified and patient and friendly towards him.

My own adult DCs were fine with 'us' and the rest of his family were also. But given all above it was obvious he would not have enjoyed standing there watching the very relationship he tried to destroy (another long story) frankly, being consolidated and listening to his dad making the same vows to me that he made to his mother whom he obviously would prefer to still be with his dad.

So as long as no 'children' ( in the literal sense of the word ) were deliberately hurt and no-one was treated favourably or less so which is obviously hurtful. I also think it is hugely relevant whether the 'children' are watching their own mum and dad getting married to each other (which l appreciate could be hurtful to be excluded from - being the 'fruit' of that relationship) or watching one parent marry another person whose relationship with their parent has no connection to either their existence, their childhood or their upbringing as in my case.

SigmundFraude Mon 26-Aug-13 19:14:14

My mother and step father did this. I was horrified for a number of reasons. Not a good idea AFAIC.

gettingeasiernow Mon 26-Aug-13 19:15:11

There are plenty of people who don't like being the centre of attention. I couldn't imagine anything worse. So it depends why they did it and what the family were angry about. I would hate to feel obliged to undergo a day of tortuous attention just so that other people got to enjoy a party (I am very uncomfortable in large groups who all want something from me). But we had been together for ages and everyone knew we planned to get around to it sooner or later, so they weren't surprised when we did it with the absolute minimum number of guests. I think relatives may justifiably be miffed if a previously unknown person is hoiked upon them before they've had chance to get used to the idea though. But I just don't see that they have a right to share the day - declaring your love and commitment is extremely private and personal for some.

SunshineBossaNova Mon 26-Aug-13 19:26:04

If they are adults quite frankly I think they should suck it up and deal with it

Perhaps that's the case if there is a happy, wonderful relationship preceding the marriage. But if said parent has hitherto been an absentee parent and a self-absorbed shit, not being invited feels like another fucking shitty thing that Dad did.

But hey, what do I know, I should have totes sucked it up. hmm

RevoltingPeasant Mon 26-Aug-13 19:29:15

I think an important point here is that adults have the right to do things that their family members will find wrong or hurtful but to still be supported by them, within reason.

For example, my DSis is with a man who dumped her horribly - twice! - but we still are polite to him at Christmas, send him birthday cards etc. I am unsure about their relationship but it is her choice ; I told her once, once, that I thought she was wrong and then shut my gob. I think it's okay to express disappointment briefly at not being invited to a wedding, but unless there are other issues, adults need to move on and accept that others are acting according to their own best lights.

Also, opinions change, and children's feelings are often selfish. More so than parents', I believe. I am ashamed to remember that when my mum first wanted to leave DDad I tried to persuade her out of it, as I couldn't imagine family life with them apart. I was an adult then. But my honest immediate mental reaction was along the lines of 'Mummeeee, nooo'. We can be selfish towards our parents in a way we aren't to others as we are so used to them giving stuff up for us.

Thankfully I got over my selfishness pretty quickly, but I will always be embarrassed by that initial convo with my mum. It is worth asking yourself, when your parents die, would you feel guilty if you had been negative about such a piece of special news?

ohmeohmyforgotlogin Mon 26-Aug-13 19:39:16

Both my parents did this when remarrying. I was around 11. Really upset not as I was told because I didn't get to dress up and be a bridesmaid but because I felt betrayed that my parents would do this with out even notifying me and siblings. Mum had always promised she would. Did nothing to endear me to either step parent. I think if you are creating new families rather than just cementing a couple that it seems decent to let the others involved know about it.

Bahhhhhumbug Mon 26-Aug-13 19:52:01

I think the poster on other thread which generated this one did say her STBDH had gone out of his way to spend time with his son and socialise with him but he didn't want to know.
So don't think those circs can be classed as a further kick in the teeth from an absentee father as the SS also lived with them.
Also gettingeasier you also make an important point. Going off and doing the deed on the quiet to escape family politics etc and coming back married to your established partner whom you already lived with or were engaged to etc is a million miles away from just coming home one day with a complete stranger on your arm and saying to your DCs (adult or otherwise) and other family. 'This is my new wife, 'Whatsherface' so deal with it' !!!!
Also imo telling everybody straight after is infinitely better than telling them before and then saying 'You're not invited however for reasons xyz'

Surely the latter smacks of the playground taunt of 'We're going feeding the ducks and you're not coming !!

DustBunnyFarmer Mon 26-Aug-13 20:13:57

My Dad, with whom i was very close &had chosen to live with after my parents separated, married my stepmother in secret. I was about 30 at the time. They said they didn't want a big do, was precipitated by health issues after a long period of living together blah blahblah. Only, it turned out stepmother's cousin and my stepsis were the witnesses. I was really hurt but put a brave face on it, congratulated them etc. Thing is, 10+ years down the line, I realise it was the shape of things to come. He will cite arrangements made with stepmother's family as the reason for not doing stuff with me, DH and my kids, eg spend Christmas together. I thought I was hurt at the time, but it just hurts more and more as time goes on.

In short, it's one thing to marry in secret & pull in witnesses off the street. It's quite another to pick & choose who gets an invite when there are children from previous relationships involved. You need to be even handed - unless the actual point is a big fuck you to your existing kids, in which case job done!

Bahhhhhumbug Mon 26-Aug-13 20:35:59

Yes l agree as in my previous post Dustbunny either tell/invite nobody in immediate family or tell/ invite all of them. Unless one of your DCs SDCs has tried to murder one of you at some point or some similarly extreme reason why you are estranged from them.

TheYamiOfYawn Mon 26-Aug-13 20:45:09

If any of my parents did that, I'd be fine with it. Unless they had a huge party and invited everyone except me. But a 2 witness wedding, or a wedding with a few nearby friends attending would be fine.

Having said that, one of the main reasons I'm not married is that I don't want a wedding, and DP's parents would be really upset if we got married without them, so it's less hassle to just stay unmarried.

brdgrl Mon 26-Aug-13 20:45:44

This is a thread about a thread, and rather than letting the poster on that thread post in her own words about her own circumstances, you've created this thread specifically to have a go at her, and wind up others to have a go.

I think it is a spectacularly nasty way to use MN, and I hope that everyone else will see through it. Why are you so determined to browbeat another poster about this issue, which has absolutely fuck all to do with you, after all?

maddy68 Mon 26-Aug-13 20:50:46

It depends. If they tell noone then I think it's fine.
If they invite loads of people and exclude children then that's a different story

Revengeofkarma Mon 26-Aug-13 22:31:55

My mother actually topped this.

Planned a wedding in secret. Wasn't going to tell anyone. Destination wedding in he Caribbean. (She goes every year for a conference, then they turn it into a two week tropical holiday.) This particular year, planned ahead, made all the arrangements, got the paperwork sorted, etc. low key - they just had to decide which day to do it and do it.

Turns out they didn't. Which should hav been no big deal, as it was all secret, right?

Except that she came back and phoned everyone up and told them how she was going to get married without them and wasn't this hysterically funny?

While no one would really have minded if she'd eloped, this rankled pretty much everyone.

MikeOxard Tue 27-Aug-13 21:33:04

brdgrl - I haven't created this thread about that person, it's about a hypothetical general situation of getting married and not telling your kids. Read the other posts here - this situation is not unique to that woman, lots of people have experienced it and have something to say about it. It's a discussion point.

The reason I started this thread was that I didn't want to thread hijack, as it was really a new and different subject than 'terrible weddings', so I started this thread to find out what other people thought.

I have no interest in 'browbeating' anyone (WTF?!), and no interest in winding anyone up - in fact the only person who seems wound up here is you!

chirpchirp Tue 27-Aug-13 21:39:45

My mum did this last year, but this is the same woman who left me a voicemail to tell me my gran had died so it's pretty much textbook selfish behaviour for her.

brdgrl Tue 27-Aug-13 22:09:05

Well, at least this thread has shown that an awful lot of people understand exactly why it might be a perfectly reasonable thing to do and agree that the person about who you are absolutely not posting did not do anything wrong.

TicTakToe Tue 27-Aug-13 23:06:12

My father remarried when I was in my early teens. It was a very small wedding, just the witnesses and their plus ones, but they were all family. They had lived together for a few years, but I didn't know that they were engaged / considering marriage untill they were showing me honeymoon pictures.

The fact that they had family as witnesses and a honeymoon said to me it was more than just a formality, but yes, everyone should have the wedding that they want.

The trouble is, it brings right into the open your priorities and how you see people: I understand that my fathers new wife is important to him, but I am not important enough to know how important she is to him, if you see what I mean.

Being so out of the loop on something that most people think of as so important, it shouldn't be a surprise that some people would be alienated and excluded.

MikeOxard Tue 27-Aug-13 23:13:17

Ok then... Again, the ONLY person talking about her is YOU brdgrl. Read the posts. Everyone is talking about their own experiences or about the subject in general.

And you're right, lots of people did think it's ok. 6 or 7 people actually, plus 4 parents who did it themselves. So about even numbers with those who thought it's wrong then. Plus 7 or 8 saying depends on age/situation. But if you're really interested in the numbers, I think the interesting ones are:
Children who were hurt by this: 34
Children who were fine with it: 3
So a lovely ratio of about 10 devastated children for each one who wasn't bothered. I'm glad this ratio is so acceptable to you brdgrl. How heartwarming.

brdgrl Tue 27-Aug-13 23:15:01

No, I'm not the only one.
This thread is bad form.

MikeOxard Tue 27-Aug-13 23:19:11

Meh, report it then and get it deleted. I actually feel bad for the last post. The numbers speak for themselves, but people have shared their really sad stories and you can't measure heartbreak with numbers sad

brdgrl Tue 27-Aug-13 23:19:54

PS, your analysis of the stats is wrong.

IdaClair Tue 27-Aug-13 23:23:48

My children are young, so if I were to get married I wouldn't tell them as I assume I would need someone to look after them, which would be family or close friends, who I would not want to tell. So I suppose I wouldn't tell them either. Bit different there though. If they were adults, I can't see why it would matter to them.

MikeOxard Tue 27-Aug-13 23:50:12

I've asked for the thread to be deleted. It's just awful to read tbh. People's childhood heartbreak interspersed with 'well we did it, so I don't see the problem'. sad

CointreauVersial Wed 28-Aug-13 00:18:32

DM married DSD without telling me or DB (11 and 5 at the time).

But we never knew they weren't married before that! She changed her name to his, and they had had DB, and this was the 70s, after all, when no "respectable" couple lived together outside marriage.

But they had to wait for DSD's divorce to come through.

We didn't find out for years, but somehow I had worked it out for myself by then anyway. Neither DB nor I were bothered, tbh. They are still together, 40+ years on.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Wed 28-Aug-13 10:15:02

I've asked for the thread to be deleted. It's just awful to read tbh. People's childhood heartbreak interspersed with 'well we did it, so I don't see the problem'.

But you started the thread! And now you want it deleted because the replies aren't comfortable reading for you!!!

It's been incredibly useful for me as its something I have considered and debated at length with DP - and the posts here clearly indicate that those who have been most upset by a parents secret wedding have experienced other forms of rejection from the parent. Those who have had a positive relationship with their parent have been more accepting - all be it, feeling hurt, but understanding and supportive of their parents decision.

So, for us, it's whether my DSC and DD already feel rejected that we need to consider. I'm certain my DD and DSD don't, but DSS is a different matter. When you are told so often by one parent that the other doesn't care, then you begin to doubt it.

IneedAyoniNickname Wed 28-Aug-13 10:20:16

My ex ps mum did this. She invited 4 of her 5 dc, but left one (my ex) out. Apparently because he was living with his dad at the time and she didn't want him finding out. She also had all of her grandchildren there other than mine.

I can't ever imagine doing it.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Wed 28-Aug-13 10:32:12

My mum has done this THREE times. Three. Luckily we have a very good relationship so I don't harbour much ill feeling about it.

First time I was 8 or 9 and had been staying with my grandmother for a week while my mum and her boyfriend went on holiday. They came back and announced that they'd gotten married whilst away. My grandmother went apeshit and didn't speak to them for a while. I don't remember thinking anything other than "Oh". It later transpired that he was a violent bully who had pressured my mum into getting married. We fled in the middle of the night about a year later.

Second time, I was 12 and had been ill at school. The nurse called my mum to collect me and was told they weren't available and I'd have to stay at home. After school I dragged myself home and opened the front door to find confetti all over the hall. I went into the lounge and my mum was there with her boyfriend and a couple of their friends, and said that they'd gotten married earlier that day. Surpriiiiiiiise! hmm They separated 4 years later when he came out as transgender.

Third time, I was 24 and sitting in the cafe at uni with my friends when I got a text from my mum asking me to guess what she and her manfriend (he's in his 50s, boyfriend is a weird term!!) had done that day. "Yup, we're legal!" followed it. I later saw on facebook that she'd posted an update saying they were celebrating with "family", which I presume to mean HIS children because neither me or my brother even knew they were getting married, let alone received an invitation.

That all sounds pretty awful but in every other respect, my mum IS wonderful. She's just really, really odd about relationships and weddings.

Bahhhhhumbug Wed 28-Aug-13 10:37:39

Yes childrens heartbreak. 'That woman' as you charmingly called her didn't leave any children out of her wedding and yet you made a personal attack on her and were so angry about it said you were starting this thread to discuss this 'terrible behaviour' further. Now you are going with the consensus that it is ok as long as no children (in the literal sense , not inc. adult offspring) are hurt by it and your last few posts are all about the devastating figures of hurt children.
'That woman' and her husband left out all their adult children/stepchildren along with the rest of the family. They eloped in fact and no children were hurt/left out in the process. She did not deserve your vitriol therefore and l notice your post to her was deleted as a personal attack presumably.

Lioninthesun Wed 28-Aug-13 10:38:51

My mum did this to me when I was 14. I was a weekly boarder and she rang up when I was at my dad's (used to see them every other weekend) and asked me to guess what she had done that weekend...
I wasn't impressed. Very hurt and never really forgave her. He was 87 and she had been his live in nurse. I am sure she did love him and was lonely, but that was the worst possible way to gain a new member of the family; especially considering his age. She was a wimp not to tell me about it and talk it over like a rational adult.

Lioninthesun Wed 28-Aug-13 10:46:19

Eloping is one thing, but not telling your children what you are doing is another. Age may play a factor, but secrecy in many things is a recipe for disaster. In my case I suppose it was damage limitation as I am an only child. Which really just served to make me feel more isolated if I am honest. I had only met him once though (as my mum's patient) so perhaps if they had had a more open/long standing relationship it would have been easier.

MikeOxard Wed 28-Aug-13 22:33:09

Wow, Bahhh(etc)humbug what the actual fuck are you talking about? Everything, everything everything about your post is completely wrong. What nonsense.
1 "'That woman' as you charmingly called her" What's wrong with 'that woman?
2. "didn't leave any children out of her wedding and yet you made a personal attack on her" - I didn't make a personal attack on her at all, what the fuck are you talking about? She said her dss had behaved terribly by saying 'thanks for the invite', and I disagreed and said she was the one who'd behaved terribly by not telling him.
3. "and were so angry about it" I wasn't 'angry at all'. I was gobsmacked that someone would do that to their child, but I was not angry at all - why would I be angry with her? I don't know her! What an odd thing to say.
4. "said you were starting this thread to discuss this 'terrible behaviour' further". No. I only started this thread when a couple of other people also came on and said they'd done this to their kids too or thought it was ok. So that got me wondering what the general opinion was on that general situation.
5. "Now you are going with the consensus that it is ok as long as no children (in the literal sense , not inc. adult offspring) are hurt by it" No, not at all, I think it's a shitty thing to do to adult children as well. Adult children still have feelings - you might get better able to cope with hurt, but you don't get immune!
6. "and your last few posts are all about the devastating figures of hurt children." 'Offspring' if you like - some of the PPs were adult children of secret marrying parents.
7. "'That woman' and her husband left out all their adult children/stepchildren along with the rest of the family. They eloped in fact and no children were hurt/left out in the process." Firstly: So? This isn't about that woman, why are you going on and on about this one woman? And secondly, the child who was obviously hurt by the marriage (hence the sarky response the woman complained about) was the dss. Yes he was an adult child, but still a child of one of the marrying pair.
8. "She did not deserve your vitriol" What fucking vitriol? What on earth are you talking about?
9. "therefore and l notice your post to her was deleted as a personal attack presumably". I have no idea why my post was deleted, I didn't even know it was deleted until I read your post, but given how wrong you've been about everything else, I wouldn't go presuming if I were you. You clearly aren't very good at it (if you'll excuse the vitriol).

SugarMiceInTheRain Wed 28-Aug-13 22:35:12

My dad did this when I was 8/9. I was not impressed that I only found out when he gave me a cheque for my 10th birthday from him and SM with the same surnames on hmm

Bahhhhhumbug Thu 29-Aug-13 13:49:33

All this talk of 'childhood heartache' and devastating statistics being supplied of 'children' being hurt then are about actual children and adult offspring then are they ? Yeah right ok.
Your whole argument and reason for starting this thread has been blown out of the water by the majority of posters when it comes to second marriages and adult offspring. But the majority who do agree with you have said only if young children are hurt , left out etc. but dont agree with you if we are talking about getting married in the absence of adult family.
Yet this thread was started directly about an adult stepchild not being invited to an elopement wedding of his parent.
So rather than accept that most people don't agree with you and actually feel it's ok to elope without inviting adult offspring , you have just conveniently shifted your argument to being about actual children being left out as the thread's gone on.
It negates your whole argument with 'that woman' however and all the criticism you have piled on her and even started a whole thread about in an attempt to get people on side against her.
I think we can safely say that your original post was deleted as a personal attack judging by your hostile language used in this thread and the original about the subject of that post.
I agree with Brdgl this thread is very bad form , almost vendetta-like but no-one else can see the alleged ' crime ' committed except you.

plinkyplonks Thu 29-Aug-13 13:57:39

brdgr - Sorry, Don't think there ever a circumstance where it would be acceptable to do this. Both of my parents did this, I have never forgiven either of them for it. It's an extremely selfish thing to do. I don't think there can be an excuse for it. And people who do it should rightly feel terrible and ashamed of themselves.

plinkyplonks Thu 29-Aug-13 14:01:52

brdgr And by the way, stop trying to thread hijack.. I'm sure this thread will help plenty of people. If you don't think this thread is helpful, report it to the mods or please just refrain from posting.

SorrelForbes Thu 29-Aug-13 14:12:25

I don't feel terrible or ashamed. DH and I know that we got married, without telling anyone (bar our two witnesses who then told other people!), for the right reasons.

I'm sure that many people have been hurt or badly affected by their parents getting married without telling them but similarly I'm sure that many have not been affected at all.

brdgrl Thu 29-Aug-13 14:51:11

It is not thread hijacking to object to the thread. If you don't agree with my objection, that is fine; it is not a hijack to state that I find it in bad form. If you object to my posts saying so, please, follow your own advice and ask for them to be deleted. I think people can make up their own minds about why this thread was created.

The OP has now said she'd like to see the thread deleted, as she finds it so upsetting. OK...

By the way, there is another current thread about elopement, the posts on which provide even more evidence that there are many circumstances under which getting married in secret and/or without including family is a perfectly acceptable move in the eyes of an awful lot of people. Of course, how an idea is phrased and presented in an OP makes an awful lot of difference, don't you find...

sillyrubberduck Thu 29-Aug-13 15:37:18

My DH’s Mum got married when he was 16 and only told DH and his sister afterwards. Both of them were very hurt and angry. DH can’t stand his Mum now and avoids to see her.
If my parents would have done this to me at whatever age I would have been heartbroken. It is so sad that people could do this sad

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 29-Aug-13 17:02:45

Don't think there ever a circumstance where it would be acceptable to do this

plinky What would you suggest as an alternative for my situation? DP and I are struggling to find a solution that doesn't, in one way or another, expose the DCs to some form of distress - a secret marriage had, until this thread, seemed the least damaging option.

Lioninthesun Thu 29-Aug-13 19:27:00

Is there any reason you can't wait china? I do think if I had been a couple of years older perhaps my mum would have been more adult about it and talked through - but as it happened she didn't have time to wait as he died 2 years later at 89. I am assuming your beau isn't that old, and wondered what the rush is? I understand it is your right to marry whoever, whenever, but it sounds as if your ex is the problem here, not your kids They will wonder why they weren't invited or told about it, at one time or another. It's possibly very good timing to see this thread, as I am sure my mum never understood why I couldn't allow myself to get as close to her as we had previously been, even after the death of my step father. Puberty highlights this 'slights' and can warp them magnificently.

Bahhhhhumbug Thu 29-Aug-13 19:42:16

Some 'children' of any age would also find it equally heartbreaking to witness one of their parents making the same vows they made to their other parent , to another person. Especially if that 'child' still mourns the break up of their parents marriage to each other and/or has difficulty , secretly or otherwise accepting their parent's new partner.
Could be seen as rubbing their noses in it really , so a later in life , second time around wife or stepmother cant really win can she ?
Inviting reluctant stepchildren could be seen as rubbing their noses in it and/or could result in all sorts of family arguments/politics breaking out and spoiling the wedding.
Not inviting them and even being diplomatic enough to elope completely so absolutely nobody can cry ' foul' or 'not fair' is still according to the OP and a minority in the case of adult 'children' still classed as 'terrible' 'unforgiveable' 'awful' 'selfish' and other derogatory terms.
Mind you stepmums especially cant do right for doing wrong in some quarters, comes with the territory.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 29-Aug-13 19:53:24

Is there any reason you can't wait china?

Only that it leaves us both, and the DCs, vulnerable if anything happens to one, or both of us.

Wills alone don't give the same legal rights as marriage, and there are some things (such as the right to apply to the court for contact with stepchildren) that cannot be secured in any way other than marriage.

As your story highlights, the risk of 'waiting' is that something happens in the meantime, and the consequences on the DCs are just as significant.

TheYamiOfYawn Thu 29-Aug-13 20:09:01

I really don't think it's that big a deal in the case of an established partnership. My family don't go in for big weddings - the only wedding I've been to in my family had 16 guests. Everyone else has basically had only household members (and witnesses) in attendance. My stepbrother sent his mother a text on the morning of his wedding to let her know what he was doing. Rather than feeling betrayed, she drank some champagne and tested him back her congratulations.

M0naLisa Thu 29-Aug-13 22:54:23

Dhs mum married 22 days after us and didn't tell us until she got back.

Dhs dad did the same a few years ago. hmm

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