Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

To feel sad about family's reaction to child of former OW

(24 Posts)
Takingbackmonday Mon 11-Mar-13 15:40:48

This is not my family, is DP's and I am rather naive to the pain that an OW would cause a family having not been through it myself, so apologies if this post upsets anyone who has.

DP is mid 20s. His parents had an affair then subsequently married and stayed together until he passed not long ago. DP's DM is lovely and I am certain will never meet anyone else as she is still in love with the person she spent 20 or so years with.

DP has half siblings who are, of course, a bit older than him. They have no interest in him and although he says it doesn't bother him I find it unbelievably sad that they don't and he is in essence an only child who has also lost a parent. I can understand their anger at his mother but DP was not the one who hurt anyone and they share a father - it just seems so sad for him.

Am I totally unreasonable to think this? Surely to them it was his mother, not their half brother, at fault so why not pursue a relationship with him?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 11-Mar-13 15:46:05

YANBU. Unfortunately, some people can be very petty and hold irrational grudges for far longer than is necessary. The half-siblings are presumably aggreived on the part of their mother, never forgave their father, blah blah blah. However, if he says it doesn't bother him, don't push it.... The link - the father - has gone now and there's nothing to be gained from forcing a relationship with people who don't like him.

givemeaclue Mon 11-Mar-13 15:49:45

I am not following who is related to who is this or who had the affair? Ultimately though he they have never had a relationship with their half brother they are unlikely to start one now, he hasn't ever had a relationship with them and its prob best to let it lie. Who knows how things look from their perspective whole thing may be very painful

scaevola Mon 11-Mar-13 15:52:01

Did they have a sibling-type relationship before the death? For if all that had occurred was a set of awkwardish encounters at set piece family events, it is unlikely that there will be anything morels the point of commonali has vanished with the death.

The half-siblings probably don't bear your DP any personal ill will. But if they lived with their mother and saw pain from the affair and devastation of their family, then it is unsurprising that they are uninterested in having much to do with the subsequent family.

Takingbackmonday Mon 11-Mar-13 15:54:55

I wouldn't dream of getting involved, I was more interested in the moral issue of blaming/punishing a child for the actions of its parents.

fubbsy Mon 11-Mar-13 16:04:01

YANBU to feel sad about it.

OTOH the half siblings are also NBU to not want a relationship with dp. As scaevola says, they probably don't have anything against your dp personally. I don't think that not having a relationship with someone is a form of punishment.

HecateWhoopass Mon 11-Mar-13 16:06:55

It is very sad. It is a shame that they can't separate an innocent child (as was) from the pain that the parents caused them all.

It's never right to hate a child. They have no control over any of it.

ZZZenAgain Mon 11-Mar-13 16:14:06

I think it is reasonable of them to not have wanted to have a relationship with OW's dc. Seems a natural reaction to me. As you say, the age difference is there too so the dc probably was not of great relevance to them - and they have probably never wanted to know much about their father's other life. It does sometimes work that through spending weekends with the parent who has left the family, contact to half-siblings is established and develops into a relationship over time. If it hasn't happened by the time they are all adult, I don't think it is ever going to happen. Usually there is some contact when the dc are all growing up but if that has not been the case, he means nothing to them and he is not bothered by the situation. It sounds like he grew up in a happy family so he will be at peace within himself. Best not to stew over it if dh is unconcerned, I would just let it be.

givemeaclue Mon 11-Mar-13 16:25:35

Op, why do yet pay they are blaming your dp for parents actions? Just because they don't want a relationship with him doesn't mean that they blame him for anything I wouldn't jump to that conclusion. Also, he isn't a child he is an adult. If they never developed relationships as children, then there be no desire to do so now. Is your dp bothered about this?

TheSecondComing Mon 11-Mar-13 16:29:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nicolaeus Mon 11-Mar-13 16:30:28

Interesting as I know someone in a similar situation, except his dad never left his wife and in theory no one knows he exists sad

This person doesnt want to know his half-siblings and I believe him. They might share a dad but have never met and have no reason to start a relationship now in their 30s and 40s.

They also didnt have the same experience of 'dad'

For some siblings he was the loving father there whenever they needed him, supportive etc. for my friend he was a guy who sometimes came round, never on Christmas day, never came on holiday with them and basically abandoned the child as a teenager and stopped all contact and support.

ivykaty44 Mon 11-Mar-13 16:38:15

it is very sad and I am glad that I have encouraged my dd's to have a loving relationship with their younger brother who has a different mother who was the ow.

The children have no choice in this type of affairs and are innocent.

What a shame these people are missing out on a family relationship

Springdiva Mon 11-Mar-13 16:41:56

Did DF spend as much time with his first DCs as with your DH after the split?

I think you are projecting your views onto the situation, seeing DM's loss of DF, and your view that she will never marry again hmm, as 'proof' that this was DF's 'true' love or justifying it in some way.

I'm sure DH is being honest when he says he is happy enough without contact.

Owllady Mon 11-Mar-13 16:44:31

are you sure that they blame him though?

I have half siblings but I am estranged from my father and have had no contact with any of them. I don't blame them for anything or hate them. I just have no involvement in their life because of circumstance

OnceUponAThyme Mon 11-Mar-13 16:48:02

I have two half siblings that I don't see or have any contact with. we were never raised as a family and due to the way our father was, we will never bond over good memories of the father we share.
I'm happy with how it is, and so are they I assume. we're all strangers and very different people. your dh is possibly the same way. imagine a stranger in the street told you that you were related. you wouldn't instantly love each other, much less even like each other possibly.

Dryjuice25 Mon 11-Mar-13 23:24:07

This is not uncommon. My stepsister and I never developed a bond. I discovered her when df died we text at xmas though Sad I know but I'd just leave it if I was you. On the other hand I'm very close to another step child who I managed to develop a bond with even though we didn't grow up together.

KobayashiMaru Mon 11-Mar-13 23:48:23

yabu. They don't know him, there is no right to a relationship just because they are related.

glastocat Tue 12-Mar-13 02:11:24

I have step siblings that I only see when I visit my mum, perhaps they just aren't bothered. I wouldn't take it personally, some people have enough family already without taking on more!

Takingbackmonday Wed 13-Mar-13 18:45:42

I won't get involved but he would get so much out of a larger family, as an only child myself who also lost a parent I know how empty/lonely he sometimes feels

AThingInYourLife Wed 13-Mar-13 19:03:31

DH discovered after his father died that he has an older half sister that his Dad's girlfriend had when his Dad was young.

This woman got in touch and they exchanged an e-mail each, but that was it.

I thought it was a really big, life-changing deal to find out you have a sister you never knew about, but DH is just not that bothered.

He's still close to his step (not half) siblings (younger) from his Dad's second marriage and his step mother.

I guess the difference is that his non-blood siblings he grew up with and has a relationship with, this other woman is technically his sister, but really she's a stranger.

Your DP's siblings were as much victims of their father's (and his mother's) duplicity and selfishness.

The lack of relationship is a sad, but predictable, outcome of causing enormous hurt within a family.

It's not their fault they neither know him nor love him.

I doubt it's done with any malice.

Owllady Thu 14-Mar-13 11:09:31

but takingbackmonday, you are hankering after something that might not ever actually exist. It's far better to make the best of what you have and not waste time spent on thinking about this

glastocat Thu 14-Mar-13 11:16:35

I am also an only child, well apart from my three steps. And I've lost a parent, doesn't make me want a closer relationship with them though. Sounds to me like you are projecting a little.

givemeaclue Thu 14-Mar-13 11:44:06

But he has had this larger family for years and had no relationship with them. Honestly sometimes more relatives brings more issues, you can choose your friends so I would focus on them!

WitchOfEndor Thu 14-Mar-13 11:50:53

I have the opposite experience. My dad had an affair and then went on to marry and have a son with ow. Parents had very bitter divorce and have never met (or want to meet) ow, dad hasnt bothered with us for nearly 20 years. Son is now mid twenties and we have contacted him and he doesn't want to know! Even wrote to say that he feels nothing for us and will never consider us to be brother/sister. His loss.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now