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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?

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

PS, your analysis of the stats is wrong.

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

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