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The secret family... advice pls

(136 Posts)
Keletubbie Mon 27-Jul-15 14:32:44

My ex and I split shortly before I got pregnant.

FF almost 8 years and we have a great DD who lives with me. She sees plenty of her dad, usually a few times a week. They're off on their jollies together in a couple of weeks. We co-parent very effectively - she's a very happy little girl.

But he has a wife. They've just had a child. And the wife has said in no uncertain terms that she wants their new baby to have nothing to do with our DD or me. My DD has no idea that the wife or baby exist. She has never been to her father's house.


fuzzywuzzy Mon 27-Jul-15 14:35:59

What do you mean?

Is your dd's father still involved in your dd's life? Do they have contact?

It's really down to your dd's dad how much contact he has with your dd and whether he introduces her to his family, you can't really do anything about it.

CarrotVan Mon 27-Jul-15 14:36:33

This is for your ex to sort out. Make it possible for him to have a relationship with your daughter but don't get too involved in his marital intrigue

DoeEyedNear Mon 27-Jul-15 14:39:00

Dont get wrapped up in it just keep contact open and leave it to him.

scarlets Mon 27-Jul-15 14:40:05

There's not much you can do. Your ex needs to stand up to her, assuming that what you've described is the case, and it's not actually your ex who wants to keep the two families separate.

I'd tell the ex in no uncertain terms that I was unhappy about wilfully misleading our DD. She should be told, even if she's not allowed to see them.

Keletubbie Mon 27-Jul-15 14:40:44

I think I missed a bit of detail.

We only live about 15 minutes apart. There is a real chance of bumping into him and his wife and her half sister in the supermarket.

I think I am pretty understanding! He has a key to our place, comes over for dinner and bedtime (hers!) once or twice a week.

It was never really an issue to me... not a huge fan of his wife anyway. But for DD to grow up not knowing she has a sister...

Totality22 Mon 27-Jul-15 14:41:36

How do you co-parent if your DD has never even been to her Dad's house or met his wife?

Keletubbie Mon 27-Jul-15 14:43:05

Maybe co-parent is the wrong word. We parent together well.

FundamentalistQuaker Mon 27-Jul-15 14:43:18

Point out to him that little children can be kept in the dark fairly easily, but older children can't. And that if there is a shock revelation when she is in her teens, she might react badly to the point of not seeing him anymore. So if he wants a long-term relationship with your DD he is going to have to work something out.

Someone in my family went with the don't tell tactic, despite all advice to the contrary. Her 21 year old son was not impressed when he found out. He doesn't live with her anymore, and nor do his borthers, they've all gone to dad, who is more straightforward.

Totality22 Mon 27-Jul-15 14:44:01

X post.

Well quite frankly your ex needs to sort this out

I don't know why it's just coming to a head now as surely the wife has been like this since she came on the scene however many years ago? And surely you both must know this is not normal?

She is a step mother, the child came with the man FFS.

I don't know why it has been left to get this bad?

Totality22 Mon 27-Jul-15 14:46:50

The more I think about it the more angry its making me.

If your daughter was the result of an affair then I could see where the wife was coming from although I'd still disagree

I just don't get why when your Ex met his wife did he not introduce them when they became serious and have her as part of both their lives?

GemmeFatale Mon 27-Jul-15 14:47:14

I'd tell her. Nothing much just the facts. Daddy has got married and he and his wife had a baby girl.

lardyscouse Mon 27-Jul-15 14:47:29

Well, sooner or later they will bump into each other and a 'Hello Dad' and a hug will cause more problems for the new baby [obvs when s/he is older] than for your daughter so the wife is being a little short sighted here.

RonaldosAbs Mon 27-Jul-15 14:47:32

Goodness me this all sounds very unhealthy.

I have to ask, how long has he been with her? Also, quite frankly, why have you allowed this to go on for so long? She's 8(ish) now, as she gets older this could have more and more of an impact.

You really need to sort this out, I think you need to have a calm and serious chat with your ex and say that you are uncomfortable with this and you have to find a way forward. For the sake of your DD, don't let this continue.

Keletubbie Mon 27-Jul-15 14:48:32

I think it's because I like an easy life, as does he. I really didn't care at first. His wife is not my favourite person - she maintains that my ex isn't DD's father, etc.

I still don't mind him visiting her at our place, as I don't think they have the most stable home life - they're currently living in her mother's spare room or similar.

I know my DD would like a sister more than anything and I am not planning to have any more, and I know she'll be crushed if/when she finds out.

RonaldosAbs Mon 27-Jul-15 14:48:37

Also, has she always been like this about your dd? What is her problem exactly? Why does he allow her to behave like that? She sounds vile.

Theycallmemellowjello Mon 27-Jul-15 14:50:18

Gosh what a horrible situation. I think it comes down to telling your ex that he's not going to be able to hide this forever- at a certain point (soon?) she'll be asking questions of her dad, wondering why she's never seen his house etc - so it's not a matter of if she finds out but when. And if she realises she's been lied to and played for a fool this will wreck her relationship with him. You could also say that you are not comfortable lying to her and so would be explaining the reasons (personally I agree that you should not hide the fact she has a sibling even if she is not allowed to meet them). If he has a good relationship with her and is not completely thick surely he can see that this is going to end badly for him. But at the same time I'm not sure I'd want my child hanging round this loony new wife, so there's that to think about too.

Keletubbie Mon 27-Jul-15 14:51:40

Totality22 - there was no affair! We split up, not particularly amicably, with 3 months to run on the lease on our flat and stayed living there as we were too poor not to. We made up for about 7 minutes and... the rest is history.

They got together when DD was about 4 months old.

Keletubbie Mon 27-Jul-15 14:54:17

I'm not going to call the new wife names. Not sure I could stop... grin

I can forsee all sorts of chaos coming from this. I don't want to be the one to tell her because I am a wuss. If I tell her she has a sister, the first thing she'll want to do is see her. And then get bunk beds.

UrethraFranklin1 Mon 27-Jul-15 14:55:07

You can't co-parent effectively when your child has never been to her fathers house and doesn't know she has a half sibling.

Your problem isn't the wife, don't make this about one woman against another, that plays into his irresponsibility. He's the father, its his responsibility and he's not taking it. If I were you I would tell your DD she has a half sister, she won't thank you later for hiding it from her, presumably everyone else knows.
Give her at least one parent that treats her with respect and honesty, because her other one surely doesn't.

FundamentalistQuaker Mon 27-Jul-15 14:56:25

I agree with Urethra. Be the parent brave enough to be honest. And really, why should you collude in the other adults' nonsense?

Nolim Mon 27-Jul-15 15:00:09

He has to man up. This will end up bad for everyone unless the adults start acting like adults.

GirlsonFilm Mon 27-Jul-15 15:00:56

Does your dd see your ex's family? If so are they all going to keep their mouths shut?

saintlyjimjams Mon 27-Jul-15 15:01:00

If he doesn't tell her, you'll have to, or she'll blame you (the closest person to her) for keeping it a secret.

Your ex has put you in an awful situation, and his wife sounds deluded. You can't do anything about her, but I think you can put pressure on your ex.

TheGirlFromIpanema Mon 27-Jul-15 15:01:46

I actually have a friend in your position, although her ex has only recently got in touch with her and is now forging a relationship with his (6 yr old) dd.

He had simply buggered off when friend was expecting hmm and has since had 2 dc with his current partner.

I think friend has decided that she will tell her dd the truth if she asks and if not will tell her when she feels she is old enough to know.
From my POV I wonder if the ex has been speaking badly of friend (maybe for years) and this is why his current partner is so hostile.

It is his issue to sort out I suppose, but then I also feel that children shouldn't be lied to about family and that your dd has a right to know about her sibling iyswim.

What does your ex say about it all?

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