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Is my brother being unresonable to want nothing to do with his child's family?

(28 Posts)
celeste83 Mon 19-Sep-16 13:34:22

Is my brother being unreasonable to want to have nothing to do with his little boy's family? I'll run through the background. Long story mind.

My brother went through a very difficult time a few years ago. He met a girl online and within a few months she was pregnant. Yes silly but accidents happen. She then dumped him by facebook chat 3 days after the second scan without reason. Two weeks later she then went on holiday with some friends and came back engaged to one of her friends. This new chap was some 20 years older than her but a family friend. I suspect something had been going on between them for a while. When she returned from her holiday she then started telling my brother the baby might not be his afterall but refused to answer if she had slept with anyone else. So she basically saw out the remainder of the pregnancy with the other chap including ante natal classes whilst leaving my brother unsure if he was the father. She refused to take calls from my brother and her family also did the same. He didn't see her once from the 2nd scan to when the baby was born. Even my parents tried to contact her mother and her mother said she had no idea her daughter was saying the baby might not be his and she would find what was going on and return the call. She never did. Anyway baby was born and my brother rightly wanted a paternity test. He got a text from the girl saying she still didn't know who was father but she was not ready to see him to do a paternity test. After 5 days my brother finally went to her families house and was told that baby was definitely his but the baby and this girl were now living with her new chap. A week after baby was born he finally got to meet his boy and the girl basically admitted the baby was his and she was lying all along. He still did the test and it was definitely his child. The girl then dictated access arrangements, a few hours here and there once a week at her choice normally in a bar or cafe somewhere. She wouldn't even let my brother take the boy to see our grandmother who was dying of cancer. My brother eventually wanted a formatted access agreement but she refused so he eventually got a solicitor to write a letter to her wanting to set access terms. Her family went balistic at this and said he was being immature. A few weeks later a big bombshell dropped that this girl's fiance was standing trial in court for rape of another girl around the same age as baby's mother. Apparently it happpend a few weeks before he went on holiday that he came back engaged to baby's mother and the prosecution had a text from the chap to the girl admitting to raping her. By this point this girl was already pregnant with another child, her second child in the same calander year with a different man. He didn't contact the girl because he knew she would be stressed out and was heavilly pregnant so he contacted her family and was told it was none of his business. Eventually the chap got found guilty of sexual assult and added to the sex offenders register. He also found out she lied to the hospital and nursury and put the other chap's name down as father. Ever since this has happened he has wanted nothing to do with the family. He eventually got access awarded to him, every other weekend and things seem to be ok between him and this girl on a parent basis, but he wants nothing to do the child's family. He says whenever he sees them they all try to kiss and hug him and joke around like nothing happened. The child is four next year and beginning to ask about birthday parties but my brother says there will be no joined up party and that he won't be going to the party. He says he has basically lacks any respect from this family for him being father and wants nothing to do with them. I can understand where he is coming from but i'm trying to tell him that the boy will be coming to an age soon where he will pick up on the strained relations between his father and his mother's family.

CarrotVan Mon 19-Sep-16 13:42:51

Is he now correctly listed as the father on the birth certificate, nursery/school records, GP records etc?

I can't see why he would have to have any contact with the child's maternal extended family if he chooses not to unless they are formally involved in contact arrangements (handovers for example). What are the situations in which they try to be huggy and jokey? Are they not avoidable?

He needs to be civil but otherwise just needs to maintain a decent parenting relationship with the mother of his child.

sparechange Mon 19-Sep-16 13:45:28

Gosh, that all sounds really complicated. Your brother has been through quite a lot.

His duty is to have a relationship with the child, not her extended family, but it is obviously not in the child's interest to have family and dad at each other's throats.
I think it is fair to assume relations are always going to be a bit strained, and no one can think they need to put on a 'happy families' act in front of the child - they'll see through that as well...
Keeping things formal and civil at pick ups and drop offs, and have a simple explanation for not being at parties, but offering to do a special treat instead, is probably the least confusing thing for the child at the moment.

celeste83 Mon 19-Sep-16 13:53:18

His name is on the birth certificate and they changed the hospital forms too. He found out when he went to the hospital with the boy's mummy for a check up and the nurse called him the other chaps name sad He then found out the same had happened at the nursury too. He actually has an ok relationship with the child's mother. They have not had an argument for well over two years now since the rape trial and the access arrangments however when he picks and drops off the child he says its only ever small talk between him and the mother. He has met her family once or twice since as they had to do the pick up on her behalf for one reason or another and they were pretending to be overly nice. My brother is a level headed guy and has a professional job but his morals are that they let him down and totally disrepected him as they sat back and watched the girl tell lies about the father and helped keep secret about the rape trial. He found that out reading the newspaper at work one lunchtime. I would go to the child's birthday and i think my parents would too even though i wouldn't be happy with a sex offender being near my child but my brother is just saying its not gloing to happen.

t4nut Mon 19-Sep-16 13:54:21

I think he's made a reasonable and informed choice.

Poor kid's got one messed up family on his mother's side. Sounds like your brother wants to completely distance himself from them and offer an alternative.

Birdsgottafly Mon 19-Sep-16 13:58:12

I think he's directing his anger at them, rather than her.

She was jumping into a new relationship whilst pregnant, so they wouldn't want to push her for a decision and risk isolating her. They really have been stuck in the middle, but have acted as anyone would.

As yet, he doesn't have to have anything to do with them, but he'll miss out and possibly upset his child, if his attitude continues. I've known Parents to ruin, 16/18/21st Birthdays and Weddings. My DD won't forgive her Grandmother-in-law, for not attending her DDs occasions, it's changed the relationship.

I'd tackle it when each occasion arises, though.

jeaux90 Mon 19-Sep-16 14:03:20

Your bother is right of course, but, he has to understand surely her parents were doing whatever they could do defend their daughter, however fucked up that is. He is being civil and maintaining a parenting relationship with her which is all you can ask of him really.

Youarenotprepared Mon 19-Sep-16 14:06:18

I don't see that he has to have any contact with them for 99% of the time. The only thing is big occasions that are traditionally family affairs eg graduation, engagement, wedding. He needs to suck it up enough to be civil at those events and not make his son struggle with being able to get all his family there.

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Mon 19-Sep-16 14:07:13

Has no need at all to play happy families with them. He is being honest and true in his beliefs and that can only be a good example to his son that he is sticking to that.

WeAllHaveWings Mon 19-Sep-16 14:30:13

in my experience it is completely normal for separated parents to have separate birthday parties for there dc. One on their birthday and another somewhere else. He should speak to his ex and work out how they will split special days like birthdays/Xmas etc fairly.

Obviously it doesn't hurt to be civil with his ex's family so there wont be issues in the future with bigger events like weddings/funerals/births etc but there is no need to socialise.

nannybeach Mon 19-Sep-16 14:30:52

What a mess, have been in a similar situation, your sons priority is his child, not the childs Mothers family.

celeste83 Mon 19-Sep-16 14:45:19

My brother has already said to her that she can have the boy on xmas days and birthdays. He says that he doesn't want to separate his boy and his sibling on xmas day, and as for birthdays he says that soon he will be going to school he won't see him before or after school anyway so there is no point. He normally sees him on Boxing Day and the weekend after his birthday instead and takes him out for treat.

Birdsgottafly I'm completely agree he is setting his anger out at the family. They were quite rude to him when he found out about the rape trial and things have never been the same since. Up to then he maintained a decent relationship with them whenever he saw them.

I would like my brother to be the better person here and go to these occasions. He is his child as much as the mothers of course and he shouldn't miss out. My brother however has always been somewhat of a closed book and keeps himself to himself most of the time with a small close circle of friends. He is close to my parents and myself however and we have always supported him but he tries to distance us from relations with the boy's family.

nancyblackett80 Mon 19-Sep-16 15:02:05

Actually you need to support your brother's decision here. You and your parents do not need to have any relationship with the mother's family.

Why are you loolooking for a family relationship with these crazy people?

If you go behind his back it will cause even more upset.

mouldycheesefan Mon 19-Sep-16 15:09:29

You are over involved, it's none of your business.
It's perfectly fine for your brother not to have anything to do with the Childs family, in fact it's unusual for an estranged parent to hang out with their exes family!
Stop telling what to do and advising him and let him make his own choices. He seems to be doing pretty well so far, he has managed to maintain a proper relationship and access arrangement TS with child despite best efforts of the exe and her family. Respect your brothers decision.

mouldycheesefan Mon 19-Sep-16 15:11:22

Have a party for child when child is at your brothers, that is what most people do, th don't go to exes party!

Nuggy2013 Mon 19-Sep-16 15:22:47

To be honest, I totally get your perspective but I'm with your brother, self preservation and boundaries are an absolute must in this situation.

Faithless Mon 19-Sep-16 15:35:13

I think your brother is doing the right thing putting appropriate boundaries in place with his son's mother and her family. It would be extremely odd and uncomfortable for him to mix with his son's mother and her family, especially as they barely knew each other before the boy was born.
You and the rest of your brother's family are also this boy's family. You can have parties and family get togethers for him and I'm sure he will have a great time. Children readily accept a variety of family arrangements - what may not seem "normal" to you will be perfectly normal and acceptable to a child who has not known anything else.

DixieWishbone Mon 19-Sep-16 15:50:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SandyY2K Mon 19-Sep-16 15:58:20

He doesn't need to have anything to do with her family. A simple hello and goodbye is all.

Unfortunately parents get caught up in the drama of their messed up kids at times. He's never going to be best mates with them.

Your brother sounds like a stand up kind of guy. Many would have jumped for joy when she said it wasn't his.

SheldonsSpot Mon 19-Sep-16 16:08:13

Your brother has done well enough so far, sorting out a paternity test, getting his name on all relevant documents and cultivating an amicable relationship with his ex so that handovers aren't unbearable.

Plenty of people have separate birthday celebrations, 2 Christmases, etc.

I think you're making this about you and what you'd like. "I would go to the child's birthday".

Butt out. Your brother's doing ok without your input.

aginghippy Mon 19-Sep-16 16:09:11

I would like my brother to be the better person here.

Sounds to me like he is the better person here. Support him and respect his choices.

If you want to do something special for your nephew's birthday, you can do that without getting involved with his mother or her family.

Penfold007 Mon 19-Sep-16 16:14:34

I don't understand your OP, do you think he should have a relationship with these people? You should support his choice, he sounds like a decent father.

crusoe16 Mon 19-Sep-16 16:42:35

My DH barely has anything to do with DD's Mother let alone her family. She tried to deny him access, they slashed his tyres, made false allegations about him to the police, to social services.... He has an SRO and 50:50 contact now but it was a long, painful court battle to get it. He can't forget. He won't forgive.

Like you OP sometimes I think he should be the bigger person but I support him nonetheless. I do speak to my DSD's Mum quite regularly and I send Xmas cards to her family. For DSD's sake. DH leaves me to it.

DSD of course knows full well how much her parents loathe each other. It is very sad. She may have been in the dark when she was younger but she's a teen now and she has of course noticed that DH can barely bring themselves to make eye contact. I very much doubt she would ever want her parents in the same room - you'd be able to cut the atmosphere with a knife.

crusoe16 Mon 19-Sep-16 16:43:19

*DH and her Mum

celeste83 Mon 19-Sep-16 17:09:44

I just want my nephew to have as normal upbringing as possible but i guess the general consensus on here is right and that too much water has gone under the bridge for that to be so. I just hope that family don't try to take advantage of my Brother's no show at these events and go about brainwashing the boy making out his Dad to be someone that chose not to attend. I have never met the family in my life and wouldn't know what to say to them if I did. I know my Mum is furious with them but again she has never spoke to them either. Only my father has spoken to her mother on the phone. I think this boy is lucky to even have his father in his life as i honestly beleive that girl and her family would have been more than happy to have this new chap as his father instead and make out that his real father skirked his responsibilities.

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