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...to be concerned about this man? Unsure what to do

(99 Posts)
user1483717131 Fri 06-Jan-17 15:54:51

I've just returned from a visit to see my step-daughter (age 36) and her little girl (age 5) in Newcastle. While up there, she mentioned she's recently started seeing a man she met online (she broke up with her daughter's dad 4 years ago, and has been single since). She hasn't told me much about him, but there are few things that have worried me:

He has asked repeatedly about her daughter, despite having never met her- "is she an affectionate girl?" He has also given her a toy to give to her

He doesn't talk about his past at all - she knows almost nothing about him, only his first name

He recently suggested that all three of them could go abroad together: when she brought up separate rooms, he said she could have her own bed and he would share a bed with her daughter to save money

This is a bit worrying, isn't it?!

I'm really unsure what to do: obviously I could tell her what I think, but I really think that wouldn't go well. For one thing, if I've ever given any opinion on her choices (just small stuff), she's got really angry, and cut me off for a period. Also, she has some of the same doubts about this man herself, but she's said she might still see him anyway (I think she's very lonely and hard up, and she says he pays for everything).

All I can think of apart from that is telling social services or the police. The problem is that I only know this man's first name and home town, so they'd have to go through her for more. She's quite suspicious of anyone asking about her personal life and I know from experience she will lie to stop other people being involved. Also, if she found out I'd reported it, she'd cut me out too, so no-one would be keeping an eye on the situation (she's not in contact with any other members of her family)

Are there any other options? Is there any way I can find out this man's details without asking her?

Please help!

TheSparrowhawk Fri 06-Jan-17 15:57:31

It does sound very suspicious. Unfortunately I've known of a couple of instances like this where the mother has basically known what was going on and has turned a blind eye to it. I'd say absolutely nothing, keep in as close contact as possible and try to monitor the situation. If nothing happens then that's great. But I'd be surprised if you were wrong.

icanteven Fri 06-Jan-17 15:58:34

When she told you those two particular pieces of info ("very affectionate" and bed-sharing) did she say them in a "He's a bit creepy..." sort of way or "He's so lovely!" sort of way?

It seems extraordinary that these two comments would NOT have set off alarm bells for her. Does she have form for naivety in relationships?

balls2DWall Fri 06-Jan-17 16:00:28

He recently suggested that all three of them could go abroad together: when she brought up separate rooms, he said she could have her own bed and he would share a bed with her daughter to save money

surely to god ANY mother would see a red flag in this suggestion alone!!!! have you voiced your concerns? when she told you that what did you say?

DailyFail1 Fri 06-Jan-17 16:01:08

I personally would get the guy's surname and then do some digging. You could contact a PI too if you're really concerned.

PJBanana Fri 06-Jan-17 16:01:10

Agree with icanteven.

I cannot believe that those statements wouldn't ring alarm bells for most parents (or non-parents)!

TheMerryWidow1 Fri 06-Jan-17 16:01:48

surely she thought the comment about him sharing her daughter's bed was weird?!!!

PoisonousSmurf Fri 06-Jan-17 16:01:50

SCREAMS PAEDO!

BratFarrarsPony Fri 06-Jan-17 16:01:51

oh come on, those comments would have set off alarm bells with any parent surely?
Never mind if she will cut you off, if this is true, i suggest you fone SS today.

YouHadMeAtCake Fri 06-Jan-17 16:02:16

He recently suggested that all three of them could go abroad together: when she brought up separate rooms, he said she could have her own bed and he would share a bed with her daughter to save money

WTAF? Why would she even speak to him after that?

Ev1lEdna Fri 06-Jan-17 16:03:11

I honestly don't understand how this wouldn't set alarm bells ringing for your daughter; the answer to the bed/money saving is OBVIOUSLY I'll share with my daughter you have the bed alone, she would feel safer/more comfortable with me. I'm pretty sure that any parent would respond in this way.

I would mention it even with the risk of her defensiveness because if she is truly not thinking about it herself perhaps this will prompt her to think about it rationally.

smellyboot Fri 06-Jan-17 16:03:37

Surely she cant see any of that as normal? Going abroad for a start with some one she barely knows and him sleeping with her 5 year old? Surely not for real...

TheSparrowhawk Fri 06-Jan-17 16:03:46

Those saying that his comments may have set off alarm bells - it's shockingly common to have situations where women essentially ignore abuse of their children in exchange for a man's attention. They may not even be full conscious that they're doing it but in some cases they see the child as bait - as a way to keep a man and in some way have justified it to themselves as a fair exchange.

RachelRagged Fri 06-Jan-17 16:03:52

He will share a bed with her DD ?

NO WAY.

Red flags all the way from that alone I would say OP .

RachelRagged Fri 06-Jan-17 16:04:21

And what Ev1 said

Ev1lEdna Fri 06-Jan-17 16:04:30

For the record, I would have cut contact with him if he suggested sharing a bed with one of my children.

Magzmarsh Fri 06-Jan-17 16:06:35

I find it really hard to believe a sexual predator would be that blatant. They're a lot more clever and devious than that op. They like to play the long game hmm

balls2DWall Fri 06-Jan-17 16:06:43

in that case Sparrowhawk i would say a parent is unfit and not acting in the child's best interest and should be intervened on!

Rixera Fri 06-Jan-17 16:08:08

How desperate is she?
There are women out there who will throw their child under the bus to keep the man and convince themselves nothing is going on in the face of all evidence so they don't have to feel guilty.

PollytheDolly Fri 06-Jan-17 16:08:11

What the fuck?

Why the hell wouldn't he want to share a bed with your daughter?

Tell her straight. Sounds ominous.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Fri 06-Jan-17 16:08:13

I can't imagine any parent not seeing massive red flags over a suggestion that her new partner share a bed with her 5yo DD. No. Just no! That would make me break up with him immediately.

Is she usually so slow on the uptake? This seems far too obviously suspicious for a grown woman not to react.

I agree with PP that you need to keep as close as possible. It would be a great help if you could find out his name. Then you could ask the police if he's known to them and, if you can afford it, get a PI to investigate this very dodgy sounding man m

Slarti Fri 06-Jan-17 16:08:48

Struggling to see how the bed sharing comment alone hasn't set off alarm bells. How did your DD interpret it? Why did she tell you about it?

Ev1lEdna Fri 06-Jan-17 16:08:58

Sparrowhawk - I agree there are numerous accounts of just that kind of thing happening which is why I would feel the need to make it known I suspect something and that it isn't a normal suggestion. I'm not sure how you safeguard your grandchild in this situation bar saying something and perhaps contacting social services. Contacting social services would most likely result in the OP being cut off from the grandchild with no certainty that social services could help. I'm sure there are people more knowledgeable about social services who would have an idea how they would/could proceed in such a situation.

EnthusiasmIsDisturbed Fri 06-Jan-17 16:10:22

You said she is very lonely

He knows this and she is vulnerable and this is leading her to overlook some extremely serious red flags

Do not worry about her getting angry you have to tell her what he is saying is very concerning and pitntonher if it was a friend of her she would be saying wtf stay away

Could she come and stay with you even for a weekend ? She sounds desperate for company

Qwertie Fri 06-Jan-17 16:11:12

Do you know who your stepdaughter's most trusted friends are? Could you contact her friend with your concerns? You could send a private Facebook message. In one sense you need to keep her onside so you know what's going on and if you need to intervene. Could you offer to have your granddaughter for a weekend so that your step daughter can go away with him alone. If he becomes uninterested or makes a fuss about the little girl not being there that would surely mean curtains and reporting to the police.

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