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To never see my dad without his wife there?

(86 Posts)
lizziejs Fri 22-Sep-17 14:07:21

I’m mid 30’s. Parents divorced when I was in my teens due my dad having an affair. My dad subsequently married OW. My siblings and I must have met her the first time when I was about 17 because we thought if they were going to keep being together, we might as well get it out in the open and try and move forward. I really regret making it so easy for them now.

Since then I have very rarely seen my dad without his new wife there. She literally comes to everything. She’s not got kids of her own and is pretty awkward around mine who are 10 months and 2.

I don’t really like his wife but have always been really kind for my dads sake (which has really upset my mum who is a really brilliant mother.) I always send thoughtful birthday gifts, help when we go to their house, talk to her, seem interested etc. I’ve done my best in what’s felt like tricky circumstances.

Is it normal and acceptable that I never see my dad without this woman (who I never invited into my life and has caused my siblings and I so much misery) being there? I don’t want her there every time - I would just like the odd visit with just my dad so I don’t have to be on best behaviour with this woman who isn’t my family and is so different to anyone else I would choose to be around. It’s like being with a colleague.

Step-parents, do you do this? Does it feel like an ok thing to never allow your partners children to see them without you being there? I’m just interested if other adult children feel this.

I’ve never spoken to my dad about this. He would go all silent and be really ‘hurt’ by it and it would probably be more weird. I’m currently just avoiding seeing them at all.

Notreallyarsed Fri 22-Sep-17 14:10:38

As a stepmum I’ve always made sure that DPs kids get time with their dad on their own without me. It’s not fair to force yourselves into a family at all times, especially (in your SM case, not mine) if it’s a family you’ve blown apart in the first place.

FWIW OP, I think you’ve done your best in really tough circumstances, it can’t have been easy for you or your Mum. Can you speak to your Dad about it without his wife there?

lizziejs Fri 22-Sep-17 14:15:31

Thank you. I’m not sure what I’m even hoping to gain from this post, I guess just to feel that I’m not being unreasonable just to want some time without her there. I really appreciate you responding to me.

lizziejs Fri 22-Sep-17 14:18:37

Maybe one day I’ll find a way to speak to him about it. He really rams her down our throat too and says things like ‘X is soooo kind, she cooked a lovely meal for you.’ I fantasise about snapping back ‘we’ll actually she had an affair with a married man with three school aged children, I don’t think she’s that kind!’

Winteriscomingneedmorewood Fri 22-Sep-17 14:19:04

Please don't let her stop you seeing your df. My sm decided at 40 she wasn't a 'real' gm and dumped my 4x dc. Df stood by and watched it happen - then followed suit.
Been nc for 20 years. He doesn't even know how many dgc he has now....

SloeSloeQuickQuickGin Fri 22-Sep-17 14:22:39

Your SM is his choice of life partner. If you isolate and exclude her then you may not see your DF at all.

To flip the picture, how would you feel if your DF announced he wanted to see you and excluded your DH or children? Personally I'd find it rude and be affronted. As I daresay your DF would be if you tell him you harbour a massive grudge over his choice of partner.

SandysMam Fri 22-Sep-17 14:23:10

My relationship with my step mother is like this, polite but uptight. I do however see my Dad alone a lot, mainly because he would tell her to do one if she tried to stop him. It is such a hard thing though but without talking to your Dad, nothing will change.
I don't have much advice to give, just sympathy.

CaptainHammer Fri 22-Sep-17 14:26:12

I think you’ve done really well in this circumstance. My parents recently divorced and I know at some point I’ll have to met my dads new fiancé. It’s difficult though as I know it’ll hurt my mum and knowing my dad it means I’ll be seeing the both of them all the time rather than just him.

I hadn’t been close to my dad for a while anyway but it is very much like a colleague coming for a visit when he does come over to see me. We have however gone to the cinema a couple of times as he likes similar films to me that his fiancé doesn’t. Is there anything like that you could invite just him out to without it being too obvious you don’t want her there?
Hopefully other people will have more helpful replies but I just wanted you to know I understand a little of how hard/awkward it is.

Notreallyarsed Fri 22-Sep-17 14:27:16

You’re not being unreasonable at all, I think she is being extremely unreasonable tbh. She’s already got your dad, she doesn’t have to be stuck to him when he sees his daughter. I hope you get some kind of resolution that means you get some time with your dad on your own.

Sandsunsea Fri 22-Sep-17 14:29:02

I have never spent time with my
Dad without my step mum being there. They've been together since I was very young and I'm now in my 40's.

Wolfiefan Fri 22-Sep-17 14:30:31

"She had an affair with a married man with three school aged children"
Your dad had the affair. If she was married she betrayed her own husband. Your dad is the one who let down his family. Not her.
She is his wife. They're partners. They probably do most things together.
Tell your dad if you want time with just him but this reads more like you blame her for breaking up your parents. The only people who can break up a marriage are the ones in it.

PickleRickSanchez Fri 22-Sep-17 14:32:29

Step-parents, do you do this? Does it feel like an ok thing to never allow your partners children to see them without you being there?

Just out of curiosity, what makes you think he is "not allowed" to see you without his DW also being present?
You are both adults, and he is a mature aged with a mind of his own. If he isn't making the effort to see his adult daughter alone, then I don't see how that is instantly his wife's fault?

lizziejs Fri 22-Sep-17 14:33:27

‘Polite but uptight’ is a perfect description. Ha ha.

Sloe - I certainly don’t want to snub or exclude his wife, give ultimatums or even tell them how I feel about the whole thing. I just wish she wasn’t always there.

Dizzybintess Fri 22-Sep-17 14:34:17

This could have literally been written by my husband. His dad remarried when my DH was in his late teens after a string of affairs.

Over the course of the naughties my DH would see his dad sporadically and always with SMIL present. she started to push FIL to only see her side of the family...so much so that at one point he emigrated and DH and BIL only had one day to say goodbye and he didn't say goodbye to his own mother at all (FILs mum is in her 80s)}
They attended our wedding and left straight after the speeches which hurt my husband greatly!

Sadly when my daughter was born it started to become necessary for him to be in the same room occasionally as MIL so SMIL really started putting her foot down. as a result they have not seen Our DD for 5 and a half years and have absolutely no interest despite living in the next street.

over the course of the last 5 years he has pissed off pretty much everyone in his family. He saw BIL in a supermarket and called his own son by the wrong name!
he sent a Christmas gift to our daughter via my BILs place of work with completely the wrong name on it.

FIL's sister died 2 years ago and FIL and SMIL had a holiday planned so dint even bother cancelling it or even sending flowers. He didn't contact his own mother until 6 months after which is awful considering she had lost a child. as a result his mother and his only remaining sister are really not keen on communicating with him.

I have had to delete them from FB as their posts all about how amazing her grandchildren are were really hurtful!
They are missing out on an amazing Grandaughter and frankly they don't deserve her!

lizziejs Fri 22-Sep-17 14:36:01

Good point Pickle. Maybe I do blame her more than him.

SloeSloeQuickQuickGin Fri 22-Sep-17 14:36:11

As Wolfie said, there are only two people who can make a marriage work. It's never one person 100% in the wrong. But that is a whole differnet debate.

Whatthefucknameisntalreadytake Fri 22-Sep-17 14:37:57

Normal in my world. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen my dad without his wife in the last 20 years. She's a nice person but I don't understand how it hasn't occurred to her that it might be nice for us to have some one on one time occasionally.

Dizzybintess Fri 22-Sep-17 14:38:20

We also know for a fact that SMIL screens all calls to the house to stop even his mum getting through. she broke her arm on a cruise ship and the whole boat ended up with novovirus and wanted to let him know she was ok.....and there was no contact for a month despite about 20 messages being left!

SloeSloeQuickQuickGin Fri 22-Sep-17 14:39:34

For those of you with still married parents, other than a normal mother/daughter relationship, how many of you see your fathers regularly without your mother being present? By that I mean arranged time, not just because you've called in and your mum just happens to be out.

KimmySchmidt1 Fri 22-Sep-17 14:40:31

you are not being unreasonable. please just ask your dad, and try to put it to him that it is not because you don't like her, just because he is your dad and you would like to build a bond with him directly. he should be flattered and take it as a compliment.

My parents were happily married until my dad died last year, and we all got on very well and I still cherished the time he and I had alone without mum, because it gave us more time to bond. It isnt really anything to do with how you feel about the woman he is with.

Glumglowworm Fri 22-Sep-17 14:40:47

You sound like your blaming her rather than your dad. He was the married man with theee children who had an affair after all, and seeing you only with his wife present is just as likely to be his choice as hers.

However, YANBU to want to see him without her sometimes. My step mum makes sure I have time with just my dad, as does my stepdad give me time with just my mum

Lovemusic33 Fri 22-Sep-17 14:41:10

I think you just need to go along with it, I know it's hard but you are an adult and can't expect your DF to be on his own when he visits you if he has a wife/partner.

I know it's not easy, I have the same issue with my mum and her new partner, I don't particularly like him, he's not always nice to my dc and we often class but he has married my mum and they are together most of the time. Occasionally if he's busy I get to see my mum for an hour without him being there. I basically just suck it up.

KimmySchmidt1 Fri 22-Sep-17 14:43:29

to answer sloe's question, I would speak to him on the phone, we did hobbies together like walking which my mum wasnt interested in (they lived 4 hours away so i did not see them that often), plus when I was growing up he would take me to various sports/play them with me. So there was definitely some defined time for us to spend together.

feemcgee Fri 22-Sep-17 14:43:40

I could have written this post about my situation! Me and my DS went out of our way to form a relationship with my dad and his new wife, despite the terrible way they treated my DM. We never used to see him on his own, she was always there, which was sometimes annoying and awkward. We always made the effort and I'm so glad now, because they have both passed away. My DS died after a short illness and we unfortunately never had the chance to have dad to ourselves - he died suddenly six weeks later.

PickleRickSanchez Fri 22-Sep-17 14:43:43

Have you ever actually asked your DDad for some quality time with him alone?
Maybe he thinks as you're an adult now with a family of your own, that you don't still want/need that.

Maybe you could drop him a line and just ask? "Hi Dad, I've been thinking...it's been so long since we did anything that was just the two of us...remember when we used to (insert pastime)? I'll ask DH to stay home with DC, we could go and do it again".

If he didn't seem keen or interested then that's when I'd think there was a real problem with him. But if he doesn't know that you'd like to still have that, then he can't fix what he's unaware of.

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