WWYD: DF secret wedding...(63 Posts)
Feeling very anxious/ stressed atm because my DF is due to marry his partner (who he's been with now for nearly 20 years), in secret, at the end of this week.
There will be a handful of close family and friends in attendance but the wedding is being kept small and private mainly from and due to my DM.
The background is that DF became close to his current partner during the breakdown of his marriage to my DM and although there wasn't any cheating at the time (and it took many years for them to finally become a couple) my DM has always been very sore about this and convinced herself that this was the cause of her divorce as opposed to the reality.
-I won't go into details on why my parents separated because it is irrelevant to my question but it truly was internal issues and not expedited by anything/one external.
This was always a big issue as I grew up because my DM spread the story round that my DF had cheated, physically attacked his partner at one stage, became enraged if I'd spoken so much as a word with her and really clearly expected me and those close to her to be on her side; being civil and nice to DF's partner for example would be seen as a great betrayal.
This is where and how the secret keeping started.
Fast forward to now: my DM is more accepting of the situation but still struggles and has recently admitted that this is because she is jealous.
I got married a few years ago and whilst we were all worried how things were going to pan out, my DM behaved impeccably well.
To add to things, I have recently had a baby and, although I live quite far away, my DM has been really lovely and come to help for a week after my DH's paternity leave ended and once a week ever since.
I feel as though we have become quite close during this time and subsequently am feeling guilty and nervous about keeping the upcoming nuptials a secret.
My DF is planning on telling her during one of their regular catch-ups next week and believes the build up to the day will cause my DM unnecessary stress and anxiety so has specifically asked us all to keep quiet until then.
I obviously will do as he wishes because it is his day and I think he is right about the build up being stressful for her. But I can't help feeling guilty and dreading her finding out as I know she will see it as a betrayal that I did not warn her, especially as we see each other every week. I think she will also be upset that I've travelled back home (right by her doorstep almost) with the baby incognito.
So my question is do you think I'm doing the right thing by keeping quiet and WWYD/ how would you deal with this when the proverbial shit hits the fan?
Gosh that's long! Sorry and thanks for reading to those that get all the way through.
I’d tell DF he’s putting you in an awkward position, can he just get it out in the open now. Or tell him you’ll tell DM.
Hmm I see why it's a horrible situation for you although I think you do have to respect DFs wishes. The only thing to point out to DM is that if the situation was reversed and she asked you to respect a confidence you absolutely would and that you have been uncomfortable about doing so. Sorry that isn't much help
I wouldn't go along with this to be honest.
I understand his reasons but you will be affected by the fall out and he won't.
As there was some involvement with this woman during the breakdown of your parents marriage her feelings are somewhat valid too.
God, what a horrible position to be in.
If you tell your mum you betray your dad and potentially cause a fall out. If you don't, your mum will be upset and there'll be a fall out. But not until the wedding is over.
I'm surprised to hear your parents have catch ups when things have been so difficult between them over two decades.
Is there anyway your dad could tell her just before it happens (then turn his phone off!) so she doesn't find out you we're all there afterwards?
At the end of the day though, your dad has his partner didn't do anything wrong, have been together for 20 years, have put up a lot of crap from your mum (she attacked her, that sounds awful!), and have every right to get married without a load of drama.
Your df is more entitled to a happy wedding day than your dm is entitled to know about it.
I'm agog that after all this time he has weekly catch ups with his his ex. why given the history are they so involved? No wonder your mother can't move on.
However, I agree that it will put you in a difficult position with your mother because that is how she is.
I suggest you ask your Dad to either tell her ahead of the wedding or let you tell her in a "Oh by the way DF and X are going to make it legal next week" type comment.
Explain to your Dad that she is likely to kick off at you and it might be simpler all round.
Your DF is perfectly entitled to marry who he wants and doesn't have to tell her anything (unless the kids he has with her are younger, then it would be reasonable to give her a heads up). But it was very unfair of him to tell you to keep a secret.
My DF is planning on telling her during one of their regular catch-ups next week
This seems an odd thing to be doing in view of the history between them.
*I wouldn't go along with this to be honest.
I understand his reasons but you will be affected by the fall out and he won't.*
This. He’s putting you in a terrible situation. If he did say ASAP, you’d tell your DM.
Horrible behaviour from you DF.
I never have anything to do with the people's secret-keeping now because of things like this in my own past.
If somebody doesn't want something known they shouldn't tell anyone and that include your DF and his fiancee. He would save a lot of hassle if he would get married privately and then tell everyone. Asking family and friends to conspire and collude is unfair to you all.
Your DM has had a very difficult time moving on and that's a simple fact, and managing blowback from the news is totally a matter for DH - he should not be getting others involved. When DM finds out what has been going on it will do nothing to help her heal , just set back her trust in others to zero.
It's a rotten situation to be in but I advise you to keep quiet. It's not your fault your mother hasn't been able to move on in 20 years, and she only has herself to blame if she doesn't like people keeping stuff from her. Don't stir the pot, because you will make things worse, not better.
Yes, I think you're doing the right thing by keeping quiet.
I don't think you should feel guilty - you can simply say "Look, I was asked by Dad not to tell you, I couldn't visit you without it being clear there was something up. I respect your confidence, I respect Dad's too, I am keen to maintain a good relationship with both of you. On this occasion I was asked to keep quiet and so I did. I have done the same for you in the past. Don't ask me to pick sides - it's not fair."
It sounds like it's time for your Mum to do a bit of growing up and a bit of moving on. I don't mean that in a patronising way - I think we all hit times in life where we are called on to respond as a bigger person than we have previously been, and that is how we grow. I think if you treat this in a matter-of-fact way instead of pandering to her every emotion, however irrational, you may feel better about it. The divorce all happened 20 YEARS AGO so it is high time she came to terms with the new relationship.
Tell your father that your mother will be angry at you for keeping this secret from her, and that he needs to tell her ASAP. It's really not fair on you.
I think you also need to tell your parents (particularly your mother) that they are both your parents and you refuse to be involved in their relationship (whatever that might be). That means that you won't hear the other parent discussed, or insults against him/her - you should get up and leave the room if that happens and it doesn't stop when you point it out.
No you shouldn't collude with your father to keep your mother in the dark. Whether or not she will feel anxious/stressed about the wedding is not your issue and it's very odd that they still have these catch-ups - leads to me to presume perhaps your dad still quite likes the hold he has over your mother.
Tell him you won't lie to your mother - a lie by omission is still a lie.
I’m not sure there is a right way to handle this, it’s a sticky situation. If I was in tour shoes, I’d keep quiet and when it is out in the open just explain to your mum that dad asked you keep it under your hat and that you was raised to respect your parents and that you was only respecting your dads wishes. I hope it all goes well for you.
Why does she need to know at all?
They’ve been divorced for more than 20 years, the children are all grown up.
It isn’t really her business either way.
Do you think your DM might show up and cause trouble ? I can't get my head round the regular catch-ups. I don't think you should tell your DM.
I'm on the side of consulting your DF and explaining how difficult it makes your relationship with your DM and getting him to tell her before she loses confidence in everyone. Like others I'm somewhat surprised your parents have regular catch-ups - that can't be helping DM move on but I guess all relationships are strange and perhaps DF is doing it to be helpful and is still concerned about her. If that's so, he must see keeping it shtum until the last minute is putting you in a hateful position.
I think you could tell him younare uncomfortable and ask him to tell her before.
I totally get why you are stressed about this and think he is probably being dramatic. What does he think will happen if she knows? He doesn't have to tell her date/venue etc.
I feel sorry for your mum that she is still jealous after all these years. Is them having a weekly catch up not a bit odd?? Don't know what advice to offer on this but the best thing you can do for your mum is encourage her to move on.
it's very odd that they still have these catch-ups - leads to me to presume perhaps your dad still quite likes the hold he has over your mother.
I have to admit i thought this.
Another poster who is wondering why she needs to know at all - it's none of her business as they've been divorced for 20 years! You're grown up, so it's not as if she needs to keep ties with him to facilitate contact with children - as you're long past that.
Go to the wedding, have a nice time and explain to your DF that he doesn't need to tell her at all. There's no reason for him to be having regular "catch ups", especially if she is difficult and sensitive about things - in fact it may actually be preventing her from finally coming to terms with things and moving on.
If she does find out and kick off about it, then simply point out that they are long divorced so what's the issue? She has no 'right to know'. She doesn't need to know so what's the problem?
Being the person who would want a secret wedding, I fully understand their reasonings for it.
It's nothing to do with your mother who your father marries, especially 20yrs after their split. After the event you simply say it wasn't your news to share at that point, and has no bearings on your relationship with her.
If she freaks out, she freaks out. 🤷🏻♀️
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