Seeing my ex from very long time ago(42 Posts)
Name changed for this as it’s a bit outing.
My eldest son’s father was my childhood sweetheart and he left me when I was 12 weeks pregnant and married someone else. That was 28 years ago.
He played no part in sons life (his choice) but last year my son tracked him down. They met up once but I wasn’t involved.
Long story short-he will be in the country in 2 weeks time and now son has a 3 month old daughter he wants us all to meet up at his house.
I’ve never bore any animosity to ex and if truth be told was in love with him for a very long time.
I’m absolute dreading it but I have to do it for my son.
Ex will also have wife and grown up children in tow too.
Help wise mumsnetters!!
Can you just explain to your son why you dont want to see him. I wouldnt either. And maybe say you will meet up with him after and he can tell you all about it. Your son is an adult and should understand why you wouldnt want to see him. Especially as he has a chils of his own now
I wouldn't want to see him. Your son is an adult and should understand that. Don't put yourself in an uncomfortable position for his sake - he can be a part of his father's life without involving you.
Why does your son want you to go to? Hasn't he thought that it would be extremely uncomfortable for you? I would find a way out of it if I were in your situation. Good luck!
No . Just no
I wouldn’t go and would have no shame in saying why not . Does your son want you there ?
You don’t have to do it. Your son should understand this. Just decline.
Of course you don’t have to be there. Why on earth would anyone expect you to go?
Go. Be civil. Don't give him the power to after all this time be the understanding parent. If you don't cope well make sure you never do it again.
I agree with PP. It’s up to your son if he wants to do this, but you don’t need to be involved .
I have some experience of reunions with “ long lost “ relatives and I have to say I don’t think your sons plan is a good one.
He has only met his father once and it sounds like his father didn't even keep up the contact. It would be much wiser just to have another one on one meeting when he is in the Uk and in a neutral setting, like cafe or pub.
It’s far too much to drag everyone else into it - this mans wife, adult kids, you, your son, DIL and baby. Are your son is expected to host all these randomers at his house AND deal with his own newborn baby.
On top of this, it’s at his house so he can’t get away if it becomes to upsetting. Which it will do.
It will be very hurtful to your son to see how close his father is to his other children . He will wonder why his father hated him but loves his other kids.
He will see his father hold his tiny grandchild and wonder why he was such a bad baby that his father Walked out on him.
It’s a very poor idea to involve his own child - this man has a long history of walking out on people when it no longer suits him - why allow his to do this to the next generation as well?
I know this is your sons plan and not yours and he may not be asking for your opinion . But if it was my son, I’d be suggesting that he meeting his father alone for lunch NOT in his home. No one else involved.
You say that your bear no animosity to your son’s father for abandoning you both when you were pregnant and having nothing to do with his son for 28 years . This seems remarkable to me - don’t you believe that parents have a legal and moral duty to care for their children? Do you come from a culture where many children are brought up In state care ? It seems very odd to me.
I think it’s odd that your son wants you there. Is it some kind of happy families thing he’s trying to create?
Just explain to him that it’s difficult for you and you don’t want to go. Surely he’ll understand.
When he met his dad last year he also met the other adult children and the dads wife. He has developed quite a good relationship with one of his half sisters (she's been down to stay for a week and I met her then too).
No PP I don't come from a culture where it's normal for the state to bring children up!! Where the hell did that come from??
I don't bear him any animosity because it serves no purpose! His family were friends of my family so my son grew up having a relationship with his grandparents and aunts and uncles etc. He also has no animosity towards his dad just keen to build a good future relationship.
Yes in an ideal world I would say no but I know that this means absolutely everything to my son to have his mum and dad in the same place. I guess I will just suck it up and leave quietly when it gets too much
OP. I feel your son is asking a lot of you - too much. You have been supportive of his meeting his Father and getting to his half siblings but your son is a grown man now and a Father himself. He is not a 15 year old scared and needing a hand hold. Have a frank discussion with your son, tell him that the situation will be too uncomfortable and will rake over too many old coals. He knows you have done your best for him and you love him but this is something he can do on his own - he is 28. It may mean the works to him but your feelings count too OP.
It might mean everything to him but not at the expense of your feelings. I’m sure he’s not that selfish!
I would have a very long chat with your son about this.
At the very least, advise him to meet at a neutral location for a specified time - not more than an hour or so at a nice quiet restaurant, for a drink?
And I think I would be unavoidably busy for this first meeting. Maybe if it goes ok and there is another meeting, be there for that.
I think your son is going to get hurt. Father figure, not!
Oops name change OP!
Ok that's a bit more perspective. Sounds like it's not such a huge leap after all.
Your best bet probably is to go, and be distant and smiley. And have somewhere you absolutely have to be after an hour or so.
Your ex is a scumbag, by the way - you were in contact with the grandparents etc and he 'chose to play no part'?
I hope your son scratches the itch and then tells him to piss off, not let him play grandad. He deserves nothing.
@FizzyGreenWater That failed 😂😂
He played no physical part but paid maintenance.
I think becoming a dad himself has given him a renewed importance to have the relationship with his dad.
I don't think his dad will walk back out his life now. They have been in constant Skype/phone contact since they first met last year
You don't need to be there. I wouldn't go, it would be awkward all round.
I have to do it for my son
No, you don't. As others have said, there's no reason you need to be there. It would be bad enough if it was just your ex, but his wife and grown up kids too? No. Don't go, it will only hurt you.
Only do what’s comfortable for you, OP.
In your shoes I’d be really hurt that my DS wanted to track down and spend time with a stranger whose main contribution to his being was 30 minutes of fun many decades ago. So it depends how you feel towards the man.
@TomorrowsDiet because my son had a relationship with the rest of his dads family he didn't feel like a stranger to him-just the final piece of the jigsaw. From my conversations with my sons GM over the years it would appear that it was his dads wife who stopped the contact. Yes I know a better man would have stood up to her and done the right thing!
I don't feel hurt at all. I just want him to be happy. As well as his own baby he's a step dad too so fully understands that not everything is straightforward when it comes to parenting.
Please keep your ♥️ safe. Meeting this man now might do a number on your mental health as well. I could see it being tempting from a curiosity standpoint but people never change, they just mask who they are. This man is the same man who left his son 28 years ago, and there's no need to build a nonexistent relationship. It will most likely just upset you when he takes no responsibility and tries to blame you instead.
@Nurseornot thank you x
Rather surprisingly he has actually had quite a frank discussion with son and apologised for not being a part of his life for 28 years. Son has always known that I would have loved his dad to have been part of his life
Explain your feelings to you son, he might not realise how much things impacted on your or that it still affects you. If this was my mother I would never ask her to be in a situation that I knew would hurt her, it may well be that he doesn't realise. Just be clear that it in no way affects him meeting his father himself and that you are happy for him to do so, you just don't wish to meet him yourself.
What does your son precisely want? Does it have to be a long drawn out thing at home or would a 15 minute coffee in a public place an a few photo's of son with mum and dad be enough?
Explain your feelings to your son. He is old enough to understand why this situation would be uncomfortable, awkward and potentially upsetting for you. Too much water under the bridge, he should be understanding of that.
Why do you feel you have to be there?
Yes it sounds easy to say no to him but it's important to him and when he and his partner marry in a couple of years I'll have to see his dad anyway.
My original post was asking for advice on how to deal with situation not how to avoid it!!
Besides I'm not having that bloody woman trying to play the doting "grandmother" 😂
You shouldn’t feel you have to do whatever people ask of you.. Your ex’s wife is his step grandmother. Their relationship is not yours to police.
OK, how to deal with it. Polite, smiles, small talk, nothing personal or emotional, then get the hell out of there. The first time will be the worst but it might get easier seeing him after that.
Thanks @DanglyBangly. I'll also resist the urge to have an alcoholic beverage as I fear one may not be enough 😂
Agree absolutely nothing personal. Ex does not have the right to know anything about you. Just praise your son don’t ask ex anything about his life. Smile a lot and definitely don’t have a drink. Get out of there ASAP and give yourself a big pat on the back for raising a son who because of you is happy to try and have a relationship with his absent father.
@OohYeBelter47 love the name-a fellow countryman I think? 😂😂
@user1498572889 thank you. I'm still undecided about my partner coming (stepdad for 16 years) but eldest dd(18) wants to come to support me.
I'm very very proud of the man he has become. He made me laugh yesterday when he gave me a hug and apologised for being an annoying child-his dsd's we're driving him mad at the time 😂😂 x
I was in a similar situation a few years ago (to your son) and I didn't even think to try and involve my mum. That seems odd to me.
Still, if he's asked and you've said yes then I suppose it's happening now. I would just focus totally on your son and the baby. You can be polite to his dad without making a big song and dance about catching up with him.
And you say there's no animosity? Are you sure that will still be the case when he turns up with his new family? I was heartbroken when I met my dad's other children and partner. It really hurt. And to top it all off they weren't even pleasant to me, as I had imagined they would be in my head. It was a horrible experience that I wouldn't recommend to anyone.
Sounds as though your son wants to give you the opportunity to meet his half-siblings? Perhaps also to show "that bloody woman" what a fabulous person you are! If there is such a crowd at your son's house you can hopefully talk only to those you are comfortable with and avoid the others. You can always offer to help out with the baby if you need a break. Take your DD for moral support if you think it will help (and if your son agrees). The suggestion to have somewhere else to be, an hour later, is a good one. Keep your head high and stay calm.
Is your son planning to get married and wants to test the water with getting everyone in the same room perhaps?
I would request a short meeting in a neutral space if you feel you have to do it for your son.
Just to update that I survived with my dignity intact. Son is just bursting with joy at having (as he put it)-the final piece of the jigsaw. It was very very emotional on all sides and I'm glad I was there to support him x
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