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In asking my ex if he wants to come to school open day.

(27 Posts)
twinsetandpearls Thu 26-Jul-07 13:25:07

We are going to an open day in October and have to RSVP.

Dp and I are paying the school fees with some help from his family. Dd is not dp biological child but we have been togther since dd was a baby and they adore each other.

I had assumed that dp, I, dd and her father would go to the open day. Dp has said that as we are paying the fees he does not want dd biological father there. Dp says that if my ex goes dd will have two "dads" there which is confusing and he will be demoted to a spare part when in fact he is the one who puts in all of the effort in to dd and is paying the fees.

As some background my ex has fiddled his maintenance for years although he is now skint in reality and could not afford the fees. He has been a very unpleasant charactar in the past and is very unreliable in terms of contact. His contribution to dd present education is to turn up to one concert, he never goes to assemblies, sports days etc, dp says these are further reasons why dd biological father should not be allowed to go to the open day or attend the interview or any school events.

Dp also wants to put himself down as dd father on the form as he says it is less complicated and he is the closest thing dd has to a father in terms of reliability and contact. He says that it makes sense to have our names on the paperwork as the fees will be coming out of our bank account. My mum is in agreeance with dp but she is hardly unbiased as she adores dp and never liked my ex.

But I think that whatever my ex has done he is dd father and should be involved - if he wants to - in her education and that he is her biological father and therefore should be at any interview and his name should be on the form. I would be heartbroken if the roles were reversed and I was excluded from dd education because of financial constraints.

LIZS Thu 26-Jul-07 13:29:48

ime these things tend to be very informal, invitation or not. Don't see the point of your ex going along tbh if you and dp are making the decision, he isn't paying the fees nor does he sound particularly proactive. Or would dd want him there ?
However I'm not sure your dp can assume his role completely - the school must have come across this before and have a way of recording it discreetly correctly.

twinsetandpearls Thu 26-Jul-07 13:32:07

dd will want him there.

hertsnessex Thu 26-Jul-07 13:33:11

i dont think he should be invited - your dp sounds more of a dad than he ever was. just dont tell him about the appt. if hes that interested he will ask when/if there is an open day.

dal21 Thu 26-Jul-07 13:34:36

What a tough one! You are of course right to want to include DD's biological father there. I can also see (kind've) where your DP is coming from. But who is DP putting first? I would assume that DD would want her father there? If so - surely her needs and wants should come first and as an adult, your DP should understand that. Even if he doesnt like it much.

If your DD wants her father there, then I would sit your DP down and have a good open chat about it. Really try to understand where he is coming from and why he is making the demand that your ex isnt there. If however DD is not too fussed about her father being there - I potentially wouldnt force the issue.

But I would say, if your DP does want to put himself down as the father and fulfil that pivotal role; have you both thought about him formally adopting her?

Good luck with whatever you decide.

twinsetandpearls Thu 26-Jul-07 13:39:26

We actually have discussed dp adopting dd but her father woudl not have it and he now does see once or twice a month which I don't think is enough as he lives up the road but it is too often for dp to take on a legally binding formalised paternal role.

I don;t want my ex to be there, he makes my flesh creep and I can see where dp is coming from as he does put so much time and care into dd and he does feel that he does not always get the recognition he deserves.

But he is not dd biological father, however much we all may wish he was.

Perhaps if I do not mention my ex coming to open day to dd she may not even think about him being there and it will not be an issue.

twinsetandpearls Thu 26-Jul-07 13:41:04

I think the money from his family is part of the issue, they are giving us money as they see dd as part of their family but if my ex comes it emphasises the fact that they are contributing towards the education of another man's child.

theman Thu 26-Jul-07 13:45:29

i think your current dp is being completely unreasonable. no matter what your ex is still her father and your current partner would do well to remember that before he starts making decisions regarding what involvment your ex should have.

SueW Thu 26-Jul-07 13:45:46

As LizS says, open days are informal and it really won't matter if you leave it for now, RSVP for you, your DP and your DD and mention it to your ex closer to the time.

WRT to leaving your ex out of it completely paperwork-wise - you simply won't be able to. Your daughter's school will almost certainly want you to complete forms where you detail anyone who has parental responsibility. Yours and DP's names would probably be on the 'contract' but your DH would have to go down too.

dal21 Thu 26-Jul-07 13:46:10

Sounds as though your DP is serious about his committment to your DD and if your ex does 'make your skin crawl', then I wouldnt invite him. Why add stress to the day. Surely your ex can see her another time?

The only thing I would say that makes me feel a tad uneasy is that DP's money allows your ex to be excluded. Money and power are very tricky and emotive...does this mean if your DD is enrolled in the school - your ex wont be able to attend anything? I think this needs more serious discussion with your DP, because even if you get past this hurdle, what is going to happen moving forward?

kyala Thu 26-Jul-07 13:59:34

Got to agree, if neither yourself nor DP want him to be there then I wouldn't mention the option to DD, it's not going to make a heck of a difference as it's "just" an open day (think the school has gone a bit over board with the RSVP's LOL)

If she ask's it might become an issue and just let DP know this, that way you can all sit down as a family and discuss, as it really affects all of you together, that way it'll all be in the open and you can all come to an agreement.

TBH your ex sounds like my sister's dad (hey, you're not my mum r u?!! LOL Joking) Only got involved when something was at stake!! And if he's not been prepared to even pay for his actions in the past then why bother? It's only causing you grief, right?!

Good luck

twinsetandpearls Thu 26-Jul-07 15:16:59

I have to say I agree with theman although I won't push it over an open day as I don't think it is worth it, but I do worry about future events as I don't think that it would be right to exclude my ex from dd school which will be a big part of her life.

In defence of dp though my ex is a man who has a history of aggression and kicked his wife and new born baby out on to the streets and has not contributed a penny towards dd from the day he worked out that dp was more than happy to take on dd.

But i do not want to descend to tit for tat and I want dp and I to do the right thing for dd rather than seek vengence for past crimes.

I didn't think that we could exclude her father's name from the paperwork apart from anything else as it is a catholic school I am expecting them to as ask to see dd baptism certificate and her fathers name will be on it as well as her birth certificate.

greensleeves Thu 26-Jul-07 15:26:00

I find your dp's attitude rather alarming tbh (maybe because it resembles my stepfather's). He is NOT her father and should not be suggesting that you just "put him down as her father on the forms" - ie tell an outright lie which your daughter will then have to live with - just to make life easier. He needs to grow up and realise that living in a stepfamily and making it work involves more than simply grafting himself onto her life in place of her father.

Speaking as someone who was relieved to fnially get married and take dh's name, because it ended years of unnecessary awkwardness and confusion (I had my father's name on my birth certificate and some of my medical records, bu my stepfather's name on my national insurance card, student application forms, school records), I strongly recommend that you give your dp a kick up the arse before he digs your daughter into a serious long-term mess. He needs a clearly defined role as stepfather which he does not exceed. Waste of space her father may be, but that's just tough shit.

Do you want your daughter to go through years of agonising over Father's Day cards trying desperately to find a solution without hurting anyone? Her wedding plans spoiled by the emotional horror of who is entitled to give her away? Honestly, put a stop to it NOW.

If you dp thinks his money is going to buy him a change in the basic facts of the situation - don't let him spend it on her. He needs to know very plainly what is and is not going to happen.

twinsetandpearls Thu 26-Jul-07 15:40:14

Dp and I try very hard to make a difficult situation work and this is very out of charactar for him. He has gone out of his way over a number of years to include my ex in our lives, having him to dinner, helping him out with his bills and going to more trouble than my ex quite frankly to mantain contact.

Whenever there has been any kind of formal family event or a party dp always takes a back seat to my ex, if my ex can be bothered to turn up. For example every year we do a big party for dd birthday and dp will spend hours planning and getting things ready ( my ex does nothing other than turn up and he didn;t even do that last year) only then to hide away on the day of the party as he thinks that my ex and I should be "front of house" .

I think Dp is a little irked because sending dd to a private school was not a unaminous decision in our family and the one one who was most vocal in favour of the school was my ex even though he was the one who was not going to pay a penny and he had the nerve to accuse me and dp of neglecting dd by sending her to a state school.

Dp is very sensitive to the difficulties dd may face and for that reason if we do get married he has agreed to take mine and dd name so dd does not hvae to go through any more change and uncertainty.

Dp is also the last person in the world to think that money would buy influence, he is totally unmotivated and disinterested in money however I think he is a bit annoyed that a man who has a history of serious abuse and neglect who had made evry little financial, emotional or practical contribution to his own daughter can expect another man to pay for his own dd education and do just about everything else a father should do and just swan in for the nice bits of fatherhood.

Having said all of that I do not want to see my ex's existence denied.

theman Thu 26-Jul-07 16:10:34

"if we do get married he has agreed to take mine and dd name "

never heard that happen before

twinsetandpearls Thu 26-Jul-07 16:25:01

why is it ?

Why should a woman have to change her name if it is not practical.

I am very attached to my name, our family has a humble but proud history and I am one of the last to carry it on. I can remember growing up with a different name to my parents and I hated it which is way dd has myu surname and not her fathers. If dp and I were to get married we would be a family unit and I woudl want us to have the same name. Rather than both dd and I changing our names ot makes more sense for dp to do it and dd knows who she is she is a **** and I don't want to muddle what has already been a very difficult life by getting her to change her name again.

twinsetandpearls Thu 26-Jul-07 16:26:31

On the otherhand my dp is not attached to his name and is not close, with the exception of his mother, to his family - in fact he has fought hard to distnace himself from them so he has no qualms about changing his name.

theman Thu 26-Jul-07 16:28:56

"why is it ?

Why should a woman have to change her name if it is not practical. "

it just is.i'm not saying women should always take the mans name or that it is right or wrong, i just think it's suprising as i've never heard of it before.
i wasn't judging the two of you for it just suprised by it.

greensleeves Thu 26-Jul-07 16:32:13

actually theman it is quite common now for the man to change his name rather than the other way around. Especially if her name is more necessary to keep professionally for example, or if his name happens to be Bottom or something

hesta Thu 26-Jul-07 16:36:59

think you dp sounds like a good man who is just stuggling with not getting the recognition he deserves as her stepdad. being a parent is often a thankless task and I guess beign a step parent can seem more so. great idea for him to take your name, its very difficult when you have different names from your children I think

greensleeves Thu 26-Jul-07 16:38:32

I wasn't meaning to run your dp (or you) down twinset, just to provide a possible perspective from the child, IYSWIM. I think in this instance my mother and stepfather genuinely thought it would be less unsettling for me if we just pretended. How they came to that conclusion still eludes me a bit but I don't think they acted out of spite or any other horrible motive.

As you can see though, my opinions on this are Not Objective . It's just another angle to consider things from, that's all. If I ever have to make these decisions (I can't see it, but then I suppose no-one can before it happens) I would be wanting to define everybody's role and perameters extremely clearly because IMO allowing complications of pretence/wrong names on forms/confusion over surnames just rebounds on the child emotionally.

twinsetandpearls Thu 26-Jul-07 16:38:52

I have to admit i have not heard of anyone else doing it but I have always made clear that if dp and I were to ever reamarry I would not be changing my name and dd would not either.

I also have a lisp and can't say dp surname

twinsetandpearls Thu 26-Jul-07 16:42:27

greensleeves no you are not objective but neither am I as love my dp and have very different feelings for my ex.

We have not tried to delude dd and we have always encouraged her dad to play a full role in her life to the extent that we asked her dad to have shared equal residency of dd and he said no as it was inconvenient!

I am just as uncomfortable as you about the names on forms and excluding her father and if dp came home tonight and said actually I have changed my mind and I want to involve dd father fully I would be relieved and delighted.

I was just aware that I was presenting dp as a controlling ego maniac who uses his money to buy power over our family which is very far from the truth.

twinsetandpearls Thu 26-Jul-07 16:44:31

I like you am trying to see things from dd point of view as she loves her dad and I know she would be chuffed to bits if her dad was more involved in her life and I would hate to think that dp and I are any kind of abstacle to dd having a proper father daughter relationship with her biological father.

I was denied a realtionship with my father, for very good reasons, and it has affected me throughout my childhood and adult life and I don;t want to burden dd with the same difficulties I had.

hesta Thu 26-Jul-07 16:45:50

agree with names of form being all above board and truthful, its just too difficult otherwise. maybe he's jsut making a point and will come round to the obvious soon

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