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Just found out his ex passed away - he doesn't know

(61 Posts)
CatonNZ Thu 02-Apr-20 02:21:02

Oh dear God - in addition to what we're all worrying about - here I am on the laptop- in shock and feeling quite sad. Really not sure what the right thing to do is - So I am turning to the Mumsnet Community for help...

I am in a relationship for the past year or so. A lovely older man - (ten years older than I). His ex and he split up almost 30 years ago. Acrimonious split - he was the one who left - there were a lot of problems and I have been told he felt that was the best decision for the family that he leave - but as a result she did not allow him to see the children thereafter - they (namely his stepson) lost touch until about ten years ago - when someone contacted his stepson (who he calls his son). They were able to get together on numerous occasions - I don't think she (his ex) initially knew they'd been in touch for the longest time. But something happened and I believe she found out - for they lost touch once again - he tried to contact his stepson many time but never any reply - so I have been told and yes, I believe that to be absolutely true.

Anyway this evening, I was cruising on Facebook and looked at the stepson's FB page to see how he's been and saw- his mum passed away just before Xmas!?!
Other than feeling really shocked and saddened I'm truly at a loss - she was quite a few years older than my partner. I don't know if it was sudden or due to illness - I must also say my partner mentions them from time to time - always in a fond manner and always respectfully - lately I had thought of quietly contacting the stepson as maybe he felt split into choosing loyalty to his mum - which is understandable but life is short and it saddens me that some families function this way - but I haven't.

I did not feel it fair to do this to my partner without discussion - also the relationship is quite new.

AIBU not to say anything? Keep this quiet? Make like it never happened?
I now wonder what would the repercussion be if I don't say and he somehow finds out- I feel I'm damned if I do or if I don't?

One side of me feels it would be intrusive, it's not my business and it would cause pain - which is the last thing I want for anyone.

It's just really sad the mum (his ex) has passed away and he (my partner) is oblivious to that fact.

The only reason I knew where to look on FB was because my partner actually went online and showed me one evening when we were chatting about family and past lives.

Thanks everyone for reading.

user1473878824 Thu 02-Apr-20 02:26:05

I think you have to tell him, even though he may be cross that you were online snooping.

lilmishap Thu 02-Apr-20 02:27:33

So his step son never got in touch??

Doesn't that seem unlikely if they were close and in touch on Facebook?

WeAllHaveWings Thu 02-Apr-20 02:35:11

I think you have to tell him, even though he may be cross that you were online snooping

You do need to tell him. But I wouldnt be cross at you. New relationship and you are fb stalking his ex-stepson he hasn't seen in years? Id think you were a bit crazy and would be rethinking who I thought you were.

ShyTown Thu 02-Apr-20 02:42:06

I think you should tell him... But be prepared for some fall out as there’s no way to do so without fessing up to the stalking and it does make you sound a bit obsessive. Definitely do not mention that you considered contacting the stepson, it shouldn’t need pointing out that to do so would be horribly intrusive. Your partner already knows how to contact stepson if he showed you his profile. Whether or not he chooses to do so is his decision.

totallydevoidofideas Thu 02-Apr-20 03:43:51

I'm in two minds on this to be honest as FB stalking always makes you looks a bit crazy but he would be even more annoyed to find you knew this and didn't say. Things do just pop up in FB sometimes so maybe you could tell him you happened to see this? I'd say something though as his dsd might want to see him or need some support from him so it would be good for him to know what's happened then he can make the decision about it.

stellabelle Thu 02-Apr-20 03:45:43

I'd tell him. I have a similar situation with the ex and the adult step son, and yes I do "snoop" on his Facebook occasionally to see how he is going. If something like this arose I'd just say to DH, "Look I was checking on X's Facebook to see how he was. I'm sorry but I saw that Ex died at Christmas time ". I'm sure your DH would want to know, since this will change the dynamic with his son .

totallydevoidofideas Thu 02-Apr-20 03:46:22

Just to add - one thing I'm certain about is that you must not be tempted to contact the step son yourself as that is really interfering and is not your place at all.

CatonNZ Thu 02-Apr-20 04:09:04

To clarify the stepson never got back in touch. They did see each other on many occasions and gatherings over quite a while but as I said the stepson ceased contact.

CatonNZ Thu 02-Apr-20 04:12:52

@stellabelle yes that did occur to me the potential change in dynamic now that the mum has passed away. Perhaps thou it may be wiser to sit as perhaps the son may reach out to his dad?

CatonNZ Thu 02-Apr-20 04:15:00

@lilmishap the son and his dad were not in touch on Facebook. They came together another way and a friend of the dad’s facilitated their contact. It was face to face.

CatonNZ Thu 02-Apr-20 04:16:27

@totallydevoidofideas agreed. I feel the same way and wanted to hear others’ thoughts.

CatonNZ Thu 02-Apr-20 04:18:29

@user1473878824 thank you

Mummyoflittledragon Thu 02-Apr-20 05:01:58

I also think you need to tell your dp. As stellabella said she does the same. I think it’s human nature. You know your partner is in pain, want to make it better but you can’t. This led you to wonder if his dss is ok and you checked up on him only to discover sadly his mum had passed away. You have not been obsessively stalking him. It’s been more than 3 months since her death and you only just found out.

TheTeenageYears Thu 02-Apr-20 05:24:46

You could possibly say you had been having a look on Facebook at old friends/people you know to see how they were doing given the crazy times we are living in. Is there any chance that the SS’s name could have popped up on the Facebook as people you might know? If you looked him up with your DP previously on your device that is quite conceivable.

lilmishap Thu 02-Apr-20 05:40:06

Obviously you have to tell him that he should look up his step son on Facebook if needed add 'because his mums died recently', the 'how you found out' bit isn't really important.

pooopypants Thu 02-Apr-20 05:44:27

I'd tell him too, it could change a lot or feelings between them. As PP have said, the son may have felt that he needed to 'choose sides'

lilmishap Thu 02-Apr-20 06:02:01

Even if dp decides to ignore you or sends a FB message and gets no reply at least give him the choice. Regardless of how they were getting on, losing your mum is fucking huge.

Not telling him that his stepson has just lost his mum because you might have to admit you looked him up on FB is just a bit crap tbh.

You've been with him a year, you've heard a lot about his step son and his mum has died recently. Of course you tell dp and I doubt he'll give more than a moments thought to how you found out once he's started processing it.

It's a shit position to be in for you brew

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 02-Apr-20 06:11:14

Maybe the simplest option would be to bring up the stepson again and ask him if he's tried to contact him again recently, and then suggest he tries him via FB - he'll see for himself then.
But it would be more honest to say you were flicking around FB and saw this info.

Horrible situation for you to be in though. sad

AlwaysCheddar Thu 02-Apr-20 06:27:10

Tell your dh!!!

overnightangel Thu 02-Apr-20 06:32:16

If the step son wanted to get in touch but felt divided loyalties, there was nothing stopping him doing so at any point in the last 3+ months, which makes me think he didn’t want to. He would have at least told your partner his Mum had passed away. Maybe they were never as close as your partner claims

PieceOfMaria Thu 02-Apr-20 06:39:21

If your partner knows where to find his stepson on FB then I imagine he looks reasonably regularly at his profile and already knows - unless he's been blocked by his stepson.

Either way, this woman hasn't been in his life for 30 years and his step son hasn't had a close bond with him in all that time. I think you should say nothing. It's not like it makes any huge difference to him now, is it? By the sounds of things they were not together all that long and they didn't share any biological children.

He might find it odd and be quite irritated that you were stalking his ex family members on FB. You've only been together a year. Perhaps he chooses not to tell you everthing about things that are not really your business.

4amWitchingHour Thu 02-Apr-20 06:39:42

Just tell him. I wouldn't think you were odd for looking up his step son. I think he should know.

PieceOfMaria Thu 02-Apr-20 06:42:21

But if you really think he should know then drop it into conversation that with everything weird that is going on it the world right now, perhaps it would be a good time for him to drop his step son a line and check that he's doing ok.

That way, if he cares enough, he'll find out for himself. If not then just mind your own business.

Landlubber2019 Thu 02-Apr-20 06:43:51

Tell him, your partner can choose whether to reach out, or not. But the stepson may be unable to contact your partner at this time.

I wouldnt worry about the fb snooping, tbh, I think we are all a bit guilty of that from time to time hmm

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