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To be upset my Dad never told me...

(17 Posts)
Satsuma1 Tue 14-Jul-09 03:55:15

I found out yesterday from my brother that my Dad is married to his long term partner (he's only known for a few days himself). Not sure for how long exactly, but suspect quite a while ago (prob 9/10 years).

OK, so why am I upset? Well, apart from the fact I have asked him outright several times when we have been alone, enjoying a beer together (in a light hearted way) and he's denied it to my face, I do think getting re-married is something you should at least tell your children about, even if you're not inviting them to the ceremony.

When I got married (in 2000), his partner (oops sorry, is wife!) wouldn't let my Dad attend alone so he could give me away (my parents had a messy divorce, very upsetting, leaving a long and difficult aftermath for me and my brother to sort out). I understood her point of view and she was invited, together with both her parents and some friends so she wouldn't feel uncomfortable and had people there she knew. This was very upsetting for my Mum, but it was the only way Dad would be there. I go out of my way for her and then find out neither of them had the courtesy to even let me know they had got married.

We are not hugely close (in a huggy sort of way), but I do see them regularly (although it's always instigated by me) and I feel upset that members of her family were there/informed about it, but my brother and I weren't. Tbh, not only do I feel really hurt, but also a real fool since all her family obviously know (I've seen them at parties etc and they must have been told not to mention it).

I just feel like calling my Dad to say I know and telling him how upset and hurt I am that he never told me.

AIBU or do I have a right to be upset and tell him so?

piscesmoon Tue 14-Jul-09 06:58:51

I would go round, when you are calm and ask him to sit down and discuss it. Tell him how you feel and ask him why he did it and if he was ever going to tell you.
You had a right to know before he did it.
You may be an adult but it still gives you a step mother-you have a right to know.

Lizzylou Tue 14-Jul-09 07:07:49

Gosh YANBU at all, he should have told you prior to their wedding, definitely.

Why did he keep it quiet? Was he worried that you'd be upset?

I think Pisces is right, you need to speak with him, the deceit is what is inexcusable.

SparkleandShine Tue 14-Jul-09 07:12:05

was it close to when your mum and dad split up - That might be one reason for keeping quiet at the time???

Haribosmummy Tue 14-Jul-09 07:27:15

Being the wife of a man who has two children from a previous marriage and a VERY messy divorce... I don't think you are being unreasonable at all.

When DH and I married, we actually went to Vegas and had NO guests. We were in an impossible situation (if we married in the UK) because DH's ex would have gone BALLISTIC if we'd included the kids, but have never stopped BITCHING about it if we'd had other guests but not included the kids... (She is really NEVER happy!)

But, as the adults of the situation, it was up to us to manage that situation. We told the kids (and his ex) before we married - but only a matter of days before and even then not actually where or when (Previous experience of her trying to kibosh plans!)

You should talk to your dad, but you will probably get a 'we thought it was for the best' which might not really help so long after the event.

Do think about what you want to get from this though - do you want to see pictures / know details etc., or find out where you stand re. inheritance or just want to clarify why you weren't told.

How idd you your brother find out? By accident or was he told?

LoveBeingAMummy Tue 14-Jul-09 07:29:06

You must talk to him about this, otherwise it will come of eventually anyway!

Satsuma1 Tue 14-Jul-09 07:49:34

My Dad's well known for taking the easiest path and not necessarily thinking in terms of family. When I was at uni my Grandmother (his Mum) passed away and he didn't call to tell me. Consequently I didn't find out until months after the funeral and I don't think my Grandfather ever forgave me, even though I tried to explain what happened.

To get back to the Dad and his partner have been together for a long time and if they got married when I think they did, they would already have been living together for about 8 years. There was no crossover relationship wise, as my Dad had been on his own for a few years before the new relationship started.

My brother found out because he was making a will and needed to know likely inheritance figures for that. The inheritance thing doesn't bother me at all (I already knew his partner would be inheriting virtually everything and rightly so), it's more the fact that her family were included (Mum, brothers, friends) and Dad obviously didn't want us there. That kind of hurts. There's never been any animosity between us at all, so it's not due to that.

I would imagine he suspects my brother has told me and is quite glad that his job has been done for him. I adore my Dad and he's probably banking on that (it's stopped me pulling him up on things in the past) stopping me from bringing it up.

Tommy Tue 14-Jul-09 08:06:20

I understand why you are upset and don't think you are BU at all but, contrary to what pisces said, I don't think you had a "right" to know.

You need to talk to him about it (when you are feeling less angry) and you may not get a satisfactory answer but at least he'll know that you know and how you feel about it.

KIMItheThreadSlayer Tue 14-Jul-09 08:07:15

I think you need to tell your dad how you feel, especially as you have gone to so much trouble to accommodate her.

Personally I would cut her off, send cards to just your dad, see just your dad and do not ask about her or acknowledge her existence in any way

sleeplessinstretford Tue 14-Jul-09 08:23:02

KIM-seriously, what benefit is there to that?
I can sort of understand it but maybe they married purely for the inheritance thing and he's a bit embarassed to say so,perhaps nobody knew? Maybe they were embarassed to say so as they think they are too old to be messing about with weddings and stuff. I don't know why you are so upset,you don't live with her,it's not like you are getting a new step mum or something. I don't know if maybe you are being a teeny bit unreasonable perhaps.

Satsuma1 Tue 14-Jul-09 09:05:31

Thanks for everyone's replies, I really appreciate all your comments.

Sleepless- I do see your point, but think you're getting the wrong impression from my OP. I'm not angry that they got married, just hurt that they didn't think enough of me to let me know. Getting married is a happy event and one that I would have liked to be part of, if only to congratulate them and send them some bubbly. Of course they have a right to get married in exactly the way they want (privately or not), but I do think they should have let my brother and I know at least. She made a huge fuss about being at my wedding and even said my Dad couldn't come without her. That made life very difficult for me, but I understood her right to be there as my Dad's partner and also her role in supporting my Dad. It does seem however that she has double standards.

I really don't think they married purely for inheritance purposes, as they are genuinely suited and obviously love each other. If they did then I'm sad that they thought they had to in order to secure her financial future from the 'threat' of my brother and I.

KIM- my gut reaction was to never speak to either of them again, so I totally see where you're coming from. That's exactly why I decided to post here, so I could get some virtual hugs (thanks by the way!), but also some perspective. The last thing I want to do is go in there like a bull in a china shop and ruin the relationship we do have.

Satsuma1 Tue 14-Jul-09 09:07:46

Also wanted to add that I'm very relieved I've found out now. It would have been awful to have found out after my Dad passed away and if that had happened I may well have harboured some resentment to his wife, which I wouldn't want.

I also realise that I have referred to her as his partner rather than his wife in my posts. That's not intentional, just habit!

sleeplessinstretford Tue 14-Jul-09 09:09:40

i didn't mean that they only married for the money but what i mean is maybe they didn't want to make a big fuss (second time round/their stage of life) and that the main motivation was to ease problems of inheritance.
I don't think never speaking to him would do,i would write to him and say 'i hear congratulations are/were in order-when was that exactly? I would have loved to have known so i could have joined in in celebrating with you' which at least lets him know you know and opens the door for a discussion
(FWIW I would not drag up the lengths you went to accomodate her at your wedding,it's water under the bridge and he'd already know the lengths you went to for her)

llareggub Tue 14-Jul-09 09:17:08

My father and step-mother married later in life and luckily we were a part of the wedding. However as an adult "step-child" my step-mother has been very welcoming and we have great relationship.

Perhaps inevitably (I don't know) my brother and I still feel excluded from their relationship. It's as if my father can decide to opt in or out. I feel he has almost put us into boxes and his life with his wife is very separate to that of his children. Hard to explain, I shall have a think and maybe come back and elaborate.

Satsuma1 Tue 14-Jul-09 11:22:38

Sleepness- ah, I see what you mean now. Yes, that may well be part of it as neither of them are known for making a song and dance about anything really. I certainly wouldn't bring up my wedding. It was a very long time ago and as you say, water under the bridge.

llareggub- yes, I understand what you mean about feeling compartmentalised (sp?). I think my Dad does that too.

Overall, I feel much better about things after posting on here. I think I may just wait until we're having a few beers together again and just mention it so he knows that I know. I'm sure it will be a weight of both of their minds knowing it's out in the open.

Satsuma1 Tue 14-Jul-09 23:08:39

OK, I called my Dad this afternoon and basically told him I knew. He didn't turn a hair and said that most people had known for ages, including neighbours! I didn't tell him I was upset and just congratulated him.

So, everyone knew (including virtual strangers) apart from his own children. Personally I'm past caring and have come to the conclusion he's obviously very, very odd.

There's no explaining his behaviour, or a need for me to be angry or upset. It's clearly just the way he is and I need to just accept that. I will try to rejoice in his individual nature in time. For now, a glass (bottle) of red wine will have to do.

Thanks to everyone who replied. Your posts really helped.

hambler Wed 15-Jul-09 00:10:47

satsuma you sound like a great daughter with a very mature attitude.
VERY admirable of you not to show you were upset as at the end of the day it makes no difference.

I have to agree your dad is but I doubt he meant any harm by not telling you

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