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hi all, new to MN, need some advice, bit of a moral dilemma, LONG post, sorry

(22 Posts)
oasisofcalm Mon 14-Jul-08 10:20:49

Hi ladies,

Basically, this is it ladies:

I now have a beautiful 11 week old daughter from a 3 month relationsship last year with a guy in the Army. We split up quit amicably, life went on as normal, we lost touch, but i still had my ex's number till my phone got nicked in a club. I was nearly 5 months gone when I found out, which was a massive shock. I immediately set about trying to find my ex- but without his Army number, very very hard if not impossible. I went to my local Army recruitment office, and they were downright rude as well as really unhelpful. I only have a vague idea where his mum and other close family live (like which street his mum lives in, in a village a few miles away.
So, I went on maternity leave, had my gorgeous daughter with my mum and my best friend with me.

After I had the baby, I started looking for her dad again, and a friend whose husband is in the Navy suggested I try contacting the Army's online padre service, which is available to all serving soldiers and their friends and family. We emailed each other a couple of times,and the padre has been incredibly kind and non judgemental and helpful, and on Friday I finally plucked up the courage to give him the few details for my ex that I have, to see if he can locate him for me. This morning, he emailed me back. He has found my ex, and he is currently half a mile away from my ex in Iraq!!!! He will not go ahead and talk to him without my express permission.
And herein lies the crux of my problem. Do I possibly stir up a huge hornets nest by getting the padre to talk to my ex, or do I just forget the idea, and hope that the ex never finds out another way???

policywonk Mon 14-Jul-08 10:23:32

Hello and welcome grin

I think your ex has a right to know that he has a daughter, and there's probably not an ideal time to break such surprising news to him, so why not do it now? He might be delighted.

Kewcumber Mon 14-Jul-08 10:24:09

You will only get personal; opinions and ultiamtely you will have to make your own mind up. I* would contact him if it were me, your DD deserves to have a chance at knowing her father at least.

What are you going to say when she asks you about him when she's older "Oh I couldn;t be bothered to try to fin him"?

My DS was adopted I tried my hardest to fdind his birth parents (unsuccesfully) I know I will always be able to look him in the eye and say that I did my best.

Jackstini Mon 14-Jul-08 10:25:34

Agree with Policy. Can you send an email to the Padre to pass onto your Ex, explaining you found out late and how you did try to find him earlier?
Congrats on your dd btw! smile

JumpingDizzy Mon 14-Jul-08 10:31:14

You know you want to wink

Go for it but keep us posted!!

oasisofcalm Mon 14-Jul-08 10:34:27

to be honest ladies, I'm worried he'll go ape and ring his mum at home and I'll have half his family on my doorstep I know that sounds mean, but the reason I have always chosen to go through the Army if at all possible is because he is an adult and i think that he should find out before his mum iyswim

policywonk Mon 14-Jul-08 10:42:22

What do you mean 'go ape' - is he (or his mum) likely to be upset/aggressive?

Kewcumber Mon 14-Jul-08 10:47:45

Well ask him not to pass on your address then - just email. then when he's on leave yuo can give him address at the last mintue.

Kewcumber Mon 14-Jul-08 10:48:16

or does he already have your address?

FabioTheLiterateCat Mon 14-Jul-08 10:48:40

I think you should contact him.
I think he deserves to know, and so does your dd.

ComeOVeneer Mon 14-Jul-08 10:55:41

I agree he has a right to know. What are your concerns with regards to his mum/family?

oasisofcalm Mon 14-Jul-08 11:11:18

kewcumber he already has my address- I haven't moved since our relationship.

I am just concerned, come, that his family will be all over here, when I really would prefer to deal with him at the moment, no one else, also I dont want them putting pressure on him to have a relationship with DD if that's not what he wants.
I think i'll ask the padre to talk to him, but to ask him to think carefully about whether he wants to get to know his child or not, and that he only gets to decide that once- no changing his mind and messing my lovely daughter up. Do you think that's fair?

Also, if he starts up along the 'it's not my child' line, I WILL be forced to kill him.

Kewcumber Mon 14-Jul-08 11:51:10

I can see that is difficult.

If he says she is not his, youjust need to be calm and say well its your choice to beleive that I'm not prepared to force you into anything and I'm telling you for her and your benefit not mine.

madamez Mon 14-Jul-08 11:55:22

I think he is entitld to know he has a daughter. You could ask the padre to give him just your email address, not your street address, at first so you can see how things go and how he reacts without the risk of anyone on your doorstep. You don't have to restart a couple relationship with the man just because you have a child, but you will need to negotiate a co-parent relationship, and try to keep it as amicable as possible.
Bst of luck (I am not with the fathter of my DS but we are on good terms, families included, so it can be done.)

Jackstini Mon 14-Jul-08 13:14:32

Oasis, I think you need to ask that IF he wants to get to know his daughter and IF he decides to tell his family, they need to speak to you on the phone first to arrange any visits, not just pile round.
How did you get on with them before?
Let us know how you get on.

oasisofcalm Thu 17-Jul-08 23:34:50

hi ladies, quick but significant update!!!!

this is sooo daft and mundane it's ridiculous, but it might have brought my ex a bit closer to finding out.........

This is gonna sound really cowardly, but I have always avoided the supermarket where I thought my ex's Mum shopped since my pregnancy became really visible, as I wanted to be able to talk to and deal with him initially,(ideally) and she seemed the type to recognise faces etc, so instead of my local morrisons, I've been going to the Sainsbury's a mile or so down the road (which I actually prefer).

So, today, DD and I were wandering round sainsburys doing the weekly shop, and I was in the butter/cheese aisle, when I saw my ex's mum at the other end. My heart started hammering, and my mouth suddenly went dry as sandpaper lol. I got what I wanted pronto, but I couldnt very well turn round with the trolley and car seat etc and leg it back the way i came without looking really odd and drawing attention to myself (plus the aisle was quite busy). So, I took a deep breath and walked towards the other end as casually as possible. Of course, sods law, she bloody well looked up just as I walked towards her, and first of all, I could see her thinking 'i know her, but how?' then recognition dawned, and then she looked at DD in her carseat, and as i walked past her, I sensed her giving DD the once over.....
She didnt say anything, but she had my ex's little sis, who i think must be about 7 or 8 now, with her, and that's the only reason why i think.

SHIT, SHIT, SHIT lol

Oh well, might yet save me a job

Elloeise Fri 18-Jul-08 20:24:38

In that case i would defentaly tell him and then at least you can put your 'hand on heart' and say aswell as know that you were being upfront and honest with him and your DD when the time comes, and not just doing it becouse you felt you had too.

If you put yourself in his shoes would your rather find out the truth from exp or unsertancs/suggestions from your mum?

If you get in touch with him i also from personal experince with my exp's family think that your in a much better condition to lay down your ground rules.

I.e. "If you family want contact they have to ring and arrange a time/place with you first" or "I understand you need time to think and come to terms with this as i know it will be a shock BUT you have say a week/day to decided weather you want to be part or our DD life, and then i think its the best thing all round if you stick to that decision"

HonoriaGlossop Fri 18-Jul-08 21:10:44

Yes you definitely need to arrange for your ex to be informed.

Your DD's grandmother just walked past her today and had no idea who she was. I think that's really sad for your dd and her grandmother. For your dd's sake sort out the family dynamics now so that your dd can have a lovely rich family life knowing people from both sides of her family, if she can.

If you've at least told him as soon as you can, they have less to be cross with you about. If I'd been wandering past my own grand-daughter in the street for months and not known, that would make me feel quite sick and cross.

You've gone to all the trouble of finding him, so just take the next step and let him know what he's got a perfect right to know.

And can I suggest an address book? Excellent things for meaning your whole social life is not lost when you lose a phone - I speak from experience though luckily not quite such important matter hinged on my phone grin

cantseemyfeet Sat 19-Jul-08 02:25:18

What have you got to lose? If DDs family shun you and her then better now than later, when she is old enough to realise that she isnt wanted in that family.

I am a big believer in Fathers having rights to their kids (if they are decent fathers, of course). And, as you were only with this guy for a few months you wont know how he will react to being a father. He could very easily run a mile and come out with immature ramblings of "its not mine" but it oculd turn the other way and he will be happy to see his little girl.

It could be that he dosent want to know, but his family do.
You have got to give them the option. You know you are there for your daughter no matter what. Whether they decide to be involved is up to them. It is their loss if they decide not too.

shybaby Sat 19-Jul-08 02:38:37

Go for it. What have you got to lose? You dont have him now as a partner or a father anyway.

If none of them have any interest then you'll carry on as you are now, and at least you can say you did the right thing and you tried smile

gillybean2 Sat 19-Jul-08 08:59:48

I think giving a day/week to make up mind and only the one opportunity or you're out is a little unrealistic. This will be a huge shock and a big decison not to be made lightly and his immediate reaction might not be the same as it would be once he has time to think and talk to his mates/padre/family about it all.

Also you have to be prepared that he might not contact you right away, or at all. Is that the thing that's holding you back? Or is it the thought that he and his family are going to come and take over?

It seems odd to me that you knew where his mum is and never thought to get the phone book out and check her number and ask her to get her son to call you as you had lost his number and needed to speak to him, or got the address that way and sent him a letter care of her address. Even with just the rough area and name you can get someone's details from directory enquiries etc.

Anyhow...

You wouldn't be searching for him if you didn't want him to know. So stop beating around the bush and get on with it. Decide what you want the padre to say (that he has a child, or that you are trying to contact him) and remember than in Iraq he needs to have his mind focused on his job so you need to be clear and give him options (email/number/address) to get it touch with you.

Perhaps the simplest solution is that you could write him a letter and enclose some photos and simply ask the padre to check if it's ok for him to get the address for you. Then you can warn the padre that your letter is going out so that he can arrange whatever support might be needed on receipt of your letter (which might take a while to get there remember).

You can always say that you have been trying to contact him and that you wanted him to know from you not anyone else and seeing him mum in the supermarket spurred you into making a decision too as you didn't want her to put 2 + 2 together and perhaps mention it to him first. There's a possibility that she might remember you and put in her next letter to her son that she saw you in teh supermarket and guess what, you had a small baby with you...

There's other things to consider here too... If you want your child to have a dad named on her birth certificate you have to get his permission to include her name on it for one thing. Plus if you are on your own and claiming benefits the CSA are gonna ask for details of the father for child support...

He has a right to know and your child has a right to have a relationship with her father. Your ex also has responsibilities as a parent that you are not allowing him to fulfil by denying him this information.

get in touch with the padre today and get his address, or write c/o his mother, and get this ball rolling.

Best wishes
Gilly

NorthernLurker Sat 19-Jul-08 09:15:27

I think you should tell him asap as well. As others have said - your daughter has a rigt to know her father and it sounds like he's a perfectly decent man. His family should also be able to get to know her and support you.

Also - I don't want to get all emotional etc - but this guy is in a warzone. Anything could happen to him and if it does - then it will be that much harder for you to establish contact with his family. Let him know he has a child.

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