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Meeting his ex wife and family!

(19 Posts)
OiledBegg Tue 04-Aug-15 17:53:38

My partner has a teenage daughter with his ex wife.
Soon there's a family gathering and I will be meeting the ex wife and all her family. I won't know anyone except my partner and their daughter.
I am bricking it, I'm not confident at the best of times and the thought of meeting the ex and all her side of family in an unusual social situation scares the crap out of me. I don't like the thought of them looking at me and judging, or there being any awkwardness.
(By the way I certainly was NOT the OW! grin they were well and truly divorced before we even met.)
Help! I am certain I will make a tit out of myself...

Bubblesinthesummer Tue 04-Aug-15 17:58:55

I'm sure you will be fine. Just be yourself and practice your confidence wink

You may actually find that you like them and get on.

My brother and my DSIL actually invited his ex MIL and FIL to their wedding as they still got on although we thought it strange at first they are really nice

OiledBegg Tue 04-Aug-15 19:47:41

Thanks bubbles. They all sound lovely so no doubt I will like them. Just a bit daunting. Eeek confused

Joysmum Tue 04-Aug-15 21:08:04

Have you shared your worries with him? He needs to know that his duty is also to ensure you are as comfortable as you can be in this stressful situation.

Morganly Tue 04-Aug-15 21:08:33

I completely understand why you find it daunting. No doubt, they will be checking you out though hopefully they'll be subtle and kind about it. This will be a good test of how supportive your partner is of you: showing that he understands how you must be feeling and making sure that you are included in conversations etc. If you are struggling, just keep smiling and don't worry too much about sparkling conversation etc. I always prefer people who aren't too pushy or domineering on first meeting anyway and enjoy seeing their real personalities emerge on longer acquaintance. Also, don't drink too much!

amarmai Tue 04-Aug-15 21:19:06

why do you feel you have to go and meet them? It wasn't your idea , so why not decline the invitation.

springydaffs Tue 04-Aug-15 21:28:42

Can you not meet a few of them first so you know more than just dh and his daughter?

I think he's being a bit insensitive to throw you in the ocean like that - does he get it is a bit daunting??

DON'T DRINK BEFORE YOU GO (SORRY TO SHOUT)

hesterton Tue 04-Aug-15 21:38:32

It's in their interest for you to like them and therefore support them all to do the best for his girl. I love my ex's current wife - she's kind to my (adult) children and he's happy wih her which means my dc don't have to worry about their dad so much. I went to their wedding which some of her family thought odd but she was very keen!

You all want the same thing - the most cohesive shared parenting possible for his girl. So chin up, be happy and enjoy yourself.

Vatersay Tue 04-Aug-15 21:57:23

Take ai y hostess gift (if it's in someone's home). Big smiles and impeccable manners to ^everyone*.

Compliment ex-wife on what a lovely girl DSD is.

don't follow my friend's example of getting extremely drunk and singing grin

elliebellys Tue 04-Aug-15 22:59:13

Its prob not easy for exw either,shes probably nervous aswell.just be yourselfs.

OiledBegg Tue 04-Aug-15 23:20:48

I have thought about declining the invitation, several times!!! But the gathering is the celebrate something their DD has recently achieved so won't it look mega rude if I decline and DP goes by himself?

OiledBegg Tue 04-Aug-15 23:23:37

Also it wasn't DP that invited me, it was his DD. She said "mum's organising a get-together at ours to celebrate my achievement and says you are both welcome to come too"

LilyMayViolet Wed 05-Aug-15 00:08:25

Well they sound really nice. I bet you'll be absolutely fine.

amarmai Wed 05-Aug-15 01:39:31

you can have a celebration at yours for your dd and explain to her that you will feel very awkward going to the other family's gathering. It's not rude when you give your reasons. Plus how many times do people say that 'both are welcome ' thing while not expecting you to take it literally?

Crosbybeach Wed 05-Aug-15 05:33:46

Go, really, go. They've invited you as part of their dad's life, and that's lovely. If you stay with him it will be so much easier if you get on with ex and her family, weddings, christenings, graduations etc will all come up and it's better if you are there too.

They won't be judging you, just interested, go and be interested in them, and don't make it all about you (though you probably wouldn't..)

It'll get easier every time you do it. DH's ex and I are frequently at same things, Christmas, Sunday lunch at in laws etc. I was so worried first time but it's now just normal.

OiledBegg Wed 05-Aug-15 11:03:07

Okay, I think I will accept the invite.
Eeeek confused

Viewofhedges Wed 05-Aug-15 11:26:44

Oh you must go. It's so lovely that his daughter has invited you, and to not go / do something separate sets a precedent that family things moving forwards will be political and separate. And that's miserable.

Thank her for inviting you and tell her that it meant a lot to you to be included, and congratulate her on her achievement.

You will be totally bricking it I'm sure but if you can do that you'll be proud of yourself I'm sure. If you are feeling brave, go and talk to her mum and say you're nervous but you thought that they were both very generous to invite you. And how brilliant the achievement is etc.

A few years ago I had to negotiate getting my parents to meet each other for the first time in 17 years (of total no contact) because I was getting married and I wanted to invite them both. Mum was so scared she was shaking (emotions only I hasten to add!) and Dad was very quiet, but they did it and they met each other's new partners. They all chose to attend our wedding and my mum and dad even danced together. I can't tell you how much it meant to me that all of them were being kind to each other, and that now I can mention them all to each other without politics. They recently all met up at my Nan's 100th birthday, and occasionally chat. It's such a relief that I don't have to tiptoe round them all and for every family event to feel like some kind of Cold War thing.

As the child in that situation (albeit a grownup one) I am so grateful that now they talk and can have a chat with each other's other halves. Going to this event and being kind to the ex and her daughter, being nice, being a non-threat, a non-political event - you will be doing such a kindness to your partner's daughter.

For this reason alone, go. Tell your DH to keep you company, and if you can't stay for long, that's fine. But going, and being nice is a lovely gift you can give to someone who has had to deal with a parental separation. Swallow your nerves for the sake of a teenager who deserves to have a good day and to have those who love her around her.

Good luck!

OiledBegg Wed 05-Aug-15 15:36:27

Thank you view what a lovely reply, it's really inspired me to go along and have the right attitude smile

Viewofhedges Wed 05-Aug-15 16:11:06

I'm really glad. Best of luck. x

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