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DF getting remarried - to maon or not to moan (WWYD)(12 Posts)
First time poster so apologies for possible dodgy acronyms etc, and also, it's long-ish so sorry again!
So, for background: My DM passed away in 2012 when I was 27, her and DF were together until the end as it were. DF got together with his girlfriend maybe 8-10 months after DM passed away, a similar time to when I got together with DP.
I like Dfs girlfriend, insofar as I don't know her well (I live over 3 hours away), but have found it hard that DM was "replaced" so quickly and never mentioned again after they got together. I have always made an effort to include the girlfriend in everything, so whenever I go home she's obviously invited out to any family meals and anything else which gets planned. I've also invited both of them to stay in the house DP and I bought together last year even though it's really hard to have her here knowing DM will never see the place I live.
Forward to recently, DP and I got engaged March 2015 and are getting married this October. I get a call from DF just before Easter to say him and his girlfriend are also going to get married, and then another call 5 days later to say it's booked for end of this July.
I have found this extremely upsetting, I am really enjoying planning my own wedding but it's fair to say there have been a lot of tears. DM and I never discussed the possibility of her not being around for my wedding, whilst she was ill leading up to her death I never really genuinely thought she would die so soon (she was only 59). As such I have no idea what she would have wanted, and always thought she would be heavily involved in my planning and so on. To have to think about DF announcing, planning and holding his own wedding all in the last 6 months leading up to my wedding I find very inconsiderate and quite hurtful. On top of which I now get asked questions about my wedding planning which I think are "information hunts" (i.e. not interested in my dress or venue, but very interested in how you find a registrar and how much that costs etc).
I am not sure whether to have a probably very emotional talk with DF about it or not, I feel (looking back) like my attempts to make all possible efforts with his girlfriend mean he doesn't realise how much I still struggle without DM being here and how much I still miss her. But aside from making him probably quite upset, I'm not sure what the benefits are... I don't want him to move his wedding (now it's going to happen I sort of want it over) and he can't change the past. At the same time it further distances me and him when we used to be so close. He has little time for me these days anyway between work and social planning, I don't want this getting any worse because I'm upset by what's happening, but I also don't want to make it worse by having some kind of showdown...
I know it's my fault for not having forced a conversation about me struggling before really, but is it worth having that conversation now? WWYD?
The feelings won't go away unless you talk to him about it. Some men are just idiots when it comes to sensitivity and your father is probably one of them. However his GF should know better in my opinion and it would have been good etiquette to wait until your wedding was done and dusted.
I would have a chat along the lines of ' I am really glad you have found happiness again but what you are doing is making me feel really upset- can we talk about it sometime"
Could you separate your feelings about him and his girlfriend from your feelings about missing your DM? It sounds as if you are working hard to accommodate his new life, which is great, but it doesn't mean that you aren't legitimately allowed to miss your DM, and to talk to him about missing her.
You have said that you don't want him to postpone his wedding now that it is out there, so I would not complicate matters by bringing his new life into the discussion about how you are struggling with losing your mum.
The speed at which he has moved might feel strange, but it's his life, his way of coping with his loss, and at least he is not alone and lonely. But none of this means that you can't take the time you need to deal with your loss.
I hate to say this, but if you open up to him, will he tell his partner? If she's anything like my SM she'll take that personally and work towards driving a wedge between you and DF. Funnily enough, my DF suddenly decided to get married at very short notice a few months before my wedding date. It wasn't his decision.. I'll leave it at that. I'm so sorry for your loss.
I think he could be a good link to your DM and you need to tell him this. Why not phrase it positively? I really miss DM and would love to have a chat to you on your own so that I can run a few wedding things by you to get an idea of what you think she would have said.
I agree with posters above about if he tells his partner. My father has married. I have made every effort to incorporate her into our family life (my mum died age 48). I have tried to let her be grandmother to my children. Yet all this time 13 years she has tried to drive a wedge between my father and I. She is so jealous of his previous life with my mother. My father rarely sees his only grandchildren. He now rarely sees me. I've had enough of her emotional blackmail and not letting me see my dad. Ultimately it is your dads life. Grieve for your mum. Unfortunately life will be very different to what you assumed. Your dad and his partner will make their own life. It will not be same as if your mum was here. The hardest stage for me was when my children were born. My mum would have been a fantastic granny. My dads wife isn't interested.
My first thought, would be to ensure that he changes his will straight after the wedding, to leave the majority of his assets to you, otherwise, this new GF who's barely been on the scene for 5 minutes, could walk away with everything that your Mum and Dad built up over their lifetime. Now that would really piss me off.
Thanks all for the responses so far, I'm still teetering but good / useful to have some other reasons why having a talk might be a good thing and some ideas how to phrase it...
Crumpet - you have made a fair point but I guess I feel like I can't really separate them easily as what's going ion in his life is making it harder for me to deal with the grief I was feeling anyway (when DF was with girlfriend but before all the marriage stuff came about I was ok, missing DM but not feeling anxious or losing sleep).
Finallyonboard - That is slightly playing on my mind. As I say I don't really know the girlfriend at all, my impression when we do meet is that she is not that kind of person. DF has a tendency to decide to do something and then do it straight away (case in point, driving to a different town 40mins away on Christmas eve because he decided then and there the TV was too small ), so I wouldn't be surprised if he had booked to see some venues before actually proposing. That said your situation sounds very similar to my DF's father during his last marriage - hopefully that behaviours isn't hereditary!
I guess, unreasonably maybe, I had assumed that whilst we do not discuss DM (because DF won't really engage in conversation) he would "just know" that things like deciding to sell the family home last year, and getting married this year, might be less than fun for me and be a bit more considerate about timing. Or maybe even just tell me more gently, "I'm thinking of asking girlfriend to marry me" not "Girlfriend and I are getting married we're seeing venues this weekend" followed by a text saying "BTW wedding is on X July"... I know I'm technically a grown up (31!) but I've always been very emotive and prone to anxiety / panic attacks. It just feels like how it might affect me (and DB) doesn't even matter to him / doesn't register. Which hurts because we've (up until this) been very close in terms of our relationship.
Itisbetternow and HuskyLover1 - I won't pretend such thoughts hadn't crossed my mind, although sad to hear that I'm not being crazy in thinking that could happen.
Regarding issue of the will / inheritance, that would massively upset and annoy me but how on Earth I could have a discussion with DF about that I've no idea! He is very financially savvy so there's no chance of going in under a "you do know don't you" guise.
Plus the bigger issue is that I miss my DM and frankly I have also been missing my DF too, or at least the close relationship we used to have and the feeling that he "had my back". In my bitchy inner self yes the money side of it does matter as I feel that DB and I have precedence over girlfriend, BUT I wouldn't bring that up with DF, probably ever. I feel it would turn the conversation into a "she's a gold-digger" thing and not a "I miss my dad" thing...
If I were you, I wouldn't have a conversation with your DF about his will. My DF remarried after my DM died. I have accepted that if he dies, he will most likely have left everything to his current wife. It's his money to do as he wishes with.
I'm sorry you've lost your mum
My fiancé is a widower and the one thing guaranteed to have him welling up 4 years on is talking about his wife not being there when their daughter marries some day.
I'm sorry she's not there for that.
I'm going to be a bit blunt, bear with me.
Him getting a girlfriend 8 months after your mum died - far too fast for you, but you really can't put a time limit on it, and it's not an unusually short time.
The wedding is after about 3 years together, so it's not rushed - sane timescale as yours.
Their engagement was a year after yours, so I think someone's assertion upthread that it happened because of yours, is wrong.
There is no set time from engagement to wedding so I don't think them marrying first trumps you or is an etiquette problem.
July to October is a fair gap - it's not like they're booking the next weekend!
The "information hunt" questions... you know, it probably is an info hunt - but that (from the outside, without emotions) seems perfectly reasonable. Why not ask you?
You sound lovely, accepting his GF and including her in your life.
It sounds like the issue here is that you miss your mum, and you miss talking about her - it's not really the wedding date or being asked how much a registrar costs.
I think it would be better not to tell your dad you're upset about his timing, but simply see him on his own and tell him that you miss your mum more than ever with her not here for wedding chat - and you just want to talk to him, about her. And take it from there - separate to the wedding.
I really hate to throw in the "men don't think" line, but honestly my fiancé who is lovely, very thoughtful and caring, sometimes says "oh I didn't think about that" when I suggest something that could be an issue for his daughter re his mum / me. Sounds like your dad might not have thought how hard your wedding is without your mum - especially if his way has been not to talk.
Good luck with it, and your wedding. x
Cabrinha - bluntness accepted - I don't think you were being that blunt tbh anyway
I think maybe you're right, maybe the timing and perceived lack of consideration is what has brought it all back up now, but really underlying everything is the fact that I don't really have anyone to talk to in my family about my DM. My DF (and DB to a lesser extent) are both much more capable of forcing themselves not to think about it - which I simply am unable to do - so neither of them will engage in conversation about her.
There is an aunt on DM side, but frankly (I do love her really) she is a total drama queen and turns the whole conversation about her, and how horrible the funeral was for her, and how she couldn't possibly have gone in the funeral car etc etc. Plus she wasn't that close to DM really, so wouldn't be in a position to talk about what she might have thought / wanted.
That leaves basically no one else to talk to who actually knew my DM at all, and I've been feeling very isolated since DM left - it feels like DM was the cog who kept everyone else on the same team.
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