Talk

Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

My ex has called for the first time in 10 years.

(33 Posts)
MagicMary1 Thu 29-Dec-16 17:59:10

I have two sons with my ex who left us when they were both very young. He was originally from Calabria. He left us and moved back to Italy and has since started a new family. He hasn't given any financial support and my boys can't even remember him and have only seen a picture of him.

Since he left I have remarried to the love of my life who both my kids call dad and he has adopted them. He has supported them financially and is pretty much their real father.

My ex's mother was a very sweet lady I met her once. She sends cards to the boys and has spoken on the phone although has never met them, she has always wanted to meet them.

She has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and has been asking to see my children (her grandchildren) before she passes away.

So she decided to ring up and I spoke to both her and my ex who have both asked if it is possible that we can visit.

I don't know what to do.

Both my boys have felt the pain of having a father reject them. I don't want it to be more emotionally damaging for them to have to see their father. I sympathise with this poor old lady but I have no idea as to what I should do I haven't told the boys yet.

WynterBlossom Thu 29-Dec-16 18:02:06

Would you be able to ask that your ex doesn't attend?? Given the time frame, I don't think it's best they are introduced to him now, it'll cause confusion & upset.

TwentyCups Thu 29-Dec-16 18:03:10

Assuming your children know your husband is not their biological father, then I think you should speak with your husband and then both discuss it with them.
He needs to be clear that he won't be hurt if they go - speaking as a stepchild to a man who I love as a father 100% - it can be hard for a child who doesn't want to hurt a stepparent by acknowledging/appreciating their biological father.
Ultimately it should be their decision. Is it a possibility for them to meet their grandmother without your ex bring present?

Moaningmyrtille Thu 29-Dec-16 18:03:16

Boys come first. Depending on the age of the boys, and their general character I might ask them what they want to do. If they are still young e.g.10 and 11 and sensitive souls I would write a letter explaining that it would be too hurtful for them to meet the father who rejected them.

HecAteAllTheXmasPud Thu 29-Dec-16 18:04:01

Your children are how old? At least 10? 11? Older?
Talk to them. They may want to see her.
I would take them if they wanted to go. She has tried to be in their lives and it's not her fault her son is a dick.

MagicMary1 Thu 29-Dec-16 18:08:53

They are much older they are 17,16. I spoke to my ex when he called up to ask how they were 10 years ago.

MagicMary1 Thu 29-Dec-16 18:09:57

She has tried to be in their lives and it's not her fault her son is a dick.

This is how I feel she was always really sweet to me.

WatchingFromTheWings Thu 29-Dec-16 18:13:21

They're old enough to be given the choice I think. As she has kept in touch with them I'd take them to see her if they want to. I'd even leave it up to them to decide if they want their dad to be there too, or not.

WallisFrizz Thu 29-Dec-16 18:20:32

As someone who grew up without any input from my paternal side (including rejection from father) I would say definitely do this trip. Connections, memories and knowledge of roots is really important. That said, check with your kids they actually want to do it and only go if you can afford it.

Kr1stina Thu 29-Dec-16 18:46:46

I agree that your children are old enough to choose for themselves.

In your situation I would be very angry . Their bio father has walked out on them for their whole lives. Then when it suits him , he wants them to do something for him and his family. Selfish git.

im sorry for her illness, but the fact that she has never seen her GC is of her sons making. It's not up to your teenager to make her feel better about her sons fecklessness.

What does their father Think about it ? I mean their real father , the one who has loved and cared for them.

Smitff Thu 29-Dec-16 18:49:43

Yes, I too think they are old enough to be asked. They should be asked about grandmother and father separately; seeing one needn't mean seeing the other.

But I think you should find out DH's position first (some people are positively saintly, such respect for people who take on others' children as their own). You and he need to present a united front.

Personally (and completely irrelevantly), I think it could be a life enriching thing for your sons. To see their blood family, where they geographically (half) come from etc. It'd be up to them to make as much or little of it as they'd want, but I'd be supportive if they wanted to find out all this stuff.

Finally, none of this need necessarily change anything re their bio dad. At this age, they are old enough to start working things out for themselves, as they please, with your guidance.

Haffdonga Thu 29-Dec-16 19:20:43

How might your sons feel in the future if they find out their bio grandmother had wanted to meet them but had died without doing so because you had not told them?

They are definitely old enough to make the decision for themselves and it could be a positive thing for them both.

Cricrichan Thu 29-Dec-16 19:27:00

I think they're an age where they can make their own decisions. Speak to your dh and then to them. Tell them it's entirely up to them and it's not a problem for you if they want to meet their father's side of the family. That it doesn't take anything away from their stepfather or from you.

hesterton Thu 29-Dec-16 19:28:48

Their choice but he pays. Everything.

GloriousRoob Thu 29-Dec-16 19:39:10

There is a study that showed that even if a father rejects his child, interest from that rejector's own family helps. My friend takes her dd to see her x's mother and sister. We talked about it but i dont know any details of study. Sorry

Patriciathestripper1 Thu 29-Dec-16 19:46:09

I would ask the father to stay away given that your present husband had adopted them and there has been nc for all this time.
I would however let there grandmother see them. How old are they now? Are they old enough to understand? If they are then talk to them about it. They may want to meet their father as many adopted children do. painful as it is for you and your husband.

WhooooAmI24601 Thu 29-Dec-16 19:50:39

I think it sounds as though it could be good for them to go and visit her before she passes away. They are old enough to discuss this with you all and make an informed decision; it could be that they decide not to go at all.

cookiefiend Thu 29-Dec-16 19:54:55

Given their ages I would definetly sit down and discuss it with them. Do this together with your DH. Make sure they know you support them either way, though I would be inclined to encourage them a little of they don't feel strongly either way.

They are too young to realise yet probably how it may annoy them when older if they didn't get the chance to find out more about her and their extended family- where they were from and any notable history that may be of interest later.

Make sure they understand their biological father is unlikely to live up to any expectations that may have.

ChishandFips33 Thu 29-Dec-16 19:54:58

I would also talk to your sons and give them the choice

My own feelings would be to see granny but not ex - but that he/their family fund the full trip but at your sons age, it's their decision

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Thu 29-Dec-16 19:56:08

As they are both nearly adults now, I think it's got to be their choice whether they want to go or not, and also in terms of whether they want him to be present or not.
If they do go, as hesterton said, he pays for everything.

MagicMary1 Thu 29-Dec-16 20:09:02

I've spoken to dh who has said like most posters it is up to the boys ultimately. He said he would be against them seeing bio dad personally, but it is up to them.

My eldest son has said he would like to speak on the phone before they visit to his father and grandmother. He has said he doesn't want to see his father and this has to be a condition of the visit.

My younger son was much more against seeing any of the family. However he is willing to see the grandmother due to her circumstances.

In regards to payment I have no idea, I don't imagine they have much money. They live very rurally in a poor part of Italy.

MagicMary1 Thu 29-Dec-16 21:39:48

If we do go would it be okay if dh comes with us. I would prefer to be abroad with him.

Kr1stina Thu 29-Dec-16 22:28:50

Of course your husband should be there if He wants to be . He's the children's father.

You need to know that you and he are calling the shots here. You are doing them a massive and very expensive favour and it has to be on your terms, not theirs.

Please make sure that your kids know they have a totally free choice to do this or not. This man has no right to guilt trip them in any way.

What he and his whole family has done is wrong , they have let their loyalty to their son override their duty to their grandchildren . They could have kept in touch - they do have the internet and a postal service in Italy.

You don't get to abandon your children then swan back into their lives and make demands on them.

I know the GM is old but it doesn't excuse what they have all done to these two innocent children . The situation is very sad but the tragedy is of their own making.

Haffdonga Thu 29-Dec-16 22:39:19

What he and his whole family has done is wrong , they have let their loyalty to their son override their duty to their grandchildren

To be fair, Krisitna, it does sound as if the GM has tried to stay in touch by phoning and sending cards despite her feckless son.

Kr1stina Thu 29-Dec-16 22:41:47

Oops sorry I missed that . Apologies if that's the case

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now