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How do I deal with this meet-up and this situation?

(8 Posts)
onmythirdglass Tue 18-Oct-11 19:30:02

DS is getting married at age 22. Young in my opinion, but glad my own bad experience didn't scare him off forever I guess.
Anyway, here's the issue. I remarried 10 years ago to a great DH who has totally been a father to my DCs since age of 8 and 11. Their actual father has never done anything except stir trouble. He has a bitterness and hatred in his heart that has never gone away and has constantly reinforced his anger (that I dared to leave him - with VERY good reason, I promise) and told DCs that DSF is a despicable everything under the sun. It is sickening. He has never paid a penny towards their upbringing and has never so much as been to a school assembly, concert or match. But because he IS their father, the DCs have still seen him and have accepted the stuff he says.
Now, with the wedding looming, DS says he wants F to attend wedding as well as me and DSF. I am totally fine with that and quite happy to put on a face for the day. But DS says all three of us need to meet and build bridges before then, and if any of us fail the cordiality test, then none of us will be invited to the wedding.
I am quite willing to do the cordiality test, and DH will fall into line (albeit he is pretty angry with past treatment of me by the father). But XH is totally unreliable, angry and insane. He has serious mental health issues. I do not trust this to work out ok. I am so worried that I will be excluded from my so-loved DS wedding because this goes badly.
What do I do? Do I agree to the meeting? Do I try and negotiate some other way? Is there a solution?

tigermoth Tue 18-Oct-11 19:37:37

Can you ask your ds what he expects to happen at this meeting? What exactly are his expectations?

If you make him look at it in detail, he may decide of his own accord that a pre-meeting so called 'cordiality test is not going to work out. Unlike his wedding day, there will be no distractions and set roles to keep things on an even keel when you three meet. Point this out to him.

KatharineClifton Tue 18-Oct-11 19:38:09

Don't do it! Sounds awful. On the big day itself everyone will keep their peace, but this meeting is never going to work - nice optimistic try from your son, but that's all it is - optimistic.

tigermoth Tue 18-Oct-11 19:40:52

If you do meet up, if I were you I'd arrange for it to be in a public place for a set time - ie a lunch hour. Not too long.

And give the meeting some practical purpose - perhaps to go over some element of the wedding plans - like food or music choices -something that won't automatically cause confrontation.

MissIngaFewmarbles Tue 18-Oct-11 19:43:46

Oh nightmare sad I agree with asking DS what he wants from the meeting and what happens if you and DH are perfectly reasonable but exH is an angry moron, do you really ALL get banned from the wedding?

Does he have much contact with his dad?

NanaNina Tue 18-Oct-11 20:39:12

I think your DS is unreasonable to expect that you pass a "cordiality test" (or it may be that those are your words.) However there is not going to be a good fairy at this pre wedding meeting, to sprinkle fairy dust over you all. I am wondering if this idea is actually your son's idea or if he is being pressued by future dil. Does your son and fiancee propose being present at this meeting to see for themselves what actually happens. Given that your Ex has bitterness and anger in his heart, how is that going to change just because your son is getting married.

One of the worrying things is that your son appears to accept all the stuff that his father has been saying about you, and so that is a big problem.

I think you need to talk to your son and his fiancee and ask what they expect to come out of this meeting, and do they plan to be present, and if you and your DH can be cordial and the Father can't, then what happens? Sorry I know you love your son, but I think he is being unreasonable and if it were my son I'd put my foot down and tell him to stop treating me like a naughty child!

onmythirdglass Tue 18-Oct-11 21:29:16

Yes, they were all basically my thoughts. The cordiality test are his words! I also think that future DIL is trying to orchestrate this -with the best possible motives, she is a lovely girl and I think just doesn't even being to understand what the background is here. Probably thinks we're all just being a bit intransigent.
I too thought maybe do it with DS and DIL to be present. Just a coffee and maybe a chat about wedding food or some such. But I am really anxious about this. This is a XH who actually abducted one of my DC years ago and held captive in a darkened room for 3 days until rescued by police.
I'm not exaggerating the past problems here in my concerns.

spookshowangellovesit Wed 19-Oct-11 12:17:12

i would ask your son what he thinks his rights are in asking you to force this? as you say his dsf has rasied him and i now he is now (quite disrespectfully imo) telling you all that you have to meet up.
you are grown ups and you havent met up to this point because you knew it wouldnt go well why does he think it would now?
i would explain in no uncertain terms that you love him and cant wait for his special day but there are limits as to what he can expect from you both in regards to this.
i have very strong feeling about forced meetings though so i maybe wrong.

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