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Ex’s wedding - help me draft a response!

(110 Posts)
TabbyTigger Tue 12-Jun-18 10:01:11

So my DD1 is not biologically related to me, she is DH’s from an earlier relationship. They split before DD1 was born but managed to sort of patchily co-parent until she was about 3, when DD1’s mum got a job that involved moving to Berlin and decided to leave DD1 with DH (he was willing to give up everything and move to Germany to be near them but DD1’s birth mother said that would make it impossible to “start afresh” and rejected those plans). When I met DH DD1 was 4, and I met her when she was 5. She’s now 14. I adopted her when she was 9, it was a smooth process - her mum agreed, had been paying minimum maintenance and had come over to see DD1 once in the 6 years she’d lived abroad (but came over a few times in between to see old friends...) and DH had taken DD1 over there to visit four times but had to stay in hotels/airbnbs because ex wouldn’t let them stay with her (she has a new partner and two new daughters and said she didn’t have space and didn’t want want to disrupt their family life), and then only met up with the them a days so it was an expensive and somewhat unrewarding venture for DH.

Since the adoption went through DH has taken DD1 out twice more (but receives the same level of cooperation) and we made the visit a family holiday and tried to arrange for DD1 to spend some time with ex while we didn’t other things, but again ex wasn’t very cooperative.

A few weeks ago I received a text from from ex asking if DD1 would be bridesmaid for her wedding and if I could please pay for flights and accommodation for DD1. I asked why she couldn’t just stay with ex and her family and got the usual vague response about disruption, so it would mean either me or DH going with DD1 as I don’t want her staying on her own. Ex then gave us the dates - they’re when we are meant to be on holiday. I have spoken to DD (who is now 14) about it, and she says she’d rather come on holiday than attend this wedding. She has always said she feels awkward around ex (who she doesn’t even call mum - she calls her by her name and now calls me mum) and knows ex hasn’t made her particularly welcome (even though we’ve tried our best to hide that and make excuses for ex).

How do I tell the ex that DD1 won’t be attending her wedding? (or should I be pushing DD1 to go?).

Current draft is:
Hello,
I’ve spoken to DD1 and she’s not keen on the idea of coming. She doesn’t feel she knows the rest of your family very well, and the dates clash with our holiday which she was really looking forward to! If you’d like to arrange something for later in summer I’d be more than happy to work out how to facilitate that.

She doesn’t have DD1’s number and she’s asked for it but I don’t want DD1 to have to deal with the situation on her own.

PretABoire Tue 12-Jun-18 10:12:53

Poor kid. Your response sounds great and you sounds like an incredible mum.

FrozenMargarita17 Tue 12-Jun-18 10:14:08

Poor dd. You sound like you've done a wonderful job. I would say exactly what you've written.

Guiltypleasures001 Tue 12-Jun-18 10:17:15

Op you sound lovely

The child doesn't fancy it she has the measure of her, I think maybe it's time to claim your daughter to be honest, I think you have earned it/her.

The ex needs to know her behaviour and attitude is unacceptable now, she needs to be put on the back burner 💐 for you and your dd

Sessy19 Tue 12-Jun-18 10:17:50

Wow. This sounds tricky.

Are you surprised that ex wants DD1 as bridesmaid? From your post, I would assume that kind of came out of the blue given the minimal contact/effort.

I think, in this situation, it’s all about making things comfortable for DD1. I would recommend that you keep it really brief and low-emotion.

A simple, ‘Congrats. I’m afraid we have plans at that time, and none of us is available on those dates. Hope you have a great day, perhaps when you’ve settled afterwards, we can arrange another visit’, should suffice. Keep it clear that this isn’t a negotiation.

Bringing up the holiday is not ex’s business, and leaves DD exposed to possible emotional blackmail (noting ex doesn’t yet have DDs cell) later on (‘you chose X over MY wedding!)

You are DDs mum. Regardless of birth. Your duty is to advocate for her. Don’t push it. If she doesn’t want to go, she shouldn’t go.

Good luck x

TabbyTigger Tue 12-Jun-18 10:23:14

Are you surprised that ex wants DD1 as bridesmaid?

Very surprised - last we heard from her was a birthday card with £10 in. DD1 called from my phone to say thank you but had to leave a message and she never called back. Prior to that it was a Christmas card with £15 in and an awkward thank you phone call. She last saw her last summer, when DH took her over for 8 days and ex met up with DD alone on one, with the whole family on two, and had her round for tea one evening.

I’ve definitely claimed her as mine, if ex asked her to move to germany I’s tell her where to stick it! I just want to make sure DD1 doesn’t resent me for doing so in the future.

Ginmakesitallok Tue 12-Jun-18 10:26:38

I like sessy's response. Leaves fewer doors open for a response from ex. I would be livid - poor dd!

loveka Tue 12-Jun-18 10:27:56

I wouldn't use 'not keen' in the response.

Keep it factual. You have booked and paid for a holiday. You gave your daughter the choice and she would prefer the holiday.

Flexoset Tue 12-Jun-18 10:34:27

I like sessy's response as well.

RubySapphireEmerald Tue 12-Jun-18 10:38:19

You’re a better person than me. [smile[ my response wouldn’t be print-able.

However, I agree with PP, keep it factual, just say that you already have plans as a family and having given DD the option she will be coming on holiday but perhaps they can all meet up some time.

I wonder whether she’s doing the bridesmaid bit to save face in front of her own family? Does dd have any contact with her extended family on that side? If not it’s possible that her Bm has maintained to them that she still has a relationship with DD and who knows, they may not even know she gave her up for adoption.

FWIW anyone who willingly gives up their child for adoption so they can pursue another life has lost the right to be unhappy if said child then wants nothing more to do with them in the future. So I wouldn’t give any thought to how she might feel.

swingofthings Tue 12-Jun-18 10:43:39

I think it needs to be made clear thst although you'll be responding you'll be doing so on your DD's behalf.

I would say that you've discussed it with her and have her options but that she opted not to come for a number of reasons including that it happens to fall on the family holiday.

I would add that she's free to contact her directly (but DD won't have to respond if she doesn't want to).

TabbyTigger Tue 12-Jun-18 10:49:25

I think it needs to be made clear thst although you'll be responding you'll be doing so on your DD's behalf.

That’s what I thought - I need her to know that DD is the one who doesn’t want to come, without placing any blame on DD.

And I think she’s doing it to maintain some level of face with family/family friends. She started off telling everyone DH “took” DD from her and “wouldn’t let” her see her. Not really sure what story everyone’s eventually been spun... I’m not going to dwell on it.

How is this -
Hi,
I hope you have a fab day but DD has decided she’d rather not come. She’d be happy to try and arrange to come see you later in summer or in October half term if you’re available then!

rainingcatsanddog Tue 12-Jun-18 10:52:43

Dd1 is very lucky to have you in her life.

Loungingbutnotforlong Tue 12-Jun-18 10:59:03

Hello, I am not a step parent or in this situation, so I might get this wrong, but I would not say that your DD has chosen not to go to the wedding. She is still only 14 and can do without future possible guilting from the birth Mum. The reply above saying that you had clashing plans was better. It might feel unfair if she ‘blames’ you for keeping DD away, but you know the truth, and so does your DD.

Atalune Tue 12-Jun-18 11:05:11

Yes don’t suggest dd doesn’t want to come, sessys response was better IMO.

imsoboredwithitall Tue 12-Jun-18 11:40:30

I haven't read PP but you've made me cry. You are amazing

BlackAmericanoNoSugar Tue 12-Jun-18 11:48:45

I wouldn't say that DD doesn't want to, as it leaves it open for her birth mum to apply pressure to her or make her feel guilty. I would go down a more generalised and vague "We all hope you have a great day. Unfortunately DD is unable to attend due to prior commitments, but we she will be thinking of you on the day and is looking forward to seeing the lovely photographs." Word it so that there isn't a decision of any kind not to attend, just not the possibility of attending, something that's outside of your control.

TabbyTigger Tue 12-Jun-18 11:49:24

Okay, I’ve gone for this.

Hi,
I hope your wedding day is lovely. Sadly DD won’t be able to make it but if there is a date later in summer or October that works for you she’d love to try and fit in a visit!
All the best,
(My name)

KarmaStar Tue 12-Jun-18 11:57:54

That sounds great tabby,brisk and no nonsense.
You're right not to give out her phone number too,goodness knows what guilt trip she might start.
You and your dh have been exceptionally accommodating.flowers

VimFuego101 Tue 12-Jun-18 12:06:46

I think your text was very good - it is very final and doesn't leave any suggestion that DD could be persuaded to change her mind. If she really wanted DD there so badly then she would accommodate her at her own house rather than asking you to pay for her to stay in a hotel... what a cheek!

Atalune Tue 12-Jun-18 12:21:57

That’s good, doesn’t put any blame on Dd and isn’t open to mum thinking Dd doesn’t want to come.

Also saves face for her that there is a prior plan in place which clashes.

The birth mother sounds horrid.

You on the other hand sound magnificent!

Aprilshouldhavebeenmyname Tue 12-Jun-18 12:25:27

Likely she only wanted her there to be in fake 'family' photos anyway!!
Cf of the day imo!!

NorthernSpirit Tue 12-Jun-18 12:36:12

You sound an amazing woman. I applaud you.

The other woman lost all mum rights when she moved away and when you adopted the child. Normally in adoption all ties are cut. It’s a very odd request to ask the daughter to be bridesmaid and for you to pick up the costs. Personally I would write something along the lines of:

Dear xxx,

Congratulations on your planned wedding.

I have discussed your proposal with DD1 and she is unable to make the wedding.

If you woukd like to propose arrangements for another visit, please do do.

Kind regards,

Xxx

I wouldn’t explain yourself to her (you don’t have to justify yourself) and I would be firm.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Tue 12-Jun-18 12:41:04

Excellent response.

You sound a lovely family.

heateallthebuns Tue 12-Jun-18 12:45:22

Your actual response you decided on sounds perfect!

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