Life turned upside down by arrival of DH long lost daughter

(123 Posts)
MadHouseMaster Thu 02-May-19 18:57:49

Hi, I really need some advice, I’m not really sure what to do!
I’ll give a bit of background but I’ll try and keep it short.
Been with DH for 19 years, married for 15, have 2 children age 13 and 9.
When I met DH I knew he had a 3 year old DD. He saw her regularly and even I met her.
He decided to move few hundred miles away to be with me, was still in touch with DD we both spoke to her on the phone. We arranged for her to stay with us and when he went to collect her her mum never turned up with her, cut off her phone and moved. Never heard from them again. Fast forward 19 years and through the power of Facebook she’s back in our lives and now a 22 year old woman with a child of her own and another on the way.
DH was very shocked to learn he was a grandad, we had to tell our kids everything too.
It was DH’s sister that found her and instead of telling him she proceeded to make contact first and friend her on Facebook.
First of all I felt annoyed with SIL as we had to rush in to tell the kids (mainly before eldest saw anything on Facebook) DH DD wanted contact so DH sent her a message which I helped with, then they were messaging constantly, every day. He would come home from work and be glued to his phone. It was like I’d helped him take the first steps and then was surplus to requirements.
Then he wanted to meet her ASAP (SIL also wanted to meet her but he wanted to before her so it was just me and him that went) he didn’t want me to meet her he wanted to do it by himself which was totally fine but that then left me walking around for 5 hours while he was with her. I met her in the end because she asked to.
Anyway, the thing is, before we met her I saw the messages he was sending and I thought things were going to fast, he was saying he loved her etc. This felt a bit weird to me but I guess I’m not in his shoes. Also, he was arranging days and times to go without discussing it with me and then he wouldn’t let me read the messages anymore. After we had met her we said that we would go again with our kids. Again he’s been messaging her arranging things without discussing them with me first. I feel totally pushed out which he denies he’s doing. He wants me involved and to be a grandmother type figure to her children but doesn’t seem to want to share any conversations or anything with me. In my head she was always a 3 year old girl and now she’s rocked up as a fully grown woman with her own kids and I feel that I’m just expected to go with it. It’s probably absolutely awful but I wish this wasn’t happening, my eldest hasn’t taken it well and I’m trying to be positive to help him too. It might sound mad but it feels like he’s got another woman!
He apologised for making arrangements the first time but has done it again and he apologised for saying I was unsupportive when that’s all I’ve been.
I know about messages as I’ve been reading them without him knowing which I hate doing but can’t seem to stop as he’s being so secretive.
Any advice on how I can move forward with this would be much appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
verybookish Thu 02-May-19 19:10:00

Gosh, that sounds difficult and less than ideal for all involved.

I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but I am shocked that your husband and you were both ok with him not having any contact to his daughter for such a long time.

In my book, he has a lot to make up for. And so do you. I would just try and keep and give them space to form a bond again and make sure she and her children feel welcome in your family.

feeling jealous and holding on to that jealousy ( as you seem to be doing), distracts from what is at stake here. In the nicest possible way: this is not about you.

I am sorry this is a bit stern. I hope this difficult situation resolved and you find some peace of mind soon.

RomanyQueen1 Thu 02-May-19 19:17:58

You won't want to hear this either sad
Why did he go nc with his own dd, who could be with a man like this?
Anyway, she is back now and he obviously wants to spend time with her.
tell him to run arrangements through you in case something is already planned, then step back.
Looks like he's being another chance, be happy for this. You couldn't blame her for not wanting to know, he never bothered.

Teddybear45 Thu 02-May-19 19:22:28

I don’t understand why you and your DH kept the older sibling from your kids. That’s on you. Your kids should have always known about their dad’s eldest child; even if you had to dress it up by saying she lives far away.

Honestly the way I see it is you had a simpler life than you probably should have had, and now you need to make amends. If I were you I would be bending over backwards to accomodate this poor woman not questioning your DH’s decisions.

Snappedandfarted2019 Thu 02-May-19 19:23:16

So utilmately he put his needs to be with you above his three year old dd (I have a three year old and I can’t fathom doing such a thing) to move 100 miles to be with a new woman who he settled down and had a family with and now years later you’re jealous of this woman who has been denied a relationship with her father. He could have done a lot more to find her. The fact his sister founds her says it all and well done she did. The only person I feel sorry for is this young woman. You should have been honest with you’re dc that they had an older sister not treat her like she didn’t exist.

SunshineCake Thu 02-May-19 19:23:48

Let him be.

I was abandoned by my parents. My "father" threatened to get the police on me if I rang again sad.

Tell your dh he's making you feel left out and why doesn't he want you more involved and/ or needs telling you need to go at your pace.

Widowodiw Thu 02-May-19 19:25:08

Well some of this is your own doing. Why didn’t you tell kids that somewhere they had a sister? Surely you knew that there was a risk that she would turn up . If I was your eldest I would be devastated to learn I was not my fathers first born after thinking I was.

Are you sure he’s not hiding something. Did the mother go no contact for a reason? Is that why he’s shutting you out as he’s afraid of what the daughter may say?

I think you should actually take a step back and give them the time they need to get to know each other.


liitlepenguin Thu 02-May-19 19:25:45

OP you should both be bending over backwards to facilitate this relationship

I can't believe that you both just went NC with a 3 year old and have since the. Pretended she doesn't exist !! You must have known this day would come !

For what it's worth a good friend of mine was in your age DDs position to start off with it was all fairytale reunions ... then less and less till finally they barely have contact now.

user1493413286 Thu 02-May-19 19:29:01

To be honest I think you were wrong not to tell your children from when they were tiny; there was always this possibility and otherwise it remains a family secret for reasons I can’t understand.
I can see why it’s difficult for you but imagine if this had happened with a child of yours? Would you not be really excited and keen to make up for all those years. It must have been tearing your husband apart knowing his DD was out there somewhere. Did you both do everything possible at the time to find her?
It’s also not her fault this happened; she deserves to have some of his attention and be put first.

Burlea Thu 02-May-19 19:29:39

Have you read the post from Op, yes he moved away but had arranged for the child to come and stay for a few days. It was her mother who disappeared with the child so he didn't know where she was.

Sashkin Thu 02-May-19 19:32:46

Why did he go nc with his own dd, who could be with a man like this

I read that as the ex-wife moved and changed her number (after OP and DH has moved away) and didn’t leave a forwarding address/new number. So not his fault. Of course I don’t know how easy he made it for ex-wife to keep in touch...

IncrediblySadToo Thu 02-May-19 19:33:09

Separating things out...

He’s going about this all wrong, for everyone, including his eldest DD. How you get that through to him though, I don’t know. He’s hurting everyone involved. His DD might not realise that yet, but he’s hurting her too.

I don’t suppose he has a really good relative/friend you could talk to, who he might listen to?

But honestly, how could you live with a man and have a family with a man who would chose to move away from his 3 year old daughter, then when her mum is (understandably) hurt and angry (for her daughter) and makes contact difficult just shrugs and doesn’t go through the court to get access? Just how?

Part of me feels sorry for you because he’s acting like a complete fucking idiot, the other part of me wonders why you didn’t see this coming...?!

Maybe83 Thu 02-May-19 19:35:55

Not his fault?

So he didnt know family members? How hard did he actually try I wonder to find her.

You have no one to blame but yourselves that your children are so upset.

You tried to rewrite history and it has blown up in your face. The fact your jealous and want to continue to pretend she doesn't exist shows that you couldn't have been that bothered she just disappeared all those years ago.

What a mess.

IncrediblySadToo Thu 02-May-19 19:36:03

Have you read the post from Op, yes he moved away but had arranged for the child to come and stay for a few days. It was her mother who disappeared with the child so he didn't know where she was


I read that as the ex-wife moved and changed her number (after OP and DH has moved away) and didn’t leave a forwarding address/new number. So not his fault. Of course I don’t know how easy he made it for ex-wife to keep in touch...

It was (circa) 2000 not 1939, it would NOT have been difficult to find them at all. She didn’t turn up for one meeting, she didn’t move to the moon 🙄

Veterinari Thu 02-May-19 19:36:26

Why on earth did you keep her a secret!
You must have known there was a chance she’d track you down. You cannot blame her for your dishonesty to your children.

Tbh your DH sounds awful. He ditched his 3 year old and replaced her with a new family and didn’t even have the decency to mention her to them shock

How do you think she feels? Abandoned then erased from her father’s life. I bet he's Trying to make it up to her - you both have a lot of making up to do.

MadHouseMaster Thu 02-May-19 19:37:31

Thank you for the honest replies, it’s what I needed.
DH and I tried to find her but with limited money and resources and living far away we were at a bit of a loss as to how to do it.
We were always going to tell our children but we just didn’t know when and as time passed and we still hadn’t had contact we just didn’t do it. Once social media became a thing we looked again but didn’t find anything. SIL only found her through a new friend of hers who by chance was friends with DH DD.

OP’s posts: |
ILikeyourHairyHands Thu 02-May-19 19:37:41

It's not difficult to find people, and it wasn't very difficult in 2000, so I find the whole 'moved away and we didn't know where she was' very suspect. I've been with my DH 16 years and the thought of him having a child whose existence was subsequently brushed under the carpet very difficult to fathom. You must have been complicit in taking the easy-road here OP, why on eath didn't you tell your children about her?

Ratatatouille Thu 02-May-19 19:39:36

Another one you definitely won't like. OP, to be blunt you sound controlling as fuck and your DH (unless you're skipping the part of the story where he spent years and all his money trying to find his daughter and never gave up) is a total deadbeat dad. How any man could move hundreds of miles away from his 3 year old child for a girlfriend, then not see her for nearly 20 years is incomprehensible to me. As is there fact that there are women who will settle down and have children with men who have done this. You don't seem to realise that this woman is just as much his daughter as your children are.

Your whole post is about how this affects you. It isn't about you. You have got to stop trying to put yourself front and centre and viewing this poor young woman as an unwelcome intruder in your perfect life. It reads like you have happily pretended she didn't exist all these years and now you're pissed off that she's turned up. This is about HER first and foremost, because she grew up without her dad and that wasn't her fault. She has a right to a relationship with him, and it's perfectly normal and understandable that this should primarily be a relationship that they start to build just the two of them. It doesn't need to include you straight away. You seem desperate to control it and make sure it goes the way you want it to (so they don't get too close?). The fact that you are in a tricky situation in terms of telling your children is because of you and your husband's weird decision to treat their half sibling like a dirty secret. Who's idea was that?

he was saying he loved her etc. This felt a bit weird to me
She is his daughter. Who was supposedly taken from him against his will. Would you stop loving your children because you hadn't seen them?

I'm honestly so shocked at this post.

SD1978 Thu 02-May-19 19:41:25

Of course he loves her- I don't see any issue there, but having been NC for so long- jumping in at 100miles an hour I can see why that would be a concern- and can lead to issues. I think you're right about that, but not about his feelings for her, or not telling your younger children they have a sister. She has to have some resentment, and the relationship will need work and time. I don't think you need to read every message, but I do understand want to be involved and not feel phased out. Ultimately they need to find their own pace and hopefully they can start work on the relationship she's lost out in for the last several decades.

Ratatatouille Thu 02-May-19 19:43:55

Cross posted with you.

we just didn’t do it

So DH didn't just didn't bother to find his daughter then. Disgusting.

LittleFeather92 Thu 02-May-19 19:44:55

I don’t think it’s about you, it’s about the little girl who is now a woman who hasn’t seen her dad in 19 years! I can’t believe the pair of you shame on you. This situation is your fault and how you feel now is a tiny thing to the loss and abandonment she felt

Peachesandcream14 Thu 02-May-19 19:45:08

I don't really understand why you need to see their messages? I certainly don't think it's ok for you to be going through them without him knowing, she is his daughter not some OW ffs. Your DC being upset is because you were clearly quite happy to pretend his daughter didn't exist once she was out of your lives, that's down to your parenting choices and you can't resent his dd for that. I really think you need to put your jealousy to one side and let him reconnect with his child without you making a fuss.

DM1209 Thu 02-May-19 19:47:30

Regardless of his ex moving away and changing her number, the onus was on the 2 of you to find his then little girl and to maintain contact or, at least try to find her so she remained a constant fixture. Facebook has been around for years, why did you both not look for her? Or his ex-wife? Or their family members? There are so many ways more of an effort could have and should have been made.

Perhaps in the mind of his daughter, he picked a woman, you, over her when she was only 3 years old and then abandoned her to go and build a life and a new family with you. How would you feel if this had happened to your child? Furthermore, WHY did his ex-wife all of a sudden change her contact information? Perhaps it's because before you came along, he had a stable and regular relationship with his child then you came along and all of that changed and he moved 100's of miles away. Perhaps her Mum was trying to protect her from her selfish Dad?

Either way now they need time to re-establish that relationship and you playing the jealous woman is not helpful. Try and give them some space, they are trying to catch on a lifetime and his daughter deserves that time to re-connect with her Dad. As for your children, why did you keep the existence of an older sibling from them? Ask yourself that question. Did you simply erase her out of your lives?

I think it's great she's back with her Dad, you can either be supportive or drive a wedge between yourself and your husband, my guess is there's some resentment there for you whereby he left his child in the first place.

It will settle, talk to your husband about your feelings but do not make him feel like he has to choose again, I have a feeling this time you would lose.

Drum2018 Thu 02-May-19 19:47:46

Yes it's almost like an affair - child meets biological parent be it from adoption scenario, or the scenario you describe. Both parties are falling head first into this wonderful honeymoon phase, finding out about each other and trying to form a bond after many years of missing out on each other. It's full on for a while and then things settle down and they fall into a natural routine of phone calls, and visiting each other, but maybe less frequently than at the start. The intensity of emotions dissolves a bit as time goes on. I'd give your Dh and his dd time to find their own routine but do tell him that you would like to be involved - assuming you want to be.
As for your kids, it is a shame that they didn't know about their half sister all along. Have they met yet? If not maybe that can be arranged.

stucknoue Thu 02-May-19 19:50:02

Sorry the fact her mother tried to cut contact is no excuse, why didn't he seek a court order so he could have contact with his daughter? And why didn't you tell your kids, you must have realised today it's easy to trace people

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