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  • FIRST POST
    • swingaloo
    • By swingaloo 19th Oct 19, 8:37 PM
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    swingaloo
    Dont want to offend her but dont feel right about situation
    • #1
    • 19th Oct 19, 8:37 PM
    Dont want to offend her but dont feel right about situation 19th Oct 19 at 8:37 PM
    My husband has an adult daughter who only came into our lives 2 years ago. Things are good between them and she has become a big part of our family although she lives a fair way from us.

    She has recently left her husband for a man she works with and he in turn has left his wife and they have moved in together very quickly. We have never met him. It has all happened in 4 months. He and his wife had a child of 4. Im not comfortable with how it happened but its not up to me and I don't feel Ive known her long enough to be 'straight talking' as I would be with my own kids. I don't want to rock the boat and cause any awkwardness as her dad is so happy that she is now in his life.

    One issue that grates with me is that she is playing happy families with this child at weekends and posting numerous photos on facebook/Instagram of them out together/baking/etc and posting about taking her out for school shoes and she has even taken her to get her hair cut. im feeling its so disrespectful to his wife as they live in the same village.

    But the main issue is that she keeps sending me photos of the child on Facebook and also sent one in the post so I could put it in a frame as I am now 'a grandma'.

    We have never met this child and in my mind she is simply the daughter of my step daughters boyfriend. We are not this child's grandparents nor do we have the right to call ourselves that. I don't think its right for the child to have to regard us as such.

    It just all feels wrong to me but while I don't want to upset my stepdaughter I don't think its right to have the child of someone I have never met regard us as grandma and grandad.

    Is it just me being funny?
Page 3
    • gomer
    • By gomer 20th Oct 19, 9:31 PM
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    gomer
    I think we're at cross purposes. Of course, it does seem that the daughter's past experience is driving how she behaves now.

    But that doesn't make it the best thing to do for her or the young child involved and the OP joining in and encouraging her would make it worse IMO.
    Originally posted by maman
    Nobody is saying it makes it the best thing to do, or that the op should join in. Is everyone mis reading me on purpose tonight?

    Isn't it pretty obvious what i am saying? It is happening for a reason. The reason is obvious. If perhaps people focus on that reason rather than their own personal feelings about it, they might find a solution. Nobody is saying it is right or appropriate.

    We can all commiserate with the op about how wrong it is and how awkward it is and how she should keep out of it, but that's not actually going to change the situation. Working out why it's happening might be more productive then putting the daughter down & operating from a place of stern judgement.

    The fact it it's happening. Deal with it or don't deal with it, it's not going away.
    Last edited by gomer; 20-10-2019 at 9:48 PM.
    • Anoneemoose
    • By Anoneemoose 20th Oct 19, 10:50 PM
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    Anoneemoose
    Rather than making personal remarks and coming across as rude and confrontational, perhaps you'd like to give us all the wealth of your own advice? I don't 'obviously' think anything.
    Originally posted by gomer
    I never said I had any advice to impart.
    • gomer
    • By gomer 20th Oct 19, 10:57 PM
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    gomer
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 20th Oct 19, 11:02 PM
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    hollydays
    Rather than making personal remarks and coming across as rude and confrontational, perhaps you'd like to give us all the wealth of your own advice?

    I don't 'obviously' think anything of the sort. I didn't give advice because I don't have to.

    I just pointed out the uncomfortable truth the rest of you were ignoring because you were all too busy pouring scorn on the daughter to perhaps question why she was behaving the way she is.
    Originally posted by gomer
    I think I covered that in post number 5

    "I was wondering what sort of things she may have experienced in the rest of her life."
    • gomer
    • By gomer 20th Oct 19, 11:13 PM
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    gomer
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 21st Oct 19, 7:00 AM
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    deannatrois
    I think you are doing the right thing, staying in the back ground ready to be supportive if it goes wrong. Yes, there are indicators that there are some 'not right' things about this (including the fact that her bf had an affair and then walked away from a relationship) that are not good indicators, plus the things you have pointed out.

    Yes her world has been turned upside down. So has that of all her family as she is falling over herself to make a relationship with her newly found father. I don't like to think how they feel.

    All you can do is be there if it does go wrong.

    I have a son in a similar situation (manipulative relationship he can see is manipulative but still thinks he can 'rescue' her). Totally sympathise with simultaneously wanting to hug and shake lol.
    • cheeky-peach
    • By cheeky-peach 21st Oct 19, 9:17 AM
    • 111 Posts
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    cheeky-peach
    I'm genuinely shocked that they have been introduced so soon regardless of living arrangements, and that she is called 'Mum 2' already! Wow.
    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 21st Oct 19, 9:26 AM
    • 26,963 Posts
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    pollypenny
    Hmm, you're right to be concerned, OP. Far too much, too soon, both from the wider family's point and certainly for that poor child!

    I seriously wonder about the stability of the daughter, who seems to have thrown herself into her new relationships, both with her father and yourself, and with this BF and his little one.

    Why the estrangement from her mother and that family?

    I'd just keep it light and polite. If it works out in the long run, great. If not, prepare for the fallout and be supportive.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • paddy's mum
    • By paddy's mum 21st Oct 19, 9:35 AM
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    paddy's mum
    The only things that someone other than the stepdaughter herself can do to alter, change or affect the current situation are, in this country at least, totally illegal. Short of shooting the boyfriend, kidnapping the child or imprisoning the stepdaughter, what can anyone actually do?

    The stepdaughter would appear to be late twenties, perhaps thirty and therefore must make her own choices and decisions and stand by the results of them. I'm sure many of us could claim events in our young lives have led to this or that hang-up but that is neither fault nor failing on the OP's part. Indeed, she seems to have approached the whole issue with compassion, understanding and concern. The stepdaughter is also old enough to look around at how the world works and ask herself questions about her own reasoning, reactions and behaviour.

    I could voice an opinion that clearly a propensity for adultery seems to run in the distaff side of that family - would that be an equally valid "uncomfortable truth" and even if it was, what does that revelation bring to the party?

    Swingaloo appears to me to be seeking an unbiased, independent viewpoint in order to clarify her own thinking and for that I applaud her.
    • gomer
    • By gomer 21st Oct 19, 10:01 AM
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    gomer
    Nobody can do anything thats the whole point, yet many (bar 1 or 2) seem happy to pour scorn on the daughter without understanding the flawed reasoning behind her decisions. She clearly has issues i wouldn't be getting involved with. There is no advice in a situation like this. Just understand why it's happening and stay at a safe distance so you are not sucked into it. facebook has unfollow & block buttons for a reason.
    • Marisco
    • By Marisco 21st Oct 19, 11:26 AM
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    Marisco
    How did she find out that the man who brought her up was not her biological dad? Maybe that could have a bearing on her current state of mind/behaviour?
    • maman
    • By maman 21st Oct 19, 12:05 PM
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    maman
    Nobody is saying it makes it the best thing to do, or that the op should join in. Is everyone mis reading me on purpose tonight?

    Isn't it pretty obvious what i am saying? It is happening for a reason. The reason is obvious. If perhaps people focus on that reason rather than their own personal feelings about it, they might find a solution. Nobody is saying it is right or appropriate.

    We can all commiserate with the op about how wrong it is and how awkward it is and how she should keep out of it, but that's not actually going to change the situation. Working out why it's happening might be more productive then putting the daughter down & operating from a place of stern judgement.

    The fact it it's happening. Deal with it or don't deal with it, it's not going away.
    Originally posted by gomer
    Nobody can do anything thats the whole point, yet many (bar 1 or 2) seem happy to pour scorn on the daughter without understanding the flawed reasoning behind her decisions. She clearly has issues i wouldn't be getting involved with. There is no advice in a situation like this. Just understand why it's happening and stay at a safe distance so you are not sucked into it. facebook has unfollow & block buttons for a reason.
    Originally posted by gomer
    I don't get the feeling that most posters are putting the daughter down. They appreciate that what she's found out in recent times may well be affecting her behaviour/judgement on relationships.

    It's OP that's posted not the daughter so people are just expressing the opinion that (for whatever reason) the daughter is rushing too quickly into a relationship and getting a young child into it too. OP's husband has gently suggested she takes her time, we've advised OP to be pleasant but not encourage the 'happy families' situation. I think that's reasonable and allows OP and her husband to support the daughter and also be prepared for any pitfalls along the way.
    • pickledonionspaceraider
    • By pickledonionspaceraider 21st Oct 19, 1:26 PM
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    pickledonionspaceraider
    I would stay out of it OP, if I were you, I would use facebook unfollow or even come off of facebook TBF I am starting to struggle to see the merits of facebook in any circumstance these days

    Just stay out of it - your opinion (and ours) is not required. It doesn't matter what you think, as the step daughter is an adult and living her own life
    • maman
    • By maman 21st Oct 19, 1:52 PM
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    maman
    I would stay out of it OP, if I were you, I would use facebook unfollow or even come off of facebook TBF I am starting to struggle to see the merits of facebook in any circumstance these days

    Just stay out of it - your opinion (and ours) is not required. It doesn't matter what you think, as the step daughter is an adult and living her own life
    Originally posted by pickledonionspaceraider
    I don't disagree in principle but some people get really upset if they are 'unfriended' on Facebook and OP doesn't want to alienate the daughter, they've recently forged a relationship. I'd suggest just an occasional friendly message and, if asked, say she's cooling off social media.

    I don't use Facebook myself but I know DH uses it a lot. He belongs to groups based on his hobbies where Facebook seems to offer a cheaper, more dynamic alternative to a website.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 21st Oct 19, 2:13 PM
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    TBagpuss
    OP, I think it is reasonable for you and your husband to feel uneasy about this - it does sound a bit as though your step-daughter is so excited about being able to 'play happy families' with her partner's child that she has lost sight of what might be best for th child.

    That said, I think that you are doing the right thing by staying out of it as much as you can. I think that, if and when the opportunity arises, it is reasonable for you to sound a slight note of caution, for instnace by mentioning that everything seems to be moving very fast, and that it might be better to give the child a bit more time and space, and let them decide for themself what they want to call her, and/or suggestng that it's likely to be best for the child if they can see that their mum and dad, and any new partners, are all respectful of each other, so hopefully she and her partner can set the example but being polite about Mum, and making sure that they don't seem to be critical of her or trying to compete with her, but I think it's unlikely to be productive to try to have thatkind of conversatipon online.

    With regard to her giving you photos of the child, I think you can push back a little bit - maybe something like "thank you for showing us the picture, it's nice to see [name] and I hope that , in time, we will get to meet her, but of course we wouldn't dream of calling orselves her grandparents unless she was happy with that, and had got to know us well enough that it felt appropriate tp her and her mum and dad, as well as to us."

    That way, you are making it clear that she and the child are both welcomebut also that you aren't trying to rush to claim a relationsip that doesn't, yet, exist. hopefully if you focs on it being that you and your husband don't know the child yet and that you would want to make sure she and both her paretns were comfortbale with it, you don't come over as rejecting her or criticisng your step-daughter.

    I agree that your step-daughter may well be bringing her own experience into this, but I am not sure that that necessarily changes your approach!

    Like a couple of other commenters, the fact that her partner wants to pcik out her clothes and doesn't want her shopping alone raise red flags about the relationship, it sounds very controlling. However, even if that is the case, it's unlikely that you would be able to help her unless she decides she wants to leave - with that in mind, i would suggest that you make an effort to kep in contact with her and to continue to see her (even if her partner is unwelcoming or rude) so you are there if and when she needs you.
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 21st Oct 19, 2:53 PM
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    hollydays
    I also wonder if it's the partner that's encouraging her, or telling her to do this.
    • gomer
    • By gomer 21st Oct 19, 3:08 PM
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    gomer
    I don't get the feeling that most posters are putting the daughter down. They appreciate that what she's found out in recent times may well be affecting her behaviour/judgement on relationships.

    It's OP that's posted not the daughter so people are just expressing the opinion that (for whatever reason) the daughter is rushing too quickly into a relationship and getting a young child into it too. OP's husband has gently suggested she takes her time, we've advised OP to be pleasant but not encourage the 'happy families' situation. I think that's reasonable and allows OP and her husband to support the daughter and also be prepared for any pitfalls along the way.
    Originally posted by maman


    If you read back through the thread in its entirety. There really is quite a bit of unpleasant negative sentiment being directed personally toward the daughter herself here. I just think that is looking more at the symptoms rather than at the underlying issues behind this.

    If that makes me an arrogant know it all, then that must be what i am. Am i bothered about that? What d'ya reckon?
    • paddy's mum
    • By paddy's mum 21st Oct 19, 7:58 PM
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    paddy's mum
    quite a bit of unpleasant negative sentiment being directed personally toward the daughter herself here. I just think that is looking more at the symptoms rather than at the underlying issues behind this.
    Originally posted by gomer
    I agree...and I was one of those directing sentiment. Do I apologise? No. Why?

    For the same reason that I would have an unpredictable biter of a dog put down before it mauls some child's face. The reasons driving the behaviour don't actually come into it - they make no difference to the danger and the probable outcome, however sympathetic I might feel towards the genetic problem or the brain tumour causing said conduct.

    I don't see why this stepdaughter's past unhappiness or reasoning matters. The fact remains that she is tantamount to commandeering another woman's child. That child doesn't need a Mummy2 - she isn't an orphan and it is that behaviour that I find so distasteful.

    In this, as so often in life, people have to agree to disagree. What's that old saying about defending to the death your right to express an opinion that I might loathe?
    • gomer
    • By gomer 25th Oct 19, 8:03 AM
    • 618 Posts
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    gomer
    Well i would reply but someone might run to teacher telling tales
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