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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 1
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 19th Oct 19, 8:47 PM
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    hollydays
    • #2
    • 19th Oct 19, 8:47 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Oct 19, 8:47 PM
    Do have any gut instinct of why she might be doing this?
    • maman
    • By maman 19th Oct 19, 8:48 PM
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    maman
    • #3
    • 19th Oct 19, 8:48 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Oct 19, 8:48 PM
    I agree with you but I think it's quite common for people to behave like this.

    I can see that you don't want to talk to her directly about it. I think that's very sensible.

    I think I'd just respond to any messages with non committal remarks like 'You sound really happy', least said soonest mended.

    Incidentally, what does your husband think?
    • maman
    • By maman 19th Oct 19, 8:50 PM
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    maman
    • #4
    • 19th Oct 19, 8:50 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Oct 19, 8:50 PM
    Do have any gut instinct of why she might be doing this?
    Originally posted by hollydays
    If you mean the Facebook posting then I'd say it's looking for confirmation and approval of what she's doing. Best to keep out of it IMO.
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 19th Oct 19, 8:51 PM
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    hollydays
    • #5
    • 19th Oct 19, 8:51 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Oct 19, 8:51 PM
    If you mean the Facebook posting then I'd say it's looking for confirmation and approval of what she's doing. Best to keep out of it IMO.
    Originally posted by maman
    Sort of, but all of it.
    I was wondering what sort of things she may have experienced in the rest of her life.
    I could guess how the mother might feel, but I might guess wrong.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 19th Oct 19, 8:59 PM
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    iammumtoone
    • #6
    • 19th Oct 19, 8:59 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Oct 19, 8:59 PM
    The step family side are now considered grandparents etc, this is common. The child will know (if not now then when shes a bit older) that you are not maternal grandparents.


    Would you feel the same way if she meet this man in different circumstances?


    I would stay well out of it, you will only come off the bad person. How do you know that the wife in this situation is not happy about it, for all you know the wife had been wanting to split up with her husband.
    • paddy's mum
    • By paddy's mum 19th Oct 19, 9:10 PM
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    paddy's mum
    • #7
    • 19th Oct 19, 9:10 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Oct 19, 9:10 PM
    Is it just me being funny?
    Originally posted by swingaloo
    I don't think so. It strikes me as very odd behaviour, almost compelling you to accept and applaud her conduct. It certainly smacks of manipulation as you are no relation to this child whatever. They have not even been together long enough to allow the child to know or like you let alone feel love.

    I also think this conduct has the potential to cause huge trouble for the child's father if the mother has her toes trodden on badly enough. I can't imagine any mother enjoying having her husband's Other Woman muscling her way even further into the family dynamic.

    It really is an unsavoury way of going on and in your shoes, I would be feeling just as uneasy.
    • POPPYOSCAR
    • By POPPYOSCAR 19th Oct 19, 9:19 PM
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    POPPYOSCAR
    • #8
    • 19th Oct 19, 9:19 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Oct 19, 9:19 PM
    I don't think so. It strikes me as very odd behaviour, almost compelling you to accept and applaud her conduct. It certainly smacks of manipulation as you are no relation to this child whatever. They have not even been together long enough to allow the child to know or like you let alone feel love.

    I also think this conduct has the potential to cause huge trouble for the child's father if the mother has her toes trodden on badly enough. I can't imagine any mother enjoying having her husband's Other Woman muscling her way even further into the family dynamic.

    It really is an unsavoury way of going on and in your shoes, I would be feeling just as uneasy.
    Originally posted by paddy's mum

    I agree.

    It sounds all too much too soon.
    • Robisere
    • By Robisere 19th Oct 19, 9:26 PM
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    Robisere
    • #9
    • 19th Oct 19, 9:26 PM
    • #9
    • 19th Oct 19, 9:26 PM
    Leave well alone is my initial advice. However, if you do get to know and like the child, things may change. Take it slowly until you know more about the situation: after all, you only know one part of what looks like a difficult situation. For one thing, you don't have any idea how the child's mother views the situation: whether she accepts or rejects it, you just don't know.

    As for 'extended families' - well I am granddad to 4 smashing grandchildren who have no blood relation to me and I have been granddad to each one from the day there were born. I was first granddad to hold each one on those days and I cannot tell you how much I love them. The eldest is 25 and the youngest is 14. Tomorrow we all go out to celebrate 2 birthdays: 22 yo granddaughter and her Bf. Bf's parents and brothers will be there and we will have a glorious time. We get together because we all like - no - love each other and we will wind up with a massive Group Hug.

    Point being, you don't have to be a blood relative to take on a relationship. It just takes time and that is what you currently need.
    I think this job really needs
    a much bigger hammer.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 19th Oct 19, 9:31 PM
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    bouicca21
    Gosh, I know someone who has been in the life of a quasi grand child for over two years. He and the step parent are still feeling their way very, very slowly with the welfare of the child at the centre of their thoughts.


    4 months! I doubt you can stay out of it completely, but Maman's suggestion of 'you sound really happy' is a good one. If they visit, then it's just like having a visit from any child - entertain the child and let her choose what she wants to call you.
    • paddy's mum
    • By paddy's mum 19th Oct 19, 9:35 PM
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    paddy's mum
    .Take it slowly

    Point being, you don't have to be a blood relative to take on a relationship. It just takes time
    Originally posted by Robisere
    Lovely sentiments, Robisere, and I agree with much of what you say.

    However, OP's point is that the stepdaughter is NOT taking it slowly or allowing time for a sound relationship to develop and I suspect it is that rushing in with both big feet that is making people feel so uneasy.
    • maman
    • By maman 19th Oct 19, 9:36 PM
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    maman
    Leave well alone is my initial advice. However, if you do get to know and like the child, things may change. Take it slowly until you know more about the situation: after all, you only know one part of what looks like a difficult situation. For one thing, you don't have any idea how the child's mother views the situation: whether she accepts or rejects it, you just don't know.

    As for 'extended families' - well I am granddad to 4 smashing grandchildren who have no blood relation to me and I have been granddad to each one from the day there were born. I was first granddad to hold each one on those days and I cannot tell you how much I love them. The eldest is 25 and the youngest is 14. Tomorrow we all go out to celebrate 2 birthdays: 22 yo granddaughter and her Bf. Bf's parents and brothers will be there and we will have a glorious time. We get together because we all like - no - love each other and we will wind up with a massive Group Hug.

    Point being, you don't have to be a blood relative to take on a relationship. It just takes time and that is what you currently need.
    Originally posted by Robisere
    I take your point but I don't think anyone is saying that it's not possible to be a 'step' grandparent. I'm sure OP would treat the child who's recently been introduced to the family in a friendly, welcoming way but to be expecting someone to be called Grandma after a very short while isn't right for anyone IMO. Take it slowly and don't commit yet would be my advice.
    • JReacher1
    • By JReacher1 19th Oct 19, 10:32 PM
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    JReacher1
    The child’s four years old and you’re probably going to see very little of them. I don’t see how it really matters what the child calls you.

    Personally I think it’s really your husbands decision. He’s managed to build a relationship with his daughter so I’m not sure he would appreciate you causing problems in this relationship for something that is basically harmless.
    • onwards&upwards
    • By onwards&upwards 19th Oct 19, 11:55 PM
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    onwards&upwards
    The childís four years old and youíre probably going to see very little of them. I donít see how it really matters what the child calls you.

    Personally I think itís really your husbands decision. Heís managed to build a relationship with his daughter so Iím not sure he would appreciate you causing problems in this relationship for something that is basically harmless.
    Originally posted by JReacher1
    The childís mother might not consider it harmless. It doesnít seem like the best way to be handling a big transition for a 4 year old.
    • Doodles
    • By Doodles 20th Oct 19, 9:49 AM
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    Doodles
    I'd feel uneasy with it too, but I think I would lean towards just ignoring the photos she sends etc. But I am interested to know what does your husband think about it? I think if anything needs to be said, then he should be the one to do so.
    We are in Transylvania, and Transylvania is not England. Our ways are not your ways, and there shall be to you many strange things.

    Dracula, Bram Stoker
    • swingaloo
    • By swingaloo 20th Oct 19, 10:10 AM
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    swingaloo
    Thank you for the replies, just to clarify a few points.

    My husband feels exactly as I do that its too much, too soon and is uncomfortable with it. I would never do anything to upset him or his relationship with his daughter.

    She actually threw her arms round me at our very first meeting and told me she was now the 'Daughter I never had' as she knew I had sons.

    She has her own mum and stepdad and siblings but she does not seem close to them. she is close to her maternal grandparents though.

    She is very 'Full on' and has come across as very clingy and needy but we have put that down to it being a new relationship with her dad and me and as time has gone it seems to be lessening especially now she has met this man.

    We do know from what she has told us that his wife is very angry at the situation, they had been together for over 10 years but had only married 2 years ago.

    I have also noticed that when we are talking that she is very critical of the way that the childs mum brings her up. Up until very recently she complained constantly that the mum was being a 'b----' in not letting her see the child and that her boyfriend had to go to the family home if he wanted to see his daughter. I did at that point tell her that perhaps that was understandable and she may very well feel the same if the roles were reversed an to give it time.
    The mum has obviously relented on this now as the child has started to spend Saturday day and night with them. However the child has been told to call my stepdaughter 'Mum 2' as 'Im now your dads partner'.

    6 months ago she was in an unhappy marriage and really would probably have benefitted from some time alone but she has jumped straight into this new relationship. Her facebook profile is open and there are lots of photos of 'Me and my wonderful man' who is 'The most genuine and supportive person I have ever known' and I don't think she has any concept of how this may be hurting his wife.

    I think the child may be very confused as well.

    As far as extended families go and being called grandma I would have no issue at all given time. We have never met her boyfriend although we did meet her husband before she left him. They do live a long way from us but we have travelled to see her and she has been to see us a couple of times.

    I jut cant help but feel that it is if she is playing happy families a bit too brazenly at someone else's expense and expecting to be almost praised for it. My husband and I are in complete agreement, he feels uneasy but is just keeping his fingers crossed that she finds happiness with this man. But we both feel we are being pushed too quickly. At the moment its continual photos but probably next weekend it will be phone calls and Skype. Her boyfriend has only shouted 'Hello' when her dad has been on the phone to her and he has never met or had a conversation with us so it seems odd to be calling his daughter our grandchild.
    • Marvel1
    • By Marvel1 20th Oct 19, 10:32 AM
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    Marvel1
    I'm not surprised, i wouldn't be comfortable either, definately need to be

    I feel sorry for the wife too, having this plastered around as if it's your step daughters child with the circumstances.

    Telling the child to call her mum 2 is ridiculous, should be up to the child whatever she is comfortable with, if she decides mum after a while on her own accord then that is up to her and comfortable with.

    Happened with a mate of mine, met someone who had a young son, son has regular contact with their father, friendly breakup. Months later moved in together. Months after son asked mum if he could call my mate dad rather than first name (he told me) and mum said whatever you are comfortable with.
    Last edited by Marvel1; 20-10-2019 at 10:41 AM.
    • belfastgirl23
    • By belfastgirl23 20th Oct 19, 11:30 AM
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    belfastgirl23
    This is an odd way to approach this situation and it doesn’t sound like your step daughter is very mature in terms of how she handles relationships. It’s good you are approaching all of this so thoughtfully. In my experience, as long as parents and grandparents remain friendly, supportive and non-judgemental in these situations, it works out ok in the end and it sounds like you are that kind of person. The biggest issue I can see here is that your stepdaughter is likely to somehow come out of it badly, she sounds like she’s on a path towards getting very hurt.

    All of which is to say, keep doing what you’re doing as far as I can see. Be non committal, be pleasant about the child and her father and hopefully it will sort itself out over time.

    • paddy's mum
    • By paddy's mum 20th Oct 19, 11:34 AM
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    paddy's mum
    I don't think she has any concept of how this may be hurting his wife.
    Originally posted by swingaloo
    Sorry but I am going to come straight out with this!

    There is indeed a first class b---h in all this and it isn't the wife! Indeed, for the wife to be behaving so utterly reasonably while in anger/agony over the whole scenario is integrity of the highest order, in my opinion.

    I don't have an issue with marriages breaking down nor recognising that affairs happen. I do have an issue with the spineless man in all this - he is allowing your stepdaughter to muscle in (on a mother's holy ground for want of a better description) where angels would blanch at treading!

    I understand that neither you nor her father want to rock this newly acquired boat but you could quite reasonably make cool responses and hope that she gets the message that full on is not appropriate.

    Most of all, I hope that the innocent child in all this is not being set up for heartbreak and loss in the future if this new relationship breaks down.

    Your concern is entirely reasonable. Good luck.
    • meer53
    • By meer53 20th Oct 19, 11:51 AM
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    meer53
    I've been "the wife" in this scenario. My ex was taking our 3 year old to see his new GF whilst I was in bits. It hurts a lot but I gritted my teeth for my 3 year olds sake. I had no idea whether his new relationship would last but went along with it to avoid passing on any bad feeling to my child, they loved going, my ex's GF made a fuss of her, just as the OP's stepdaughter is doing. It's not an ideal situation but can work out OK if handled well. To the OP i'd say just take things as they come, if you're uncomfortable with the child calling you "Grandma" just say you'd prefer that they call you by your name or something else you agree on ? Things will settle down eventually, it's really early days for all of you, it can be as complicated as you make it, I decided to take it a day at a time and eventually my ex and his new GF split up but my daughter still has a relationship with her, as do I, we've become friends, which is hilarious really if you think about it !
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