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to expect my granddaughter to be included in her father's new family.

(52 Posts)
Christinefrance Mon 27-Feb-17 11:23:59

My granddaughter is upset as her father's wife has just had her second child and does not see her as part of the family. Wife has just posted on the dreaded FB " how nice it is to be a family of four". Is this usual with second families ?

DotMH1901 Tue 28-Feb-17 10:21:07

Things get complicated when there is a second family. My ex son in law left my daughter and their three kiddies and promptly moved in with his new partner, she was pregnant within weeks and had a baby last year. She is due to have another baby in April this year and has already got three kiddies from a previous relationship. At Christmas (when he should have had my grandkiddies) he told my daughter he couldn't have them stay with him and new partner (wouldn't give any reason) and when my daughter asked him to say where they would be staying he got really irate and abusive with her. In the end she told him they would not be going unless he told her where they would be staying - he refused to say so they didn't go - he lives 300 miles away so it isn't just a day visit. His new partner has posted on her Facebook page about their lovely family and 'miracle' baby etc etc (not that I have seen it but daughter was told by a mutual friend) and I do wonder if it is her decision not to have the children stay with them - she would have a total of six children to look after ranging from 13 to under one year old plus being pregnant herself too.

Jaycee5 Tue 28-Feb-17 10:54:22

She is part of the father's family but the stepmother has her own family of 4. She obviously does not have a close relationship with her stepdaughter as she rarely sees her and it is probably a case of out of sight out of mind. I can understand your DGD being upset but it is the father who is at fault here for not nurturing the relationship with his daughter.
When I last visited my father (some decades ago now) his wife who I had not met before asked me at about 11am (as an accusation) why I had not made my own lunch. I hadn't even thought about lunch that early. An hour later her adult son arrived and she fussed around him and went and made him lunch and ignored me. He visited them more than once a week and I hadn't seen him for a few years. Stepmothers can be very territorial.

Norah Tue 28-Feb-17 10:57:20

This is all a FB and father issue.

W11girl Tue 28-Feb-17 11:13:19

I have to ask if the "new wife" was ever accepted by the father's family. I have been married for 25 years to a man with a family of three children, and I myself have one child. I have never, ever been included when it comes to my husband's family. In the early days it hurt, but overtime I got used to it. My poor husband was always caught in the middle. My husband and I both agree that his children were awful to me. Just recently one of them came to visit with their new baby and clearly did not want me in the family photo she was taking. She is now as nice as pie to me, but still obviously does not recognise me in any capacity. My husband and I are very happy and laugh about it as we see her sudden niceness is all about securing her inheritance! They're problem not mine!

Solitaire Tue 28-Feb-17 11:18:21

Everyone seems to be referring to his new wife as 'stepmother' yet Christinfrance quite rightly refers to her as her grandaughters father's new wife. Which is exactly what she is. She is not a child and doesn't need mothering by this thoughtless woman...she has her own mother for that. Having been in gd position myself I objected when people referred to my father's wife as my stepmother, it wasn't appropriate and I felt it was hurtful to my real mother. Ignore FB comments .

Jaycee5 Tue 28-Feb-17 11:20:14

I agree Solitaire. I don't think of my father's wife as my stepmother. She didn't become part of my family and I didn't become part of hers.

Legs55 Tue 28-Feb-17 11:41:00

Having been a SM twice I have sympathy with this woman, she is SM to your DGD in name only as it seems there is no close relationship between them. My DH's grown-up DC lived with him so when I & my DD moved in we did become a "family" but I was not a conventional SM as his DC were 17 & 19.

At 18 & not having seen her DF for 2 years, why should DGD & "SM" be close, of course SM sees her DC as her family.

Being a SM is like walking on eggshellsgrin

vampirequeen Tue 28-Feb-17 11:50:38

Whatever her reason (intentional or forgetful) it's a nasty thing to read.

Yorkshiregel Tue 28-Feb-17 12:33:58

Poor girl. If she didn't feel excluded before she does now! SM needs to put this right and quickly.

Iam64 Tue 28-Feb-17 14:06:45

What about the father, all this focus on his new wife seems to me to let him totally off the hook. He's let his daughter down by not keeping up proper contact arrangements, he needs to shape up.

VIOLETTE Tue 28-Feb-17 14:09:45

Nasty comment from SM would sound deliberate ! My husband/daughter's father. left when she was 6. He arranged on several occasions to see her and never arrived. She would go and stay with him and his new family and then come home saying because he had babies she wanted to go and live with him. I had to say this would be her choice but did point out a few things such as she was very possessive of her toys and things and the babies would not stay babies for long. She would have to leave her school and her friends ,,,she decided to stay. Father had no contact at all ...have no idea if this was decision of him or SM ....when I asked him if he was going to see our daughter his reply was 'I have another family now, so probably not'//no explanation, nothing .....and he never had any contact with her again ....I did try to get him to see her or at least pay a little maintenance (never got any !) .....I will never know if this was anything to do with SM or just my ex husband ...very sad ! Hope you can resolve it amicably ! flowers

Leticia Tue 28-Feb-17 14:12:19

The father is at fault. He has let the new wife act as if he were single and has not included his daughter in his life. Unfortunately there isn't much that you can do about it.

Starlady Tue 28-Feb-17 14:16:15

Sounds to me like a new twist on mismatched expectations. Usually, I hear of that regarding parents and gps, but this time it's sm and sd. Sd wants to be considered part of her dad's new family, even though she doesn't live there and hasn't seen him in 2 years. Unfortunately, she may barely be on sm's radar screen. Her fb comment may have been a cruel message to your gd, and if so, I'm very sorry. But it could just be an honest expression of how sm feels about her nuclear family. Gd might not have even been on her mind when she wrote it.

The dad surely has a responsibility here, too, as pps have said. If he hasn't made an effort to include gd in his new life, then sm may think he's not interested. She may see it as HIS job to reach out to gd if he wants, not hers.

Of course, she may have fought him on that, which would be very sad. I know some sps are that way though not all. It's hard to know what to think when we don't know the dynamics.

Teddy123 Tue 28-Feb-17 14:51:00

Christine from your previous posts on a myriad of subjects, I'm sure you'll handle this 'slip' with understanding and integrity.
There was obviously no need to specify a number. How hurtful for your GD .....

Norah Tue 28-Feb-17 15:15:56

This is all on the father. He didn't step up, he doesn't send for her.

Ilovecheese Tue 28-Feb-17 15:30:05

Solitaire and Jaycee5
You have made me think.

My own and my husband's children were adults when we married. I have always refereed to my husband's children as my step children.

They refer to me as their father's wife, although I think they like me well enough. I have no wish to disrespect their mother, I feel a bit unsettled now.

trisher Tue 28-Feb-17 15:35:23

I don't think this is all on the father if you marry or enter into a relationship with someone who already has children however old the children may be you must accept that he/she has responsibilities and you must do your best to help him/her meet those. As this is now a 'family of 4' there must be an older child, so presumably the daughter was not 18 when the 2 got together. It sounds very much as if the SM is trying to rewrite history and cut out the daughter.The dad has a responsibility but sometimes there is a history of difficult communications between the original parents and a good SM tries to help resolve matters. I have a DIL who is wonderful at this.
I think my DSs would be inclined to photoshop themselves in and repost the photo. But then they are a bit bolshie.

Ana Tue 28-Feb-17 15:39:14

I'm assuming (and hoping) that your GD's mother is still around, Christinefrance so that she has at least one parent rooting for her as well as her GPs.

Susan56 Tue 28-Feb-17 18:38:27

Twenty years ago,my then eight year old daughter was told by her stepmothers father to go and wait in the kitchen as they were going to take family photos.Neither of my daughters have ever forgotten this and sadly it has shaped the relationship they have with their father and stepmother.I wish I had said something at the time but didn't want to jeopardise the sporadic contact the girls had with their father.Sadly Christinefrance,in our case as soon as their stepmother had children it was as though the girls didn't exist.On a happy note,twenty years on they have a good relationship with their half siblings even though they don't see their father.

Christinefrance Tue 28-Feb-17 18:55:43

Yes Ana her Mum has always been there for her. The rest if the family have expressed their support for her too. Fortunately she is level headed and intelligent so can relegate this hurtful comment to the back of her mind. Off to Uni in September so she will have a whole new life to look forward to.
Thanks everyone for your support.

Iam64 Tue 28-Feb-17 19:08:03

That's good to hear Christinefrance. Being level headed is a real life skill, let's hope your granddaughter hangs on to that, with the support of her family. It's often the case that we learn positives from negative experiences. Hope that's the case for all of you.

SallyDapp Wed 01-Mar-17 06:05:27

When I married my DH I already had a 4yo dd, I then had a ds with help and we went on to foster, years on we now have 2 more DC who are part of this family we also have a DGD who was one of our DC and was then adopted by our DD. There are 3 more DGC. All the DC who came through this house were accepted into the family, mostly staying for at least a year, some longer, everybody was treated the same by my DPs and PILs as well. We often as a family quip that there's no point looking for a blood match. We believe you don't need that to be a family to care for and about each other.
However our DD's birth father and his entire family which included a new step mum and new step siblings for her didn't feel the same and she spent years being left out despite our continual invitations to all family does that revolved around our DD and DGD's. It was all one sided. All those birthday, Christmas, school play etc invitations we sent. Mostly accepted and attended by her father and stepmother albeit in the latter's case with gritted teeth and our knowledge that afterwards would have lots of nasty backbiting going on which we ignored as best we could. Since her father died nearly 2 years ago nobody from that side has contacted our DD at all or returned her calls, her stepmother has ignored all the DD and DGDs birthdays, Easter and Christmas since and even tried to ban them from his funeral, having managed to exclude them from his last 3 months of life and the chapel of rest, she has never so much as offered our DD a keepsake of her DF. We can only imagine what happened to letters, cards and presents sent to the step mum. Its very sad but they seem to have come to terms with it now. We have never understood how people can be so difficult and put it down to unwarranted jealousy and fear. All you can do in your situation is offer support to your DGD, if you rush in to talk to her DF and trying to get him to 'have a word ' with his DW it won't go well. It will be taken as criticism and be used against not only you but your GD as well. Just encourage her to keep up pleasant contact with him and her half siblings making sure she gives lots of compliments to her step mum about the DCs. Even if it's not reciprocated. Then go off and do something nice for herself without dwelling on conversations or looking for double meanings in them. Her DF seems like my ex, lazy, happy to have a DD as long as someone else is making all the effort. In our family we have 2 mottos 'go with the flow' and 'if you can't say nothing nice don't say nothing at all'. There's really no point making things worse, looking for criticism be it intended or imagined or arguing, it just delays any chances of happy times.
But a word of advise, slightly off thread: make wills to ensure that everything goes where you want it, without wills blood suddenly becomes very important to the legal profession. My OH made his so that our DD and our DGDs are treated the same as our DS and our other DGCs if I die first. Without this will she would get nothing despite being our family for 35years.

Leticia Wed 01-Mar-17 07:32:26

Very sensible advice SallyDapp - I never understand why people can be so horrible but they are.
Step-mother is the legal term for someone who marries your father after divorce or death of your mother. It is nothing to do with the quality of the relationship or the age of the 'child'. A mother is still a mother whether she is a good mother or a bad one or present or absent. Calling them 'my father's new wife' might make you feel better if you don't approve but they are still your step-mother whether you are 4 or 40, like them or hate them.
It is a shame that people, on both sides can't make more effort to get on especially now that blended families are the norm.

Leticia Wed 01-Mar-17 07:35:41

'My father's new wife' is like saying 'my husband's mother' and refusing to use 'my mother-in-law' to make out that she is nothing to you. She is still your mother-in-law.

quizqueen Wed 01-Mar-17 20:20:16

A second wife should note how a man treats his original family, whether it is his choice alone or if he has been 'encouraged' to forget them by her. If someone has children by a previous relationship, they should never be forgotten or treated as cast offs. One day he might decide to move on again to pastures new and absolve all contact with the second family too! Treat others as you would want to be treated yourself.