Wedding Woes

Oh fuck, this is too much for me today.

Dear Prudence,

I’m in my late 30s, happily married, and a mother of two. My mother divorced my biological father when I was 6 months old and remarried when I was 2. Her new husband adopted me and has raised me as his own. He is my dad and a wonderful man. I have never met or wanted to meet my biological dad. I have not ever heard from him. My mother died three years ago, and it was devastating. A few months ago, I received an out-of-the-blue message on Facebook from a woman who said she was married to my biological father, found me when she was researching their genealogy, and asked if I had kids. I was caught off-balance and said yes, and she said: “So excited! He’s a grandpa! We always wondered!” She asked for my number, and I gave it to her, still shellshocked, without really thinking it through. He called, and it went very badly. He cried, said he loved me, called me his baby, wanted to come to my house. I was uncomfortable and surprised. He called again a few weeks later and claimed that my mother had cheated on him and that he didn’t believe I was his until recently. He couldn’t clarify what had changed his mind.

I’m devastated by these allegations of my mother’s infidelity when she’s not here to defend herself. I’m angry he thinks he can show up after four decades and say awful things about her. He kept texting me, “What did I do?” So I told him why I was hurt and asked him to leave me alone. Now he and his wife are guilt-tripping me, leaving countless voicemails and texts, claiming he has cancer, and asking if I can find it in my heart to meet with him “just once.” What is my obligation here? My gut tells me he’s irrational, but my heart hurts at the thought of hurting a dying old man.

—Dad Wants to Reconnect

Re: Oh fuck, this is too much for me today.

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    You owe no one anything here. 

    Howevere if you do want a relationship, of any sort, then you need to slow down and think about what the terms you want of the relationship to exist on and communicate them clearly. 

     I get the flustered response but LW did give them her number and allow them to contact her again. She doesn’t deserve any harassment but I do think she engaged with them and now is full-stopping. And again that’s perfectly fine, but LW needs to be clear about what she wants (if anything)  moving forward. 
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    This poor LW.  Prudie should just answer all of those "I just found out my father had a kid before he married my mom" letters with this one.  What biodad and his wife are doing to LW is unfair at best and cruel and harassing at worst.  He was wrong to say that LW's mom cheated (whether or not it was even true).  Ditto PP wording, all I'd add would be something like "you've had almost 40 years to come and find me, please stop demanding an immediate decision from me".  I don't know how long the father has to live but constant texts and voicemails aren't okay.
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    These people are crazy. I don't care if the mother did cheat, he never should have told her that. It seems to me that there's some ulterior motive, like he's about to ask her for money or something. Hell no.

    "It's been nice getting to know you over the last few weeks and learning your story. However, I'm not interesting in continuing a relationship with you and I don't want to meet you. I am blocking your number from my phone. Any further contact will be considered harassment and reported to the police. I wish you the best." Then block them. 
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    The LW should have zero guilt at all and tell it like it is.  If she never wants contact again, say that.  If she doesn't mind occasional text or FB messages to keep in touch, say that.  Including, if she's not sure how she wants to proceed, they have to stop contacting her and wait for her to contact them (if she so desires).  I would have already blocked their numbers.

    I'd be blunt, something like, "You CHOSE not to be a part of my life for the last 35 years.  I'm sorry for both of us you regret that now.  But you can't come barging into my life and try to hurry and force a relationship that's never been there.  You're a stranger to me.  I'm sorry you're facing cancer, but I don't want to meet you."

    If I decided to stay in touch, I would also lay ground rules that I don't want to ever hear even one negative word about my mother again.  I don't care what happened in their marriage.  SHE was a good mother who stayed and raised me.  Not abandoned me.  Full stop.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    levioosa said:
    The fact that the first contact with bio dad immediately included finger pointing and then shifted into manipulation tactics makes me think I know exactly why LW’s mom left him in the first place. 
    Not to mention, it wasn't even the bio-dad who first contacted her, it was his wife.

    I'm actually curious about the story behind that.  Did the wife do it without his knowledge, in case the LW rejected the contact?  Did the bio-dad know about it, but still had his wife initiate contact?  Because that seems crappy to foist his own awkward situation onto his wife.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    I have nothing more to add but I think @banana468 had a perfect response
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    The part that really stuck out to me was: 

    “So excited! He’s a grandpa! We always wondered!” 

    Uhhh...No. That's not how that works.  You don't get to waltz back into LW's life after 40 years and play happy family with HER children. Her children have a Grandpa, that's her real father, the father who raised and loved her. 
    Yup, that part made me gag. If I was LW I would've been livid at that, considering the complete lack of contact or interest for such a long time.
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