Wedding Woes

This is about you, not your mom. Do you, boo-boo.

Dear Prudence,
When I was a baby, my biological father committed some terrible crimes. My mother’s testimony helped convict him, and she never truly recovered from his betrayal. She fled the state to avoid court-ordered contact between his family and myself. Fast forward almost 40 years. My relationship with my mother is not very close: I resemble my biological father a great deal physically and in temperament (although I am law-abiding). I have contacted my biological father, who is still in jail. I am interested in slowly getting to know him and maybe meeting some of the family I never knew, and they are open to this as well. But I am worried that my mom will cut me off if she ever finds out. Is cultivating a relationship with the half of my family I have never known worth possibly alienating my mother?

—Long-Lost Father

Re: This is about you, not your mom. Do you, boo-boo.

  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Alienating your mother with whom your relationship is already faltering? LW...no. Just do what you need to do. Go meet your father and his family.
    MissKittyDangerOliveOilsMomshort+sassyVarunaTT
  • It sounds like mom is being shitty here.  Its been 40 YEARS!!!!  If I were LW I would just go and meet the father/rest of the family.  If mom had that big of a problem with it she would just have to deal.
    short+sassykimmiinthemitten
  • LW should so what they feel they need to do. Not everyone gets the option of getting to know their biological parent - even if it's just for simple reasons.
    short+sassy
  • I agree.  Though, I think if the meetings go well and he plans to stay in contact, he should be honest with his mom and let her know what he did.

    I can understand why his mom literally ran from that part of her life, but she can't change that his father/F's family are a part of HIM.  And he wants to learn more about them.

    I hate to be the bearer of reality but, in all likelihood, they won't become much of his life anyway.  Sure, the first meeting might be great.  Everyone talks a mile a minute.  Catches up.  But, especially if they live OOT from him, it usually dials quickly back to occasional contact via FB/e-mail.  And that's an almost best case scenario.

    My H is adopted.  I've heard his and a lot of other adoption stories.  That's usually the way it shakes out.  He has three bio brothers and his bio mom.  He doesn't know where two of his brothers are.  He has met one bio brother and his bio mom.  Bio dad died before he knew his name, but he knows it now and that is how he found out about the death.

    He said it was initially neat to meet his two bio family members, but it was hardly the epiphenal (sp?), earth shattering experience that society likes to pretend it is.  He kept in touch with them fairly regularly in the first few years after the meetings, but that has dwindled down to very occasional, sporadic contact. 

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  • I hate to say this, but I would need to know what the crimes are.  I mean, something is missing here.  "Court ordered visitation" and "fleeing" don't usually come together with such transparency.  Mom might've been making the best decision for everyone involved then and now.  And is family was an enabler of said criminal activity? 

    I think I need more info b/c there's room for a lot of horrible things to go down, regardless of LW's relationship with their mother.
    charlotte989875levioosaMesmrEwemonkeysip
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited October 2016
    My MIL divorced DH's father when he was sent to jail and then witness protection. Then bio-dad left witness protection and promptly disowned his sons (he did leave them money for support).  DH is in his 40's and hasn't seen his dad since he was young. We do know where he lives though.   MIL wishes her ex had contact with her sons.

    Even though bio-dad was an ass, MIL never denied his family access to DH and his brother.   She didn't hold what ex did against the family.    DH still harbors baggage from being abandoned by his dad, but had very fond memories of his grandparents.  He always knew about that side of the family.  That is often half the issues with kids who are adopted and/or abandoned by a parent and their family.  The unknown.

    While I agree with shorty+sassy that reunions are not always as great as hollywood portrays, I think they are still important.  

     Just this past year we found out about a first cousin who was adopted some 47 years ago.  She lives in a different state (cross country from most of the family).   Her mom (my aunt) is deceased, as is the father.  We connect via FB.  My parents and her half-brother have met her.  I, along with an aunt an cousin are going next spring.   My sister made her a book with pictures and details of the family. She very much appreciates it.   She had/has no expectations of being super close with the family  (her half-sister is BSC and she dialed into that pretty quickly). I feel like us answering her questions about her mom and the family in general is what she appreciates the most.

    I would tell the OP to met the dad and the family.  Do not have expectations of a Hollywood ending.  Let the relationships develop as they will.  Sometimes just knowing whatever it is you are looking for is good enough.  Sometimes you can become the best of friends.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    OliveOilsMomshort+sassykimmiinthemittencowgirl8238
  • lyndausvi said:
    My MIL divorced DH's father when he was sent to jail and then witness protection. Then bio-dad left witness protection and promptly disowned his sons (he did leave them money for support).  DH is in his 40's and hasn't seen his dad since he was young. We do know where he lives though.   MIL wishes her ex had contact with her sons.

    Even though bio-dad was an ass, MIL never denied his family access to DH and his brother.   She didn't hold what ex did against the family.    DH still harbors baggage from being abandoned by his dad, but had very fond memories of his grandparents.  He always knew about that side of the family.  That is often half the issues with kids who are adopted and/or abandoned by a parent and their family.  The unknown.

    While I agree with shorty+sassy that reunions are not always has great as hollywood portrays, I think they are still important.  

     Just this past year we found out about a first cousin who was adopted some 47 years ago.  She lives in a different state (cross country from most of the family).   Her mom (my aunt) is deceased, as is the father.  We connect via FB.  My parents and her half-brother have met her.  I, along with an aunt an cousin are going next spring.   My sister made her a book with pictures and details of the family. She very much appreciates it.   She had/has no expectations of being super close with the family  (her half-sister is BSC and she dialed into that pretty quickly). I feel like us answering her questions about her mom and the family in general is what she appreciates the most.

    I would tell the OP to met the dad and the family.  Do not have expectations of a Hollywood ending.  Let the relationships develop as they will.  Sometimes just knowing whatever it is you are looking for is good enough.  Sometimes you can become the best of friends.
    I should have added that thought also.  Although my H has a cordial, but not close relationship with his bio-relatives, he is happy to have met them.  It was positive in that it gave him some closure and he learned more about his family history.
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    lyndausvikimmiinthemitten
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I need to know more about the crime.  Because there are certain things that are unforgivable.  I have a friend whose family is complicit in the molestation of a niece.  She cut them off and has made calls to CPS, but the family has helped to cover it up.  


    image
  • If the dad is still in jail 40 years later I have to imagine it was a pretty bad crime although I can understand his desire to know about that side of his family
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