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So. I still haven't told DN I am marrying T.

I haven't told him because, up until now (and even though it's been in the works since January) I was afraid he would figure out a way to ruin it. Either fake an emergency so I couldn't get on the plane, or offer to take the kids and then back out at the last minute, that sort of thing. There is a precedence for me thinking he would do this (Labor Day weekends 2008 and 2007, anyone?).

I had made childcare arrangements already, in case DN wasn't available for the kids. It turns out he is NOT available, in a way that makes it hard (but not impossible, I cannot underestimate the man I have learned) for him to ruin the plans. He will be out of town a full week before AND a full week after the nuptials.

When should I apprise him of the fact I am 1) going out of town for 4 days (and where his children can be reached during that time) and 2) I am getting married?

A part of me wants to tell him #1 the day before I am leaving and #2 when I get back, but I'm not sure that's really the nice thing to do.

impolite
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A part of me wants to tell him #1 the day before I am leaving and #2 when I get back, but I'm not sure that's really the nice thing to do.


That is what I suggest.

Who cares about being nice to him?

If he presses you for details, "Well, we just intended it to be a vacation away from the kids, but, well, Vegas, ya know? Seemed like the thing to do."

He doesn't need to know you've planned it.

Serioulsy, you think he'd tell you?

Ishtar
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So. I still haven't told DN I am marrying T.


I'd tell him sooner, rather than later. Not for his sake. Certainly not. But, what if one of the kids tells him, even in some indirect way. It could be really unfair to the kid.

Just a thought.

Gail
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When should I apprise him of the fact I am 1) going out of town for 4 days (and where his children can be reached during that time) and 2) I am getting married?


When you get back.
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But, what if one of the kids tells him, even in some indirect way

Oh! yeah, the kids don't know either. We are careful to keep any of it away from Little Ears. They don't even know we are going on vacation - we intend to sit them down the evening before we leave, and tell them then.

We didn't want it getting back to DN through them, either.

Sorry, I should have said that in the post.

I *do* think DN has an idea it's happening, just not when and where, as he's been flaky a couple of times in different conversations - hard to explain, but I got the general idea he was fishing for information in the marriage vein, and I just looked at him blankly so he changed the subject.

He could have gotten the information from one of my cousins that he still talks to - Dad informed my aunt and uncle about our plans, and if *they* discussed it with Cousin....he would have told DN. Almost immediately - I don't give that cousin any information, whatsoever, because of this problem.

And yeah, Dad has now been told that I think Cousin is telling DN information, so there will be a filter to that Aunt and Uncle now, unfortunately. :(

impolite
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hard to explain, but I got the general idea he was fishing for information in the marriage vein,

For this reason alone I would go with your gut instinct and not tell him you were going until right before the trip, and honestly I probably wouldn't tell him where you are going. Sad but given his history I would not give him any opportunity to interfere/screw with your plans.

I assume there is no circumstance under which he could obtain custody of the kids from your sitter in your absence? Because I could not think of a reason that he could ruin your plans (in the form of forcing you to return home) unless it involves the kids. Of course you could probably think of ways he could do this, but I am fortunately not as familiar with the evil-ness achievable by certain folks.

I would also not tell him you got married until your return. The "Well it was Vegas so it seemed like a good idea" spiel is a great one, and requires no further detail.

StB.
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A part of me wants to tell him #1 the day before I am leaving and #2 when I get back, but I'm not sure that's really the nice thing to do.

imp,

If it were anyone BUT DN, I would go ahead and tell both parts now - heck, I probably would have already done it. Unfortunately, it is DN, so I would go with the above.

He is GOING to wig out, whether it is directly to you, or in front of the kids, or whatever. You can't stop this from happening, so you might as well get your vacation and wedding done and then deal with the crap.

The thing that he doesn't realize, and probably won't realize is that the marriage changes *nothing* where his relationship with the kids or you is concerned. Custody - same. Child care - same. Child support - same. Since it changes nothing, it's none of his darn business until you want to tell him.

d
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The "Well it was Vegas so it seemed like a good idea" spiel is a great one, and requires no further detail.


Actually, I do not think I would play this off as if it was a spur of the moment decision, for a few reasons.

a) It's not true. Not saying you have to tell him you've been planning it for months and months, but really, I wouldn't lie to him. That's stooping to his level, since he'd rather lie when the truth sounds better.

b) For people that know impolite, it's going to be fairly *obvious* that it's not true. impolite does a lot of planning and strategizing for most things, and IMHO it would be pretty out of character for imp to decide on the spur of the moment in Vegas to do something as serious as getting married.

c) DN needs to understand that this relationship is real and permanent. If he gets it into his head that this is a quickie wedding, he might think it isn't real and thus not understand that the marriage *must* be respected. Not that I actually expect him to respect the marriage much, but you don't want to give him any excuses.

d
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I had made childcare arrangements already, in case DN wasn't available for the kids. It turns out he is NOT available, in a way that makes it hard (but not impossible, I cannot underestimate the man I have learned) for him to ruin the plans. He will be out of town a full week before AND a full week after the nuptials.

When should I apprise him of the fact I am 1) going out of town for 4 days (and where his children can be reached during that time) and 2) I am getting married?

A part of me wants to tell him #1 the day before I am leaving and #2 when I get back, but I'm not sure that's really the nice thing to do.




You might want to check with your lawyer to see if you have to tell him that you'll be out of town and someone else will be caring for the children at that time.

I think you should send him an announcement like you will for other people. Don't pretend it was anything other than well planned and thought out, though. If he asks why you didn't tell him, very matter-of-factly tell him the truth that you thought he'd do something to try and screw it up if he knew about it. Don't elaborate or give him any ideas for future mischief, but you can refer back to previous instances.
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You might want to check with your lawyer to see if you have to tell him that you'll be out of town and someone else will be caring for the children at that time.


Yes, I do. Even if I wasn't legally obligate, I would do so. I would expect the same from him, though I doubt I could ever count on it.


We also have right of first refusal - so if he was available I would have to tell him I was going out of town and give him the opportunity to have the children. As he will be leaving town before me, I no longer am obligated to do that (as he is unavailable), so my "alternate" childcare plans will be in place.

Of course, even if I didn't have to give him the opportunity I would have. I can't seem to get off the high road even when I'm taking fire from the enemy and my supplies are cut off.

If he asks why you didn't tell him, very matter-of-factly tell him the truth that you thought he'd do something to try and screw it up if he knew about it.

Oh! I'm not sure how I would even word that. I see what you are saying, I'm just not sure I have the cajones to admit it to his face.

Something like "I didn't tell you earlier because I believe it is personal information. I don't ask who you are dating or what your plans are with them, because they are none of my business, either. It won't affect the children's daily lives any." is probably about all I can muster, honestly.

impolite
whimp, in face-to-face combat

impolite
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Oh! I'm not sure how I would even word that.

"I didn't tell you because you're a dickhole and I knew you would figure out a way to show your ass."
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RJ,

you have such a way with words!

Leana
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A part of me wants to tell him #1 the day before I am leaving and #2 when I get back, but I'm not sure that's really the nice thing to do.

Eff nice. I wouldn't put it past DN to try to ruin what he thinks is just a trip to Vegas--I think he'd pull out all the stops if he knew you were getting married. I think telling him #1 the day before you're leaving is perfect, and telling him #2 the day you get back is absolutely the *earliest* you ought to consider telling him.

I mean, does it affect his life in any way? Does it change the amount of child support he (sometimes) pays? He doesn't pay alimony, right? You're not his wife anymore, and outside of child-related stuff, your lives should be as separate as possible. Telling him at all is courtesy enough, in my opinion. Don't do it before the trip, and tell him after if you feel it's necessary (it'd get back to him through other channels, or the kids would tell him).

And no, I don't consider not telling him you're getting married "hiding stuff from him." It's not his business anymore. I mean, some people might think of telling him as gloating--there's lots of ways to look at it. I can see why you'd want to tell him, it's polite and all, but I wouldn't tell him until after the fact.


--Booa
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I can't seem to get off the high road even when I'm taking fire from the enemy and my supplies are cut off.


I know this trait can make things suck in the short term but it's a Very Good Thing in the long run. On behalf of humanity, please don't ever change this part of you.

And what dianakalt said about not lying to DN - again with the high road - there's just no reason to do so. It's like on the CC board, when people want to know what to say to friends/relations who want to borrow money - lying isn't necessary because you can always (truthfully) say, "That's not in my budget right now." Full stop. End of conversation. Likewise, with DN, less is more - a shrug accompanying your "it's personal information" line is perfect, IMO.
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Of course, even if I didn't have to give him the opportunity I would have. I can't seem to get off the high road even when I'm taking fire from the enemy and my supplies are cut off.

I know I'm stating the obvious here, but you are/were clearly way, way too good for him. Yeesh.

You're a really good person, imp. And you love your kids, and they love their dad, and you know they're awesome, so you try to do what's best for them (and for DN, too) at any cost to yourself. And that's why your kids are going to do great.

Something like "I didn't tell you earlier because I believe it is personal information. I don't ask who you are dating or what your plans are with them, because they are none of my business, either. It won't affect the children's daily lives any." is probably about all I can muster, honestly.

impolite
whimp, in face-to-face combat


You're not a wimp. You're just not. You're the opposite of a wimp. You're a hero, with ethics, and courage, and all kinds of good stuff like that. And you are too kind to hold up a mirror to DN and show him his own true self. Not wimpy.


--Booa
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When should I apprise him of the fact I am 1) going out of town for 4 days (and where his children can be reached during that time) and 2) I am getting married?

A part of me wants to tell him #1 the day before I am leaving and #2 when I get back, but I'm not sure that's really the nice thing to do.


There's been a lot of discussion before I got here, and most of the points I think are important have been touched on. IMO, the important considerations are,

1. DN's known propensity to sabotage your plans,
2. The ethical considerations of not wanting to lie,
3. What the marriage means for your kids, and
4. (last place) Social conventions of etiquette.

What you decide needs to take all this into consideration. The way I see it, DN's past behavior gives him no social right to know *anything* about your life in advance that doesn't directly affect when he has the kids.

Ethically, you don't want to lie to DN; but that doesn't mean you need to tell him everything.

The kids are going to need to know about the wedding, and I think it's a little unusual that your kids wouldn't be at the wedding; but it's your life and your wedding to run as you see fit. Things being as they are, maybe you want to let the kids know before you leave but after there's any chance DN will have them before you come back; or perhaps you will decide not to tell the kids till you get back. If I were in your position, I'd spend a lot more time worrying about when to tell the kids than about when to tell DN.

As far as social etiquette, DN doesn't deserve any more notice than a casual acquaintance does.

After considering this, my advice would be to tell DN #1 the day before you leave, and tell him #2 via the same mailed announcement you send to everyone else. You could also mention it the first time you talk to DN after you get back, but I don't think you need to communicate with DN for the sole purpose of telling him you got married, other than the mailed announcement.

Now go ponder the best way to break the news to the kids, who merit a lot more consideration than DN does.

Patzer
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Now go ponder the best way to break the news to the kids, who merit a lot more consideration than DN does.


This, we still haven't entirely figured out. To *us* it's not a huge deal, and to their daily lives it will make no difference at all. But who knows how kids will view things? So we've been discussing it, but haven't gotten to a conclusion yet on what we are going to say.

Generally, I let the kids lead conversations of magnitude. But i'm not sure what we'll get when we do. I am not even really sure I want to discuss it with them before we leave - part of me thinks it would be best to wait until we return, so that they can *see* that their lives won't change, but part of me thinks we should tell them before we leave so that have a few days to digest the news without us being all up in their grill.

The latter is how *I* would prefer news be handed to me, so I am not sure if that's me talking, or their Mom talking, you know?

The kids are going to need to know about the wedding, and I think it's a little unusual that your kids wouldn't be at the wedding; but it's your life and your wedding to run as you see fit.

The only reason we are going to Vegas is because the chance was offered to us as a gift from Mother-In-Sin. Had it not been there, we would have simply gone down to the courthouse, likely on a lunch break.

We both view the wedding as....an event, not even a really significant one. It's the relationship we think is the most important part of this whole deal. So much so we've given it a two-year test drive!

You could have knocked me over with a feather if you told me 4 years ago I would not only get remarried, but without my children present. But now, at this time, it feels like the right thing to do for T and me. Our relationship is very private (yeah yeah, all joking about Post As Internet Therapy aside....), and we don't talk about our lives in front of the kids, we simply live as examples.

I would bet 10 years from now if you ask them when we got married, they won't remember - we've been living as a commited couple in front of them, and as devoted parents TO them, for years now already.

Maybe that's why we didn't make a big to do here in town - hell we haven't even told many people it's happening (current company excluded, of course!). The commitment is already there, so the 15 minutes event? No biggie, in the grand scheme.

A hell of a reason to take an offer for a free vacation in Vegas, though.

impolite
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Also: does anyone have any thought on how to explain marriage to two kids that have been present for the implosion of their parents'?

I just don't even know where to start on that one.

impolite
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Also: does anyone have any thought on how to explain marriage to two kids that have been present for the implosion of their parents'?



Kids know what marriage is.

If you mean how do you explain what it is SUPPOSED TO BE, well, show them that by example.
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I'd probably say something like:

You guys already know we all love each other and want to take care of each other, as a family. Getting married just tells the rest of the world [and the government] that.

Or something.

Ishtar
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Also: does anyone have any thought on how to explain marriage to two kids that have been present for the implosion of their parents'?

I just don't even know where to start on that one.


Oy. I can see why. Um.

Dude, I got nothing.

The thing is, if you start saying stuff they don't have to worry about, and it was stuff they weren't worried about anyway, then it puts the idea into their heads that it may be worrisome. Like, "Momma will never stop loving you," might make a kid think, "People can stop loving other people? Crap!"

I think, you know, you say it in response to them asking what you did in Vegas, like, "Oh, I walked around and saw these weird buildings, and also T and I got married." I mean, y'all have been living together, so it's not like they have to adjust to having him around, or they're going to worry that suddenly you're going to love them less. They might be scared that you and he might implode, now that you're married, or it might not occur to them. And then I guess I'd just follow their lead.

The hard thing is, you don't want to say marriage is not a big deal, just that the specific ceremony that takes you from not married in the eyes of the law to married (i.e., the wedding) is not a big deal. I mean, it can be for some people (NTTAWWT), and other people do it more casually (JP's office, drive through chapel, etc), but at the end of the day, however you do it, you are just as married. And the important part is the marriage, which you and T basically already have. The wedding is one day, the marriage, hopefully, the rest of your life.

You're dotting your legal i's and crossing the formal t's, that's all. Like getting your driver's license rather than your permit. Maybe compare it to a birthday party, some people want an Ariel cake and the full-on Little Mermaid, and other people just want to maybe have dinner with the family and not get any presents, but at the end of the day, all those people are "officially" a year older (even though they're really only a day older).

Argh, I don't know. (Note how that didn't lead to me shutting my pie hole. :-)) Whatever you do, it'll be okay. You and T are there every day, being twelve kinds of awesome. That's the most important part.


--Booa
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tell [DN you got married] via the same mailed announcement you send to everyone else


While i'm in favor of a "hands off" approach, i think this would be a bit...weird. To say the least.

It would be one thing if you could announce marriage via impersonal form letter. But announcements - fancy printed things with a photo of the happy couple - are sent to loved ones. DN is decidedly NOT in that group. I vote to keep The Telling casual and verbal.
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It would be one thing if you could announce marriage via impersonal form letter. But announcements - fancy printed things with a photo of the happy couple - are sent to loved ones. DN is decidedly NOT in that group. I vote to keep The Telling casual and verbal.

I was thinking of the wedding announcements as being like Christmas cards. A "Hey, how ya doin'?" type thing.
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I was thinking of the wedding announcements as being like Christmas cards. A "Hey, how ya doin'?" type thing.


Maybe. But i don't think DN is on imp's Christmas card list either.


snippee
could be wrong
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I was thinking of the wedding announcements as being like Christmas cards. A "Hey, how ya doin'?" type thing.


Maybe. But i don't think DN is on imp's Christmas card list either.




I think she'd like sending him a "my life is so darn wonderful..." holiday brag letter.
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Best Wishes!

xDH and I actually have a pretty good post-divorce relationship, and I *still* wussed out of telling him when I got engaged. So you've got all my sympathy on that one.

Through the whole separation and divorce, I went with the "when it feels right to tell him something, I'll do it" theory. It worked really well. I have to admit, I really didn't want him to hear about my engagement second hand. Since he and I aren't enemies or anything, it seems kind of rude to let him hear about it that way. On the other hand, he *is* an unpredictible, potentially scary dude. So, like I said, I wussed out.

But he knows now (through mutual friends? Facebook? His mother seeing my ring? Dunno) and since he didn't have to hear the news right in front of me, by the time I saw him he'd already absorbed it. He may very well have called me everything under the book when he found out, but since I didn't see it there's no pride for him to defend.

I don't know if that helps, or if it's relevant at all to how DN would behave. But it's what I've got.

btw, I'm really happy for you!


Frydaze1
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xDH and I actually have a pretty good post-divorce relationship, and I *still* wussed out of telling him when I got engaged. So you've got all my sympathy on that one.


When Dumbo and I split up, our lives went in completely separate directions. It wasn't deliberate but by then there was so little we had in common that it happened anyway. Imagine my surprise when it got back to me that he was upset because he wasn't invited to my wedding! It was 5 years after we split up and I can count on one hand the number of times I'd encountered him in-between. (Dumbo is one weird bloke, that's all I can say.)

- Pam
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I'd tell him at, literally, the last minute that I was going out of town. Even then, I'd consider doing it via a text message: "We've been given a holiday so will be out of town for 4 days. Since you are unavailable, the kids are staying with xxx (xx contact details)."

When you get back, tell him the next time you see him. Don't give details, just say "T and I got married".

As someone else said, I'd be more worried about the kids reaction than DNs. Thanks to television, all children know what a "typical" wedding involves. And they might be very upset that they weren't involved in the wedding, so you need to emphasize that there wasn't a "wedding" just some papers signed (since you and T have effectively been married for years).

- Pam
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So I am going to be the Eyore here...

You said your ex is the type that would accidentally-on-purpose try to ruin something like this, right? Well, if he A) knew you were going there to get married and B) could somehow get his hands on the kidlets, et voila, a crisis of some type could occur. Necessitating your immediate return, or at the very least, many hours on the phone. Certainly, it could sour the mood of your vacation.

It makes sense to me that you'd have to tell him where the kids are and who's watching them. But can you somehow make it that he can't easily collect them? Can they go to someone's mountain cabin that you have to ride a gondola to get to but it only operates every other day and it's broken and anyway there is no cell reception at the cabin, etc etc....

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! And I agree with the posters that say tell the kids. Marriage *IS* important. It is a wonderful, good, big important deal. With any luck, your kids will feel even more loved and more secure. IMHO, your soon to be husband is officially joining your family. (though I imagine any change could make kids nervous...Laney lost her mind about different color plates at her party)

-Molly
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Marriage *IS* important. It is a wonderful, good, big important deal. With any luck, your kids will feel even more loved and more secure. IMHO, your soon to be husband is officially joining your family.

I agree with Molly, and I'm going to make a different suggestion from the rest of the board.

I think it would be great idea to have a little wedding party for you, T and the kids to celebrate once you're home. Perhaps a cake with a wedding bell decoration, and sparkling grape juice to toast your "official" status. A wedding is a rite of passage, and since the kids weren't there to see it, some sort of small, formal recognition would be good.

Cosmos
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cosmos, great idea. Definitely, the kids deserve something to mark this good change. :-)

-Molly
free with the advice
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This is my free advice and worth every cent you paid for it!

I would not tell DN that I was going out of town and where the kids were until the last possible moment. He has proven himself in the past, and you need to base your future contacts on that proof. Telling him sooner changes nothing for him except give him the potential to ruin things for you. Even then, I would only tell him that you were going out of town. You can tell him about the marriage when you return. If he had the audacity to ask why you didn't tell him ahead of time -- I would give him an absolutely wide-eyed "Why would I tell you?" I'd like to see his reason that he thinks you should tell him your own personal, private business that does NOT affect him.

I would wait to tell the kids until I returned. You are correct they will need to process this change -- and wouldn't it better for them to be doing the processing when you and T are available to handle their questions, rather than having them questioning the people that you are leaving them with? I think this would be the best way to handle it FOR THEM.

I loooooove the idea about having a little special celebration with the kids and you and T when you return -- something that especially celebrates and marks this as *special*.
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I like the idea of "celebrating the birthday of the legal papers" with the kids. :-) Maybe you can talk about how a bill becomes a law at the same time, and sing the "I'm just a bill" song. :-)


--Booa
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