Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Mental Magpie on March 22, 2013, 06:32:44 AM

Title: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: Mental Magpie on March 22, 2013, 06:32:44 AM
My FMIL and FFIL divorced three years or so ago. It was amicable, they still talk every now and then, and we (the Eagle and I as well as his brother and SIL) thought everything was hunkydory especially considering FMIL had been dating and living with Steve since about when she divorced FFIL.

Then we foun out that FFIL doesn't know about Steve. This entire time we all thought he knew. None of us ever brought up Steve in front of him because we thought it would be insensitive at the least and rude at the most. Come to find out he never knew and now none of us know what to do.

We feel like we've been lying this entire time and I know I feel just awful about it. I don't know what to do. On one hand it's not my place to tell; on the other I don't want to lie, either. Help?
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: pharmagal on March 22, 2013, 06:38:50 AM
You're not telling him a lie.  It's none of his business who his ex is seeing.  Nor is it your place to tell him anything about Steve.  that's between your partners family and him.
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: Perfect Circle on March 22, 2013, 06:41:40 AM
I agree. It is not your place to tell him anything.
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: TootsNYC on March 22, 2013, 06:55:46 AM
how do you know he doesn't know?

(Maybe he said something about "if she ever starts dating again" or something similar? I'm curious)

And, I'd just stop worrying about "not mentioning Steve." If he comes to mind during a conversation, don't censor that out.
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: Girly on March 22, 2013, 07:06:55 AM
Totally stay out of this one. This is a relationship issue between FMIL and FFIL (if even that), not you.
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: Margo on March 22, 2013, 07:12:56 AM
It isn't your business, or your responsibility, to tell him. Equally, it is not your business or responsibility to hide it from him. If Steve comes up naturally in the conversation don't censor yourself, if he doesn't, you don't need to go out of your way to mention him.

If it is important because you intend to invite Steve with your mum to an event where FFIL will be, then I suggest  that  it may be sensible to ensure that that does come up casually in conversation ahead of the time, as if he's not aware, unexpectedly finding out at a joint event may be uncomfortable for everyone.

Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: Winterlight on March 22, 2013, 07:58:13 AM
This is definitely something you should stay out of. If your fiance decides to tell his father, that's his call. You should not.
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: MariaE on March 22, 2013, 08:30:12 AM
It isn't your business, or your responsibility, to tell him. Equally, it is not your business or responsibility to hide it from him. If Steve comes up naturally in the conversation don't censor yourself, if he doesn't, you don't need to go out of your way to mention him.

If it is important because you intend to invite Steve with your mum to an event where FFIL will be, then I suggest  that  it may be sensible to ensure that that does come up casually in conversation ahead of the time, as if he's not aware, unexpectedly finding out at a joint event may be uncomfortable for everyone.

I agree with this.

Like Toots, I'm also curious as to how you found out that he doesn't know?
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: Mikayla on March 22, 2013, 02:12:29 PM
This is definitely something you should stay out of. If your fiance decides to tell his father, that's his call. You should not.

I agree.  I don't think it's always just between the couple. If this was OPs own father, there may be reasons she'd want to say something.  In this case, if anything is said at all, it should be son to father.
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: Moray on March 22, 2013, 02:40:38 PM
Definitely stay out of this. It's not your place, or your business.
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: Mental Magpie on March 22, 2013, 03:41:30 PM
Sorry, I wasn't totally clear.  The Eagle also wants to know how to proceed.  As far as I am concerned, I wasn't going to go running to tell FFIL, but I didn't know if I should just keep Steve out of all conversation or not.  I feel like I'm lying to him when he brings up things about FMIL that she told him which I know aren't true.

We know FFIL doesn't know for a couple of reasons.  For one, he mentioned how FMIL told him she was moving to another state and how she was going to live with a friend from current state who was also moving there in order to help take care of a relative.  She didn't tell him she was moving there because Steve got a job there which is why she is actually moving there.  This is when it dawned on us that he had no idea she was living with Steve.  He then went on to talk about how he (FFIL) didn't think it was a good idea because FMIL didn't have a plan yet as to how to earn money.  Well, her plan is for Steve to pay for everything because that's how their relationship works.  If FFIL knew Steve was in the picture, I don't think he would have mentioned the whole money thing.
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: Moray on March 22, 2013, 03:55:20 PM
I think Mental Boyfriend needs to ask himself "What do I hope to gain by telling my father?" and go from there. Does he feel it will in some way help his father get closure? Is he worried that his dad is somehow financing his mom under the mistaken impression that she's single and disadvantaged or something?

Basically, unless there's a good, helpful reason to tell him, I wouldn't recommend he sit him down for a "talk" about it. Mind you, that doesn't mean he should "keep it a secret", and he shouldn't think to censor himself if Steve comes up in normal conversation. ("What are you doing this weekend, son?" "Oh, Mom and Steve have invited me to come see their new house.") but really, since they're divorced, it's not much of his dad's right to know, either.
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: rose red on March 22, 2013, 04:25:20 PM
Your BF should ask his mother why his dad doesn't know about Steve and if it's OK to talk about him in front of his dad.  The situation sounds strange since she's a single woman, but there may be a reason.
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: Perfect Circle on March 22, 2013, 04:54:31 PM
I think Mental Boyfriend needs to ask himself "What do I hope to gain by telling my father?" and go from there. Does he feel it will in some way help his father get closure? Is he worried that his dad is somehow financing his mom under the mistaken impression that she's single and disadvantaged or something?

Basically, unless there's a good, helpful reason to tell him, I wouldn't recommend he sit him down for a "talk" about it. Mind you, that doesn't mean he should "keep it a secret", and he shouldn't think to censor himself if Steve comes up in normal conversation. ("What are you doing this weekend, son?" "Oh, Mom and Steve have invited me to come see their new house.") but really, since they're divorced, it's not much of his dad's right to know, either.

I agree.

I do also wonder is there a particular reason why your boyfriend's father should know? I don't mean anyone should have to hide things from him, but as they are divorced and your boyfriend's mother has chosen not to tell him, I don't really see why someone else should. If it comes up in conversation, it comes up, but other than that I think you should leave it alone.
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: bah12 on March 22, 2013, 04:54:59 PM
They are divorced and who FMIL is seeing and why she's moving are of no concern to FFIL.

That being said, if FMIL asked you to lie, tell her you are uncomfortable.  For instance if she says it's to care for an elderly relative and you know for a fact that it isn't...although, it is possible that Steve got a new job in other state so that he could care for an elderly relative...then just say that you aren't comfortable saying something that clearly isn't true.  Leaving out who she's moving with is one thing, but fabricating a whole story is out of your comfort zone.  (Note: I don't think what you have been doing, which is not talking about her dating life to FFIL, constitutes lying.  He doesn't have a need to know and the conversation hasn't come up).

Outside of that, it wouldn't hurt to clarify what she is and isn't comfortable with FFIL knowing.  Being that it's amicable, she probably doesn't care what he knows...and if Steve happens to slip into conversation naturally, it shouldn't be a big deal.  What I am against, is your boyfriend sitting FFIL down and telling him about Steve as if he has a right to know.  He doesn't.  FFIL and FMIL should be left to handle their own relationship. 
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: Zilla on March 22, 2013, 04:58:53 PM
I agree with others, it isn't any of business.  If his mom wanted to let him know, she would have.  She has her reasons for not telling the whole story so be it. 


I would tell your boyfriend to just bean dip whenever his dad brings up his mom.  That way it isn't lying and it isn't discussing his mom's business. I would also have him talk to his mom and ask why she doesn't want him to know and that it puts your boyfriend in the middle.
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: Moray on March 22, 2013, 05:16:17 PM
They are divorced and who FMIL is seeing and why she's moving are of no concern to FFIL.

That being said, if FMIL asked you to lie, tell her you are uncomfortable.  For instance if she says it's to care for an elderly relative and you know for a fact that it isn't...although, it is possible that Steve got a new job in other state so that he could care for an elderly relative...then just say that you aren't comfortable saying something that clearly isn't true.  Leaving out who she's moving with is one thing, but fabricating a whole story is out of your comfort zone.  (Note: I don't think what you have been doing, which is not talking about her dating life to FFIL, constitutes lying.  He doesn't have a need to know and the conversation hasn't come up).

Outside of that, it wouldn't hurt to clarify what she is and isn't comfortable with FFIL knowing.  Being that it's amicable, she probably doesn't care what he knows...and if Steve happens to slip into conversation naturally, it shouldn't be a big deal.  What I am against, is your boyfriend sitting FFIL down and telling him about Steve as if he has a right to know.  He doesn't.  FFIL and FMIL should be left to handle their own relationship.

Exactly!
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: snappylt on March 22, 2013, 05:41:32 PM
I agree with everyone who has said that it isn't your business to be telling him about Steve.  I think I'd just continue on as you have been.

I'm wondering, though, is this being asked about now because there's a concern that when FFIL eventually finds out he may be upset with you all that this was "kept a secret"?

If that is the concern, I wonder if you could just say (truthfully) that for the longest time you all just assumed that he knew and that he was just not talking about it.
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: LadyR on March 22, 2013, 06:51:19 PM
I'm thinking with a wedding coming up, its a hard thing to keep quiet, assuming MM and her FH intend to invite Steve along with FMIL and FFIL should be told ahead of time, because having your ex's established new partner sprung on you the day of your son's wedding would not be pleasant IMO.
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: Mental Magpie on March 22, 2013, 08:11:18 PM
I agree with everyone who has said that it isn't your business to be telling him about Steve.  I think I'd just continue on as you have been.

I'm wondering, though, is this being asked about now because there's a concern that when FFIL eventually finds out he may be upset with you all that this was "kept a secret"?

If that is the concern, I wonder if you could just say (truthfully) that for the longest time you all just assumed that he knew and that he was just not talking about it.

Ya know, I couldn't figure why people didn't seem to be answering my actual question...then I realized I guess I never actually expressed it and that my thread title is misleading!  (Maybe I shouldn't post at 05:00AM...)  The bolded is the major concern.

FTR, I don't think it's FFIL's business, but if he is trying to engage us in conversation about FMIL moving to CA for a certain reason when we specifically know it's for a different reason, we're lying by not saying anything.  Then when he finds out we never corrected him and knew what he was saying wasn't the truth, we've lied for a long time!  I don't want to be put in that position.

LadyR also has part of it: we plan on inviting everyone to the wedding, so what now?
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: Iris on March 23, 2013, 12:17:19 AM
I agree with everyone who has said that it isn't your business to be telling him about Steve.  I think I'd just continue on as you have been.

I'm wondering, though, is this being asked about now because there's a concern that when FFIL eventually finds out he may be upset with you all that this was "kept a secret"?

If that is the concern, I wonder if you could just say (truthfully) that for the longest time you all just assumed that he knew and that he was just not talking about it.

Ya know, I couldn't figure why people didn't seem to be answering my actual question...then I realized I guess I never actually expressed it and that my thread title is misleading!  (Maybe I shouldn't post at 05:00AM...)  The bolded is the major concern.

FTR, I don't think it's FFIL's business, but if he is trying to engage us in conversation about FMIL moving to CA for a certain reason when we specifically know it's for a different reason, we're lying by not saying anything.  Then when he finds out we never corrected him and knew what he was saying wasn't the truth, we've lied for a long time!  I don't want to be put in that position.

LadyR also has part of it: we plan on inviting everyone to the wedding, so what now?

This is a tough one. I despise it when people put me in a situation where I'm tacitly supposed to go along with their lie. It makes me feel dishonest and angry at the person who put me in that situation. So now I just don't do it. I avoid getting involved if I can but I refuse to allow someone else to dictate my standards of honesty without so much as a by-your-leave.

I don't know if it's the best solution but I personally would firstly attempt to bean dip at an early enough point that it just didn't come up (if you know what I mean). If that didn't work I'd say something like "I'm not comfortable discussing FMIL's situation with you" because that's true and doesn't put me in the middle of things. If all else failed I'd probably say "Look, you and I are hearing different stories about this. Obviously there's a mix-up or miscommunication somewhere but I REALLY don't want to get involved. This is between you and FMIL and I'm just not going to get in the middle of that." That would be my final word on the subject. I'd leave if I had to if FFIL kept pressing.

Then I'd just invite them all to the wedding and let the chips fall where they will. If FMIL really wants to keep Steve a secret then he probably won't come. The only way I would get involved any further is if it looks like the situation will interfere with your wedding plans e.g. FFIL finds out about Steve for the first time at the ceremony and may cause a scene or leave or something. Other than that my advice is to just set your own standards of honesty and stick to them.
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: peaches on March 23, 2013, 01:00:32 AM
You haven't lied about anything. Not revealing everything you know (or think you know) is not the same thing as lying.

Divorced people aren't obliged to reveal their private lives to their ex's. Nor are their children. This is something it's best to stay out of.

It sounds like you will be inviting FMIL and her friend to the wedding. Your FMIL might decide to give her ex a heads up about who she is bringing; that's up to her. if she doesn't, so what?  Anyone can bring a guest to a wedding. That doesn't reveal anything about their rel ationship.

FMIL has a life to lead, and it's to be expected that she will do so. That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, including FFIL. Life goes on.

Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: cicero on March 23, 2013, 02:21:37 AM
It's *none* of ffil's business, so don't make it his business. I think it would be courteous if fmil gave her ex a heads up, if she is bringing a SO to the wedding but that ius between them

And you really don't know that he doesn't know-it may be that he said what he said because he's trying to figure out if *you* know;after all, as you,said, you and df have clearly been avoiding the subject.
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: LifeOnPluto on March 23, 2013, 04:17:50 AM
I guess I'm in the minority camp. If it were my father, I'd tell him. I wouldn't make a huge deal out of it, but I would casually mention that mum is dating someone, and his name is Steve. If there's a wedding coming up where the father will be meeting Steve for the first time, I think it would be kinder to tell him now, than to spring it on him on the big day.
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: NyaChan on March 23, 2013, 07:33:39 AM
This is something to discuss with MIL - I think DF should talk with her and mention that he was confused since he thought x, y, z, but FIL mentioned something different.  Go ahead and ask - does Dad not know and if she admits that she hasn't told him, let her know that you are both uncomfortable lying to him and mention the upcoming wedding where you would like everyone to attend.  Then it is up to her to decide what she wants - just know going in what you are willing and not willing to do in helping her.  She may have a reason for keeping quiet, or it could be a silly lie early on that she never figured out how to correct.
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: JenJay on March 23, 2013, 07:59:27 AM
I'd call my mom and say "Dad's been asking questions about your move and it's really putting me on the spot. I'm not comfortably lying and I don't want the tension of having him find out at my wedding that you've been living with Steve this whole time. Are you going to tell him?" If she says no then I'd say "Okay. If your move comes up again I'm going to tell him that you've asked me not to discuss it with him." And that's exactly what I'd say to my dad.  :-\
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: ChiGirl on March 23, 2013, 10:05:27 AM
This is something to discuss with MIL - I think DF should talk with her and mention that he was confused since he thought x, y, z, but FIL mentioned something different.  Go ahead and ask - does Dad not know and if she admits that she hasn't told him, let her know that you are both uncomfortable lying to him and mention the upcoming wedding where you would like everyone to attend.  Then it is up to her to decide what she wants - just know going in what you are willing and not willing to do in helping her.  She may have a reason for keeping quiet, or it could be a silly lie early on that she never figured out how to correct.

POD.

I would also like to know why she's been misleading FIL about her situation.  I don't want to drag this thread into legalities, but depending on the structure of their divorce settlement, FIL may be supporting MIL financially in some way.  Perhaps MIL isn't telling him about Steve because she doesn't want their previously-amicable divorce to become un-amicable?
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: Girly on March 23, 2013, 10:18:47 AM
Unless it directly effects them, I don't think the details of a divorce decree is any business of the children.
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: gramma dishes on March 23, 2013, 10:42:15 AM
...
Outside of that, it wouldn't hurt to clarify what she is and isn't comfortable with FFIL knowing.  Being that it's amicable, she probably doesn't care what he knows...and if Steve happens to slip into conversation naturally, it shouldn't be a big deal.  ...

I'm under the impression that she DOES care what he knows or she wouldn't have conjured up the lie about why she's moving. 

I agree with PPs who say it isn't any of Mental Magpie's business, but knowing the the MIL is lying to XFIL puts Mental Magpie and Eagle in a very bad spot!! 

I think Eagle should ask his Mom how much his Dad knows, but I also think that he should tell her that while he won't specifically bring up the boyfriend, he also won't lie for her either if Dad asks. 
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: Sara Crewe on March 23, 2013, 10:52:46 AM
Unless it directly effects them, I don't think the details of a divorce decree is any business of the children.

While it may not effect them, if one parent is deliberately defrauding the other, then doing nothing is supporting the thief.

I am absolutely not saying that is what is happening here but I don't think the above is always the case.
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: gramma dishes on March 23, 2013, 10:57:45 AM


...

I would also like to know why she's been misleading FIL about her situation.  I don't want to drag this thread into legalities, but depending on the structure of their divorce settlement, FIL may be supporting MIL financially in some way.  Perhaps MIL isn't telling him about Steve because she doesn't want their previously-amicable divorce to become un-amicable?

OP  ~~  Is this a possibility?
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: ChiGirl on March 23, 2013, 01:48:51 PM
Unless it directly effects them, I don't think the details of a divorce decree is any business of the children.

My point is, the details of the divorce decree may be relevant to whether MIL's current romance is any of FIL's business.  It may be very much his business, even if it is not the kids' business.

MIL's motivations would affect my willingness to cover up for her.  Apparently, she hasn't just not told FIL that she's seeing someone, she's been actively spinning untruths to him. 
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: Mental Magpie on March 23, 2013, 04:14:39 PM


...

I would also like to know why she's been misleading FIL about her situation.  I don't want to drag this thread into legalities, but depending on the structure of their divorce settlement, FIL may be supporting MIL financially in some way.  Perhaps MIL isn't telling him about Steve because she doesn't want their previously-amicable divorce to become un-amicable?

OP  ~~  Is this a possibility?

Possibly that he is supporting her, but I don't think she would lie to him just to keep getting money from him.  She's just not that type of person.  I personally think she doesn't want to hurt him and hence hasn't told him.

What you said about putting us in a tough position is right.  She tells him one thing, us another, then he tries to talk to us about what he knows even though we know it's not the truth!  It's not fun.

Also, FTR, he's not doing it in a nosy way when he brings up her move; it's just a general discussion.  For example, Eagle will mention having just spoken to his mother about niece and FFIL will say, "Oh yeah, how's her move going?  I wonder if her friend's relative is doing any better."
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: Softly Spoken on March 23, 2013, 04:21:17 PM
Wow, this is why having people who don't seem to communicate well is no fun whatsoever.  :P

I can't tell from what has been posted if your FMIL has been stingy on the details because
1) That's just how she is and it doesn't occur to her to tell people things / she assumes they know what they need to know.
2) She specifically doesn't want her Ex to know about Steve (for whatever reason).
3) She plans on telling but hasn't got around to it/is waiting for a chosen time etc.

So here is my 2 cents about how to navigate between people who have different levels on information, when you aren't sure why they aren't on the same page: Stay as neutral as possible! You don't want to provide anything that isn't specifically asked for, nor do you want to hide anything. Maybe this sounds too complicated or like you are half-lying, but IMHO it is the only way to stand in the middle when you are put on the spot and don't know all the facts.

So if FFIL says FMIL is moving to whatever place for X reason, and you understand her to be moving because of Steve, you don't say so - you say something like "Well, I don't know all the details but maybe she has another reason to go there. If you are concerned you better talk to her about it." You don't want to encourage misinformation, but you also know it isn't your place to enlighten your Dad (and you might not know everything anyway).

If your FMIL is lying, you should not help her. However as OPs have said you don't have to go out of your way to tell her Ex about Steve. Just avoid the gossip loop whenever possible, and direct FFIL to talk to FMIL about his concerns so she can choose to tell him about Steve - or not.

Hypothetically, if your FFIL asked you point blank about your FMILs relationship status, I would again tell him "You'll have to take that up with her."

Similarly, if FFIL says anything that takes your mind into (potential) Steve territory, just say "You'll have to talk to Mom."

EDIT since reading update post: Okay since this is affecting you, you need to take your concerns to your FMIL and ask her why she is telling your FFIL one thing and yourselves another. Consider telling her that this is making it difficult to talk to FFIL and that you are not comfortable supporting her misinformation. Ask her if she can either find a way to break it to him or leave you out of it. Just keep encouraging them to talk to each other instead of you!
Title: Re: Do I tell FFIL?
Post by: TootsNYC on March 24, 2013, 06:53:52 PM
Your BF should ask his mother why his dad doesn't know about Steve and if it's OK to talk about him in front of his dad.  The situation sounds strange since she's a single woman, but there may be a reason.

I also think your BF should tell his mother that HER lies to her ex-husband are creating awkward situations for him, and why is she lying about Steve?

And then based on the answer, your BF should say, please tell him the truth, because I'm not going to cover.
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: Eeep! on March 25, 2013, 04:08:16 PM
I'd call my mom and say "Dad's been asking questions about your move and it's really putting me on the spot. I'm not comfortably lying and I don't want the tension of having him find out at my wedding that you've been living with Steve this whole time. Are you going to tell him?" If she says no then I'd say "Okay. If your move comes up again I'm going to tell him that you've asked me not to discuss it with him." And that's exactly what I'd say to my dad.  :-\

I think this is what I would do.
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: hobish on March 25, 2013, 04:33:50 PM
I'd call my mom and say "Dad's been asking questions about your move and it's really putting me on the spot. I'm not comfortably lying and I don't want the tension of having him find out at my wedding that you've been living with Steve this whole time. Are you going to tell him?" If she says no then I'd say "Okay. If your move comes up again I'm going to tell him that you've asked me not to discuss it with him." And that's exactly what I'd say to my dad.  :-\

I think this is what I would do.

That may be the best way to go. It sounds uncomfortable no matter how you cut it.  :-\
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: Mental Magpie on March 25, 2013, 07:46:25 PM
Thanks everyone.

I spoke to Eagle (DF) and we have decided that we're going to ask FMIL how she wants to proceed and tell her that we are uncomfortable being put into this position because of what will happen in the future (the wedding).
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: gramma dishes on March 25, 2013, 08:01:34 PM
Thanks everyone.

I spoke to Eagle (DF) and we have decided that we're going to ask FMIL how she wants to proceed and tell her that we are uncomfortable being put into this position because of what will happen in the future (the wedding).

And hopefully you'll come back and let us know how it goes. 
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: Mental Magpie on March 28, 2013, 09:02:07 PM
The Eagle hasn't mentioned it to his mother yet, but they've only spoken once since I posted the thread.

I'm really terrible about updating things, but I'll try hard to remember to do so!
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: Lynn2000 on March 28, 2013, 11:27:55 PM
This is something to discuss with MIL - I think DF should talk with her and mention that he was confused since he thought x, y, z, but FIL mentioned something different.  Go ahead and ask - does Dad not know and if she admits that she hasn't told him, let her know that you are both uncomfortable lying to him and mention the upcoming wedding where you would like everyone to attend.  Then it is up to her to decide what she wants - just know going in what you are willing and not willing to do in helping her.  She may have a reason for keeping quiet, or it could be a silly lie early on that she never figured out how to correct.

POD to this, which it sounds like you plan to do. Up until now I don't think you should blame yourself, because you honestly thought FFIL knew about Steve. If he ends up finding out and getting mad about how long the relationship has gone on with him being ignorant of it, you can honestly say, "We thought you knew, and just weren't comfortable talking about it."

But going forward, you know that he doesn't know about Steve, and you know that FMIL has been lying to him about it. So I think you have to get clarification from FMIL about what she wants her ex to know. And then try to work within that in a way you feel comfortable with--not lying, but not blurting out, "Steve! She's moving in with Steve!"

So if FFIL is like, "I'm worried that she's moving there without a job, how will she pay for things?" maybe you can say, "Well, maybe you should just ask her directly, I don't really know." (I wouldn't consider something vague like, "I don't really know" to be a lie--to me it's more of a dismissal of the subject--but others may feel differently.) And that sort of thing really isn't his business anyway, so that answer would be perfectly polite even if there was no Steve.

If they're all going to be invited to your wedding, I think at some point you can say to FMIL, "I think it would be a good idea if you told him about Steve before you all show up at the rehearsal. I would really like to avoid having that initial meeting as part of my wedding." But if she refuses you'll be out of luck.
Title: Re: Do we tell FFIL?
Post by: gramma dishes on March 29, 2013, 09:19:34 AM
This is something to discuss with MIL - I think DF should talk with her and mention that he was confused since he thought x, y, z, but FIL mentioned something different.  Go ahead and ask - does Dad not know and if she admits that she hasn't told him, let her know that you are both uncomfortable lying to him and mention the upcoming wedding where you would like everyone to attend.  Then it is up to her to decide what she wants - just know going in what you are willing and not willing to do in helping her.  She may have a reason for keeping quiet, or it could be a silly lie early on that she never figured out how to correct.

POD to this, which it sounds like you plan to do. Up until now I don't think you should blame yourself, because you honestly thought FFIL knew about Steve. If he ends up finding out and getting mad about how long the relationship has gone on with him being ignorant of it, you can honestly say, "We thought you knew, and just weren't comfortable talking about it."

But going forward, you know that he doesn't know about Steve, and you know that FMIL has been lying to him about it. So I think you have to get clarification from FMIL about what she wants her ex to know. And then try to work within that in a way you feel comfortable with--not lying, but not blurting out, "Steve! She's moving in with Steve!"

So if FFIL is like, "I'm worried that she's moving there without a job, how will she pay for things?" maybe you can say, "Well, maybe you should just ask her directly, I don't really know." (I wouldn't consider something vague like, "I don't really know" to be a lie--to me it's more of a dismissal of the subject--but others may feel differently.) And that sort of thing really isn't his business anyway, so that answer would be perfectly polite even if there was no Steve.

If they're all going to be invited to your wedding, I think at some point you can say to FMIL, "I think it would be a good idea if you told him about Steve before you all show up at the rehearsal. I would really like to avoid having that initial meeting as part of my wedding." But if she refuses you'll be out of luck.

I agree with both of these posts, except it is possible that 'how she's going to pay for things' actually may be his business if he's financially supporting her in some way.  Especially if he's doing it out of the goodness of his heart rather than a court ordered thing like alimony.