to think if SD wants money from DH, she ought to see him? or at least be polite?

(107 Posts)
MoodyDidIt Tue 14-May-13 11:29:03

dh has SD, 16, from a previous marriage. after DH split with her mum (his EXW) he had regular contact and things were OK. but suddenly, nearly 5 years ago, SD just cut contact with him. it co incided when she found out DH and I were having a baby, DD, who is now 4.

despite his best efforts to keep in touch and maintain some kind of relationship, she just refused to see him or speak to him civilly. she spent a few years just occasionally getting in touch via email to give him verbal abuse. (as did her mother. hmm )

but in the last year or so, the abuse has stopped, and she gets in contact with DH every few weeks to ask for money for various things (dh also pays maintenance to SDs mum) and DH always gives it to her. she sends really short, to the point emails just asking for money. no how are you, love, etc. not even any, please, thank you, hello. things along the lines of "i need money for XXXXX can you send some" - its like she just uses him as some kind of cashpoint sad

aibu to think if she wants money she ought to see DH, even occasionally. or at the very least be more polite. we'd both love to have her in our lives, and DD has a half sister who she has never met (and vice versa) and if she ever wanted to see DH (or any of us) we would welcome her with open arms.

although the "contact" is better than what it was, dh feels bullied into giving her whatever she wants otherwise there probably would be no contact at all sad

Yonihadtoask Fri 17-May-13 18:41:43

sock maybe. But she still goes on about it now.. 40 years later - and she isn't broke.

I dont' think it is good to let the young DC know about financial issues though.

My XP doesn't contribute much to DS - but I don't let DS know, I just suck it up and pay for stuff myself. I don't want DS to be upset or 'take sides'.

Goldmandra Fri 17-May-13 09:35:54

If your dh would pay for extras if they lived together then why not now?

The OP has said that her DH feels bullied into giving her whatever her wants just in order to maintain the current, very unsatisfactory, level of contact. It doesn't sound at all like she would get those things if they lived together as they are not exactly flush themselves.

If he would pay for them for a child who lived with him then fair enough but he has two children to consider and perhaps this level of treat-funding isn't sustainable.

Snog Fri 17-May-13 08:57:51

I think it would be nice to keep trying to build up contact - but initially just between the father and his daughter not the rest of your family.

However, linking extra money to contact visits seems wrong to me.
If your dh would pay for extras if they lived together then why not now?

If it is just guilt money then there are other ways to show you care.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 17-May-13 08:41:30

Yoni

Or perhaps it was not bitterness from your mother and she was just broke.

Yonihadtoask Fri 17-May-13 08:24:15

From a 'child's point of view:

My F left when I was 5. He went to live abroad. He did send maintenance money - but I guess it wasn't enough -as DM complained constantly that there wasn't enough money.

I have seen my letters to him as a young child.

'Dear Dad. For Christmas I would like.....' Love from Yoni.

Even as I got to be older - teenage years I would write and ask for money - first car etc. (even though I was working).

I am very embarrassed that I was like that.

It has to be the bitterness that came from my DM. Even though she was the one who instigated the separation.

redbunnyfruitcake Fri 17-May-13 08:22:21

Moodydidit I'm sorry you are getting flack as I think you are right in what you say. I am the daughter of divorced parents (violent alcoholic father left and got sober when I was 9) and we would never have been allowed to ask him for money without seeing him. He had court ordered access to us one evening a week until we were 16 then we could choose if we saw him. He was not in a position to give my mum maintenance but luckily she met a wonderful man who supported her and my 3 siblings.

So despite all the misery my real dad caused in our lives we were never allowed to disrespect him in any way. Our mum made sure she never spoke badly of him and we all had to maintain a level of respect regardless of our own inner turmoil. I have since had counselling and feel I have dealt with my issues with my real dad but know I don't have the relationship with him I wish I did but there you go. However I am grateful that my mum maintained some dignity and taught us that we should respect people even if they make mistakes.

My advice is to set boundaries regarding money and contact. Your husband may well have left the family home but it sounds like he has tried to maintain contact and pays maintenance which is more than a lot of fathers do. His daughter may well be angry and hurt but allowing her to manipulate him for money will not help her heal. Strong boundaries and fair treatment will. Giving her money when she has no respect for him just teaches her that she does not need to treat people with respect if they have hurt her and that she has a right to whatever she feels is appropriate recompense which will not help her as an adult.

I know some may think I am wrong but this is my experience and I hope it helps.

badinage Fri 17-May-13 08:15:55

I am really very sorry for your loss.

Goldmandra Fri 17-May-13 08:09:02

you are picking appart everything i say. when in reality the minutieae and complexities of this situation would just be far too long to go in to every time

Such is the nature of MN. Try not to take it personally and concentrate on the constructive advice smile

MoodyDidIt Fri 17-May-13 07:51:42

do you know what badinage

you obviously think i am am the one in the wrong here and you will never see things my way, you are picking appart everything i say. when in reality the minutieae and complexities of this situation would just be far too long to go in to every time

so i am not arguing anymore because i am no where near as articulate as you at getting my point across. my life is in pieces at the minute to the point where i wanted to die. as 2 weeks ago i had a miscarriage and lost mine and dhs much wanted twins, maybe its a good thing though as i am such a cow and dh is such a shit dad. we perhaps deserved it, karma and that

i don't need this shit from people who are just filling in the gaps and have already made the decision that me and DH are a pair of cunts and sd and ex are saints

you have made your point, just leave me alone now and be happy in the fact that you have upset me, which i think is what you wanted, so well done, you have.

and thanks for all the other posters who have been helpful flowers am leaving the thread now, thanks again x

badinage Fri 17-May-13 00:14:59

her mum is pretty vile, money grabbing, spiteful and materialistic and DH worries SD is turning out exactly like her

To which we can add your earlier comments about your husband feeling 'bullied', 'treated like a cashpoint' and your very obvious resentment that his daughter won't see him or engage with him, despite getting money from him.

That sounds like quite a lot of resentment towards this young woman, actually. And extraordinary levels of resentment towards a woman no-one has heard from in years and who with any luck, is happier and more at peace with life now.

What isn't clear though is how much of this resentment you are projecting on to your husband and how much of this is just your feelings about the two people concerned and any personal resentment you feel about the money he is giving his daughter.

Your husband might have paid more than the 'going rate' but I doubt that was exactly half of what it's cost his ex wife to raise her. I'm not sure how he managed to pay for 'extras when needed' either when he has had no contact with either his ex-wife or his daughter for at least the past 2 and a half years and still doesn't know where she's living. How would he have known what extras were needed during that period?

MoodyDidIt Thu 16-May-13 21:28:44

<bangs head against brick wall>

he didn't just piss off without a backward glance. for a long time after he and SDs mum split up he saw her very regularly and i would say they actually had a very good relationship. at that time, exW and DH were fairly civil to one another, and he had also told SD and exW that he was in a relationship with me.

it was when i fell pg that the shit hit the fan (which i agree, is understandable) SD cut contact and when he contacted XW, he was told she didn't want to see him. he was told in no uncertain terms to stay away, that it would just upset her him being in touch. then periodically we would receive abusive emails and texts for the next couple of years. then about 3 years ago DH managed to engage her in a few months of contact, they would talk on msn every night but she still refused to see him. then it suddenly stopped again. then the abuse started again (from them both) then "normal" contact started again (the messages i refer to in my OP). can people see why this was all so confusing? for us both!

also, DH has NEVER, ever shirked financial resposibility. he pays more than the "going rate" for maintenance (as he should of course) and pays for extra's when needed, plus even before she was in touch asking for money, he would regularly pay in "pocket money" to her bank account every couple of weeks. she does not go without.

and yes DH does still harbour resentment to his exW. its understandable. but where did i say DH harbours resentment towards his daughter ? neither of us do. he loves her no matter what, she is just a kid, of course he doesn't resent her hmm

ivykaty44 Thu 16-May-13 21:04:15

what are the emails in return from your dh?

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 16-May-13 21:02:22

When two people have such a dysfunctional relationship ( with the absence of those in the context of a domestic abuse situation) it is very rarely just the fault of only one of them.

helenthemadex Thu 16-May-13 21:00:53

he was an adult who could make choices and fight to see his child and maintain contact, she was a child who did not have a choice, she couldnt make her father see her or keep in touch.

He has reaped what he sowed, it was easier to walk away and play happy families with you than it was to try and maintain contact with his other child and now that child wants nothing but money from him, he abandoned her and yes she will feel hurt and pushed out in favour of your dd. From what you said over the last years he has simply paid money for his daughter, and now seems upset that this is now all she wants from him, why should she give more, he didnt bother, at least she has the excuse of being a child

Im like the mother you are talking so scathingly about, bringing up my three lovely dd on my own having all the daily work, sometimes stress, often being the bad guy for saying no and disciplining them generally bringing up the children while ex has waltzed off and had a new family without a care or backward glance, when he remembers he has other children and sees them he buys expensive presents to compensate, I have no doubt my girls will in future have very little relationship with their father other than a piggy bank, are they to blame for that, or am I? I dont think so, it has been his choice

badinage Thu 16-May-13 20:45:33

Any 'behaviour' you saw in her was years ago and the fact remains that your husband (and, it appears his family) were willing to give up contact with a child and leave her 100% of the time with a woman they now see fit to castigate as a bad mother who isn't nice to her children hmm

If he ever does get around to creating a relationship with his daughter, his priority really shouldn't be to 'explain his side of the story'. He should apologise profusely and from the heart for failing to exercise her rights as a child and should spend the rest of his time on this earth making it up to her and actually trying to be a father IF she decides that what she wants from him. That means dealing with the difficult bits of fatherhood and not just the father christmas role where he gives her money for things she needs and which his maintenance payments have probably failed to cover all these years.

It's really revealing that your OP is not 'how can we support this child through a difficult stage in her life?' but 'AIBU to think she ought to see DH in exchange for his cash?'

Does he think like this and still harbour such poisonous resentment towards his ex wife and daughter, or is this just you?

MoodyDidIt Thu 16-May-13 20:14:41

People looking for excuses for not doing everything they can to support their child's rights always say the ex's are nut job cunts who are shite parents and turning the child against them. Sadly they are very often supported in this view point by new partners.

i am not just "supporting his view" i have seen her behaviour with my own eyes cringes and wishes i could erase it from memory i mean, do people think i am just taking Dh's word for it? i also know from his parents, relatives and friends that she was not a nice person to either dh or her dcs. none of them have a good word to say about her. as i said, i am sure she was once lovely, as why would dh have married her and had kids, but their relationship broke down over the years, they got together young, perhaps they both changed? anyway.....

he has tried and tried to keep in contact. yes i completely agree he should have gone through the courts. i will NOT defend him for that, because although i do not believe for one second that his dd would have agreed to see him, i do think that it would have ultimately helped matters, not then, maybe not now, but definitely in the future. but as i said you can't turn the clock back and its too late now she is 16 afaik.

i just hope that when they do start talking again, because i do think they will, DH will be able to finally explain his side of the story

childcarehell Thu 16-May-13 20:08:35

Oh and I'll back up sloppyguiseppe.

In the early days dh was very raw and prone to hyperbole when describing his ex, I don't like her but she's not a total headcase as described. She manages to bring up her kids decently, maintain friendships etc just fine. I was wary of her as coupled with the nasty texts (well SHE was raw too) I was scared of going near her!

In time we've mellowed to silence and dh has admitted he laid it on a bit thick and is now able to see he had flaws too (don't rub it in!).

It makes it difficult to form relationships, but I bet she's saying the same of your partner.

Can I just add though that not all men bugger off after a failed start and a breakdown that results in poor contact. I've had 11 very happy years so far with dh and his ex has had a good 7 so far with her partner.

childcarehell Thu 16-May-13 20:02:49

I just wanted to share, we went through something SO similar.
When young dsd and dss lived with us. They went back to Mum at start of teenage years and we had a new baby shortly after. Mum always was very abusive (called me 'The Monkey') and they joined her, no contact apart from swearing or abuse.

In their mid-to late teens they started contacting again, but as you said, like we were a cashpoint. Probably even more extreme as we moved country and had a fantastic amount of money in comparison to what it would get back home. It was a difficult time. For example they wouldn't text dh on his birthday etc but would for cash requests, it was pretty curt too. Sometimes dh was transfer the money a day late if he hadn't been able to get through for a while as then they would ring. He used the same word, 'cashpoint'.

BUT we're not five years past where you are. We bit our tongues, had a few minor fall outs and tried to remember they were both still children and very impressionable living in the household of someone who really really badmouthed us. It was quite a bit they even chose to make civil conversation!

Now we're rebuilding the relationship with them as they turn into adults, and they are pretty decent. We're arranging one to move back in as we are near uni and the other may move back to have the support whilst job-hunting. We're hoping we can also build the relationship with their half-siblings.

My advice is remember your dsd is not yet an adult, you may be in a bad patch right now but you could have years of happy adult relationship ahead of you if now you remain calm. Think of the future, keep setting the right example and be reasonable with money. Think 'would I give this to my own' each time, you would treat them sometimes, but other times you need to calmly say 'sorry, we can't afford that', you may be able to offer it for a birthday etc instead. Cut some slack with the language, as long as it's not actually rude and keep asking after HER, set the example. Contact her, show an interest and let her be a little self-absorbed for now, she'll mellow in time. Keep being the ones that are decent, and she won't choose to permanently cut contact, even if you go through quiet patches. The rule is make it clear your door is always open, show you're interested in her and forget easily.

Honestly, it's rough now but it's just a patch

sloppyguiseppe Thu 16-May-13 20:00:26

ps - I meant to say, I didn't even have a new step-sibling to contend with. I imagine that my hurt would have been increased if I'd felt replaced as well as abandoned.

I'm not saying that your DH abandoned her either, but that is probably how she felt. It's how most children involved in a breakdown of the parent's relationship feel.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 16-May-13 19:59:57

People looking for excuses for not doing everything they can to support their child's rights always say the ex's are nut job cunts who are shite parents and turning the child against them.

Sadly they are very often supported in this view point by new partners.

Unsurprisingly years down the line when the new couple breaks up and the parent with tendencies to abdicate there responsibilities does the same thing, the one left behind is often stunned and shocked because they never imagined they would do it to there child.

Fucking fools.

badinage Thu 16-May-13 19:56:03

I don't suppose this young woman does blame her new sibling. I expect she blames her father - and if the OP was the OW, her too.

I'm sure she blames her own mother for the weather, her spots, the failure to achieve world peace and the double-dip recession, in the way that only 16 year olds doing GCSEs can wink

Children are never to blame for their parents' failings. This has got nothing to do with any new siblings.

sloppyguiseppe Thu 16-May-13 19:50:56

I have been the daughter left behind by a dad who has remarried. Am a regular btw but under a namechange as I am about to be quite scathing about my lovely father and stepmother...

My mum and dad split when I was 4. Still had a relationship with my dad, a good one, until he met my stepmum. We drifted apart, or rather, as he was the adult, he drifted from me. Cut a long story short, we have never recovered our relationship but, at a family function a few years back, my stepmother got drunk and said that my dad had told her that my mum was a nutter, a psycho, that's why he avoided me. None of that was true. My mum is great, has been a constant in my life and has never let me down the way my dad has. He has ALWAYS used my mum as an excuse for not seeing me but the long and short of it is this: there is a legal system that would have helped him see me, IF that's what he wanted. Big IF. He didn't. It hurts now and I am almost 40. He wasn't man enough to admit that he couldn't be bothered being a dad to me so he used my mum as a ready-made excuse. His whole family now think that my mum is a nutjob.

I'm not saying that I agree with your SD rudely asking for cash. I don't. But, I am just trying to make you see how things get twisted by disgruntled exes. If my mum was such a headcase, why did he readily leave me with her and never check on my well-being? Also, my dad was (and still is) very good at throwing money at problems. As a way of assuaging his massive guilt. I take it, gladly. Why shouldn't I? It's all he's offering, all he's capable of giving.

Concreteblonde Thu 16-May-13 19:48:33

Badinage has it spot on. Same tired old story. He has let his daughter down by not maintaining consistent and steady contact. He has a financial responsibility to her as well.
It's way too easy for men to conveniently let their children disappear into the background.

needaholidaynow Thu 16-May-13 19:46:26

Just remember though, it's NOT the "new children's" fault.

People need to remember that instead of pointing the finger at new families.

stickortwist Thu 16-May-13 19:43:42

And im glad needaholidaynow wasnt messed up by her parents splitting up at 11 but if your parents cant be civil to each other and one parent cuts off regular contact to spend time with new family, or only sees the children on their terms whilst slagging off the other parent. Then it's very easy to get messed up and not have a healthy relationship

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