WIBU, a long time ago but now I worry about it (absent father thread)

(54 Posts)

To cut a verylong story short--er--, there are bits of this that I am not proud of and don't need anyone to make me feel any more guilty than I already do. When I was young I had an affair with a married man, I knew he was married and make no excuses for myself at all. It didn't last long and we seperated. I then found out that I was pregnant (I am against abortion for ME, so it wasn't an option). I told him and he was shock. My parents threw me out and I was housed in temporary accommodation. (Not complaining, trying to give a picture). I then found out that ExP (easiest way to describe him) wife was also expecting a baby. He showed very little interest in my pregnancy. When my DS was born he came into the hospital to visit. He brought him a cuddly rabbit and a second hand car seat. He visited several times that week. When we were discharged (after a week), my DS was referred for a kidney scan at 15 do. My ExP rang to see how the scan had gone, obviously no results yet. We talked about "access" and "contact" and ExP said (something along the lines of) "I'll drop in when I can". I replied that that wasn't good enough, I wanted him to commit to seeing my DS on a regular basis, I didn't want any money off him, I could arrange for a neutral person to liase with the contact (as I guessed that ExP's wife wouldn't be happy for us to spend time together - justifiably so), I was happy for him to see DS as often as he liked but it had to be a regular commitment, several times a week, once a week/ fortnight/ month or even 2 months but if he couldn't commit to at least once every 2 months then I felt it was better if he walked away as I didn't my DS growing up not knowing where he was. We never heard from him again. My question is not about my wisdom stupidity in having the affair, but WIBU to insist that he made a commitment to seeing my DS on a regular basis? I feel like I was wrong, as I have deprived my son of his father, although my DH has been a "real father" to him all his life and adopted him as soon as he could.

Less importantly, I gave the cuddly toy rabbit to a charity (with a huge pile of other cuddly toys) and have felt guilty about it ever since, as it was the only gift he ever gave my DS.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 28-Jul-13 16:05:07

Yes they can 2rebecca.

When the lone parent mother is inadequate the child tends to get placed elsewhere often permanently.

And society is a lot harsher on bad mothers than it is on bad fathers.

2rebecca Sun 28-Jul-13 13:08:27

That's partly my point, babies can't lose inadequate mothers but easily lose touch with inadequate fathers unless they are living with the mothers.

Got to go to work now, thank you for all your comments. Will catch up either later or tomorrow smile

TheYoniWayIsUp Sun 28-Jul-13 12:52:10

2rebecca, and what about the 18 year old mother who still needs time to grow up? Do you think social services would take kindly to her dumping the child but reappearing 2 years later to 'play mum'?
Shocking double standards!

OP, he sounds like a piece of scum, and I bet your son has better self esteem than the child he had with his wife. You made a god decision 20 years ago. Do not feel guilty.

SmaltzingMatilda last i heard he was still married, they had 3 children at that point, but it was quite a while ago.

edam Sun 28-Jul-13 12:45:04

I think you did the right thing. Your ds has grown up happy and secure with two parents who love him. One of them happens not to be his biological Dad, but so what? Your dh has been his actual father, the one who has cared for him and supported him and tended to him.

Your ds's biological Dad has done fuck all. Provided some sperm and a crappy rabbit from a hospital shop. If he'd wanted to stay in touch, he could have done, but he chose to bugger off. His also denied his other child the opportunity of a relationship with your ds, his or her half-sibling. Waste of space.

Far better for your ds to have no contact with him than to be confused and hurt by someone who turns up occasionally on his terms when he feels like it, then buggers off.

I know how much a crappy, uninterested and unreliable father can damage someone btw - my own Father, particularly with regard to my sister (and me, but I had counselling and he was a bit more interested in me - dunno why, maybe because I'm the eldest). And I know how great a non-bio Dad who brings a child up can be, and how little it matters that their biological father isn't at all involved - my cousins.

He wasn't an 18 yr old, 2rebecca, he was 32.
What is a rp and a nrp?

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 28-Jul-13 12:34:28

That's not down to the rp at all. Its the responsibility of the one who needs to grow up.

2rebecca Sun 28-Jul-13 12:31:18

The trouble is that someone who is a bit of a tosser age 18 might be more sensible a few years down the line and a good loving father. I don't think rps should hassle men, but I think encouraging them to keep in touch may be in the child's best interests, especially in the long term when the man matures a bit.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 28-Jul-13 12:21:46

Given that his wife knew. It would have been easier for him to make a routine arrangement so you just made it easy for him to do what he wanted to do.

I never get why rp's hassle and try to force nrp's to be involved if they need to be hassled then they are not good enough.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 28-Jul-13 12:09:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Snorbs I don't know and never will now. I'm quite glad that most people think I was being reasonable, but tbh I'm still 100% convinced. I think I will always feel like this about it, because unless by some miracle he turns up and says "oh yes, you did the right thing, I would never have bothered to come by and he would have been screwed up by that" I'll never really know

Snorbs Sun 28-Jul-13 11:45:00

Let's say you did accept his offer of him dropping in when he could. How long do you think he would have kept that up for? How long do you think his wife would've accepted him doing that, particularly when they had their own child?

You gave him the excuse he wanted to bugger off. This way he could justify it to himself as it being your fault for being all controlling and evil. But if it wasn't that then sooner or later he would have come up with something else to allow him to walk away and blame you.

DragonMamma Sun 28-Jul-13 11:44:11

You did the right thing. I sort of did the same thing with my DD's bio dad, I asked for a loose commitment in terms of time and he came up with every excuse under the sun (and he didn't even have a partner or other DC as an excuse). Then he dropped off the face of the earth because he didn't have a job for a year and 'didn't feel good enough' to be in contact. When he did get himself a job and the CSA caught up with him he crawled out of the woodwork wanting pictures almost 3 years later.

Rightly or wrongly, I told him to shove it - the whole time he bleated on about what HE wanted and how HE'D had a tough time, never once asking about my lovely DD. He promptly crawled back in to his hole and I hope that's where he will stay as he's a great big waste of space and my DH is ten times the father to her than he ever was or would have been.

Strangely enough, bio dad did brought DD a rabbit at birth too, I haven't thrown it out because my DS has taken a liking to it blush but I'd have no qualms about charity shopping it, I've kept crappy cards and emails he sent for her to see, if she wants to, and a few pics. I hope that'll be enough...

HamsterDam Sun 28-Jul-13 11:28:38

you did the right thing. he couldn't even commit to once every two months and walked away at the first opportunity. he never deserved the right to know your ds who sounds happy and well rounded.
you should be proud of yourself its ex that should feel guilty.
I've just had a similar situation with my ds nearly 4 and ex who's not his dad but been there since he was a baby. wanted to keep seeing him after we split but once he got a new gf didn't even ask about him for 2months. i gave him the chance to come see ds but hes got other things he'd rather be doing. his words.
well no actually knowing my ds is a privilege not something im gonna force you to do and im not having my ds feeling like he's not worth the effort. i hope I've done the right thing and i hope he feels guilty.

RedHelenB Sun 28-Jul-13 10:54:54

I don't know Justforlaughs, but I have a gut feeling that if I had dug my heels in with my ex tyhen he would have seen less of our kids & all i know is that they like seeing him & he's their dad no matter what. I think you can learn from your parents mistakes,, I certainly have!

StrawberryMojito Sun 28-Jul-13 10:18:50

I think it makes no difference what you did or said to him as I think he would have walked away anyway. My mum asked nothing of my father and he still chose to have nothing to do with me. My only wish is that she had kept his contact details as I went through a stage of wanting to find him and had no idea how. However, your son is not bothered so everyone's a winner.

RedHelenB do you think it is better for a child to have a father who turns up once in a blue moon, that can't be relied on; or one who doesn't have any interest at all? I didn't, and tbh, still don't think that asking him to make a commitment to once every 2 months was a lot to ask. It really never occurred to me that he would just never ring back. (Just to be clear, I wasn't interested in carrying on a relationship with him, just that I thought he would want to see something of his son)

KateSpade periodically (every few years) I bring it up, as in a "we haven't spoken about it for a while, but if you have any questions, would like to know about then I am quite willing to tell you vein" but he always says that he hasn't given it any thought since I last asked him, that his Dad is his Dad, and that he isn't interested. I'm not going to force the issue, even if I think that he should know more. (my family all know who his father is and where he can be found, and my DS knows this, just in case anything happens to me and he changes his mind)

RedHelenB Sun 28-Jul-13 10:04:46

I think YWBU, sorry. You knew it would be difficult for him to see your son but you sort of excused him from doing so by insisting on regular visits. Still, water under the bridge now but I don't think you would have posted this if you thought you were right in what you did.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 28-Jul-13 10:00:19

The rabbit wouldn't have held any happy associations...it's not a nice memento or anything. Just evidence of a man who didn't become a Father in the real sense.

KateSpade Sun 28-Jul-13 09:59:55

My thought is I'd rather he wasn't here at all than being a half-assed parent. That's what I think with my daughter, anyway.

Does he ask about his bio father op? I'd be interested to know what you say to him?

Thank You thechildrensparkle that made me cry, he is a great young man and I am very proud of him!

BearsInMotion Sun 28-Jul-13 09:58:53

Be proud that you've done what you thought was best and you've provided him with stable loving relationships


DSis is still single, so DN never had a father figure at all. But he had a mum (and extended family) who loved him, gave him everything he needed and is a happy, secure and confident young man. You may have regrets, it doesn't mean your son does, or should!

KateSpade Sun 28-Jul-13 09:57:30

My thought is I'd rather he wasn't here at all than being a half-assed

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