I don't know how the contact thing works out exactly, but I wouldn't bother yourself picking him up on it.
Seems he's doing everything he can to make it look like he's a great dad, but everything he can to avoid spending time with them.
You saying something isn't going to change that, and you'll just upset yourself more when you get the extra evidence/excuses that he's a twat.
Him using depression as an excuse for not having any contact with his DC is an insult to people with depression.
Shit for you to have to watch playing out though, wanting your DC to have a what relationship's on offer with their dad (because you love them) but knowing it has to be on his terms and he's inevitably going to let them down.
Even though she's said she doesn't want to see him, her crying and distressed at seeing him afresh for what he is says everything
What do you think is the real reason he's being like this?
Not because it curtails his social life because he's had the other however many hundreds of days in those five years to go out.
It's like he can't bring himself to see them.
Grasping at straws on his behalf, but does he think him seeing them will just hurt them more and he can't bring himself to do it? Although ultimately it's still selfish because it's still all about him and not them.
Well his new GF is going to pick up on it pretty quickly if he somehow never manages to quite see his kids. So I wouldn't give him the slightest chance to tell her it is your fault.
It is just possible, if GF is a nice person, that she could improve things. You could call his bluff and invite them both over for Sunday lunch? He will then be wetting himself at what the kids might say about him to his new GF.....
Bizarre of the gf to message you that, 'uh, yeah, thanks for presuming I needed the validation', what did she expect, a sympathetic girly chat to compare notes on how bad he is?
You're not responsible for his behaviour, but you might as fucking well be because you've got to live with the consequences, seeing your DC upset about something you've no control over, but having to leave the door open for him (because you're a great mum and an adult who puts your DCs wellbeing over your feelings, however hard it is).
I'm sure you are, but I would just try to absorb her 'punishment', she's just letting it out on the person who is there for her.
That's not saying you can't pick her up on it, but it's difficult to come down on her like a ton of bricks as you would for something not related to her dad. Because then he's making you get upset with your DD and her back at you for it.
She's getting it from him not wanting to see her, communicating how upset that's making her in all the wrong ways, and then falling out with you (and none of it your fault, thought I'd say that again).
Will she talk to you about it? Or someone else in the family? She maybe needs to find a way to express herself without falling behind at school and playing up.