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To think that this father is overly obsessed with his daughter?

(108 Posts)
Intrigued14 Fri 14-Mar-14 15:16:50

Long post, really sorry.

I began a relationship with a man who seemed really quite sweet at first, really kind, understanding, funny and easy to talk to. He's in his late 20's and has a young daughter under 5.

At the time we met, he revealed that he and the mother of his child had been in a long-term relationship since his teens (over 10 years) and she is quite a bit older than him - they had outgrown each other apparently but had a civil relationship. What he didn't tell me immediately was that he had been married/divorced to this woman. He had been single for two years prior to meeting me and only had two very brief flings. But he was ready to settle down.

To begin with things went really well, he appeared to be a devoted dad. He lives close to his ex and sees his daughter often - on an almost daily basis. He has pictures of her and toys all over the house, T-shirts with her face on that he showed me. His profile picture on WhatsApp, is of her and only ever of her. He does not socialise with friends unless his daughter is present and it's a family type affair. Now I am already a mother, so it wasn't necessarily a bad thing to see.

However, some time into the relationship I started to notice that if he even went a day without seeing his daughter when he wanted to it would affect his mood, he would make angry comments about father's for justice/his rights and whatnot and become stroppy. He told me once that looking into her eyes he could see 'things' (relating to love ones he had lost, or something...his late nan had taught him) and that I wouldn't 'get' it as most people don't. And he made a series of inappropriate comparisons to his daughter when listing the most important people in his life, telling me once that only she could ever 'hurt' him.

At one point his ex informed him that she was going abroad for 3 weeks to see family, she gave him plenty of advance notice. He became immediately angry and depressed by this, told me he was going to bed and began to act like someone who was grieving. He told me that without her he had nothing, and that I wouldn't understand. He went silent on me on/off for 3 weeks, and began writing tortured statuses about what he was going through so I gave him time alone, and once his daughter returned he went back to normal like it had never happened.

Over a period of time...probably too long, I felt that there was just no future between us (there were also other factors involved) so I ended it. He didn't want to end it but we had a discussion and he said he understood.

A month later I found out I was pregnant. When I told him about the baby (a girl) he was upset and attempted to hide it from his family...so I told them myself. I later found out I'd annoyed him even further because he was apparently in the hospital with his daughter when I told them and that had offended him (?)

He subsequently told me that he has a daughter already, and he couldn't imagine loving any child like he loves her (this is despite the fact he works in teaching, has two nieces and a goddaughter who calls him dad and he seems to adore them all, takes them out as a group etc.). He has subsequently advised his family not to communicate with me and wants nothing to do with this child who is due in a matter of weeks.

The last contact I had with him, I was told "good luck and all the best with your future". Is there something wrong here...I just don't get it.

YouTheCat Fri 14-Mar-14 16:06:42

What Hooby said.

PeterParkerSays Fri 14-Mar-14 16:11:04

I'm trying to imagine the relationship between this man and his current daughter when she's a teenager. I would have real concerns about him not letting her grow up and be independent. I would say that your baby is better off being away from such a dynamic, she'll feel rejected and unworthy of him whilst the older DD struggles to live up to his expectations.

msmoss Fri 14-Mar-14 16:12:38

The benefit of the doubt explanation is that I think he sounds incredibly sad about the fact that he can't be in his daughter's life everyday and possibly his reaction is to your pregnancy is based on him feeling like he can't cope with living separately from another child. However, he should really find a way of managing those emotions and dealing with them like an adult as the way he behaves is unacceptable and quite odd.

Not sure what you can do about this though.

Have you discussed his behaviour with anyone else in his family or with this ex-wife?

msmoss Fri 14-Mar-14 16:12:54

his ex-wife I mean

Intrigued14 Fri 14-Mar-14 16:16:55

Thanks for replying everyone,

I'd just like to add - He didn't always come across as strange, it was more of a snowball effect type thing over a long period of time. He actually comes across as quite nice - he's very attractive, friendly, goes out of his way for family/friends, and most people don't have a bad word to say about him!

...then again, they don't know what I know.

Things seemed to really go downhill after his daughter's holiday, and it was there that it began to have an impact on our relationship. I did actually sit him down and speak to him about his daughter and whether he was even ready to devote himself long-term relationship and he claimed that's what he wanted...he was very sure about that.

The pregnancy, well no excuses we were not careful all the time. I have PCOS and only one fallopian tube (a small chance of ever getting pregnant again naturally I was told - he was not aware of this) so risks were taken. When I found out, despite things being over I felt it was a last chance for me and decided to proceed not really expecting the whole "I could never love another child speech". He has become increasingly odd and hostile since that moment. Not really sure who I met now.

DoJo This is really why I asked the question. I wonder to some degree whether he is just overcompensating. He did explain to me how disappointed he was that he has a failed marriage behind him, and that he didn't want his daughter to ever hear or see animosity between them - hence their friendship. To be honest I'm not sure that his ex makes things any better. Whilst on holiday she sent him a series of videos showing his daughter crying for him...why? I don't know. But sitting there trying to comfort him over that was extremely difficult.

He also mentioned that he didn't want to be the type of guy with multiple kids, multiple women etc because we were no longer together. He broke down in tears a few times over it, I felt sorry for him, but it seems the upset turned to anger. He claims to hate me and not the baby...at one point saying he'd bought her clothes! But he's shut me out from ever trying to contact him. The door is open...

TheHoneyBadger Fri 14-Mar-14 16:19:23

i agree it's weird but it isn't that unusual. failed marriage, daughter on a pedestal and centre of everything that nothing and no one will measure up to. it's like a safe place to put their whole emotional life, in a little princess that can't break up with him and so is safe. not fair to a child imo. it's way too much weight even if it seems like being spoiled initially.

as for your baby just try to enjoy it and have things as chill and nice as you can when the baby is born and nest and bond, and help siblings bond with it. keep things simple and healthy which imo means not, for now, worrying about him and the why's and how's and stuff. let him choose for now if he's around, text when baby is born etc but don't push anything. focus on your family and getting settled and making sure everyone is secure and ok and see if he makes an approach. i'd say leave worrying what to do about it till the baby is at least six months old.

those first few months are so important to you, the new baby and your other child/ren. don't let anything spoil them. whatever the situation with him it will still be there six months later.

AFishCalledBarry Fri 14-Mar-14 16:25:32

I think it's really sad that so many people are dismissing him immediately as weird. I'd say he is clearly devoted to his DD, which is admirable. The fact that he makes a point of seeing her every day would obviously make a three week stretch incredibly difficult. I couldn't begin to imagine having to go three weeks without seeing my own DD.

I would say that rather than him being weird he's more likely to have mental health issues. He wants to do everything right by his DD and he's having a very difficult time accepting the idea of balancing his life between two DDs. I'm not excusing his behaviour towards you regarding your pregnancy, but I do think he could do with a little more understanding.

ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Fri 14-Mar-14 16:25:37

Ugh you totally dodged a bullet there

My ex was like this over our son, he has one child, ours, and refuses to entertain the idea that his new gf may one day want a child of her own, she has none, and I truly think he would leave her if she fell pregnant 'by accident' as he says, I've told her I don't want to be a da of kids with multiple women'

Such a shame as she is lovely, he was and still is absolutely hideous and obsessed with the idea one day we may get back together confused
Don't think so mate, ds is 16 now that ship has sailed lol

Op, on the step parenting board I see lots of women saying similar things and they had to go for family counselling because their DH/DP had turned their dsd into a 'mini wife'

Agree with others, run and don't look back x

TheHoneyBadger Fri 14-Mar-14 16:33:46

he looks into her eyes and sees things, he romantisises her to the only the person who could ever hurt him... it IS weird and isn't devotion in the healthy sense it's objectification and projecting his needs and his whole emotional life onto her.

Intrigued14 Fri 14-Mar-14 16:36:45

CuppaSarah - I'm not sure, possibly depression? He comes from a rather odd family, and moved out at an early age. His mother is a childish woman, who is also an alcoholic with chronic health problems. He has a brother (supposedly the black sheep of the family, he was a once semi-famous sports star who threw his career away, he is apparently rude and very hostile for no apparently reason), and a sister who seems nice but all over the place.

TheDietStartsTomorrow She's 3 and seems perfectly happy I think.

msmoss I agree with you, I have spoken to his sister and via someone else to his mother. They are supporting him and have decided not to be involved with this child. His ex is close to a decade older than me and though I know people who know her, I felt it wasn't my place to discuss this with her. I do wonder if he is worried how a new baby will impact her and how she lets him interact with his daughter, as it's proof he has 'moved on' so to speak.

TheHoneyBadger Thank you, I think you may be right. I guess time will tell what happens with this child. Thank you for the advice.

coco44 Fri 14-Mar-14 16:46:57

I don't think he sounds weird or inappropriate,When my Dcs were that young I would have felt blue not being able to see them everyday.But it's inappropriate in a man?

HandsOffMyGazBaz Fri 14-Mar-14 16:57:02

I think you are focusing on the wrong thing here. It matters not what this guys issue is, those are not questions you will ever get the answer to.
Your job now is to look after you and the new baby.
That means remove stress, eat well, make that baby feel loved and make sure that this guy does not shirk his responsibilities. If he doesnt want to see the baby, his choice. But he made her too and she needs to eat and be clothed and live in a house so get to the CSA. Know your rights.

Oh and for gods sake, no matter what he says when the baby is born, DO NOT GET BACK WITH HIM!!!

needaholidaynow Fri 14-Mar-14 17:00:25

Do NOT keep in contact with him! For your child's sake. You can give them all the love he/she needs without him. He would just completely fuck your child's head up if they knew they have a sister who he loves more than them an e only wants to see her. Fuck him. His loss.

Make sure you remind him everyday about the child he has with you though by putting in a claim for child maintenance. You don't need to speak to him directly, but the communication from the CSA will be a constant reminder that he can't just have one child, conceive another and decide he doesn't want anything to do with the second one because his love for His first is just "too strong". He needs to get a grip.

hoobypickypicky Fri 14-Mar-14 17:03:19

"He does not socialise with friends unless his daughter is present"
"if he even went a day without seeing his daughter when he wanted to it would affect his mood"
"he would make angry comments about father's for justice/his rights and whatnot and become stroppy"
"He told me once that looking into her eyes he could see 'things'"
"He became immediately angry" when given advance notice by the ex that his child was going on a holiday to visit family.
"he was going to bed and began to act like someone who was grieving"
"he went silent on me on/off for 3 weeks"
"When I told him about the baby (a girl) he was upset and attempted to hide it from his family"

And you don't think any of this is weird, coco44? Honestly?

It's not just weird it's bordering on, if not actually, controlling. I hate to be sensationalist but the whole child's absence affecting his mood/becoming "stroppy"/making "angry comments"/becoming "immediately angry"/going silent on the OP is quite disturbing. I wouldn't want him near me (and I'm no shrinking violet), never mind near my baby.

fromparistoberlin73 Fri 14-Mar-14 17:07:18

wow

I agree with whoever said to NOT have his name on the birth cert, he sounds weird as fuck and not someone you want in your DDs life TBH

that said, my friend is with a guy who lost his child through custody- he has the same greiving thing which I do understand- but this man is vvv strange

good luck OP xxxxx

seriously, i'll not be seeing DD until next week and it definitely affects my mood. He sounds like hard work though, OP.

RedHelenB Fri 14-Mar-14 17:18:03

I'm sorry, but this baby has a right to know it's father no matter what you think of him. Wait until the baby is born, you may well find things change then. In the meantime concentrate on you and the baby.

hoobypickypicky Fri 14-Mar-14 17:25:03

RedHelen, the baby does have rights in law - but what happened to common sense and a sense of preservation, both for the OP and for the child?

IMHO, for what it's worth, it's far more important for the OP to protect her baby and to make decisions in the baby's best interests and with consideration for the baby's welfare, safety and long term security according to the situation the OP and her child are in, than it is to follow the one size fits all demand that the baby's "rights" are paramount. It's fine to adhere to the baby's rights argument in a case where the child is denied contact with the father for no good reason but here, I think, there's every reason to take an entirely different view.

HandsOffMyGazBaz Fri 14-Mar-14 17:31:26

He doesnt WANT to see the baby RedHelenB

Glasshammer Fri 14-Mar-14 17:31:40

I would feel like a limb had been torn from me if I couldn't be with my children.

I think if he sees his new baby, it will probably change his feelings.

Nomama Fri 14-Mar-14 17:31:50

But this may be a case for OP to suddenly remember she is a total slut and the father could be absolutely anyone!

It depends on just how much she thinks the weirdness he has already shown is too much for her to handle.

Personally, I think that the 3 weeks in bed to (unsuccesfully) force those nasty alien abductors to bring his dear heart back to him, is more than enough to convince me!

LessMissAbs Fri 14-Mar-14 17:35:00

He may struggle with inter-personal relationships, and ironically, with letting go of people in his life, which is why he might find a relationship with a young child easier.

I agree he is an oddball.

I don't think being initially confused over an unplanned pregnancy when he already has one child whose mother he is not with is all that unusual. He may change his mind in time...

GimmeDaBoobehz Fri 14-Mar-14 17:40:32

How very strange.

I think you've probably had a lucky escape - he wont be involved in your child's life (to possibly make her dysfunctional too) and I am sure you will provide a loving, supportive life for your daughter.

It's his loss and your gain. What if he was like that with your daughter -- it would be a bit much, wouldn't it?

RedHelenB Fri 14-Mar-14 17:42:38

Not now but there's nothing to see yet! Just give it time. things can & do change.

Foodylicious Fri 14-Mar-14 17:43:58

It may be hard, but I would shut that door and have nothing to do with him.

For both your sakes.

Good luck!

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