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

Mosman Tue 14-May-13 11:40:37

Well he needs to stop giving her money and direct her to her mother I guess

MoodyDidIt Tue 14-May-13 11:53:21

ha that would go down like the proverbial lead balloon .....

Patosshades Tue 14-May-13 11:59:04

I think you both might need to cut her some slack. New baby came along when she was 12, quite a vunerable time for children, in her mind she may have thought she was being replaced.

The emails are abrupt alright but it sounds like she's reaching out to some extent. I'd imagine she's had her feeling hurt so no you're not going to get "how are you, love" or any small talk in the emails. Teenagers tend not to do that anyway, not the ones I know anyway, they're all quite direct and to the point.

Patience is required I think and if your DH was still living with her he would still be used as a cash point, such is the way of living with a teenager.

gordyslovesheep Tue 14-May-13 12:01:18

Maybe money is all she feels she can as from him

WileyRoadRunner Tue 14-May-13 12:02:19

aibu to think if she wants money she ought to see DH

Yes YABU ^ to put it like that. Supporting your child and helping her financially is not dependent on her behaving as you see fit.

BUT manners cost nothing and YANBU at all to be disappointed about the way in which she demands money.

Has your DH sent her an email saying how much you would love to have her in your lives! Or could your DH suggest spending some time together, just the two of them? I can imagine she feels "replaced" by your DD.

It sounds like a difficult situation - it could be an unresolved resentment causing this or it could just be plain p* ss taking by her.

titchy Tue 14-May-13 12:06:48

He needs to reply something along the lines of 'Hi dd - how about we spend the day together, just us two, shopping for [insert item requested] - I'll even buy you lunch! I've missed you - let me know when you're free.'

Goldmandra Tue 14-May-13 12:09:28

If the situation is as clear cut as you describe and she really has no justification for refusing to see him other than the existence of a half-sibling she is being rude and unreasonable.

I generally advocate cutting children some slack but she is going beyond that. I don't think he is doing her any favours by rewarding rudeness and blunt demands for money.

Could he offer to take her to buy the things she needs so she has to see him to get the money?

valiumredhead Tue 14-May-13 12:39:34

WHat titchy said and gordy too.

holidaysarenice Tue 14-May-13 13:06:36

Maybe at 16 its time to tell her that she gets X maintenance, and propose she discusses with her mother regarding it. I.e how it is split, maintenance is meant to cover clothes etc should a porportion be paid to her as an allowance for these things. Budgetting skills are useful.

Soon she will be off to uni and maintenance will have to go to her to pay her rent and living costs.

MoodyDidIt Tue 14-May-13 16:55:26

thanks for the replies

yeah thats a good idea re offering to take her to buy stuff. although the last item she has asked for is money to go to alton towers so not something he can take her to buy.

before that she has had an iPhone and a £200 prom dress, and DH has also paid for her and her friends to go to the prom in a fire engine

we are not exactly flush with money either, but if dh suggested any of these things came out of her mum's maintenance her mum would completely rip us to shreds. dh just wants SD in his life and doesn't want to rock the boat

Goldmandra Tue 14-May-13 17:15:18

dh just wants SD in his life and doesn't want to rock the boat

I can't think of any other situation where having a person who behaved like this in one's life would be considered desirable. Does he really feel that she and he are in each other's lives? It sounds to me like he's no more in her life than a cashpoint would be.

I don't think she's going to develop any respect for him while he's doling out cash in this way. Sometimes the more you give to someone, the more they feel entitled to take and the less they think of you for handing it over.

How, exactly, is her mum going to rip you to shreds?

I think your DH needs to put some boundaries in place and stop worrying about rocking the boat. This girl needs to learn to treat others with respect and she's clearly not going to be learning that from her mother.

MoodyDidIt Tue 14-May-13 17:27:32

This girl needs to learn to treat others with respect and she's clearly not going to be learning that from her mother

no she isn't, sadly. her mum is pretty vile, money grabbing, spiteful and materialistic and DH worries SD is turning out exactly like her sad

ll31 Tue 14-May-13 17:32:00

Otoh op, he married her so had good relationship with her once probably. Maybe she thinks poorly of him with good reason

AThingInYourLife Tue 14-May-13 17:40:15

"if your DH was still living with her he would still be used as a cash point, such is the way of living with a teenager."

If she was still living with him she wouldn't get to be rude to him and still ask for handouts for treats.

I had to well behaved and pleasant to get money for things like trips to Alton Towers.

And my Dad expected me to pay for my own "prom" dress.

I think you both might need to cut her some slack. New baby came along when she was 12, quite a vulnerable time for children, in her mind she may have thought she was being replaced.

I disagree! My DSD was almost 11 when my dd1 was born and she didn't react like that at all. She was very much involved and excited. She was the same at the age of 13 when dd2 was born.

I think from what you've said that her attitude has most probably come from her mother. It's possible she was a bit jealous when she found out you were having a baby, (completely understandable). And her mother has played on it to the point were she's stopped contact. Now at the age of 16 after her mother has been whispering in her ear for 4 years she's got to the point were she's probably very jealous and resentful. It's a shame, but I think if he wants any kind of respect or relationship with her he has to stop giving her money. her mother already gets maintenance, anything more and she should be having a relationship with her father, stepmother and younger sibling!

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 14-May-13 17:50:23

How is the mother money grabbing? Is it something obvious that the child is picking up on?

AmberLeaf Tue 14-May-13 17:54:17

Zombies it is also perfectly possible that it wasn't her Mums influence!

Some children in situations like these don't take a new sibling well for reasons relating to insecurity etc.

How does an 11 yr old with a good relationship with their Dad just just 'cut contact'?

I mean, how did your DH handle that at the time?

thebody Tue 14-May-13 17:54:28

So this girl who had already presumably been abandoned by her 'real dad' felt she was the one girl in your dh life. His girl. She's 12 just the age when girls need a strong make hero in their lives.

Then he splits up with her mother and starts a 'new family' a shiny new baby girl, his 'real daughter'.

Can you not understand how hurt, unhappy that might have made her. It might be that the ex shit stirred as well.

She is testing your dh to see if she can trust him.

Why would she put her heart on the line again??

Your dh needs to DO things with her, take her shopping, take her and maybe her mates for a pizza.

You sound lovely and I do hope this girl manages to trust the adults around her. ( not meant for you op or your dh as you sound like you are really trying)

But keep it up.

pigletmania Tue 14-May-13 17:55:48

Op your dh sounds lovely. Mabey he should try saying no like any other parent and suggest tey spend som time together. Go out for the day, for a meal etc.

cozietoesie Tue 14-May-13 18:02:36

I would treat this as if she was trying to start up a proper contact but doesn't know how to go about it as she's only 16. (Now that may not actually be the case but it would do no harm to act as if on that assumption and see how it works out.) As above - get DH to invite her out, shopping or something as a starter and let him see how she reacts during and after that.

loofet Tue 14-May-13 18:04:03

I'm with thebody and also piglet on this.

12 is an extremely delicate, confusing and vulnerable age. Her dad gets a new woman and baby, she feels replaced and shut out. I can totally sympathise with her. Also I think ALL teenagers are shut off and direct to the point, I know I was (well, I still am. I don't really do small talk). So I wouldn't be taking that as rude, that's pretty normal behaviour for a 16yo.

I was going to suggest what piglet did, why doesn't DH try to have one to one time with her? Sounds like that's what she's crying out for. I feel quite sorry for her actually.

Lj8893 Tue 14-May-13 18:05:19

Thebody, I think the daughter is his real daughter but of course the ops stepdaughter, and that's why she calls her dsd.

None the less, I absolutely agree that she needs to learn some respect, if she really despised you DH than she wouldn't want any money from him at all.

So perhaps this is her way of trying to make contact with him, although not done particularly well! I agree with other posters that your DH should suggest taking her shopping for xyz.

pigletmania Tue 14-May-13 18:07:13

Your dh should put his foot down with down with te demands of money or things and have her over, do things together just tem and some with the family

pigletmania Tue 14-May-13 18:08:34

No op says it's her dh SD

Lj8893 Tue 14-May-13 18:22:21

Ok sorry I read it differently.

I used to be a step mum (never married but as good as) and when I broke up with xp I still kept in some kind of contact with both girls but didn't pay maintenance or access meetings etc. will always say hello and chat to them if I meet them in the street (when they are with their mother, I stay well away from xp and his current gf) but they wouldn't ever ask me for money!!!

thebody Tue 14-May-13 18:42:50

Yes agree pig. This kid needs time not money but I expect that's how she is reaching out to her step dad but keeping her emotions safe.

Op if she could meet up with dh a few times and re connect, then meeting you and finally your dd.

Think you are both able to really help and be there for her but 'normal' teenagers from stable homes can be very difficult at the best if times so may not be an easy oath.

MoodyDidIt Tue 14-May-13 18:45:32

sorry, she is MY sd, not DH stepdaughter

she is DH's daughter

just realised my OP was a bit unclear blush

cozietoesie Tue 14-May-13 18:48:54

thebody made a good point - it's a few meetings that will be needed. The first one is likely to be harrumphs and silences with things not easing up until later.

Lj8893 Tue 14-May-13 18:50:09

Ahh I did read it right then smile thought I was going mad!!

I really do believe this is her way of reaching out to her dad, she's possibly a little bit shy because she has made him become a stranger to her and maybe she's a little embarrassed because of this? I think he needs to invite her round, perhaps "yes I can give you some money for Alton towers, perhaps you can come round for dinner and ill give you the money then, be great to see you an you can tell me all about your plans for Alton towers!"

MoodyDidIt Wed 15-May-13 08:17:32

I really do believe this is her way of reaching out to her dad, she's possibly a little bit shy because she has made him become a stranger to her and maybe she's a little embarrassed because of this

god i really do hope thats the case

will suggest your ideas to DH.

flanbase Wed 15-May-13 08:20:18

It's totally unacceptable to be emailing and asking for cash like this.She needs to interact on a family level and not to use your dh for money. She needs guidelines set now

DontmindifIdo Wed 15-May-13 08:39:30

Can I just ask, are you certain this isn't accidentally undermining exW? If she, as DSD's mum has already said "no", is she happy for her DD to contact her dad to ask for the money or is it reinforcing "mum pays for dull things, dad pays for fun things" (even if he doesn't see his DD, this doesn't mean his ExW isn't hurt/undermined by this if she's said no and DSD just says "i'm doing X anyway because dad's given me the money"). It might be worth before agreeing to give the money to DSD, he makes a point of contact his ExW each time and saying "just to check, DD wants £x for ABC, I'm happy to give her the money but let me know if you would prefer I didn't."

MoodyDidIt Wed 15-May-13 09:21:32

hmmm good point dontmind

but exW doesn;t talk to dh at all now, dh has got no way of contacting her, he doesnt even know where they live now. any communication with SD is done via email. although EXW has contact details for dh so if she wanted to she could get in touch

its a very strange and complex situation tbh - and if i had known all this would happen i would never have got with dh

Goldmandra Wed 15-May-13 12:02:50

I think you're in a very difficult situation which is going to take a lot of thinking through before you make any moves.

I wouldn't want anyone to teach my 16 year old that she can demand money and it will be forthcoming without question. That isn't helping her to learn about and understand the financial or social realities of adult life.

Your SD's motives and feelings aren't clear but what is clear is that you and your DH need to talk this through and work out an approach that you both feel can be carried through and will be sustainable when his other DD is older and also wanting money for clothes and treats.

I would suggest that he offers to take her out on his own to buy whatever she asks for next. If it isn't something he can take her to buy he can ask her to meet him for a coffee to hand over the money.

He could then build on that and make it clear that he will make time for just her if that's what she wants. Baby steps are probably the best he can achieve but he isn't going to do her any favours by allowing her to push him around.

LemonsLimes Wed 15-May-13 13:07:38

I think her refusal to see him or speak to him civilly was her acting out her hurt at her dad not living with her and then having another baby that he would be living with. Of course your dh was doing nothing wrong, but it wasn't wrong for her to be hurt about it either at age 12. Sometimes kids act angrily when they are hurt. I think your dh has to continue his efforts to see her and have a relationship

Goldmandra Wed 15-May-13 13:34:36

Of course your dh was doing nothing wrong, but it wasn't wrong for her to be hurt about it either at age 12. Sometimes kids act angrily when they are hurt.

I completely agree that it was an understandable reaction when it was a new situation and she was 12.

This girl is now 16 and has had 4 years to get her head round the new family dynamics and having a half sister. There comes a point where teenagers have to learn to moderate their emotional responses and make an effort to be civilised.

16 isn't too young to start taking the needs and feelings of others into account and understanding that you can't take your resentment out on people and expect them to reward you for it by dishing out money for treats.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 15-May-13 13:43:22

She was obviously very hurt at her dad leaving and then having a new daughter, she deserves some understanding.

She is sixteen, she is allowed to be a little self centred. She may well turn out to be a lovely person when she has grown up a bit, your DH should do whatever he has to do to maintain any kind of relationship, and most importantly, show that he cares.

It would be awful of him to stop giving money. He might pay maintenance, but there are very very few non resident parents that pay half of the true cost of having a child, so he has probably not done too bad with what he has had to pay for his daughter.

She might not be being a great daughter at the moment, but it doesn't sound like your DH is a great dad either, and he's the adult.

GoingUpInTheWorld Wed 15-May-13 13:56:01

Your dh is crazy for just handing money over when she cant be arsed to be civil or be bothered to have anything to do with him.

Shes 16, she needs to start growing up, shes not 12 anymore where she can act like a child and her behaviour be excused because she is a child.

I hate men that are scared of rocking the boat with their kids, its pathetic.

If your dh takes your sd out for the day to get her what she wants, what is that showing her?

That if she spends time with him, then he buys her gifts.

Hes therefore paying to spend time with his nearly adult daughter

Ridiculous!! She knows hes a pushover, and thats why she keeps asking for money.

PrincessScrumpy Wed 15-May-13 13:57:22

Just a thought, I like the idea of taking her to get item she requests and adding lunch. for timea when she wants money for say Alton towers, yep I'll give you the money when you come over for dinner

GoingUpInTheWorld Wed 15-May-13 13:59:11

The 16year old should see her dad because she wants to, not because she knows shes going to get rewarded for it.

LemonsLimes Wed 15-May-13 14:02:23

The OP said the girl's mum is "vile, money grabbing, spiteful and materialistic." I reckon I'd be left feeling pretty resentful and angry if I'd been left to live on my own with someone like that, even four years later.

Goldmandra Wed 15-May-13 14:35:05

The 16year old should see her dad because she wants to, not because she knows shes going to get rewarded for it.

I couldn't agree more. However it could be the best way to start building a more appropriate relationship; one which is not on based solely on demands and money.

MoodyDidIt Wed 15-May-13 14:39:59

i know lemonslimes

i know DH would have loved to have taken his dd with her when he left, but it just doesn't happen does it, the dcs tend to automatically stay with their mum dont they. (unless in very extreme cases ie drug abuse, alcoholism etc)

DH says when he was with EXW, she was cold and uninterested towards her DCs. yet EXW is almost certainly responsible for SD's feelings towards her dad, it would have been her making out DH didnt want her any more because he has a "new family" hmm - as in any communication DH and I have had with EXW, this is what she accuses him of. yes technically DH has a "new family" but that does not mean SD can not be part of it.

i had never seen a mum use her own DC as a weapon until i got with DH, i didn't believe it really happened. but it does sad

i don't know how any mum can do it, its the child who ultimately gets hurt the worst.

ryanboy Wed 15-May-13 15:04:19

It depends what sort of things she is asking for money for really.
Could you give some examples.If it is things she needs money for then she has every right to ask her parents for it.The details of the maintenance arrangement shouldn't be her concern.

50shadesofvomit Wed 15-May-13 15:05:14

The SD is copying how her parents interact. She'd probably be more polite and civil if her parents were acting like that to one another.

I am a single mum to 3 kids and oldest is 12. He won't see or contact his Dad at all because he's very angry and hurt. His Dad thinks he's doing the right thing by letting things drift and simply paying him his monthly allowance into ds1's bank account. Personally I could never take this head in sand approach but ex has not seen ds1 for contact in 2 months and he left the marital home only 3 months ago. I feel like the longer that ex leaves it, the harder it will be to repair things. lIf SD is jealous then your h needs to make one on one time with her- even if it means 30 minutes at the local McDonalds for a meal before handing out money.

Ashoething Wed 15-May-13 15:55:40

Why does your dh not know here his 16 year old dd lives? Why is he not doing all he can to rectify this immediately? Btw badmouthing the mother is bad form-you dh liked her well enough once to have sex with her at least once.

The sd is testing the boundaries and trying to see how far she can push it to see if your dh loves her. Very sad she feels she has to do this.

LoveItLongTime Wed 15-May-13 16:03:05

She's a child. He's a grown up. She doesn't owe him anything. Yes, asking nicely is polite, but you can't deny she must have awful feelings of hurt and confusion about her dad. He needs to be looking to repair that.

MoodyDidIt Wed 15-May-13 17:00:58

he has tried and tried to repair it loveit and he still is

and ashoething i can "badmouth" her mother, she deserves it how she has behaved to her own DC and the father of her DC. i am sure she was a nice person once as DH married her! but she isn't now and IMO she is not a good mum either (see my previous posts)

and DH has tried and tried to be civil with his ex, but she won't be. the animosity has only come from her side.

and the reason DH doesn't know where they live is because the last contact DH had with his ex was an email from her telling him they were moving house and to basically f**k off out of their lives. so all dh was left with was an email address for SD.

sorry, all this is probably drip feeding but if i had have put it all in the OP it would have been an absolute essay

GoingUpInTheWorld Wed 15-May-13 17:06:26

Op

In that case, the sd obviously has no interest in your dh, only interested in contacting him for money.

Hes being walked over and treated like shit, then he hands money over for treats she should get a part time job to pay for.

Your sd needs a reality check.

Dont let your dh have the piss taken out of him. Stop all family money being handed over to sd until she can learn to not be a brat.

fedupofnamechanging Wed 15-May-13 17:43:09

If I was your dh, I would be making a proper effort to find out where his dd is living. That's important. Never mind what the exw says, as a father he ought to know where his child is living - get legal help if necessary. Not insisting on access has made her feel like she is not his priority. When you had your baby was the time he should have been fighting the hardest for continued contact.

I think if I was him, I would send regular chatty emails and texts. I would repeatedly tell her that I miss her and would love to see her. She possibly thinks he is giving her money out of guilt/obligation and so he feels 'off the hook' for doing anything more. He needs to let her know that having a new baby hasn't made her less important to him.

I think he should sometimes say no to giving her money - it's not good for any teenager to have the expectation that dad will always pay on demand! A simple 'sorry, I can't afford X' would suffice - then just carry on with the chatty stuff.

If he puts the work in now, eventually she will mature and there will be a chance of fixing this.

thebody Wed 15-May-13 17:48:05

Karma, spot on.

LemonsLimes Wed 15-May-13 18:22:31

Did your husband go through the courts to fight for proper access to his child?

MoodyDidIt Wed 15-May-13 18:36:25

no he didnt lemonslimes

because he was told (by her mum) she didnt want to see him

he should have though, and believe me we still have arguments about it (ie that i think he was a twat for not going to court) but he can't turn the clock back now. i told him at the time i thought he should still go through court, but he thought it would just make things worse. and as by then SD was 12 or 13 she couldnt have been forced to see him anyway.

MoodyDidIt Wed 15-May-13 18:37:55

what we think was happening was EXW was telling DH to stay away and then telling SD her dad didnt want to see her

fedupofnamechanging Wed 15-May-13 18:57:58

If he had gone to court, then sd would have known that he wanted to see her. And even if it was truly her choice not to see him, at least when she grew up, she would know that he had fought for proper access.

MoodyDidIt Wed 15-May-13 19:02:58

i know karma

thats exactly what i told him

<sigh>

spidersandslugs Wed 15-May-13 19:04:31

Yanbu. Your sd sounds like a spoilt brat.

FrogInABog Wed 15-May-13 20:00:39

It sounds like she is testing whether he cares enough to give her the money. Does he reply saying 'I would love to see you, would you like to have a day out doing whatever you like with just us soon? we could go shopping if you like, i miss you lots, love you' or similar?
Even if she just goes for the shopping to begin with, at least they will see each other and begin to rebuild the relationship.

MoodyDidIt Thu 16-May-13 10:06:55

yes he does frog

even though as i said, she just sends really short, to the point emails, he always replies, saying how are you, great to hear from you, love you, etc. and when she asked for the money for the prom dress he asked her to send a photo of her in it.

i have spoken to him about it now and he has already sent the money for the last thing she asked for, but he says next time thats what he will say. ie suggest meeting etc

Mimishimi Thu 16-May-13 10:14:59

Sounds like she is trying to play on any guilt he might have. Perhaps your DH should jut give her a set amount each week, aside from the maintenance he gives her mum, and she has to buy anything she want out of that. Like any regular teenager with their pocket money...

GoingUpInTheWorld Thu 16-May-13 10:20:25

16 year olds dont get pocket money.

They have to get a job. Why should her father give her money when she wont even be polite?

thebody Thu 16-May-13 10:26:54

Because her father left?

ryanboy Thu 16-May-13 10:32:30

I repeat can you say what sort of things she is asking for money for? ie Is it things she needs for school, or that she has inadequate clothing or is more like a new phone and designer bags?

MoodyDidIt Thu 16-May-13 10:35:24

because her father left

sorry but this attitude makes me angry. why is it always the dads who have to be condemned for "leaving"

unhappy couples split up ALL the time, but the majority of the time the DCs stay with their mums

i left my eldest (ds's) dad when ds was a baby, because i didnt love his dad anymore and neither of us were happy. and all i ever got was constant praise for people for being sooooooo brave making a new start and getting out of a bad relationship. my ex was devastated at the split - not because he wanted me to stay - but because he wouldnt live with DS anymore.

but if dads leave, dads get berated for leaving a shit relationship - just because they generally don't get to "keep" their kids - when most of them would LOVE to have the dcs stay with them but it just doesnt happen

angry

thebody Thu 16-May-13 10:38:43

Moody, you need to read the whole thread.

GoingUpInTheWorld Thu 16-May-13 10:40:56

1 in 3 marriages end in divorce.

She has a hell of a lot of growing up to do if she thinks that she can sponge off her father because her parents marriage broke down.

If she looks around, she will see that its very common for childrens biogical parents to not be together, and does she see them getting everything they want and being able to be rude to her parents because they are not together?

Ryanboy

Its more for cinema trips with her friends, money for alton towers with her friends.

No basic living essentials. He pays maintenance for that.

GoingUpInTheWorld Thu 16-May-13 10:43:56

Next time she emails asking for money

Reply with

GET A JOB!

Yes ask to meet her and spend time with her, but make it clear that he wont be spending money on her for spending time with him.

I bet she wont want to know.

You cant buy people.

burberryqueen Thu 16-May-13 10:44:22

could i just suggest that you stop calling her a 'half sister' it is an incredibly hurtful phrase, one that suggests that you are perhaps, only half a person.
other than that, perhaps her dad should try and do some of the 'running'?

wishingchair Thu 16-May-13 10:51:27

GoingUpInTheWorld - you have no idea what her mum has said to this girl about her dad. What damage that might have done to her feeling of self-worth etc etc.

Yes 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce. There are also starving people in Africa. None of this helps you feel any better about the difficult situation you find yourself in.

FWIW - I think he needs to be emailing her anyway and not waiting for her to get in touch with another request. What's wrong with him just sending her a "hi, how are you" type message. Does he do this? Or is his contact with her purely reactive ... i.e. when she gets in touch with him he responds??

MoodyDidIt Thu 16-May-13 11:12:32

burberry i would NEVER describe them as "half sisters" in RL - its just for the purposes of this thread. for example when we told DD about SD, we said she was DD's sister.

you have no idea what her mum has said to this girl about her dad. What damage that might have done to her feeling of self-worth etc etc. - agree with that as well - we are very sure she will have said awful, untrue things about DH to SD sad

and wishingchair yes he does contact her, but never gets a reply. she only contacts him when she needs money. but he knows he needs to keep contacting her nonetheless.

and thebody i have read the whole thread thanks, i am the OP grin

burberryqueen Thu 16-May-13 11:16:23

that is good moody, I am still recovering from being 'only a half sister' at my late age, and what really got my goat was my children being described as 'half nephews/nieces' right in front of them!!

Dahlen Thu 16-May-13 11:44:43

I totally agree with karma - we are talking about a hurt, angry teenager who is lashing out while at the same time trying to exploit a situation in the way of teenagers.

Moody - It's great that you've been able to see what your DH should have done when he split from his XW. You sound as though you'll make a lovely SM if this relationship can be salvaged.

From the SDs POV though, I'm not surprised she's using her dad as a cash cow, and sullenly at that. In her head she's probably thinking, "I'll ask dad for that, it's the least he can do since he doesn't care about me and can't be bothered to see me." The fact that he hasn't fought to see her will equate in her head as not bothering, especially as she was still a child when this happened, and particularly because it has coincided with a new baby.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 16-May-13 13:52:45

It is quite normal for teenagers to keep asking for money its just what they do.

Nothing wrong with saying no tho.

badinage Thu 16-May-13 14:26:32

I was on your other thread about your husband's daughter OP.

Like I said on that one, I suspect you haven't been honest here or there about the circumstances of your husband's break-up with his wife or about your involvement in it and that this is the context to the older and younger woman's previous bitterness towards your husband. The 16-year old might still feel bitter about that and seeing as no-one's heard from his ex in years, there's no reason to think she feels anything towards your husband other than a reluctance to associate with him now that her daughter is older and can see her father independently. She's entitled to do that.

Furthermore, I suspect you're being disingenuous again by claiming that your husband would have loved to have taken his daughter with him, but even if he had felt that way, that would have been wholly unfair to his daughter, who had the right all along to have contact with both parents.

Instead, what your husband did was to fail to exercise his daughter's rights to see him and instead, put all his energies into creating a new family and being a stepdad to your child.

Yet again you are making unequal comparisons on this thread. If a mother left a relationship and a child behind, went on to create a new family and supported another man's child as well, while simultaneously failing to exercise her own daughter's rights to see her, she would have been castigated by society far more than your husband has.

Judging from the other thread about this teenager's difficulties, it's abundantly clear that this girl is mixed up and in pain still, while also going through the usual teenage angst that is typical of her age group. Her father throwing money at this without trying to build a relationship with her is not going to help one bit. But then neither will it help her to have a stepmother who has an irrational hatred towards her mother based only on uncorroborated stories from the man who left her and because she was angry and bitter towards your husband and you, years ago when this was still quite raw.

MoodyDidIt Thu 16-May-13 17:56:19

badinage you have absolutely no clue whatsoever went on so don't surmise

clearly you have an axe to grind, are you one of these mums who turns their DC against their dad just because their dad has DARED to not want you anymore

whats wrong with starting a new family? its alright when women do it!

and i don't hate her mum, i don't know her to hate. but i do hate what she has done to dh, and what she has done to an innocent kid at a vulnerable time in her life just as some kind of revenge. i feel sorry for her, she is to be pitied. as one day SD will wake up and realise she has missed out on years and years with her dad because of her mum.

i would love to have SD in our lives and i would welcome her with open arms no matter what. i know that i would be a brilliant stepmother and i would love to have the chance to be one.

badinage Thu 16-May-13 18:10:36

Nope, as I told you on your last thread, because I work with troubled teens, my only axe to grind is with parents who fail to fulfil their responsibilities towards their children and who incorrectly assert that it's all about their 'rights'. Rather like you and your husband's belief that he's got a 'right' to a relationship with his daughter just because he gives her money after years without contact.

Fortunately for me and our own children, I've been married for donkeys years to an absolutely lovely man who wouldn't dream of shirking his responsibilities.

There's nothing wrong with starting a new family at all, but it's not alright to abandon a child's rights to parenting, whether you are a woman or a man. You seem unable to grasp that people would castigate a mother far more than they would a father for doing what your husband's done and therefore keep trotting out these utterly false comparisons.

On your last thread it was established that there had been no contact with this woman for 2 and a half years, yet you are still frothing about her and ex wives generally on various threads. It's not her with the problem. It's you.

badinage Thu 16-May-13 18:36:40

Also, do you not realise how much worse it makes him look that he decided to leave his child in 100% residence with a woman he (if it is him) described as a bad mum who was cold and disinterested in her DCs ?

Can you imagine the shit that a woman would get if she admitted that she upped and left her children with a bad father devoid of warmth or interest in his children? And then did absolutely nothing about her children's rights to mothering while she went on to have another family and for some years and to this day, didn't even know where her own children lived?

And I'm not saying that people judging that woman would be in the wrong either, but I see no reason to judge a man any differently.

needaholidaynow Thu 16-May-13 18:59:54

Why do people automatically assume "first" children will feel like they are being replaced by "second" children if it's their dad having a baby?

This 16 year old has not made a single effort to get to know her little sister, so if she feels replaced then it is her own fault.

I was 11 when my parents split. I do not believe for one minute that it can mess a child up, it's how the child deals with it. This girl sounds like she cannot be bothered with her dad, and blaming a 4 year old for her feeling replaced is a fucking joke IMVHO.

She sounds like she just sees her dad as a money bank. I had far more respect for my parents at 16 years of age than to just send one of them an abrupt email demanding money.

Child or not. That's plain wrong.

Ashoething Thu 16-May-13 19:20:28

Completely 100% agree with badinage-btw "good" stepmothers don't badmouth the ex wife. Your dh has not given a shit about his first dd and now wonders why she is only after him for cashhmm

needaholidaynow Thu 16-May-13 19:27:02

Sounds like she doesn't give a shit about her dad either. She's 16 not 6.

stickortwist Thu 16-May-13 19:39:20

Im with badinage. I was the "d"sd. He doesnt know where she lives? He didnt try and get regular contact ? Is it any wonder at 16 she finds it difficult to communicate with him.
And you shouldnt talk about her mother like that. You only have your husbands word as to what she us like. And as far a sd is concerned her mum has been there for her every day despite any faults she may have.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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?

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

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.

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

what are the emails in return from your dh?

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

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 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

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

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

I am really very sorry for your loss.

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.

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.

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

Yoni

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

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.

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.

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'.

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