To think if he abandoned first kids, he's not worth knowing?(76 Posts)
My friends DP has a 5, 6 and 8 year old from a previous relationship whom he hasn't seen for 3 years. His ex stopped contact, he hasn't fought to reinstate it. My friend has a 2 year old with him. I can't help thinking he's the same age her DPs youngest was when he stopped having contact and that if they split its likely her ds will be abandoned too. She acknowledges that this concerns her too. I told her I wouldn't be with my DP if I thought he were incapable of abandoning his child(ren.) I appreciate I may have been unreasonable to share my opinion, but that isn't an unreasonable opinion to hold is it?
I think you'd need to know more details; why the ex stopped contact would be a key issue. YANBU to have concerns but it is ultimately your friend's business.
Yes. Your opinion is unreasonable to give. You can ave it. But what would sharing it achieve?
She asked how I would feel/what I'd do in her position.
She stopped contact as she wanted him to have more responsibility rather than contact which fitted around his shift pattern.
I agree, it's really non of your business.
I expect your friend would rather you kept your opinions about her H to yourself.
Do you think that voicing your opinion was helpful to your friend in any way?
Why did you?
why did his ex stop contact ? there has to be a reason, having said that why hasn't he fought to see his dc, is he good with your friends dd ?i personally would want to find out a bit more about his background if i was your friend esp. as she has concerns about his commitment to his 'new family'. if she can she needs to ask him about these things that bother her, if he refuses or gets angry i think i would be a bit concerned for the future with this man.
Well if she asked then I suppose you could say it might concern you. I certainly wouldn't tell her that he 'isn't worth knowing' when they already have a 2 year old.
So you told her that you would leave if he was your partner, based on his previous behaviour?
Do you want her to leave him, just in case? or are you saying that you'd never have such poor taste in the first place?
I didn't say to her that he isn't worth knowing. When she asked what I'd do if I knew my DP would be unlikely to continue contact if we separated I said I wouldn't be in a relationship with him if I thought he'd be that way inclined.
I have to say I have not gone for a second date with a man for this reason alone.
He said his ex was difficult and wanted to go via the courts and he thought it would be too much hassle.
My DD has no contact with her father and I know the pain that has caused her so I'd lose all respect for a man who did this.
It depends on the reason. My DH was prevented from seeing the children from his first marriage by the unreasonable behaviour of his ex-wife. Trying to maintain access proved too stressful and upsetting for the children so he backed off until they were adults and able to make their own decisions. Without knowing all the reasons behind the original split and what has happened since, I don't think you can make a judgement call.
Well you're not U to think that you wouldn't get involved yourself with a man who did this. Having been abandoned by my own father, I certainly wouldn't go near a man who didn't have contact with any existing children.
I do think though that this is one of those situations where you probably should have kept your views to yourself, especially given they have a child together.
I know that he didn't make any attempt to reinstate contact; that he doesn't know where his children live or go to school and has made zero attempts to find out
If you were asked for your opinion I don't think you were unreasonable to give it.
I agree with you that a man who walks away from his first children is not a man I would want to have a relationship with. However, I'll admit to not always having seen it like that. The number of women who go on to have families with men who have abandoned previous children would suggest that I was not alone, either.
There will be all sorts of reasons given: she stopped contact, I didn't want to upset the children more, I/she moved away, they don't want to see me, her new partner has poisoned them against me, etc. Some of these are obviously BS but others will be presented in a way that seems entirely plausible and may even elicit sympathy. In many cases the new woman will simply feel that it will be different with her because "he really loves me" and therefore by extension any resulting children.
Most of the time this will be incredibly naive wishful thinking. But there are enough cases out there to not make it a blanket rule, and as long as that remains the case there will be women who will take that chance.
To me, it sounds as though your friend may have experienced something in her relationship that is just starting to make the scales fall from her eyes about her partner's reliability and integrity. Chances are that she may well not be with her DP for very much longer now this process has started. I would try to be as supportive as possible. Whatever you do, please don't make her feel foolish about making a bad choice because women made to feel like that often try harder than ever to make the relationship 'work' (i.e. subjugate themselves to their man) in order to avoid admitting to making a mistake.
Having been abandoned by my biological Dad before I was born then my 'step' dad after 25 years YANBU. Even as an adult it still hurt like hell that he choose a relationship with a girl younger than me and her 2 kids over me. It makes me think he's only interested in kids when 'Daddy' is idolised and the fact that I was no longer like that in a long term relationship and due to get married was a contributing factor in his decisions. I don't know how his GF can open herself and her kids up to the possibility of that hurt in the future.
I agree with you OP, but as it's not your relationship then I would leave it to your friend. It's her life after all. That said, I don't understand anyone who can happily pretend their own flesh and blood does not exist, complicated though some of these situations are.
Someone my parents know got married at 16 because his (then) girlfriend was pregnant. They're still together with three dc, and lots of dgd 50 years later, having supported each other through ups and downs that often break couples up, they've had a lot thrown at them over the years.
A few years ago the chap admitted to my parents that he'd had a previous child in an earlier relationship. He doesn't even know whether they were a boy or a girl as she refused to see him once she knew that she was pg.
YABU as you don't know all of the circumstances. Sometimes ex partners can be totally obstructive when it comes to allowing contact with children, to the point where the children are being used as weapons and the distress being caused to them and to the parent who doesn't have custody is unbearable. There are, sadly, situations where fathers (or mothers) sometimes just have to walk away despite the terrible pain it causes them to do this because at the end of the day, they are more concerned about their children's emotional well being than the parent who has custody and is using that as a stick to beat their former partner with.
Is Aibu not an options board??
Yes it can say a lot about a person to what state there family is in.
My cousins partner walked away from his wife of two weeks and two young dc for her. He is a cunt of the first order. Didn't support them financially.
My cousin still gets shocked/ upset when she finds him messaging other women on Internet and generally treating her like shit!
The old " I'll let them come find me when there old enough business " what a load of wank!
My dp has no contact with his 2yo. It absoloutley kills him but there is no legal aid anymore so the simple fact is we cannot afford to go through the courts right now. He has done everything je possibly could have to no avail. The only thing left is court. The mother is just horrwndous. I have a 2 yo, so before we got serious I wanted to know the full story. He showed me every text and solicitors letter...and I can see there is no way he has done anything wrong. She is venemous and nasty and has made it physically impossible for dp to see his dd.
If I found out that he had made no effort to persue contact with his child, and had said this, theres no way I could be in a relayionship with him. However maybe you dont know all the circumstances? Sometimes people just hit a brick wall like dp has with this legal aid. He still paus way over the odds maintinence every month and still doea not get a look in.
I think if you know the full story then fair enough...but there may well be more to it than meets the eye.
You're probably right OP.
I often wonder what XP tells people when they ask about the dc's . He eventually refused to see them but it wouldn't surprise me if he played the 'woe is me' card. Fortunately he had the snip and his girlfriends' kids don't live with her either, so they can have a cushy life without dealing with children.
YANBU, he is neglecting his own children But it's a bit late for her to act on this now!
absent if an absent parent is still paying reasonable maintenance (unless I suppose they are so loaded the money makes no difference to them) I would be inclined to think differently. That's not the same thing as someone who has no contact and doesn't even support their children.
My brother was stopped from seeing his daughter and withdrew from court proceedings as it was too stressful for him, and his daughter in the middle.
And it cranked up the hostility.
He did the " I'll let them come find me when there old enough business "
And she did, when she was old enough to stand up to her mother, he just missed out on six years.
Pretty crap all round.
My dh had a very diffficult relationship with his ex. She controlled when and how he saw his dd. Once a month was not acceptable - it had to be every weekend or not at all. He lived a 7 hour round trip away while working a job that involved working weekends. He did his best to meet her demands but couldn't sustain it and so he was not allowed to see her for 2 years until he tried again. He was doomed to fail to meet her crazy demands from the beginning. The DD is now in her mid 20's and will have nothing to do with him but her mother still sends him demanding ridiculing texts and he is still affected by her. We have children and he is a excellent father to them. If we did split up I hope he would continue to be a good dad but I imagine I would be willing to work around his work schedule in order that he could still be a part of their lives rather than work against him as his ex did. Your friends partner could have learned from his previous relationship and she is a different character from his ex too so it would not necessarily be the same thing at all.
There are many complex and intricate reasons why a father may stop seeing his children.
Sometimes that man is a wanker. Sometimes the mother is so obstructive and unreasonable that the father has to choose between trying to maintain a relationship with his children and his sanity plus consider the wellbeing of the children.
My DP had 2 almost grown up children from a previous marriage. He is an exemplary father to my DD, far more
than her own father and I am currently 25 weeks pg with our baby.
Unless you were there or know all the details then you can't pass judgement on him. The campaign groups that fight for the rights of absent fathers are not always right. But they aren't always wrong either.
Exactly wilson. If a man can walk away without even thinking about helping in anyway let alone having contact then its a different kettle of fish. Dp pays a big percentage of his wages. He does not earn a massive amount, and theres never much if anything left iver after the mortgage and bills go out ( including maintinence) but he would never dream of stopping it. Regardless of the fact that he and I just dont have enough food to stretch to us sometimes. The mother has alot of money. About 5 times what we earn. Still accwpts it and still wont even put him on the birth certificate.
Then you get some fathers or mothers in some cases, who swan off into the sunset giving the matter no thought. Evwn worse like you say when they can afford to pay maintinence and just dont. Again like you said, this would be a big deciding factor for me on my opinion of the situation.
YABU, you don't know all the circumstances. It's right to feel wary if you are entering into a new relationship with a man like this but none of your business otherwise.
My husband has said that if I did to him what someone is doing to a relative of ours, then he would not see the children...that did give me a shock as he is such a fantastic hands on father
Using the word abandoned in your thread title is just a tad emotive, don't you think?
You don't actually 'know' that he abandoned them, do you?
She stopped contact as she wanted him to have more responsibility rather than contact which fitted around his shift pattern.
I imagine when he was with the mother of his children, he only saw them when he wasn't working. Now they have split she wants him to have them other times. I think the ex is being unreasonable here and he just doesn't have the energy to fight it, knowing that even if he won in court, she would still be spiteful enough to do everything she could to not allow contact.
In this case, he doesn't sound like he would abandon the child unless your friend was similarly unreasonable.
YANBU. I wouldn't go anywhere near a man who did this.
There are many complex and intricate reasons why a father may stop seeing his children. ....Sometimes that man is a wanker. Sometimes the mother is so obstructive and unreasonable that the father has to choose between trying to maintain a relationship with his children and his sanity plus consider the wellbeing of the children.
my dh - who is a brilliant dad to our dcs - has had very little contact with his teen dd from a prev marriage since he left, because of the unreasonable actions of her mum. but now she is older he is finally able to start to build a relationship with her as she is old enough to make her own mind up without her mums influence and see what really happened
so its not always black and white
I know quite a few men that have been stopped from seeing their children by their EXs. The "abandonment" of the children is not always due to the male.
It costs £215 to make an application for contact. There are no hearing fees. You can represent yourself. If you get a contact order and then the resident parent breaks it, you can enforce it (unpaid voluntary work, financial costs) on the other side for another £215. If the other side is still obstructive, the judge can order a change of residency.
If you cannot afford the cost of an application then the court has a fee remission scheme designed to allow those on a low income to have a discounted or free application.
Money is not a barrier to applying for contact.
If I was asked my opinion, why would I lie
I don't think you do your friends any favours to sugar coat stuff
I reckon there might be other behaviours in this man she is perhaps finally waking up to
Colluding with and excusing shitty behaviour is not helpful
Yes its as simple and easy as going to the csa, and it always works
I don't give a crap why or anything.
Any parent who doesn't go all the way to see and support their children fully is a twat IMO.
Boneyback - it's not simple or easy. I just wanted to make the point that money is not a barrier to court proceedings.
Don't even get me started on the csa!!! Toothless tiger.
This was my point about the application for contact but put a lot better. It is not simple and the RP can continue to put up no end of barriers to contact.
There are men that have almost bankrupted themselves to try and continue contact with their children.
I would be wary. Some men stop seeing their children because it's a bit uncomfortable for them and then they blame their x that they never see their children, when what is really preventing them is their inability to suck up the awkwardness. If my x won custody of my children tomorrow I would continue to see them no matter how awkward it felt.
My DP had a court approved order for contact.
Means fuck all when you turn up and no one is home. Or when the new partner tells him to fuck off. And assaults him. Or when only 1 child is allowed to go. Or when the police are waiting for him and use pepper spray to restain him in front of the kids as his ex had called an hour before and told them he was on his way to cut her throat.
And before anyone asks he was paying maintenance. At a £100 per week. From net earnings of £220. And this was about 16 years ago.
So it's not always the father who abandons their children. Sometimes its the mother who causes the damage.
I wouldn't have made it to the end of the first date if i found this out.
if he abandoned them yes of course why would i want to be with a man like that
if it was made almost impossible for him to see his children and he had tried all means to am it so sure. but all stories i have heard like this it is never so black and white though i am sure it has happened just not as often as some claim
What would some of you have the OP do, lie about her opinion so as not to rock the boat ? Friendship sometimes means having to say things that aren't nice to hear if you have your friend's best interests at heart.
All anyone has done is offer opinions and ask the op to think about what she should say. Only a couple have said stay out of it.
It's a load of bollocks when men spin the whole 'my evil Ex stops me from seeing my kids and there's NOTHING I can do about it' whine.
My Ex is an abusive bastard and STILL has court ordered contact with the children.
After my marriage ended I dated a few guys. And ran a mile from the one who abdicated his responsibility for his kids.
"It's a load of bollocks when men spin the whole 'my evil Ex stops me from seeing my kids and there's NOTHING I can do about it' whine.
My Ex is an abusive bastard and STILL has court ordered contact with the children."
Yes, because what happened to you is the only truth.
Boney - I have the police photographs of my childrens bruises if you would like to see them ?
Some men stop the court process because it would cause their children more distress and harm to carry on with it as contact disputes can be so toxic.
I think that's quite a brave thing for a father to do, and it is putting his children's welfare first.
ah bullshit. The brave man that doesn't even try to see his children, don't make me laugh. Some women just make excuses for the men in their lives because they need to beleive he isn;t a complete wanker.
Rufus, he clearly isn't that a great a father if he said that.
Just so I understand a father, no matter what halm it will cause the children, should carry on battling through the courts.
And all fathers who don't see their children are doing it because they're feckless wankers?
How does a court case harm the children? myself and my x have been through court three times in total and the children didn't know where I was those days.
It rarely causes harm to children for their father to attempt contact. You think the large number of divorced fathers who lose contact with their children do it because they really have no choice and its all for the good of the children? BULLSHIT.
Yep, its mostly because they are feckless wankers.
Because of the bitterness it can generate between the separating couple and the problems that arise when children are used as pawns.
We had a totally amicable split, didn't need the courts, get on well and the children are happy, but I'm aware that all separations aren't like that.
I think a father should carry on battling through the courts so that the children know he didn't stop trying to see them. I think knowing he stopped trying to see them is very damaging.
Can you link to the evidence for that please.
Can you? nope. You can convince yourself, but everyone knows its a load of self serving rubbish.
One third of divorced families in the UK have no contact with the father. How many of them are in bitter custody battles? not that many. Cop yourself on.
i can not think of anything that would stop me from trying to see ds
not that i think i would ever be in that situation but why would i give up when he means everything to me
No I can't link to evidence. Do you have evidence you can link to that it does no harm for someone to stop trying to see their child then?
If my husband took the kids away and did all he could to prevent contact I know I'd not stop fighting for contact because I know what it would do to them to know I'd stopped trying.
Why no go after the feckless bitches who stop contact rather than these apparent arsehole men. They wouldn't have to battle in court if someone wasn't holding a child to ransom.
So in my DPs situation what should he have done? Carried on? Tried to enforce the contact order? Taken the kids against their mothers will? Gone toe to toe with the new partner in the driveway?
When I went to court with my ex I asked my solicitor what would happen if I didn't agree with what was ordered and denied the contact or moved away. Ultimately I could be found in contempt of court. But it would be very unlikely and only in extreme circumstances that a mother would have action taken against her for not complying with the order.
Mothers do sadly use their children as pawns in a relationship breakdown. Just because she is a mother it doesn't mean that she will always do the right thing.
I am not saying that what happened to you isn't true, it (IMHO it happens far to often)
But it isn't the only truth, there are obstructive RPs out there who do everything in their power to stop the NRP having contact.
YANBU to hold that opinion as long as you don't pass it on unsolicited. Personally I would not touch a man who had no contact with their children, I could not respect him. I am sure there are a myriad of good excuses out there, but at the end of the day 'my kids will know the truth when they are adults' is not a good one.
IME (but granted my experance is coming from my work) I see a lot of nrp's dads as well as mums who use the court system as a legally sanctioned method of abuseing ex's with very little regard for any children.
I also see quite a high proportion of nrp's who obtain contact orders but never stick to them because the only reason for going to court in the first place was to do battle.
The trouble with this is that it is a highly emotive issue. There are trends but enough exceptions that you cannot categorically state anything. Just as the overwhelming majority of domestic abuse is male on female but there is a significant amount of female on male abuse too, the majority of men who lose contact with their children are selfish bastards but there are enough who have lost contact for legitimate reasons that you can't just assume that.
If you were going to make an arbitrary decision based on statistical probability, you'd go with the "he's not worth knowing" approach, but it would be far better to listen and form an opinion based on other indications of that man's character. IME the sort of person capable of walking out on their children will display other selfish character traits as well. I rather suspect that this is exactly the case in the OP's friend's situation; but for some reason she is only now starting to recognise it - hence her asking the OP for her opinion.
mothers can be punsihed for witholding contact & sometimes custody can be awarded to the dad if the courts see that she is not allowing court ruled contact so there is NO excuse for a dad (or mum if they are the NRP) not to see the child. And NOTHING at all to stop them from asking the school to send reports, lists of dats (so casn go to parents evenings, school plays etc
We currently have a site user whose ex is on bail for raping her and abusing her in front of the child has been abusive towards the child won't use car seats or feed the child and she has been threatened with transference of residency
It does happen and its not infrequent.
hardboiled he is a fantastic hands on dad of a 14, 11 and 10 year old, he has however seen the pain the relative has gone through. And I'm sure that if he was in that position and I was not letting him see the children and would keep taking me to court for access. Our relative does not have the money for that
I quite agree that some men are complete and utter wankers and I have not seen anyone argue otherwise, but some women are complete and utter bitches.
Better for the 'emotional well-being' of the children for the 'father' to take the easy option and walk away - I almost died laughing at that .
My father walked away when I was 7. Never paid a penny maintenance even though he received a large lump sum of money directly after the divorce, never went to court as it was 'too hard' and he did not want to cause us distress and now 30 years later after no contact for all that time, does not understand why I can't move on and play happy families. My mother was abusive to him apparently and it was too stressful (so her extreme physical and emotional abuse to me was OK then). He did'nt want any arguments so went onto bring up and financially support someone else's DCs instead .
Yes, men like this are feckless, pathetic wankers and I could not waste a minute on them. Problem is that they may think their DCs are OK and it's better for them but a lot of the emotional pain of the 'abandonment' does not surface until adulthood when those DCs go on to have their own families.
Maybe it should be rephrased to say there is no excuse for not trying to maintain contact, rather than there is no excuse for not having contact.
I don't accept that inability to afford court fees is an acceptable excuse. I don't accept that "it's too hard" for either the child or the father to maintain contact and that it's better for all concerned if he walks away. I don't accept that if you don't see your child you shouldn't have to pay maintenance. I don't accept that being told to stick to an agreed schedule of contact is the same thing as "she's being obstructive and won't let me see my kids". All of which are excuses trotted out by lots of NRPs.
However, in the case of froubylou's DP, the effort was clearly made. I think that will speak for itself when the DC are older. Her DP will have a lot less explaining to do than someone who never even bothered to go to court in the first place, and throughout all that he lived up to his financial responsibilities. I'm interested as to why CS was used though, as 'use of force' by a police officer has to be justified and another person's statement (especially an Xs) that someone was going to attack her wouldn't normally be considered strong enough.
Definitely a hard one, and not a thought I would have shared given they already have a child. Besides, some things aren't as black and white as you may think. Yes, some fathers are fuckwits, my own included as he couldn't be arsed to pay or see his own children and simply set up home with someone else and had a 'new' family. My stepfather on the other hand was married to the most spiteful, vile and vindictive women I have ever met. He left her because of the emotional abuse he was suffering and has had to stand by and watch as she systematically poisons her children's minds against their father to the point that they will not even acknowledge him when he is walking down the street. He has been on their doorstep every other weekend for as long as I remember (family friend before settling down with my mum) go try and see them to no avail. He also gives £80,000 a year to support them, plus pensions and bonuses. He took the wife to court to demand access, but, and this is the kicker, because the kids don't want to know, he has no rights.
It's very sad. He is one of the kindest and most generous people and absolutely worth knowing. You can't tar everyone with the same brush.
Dahlen they shouldn't have used the pepper spray and they shouldn't have arrested him and kept him in for 12 hours either. However the ex had told them he had a knife on him so they used extreme force to overwhelm him. He was black and blue, denied medical attention and kept in on her say so as she was 'frightened' of him.
When his brief arrived the next day at the police station he played merry hell and advised DP to file an official complaint against him. But this was the final nail in the coffin for him and he just wanted to see his kids at the end of the day.
I admit at the end of the day I was as sceptical as anyone at his story and thought he was exaggerating it all. However his late mother and his sister both tell the same story and the fact he was on AD's for 2 years afterwards sorts of backs up what he says.
As the DC are both now teenagers we have tried to track them down but the mother remarried and moved away, her family he knew are all now either moved away or deceased.
My sisters partner is also going through a similar situation at the moment for contact with his little girl. So far they have paid a 4 figures out in sols fee's, paid for drug and alcohol tests for both of them as the mother as accused both him and my dsis of being alcoholics and drug addicts (they aren't) and have secured 1 hours supervised visit at a contact centre once a week which the mother doesn't always turn up to. He has a son from a different relationship (he's now 10) who he has every weekend and most of the school holidays are spent at my sisters MIL during the day and with them overnight as his ex works F/T and it saves her the childcare costs. Plus he pays her £50 per week maintaince and buys him all his uniform, shoes and clothes.
So you can't say he is a bad father either? And the ex with the little girl was apparantly on the depo jab when she 'accidently' got pg. So he's not some numpty who goes around shirking his responsibilities either.
There are some useless wankers out there who abandon their DC. I was brought up by a stepdad as my own father did just that and fucked off to live in a kibutz when I was a few months old. My ex (although he has contact) doesn't pay a penny to the CSA as the contact order he has states that DD is with him more than 52 nights a year (she isn't) and he is on the dole. And has been for 7 years. And the only reason we went to court 3 times was as a bullying tactic from him to try and control me still. The court cases stopped when I advised my sols I would no longer be attending for that very reason.
So I can see both sides of the story when it comes to breakdowns in relationships. If you had listened to my ex he would have you believe I was denying contact (I never, ever did) and being delibrately obstructive by not letting her go for overnight visits to a houseshare of 3 men who I didn't know from adam when she was 2 years old. And then when she was 3 I was obstructive again when I said that the contacts had to be at a weekend or after school! And then when she was 4 I was an unfit mother because I had a new relationship and took her on holiday abroad.
Every relationship breakdown is different and complex. So you can not tar all men who don't see their DCs with the same brush.
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