My ex won't let me build a relationship with my daughter- what should I do?

(6 Posts)
MrMarried Mon 01-Feb-16 03:09:35

I am the father of a wonderful 6 year old. She lives with her mum in South America after our relationship broke down. I see her on skype every week and visit as often as I can, which considering the expense is once per year. I have just come back from my last visit a little heart broken. The circumstances in which I am able to see my daughter are strange- they are always in very controlled conditions- at my ex partners father’s house or if we go out I am always accompanied by a member of her family- often my ex partner. My relationship with her is challenging. I am always respectful to her, but she finds it hard to reciprocate this- I do not speak the language (although of course I am trying) so often conversations are not translated by her which leaves me feeling isolated when I visit. Ultimately I love my little girl and want to be able to build a loving relationship with her and not feel like I am always under supervision. This time I insisted that I wanted to take her to the local park – this suggestion resulted in a WW3 conversation and I am just left feeling like I am being unreasonable. She finally relented and we had a lovely afternoon at the park- some lovely, quality time. If my ex is busy (working etc), normal days with my daughter would be with her at her father’s house, watching tv, building dens, treasure hunts- all fine, but I just want to take her some where like a water park, shopping centre, cinema- anything…I want to be a dad and do fun things with her. I am just not being allowed to do this.
When I raise this with my ex, a normal response is for her to just shout back in her native language. Of course, I am unable to explain my view to her family and she (very, very successfully) makes me appear to be unreasonable. She also does this in front of my daughter. I just want to give up – I feel so alone in these circumstances but I love my daughter so much.
Mums- I think you will hate this, but in my opinion the only thing I can control in these circumstances is the financial support I give. Now I take my responsibilities as a dad very seriously. I proudly financially support my ex, but this is my one bargaining chip that I have. I am considering threatening not paying this unless I am allowed to have quality time with my daughter. I am prepared to be absolutely slaughtered by you all for sharing this with you, which is partly why I wanted to as I do not feel (6 years on) that I am getting anywhere. In fact, after my last visit and shouting episode, I have returned feeling the trip did more damage to my relationship with my little girl than good.
What to do?

Arcadia Fri 05-Feb-16 21:20:38

Can you afford to consult a Solicitor in the country where your child lives?

SurroMummy13 Wed 06-Apr-16 10:13:41

This is really sad.

My 1st suggestion is to learn the language before you next go to see her and visit. But don't tell her and surprise her! smile

Could you move closer by so you can spend more time with her.

I'm not sticking up for them but a possible reason your ex is being like that and not letting you go without a chaperone is because you don't know the area and people as well as they do and you don't (through no fault of your own) your daughter behaviour?.

Maybe call more than once a week via Skype? Start off with twice?.

Maybe at the end of the Skype call, tell her you love and miss her in her native language?

Good luck!

OzzieFem Wed 06-Apr-16 12:32:07

You are probably not being allowed to spend time alone with your daughter as they may perceive this as being too high a risk of your abducting her. The main problem would appear to be the language difficulty, and as other pps have advised you try to learn it and also get legal advice. flowers

How did the mother get permission to take her daughter to SA, or were you actually resident there, before the breakdown in your relationship?

stilllovingmysleep Thu 07-Apr-16 16:54:32

How very sad. I'm so sorry MrMarried!

I think as I first step you should consult a solicitor and explore the whole thing.

The second thing I want to say (as I work professionally with children many of whom have been abandoned by their dads) is that in the future your DD will HUGELY appreciate your efforts. Even if they don't pay off, even if this is done in terms that are obviously very bad for you, from your DD's perspective this is so important. Also, things may change in the future if you persist. Eg she will be able to visit on her own once she's older and you will see her more. She will also be able to contact you on her own initiative.

I wouldn't use the money issue tempting as it is. You're giving the money for your DD, not for you to have the relationship you want and deserve. I can feel your pain and agree with everything you say but this is one situation where you just need to keep trying and trying. And then trying some more. On good terms always, however they treat you.

But get some advice and try to negotiate better terms.

Again I'm so sorry you're going through this... So painful!

icy121 Tue 19-Apr-16 18:13:53

South American says it all. ExW is just the same - any perceived criticism is the end of the world & her response is to shout, yell, cry, slam down phones, slam doors in faces.

Were you married? Is there a child support agreement in place? subject to that, I'd threaten to remove financial support for the mother, whilst maintaining money for your daughter (you could take it a step further & ask for proof of receipts if you want to ensure the cash is spent on your DD). I'd also step up the Skype sessions to twice a week minimum and maybe learn a bit of Spanish/Portuguese if necessary.

Your ex sounds like a complete cow & I'm sorry that you're stuck with her as the mother to your child. Any woman who moves halfway round the world, denying their child access to their father, is in my opinion an utter cunt

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