No contact from sd for 2 years. Should dh try again?

(38 Posts)
matana Sat 15-Jun-13 11:30:05

Long story, but sd decided almost 2 years ago that she didn't want to see dh again and would not even talk to him to try to resolve the problem. She was 14 and is now almost 16. Dh has tried many times to sort things out with her, he has written her cards and letters etc and finally accepted that he was getting nowhere and so stopped trying to reinstate contact, but continued to write cards, which i imagine were either unopened by her or binned immediately. But he has now started talking about trying to sort things out with her again, now that she has finished her GCSEs and can't be accused of upsetting her to the point of her failing exams. I want nothing to do with her at the moment, but want to support dh in his relationship with her. The trouble is, every time he tries and gets knocked back, it has a huge impact on our family. Is it worth him trying again, or should he wait until she instigates it?

If she ever does, of course. it's plausible that she won't.

matana Mon 26-Aug-13 08:01:56

I think I've made it clear my dh has always supported them financially raising increases year on year and paying exactly what he must. My pointbis that exw had a bloody cheek asking for kore on the day dsd1 rejected her dad yet again. Where the hell is her attempt to influence her daughter? She couldn't care less. And yes I do begrudge paying for such heartless, selfish and uncaring 16 year old. I would not tolerate this from my own ds so why am I expected to tolerate it from her? My point is that the law should not discriminate fathers in this way. If he's expected to pay, he should also have some support to see his child. He did not walk away. It was her choice to cease contact and his exw's who chose not to exert some influence over the situation.

matana Mon 26-Aug-13 08:06:00

While she might now be deemed almost adult she most definitely was not when she took the decision to walk away when she was 14. This situation is deeply damaging to everyone involved. It is not in a child's best interest not to have a relationship with their father unless abuse or neglect is involved.

Squooodle Mon 26-Aug-13 08:07:03

Don't pay more. Why should you?

peppersquint Mon 26-Aug-13 08:18:21

But you cannot force the ex wife to make her child behave in a particular way.

Your DSD sounds pretty wilful and determined (two years is a long time to keep her distance).

If it was the ex wife's fault then surely the other child would be behaving the same.

If you are a parent you do not choose how/when you support your child. You don't withdraw support if they are being awkward - that makes you a bigger child than they are.

So if your own DS suddenly displays unacceptable behaviour will you withdraw all support, will you not make the effort?

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 26-Aug-13 08:27:47

peppers I've also had a DSC reject our family and subsequently reunite and she blames her Mum, who made it easy for her.

Well, you don't have to go if you don't want to
it'll be nice, just the two of us, we'll get a take away
well, if you don't go, we can pop into town and buy those shoes you like

Mum gave her the impression that contact with her Dad was optional and she resents her mum hugely for it.

PrincessFlirtyPants Mon 26-Aug-13 09:34:11

Mantana I'm so sorry you are going through this, it sounds awful.

If I can provide some advice from the other side if the fence, my DH hasn't spoken to his dad for over a year. He doesn't want anything more to do with him and his fathers attempts at contact just push my DH further away. My suggestion would be for your DH to write a letter acknowledging that his DD is angry with him, explain that he will always love her and when she wants to contact him, he is waiting for her.

I think that your DSD will regret this in a few years as there doesn't seen to be much for them to have fallen out over.

flowers I hope things get better for you.

matana Mon 26-Aug-13 18:51:08

Exactly china, that's exactly how it began. She seems go acknowledge this on one level as she is encouraging dsd2 to spend much more time with us which dsd2 is more than happy to do.

No I would not withdraw from my ds. But as he lives with us I imagine it would be much easier to get over petty squabbles and none of us would wallow, safe in the knowledge we didn't have fo face up to things just because it will be difficult. Besides which, ds is my son and therefore my responsibility. Dsd1 is not.

matana Mon 26-Aug-13 18:52:45

Oh and he has written letters saying that and continues to keep trying, though it has a hugely nagative impact on us every time she rejects him again.

PrincessFlirtyPants Mon 26-Aug-13 19:26:23

Oh sorry OP. I meant send the letter then do not attempt further contact.

matana Mon 26-Aug-13 21:10:25

Thanks princess. But what about cards to mark special occasions? Do you think he should stop that?

PrincessFlirtyPants Mon 26-Aug-13 21:33:25

It's so hard to say as I can only go by what my DH would feel, he heard from us dad on his birthday and our wedding anniversary and he was happy he didn't forget that. However, when his dad persisted with extra contact he was really angry that he wasn't respecting his boundaries , he wasn't ready for any extra contact. Sometimes when it has gone on as long as it has little steps are the best way forward.

If it was me, I would say to your DH that he should make sure that his communication is very clear, (so that it cant be manipulated by anyone else) he should let her know that he is not giving up on DD, will always love her etc. I would continue to repeat the same message at each 'special occasion' so that she couldn't say he didn't care or that he had forgotten.

I would also try to (and I appreciate how difficult this would be) manage your DH's expectations. Tell him to send the card, but not to expect a response. Send it to her just so she knows he's thinking of her and loves her, but not with any expectations of reconciliation.

I really feel for you, OP. it's so hard watching the one we love be hurt by someone we are only relayed to by marriage. I intensely dislike my FIL for how he has made DH feel, it's not a feeling I can imagine I will ever get over. It doesn't stop me from wanting my DH to have a relationship with his dad though IYSWIM.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 26-Aug-13 23:02:13

There is a difference between an estrangement in an adult parent/child Relationship and one in which the child still views the parent as a 'parental figure' though.

I'm estranged from my parents and would hate regular contact from them, but I'm over 40 and its only been a few years.

DSD (16) has said that the fortnightly letters DP sent to her while they were estranged were important to her (she's kept them all) because it meant that when she really needed him, she knew he was still there for her and he wasn't a stranger to her.

PrincessFlirtyPants Tue 27-Aug-13 10:07:38

Agree, ChinaCups

I really am only trying to provide some understanding from the other side. I think I'll bow out of the thread now.

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