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.

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.

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 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.

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 19:26:23

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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

Don't pay more. Why should you?

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.

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.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 26-Aug-13 07:47:52

But surely you don't give to receive? Parenting isn't about measuring how much you get out - it's about giving support (financial or otherwise) no matter what.

But the OP isn't the DCs parent, so she is 'giving' to the DSC that she has a relationship with because they have a relationship, not because she is obliged to do so.

Expecting the OP to financially support a DSC who has rejected her family at the expense of the OPs own DC is a big ask, and one most SMs would struggle with.

Themarriedwoman Mon 26-Aug-13 07:14:25

I feel sorry for your husband, but don't bring this down to money. He should, of course, pay for his children. You say you don't begrudge dsd2 anything, but dsd1? They are both his children, and they are children. He is the adult, he needs to continue showing support, interest and unfailing love. Maybe he is hurting, but she is hurting so so much more.

peppersquint Mon 26-Aug-13 07:02:34

"How is it fair that he should be asked for more, while receiving less?"

But surely you don't give to receive? Parenting isn't about measuring how much you get out - it's about giving support (financial or otherwise) no matter what.

matana Sun 25-Aug-13 00:28:04

Thanks for your support everyone. It helps to know others are in the same situation even though that in itself is very sad.

The thing I hold onto is that we have such a happy relationship with dsd2. If we were that bad surely she wouldn't love us as much as she clearly does.

As for money, well I'm the main earner. I don't begrudge anything at all for dsd2.I pay for all birthdays, christmases and holidays etc. My ds receives the same amount paid for these occasions as dsd2. I treat them absolutely equally. My dh has never defaulted on a single payment for his girls, has increaesd the amount every single year despite not receiving the same pay rise and has wanted to have the girls as often as possible. What he caanot afford, I pay.

How is it fair that he should be asked for more, while receiving less?

louby44 Sat 24-Aug-13 17:07:26

I don't think you can ever give up! I keep telling my DP that! Even when his DD make it bloody hard!

He won't give up - he struggled to have them (IVF babies) so he won't give up with a fight!

theredhen Sat 24-Aug-13 16:45:09

Mumandboys - I am a step mum in a similar situation to op. we haven't seem dss for 18 months. We still pay over the odds in maintenance for him. I also have a ds whose father is self employed.

So I know what it's like to go out to work to provide for both my step children and my natural child ask also have a resident stepchild who we also receive no maintenance for whilst we pay the same ex.

tessa6 Sat 24-Aug-13 12:46:17

This is so sad. I can only think of it from the viewpoint of her in ten, twenty years time. The only thing that has a chance of saving their relationship and to some extent, her own sense of self-worth and being loved is if she can remember that he consistently and continually tried. The most important thing is she can look back and feel she was loved and she has proof of that. She may come to regret her decision but she should never feel abandoned.

16 is so so young. My parents were together then and I still HATED my father, for years, it's a natural stage to go through. This is such a culmination of unkind parenting, shattered loyalties and hormones. This might be a blip of a couple of years. Try and focus on how it should be looked back on, rather than the pain and pettinesses of the present.

Good luck

matana Sat 24-Aug-13 11:57:29

But I'm not. Read the thread.

mumandboys123 Sat 24-Aug-13 11:38:53

mantana you should try being a PWC with a self-employed ex.

matana Fri 23-Aug-13 22:05:46

So she did extremely well in her exams, she sent everyone a text to tell them... except dh. Regardless he sent her a lovely heartfelt text and put a card through her door. Nothing at all in reply again.

Hasn't stopped the exW asking dh for more maintenance though.... ironically on the same day he had his most recent correspondence ignored by his daughter. The world is most unjust toward non resident parents and their families.

professorgrommit Wed 07-Aug-13 05:46:31

My dp has same situation with his 16 ds. He had v acriminious divorce and exw very active in trying to stop contact. His ds comes weekly (after court order)and they have good relationship but ds refuses to have any contact with him. If very painful and horrid for him. He sends email and cards etc (she has refused to give telephone number and exw brought her new one when ds gave it to him) He went to sons sports day and she swore at him with exw smug in background. I don't encourage him to keep going but to move on. It must be damaging to her too but she's so spiteful and just nasty and exw so enjoying the situation I feel we need to move on with our lives and forget her.

Eliza22 Fri 02-Aug-13 22:13:20

You are me. And it's F*****g awful. Christmas, birthdays, special meals, DS's achievements (which were once celebrated) go unackowleged. It's crap. And all because dad had the audacity to remarry (7 years after his ex wife's affair). If it wasnt so ludicrous, it'd be funny.

I'm so sorry for you, OP. Personally, I wish my SD all the happiness she deserves.

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