DH's dd, 16, won't see him, but keeps asking for money

(75 Posts)
dirtyface Tue 24-Sep-13 11:13:35

back story: when DH split with XW, his exW made it very difficult for him to see DSD who was 10 at the time. every time he tried to get in touch, he was told DSD did not want to see him, and to get out of their lives etc, that it would just upset DSD him being in touch. so DH backed off a bit but still sent occasional emails, plus birthday / xmas presents but never heard anything back, other than the very occasional message telling him to fuck off etc. and of course he has been paying XW a decent amount of maintenance the whole time as well.
we have been married 3 years, have a DD together who is four, and we are expecting another DC in april. DSD has never met DD
also, i will be straight with you all here, i know i risk a flaming as OWs are hated on here. but i was the OW. if it makes any difference, it was only for about a month and then DH left his XW. i regret every day how we got together, its not an excuse but i was young and immature and if i was in the same position i would never go near a married man. but at the same time it was not just a fling, we actually fell in love, and we are still really happy together and still very much in love.

after all this time, DSD finally got in touch with DH about a year ago, a short email just asking for some money, he was really happy that she had got in touch and replied straight away saying yes of course, asking how she was etc. he got no reply back. so he put the money in her account anyway.

this is happening every couple of weeks now, the emails are short and abrupt, and not very polite, no please / thank you etc. we cant really afford it. but we dont want to NOT give her the money in case she stops being in contact, and in case it gives her more fuel to hate dh. the last few months, each time she has emailed, dh has asked to meet her, to take her shopping or for lunch so he can give her the money, and she has just ignored the question. she works btw.

we feel like she is just using us for money, DH really wants to try to rebuild the relationship with her, and i would love to have her in our lives, no matter what. i am also worried as at some point he will need to tell her that we are having another baby, and that will go down like a lead balloon i am sure sad

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 26-Sep-13 14:44:01

I have to add that your dh should have got a court order for 50/50 access as soon as they split. A ten year old is not able to make their own decisions

I agree with some of your post Idespair but I am driven to challenge this.

My DP applied for 50:50 shared residency after his ex withheld contact - up to that point he had been equal or even primary carer as his ex worked F/T shifts from when the DCs were both babies.
His DD was 11 and his DS 5. They were interviewed by CAFCASS who wrote a wishes and feelings report and the court made an order in relation to DSS for EOW and a recital for DD - which basically said that if she wanted to see her Dad her mum had to allow it. Yeah, right. Even the CAFCASS report said that DSD displayed a feeling of responsibility for her Mums emotions.

Yes, the OPs DP could have done more; but a 50:50 court order, involving a reluctant 10 year old girl would never have been possible.

fubar74 Thu 26-Sep-13 17:04:05

Dirtyface the issue here is not the fact that you were the OW it is the fact that his DD is milking his guilty feelings for everything she can get, he needs to make it about seeing her and making things up to her emotionally not financially. Unfortunately I had the same argument with my DH about his son coming back into our lives although I wasn't the OW his mother told him I was yet he was separated for 8 months before we met up, I didn't want us to be made to feel guilty and try to make up for that when it was the ex poisoning their minds. Hope you find some middle ground and answers soon.

fubar74 Thu 26-Sep-13 17:07:37

I also think that some people believe it is easier to go through the courts than it really is, sometimes financially, sometimes emotionally, if the ex has poisoned them there isn't much you can do the damage is done. My DH tried to go through court, Ex refused to go to mediation, then got her own CO to make her new partner full parental responsibility instead of DH (they weren't married) then she took them away and said to the kids he never bothered, when she made sure he couldn't contact them.

basgetti Thu 26-Sep-13 17:50:22

OP, I think how harshly you judge your DP should depend on what exactly happened with his Ex. If she told him to go away and he just said ok and disappeared from his daughter's life then that would suggest to me that he just took the easy way out and abandoned his daughter to start a new family. I would personally find that hard to forgive and would consider that he used his Ex's anger as an excuse to shirk his responsibilities.

If however, he contacted the Ex regularly demanding contact and she told him that she was never letting him see his daughter again and would move house/fight him through the courts/make his life hell then I think his behaviour may be more understandable if he didn't want his daughter to be put in the middle of a battleground. I still think he should have taken legal advice at least but having myself been through family court for nearly 4 years and finding it an utterly traumatic experience, I would have some sympathy for his position.

Tonandfeather Thu 26-Sep-13 20:59:51

But it might not have even GOT to court. That's the proverbial sledgehammer to crack a nut after all. A formal residence agreement as part of the divorce might have sorted this, or a strongly worded solicitor's letter, or his sincere apology to his exW for having an affair before leaving and some conciliation with the objective of seeing his daughter. Between A-Z there are many letters. Instead it sounds like he was told to stay away and he said 'okay'.

I don't think something like this gets sorted until the adults face up to the truth and apologise for their mistakes. The poster and her husband can't affect what the ex wife does about that, but they CAN affect their own behaviour. That process maybe starts by challenging some of the stories that are believed as truth, but which don't bear scrutiny and are easily disproved (such as the men get a harder time than women nonsense) or which can't be corroborated (such as the daughter's angry ONLY because she's been poisoned by her mother.)

The biggest but most helpful admission by the father might be to finally admit to himself and his daughter that yes, he took the easy option and no, it wasn't because he truly believed his daughter would have been better off without seeing him. And yes, it was because he was loved-up and in a new relationship and didn't want to spare the time away from it. If the poster can also admit (if true) that she didn't do much to encourage the relationship herself at the time because of her own jealousies or insecurities, now's the time to do it.

It doesn't do teenagers any harm to know their parents are human who fuck up sometimes. But they are more likely to forgive something like this if a parent tells the real truth, takes responsibility for it and apologises, instead of putting the blame on others or giving reasons that actually weren't true.

Maybe the girl's mother regrets her own actions now and has already apologised to her daughter for them? Her daughter at 16 might be generous enough to forgive her mother's angry, hurt response in the wake of betrayal and have the maturity to see that while regrettable, some of that was understandable. Maybe her father needs to do the same now?

In a way, the poster herself is going from A straight to Z (unless there are other problems in the relationship.) So A is supporting her husband and propping up the false beliefs and Z is ditching him. There's maybe a middle ground here too.

dirtyface Thu 26-Sep-13 22:17:51

Instead it sounds like he was told to stay away and he said okay

no, i apologise if thats how it sounds but it wasn't like that. i tried to keep my OP brief for ease of reading but maybe i should have gone into full details.

so here is the long version of what actually happened and what led to them not seeing eachother anymore. and i'm sorry if this is seen as drip feeding. when DH left exw DH was still seeing DSD for about a year and a half. the access was informal, so the divorce was finalised before dsd stopped wanting to see him. i agree that a formal residence agreement should have been sorted out; but it wasn't, as at the time things were working out OK.

but after all this time, about a year and a half, of regular access, with no problems, DH would turn up to pick up DSD at a pre arranged time, but no one would be in. then xw started canceling access at late notice etc etc, this went on for a couple of months and then it escalated with xw saying DSD did not want to see him anymore. he kept trying to ring / text EXW and DSD but getting no reply. he also wrote letters but no reply. after a few weeks he went to their house but no one answered. he did that a few times until one day someone did answer and it was new tenants. he then tried to get in touch with exw's family, to find out where they had gone and explain that he wanted to see DSD but no one on exw's side of the family would speak to DH (understandably i suppose). so he was getting nowhere. he still kept trying to ring and text but nothing.

DH then found DSD on facebook and got talking to her again, she didn't want to see him but they would chat on FB a few times a week. DSD also gave DH a mobile number and they would occasionally text, but if DH rang she wouldn't answer. but DH was happy as at least they were chatting on FB which was a start. this went on for quite a few months and then contact stopped from DSD's side. he kept messaging her on FB and texting her, trying to ring etc but no reply. then dsd FB account disappeared. Then exW got in touch with DH and told him to stay away etc, that DSD didnt want him in her life, that it was upsetting DSD him being in touch etc. so yes, DH backed off then. but he did not completely back off, he sent a text every couple of weeks just saying hello etc and saying he was here when / if she was ready. but not pressuring her or anything. but he got nothing back until as i said about a year ago when she started emailing him.

I would also add that all the time since he left xw DH has been paying maintenance plus sending birthday / christmas cards every year with money in to DSD's grandmothers address and just hoping it gets to her. so in no way has DH shirked any financial responsibilities.

The biggest but most helpful admission by the father might be to finally admit to himself and his daughter that yes, he took the easy option and no, it wasn't because he truly believed his daughter would have been better off without seeing him. And yes, it was because he was loved-up and in a new relationship and didn't want to spare the time away from it. If the poster can also admit (if true) that she didn't do much to encourage the relationship herself at the time because of her own jealousies or insecurities, now's the time to do it

Believe me, it was not the easy option for DH. And he had to be careful that what he was doing was not upsetting or harassing his EXW or DD while keeping a balance of still making it known he was "available" iyswim. i saw him break down on many occasions over this. but the whole time since when the contact stopped, he has been hoping that she will get in touch, that she will be ready to start having some kind of relationship with him.

And I did, and do, strongly encourage the relationship. I wanted DH to have a relationship with his daughter and I also wanted to meet her, to get to know her, to be her friend and maybe in time her stepmum. I have never met her but I care about her and I see her as part of our family, and I want my DD to know DSD one day - they are sisters. So please don't suggest I have done anything to discourage him.

Our relationship, apart from this, is as close to perfect as I believe any relationship could ever be. what we have is special and we are both deeply in love with eachother. we are best friends and equals and i don't believe in soulmates (cringe at word) but we just click, we are just right. we are adults and have been round the block but we still say even now we have never had anything close to this with anyone else. 6 years on and i still get excited when i hear his key in the door. sorry for cheesiness but i am trying to get across how good we are together in general and it is not something i would throw away lightly. and thats before i have even touched on how much the dc love him and vice versa what a special relationship they have.

But As I said, I think he should have gone through the courts and other channels like organisations that help fathers etc and this is what is making me just question everything. and I thought it at the time, but I felt that it wasn't my place to push him into anything, as he knew best as it was HIS dd and someone I didnt know. And he was so sure that given time she would come round he thought it would not be needed and it could be sorted out. But maybe he should have tried harder, maybe he didn't fight enough, maybe what he did was not enough. and this is what is really making me question him. and question how can i love someone so much that has not fought hard enough for his own child??

Tonandfeather Thu 26-Sep-13 22:40:05

It's ever so hard to understand why he didn't do anything legally at the point he didn't even know his daughter's address, then later when his wife said 'back off'. Are you also saying that his ex wife made no claim for child support in the divorce and so he's just been sending money that he thinks is appropriate, but has no way of knowing whether he was supporting his daughter financially all these years? Did he ever check with her in his occasional contact whether her mum got the money, the cards and the presents? How did he know how much to send?

Obviously, you've got no way of knowing what he told his wife when he left, but if he left a month after starting an affair with you, it was probably quite sudden and without warning. That must have been a very painful shock for both her and his daughter who must have been only 10.
I'm sure he's probably said the marriage was dead in the water etc. but of course you've got no way of knowing that was true, or whether his wife would have had the same view, have you? Did he tell her that he'd met smeone else for example, or did he lie? Again, you might not be able to answer that because you've only got his word for it.

This might be just me noticing this, but I find what you say about him and your current relationship a bit unrealistic somehow. Almost as though you're trying to convince yourself too much that he's wonderful. Are you being really honest with yourself about him? We all have faults after all. It seems odd that someone who could be that selfish once doesn't show any trace of that ever again. False, almost.

Tonandfeather Thu 26-Sep-13 22:43:07

The other thing I wondered was whether he's as upset about this as you?

Is he talking to friends or on forums asking for advice, or is he okay with the situation?

dirtyface Fri 27-Sep-13 07:58:56

It's ever so hard to understand why he didn't do anything legally at the point he didn't even know his daughter's address, then later when his wife said 'back off'

i agree

Are you also saying that his ex wife made no claim for child support in the divorce and so he's just been sending money that he thinks is appropriate, but has no way of knowing whether he was supporting his daughter financially

no his child support has been directly through the CSA

Did he ever check with her in his occasional contact whether her mum got the money, the cards and the presents?

yes he did but no answer

I'm sure he's probably said the marriage was dead in the water etc

they were both unhappy apparently but you all think that is BS, clearly, so no matter what i say you will assume he had a great marriage and i was the scheming witch who stole him

I find what you say about him and your current relationship a bit unrealistic somehow. Almost as though you're trying to convince yourself too much that he's wonderful

i am just telling it how it is, we do have a great relationship.

god all this is shit

i couldnt sleep last night

i am on the verge of tears constantly

i wish i had never started this fucking thread

i am 10 weeks pregnant

i love him so much but you lot all think he is a cunt and a liar. i feel like packng his bags today while he is at work but at the same time if i lost him i feel like i would die

whattodoo Fri 27-Sep-13 08:11:57

Don't pack his bags.

You love him, he loves you. You have a family together. That is why you shouldn't pack his bags.

Follow some of the other advice on this thread about how to handle the DSD/money situation (I think a regular allowance is a great idea).

CupOCoffee Fri 27-Sep-13 09:45:08

Have only read first few posts but my initial thought is are you sure the emails are from the daughter and not the mum?

If i were him i would reply and say that he has the money in cash so he'd need to pop round to give it to her or he would love her to come to your house and meet her sibling. When's good for her?

Will go read the rest now!

CupOCoffee Fri 27-Sep-13 10:00:07

Onesleeptillwembley Ok, but don't you see this poor kids actions are a direct result of his and your actions? Thats the main issue here. I think also calling him a wonderful dad was guaranteed to get backs up.

No, the kids actions are of a result of the mum bad mouthing the dad and making contact difficult. It must have been awful for her but using her daughter as a weapon is absolutely disgusting and extremely damaging for a child.

dirtyface i still think its double standards though, a man leaves and he is the worst bastard on the face of the planet. yet a woman leaves a shit relationship and she is brave and strong etc. its because when a man leaves he is seen to "leave his family" ie children, but the fact is in most cases the woman gets the lions share of the custody so she is not seen in that way.

Completely agree. This man didn't leave his child, he left his wife. Unfortunately this means that as the man the custody would most like go to the woman. If a woman has an affair and splits with her husband or splits with him for any reason she is not seen as abandoning her children because they will most likely stay with her. She is seen only as ending her marriage.

CupOCoffee Fri 27-Sep-13 10:10:02

he did that a few times until one day someone did answer and it was new tenants

Oh my God! She just moved and didn't tell him? That must have been horrendous for him to not know where his daughter was!

Nothing so far that you have said make me think he is in any way to blame for the loss of contact and that the ex was being vindictive. Who knows what she told the daughter about him, it's hardly surprising that she doesn't want to see him.

This is assuming he wasn't violent/emotionally abusive etc.

So I don't really see why you have suddenly started wondering if he might be a cunt? Based on what?

As someone whose parents marriage broke down because of my Dads affair, I will contribute that I highly dobt DSD mum is blameless in the emotional damage to her daughter.

DSD would have been hurt, upset and confused by her Dad leaving yes, but with fairly regular contact for around 18 months, I find it hard to believe DSD would suddenly want to stop seeing her Dad on a whim. I would bet my last penny DSD heard some pretty nasty things about her Dad that no child should hear. I know I did and I was only six, yet knew about the affair, who it was with, and heard my Dad called all the anmes under the sun by my mum and aunts.

Yes your DH probably should have gone via the courts, but that's what makes hindsight such a wonderful thing. All he can do now is try his best, and it sounds like he has been doing just that, regardless of whether he has been successful or not, he has never completely given up.

Take some of the more sane and useful advice on here regarding the money situation and ignore all the unnecessary blaming and bitching aimed at you.

allmycats Fri 27-Sep-13 10:12:14

I am seeing this differently to many of you and IMO the girl is 'blackmailing' her father, she knows he wants contact and by asking for, and receiving this money she is keeping him on the long finger - by continuing to take these monies she is letting the father think there may be a 'way in' in the future.
What is past is past and this situation should be interpreted in the now, not the past.
I would not send any money but would say that you will meet at X place
to discuss the financial situation and progress from there. If she does not turn up then you have the answer.

Kaluki Fri 27-Sep-13 12:50:34

I'm also the child of a dad who had an affair and left my Mum.
Although my Mum was clearly devastated and for a time my Dad was public enemy number 1 in our house, he never stopped seeing us and we loved him for that. My own ex left me for an OW and I never told my dc why he went. They have probably worked it out for themselves but that is for their Dad to discuss with them, not me.
Just consider if you were at work and your dh left with your child to live with another woman. You don't know where he is so you phone his mobile and he tells you your daughter is having a nice time with him and his new woman so would you please not contact them ever again. Would you seriously not go to court for access? Can you imagine not fighting to see your own primary school aged child? That's what your dh did! You can't brush it off with excuses like he didn't want to upset her. 6 years passed!
This is such a good analogy - I can't understand why a parent would agree that it is best for the child to walk away from them, whatever the circumstances.

Tonandfeather Fri 27-Sep-13 15:58:11

It feels really offensive to call a 16 year old a 'blackmailer' and there have been other offensive things said about the girl concerned elsewhere on the thread. She's just a kid, hormonal and trying to make sense of the world.

Some illogical assumptions too, as well as factual inaccuracies. The husband left in 2007 and by the poster's account, the divorce followed a few years later. In 2006 I knew a father who was succesful in his application for 50-50 residence and since then, I've known of no father who applied for it, turned down. So while it might be true that mothers still 'get the bulk of the custody' that's only because so few fathers ask for more.

No-one knows why this girl stopped wanting to see her father. Being poisoned by her mother though seems one of the most illogical suppositions in this case, I have to say. Seeing as the girl was seeing her father for 18months-2 years in the period when you'd have thought her mum was feeling most angry and shocked, isn't it a more obvious hypothesis that the girl just didn't want to be spending time with her Dad, in that way and at that age? Especially if they'd never spent time like that together regularly in all the years before and especially as 12-13 year olds are starting to want to spend their free time mooching around with their friends and not their parents?

Adults are notoriously bad sometimes at understanding what kids like to do, especially adults who haven't played a particularly strong role in a kid's life. If this father hadn't been in the habit of spending days or afternoons with his daughter on his own, I can understand how he might have got it a bit wrong when he did, or if she'd started to dread these days. Maybe it all coincided too with him having another baby? The ages seem about right for that to be a possibility.

No-one knows anything for sure- and those that do might still have quite a bit invested in a different truth that paints them in a more positive light.

I'm still a bit bewildered that the poster is thinking of jacking the whole relationship in on the strength of this old news, but I think pregnancy can sometimes cause old vulnerabilities to re-surface and I still wonder if this guy doesn't still provide glimpses of being a bit selfish as a dad. Wonder whether he does dad and daughter days now with his little girl, or spends much time on his own with her?

I don't like to think of anyone in this much distress though and that kind of feels beyond the scope of a chat site like this. Maybe a bit of counselling would help?

Stepmooster Fri 27-Sep-13 16:00:45

OP, please do not chastise your DH for not taking his ex to court. Now it may seem obvious, but like with your DH, my DH contact started of ok and has now started to get more difficult.

When DH divorced his ex there was no need to get a contact order, and I don't believe its normal to have one if contact is otherwise ok. If a mother is going to be that difficult they may not even be worth it, because if she breaches the order the courts hardly ever imprison mothers and its unusual for custody to be given to dads just like that. Its not so black and white, very grey and you need money, patience and luck.

You got to be ready for a long and hard fought battle, and sometimes even if you are the one leaving a relationship there is some emotional healing to be done, especially before another legal battle post divorce.

If DSD is still at home I don't think she will have regular contact with your DH until she is out of her mother's influence.

I wish you well with your pregnancy and hope time will heal the rift between father/daughterxx

NotsoSmugNow Fri 27-Sep-13 16:25:34

feather My 12 year old DD is more than capable of 'blackmailing' me & her Dad if she thinks it will get her what she wants; if you find it offensive that such manipulative behaviour can be ascribed to teens I suggest you stay well away from the Teen board - you might never get over it!

And as for Dads getting 50:50 if they ask for it in court; it's certainly not inaccurate to say that in 2010, my DP, who was the former primary carer, had his application for shared residency rejected on the basis of a CAFCASS wishes and feeling report that also reported that his 12 year old DD displayed significant responsibility for her Mums emotions. The DCs were coached, the judge believed them and DP has been fighting ever since to maintain an equitable relationship with his DCs.

You may know of a few Dads who have successfully applied for 50:50 - I know a lot more who haven't.

CupOCoffee Fri 27-Sep-13 16:27:26

No-one knows why this girl stopped wanting to see her father. Being poisoned by her mother though seems one of the most illogical suppositions in this case, I have to say

I completely and utterly disagree with that, seeing as the contact was going fine until the mum moved house without informing the dad and then told the dad the child didn't want to see him. He didn't hear it from the child at that point, just the mum. So i think there are many reasons to think she was bad mouthing him!

Tonandfeather Fri 27-Sep-13 16:50:21

Oh I'm not saying that teens aren't manipulative at times, of course they are. What I'm saying is that some of this lass's behaviour is normal for a girl of her age, in her circumstances. I just don't like her being talked about so disparagingly.

It's normal to sort out residence at the time of a divorce and especially so if there is acrimony about the break-up, which seems most likely in the case of an affair. Custody is old terminology anyhow. It's about contact and residence and it isn't unusual at all and hasn't been for years, for dads to have applications granted. Poster says divorce wasn't instant anyway- by her timescales sounds like it was about 18 months-2 years before it was finalised. I can see why a residence agreement might not be drawn up if the non-resident parent has got no intention of living with a child again and contact orders might not be deemed necessary if a couple are co-operative and it's been a mutual parting of the ways, but that doesn't seem to have been the case here.

I don't know any mums or dads who've breached contact orders, so can't comment on that aspect. It must be frustrating if the law has no teeth on that. I just know some dads who've got them and more still who share residence. It really wasn't difficult to sort out the legal agreements- although a few have had difficulties with blended families afterwards (like you'd expect.)

All these experiences (mine too) are anecdotal though aren't they? It seems illogical to me that I wouldn't sort out contact with my child just because I'd heard of someone else who'd had a problem doing that.

Wouldn't it have been more likely that the mum was bad-mouthing her ex in the first 18 months when she seems to have been ok with the contact? Why would she suddenly change and start a poison campaign so long after the break-up? That seems very illogical to me.

In any case, no-one knows. It's just supposition on everyone's part.

mumandboys123 Fri 27-Sep-13 17:32:00

tonandfeather - my ex went for shared residence on a 50/50 basis in 2008. He didn't get it. In fact, the shared residence that he had (he had 3 days a week to my 4 from within 4 weeks of him walking out to live with the ow) was reduced by the courts. It is a long story but it is by no means a done deal that either courts sign and seal existing shared care arrangements or simply agree to 50/50 as a matter of course. It is not always considered to be in a child's best interests to share care.

Tonandfeather Fri 27-Sep-13 17:43:33

I accept that totally. We all have different experiences to share don't we?

But it seems a bit academic in that this wasn't even a considered option for the poster's husband. I was only posting about the men I know to counteract the inference that it's unheard of, or impossible. What's best for children is paramount and rightly so.

Tonandfeather Fri 27-Sep-13 17:52:33

I guess what I'm also saying is that even if a man doesn't get shared residence, it's unlikely that he wouldn't get a contact order unless there's lots of evidence that it wouldn't be in the best interests of the child. It sounds like contact is what this father wanted- not residence.

NotsoSmugNow Fri 27-Sep-13 18:29:57

* it's unlikely that he wouldn't get a contact order unless there's lots of evidence that it wouldn't be in the best interests of the child.*

His DD was 10 years old - it's far more likely that the court would issue a Recital - which are subject to the DCs specific wishes; if the DC says they don't want to go, there's nothing to enforce.

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