Teen daughter ex-husband's wife

(5 Posts)
honeydewcactus Sat 05-Nov-16 16:32:06

I don't know what to say to my daughter who is a very quiet young lady and keeps all her emotions to herself.

I divorced her father 9 years ago. Gradually the contact from him has diminished. He remarried and my daughter had an overnight with them a couple of times before she was a teenager. She's 17 now and doing A levels. In the last few years the contact was a few times a year, out for a pizza for a few hours. This year saw her once in January. Her birthday card was late and he never ever sends gifts or money. He has never revealed his address or telephone number, she just has an email and from what she says he doesn't email her and she doesn't email him.

Years ago he told me never to contact him. I tried to write a letter but it was ripped up in front of her younger brother (who at the age of 14 said he never wanted to see his dad anymore - he is hurt because of the lack of contact). I found his wife's email online and sent her an email, no accusations or anything, just why is he doing this, the children are hurting. She wrote back saying what a wonderful father he is !! (he has taken on her child a couple of years younger than my son).

Last year I complained to his father who tried to get us to all have a meeting but my ex refused to meet. I've spoken with my solicitor and there's nothing I can do legally. We never had a legal arrangement for custody, we just had an agreement of every other weekend and alternate Christmas and New Year, but he has never had them in the holidays or Christmas. I never believed he would do this. The grandparents won't give me his contact details.

Just today (bearing in mind my daughter last saw her father in Jan) she got a letter, written in the wife's hand, congratulating her on her GCSEs, that they knew she would do well, that they are sorry they have let contact slip but they talk about them and wonder how they are doing. That divorce is difficult but it's not their fault. That her own child is angry with his father too (he lives in USA). That they have a birthday present and it would be nice to see you soon (but no suggestion of date) (oh and last year's birthday present was a packet of sweets and a pair of socks).

My daughter hasn't said a word but she's been in her room most of the day. I AM OUTRAGED by a number of things. First that it wasn't even written by him and that the content of the letter was pathetic to the point of meaningless. What was the purpose of it, to lessen their guilt? I just don't know how to respond or what to say to my daughter, I'm fuming inside but I don't know if I should tell her, and anyway she doesn't know I read the letter.

Any advice - what would you feel?

bluecashmere Sat 05-Nov-16 16:45:54

You can't stop her hurting unfortunately. Something incredibly hurtful has happened.

I would be fuming. For his wife to have written is just so wrong. How could they have thought it was a good idea? But some people are idiots.

I think it would be ok to admit to reading the letter because you can show her you understand why she's so upset. It has made her feel bad but in reality it hasn't changed the situation. She already knew she had a crap dad and it could actually help her to accept this, knowing that it will never be any different.

It's so sad because this 'relationship' with her dad might impact on her own relationships with men in the future.

Perhaps she would like to write a letter in response to get things off her chest? I suppose she wouldn't know where to send it though?

honeydewcactus Sat 05-Nov-16 23:37:01

I spoke with her later and said that I felt for her and that I was angry that the letter was sent, and how pointless it was and that things probably won't change. I suggested she wrote a letter and she said where would I send it. I said send it to her via your grandfather and tell her this is how good your relationship is with your father, that you have to go via his wife, via your grandfather. Anyway, I'm glad I told her, and we went out in the evening and she smiled and laughed.
Would still like to hear what others think.

GloopyGhoul Sat 05-Nov-16 23:42:02

I was your daughter in my teens. My mum just let me know that she loved me, talked a bit about my dad being a weak man rather than a bad man. For me, personally, that was enough.

Lots of love, and try not to badmouth him too much. flowers

honeydewcactus Sun 06-Nov-16 05:06:33

GG>Thanks. I've always said to my children that he loves them in his own way, and when they're older they can be more in control and be the ones to make a move to see him more and there is always hope. I don't speak ill of him but they know that I don't respect him and have been angry, upset and appauled by what he does. Years ago he cancelled on them, so I took them out to the cinema nd guess who was walking out when we got there, with his then girlfriend. The kids went to him to say hi, they were confused because he'd said he was ill. In a text I told him he was disgusting and that's when he told me I was blocked and never contact him again. He didn't invite them to his wedding. I do wonder what his wife's family must think of him that he doesn't see his children. How can his wife even respect him.I wouldn't want to be with a man who doesn't want to see his children. I just don't get it. Thecwhole thing makes me weep, bitter, angry, despairing. These emotions subside and we're happy, just the three of us, but them something like this happens and I start getting an ulcer. Venting.

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