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...to let my DD10 choose when she sees her dad?

(31 Posts)
duckwalk Fri 14-Nov-14 23:15:59

My DD is 10, was 5 when ex'D'P and I separated. They didn't have a great relationship when we were together but she's gotten much closer to him since we split up and really adores him now.
I've now remarried and DD and DH have a great relationship..... He's so good with her, but at first she was quite jealous at having to share me again. It was tough for a while but DH put in the time and effort and they genuinely love each other now.
ExP (DDs dad) has been with his partner for a couple of years and their relationship is pretty non existent. Again DD was jealous, but instead of trying to take things slowly they refused to..... cuddling on the couch/holding hands etc and when DD would try to take his other hand she'd be told to stop being needy. They've been away on holiday a few times and kept it from her, but didn't attempt to hide 'evidence' such as photos etc. This has added to the resentment DD has, being lied to (plus she's never been taken away with her dad).
Now I can appreciate it must be so hard being the person coming into a relationship and your partner having a child, but it seems as though this woman just gave up trying. DD used to stay overnight once a week and would sometimes tell of going over there and her dad's partner didn't say Hello or Goodbye, and not very much in between. Apparently there's loads of arguments at their house (which I believe as exDP is quite a volatile person and v argumentative). So the whole combination has made DD reach the decision that, while she still wants to see her dad, she doesn't want to have to go to his house. She doesn't want to see his DP as they have no relationship and feels quite uncomfortable when there. Instead, she's happy to see him for a few hours away from his house...eg, go to the cinema, bowling, for lunch and so on. But her dad has refused point blank. Says if she won't go to his house then she doesn't see him at all! And into the bargain has accused me of being unreasonable by not forcing her to go! She's so unhappy going over and at times has had nightmares about being there. I would love for all to be well and good and have never tried to stop him seeing her...in fact I've always had to encourage him to step up to being a dad to her as at one point he didn't attempt to see her for a full month and She had said at the time she felt he didn't love her.
I really don't want to force her to do something which makes her unhappy but he's now saying I'm a disgrace and generally trying to make me feel a shit parent. DH and I have tried several times speaking to exDP and his DP explaining how difficult things were for us at the beginning, telling them to persevere and to include her in things....but then heard on the grapevine that they felt patronised.
He's saying he'll not be dictated to by a child and has told DD that if she'll not see his DP at his house then she doesn't see him at all.... basically making her fee l as though it's all her fault.
I know that I'm only protecting my child but he's making me feel partly responsible too.
Sorry for this long post...there's so much more to this story tbh but that's the present issue in a nutshell.
Do I allow their relationship to gradually fizzle or continue to push it? TIA x

duckwalk Fri 14-Nov-14 23:18:16

Ps, needless to say my DD is devastated by the whole situation but is adamant she doesn't want to see his DP.

NoraRobertsismyguiltypleasure Fri 14-Nov-14 23:24:22

I don't know what to suggest, but I feel really bad for your dd. A parent who loves their child should not behave the way your ex is, it is very unfair.

Aeroflotgirl Fri 14-Nov-14 23:32:04

Your ex has made your dd feel that way, and at 10 is old enough imo to make a decision not to go. Contact should always be for the benefit of the child, and not the adults. Her dad is putting his partner above his dd, no wonder the poor child feels this way. I would ask her what she wants to do? Her sounds very cold and unloving towards her.

nochangewanted Fri 14-Nov-14 23:42:12

Has she tried explaining her feelings to her Dad ( though sounds like he isn't interested) Maybe she could write a letter.

I think at 10 though I would also be supporting her. It is the childs right to have contact with the parent and not the other way round.

IneedAwittierNickname Fri 14-Nov-14 23:45:24

This sounds so similar (in my sleep deprived brain) to the situation I have with ds1. I am place marking for now then I should remember to return tomorrow smile

AgentZigzag Fri 14-Nov-14 23:49:02

Would he really not see her at all if she didn't do as he says?

If it didn't involve your 10 YO DD then I would say call his bluff. He really does see this as you and your DD rather than accepting that he's been instrumental in elbowing her out of their relationship.

It's not about him being dictated to by a child, it should be about him caring about how his DD feels.

I don't have any experience of your situation, but your DD is being treated like shit and it's affecting her (she's having nightmares about it FFS, does he know about them?) you can't stand back and do nothing!

Take all the flack he throws at you to deflect it off your DD and don't be apologetic about the fact that he's decided he won't see her. Turn it back around onto him, if he won't acknowledge your DD's legit feelings then you have to protect her.

You've tried to talk to him and resolve it but he's not having any of it, just stop contacting him and see how it pans out.

duckwalk Sat 15-Nov-14 00:04:32

She's tried explaining countless times but unfortunately she just gets shouted at and sent to her room. She's been told by her dad that he and his DP never argue, and when they do it's always caused by her. She literally craves his love and when she doesn't get it she gets really upset and tries to explain how she's feeling. His DP has told her she's extremely spoiled, and when my DD told her once that she hated her, she simply said "Well I hate you too". Unfortunately a family member of ex DP passed away recently and I agreed to take DD to the funeral (as I was close to this person for many years also). I was simply astounded by what I saw.....exDP and his family came over to comfort my DD but this woman stood back, in fact barely even looked at my child. At a later date I asked her how she could be so cold. Her response was "well I was upset too". There's been times also when while staying overnight this woman has made lunch or a snack for herself and my ex DP and blatantly not offered or made anything for my DD. This has gone unquestioned by my exDP. I'm also hearing of incidents of the2 adults arguing in a different room from my DD about something or other then this woman pipes up "well YOUR daughter done such and such" (sounds like a diversion tactic which works as exDP then storms over to my DD and gives her a hard time for whatever she's supposed to have done. I could literally go on and on. I just don't know what to do to make my DD feel better... She's feeling very rejected and as though she's solely to blame which must be awful sad

Aeroflotgirl Sat 15-Nov-14 00:13:03

Really contact does not sound like it benefits your dd at all, really they sound very toxic and emotionally abusive. I would support her decision not to see him, he is a shit father and sounds like his love for her is conditional. If she does not want to go there, support her in that, please don't make her go somewhere where she is not loved or wanted.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 15-Nov-14 00:13:47

or where she is unhappy. If he won't compromise than your dd does not see him.

AgentZigzag Sat 15-Nov-14 00:14:22

The other things you've said are bad enough, but 'There's been times also when while staying overnight this woman has made lunch or a snack for herself and my ex DP and blatantly not offered or made anything for my DD.' really stands out as an example of how petty and spiteful he's let this get.

He's fully aware of how your DD feels and is still arguing the toss at her expense, that's not right.

I know you've been trying to do the right thing by your DD by trying to foster a relationship between her and her dad (knowing what it means to her), but you can't let it go on like this, much more and it'll crush her.

What a total wanker.

duckwalk Sat 15-Nov-14 00:24:02

agentzigzag yes I definitely believe that he would just stop seeing her as I know from experience how stubborn he can be, and how he always refuses to admit when he's in the wrong. In fact he can just never see that he's wrong let alone admit to it. Most weeks he doesn't text or call me to see how she's been or to have a chat between her visits. She's not got a mobile however she does have a n iPod which allows her to message him. I regularly check it to make sure she's not messaging people she shouldn't and that messages are above board. Yesterday I noticed that she'd asked him 2 days in a row how he was, but no reply from him. (Her messages go to his iPhone and say 'read' so we know he's seen them). His parents actually gave him an ultimatum in the summer.... either step up to your responsibilities or we cannot have a relationship. This dragged on for a few weeks until exDP announced he'd seen the light and vowed to try harder with her. Unfortunately they've had another falling out over a different matter, so they can't use that as leverage.
Ah, what a mess.
And for the record, I know my DD is no angel! I know she can play up like most kids and try to run rings around us adults but I really believe her when she tells me they're not trying very hard to make things work.
I don't know if this makes any difference but exDP's new DP is an out-of-work qualified teacher! Surely she must know that these things take a LOT of time, patience and effort.... things she's just not willing to give.
DD feels as though they just want to get on with their own lives without her and I can't help but (inwardly) agree.

duckwalk Sat 15-Nov-14 00:31:43

Thank you for your replies so far.....just needed some extra reassurance that I'm not being spiteful by refusing to force her to get in his car to go over and stay overnight. Deep down I know that would be so completely wrong but a tiny bit of doubt started to creep in. I'm up at 5.45am for work (sob!) so should really log out now! Will be back tomorrow..... Thanks again MNers x

AgentZigzag Sat 15-Nov-14 00:37:54

Hmmm I see what you meant in your OP now when you said she was jealous of you and your DH when you first got together and maybe this is similar.

But he doesn't seem to have made any allowances for her being a child, children say it as they see it, and should be in an environment when they can do that without getting flack for it. (excluding being rude/cheeky etc to adults, which maybe she is from the outside, but only because she's tried to say it nicely and he's not listening)

Will the effect of him not seeing your DD (does she know what he's said about not seeing her?) be less than the fuck up he's making of having her round?

If it is you can change it can't you, and find a 'safer' way around him being such a shit with her?

AgentZigzag Sat 15-Nov-14 00:38:46

5.45?? <red bull> for you smile

Aeroflotgirl Sat 15-Nov-14 08:59:50

Op she is a child, he is an adult, her father, he has to behave like one. He does not. His DP is a teacher shock, she sounds awful, your poor dd. Even his parents admit and can see how shit he is. Op I would not put her in tgat situation again, it does not sound like he loves her really, well in his own twisted way. He has tge choice to see her outside the home, any decent father woukd live to do activities with their child. Unless he meets her outside the home, he does not see her. You have to intervene to stop her getting hurt further by them. His DP has admitted she does not like dd, I don't think she or her father will put in the time. God what a awful situation for dd sad

Aeroflotgirl Sat 15-Nov-14 09:01:33

He dies not reply to her messages, it speaks a lot for the type of chikd your dd is, and the type of father he is. Does not sound like he gives a shit.

londonrach Sat 15-Nov-14 09:07:53

Your poor dd. dont think yabu but need to keep it open so if dd or exp change their minds contact can continue. Meanwhile can dd and exp sykpe etc. i really dont see the problem with the solution to meet outside the house rather than the house. Your exp might have enjoyed his special time with his dd.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 15-Nov-14 09:21:11

At the moment op dd is getting hurt by their toxic behaviour, dd sad is being an arsehole, and refusing to meet her outside, and blaming their problems on her. They are both being quite nasty and spiteful to dd when she stays there, hence her wanting just to meet dad outside their home which is totally understandable. I would keep her away if he is refusing to meet her outside tge home, leave the ball in his court, stop making the effort, he is truly shit. I don't think he woukd want to or take the effort to skype, if he cannot even bother to reply to her text messages.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 15-Nov-14 09:43:01

He supports his DP, it seems it's them against dd, it seems as they gang up on her whilst she is there, like bullying. No I would not allow her to be in that situation.

magoria Sat 15-Nov-14 10:22:51

I would completely support your DD in not going if she didn't want to.

I would also print off your posts, screenshot your DD's unanswered messages to get father, time line then and save them.

Continue any communication with him in writing, not verbally so you have evidence of what a bastard he is.

Simple things like allowing food to be prepared for all but your DD are allowing her to be treated as a second class child and not giving a shit about her mental or physical welfare.

Poor girl.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 15-Nov-14 10:59:21

Op it's very telling, despite the difficulties experienced, your dd sounds much more mature than her grown adult father!

Hissy Sat 15-Nov-14 12:57:59

you are not responsible for the relationship your ex has with your dd.

you are however the only person in this situation that is looking out for her feelings.

give her the power in her life to say that she doesn't want to go, and support her in understanding that what her father is doing isn't right/kind/generous.

as for the ex's gf... wicked old step monster right there.

you'd never send her to spend time with people this mean that were supossed friends, so don't think twice about throwing your weight behind your dd, so that she learns what positive parenting and good role models are all about.

Kim82 Sat 15-Nov-14 13:05:33

My dd is 10 and made the decision around 9 months ago not to go to her dad's house. Her 13 year old brother goes every week but she doesn't. I don't blame her tbh. Her dad isn't interested in her as she's a girl, hardly speaks to her, won't let her leave any of her things at his house to make it feel more like a home from home. I've suggested loads of things to him to help build their relationship over the years (we split when she was one) and although he makes all the right noises has never done a thing. He's a dick and I won't force my dd to spend time with somebody who evidently doesn't want her there.

duckwalk Sat 15-Nov-14 17:53:50

Just home from work and reading all your replies, thank you!
While deep down I know I'm doing the right thing by my DD, I was being a little manipulated into thinking I should be doing more to reinforce their relationship..... but I'm definitely doing the right thing by supporting my DD!
DD and her dad can facetime if they wish, just like skyping but whether he puts in theeffort remains to be seen I guess.

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