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To ask what on earth do I do with this letter?

(60 Posts)
usernamesandgingerbreads Sun 20-Dec-15 19:32:45

Name changed for obvious reasons.

For history exh and I split over a decade ago. For the first couple of years he came monthly to see the children and then became less and less until nothing at all for the last six years. Things were not good when I was at home with him and my son remembers things in the house being damaged by him in temper although I shielded them from a lot.

He has never paid money for them although he has been on sickness benefits for many years but has afforded many other things and has often worked cash in hand, very rarely do they get gifts at Christmas or birthdays from him certainly nothing in the last four years.
He has mental health issues and says he can not cope with seeing them because it upsets him too much. He contacts by email.

I have however despite all this encouraged them to leave the door open.

I have just found a letter from one of my children from him and I do not know what to do. The children are just teens.

Dear Dad
I have thought a long time about writing this letter. I am asking you not to write or contact us anymore. You say that it hurts you when you see us and that is why you cannot see us but it hurts us a lot more when you do not see us or ring us. It hurts us when we hear nothing from you and then you message Mum after months and months and do not even ask about us. It hurts when other people are getting cards or presents from Dads at Christmas and we have nothing and when you let us go to the bank for birthday money and it was not there. It hurts when you got all that money and Mum asked you for money for new clothes for us and you said you needed to get clothes for yourself and bought lots of designer stuff.
You told us to pick loads of stuff out in the shops that you said you would buy us but then you spent the money on yourself.
You do nothing for us, X is just Mums friend but every year he comes and brings us presents because he knows you don't and every week he messages to check how we are and is proud of how we are doing at school, he encourages us and praises us and you do nothing.
You are not our Dad you do nothing for us are just someone that upsets us and we don't want it anymore.
Love Dc1 and DC2

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 20-Dec-15 19:34:29

I would talk to your children, and ask them if they want to send the letter. If they do, then send it.

Cocolepew Sun 20-Dec-15 19:34:43

Let them send it, they have obviously put a lot if thought into it.

Notrevealingmyidentity Sun 20-Dec-15 19:35:47

Honestly I think you should respect their wishes and send it/ say it to him.

Fourormore Sun 20-Dec-15 19:38:10

I agree, let them send it if they want to. How sad, but how very mature, open and honest they are in response.

RudeElf Sun 20-Dec-15 19:41:41

I dont understand the time line, you say you have just found this letter but also that they have had no contact with him for 6 years. Sonis this a letter they wrote years ago and didnt send? And if it was written recently then dont send it without first speaking to your DC and checking whether it wwas ever their intention to send it.

LegoRuinedMyFinances Sun 20-Dec-15 19:42:08

Send it. It is their thoughts on years of his rubbish parenting.

You reap what you sow - and it's clear that your children are mature enough to see what little effort your Ex has put in. Don't disrespect their thoughts and wishes by not sending it.

Well done you BTW - they sound like thoughtful, mature children. They managed to articulate their thoughts without name calling, in a sensible yet well thought out approach. Indicates that they are bright too.

ColdWhiteWinePlease Sun 20-Dec-15 19:43:04

Your Ex sounds like a bloody dick head. Am I the only one who wishes Op's friend was a Boyfriend? I'd let them send it. I'd also have a really good talk with them. x flowers

Whataboutreindeer Sun 20-Dec-15 19:43:10

I'd make sure they know that he will be hurt by this and may say something viscious. Let them send it if they want but let them know sometimes it is enough to write it down and burn it. Their dad will probably regret this time one day and he'll never get it back.

Notimefortossers Sun 20-Dec-15 19:44:01

I'd let them send it too

AgentZigzag Sun 20-Dec-15 19:45:04

What an amazing letter, they've obviously thought about it lots and have said how they feel in a calm and clear way.

You've said you found it so don't know whether they're just venting or actually want to send it.

If they want to send it after you've talked to them then that's they're choice isn't it? (and both agree, as it's written by one but signed from both).

It's not a knee jerk reaction to anything and they seem to know their own mind.

How old are they?

RudeElf Sun 20-Dec-15 19:45:47

Sorry i think ive misinterpretted what "nothing at all for the last 6 years" meant. I thought it meant no contact. Even so, definitely dont just send it. They might not actually want to send it so check with them.

YeOldeTrout Sun 20-Dec-15 19:48:51

Talk about it and what they do with that letter is their decision, my place would be to support.

ThoughtlessMess Sun 20-Dec-15 19:49:20

I agree with Agent Z. It's a very impressive & thoughtful letter; I would be very proud of my children, in your situation. If they want to send it, then let them.
(I also agree that mystery chappie sounds like a good catch, do you think it's a possibility!)

RaspberryOverloadingOnTurkey Sun 20-Dec-15 19:50:07

I think you need to talk to your DCs about the letter.

Do they want to send it? Or is it just venting?

I agree that if it gets sent, there is likely to be some backlash from their dad, simply because this will puncture his rose-tinted self image and he'll not like looking in the mirror your DCs are holding up to him.

He'll be unlikely to hold his hands up and say "fair cop" because if he was man enough to do that, he'd have been the good dad they clearly want.

But your DCs know what he's like and have thought about this, as the letter shows. If they want to send it, let them.

usernamesandgingerbreads Sun 20-Dec-15 19:51:26

Sorry it is written recently. I meant no in person contact for six years. He pops up every so many months by email or their Facebooks and always tells them he might see them one day.The children intended to send it. Exh doesn't think he has done anything wrong and will react very badly.

VintageDresses Sun 20-Dec-15 19:52:42

You either need to talk to them about it or put it back where you found it.

It could have been written with no intention of sending it. If they want to posy it, then they should imo

RudeElf Sun 20-Dec-15 19:54:18

Will he react badly by trying to contact/harrass them? You can block him on social media and if he comes to the house inform the police. He will have been told in the letter not to contact them so has had fair warning that he wasnt welcome.

londonrach Sun 20-Dec-15 19:54:21

Id let them send it. Your friend x sounds lovely.

Sammy1888 Sun 20-Dec-15 19:59:40

They sound like lovely, clever kids. I'd let them send it if they want. Also rooting for you and X!

APlaceOnTheCouch Sun 20-Dec-15 20:01:27

I am torn on this. On the one hand, it is good for them to learn to set boundaries on behaviour that upsets them. But, on the other, I can see why I'd feel unsure. If the DCs think (at any level) this may create an epiphany and turn him into a great dad but you are certain it will have the opposite effect then I think you need to have a chat with them about how it is likely to play out.

They shouldn't feel responsible for protecting his feelings but I'd be worried about the guilt they might feel if this does lead to a final breach, and then when they are older they view matters differently especially since there are MH issues involved.

LegoRuinedMyFinances Sun 20-Dec-15 20:13:11

Why protect the feeling of an adult over those of children who should have come first be didn't?

They deserve to have their feelings heard and if he doesn't like it then maybe he should take a long look at how he treated them - this is the time when you should stand up for them and not allow any tantrums from him to reflect on their feelings.

It should be a wake up call for him - if it's not then the children aren't missing any relationship with him, as he's clearly useless.

AgentZigzag Sun 20-Dec-15 20:15:46

Not just contact/harrass them but contact/harrass you as well or instead OP.

Like APlace says though, it's great for them to learn how to choose where their boundaries lie and then how to enforce them without anger and name calling. I don't think they sound as though they're expecting him to suddenly see the light though, they've made it pretty clear they expect to have some control and for him to fuck off.

They have every right to tell him how they feel, he looks to have made his feelings clear about how much he's hurting <boofuckinghoo> so why shouldn't they?

Agree as well that X sounds great too smile

HermioneWeasley Sun 20-Dec-15 20:17:23

I think APlace 's advice is good - you need to establish what they are hoping to achieve. If it is to shame him into behaving, it won't achieve that. If it is to explain why they don't wish to have a relationship with him then it's important.

They sound really considered, and some of the examples they give (for example the buying designer clothes) is the behaviour of a selfish dick, rather than MH issues we should all feel terribly sorry for him about.

skankingpiglet Sun 20-Dec-15 20:18:06

I think I'd talk to them about it, and then if they want to send it, send it. It's really sad, but it sounds like in your situation it would be the least painful option.
My F and I have had a really difficult relationship all my life (violence and an alcoholic). My DM always kept patching things up as best she could for me, reminding me he's the only dad I've got, he's a damaged person etc etc. She meant well and was trying to do the best she could, hoping we could have some kind of relationship. My DD was born 18mo ago, and he has never visited or even sent a card (I'm his only child so she's the only GC) and that for me after many painful episodes was IT. I had resolved not to contact him again. DM died earlier this year so I emailed, given the exceptional circumstances, to tell him. I heard nothing back at all and it was incredibly hurtful. He finally emailed me 6mo later with some bland nonsense and with no mention of mum. That really sealed it for me and I've hit the point where there really is nothing that can be done to salvage anything from our relationship. I wish TBH that Mum had let me arrive here earlier, it would have saved a lot of pain. I've been here before but was talked out of it sad
So talk it through with them. Make sure they understand the implications of it, but if they still want to send it, find them a stamp.

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