Daughter never visits me(50 Posts)
My oldest DD has lived abroad for approximately eight years now. She married a Latvian man just after she graduated from university and he persuaded her to move there with him. At first she'd come back every Christmas and at regular intervals throughout the year, but five years ago she just stopped. She said that she'd rather spend Christmas with her new family, which I understood although the Christmas table always feels so empty without her. But she has stopped visiting at all and hasn't been back for five years. My mum, her gran, is getting on a bit and isn't really well enough to travel anymore and misses her terribly. We visit her every year and last year I took my mum to see her and it broke my heart to have my mum tell me on the plane back "I'll probably never see DD again".
I try to discuss it with DD and tell her everyone is dying to see her but she refuses to discuss it. We speak on Skype at least twice a week and we're ever so close and she always tells me she loves me but whenever I ask her to visit she just says "I'm not ready" and shuts me down completely. She is very happy with her husband who is a lovely man and her new home but I can't fathom why she's staying away and doesn't even want to come over for the weekend. Money isn't the issue because she's quite comfortable and I've even offered to buy her plane tickets as a birthday present. She did have a very happy life here but I don't understand why she's turned her back on it all. She hinted that she may come back this year but has now changed her mind and just says "It's not the right time". I was ever so looking forward to going to meet her at the airport.
Am I being unreasonable for getting so upset about this? We put the things she left behind (mainly books and music) in the loft the other week to finally redecorate her bedroom and it was devastating.
*names edited out by MNHQ*
I'm so sorry I don't have any great adduce. It sounds very sad and hard on you. Do you think she's withholding something?
I'm so sorry for your heartache. It's hard to imagine why she won't visit when she obviously loves you. Do you think it is possible that her husband is preventing her from travelling? Sometimes what goes on behind closed doors isn't always recognized. Are you able to contact her privately through mail or email?
Yes we speak often when he's at work and she's alone so she could confide in me. Her husband is a lovely man and I have no concerns that he's standing in her way as far as visiting is concerned.
She was so cuddly and close to me as a little girl, even when she went off to university we'd still cuddle and chat and were always so close. I'd like to think that we still are, even if she won't see me.
I'd worry about whether he's persuaded her that it's not a priority.
Speaking from past experience here.
Op, I’d be broken hearted in your situation and I don’t know what to suggest apart from saying it doesn’t sound great that you only speak to your daughter when her husbands at work.
And what does so she can confide in me mean?
Sorry I meant I often speak to her when he's at work. She's a housewife and I'm retired so it's convenient for us to speak during the day but I do "Skype" them when he's there too and we speak the three of us.
And that if she did have a problem, she is sometimes alone when we speak so she could confide in me if needed.
Might there be someone else she does want to see? An exboyfriend maybe? Sibling? Father?
Saying she is not ready to return when she used to visit regularly kind of implies something else is going on and it doesn’t sound as if it is because of you.
Just a quick question...
Why can't you go see her? It seems like she was the one doing all the travelling and you never made the effort to visit her new country so why should she make the effort to come home?
"I'd worry about whether he's persuaded her that it's not a priority.
Speaking from past experience here."
PickAChew sorry you have been through this too. If only, they would speak out it would be easier to accept.
If she's a housewife, does she have money for the fare?
I agree that saying “she’s not ready” to me sounds she’s not ready to face something. Are you missing something that happened? Has she siblings?
You say she is (roughly) 30, married out of Uni, is now a housewife and you don't mention DC, so assume she doesn't have any yet.
Could it be as simple as she feels she has made a somewhat life limiting choice in marrying so early and moving somewhere where she hasn't been able to establish a career (that's guesswork, but being a childless housewife in your twenties is pretty unusual so I'm guessing it's not entirely free choice). Is she embarrassed to see old friends who might judge her circumstances or feels that seeing them might make her regret her choices?
The reason I suggest this is that I had a Uni friend who did similar (married older, wealthy man in early twenties). We were all dead jealous as we were sweating our asses off in grad jobs and living in flatshares while she was living in SW1 and going to the gym/ galleries/The Maldives. She then started phasing us out (about 5 years in), and then when one girl asked her about it she admitted she just felt like she'd thrown her life away.
if you can afford it, maybe offer to pay？ I dont see my parents as much as I would like to （but dont live in different countries） as the 150 pound a time to travel to see them is very hard to spare.
I never go back to my home country (In the last 8 years I went once, and only because one of my sisters got married).
In my case it's because the distance is very far (10h+ flight), it's expensive, and I don't miss my family enough to warrant the effort it takes to see them. I now have small children so am even less likely to go.
The first few years I was abroad, I did make an effort to go back and visit. But the longer I was in the UK, the figurative distance grew. I settled more and more into life here and my family became a much less prominent feature. I chat to them online, and my mom and sisters occasionally come here to visit me. I wonder if there is an element of this going on with your daughter? The distance grew, she's happy skyping to keep up, and she knows you'll come to her.
Have you been really honest with her about how this makes you feel?
I live abroad and you do grow used to getting that familial comfort from Skype. I can imagine it's easy to just coast along and lose sight of how long it's been. Or it could even be self-preservation if she finds returning triggers homesickness.
You see her every year. Do not put pressure on her. She's a grown adult and can make her own decisions. For whatever reason she does not want to return. That's HER choice, not yours.
I don't suppose there could be a legal reason she doesn't want to return to the us? Latvia isn't difficult or far to travel from. It seems odd she doesn't visit at all.
On the surface of it you are not being unreasonable. However, I would proceed with caution.
As others have said, you need to check whether she is ok. It can be very difficult to admit if you are unhappy. Maybe she would find coming home too hard because she misses it so much she’s scared she won’t want to go back? Also maybe there a reason she doesn’t want to come home? Does she get along with her siblings for instance? It may be worth just writing her a letter saying you love her and are there if she ever wants to talk. It can be easier to write down how you feel rather that talking over Skype. I’m sure she will feel pressure be ‘happy’ in her new life.
The second thing is that you must NOT pressure her or guilt trip her into coming home to visit. Comments like her grandmother ‘never seeing her again’ can never be heard by her.
I live 600 miles away from my parents and I get guilt tripped all the time. You need to understand first what it is like living away. It is really tough sometimes. You are in another culture that may be a lot harder working and stressful that your own. You only get a few weeks off a year and you need to spend some of them with your partner to spend some time with them. Also coming home can actually be very stressful. You are under s huge amount of pressure to see family and friends which although lovely is exhausting. Especially when you are staying in your parents spare room with no space to yourself. My parents don't have the best relationship so staying with them in itself is tricky.
Not coming home for five years is excessive and I do think that she does need to make a bit more effort.However, I guess what I’m saying though is that don’t assume that it’s because she is just selfish. She will have her reasons. You may not like or understand them but it is up to her if and when she plans a visit.
You seem to get on well and maintain an amicable relationship through Skype and your annual visit. Be thankful for that and do not ruin it by layering on pressure on her. My relationship with my own mother has deteriorated greatly since I moved. Even though I still see her three or four times a year. She overthinks things snd accuses me of cutting her out of her life. I am not. I am just an adult myself trying to balance a whole load of different demands.
I would echo the PPs who are saying that you mustn't guilt trip your DD into coming home for a visit. I've experienced guilt tripping in the past and it's very hard to cope with. It's understandable that you're feeling hurt, but you're on good terms mostly, talking regularly on Skype and you do get to see her when you visit.
You also don't know that she's as happy as she says she is. It's easy to give an impression of being happy when you don't want to worry them. I'm not saying that's the case with your DD but it's a possibility. I also agree that it would be a good idea to write her a letter saying that you'll always be available to talk if she needs that.
She's a housewife and I'm retired so it's convenient for us to speak during the day but I do "Skype" them when he's there too and we speak the three of us.
This sounds very odd to me, when he is there can you speak to her alone or he is always in on the conversation?
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