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XH + vile wife have, I think, finally broken DDs heart and self esteem

(22 Posts)
keeponworking Tue 05-Dec-17 09:00:10

My DD had failed to maintain regular contact with her 'D'D - two reasons and despite her genuine desire to have contact and suggestions of when where and how they could meet. He just can't be arsed. Plus, he's getting told what to do by his wife and he does what she says.Oh and three, since their child came along of course my children went slipping way down the list to rock bottom. And further unkindly to DD, he DOES continues to actively maintain a relationship with her brother, his DS sad.

Some of you may recall me mentioning how he had imperiously asked instructed me to drive DS into a big city and drop him to a hotel around a concert he is taking DS to this coming weekend, a trip arranged by XH, instigated by XH, and therefore for XH and XH alone to organise all aspects of. I said no (with no explanation) and he tried twice more to force me to do it, ending with how he was so 'shocked and astounded' I wouldn't do his bidding (twat).

Now I actually think that I've been delivered retribution for daring to now do as instructed by him, just he's delivering it through my DD as the unwitting victim.

He's texted her this morning. We live a 2 hour there and 2 hour back distance from her 'D'Ds house. Even if DD doesn't see him for the entire rest of the year, which is in fact the case at the moment, she goes down for Christmas albeit she can only stand so much of it and last year in order to support her feeling she was able to handle the visit, I drove her there and waited around for 4 hours whilst she visited and they did present opening etc.

Well that won't be happening this year as 'D'D, as part of this punitive action against me, has just texted her saying that he will 'drop off her Xmas presents to her when he drops DS back after the concert they're going to'.

So he's effectively shut her out of Xmas altogether. She's been step-bitch and useless-dad blocked out of spending any time at Xmas with her own father. What an absolute, total, utter, cunt-bastard fucker he is (and the step'mum'). As a pair, they collude with each other and feed each other's beliefs about my DD 'only wanting to see him for the presents' and 'only wanting to see her GPs not him'. And it's because I said to him that I wouldn't drive my son to his hotel when XH can easily arrange for DS to utilise taxi's / trains.

The accusation of only wanting to see him when there's something in it for her? Not true. Her desire (which she still has, poor kid) to see her dad remains and she's tried and tried to make arrangements to see him but it constantly gets blocked. The effect of this is that DD did see her 'dad' at all this past year, the last time she saw him was last Christmas!

The accusation that she only wants to see her GPs and not him - well, a. it's not actually true but b. it's partly true because they will actually allow her to visit (or they would, however, enough poison has been dripped in their ears that now the GF also believes she only visits them for what she can get so that's probably another avenue that's closing). He's also pissed off that anyone dares to organise any family contact for DD which doesn't involve him.

He's done this to her right in the middle of her mock exams and she's so upset, she can't get herself together to go into school this morning. BASTARD.

I have mooted with her the options she has (and my personal favourite for this particular incident would be to shove the presents right back at him when he 'drops them off' and tell him to stick them where the sun don't shine) including going NC but I know that she is afraid of losing contact with other family members. Although, in effect, she's lost contact with them pretty much anyway. DD loves her half sister and her cousin. Due to her dad's actions she hardly ever sees either of them.

I'm not sure how she can maintain any level of contact with the rest of her family as things stand now, but if she did go NC (which would v much need to be her decision and I believe would need to be supported by having some counselling to help her process what's happened to her so far and therefore help her make that decision) I believe she would totally lose contact with all of them (unless they miraculously made a huge effort to facilitate contact directly with DD).

What to do? She's in bits but doesn't even want a hug from her old mum as she's trying to get her head round it in her room at the moment. I'm making pancakes.

Utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, utter, bastard.

ReliefOfChaos Tue 05-Dec-17 11:53:23

Sorry, but this just doesn't make sense. Only you have made the link between your petty refusal to offer a lift and the Christmas plans not being what your DD wanted - not even changed, just not what you expected. It does sound like she was very unhappy to be there last year if you had to wait in the car for 4 hours for her. I think a reasonable person might think that a four hour round trip for a four hour visit with the ex-wife waiting in the cold on Christmas morning and a daughter you don't see the rest of the year might be a lot of unecessary stress on a Christmas morning.

I think if you wish to repair DD and her father's relationship it might be worth examining what your role in this has been and why it has been so different with his son. Clearly not someone who 'can't be arsed' if he has that relationship. Something else is going on.

NorthernSpirit Tue 05-Dec-17 12:46:20

It’s really hard to decipher your post.

How old are your children with your EX? Are they old enough to make their own decisions regarding contact? You sound like you need a formal contact arrangement as the current (and i’m guessing informal arrangements aren’t working).

You live a 4 hour round trip away from the dad. Who moved? Do you ever offer to go drop off’s and pick ups or meet half way?

Your Christmas arrangements sound informal and not organised. What do you do for Christmas? A court would order alternative years.

You sound very angry towards the EX and his new partner. The children will be picking up on this resentment. Please do facilitate contact - your children will than you for it in the long run.

jaimelannistersgoldenhand Tue 05-Dec-17 18:25:50

You might want to replace DD (Dear Dad) with DF (Dear Father) next time. Your post isn't clear on why your son seems to be on good terms with his Dad while your daughter hasn't seen him in a year.

I'm a single parent of 3 and only 2 if the kids see their Dad. The third (16 years old) has decided to go NC.

What does your son think about this? A lot of people commented on your other thread about how strange it was that he would accept treats like concert tickets when his sister was being shunned. Does he think that his father's actions towards his sister are out of spite?

Oswin Tue 05-Dec-17 18:32:47

Northern spirt what are you on about the op should facilitate contact? Her daughter has been trying to have contact with her father. He doesn't want too? How the fuck anyone can come to the conclusion it's ops fault that he's a nasty bastard astounds me.

MadisonMontgomery Tue 05-Dec-17 18:37:49

I don’t get it - why does your DS get to see him & spend time with him when your DD doesn’t? Is your DS seeing him at Christmas?

keeponworking Sun 10-Dec-17 22:55:02

A lot of extra details and information have come my way this weekend, information I didn't know before this weekend and which I hadn't had any idea I'd be getting.

DD is 15, DS is now 18 (since the summer). Both had contact orders. DD stopped going regularly after she suffered (from age 8 to age 14) with the effects of being not the favourite grandchild and the least favourite child in the new family her 'father' created when he remarried and had a child. Because of unequal treatment, negative favouritism and the step'mum', DD now suffers from anxiety and has had her self esteem ripped to shreds. DS is older. He is also more popular in grandparental and step family pecking orders - I realise this may be difficult for people to understand, but some families / family dynamics are toxic, laced with delusions and some children through no fault of their own get treated differently and that is what has happened here.

I found out this weekend that I was right in that yes, the offer to bring DDs gifts to her here at home by her father was purely because step'mum' had decided DD wasn't allowed to go to see her father at their house, only DS was. This is clearly what also happened in the summer when DD wanted to go down there to see him and he made up some shit about building work (all of which could have been gotten round so was just a lie to divert from the real reason, that it was his wife ordering that DD couldn't go, not anything to do with building, painting or plastering).

Unfortunately DH is such a weak pussy he would rather lose all contact with his DD than tell his wife where to stuff it and that ALL his children come first, the one he had with her and his first two that he had with me. There should be no difference but she sees to it that there is.

More lies: Apparently DD "Has hurt step'mum' (these are SMs words btw that are relayed based on the account of a reliable person who heard them themselves) so many times that this is DDs last chance". Sadly, none of us know what these repeated hurts are that my DD is supposed to have done, what form this second chance is meant to take or what it involves, or what does DD 'get' if she passes this last chance mystery test?!? No one would know. DD certainly hasn't got a scooby.

The fact that he said he was going to drop the presents off 'because he didn't know if she was coming for Xmas' - is absolutely SHITTY - because what he was actually going to do was drop the presents off then wait until (what, Xmas Eve?) to tell her that she couldn't come?!
Appalling. Cruel. Weak. Damaging. He knew she'd been 'banned' and he didn't have the guts to tell her.

Apparently discussions have been had (this is the grandparents words btw) and the wonderful, milk of human kindness step'mum' has given DD a 'last chance' out of the 'goodness of her heart' after DD has 'hurt her so many times' (this is absolute bullshit btw) such that DD is now being allowed to go there for Xmas Day. What a nasty woman she is - she must honestly have some vivid imagination because DD god bless her is a kind and thoughtful girl, always thinking of others, and she's not actually done anything wrong at all.

Then another honest and reliable family member commented that it's only the grandparents who think the new wife is great - everyone else (and I mean everyone else from kids to adults alike), absolutely cannot stand her. She's obsessed with her child and her hobby and this relative of my DDs said that she seems to have forgotten that BOTH DD and DS are his children and that he should be allowed to see them. Of course, if he was anything of a man he'd just tell her look love, these are my children and I will be seeing them so do one if you don't like it - but there you go. He's an utter bellend and that won't ever change.

So yes Relief 'something else is going on'. As explained, she is not a favourite child within that side of the family - it's as simple as that. And Northern to answer all your points, yes they are now old enough to make their own decisions regarding contact. We still have a formal contact arrangement for DD, obviously, since she's still under 16 - because of the unfavourable conditions and treatment she's experienced when having contact she finally stopped going all the time like she had been (even when she didn't want to). She desperately wanted to keep seeing her dad but he would make NO adjustments to arrangements to accommodate that (of course, this was because he was told he couldn't by his wife). I moved for 2 reasons, 1. I couldn't afford a house with the divorce money I came away with where we lived at the time of the divorce and 2. he spent fuck all time with them even when they were young and we'd just divorced. A pitifully small amount of time - they weren't losing anything by moving, in fact it was only when the court order came about that they got the EOW contact they deserved, it wasn't driven by him. We met half way every time, EOW and school holidays for 8 years so yes, I made it completely as fair as it could possibly be. He called for court ordered contact (which actually forced him to have them half the school holiday as after the divorce until the contact was court ordered he didn't have them in the holidays ever, at all) and he is the one currently not even trying to exercise that contact with DD because his wife is telling him not to. We routinely do EOY for Xmas/NY now as we did when he adhered to the court order, but since one child is now an adult (DS) then it's up to DS to decide when and how long he goes for and DD has more of a say as is appropriate.

"You sound very angry towards the EX and his new partner". Yes, I am. Anyone would be. You do know, it's ok to be angry, women ARE allowed to be angry. I rarely have ANY communication with XH, none with the step'mum' - my relationship with XH doesn't make her cry in her room, he does when she realises he doesn't want to see her at Xmas, my 'resentment' of him and her doesn't make her feel so shitty and worthless that she has to miss a half a day off school because she's so GUTTED that her dad once again doesn't want to see her - they do all that. I support her. 100%. Your tone is a bit condescending at the latter part of your post. I came on HERE to rant, I don't do it around the children even though he creates situations and puts me in positions where the 'kids' end up getting caught up in shit that's nothing to do with them because both he and his wife think that everything is everyone else's responsibility but theirs. On those occasions I may rant on here but I keep it calm with them because them not being further dragged into that particular brand of misery is something I am at pains to avoid.

There are two important sayings here:
"Where there's a will there's a way"
If XH had any kind of a backbone / he genuinely wanted to see his DD he would bloody well make sure that contact took place. He's got a car, he's not skint and there's every opportunity. If you genuinely want something you make it happen. End of.
"You can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink". As much as one might be tempted to force contact, scream and shout at him, whatever, if he's a spineless arse and she's manipulating and pressuring him to not have DD to stay, then I cannot force it to happen.

Upshot is she has been granted permission to go, she's only going to be there for 1 day (to her relief) and will be travelling back home pretty much straight after Xmas because she finds it so utterly stressful now with the massive long gaps and knowing that everyone she talks to thinks her step'mum' is great and that she herself is shit and a 'troublemaker' is incredibly hard a situation to be in - but if she wants to see her pathetic 'father' then that's what she has to experience in order to get it.

Pretty shit for DD, right?

Another saying "You can't argue with stupid". And as anyone will know who come from toxic, controlling or personality-/character-disordered families, you cannot make people like that see how shit they are because they don't care and they will never see it.

AnneLovesGilbert Sun 17-Dec-17 18:17:42

You sound like you want your daughter to go NC with her dad. If that happens, will you be able to honestly say when she’s older that you did everything you could to support their relationship?

What’s now happening about Christmas?

You clearly hate your ex and his wife. You’re not open to any version of events that contradicts your own. There’s no way that isn’t coming through to your children and I can’t see how your children’s relationship with each other will pan out in the future with this huge difference in how they see their dad. It’s incredibly sad.

I hope you all find a way through Christmas and the year ahead.

MadMags Sun 17-Dec-17 18:26:42

Are you drunk? I can’t make much sense out of your rambling posts but a lot of it sounds like you reaching, tbh.

The fact that he said he was going to drop the presents off 'because he didn't know if she was coming for Xmas' - is absolutely SHITTY - because what he was actually going to do was drop the presents off then wait until (what, Xmas Eve?) to tell her that she couldn't come?!

So nobody actually said she couldn’t come??

It makes sense for him to see her and give her the present if he’s up your way anyway, does it not?

And since last Christmas you “waited around four hours” because she didn’t want to stay, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to assume she might not want to stay this year. confused

GoReylo Sun 17-Dec-17 18:40:53

Oh, I get it. There are several "golden" children in my family and they are all male. We also have more than our fair share of manipulative step-parents and weak/lazy men.

The best thing you can do is make her home and her relationship with you as happy and loving as you can. Don't instigate talk about her father and his side of the family, try and distract her when she's upset. No dwelling on it, or stewing, or trying to pick things apart. One solid, positive, caring parent can make up for having one shitty one. I know it hurts to see your child treated poorly, but you can't influence anything on his side, just focus on being her soft place to fall.

DavidPuddy Sun 17-Dec-17 18:54:04

It sounds like you have every right to be angry. Please rant as much as you need to.

keeponworking Sun 17-Dec-17 19:05:17

I think you're the only person that does get it Go! And I can understand that people cannot comprehend that there are families out there who deliberately pick on certain children, and dad's who are incapable of sticking up for their own children (etc etc etc...).

I have decided that I am accompanying DD to see her Dad, GPs, half sister and cousin. I will hand her over to her GPs and come back home. I'll get her back a couple of days after Xmas. I'd already promised that if she wanted to go I would make sure it happened. I do not feel it's fair to effectively prevent her having this contact by leaving it to her dad even though it is of course actually his responsibility to ensure he enjoys the contact he is entitled to have and which I have ALWAYS fully supported (did you not see Anne where I've supported contact for over 8 years and continue to support it?) and will continue to do that as long as DD wants it.

Do I want DD to go NC? No. That's not the ideal solution is it. But at some point the repeated hurts and injustices that she's suffered may, SHE feels, become too much to bear and that might become a solution she has to use. But it would not be my decision to do that, it would need to be entirely hers, supported by counselling in the making of what would be an incredibly enormous decision.

Mad yes, the step'mother' said she couldn't come, XH begged her to change her mind, she changed her mind. Think that's pretty clear isn't it?

You are right Go that is all I can do and that is what I do. I do my best to show her how much she is loved, how proud I am of her. She knows who genuinely and actively cares about her and who doesn't, who's got her back, and that's me. But it's hard work and soul-destroying at times, for her and for me. Yes, I am at pains to not 'overdo it' if you like on the sympathy side. I just explain it in practical terms, keep telling her that he's the one with the problem and a weak character and let her handle things her own way (eg, if she wants to cry on her own in her bedroom as her way of handling it, then she can do, if she wants a hug and chat, she can do). I just try and support her as much as I can.

They (XH and step'mum') are completely unaware that me, and DD, know that DD was going to be deliberately excluded at Xmas (or that this means we now realise she was likely deliberately excluded during summer as well). And I'm not sure whether to say to XH that I know this and he needs to grow a pair with his wife (except of course, it'll probably do nothing however he did actually talk her round this time and in the service of maintaining contact for DD, if he can do it once, could he do so again?).

keeponworking Sun 17-Dec-17 19:10:09

Thank you David.

I cannot understand why it's not ok to hate people like this (apart from the effect on one's own soul and the negative energy it saps out of you)! They're utter wankers and a body of historical evidence as long as your arm from XH, step'mum', grandparents or targeting my daughter to treat like shit. So, I'm quite comfortable with my hate. I despise all of them for what they have done to her.

Saddled with lifelong anxiety and self esteem issues which can in later life lead to poor relationship choices, substance abuse, the list goes on. So excuse me to all the naysayers, there's massive implications for the future let alone the damage already caused and the damage that continues to be currently caused. If you'd be happy to sit back and take that shit then that's absolutely fine and your prerogative, but I'm not happy and will NEVER be happy that they could treat another human being, a child, in this way.

BlackPeppercorn Sun 17-Dec-17 19:18:33

What does your DS have to say about it?

MadMags Sun 17-Dec-17 19:27:02

Maybe if you posted more clearly, it would have been clear from the get go! <shrugs>

BlackeyedSusan Sun 17-Dec-17 20:05:28

this is a situation where not being angry about it would be wrong... how you show tha anger is important. ranting on MN is good.

it is wrong that she is singled out for shitty treatment,

it is wrong that he is not doing his best to accomodate her needs emotionally and physically.

it is wrong that he dumped it all on her during exams.

AppleAndBlackberry Sun 17-Dec-17 20:31:39

Why isn't your DS standing up for DD? He's 18 now, can't you get him on side to make it more bearable for her? So sad for her though.

MadMags Sun 17-Dec-17 20:33:20

DS’s view is probably very, very different.

keeponworking Sun 17-Dec-17 20:49:10

I've said all along, and other posters have agreed with me (some haven't, but several have) that it's not DSs problem to solve, he's not the one causing this issue (it's his father) and therefore it's not for him to step up and get involved. It's as much not his fault that he isn't on the shit list as it's not DDs fault that she is the one on the shit list!

If he wishes to have contact with his father than he is perfectly at liberty to do so in my opinion and I have NO problem with it.

And, on previous performance, if DS did stop going to see his father in protest/support of his DSis, there is NOTHING to indicate that it would achieve what we would want it to achieve and in fact all previous evidence would point to it having no effect at all (best case scenario). Well, actually, it could in fact completely backfire and DD then be saddled with the additional negative view of "You horrible girl, you put your brother up to this you little cow, we always knew you were a wrong 'un, your poor dear dad is devastated, how could you, you will never come to see us again". Has anyone not thought that in light of how she is already viewed, that this is not a highly likely outcome?! I would not want DS to feel responsible for that possible outcome it would be completely and totally unfair to saddle him with that.

The person who is the utter shit here is XH, and NO ONE ELSE. Yes, he listens to his wife's poison, but he could tell her where to get off so the responsibility lies entirely with him. He's the problem.

As brother and sister they're not and never have been especially close. DS is very introverted (always has been, almost to the point where I've sometimes wondered if he's ever so slightly on the spectrum because he is very particular about certain things and a bit 'odd' (God love him!) so they don't have that close brother-sister relationship and are both handling their lot in the best way that they know how. I'm not ever going to criticise him for maintaining a relationship with his father; the circumstances of his relationship with his dad are entirely different from DDs. As it is, due to the complete lack of ownership of responsibility as parent/step parent by both those parties, they regularly do things which attempt to draw one or both children in to the thing they're failing to be responsible for in an attemtp to influence me, and I don't want them drawn in unnecessarily to their bullshit. Either of them.

Schlimbesserung Sun 17-Dec-17 21:06:44

I remember your thread about the concert. He's a twonk and I'm not surprised that you are worked up about his treatment of your daughter.
Unfortunately I don't know what to do about it.

keeponworking Sun 17-Dec-17 21:23:08

Me either Schlim!! Nothing, is the most likely outcome of what I will 'do' but it's obviously utterly frustrating to be unable to stop someone repeatedly hurting your child. I can't even really blame step'mum' - at the end of the day, he's the culprit and there's no excuse regardless of what she might be pushing him to do.

kittensinmydinner1 Sun 17-Dec-17 22:31:05

You can't MAKE people be responsible adults.
This is not a new situation. There has been little relationship since the age of 8. There is no foundation to build on.

The only likely outcome (the current outcome) is one of hostility blame and disappointment. There seems no real possibility of this changing.

So. What can be done. ? You have no control over others no matter how you wish otherwise. Give it up. It's the road to insanity.
The only thing that's important here is your daughters well being.
In the absence of him having a complete personality transplant and changing the way he behaves and interacts with her - nothing good can come of it in its present form.
Stop it.
Stop it from occupying both your and her mind.

I don't believe in all this 'go no contact' nonsense spouted on here. (It's not even grammatically correct for a start and makes my teeth itchy) . Just stop feeding the drama llama. No big NC statements. Just stop. Don't try, don't engage. Don't get involved. Maybe when she is older she will want to change that . Maybe not.

However - As a step mother with a genuine no-holds-barred batshit crazy ex-wife in our lives , I am also only too well aware of the different narratives from both sides of the divorce fence.

The ex in our case would tell a similar story to yours. The reality was such appalling attempts at parental alienation that the kids felt ripped in two to even speak to their father let alone visit.
It took over a decade of hearings and the older kids moving to live with us as soon as able to make their feelings count at court.. before any semblance of normality descended.

I am not saying this is the same in your case but if those who listened to my DH ex had taken it at face value it would of been reasonable not to of let him have care of a pot plant let alone children.

The questions to ask yourself are

How would you feel if your DD had a genuinely good relationship with her DF and Sm and regarded them in all ways as family that she could interact with as and when she liked. ? Would that make you feel unhappy. ?

How much does you obvious hatred of your ex play out in front of your Dd. ?

As a matter of interest, who moved 2 hrs away.

What caused your marriage with the children's father to finish. ?

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