help - don't know what to do about ex, can anyone advise/empathise/be the voice of reason?(4 Posts)
I left my ex almost 2 years ago after (I feel) years of verbal bullying, to the point where I could barely dress myself without fear of disapproval. For the first 2 months after I left him, he saw our DD every Sunday for 2 hours. Then he stopped seeing DD at all for 10 months. Suddenly, out of the blue, just didn't show up one Sunday. He was living all of 5 miles away. Then, just as we were in the middle of the court case for the finances, he decided he would see her again on a Sunday for a few hours. Then he stopped again for a few months when we were getting close to agreeing the financial settlement. He missed 2 Christmases and 2 birthdays, with no explanation to her, and only ever accusing me of forcing him to take this action through my unreasonableness. I assume that was my unreasonableness at having left him, because I have never tried to stop him from spending time with DD, despite being sorely tempted.
When the court business was all out of the way, he decided that he would see her overnight once a fortnight from 10am Sat until 3pm Sun. There is no flexibility - he even missed having her on his own birthday because it wasn't his weekend, even though I asked if he wanted to see her. Every couple of weeks, he says that he might not be able to see her after all, he will let me know. His job might take him away - still in the same country, just further away from where we live. If he does get a job away, he has decided that he will make the "tough choice" not to see DD again. We are going through another cycle of him threatening to stop contact.
DD (age 8) is confused about what her dad is doing. I have to admit that I can't make sense of it either.
what experience does anyone else have? dads, too - can you offer any comments on this?
Greeney - how dreadful for your DD. I speak by experience when I agree it must all be very confusing for her as I was treated the same by my father.
Who exactly does he think he is hurting by threatening to stop contact? If he thinks he is hurting on inconveniencing you then the man is a fool as you are obviously a very strong and capable women.
Peronally I would write him a letter as I cannot see him listening to you telling him how things seem to you. I would very carefully lay out the situation, explain fully that his absences only affect DD as she is young and very confused. I would ensure that I told him as politely as I could that if he was trying to hurt me by taking this action then he is much mistaken. The only person he is hurting is himself. I would also point out that if he is not too careful your DD will actually refuse to see him and she is well within her right.
It took me until 16 to tell my own father I did not wish to see him as he had so many absences. I am not sure he ever really understood, too far up his on arse.
Anyway, back to you guys. In my mind he has to see her or explain why he is going to stop contact. If he goes for the latter then it will be extremely hard for DD to understand as we are brought up to understand our parents love us no matter what. I knew at 7 that if my Dad had a 'better offer' that weekend then we would be left standing on the doorstep. I have the upmost respect for my Mother who never ever once slagged him off although she had every right to, she just picked us up and made us feel all the more special that weekend as we knew she wanted to be with us.
I cannot see why he would do this as I still cannot get my dad to explain to me why he did what he did and I am now 38! I do see him now but very much on my terms.
Somehow you need to make him understand how he is affecting DD and how he could make an impression on her life if he just tried harder. He needs to take you out of the equasion as it is his own daughter he is hurting not you.
A carefully worded lettr is my only advice and a big hug for your and your DD.
He sounds like he wants a reaction from you - namely for you to say "well then you can't see her" - at which point he can crow to all and sundry that he is a "good bloke" and you are bad/manipulative/a harridan/etc. He used to control you and he wants that power back.
I agree that you should write him a letter. Make it as neutral as you can and as BlueBumedFly says, point out that he is only damaging his relationship with his daughter and tell him that if that is what he wants to do, it is up to him.
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