Please bear with me-this is a long one. I'd also be grateful for non-judgemental comments if possible :-)
I met my BF 5 years ago and on our second date he told me that he had a little girl of 8 that he didn't see. He got upset when I asked him why, but assured me that it wasn't because he had been violent or anything, just that the relationship between his and his ex was intolerable so he thought it was best for her if he walked away as he didn't want her to grow up in a war zone. I had allot of mutual friends with him that were pleased we were together, and my instinct told me that he was a good man despite this-and he is- so I accepted it, although I have always wished it was different. He also paid over £200 a month regardless of contact, always has.
In the meantime we have gone on to have our own children, and over time I have learned more. I have been very careful not to push as he is very deep and generally shuts down on me and although he has always said he misses his girl, he thinks her mum has probably done a brilliant job and she wouldn't want to see him anyway. After they split up, his mother died and he had a breakdown so I see grief played a massive part in the original decision, but it haunts him occassionally. Sometimes he goes into dark, black moods where he cannot cope with what he has done and he doesn't feel that he should be allowed to be happy with us where he feels guilty. Even though these moods have occured, we are very very strong as a family unit and he is a fantastic father to our children.
In the time we have been together, his ex has tried to cause problems for us indirectly. Unfortunately, we have some mutual friends and her husband is best friends with one of my friends husbands. Firstly she is in touch with his family-who he has little contact with due to the things that happened during his breakdown-and told them that I wouldn't attend anything that she was, and that we had stopped paying through the CSA. Both of these things were untrue and upsetting but I have always maintained to have no reaction incase our children do eventually want a relationship, and I don't want to be the wicked stepmother! All in all, it hadn't been a problem for me, however I was uninvited to our mutual friends birthday party half an hour before it started because she didn't want me there. However she wanted my little boy to go so she could meet him, which I felt was strange. I was heavily pregnant at the time and very upset by it, it also caused massive problems with my BF who felt as if he had failed to protect me and our children.
But we got through this, again I gave no reaction so that the path was always clear-or as clear as it can be-if a relationship ever did develop.
This weekend he went out and came home very chatty. He told me that he thinks about his child all of the time, and he won't ever feel complete without her. She is 13 now. He set up a Facebook some time ago, and sent a friend request to his lg. He was blocked. At the same time, I was blocked by her and her mother (I hadn't ever sent messages or anything, but she would always comment when I commented on mutual friends posts on FB and it stopped for a while so I had a peek.)
I told him gently that this wasn't the way he should go about things and he needed to stand up more to the line than trying to add her on FB as he has explaining to do. He then pulled away saying she probably doesn't want to be disrupted at school so he probably can't have a relationship with her anyway, at least until she is 16. Unfortunately at the moment we were trying to discuss things further my baby woke up and he fell asleep.
I feel he will regret not at least giving her a chance to obtain contact if she wants to and I am aware it is about the childs-I sound cold, I'm not, just trying to not emotionally confuse things!-wants and needs.
We haven't discussed things further but I am just wondering what way he could go about obtaining access if it was possible? How does it work legally? I have a feeling his ex will not be that cooperative too.
If anyone can advise please do. I would really appreciate it if people can spare judgement-he is living with what he is done as are my family :-) x
I haven't got the answers for you but I do have some experience from a previous relationship years ago.
An ex BF had a daughter from a one night stand with a work colleague (long before he met me), and they ha a daughter. He paid a LOT of CSA and waited patiently for occasional access, some of which was thwarted by the mother because she liked to play power games. But he stayed patient and she is now 16 years old and really wants a new contact with her biological father.
He has relocated to be closer to her and now has her stay at his very weekend. When I was with him, he would visit only twice a year at best, partly due to his work and partly due to the mother playing him around.
She also made up a lot of stuff, like cancelling a date set up to me and then telling their daughter that the Dad cancelled because he can't be bothered, that sort of thing.
Kids are incredibly knowing though and eventually they make up their own minds, so I wanted to let you know it's really worth hanging in there. Sometimes it seems bleak and impossible but it doesn't always stay that way for everyone.
Hi Tortoise in a Shell,
Thank you so much for taking your time out to write that message. Will always keep hanging in there and hoping things change. It's not always black and white and he knows he has cocked up just trying to right a wrong in any way he can really. X
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