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DD has asked to meet her "dad" what should i do?

(14 Posts)
LoveMyGirls Wed 09-Jul-08 14:16:42

I'll try and keep thi brief....

I had dd when i was 17 her "dad" hasn't seen her since she was 3 months old, she is 9 now.
She's been going through a phase lately saying she hates me etc I think she is hormonal and at the age she is curious and pushing it, maybe she thinks the grass is greener etc

I met my dp when she was 2 and he has raised her, he is a fantastic dad to her and dd2, his family treat her brilliantly too, I think she is a very lucky girl to have so many people around her who love her and try their best to make her happy.

Theres no way I want to get in contact with my ex, he is total scum, I'm trying to keep my opinions to myself BUT she is asking why she doesn't see him etc I feel I need to justify why I stopped access (Bottom line is he treated me badly and I couldn't be with someone that didn't love dd as much as I did)
How do I explain it all without her feeling bad that her dad doesn't see her.

He knows where my mum lives, he could get in touch, he could write letters or cards or send money but he doesn't. He has sent her 3 cards in her whole life, one he gave me when she was born that his dad had written from them as a family (hardly sufficent considering I had jsut given birth to his child) one was for her 2nd birthday (said happy birthday love dad) and one for 5th birthday which again just had a few words, not exactly a lot of effort or thought had gone into them at all, the cards were cheap and crap too.

He has never given her anything or shown any thought or care even down to the fact he wouldn't come and see us the day we came out of hospital because it was raining and he didnt want to get wet or once when i rang him because me and my mum had been up all night and needed some sleep - he refused to come and watch dd because he was cleaning his car.

Dp on the other hand has been amazing, he is the best dad I could ever have for my children, he bends over backwards constantly to please them, he is firm but fair and loves them so much, i feel upset for him that dd1 wants to meet someone who can't even be bothered to go out in the rain for her sad

How do i deal with this?

LoveMyGirls Wed 09-Jul-08 14:21:41

Meant to say dp and I are getting married soon and we had thought that if dd would like him to dp could adopt her, would this help her or should we not mention it while she is confused?

If anyone has any advice about adopting a step child that would be useful as well.

youcannotbeserious Wed 09-Jul-08 14:29:42

Do you still stay in touch with any of his family? Do you know anything about his life now?

A lot can happen in 10 years and he might have grown up now...

FWIW, unless you have fears over your DD's security / safety, I would try to facilitate a meeting. SHe's already testing you and if she feels you are why she doesn't see her dad, you are going to get the blame for that too...

If you try to organise something, then it can go one of two ways:
1. He actually steps up to the plate
2. He doesn't...

Neither one is really straight forward. If he doesn't want to see her, or disappoints her, then you are going to have to deal with that as well as your own feelings to how her dad could do that to her. If he does want to see her and she him, then obviously, that means you having to deal with him in your life....

But, I don't think you can just ignore what she's saying.... All you can do is try and figure out what his reaction to her is likely to be...

julesrose Wed 09-Jul-08 14:29:45

That's really hard for you. I think though the more you say no the more she'll resent you, and the harder she'll push you to let her see him. You could talk to her about your relationship with him - the good side and the bad side, and she'll come to understand the decisions you made. Perhaps it would be better to wait until some of these issues have settled down before you talk about adoption.

LoveMyGirls Wed 09-Jul-08 14:46:27

He's in and out of prison and involved in a lot of fights from what i've heard over the years, last time my sister saw him a few years ago he got her in a headlock and asked how his fucking daughter was (there is no way I'm going to help her find him)

julesrose Wed 09-Jul-08 14:55:56

Bloody hell....does she know about all this?

LoveMyGirls Wed 09-Jul-08 14:59:04

No I've tried to protect her from knowing what type of man he is sad I think she's too young at the moment to process the information.

I was 16 when i met him and only slept with him once when I got caught pg. I tried to make it work with him because i thought it was the right thing to do but he was violent and abusive as well as lazy, sponging and an addict to drink and drugs.

LoveMyGirls Wed 09-Jul-08 15:01:45

Need to pick her up fgrom school, don't want her to see this so i won't be back for a bit please keep posting so I can read later, thanks for being here.

youcannotbeserious Wed 09-Jul-08 16:27:07

OK, it's totally different if you have realistic concerns for your daughters wellbeing.

I have a close friend whose mum was in a similar position to you. THis is what she did:

She told her son that she didn't feel she could help her son try to find or contact his father, that there were lots of things that had happened, that she didn't feel her son needed to know about and that, while he son was a minor, she would not consent... but, if the son still felt the same way when he became an adult, then she would help in any way she could.

It all died down for a while, and when the son was 18 he decided he wanted to meet his father. True to her word, his mum helped him trace the family and he met up with his father in a local pub.

They had 1 drink together, over which the father told the son he had no interest in a relationship with him and (as far as I know) a few other home truths about his mother. (The woman who had never said a bad word about him and had simply tried to protect her son)

He never mentioned his father again. I'd be lying to say it hadn't affected him. He's not the talkative type, but I do think it did get to him.

I totally respect what his mother did / tried to do, but in those intervening years, the son built up what this relationship would be like and he was awfully hurt when it wasn't like that (even though, to an outsider, it was very likely to happen, as the father hadn't ever tried to find or have a relationship with the son)

Sometimes, the truth isn't nice, it isn't pleasant and we'd rather not deal with it, but it might (and please know, I don't know your daughter) be better for her to face this now (or at least a sanitised version) rather than have her build her father up to be some great guy that he's not...

Hope that's some help...

Why not try posting about the adoption on the step parenting board? There are a nice group of people there, who might have more experience of this than me smile

LoveMyGirls Wed 09-Jul-08 19:17:12

Thansk for your words of help and advice. I've spoken to my dd1 and answered all of her questions as honestly as I could. I didn't want to lie to her or not tell her anything because I didn't want her building false hope about what a perfect person he was which i think she was starting to do.

I told her my side and have said she can talk to my mum or her aunts about her "dad" if she likes and that whatever happens I'll always look after her, love her and be honest with her.

After a long talk she has decided seeing her "dad" isn't for the best and that the life she has now is fine without him.

She thought she was missing out but once i answered her questions she knows there's nothing to miss out on, apart from grief.

I said I didn't want to say bad things about him, i've always tried not to but I had nothing good to say and she wanted the truth so without going into details I have told her the brief story.

I also explained how we have always done our best for her and we're always here for her and will carry on bringing her up the best we can and if she wants to find her dad when she is 18 we will try to help her.

I think i've done the right thing, which is all i can, dd is happier now knowing the truth, at least she understands why I don't let her see him. I told her I never want to see him again so if she see's him while she is under 18 I would have to see him too and he hurt me so much that I can't see him, she understands now.

I've also given her a book and dvd of her with her dad so she has that to look at, I think seeing pictures of him is enough for now. There are letters and more photo's plus more detailed explainations but I will save them for when she is much older.

youcannotbeserious Wed 09-Jul-08 20:27:07

i think one thing that is important to bear in mind - when looking at why she should wait until she's older - is that it should be him trying to contact her while she is a child. It should not be her responsibility to do that.

Once she is an adult, if it is something she wants to do, then yes, of course, that is her right.

I'm glad you were able to at least relate some part of why you don't think it's a good idea, though. It's important that she doesn't build a picture of this great guy who would save her from everything / anything she doesn't like. We do have that attitude of our parents and it can become very much distorted when they aren't about to disappoint us!

Hope it goes well with your DD. SOunds like she has a top notch Step dad.

LoveMyGirls Thu 10-Jul-08 14:01:48

Thanks for your help YCBS

My dp is fabulous with her, he has always bent over backwards for her and loves her unconditionally just as i do it's one of the things that attracted me to him in the first place, we're very happy together and can't wait to gte married, maybe us getting engaged is what has made her start thinking about where she fits i etc I hope she feels much better now, we had a few words this morning because she wanted to take the book with photos in to show her school friends but i said no, I don't want to be associated with him, I don't want him knowing where we are, I worry if she takes it into school and someone there happens to know him they will say something to him and he may come looking just to cause trouble, I've told her nothing good will come from him being in contact with us.

My mum is picking her up from school for a bit today so they can have some time on their own so dd1 can have a chat with her if she likes as well as some 1 to 1 attention.

LoveMyGirls Fri 11-Jul-08 08:19:17

Going out with my mum yesterday has done her the world of good, she came back a different child (well actually more like the child she was 6 months ago) fingers crossed now she's got it off her chest we can have a happier household and build a closer relationship, we're pretty close anyway but it's like she has been pushing me away and i've had to fight to stay close.

We've got some things planned over the summer and will spending alot of time together over the summer hols so hopefully now she's feeling better she can concentrate on being a 9yr old having fun instead of a 9yr old with things on her mind smile

I know it won't be many years before this is all dragged up again but at least for now she doesn't want to see him so i can stop having panic attacks about him being back in our lives.

Thanks for your support.

youcannotbeserious Fri 11-Jul-08 22:11:50

GLad you've got a resolution of sorts.

Yes, you are right - it'll come up again when she's older, but by then she'll be better able to deal with him and her feelings about him.

Enjoy your summer!

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