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Ex is back after 8 years and wants to see DD.(25 Posts)
Distance he probably would be a good dad. He likes making them I know as he made 2 with other women when we were married.
Skype - good idea. Just the thought of seeing his face and hearing his voice after so long makes me feel depressed. But I guess I should be there to monitor just to manage the tone. I think a meet for her, with him after some gentle intro' is the best. I'll get someone to chaperone. Yes he has been paying maintenance for her via solicitor which I've been sticking away for her future. I've not touched a penny of it.
And - hopefully - he may be a crap partner but a good dad. It happens (look at Mick Jagger).
No. You can't deny her the chance to get her know her father.
The point here is what your daughter wants, and you should make this very clear to her father. If she is happy to see him, fine. If she decides she doesn't want to see him anymore, it's fine too.
Just support your daughter in her decisions, and be ready to provide emotional support.
Great insights - thank you one and all. We've been talking more today, DD and I. She's naturally curious about him, so I'll arrange for him come to my place for a brief visit. (Yuk what a thought)... Trying to get her to keep expectations low (ish), which is tough as he will no doubt dazzle her with his flashy lifestyle.
Will send him an email today asking what his intentions are. He's a liar though and tells people what they want to hear. A friend told me that he moves around quite a lot on business. I can only hope for the best. I feel like a total f*****g flakey idiot for putting DD at risk like this.
I think you should actively facilitate contact but at a very slow pace, so perhaps let her email chat via your email first and build up to Skype/phone chat and so on. However, she must know that she has control and that if at any point she wants to cease contact then you will not force her to continue.
I agree with SDT... Keep it all by e-mail. It is important that he understands that if he initiates contact he doesn't breeze off again. No teenagers confidence could take that. You are perfectly in your rights to ask him where does he see this going. Does he just want to meet occasionally or does he want regular contact. Where is he in relation to you? Is travel a big problem or is he close by. What about his and your dds we extended family etc.
Best of luck to you and your dd
One practical thought - following from what you said about the thought of hearing his voice making your skin crawl. Could you set up a new email account just for communicating with him? That way you can control when you see that he has made contact, and as it is written communication, you will be able to consider your responses, and discuss them with your dd, rather than running the risk of having to make a decision on the spot, because he is on the phone.
Plus it will mean that you have a full record of everything you have done to facilitate contact, which might be useful in the future.
I think you are doing a wonderful job.
Whilst it is her decision, she is also incredibly young to have to make such a tough choice.
I would maybe sit down with her and go through all the possible outcomes, all the pros and cons of it with her.
That way, she can think about how it might affect her, and that could help her to decide.
You sound great and really supportive, but remember, no matter how much you tell her to forget about you when she makes her decision, she will still take you into consideration - you've been there for her forever, and you are really important in her life.
If she does decide to meet, I would suggest a cup of tea at your house, with you there. He is essentially a stranger to her and that is quite scary for a 13 year old.
Ask her how you could make it easiest for her to meet with him and then decide how to move forward.
She's 13, she can tell you what would work for her.
I would not force the issue, I really would firmly leave the ball in her court, but I would offer to make it super easy for her to meet with him and let it be completely on her terms.
I agree with never put a sock - my father died last year, it was left to me to decide if I wanted to see him. I kept thinking one day I would but I was too much of a chicken (even at 38) to make the choice to do it.
Now I will never have the chance. I hadn't seen him since I was about 5 so have no concept of what sort of person he was. I think you should slightly push her to see him and not leave it up to her. It only has to be once, at 13 she will have a proper impression of the sort of person he is, even if she never sees him again.
If she sees him now and he hurts her, or she never sees him again before he dies she will still be hurting. You don't know that it might have a happy ending for her - if she doesn't see him you'll never know.
I totally see why he pisses you off OP. I'd be disgusted.
However,your DD has a legal right to a relationship with him, but as posters have said, he can't just come to it cold, he needs to talk to her first, maybe on Skype, or maybe come to your house for a cuppa, with you there for your daughter, or speak on the phone with her.
That should then build up to day trips and then take it from there.
However, if he is so loaded, I sincerely hope he is providing you with a fair share of his wonga in order to bring up your daughter!
My Ex p walked out about 9 years ago and had no contract and provided no financial support.
If he turned back up I would be in an awful quandary but I would allow it , very very tentatively and maybe even under some kind of supervision.
My main issues
would be "where have you been, why were you gone so long and why now - and where do you see this going?"
My mum and Dad split up when I was about 12. They had no formal custody arrangement and it was left to me to decide when I wanted to see my dad......
I was 12! I had other things going on and so we rarely saw each other and our relationship had broken down by the time I was 16. I got back in contact with him when I went to University and we have a very good relationship now.
I really regret not seeing him. I wish my Mum had said - right, every second weekend you're going to your Dad's.
So, listen to her BUT it is a huge decision to put onto young shoulders.
I think starting small with emails and texts is the way to go.
What an incredibly difficult situation for you both.
Could you perhaps lay some options out for her? She might be curious to meet him and so want to say yes, but worry that then she won't be able to back out or change her mind.
So perhaps you saying 'you could meet him at xyz, I will be close and you can walk away after half an hour if you've had enough or stay longer if you want to'?
I think she also needs to understand that one meeting isn't her signing up to let him fully into her life, she reserves the right to say no at any stage regardless of the inconvenience to him.
It's just become a bit more convenient now that he lives nearer. No doubt if he moved abroad again the whole idea would be forgotten.
If he's really so keen to see his daughter, let him do the running. He can't just piss off for eight years and then breeze back in saying 'Yeah, call me'. He sounds like a total twat TBH.
HotDAMN this is the question. But can I deny her this chance to have any kind of relationship with him?
I think at 13 she needs decide tbh.
She needs your support and guidance but if you decide for her either way she could resent you for it later.
Just let her know you will be there for her regardless.
Would it be easier for her to communicate with him via email/texts to begin with to build a bit of a relationship rather than a big first time face to face meeting ??
Thanks. He doesn't have my number. He tracked me down via a social media website. You're right he has to take the initiative. I just can't bare to send him my number. Hearing his voice etc makes my flesh creep the thought.
What a f*****g nerve he has doing this!
Sure, you say it won't hurt you if she sees him. But, if he's been such a flaky father for 8 years, won't it end up hurting her ?
Leopards don't change their spots: I suspect he will start up a flashy relationship with her with expensive treats as you say, then lose interest and patience with the effort of sustaining a relationship with a child. He's hardly been present and consistent so far, has he? I just hope your DD doesn't get her hopes up, then end up even more heartbroken when he flakes out again. Which he will.
In 5 or 10 years' time she might turn on you and say "why didn't you let me see hime / make him see me etc" so I think you can't deny her this.
I think you need to make him do the running. It's all very well him sending you an email saying call me to arrange - why can't he call you and arrange?
And you're right about asking a 13-year old to make these decisions - it's too difficult for them. Perhaps keep it as simple as possible and just one step at a time - ie don't talk about her seeing him regularly, just say "you dad would like to take to you the zoo/museum/MacDs.... etc" so she feels no pressure about next time.
He has to prove himself and only he can do that - you can facilitate but don't run around making it easy for him.
And if he wants to spend money on her - let him!
My ex has been living abroad for the past 8 years and shown little or no interest in our 13 yo DD in all that time. Save the occasional birthday card, (sent by his secretary I suspect.) He's recently moved back to London and all of a sudden wants to be a part of her life. I've had emails asking me to call him to arrange it.
DD is unsure - bless her, but I suspect it's loyalty to me. I've talked long and hard with her and told her it wouldn't hurt me at all if she wanted to see her dad. So she can if she wants to. Now it takes me 20 min's to get her to decide what cereal she wants, how can I ask her to make this type of decision?
The thing is, I don't know if I should agree to it nice and early to avoid him getting solicitors etc. Because he pissed off so long ago, and we had such a clean break I didn't think much about him and what I would do when this day came around. Another thing is, he's loaded and would want to lavish her with pink Limousines, Caribbean holidays, Disneyland etc. I know him, but he is her dad, so how can I deny her? I can't right? What's you lot think?
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