Dealing with the emotions of fathers rejecting their child.(34 Posts)
So I am now 4 weeks down the line of H leaving. 9 weeks since we married. And week 17 of my pregnancy.
I've posted about what he did/has done before so I won't go back over old ground.
Our initial arrangement regarding childcare/access was to keep the status quo for our DS (2yrs 1 month). I work full time. He works part time. He was DS's 'main carer' . Basically, he walked out of contact on NYE at 6pm, just before I was due in work for my night shift.
As soon as I woke up that evening he was trying to pick a fight. He walked out when he wasn't getting the reaction he wanted. One of the things he said to try and antagonise me was that he was going to have 'friends' over in my house while I was at work and he was in sole charge of our 2 year old and my 12 year old.
He thought he would stop me working (he sees it that I have all the money while he has none) so I guess he thought he would try and stop me from earning.
Anyway, this has massively backfired. I managed to find an overnight and day time childcare on NYE of all days. I heard nothing from him for 2 days following his walk out. Then it was a text about money. So realising he had run away from the responsibility of his child, I then had Friday 2nd Jan to find a childminder for Monday morning who was willing to accommodate shifts (starting 6.40am some days, and pick up being 10pm or later other days). Along with finding someone to stay in my house for night shifts for the last 3 weeks of January.
I thought (and him too probably!) that this would be impossible. But I've done it. I've got plan A and plan B for childcare. Financially there are no issues even though I'm basically paying for 24/7 childcare for 4 days for 3 weeks. I know I'm very lucky with that.
So that's where I'm up to. Where is he up to? Well, he is 2 roads away at his mothers. Still working PT. Our son has never been with anyone other than me, him, his mum and my mum. He knows this. He knew walking away would result in our son being pushed in to FT childcare, with no settling period etc etc.
The contact he has had since he left was the initial text about money after 2 days. 2 days later he sent me a message asking me if I was ignoring him. Followed quickly by another message saying 'no I guess you're too busy off shagging someone else' (let's not get in to the fact that it was HIM shagging someone else that caused this hideous mess, and that maybe, just maybe I was too busy taking responsibility for his child and his unborn child).. He wanted a reaction. He got nothing.
After that text I realised he wasn't coming back to take his own responsibilities for his child. So I decided that if all he could send was a text, rather than a phone call, or turning up at the door, then I was not going to respond. It's easy to send a text. It's much harder to face what you have done. But you owe it to your child to grow up and face reality.
So it took him til the 4th Jan to ask how his son was. The following day he asked the same. And that's it. Two messages asking how his child is. In 11 days. No contact. No 'I want to see my son'. His mother who looked after DS twice a week (who he is living with) hasn't been in contact either or said she wants to maintain her contact.
So I think I'm facing up to the fact he has run away from his child and unborn child. And that fucking hurts. I thought it hurt on my wedding day when I got her message telling me he had cheated on me. That has NOTHING on the pain of him walking away from his children.
How own dad did it to him. He said he could never do it. But he is, isn't he?
He's sat there 4.5 days a week doing fuck all while his son is 2 roads away with a childminder.
Sadly, I know why he has walked away, he found another woman. He had obviously been online dating, judging by the sudden pattern of texts/picture messages. He started texting her at 1.30am on NYE in the early hours. Convenient how he walked out later that day and hasn't seen or asked to see his child since, hmmm? The texts carried on and on through the night, and the days that followed. I only found this out yesterday after an itemised phone bill arrived at my house...
I have her name. Her phone number was attached to her fb profile. I sent her a brief text telling her what she was getting herself in to. A (recently) married man, with a child and another on the way. And I mentioned his affair and me finding out on my wedding day. I think I owe it to womanhood to at least give the warning what kind of 'man'(!!!!) he is.
So here I am. Where do I go from here? I think I'd rather he had no contact whatsoever as he has shown absolutely no regard for his child or any concern about the pregnancy. I had a bleed 3 weeks ago at 14 weeks. He knew I had a scan fri 2nd Jan because we had decided to find out the gender. He knew where the scan was and when. He didn't come, or contact to ask if he could come, or ask if everything was okay.
I've actually had a serious pregnancy condition diagnosed which is life threatening for me and baby and I've been told not to be on my own ever. And will require several weeks hospital admission later in the pregnancy. There's a high chance I will have a premature baby. And a very high risk of complications to me from bleeding. Potentially a hysterectomy.
It's a grade 4 placenta praevia with the complication of accreta. It's right on my previous c/s scar. Due to the nature of my profession, I fully understand the implications of this and the massive risks it involves.
And here I am. Working full time, raising 2 soon to be 3 children. Facing a very uncertain future and health. While man child is chasing the next bit of skirt and running from the family he claimed he so desperately wanted.
Any words of wisdom? Please!
Well, he has shown you who he is hasn't he. With bells on.
I am glad he has gone. Sorry, but at least now you can plan. And that is what I would do now - don't even think about or factor what he does into your life now. Look after yourself and lean on your friends and family. Get your support network in place and lean on them. And look after yourself too. And don't chase him at all. You have far more important things to do with your life. Oh and get that annulment sorted out too.
Annulment has been printed, and completed! Just awaiting some advice on whether I. An get him to cough up for it.
I resent paying for his shit!
But I will if it gets rid of him.
What do I do if he wants to see them in future?
I would get any contact legally formalised - and it happens away from your home. He doesn't set one foot over the threshold now. You need to protect your home and your privacy now.
You sound like a strong and capable woman.
He sounds like an absolute waste of space.
In the long run I think you would be better to distance yourself and your DC from him and his mother. They will not help you or make your life easier.
You have done amazingly well to sort out childcare.
Get legal advice asap and safeguard your home and your money.
Look to whatever other resources/support networks you can so that you can be confident you don't need him for anything.
I know that won't be easy, but you need to think long term.
I am so sorry about the pregnancy complications.
Problem with contact is all I'm willing to agree to is supervised contact. And with the new baby, I'm not prepared to have it away from me. How on earth will that work?
Money/home is all fine. Finances are not a worry in the slightest.
I feel good - like 15 stone of shit shifted and feel better about myself than I ever had. My self confidence has rocketed, and my self belief too.
I'm just worrying for my child and unborn baby. Sometimes life just pours shit on you, right?!
Life does indeed pour shit onto you, but it makes us stronger and you already sound like you're made of strong stuff! You should be exceptionally proud of yourself for knowing what you need to do and getting on and doing it.
Why don't you grab the bull by the horns and contact his mother directly, explaining the situation if she isn't already aware and asking her if she's still intending on having contact with DC? I'd bypass him as he seems to not care in the slightest and has given up his right to an opinion. Do you live near your parents/are you able to ask them for help when you get closer to having DC2? As you've said, you'll need help in the run up to the birth and probably a few weeks afterwards too. Is paid help in the form of a live in nanny for a few weeks an option?
This is just awful for you. You are coping amazingly for your children.
With regard to contact, at the present time the focus is on your 2 year old, because your child age 12 is not his (I hope I have understood correctly) and therefore it would appear to be her choice.
You will be expected to have a routine of contact I am afraid. The longer he avoids contact with your son, the more likely it will be that he has supervised contact initially. However, supervised contact is always seen as leading to unsupervised. It is to reinstate contact carefully.
I don't want to worry you at all, because you have enough on your plate, but I am afraid that is the reality of the situation.
I know you must be torn between wanting to protect your children from the hurt of realising their father is not wanting to see them, whilst also being concerned about the impact of unreliable contact upon them. I think at the moment he wants his freedom to pursue another relationship and the children are an obstacle to this. He is putting his own needs first as you anticipated.
Let him make the running. Don't consider his feelings, he has not considered yours and completely separate his needs from those of your children. Please keep us updated.
Your kids are better off with him not being in their lives. Horrible to come to terms with (I am going throuh it right now) but it is so true.
I worry enough when DS goes to the CM, cannot believe how your ex and my ex can simply walk away.
Except I sort of can believe it, because they are incredibly selfish.
You are doing amazingly and will continue to do so, because you are putting your children first.
He had as much contact with DS as he wanted and he has chosen none. I wish I could understand this.
He was his main carer for fucks sake!! What a total twat he has shown himself to be!
No point contacting his mum. He's living there. She's aware he isn't seeing him and aware she isn't seeing him either. I'm not doing the running.
My mum has stepped up to the plate much against everything she has said in the past. I have some help in emergencies (bleeds/hospital admissions) but she works full time so there is only so much she can do. My dad lives 200 miles away and is abroad probably 4 -5 months of the year. So again, it's limited. But if I was desperate I think he would help. He is more of a financial help if needed to be honest. I think he is going to pay for some help after the baby arrives to allow me to recover from the surgery.
Selfish really is the only way to describe it woowoo. My older sons dad, while he is no perfect parent, he at least has maintained contact and some sort of maintenance now for 6 years. I have never felt that he didn't care or love DS1. I have never worried that he would walk away. We were young 16 and 18 when we had him. 24 and 26 when we split up. Giving him credit for keeping that relationship.
But this time I have this overwhelming urge to protect ds2 and the baby from him. My instincts are screaming at me to get him out their lives. I have ignored my instinct in the past - to my detriment. I can't ignore it any longer. I need to work out why I feel like this.
Some people are extraordinarily selfish and irresponsible. Some are also very simplistic in their approach to life, opting for the easy route and ignoring anything morally tricky or inconvenient as being too much like hard work. You have to operate your own standards and deal with your reality best you can. He has to live with his conscience.... assuming he has one. Suggest, however, that you propose a contact schedule in due course.
It is utterly selfish of them. It is incomprehensible that a man would put a new relationship before his relationship with his children I know. And it is heartbreaking seeing your child wait for their father to step up to the plate - and slowly realise that they aren't going to do that. But I would say your children are very lucky to have you. And they will be ok without him.
And sometimes if a father is that useless the children are better off without him in their lives - not always the most popular opinion I know. But that is the case for us. And it isn't the end of the world, it really isn't.
My late FIL, who was the widowed DF to five adult DCs, remarried. Almost immediately he decided that it would be far easier if he got on with his life and left them to theirs. His new (young) wife was very enthusiastic about the idea and together they set about alienating all the 'old family' quite methodically and IMHO nastily until they succeeded in achieving 'NC' with everyone, including several grandchildren. My uncle did the exact same thing with his three DDs from his first marriage. Girls he appeared to adore until he got a new partner. Contact stopped and that was that.
I've since heard many more examples of this callous 'all or nothing' behaviour - usually men. Doesn't make it right but it's not all that uncommon
I agree with everyone who says let him make the running.
If he doesn't bother, he is giving ample evidence that he is not interested.
In the long run this will be better all round.
It is incomprehensible, ex H was the SAHP too.
Am glad you have your mum. Makes such a difference to have people you can depend on. He is a fucker.
One small mercy I am grateful for is that ex H has gone while DS is still very small. He barely asks for him now. How is your eldest child coping with things?
I meant that as in hopefully the 2 year old will forget in time, if your ex does not step up to the plate and be a father.
Oldest hates him, didn't like him much anyway. 2 year old has not said daddy, mentioned anything to do with him, asked for him, in fact I don't think he's noticed he has gone. I'm not sure how I should feel about that?
What is it telling me?
I thought he truly loved his son. But it appears it was another of his acts.
This is quite appalling. Perhaps unfairly, I'm
presuming that he doesn't have very good communication skills and is fairly emotionally immature.
That being the case, I think he's pethaps got himself into a corner and can't "back down" as he sees it. In working out what to do, I would be considering the following in this order:
1. What is best for the DC's;
2. What is best for you; and
3. How would your actions pore finally be interpreted by a family court judge who might be determining future contact
In terms of 1. - I think it has tone best for the DCs to maintain contact with him. Whilst he has behaved terribly, he has bee one of your DCs main carers. I totally understand why you feel that he may just walk away - and he could - but this is presumably the first time that he has done something like this. Therefore I don't think it is reasonable to preclude co tw t on the basis that he may walk away.
With that in mind along with point 3, I would grit my teeth and text him (then you have a record) saying that are willing to arrange contact at a contact centre for him to see DS. If he doesn't want to, that's his choice but it negates any argument that he was pushed into a corner/tried to contact you/ you ignored him etc. TBH, a family court judge will not analysis the minutiae of what he may or may not have texted. Just take the point that he did co tact you and you ignored him. That will put you on the back foot and you always wNt to be proactive rather than reactive in these situations and show that you Always put the best interests of the DCs first
In terms of point 2 - you must be knackered. So it would presumably be quite good if he were to have contact to let you have a bit of a rest.
I feel for you - he has behaved appallingly and also does t seen tons e the emotional intelligence or maturity to try and at least mitigate some of his more awful behaviours. unfortunately he is two of the DCs' father though so, if possible, you will have to try and maintain some kind of relationship unless he does just walk away. Whilst that would be much easier for you, it must be worse for the DCs
You sound so together, OP. Congratulations on everything you have done through this horrible time. Your kids will be fine, my DF left the country when I was four and I only saw him again for a short visit when I was eleven. I did get to spend time with him after that, which was good because it made me realise how lucky I was that my parents had separated.
It sounds though like you need someone to live in, for your own sake, particularly. Is that possible?
Well, it makes me the knob, because he walked away from me before, and saw DS for an hour 4 days after he left.
So he has form.
I'm a fucking idiot.
He actually only ever wanted me (or any woman perhaps?). He was needy. He admitted this. He wanted my attention, he was almost obsessed. I just couldn't see it until now. He said he wanted children, he wanted a family and everything that came along with it. But that was to keep hold of me I think. The reality of children, and the attention being away from him was just too much in the end. He shagged someone else for the attention basically. Again, something he admitted.
And again he's chasing someone else for the attention. To make him feel better about himself. It's truly pathetic and shows massive immaturity. My 12 year old has more insight and maturity than him.
It's funny what you can see when you fall out of love, and out of that spell from someone.
I don't need someone (man, or anyone) to make me feel whole. Or to make me happy. Seems that he does... It will only ever end in tears until you break that cycle and learn to love and believe in yourself.
I am a little tired of 'being strong' however. I'm fed up of always being the one to hold it together. That shit is draining!
I don't have anyone who can live with me, nor do I have spare room for an au pair or nanny. So realistically, that isn't likely to happen. I could go and live with my dad, but that puts me 200 miles away, and DS has school and dad here. My mum is closer but I don't actually think we could live together. My 2 year old is a bit much for her. She's a headteacher and generally spends her life at grade A stresshead.
Luckily for me, where I work is where I will be having my baby. So there is at least flexibility there. If I turned up with a bleed with kids in tow, it would be fine. And I guess someone would come and look after them at least overnight. I have a bag packed for each of them and me. And the travel cot by the door. So we have less to worry about in times of panic.
Your 12 year old sounds perceptive and wise.
Legally, he will have to be the one who initiates any contact arrangements; at that point, you can attend mediation - ie cross that bridge when you come to it.
If your dad will provide financial help, ask for it for emergency childcare or for house-keeping help, there are nanny agencies who will get you emergency childcare (I use tinies.com). There is a booking fee then you pay by the hour.
That doesn't help with the emotional side, I know
What part of the country are you living in? Are there any MNers nearby who could help out in an emergency?
I'm in the NW. I think things will be okay. I can at least use ft childcare for my toddler and hopefully my mum will be there for the night time. It's the prolonged hospital admission that is the HUGE problem. What do I do when I'm in hospital for a month or longer? I can only pray it won't happen, or refuse to go in and take mine and baby's life in to my hands. But then what kind of mother does that make me?
Fuck it's an impossible one!
I guess potentially a FT 24/7 nanny might be my only option, and my dad can pay for that? Perhaps. I guess that would be VERY expensive. Eeek.
Both my parents have holidays booked for the first week of June also. Which if I don't deliver prematurely will be the week I have the baby (c/s at 37 weeks) which is just a nightmare.
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