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Absent father rears his ugly head again(15 Posts)
...after 2 years, this time.
The backstory: I got pregnant during a very, very brief relationship. XP was emotionally abusive,blowing hot and cold throughout the relationship, persuading me to move in with him, then finally dumping me for someone else by dint of simply disappearing when DS was 6 weeks old.
I initially tried to get him to see DS, but all my efforts were rebuffed. Then, from when DS was about 2/3, I started to get regular text messages begging to see DS, but, having been subject to XP's shenanigans for quite some time at this point, my stock answer was to invite him to mediation to formalise contact, at which point he would disappear from my radar for another few months.
Finally, he did agree to mediation, when DS was aged 4. Our agreement was to start with weekly meetings in the local park, and I asked that for the first few meetings XP didn't tell DS that he was his dad (being suspicious that he was going to do a disappearing act again). And lo, he did do a disappearing act, 3 meetings in. Didn't contact me, reply to my texts, etc.
Today, 2 years later, I get an emotive email (very similar in tone to his previous texts), begging us to "put all personal feelings behind us", to think of the family, to let DS get to know his siblings (XP has 3 other children) and so on and so forth. I am extraordinarily tempted to reply that I put all personal feelings towards him behind me years ago, and with stone cold objectivity he still looks like a massive cunt to me, but shall try to restrain myself .
To make things worse, recently DS has been asking lots of questions about his dad, saying "I love my Dad" (to his knowledge, he's never met him), "Can't I see my Dad?", "Can't we just invite him round?" etc.etc. I never know how to respond to this- I just say "Well, your dad's not very good at being a daddy, but not everyone has a daddy, and you've got a lovely grandma and granddad" etc.etc.
So...my dilemma is: do I give him another chance and facilitate contact with our DS? Knowing that DS is at an age when he will know full well that XP is his dad? And strongly suspecting that XP will just cease contact when he fancies it, leaving me to deal with a heartbroken and confused little boy?
Urgh, that's difficult. I think I would probably ignore the email tbh and wait to see if he initiated court stuff.
He's had a chance to be a dad.
He's had a second chance to be a dad.
He chose to walk away both times.
I wouldn't be giving him a third chance.
I would ignore it totally
He will lose interest soon enough
I wouldn't give him a third chance just because he had sent his 2 yearly pang of guilt email...
I'd give him a third chance if I was asked to by a court.
Got a new naive girlfriend he wants to impress, does he ?
Don't give it any air time
Ah, funnily enough he made vague threats of court in his email. A "lawyer" told him getting contact would be a "no brainer", apparently. Which is funny, because when we attended mediation together, I distinctly recall the mediator telling him "You do realise that if you break the terms of this agreement it will greatly prejudice any future attempt to get contact via court?" My guess is that he simply didn't tell any lawyer he spoke to about breaking the agreement we set up through mediation. Did I mention he's also a compulsive liar? .
Thing is, I wouldn't mind him seeing DS and being part of his life at all- if only I could trust him to make that relationship ongoing and consistent. Really, the only obstacle to him getting what he claims to want is himself, and his own behaviour.
Does he see his other children regularly?
It's sad that your child is asking all these questions about his father but sometimes we have to be cruel to be kind.
Imagine your ex showing An interest for a few weeks then being a no show.....I think it would break your sons heart. Not a risk I would take with your exs track record
That previous post was in response to offred's first one, by the way.
Thank you for your replies, everybody. It's been wonderfully clarifying (and unanimous, so far).
You're helping me resist this lovely dream he holds up in front of me...that DS can get to know his brothers, and baby sister, and they can have lovely adventures, and it will enrich DS's life...it's what I would love for DS to have, but fear is just a cruel illusion .
Actually anyfucker, if he's complying with his regular pattern, it probably means that he's just split up with someone, and is seeking to fill that emotional void. Both times he's dropped off the radar, it's coincided with him meeting a new partner...
Yes quitelikely, he does see his other children regularly. AFAIK, he's still with the youngest's mother. That's what makes it even sadder. Thing is, I don't take shit. And so many other women do...And I know that at least the mother of his 2 oldest (to whom he was married for quite some time) has had to take A LOT of shit from him .
TBH even if he does apply to the court and they do order contact (which is not guaranteed given his track record and that he has never had contact) he probably will still drop off the radar again.
At least you will know that it was a court which decided to subject ds to it and that you couldn't have done anymore to avoid it and that he clearly is a totally lost cause.
Are his other 3 DCs from one or both of the (presumed) ex-partners?
Zombie wonders how much contact he actually has with those DCs.
I had this with Dd1 dad. He dumped me when I got pregnant I was (15) he was (17) denied she was his. Never saw him for 10yrs then he decided to play daddy again for a couple of mths. Never received a penny in maintenance ever.
I wouldn't bother replying to the e-mail and wait and see what he does next. Good luck.
Stick to the two strikes and they're out rule, otherwise your ds will be heartbroken when his f in name only absents himself for another few years.
This type of abandonment can cause considerable emotional harm to a young child as, despite all of the reassurance given by other adults, can easily come to believe that daddy doesn't love them because they're not 'good enough'.
This is particularly true when the father has other dc as, regardless of whether or not the absent parent is spending time with the half-sibs, your dc's imagination may cause him to believe that his df has chosen his other dc over him or, in an extreme case, that you are preventing him from seeing his df.
Does the insensitive twat pay child maintenance regularly? If so, I suggest you revert to your stock answer and make it clear that you expect him to facilitate and pay for mediation.
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