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Is any woman on here with a partner who is an absent parent by choice?

(78 Posts)
gingertesco Wed 08-May-19 22:56:05

Tell me about these men, are they just spineless or misunderstood?

LonelyTiredandLow Fri 10-May-19 11:40:35

I also think it is usually women who haven't had kids who are likely to a) be the target of his new affections b) not fully grasp how hard it should be for him to give up his own flesh and blood.

I don't blame ex's new wife even though she sat in court huffing and puffing every time the Judge asked me a question I just see her as a bit naive.

Ivestoppedreadingthenews Fri 10-May-19 11:43:21

I know a few men ike this with long time, seemingly nice gf. Usually 1) they allow themselves to believe the clear lies about the circumstances of not having contact 2) they are much young and are oblivious to how expensive children are 3) they think it would be totally different circumstances if they were to have children together’s usually not.

pikapikachu Fri 10-May-19 11:46:44

I think that if the new gf doesn't want kids then it might be convenient not to have step kids visit.

I think that a lot of people believe the "she trapped me" story. A surprising number of women here who say that a woman should terminate if the father doesn't want a child and if they have the child then Dad shouldn't be liable for maintenance.

I think that there will be a proportion of new women who don't know. If the man moved away and doesn't disclose the ex's surname then new woman doesn't google and find out. Some of these men will have parents who are happy to lie so they get to see their son and any potential kids that the new couple have.

The biggest number is probably men who lie about being alienated.

A lot of men and women believe that the RP should be running around making the NRP life easier because they get maintenance (which is usually insufficient for raising a child!) They will see failure to do so as alienation rather than laziness by the NRP.

EvilDog Fri 10-May-19 11:53:37

My dp has 2 children who he hadn’t seen for 3 years before I met him (but paid maintenance)
He genuinely thought he was doing the right thing - their mum had moved away, remarried and had another child, and they had a stable home life with a ‘new’ dad and dp thought that that was preferable for them than the upheaval of eow contact and half holidays (they were 1.5 when they split up)
We gradually built contact back up over the years and he now bitterly regrets letting them down by not being in their lives when they needed him.

I can be in a relationship with him as I can see that he thought what he was doing was for the best, realised his awful mistake and did everything he could to try and make up for it. He never did the ‘my ex was a psycho’ narrative and has always praised her parenting to me, the children and to her face.
His dc are almost 15 now and although we’ll never know if it could have been better, their relationship is very strong, to the point where his ds has decided to come and live with us after his GCSEs to do an apprenticeship with his dads business.

lilbitmore Fri 10-May-19 12:01:02

I often wonder what on Earth DDs biological father has told his girlfriend to justify why he hasn't seen DD since she was born. I agree with PP that it's probably a combination of "she trapped me, she's a crazy psycho that won't let me see her". It's probably also a lot easier for them to not have the child from a previous relationship involved, out of sight out of mind kind of thing. Though in my personal opinion if anyone is that stupid and naive they probably deserve what's coming to them. If they've done it once, they're probably going to do it again.

Lifeandbeans Fri 10-May-19 12:01:15

My childrens father is absent by choice.
He said it upset him to much to leave them after he had seen them so he stopped coming.
Initially he saw them. I accepted no maintenance so he could afford to meet us half way , I paid for food and activities while he was with them but it just got shorter times and longer space between visits then stopped altogether.

Both his partners after me knew I wasn't stopping him seeing them and I presume both know he pays no maintenance. (He works cash in hand)

I've never had mouthed him but the children have spent more of their life not seeing him than in contact with him and do not mention him really anymore. In fact a couple of years ago he started asking for address , not because he wanted to come but so he could tell friends and new family where they were. The teens didn't want him to have it.

PerfectPeony2 Fri 10-May-19 12:07:35

I think with my step’mum’ it made her feel superior and that her children were more loved and important. After becoming a Mum myself I just can’t understand how she (or my dad obviously) thought any of their behaviour was acceptable. He never saw us for more than one evening after school a month. We were never good enough to spend the weekend with, she was jealous and didn’t want us there. Funny thing is though he cheated on her and left her for a younger woman.

In the unlikely event DH and I split I would never have another relationship or create a step family/ half sibling situation. I think families these days are so overcomplicated, it’s quite sad.

ILoveMaxiBondi Fri 10-May-19 12:07:51

You’ll be very lucky to finding anyone coming on here saying “my partner is an absent parent by choice because that’s just what he wanted and im fine with that”

In reality it’s a mix of absent parent telling themselves a “justifiable” version of the truth which they share with others and it’s becomes their “story” so all new girlfriends get this story and because theyre horny or desperate they choose to it accept it. For a while anyway. They usually discover more of the truth as they get further into a relationship with absent parent but by then they’re feeling committed and/or have their own child that they don’t want to raise alone so they support the narrative to keep absent parent on their side.

belle40 Fri 10-May-19 12:10:06

My child's father is absent by choice. His new partner (OW) is much younger and horrendously naìve. She was kind enough to tell me that he would never do that to her, he loves her. Very very sad for my young child, especially as he remains close to his 3 older children (from his marriage). The OW was obviously told that I have a MH problem. As difficult as this is for my child, I suspect a life time of being picked up and put down by a manipulative , selfish poisonous man would be worse. I suspect the OW will see the reality when they have a baby together. He is not a good dad or person.

flitwit99 Fri 10-May-19 13:45:47

My DH is a 'mininal' parent to his older kids I would say. Has always had eow and holidays but that's it.

He had a solicitor who gave him bad advice about keeping things calm and non-confrontational which meant that his ex and her shit-hot solicitor walked all over him. He was so fixated on avoiding upsetting anyone that he settled for minimal contact. It was the wrong decision. He should have fought harder.

Then I think you all just settle into a routine of eow and that's that. It becomes normal. You forget what was normal before. It becomes your normal to only see your kids once a fortnight. You forget to ask about the everyday insignificant things that make up someone's life and you drift. Their mum was not forthcoming with information about their daily life or routines, school, clubs. He gave up asking for information because it was so hard to get. The mum told football coaches etc not to tell him anything. He should not have put up with that but because he was trying to be all calm and reasonable he didn't make a fuss and slowly drifted away from all that too. And I think he found it hideously embarrassing to have to beg people for info about his own children, or have to show his passport and the kids birth certificates to prove who he was. That is no excuse though,he should have done it anyway.

I can still be with him because I think he made bad decisions in good faith on the strength of bad advice. He sees that now. But it's not always easy to make good decisions when you're in a bad place. And it was a really stressful place at the time.

At the end of the day though he did still choose to settle for minimum contact when he should have fought for so much more. He was a very involved dad before then. It's very sad for everyone. His kids have definitely suffered. His relationship with them is poor. Yes he kept things calm for them at the time but they have all paid the long term price. They don't talk to him about their life plans, didn't discuss plans for college or anything with him, now they are early 20s he sees them maybe once a month if that. Speaks to them maybe once a fortnight. He tells himself that's normal to make himself better but it's not.

ShatnersWig Fri 10-May-19 13:48:16

I know some women who have done this too, it's not limited to men.

Yoursilentface Fri 10-May-19 16:15:36

Every situation is different and you can't really say "I would never be with an absent father".

Like PP said, some men don't want to rock the boat or play at fathers for justice. So they just go along with what the mum wants. Sometimes both parents move away, move on with their lives and the kids get forgotten. It must be alot harder being a proper dad to kids you only see eow than it is to be dad to kids you live with and I think some men just don't have it in them to fight to keep that relationship going. It's easier to move on. I also think alot of men have a different attachment to their kids than women. And then of course you have fathers that never bonded with the child because they were not in a relationship with the mother when the child was born. Can you really bond with a baby you have never lived with, and if you didn't want the child anyway its probably very easy to walk away.

Fwiw my partner is not a absent dad but based on everything that has gone on with ss mum and the distance they have moved away, I wouldn't judge him if he decided to stop seeing ss, and to be honest I don't care it he sees him or not.

Conversestars2 Fri 10-May-19 16:45:12

I've name changed for this as I might get flamed and it's already a sensitive one for me - my DP found out 4 years after we got together that a ONS just before we met had resulted in a baby, he knew nothing about the child until the child matainence letter arrived. That was two years ago, he pays regular matainence but has been allowed to see the little boy a few times, admits he doesn't " feel like his dad ". I think if he had known from the start and been able to bond, that would make a massive difference. He could do more in terms of contact, I know that, he knows it and I struggle to reconcile with that. It's just abit of a shit situation.

Notcoolmum Wed 15-May-19 14:00:11

Hmm converse he is the kid’s dad though and whilst it’s a shitty situation it’s not of the kid’s making. It’s your bloke’s responsibility to put in the effort to make it work. Even if that is difficult and inconvenient because that child deserves to have 2 parents.

Auellica Wed 15-May-19 14:58:13


My DP has a son we don’t see. She left when she was 6w pregnant and when the boy was born, she put someone else on the bc. Fast forward 2 years to when he’d met me and she popped up again. Wanted him back blah blah.

Used his son against him as a type of weapon. It amped up when I was pregnant. To the point she verbally abused me in public. In front of her son and my daughters who’d never been exposed to any type of violent behaviour.

We’ve been through hell and back because of her. Had to move house because of her drug fucked behaviour. We had police and child services involved and we still couldn’t get custody.

After the last police involvement and her manic threatening behaviour, he pulled the pin. He’s not prepared to risk our safety. Her family enable her and see us as the evil ones.

So yes, he’s disengaged. But for reasons we’d never ever believed could eventuate.

ceirrno Wed 15-May-19 15:01:41

I suspect it's down to dishonesty- they may be absent by choice, but that won't be the line they've spun to their new partner.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 15-May-19 15:03:52

I work with teenaged mums.

Their exes pretty much all fall under the 'excellent father on Facebook' category.

BelulahBlanca Wed 15-May-19 15:06:54

I totally agree with the theory that men only care about children while they are in a relationship with their mother.

I ended a two year relationship on a Monday, found out I was pregnant on the Thursday. We patched things up, started making plans to buy a place, tell family etc.

I felt so Ill and stressed that I asked if we could take a step back with our romantic relationship (obviously all the problems that had led to me ending it were still there) he didn’t reply to that message and I haven’t heard from him (except via CSA) since.

BelulahBlanca Wed 15-May-19 15:12:52

@Auellica That’s terrible- her selfishness has destroyed that relationship for her son. I hope that bridge can be rebuilt in the future. I guess it was a case of “If I can’t have you no one can” even at the cost of her own son.

ILoveMaxiBondi Wed 15-May-19 15:48:33

Every situation is different and you can't really say "I would never be with an absent father".

Yes you can. Everyone gets to set their own boundaries. There doesn’t have to be a group consensus that you must give a guy a chance.

Yoursilentface Wed 15-May-19 20:08:35


Ok I'll rephrase that as "it's a bit silly to say you'd never be with an absent father regardless of the situation"

ILoveMaxiBondi Wed 15-May-19 20:26:31

It’s not silly at all. Chances are there are no good reasons for a man not to have any contact with his children. There are lots of other men to date. It’s perfectly sensible to decide that your time and emotional energy is too precious to spend finding out whether a particular man’s reasons are good ones. No-one owes anyone a chance a relationship.

DulcieRay Wed 15-May-19 20:36:57

"I'm going through the court at the moment" is a line I've been told more than once. Usually alongside "my ex is a crazy bitch/man hater."

Y'know what? Maybe i fell for that before, but now I'm the "crazy ex man hater bitch" myself with the court on her side and I see that actually courts don't just side with mums for no good reason, it's because we are right and, often, the dad doesn't even take it to court or try very hard.

If you are not seeing your kid there is usually something you've done to create that. Disinterest, abuse, whatever, it's not normally the status quo unless you have made it so.

Yoursilentface Wed 15-May-19 21:17:57

There are lots of other men to date. It’s perfectly sensible to decide that your time and emotional energy is too precious to spend finding out whether a particular man’s reasons are good ones. No-one owes anyone a chance a relationship.

And who said romance is dead.

ILoveMaxiBondi Wed 15-May-19 21:23:58

It’s nothing to do with romance. We aren’t discussing romance here, we’re discussing the quite serious implications of choosing to commit yourself to a man who doesn’t see, or care for his children. There’s a hell of a lot more to relationships than romance. You may be happy to ignore something so big as long as he buys you flowers but others aren’t.

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