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Daughter says she never wants to see her dad again

(78 Posts)
chocolatesaltyballs22 Wed 10-Jun-20 12:17:19

So I have posted about my ex and his relationship with our daughter a few times. Long story short, he is emotionally abusive, manipulative and controlling, and has started to turn his behaviour onto her now that I no longer engage with him. We've been divorced for over 9 years and she is almost 17.

She used to spend 3 nights a week with him and then he moved further away to live with his new partner, plus she got a part time job near my house, so she reduced contact to one night a week (her decision). He has never been happy with this and repeatedly tries to emotionally blackmail her into seeing him more, tells her he's disappointed with her (repeatedly) because she doesn't want to spend more time with him. Basically treats her like she's still 7 years old and the original contact order should still apply forever. She hasn't seen him at all during lockdown (again, her decision) but when she was staying there before he would leave 'her' room in a tip and not change the sheets after he had slept in it (his partner kicked him out of their room due to his snoring).

His partner is also pregnant and the baby is being induced today, so the latest is he messages her (after a huge row the other night which ended up with her upset) to say 'today I'm going to be a dad.' She was like erm're already a dad?! I think this is just the final straw for her and she's just told me she never wants to see him again (however she does want to see the baby and be part of it's life so it's very difficult).

I don't know what to do - would you leave her to make her own decisions or try to encourage her to maintain her relationship with him for the sake of the new baby if nothing else? I have tried to reason with him but it falls on deaf ears. He is a classic case of never being wrong no matter how much of an arse he is being.

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Mosseywossey Wed 10-Jun-20 12:22:00

I remember you last post. Let her make her own decisions.
She sounds like she would be better off.

Mosseywossey Wed 10-Jun-20 12:22:42

That sort of negativity does not add to life!

CourtneyLurve Wed 10-Jun-20 12:32:11

She's old enough to decide. Check in with her periodically to make sure she's okay: "If you ever want to unload or talk about your dad, I'm here". Leave it at that.

Sonotech Wed 10-Jun-20 12:33:46

My eldest dd is 24 and something similar happened to her. Your dd essentially a young woman now and even though at this age she is still ‘young’ she needs to start developing her emotional maturity. I got involved in dd buisness to the point she wouldn’t make a decision with out running it past me first and if it turned to shit I got the blame grin

She needs to figure out what makes her happy and gives her peace and let that guide her. She also need to have a ‘grown up’ discussion about her needs as a young women in regarding reduced visits because she is finding her own way in life and the bed sheets.

If she wants to quit seeing her dad - that’s totally up to her but if she wants to see that baby she’s going to have to figure away through this with out allowing him to effect her.

Finding her emotional maturity is key here.

My dd rarely sees her dad. She lives abroad now working but when she visits on short stays she won’t go and see him.

Sonotech Wed 10-Jun-20 12:38:22

I also want to add- I know what it’s like when fathers make ridiculous statements and how cutting it can be.

My own father used to post pictures of him taking out his two step grandkids on facebook ‘at the zoo with my two beautiful grandkids’ - even though he actually had two blood grandkids that he had zero relationship with and never even seen dd3 for an entire year after she was born despite living 15 mins away. Went NC with him because of it

chocolatesaltyballs22 Wed 10-Jun-20 12:38:40

Thanks all you are echoing my thoughts and I am trying to help her through this as best I can. I've told her to block his messages when he is bombarding her with all of the emotional blackmail crap but she feels like she can't 'because he's her dad.' I just feel sad that he can't step up to the plate and be a parent.

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Gutterton Wed 10-Jun-20 12:42:05

It’s really important that she knows and sees that his behaviours to her are emotionally abusive, manipulative and controlling - and that the pain she feels in response to these are valid and destructive to her.

She deserves better.

He will have done enough damage to her core self esteem to date that she is likely to end up in a similar toxic dysfunctional relationship herself. Is this what you want for her.

However she seems to be pulling away and she should be encouraged to walk from anything that makes her feel less that loved, cherished, championed. She should be taught boundaries and emotional self protection so that she can grow into a strong confident woman with a clear sense of self - not one that hangs around any person (friend, family, parent) for FOG (fear, obligation, guilt).

Gutterton Wed 10-Jun-20 12:47:41

It’s exactly because “he is her Dad” - that she should block him and cut contact.

His words will cut harder and deeper than any other person in this earth. He should be stopped from causing such deep emotional wounds.

Someone who emotionally abuses their own child is heinous. They will never step up.

BitOfANameChange Wed 10-Jun-20 12:52:55

My DD is 20 and doesn't have any contact with her dad. Her choice. We left because he is abusive, and after we left he bombarded the DC with "mememe" messages and emails, and basically expected them to see him just because "he's their dad". He has also tried the emotional blackmail, and also treated her like a little girl, and not a young woman who is able to make her own decisions.

It's his loss, as DD has blocked him on her phone, and now only leaves emails unblocked.

Oh, and despite attempts in the past to get child support, he hasn't paid, because he says he won't pay if they don't see him.

I felt I needed to let DD and the other DC make their own decisions on contact, etc. I felt the DC would resent me if I tried to insist on anything. I have supported them in their decisions, and they now feel confident they are doing what is right for them.

I did have some people try to go down the "but he's their dad" route, but I shut that down. If he wants their respect, he needs to respect them, and he can't. He's unable to think of anyone but himself. Even the emails begging me to return to him were all about how he felt, nothing about how I might be feeling, all about what he wanted, and no acknowledgement of all the abuse I put up with.

user11129563 Wed 10-Jun-20 13:01:37

Ah the old thing of saying one thing
- I love to see you! I wish you were round more often ! -
And doing another (if I wanted someone to stay more often I would give them clean bedsheets, spend time with them when they come over, express an interest in their lives and generally try to make their visit somewhat enjoyable).
It's not just your family, I've experienced this too (sadly I think it's fairly common).
Having been in her position, her Dad's not going to change (well it's not super likely) but there is an opportunity for creating a good relationship with her baby sibling which she might value in years to come, and maybe (depends on the baby's mum) a decent friendship with baby's Mum.

Have a think about what her Dad's childhood was like. I found that looking at that in detail and having an appreciation of why my Dad wasn't as I'd hoped (phrasing it diplomatically!) helped me give up hope and accept him as he was and concentrate on how best to deal with him so the relationship had some good points. It's not easy . But for me it was worthwhile, particularly as I got older and looked at my parents, their strengths and weaknesses, their experiences, as part of understanding who I was and my place in the world.

It is that old thing - you can't change people but you can change how you react to them. If your DD gets a handle on that it really will stand her in good stead her whole life. Obviously a pity she needs to use it first on her Dad so flowers

BillBaileysBum Wed 10-Jun-20 13:05:28

Not a chance would I encourage anyone I cared about to maintain a relationship with such a dick.

Let her be free.

Bunnymumy Wed 10-Jun-20 13:07:58

I would congratulate her for making such a strong and smart decision at just 17.

And presumably this means you now have to have nothing more to do with him too. Unless you have younger kids who arent ready to tell him to sod off yet.

Really op it is excellent news. You should be very proud of your daughter.

chocolatesaltyballs22 Wed 10-Jun-20 13:25:53

No younger kids, no. She's told. him she's had enough but I don't think he's taking it seriously. He's so wrapped up in the new baby like nothing else matters. She's just going to have to block him otherwise he will keep on at her til she gives in.

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Bunnymumy Wed 10-Jun-20 13:28:06

Yeh he will never take her seriously as he only hears what he wants. Definately smart to block him on everything.

And dont let him manipulate her through you either. You should block him too.

chocolatesaltyballs22 Wed 10-Jun-20 13:30:07

Oh I already have! It's almost funny because he then tries to get through via other means with 'how dare you block me, how childish' etc etc type messages. I even changed my email address so that he couldn't get in touch with me that way.

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Gutterton Wed 10-Jun-20 13:33:19

Good for her.

Encourage her to use this time to read up on emotional abuse, manipulation, coercive control etc to understand these behaviours, how they make her feel, how they will shatter her sense of self and how she needs to disconnect and distance from people like this that she encounters.

Gutterton Wed 10-Jun-20 13:37:08

He sounds horrendous. She may well need some professional support to build her self esteem and boundaries if she has someone as disregulated and dysfunctional as this man in her life. Tough for her to hold out against him.

backseatcookers Wed 10-Jun-20 13:37:10

I would congratulate her for making such a strong and smart decision at just 17.

I agree, she sounds like a sensible, thoughtful and insightful girl. Continue to be proud of her (I know you already are!) and let her know you're always happy to talk about it if she needs to, but that you respect her decision and won't push her. She sounds lovely thanks

aceyace Wed 10-Jun-20 13:40:07

My dd also refuses to see her ea dad, and I hear that he posts "fathers for justice" and "parental alienation" type things on fb, even though no contact is all through his own doing, I did encourage her to see him a little at first but she won't so I respect her decision because he is a complete dick

chocolatesaltyballs22 Wed 10-Jun-20 13:50:01

He sounds horrendous. She may well need some professional support to build her self esteem and boundaries if she has someone as disregulated and dysfunctional as this man in her life. Tough for her to hold out against him.

Luckily she has an awesome stepdad, although that by no means makes up for her actual dad being such a dick.

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Gutterton Wed 10-Jun-20 14:02:17

That’s great - and obviously an awesome Mother to have reached this conclusion.

But don’t underestimate the damage and seeping disappointment she will always carry because her own father cannot show her kindness and respect, alongside the naive hope that could drag her back to being hurt many times.

chocolatesaltyballs22 Wed 10-Jun-20 16:03:36

Thankyou @Gutterton smile

I have done so much coaching with her to try and make her understand that none of this is her fault, she is an awesome young lady, it's all on him and he will never change etc. It's sinking in, I think.

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FifteenToes Wed 10-Jun-20 17:21:14

I've never really been convinced by the idea that you have to keep family members in your life no matter what, no matter how toxic they are. We all spend so much time in conversations and forums like this discussing the finer points of interpersonal relationships and family dynamics, that it's easy to forget that the value of those conversations, and the applicability of any conclusions arising from them, is dependent upon people operating within a certain boundary of acceptable, reasonable, self-aware and considerate behaviour. But some people are just arseholes and you can't deal with them in that way because that's not how they think.

Of all the people I know suffering from the effects of toxic family upbringing, the one I know who has adjusted best is the one who just made a straight decision as a young adult to completely cut off her mother and everything to do with her, and get on with life without her.

I'd support her in her decision to step back from him. I would say, however, that being part of the baby's life is going to be very difficult, if not impossible, when that's the case. Without attempting to influence or pressure her either way, it might be helpful to talk to her about how that's supposed to work, and whether it realistically can work.

Gutterton Wed 10-Jun-20 17:29:25

Just another thought OP - what’s his RS pattern?

Is he likely to become more abusive to his partner once the baby is born and then the RS fail ? If so this might leave your DD quite hurt if she bonded with that baby and it was then taken away. I would also imagine that your xH would use the baby as bait and emotional blackmail for your DD - so maybe she should tread v v carefully.

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