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Daughters contact with grandparents if has no contact with father, what would you do?

(20 Posts)
Messydivorce83 Fri 24-Jul-20 08:42:31

My daughter has no contact with her father, for 8 months now, he is an abusive monster. Anyway, I WhatsApp video call his mother every week who lives abroad so dd can speak to her. She obviously sides with her son, I expect that, but she hasn’t been bitter towards me. It’s not her fault or dd’s fault so I think I should try and keep this relationship going.....

My question is, she keeps asking me for pictures and videos of dd. I’ve been hesitant to send them because in the past the pictures I’ve sent have appeared on my husbands social media pages. So I know she is sending them to him, as expected.

What should I do send the pictures or not? The ball is in the court of my husband regarding contact but he has yet to make any kind of court application. I’m not comfortable with him having pictures of what we are doing but I don’t want to be petty.

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hellsbellsmelons Fri 24-Jul-20 08:53:12

I wouldn't. Not if she is just handing it all over to your Ex.
It's not up to you to facilitate this. You are already doing more than you need to.
She can't be trusting with the videos and pics so she doesn't get them.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 24-Jul-20 08:53:19

Your own sense of fair play here is working against you because such users will capitalise on it. You've already seen evidence of photos appearing on his social media pages so she cannot fully be trusted.

You already have physical distance so now put mental distance between you and his mother too. Raise your boundaries here a lot higher.

Do not send further photos; she will continue to pass them onto her son. Her primary loyalty still lies with him rather than you or her grand daughter. The rotten apple that is your ex did not fall far from the rotten tree that is his parents here. Your DD needs emotionally healthy role models in her life; certainly not her father and I would argue not his mother either because she cannot be trusted. Your role here is to protect your child from such malign influences.

Messydivorce83 Fri 24-Jul-20 09:38:53

She has absolutely no idea what he was like to me. She knows he has a temper but she still refers to him as her baby boy. I’m guessing she is nice to me so she can see her granddaughter as I’m her only chance.

I don’t want to effect my daughters happiness by taking all her family away from her. It’s not fair on her and I look like the bad one when it’s all on him. I’m the only one who knows that though.

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Gin4thewin Fri 24-Jul-20 09:52:30

Could you ask your daughter her opinion? Nanny is asking me for pictures/videos of you, i think she gives them to your dad, what would you like me to do?

Im not sure of your daughters age though so apologies if ive missed it and above is irrelevant!

Messydivorce83 Fri 24-Jul-20 10:13:16

She is 4. She loves her gran and her daddy. She has absolutely no idea what’s going on. Last night she spoke to her gran then asked her lots of times where is my daddy. She replied at work. She then started crying to me where is my daddy.
I try and explain in a very simple way but she was upset. She and me cried for a bit then she went off and played.
It’s breaking my heart. I did not want to stop contact and I tried everything I could and on the advice of agencies I had to stop. He just needs to apply to court so that contact can be arranged if they say it’s ok and it will be safe for my dd and me. He just won’t apply!

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SkySmiler Fri 24-Jul-20 10:23:12

Nope, no way.

SkySmiler Fri 24-Jul-20 10:27:07

Nope, no way

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 24-Jul-20 10:27:26

He is doing both his daughter and you a favour by not applying, neither of you need an abuser in your lives.

You called him an abusive monster, he still is and he has not changed. His mother cannot be trusted either because she is forwarding photos to her son.

Please consider contacting Women’s Aid and talking to them, it will also help you to enrol yourself onto the freedom programme.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 24-Jul-20 10:28:00

Not all relatives are nice and kind and some of them are actively abusive.

thisisnotwhatisignedupfor Fri 24-Jul-20 10:30:00

Firstly I think you're doing the right thing by not allowing your personal feelings towards your ex come between your dd and her grandparents.

You say, understandably, you don't want your ex to see what you're doing. Could you as a compromise send one photo of your dd against a completely plain background, perhaps even send it as a physical printed picture to lessen the chance of it ending up online?

doodleygirl Fri 24-Jul-20 10:35:51

I am going to disagree with the contact between DD and grandparents if the grandmother does not acknowledge what her DS has done to you.

When you daughter gets older her grandma will be telling her how wonderful daddy is and how mummy is keeping them apart.

My sister was in a similar situation but my nieces grandparents were well aware of what a piece of scum their son was and they never
put any pressure on for anything from my sister. Fast forward 20 years and my niece has the most amazing relationship with her paternal grandparents.

BeanbagMcTavish Fri 24-Jul-20 10:38:32

His parents raised an abusive monster whom they still enable... I would keep a BIG distance from them.

Allgirlskidsanddogs Fri 24-Jul-20 10:44:57

It doesn’t sound as if contact with Granny is beneficial at this point. It’s upsetting your daughter and Granny can’t be trusted. I’d be considering carefully if it’s worth continuing. Absolute no to any pictures or video, she can’t be trusted.

Messydivorce83 Fri 24-Jul-20 11:10:00

I don’t really know what she acknowledges. He often shouted at me in front of her when we visited and she had words with him and warned him that I’m likely to leave him if he carries on. I don’t think she has any idea of the consequences of abuse, it’s very complicated unless you have experience.

Over the phone she does or says nothing that upsets dd. I think she gets upset because it triggers the fact that she can’t see her dad and she associates her gran with her dad.

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missbipolar Fri 24-Jul-20 11:21:38

You need to contact now its already upsetting your daughter

Messydivorce83 Fri 24-Jul-20 12:22:34

She only gets upset because she connects her gran with daddy. Otherwise they sing and chat over video call.
I don’t think I should stop them having a relationship it was just the pictures I was unsure about.

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Messydivorce83 Fri 24-Jul-20 12:29:01

I personally do not particularly like his family, they are all heavy drinkers and would like nothing less then never having to see any of them again. Unfortunately they are my daughters family and I’m not sure it’s my choice. I hate my husband fiercely but I wouldn’t want this to effect my daughters relationships with them. She will find out one day!

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AgentJohnson Fri 24-Jul-20 12:30:19

DD has no contact with her father. He assaulted me in 2010 and was subsequently sent to prison. There was an 18 month period when DD was 6 where I pushed for contact in a contact centre but that ended when it was clear he wasn’t prepared to commit. However, DD has always had telephone contact with his parents and their level of commitment to that contact, has always been 100%.

It hasn’t been easy and periodically his mother will give some sob story about her son, I think she blames me for the impact the assault had on their lives but she’s smart enough not to articulate that (well not to me anyway). I have occasionally sent an email slapping her down when she gets too pushy but largely respected my wishes.

I have sent photos which probably have ended up in his possession but as we don’t FaceTime (I don’t want them in my home), it was the only means of visual contact between them. DD is now 13 and stayed with her grandparents for the first time last year. They know the city where we live but not the neighbourhood (and it will stay that way).

DD’s dad terminated contact with her (I made him spell this out in a termination of contact letter) and if he wants to resume contact then it will be via the courts. Fortunately he lives in Asia and hopefully will stay there. I have no doubt that they will try and facilitate contact at some point but she’s old enough to make those decisions for herself.

It has been a ridiculously long journey and I think we have made the best of a bad situation and I am proud of all our inputs into making that happen. For me personally, the benefits of her grandparents having photos (wiped clean of any geo location info) far outweighed her father using them to pretend that he’s still in DD’s life.

The most important thing for me was DD’s access to a child psychologist who supported us both in coming to terms with what happened (DD witnessed the assault) and the impact that his absence had on her life. The support gave me the confidence to support her. I was a bit of a broken record as to why she didn’t have contact with her father (namely that being a Dad is a very responsible job and not everybody was suited to that position). He loves her but isn’t capable of communicating that love in the ways that most people would understand.

As someone who is 10 years ahead of you, stay stromg, pick your battles, understand and communicate your boundaries and keep talking, listening to and reassuring your DD.

Good luck!

Messydivorce83 Fri 24-Jul-20 12:45:38

I am unsure if he will apply for contact in the near future. He used to enjoy keeping me on my toes, cancelling and causing general turmoil over his time with dd. He’d come into my place and scream and shout at me until he got his own way. If he went to court he would need to stick to contact and that would stop him controlling me, probably why he hasn’t applied.
I used to be the one to send his mum all the pics and videos and make the calls when we were together as he never bothered.
So many hard decisions to make, leaving was just the beginning!

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