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my DF hasn't seen his DD (from prev relationship) for over a year, need advice plse!!(40 Posts)
I really need some advice and i'm sorry this is so long!!
I have been with my DF for just over 2 yrs. I have a 3 YO DS, from a prev relationship. My DF has a DD, 12, from his prev marriage. I have never met her. DF and her mum split around the time we got together although he didnt leave her for me, he'd been unhappy for years but scared to leave for fear he would be denied access to DD.
The first few months after they split, his ex allowed him to see her, but he daren't tell them he was seeing me so as not to rock the boat. We moved in together in Jan 2008 and he then told his ex he was seeing me. This did not go down well and his DD refused to see him anymore because of it. However in June 08, she finally agreed to start seeing him again but didn't want to meet me. This was understandable so I accepted that and DF got to take her out a few weekends in a row. His ex doesnt seem a nice person and we think she slags him off to their DD which obviously doesnt help.
Then in sept 2008 when my DFs ex found out we were having a baby, she absolutely hit the roof and that was it, according to her, his DD said she no longer wanted to see him. I advised DF he should still keep trying with her, to make sure she knows that he still loves her and wants to see her even though she doesn't want to see him at the moment.
However, he totally seemed to give up on her, he hasnt contacted her (apart from sending birthday and xmas cards and money) or tried to see her since it all came out about our baby. I really really believe that he needs to keep trying with her, otherwise, in her 12 year old mind, she will just think he doesn't want her anymore.
She occasionally sends him the odd nasty text or email saying she hates him and hates me etc, but I really think her behaviour towards him is purely a cry for attention, it isn't that she doesn't want him in her life anymore, she is just messed up. She already believes he left them to have a "new family" with me, ie me him and my DS, so what must the knowledge that we have a new baby do to her?? and that combined with his not trying to see her must re inforce the belief that he doesnt want her as he has a new family.
And also, in the back of my mind, part of me is thinking, what kind of person is DF if he doesn't want to try and see his daughter? What if we split up, would he just give up on our child too? He says he doesnt try coz he can't stand the rejection from her and it hurts him. thats understandable but he is making it all about him, there is a little girl out there who probably believes her dad doesn't want her.
I am really upset and feel incredibly guilty about this (even though i know it isnt my fault) but I daren't speak to him about it because he makes me feel like it isn't my business, but it is, our DD is his DD's half sister and eventually i hope they will know eachother. He won't speak to his ex about it either as he hates her, well i'm sorry, i'm not too keen on my DS's dad either but if u have a child with someone you have no choice but to speak to them! and if i had a situation like this i would bloody well be civil and speak to him for the sake of our child!!!!
anyway - recently i have been considering contacting his ex myself, to talk to her face to face, if only to let her know that my DF DOES want to see his DD and ask if
there is any way that they can be reconciled, and so i can explain how DF feels about the whole thing.
i feel sad every day that there is a little girl out there who doesn't see her dad anymore, and i just want it sorted for everybodys sake.
what should i do???? would i be crazy to try and speak to the ex myself???
I believe you are going to get seriously burnt if you try to interfere. If your DH's daughter hates both of you, that hatred is probably coming - and being encouraged - by her mother. Hateful people tend to be very generous with their hatred... Do you really think she will smile at you, congratulate you for your great idea, and send her DD to your house? It doesn't sound like very real expectations to me...
Whatever happens, best of luck!
you'd be putting final nail in the coffin if you did that!!
he should just file a C1 with his court and gain acess that way. but if the dd says to cafcass she doesn't want to see him,then be warned,her opinion will be listened to and she'll likely not be forced.
good site here www.wikivorce.com
go to forum,and then child residency section. loads of advice there
thank you for your replies
apologies if i am being thick here?? i just dont understand - why would it be such a terrible idea to go and civilly speak to his ex to try and sort things out??
surely the worst she can say, is no, she doesnt want to see him?? which he has been told already.
i think that a lot of this situation has arisen from non-communication, so surely trying to resolve things by talking the situation through like adults, would be a positive thing to do? also - i was not intending to show up on her doorstep, i was going to write to her and ask if i could talk to her first.
aaarggh and i just want to shake my DF and tell him to bloody sort it out because if it was me not seeing any of my kids i would be round there every day trying to make things right.
It really is a very bad idea for you to speak to ex. It will get turned around, you could get accused of saying all sorts of nasty stuff etc etc etc
Go through the courts, offer to facilitate your df seeing his dd without you around.
However much you care for your partner, or for his relationship with his child, it's nothing to do with you. The ex thinks it's everything to do with you, unfortunately, but it isn't.
He needs to sort this out. If he wants you. You need to stand back and support him, suggest the right people to contact re: visitation rights etc, but beyond that, see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing. It will just backfire if you do.
mummee, it is a bad idea because that woman and her daughter sound anything but civil to me... you may go there with your best intentions and be pulled into a very nasty situation. In fact, I can almost guarantee to you it will happen.
thanks for all your replies xx
well i decided to speak to DF about this situation and it ended up in an argument, i basically said to him that i think he needs to make more effort to contact her, and he doesn't agree; he thinks that contacting her to try and see her will just upset her.
but i think that NOT contacting her will upset her - as i said before, surely she will just assume he doesnt WANT to see her if she doesn't hear anything from him??!
and he also told me that the last time he contacted her was easter!!! (sent her an easter card with some money in) and he will also send her a card and money at xmas!!! 9wow big f**king deal eh?? no wonder the kids like she is.)
well i just don't think thats trying hard enough, as i said, if it was me not getting to see a child of mine i would try bloody harder than that!!!!!
ps-have now spoke to my 2 best friends about it as well and one thinks i SHOULD contact the ex and one thinks i definitely shouldn't!! i'm so confused
I just wanted to say that you sound like a really nice person mummeeverity09 and I agree with you about seeing the ex-partner. I think face-to-face is always worth a try. If it turns nasty just don't get drawn into it, and what have you got to lose?
"it is a bad idea because that woman and her daughter sound anything but civil to me"
I don't think we can necessarily say that they are uncivil, we only really have OP's partner's say on that. And, to be honest, you can't blame a 12 year old girl to be very hurt by this. Yes, it's not nice to send a text saying 'I hate you', but think what it must be like for that child.
Mummee - you sound like a sensitive and empathetic woman, and it is very nice that you want your DP to be more involved with his child's life. To be honest, though, some blokes are just pathetic re fatherhood, unless access is put on a plate and made easy for them, and unless they are seen as a 'wonderful father', they tend to not bother. As soon as they have to make an effort/have to face criticism they drop their kids like a shot.
My dd is 13 and has not seen her father since she was 5. Her father moved 200 miles away. I was so desperate for them to stay in contact that I used to meet him half way, even though I didn't drive then and used to have to spend a fortune on trains. He eventually dropped this as it was 'too hard'. Now he doesn't have any contact, nothing at birthdays, nothing at Christmas, and of course pays no money. I hate him for that.
I would find it very hard to reconcile myself to being with someone who has such a cavalier approach to fatherhood. OP - you sound like a responsible and kind woman. I am not sure that your DP does, tbh. If your DP had real interest in his daughter he would be writing to her more often than twice a year or so.
I really don't know re you ccontacting the ex - it could all backfire horribly. But I admire the sentiment.
You sound v sensitive and aware, OP.
My friend had a baby with a guy who already had a child he didn't see much of, due to the guy's ex being a psycho.
Fast forward 5 years, my friend is now a single mum of two, and takes sides with the alleged 'psycho' ex, who was no doubt a good and loving mother doing her best for her kid.
It is absolutely 100% your DPs responsibility to maintain his relationship with his DD. You can't interfere. But that's not to say you can't make your feelings very plain - it is far too easy to give up on difficult kids when the fact is that they are only being difficult becuase they have been flung into circumstances that they don't want and didn't choose.
I was absolutely horrible to my stepdad when he first arrived in my life. He persevered and persevered and now he is as much of a dad to me as my real dad.
Adults make the choices, they have to do the work too, even when it's hard.
When i said that his ex doesnt seem a very nice person i am only going off what he has told me about her, and also what members of his family have said about her. so i personally am not saying she is a horrible person, i am not judging her in that way. because i have never met her.
and also as i said i do not in any way blame his daughter, she is just a little girl who has been hurt by her mum and dad splitting up.
and also as i said before - she is my daughters sister. and i would like for them to be part of eachothers lives in time.
ps- Dittany - DF = dear fiancee! is that the right abbreviation?? lol. sorry, am new to all this x
A male relative of mine went through the courts to see his daughter, his ex thwarted contact.
His daughter said she didnt want to see him, he said Ill wait until you are ready and didnt put any pressure on.
When his daughter reached fifteen she rebelled against her mother, arranged to meet her dad, mother went ballistic. He (and the rest of the family) can now see the daughter.
Get him to tell her he loves her and hell wait until she is ready. Sometimes it is best to wait.
Situations arent the same not all absent fathers are lazy and feckless and not all ex-wives are evil bitches, I think with most aspects of life it is somewhere in the middle.
well having spoke to a couple more friends about it, who think its a good idea, i have decided i am probably going to go for it.
i can't see how it could make things worse, after all he doesn't get to see her as it is; so if she says no, nothing has changed, but they will both be aware that her dad DOES want to see her and that we have at least tried to resolve things in a reasonable, adult manner.
haven't decided 100% yet as quite honestly the prospect is pretty terrifying, coming face to face with the woman :-/
am just trying to think of ways to word the letter, i need to get that right before i even think of sending it.
how will you approach her?
you say face to face,then mention writing a letter?
have you considered that maybe he just doesn't WANT to see her?
i was intending to write to her at first (so i don't just show up on her doorstep) and ask if we can either meet up or speak on the phone.
and yes, my DF says he DOES want to see his daughter but as i said, his relationship with her mum is very uncivil and every time his daughter rejects him it upsets him.
speaking from experience,
i was 2 when my dad walked out, i searched for him when i was 24 and met him.
my mother told me he didn't want to know me, but then did say that he wanted to adopt me and made the effort to see me once after he left.
i knew deep down that what she said was not true and when i found him, it was evident that it wasn't true.
ok, so we don't speak now, he lives in ireland, i'm here. he has a new family (his new wife hates me, see's me as a threat)
i would tell df to tell his dd that he loves her and will always be there when/if he needs her and she will come back to him.
yes that poor little girl is out there thinking she is not wanted by her dad, but i can guess her mum has said stuff and his actions have just confirmmed it all
remember, men are emotionally retarded and do not have the same feelings for their children as us women do. i would kill for my 2 boys, would my dh? not as quick i know that!!
one last thing, be careful, think about it before you do anything. you may learn more than you want to know about df. you may learn the truth.
last night - i got a friend request on facebook from the DD !!!!
i am shocked as anything and haven't accepted her - i don't know what to do???
Accept it, but don't be surprised if she doesn't initiate contact. Perhaps send a message with the acceptance - something light like "good to hear from you".
I think it's important for you to continue to support (AKA pressure) your DF to maintain contact but it does have to come from him. I would be worried that a man that could do this wouldn't make a great father for any subsequent children either.
My Dad had a child from a relationship after leaving my mother, although he always maintained contact with me his son from that marriage literally did not see or hear from hin in 20 years. As a child that really worried me, he could just as easily stop seeing me. As an adult it made me question him as a person. I'm sure he told his third wife that my Mum and wife two were unreasonable bitches!
Good luck, you sound like you'd be a brilliant step-mum given the chance.
mummee, I'd say that you contacting your DF's ex regarding contact between DF and his daughter would be a very unwise move. I can understand your motives but, seriously, this situation is your DF's responsibility to deal with. You may not like the way he's dealing with it but that doesn't make it your problem to fix.
If your DF is serious about wanting to regain contact with his daughter then I'd strongly recommend he join Families Need Fathers and ask for advice. Going to court should be regarded as a last-resort option as it can make a bad situation a hell of a lot worse by increasing the antagonism and us-vs-them mindset. FNF can offer lots of good advice for approaching these issues in a constructive way that reduces the conflict.
I do know some men who have withdrawn from these kinds of conflicts for a while, not because they're not bothered, but because they felt that the hostility and stress caused were too serious to continue the fight. Sometimes leaving the situation to calm down can be a good thing in the long run although it's best if at least some contact is maintained, even if it's only a letter every month or so. To cut off all contact risks leave the child feeling abandoned.
I also know some men who have withdrawn from these situations simply because they're not really that bothered. It's hard to say which of these is going on with your DF or whether it's something else completely. Which, again, is a good reason to let him do the running here.
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