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14 year old doesn’t want to stay with her dad

(14 Posts)
Gruff123 Tue 01-Oct-19 11:46:23

Any advice please?
I have 2 children 14 and 11. Their dad and I have been divorced 5 years and I’ve remarried. The children have always spent 9 nights with my husband and I and then 5 with their dad for years this has worked. My daughter the last 6 months has said she wants 1 home and to live with my husband and I. She is very close to us and doesn’t seem to get on with her dad. I’ve put this down to teenage hormones etc but she says she doesn’t like him and feel anxious at his house. I’ve been letting her stay her and she’s been going to her dads for tea a few times a week and spending every other Sunday with her but is still reluctant. Her dad has never moved on since we split, tells her he’s sad and I left him, is lonely, if she doesn’t stay he’s sad. Lots of things along those lines. He also does not like my husband who she is very close to. She says all of this makes her anxious. I want her to have a good relationship with her dad and I’ve tried talking to him about things and how she feels but he still continues to emotionally blackmail her. She has seen a counsellor who says I shouldn’t make her spend time with him if she doesn’t want to but if she had it her way she wouldn’t see him at all. Do I say it’s ok she never sees him?
My 11 year old son is happy with arrangements and still staying his nights at his dads but I worry he then has to bear the brunt for his dad’s sadness. Their dad has admitted depressions etc but in 5 years it’s not gotten better.
So for rambling just trying to figure out what is best for my babies as they are my world and I want them stable and happy.

OP’s posts: |
HennyPennyHorror Tue 01-Oct-19 12:12:52

Of course she can decide and you should ensure she feels no guilt over her choice.

Snuggleworm Tue 01-Oct-19 12:28:01

I could have written this post myself only my daughter is 15.
The same emotional blackmail and the stress when she comes home. So much so that her school counselor recommended that she does not go to him for a while. She has learned a few techniques from the counselor and is a lot stronger now. She stays when she feels like it and explains to her dad that she just wants to be in her home and not moving around. She says she also feels uncomfortable as her dad tells her he is very depressed and suicidal etc.
Perhaps mediation may help? Her dad is just mourning the loss of his little girl I guess, but if she is not comfortable going, I would listen to her. Her mental health and stability come first. Her dad is an adult and her feelings are just as valid as his.
Sorry I cannot be of anymore help but just so you know, you are not alone and it is an awful situation to be in for all concerned.

Teddybear45 Tue 01-Oct-19 12:30:22

Don’t force her and if the 11 yo does then bear the brunt of his DH’s emotional problems then don’t force him either. They are not emotional crutches for their dad!

ty12 Tue 01-Oct-19 12:31:49

I was in a very similar position when I was young, apart from I spent the weekends with my dad and I hated it. I grew to resent him and haven’t spoken to him for over 15 years now. I would say she is definitely old enough to make her own decision.

Hellohah Tue 01-Oct-19 12:42:25

My DS is 14, 2 years ago we were trying the every other weekend thing with his dad and for many reasons it just wasn't working.
DS loves his dad and spending time with him, but not in a "caregiver" setting. He made the decision back then to not see him, they now just see each other for a few hours at a time and their relationship is much better. DS looks forward to seeing him, isn't anxious about going.
In many respects DS realised his dad's faults many years ago and accepted this is his relationship with him. I find it sad that he knows he's not a parent to rely on, but on the plus side, he has made that relationship work for him, he is a fun parent who he enjoys seeing with no pressure.
So I would let her figure out on her own what she wants from her dad and not make her go.
Hope it works out for you all xx

MellowMelly Tue 01-Oct-19 12:47:34

Also had the same experience with my daughter and her Dad from about 14 onwards. I tried to encourage her to maintain regular contact initially but I could see it was making her unhappy and she was reluctant to go so now they speak on the phone once/twice weekly and she sees him once or twice a month. She’s a lot happier now!

Gruff123 Tue 01-Oct-19 16:55:59

Thank you for your replies. So nice to know I’m not alone. I will def let her decide now 😊 xx

OP’s posts: |
Rabanastre Mon 07-Oct-19 10:01:54

when I was that age, I went through the same thing (being the daughter). once my mother allowed me to forget about my dad I was much happier. I'm 30 now and recently decided to reply to one of my dads emails. worst mistake ever. he is the same emotionally manipulative person and he only ever makes me feel upset, angry, sad, confused. it's like he can't imagine what it's like to be me and everything must be about him and how I'm obliged to him as his daughter to help him and love him. he likes to pull at my feelings by trying to get me to side with him against my mother (something my mother DOESNT do to me regarding him). it is not always so direct either; it is passive aggressive comments sprinkled into conversations. this recent communication we've had has left me feeling very down. I will not be talking with him again. I am happy that you are letting your daughter decide how much contact she has with her father. some father-daughter relationships are so toxic even if it is full of love.

KellyHall Mon 07-Oct-19 10:07:42

Let your children decide.

They'll feel valued by you and can always change their minds, if they want to.

chocolatesaltyballs22 Mon 07-Oct-19 16:03:19

I have the same situation with my 16 year old. Dad is all full of emotional blackmail, doesn't want her to have her own social life and tries to drag her along with his activities with his friends etc. She has decided enough is enough and she will see him when she decides that she wants to. I completely respect that, and weirdly he is starting to behave a bit better. My advice would be to respect your daughter's wishes.

boopsy Mon 07-Oct-19 16:08:47

I would let her decide, she is a young lady not a little girl so should be old enough to make such decisions. Hopefully he won’t make the same mistake with the younger child but if the younger one decides he doesn’t want to go then so be it. They are the priority not the ex and his feelings.

DeadDoorpost Mon 07-Oct-19 16:08:48

Sounds like the situation I was in at that age. Only, I didn't want to stay with my mum as she was the one being emotionally manipulative and always going on about how my dad left her, how my step mum was awful (she isn't, she's lovely) she was sad when we weren't with her...

Glad you're letting her make the decision. Fair warning though that his response may not be nice, it could be rather nasty.

Happyday45 Mon 13-Jan-20 12:29:53

Hi, I have exactly the same situation too. Mine are 13 and 15 and I regret not having listened to the girls before.
Following another issue over the Christmas Holidays both girls have told me that they aren’t going again. Finally I’m listening.
I personally found it very hard over the years so please stay strong and trust your child.
If your daughter doesn’t want to go it is up to your ex to change things so that she does want to go.
I feel that by continuing to encourage my children to go due to trying to do the ‘right’ thing , emotional damage has been done to my daughters.
We are working on rebuilding their self esteem.

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