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TOPIC: Daughter contacted me after 20+ years

Daughter contacted me after 20+ years 8 months 3 weeks ago #97036

Hello everyone. Joined the website as I feel out of my depth and need advice.

I divorced my 2nd wife in the late 90’s and went our separate ways, with her having custody of our two young children.
I lost contact with my children as my wife was very difficult and moved away from where I was living, maintaining contact with them would have been difficult.

Anyway, the other day, my daughter from this relationship, now in her mid 20’s, contacted me out of the blue using Facebook Messenger. We’ve been chatting everyday since, but I feel totally out of my depth. I so want to have a dad/daughter relationship, but feel advice on how to proceed in the future is needed. We live quite a long way from each other, but she has agreed that when able, we could meet, in the meantime, it’s just Messenger atm.

It appears that she may be struggling financially, from what I’ve seen on Facebook, but I don’t want the contact to be about money, even though I would be prepared to help her out in the future.

All advice gratefully received.

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Daughter contacted me after 20+ years 8 months 2 weeks ago #97045

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Firstly, there's a positive message for dad's here who are having problems keeping in touch with their children due to difficult exs, in that children do want to know their parents once a controlling mother can no longer influence the children.

With your case, I would say that you should definitely go for getting to know your daughter again - don't forget thay not only is she your daughter, but potentially you will have grandchildren in the future. I would set down limits of any financial help you are prepared to give, and you need to discuss this with her, should it come up, but help also doesn't just mean giving her money, it could involve giving advice on how she can get herself out of the situation, and to keep herself out of them in the future.
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Daughter contacted me after 20+ years 8 months 2 weeks ago #97049

The first contact from my daughter was on Tuesday by Messenger, we’ve chatted everyday using Messenger. The subject of meeting has been raised and will hopefully happen in the not too distant future.

My daughter has a six year old daughter, so grandchildren are already there, so 2019 looks like being a great year.

The advice re financial help was gratefully received, I’ll certainly keep it in mind. Thank you.

I look forward to the day that she calls me Dad again.

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Daughter contacted me after 20+ years 8 months 2 weeks ago #97058

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Hi there

This is pretty awesome! She came looking for you and I would advise that you take that at face value, until she gives you reason to think differently.

There’s nothing better than grandchildren, you may have missed out on your daughter growing up... you’ll never get that back, but being there to see your granddaughter grow up is to be treasured and can’t be measured in how much it might cost... just my opinion.

My two kids are in their thirties and have a child each, they cost me more financially now than ever, both single parents, both work but struggle financially... making sure they can manage and being a grandparent bring its own rewards!

All the best
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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

Daughter contacted me after 20+ years 8 months 2 weeks ago #97059

Many thanks for your reply.

I’m looking to this year so much now. My wife is so supportive with regard to this and is even the one that talks of going to see my daughter. My daughter hasn’t yet told my granddaughter about me, it’s early days and she is only six, so to have another grandad turn up would be rather confusing.

My daughters birthday is in April and I’m so looking forward to shopping for a birthday card for her.

My daughter is also in contact with my son of the same marriage, but hasn’t yet told him that she has made contact with me. I’m happy that it’s just me and her at the moment as she was the one that made the effort. It must have been hard to actually go ahead with the search.

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Daughter contacted me after 20+ years 8 months 2 weeks ago #97061

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I think you’re right to take it slowly and let your daughter take the lead... this is a new beginning and whatever happened between you and the mother, should stay between the two of you. There will be feelings of guilt, so lots of reasssurance and absolutely no bad mouthing the mother, as it wasn’t your childrens fault and they could not have changed what happened.

Some people can’t let go of the past, we’ve had Dads here that have relished being able to tell the kids that it was the mothers fault, but in one instance that backfired spectacularly.

Please do keep us updated, hopefully you have a lot to look forward to. All the best.

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

Daughter contacted me after 20+ years 8 months 2 weeks ago #97062

My daughter did say from the beginning that she wanted to know what happened between us. I explained, very briefly, which satisfied her curiosity. She also asked why I hadn’t gone for custody of the two of them. I explained that her mother, although difficult would have protected her rights to look after the children and at the time, I believe the courts etc were heavily biased towards the mother in custody cases.

Anyway, she’s found me now, can’t dwell on the past otherwise it will hinder the future.

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Daughter contacted me after 20+ years 8 months 2 weeks ago #97063

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So true! It sounds to me that you responded with balance and she was satisfied with that...it rarely helps to dwell on the past, particularly the things we couldn’t change. All the best to you and your family.
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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

Daughter contacted me after 20+ years 8 months 2 weeks ago #97071

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I met my biological dad for the first time (well, the first time I could remember) last year. I'm in my 40s now and had been curious for a long time.

It's good to let her take the lead as speaking from experience, it can be a bit overwhelming at first.

We have met up and now settled in to a routine of messaging which seems to suit as we live far away from each other too.

I've tried to avoid any discussion on the past as I realise there's two sides to every story and what happened between him and my mum was their business and not mine.
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I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

Daughter contacted me after 20+ years 8 months 2 weeks ago #97081

Many thanks for your reply. It’s nice to hear from someone that was on the other side.

We’ve been chatting now for a week, everyday since the initial contact. Looking back, I feel that I’m the one leading the conversation, asking more questions about her, her life etc than she is asking me. I don’t mind, I have 20 years to make up for.

The financial aspect is difficult as well. For the first time in ages, I’m comfortable financially and only work 8 months of the year to boot. My daughter is struggling with a car that isn’t dependable, but I’m aware that helping financially so early in our relationship could actually hinder it, rather than help.

I also realise that children and parents don’t actually speak to each other that often, I certainly don’t contact my parents that often and only speak to my sister at times of birthdays and Christmas. I’m sure things will settle in time.

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Daughter contacted me after 20+ years 8 months 5 days ago #97324

Update:

I’ve met my daughter three times now. The first time was in a place she knew and felt comfortable, but we went for a walk afterwards. The second time was for a meal as a foursome with my wife and my daughters partner, then we met again yesterday just the two of us.

It’s going great, although neither of us knows what to do. There are no rules for this sort of thing. My daughter had no idea what to do and still doesn’t as she didn’t expect to get any reply.

We keep chatting on FB Messenger in between meetings, our next one is on Friday. I have just over a week staying in the area, before I have to start thinking about travelling back for work. I look forward to making plans for when I travel back south to see her at the end of my work contract.

Many thanks to everyone that provided advice.

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Daughter contacted me after 20+ years 8 months 5 days ago #97327

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Hi

Thanks for sharing and I'm glad that things seem to be getting off to a great start for you. Lovely for you to have each other in your lives.

All the best

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DAD.info Moderator

I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.
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