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TOPIC: What more can I do here?

What more can I do here? 3 months 1 week ago #98863

First off I hope it’s ok posting here as a mother but I could really do with some advice from dads.

I’ll try to cut a long story short and reply to questions along the way, if there are any!

I have a daughter who is 4. Her father and I split when she was 1. For the last three years we have had a very amicable agreement between ourselves. Contact was one midweek every week, then a full weekend, then an off weekend and then a split weekend for the next two week (so a 4 week rota). Ex was also offered an extra midweek on the weeks he didn’t have her at the weekend but he declined. Indirect contact every night via FaceTime from the day we split up onwards.

Ex met another woman and had a baby with her. Everything perfect, she was lovely, utterly adored our daughter and daughter loved her.

And then it all went wrong. Ex suddenly leaves his partner and baby. Within two weeks he is in a relationship with another woman. This woman has all kinds of social issues. Her own children in the care system, drugs, criminal record. He stops turning up to see our daughter. Stops calling.

Daughter was so confused about where daddy had gone, where her stepmum and sister had gone, having nightmares and wetting herself. She was utterly devoted to her dad. We end up having a huge row, I said I didn’t want DD around this woman as 1)safeguarding checks needed to be done 2) DD had already gone through enough upheaval in the last few months 3)he had only known her for a month. He told me if he couldn’t see DD with this woman in tow he wouldn’t see her at all. He then blocked all contact for three months. DD couldn’t call him/FaceTime despite trying repeatedly. She was in the hospital and I managed to get a message to him via his mother, he didn’t bother calling or texting.

I arranged mediation. He wouldn’t respond to the mediator. I offered contact at his mothers house (DD very use to sleeping there and a “familiar” environment), he refused, I asked him what he wanted, no reply. All this was via post.

After three months, out of the blue he suddenly FaceTimes DD one day. She was over the bloody moon. Calls me and says he has split up with girlfriend, is sorry, wants another chance with DD, will never do it again. I agree and say we need to start slowly, has her twice for 4 hours each time. Then gets back with girlfriend again and drops DD like a stone. She hasn’t seen or heard from him in 6 weeks. He is still paying maintenance. I sent him a photo of her via text last week and he didn’t respond at all.

She is no longer trying to call him and said “I’m not going to call daddy anymore, he doesn’t pick up”. It’s utterly heartbreaking.

What can I do here to make him see how much DD needs her father? I heard yesterday that he has got engaged to this woman now. I’m gutted for DD, he is putting his own needs before hers and I just can’t get my head around it. It feels like there should be some magic phrase I can use to make him see what he is losing out on but everything is just met with a brick wall.

Any advice?

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What more can I do here? 3 months 1 week ago #98864

  • Mojo
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Hi there

It’s absolutely fine to post here, we welcome everyone and don’t judge.

I’m sorry to hear that you and your DD are having such a hard time. I wish there was a magic phrase that would make it right, how much easier life would be.

From what you’ve said, your ex can’t be trusted to prioritise your daughter, so it’s up to you to do so.

The sticking point here is his fiancée... you say that she has issues and her kids are in the care system, does that mean that they are still with her, but that Children Services are involved, or have they been removed from her care?

How have his family taken this situation?
What is their opinion about his new partner?
How would they feel about supervising contact with your ex and his new partner at their home, for a period of time?

Hopefully his family, his ex and DDs half sibling are continuing to have contact with her, but as far as your ex is concerned, it will boil down to whether you will allow his partner to be introduced into her life. Would you be open to offering some kind of supervised contact?

If he is refusing mediation, there aren’t really any other options open to you. There’s nothing in family law that can make a parent see his/her child. If contact isn’t appropriate around his new partner and he won’t accept that, you’ve reached an impasse.

Children are much more resilient than we think, for now, all you can do is to reassure her when she asks and try and maintain all the normal things that make her feel safe and secure. Keep the lines of contact open with his family, if you can.

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.

What more can I do here? 3 months 1 week ago #98872

hi,

sounds like there is nothing more than you can do. sounds like ex will be very busy now that he got married again. its up to him if he wants to see is child. he will regret it if he cuts her out of his life completely. your daughter may do the same to him, if in future he tries to make contact again.

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What more can I do here? 3 months 1 week ago #98876

She gave her children up to a family member as she wasn’t willing or able to put in the work needed to keep them with her. Long history of drugs, relationships, crime, chaotic lifestyle.

I’ve only met her once when she gleefully told me she’d thrown all of DDs things away from her dads house as they were redecorating. She had ex seeing her kids and calling them dad within a few months of meeting him (when she goes to visit them).

His family are no help. His mother has gone silent too. I send her regular updates and photos and don’t ever get a response.

I just don’t understand how someone can go from being a good dad for three years to this. I can’t get my head around it.

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What more can I do here? 3 months 1 week ago #98877

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... You sound like you’ve really tried to keep his family in the loop, by the sound of it he’s his mothers son, if she doesn’t respond either. I’m a grandparent and would want to keep in contact with my grandchildren, whatever the circumstances.

There is no logical reason for his actions and you’re on a hiding to nothing trying to work it out.... to put any other person before his own child is a sign of his utter selfishness.

If you can, try and move on from it and concentrate on you and your DD. From what you say, his new partner has form, if their relationship lasts I’ll be very surprised, at which point he will turn to you and your child... how you handle that is up to you, but I would certainly proceed with much caution if, or when, that happens.

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.

What more can I do here? 3 months 1 week ago #98922

  • actd
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to be honest, you need to concentrate on your daughter and on how she deals with this, she's probably bottling a lot up so it may be worth speaking to your GP to find out if there are any counselling services available to help her - once she's at school, then speak to the school pastoral officer so they are aware. And of course, show her lots of love and attention so she knows it's not her fault,

If, in the future, he does want to re-establish contact, make sure he has to meet some pretty stiff criteria so that he doesn't let her down again so easily.

If you haven't already done so, keep a diary of all of this, it might just come in useful in the future.

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