My mum and her partner got married yesterday. My daughter was invited to come as well. When I spoke to her about it the other week, she sounded a bit uncertain but after a little chat, she was happy to come. In short, her mum has drilled it into her head that it's better to spend the time with her and her partner, and my ex had since told me that my daughter had said that she didn't want to go. As the day at the wedding would have been in addition to my contact, I couldn't enforce anything. I could go on and on about the loyalty conflict my ex causes for our daughter, and the ways she tries to alienate me and my family from my daughter, but I'll save you all some long-winded reading.
My mum and her partner were looking forward to seeing my daughter yesterday. I couldn't bring myself to tell them the real reason she couldn't come (because she said she didn't want to, which I know, of course, is a result of my daughter feeling that her mum will hate her if she doesn't do what she thinks her mum wants all the time), as I didn't want to put a downer on their big day, so I told a white lie and said she was starting school in the morning (today), so my ex wanted her home (as I would have dropped her back at tea time - my ex was, however, fine with that, so to speak), and if anyone has seen my other posts, you will know that myself and my mum are just happy that she will be going to school at least (for the moment, anyway).
I am seeing my daughter on Thursday, at which point I feel I need to say something, but I am unsure what. I feel my daughter needs to know that she had an invite to the wedding which she ultimately rejected, and that my family deserve respect from her just like her mum's family does, as I feel this could snowball (it already has to some degree) and get worse as time goes on. At the same time though, I appreciate how difficult it must be for my daughter who probably feels stuck between a rock and a hard place, and I know if she was in my custody and I was able to just take her, she would have had a great time with my family, as she always does. I had been reading a good book about parenting with a toxic ex, and there was a bit about this specific situation - your child cancelling plans with you like family events - and it advised that you should say something to them when you next see them, after they had missed the event, rather than let it slide. However, I can't remember what, as it was quite specific about the things you should and shouldn't say, so that your child understands, but doesn't feel bad for the loyalty conflict they are in. For the life of me, I can't locate the information in the book. It's a great book, but my one criticism would be there is no index to enable you to quickly refer to the relevant info you after in the moment. I have tried Googling, but I am just getting general toxic parent info.
If anyone knows of a good way to address the issue with my daughter, let me know. Thanks
I would do nothing. Its happened so you cant change the past .
Unless you got any major events coming up best to just leave it . If you feel the need to speak about it , i guess you can say hope u can come next time etc
I appreciate she may have chosen not to come because it was the 'safest' option for her, so I am doing my best not to take it personally, I am just afraid of it spiralling, and getting to a point where me and my family become very alienated, which I want to avoid if at all possible.
Hello semifinalist87, I think that at aged 7, the best suggestion I can offer would be for you to take some time with your daughter and tell her about the wedding, show her photos if you have some, and make it into a positive event. I don't feel it would be necessary to explain all the ins and outs to her of her non attendance because she's still a child. I understand that you felt disappointed that she didn't attend, but hopefully in the future there will be something else that you and her will be able to celebrate together. Warwickshire1 is right in a way - the event has happened now, so try to share the positive side of it with your daughter and remind her how loved she is. Hope this helps a little ! Kind Regards, Fegans Parent Support Volunteer.
'Co-parenting with a Toxic Ex: What to Do When Your Ex-Spouse Tries to Turn the Kids Against You' by Amy J.L. Baker and Paul R Fine.
I also read a book called more specifically about parenting with an ex who as borderline personality disorder. It's possible that I have mixed the two books up in my initial post, as they are similar in a lot of ways, although I'm pretty sure I didn't. If you need that book, let me know, and I will try and find the title.