This should be the weekend when my husbands step daughter comes to visit, she couldn’t come to our wedding reception last weekend because she had her period but “wasn’t making excuses” and “wanted to see her Dad” and “was coming this weekend” and “would call”…………
Well no appearance, no sign of wanting to see her Dad, no phonecall and another excuse no doubt.
My husband has been really good at keeping calm, accepting she is a teenager, accepting that her life is with her mum, her friends are important and understanding that 15 miles and a 30 minute train ride might put her off, but has equally hoped that she cared enough to visit.
Just to clarify though since she was 6 and her mum left, my husband has been the one to do the driving, he has sat outside the house while although ready there is a reason she has to be late coming out, after a particular nasty accusation the year before he said he would no longer drive down her road and park outside her house as if he saw his Ex he knew he would get out of the car and have a go about the awful lies she had told, so first day who walks with his daughter round the corner onto the road and stands in front of the car …… his Ex-Wife …!!!
The no I am not going down your road, moved over a period of time to I will come down but park on the otherside (that was apparently unfair as it meant crossing a road) and then I’ll come but park further down on your side of the road “which was apparently unfair as it meant walking a little further”…..
At Christmas his daughter was due to be with her Dad before, her Mum for and her Dad for New Year, all arranged so after checking we bought Panto Tickets for before Christmas and booked a table at a Teppanyaki Restaurant (she loves Japanese food), had already reviewed iPhone options as after a stressful year of exams, not the best results but the effort she said she put in we thought why not treat her to the sparkle that is an iPhone, we had presents sorted, food in, things arranged but she did not come, her Mum would not let her, so she missed Panto, she was then coming by herself on the train after Christmas, she really was, but from the 27th of December although she was really really coming every day, not making excuses she never did and didn’t call her Dad, didn’t respond to texts and once she had sent one at 6pm to say she would not be coming but would tomorrow no contact… Then we had tickets to see Rocky Horror on New Years Eve, one thing we’d been to the previous year and she had loved, but again although really, really, really coming, she didn’t….
So my husband is stuck, if he says you should come she says she will and doesn’t, if she say she wants to come she plans to but never makes it, and apparently she is not making excuses not to see him because she does want to see him.
What do you do eh..!!
I can see the hurt it causes my husband, I can see how low he gets when there is a promise that yes, yes, yes I am going to come and then nothing, not a call, not a text, not a visit, no answer to texts sent or calls made, just nothing. It is cruel it builds up hope and then in the most horrid impersonal way causes awful hurt and upset.
I equally know that his daughter really does love her Dad, she genuinely does, but she lives in a house where her Mum has made up awful lies about her Dad and hates him and tells everyone including the kids how horrid, abusive, awful, selfish, uncaring he was (none of this is true, the person she describes is not my husband, there is no one in his family, no friend of his or even relatives from when he was married that truly believes he is the person he is made out to be), her Sister who she did not get along with started University last year so for the first time in her life she had her Mums full attention, she had what to be fair she had not had for most of her life an opportunity to talk to someone without her Sister entering the room and her Mum then focusing her attention on the older sibling, or taking over the conversation to gain the attention, she gets Sushi and to eat more oriental food as her Sister who does not like it is not there wanting chips, sausage rolls, special fried rice etc., etc., etc., why would she want to not be in this place, for once wanted, for once listened to, for once the spoilt and favoured child and what kid wouldn’t do all they could to ensure harmony in that happy, loved place with their Mum. . ??
Time passes by though, there was a visit in January to pick up her presents (she forgot to bring her Dads card or pressie), then there was the trip over to let us know she’d finally decided to get her nose pierced so as promised we took her to get that done and that is the difference, my Husband and I do what we say, we stick to our word, we don’t cause hurt, we respect, give time and take time to be around those that we care about so in his world this behaviour is not normal as it is not his behaviour. In his ex-wifes world though it is, the promised trips into town for shoes, braiding of hair, buying of bra’s (can you believe a mother promised for over six months to buy a daughter bra’s and even though we offered the poor kid said no, Mum said she will, in the end we did as her Mum didn’t and the only option that appeared was a filthy old bra that we’d bought for her sister 2 years before) – females will no you don’t share bra’s all out boobs are different, you don’t you just don’t – you don’t keep school uniforms where your kids are two different sizes for two years and expect a kid on the last year of school to go wearing what are obviously second hand clothes that are too big, you don’t, not when you have the money to consider buying a Min Pin dog, have your house completely re-modelled, new wiring, new kitchen, extension of kitchen, new flooring, etc., etc., and you are getting on top of your working part time benefits £500 a month from your ex Husband for your kids, you just don’t.
But now maybe you can see that his daughter is only doing to him, what her Mum does to her and how sad is that, how sad is it that this young lady believes this type of behaviour is both normal and acceptable.
If my husband has a go, which he has every right to do, he is not doing it because he is upset, hurt, angered at the way he has been treated, he is the evil, nasty, abusive Dad her mum always talks about – so he can’t win, as it stands his elder daughter believes the hype and has nothing to do with him because of lies and his younger daughter is drifting away with no one from his family doing what would be done in mine which is trip over for a chat with their neice / grandaughter to say she is wrong…
Catch 22, you’re damned either way, so do you slip away quietly to avoid conflict in the hope that one day when she is older she’ll put a worth on her Dad and want contact, do you hope that her Dad at that time has not shut down completely to his Daughter due to the hurt caused and wants to open up his heart once more.
I can do nothing, if I do then because it is me and to be fair I am hated on a much higher level than her Dad and for doing nothing, anything that is said, any action I take, anything that is talked about at home will be twisted and manipulated into a new truth that will be to the detriment of both her Dad and me.
So free fralling is the only option here, hoping that on the free fall there is a place to co-join and get back to how it was when everyone enjoyed the time spent together.
Until then life continues, but the space that she filled is empty and will be filled naturally with other things, other memories, other people and then there is no empty place just a void where once a daughter was.
Parent please take heed as to what can happen, what you can cause by scoring points etc.,
Kids please take heed if you are in this situation that for the most part you have two parents who love you, the only difference is they don’t love each other anymore, but they loved each other when you were made and so you are the emblem of their love… It’s tough for you as you feel pulled by both camps but if you can just be you with both of them, be happy for the time you spend with them and don’t get into the “oh my god Mum / Dad did this” to either of them as you are the only foothold into their Ex’s door and what you say is therefore one sided and can paint a picture that is not true and actions will be taken from that.