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Old 07-14-2013, 08:59 AM
 
Location: mid wyoming
2,008 posts, read 6,043,895 times
Reputation: 1878

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My first Marriage started out I married for looks and she wanted a way out from under her parents. We grew closer and had a daughter and did well. My job in times of the energy slow down kept me away from home long hours to keep us above the bills. Towards the end my wife was in it for my paycheck and I just didn't have anywhere else to go. We split when my daughter was 7, my ex's idea. I had a lawyer that didn't fight for me and I didn't know my rights. My ex got sole custody and I had to bend when I could to her whims to see my daughter. I was never late on support and did send money to my daughter. After a time we grew far apart and I didn't have contact with my replacement adopting my daughter towards the last of her high school years. I tried contact when my daughter turned 18 and she refused it. When she got around 30 she decided to start it up again through face book. I can now see pictures of her children and make neutral comments. I have been warned about saying negatives against my ex,her parents and how I was treated by them while married to my fist wife. I have never been invited to see my daughters family in person,she lives in another town. I only see the pictures on facebook and see posts.
My question is this. Should I be satisfied with just this or cut it off and end the pain. I know there is still pain and hurt in her over the split, but it was made clear about discussing this.
Rip me up, talk nice to me, can't hurt more over this and I was just thinking maybe I could get more perspective from a stranger on it.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:13 AM
 
2,612 posts, read 4,769,863 times
Reputation: 3943
Clearly your daughter thinks you left her voluntarily and due to selfishness and lack of caring. Most likely your ex encouraged that view. While it's true that you didn't fight for her hard enough, the lack of contact over the years doesn't necessarily mean you don't care about her (clearly you have some personal issues), but that's hard for kids to understand. The fact that you let someone else adopt her - which means you gave up parental rights - is somewhat indefensible. You don't really explain that. You certainly knew your rights in that case. Unless you have a great explanation, perhaps you should just be on your best behavior at all times and hope to gradually get back into her life and meet your grandchildren. It will require some effort - much more than you put in earlier in life. But I'm sure it will be worth it - every kid wants to meet their grandparents. I was in a similar situation to your grandchildren, and my grandfather died before I ever even met him. To this day, I regret that and wish my parents had relented and let him meet us.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
12,054 posts, read 20,262,932 times
Reputation: 31763
You need to be honest with yourself as to whether you really want a relationship with your daughter. All of this is really up to you. If you do, then you need to meet with her and tell her everything. Be prepared to honestly tell her why you had no contact. If she is married and has a family, she can handle whatever you have to say, including any negatives (carefully so that you do not put all of the blame on your ex, even if she is mostly to blame) about her mother. I am a believer in putting everything on the table. She needs to do the same. This is not a FB conversation. Be prepared to walk away as she may not want to have contact with you after all of this time, but I would bet that she would want a relationship and would want to know you. Also be prepared that it will not be the type of relationship that you might want from her. I wish you much luck.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Back at home in western Washington!
1,490 posts, read 3,949,220 times
Reputation: 3226
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowwalker View Post
My first Marriage started out I married for looks and she wanted a way out from under her parents. We grew closer and had a daughter and did well. My job in times of the energy slow down kept me away from home long hours to keep us above the bills. Towards the end my wife was in it for my paycheck and I just didn't have anywhere else to go. We split when my daughter was 7, my ex's idea. I had a lawyer that didn't fight for me and I didn't know my rights. (But you got another lawyer, learned your rights and went back to court to fight for time with your daughter...right?) My ex got sole custody and I had to bend when I could to her whims to see my daughter. I was never late on support and did send money to my daughter. After a time we grew far apart and I didn't have contact with my replacement adopting my daughter (you would have had to give permission for this to happen, unless the courts terminated your parental rights...in which case, there is more to this than you've posted here) towards the last of her high school years. I tried contact when my daughter turned 18 and she refused it. When she got around 30 she decided to start it up again through face book. I can now see pictures of her children "your grandchildren" and make neutral comments. I have been warned about saying negatives against my ex, her parents and how I was treated by them while married to my fist wife. Do you want to be able to bad mouth the family that was there for her through her life? Do you feel that is a reasonable request by you? Is the only reason you want to be able to make comments is to tell your side of the story to your daughter? I have never been invited to see my daughters family in person, she lives in another town. I only see the pictures on facebook and see posts.
My question is this. Should I be satisfied with just this or cut it off and end the pain. This really isn't about you being satisfied. Your daughter threw an olive branch to you and you want the whole tree. Who's pain would you end? If this is only about you and you are past caring what hurts your daughter...then cutting off contact may be for the best. It would allow her to recognize your true feelings and not spend the energy trying to connect with you. I know there is still pain and hurt in her over the split, but it was made clear about discussing this.
Rip me up, talk nice to me, can't hurt more over this and I was just thinking maybe I could get more perspective from a stranger on it.
Depends on what you want? If you cut off contact, you won't ever get another chance...ever. Are you prepared for that? Ok with that? When she got back in contact with you, what were you really expecting? Sounds like you were anticipating being able to tell your side and have her understand how you got victimized. Are you done wanting to see pictures of your grandkids as they grow up?

The only thing I can say is...if you decide you are done and this isn't what you want. Cut off contact completely. Disappear from her life totally. Allow her to forget about you and recover emotionally from a father that left her twice in her lifetime. Don't show back up 5 years from now to "try again".
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:44 AM
 
4,787 posts, read 9,305,892 times
Reputation: 12632
It seems to me that your response to stress is to run away and avoid contact. That's what you want to want to do now and that's what you did when your marriage broke up.

Your wife's new husband could not have adopted your daughter unless your parental rights were terminated. Your parental rights could not have been terminated without your knowledge. For them to do be terminated it meant you dropped out of daughter's life both financially and emotionally. In other words you fully dropped out of her life. If you were paying support on time and steadily, not just in the beginning, your rights would not have been terminated without your consent. If you saw your daughter regularly and maintained contact, your rights would not have been terminated without your consent.

Now if you rolled over and didn't bother to fight for your right to remain her legal father, that is another story. That would be an example of your lack of will and lack of strong desire to remain in your daughter's life. You chose to give her up. Your daughter knows this.

How your wife treated you & how her family treated you is not an excuse to drop out of a young child's life through her formative years.

Your daughter's pain is not from the split itself, it's from how you disappeared from her life. Lots of people get divorced and still maintain strong ties with their children even though they can't stand their former spouses.

So here we are many years later and you're still blaming your ex wife and her family. This is not about them. You want to complain about them and blame them for your short comings. That's why you're being warned on Facebook to not do that.

You and your daughter have a long way to go before she will be able to come to terms with your giving her up. That's an incredible life altering pain for a child. That's the basic problem. You need to take responsibility for that and stop blaming others. As long as you want to blame other people, you and she will never have a relationship.

Over time, people can mellow. She has at least so far, allowed you to access her Facebook page. That's start. Its up to you what you do now. You either disappear again, which you seem to want to do or you ever so slowly try to work your way back into her life. If you want to work on your relationship with her, then you do it on her terms. In her mind that means you leave your ex-wife and her family out of it.

You'll need to accept total responsibility for your lack of involvement in her life when she growing up. Apologize for not being there for her. You don't have to apologize for the divorce. Those things happen. But you do apologize for letting her step father adopt her and mean it. Continue to make good comments about her kids and things going on in her life. Over time things may improve greatly. It depends on how strongly you want it and how strongly you can convince her you're changed. Good luck
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:28 AM
 
2,840 posts, read 4,160,782 times
Reputation: 6889
Quote:
Originally Posted by willow wind View Post
It seems to me that your response to stress is to run away and avoid contact. That's what you want to want to do now and that's what you did when your marriage broke up.

Your wife's new husband could not have adopted your daughter unless your parental rights were terminated. Your parental rights could not have been terminated without your knowledge. For them to do be terminated it meant you dropped out of daughter's life both financially and emotionally. In other words you fully dropped out of her life. If you were paying support on time and steadily, not just in the beginning, your rights would not have been terminated without your consent. If you saw your daughter regularly and maintained contact, your rights would not have been terminated without your consent.

Now if you rolled over and didn't bother to fight for your right to remain her legal father, that is another story. That would be an example of your lack of will and lack of strong desire to remain in your daughter's life. You chose to give her up. Your daughter knows this.

How your wife treated you & how her family treated you is not an excuse to drop out of a young child's life through her formative years.

Your daughter's pain is not from the split itself, it's from how you disappeared from her life. Lots of people get divorced and still maintain strong ties with their children even though they can't stand their former spouses.

So here we are many years later and you're still blaming your ex wife and her family. This is not about them. You want to complain about them and blame them for your short comings. That's why you're being warned on Facebook to not do that.

You and your daughter have a long way to go before she will be able to come to terms with your giving her up. That's an incredible life altering pain for a child. That's the basic problem. You need to take responsibility for that and stop blaming others. As long as you want to blame other people, you and she will never have a relationship.

Over time, people can mellow. She has at least so far, allowed you to access her Facebook page. That's start. Its up to you what you do now. You either disappear again, which you seem to want to do or you ever so slowly try to work your way back into her life. If you want to work on your relationship with her, then you do it on her terms. In her mind that means you leave your ex-wife and her family out of it.

You'll need to accept total responsibility for your lack of involvement in her life when she growing up. Apologize for not being there for her. You don't have to apologize for the divorce. Those things happen. But you do apologize for letting her step father adopt her and mean it. Continue to make good comments about her kids and things going on in her life. Over time things may improve greatly. It depends on how strongly you want it and how strongly you can convince her you're changed. Good luck
I agree with willow wind.

I can't imagine how your daughter feels and I don't understand how any parent can abandon their child. Your job as a father was to give your daughter a safe and secure place to grow up. At this point all you can do is apologize to your daughter and her mother. Good luck.
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:40 AM
 
16,797 posts, read 14,549,344 times
Reputation: 37906
I agree with the poster who said it is time to put everything on the table, in person, with an apology and a promise to be present in her life and her family's life, as much or as little as she wants.

If you are sincere, brutally honest and contrite, I see no reason for her not to give you a chance. With one exception. If there is an indication that you have a mental illness, severe personality disorder or substance abuse history, she may not want to be burdened with that. So is that the case? Was there a reason your parental rights were terminated?
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:47 AM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 10,860,713 times
Reputation: 8956
I also agree that you seem to be playing the victim. What I think would be helpful would be for you to wake up and own your part in this . . . the mistakes YOU made.

If you had to be warned now to diss the mom and her family, you must have tried to do that. That is not useful and is disrespectful (from your daughter's point-of-view). There is nothing to be gained from going back and assigning blame to others, but it could help you to truly see your part - that you were not the victim you seem to perceive yourself as).

After that process is done, then I would write a sincere letter or private Facebook message (if that is your only source of contact) to your daughter and sincerely apologize for your part - really own up to it - and then tell her you would love to have a relationship with her and see if she is open to "baby steps." Tell her you love seeing her on Facebook and would love to get to know her and your grandchildren.

God bless.


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Old 07-14-2013, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,918 posts, read 13,669,438 times
Reputation: 11570
There is no excuse for not making an effort to be in your daughter's life - maybe if you owned up to that, she could start to forgive you more. She's obviously trying but she's setting you boundaries because she's not ready to fully forgive you or trust you yet, which is understandable. I know it must be hard for you, that she is keeping you at arms length, but giving up on rebuilding a relationship with her now would only prove that you don't really care enough about her to stick around and that she's right not to trust you.

She's right to make it clear that she doesn't want to hear you badmouthing her mother and adoptive father. While I have no doubt they probably badmouthed you and this encouraged her hurt and anger towards you, and they shouldn't have done that, you shouldn't place her in the middle of the baggage between you and your ex, no matter how badly she and her second husband treated you.
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:54 PM
 
13,678 posts, read 13,598,122 times
Reputation: 39893
So explain to me what was preventing you from writing letters to your daughter or calling her regularly? What was preventing you from going back to court to get more visitation?

I'd say you'd have to apologize to your daughter for being an utterly apathetic father. You have to acknowledge the damage you did, because I assure you, your daughter has been coping with a ****-ton of damage. At 7, my father was my world. If he had just faded out of my life except for a check at that point, I cannot imagine the level of devastation that would have caused me.

You need to show her some sign that you're working on the undesirable traits that allowed you to walk away from her.

You need to let her take the lead in guiding the relationship and merely be content with occasionally extending invitations to contact.

You need to realize that you don't get to expect much in return.

There will be no quick fixes. That much is certain. So before you do anything, you have to decide if you're going to stick with this idea of rebuilding a relationship for the long-haul or if you're going to slide into apathy and inaction again.
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