Dad was never really in my life but wants a bond now and i’m not comfortable

Ok- so I am a complete stranger to you so please take everything I say to you with a grain of salt. Basically, weigh the pros and cons and take what you can from it. I have a daughter who will be 16 in 4 years. I am a teacher. I spends my days with 10 and 11 year olds. They come from varied homes where mom or dad are remarried. There’s conflict and the kids are usually caught in the middle. So what you’re going through is not unusual.

My daughter’s father never really spent any time with her growing up. We got divorced when she was 10. He gave me permission to move her out of state with me. Your dad lived with you but didn’t spend time with you. Same for my kid. She was never a priority for him. She barely had any relationship with him. When we moved, the relationship became even more strained. Now he’s not just a stranger but he’s a stranger living away from her. I think you feel the same way.

If they had no relationship before, what are the chances of them having a better one now? Pretty much nil. I’m a very liberal parent. My motto is pretty much if you’re not doing anything to hurt yourself or someone else, you maintain good grades, you respect me and your teachers and other adults, then go for it. I also try not to lie to her. When it came to her dad, I basically told her to not listen to his words but look at his actions. He barely calls her. Has visited her 3 times in 2 and a half years. His actions pretty much speaks for itself. My daughter has zero relationship with him. He knows that but he blames me. I don’t get in between their relationship. That’s theirs to maintain.

He’s about to get remarried. He wants her to attend the wedding. She feels exactly the way you do. She feels like he’s a stranger forcing himself on her. She feels he will start forcing her to spend time with his new family. She cries and tells me she wants this part of her life over also, just like you. So I’m sending you a hug. I feel for you both.

This is where it gets controversial. My kids 12. I’m telling her if she doesn’t want to go, she doesn’t have to. Oh, I forgot to mention, he’s marrying the woman he cheated on her mother with and he’s telling her she’ll regret it if she’s not there to witness it. See, you’re not the only one who lucked out in the dad department. He’s badgering her to go. Basically she’s ready to tell him that if he wants her there, he’ll have to physically put her on the plane. She has my blessing to say and do this. As a matter fact, I’ve given her my blessing to be the biggest bitch she can possibly be so he will never put her in this position again.

I’m the opposite of him. God gave this kid to me for a reason. It’s my job now to protect her heart even from him. If she chooses not to have a relationship with him ( and she’s chosen not to) I support her 100%. She is determined to not have him in her life once she is legally able to. In her mind and heart, she knows that he never made her a priority. He never showed her love. He never made time for her. He was never a father to her. She knows about the affair and the only thing she has said to me in reference to that at 11 years old was “ He knew what he was doing would hurt us, yet he continued to do it anyway...”

Only you know in your heart how you feel about your dad. Do you feel like given time, you can learn to have a relationship with him? Do you want to? Is he the type of person who will sit and really listen to you? Not just hear you but listen to you? Will he put the time and work into this relationship? Things are strained now, but given the answers to these questions, do you think they will improve? Can you see an adult life without him? You say you’re close to your mom, where does she stand in all of this? What does your heart tell you?

Are you in therapy? I’m here if you want/need someone to listen. You can PM me.

/r/Divorce Thread Parent