I am at a bit of a loss, and wanted to ask the opinions of other.
Ex left Feb 2011 telling the children ( 2 & 5 ) that he was going to work.
He left to live abroad with a married woman.
He asked for contact, once every 2 months. I agreed but said it had to be in a Contact Centre as he had no base in the UK and his family did not want to accommodate him.
He refused the contact.
He asked for telephone calls, which I agreed to. They very quickly dwindled off.
I actively encouraged my eldest ( 5 yr old at the time ) to email dad with my help. Dad very rarely responded, and when he did, they were not at all child friendly.
He returned to the UK and sent sols letter saying he was applying for a contact order. That was September 2011. Nothing ever happened.
My solicitor closed my file in Jan 2012 saying that Ex was not pursuing contact with the children.
So, what do I do now? The children very rarely speak about Dad. My youngest, 2 years old when Dad left, is nearly 4 years old now and has very little memory of him. My eldest, ( now 7 yrs old ) will not mention Dad.
What is the right thing to do? Do I encourage my 7 yr old to email Dad, keeping him up to date with what they are doing? Do I let sleeping dogs lie and do nothing? My solicitor wrote last to his solicitor in Dec 2011 and we didn''t even get a reply. The last solicitors contact from him was Oct 2011.
The last direct contact with the children was May 2011. The last time he spoke with the children was Sept 2011.
I think whatever you do, you have to remember that your ex''s relationship with his children is his responsibility. Just keep the door open and be as open as you can be to making contact with dad work when dad decides he can be bothered. Speak to the children in positive tones about dad - let them have a photo of him, even if it''s just in a drawer so they can look at it when they want to. I know of one young child who has ''daddy in his pocket'' - photos of dad in a tiny wallet he carries around with him (although said child does see his dad regularly) which seems to work for him.
I gave my children a box (white thing, strong cardboard, from Ikea years ago) that they could put anything in they wanted to for daddy - so there are drawings and last year''s Easter Egg (hmmm...!) and other stuff - sometimes they''ll see something in the supermarket and recognise it as something dad likes (jaffa cakes, for example), so I have bought it if it''s not much money. My ex walked away from the children 15 months ago although seems this week to have walked back again (not sure - we''ll see how it pans out) so he has had a few things from the box. It was nice for the children to be able to find things for him and probably nice for my ex. Never can tell.
(((hugs)))) - I think my ex has a long lost twin in your ex!
My youngest, for the 1st 6 months, carried a photo of daddy everywhere. He would even take it to nursery, and I had lots of copies, should one get lost. But after 6 months or so, he obviously felt ready to ''let go'', and that''s exactly what he did.
The eldest, just feels very let down by Dad and has a very old head on his shoulders. He is very angry. I do speak positively about Dad, but he said to me '' please don''t talk to me about him'', and I have respected that. I hoped, that in time, he would feel ready to talk about him again. That day hasn''t happened yet. When my youngest mentions Dad, the eldest will either not respond, or will walk away. Very sad.
I feel that if I ask the eldest to email, try and keep the connection there, is it all going to be in vain? Will Dad ever decide to see them again, or has he walked away forever?
I am finding it very hard to get my head around it all. Can a parent really not care that much and turn his back on 2 very small children? As a Mum, I find the thought of not seeing my children unbearable. Do your feelings for your children really switch off?
it''s very hard to understand. My ex clearly blames me for it all - I think I was supposed to roll over and die when he left me! He must justify it to himself somehow but I figure he''s alone with his own thoughts in bed last thing at night before he falls asleep and he must know then....
sadly, my ex is a history repeating itself case. His dad was exactly the same. He has an odd relationship with his dad - but somewhere along the line I suspect he has convinced himself it''s a good relationship so it''s OK if he does the same.
Give them a photo each and put it in their bedside drawer telling them it''s there if they want it. They might suprize you. Is your eldest OK in school? would he benefit from having someone to talk to about it? he might not want to talk to you for fear of upsetting you or making you angry or...well, who knows what might be going through his head?
I have worked very closely with the school with regards to my eldest. They report that since direct contact stopped, my son has become more sociable and confident in himself. They say he would never draw attention to himself, wouldn''t dream of putting his hand up in class, and was very quiet. They say now, he even has to be told off sometimes for chatting in class. The teacher says that he is not naughty or disruptive, and its actually nice to see him behaving like a ''normal boy'', for his age.
I have kept in very close contact with Ex''s family. My eldest has a very close relationship with his Uncle ( on dad''s side ), and they talk openly, but again, never about Dad. We are spending Easter Monday with Dad''s family, big family get together, meal ect which i think is nice and good for the children.
Do you think I should just sit tight, and see what, if anything, happens?
I think that''s exactly what you should do. As mumtoboys said, your ex''s relationship and contact with the boys is his responsibility. Sadly you can do nothing to make your ex contact his boys more often. His loss. It''s great that you are maintaining contact with ex''s family too, and its good they respect your eldest sons request that dad isn''t mentioned. Sounds to me like your kids are coping very well, and if dad, at some point in the future decides he wants to be back in their lives, then things would need to be taken slowly and at their pace. He could well have burned his bridges already.
Perhaps the best thing is to adopt a ''never say never'' attitude, and deal with anything at the time if and when it happens. Of course should your boys ever say they want to see their dad then you would need to try to contact him to let him know.
I think it is very important that the children have regular contact with Dad''s side of the family, and it works very well. Dad''s family even took me out for Mother''s Day lunch
I think I probably ''think'' too much sometimes, and maybe over analyse the situation.
If he ever decides that he wants to see them, it would have to be very well managed. My youngest has Aspergers Syndrome and getting through the day can be very hard for him. He starts school in September and the Healthcare Professionals have already started the transition process with him. The rest of this year is going to be very challenging because the transition from Nursery to School and maybe that''s why I am feeling this way today. Stress induced