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My OH''s daughter doesn''t want overnight contact...

  • lissylou68
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05 Sep 12 #354089 by lissylou68
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First a little background info, my Fiance has been separated for 3 years, divorced for nearly a year and half. Contact was dragged through courts and CAFCASS as his ex was being extremely difficult and frustrating contact etc etc.

He has a daughter who is 10 and a son who is 6, the court decided a couple of years ago that he would have the children every Wed afternoon from school to 7pm and Sunday 12 - 6.30 and overnight contact was 2 nights per month for his son and one night per month for his daughter. Despite the fact that we live together and we''re due to get married, he has always had his children at his mum''s house - not ideal but that''s the way it is as he didn''t want to rock the boat with his kids.

For about the past 6 months, his daughter has refused her 1 night per month overnight contact and not given any reason as to why. This has left my fiance distraught, he has tried to talk to his daughter but she clams up, he''s tried to communicate with his ex wife, but frankly that''s gotten nowhere as she point blank refuses to communicate whatsover.

He''s at a loss to understand why she won''t stay and he''s worried that if she''s allowed to do what she wants, then at some point his son may also do the same and he''ll lose contact with him also. However, she is perfectly fine with overnight stays if he''s taking the kids on holiday - he currently gets 2 x 5 day holidays with the kids and she''s OK with that - he has taken them to Butlins and also down to London this year and there was no issue at all.

He''s tried to reason with her, tried to make her understand that he won''t get angry but that''s he''s sad because she won''t stay over nor will she explain why just in case there are things she doesn''t like and he can change.

In a nutshell, he''s heartbroken. He''s tried 3 times to get his ex to mediation but she refuses, he''s tried to talk to her to get answers but she just doesn''t want to know.

Can anyone please help him with this siutation, we''re at a complete loss at what to do next.

  • zonked
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05 Sep 12 #354093 by zonked
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I think as a starting point your ptr should reflect a little on what he''s acheived. His dtr knows that she has a dad who loves her and values his time with her. Although it may seem a thankless task, his parenting means a lot. She may well be holding her head a little higher in the school playground because of the commitement he''s shown.

In the here and now, I think all he can do is continue to let her know the door is open. As she grows older, who can predict the future?

  • sun flower
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06 Sep 12 #354120 by sun flower
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I''ve had a couple of thoughts - but both may be off beam.

As we know ten is the beginning of a funny stage for girls - they are very (over) sensitive

1. Is there an issue with his daughter and the grandparents? Is that part of the problem? Granny''s like mothers can say the ''wrong thing'' about hair, weight, friends, mother and it seems like over criticism.

Is there also an issue - that she feels slighted that she is taken there rather than to your home - and that in her adolescent (or soon to be) head - that seems like a slight rather than a positive issue to help them.

I''m sorry her Mum doesn''t help - but I don''t know the circumstances of your ex''s divorce - but once trust has gone in one area of a relationship then it is difficult to hold an honest positive constructive conversation in another - I know we should for the kids - but emotions run high if the divorce has been acrimonious.

Zonked is right - your partner''s daughter knows she has a father who loves and supports her - I wish I could be of more help - it must be heartbreaking - and once again I find myself thinking divorce is hell for everyone involved and has such long term ramifications for all - but that''s no help right now -

Good luck. I hope others can offer other angles (or angels would be good too which was what I typed first!).

I really wish you well. Please let us know if and how you manage to resolve this.

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06 Sep 12 #354121 by sun flower
Reply from sun flower

your ex''s divorce


Sorry - that should read ''your partner''s divorce''

  • lissylou68
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06 Sep 12 #354129 by lissylou68
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Hi, thanks for your reply.

No grandparents are all absolutely fine with her, in fact she does love going there because it''s the only time she gets to spend time with her cousin from my fiance''s side, as they''re the same age.

We haven''t done the whole blended family thing because, we tried to broach the subject to his son, who''s very happy with my youngest son, who''s 12. My youngest is very protective of his 6yo, so we tested the water and asked him, when it was his sleepover would he like to have a sleepover at my house with my children. We got a very straight "no thank you!"

So with that in mind plus the fact that his daughter doesn''t even want to stay at her Grandma''s with her dad we didn''t want to push it as it''s fraught enough.

There probably is a trust issue, the mother has manipulated and told the children some terrible things and yes it was my fiance who left the marital home, but that was after a 3 years of living in the spare room as the mother didn''t want to be in a relationship with him anymore, in fact she had asked him to move out and when he suggested Relate, she refused. So after 3 years, move out he did which obviously suited her as she never made contact with him whilst he was separated and living back home with his parents.

Then he met me, several months later and that''s where it all fell apart with the kids, from having very regular access it became bitter and access stopped, hence court and contact orders.

Divorce is hell, I''ve been there. My ex husband walked away from me and our 3 children wihtout a glance back. He left me in nearly £200K of joint debt, our marital home was repossessed, our car was repossessed and he went off with another woman, had 2 children and hasn''t seen his own children since 2004, nor has he paid a single penny for them. I have a court order with nominal amounts of 15p per year per child maintenance and I can''t take him back to court as he lives abroad. Now that''s a pig of a man!

I find his ex''s behaviour absolutely deplorable and sickening, people who use their kids as pawns should really see the bigger picture and realise that there really are some horrible people out there, I wish she could walk a mile in my shoes as it may just make her realise that her ex husband is actually a very good father and all he wants is the best for his children. They divorced and that''s sad but he didn''t have to divorce his kids.

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06 Sep 12 #354182 by disneybunny
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Remember you only have your partners version of what happened. My exs partner thought we hadn''t had sex for 5 years despite us having a 2 year old. Divorce can make people do/say strange things.

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06 Sep 12 #354186 by lissylou68
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Yes, you''re right I do have his version of events and I know it takes two people to make a marriage work. But I guess when two people aren''t acting like a couple, taking separate holidays, having separate beds and not socialising together for such a long spell of time, it should take BOTH people to realise that something is VERY wrong within their marriage.

I don''t doubt him, I''ve seen emails and letters that she wrote to him asking him to move out because their marriage was over, that was never in doubt. But since we have been together we have chatted in depth and BOTH come to realise that relationships should never be taken for granted and it takes communication from both parties to make things work. Unfortunately if one person doesn''t want to make their marriage work and has expressed this, coupled with the fact there were also signs of this in the marriage, there''s not a lot you can do to keep things together, especially when you are told Relate won''t work.

I can only go on her behaviour since, 4 letters offering mediation instead of having to thrash it out in court were ignored.

But this is not a thread about ex wife/ex husband bashing but a thread on how he can get his daughter to try to communicate more with him.

Maybe it''s an age thing but it''s such a shame that her mum won''t support him in seeing his children as that''s time both of them will never get back. He expects her to naturally want to cut back on time spent with him as she gets older, that''s understandable but not when she''s 10 and he only gets 1 overnight stay per month.

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