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After a messy divorce

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
I left my wife Back in 1983 after she was having an affair whilst i was out on T.A. weekends. We took over four years to fully divorce because she refused to let me see the kids . I won " defined " access" but she blocked it at all turns .

I sent the kid gifts and letters only to get the letters returned with abuse scrawled on them , this is when the kids we 11 and 8. The mother refused maintenance i believe to ensure i couldn't see them. she was awarded 5p by the courts . the courts did however say that the believed the kids were being pressured in what to say but the mother but they couldn't do anything about it . Fathers 4 justice deal with this all the time . She has managed to expunge me completely from her and my kids life .I was husband no 2 she is currently on no. 4

I kept tabs on the kids over the years but lost them back in 2008. now my son has been contacted by the current mrs sir bhp and he replied that after all this time he dosnt know me nor does he wish to now or in the future.

Have any you lads had a similar occurrence and was that the end of it all ?
 
#2
I'm going through some fun and games with a stroppy teenager, not helped by her mother, but apart from maintaining a low level, relaxed form of social media mutual contact just to let her know I'm still there, I kind of let her get on with it. Pestering her isn't going to make the situation any better, it's just something that has to be worked through and given the balm of time.

You situation, or at least the outcome of it, is all too familiar I'm afraid - even without a messy divorce - lots of people choose to have no contact with family members for whatever reason, and your children have got to be the best part of 40, they'll have built lives that don't have you in them, and even if there is not so much bitterness, including you at this stage has 'hassle' written all over it.

There's nothing you can do about it - not least because you could easily be accused of harrassment if you continue to contact someone who doesn't wish to be contacted - all you can do is live the life you've built for yourself over the last 40 years. It hurts when my teenager choses not to come down for the summer, but it does make holidays easier...
 
#3
I had a similar situation to the OP back in 1986.
Somewhere in the Heathrow area I have a son who is in his 30's who chooses not to know me and it has been that way for about fifteen years.

OP, you are not alone.
 
#4
She went her own way 10 years ago, upsticks without warning and moved 400 miles away taking lad with her. He’s now eleven and haven’t seen him in 3 years due to her conduct where previously me, the boy and my (new) Mrs has a great relationship. Suddenly all turned and now all we get is demands for money and abuse. Seems a common thread
 
#5
Perhaps a letter to say the following:

“I won’t contact you again unless you want me to;
I am sorry that we lost touch. It’s my fault and nothing to do with you;
I bitterly regret now the choices I made and the way things have gone. I love you and miss you and would love to hear something about you and your life now;
If you would like to contact me, at whatever level suits you, my contact details are ...”

I’m sure that can be improved on, but the general message is let him know it’s not his fault it’s yours, DO NOT blame his mother, you love him and would like to hear about him, you’re happy with whatever level of contact he wishes to have, you’re not going to stalk/harass him.

Then the ball is in his court, but if it’s not returned, he doesn’t want to play. You’ll have to accept that.
 
#6
Hhhmmmm.... I'm in the Heathrow area!


No you're alright. I'm in my sixties and I did know my Dad. :)


As for the OP's dilemma,

This kind of situation is a fathers nightmare for those who would want to keep a relationship going with their children. As far as I know, these days the law does give access to both parents unless there is a good reason not to but that obviously doesn't help those who went through a divorce so many years ago.

I would suggest writing to your son or daughter explaining why you weren't able to play a more active role in their upbringing. Don't pin all the blame on their mother. That will just fan the flames. Just explain the reasons.

Then explain what you've been doing over the years trying to keep tabs on them and tell them some stuff about how you are doing. You're current personal situation like whether you remarried, where you live and what you do for a living etc.

Finish by saying that although you were excluded from their lives for all this time, you still love them, you think of them all the time because they are your children and you want to be a part of their world even if it's just the odd phone call or visit.

Give them your contact details but tell them there isn't any pressure but you hope they make the decision to contact you.

The reason I suggest a letter is that it's a tangible thing that they can read and reread while they mull the contents over in their minds. You never know, they might decide ok! Let's contact the old bugger.

Something sent to an email address isn't as personal over an emotive subject such as this and it can be simply deleted and forgotten about. A written letter apart from showing you are making a serious effort can't be gotten rid of quite as simply as something in electronic format.

You can also send other things through the post like birthday cards etc just as a gentle reminder that you are still there.

Whether you take my suggestion up or not, good luck.

Edit - I see that while I've been writing this, the previous poster has more or less said the same thing.
 
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#7
There was something in the press about this a few years ago. A very successful businessman had cashed in his chips courtesy of the big C. His estranged ex-wife and grown up kids who had refused to have anything to do with him reappeared only to have the smiles wiped from their face as he had specifically excluded them from his will due to their behaviour. The article was about the fact that it is difficult but not impossible to disinherit someone if their behaviour warrants it.
 
#8
I've had similar, completely lost contact

If the kids want to find you they will, when I wanted to find my birth mother out of curiosity I used all kinds of means and finding someone isn't hard given time and patience no matter how much they have moved or how many name changes they have gone through

Can't give an easy answer on this one
 
#9
I'm going through some fun and games with a stroppy teenager, not helped by her mother, but apart from maintaining a low level, relaxed form of social media mutual contact just to let her know I'm still there, I kind of let her get on with it. Pestering her isn't going to make the situation any better, it's just something that has to be worked through and given the balm of time.

You situation, or at least the outcome of it, is all too familiar I'm afraid - even without a messy divorce - lots of people choose to have no contact with family members for whatever reason, and your children have got to be the best part of 40, they'll have built lives that don't have you in them, and even if there is not so much bitterness, including you at this stage has 'hassle' written all over it.

There's nothing you can do about it - not least because you could easily be accused of harrassment if you continue to contact someone who doesn't wish to be contacted - all you can do is live the life you've built for yourself over the last 40 years. It hurts when my teenager choses not to come down for the summer, but it does make holidays easier...
My Daughter from first marraige is now 41 and I have no contact with her. I got in touch when she was 18, I was told 'do one' I did but tried again on a few occasions to be told the same. However I do think of her often and my door is open for her, maybe one day before i spin off this mortal coil she will.
Life goes on for all involved it's what you make of it that counts.

2 x Sons from No2 and not a day goes by without either seeing them or talking on phone/messanger. My lads are 26 & 25 and we have never missed a day
 
#10
I had a similar situation to the OP back in 1986.
Somewhere in the Heathrow area I have a son who is in his 30's who chooses not to know me and it has been that way for about fifteen years.

OP, you are not alone.
More common than we think going by this thread ( Have a virtual beer on me)
 
#11
Hhhmmmm.... I'm in the Heathrow area!


No you're alright. I'm in my sixties and I did know my Dad. :)


As for the OP's dilemma,

This kind of situation is a fathers nightmare for those who would want to keep a relationship going with their children. As far as I know, these days the law does give access to both parents unless there is a good reason not to but that obviously doesn't help those who went through a divorce so many years ago.

I would suggest writing to your son or daughter explaining why you weren't able to play a more active role in their upbringing. Don't pin all the blame on their mother. That will just fan the flames. Just explain the reasons.

Then explain what you've been doing over the years trying to keep tabs on them and tell them some stuff about how you are doing. You're current personal situation like whether you remarried, where you live and what you do for a living etc.

Finish by saying that although you were excluded from their lives for all this time, you still love them, you think of them all the time because they are your children and you want to be a part of their world even if it's just the odd phone call or visit.

Give them your contact details but tell them there isn't any pressure but you hope they make the decision to contact you.

The reason I suggest a letter is that it's a tangible thing that they can read and reread while they mull the contents over in their minds. You never know, they might decide ok! Let's contact the old bugger.

Something sent to an email address isn't as personal over an emotive subject such as this and it can be simply deleted and forgotten about. A written letter apart from showing you are making a serious effort can't be gotten rid of quite as simply as something in electronic format.

You can also send other things through the post like birthday cards etc just as a gentle reminder that you are still there.

Whether you take my suggestion up or not, good luck.

Edit - I see that while I've been writing this, the previous poster has more or less said the same thing.
Whilst rgjbloke and I have not seen eye to eye before this is sound advice.

The problem I have is that I’ve tried the letter thing and have it RTU’d. The lad is fixated on tech as his generation are. Sometimes I get a text / WhatsApp reply that is the equivalent of a grunt, sometimes “blue ticked” (I can see he’s read message but doesn’t reply) and other times just abuse that is clearly in vocabulary of she who must not be named.

It’s tough, especially as abuse comes on key dates. Maybe one day... maybe.
 
#12
Whilst rgjbloke and I have not seen eye to eye before this is sound advice.

The problem I have is that I’ve tried the letter thing and have it RTU’d. The lad is fixated on tech as his generation are. Sometimes I get a text / WhatsApp reply that is the equivalent of a grunt, sometimes “blue ticked” (I can see he’s read message but doesn’t reply) and other times just abuse that is clearly in vocabulary of she who must not be named.

It’s tough, especially as abuse comes on key dates. Maybe one day... maybe.
In which case I suggest you back off a bit - if you contacting him stokes the fire and he either ignores it or gives it the big FO then I would suggest that, however difficult it is to swallow, it's doing more harm than good.

The definition of madness is to repeat the same action and expect a different reaction - this isn't working so try something else: personally I'd write a letter, letting him know you love him and you want to be happy, that you're there fore him whenever he wants, and then just leave it. No good will come of repeatedly trying something that just makes the situation worse....
 
#13
I haven't had any contact with my lad for nearly 9 years. He's 15 now.

Had a row with his mother on the phone and all contact was ceased, the bitch his happy to take money off me every month though.
 
#16
In which case I suggest you back off a bit - if you contacting him stokes the fire and he either ignores it or gives it the big FO then I would suggest that, however difficult it is to swallow, it's doing more harm than good.

The definition of madness is to repeat the same action and expect a different reaction - this isn't working so try something else: personally I'd write a letter, letting him know you love him and you want to be happy, that you're there fore him whenever he wants, and then just leave it. No good will come of repeatedly trying something that just makes the situation worse....
Done, done and done. Backed off ages ago and it made no difference. I believe dss calls it coaching when the kid has been so primed it makes no difference. But thanks for advice
 
#18
Done, done and done. Backed off ages ago and it made no difference. I believe dss calls it coaching when the kid has been so primed it makes no difference. But thanks for advice
I gone up against the same thing - fortunately mine was much younger and the court and CAFCAS saw right through it and awarded contact anyway - and after that we went through a long period of lots of contact where she was quite open about how vitriolic her mother was. We're in a rocky patch right now - that is, I suspect, as much about being a stroppy teenager as it is about anything else - but it will change, or it won't, and I'll just have to crack on with life.
 
#19
I've got a good one. As me & wife Nr 1 were coming to the end of it, (me wanting out) she 'confessed' that when i left the house approx 9 months before she'd been approx 3 months pregnant with our first. She hadn't told me as she didn't want me to stay cos of the child. In the meantime, me unawares of it all had buggered off to Iraq doing private sec work for a few months. In the interim, she had given birth to a son who had died within a day.With me being out of touch & contactable a funeral had taken place - no one on my side o family informed.
When I came back to the UK she didn't tell me although tbf we didn't have much contact.
It was only months later that I was told in a letter from her via her solictor.

I went spastic & blew a gasket & it def contributed to a my later falling apart at the seams. It affected me deeply & it took another month or two with letters passed between solicitors for her to then confess she'd made it all up. No idea why. I felt like shit for that period of time i was mourning a non existent child. I ended up searching death records across the area where i thought the wee chap may have been interred or cremated. Mental fcuking mare.
 
#20
I've got a good one. As me & wife Nr 1 were coming to the end of it, (me wanting out) she 'confessed' that when i left the house approx 9 months before she'd been approx 3 months pregnant with our first. She hadn't told me as she didn't want me to stay cos of the child. In the meantime, me unawares of it all had buggered off to Iraq doing private sec work for a few months. In the interim, she had given birth to a son who had died within a day.With me being out of touch & contactable a funeral had taken place - no one on my side o family informed.
When I came back to the UK she didn't tell me although tbf we didn't have much contact.
It was only months later that I was told in a letter from her via her solictor.

I went spastic & blew a gasket & it def contributed to a my later falling apart at the seams. It affected me deeply & it took another month or two with letters passed between solicitors for her to then confess she'd made it all up. No idea why. I felt like shit for that period of time i was mourning a non existent child. I ended up searching death records across the area where i thought the wee chap may have been interred or cremated. Mental fcuking mare.
That’s harsh! Snakes with tits
 
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