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Question
Posted by: | 2020/06/08

Co-parenting

My daughter has made it known to me that she misses her dad (she hasnt spoken to him in a year and havent seen him for 3 years now). This is entirely his choice, I have never gotten involved in their relationship. I only step in when I see the situation is emotionally hurting her. He is married and pays more attention to his step daughter than the child we share. I made contact with him and told him that this is what she wants. I thought it best that we speak about why she chose to stop talking to him.. When I explain this to him he immediately thinks that I am fighting with him. Which I am not, we broke up more than 12 years ago, I am not angry nor do I want anything from him but to be a father to his child. THe unfortunate part is that his wife dictates when he can and cannot speak to our child, yet he has only been married for 5 years. I have never met her but she seems to have this instant dislike to me even though I have never called my ex for anything and we also broke up way before he married her. Im wondering if I am wrong by telling what he did wrong so that he can start on a clean slate with his daughter. My daughter has told me that she will only start talking to him if he is serious about being a father and not someone who wants to come and go.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2020/06/10

Your daughter's reactions are common and sensible in this sort of situation. It should be possible to bring her concerns to her father's attention without making it feel to him like a hostile complaint, but a genuine attempt to help him and her to develop a more comfortable and sustaining mutual relationship.
The stepmother's reactions sound highly unhelpful but sadly typical. She sounds like she is actually very insecure and wanting to control the relationship he has with his first daughter,  Insisting on trying to control what you actually can't control is a sad and self-defeating reaction. 

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