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Question
Posted by: me | 2007/06/01

Bad situation

need to rebuild my relationship with my 7 year old daughter from a previous relationship(she lives with her mother- there is very little contact between me and my ex, we hardly talk-even if we talk its straight to the point). The problem is that my wife has in the past 3 years managed to succesfully weave my daughter out of our lifes and effectively out of mine. Currently i basically pay monthly maintetnance and never spend time with my daughter (In the past 5 months i have only seen her 3-4 times max).
My wife has told me straight to my face that she hates my daughter and will never accept her (before my wife and I had our son (3 yrs old) she was very happy and supportive of my daughter and encouraged me to spend more time with my daughter) after the birth of our son everything changed, she started comparing the two kids and started making demands on me to provide more for my son ect.
I have tried talking to her and expalining to her that i love my daughter and my son equally and will never compare them or treat them differently. I have tried fighting with her and telling her and showing her that i will be with my daughter but things just became worse and worse. My wife will literally get physically violent with me when i want to see my daughter or she would go to her parents place and probably make up stories and get support from them.
When my daughter comes to our house she would curse and make ugly comments in front of my daughter and just take our son and make things so unbearable that i end up cutting my daughter visit short and just take her to my parents place and leave her there until the weekends over. My wife also disagrees with the fact that my daughter visits my parents.
My wife has no relationship with my parents and makes it clear that she does not like them
Our son rarely goes to my parents because my wife does not get along with them but than she turns around and says my parents do not care about our son? I always think of the situation and wonder how can my parents approach us and ask to see our son when his mother does not want to talk to them.
I am now at a stage where I feel that i can rather get divorced and be a single father to both my kids and at least than be able to give them both the same love and attention that they need instead of staying with a woman that does not realise how this situation has hurt me and my children because they dont even spend time togother and get to know eachother.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sounds like this was an informal, person-to-person arangement, about access --- wouldn't you do better to go to the court and have them decide on what access is fair to you and beneficial to the child, and then your ex would have to keep to it ?
The problem of your current wife apparently feeling jealous and rivalry between your daughter and your son with her, is more complex, and marriage counselling would be the most efficient way to work that out, but she may well not wish to cooperate in that. That she gets furious to the point of violence at your simply wishin to spend time with your daughter is of course unreasonable and unfair. Whether your daughter visits your parents is of course not really any of your wife's business. But she is not behaving as an adult, is she ? She needs to recognize the boundaries that you set, and as she chose to marry you knowing that you had a daughter, she has no business NOW deciding to reject the child --- how insecure she must feel ! Joe expresses this very well. Remind her that it should be shameful form a grown woman to make a little girl feel bad and unwanted, out of jealousy --- surely she must recognize that the child is totally innocent and deserves only love.
You may indeed need to set boundaries and make it clear that if she does not treat your daughter well and consider your honourable feelings about this, you may need to leave her.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Britty | 2007/06/02

In my opinion your wife feels threatened by your daughter now that she has a son. Perhaps she feels that her son could be left out or not receive his due as your child. You are in a very difficult situation but its to your credit that you recognise it and also your needs to re-connect with your daughter and keep everyone happy (its not always possible!). You definitely need professional help and even if your wife won't join you then you get it for yourself so you can get some assistance. Take care.

Reply to Britty
Posted by: me | 2007/06/01

I agree that I chose a woman above my daughter hoping in time that things will get better and be resolved.
I may have made choices in the beggining but i was trying to manage the situation the best way i could.
Anyway the time has come for me to lay down things straight or just move on with my life.

Reply to me
Posted by: Lynne | 2007/06/01

Hi me, like Rose I feel desperately sorry for you. It must be terrible to live like this.
I do however feel that you and the wife are the adults in this situation. If you have discussed the situation with her in a serious and constructive way, and she still continues with this behaviour, you will have to accept the fact that she is a terribly cruel and heartless woman, who will probably continue her unacceptable treatment of your daughter. Treating any child like this is downright abusive! And you should not allow it to continue for one more second!!
If you are really convinced that she will not change her behaviour, get away from this woman now. Just make sure that you invest in your relationship with your son. Divorced dads can still have a strong positive influence on their kids if they work on a strong bond with them, and in your case I think a healthier environment for both your children will result. I know of a number of "successful" divorce stories, where the children are so much better off, so it can be done.
You are in my thoughts, hang in there for your and your kids' sake.
Lynne

Reply to Lynne
Posted by: joe | 2007/06/01

a long time ago you should of set the boundary and stood up for yourself and for the child - your wife sounds vindictive and horrible and heartless and the sad thing is that you chose her over your daughter. a childs love is unconditional but you chose a women whos love for you has many conditions. to rebuild something starts with you and what you are prepared to do or not do. first of all you have to get your wife to understand that you came with a package and that package has a heart and a soul and she has no right to destroy that. personally get your wife in line or get her to understand that what you want counts too. i dont feel sorry for you but i feel sorry for your little girl because you did not stand up for your relationship with her and now to rebuild it is going to take alot of hard work.

Reply to joe
Posted by: rose | 2007/06/01

shame me, i feel so sorry for you...
i dont think i can give you advise because i cannot fully understand how you must feel and what you must be going through.

i just wanted to say i really feel for you.

Reply to rose

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