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Sunday, April 19, 2009

To See Him or Not To See Him

Dear Sadie,

My ex husband is trying to insert himself back into my daughters life. We have been divorced for 24 years. He hasn't had any contact with her in the past 5 years. He came to my house looking for information on how to contact her. My now husband thinks she should try to make amends with her biological dad but I disagree. She is 29 years old and there is a lot of pain still there from the past. She really doesn't want anything to do with him. We don't want her to have any regrets. Do you have any advice for this situation?

Such tough place for everyone to be in! I must say that I agree with your husband. I believe she should do whatever it takes to make amends. At least she should "try". That way she won't have any regrets.

Someone very close to me left his daughter when she was 3 and did not see her again for 17 years! I worked hard to get them to see each other because I knew how much pain he was in. Their first meeting was awkward and uncomfortable. It was necessary. Is there a relationship now? Nope. That makes me very sad. BUT his daughter at least knows there was a desire on his part, the initial contact has been made and it's up to the two of them where to take it from here.

Your daughter is 29. Obviously you love her very much and want to protect her. As a grown woman I am sure she is able to make good decisions. I would encourage her to make contact with her dad at the very least and hopefully there can be some healing.

If there are others of you out there with some advice to give, please share...


Jackie said...


this link
will lead to sound and godly wisdom for all of us.
This must feel unfair for you after all of your sacrifices.I am sorry,
God seems to gently ask me to be obedient...and which one of us doesn't need grace.

Cheri' said...

I have a friend who never met her father until she was almost 40. It was very difficult for her to let him into her life, and it was very uncomfortable at first.

After several meetings and getting more relaxed with one another, she discovered many things about herself that she had not understood until she met her dad. She suddenly realized she was more like him than she ever would have known had she not met him.

She also forgave him for never having entered her life until she was older, and she feels that she is more at peace with who she is than she was prior to meeting him.

cadence1228 said...

When I was a senior in hs my dad left my mom for another woman in another city weeks before their 18 yr wedding anniversary. I was 17, my sister was 11 & my brother was 9. It was awful. My mom was very depressed for the first few weeks & watching her pain made me resent my dad. Up to this point, we had always been VERY close. He was the dad that EVERYONE loved - the one your friends called 'dad'. He was cool & would let me skip school & go to the movies w/him, etc. I felt so hurt & felt as the oldest, that I should help my mom where ever I could.
Since I was 17 - turning 18, it was MY choice as to whether or not I wanted to go 2 1/2 hrs away to visit him on the weekends. Of course I didn't want to - not just b/c I was mad at him but b/c I was a senior in hs & the weekends were MY time.
There were a few forced weekends. My brother & sister had to endure meeting 'the other woman' & spending time w/her. I, on the other hand, was lucky enough not to go through those things. I was/am very outspoken & deep down I think my dad knew I would be confrontational & he didn't want 'her' to have to endure me - which was FINE!
A few years later & after a painful divorce my parents made amends. My dad declared his love for her & said he was going through a mid-life crisis & would she please take him back. Slowly but surely they got back together & re-married.
We were all happy. My mom dated but always loved my dad. Besides being married 18 yrs, they had been together 5 yrs prior. He was her world.
Two years after their re-marriage, he did it again. New woman, new city. We couldn't believe it.
My mom asked him to leave & had her world torn apart - again - by the same lying man. This time our relationship was much more damaged. He came home after being gone for a few months to visit us. He visited about 1/2 hr & abruptly ended it. We thought it was weird & (I know a little crazy sounding) followed him - only to find that his g/f was waiting. He had to cut our visit short b/c of her.
At 22 I was even more outspoken than I was at 17, so the situation got nasty. We didn't talk after that. About a year later, I was on my way home from work, I came upon an accident that had happened minutes before. There was someone lying across the dash that was clearly dead. There were many injured people as well. It scared me & I thought, life is too short - he's my dad & I'm getting married in a year, I knew I wanted him there.
I called him. It went slowly at first, but after a few months, we picked up like we had never left off.
This was 8/01. In 8/02, I was married & my mom & dad walked me down the aisle. In 9/02, my dad died of an unknown blood clot. We buried him on my one month wedding anniversary.
I thank God every day that we made up. My sister & brother, while on speaking terms w/him, were just that, speaking terms. They wish every day that they had made some sort of effort b/c my dad was always ready for us. Every situation is different, but if you don't try & something happens, you'll always wonder.