Beth - posted on 02/17/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )
A few years ago, my ex father in law contacted me to see if there could be any contact between him and his wife and my daughters. Wrote back saying yes. A few months later found him on facebook and we became 'friends'. After that became 'friends' with several other members of the family (some have now defriended me).
Apparently I was sending cross messages to the family as I said that they could have contact more directly with my girls, but my ex - there were extra restrictions put on him. In my letter to the ex, I had said that against my better judgement I'd let him have contact (using his behaviour in the past as a starting point - the ex hit me twice and threatened violence to the two eldest, also claimed that the youngest was his brother's child). This was sending cross messages. I informed his family of why I was using double standards (in their eyes) and also said that there were additional reasons why I'd acted in the way I'd had, but they'd have to ask. Informed them of most of the reasons (except domestic violence). Saying that I was putting the girls first.
Ex father in law - said that what I'd told them was between me and his son, not the wider family. But I thought they needed to know where I stood and understand why I'd reacted differently to them and my ex. A couple of years ago now, I asked several family members if any of them were interested in having contact with the girls (including cousins), but none of them answered me.
Now my ex hasn't bothered to make contact now, do I ask his family, especially his Dad if he's interested in having contact. My ex managed to write letters between late Jan. to mid June then stopped as he wasn't getting anything back - after his letter my eldest had done something for him and he didn't collect it, even though he'd been informed that there was something waiting for him. He contacted me a couple of times after asking to see the girls, and said that at the time the girls hadn't expressed an interest in seeing him yet and that he'd have to start writing letters (pen and paper) again - he wanted to send them electronically, but I said that we'd hadn't got to that stage yet - still had to be pen, paper and posted, so that it'd showed he'd made that little bit more effort. Plus one of the things that I'd said he'd have to do when starting contact again was remember the girls' birthdays - both the eldest two had birthdays when he was writing to them, but they got no cards/presents. Suspect that as he'd got nothing, then he wasn't prepared to send them anything (or he may have forgotten when their birthdays are). His birthday was just at the start of the contact, so didn't feel that it was appropriate to ask girls' to send anything, especially as this was the first contact after 3 years.
Ex's family hasn't had any direct contact (letters, visits, phone calls etc.) now for over 7 years. The last time any of them saw my girls was between Christmas 2004/New year 2005.
My parents don't think it's a good idea that his family should have any contact as it could open a can of worms, on one hand I agree with them, but still think that they should be aware that they've got lots more family -on their Dad's side of the family. They've got 6 aunts and uncles (plus partners) as well as over 18 first cousins (and their children).
I don't have any major issues with my ex's family - it's just my ex.