Contact with ex's family?

[deleted account] ( 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.

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[deleted account]

There are a few of my ex's family who are still 'friends' with me on facebook. Though they haven't asked about the girls for over a year now. Knowing them, until my ex has regular contact with my girls, it's unlikely that they will take an active interest in my girls. The chances of my ex having regular contact with my girls is almost non-existant at the current time. Ex didn't like the fact that when he started his last attempt at contact that I dictated the rules and that it was taken at the girls pace rather than his. I think my ex was expecting after three years of nothing, that he'd be able to see them after a couple of letters/presents.



Although I have left the door open for his family to take an interest in the girls' lives, it's now reaching a point that any interest they did have has virtually disappeared. The most interest that my girls have shown in their Dad and his family was when my eldest had to do something on her family tree for homework for school.



I am aware that the ex's parents and one brother have been within passing distance of where I live. They choose not to ask me if they could see the girls and/or drop off anything for them. At least now I know that they've had my side of the story - and why I am more reluctant on having the ex in the girls' lives than them.



What annoys me is that it wouldn't take them much effort to send me a message electronically to ask after the girls. My ex parents in law have about 20 grandchildren and quite a few great grandchildren - they seem to remember all of them except for my three girls. That's the bit that annoys me the most, especially when the other year I saw on my ex father in law's facebook wall that he'd got all the grandchildren presents. Mine as usual didn't get anything - not even a message over facebook to ask me to pass on a message to the girls. At the end of the day it is my ex's family's loss not mine or my girls. thankfully my girls know a lot of my family - various aunts, uncles and cousins (as well as my parents).

Nyree - posted on 02/17/2012

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I still keep in touch with my youngerst daughter dad's family. It wasn't easy at first but I let them understand my grounds and if they couldn't comply they would be cut off as well. But her uncle is pretty good now and then it gives me time to unwind sometimes when she goes to see him.

Sherry - posted on 02/17/2012

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I agree with your parents. They know how to get in touch with you. If they wanted to, they would.

[deleted account]

I'm wondering should I ask the ex's family (again) if any of them want any contact with my girls - or should I just let the fade into virtual non-existance?

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