My 18 yr old daughter has rec'd a disturbing letter from her absent father

Sienna - posted on 06/23/2011 ( 38 moms have responded )

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Please could anyone help and advise me ... here’s some background ....

I separated & divorced from my daughter’s father when she was only 9 months old. The marriage broke down because he was physically and mentally abusive towards me. Also he didn’t accept my daughter because she was a girl and he wanted a son

During the divorce I encouraged him to keep in contact with my daughter by sending photographs through the solicitors but unfortunately he was not interested. Soon after the divorce he remarried and has 3 sons.

I managed to obtain a maintenance order which is enforced by the courts. The order stipulates payments until my daughter reaches 18, then up until 23 if she remains in full time education. He now does not want to continue the maintenance and is creating problems.

He’s never made any contact with my daughter in 17 years and just recently he sent her a disturbing letter with negative comments about my family and I. She has not had sight of the letter as she was in the middle of her exams. I will be giving her the letter on the weekend.

I spoke to her soon after her 16th birthday about her father and she didn’t want any communication with him at the time. My daughter was very clear with the way she felt. During her upbringing, her father was never mentioned by my family, friend and I.

I am now feeling very upset due to the disturbing comments in the letter and fear that he may destroy our relationship. What if she believes some of the points he’s made in the letter? He’s lied that he has sent birthday and Christmas cards every year? He has said some terrible things about my family and I who have given her so much love.

If he had written a loving letter, regretting not being part of her life and wants an opportunity to get to know her. I would have no fears, and would think maybe he has changed. His abusive behaviour during the marriage could have been down to his immaturity!

I have devoted all my life in bringing my daughter up and always fulfilled a mother and fathers role in her life. She has always been at the top of my priority list. We have a loving relationship and absolutely adore one another. I am frightened how this disturbing letter will make her feel? What if she wants to see him? What if he harms her?

After reading the letter, it is very evident he is full of hate and bitterness towards me and has not moved on his life. He resents me because he is forced to pay maintenance. I fear my safety and more so my daughters. He’s capable of anything, now he has tracked us down.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? How do I tell my daughter? How do I erase these sudden insecurities created by him? How do I tackle this?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jodi - posted on 06/23/2011

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If this letter was addressed to her, why did YOU open it. I can totally understand that you had your concerns, and they are very valid. BUT in opening a letter that was addressed to her, aren't you violating a level of trust AND your daughter's privacy? Personally, if I were in her shoes, I would be more concerned that my mother opened something that was privately addressed to me, no matter what the content and excuse.

With respect to the content of the letter itself, you have to trust that you have raised your daughter well enough to see the truth, and that if she has questions, or concerns abotu the content of the letter, to come to you and talk about it. If your relationship is loving, you should have the faith in your daughter to come to you.

I do wish you the best of luck with it. And I am sorry you and your daughter have to go through this. You have obviously been a good mother to your daughter, and you should look at this as a bump in the road. I find it hard to believe a single letter can undo years of wonderful parenting, and all that love you have given.

Stephanie - posted on 07/10/2012

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I can't believe how many people are stuck on the fact you opened the letter and privacy etc, because this isnt a normal father/daughter relationship. If there is a known abuser/manipulator in mix, then you have every right and duty to protect your daughter, because only you have the full knowledge of what he is capable of and his relationship history. Your ex probably sent this out of spite hoping to catch you both off guard and cause havoc. I think your daughter should be prepped a little with regards to any accusations in the letter, or you should have a well thought out response to each point in the letter, should your daughter ask. If you and your daughter have a solid history of trust and good communication, this letter may cause some bumps because of its seemingly outlandish statements, but the relationship should stay solid after some time, thoughtful discussion, and mutual understanding. I think you should have a professional resource handy for your daughter in case she needs a neutral sounding board for her thoughts and feelings after she reads the letter. You should seek one as well, as the letter has opened up old wounds. Best of luck!

Christine - posted on 06/26/2011

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Even though I advocate honesty, there are just some things that are best left unsaid, and those things are, that he raped you, and the comments you say he said while her nappy was changed. Telling her these things will serve absolutely no purpose, except to make her more upset. There is no positive upside for those comments. Most pyschologists will also tell you this. Do not tell her those things. The less attention you bring to this matter now that you have given the letter to her, the better, no need to fuel the flame - let it now burn out.

Jodi - posted on 06/23/2011

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Ah, thank you Sienna.....that makes more sense.



I will tell you that my son DOES have contact with his father (although minimal). However, his father has, over the years threatened me with "a file" he has on me with all the dirt that one day he is going to air to our son. I know there can't be anything real in there. And I trust that my son loves me and respect me, so I don't worry too much about it.



Have faith in your daughter. And love her regardless of how she reacts. Don't be surprised if she wants to make contact with her dad. But if he is truly the person you say he is, she will see through it in time, and she will come back to you. In the meantime, there may be pain, but there may not. But you must trust that you have raised a daughter who believes in you, because you believe in her. Let her find her own way, as painful as it may be.

Christine - posted on 06/23/2011

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My concern with the suggestions not to give her the letter is that if she finds out she may believe that you did withhold the gifts & cards he claimed to have sent. If you have a strong relationship, trust in her ability to separate truth from fiction. He is trying to stop child support, and that will give her an indication of his character. If he insists on meeting her and she agrees make sure she will be safe, have them meet in a public place, and let her see for herself what he is like. God bless you - this is a tough situation, but it sounds like you've done a great job as a mom.

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38 Comments

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Tracie - posted on 06/21/2012

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It's impossible for me to believe that your daughter would give up 17+ years of loving care for a father who is so angry, negative and has clearly never been interested in being a father to her. I seriously doubt you have anything to worry about as far as losing your daughter to him.

As for being afraid for your safety because he knows where you live, if you truly have reason to believe he will get violent, please go to the police for help. You both deserve to live in peace.

Good luck.

Sally - posted on 06/14/2012

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Im the same as Kim. Iv'e just come across this and if your still on here, i would love to know how you are. Having read it im sure its ok and has been sorted out now. If you have time please up-date us. Thanks

Kim - posted on 04/30/2012

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Was just stumgling across this, it's almost a year old, was just curious about how everything turned out? Did you provide her the choice to see or not see the letter?

How did things go? Has he made further fuss or contact? I so hope you have something happy to report and that it hasn't gotten worse. Sending you my thoughts.

Shaina - posted on 06/28/2011

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You should tell her everything she needs to know. But I believe she should only know if she asks. Other then that there us no need to worry about telling her.

Shaina - posted on 06/28/2011

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Honestly I hope all went well with your daughter if you gave her that letter then that itself shows that you are proving your ex wrong to her. Because if u had anything to hide you would not have given her that letter. And as far as he is concerned if you cancraje cars if your daughter by yourself and you don't need the help then why put yourself through that agony? Obviating hecwants nothing to dj with you ladies and it sounds like he will just put you both through he'll and back. I don't think you should deal with it. I wish the best if luck fir you and your family

[deleted account]

OMG, I have just gone through a simular thing and it is heart breaking but believe me when i give you this advise. My ex and i had 3 kids and he stopped seeing them after i had remarried and he had met a woman with 3 kids, whom obviously didnt want mine. He had stopped seeing them for a yr no calls, cards anything. My new husband whom took on my 3 kids, whom he adores and treats as his own.( they are really he raised them) I only found out about the other woman after he was killed in a car crash. my problems started when my 17 yr old twins decided to contact his parents, I was scared as i knew they would lie to them they always hated me. well i need not have worried so much as my daughters new me. When his mum sent a letter back after their first phone call and ran me down and blamed me for everything, my daughter came to me and i answered everthing they asked with truth as i always have and they said to me, Mum why have they had nothing to do with us and how is that your fault you never stopped dad or them seeing us.. They wouldnt let us their only grandchildren attend their dads funeral, so how do they make that your fault. I told them i love them and always will and if they want a relationship with their grandparents i support it, i also said that they really loved your dad and when he died it would have distroyed them. If you tell her bad stuff even if true, then you are sinking to his level, she knows you trust in her and the love you have shared. She isnt stupid and if she wants tosee him, dont stop her she will definatly belive him then and resent you. This will be the hardest thing you will ever do. Just remember as i did, I know the truth and my children know me and i will never loose them. I love them more then i hated what their father and his parents do or say. at the end of the day she is 18 and it is her choose to make, try not to make it harder for her and just be there for her when she finds out he isnt whom he says. just to let you know that after that horrible letter of lies and hate, my girls deciced on their own that they are not nice people and if they wanted to be in their lives they will not allow them to say anything bad about me. They sent them a letter back saying that and if they wanted to talk about just them and thier son (the girls dad) then they would love to be in their lives and start a fresh. That was about 8mths ago and they have had no phone calls to their mobiles or any letters. I hope these eases some of your worry. Feel free to talk to me about it anytime although not excatly the same its his parents, i know it would have been the same if their dad was alive and they contacted him. Goodluck i will be thinking of you all. Remember this will be hurting her too, and she wont like him saying bad things about the mum whom has loved and raised her. she will need youmore then ever so stay strong for her..

Katherine - posted on 06/26/2011

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Ummmm, I would get a PPO on him. If he was that abusive and that horrible, there is NO reason for this man to be in your life. Did you ever press charges? Is it on file? Please, please do not let this man back into her life or yours if this is the case.
I would tell her EVERYTHING. He sounds like a very sick man. And he sounds like he could be, ugh.......just get him away from her!

Jessica - posted on 06/26/2011

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Tell her everything, how you feel, how you just wanted to protect her, how you did things, and then when all is said and done, and you have told her everything... what you regret and what you do not, then... she will know that you were honest and even though you were afraid to trust her due to your own personal fears, ended up doing so. COMPLETE honesty will be your saving grace through everything. Then, when he trys to rock her world with doubt, your complete honesty with her, may be her ONLY reality check. I can tell you know.... people like that.... they can make you doubt your own name if they want to..... so please, give her your trust and honesty. That means MORE to any teenager or adult when concerning your parents, when your parents trust you enough to not treat you like a child but still wish to hold you and comfort you when you need it... That is the greatest gift you could give. If you had misgivings about giving it to her and did not truly wish to be honest, I don't think you would have posted here. You wish to be honest, but you wish to protect her from the horrors of it all. Tell her how you feel. A cheesecake... chocolate.... or even a big thing of ice-cream never hurt either (comfort food.... things that lift your spirit and hers when either one is upset). This is going to be hard, whichever way you do it. In the long run though, she will find out any untruths or things you don't say and he WILL use them to his advantage. Even though it is with good intentions... withholding ANY information could destroy both of you, not at first mayhaps... but when she finds out...

Sienna - posted on 06/25/2011

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Not sure how he's located our address after so many years. I have noticed being followed on a number occassions and thought I was imagining it! I had no idea he was behind this

Bec - posted on 06/25/2011

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I am wondering with so much negativaty why does this person have contact and even know your address? couldn't you have shut that door long ago? and not turned back?

Sienna - posted on 06/25/2011

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Thank you for all for your positive feedback, advice and support. You have all given me the strength to deal with this. I will be giving my daughter the letter today, and just hope she is strong enough to deal with it. I have taught my daughter that foundations to any relationships are based on honesty, trust and love, without anyone of these a relationship is at risk of breaking down. I have always had an honest and open relationship with her with no secrets, and could never dream of withholding the letter no matter what the consequence is.
I told my daughter about her father after her 16th birthday, this was the first time we ever spoke about him. She was very upset and I never seen her so emotionally low, due to this I withheld a few things because I felt she would not be able to coupe. She was very hurt to hear I was not only mentally but physically abused by him. At the time, I felt I would tell her the remainder when she’s a little older and maybe more mature to be able to understand.
During the marriage, my ex raped me, should I tell her this? Also he made inappropriate comments about her when I changed her nappy. I was stunned that a father could make such remarks and look at a baby in that manner. Those few months I was with him, I would change her in a different room and was always worried. Should I tell her this?
My daughter is a beautiful human being, who is very loving, caring and considerate. I don’t want her to feel different about herself after hearing this. Not sure what I should do? Part of me thinks it’s important she is aware, in case she decides to meet him one day. I believe people like this never change, it’s a part of their make up. As a responsible mother should I tell her for her safety or withhold it so she is not hurt? Please advice me

Kris - posted on 06/23/2011

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You are in possession of the letter? I say don't bring the negative and hateful letter for anyone elses eyes to see... burn it and shut him out. If he is creative problems with paying now, but has paid all along then maybe it's time to say screw it, there are other ways to bring in money to get your daughter through school.. Just because he's Biodad doesnt mean he deserves to get his hateful way by exposing things to your daughter, close the door on that chapter and fend for your self. Move if you have to, unlist your #, surround yourself with trusted family and friends, be honest with your daughter about things and if you feel in any danger, physically or mentally, run don't walk out of this one..

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 06/23/2011

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My older daughter's 7 and has already decided she wants nothing to do with her father because of how he's treated her the past 6 years. I'm reasonably sure that your daughter knows enough about how her father is to make a rational judgement about the validity of the letter he wrote. I wouldn't stress over its affect on your relationship with your daughter.

Jessica - posted on 06/23/2011

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I would sit her down and talk to her before you give her the letter. Tell her pretty much what you've written here. I'm sure things will be fine. I'm sure she'll read the letter and throw it out she may not even want to read it. Your daughter is old enough now to know that what he's put in the letter are lies. Surely she's had enough to do with your family to know they are not they way he states in the letter. If she says she does want to meet him you can always arrange for it to happen in a controlled environment perhpas with police or child welfare on hand incase things do go wrong? From what you have said your daughter sounds very mature and I think she'll handle this just fine.

Hope this helps

Jenny - posted on 06/23/2011

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Let's see, I would show your daughter the letter, and let her make the deision, to keep in contact with her dad, since now she's an adult, and just be supportive mom, also it sounds like you did a great job raising her, and your ex-husband is the one who is missing out on the love from your daughter, and he may grow up and say he's sorry and he may not.. God Bless and good luck! Jenny S.

T - posted on 06/23/2011

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Give your daughter more credit than you are giving her. You have raised her all these years, you and her have a great, close relationship. Did you ever think that by her reading this letter and how he attacks HER mother and the other people who have raised and loved her will make her even more protective of you? I know if I was your daughter, I would rip that letter up and be totally done with him to even say such hateful things about you. Have faith in your daughter. And make sure you explain why the letter was open by you so you don't have to deal with THAT accusation. Good luck to you and your daughter.....HUGS!!

Sarah - posted on 06/23/2011

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his absence and cruel remarks about you and your family will be more damaging to HIM. Our kids are not silly and they can work things out themselves...... I have had my ex-husbands new wife find a diary of mine and has threatened to give it to my daughter..... Go ahead, I think, as it will show her some home truth's about her father.



Don't feel threatened at all. We are not perfect, your ex is just showing his true colours, and he is just using mind games to get at you again..... worse by using your daughter!



Who knows, your daughter may choose not to even read the letter........

[deleted account]

Dear Lord, if the letter is not truthful & can damage your relationship with her, DO NOT GIVE HER THE LETTER!! 18 year olds may be of legal age, but they do not have much maturity or any wisdom. 25 is probably a better age to subject her to that disfunction - if you do at all. Save the letter in case she presses to find her father in the future. Then go over the letter WITH her so you can let her know the truth for each of the lies. Your daughter needs to continue to be surrounded with the love of your family she has always been able to count on. If she does not read the letter, there will be no insecurities to erase. Perhaps you can change your address using someone's you can really trust. It would need to be on your license, etc in order to have it used in the court system. Ultimately, if she ends up reading the letter in the future, your relationship will speak for itself. Who was there for her in good times and bad? Who picks her up when she is down...her father? Nope. You have been the mainstay in her life. Keep it up & good luck.

Anna - posted on 06/23/2011

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Jodi I would have done the same thing if he had no contact all these years why would he write now?? You cant understand it unless you live it.

Anna - posted on 06/23/2011

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I think he needs help. I am in a similar situation. My daughter just turned 5. Her father is married to a witch who has 2 daughter from a first marriage and she will not allow him to have contact with the baby. Back to your problem~~I would seek advice from an attorney. He sounds like he has a lot of issues and that may be mental abuse towards your daughter. I like you want to protect them from the evil and not allow pain like that into their lives. Good luck.

Kari - posted on 06/23/2011

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i have been in a simular situasion. i did not tell my daughter any thing negatv about her father i told her litle obout him that after so many years i dont know the man sh was ca 16 years and i think if you want any contact with him you have to wait til you are ready and you now when you are. she was too bissy with friends and scool so when she was 22 years old she contacted him at first it was ok he showd his best behavier but his true colors shine thru after two, three visits and she chose not to have any thing to do with him, and we chanced our last name and moved to an other place in the same cite we havn't heard form him in 8 years

Christine - posted on 06/23/2011

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If you and your daughter's relationship has been based on respect for each other, then trust her to make her own decisions. I would present her with the letter upon the completion of her exams. I would inform her how you came upon this letter & let her know that you respect her & trust her to read this letter taking into consideration the circumstances in which it came. Let her know that you will be there for her in anyway she needs. Your daughter knows and understands more than you think. I had a similar situation and I also feared that he & his family would try to warp my 2 daughters' minds, but with time & letting them come to their own conclusions, they have seen the truth and have dealt with it admirably. As one of the other posters said, since you have raised your daughter with love & trust, she will know the truth and as an old saying goes, the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. No matter what, your daughter will always love & respect you if you love & respect her!

Jennifer - posted on 06/23/2011

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I am sorry to hear what is going on in your family. I too had a father physically and mentally abusive towards me. He also did not like that I was a girl. Then I ended up at the age of 18 in a relationship were my boyfriend beat me. That lasted for 2 years,until I realized I deserved better. So when it comes to your daughter you have to go with your heart, and sit her down and explain everything, she is old enough to know the truth. But I would do it before you give her the letter. As long as you know that you have raised her the best way you could and was a loving mother to her then she is not going to believe what is in that letter.

You need to ask her this if she does start to question the letter. Why didn't your father ever come to see you in person. And why now is he trying to brake us apart? Your daughter will see that you have been there for everyday of her life and that should speak volumes... Please keep in touch with me and let me know it goes. I will being praying for you and your daughter. Oh, and you should lay this problem at Jesus' feet he will get you through this..

Here is my email address...jenn3kids@aol.com that is my facebook name as well. Good luck and just be patient and soft spoken at all times even if the talk starts to get heated. If she sees that you are calm no matter what then she will most likely be calm...
Your Not Alone,
Jenna

Suze - posted on 06/23/2011

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I would firstly allow your daughter to read this letter you have posted before giving her the letter from her Father. That way she has your thoughts and feelings on this matter before she has his. Have you considered not giving her the letter? That's probably what has gone through the mind of anyone reading this post and if the letter was so awful and would bring nothing useful and only harm to your daughter then you are right to protect her in this way.

Kimberly - posted on 06/23/2011

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It has been my experience to let the the child find out the truth and settle in his/her own mind about the father. I have a son who is now 21. I raised him, and we've always been close. It wasn't long after he turned 18 and was able to spend time with his fathers family that he found out for himself what physical, mental and emotional abuser he is. If you have in fact been open with your daughter and truthful, she will be able to form her own opinion and remain whole. If not, you should be truthful with her and let her decide.

Debbie - posted on 06/23/2011

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If he has not seen your daughter, or you, in 17 years then all those negative thoughts he put in that letter sounds to me like events that happened years ago that he has built upon in his mind. He never got to resolve those issues because he wasn't around. And the more he thought about it, the more chances he had to slide into his mind false thinking that later became a fact to him. Does that make any sense? I'm trying to see it from his point of view. You did mention he said he sent cards, but never did. In his mind, he thinks you hid them or told your daughter not to respond to them. Who knows what he's thinking?

I just think a lot can change in 17 years. True, your past defines who you are, but you have to give him credit for finally trying to make an effort to have a relationship with her. If you are scared about the meeting, can't you have a police officer with them or someone to oversee the meeting?

Perhaps you should sit down with your daughter, allow her to read the letter and talk to you about it. Ultimately it's her decision to meet him since it's her father, but just be honest with her about everything. Let her know, the letter is his side of the story. He may be wrong, he may be right. You can tell her your side of the story. You may be wrong or right. But let her decide and caution her about his abuse. He may have dropped that attitude years ago and softened his heart raising the other children. You can't tell because you haven't seen him in so long. Just like any new relationship, take it slowly and cautiously.

I do hope and pray it all works out in the end. It won't be easy, but life never is.

Amber - posted on 06/23/2011

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Don't give it to her. Tell her that her biological father has written a letter to her and ask her if she would like to see it. If yes, then let her have the letter and let her know that if she has questions, to come to you. If no, then chuck it in the fire and don't worry about it.

Clare - posted on 06/23/2011

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hi. i have no experience in this, but i am around the same age as your daughter, if it was me i would explain before hand what is in the letter so its not a huge shock to her, obviously this man is trying to rip up your n your daughters relationship as he presummed you would never read it before her. i think your doing the right thing in waiting until her exams are finished, shows how responsible n a great mum you are, this man obvisouly doesnt care towards his daughter as hes not botherd about how she feels. your daughter may be mad at first n maybe believe things but eventually she will realise your telling the truth, its a sad thing your going threw but it will make you stronger n prove u and your daughter can cope with it, tbh i doubt she will want to see him after reading this letter as it sounds like n angry letter n no1 would wanna meet a person writing a nasty letter. good luck

Bec - posted on 06/23/2011

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Truth finds it's way and she may want to explore whats what but you sound like a smart tunned in parent who has raised your daughter well. If she goes to check out the situation for herself in time she will know whats, what and all will be well. This is just something that has to take it's natural course unless of course there is life threatening stuff going on. Be strong

Katherine - posted on 06/23/2011

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Ok so is this letter going to ruin your daughter? I mean you shouldn't have read it, but what's done is done. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter.



She will make the right choice.

Sienna - posted on 06/23/2011

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I cannot explain to anyone how I am feeling currently, I have felt so upset and insecure. My daughter means the world to me and I fell frightened he may destroy our lives. I would have given the letter to my daughter straight away but she was in the middle of exams . I didn't want to distract her because she needs to obtain the grades for University.

Sienna - posted on 06/23/2011

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I was served the letter from a solicitor, I happened to open the door and he said 'your father has served this letter on you'. I replied 'I just saw my dad why would he do that'. The letter was not sealed, it was open. I never for once that it would be for my daughter from her father as we've had no contact for 17.5 years. In normal circumstance I have never opended her post, I respect her privacy. Apologies for not explaining the situation fully

Katherine - posted on 06/23/2011

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Jodi does have a point. You should not have opened that letter. I can see why you did, but it wasn't your place.
Now how are you going to explain that to your daughter?

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