Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Am I doing the right thing?

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This topic contains 34 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by avatar ron 3 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #845812 Reply

    It’s pretty strange that your mother (R.I.P.) died and your father never petitioned for custody. Or found you when you turned 18 or some milestone like that. Are you sure this is really your dad?

    I really think you should talk to your grandmother. Look up court records, public records. Just naively believing everything you’re told doesn’t seem like the best idea. There could be valid reasons why your grandmother hates him, your mother moved and he never contacted you. Like, what if he’s a sex offender or violent criminal or something terrible? Why not see what you can discover before you take the bait?

    My brother and I handle my dad by imagining he’s just a bonus man in our life. We haven’t been able to easily forgive “I didn’t give a shit about my offspring for 25 years and here I am, so love me.”

    #845818 Reply
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    dinoceros
    Member

    I guess I don’t understand why you assume your mom and grandma had more reason to lie than him? If he lies, then you think he’s a good guy instead of a bad guy. There’s plenty of reason. I’d be more skeptical of someone I just met, TBH. I know that a lot of folks who meet a bio parent for the first time have a strong desire to find out that person wanted to see them all these years, but don’t toss out all common sense. I’d want to have some kind of proof that he actually tried to see me. He for sure could have pursued joint custody or visitation if he was a good guy who wanted to see his kid.

    Also, there are plenty of single parents who choose not to let their kid have a relationship with the other parent if the other parent is super inconsistent. Even if he wanted to see you sometimes, if he flaked out a lot or would go years without contacting her about it, there’s plenty of reason for her to decide that having no dad might be better than having one who let you down all the time. Just consider other sides than his, at least.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by avatar dinoceros.
    #845821 Reply
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    ron

    A.H. —
    You need to stop being so concerned about your grandmother learning that you have been in contact with your father. You have a very real and very strong need to learn everything she knows about him. It will be up to you to reconcile her memories with his memories. This may require some research of records on your part. Was there ever a custody agreement? If so, what did it say. What country does your father live in? What is the family law like in that country?

    #845844 Reply
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    Helen

    So he knew how to contact you but waited till you were passed the age of needing tuition to do so? Classic dead eat dad move. Why didn’t he get custody when your mom died? If you want a relationship with him fine, but don’t be so desperate for a father that you blindly believe anything he says.

    #845845 Reply
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    FYI

    Did he know that your mom died when you were 15? And STILL didn’t contact you during that time?! That’s… cold. What is his reasoning for that? A healthy, loving parent would move heaven and earth to see their child — courts, borrowing money, whatever it took.

    What reasons did he give for being absent for such a long time? Really you have to be more specific in order for people to advise you.

    #845851 Reply
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    SpaceySteph
    Participant

    You’re an adult and you do not need your grandmother’s permission to be in contact with your father. Agree with others that you should try to become an independent adult. What else about your life is she controlling?

    That said, there IS a reason why you didn’t hear from him for 16 years and there IS a reason why he got in touch now. Maybe its a good reason, but you should proceed with caution because he could indeed be a bad guy who is trying to pull something over on you. He may be biologically your father but he hasn’t been much of a father to you for many years so don’t assume just because he’s family that he is a good guy. Be careful. Meet in public places. Don’t move in with him or give him large sums of money. Get to know him first.

    #845854 Reply
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    golfer.gal

    The only caveat is, the LW lives with her grandmother. LW, are you able to move out of her house and support yourself? You say her finding out you’ve been in contact with your dad may result in her kicking you out. If you are financially dependent on her this does change the dynamic a bit. If you aren’t, I agree with the advice to tell her and start asking some questions. Either way, I think you should tread carefully with your dad. As others have said he peaced out even after your mom passed and hasn’t been a part of your life. He has a lot of reasons to try to make himself the good guy. Tread carefully, go slowly, and protect yourself. Your grandma may have lied or exaggerated. Or she may not have. I’d give her the benefit of the doubt for the time being over your father.

    #845858 Reply
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    FYI

    This has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the grandmother. Really. First and foremost, the LW needs to see what this “father” is about. You shouldn’t base a bunch of decisions on ONE meeting. You shouldn’t suddenly throw all in with someone who was AWOL for 16 crucial years.

    Find out if he’s even going to stick around for five more minutes before you spend even one ounce of energy on this. See if he demonstrates ANY reliable behavior at all before you do things like move out, etc.

    I think people advising “move out of granny’s” are off-base. It’s too soon.

    #845865 Reply
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    SpaceySteph
    Participant

    @FYI, it is never “too soon” for a grown adult to move out barring disabilities or other things like that. These two things aren’t related. She shouldn’t move out of Grandma’s house because her father is back. She DEFINITELY shouldn’t move in with her father. She should move out because she is 26 years old and shouldn’t have to ask her grandmother’s permission to associate with her father or anyone else.

    #845876 Reply
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    FYI

    I meant “too soon” as in — as a knee-jerk reaction to wanting to see a dad who has never been there for her.

    #845878 Reply
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    AH

    Wow, I really appreciate all of these responses.
    So, i had always been told that he wanted nothing to do with me. He got remarried, but didnt have any more children. His wife contacted me late last year saying he wanted to get back in contact with me. This was completely out of the blue. When I did meet him a few months ago, he said there are two sides to every story and that a lot of lies had been said. He also said it was about time he did something about not seeing me. There doesnt seem to be any apparent reason. But, I’ll definitely ask some more questions.
    My relationship with him when I was a child was all positive.
    I’m just not sure how to continue….on one hand it’s nice to have a parent, but then again as you say, I should be suspicious..

    #845880 Reply
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    Helen

    The reason he got in touch with you when he did is because you were old enough to not require much of him. He didn’t contact you your mom died because that would have required something of him, he didn’t contact you when you were a young adult because that would have required something of him. He got in touch with you now because having a relationship with a stable adult who doesn’t need his financial or emotional support is easier for him. Nevermind that you could have used his support when you were a grieving teenager. Omg. Have a relationship with him if you want but don’t go in wearing blinders. He wasn’t willing to put in the hard work to ensure you were raised right. Grandma was. He’s showing up after all the hard work has been done.

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