I divorced years ago when my son and daughter were toddlers. My ex was an alcoholic, frequently unfaithful, and gave me an STD.
Initially, he wouldn’t see the children and refused to pay child support.
The children and I had family counseling on and off over the years to deal with their insecurities about their father, who refused to attend.
When they were entering their teens, he wanted to see them, which I encouraged.
However, my daughter, then 11, complained that my ex's girlfriend was mean to her and that he didn't spend much time with her.
My son, now 24, didn't have these same issues and is remarkably well adjusted.
When my daughter was 13, I discovered that she was communicating inappropriately online with a 20-year-old male (“X”). I contacted the police who confiscated his computers.
My relationship with my daughter became very strained. She ran away several times.
She spoke and behaved outrageously to worry me. I asked my ex to talk to her.
I later learned that he’d told both children lies about our break-up such as that I’d cheated, gave him STD's, and had a late-term abortion.
At 18, my daughter began dating “X”, then 25, with whom she’d communicated at 13.
Once she moved in with him, she wouldn't return my calls or agree to see me for months.
Until she called me, hysterical. He’d beaten her. I drove her to the hospital and contacted the police. He was charged and served three months in jail with a term of probation.
My daughter then had several physically abusive boyfriends. I arranged counseling for her, but each time she’d not show up.
She’s now 22, moved back to my place at Christmas, but hardly stayed home. She did nothing I’d said was required - working part-time, paying $200 monthly rent, and registering to get her high school diploma (she dropped out in Grade 9).
When I emailed that she’d have to move out, she came home with “X,” saying she was pregnant. (He had another child with someone else a year ago, whom he didn't see nor support.)
The next day she posted on my Facebook wall that I was a terrible mother who’d kicked her out because she was pregnant and that I will never see the child.
I want to be a part of my grandchild's life but I don't believe I can ever accept this man who has no job but supports a prescription drug habit.
I feel that my daughter will use the child to manipulate me to get what she wants.
I feel she needs to do this on her own and that she'll never learn as long as I'm around to make things easier.
She’s since moved out of town and refused to let me know where.
I had a heart attack five years ago and am supposed to avoid stress.
Feeling Guilty, Sad, and Worried
Protect your own health and well-being. The child will need you.
Your daughter is past anyone saving her but herself, and that’s not a certain likelihood.
But you may have to seek custody of your grandchild one day. So keep reaching out, saying the door’s open to hearing from your daughter, and show interest in the baby.
You may have to “lend” her some money to buy baby needs.
When you’re “needed” again, assess the situation regarding the child’s welfare and talk to children’s services authorities if you feel the child’s at risk.
My husband and I had counselling to try to end the coldness and fighting between us. The counselor said what each of us needed to do.
I tried very hard – I cut our expenses and I listened more to what he was feeling.
But he’s made no changes at all, and still blames me for any problems we have.
What happens after counselling if he thinks there’s nothing he has to do to keep us together? We have three children.
Think through what you believe you can handle, or not, if things remains static. Then get back to the counselor on your own.
Your husband’s sending you the message that the next move is yours.
The counselor will help you to follow through on your own conclusions. Either accept the man as he is, or know that the effort you made isn’t enough to sustain the marriage if he does nothing different.
Tip of the day:
A “lost” adult child may be irretrievable, but there’s always hope for a baby’s future.