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How can I repair my relationship with my daughter


toyo03
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My 16 year old daughter has lived with her mom all her life except for the one year after she was born she lived twenty minutes away. I visited once every other day for an hour or so before going to school, I was attending college at the time.

 

She was a little more than a year old when they left, my ex had been in a relationship not long after we broke up and decided to move with this guy back to the mainland. I live in Hawaii.

 

Over the years I sent gifts and money and yet it didn't seem like enough. Never got any Happy Birthday wishes or Happy Fathers day, and hardly any Merry Christmas or Happy New Years wishes as either. So sometimes I just didn't bother to send anything.

 

Over the years they came to visit once every three or four years. The first time they came she was five or six and I was asked to play uncle since my daughter didn't know I was her dad. Reluctantly I did, only chance of seeing her.

 

Then they came three or four years later and prior to their coming I get an email from my ex telling me that she was going through a divorce and that she finally told our daughter I was her dad. My daughter was nine at the time. So when they came I noticed that my daughter had been sizing me up, ever so closely looking at me and turning away when I happened to look in her direction. It seemed cute. We spent what time we had, although I forgot to mention that my ex had another child from this last relationship. So I spent time together with both of them, my daughter and her brother.

 

Another three or so years later they visit again and I realized that I was notified about their being here a day prior to their leaving if not the day they were leaving and noticed that that is how it was everytime they came. But I didn't let it bother me, as long as I was able to spend a little time with her was good enough for me.

 

Just last year they came to visit, she's 16 now and we had the greatest time ever. We learned about each other in ways that just blew us away like how we walk alike, how we seem to think along the same lines and not to forget we even share many of the same features, eyes, lips, mouth, nose etc.

 

When they left we said our goodbyes and we kept in touch for little over a month now. I could feel I was suffocating her with my constant emails so I held back my responses to her a little but would write out drafts about how I was feeling at times and how much I missed her and would rather spend time with her than with the friends that I was hanging out with and I would save them in a folder I created with her name on it.

 

At the time they left I gave her my email address and the password to get inside in any case something happens to me. A dire mistake I realized I made in doing this because apparently she went in and did read some of the drafts I kept on the side and from reading it she felt suffocated.

 

Her mom sent me an email about some stuff and I responded to it with some of my own thoughts about what I thought. I sent a copy of that email to my daughter to help give her an idea of what her mom might be going through in the event she gets upset for no apparent reason.

 

My daughter writes me back which I realized her disapproval of what I wrote to her mom. With some added comments about how I shouldn't focus too much on what I can't have which is her being here because she can't be here.

I felt hurt when she wrote that and my thoughts were that she just didn't want to have anything to do with me.

 

So as a "draft" only I wrote down my thoughts in an email to myself which referenced to how I felt inadequate as a father and didn't feel I was was good enough for her and that maybe she should forget about me and move on with her life without me.

 

When I wrote this I forgot that I had given her the password to my email account. Then the next thing I realized began a snowball effect that has been devastating me for the past couple of days. She emailed me saying how pissed off she is because of what I wrote. Asking me how I could think of wanting to give up because of what she wrote let alone a comment a friend made to me about how she should have given up on me a long time ago.

 

I wrote her and explained that what she read was just what I was feeling at the time and nothing more. She explained that the only father figure she had growing up had left her feeling abandoned and now with me she feels frustrated and scared.

 

I can understand a little what she is saying, but how do I convice her that I will not abandon her? I love her too much to want to do something like that. I have been wondering if there is anyone out there who have had a similar experience like this? I am sure there must be one? I have been also wondering, isn't there a time during any parents time that maybe there have been a thought of wanting to just give up and throw in the towel? Not so much to give up on life but just wanting to quit being a parent?

 

I am sure there are a lot of people out there who have left their kids, either one of the parents leaving without a word and just disappear for good or maybe due to an affair or divorce. Or simply one or the other if not both parents died.

 

I love my daughter so much, more than words could say. I just feel at a lost because I feel like I am losing her because of this issue that came up. Not sure what to do now?

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My 16 year old daughter has lived with her mom all her life except for the one year after she was born she lived twenty minutes away. I visited once every other day for an hour or so before going to school, I was attending college at the time.

 

How old are you?

 

Over the years I sent gifts and money and yet it didn't seem like enough. Never got any Happy Birthday wishes or Happy Fathers day, and hardly any Merry Christmas or Happy New Years wishes as either. So sometimes I just didn't bother to send anything.

Sure it's hurtful when you don't get anything from her, but retaliating on that to not send her something is acting like a child when you're the parent. Lame excuse to stop sending stuff.

 

How about you show some effort! Your words are useless to her. Out of 16 years where is YOUR visit to go see her?

 

How about CALL her, tell her your mistakes, regret, and promises that you entail to make.

 

How about ensure that you will take things slow and not bombard her with fatherlyness, since she hasn't had much of one in 16 years.

 

How about make more effort, and emailing how much you love her so much she thinks it's pathetic doesn't count.

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Communicate. Call her. Let her hear your voice, your intonations. You will be able to express yourself so much clearer.

 

Send a random card, for no reason. Take a pic of you with some nice scenery, mail it to her.

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At 16 the only way she'll like you more is if you get her a car, that isn't happening lol. Parents are always competing when they are divorced for their childs love somehow. Right now she is a teenager, she wants to go hang out with her friends etc. The best you can do is just be there if she needs someone to talk to and the occasional how are you doing? Maybe set up a time you could conversate on the phone, not e-mail. She has friends, homework, boys on her mind etc. Other than that I think it'll be after she graduates, maybe when she is 20 that she finally will want to have a stronger bond with you. Everyone is different, but for the most part, its her high school years.

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