Let me tell you about my friend “Tim” who lives somewhere in Western Europe, a man whom I have known for over 20 years.
Tim was married to a beautiful lady also from somewhere else in Europe (you will see why this is important) with whom he had a baby girl.
It was a whirlwind romance that led to a wedding but unfortunately the marriage didn’t last very long. The divorce was bitter and full of anger and accusations from both sides.
Soon after the separation, before the divorce reached decree absolute status, mum flew back to her country taking their 2 year old daughter with her. Tim had not wanted this to happen but she promised that it was only for a couple of months while she sorts herself out.
They agreed that he would visit them in a couple of weeks so he can see his daughter.
This was not to happen not for at least 2 years.
The next time Tim saw his daughter she was almost 5 years old.
During those two years of absence, I saw this man being reduced to almost nothing while he fought to find out where his daughter was, where they had gone to. When he finally did find them, he flew over but it was clear that father and daughter had become strangers more him to her than the other way round.
So Tim’s commute to this other country became as frequent as possible.
To cut a very long and sad story short, the ex-wife and daughter later moved back to the same country that Tim lives in, where they had first me. And at present, he has only managed to see her 3 or 4 times in 3 years. Mum keeps moving and each move involves Tim tracking them down.
Tim is fighting his way through the courts at the moment and each time a date, time and place is fixed, mum cancels at the last minute and it takes another few months to re-arrange.
How do I know that he has not been a villain in all this? Well because he has shown me copies of reports by a court appointed psychologist where it has been reported that mum has played a huge role in “poisoning” their words not mine) their daughter’s mind against him.
There have been two meetings this year between dad and daughter. The first one, Tim endured a barrage of abuse and accusations from his daughter now 11, that he had abandoned them and that he was mean and horrible to her mother for taking her to court.
Second meeting was shrouded in total silence for the entire hour or so. His daughter did not utter one single word – but she didn’t get up and leave either – which was an option open to her.
Two things are for certain here:
Firstly, this little girl will never be able to accuse her father of not looking for her or for abandoning her. He has every single record of his searches, reports etc to show that he consistently made efforts to find her and be a dad to her.
Secondly, this little girl is growing up and at some point in her life she will realise just how much of an effort her mother made to deny her a father – something she will never thank her for.
So if you are in a situation where you are literally holding your child/ren hostage from their other parent for no good reason (except where there is abuse, violence towards them, neglect etc in which case social services should really be involved) then just take a moment and stop.
Put yourself in your child’s shoes, this is not an easy exercise but oh so very necessary.
- Will they ever, ever thank you for your actions?
- Who is benefiting from your denial for contact?
- Do you realise that you have control over them now but that is very short lived – they are growing up and they will require answers. Start preparing.
If you are not sure how to go about it all, speak with a family mediator who will be able to work with you and your ex-partner to put together a parenting plan that will work for you.
Co-parenting doesn’t come in one size, there are so very many ways that you can go about providing your child with consistent care from both of you.
If you need to sort this out urgently and allow yourself to provide your child/ren with this space to grow and heal then call me and let’s get this sorted – 07850 85 60 66.