he doesn’t want to see his daughter

Dear Suzie, was going through a ruff patch with my hubby got to close with my boss we work nights starting going for lunch etc hubby caught us in bed then i found out i was pregnant couldnt believe it i finished with him then i started giving me a hard time at work then he got transferred to ireland for 6 months im now back at work after having my baby hes giving me a hard time swearing threating me gave him the chance to see the baby doesnt wont to hes got a boy from another relationship never seen him either what do i tell my daughter when shes older do i tell her the truth or lie what happens if he changes his mind and wonts to see her

If he changes his mind and wants to see her, it would be in your daughter’s best interests for you to say yes. It doesn’t matter how badly they behave, kids always love their parents and look up to them. They know full well half of themselves come from each parent. Tell a child their Dad or Mum is rubbish and what they will hear is “Half of you is rubbish too.” But what they will also assume is that if a parent is missing, it may be their own fault – that they weren’t good enough or lovable enough to keep them.

Lie about a missing parent, and two things may happen. Either your lie will be found out – and unless you live in a total vacuum and no-one else know anything about this it will come out sometime – and then your child will never trust you again. Or, having to keep up the story may lead to inconsistencies or confusion and your child will fill in the missing gaps with her own imagination. And that usually comes round to “Daddy left me because I’m a waste of space.” If you tell the truth at least you don’t have to fear being found out and you don’t have to remember what it is you pretended happened.

The damaging truth for her is that her Dad wasn’t mature enough to see how much he owed her to make a relationship with her. That’s sad but she needs to hear it – not that Daddy went off to Australia or died or whatever. The damaging truth for you is that you had an ill advised fling and neglected to use contraception. Are you wanting to protect her from something that might hurt her, or you? Sometimes we need to own up to mistakes – it’s not fair on children for parents to try and pretend they are perfect and never do foolish things. But the important thing to stress is that she isn’t the mistake and that even if one of her parents hasn’t taken the time to love her, the other has and that she is worthy of that.

If your ex-lover is making life hard for you it may be for several reasons. He may be a total, irresponsible bastard. But few people are so it may be that he acts this way because he feels guilty and that means that one day he may do the right thing. You could tell him the door is always open for him to have contact with his daughter and hope that one day he does. If he acts in a threatening manner at work then you need to talk with your manager or HR department or union. Whatever happened between you after hours should not come into the work place.

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