WIBU, a long time ago but now I worry about it (absent father thread)

(54 Posts)

To cut a verylong story short--er--, there are bits of this that I am not proud of and don't need anyone to make me feel any more guilty than I already do. When I was young I had an affair with a married man, I knew he was married and make no excuses for myself at all. It didn't last long and we seperated. I then found out that I was pregnant (I am against abortion for ME, so it wasn't an option). I told him and he was shock. My parents threw me out and I was housed in temporary accommodation. (Not complaining, trying to give a picture). I then found out that ExP (easiest way to describe him) wife was also expecting a baby. He showed very little interest in my pregnancy. When my DS was born he came into the hospital to visit. He brought him a cuddly rabbit and a second hand car seat. He visited several times that week. When we were discharged (after a week), my DS was referred for a kidney scan at 15 do. My ExP rang to see how the scan had gone, obviously no results yet. We talked about "access" and "contact" and ExP said (something along the lines of) "I'll drop in when I can". I replied that that wasn't good enough, I wanted him to commit to seeing my DS on a regular basis, I didn't want any money off him, I could arrange for a neutral person to liase with the contact (as I guessed that ExP's wife wouldn't be happy for us to spend time together - justifiably so), I was happy for him to see DS as often as he liked but it had to be a regular commitment, several times a week, once a week/ fortnight/ month or even 2 months but if he couldn't commit to at least once every 2 months then I felt it was better if he walked away as I didn't my DS growing up not knowing where he was. We never heard from him again. My question is not about my wisdom stupidity in having the affair, but WIBU to insist that he made a commitment to seeing my DS on a regular basis? I feel like I was wrong, as I have deprived my son of his father, although my DH has been a "real father" to him all his life and adopted him as soon as he could.

Less importantly, I gave the cuddly toy rabbit to a charity (with a huge pile of other cuddly toys) and have felt guilty about it ever since, as it was the only gift he ever gave my DS.

BearsInMotion Sun 28-Jul-13 06:44:37

This sounds very similar to my DSis. I understand that you would like him to know his real father, but I do wonder what it would have added to DS's life. DNephew sees his dad whenever his dad makes the effort, once not for 3 years! DSis finds it very hard, especially making sure DN knows it doesn't reflect on him if he doesn't see his dad for months on end. She often says she wishes she'd cut off contact before DNephew understood what was going on sad

Thanks Bears. I'm not sure what I think my ExP would have added to his life really. I also worry about the fact that DS has missed out on 3 siblings that he doesn't even know exist (he doesn't want to know anything about his "father" or his family, or the circumstances, just not interested, thank you)

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 28-Jul-13 06:55:26

Does it really matter if you did?

On the great scale of life all that happened was he chose to walk away more than likely to avoid telling his wife,if your the type whose going to do that so easily then it would have happened anyway and sooner is often better than later.

Just be honest when your dc asks that's all you can do.

MammaTJ Sun 28-Jul-13 06:56:59

You have not deprived your son of anything. His dad has.

You have protected him from a lot of hurt and heartbreak, you are a good mum.

Sockreturningpixie His wife knew blush. The hurt I caused her is the only big regret of my life. I could never regret having my DS, but I wish I could have done so without hurting her. sad

yanbu about access at all. I don't get anyone who won't put a regular 5mins aside once every 2mt for their kids if there's nothing physically stopping that happening. it wouldn't have been fair on your ds to have not known when or even if his dad was coming again.

WaitMonkey Sun 28-Jul-13 08:38:02

How old is your ds now ? It doesn't sound like he has missed out on anything. He has a loving father, who may not be his biological parent, but has chosen to make a commitment and love him.

waitmonkey he's 20 now shock

ImagineJL Sun 28-Jul-13 08:43:12

Don't beat yourself up over the effect this may or may not have had on your son. There is no way of knowing which option would have the best outcome. A father who visits but has to be nagged to do so is not necessarily an asset. My Dad was like that, and I think my brother suffered more than he would have done if my father had never been around. Being rejected by someone who never actually knew you is not as painful, in my opinion, as being neglected by someone who knows you but clearly doesn't value you enough to bother too much.

How old is your son?

ImagineJL Sun 28-Jul-13 08:44:23

Crossed post. Does he know the full story?

ImagineJL still 20! grin

Another crossed post! grin
No, he doesn't want to know anything at all. He knows I'll tell him and that I can find his father any time he wants me to. he also knows that neither me nor his dad would mind.

2rebecca Sun 28-Jul-13 08:46:33

He could have ignored your comments and kept in touch. If someone laid down conditions on me seeing my kids I'd just ignore them.
It wasn't up to you to decide what sort of relationship he had with his son.
Throwing away the rabbit was mean if you never told your son it was a gift from his dad.
Now your son is 20 he can contact his father if he wishes, I presume he knows what you have told us here.
It doesn't sound as though this guy would have added alot to his life but it sounds as though you did get too restrictive too early and not give things time to see what sort of a father he'd be, but now realise this.
I'd leave it up to your son now.

WaitMonkey Sun 28-Jul-13 08:48:33

You haven't let your son down or deprived him of a father. His father made that choice and deprived himself of 20 years with a wonderful son. He may well have great regrets about this himself, but that's not your worry. If your son is happy, thats all that matters and he has a father in your dh who obviously loves him. Sometimes biology isn't important.

WeAreEternal Sun 28-Jul-13 08:48:45

YWDNBU. You did the best you could for your DS in a difficult situation.
If your EXP wanted a relationship with your DS he would have tried to have one, it sounds like he walked away with great ease, basically taking the first opportunity that you gave him to do one, I have no doubt that your DS would not have benefitted from having someone like that in his life.

2rebecca it wasn't a deliberately spiteful move to "throw away" the rabbit. It was gifty type one from a card shop, not suitable for children under 3 job (still nice) but it was in a cupboard with about 50 other cuddly toys that my DS had never played with, I was asked if I had any for a Romanian charity that gives good quality cuddly toys to children in orphanages, and just bagged them all up, I never gave it a thought until later. I agree, that I should probably have kept it in a safe place blush

SleepyFish Sun 28-Jul-13 08:57:56

Your post touched a nerve with me OP. My ds has an absent father, he behaved like an idiot during the pregnancy, wouldn't find out his blood group amongst other things. This led to us dropping contact with each other when I was around 6 months pregnant. By the time I went into labour he felt like a stranger to me so I didn't contact him as it would have been stressful having him there.
Five years later he's never met his son and I often think if he'd been at the birth things may have turned out very differently and he would be in his life.
However in reality these men could choose to be a father to their kids if they wanted to and they alone are responsible for their absence.

Asking him for some sort of regular commitment was not unreasonable at all, children need stability. I would expect the same from ds's dad should he ever decide he wanted to see him.
I do understand the guilt but ultimately no one is responsible for these men's actions other than themselves.

ImagineJL Sun 28-Jul-13 08:59:40

Actually I think it was better to give the rabbit away. It wasn't a huge significant gift, representing a loving relationship now lost. It was probably something he grabbed without thinking in the hospital shop, feeling obliged to bring something. If anything, it was indicative of his lack of interest in his son, and therefore has bad significance, and is probably better being enjoyed by another child.

MissStrawberry Sun 28-Jul-13 09:00:59

Your ex chose to do what was easiest for him, not what might have been best for his son.

rainbowfeet Sun 28-Jul-13 09:02:57

Just like most of us who have had to make such decisions on behalf of our children, you did what you thought was best at that time. No malice just what you felt would be emotionally kinder for you & your dc.

You have no reason to feel guilty, I'm sure your dc didn't miss out on anything & having a 'dad' pop in & out of his life might have been more harmful, plus if bio dad was any sort of decent guy he'd have fought for access. smile

2rebecca Sun 28-Jul-13 09:05:17

What did it matter what his blood group was? Most fathers don't have their blood group checked if their wives are pregnant, it's the mother's group that's important and she is monitored for antibodies if rhesus negative. I'm surprised the hospital wanted him to have it checked, my ex never got his done and it was never asked for. Most men have no idea what blood group they are unless they are blood donors.
My husband knows as he is a donor and also has it on a chain when he's cycling in case he's injured and needs an emergency transfusion. He didn't know what blood group he was when he had kids as he wasn't a blood donor then.

2rebecca I'm sure my DH knows what his blood type is, as he is a regular blood donor, but hand on heart I have absolutely no idea what my own, my DH's or even my DCs are. Is that normal?? [paranoid emoticon]

SleepyFish Sun 28-Jul-13 09:12:11

I don't know but the hospital requested it. I have a rare blood group and had a high risk pregnancy. It was really just one example of his twattish behaviour.

Clawdy Sun 28-Jul-13 09:16:55

I think I would have kept the rabbit.

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