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SD has cut us out of her life...what to do?!

Posted by on Jul. 25, 2013 at 8:06 AM
  • 15 Replies
My DH and I have been married for 7 years now. I am the SM to two wonderful girls 16 and 14. We also have two daughters together 5 and 6. SD, 16, has always lived with us, her mother not having any contact up until this February. SD,14, lives with BM and visited us weekly for 2 nights and 3 days. DH has always paid CS, and awesome insurance. We've always picked SD up from BM's when it was our visit and took her back when our visit was over (she lives on other side of county). We've always attended ball games, adjusted visitation schedule if need be for sleepovers, games, vacations (we plan ours around visitation days) We've always tried to be very flexible and supportive for the happiness of SD. She's 14 now and started out dodging texts and calls from DH to see when she was coming for the week (here lately it was changing weekly because she always had something come up). DH finally got really worried and called BM to see what was going on. She basically told him that SD was old enough to come over if she wanted and if she didn't want to she didn't have to. That any contact was a choice on SD's part. DH told BM he just wanted to see her, that was disrespecting. BM then stated that SD was just a child and he was an adult. SD won't take our calls or even text is back. DH texts weekly to let her know he loves her and just wants to see her whenever is good for her, that he'd like to know what's wrong so we can fix it as a family. What should we do?! We can't afford court. I'm so upset with BM and SD both. My DH is so hurt, and our other 3 DDs just want to see their sister (she won't text or contact SD,16 either). Any suggestions would be most helpful.
by on Jul. 25, 2013 at 8:06 AM
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by Bronze Member on Jul. 25, 2013 at 8:37 AM
If I was Dad I get in my car and go there with no warning and stay until I got one on one time with that 14 year old. She would have to tell me exactly what was going on and I would teach her to be in communication and share her actual reality with me. I'd teach her that dropping out of communication is unacceptable behavior in a primary relationship when communication can and would create an ease between her and whomever she does this to.

She could feel guilty and bad for not wanting to come visit anymore and no one seems to be teaching her to express her desires in a way that creates freedom.

A severe drop off in communication should never be encouraged. Shame on this mother for not encouraging her daughter to use her own voice and allowing her to just drop off as if that's even a remotely acceptable way to handle loving family members.
Mom is setting her up to be an emotional retard in relationships in general. Sometimes I can't believe what parents allow their children to do. It literally blow my mind.

It's okay for a 14 year old to not want to visit so much anymore-they have their own life in their town. But it's not okay to drop out completely. Someone needs to take a stand for this child's ability to use her own voice and be a responsible communicator. She's plenty old to be on the phone with dad herself.
by Bronze Member on Jul. 25, 2013 at 10:36 AM

She's a teenager.  This is pretty normal.  

He needs to drive over and pick her up.  He needs to set some boundaries.  Keep going to softball, etc.  Go to school events.  Make things happen.  

by Gold Member on Jul. 25, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Is there CO'd visitation?

BM was right on one thing:  SD is a child and your DH the adult.  It seems to me that interpretation of that is the problem.  As an adult - and as a parent - your DH is the one who gets to make the rules.  But what you're describing is SD in the driver's seat.  That's backward.  If he wants to see her, he needs to quit pleading like a scorned little girl and go pick her up.  She doesn't have to like the decision; she's a kid. 

That aside, what changed?  Did she get in trouble at your house?  Is there a huge discrepancy in freedoms?  Is there a boy at BM's?  There's a reason she decided not to visit any longer.

by on Jul. 25, 2013 at 12:33 PM
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I agree with this. I would not be in this situation because I would not let my child decide not to come to my house.

Quoting Derdriu:

But what you're describing is SD in the driver's seat.  That's backward.  If he wants to see her, he needs to quit pleading like a scorned little girl and go pick her up.  

by Platinum Member on Jul. 25, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Minus the background, this is the scenario between ODS15 and BF.  It began because of ODS's EC.  BF chose not to participate (SM said no) so ODS was left with me as I took him to his EC all the time (I'd be there even if BF took him when he was supposed to).  It has grown into ODS only going to BFs home maybe 8 times a year (supposed to be one overnight a week) and rarely if ever seeing him longer than BF picking him up from school (during the school year, obviously) and dropping him at my home (he has his computer/internet here for homework, whereas it's next to impossible to do it at xMILs where BF has the kids his other day (no overnight) of the week). 

A while ago BF called me to get me to 'force' ODS to go with him on his one overnight a week.  I refused.  I didn't feel it was my place to 'force' the issue.  I wasn't the one who'd told ODS he didn't have to go and I wasn't the one who refused to take him where he needed to go (travel sport, lots of commitment, BF knows this and has encouraged it all along but it's his choice NOT to attend on his days with the boys too) so I wasn't going to 'force' anything with ODS where BF was concerned.  I do tell ODS, in front of BF as well as when we're alone, my thoughts on the matter, but whether BF steps up to make the 'adult' decision here or not is up to BF, not ODS, who, at 15, is behaving like a 15 year old.  (I see similar behaviors in his friends as well, not wanting to spend time with the family (even in intact families) but to just be with their friends.  I was the same way as a teen.  Sometimes I got to, sometimes I 'had' to spend time with my family, because the ADULT said so). 

ODS15 didn't want to go on our summer trip this year, he begged and pleaded to be allowed to stay home, with his friends.  I laughed and said 'over my dead body son'... Did he enjoy himself?  Sometimes.  Did he go and participate?  yes.  I didn't let him tell me (the adult) what he was going to do.  Yes, he decides often at home, but this was not negotiable.  And he survived.  BF in my situation is too afraid (IMO) of ODS not 'liking' him so he doesn't say no to him when he could.  That's BFs choice, IMO, and I won't fight that battle.  BF and ODS are building their own relationship, whatever that may be.  BF isn't helping me build my relatinoship with ODS, that's on me. 

My suggestion to OP is for BF to stop asking his DD14 when she'll be coming but to tell her when she'll be coming to his home, and not leave it open for discussion.  He can (and I think it'd be helpful to him in the long run) remain flexible during the summer with allowing her to stay with friends or whatever (it's important to teens this age and for the next few years), and he could even offer to bring her and a friend to your place for the weekend too if he wanted, but there should be times he simply says 'I'll be there at 6 to pick you up' then he's there at 6 and he takes her as it's her time with him.  If he's going to wait for her to see the 'error of her ways', he'll be waiting a while... teens are self-centered by nature, and that's all I'm seeing here.  This isn't BMs fight, this is on BF IMO.  BM could 'help' by encouraging DD14 to go, but it's not her place to force the visits if BF won't do that much on his own. 

by on Jul. 25, 2013 at 2:04 PM
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 DH needs to go see his child. She is a child and can't tell him when she is coming over for visitation. And shame on bm for allowing and encouraging this behavior to happen. 

I hope he decides to drive over there and get her. It will send a very clear message that DH values his family and SD is not calling the shots. Good luck.

by on Jul. 25, 2013 at 3:20 PM
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I agree with other posters.  DH needs to go over & pick up his daughter not just lament that she doesn't WANT to come over.  She's a teenager & thus is not the one to make the arrangements.

by Bronze Member on Jul. 25, 2013 at 3:55 PM

She's 14.... she is very busy, with you know, friends and stuff.... 14 is a hard age. Give her time and just let her know that all of you are there. GL

by Member on Jul. 25, 2013 at 4:07 PM
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My DH did not let SD attend sleep overs during his time when she was young.   She could go to partial day events (and we would take her), but he would not allow her to miss half of his weekend.    SD and BM did not like it, but it set the precedent for when SD was older to know that coming over was not an option.   Kids at that age can potentially have something every single weekend.   If you want them to learn that family comes first, then you have to make sure you keep the routine of the CO. 

I agree with the others that during his next scheduled visit just leave BM and SD a message that he will be there to pick her up... end of story.   Show up and bring her back.   The more that she is away, the more she is festering on something that could be negative.   Being the only one that comes and goes from your house, she likely feels a little left out... added separation will only make this worse.

by Silver Member on Jul. 25, 2013 at 4:20 PM
We are currently going through something like this right now. The only difference is that DH is LD. I agree that if there is a CO in place to enforce visitation, use it. Do not let SD "choose" to NOT come, but be flexible if something comes up that cannot be scheduled for another time. I like that your DH continues to remind his daughter that he still loves her and always wants to see her. If he cannot get visitation to be enforced, he can file contempt without a lawyer.
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