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Divorce/Separation :
Tell the kids I say "Hello"

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 hcsv (original poster member #51813) posted at 5:17 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

I havent spoken to ex since divorce in January 2017, three adult children havent spoken to him in 4-6 years.

I told him between Dday and divorce that his relationship with his kids is his to repair or lose, that I was done being the go between with excuses for everyone.

With the most recent alimony check he writes he would like me to tell them "Hello" from him. He has done this before and I have struggled with how to handle it. While I would like the kids to know their father is at least thinking about them, it also screams that he doesnt think of them enough to reach out and tell them himself. I also know that this small gesture, depending on which child, will either make them angry or sad, and could be a rabbit hole for one of them.

A simple "thinking of you, hope you are well" would go a long way. No response necessary, take it or leave it. After all these years, it is clear he is just not capable of this.

It does make me very sad that they dont have a relationship. He has missed a wedding, birth of a grandchild he has never met, a PhD graduation, first cars, first apartments and jobs....so much.

So, do I share this message with the kids? Or stay out of it as I declared many years ago.

After 40 years, ex turned into someone I didnt know and couldnt trust anymore. Divorced. 1/17

posts: 715   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2016
id 8738755
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ArkLaMiss ( member #14918) posted at 5:29 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

NO. It is not your place to play messenger OR mediator! You told him it was his relationship to save or lose in 2017! Do you REALLY want your kids to lose sleep trying to wrestle with this lame attempt at triangulation? Say nothing to them OR him! If he wants to tell them something, then it's up to him to go directly to them and not through you. When you divorced him, you stopped doing wife things, like this, for him!

[This message edited by ArkLaMiss at 11:30 AM, June 5th (Sunday)]

Just HOW stupid do you think I am, exactly?

posts: 1741   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2007
id 8738759
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BoundaryBuilder ( member #78439) posted at 6:44 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

No. His comment reeks of self-pity. Designed to make you feel sorry for him. His sad sack routine worked. He got you thinking about him - you're seriously considering taking on the role of go-between again. His "request" (manipulation) sent you down your own small rabbit hole :-). Which IMHO was his real goal. Not to build bridges with his kids. Lame attempt at triangulation indeed! He's an adult. Your kids are adults. If he really wants to say hello to the kids he can do so himself. He knows this.

He made his choices. And continues to make his own choices. Keep up the no-contact, and don't buy into his pity party. How about setting up Venmo or deposit the checks directly into your account (or something like that) so he doesn't have the opportunity to push your buttons with unwelcome commentary? The alimony checks are apparently the one manipulation avenue still open to him! Shut that down.

[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 7:46 PM, Sunday, June 5th]

Married 32 years w/one adult daughter
ME:BW 63
HIM:WH 65
13 month texting EA with high school X who fished him on Facebook 43 years later
PA=15 days spread over final 3 months
D-Day=April 21, 2018
Reconciled

posts: 126   ·   registered: Mar. 4th, 2021
id 8738766
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 10:12 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

Your kids are adults. You H is an adult.

It is up to them to connect.

He cannot use you as his middleman. If he’s too much of a coward to contact them — that’s his problem.

And maybe your kids don’t reach out to him b/c they are not interested.

I would say you let the XH know you are not relaying messages. He should contact them if he’s interested in saying hello.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12307   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8738788
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 11:46 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

No. You're not his message girl and you both know it. If he really cared, he would reach out to them directly.

I speak as both a BS with an ex who's a crappy parent, and as the child of a man who abandoned us when we were teens. Being told decades later that "Dad wants to talk with you" didn't mean anything positive to me. He died and I did not attend his funeral. No regrets.

Remind your ex one more time that you don't pass messages, and maybe he'll stop.

posts: 454   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8738794
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WorldTraveler23 ( member #36528) posted at 1:27 AM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

If it was a genuine and heartfelt statement, I might tell them. But this is not that and there’s no point in messing with their minds over something meaningless. I’m sorry.

posts: 138   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2012
id 8738801
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 hcsv (original poster member #51813) posted at 3:52 AM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

Thank you all, I know you are all right. The one point I hadnt realized until it was mentioned in your replies is that it is continued manipulation and self pity and yes, I let it take me down my own rabbit hole.

Now to climb out of that rabbit hole and fill it in. There wont be a next time.

After 40 years, ex turned into someone I didnt know and couldnt trust anymore. Divorced. 1/17

posts: 715   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2016
id 8738812
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twicefooled ( member #42976) posted at 3:53 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

((((hugs))))

My ex tried playing that game too - it really was a game, because he wasn't actually seeing or speaking to our kiddos. He also doesn't support them, but he would text me "tell the kids i'm thinking of them" instead of texting the actual children on their own phones at their own number.

They want us to do it, so that they can claim it's our fault their relationships with the kids suck, because we couldn't even be bothered to tell the kids their other parent was thinking of them look

But I refuse to play that game and upset the children by telling them their deadbeat dad is thinking of them.....because if they can't walk the walk, I'm not helping them to talk the talk.

May 29 2021 ***reclaimed myself and decided to delete my story with my ex because I'm now 7 years free from him and mentally healthier than I've been in years.

*********When you know better, you can do better*************

posts: 471   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2014
id 8738851
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 hcsv (original poster member #51813) posted at 4:54 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

want us to do it, so that they can claim it's our fault their relationships with the kids suck, because we couldn't even be bothered to tell the kids their other parent was thinking of them

It is this!!!!!!

[This message edited by hcsv at 4:55 PM, Monday, June 6th]

After 40 years, ex turned into someone I didnt know and couldnt trust anymore. Divorced. 1/17

posts: 715   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2016
id 8738859
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 8:28 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

if they can't walk the walk, I'm not helping them to talk the talk

Amen.

posts: 454   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8738914
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CuriousObserver ( member #78743) posted at 10:11 PM on Tuesday, June 7th, 2022

"I don't work for you anymore."

Listen to their words but believe their actions.
The power of a lie is that it is believed to be truth.

posts: 170   ·   registered: May. 3rd, 2021   ·   location: USA
id 8739092
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 hcsv (original poster member #51813) posted at 11:17 PM on Tuesday, June 7th, 2022

Isn't that the truth, Curiousobserver!

After 40 years, ex turned into someone I didnt know and couldnt trust anymore. Divorced. 1/17

posts: 715   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2016
id 8739101
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ZenMumWalking ( member #25341) posted at 10:53 PM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

nope, he fired you from that job. And - his relationship with his children is on HIM.

Me (BS), Him (WH): late-50's
3 DS: 26, 25, 22
M: 30+ (19 1/2 at Dday)
Dday: Dec 2008
Wanted R, not gonna happen
Used to be DeadMumWalking, doing better now

posts: 8445   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2009   ·   location: EU
id 8739428
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CoderMom ( member #66033) posted at 3:41 AM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

They are adults. They can also reach out to him as well as him try to contact them. If you start to be a go between, it enables his behavior, but at the same time, I would not want to be one of the kids who found out that he said hello and you kept it from them either. Tough call.

posts: 299   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2018
id 8742829
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HalfTime2017 ( member #64366) posted at 9:48 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

Agreed with the others. I wouldn't even bother responding to him he needs to do it on his own. He's an adult, and if he hasnt learned that yet, too fckin bad.

Your exH will one day regret his misplaced priorities. He's probably already realized that by now, but not man enough to handle it like a man. When he lays dying in his bed alone, with no wife or kids by his side, it will be too fckin late.

And if you look at it, its still all about him isn't it? A selfish asshole, who walked out on his family. Good riddance. Don't let his words work you up anymore HCSV

posts: 1345   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2018   ·   location: Cali
id 8743072
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 4:08 AM on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

Like some said, sounds like he's starting to have late-life regrets.

Assuming he has his kid's current contact info, it's a ploy of some kind to triangulate you into his fantasy relationship with them.

How about replying "tell them yourself?" Then you will have closed that door. I think if you just ignore it, he'll assume you told them "hi from your father" and when he gets no response from them, he'll conclude they blew him off. Which isn't accurate. But I'm probably over-analyzing.

posts: 1482   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8743122
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 11:05 AM on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

This falls under that category of "no effort disguised as effort" that many selfish, entitled people use:

"Call me!" But they never call you.

"Let's get together soon." But when you try, they are always busy.

"You plan something. You're better at that stuff than me." Thanks?

"I haven't heard from you." Well, I never hear from you.

"I have been meaning to call!" But you never do.

"I've been thinking about you." You are saying that is as good as actually reaching out?

"Call me next time you are in town." Because I always have to go to you.

I have learned to measure people by their actual effort, not their useless platitudes. (Not sure that's the word I want.)

Actions, never words.
Your ex's actions? Not there, of course. Sorry.

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5604   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8743141
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 4:43 PM on Friday, July 8th, 2022

If he was genuinely sorry and sad, and truly wanted to reconnect with his children, he would be willing to risk being ignored or outright rejected by reaching out to them himself.

Furthermore, I actually think you were the intended audience for the "tell the kids I said hello" message. He is trying to elicit your pity and put his emotional baggage on your shoulders.

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 842   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8743891
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 hcsv (original poster member #51813) posted at 9:00 PM on Friday, July 8th, 2022

Thank you all for the comments. all very appreciated. I have chosen not to relay the message, but certainly wish he would do it himself. To me, this message screams, I am still the victim, poor me.

Codermom, you are right, they can reach out as well. When Exs father passed away, the kids were upset their dad did not call them. I told the kids that their dad just lost his father, and they didnt call him either.

[This message edited by hcsv at 9:01 PM, Friday, July 8th]

After 40 years, ex turned into someone I didnt know and couldnt trust anymore. Divorced. 1/17

posts: 715   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2016
id 8743933
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EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 2:47 PM on Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

Off topic....have you considered switching to direct deposit for alimony? This would help eliminate any little notes or just having to see his handwriting in your mailbox.

posts: 6751   ·   registered: May. 31st, 2009   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8744516
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