My divorce came after my wife made it clear to me that my function was that of a sperm donor. We wanted a second child, and after having sex once (scheduled by an Excel spreadsheet for her fertility) and not falling pregnant straight away, she insisted I have my sperm checked out and wouldn’t sleep with me anymore before knowing the results. She fell pregnant soon after and it became crystal clear that she had achieved her objective and I no longer mattered.
It took a while for the real meaning of that to settle in with me, but it did eventually. It ended up, so my lawyer tells me, one of the most conflicted, protracted and expensive divorces that took place in Australia in recent times.
“Little did I know that my ex had no intention of allowing her daughters a life that included their father.”
We have two daughters, my wife’s strategy was clearly laid out; she was on a mission to inflict as much damage on me as possible, financially and by using our children for revenge. And so the divorce took five years and a quarter of a million dollars in legal fees alone. I fought hard and was awarded joint custody, my daughters would spend around a third of the year with me, at least on paper. Every additional hour with my kids I negotiated cost me tens of thousands in lawyer fees. Little did I know that my ex had no intention of allowing her daughters a life that included their father.
As soon as the court matter was finished, she employed a new strategy: In all those years I have only found one term that properly describes her; pure evil. There would be zero cooperation in anything concerning the kids. Trying to arrange holidays? No chance, she would simply not reply to my emails. Arranging regular visitation times? My emails were left unanswered for months. She would respond one day before the next calendar period started and state that she disagrees with every single day I proposed and wants everything the other way around. No reasons given. No way I could plan anything.
When the kids were handed over to me, they would be dirty, smelly, with ingrown nails, inappropriate clothing (t-shirts and sandals in winter). If I’d say anything about it, they’d be more dirty and smelly the next time around. She would say she lost the kids’ passports a few days before I wanted to go on a holiday with them. Asking for a drop-off one hour later than usual because of a special event – only possible if I get the lawyer involved. Not once, but every single time. She would make sure I couldn’t reach my kids on their birthdays and I haven’t seen or spoken to them on their special days for seven years. It became harder and harder.
“I had no idea what was coming my way.”
Things got so ugly that I came to the conclusion everything would get better if only I allow her to return to her home country of Switzerland (she said she wasn’t happy in Australia and I would block her from leaving). I would return to my native country of Germany with my new wife and our son. We would move to a city we have no friends or family, just to be close to the girls so I would be able to see them. We lived only two hours apart. I had no idea what was coming my way.
Back in Europe, my girls started turning against me so fast I couldn’t believe it. In the first few months they still visited more or less regularly. But they started cutting me out of their lives; they didn’t tell me anything about their lives. One of my daughters was almost constantly chatting with her mother on her iPhone when she was with me. If I said that I would like to spend time with her she would scream at me “stop shouting you bully.” Any question I would ask, like “how is school?” would be treated like stalking or bullying them. They grew ever more distant. The mother became even more evil.
One day, I was supposed to pick the kids up behind the Swiss/German border, I was stuck in a traffic jam at the border, literally 200 metres away from my daughters. I texted my ex to tell her about the delay and that I would be there in 15 to 20 minutes. Her response was “if you are not here in 5 minutes you won’t see the kids.”
She sent me forged dentist bills and asked me to pay. These are just examples, basically every single action of hers was aimed at destroying my relationship with my daughters.
“I was simply cast away.”
Then around three years ago one of my daughters accused me of hitting her, completely out of the blue. It was a complete fabrication. Her sister was standing next to her when that happened. I couldn’t believe it when she refused to back me. I was lucky that my wife was also in the room, so there was no doubt that it never happened. But I have never seen this daughter of mine since. I tried over and over to repair things between us, but there was simply no cooperation or any goodwill at all. I wrote to their mother about the incident; no reply, as usual.
A few weeks ago, my same daughter wrote to me “you were born on a highway, because that’s where most accidents happen” that she wished I was dead and she called me a child molester. Once again I asked her big sister to show some spine. And once again she refused to have my back. Once again I contacted their mother. No response. I couldn’t believe how evil she was.
“I have to protect myself. It became too much to bear.”
For me, these years were traumatic. Now, after having suffered almost 10 years of abuse I have made the difficult decision to cut my daughters out of my life, for now. I cannot stand the abuse anymore, I have a new wife and a son who need me and I have to protect myself. It became too much to bear.
I do not want to become depressive, I want to be a loving dad, and if they wont allow me to be that dad for them, then at least I can be a good dad for my son. The only way I can make sense of what happened is that they have been exposed to evil and raised by an evil person for so long that they have themselves become evil. I know that sounds really hard, but the way they treated me, my new wife and their own brother was so horrible that it seems the only word that properly describes their behaviour.
The ten years of aggressive parental alienation by their mother has damaged them and shaped them into becoming little clones of their mother. Full of hate and resentment, out to seek revenge for me “leaving them” without the rage ever abating, a total incapacity to reflect, to empathise, to say “sorry.” All actions dominated by spite, hate and lies. Lies everywhere about everything. They would move house without telling me where. They wouldn’t even send an email for birthdays, not even for their little brother. Presents I sent were left unacknowledged.
And so I ended up having to make this decision: I have to end my relationship with them, I cannot live a happy life with them being the way they are. Should they ever change, I am happy to accept them back, but I don’t have high hopes for that.
Where evil and malice is so entrenched over such a long time, I see little hope that these young women will ever develop the ability to empathise, to see things critically, to take a step back and reflect on what’s really gone on. I might be surprised, but for the moment all I can do is to stay sane and be there for my ‘new’ family; and I can only do that without constantly being exposed to malice, hate, abuse and manipulation.
I have loved my daughters through all of it, but being called a child molester by one and the other one refusing to step in and say a single word in my defence, it was too much for me. I have to move on, and if they can’t move on from a divorce that happened 11 years ago and for which they seem to hate me more with every day that passes, then I don’t see how I can help them.
Haters will be haters, the saying goes. At least I have removed myself, my son and my wife from the torrent of hatred, lies and malice of these people who I once called my family.
Life goes on. And who knows what the future holds.
I think it is important to draw a line, for the sake of the targeted parent’s emotional survival. I am so grateful I met my new wife and started a new family, I don’t even want to think of how things would be for me if I were alone in all of this horror.
Daniel, Dad of V and V
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9 thoughts on “When Breaking Off Contact is the Only Option”
So much of this resonates with me. The uninitiated will think it’s an exaggeration. But THIS is the exact sort of shitstorm of petty that we have to endure. I did it for ten long, long years driving thousands of miles to be met by ever increasing craziness. I could endure the stuff directed at me. But then they start on the children and I too grew too saddened by my children’s sadness and fear of her that I stepped back and let her and her vile mother collude in peace in the hope that between them they may manage to make up one decent person. Not once in all that time did any third party really help me/us. Plenty attacked me but never the mother. Incredible. I feel for you as it’s an impossible situation.
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I empathise completely. Very well written piece
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Thanks for the show of support.
To Dad in Germany – I too lived a very similar experience and made the same decision you did. What I would tell you is that there is a right way and wrong way to step away. I had professional help in writing the good-bye letter, and I walked away. With further help, I wrote a birthday letter/card to my daughter on her birthday (the only correspondence during my ‘black out time”), and after 4 1/2 years, when she turned 17, she reached out to me. We’ve had a somewhat bumpy road since then, but she’s 19, and I have mostly the same daughter I had before she “left”. In some cases, according the experts, this is the best thing you can do. Don’t consider this a loss. It’s a strategic retreat.
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