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Does it even matter?

forgive me if this is a bit strange. I would like some unbiased opinions on a situation I'm dealing with. Quick back story: I am the product of an affair from 1986 and as such did not have my father around all that much. He kind of came and went as he pleased. When I was 15 he finally told his wife about me and his indiscretions with my mother. He told me he would make an effort to be In my life more. This unfortunately did not happen because his wife couldn't handle the heartache that was my presence. So, he split... Again. I am 28 years old and since then have talked to him 3 or so times and seen him once (all in secret of course) which is why it's been more than 4 years since our last contact. I am not down with all the secrecy now that I am an adult. Here is the dilemma: I am happily married with an amazing 1 year old boy. I know that a relationship between my father and I will not happen. I have more or less accepted this. But I know he would enjoy seeing a picture and a short note about his grandson. I do not necessarily want or need him in his life but I just feel like he should know about my son. On the other hand, I think to myself "if you know it will never be a meaningful relationship then what would be the point?" It's probably those pesky abandonment issues creeping up on me again but I'm curious as to what an outsider would suggest. Any opinion is helpful. Don't be shy... But please also, don't be hateful.

Re: Does it even matter?

  • Honestly, I wouldn't let him get a short note or picture of the son. A man who slips in and out of a daughter's life and talks to her secretly doesn't get  the pride of a grandson.Even if his wife was upset, there was no reason to split out on you. When things are done in secrecy there is usually a negative connotation attached to it and that is unfortunately the position your father put you in and that is wrong.
  • I would not give him anything. 

    He was a cheater, who did not support his child and could not take the heat for HIS choices (i.e. do not blame the wife for being upset that her husband not only had an affair but kept it and you hidden for years). 

    What exactly will handing over a picture of your child DO FOR YOUR CHILD?  Because it is not going to give him a grandfather.  But your father get's to have a grandson.

    Why reward your father that way?
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper

    If he had next to no interest in his child, why do you assume he really cares about a grandchild?  Honest question.  Or is that what you're hoping?  That you didn't have a relationship with him, but now that you have a child, he'll suddenly care and be interested? 

    I'm w/ Fleur here.  I don't really see how he's deserved the honor of being a grandfather to your son. 

  • I appreciate the input. It is definitely something I have struggled with my whole life. I don't necessarily want my son around him because he is such a selfish person and doesn't have the values I want to teach, but I didn't know if it was the right thing to do just to let him know about my son. I feel better about my decision so far not telling him. Thank you all!
  • He is part of a bloodline that includes a grandchild but that does not qualify him as a grandfather.

    It's kind of like that same line of thinking that goes "any man can father a child but not every man can be a father."

    I woldn't send him anything either.
  • I'm just a lurker but I wanted to give my two cents. Sorry it's long!6

    My father was married to my mom when they had me but he quickly started cheating on her and she left him. He ended up marrying the lady whom he cheated with and she knew he had a daughter.

    He always kept me a secret and would never come around. He would take me gifts for Christmas and my birthday but we never had a real relationship. After he and his wife divorced he tried coming around but I was already old enough to understand what had happened.

    I've tried keeping in touch and keeping him around because I thought he had changed and that he would start coming around. He hasn't.

    He only comes around when there is a party or something like that. Since I had my daughter I thought he would definitely want to see her and spend time with her. He doesn't. She doesn't recognize him and when he's around her he doesn't try to be with her.

    I tried being the bigger person and keeping him around but honestly, it's not worth it. They will never change, it really isn't worth trying! My mom's husband is a better grandfather to my daughter than my dad will ever be.

    Stay strong :)
  • If you barely know this man, how do you "know" he would like a photo and note about his grandson?  
    If I were in your shoes, I would put him on my holiday card list and leave it at that.  He can get the same photo of your son that everyone else gets.  

    If at some point you run into him and you are with your son, I would think long and hard about having your son refer to him as "grandpa."  Maybe by his first name or "Mr. Bob" or something.  My husband was estranged from his dad, and my children did ask why they never saw daddy's dad.  (Fortunately, we were able to say he was sick  - dementia and wouldn't know them anyway).  Kids do figure out at an early age that their friends have grandparents who spoil them, take them to the park, attend their ballgames etc. and your child could have the same abandonment issues you went through if you give your dad the title of "grandpa." 
    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • I feel like you deserve so much more than being kept a secret.  And, so does your son.  I think that you are setting yourself up for disappointment if you send him the picture & note and then you don't hear back from him.  You may say that you don't care, but I am not sure that you could honestly not care.  I think that it is best for you to not reach out to him.  If you have come to terms with not having a relationship with him, just leave it as it is.

    Be the change you want to see in the world!

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