It's actually been nine years since my daughter stopped speaking to me. She sent me a letter asking me to send no more gifts. I complied. I decided after nine birthdays that this year (the tenth) that I will send a card in care of her mother.

Let me explain. I divorced her mother 25 years ago because her mother was emotionally abusive and controlling. Many people think that only men are abusive to women, but it's not always the case. It was humiliating to have my ex-wife resent me for taking night classes to complete a degree. She constantly required me to do things that kept me from finishing school. She would pout and complain that this or that concern should have mattered to me more than finishing college. We went to family therapy. The therapist asked her why she doesn't help me keep the kids quiet during therapy. My ex-wife told her that I was the one who wanted children so I should have to deal with it. I decided at that moment that I could no longer stay in the marriage. I made a poor marital choice and now had two children I was responsible for and felt trapped and alone in my own house. After many arguments where things got out of hand I made the decision that staying with my ex-wife wasn't any better for the children than leaving. So, I left and filed for divorce. The kids were just 4 and 5 years old. I finished college and never missed a child support payment until the youngest girl was 19 years old. The girls stayed with me three days per week until the youngest was 13 years old. They commuted home after school from that day forward. That's when the estrangement began. After a couple of years, my oldest daughter lived with me from the time she was 16 and through high school. She and I have a reasonably good relationship and I love her dearly. Her sister, on the other hand, doesn't speak to me and I don't know why.

I asked her mother what is going on. Her mother replied that it's not her fault that I was a lousy Dad. I don't know what she is talking about. I'm not a perfect man but I never mistreated the girls in any way. I did argue with their mother in front of them, however. I'm not proud of it but after years of these arguments I decided that it's best I don't talk with their mother. She is abusive and mean. Eventually, I just get angry and become abusive in kind toward their mother out of frustration. So, I just don't engage with my ex-wife.

I loved having my daughters around when they were young. It hurts and it doesn't seem as if anyone cares. I know that their mother doesn't care. The daughter I have a good relationship with is also estranged from her sister. So, we are both in the same position here. I wish I knew how to get her back. I want to love her. I will send her a birthday card this year. Maybe, if I write her she will reconsider.
ohiostreetjoe ohiostreetjoe
61-65, M
Aug 19, 2014