DEAR DEIDRE: IT feels like my 14-year-old daughter has forgotten that I’m her dad.
I’m 43 and had been seeing a woman, who’s now 42, for 15 years. I ended it two years ago because we’d grown apart and were arguing a lot.
We had a daughter together and I like to think I was a good dad to her.
I played with her, took her to the park, showed an interest in her life and always told her I loved her. Everybody said she was a “daddy’s girl”.
Things got more difficult when she became a teenager but we were still close.
She was devastated when I left her mum and just couldn’t stop crying.
I promised I’d always be her dad and would spend as much time with her as I could.
But I got into a new relationship about a month after I moved out and my daughter took it badly.
She stopped calling and didn’t want to see me. In fact, I have seen her just the once since I left.
I told her mum I’d leave our daughter to contact me when she was ready but it’s been more than a year now.
I think she should make an effort, as she’s old enough. Am I seeing things wrong?
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DEIDRE SAYS: At 14, your daughter is still a child and she is unlikely to have the emotional maturity to make this kind of decision.
She was clearly very hurt that you left.
As the adult here, you should reach out to her.
She needs to know she still has a dad who loves and cares for her and wants to be part of her life as she grows up.
Prove you meant you would always be there for her by writing, calling and continuing to take an interest in her life.
My support pack When Parents Fall Out explains how children are affected when their parents split up.
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