Dear Victor: my ex is a deadbeat dad but pretends to be superman!

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deadbeat-dads

Viva QuestionGood morning Victor, I need your counsel on a very serious issue. I am a divorced single mother of one. I have been divorced for 7 years and my child is 9.

My ex is always talking with my child on the phone and they have met twice since our divorce. The problem is that he has never supported her upkeep in any way. His only usefulness to her is to be calling her all the time and pretending to be an amazing father. I have been the one struggling to take care of her. I live with my mother, so he calls through my mother’s phone.

My daughter is always talking about him with so much excitement without knowing that he has not cared for her in anyway. This is not because he can’t afford it. He is very wealthy but he doesn’t assist in anyway.

I am not complaining but sometimes I just want to just scream and warn her to stop talking to him. I don’t know if that is the right thing to do. It is emotionally draining for me, knowing that he is building a relationship with her on the basis of falsehood.

Please note that we were customarily married so we just returned his bride price and other stuff. Please guide me on what to do.

Deadbeat dad

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Viva Answer

I understand you perfectly. Parenting is not the job of one parent. However, we have a situation where some women and men are forced to raise their children single-handedly. One might even argue that this is only evident in the lives of single parents, but that is not entirely true. In some marriages, only one parent is responsible for the parenting of the children because the other parent is inactive or simply absent. Parenting is tough work and nobody can blame you for feeling the way you are feeling.

In view of your present need, I will make this suggestion. Do not try to forcefully prevent your daughter from communicating with her father. It will be counter productive. She goes to school. She interacts with her mates and they talk about their fathers. It is natural for her to miss her father. Internally she would be desiring him, especially since he presents himself as an angel to her. Trying to stop her from talking to him would make her resent you and in the long run destroy everything you have suffered to build.

What you need from her is to make her see that you are an amazing mother who has been making a series of sacrifices to make her have a comfortable life. Children have a mind of their own. You might think they are unobservant but they do see. When dealing with them, you need to be wise.

Since your daughter has been enjoying a degree of comfort, you just need to reduce her comfort a bit. Find out those things you buy for her often. Stop buying them. When next it is time to pay her school fees, delay the payment. If possible let them send her home for a day or two. While at it, develop the habit of feigning sadness and complaining about lack and how sad you are that you are unable to meet up with providing her needs. Through your complaints, make her see how much you love to make her comfortable but the burden of the responsibility is too much for you.

In all this, don’t ever mention her father, avoiding it totally. She will get the message. Don’t stop her from talking to her father. She would send the message to him. She would be the one to tell him about her needs. If he doesn’t say or do something about it, her love and respect for him would start diminishing. It would be a gradual process.

When a child has needs, all he/she wants is for that need to be met. If you don’t meet that need you can’t have their full attention. So, that little game he plays would stop because your daughter would be less attentive for as long as her needs are not met.

In the process, when you do anything for her comfort, exaggerate it. Let her see what it took you to get it. Let her see the stress you go through daily to work and make money for both of you. When you eventually pay her fees, she would be so appreciative of you. You will see her being sympathetic towards you.

Don’t worry much about her father. In the process of playing this little game, you can block him from reaching her on the phone, especially during the periods that her needs are hanging. But it should be temporary. The idea is to distract her from him a bit. Not for her to hate him but for her to see how much sacrifice you making for her sake.

She is no longer a little baby. A 9 year old is already on the way to adulthood and can reason intelligently. This is how you should go about it. Make her see your efforts and appreciate them. That is all you need. You can’t make her hate him. If she wants to hate him, that would be her own independent decision. I hope this helps?

 

 

 

 

Do you agree with Victor? Comments below please!

Next week on the Victor Ibeh Desk - Transparent

Hello victor, here is my life story I would like you to air it so I could get people’s responses before acting, but please, you have to keep my ID hidden.

I met a guy who is in his late 30s on the 9th of February. We became friends and later became lovers. He has been married before but his marriage was annulled on medical grounds as the wife hid some crucial info from him. He proposed marriage; I refused initially but as time went on, I accepted because I found out he has a good heart.

He came visiting first to my home in Port Harcourt, and I later reciprocated the visit to his home in Lagos. We made plans and concluded on wedding arrangements; he was in a haste to make babies and have a family.

Along the line I became pregnant but the music changed as he now suddenly wants time to get his act together. I gave him 3 months but during those 3 months, he stopped communicating with me or taking my calls.

Sigh. I had to let the both families know of the situation. The family supports me and the fact it was a planned arrangement between two adults but suddenly the guy came up with a new proposal: that he wants to take financial responsibility only, knowing fully well my office would be terminating my position come month end because of my status.

I told him I would be agreeing to the financial obligations if only he can send me abroad and have me start new life as he already ruined my life. He suddenly dropped the call. Right now, I’m planning on getting into contract marriage with my ex. He who pays the bride price owns the baby, because I’d rather have my ex as the father of my baby than a confused adult. Please notify me when published so I can read peoples comment and reactions.

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