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Moving away from child

User-anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous
Flag
Sun 12, Feb 2017 at 11:38pm
Categories:
Separating , After Separation

Hello to any and all reading. I'm really hoping that I can get some advice or people's opinions on this. My ex partner (originally from the UK) lived in South Africa about 9 years ago. We had fallen pregnant with our beautiful daughter however at the time we had to leave SA for the UK. My ex came up first and I was due to follow. She had broken up with me just before I was due to leave and even though leaving my own home, country and family devastated me, I just couldn't bare the thought of not being a father to my daughter so I left and came to the UK shortly after which my daughter was born.

Long story short (I suppose), things never really worked out with me and my ex and while at times that relationship was very strained we still made civil contact work for the sake of my daughter and to be fair, she has really given me the opportunity to have a relationship with my daughter. She had moved on a couple of years ago and is due to get married and has another child with her fiancé and I am genuinely happy for her. I on the other hand have struggled to form any meaningful romantic relationship and while I manage to go "home" on holiday once a year, its the only time of the year when I feel like me. As the years have gone on the struggle against depression has become increasingly more difficult and I feel like I'm under a dark cloud every day. I would obviously never express these emotions to my daughter. I feel like I've come to the point where I actually need to go back home for good now (in about 6-9 months) but before I begin the official planning I wanted to see if anyone else has been faced with this or even if they just had an opinion on whether you would do it or not.

Granted the world is smaller with things like Skype and FaceTime etc (currently see my daughter every Friday night until Saturday afternoon) and I know that this could never replace actual contact and I will be on another continent and will probably be limited to two or three visits per year (couple of weeks at a time), I guess I am just looking for a bit of guidance and opinion.

Thanks and apologies it was so long-winded

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Comments

  • Pc jaybee (moderator) Flag

    I'm sorry to hear about your painful dilemma.
    I guess, in response, I just want to gently challenge your assumption that going back to SA is the best or only solution to your condition. Have you had help with it? Are you following advice about what might work for you? If not, I would really urge you to seek help, or at least a chance to talk through your thinking on this before you firm up your plans to leave. The place to start with this would be through your doctor.
    You may already know this, but it may be wrong to assume that a solution to an illness such as yours is a change of scene. Sometimes problems, especially emotional ones, just follow on if they're not resolved or properly understood.
    You sound like a very thoughtful and caring dad and I don't want to heap guilt onto all the other things you may be feeling about this but, in case you're in any doubt, your daughter will miss you - you are important to her.
    Would be happy to know your response to what I've said.

    Wed 15, Feb 2017 at 9:42am
  • User-anonymous Original poster Flag

    Hi Jaycee, thank you for your comments and advice, they are appreciated.

    I agree that as much advice as possible should be sought out and I'm considering every angle possible. I suppose one of the major things I have learnt from my time here is just how important it is to have a strong support network and how valuable the support of family is. It's not so much the change of scene but more about being around that supportive network. I don't have any support network here. Don't get me wrong, I realise that there is a degree of selfishness in my consideration for wanting to go back home however looking at the long-term I know that being a more supportive or effective father is more than just "being there", by which I mean being present however only as half an emotionally strong individual. I know that I can be more financially supportive to my daughter and more importantly, more emotionally happy to care for my daughter's needs by being back home. My financial situation being back there would also allow me to have 3 or 4 (week long at least each) visits per year with my daughter. I do love my daughter dearly and my biggest fear is that I do leave and even daily FaceTime calls and the visits don't stop my daughter from resenting me. I know that she will miss me as we have a very strong bond and there would be no way of getting around that unfortunately. If I had to choose between her resenting me or having to face depression for the rest of my life, I'd choose depression every time. I guess what I'm trying to gauge is how many people have had to make this choice and even through absolute best efforts, they still end up with their child resenting them. My ex and I were also talking about getting professional support for my daughter prior to me leaving and ongoing as she needs.

    Wed 15, Feb 2017 at 10:24pm
  • Pc jaybee (moderator) Flag

    Thanks for replying. I was glad to get your further thoughts in response to my comments. You sound like you have done a lot of thinking through of this and, maybe even partly through contacting the Parent Connection, you are coming to a conclusion about it.
    If I've understood you right, from your last sentence, you have also been able to talk through things about your daughter with her mother. If you do finally go back to SA, I hope this parenting relationship can continue between you, even at a distance. Does your ex understand why you're considering this? Is she accepting of it? (This too could be a great help to your daughter).

    Sun 19, Feb 2017 at 4:28pm