My Son From My First Marriage Has Contacted Me, but I Don’t Want to See Him

Family & kids
month ago

A story of love, challenge, and redemption is woven between a father and son, marked by difficult decisions and unexpected consequences. Through emotional ups and downs and a search for forgiveness, both confront the pain of the past and struggle to find their own path to reconciliation.

«I (45-year-old man) and my ex-wife got together when we were just teenagers. We got married at 21 and had our son at 22. After the birth of our son, we gradually began to drift apart.

When our son was about 11 or 12, I decided to end my marriage. I don’t know why, but my wife was very surprised. By that time, we hadn’t been intimate for about four years and hadn’t had any deep conversations during that time. It was just over.»

«It took me about a week to move out, and all that time my ex was constantly crying, begging me to stay. But I kept firm. My son was very angry with me and didn’t want to talk to me at all. I understood why. In his eyes, I was hurting his mother.

When I finally moved out, he refused to see me. I tried very hard, I would come regularly to see him, but he would always tell me he hated me and run to his room. He was devastated. The divorce was finalized in about a year. Custody was 50/50. We took our son to therapy, but it just didn’t help. He hated me with all his heart.

I never wanted to force him to come to my house. I could have, but I didn’t want him to resent me even more. I still wanted to be there for him, so I would go to his games, I would send him birthday and Christmas presents, but he would completely shut me down. The last thing he told me was that he didn’t want me to attend any of his events anymore. I went to my ex’s house a couple of times, but he would always tell me that he didn’t want to see me.»

«At this point, I was completely cut off. I found myself on a long, dark road of depression and grief. It was as if my son had died. The lowest point of my life. But one day I woke up, and it was simply over. I recovered and have moved on ever since. I met my wife and we have two beautiful children. Life was great again.

Until about a year ago, when I received an email from my son. He apologized for everything and mentioned that he recently had a son. That made him begin to reflect, and he realized how awful he had been to his own father. He wanted to reconnect and be in my life again. There was much more in the email, but I don’t want to share it for privacy reasons.

I felt nothing when I read this email. I did not respond. Since then, he has sent approximately 15 emails detailing what is going on in his life and with his son. I never responded, but I thought I at least owe him some closure. I still haven’t sent it.»

It goes like this:

«Dear son, I would appreciate it if you would stop sending me emails. I went through hell and back to be at this point in my life. I have a family again, and I am very happy right now. I understand that you have regrets and some guilt about the past, but I don’t resent you and I forgive you.
Bringing you back into my life would introduce complications that I am not willing to face for my own and my family’s sake. I simply cannot give you what you seek. I want no further contact. I hope you understand, and I wish you all the best in your life.


«I haven’t sent it yet, and I finally told my wife what is going on. She read all the emails and my draft and was horrified. She begged me not to send it and to open my heart to him. We argued, and she mentioned I needed to go back to therapy.

She even told my parents, and my mom got really angry. She started scolding me like I was a child again. I don’t know why she doesn’t understand. She was with me all this time and saw what I went through. In the end, she told me that if I did this to him, she would do the same to me. I was speechless.»

Faced with a complex relationship between parent and child, at Bright Side, we have some tips that could be of help in similar situations:

  • Understand your own feelings: Take time to reflect on your emotions and how past experiences with your child have affected you. Acknowledging your feelings is the first step in dealing with the situation constructively.
  • Listen to your family and friends: Although you may feel overwhelmed by the situation, listen to the concerns and advice of your loved ones. Their outside perspective can offer a more objective view and help you make informed decisions.
  • Consider family therapy: Family therapy can provide a safe space to explore the underlying conflicts and tensions in your relationship. A therapist can help you communicate effectively and find ways to rebuild the lost bond.
  • Be patient and compassionate with yourself: Rebuilding a broken relationship takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself as you work through the pain of the past and rebuild trust with your child. Remember that the process may be difficult, but worth the effort.
  • Keep an open and receptive attitude: It is okay to have doubts and fears about the future of your relationship but keep an open and receptive attitude toward the possibility of reconciliation. Be willing to listen and learn from shared experiences, and show willingness to work together to build a more positive future.

In a revealing exploration of family dynamics, 8 individuals shed light on the crazy reasons behind their choice to keep relatives at arm’s length from their homes. From longstanding tensions to quirky habits, each story unveils a unique perspective on familial relationships and boundaries.

Preview photo credit Longest-Journey / Reddit


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It sounds cruel after all you've been through, but I don't think you should lock the door between you. This was something that at one time you earnestly wished for, and it isn't surprising that the peace of mind you have finally achieved isn't something that you feel you can risk. Perhaps you should arrange to meet him for a drink at a nice place you haven't visited before so have no associations with. Put a time boundary on it say 1 hour, and be strong and leave at the end of that time.

Taking your emotions out of the freezer should take time. Perhaps just email to say you find these emails upsetting now, so please to stop until he hears from you. You can't be sure that you will ever want to see him again. but don't slam the door and lock it. If you feel different in the future it will be harder to break the ice.


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