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Trouble with Father of My Child

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From the U.S.: I am a single mother of a three year old having some trouble with my ex-fiance and the father of my child.

I left my ex-fiance two years ago after I came home from work to find my child starving and my ex passed out because he was drunk. My daughter hasn’t been fed all day long, and how I could tell is because all of the breast milk left for her was still in bottles in the same spots I left them in the refrigerator. My ex lied to me, saying he fed her an apple which we did not have in the house.

Needles to say he was gone the next day out of our house. I told him to get his life together and seek help for his alcoholism if he wanted his family back. Instead he got an apartment, a girlfriend, and drank even more, flaked out on his days to watch her (which were only a few hours at a time since I didn’t trust him), not to mention steal money from and claim he accidentally took it out of our conjoined bank account.

Fast forward two years he keeps trying to act like he is a father and demands my daughter to spend the night with him because he wants things fair. He pays no child support, does not do anything for our daughter or try to help support her in anyway. He claims he wasn’t ready to be a father before and that I should forget and move on.

I don’t know if I am doing the right thing by keeping her away from him or if it’s just me reflecting my resentment and anger at him for putting our daughter in danger multiple times. When my daughter requests him then I facetime him or set up a day to bring her to him but other than that I don’t want her to be in contact with him until she is old enough to decide if she wants a relationship with him or not.

He is a master manipulator and has a way of getting under my skin and guilting me into doing things for him.

I just don’t know what to do anymore.

Trouble with Father of My Child

Answered by on -


Being a father is about more than biology. It is a responsibility! You were absolutely right to leave the relationship. He wasn’t taking responsibility then. He isn’t now.

If he wants things to be “fair”, he needs to man up and provide financial support. He needs to win your trust, not demand it.

If he pays a reasonable child support regularly and without whining for a year, then maybe you can consider whether to encourage a relationship with your daughter. I’d start with limited time with you there to see how he handles taking care of a toddler. And, no, it’s not okay for him to involve his girlfriend. He needs to show you he can take good care of a child without relying on someone else.

Don’t let this guy guilt-trip you. From what you wrote, it sounds to me that he is more interested in “winning” an argument with you than loving his child.

I wish you well
Dr. Marie

Trouble with Father of My Child

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Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Trouble with Father of My Child. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 29 Nov 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.