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'Absentee father' wants to reunite with daughter, and introduce GF. Mom says no. AITA?

'Absentee father' wants to reunite with daughter, and introduce GF. Mom says no. AITA?


When a parent has been out of a child's life, reintroducing yourself can be tricky, and fraught with challenges. In this post on Reddit, a father wants to get back into his daughter's life, and he feels it's important that his girlfriend be part of this process. His ex says no, but he wants to hear from from other people. Here's his story...

Hey all. Kind of hard to find unbiased opinions irl so I figured I’d turn here.

I (29M) had a kid with my ex-wife (32F) 10 years ago, my daughter. And there’s no real way to sugarcoat this but as soon as she was born, I left and I never ended up seeing her in the hospital as a baby. Was never really present in her life at any point but ended up getting a divorce 11 months later with her getting full custody of course.

I married young, was really stupid and thought I’d end up being a good dad despite no skills but got scared that I’d turn out like my dad and chickened out. Not really an excuse but an explanation I guess. I paid child support for the first 3 years but stopped afterwards.

I’ve been speaking with the girl’s mother about reconnecting with her, but she thinks it’s best that I stay out of their lives majorly. But I think making amends is always possible so I’m not sure, I just really want to make things right but I will respect their decision. I’ve seen her a few times but her mother has always introduced me as a friend. She says she will tell her when she is ready.

I’ve been dating a girl (28F) for about 10 months, and I really like her. I think I could definitely see a life for us and I know that sounds weird but she’s also said the same. I was also speaking to my daughter’s mother about meeting this girl, but she says absolutely not and that’s a bad idea. But if I want to reintroduce her into my life isn’t it fair that she gets to see my life too?

AITA for this? Her mother says it’s a very bad idea, so it’s making me think I am but I just genuinely cannot see why. Obviously I care for this girl and I will care for her life too, but a relationship has to be two-sided I don’t think it’s out of the question to show her my life too.

From the comments:

nyamampredstava writes:

Even taking out that you should’ve been a better father or whatever, why do you think a 10 year old would give a f**k about the girlfriend (of only 10 months btw) of someone who she doesn’t really know at all?

Fair_Present_3168 OP responded:

Eh I don’t know. We got along really well when I had been seeing her previously and I guess I thought she would be interested but now that you’re saying it I don’t really know why I thought it.

rbrancher2 writes:

YWBTA for bringing someone in to your daughter's life without knowing if she was there permanently (or at least as permanently as relationships are nowadays.) 'I think I could definitely see a life for us...' is so wishy washy and not even close to 'I love this woman and will be with her for the rest of our lives', which is where it should be, IMO, before introducing children.

Right now, you're not even her father yet. You're her mom's friend. Introducing her to your GF is a major step and not one that should be taken at this time.

Fair_Present_3168 OP responded:

Yeah that’s a good point thank you

Extension_Track_8411 writes:

Info: Does the current gf know you’re a deadbeat dad with no relationship to this person? If not, it sounds very much like you’re trying to win brownie points by manufacturing a relationship that isn’t there. If she knows, why is she so eager to meet your daughter? To your knowledge, has your daughter ever asked her mother about meeting her “father?”

Fair_Present_3168 OP responded:

She doesn’t know the full extent of it, such as why I left but she knows that I did leave so yes. And she’s not really eager I wouldn’t say that (not that she wouldn’t want to meet her), but she agreed to it if it was allowed because she heard that we were speaking again.

yet_another_sock writes:

Right, we have two data points here: 1) This guy is completely disinterested in this child, and 2) This guy is aware that this reflects really, really poorly on him.

The obvious conclusion is that his only motivation here is to con this new girl into thinking he's a halfway decent person — or at least, not someone who will do to her and her potential child what he did to his ex and hers.

The fact that he's clearly only interested in the child as a human prop to deceive his girlfriend, and doesn't register the emotional harm that would do to the child, pretty solidly indicates that he likely would do it again.

ItsJustMeMaggie writes:

Precisely. He knows she’ll eventually find out he has a kid, and knows that once she realizes that he ran out on the woman and child as soon as the birth happened and even stopped making payments 3 years in she’ll know what a selfish jerk he is.

Sources: Reddit
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