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Dad that can't bond

posted 8 years 11 months ago
Ok... This isn't going to be easy.

I never wanted children. I have never really liked other people's children. I basically, just don't like kids. I had always resolved to be childfree and made this clear to any girl I ever started a relationship. I have went through a few pretty rough periods of depression in my life too and this pretty much reinforced my view, I wasn't daddy material and I didn't ever want to be.

The issue is, I now have a one year old and things are not going well at all. I just don't feel anything. Sure I turn up to see her once or twice a week and spend time and stuff. I do what's required of me but it is empty, joyless tasks I have to perform, like cleaning the car or mowing the grass, monotinous.

I contribute as much as I can financially towards my child, I'm not well off or in a well paid job (this never mattered before and was all part of my low stress, low work, high quality, childfree lifestyle I had designed and built, I did have some savings for a year out travelling that will now never happen but they were spent on baby things before the wee one arrived).

Without going into too much detail, I was with a girl for about a year, i wasn't into it, I decided to call it a day and then she turned round and announced she was pregnant. Nightmare. She had been on oral birth control. She didn't like condoms and the doctor told me he wouldn't refer me for a vasectomy (I asked at 22 and was turned down point blank, thanks a Censored lot doctor), so wether my ex was actually taking the pill or not Censored knows, a rynour she told a friend she was trying but she denied it so whatever.

So, now my daughter is over a year old and I don't feel anything for her. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate her, I do resent my ex a bit for the shitty situ I'm in now but I totally understand it isn't my daughters fault and she deserves a dad who at least tries and provides funds. It's hard cos I'm working more hours now than I was and I now never have any spare money at all. I don't have hardly any spare time as that's erroded by working more to pay for my kid and the time spent visiting but at least most people get love and a bond as a consolation prize for not living to please themselves anymore. I'm not getting that and it seriously sucks.

My ex hasn't made life easy either. Always complaining for money she knows I don't have, always insisting I can only see my child in her house. Bitter snide comments because I have a great new girlfriend I'm actually happy with.

I'm getting booked in for a vasectomy very shortly and possibly some therapy to try and help me improve my relationship with my daughter.

I'm on here partly to just vent, it's not easy to admit to people in real life that you don't love your child. Partly I want to hear from someone who felt this way previously and got through to a healthier situation.

I have never felt anything for my daughter and basically feel at best bored and at worst frustrated and desperate to get out, it's especially harder for me to spend long periods of time.

I think I have managed to hide my lack of positive emotions quite well from pretty much all concerned, maybe not my ex but I'm doing a lot better than she thought. She was pretty sure I'd not be around by this point as she knew I was 100% dead set on being childfree. My current partner knows my feelings as she has never wanted to be a parent either so i could open up to her about that.

Is this as good as it's going to get? I won't stop paying towards my kid or stop visiting but I hope I'm not going to always hate doing it. Some days I could walk off a bridge, some days I could get a plane ticket and not come back.

Anyone got any ideas how I can make this not suck so badly? That would be great.

posted 8 years 4 months ago
It is good you are honest about your feelings. Many parents feel nothing for their children when they are just born but it takes time. Don't be so hard on yourself. Time will heal your disappointment and make you feel love towards your daughter.

Try to hold her hand when you visit her and talk to her about your work and all the places you will like to take her when she is older. She will always look forward to hearing your voice.

Understand your ex is bitter and angry; she must have expected you to be supportive and more available. Be patient with her, time will heal you all.

posted 8 years 4 months ago
I truely hope that one day after seeing your daughter grow and become a young lady that you could become attached in a sense. One thing for sure I hope your daughter will never find out. That would really put some damage on her. Most mothers are very protective of their children. I would also just like to remind you that a childs love is the purest of all. No matter what you are always know your daughter will love you forever. One day that might hit. People will come and go but you will forever be apart of her.

Now its a good thing that even though you never wanted children that you were able to man up and take responsibilty and help support with what you can. I cannot say if your feelings will change or not about your daughter. Thats on you. But usually when you help and watch something grow you will somehow become attached. What I strongly suggest you not to do is just disappear without explaining things to your daughter.

One day I hope you can love your daughter and swell with pride. I cannot tell you the happiness my children have given me and have helped bring me up from bottom of the pit.

posted 8 years 4 months ago
It is great that you are admitting to the fact that you are having this problem. I find it refreshing to hear the dad being honest about his true feelings. You do not find that type of honesty very often. My children's dad is somewhat the same way. I do not believe he has the capability to love another person but he will never admit it. However, unlike you he does not even make an effort to be in their lives. I commend you on doing the adult thing by contributing to your child's life. I hope that you are able to find a way to learn to love her as a person because it will be rewarding for both of you.

posted 8 years 3 months ago
Try looking at your daughter as a fully-fledged human with thoughts, feelings, and opinions. That sounds obvious, but I feel like most people forget that kids have just as complex mental and emotional lives as adults because their priorities are completely different, and they cannot verbalize this as well as adults. Of course, she is not likely to have an opinion on politics or the economy anytime soon, so you want to meet her on her level. The world is a new and exciting place for a one-year-old. She is learning a lot of things right now. Try engaging her in that way by helping her interact with the world and teaching her some age-appropriate stuff. If possible, talk to your parents or other family members about what you were like at that age for ideas. It might be easier to bond if you can see more of yourself in her. If you cannot connect with her now, keep trying. More bonding opportunities will appear when she is older and you can communicate more on the same level.

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