QUESTION: DEAR LUISE: I WAS IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH A GIRL ABOUT 14 YEARS AGO. I MOVED AWAY AND 9 MONTHS LATER MY DAD CALLED AND TOLD ME SHE WAS IN LABOR. WHEN I GOT TO THE HOSPITAL THEY WOULDN’T LET ME SEE HER BECAUSE HER FATHER HAD SECURITY AT THE DOOR. I SENT CLOTHES AND THEY WERE SENT BACK. YEARS LATER I FOUND OUT SHE TOLD PEOPLE SHE WAS RAPED BECAUSE SHE DIDN’T WANT HER FATHER TO KNOW I WAS THE DAD. I SAW MY DAUGHTER FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS PAST CHRISTMAS EVE AND I COULDNT HAVE BEEN HAPPIER. I HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 11 YEARS AND HAVE 2 DAUGHTERS WITH MY WIFE AND I WANT THEM TO KNOW HER PERSONALLY INSTEAD OF JUST KNOWING ABOUT HER. HOW DO I GET HER MOTHER TO REALIZE I WANT TO BE HER DAD NOW AS MUCH AS I DID THEN? J.
Answer: Dear J. You can only ask. You can’t get her to realize anything unless she is ready and wants to.
The circumstances are really unfortunate. Your daughter’s mother decided on a course of action without contacting you or consulting with you and you’ve remained at the effect of her decision ever since. Her story protected her from her father’s wrath and it protected you but the price seems to have been very high for everyone.
Now that you have established a connection with your daughter, it may flourish after she becomes of age with or without her mother’s approval but it would be wonderful to start now, if possible. Make it clear that’s what you want and cross your fingers. It’s up to them. Blessings, Luise