(Using a friends account and apologies if my post is long or out of place)
I am a single father and have been since my daughter was born. My daughter was born when I was 20 and her mother left after giving birth and told we spoke of how we wanted to raise our daughter but she left due to cultural differences and her families conservative views. I turned alcoholic, had no job, no motivation in life and couldnt handle my wife leaving. We married without her familys knowledge. My family also disowned me when my daughter was born.
My daughter is now 22 and studying out of the city, we had a rough time during her early years. However, we managed. I now am pretty well off, I'm good health wise and I stopped drinking. My daughter turned out great, shes the sweetest and kindest person ever. She has ambition and she loves wholeheartedly. She has mild anxiety due to me being a fuck up when she was younger but I believe she has grown from it as have I.
When my wife left, she told me she didn't know if she would come back but had to go. I think it would be good to mention she was South Asian and i am white. Her family was pretty much against our relationship as soon as they found out. We tried to convince them and give them time but it was impossible. We were together for three years and i know it sounds foolish, even today but I loved her with all my heart and I gave up with trying to fill the hole after she left. When she left, her family did the typical her father is sick, come home and see him, youre his only daughter stuff. Her dad was sick. But he was not as serious as they made him out to be. He got better and he never let his daughter leave again. I never saw her again. They moved, changed their phones and removed all forms of me getting in contact. But I tried everything.
When my daughter turned 5, she contacted me. She told me her father is marrying her off and she's trying to get out but cant. They had restrictions on her even five years later. She said she was giving up and knew i would raise our daughter well. But she will always try to come home because home was where we were. I replied back and got a response from her brother a few months later with filthy swears and threats, saying my wife is dead.
My daughter knows she left because her family never wanted us to be together and died a few years later. My daughter used to cry for her. She stopped asking questions about her mother, completely. We dont talk about her often.
Anyway, I've been alone since she left. I tried dating again when I turned 30 but it didnt work out. After so many failed attempts, I gave up and just lived life single. Raising my daughter and trying to secure her future.
My wife? (Is she even still my wife, I dont know) contacted me last week. Said shes in NY and shes divorced and has no children. She still loves me and wants to meet our daughter. Her brother lied. She holds a special part in my life still, I cant lie. But I just dont know how to react. Its been 22 years. I responded to her and we talked casually about life. She said she understands if we dont want to meet her and would never force the interaction. Just to think about it. As soon as the lockdown is over, she was going to return to England.
I know I have to tell my daughter that her mother is still alive and she wants to meet her. Whether my daughter does or doesn't, is her decision. She's old enough for this.
But I just cant wrap my head around this. My wife is alive. I love her. But shes probably a different woman now so I love the wife I had 20 years ago. I dont know her anymore?
Im so confused and i dont know how to bring it up to my daughter. She is currently stressed with exams so maybe i should wait? How do i go about this, rightfully, by my daughter?
Thank you if you read this all.
Before you make any kind of decision you absolutely have to be sure this woman is who she says she is. So many lies have been told who knows if this is another one?
Also you might want to see a lawyer about that marriage. You might well still be married
Don’t see her, at least right now. You need counseling before you are in any kind of healthy mindset to see or talk to her at all. You thought she was dead and have mourned her for two decades only to suddenly find out she is alive and well – that would fuck up anyone’s head and emotions. A counselor can also help guide you to the least damaging way to tell your daughter, which you don’t have to do immediately but you also don’t want to wait so long that she feels deceived – if she notices something is wrong before you tell her, explain that you are going through some emotional stuff right now and working with a counselor and that you want to talk with her about it but you just aren’t ready yet (that lets her know that you are physically okay – because you being sick in some way would probably be her first thought and biggest fear and also that you don’t intend to hide anything from her but you just need a little time). It might even be best to tell her with the counselor present to help navigate the emotional minefield the news is going to cause and also offer her counseling if she wants it and tell her that there is no rush to make a decision about having her mother in her life and that you will support whatever she chooses. Basically, tell your wife(ex?) that you were told she was dead and that you need a good bit of time before even considering seeing or talking to her and then get thee into therapy asap.
> even today but I loved her with all my heart and I gave up with trying to fill the hole after she left.
You love the person she once was. The person you had feelings for no longer exists, and deep down, you know that.
> I know I have to tell my daughter that her mother is still alive and she wants to meet her. Whether my daughter does or doesn’t, is her decision. She’s old enough for this.
Sounds like you’d really benefit from some counseling to figure out what YOU want.
> She is currently stressed with exams so maybe i should wait?
You know your daughter best….but don’t wait too long about telling her.
No point “what if-ing” like so many of these replies have done. You don’t “what if” serious things like this.
Find out all the truths, then make your decision. If she can make you wait 22 years, then you you can wait another 6 months to a year to find out all the truths.
If you care about your health and your daughter, make the right choice and take your time doing so.
Your daughter has a mom who may have been through over 20 years of trauma and abuse.
If her family didn’t treat you well imagine how they treated her for 20 years.
She had a child with someone they didn’t approve of. Then used whatever leverage they had to make her abandon her child.
Then made her get married to someone she didn’t want to who may have treated her poorly as well.
You should speak with your daughters mother first and find out what your daughter could be stepping into by contacting her mother.
You have no idea what happened in between the time you lost contact.
Maybe you two are soulmates or maybe she is a horrible person who didn’t want to be a mom.
You need to speak to her and find out what exactly you are exposing your daughter to.
Hopefully it works out and your daughter gets to meet her mom and it was all due to her moms family interfering in your lives.