Adult Stepkids Randomly Ghosting their father
A little background, my husband was 17 when he got his first wife (22) pregnant with a son. He got married and enlisted in the military before his 18th birthday. That was the best way that he knew how to support his new family. Within 2 years HCBM was pregnant with child # 2. Shortly after the second child, a daughter was born, they divorced. He was 19/20 at the time.
She moved with the kids back to their hometown and he paid his child support every month. He went home to see the kids as much as he could. He decided to stay in the military to be able to provide for his children. He had a few tours overseas so there were times that he only saw them twice a year. When we got to our last base (I was in the military as well) we were only 9 hours from the kids. By this time they had their own cell phones. He would call them, try to visit as much as we could. Most of the time they would not answer the phone but send him texts only. As his son got older he became more resentful of his father. Then SS joined the military and was shipped across the country.
During this time his son met a local girl and ended up getting her pregnant. They decided that they were going to raise this child as "best friends" since they could not make their relationship work. He never even told his dad that he was going to be a dad, he posted it on social media. When my husband asked why he said that he didn't care and that my husband was an awful father.
Two months after my SS daughter was born his contract with the military was up and he moved back home, across the country. He felt that it would be better to get out of the service so he wouldn't be sent overseas. Since his daughter was born 3 years ago, I believe SS had traveled to see her 4 times. During this time he and DH had a huge falling out where SS told his father that he fucking hates him and does not want to talk to him anymore. For a couple of years, my husband would send messages to him wishing him a happy birthday, Xmas, etc. He never received anything back.
His daughter actually moved in with us after she graduated from college. She did not want to live with HCBM. While she was living with us her mother was arrested for trying to smuggle tobacco and Xanax into the jail that was holding her boyfriend who was 20 years younger that her.
His daughter told us about their childhood and the revolving door of men that lived with them. How she would threaten them with having to live with us if they were bad.
His daughter is a bit of an oddball, at 23 years old, she did not have much knowledge about budgeting money and paying bills or even being an adult. Her mother had been paying her car insurance and cell phone until she got arrested. My husband helped her so much. I did have some conflict with her because I felt like she absolutely hated me. She wouldn't talk to me or look at me ever. If I were home alone with her, she would stay in her room until her dad got home. If she did talk to me she would only give me one word answers. I feel like I tried, maybe not hard enough. She wouldn't even return my text messages until her father told her that she needs to get back to us. Anyway, she moved to her own apartment about 6 hours from her hometown. My husband and I helped pay for her uhaul and he drove it the entire way ( 18 hours). We gave her a kitchen table, dishes, and lots of little things that she needed. She seemed very grateful and they continued to have a decent relationship (we thought).
Fast forward a year, she was working but not making enough to stay in her apartment. She called DH crying about it and wasn't sure what she wanted to do. Her rent took more than half of her monthly pay. He talked to her and she decided that she would move back home and move in with her brother.
Once again, my husband went down and drove her uhaul to her mother's house. Helped her unload it, even though he has no relationship with HCBM. During this visit he and his son did talk a little, just small talk. He has a fiancee now (we found out he left his child across the country to marry a girl from his hometown.
Over the last few months, SD24 has basically stopped answering calls and texts from DH. SS26 and him haven't talked since Christmas and it was only through text. They both refuse to return phone calls. My husband thinks that any texts back from them is a good sign, even if it's just one word answers.
This past weekend HCBM asked my husband if they could talk. He called her and she basically told him what a shit father he is and he knows nothing about his children. That if he doesn't start trying he will lose them forever. Even if his son is not returning calls/texts he is supposed to keep trying. That's just how he is. He's already been blocked on social media and didn't want him to block my husband's number.
Is he really in the wrong? I know being away from the kids took a toll on him (and most likely them) throughout his military career but he did want to be able to support them. He even split his GI Bill for college between the two of them, he never even got a thank you. He did message both children after he spoke with HCBM and let them know that he's here if they would like to talk and he had no idea why they are even mad at him. Two days later and it's still crickets.
I want to support my husband without saying nasty things about his children. He's at the point now where if they won't tell him what he did wrong he's just not going to reach out anymore. The son being upset is nothing new but his daughter has never flat out ignored him until she moved back home.