DEAR DEIDRE: MY four-year-old son has never met his dad because he lives in Morocco and we’re in the UK.
I was in a long-distance relationship with my ex for seven years, travelling out every few months to see him.
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He is 38, I’m 36.
Because of visa restrictions, he can’t travel to the UK, so our relationship ended before our son was born.
Now that my son is old enough to understand, I’ve told him that his dad lives far away and this is why they haven’t met.
My ex contacts me once a month or so to send a voice message to our son.
We’re on amicable terms but because contact is so erratic, I can’t help but worry about the kind of relationship they can have over the phone.
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I mention my ex to our son occasionally as I don’t want it to be a taboo subject.
Sometimes he says “I love my dad” but he sometimes intimates that he doesn’t want me mentioning his father.
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DEIDRE SAYS: In general it’s best to be open and honest about what happened.
Keep talking to your son about his dad and encourage your ex to maintain regular contact with him.
Today more than ever, people can stay connected from a distance through Skype, FaceTime and Zoom, to name a few, so talk to your ex about scheduling in regular times.
You can find ongoing guidance through Family Lives (familylives.org.uk, 0808 800 2222).