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My marriage ended in divorce and I left my children to their mother in order to keep the peace.

Over the years I received mail; emails on birthdays and so on. But I have lost their need to contact me personally. I am missing that hard.

What can I do to motivate that need, or interest, to contact me personally—for instance, to visit me?

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    Hello and welcome! We could use a few more details in this case like how old are the children, how long have you been separated and do you have some kind of joint custody or other agreement for visits? Do you live nearby or are you far away? ... not because we are curious, but because this may influence the answers a lot. – Stephie Jun 5 '15 at 15:10
  • I agree with @Stephie, it would help to know how old your children are and how far away do you live? Same city? – user16557 Jun 6 '15 at 3:43
  • We live separated now for over 16 years. My doughters are born 1991 and 1994. The geographic distance is about 1000 km. I met my older doughter a half year ago once. She has finished her study at university. – ingeniosus Sep 17 '17 at 23:04
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You can request a meeting with them at their mother's house or somewhere else they love. And it is not at all as difficult as you imagine. Do not stop yourself; let them feel that you truly love them, tell them something you never told them. Most of all make them feel that no matter what happens, you will be there for them.

(Note: My father is not very sensitive, he mostly cares about practicality; but he loves us unconditionally and all my siblings feel the same way; and we love him, too. You do not have to be sensitive or emotional but the very confession that you miss them shows that you love them. You do not have to compare; kids can feel exactly just how much any parent loves them.)

Thanks for listening. : )

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    Thanks for your answer, Abdur. I have contact to them. The mother is very much loved by them. My problem is to meet them physically. I am living about 2 days train travel far away. I talked with other fathers in same situations and they said that they will come to me if they leave the common home with her mother, but her mother moved with them as they started their study in a foreign city. I love them really very much too but so I have to wait .... – ingeniosus Jun 6 '15 at 15:53
  • @ingeniosus Is it possible for you to move at least close to them? You know get a home closer? That would solve the distance problem making everything else much easier. – Abdur Rahman Jun 6 '15 at 18:15
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I'm not sure you can find a way to interest them in visiting you.

Perhaps you could focusing on finding ways to show your interest in them. Call them on holidays or other times, ask how they are doing, if they have plans for the occasion, how education or work is going (depending on their ages) and other easy to talk about items.

Maybe, if you can, coordinate with their Mother to visit once in a while during key times. For example, if they are about to start a school year there will most likely be clothing and supplies that are needed. Be sure to set a small limit, worked out in advance, and make it an occasion to offer a bit of support and stay in touch personally.

As others have noted it is difficult to provide a good answer without some idea of ages. If your kids have moved out on their own then things are going to be different.

Anyhow, if you make the effort to stay involved in their lives and demonstrate your care and concern you stand a much better chance of having your children return that effort -- though of course during young adulthood they may drift away for a time. Whatever you do focus on them and not on what you can provide for them or they will get the wrong message.

I'm divorced and have split custody myself. However, I'm lucky in that my ex and I live close together and the kids alternate where they are staying on a weekly basis. Having a peaceful and respectful relationship with your ex is helpful. That is something else than might be repaired with apology and long term demonstrated respect in the event that there is a rough past or residual distrust.

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