AIBU - I am starting to seriously dislike my Dad.

(54 Posts)
radicalradish Sat 11-May-13 07:48:05

Trying to summarise...My mum died a long time ago. Within 2 days one of the women from their bowls was coming around with cottage pies. Within 2 weeks my dad was getting togged up and wearing aftershave and going on dates. At the time we were very upset about my DM dying as it was really sudden and found it difficult to deal with this. Anyway, along the way I hid my feelings about this other woman. TBH she is really not very nice and it is not only me who thinks so. My Aunt used to come over to see if we were OK and get a bit of a shock when new woman was sat there on our couch. In the end she stopped coming (mum was her sister) and they slagged my aunt off no end for this. I adore my aunt and she has always been there for me. Over the years new woman has been quite nasty to me and my brothers wife. She has basically pushed us out and my Dad spends 99% of his time with her and her 4 grown up kids and their offspring. I went to stay with him a few months ago with my 3 children and she brought her GC over and they basically told my GC that he is their granddad and wouldn't let them near him. Ons sat on his lap and refused to move.

Anyway OW face booked me and I felt I had no option but to add her in. When I looked on her page there are photos of my Dad, her family and things that they do together e.g. holidays (where I knew he was going, didn't realise that her 2 kids and 5 GC's were going too), days out etc. I felt that it was a person I don't even know. We used to be a really tight knit family with a lovely mum and dad and 2 siblings. Going on holidays and days out. Now it couldn't be any further from that. I feel like she stole my Dad and he went along with it. When I go to see him, he goes round to her place or brings her GC over and I end up on the phone to my DH saying I'm not coming again, it was a waste of time. When I invite him over he brings her (they are not married) and they stay 1 night (as she clearly doesn't want to be there, but dad says she won't let him go alone). Either way I am usually in tears.

My DH says she is awful and I am not being a spoiled brat throwing my toys out of the pram.

I am starting to think that my Dad is actually a pile of crap. I look at my DH's parents and see that they would rather cut off their own head than upset their kids and I feel like shit. I am beginning to think that perhaps I should just let them get on with it and make no more effort as I usually end up in tears.

HollyBerryBush Sun 12-May-13 09:22:58

I see where you are coming from. You were only 18, and with the best will in the world, in mourning for your mother and it is a bit of a shock to the system when another woman pitches up. I wasn't emotionally prepared for it at 28.

The tone was probably set back when you were 18. It will be very difficult to alter the family dynamic now and make a friend of her.

Perhaps your Dad just likes having someone to look after. If she knows you resent her, and you have told your Dad this, then things are never going to defrost.

Female relationships are peculiar, what you tolerate from one, you wouldn't from another. Some women give off the vibe that their kitchen is their domain - you'd let your mother/sister/best mate into it - but not another woman. I certainly wouldn't be offering to make a cup of tea in the house of someone I knew resented me simply because I would treading on their territory.

radicalradish Sun 12-May-13 09:16:13

One more thing. Sorry!
I have talked to my Dad a few times about this. In fact last year I did open my heart to him and tell him, sorry I just don't like her. I told him that I want to see him on my own sometimes. One of the things my Dad says to me is not to discuss personal things in front of her as she tells everyone so when he comes over I cannot tell him about my life and what we are doing or discuss any problems. When I spoke to him he did say he wanted to spend time with me alone, however the next time he came visit, it was same old same old. Apparently my kids are spoilt, they never shut up and they get on her nerves. So she says. Other people say my kids are lovely shock

radicalradish Sun 12-May-13 09:10:05

Thank you for the kind responses. I think the reason I am posting this is because I feel at a cross roads and feel that I am in a bit of a toxic circle. This has/ is causing me a lot of pain and I am trying to decide what to do about it.
In answer to some of your Q's:
No, they are not married, nor live together. If they were married/ cohabiting I think I'd have to accept her as a StepM. If they haven't made that commitment, I don't see why I always have to have her there too. FYI she stays with her family often without my Dad.
My DM died when Iw as still living at home, late teens. I met my DH after. I left home at 18, largely due to this situation.
Over the years I've tried to convince myself that I am immature and throwing my toys out of the pram because my Dad has a new woman in his life. However, everyone I know dislikes her and my siblings and their partners, rational, educated, open minded people despise her. My SIL, a mature, reasonable woman is regularly in tears over her behaviour according to my brother. I myself have adopted the shut one eye philosophy over the years only to come to the conclusion that I am SICK and TIRED of being the pacifist. I think calling her the OW was a freudian slip. However, I think that my feelings for her are probably very similar to what a wife would feel about an OW.
There are lots of small things that I have made excuses for over the past and now I look at them and consider myself a fool. We have a big family with nieces and nephews in their 20's. My siblings regularly invite him over and he doesn't go. They are 10 mins away. We are 1.5 hours. For example, for a few years after my DM died we carried on our tradition of going to Dad's on Xmas day. All of us, even with small kids, my DB's brought them over. After a few years he said that he was going to GF's son's for Xmas and has done so ever since. Now we all spend Xmas at home and go give him the presents.

Finally I don't think my DF is dependent on her. In fact I think it is the other way round. In fact when I have had them here or been in his house he cooks all her meals whilst she sits on her arse. He will be in the kitchen making her tea and toast and running round like a headless chicken. That's another thing. In all the time I have know her she has never ever sent me or my kids a birthday/ christmas card or present, never ever cooked a meal or made me a cup of tea, never ever offered to hold a baby or help a little and never washed a dish in my house whilst staying there. She doesn't touch my kids, but my DF is a Granddad to theirs.

Obviously I need therapy! There is a lot of bitterness here!!!!

Livinglavidafoca Sat 11-May-13 21:32:30

Welcome to the world of the stepmother. I am afraid I can't help you, but my brother went through the same and we both now live in different cities away from our father and stepmother. Lucky her, she got my mother's house.

BegoniaBampot Sat 11-May-13 19:43:41

op - no wonder you are upset. he sounds weak and out of order. Maybe write him a letter telling him how you feel but i think you will have to accept that you will never have the relationship you would like with him and distance yourself to protect yourself. She doesn't sound great bit i think you have to credit him with his bad behaviour and not blame her so much. a good strong parent should have maintained a good contact with their children.

EdgeOfSociety Sat 11-May-13 19:18:54

Excellent post, sparkly.

I see a lot of what I have had to do reflected in your post.

I am, or will be next year, a single parent and some people have asked what I will do (or rather, what my DC will do) if something happens to me. I reply they will probably be in the same position if I had a partner.

Iamsparklyknickers Sat 11-May-13 16:53:26

Sympathies OP, I'm another whose experienced a similar situation in my teens. The childhood view I had of my dad has long gone.

I've heard that the reason some people move on so quickly is because their marriage was good - they want to experience it again. In a round about way it's a compliment I suppose. It makes sense to me that if that's the case weaker men are also so utterly terrified of the grief that they will submit to whatever the new wife wants - so it's mainly luck of the draw who they end up in a relationship with.

I'm sorry to say what worked for me was completely reworking our relationship. My dad is much more on the fringes of my life - more like a distant uncle I suppose, although I'm involved in other ways through obligation a lot more closely than I'd like to be, in an ideal world I would be down to birthday, christmas and postcards by now. I resent being in a situation of his making because I didn't break contact sooner tbh.

Distancing him from the father I knew growing up with allowed me to grieve for what I'd lost rather than constantly having my expectations thrown back in my face. It hurt and was hard, but it's a lot better for me in the long run.

EdgeOfSociety Sat 11-May-13 16:42:16

he was basically left with no family-his mum was gone and his dad wasn't "allowed" to see him.

Yes, that was what happened to me.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 11-May-13 16:40:41

God some men are fucking weak. 80% of widowers let their kids go into Foster care? Jesus christ.
I also have a (male) friend whose dad took up with a new woman after his parents divorce, and the new woman hates my friend's dad seeing him, and literally forbids contact.
My friend is a lovely guy, and totally innoffessive, wants to get along with people generally.
The saddest thing is that when friend's mum dies a few years ago, he was basically left with no family-his mum was gone and his dad wasn't "allowed" to see him.

MorphandChas Sat 11-May-13 16:25:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 11-May-13 15:27:50


Then it's not just a difference of opinion, it is a difference of experience

You sound unsympathetic to the OP - her experience is different to yours

EdgeOfSociety Sat 11-May-13 15:27:02

Yeah, getting my dad alone is a mammoth task in itself. Takes weeks of organising, and then he's constantly moaning and wanting to get back to his partner. His partner has two adult daughters, one of whom has two sons and the other is getting marries this year. My dad is very involved and interested in both these things. His interest in his grandchild-to-be is nil.

StinkyElfCheese Sat 11-May-13 14:46:16

How do you ' meet him on his own for a few hours'

Me and my sis asked dad to meet us for lunch without her it took weeks to organise he had a migraine was ill etc. When we dis go. We were out less than an hour dad inhaled his food and she phoned him 4 times.

Op it's really hard to accept that the dad just isn't the person you thought he was or the dad you want him to be xxx

Viviennemary Sat 11-May-13 14:30:21

I think this is hurtful. But it does happen that men go more quickly into new relationships than their own family would like. But your Dad's behaviour sounds really unreasonable, unkind and insensitive. Two weeks is absolutely dreadful. I think he is totally out of order letting this woman dictate to him and I'm not surprised you're annoyed.

You could say look next time come on your own or don't come. But that's a big risk Or say you want to see him by yourself because that isn't an unreasonable request. I hope things improve.

greenformica Sat 11-May-13 14:27:53

Meet him alone for a few hours and explain all this to him

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 11-May-13 14:21:42


Its called having a different opinion.

Edge and Lola

I just see this from a different point of view, When my mum died I saw my father reduced to a shell of his former self, he was brought back from that due to his new partner, (yes there was a bigger gap than a couple of weeks). He is know fully intergrated in to his new family, It is a wonderful thing for me to see.

But then I live some distance away and can't be there for him all of the time. His new family is.

StinkyElfCheese Sat 11-May-13 14:21:03

You could be me even down to the bowls connection - I have ranted many tines before and was about to have another one later

Mums been gone a whole year now and what does the old hag bag do on the anniversary of my mum's death - strip the wall paper from her bedroom rip up carpet and get a new bed - nice

Along with the constant calls from my dad asking if I am ok asking if sis is ok complaining no one talks to him anymore he spends 100 per cent of his time with her and her family and I just can't stand the evil manipulative old bag hag witch..... and breathe.... and go and find some wine

thebody Sat 11-May-13 14:11:52

Such a sad thread. How can people do this to each other? And how anyone can do this to their own children and grandchildren is beyond belief.

Sure all of us here would walk over broken glass for our children.

I am a TA and I spend more time worrying and caring about the 4 year olds in my class than some parents of posters on here did about their own kids. Very upsetting.

Op if I were you I would ring him up and make him see you alone.
Tell him you need to talk to him alone.

If he won't then I think you have to face it that you are second place and wrap yourself around your dh and children and his family.

EdgeOfSociety Sat 11-May-13 14:05:58

Have to smile wryly at the thought of someone wanting a once-beloved father and grandfather to join in with activities he is enjoying with his 'other' family is 'entitled' - it isn't like she's after the family tea set hmm

lolaflores Sat 11-May-13 14:03:20

Edge that is so sad! My father died when I was 8. My mother met another man two years later. he was an arse. but, we hung on in there somehow but he did drive a huge wedge through us all. he had his own family who he had abandoned. so in a way we were on the other side of it. though we met his kids later and they were none too pleased with him though it was mum who made that happen.

MorphandChas Sat 11-May-13 14:01:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EdgeOfSociety Sat 11-May-13 13:58:36

Boney, if you had children and something awful happened to you, would you be happy with your own children being left to it while your partner integrated himself into a new family?

It's so common, it's depressing, is the only 'consolation' I can offer, OP. Around 80% of children who lose a mother end up in foster care. It's less than 5% of children who lose a father.

lolaflores Sat 11-May-13 13:44:11

Boney there is grief and loss going on here too, please do not lose sight of that. She wants her father to be her father, from my reading of it. To still feel important to him, not control him.
Which is fair enough and not a huge ask

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 11-May-13 13:36:46

"Anyway OW face booked me and I felt I had no option but to add her in. When I looked on her page there are photos of my Dad, her family and things that they do together e.g. holidays (where I knew he was going, didn't realise that her 2 kids and 5 GC's were going too), days out etc."

Several things

Why OW? is this in the MN meaning of Other Woman? from what you are posting she wasn't an affair.

Did your dad tell you he was going on holiday? It seems that you would be happy if he was going on his own.

How often do you see your dad? Do you live close? it seems strange that if you are close (distance wise) that you have never seen these things.

You seem to want your dad to put his whole life on hold and just be their for you and your family.

NurseRatchet Sat 11-May-13 13:35:15

*Single women don't like to miss opportunities*-what a horrible post. Single women are just women not in a relationship, not some kind of separate breed. You may be a single woman again yourself one day.

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