To not want to see or speak to my Dad again?

(88 Posts)
WonderBarbara Fri 26-Jul-13 19:06:19

Once again, as per usual, a visit to my parents house has ended up in a huge row, my kids upset and me fuming beyond belief.
All had been going ok until lunchtime, when my complete insensitive cock of a dad, served up sausage and mash, to my Dcs, with complete knowledge that they do not eat pork, since DH is Muslim and we are bringing our children up (loosely) in the faith. Naturally this pissed me off, but I just took the sausages from their plate and calmly reminded my parents they don't eat pork. My Dad then started going on that there was nothing else and he wasn't going to cook them anything else. I said, that's absolutely fine, it won't do them any harm to have just mash and beans, they don't need meat. Dad went on that mash and beans wasn't a proper meal and they needed a meat. I told him that was rubbish, and they would be fine.
Cue then the age old arguement that practically ensues every time we go around (and the reason why we don't visit very often) right in front of the Dcs. Of course I can't write all down here, but to summarise, dad trumped his favourite line about how it's not fair that they can't eat pork because of DH, and it's not fair that we haven't let them choose for themselves, and that my dc are deprived of a normal life because I am letting DH rule over us and its not fair that "his side" always gets priority.
I told him that when the do are old enough to choses for themselves then that's fine, but for now out of respect to DH we are a pork free family and I would appreciate if he did not speak that way in front of the Dcs, while they were eating.
Dad then took some sausage and said to dd1 (7) "you want to try some don't you, you want to see whats it like?" To which dd replied no. He then started having a go at dd1 saying do you know why you can't eat it? You don't even understand why you can't eat normally do you? it's just sausage silly girl it won't kill you. Just taste it" and tried to force it to her mouth. She looked petrified.
At this point I lost it. i said to my mum are you gonna let him torment my daughter like that? As per usual my mum said she wasn't getting involved (she never does) and I told my Dad to get the hell away from my Dcs. He went on about the dc have to Learn when in Rome to live like the Romans and at our house they will eat what they are given. I told him that won't be a problem because we won't be back. We then left. When I got in the car, dd1 told me that when I was looking for ds's shoes, my Dad had given dd2(2) some of the sausage in her mouth.

I actually feel sick, i want to just burst into tears but I hate the DC seeing me upset. Me and Dad have never had a great relationship tbh since my teens. he has never really supported my marriage, always makes a huge effort with and clearly favours my Dsis's DH, and always makes snide comments about our parenting. He spent the first two years of DD1s life calling her by her middle name because he couldn't accept that we had given her an Arabic first name.

The only good thing I can say about him is that he is usually very good to my DCs, and he was good to us when we were young.

Anyway, I now have just been comforting DD1, who was went into her bedroom and cried as soon as we got in because "we are never going to see gran and grampy again", and she has asked me why we are always arguing, I don't know how to explain it to her.

I know it's probably extreme to ban the Dcs from seeing their grandparents, but I actually can't face speaking to my Dad again, until he gives a damn good apology, but I have never heard him apologise in his life.

So, for those of you who have had the perseverance to read to the end, AIBU?

ANormalOne Fri 26-Jul-13 20:29:53

Trifle I'm pretty sure OP didn't post this so you could have a go about her and her husband's choices on how to raise their children, it's not about that.

It doesn't matter if she raised them to be vegetarian, pescetarian or rastafarian, he should respect her choices, regardless of whether he agrees with them or not.

MumnGran Fri 26-Jul-13 20:40:50

What a lousy day for you OP
It's hard when family make life so difficult, and use children as vehicles for their issues.

I can understand that you don't want to see him, and I suspect that a break would be a very smart move for a while.
That said - I think you rather neatly put your solution in place already, and drew a firm line in the sand, when you responded to your father's "when in my house" comments by saying that you would not be back! You should stick to that.

This doesn't mean no contact. It means if they want to see you, then they visit you at your home. Your house - your rules.
If he crosses THAT line too....well then you can face whether you actually want someone who is totally uncaring of your feelings, to remain in your life.

I hope your DH is supportive.
flowers

raisah Fri 26-Jul-13 20:41:41

There was a thread on here a while ago about the health risk associated with pork. Can you explain to him why muslims do not eat pork? That there is a higher risk of thread worms etc and that the Jewish community don't eat it for the same reason. Pigs are not selective eaters and have in the past been fed rubbish which is why it's not regarded as a clean animal to eat.

I think the pork issue is a small part of a bigger issue of him not accepting you being married to a muslim. In this political climate, it's not easy being a muslim and it can't be easy for you choosing to be married to
one. Unfortunately his bigotry is clouding his judgement and he is becoming physically abusive by trying to force a pork sausage in your dc mouth. Appeal to his status as a father, ask him what he would have done if someone forced you ( as a child) to eat something. He is being vile and risks alienating hia daughter over a pork sausage, ask him if that is what he wants.

Pozzled Fri 26-Jul-13 20:44:55

I would do as others have suggested- don't see your parents at all for a while, and when you are ready to see them again, make sure it is on your terms. Invite them to your home or meet on neutral ground where food is not an issue.

IMO it doesn't matter what the food is or why you don't want your DCs to have it. If you didn't want to give them chocolate and your dad acted in the same way- questioning your decisions in front of the DCs, upsetting them and going behind your back to give a 2 year-old something they weren't allowed- it would be just as bad.

motherinferior Fri 26-Jul-13 20:45:56

He's a racist bigot. YANBU.

AnnabelleLee Fri 26-Jul-13 20:46:23

Its not actually that confusing is it? "we don't eat pork" how confused can you be? hmm

WonderBarbara Fri 26-Jul-13 22:59:07

Hello again,

feeling a lot better after reading your posts, thanks. Poor DH, he came in from work, asked "How did it go today?" and that was it, I let it all out. He is wonderful, he knows my Dad isn't a fan of him at all but he still got me to see some reason and sense, as did you all on here. We have been thinking this eve, that it would be best to take a break from my parents for the summer, and then for DH and me to talk to my parents, without the DCs present, as there are some things I really need to get off my chest, about how I feel he completely disrespects and criticises, me, DH and our choices and how it is negatively affecting our children and I really to say something to my Mum as well about how she never sticks up for me. No more pad footing around this time. If we are able to have that discussion civilly without blowing over again, then we are going to only have them at our house, where there is nothing Dad can give them that they can't eat, and no alcohol to make my dad even more of a bigoted bullying arsehole than he already is If he can't agree to ever respect our way of life...well, we haven't decided that yet

Trifle, when I say we are loosely bringing the children up Muslim, I mean do not wear a burkha, we do not tell the children to pray, but do not stop them if they see DH praying and want to pray too, and we do not attend mosque as a family (DH goes sometimes, and we have decided that when children are older he will invite them along, for them to accept or decline as they wish), pork and alcohol are a no-no and I cover my legs when we go out, but I have chosen to do that, DH did not force anything upon me. I didn't mean to incite confusion, its just how I explain how we do things. I know we are not very religious, but we want the dc to be able to choose for themselves when they are older.

As for my marriage, no, dad has never supported it, we waited a year and a half after getting engaged to even plan the wedding because Dad didn't agree to it but DH was such a gentleman he didn't want to go ahead without Dad's blessing. In the end he did accept it, he gave me away, but he refused to give a speech, so my brother gave one instead. Funny enough until I was about 13, I was a daddy's girl, and no, if anyone had ever force-fed me something I didn't want as a child he would have flipped, so yes, he is a big fat hypocrite.

Anyhow, its been a killer of a day, so good night all, and thanks again for assuring me that I was not BU.

GingerBlondecat Sat 27-Jul-13 02:28:03

((((((((((((((((Soft warm Hugs)))))))))))))) OP and family.

It is hard when your family do not accept your new life and Love.

EatYourCrusts Sat 27-Jul-13 03:22:11

It sounds awful. sad

Do you think he could have possibly genuinely forgot then felt like you thought he had done it on purpose and so he went on the attack? That's still totally wrong of him but maybe easier to understand than him engineering the huge row.

I think you were right to leave and stick up for yourself, but my brother's DC will never see my parents again, after an argument that was their fault I agree. I don't think DB was wrong, but his girls always ask me about my parents and I know they are sad and miss them in their lives. So having that as my background I feel in my heart that making an effort would be best, on your terms, even though my head says that perhaps your dad has already gone too far.

Sorry for the essay!

So sorry your Dad is being disrespectful of the choices you and your Dh have made for your family. It's not like you are asking him to follow these dietary restrictions, you just need him to not give the kids anything that isn't allowed. Your choice.
Your Dh sounds lovely, waiting to marry and being by your side to try and resolve this with your parents.
The way your Mum doesn't say anything or stick up for you and the kids, sounds like he's a bully, she's used to just falling in line.

HollyBerryBush Sat 27-Jul-13 07:22:21

i said to my mum are you gonna let him torment my daughter like that?

Why would you do that? defer to your mother about your own child? that is the one line that stood out for me in this. You still see yourself as a child rather than a grown woman., which is probably because your father is a bit full on.

We can only give advice based on our own personalities, you seem a bit demure and compliant, where as I would have taken the sausage and shoved it up your fathers rectum.

Wow, YANBU at all. What awful behaviour from your dad.

Moetlovermuvver Sat 27-Jul-13 08:03:04

inkonapin Haribo sweets are made with gelatin and most gelatin is derived from pork. They do do a couple of sweets that don't have gelatin but they are not easy to find as most supermarkets don't stock them (round my way anyway). Hth.

RoxyFox211 Sat 27-Jul-13 08:19:53

Yanbu. He was plainly trying to start a fight but serving up something he knows you/they can't eat. He needs to suck it up, it's not up to him how you live, what you eat and the names of your children. I hope he comes to apologise because it would be tragic to not see him again, however I don't see how you can be in contact if he's going to be like that.

Numptywallice Sat 27-Jul-13 09:40:20

That's horrible. I would never see him again and explain To kids that its down to a lack of respect. My mum would be welcome in my home but then it's down to her to make effort. My friend is bring up her children in the same way so you are not alone. The way she explains it is when the kids are older they have a right to choose either way. When they come to my house i respect this and make sure I serve food with no pork in. It's really not a problem to cook for them!!

SamHamwidge Sat 27-Jul-13 09:46:50

Fuming on your behalf! I think you were pretty restrained.

If you do keep in contact don't give him any opportunity to impose his beliefs. I.e. Bring own food, don't visit at mealtime etc.

Hissy Sat 27-Jul-13 09:54:55

Gelatin is halal. Pork is not.
Grapes are halal, wine is haram, vinegar is halal.

Many Muslims get hung up on the source, but when something changes it's form, it's 'safe'

There are some that insist on gelatina being haram, but seriously, they are wrong.

The whole pork avoidance thing comes from hygiene, tapeworm and the fact that it's hard to keep fresh in a hot country (where islam came from) Jews don't do Seafood either, for similar reasons.

DS and I are now on our own, we eat what we like. I had the chat with him about pork, and said that the decision to eat it or not was up to him.

Prior to this, DS was also brought up loosely within Islamic boundaries. And yes, mostly out of respect for his father.

It doesn't do a child any harm at all to understand cultural/religious differences, so let's not be slating a family's totally rational choices? Not like the DC are being deprived, are they? Far from it! They get 2 lots of celebrations! Just without the sausages and alcohol! :D

thispunderfullife Sat 27-Jul-13 09:56:42

I really feel for you. I went through similar with my mum, who pushed it so far that I refused to see or speak to her, and I was as good as my word for 6 months. She wouldn't apologised but I let that go, she never has, but she got time to think about why I wouldn't see her and she was devastated not to see me dh and dgs. She has respected my life choices since. Good luck I know it's hurts but try try try to remember it's all about his issues and insecurities, it's not your fault. You sound sorted op... Don't let him drag you down. [Flowers]

motherinferior Sat 27-Jul-13 09:58:56

It isn't just haram because of cleanliness - it's also because pigs have cloven hooves but don't chew the cud; similarly shellfish have scales but no fins.

iwillsleepagainsomeday Sat 27-Jul-13 10:10:47

but if you bring them up very loosely as you describe why can't they have pork only at granny's house? why is only pork such a total black and white issue for you?

StillSeekingSpike Sat 27-Jul-13 10:26:10

Because that's the line you have to draw. I find it ironic that some people wouldn't let their children be fed Fruit Shoots and KFC at grandparents but don't see that parents also have the right to bring their children up in an ethical way.

motherinferior Sat 27-Jul-13 10:26:55

Because pork is dirty to Muslims and Jews. It is absolutely not something you eat. Lots of people I know who were brought up in a quite loosely observant household don't eat it.

thebody Sat 27-Jul-13 10:36:06

it sounds like he controlles your mom and I'd angry that he has lost control of you.

tellingly you say he was a good dad while you were kids?

that's classic behaviour as kids are easily controlled and often idolise dads like this who in turn lap up the adoration.

it's when you get older and start gaining your own control that men like your dad can't stand.

I agree with posters saying see him on your territory.

btw he won't accept your views or agree he has been wrong and unfortunately as your dh is lovely he will regard him as weak and easily bullied.

good luck op.

burberryqueen Sat 27-Jul-13 10:40:11

trifle the vast majority of Muslim women do not wear a burka.
that is just ignorant.

jammiedonut Sat 27-Jul-13 11:01:27

Iwillsleepagain I think the issue is that the ops parents are not respectful of her wishes at all, as well as the wider religious/ cultural implications. If you were to make a choice regarding your child's diet I'm sure you would be upset if your parents blatantly disregarded this and tried to FORCE FEED your child, then tell you thats the way things are done!
Its

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