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Can't get over what my father has done(35 Posts)
He has had multiple affairs, all with young teenage girls (17-18). They have all been his employees and dependent on him for their income. He has had children with 2 of these girls and they are now single mothers (he does provide financial support). He is approavhing 70 and his current gf is ubder 20. My parents have separated but my mother and sibblings maintain an amicable relationship with him and chooses to ignore his lifestyle. I find this really difficult to do. I think what he's doing is wrong and I just can't block it out. My mum thinks I should be like my siblings and maintain a civil relationship with him, but everytime I see him I just think of my dd being taken advantage of one day. Is my mum right?? I know how he lives is his choice, but I don't need to live with it do I??
Yes his behaviour is eugh. But they are consenting adults and he is supporting his children. You have not said that the young ladies feel aggrieved by his behaviour. Others will see them as Anna Nicole smith types - gold diggers using him for financial security (nothing to indicate that they are). Being cynical are your family keeping civil to ensure being remembered in his will? You have every right to cut him out but why waste the emotion judging him? Are you there for your hakf siblings? Are you part of their lives?
I am amazed that there are that many 17-29 year old girls out there willing to sleep with an almost 70 year old man EVEN FOR A CAR.
These girls must be either pretty vulnerable and messed up, or incredibly mercenary. Either way, the whole thing is extremely distasteful and I think your mother is in denial - she has obviously normalised this for so long as a coping mechanism that she has lost the plot a bit.
If it were my father I'd be severing contact without any qualms whatsoever, until he gets his sorry act together.
I share your misgivings, but I also think there are wider implications (not more important).
If you express your distaste and or, do something about it,rather than passively accept things as the rest of the family seem to do,will this cause them to reject you and side with your father?
Are you finantially tied to your father (or expect an inheritance?), are they?
If you make a stand even just by vocalising your distaste, will it force the others to examine their position?
Like I said, I share your distaste but he seems to be protected. Not sure what you can do. How do you fight a manipulative sugar daddy?
I wouldn't be able to look my dad in the face if I knew he was behaving as your dad does. So I don't think you're being unreasonable at all.
I would tell him too. Five years ago I probably wouldn't - now I would.
Quite a few posts on here have illustrated that pressure to "keep family together". There is no reason why OP should set herself up as befriender or emotional rescuer to her father's ex-girlfriends and their children. Given the relationships there, I imagine that could be quite damaging for all concerned - and the idea of assuming responsibility for one's parent's sexual conquests is disturbing!
OP evidently has discussed the issue with her mother as she says "My mum thinks I should be like my siblings and maintain a civil relationship with him".
Few of us enjoy thinking of our own parents in sexual terms; it must be difficult to see the evidence of a father's exploitative sexuality parading before one's eyes. Other family members seem to cope with the unpleasantness by framing him as a victim of greedy, teenage semi-prostitutes. I applaud you, BabyR, for taking the more balanced view and protecting your own moral compass.
In your shoes, I think I'd show up politely for family events and suchlike, but make it clear in general terms that I couldn't condone his sexual choices and keep a healthy distance.
Thanks for all the replies, it's really helpful to hear your points of view. I've grown up with this, and to a certain extent I had/have blocked it out (much in the way the rest of my family have), and chosen to ignore what he has been doing. But as I (and he) get older, and especially since having DD, I feel really uncomfortable about it all as I can't help imagining how I would feel if something like that happened to her.
pilgit Do you really think these girls are consenting adults? I think a 17 year old who is dependent on him financially, fresh out of school, who has never been in a previous relationship is a vulnerable person and I can see why she would find it hard to say no to his advances.
I have no relationship with my half siblings at all, and have no wish to. My dad compartmentalises his life and in fact they are not at all acknowledged in public as his. (which again doesn't sit well with me, as although he provides financial support, he is very much an absent father to them.)
Mayihave I doubt very much my stance will affect how my mum or sibblings feel about him- they tend to follow the path of least resistance. In fact it is more likely that I will be viewed as the one in the wrong for being difficult and reducing contact or saying something outright. There is probably an inheritance coming my way, but I couldn't fake it and pretend to have a good relationship with him just for the money.
garlicyoni you are right about my mum viewing them as heartless gold diggers. After one of the girls had their child, she was depressed and suicidal. My dad asked my aunt (his unmarried sis) to stay with her and help care for the baby so this girl had some support. Instead of feeling sorry for the girl, my mum blames my aunt for helping her out and refuses to speak to her as a consequence!
I do try to limit contact with my family- at least I'm not so bothered by how dysfunctional it is when I'm not there witnessing it!
^ I think a 17 year old who is dependent on him financially, fresh out of school, who has never been in a previous relationship is a vulnerable person and I can see why she would find it hard to say no to his advances.^
I completely agree. I can also understand why having had a daughter of your own, you would feel more acutely aware of the exploitative nature of it all. It sounds like you already know what you want to do OP and just want some reassurance that you would be doing the right thing. Do what feels right for you.
Really? I think most of the girls I have known of this age would have thought he was some kind of sad, wrinkly laughing stock. Not a smooth seducter.
I think the assertion that he's not hurting anybody is really very dubious.
I suspect he's hurting quite a lot of people actually. Just read some of the MN threads on here from women who describe being vulnerable 17 year olds thinking they were mature and grown up, who look back when they're 40 and realise what total kids they were. I suspect he's probably hurting them, particularly the ones who had children with him. And I also suspect that he is hurting the children he may financially support, but is emotionally abusing by not acknowledging them as his and not functioning as a father to them.
Not hurting anyone? FFS.
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