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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??
There's no onus on you to have a relationship with a man you dislike! Father or not.
As greentea says. Neither is there any onus on you to agree with your mother's or your siblings' decisions, although you should respect that their decision is right for them, just as yours is right for you (and they should respect you too).
He is approaching 70 and his lastest gf is under 20? .
What does she want with a man 50 years older? He must have some magnetism/charisma.
As he is not my dad, I am just amazed, but can empathise with you if it were the case. The sterotype of 'dirty old man ' comes to mind.
As said above, it is up to your DM and siblings to act as they want, and you to act according to your feelings.
I really feel sorry for your DM as must have hurt her feelings, but good for her if she wants to/can stay civil towards him.
I can also understand your concerns about your DD accepting such behaviour from a DH/DP and father.
You don't have to have a relationship with anyone you don't like. Parents or otherwise. Having said that - and I accept that he seems to be the kind that abused the position of power over the women that worked for him - I'm not quite sure why you think he's going to take advantage of your DD specifically.
I would cut a person like that out of my life, father or not
I didn't mean he would abuse my dd, it just makes me think of her being a teenager and falling 'into the clutches' of someone similar. I do think he takes advantage of these young women/ girls and its always women who are not from a well to do background, who are a bit in awe of him, as he is their boss, and wealthier than them. He also showers them with gifts (buying cars for the two that ended up having his kids for example, before they got pregnant). I think what he does is awful and I feel sorry for those poor girls. My mum is of the opinion that they chose to do it for the money/ gifts he showers on them and blames the girls. But I feel they are too young to know better, and feel its my dad to blame! I feel sad about the whole situation as I would like to have a relationship with him, but I really am finding it difficult to compartmentalise my feeling about his lifestyle.
I sympathise enormously because I know I'd feel the same as you.
If you want to have a relationship with him, that's different. Do all the people in your life conform to your personal standards or do any of them do or say things that you don't necessarily agree with. He may have taken advantage of various women down the years, your mother included, but at least he seems to have 'done the decent thing' financially where there are children involved. Many wouldn't bother. As for your DD falling into the clutches of someone similar, do you think she'll grow up to admire her grandfather or (more likely) see him as a bit of a pathetic old git in the mould of Silvio Berlusconi...?
I would find it very hard to keep a relationship going, except on a very shallow level, with someone who behaves like this. He is exploitative.
If your own mother is amicable with him then its none of your business to judge.
Yes, quite arsenaltilidie If your own mother is amicable with him OP then it's none of your business to judge his sleazy, predatory, arseholeish behaviour
Seriously though, you're not obliged to have a relationship with him, father or not. Deciding to cut my
violent, delusional and all round awful father out my life was the best thing I ever did, much less stressful not having to deal with whatever despicable thing it is he's done this time.
of course you can judge even if your mother is amicable with him
you have a mind of your own !
You're being completely reasonable. I do sympathise. There are strong pressures, both from relations and society at large, to "keep family together" but family members can be despicable people. It's absurd to keep people in your life when they do things that repel you. Shared genes can as much of an embarrassment as a bond!
As they say, you can't choose your family but you can choose your friends. So choose to fill your life with well-balanced friends, who don't see themselves as exercising some sort of droit de seigneur over vulnerable young women.
It's a bit grim of your mother to blame the girls, but I suppose that's the only way she can live with her cowardliness.
If her own mother who isn't affected by his behaviour and is civil with him, then the OP as has no right to meddle in her parents' relationships.
ccays there is no where in the OP where it says or suggests her father is violent, delusional and all round awful
If he treats people around him well, then who he conducts his romantic relationships has nothing to do with OP.
UNLESS she thinks her father would be a risk to her daughter, then thats a different matter.
she isn't advocating meddling in other people's relationships
she is asking whether people agree that she would be justified in not having one of her own with this man...she is not trying to dictate to anyone else
some people forgive (for example) a convicted rapist or paedophile and maintain intimate relationships with them
would you say the rest of the family had to as well, arsenal ?
I would not be held hostage by someone else's denial
Ewwww. You're stuck between doing what you want and creating a family row about non-contact. Solution - stick to the decencies ie Christmas, birthdays and reunions, then do no more.
You obviously don't like him much, and I imagine there's rather more to it than his admittedly repellent sex life.
"If her own mother who isn't affected by his behaviour and is civil with him, then the OP as has no right to meddle in her parents' relationships."
She's not asking about her parent's relationship, she's asking about her's.
OP you've got every right to decide who you will have a relationship with and if you don't want to have a relationship with htis predatory creep, you don't have to, father or not.
Thanks all of you for taking the time to respond. I have only told dh irl as it is quite an embarrassment. its good to finally be able to talk more!
i am in no way suggesting my mum or siblings change their relationships with my dad. They are all adults and can think for themselves.
I also know it's his right to choose how he lives his life, but I cannot ignore the fact that I feel it's wrong. And its something he continues to do. Its not the fact he has affairs i have an issue with, its more that they are vulnerable young women.
But arsenelitide does have one point that he's always treated us well. And that is why I find it difficult to resolve the two sides of him. He's always been warm and welcoming to dh, and is very good with my dc.
Anyfucker ^ a convicted rapist or paedophile^
Those are examples of people breaking the law and abusing people; the OPs father is neither of those.
If he is happy, his gf is happy, his other children are looked after, her mother and sibblings are happy and he treats everyone well... then thats not her father's problem.
Let your father live the way he wants to live, he is not hurting anyone.
As for your daughter, if your husband treats you well, chances are your daughter will marry someone that treats her well.
Is he still married to your mother?
He must be fucking loaded to buy girlfriends cars. He sounds like a sleazy creep- I wouldn't want anything to do with him.
You don't have to "get past it" if you don't want to.
My brother is in his 30s and only ever dates much younger women, and that bothers me enough. He is a loser, though, and any woman worth her salt near his age wouldn't have him. That's why he does it...18 year olds are easily sucked in and think that he's just misunderstood, doesn't want to live an average life, etc. But really he just doesn't want to have to try for anything.
We don't have a close relationship and that's part of the reason why.
OP, it sounds pretty upsetting, too, that he conceives half siblings to you with barely a care. This would upset me on quite a deep and hard to understand level, I think.
You don't have to pretend anything, but you don't have to start a hostile feud and try and persuade anyone else. You could be matter of fact with your Dad, tell him 'I don't think it makes you look all that great, to be honest Dad, and I wouldn't like to think of dd in such a situation with a boss so much older, would you? So it's not something I'm celebrating or wanting to hear about. ' and then remain civil but no closer and no more involved than you feel comfortable with.
Think you're getting your wires crossed there arsenaltilidie. I was saying that my father was like that, not the OPs. My point was that if he's causing her that much stress distancing herself from him might be helpful for her. His behaviour is at best sleazy and at worst exploitative. I also wonder how many young women dependant on his wages have been made to feel uncomfortable at their boss's advances, or that they couldn't turn him down for fear of losing their job. It's highly likely that there's more to it than what he's made his family aware of.
Anyway OP. Do what feels right for you. I can understand why you might not want to cut him out your life completely. Equally, you're under no obligation to maintain a relationship with just because of blood.
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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