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to feel increasing bitterness and sadness?

(24 Posts)
shandyleer Thu 23-Jun-11 14:03:42

I don't know if I am or not, but I can't stop thinking about the whole situation. If I am BU, can you help me to view things differently? I have posted bits and pieces about this before so apologies for any repetition.

My parents divorced when I was 11. My mum's actions caused scandal in the circles in which they moved. I elected to stay with my Dad, and did so until I left home for uni. Dad and I had a very close relationship, there was nothing we could not speak about, we got on very well.

When I was 15 Dad met his current partner. She is 20 years younger than him and has 3 children (although only admits to having 2). They have never lived together. Her and I were not particularly close, partly because we didn't see much of each other, but we never actually fell out. I always felt she disapproved of me in some way but never knew why.

Over the years Dad and I have remained close, even though I now live 200 miles away from where I grew up. I am his only relative so I did feel guilty at not seeing him as often as I could, but I was happy that he had the companionship and care of his partner.

Shortly before Xmas Dad was diagnosed with Crohn's disease so he moved in with his partner for the first time in over 30 years. Shortly after that, his partner was diagnosed, totally out of the blue, (never smoked, always ate healthily etc) with lung cancer. About two weeks after her diagnosis, her son rang us to tell us that his mother no longer wanted my father around as she could not care for him. Dad came to stay with us - him thinking it was for a fortnight only, us knowing it was permanent. Each time a fortnight would pass, Dad would mention returning, and she would say she wanted to be alone for another fortnight.

I'm amazed at her duplicity over this, I think she should have told him the score up front and not be stringing him along.

Just before Dad came here, he wanted Dh and I to attend a meeting with him and his bank manager, and during the course of the meeting, I found out that he had left her the larger part of his savings, plus he was leaving money to her sons - none of whom he knows any better than she knows me, none of whom he was instrumental in bringing up, and none of whom he has ever seen regularly. I was really shocked - NOT because of the money aspect, but because it seems that he holds her in higher regard than both me and my children.

A couple of weeks ago we took Dad to visit her at the weekend (he was "allowed" to visit as one of her sons was also staying). We dropped Dad at her house, and went on to stay at my Mum's. No sooner had we got there (at about 11ish on a Friday evening) than DH became seriously and suddenly ill (he does have lots of health issues), so we rushed home again and he was admitted to hospital. The following morning my Mum rang Dad to tell him what had happened and to say that he would probably have to stay on with his partner a few days longer than originally planned. The partner answered the phone, my mum told her what had happened, and her response was to start crying, to say that she hated me, that I was bone idle, had never done anything in my life, and I was just waiting for my Dad to die to get him off my hands and to get his money.

I can't tell you how upset I was to hear such awful things - but worse still, is that she has since told Dad what she said, and he has said absolutely nothing to her. When I asked him why, he started to make excuses for her and to say that she was sorry. I can't understand why he would let her say such things about me without defending me. I can't stop thinking about it, and about all her other recent behaviour. Dad continues to talk about her as if she has done nothing wrong - he doesnt seem to realise I don't want to hear anything about her, neither does he realise how let down I feel.

I'm feeling increasing hostility towards her, but I also feel more and more bitter towards my Dad. I don't want to feel this way, but each time I try to rationalise my feelings, it seems she has "won" in every aspect of the situation. How can i not let this fester? I have spoken to my Dad about the whole name-calling incident, but as I said, he made excuses for her and now acts as though it never happened.

shandyleer Thu 23-Jun-11 14:04:23

Wow, sorry for the essay, didn't realise it was so long blush

Dozer Thu 23-Jun-11 14:16:30

Wow, shandy, that sounds awful.

You might get more responses in the relationships section.....

Think some honesty with your dad about your feelings about what your partner has said about you; his will; and their relationship status may be needed.

You might also want to think about how much you can (and can't) cope with doing for your dad given the situation, e.g. would you want him to live with you?

What is your mum's role in this? How come she told you what your Dad's partner had said about you? Sounds like she might be stirring a bit.

With respect to money, it must be really upsetting, but at the end of the day it's his money and it may be best to count on yourself and your DP.

Fleurdebleurgh Thu 23-Jun-11 14:34:25

Have you posted this before?
Ive read that somewhere else.

Fleurdebleurgh Thu 23-Jun-11 14:34:54

Oh fail. Didnt read the first paragraph ;)

shandyleer Thu 23-Jun-11 14:36:39

Thanks for reply Dozer, perhaps I will try in relationships.

Dad is currently living with us, but not very happy about it as is not used to the noise and chaos four children bring!

Mum was being helpful really by making the phone call that we didnt have time to make, but she did say that she didn't know whether to tell me or not. I don't think she realised quite how gutted I would feel.

I'm really honestly not concerned about the money, as you say, its his to do what he likes with. It's just that the distribution of it seems to show he cares more for her and her children, than for me and mine.

shandyleer Thu 23-Jun-11 14:38:31

Yes, I've posted bits and pieces of it before Fleur (like your name), but not all in one massive spewing out of the details. smile

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 23-Jun-11 15:53:15

shandyleer... I think it's important that you come to terms with the way your Dad is choosing to to leave his money and possessions. Maybe the only way you can do that is to speak to him about it, now, whilst he's still here. Better that than spending the rest of your life with this niggling away at you.

I think it is a bit about the money for if it weren't, the ratios just wouldn't matter to you. He's your Dad, spend time with him and talk it through.

Sorry that you're feeling so sad about it all and I hope you can get some peace in your mind about this.

jeckadeck Thu 23-Jun-11 16:04:10

your dad's partner sounds absolutely toxic.

Seems to me there's two separate issues here:

a) your dad's decision to give most of his money to her or her children and what that says about his relationship with you.
b) her duplicity towards him.

On the first point, I think you should ask him -- you have a right to an explanation -- and then leave it, regardless of what he says. He's an adult and can do what he likes with his money and you have to accept his reasons. You say its not about the money per se its about the relationships and I accept that but I still think you have to let this one go. I think the one thing to hold onto is that rows over inheritance can be seriously bitter and it just isn't worth fighting over it, whatever the implications are.

What would concern me far more is that she apparently doesn't have the moral fibre to tell him she's dumping him and is trying to get you and your family not only to take him off her hands but is expecting you to deliver the news to her. You have to take this up with her: its completely out of order for her to expect you do keep telling him on a rolling basis that its just going to be another fortnight or so. I'm guessing that he will take this news really badly whether its delivered by you or her -- all the more reason for her to front it out and tell him herself. The fact that they are both ill is no excuse. You can't let her get away with this.

shandyleer Thu 23-Jun-11 16:58:38

Thanks for replies. It honestly isn't about the money - someone elsewhere said that "money doesn't equal love", and having read that, I feel a bit better about the way he's distributed his savings. I willl ask him to explain but I don't want him to think he has to justify to me what he's doing with his money. Actually, reading this over it sounds quite childish to be fretting over which one of us he loves more, but recently he just seems to have been so blatantly in her corner that I have been taken aback/upset.

Jeck - that's just how I feel about her treatment of my Dad. I don't know why he hasn't realised yet that he's being fobbed off, but I'm not going to break his heart for him. I don't particularly want to talk to her but I may ring her son (the one who rang us to tell us she didn't want him) and ask him to ask her (if that makes sense!). Will wait until Dh is out of hospital though.

SpottyFrock Thu 23-Jun-11 17:07:35

Have you asked him about the money? Have you properly had the whole thing out with him? I'm going to sound really mean but you sound a bit wet about it all TBH. But then your father also sounds wet with regards his relationship with his 'partner'. It sounds as if he'd rather live with her but she doesn't want that so he's with you-charming!

I think it sounds as if he was a companion to her rather than anything more loving and now that she's dying she wants to spend her time with the people she really loves. He needs to clarify whether this is the case. And you need to find out whetehr he's just with you because he's got nowhere else. Not that that is a problem in itself but it would be nice to know.

It sounds like there needs to be some straight talking in your family. Hope you get it sorted out.

SpottyFrock Thu 23-Jun-11 17:08:22

Oh and I hope your DH is better soon!

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Thu 23-Jun-11 17:14:26

I remember your earlier post. I seem to recall that I advised you to cut your dad's dp some slack if for no other reason than her illness which is possibly terminal, and I now suggest that you endeavour to put your niggles about your dad's will/who said what to who/why they said it etc to one side at the present time and concentrate on your dad's needs.

Given all that your dad and his dp have recently gone through, you are coming across as being grossly insensitive - you seriously don't expect him to start slagging off his dp or taking her to task when she may be terminally ill?

Your dad has been diagnosed with what can be a chronic and uncomfortable illness, his dp has been diagnosed with cancer. As a result he has lost the care and companionship of his (presumably) loving dp and, in a matter of a few months, has been uprooted to live 200 miles away with you/your family.

You are all going through a period of adjustment, and I believe that your main concern should be ensuring that your dad is as happy as he can be in the melee that is life in a large family.

If your dad has no alternative but to live with you for the foreseeable future, does he have his own space, decorated and furnished to his taste, where he can retreat when/if the noise gets a bit too much for him?

Do you all take time to involve him in your doings, ask his advice (older people love to impart their wisdom), get out and about with him, encourage him to particpate in local events/clubs, pursue a hobby, and generally make him feel wanted and appreciated rather than a liability?

When/if your dad is happily established in the bosom of your family and has built relationships with your dc, it may be that he will be inclined to favour his daughter and her children over those of his dp.

It seems probable that your dad will outlive his dp and, after a suitable period of mourning, you should tactfully (as an afterthought) mention the need for him to revise his Will should he not want the bulk of his wealth/assets to go to his dp's children.

YABU. Stop obsessing about what you think is right, and allow your dad the right to talk fondly of his dp and his relationship with her - don't think that, in doing so, he won't be aware of any shortcomings or deficits that existed before this recent turn of events. Rid yourself of any bitterness towards your dad and his dp before it irrevocably damages your relationship with him.

As an afterthought, has it occurred to you that in saying "I'm amazed at her duplicity over this, I think she should have told him the score up front and not be stringing him along" that you've been as duplicitous as she was by treating your dad as if he was an idiot in your failure to appraise him of exactly what was going on? Does he know the score now?

Treat your dad with respect, value him for who he is, and stop seeing him as as an eventual cash cow.

shandyleer Thu 23-Jun-11 17:47:16

Spotty, I haven't asked him about the money because I don't want him to justify himself - I will ask at some point though because its upsetting to me that the way he's left it seems to imply he feels more for his partner, her children and grandchildren than for me and my children. Perhaps it is childish of me but I thought he and I were so close. And thanks for good wishes re DH.

Izzy thanks for your post, talk about no holds barred! Its obvious you think I'm BU, which is fair enough but I really really take issue with you telling me to respect him, value him and to stop seeing him as an eventual cash cow. My relationship with my Dad has been the strongest relationship in my life until DH, I tried to give some indication of that in my op. I'll say again, that the money itself is not the issue, its the way it was distributed

And, yes, he does have his own room and is very much part of the family. His relationships with the children are pretty much established since the eldest is now nearly 18, DH and I are doing all we can to make life as comfortable for him as we can (despite DH being ill and in hospital at the moment).

You're also right about his partner being ill and in pain, god forbid that should happen to any of us. I'm still shocked that she was so vitriolic though, and whereas I don't expect him to slag her off, yes, I would have expected him to have said something.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 24-Jun-11 06:51:46

As I recall, you posted on a Friday a week or two back. The previous Friday you'd dropped your dad off at his dp's home where the arrangement was that he was staying for the weekend, and presumably you agreed/arranged to pick him up on the Sunday(?) evening on your way back from your dm's.

In fact, you returned home later that same Friday night as your dh was taken ill, and a week later your dad was still staying at his dp's as it seemed that no-one could transport him to your home until the Sunday - ie. your dad's 2 night stay had extended to 8 nights and counting.

You have stated that your dad was "allowed" to visit his dp "as one of her sons was also staying". As you have revealed, your dad's dp has lung cancer, and it reasonable to suppose that she may be in a weakend physical condition due to the illness or to her treatment, and she may tire very easily.

Could it have been that the reason your dad was "allowed" to stay that particular weekend was because his dp's son was on hand to help her with the extra work/cooking/shopping that's always involved when someone stays over?

When your dm rang on the Saturday morning to speak to your dad, his dp may have felt despairing to learn that you'd gone home without him and that, contrary to what had been agreed, she would be left to cope alone for an indefinite period (which, in effect, was what happened) as her son would not be able to stay on and help out beyond another night.

Repeated conversations often get misinterpreted, but if you reneged on a promise to pick your dad up and didn't have the courtesy to tell her yourself, I'm not surprised that his dp was crying as, when she learned that you'd gone home without your dad, she may have believed that it was your intention to leave him with her as long as it suited you hence her unfair but entirely understandable outburst - have you never said anything you have subsequently regretted?

With regard to the 'rolling fortnight'; she may have been given a relatively hopeful prognosis, and she may be hoping that she will become well enough for your dad to return to live with her. Or it may be that she is trying to let your dad come to a gradual realisation that he must make his life elsewhere But if you don't speak to her, how will you know what the true situation is?

I also don't get any sense that you have any appreciation of what someone who has been diagnosed with any form of cancer goes through, or how it may affect their mood and outlook. FFS, their whole world has been turned upside down and brought crashing down around their ears - and there's you expecting your dad to take his terminally ill dp of 30+ years to task over words that she said in the heat or stress of the moment, and for which she has told him she is sorry.

You've said 'it seems she has "won" in every aspect of the situation'. Do you really think that? Given her diagnosis, can you justify that statement?

You asked 'How can i not let this fester?' It's easy. Put yourself in their shoes and feel compassion for all that your dad and his dp have lost and are going to lose and, when the time comes, encourage him to celebrate all that they had.

As for 'no holds barred', as with a repeated conversation, the written word can also be misinterpreted. If we were conversing face to face, I doubt that you would think that my words were unduly harsh.

If you respect your dad, you will respect his right to use his own judgement in his relationship with his dp.

If you value your dad, you will put your own agenda to one side at the present time.

If you don't want to be perceived as seeing him as an eventual cash cow, you won't mention his Will.

Cookster Fri 24-Jun-11 07:28:32

Do you think it would be a good idea to sit your dad down and have an honest chat about what you feel and what has happened rather than expecting him to "realise" various aspects. Actually as soon as he knows the woman wants him out of her life but might make a different choice about the money. On the other hand if she really does have terminal cancer, she won't be there for much longer for him to leave it to. That sounds rather stark but are you sure the woman isn't stringing everyone along in more ways than one.

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Fri 24-Jun-11 07:50:31

Op I really think you need to consider that you are underestimating just how much his partner is going through. Have you considered that she has wanted your dad to stay with you now so it's not such a shock when she dies? Or so that he can't see how poorly she is? I suggest you take some time to look at what lung cancer does to you. You seem to have so littlecompassion for a woman who has spent a very long time with your dad and where there doesn't seem to have been any problems. Her opinon of you may we be that you haven't seen your dad enough over the years. It may have even come from your dad and him wanting to have seen you more.

The fact is you don't know what his relationship has been like with her sons because you've not been there. Is their dad around?

You have gone through a massive adjustment having him move in.

bubblecoral Fri 24-Jun-11 10:17:57

I don't think your Dad's reaction is anything to do with how much he loves you.

I think he sees you as someone stable who will always be there for him, but he sees his DP as someone that he could lose so he has to work harder to keep her close to him. That could mean with money, forgiveness that she doesn't deserve or whatever, and that's why he's showing a more obvious (but not stronger) form of love.

But I don't think you should be asking for explanations from your Dad about not sticking up for you or for who he has chosen to leave money to. You are very unlikely to get any explanation that you are happy with because the things your Dad is feeling at the moment is likely to be too complicated for him to adequately put into words. It would probably just open up even more questions for you.

It sounds like you are going through a lot at the moment, you need to be kind to yourself. Try to accept that there may always be a few things that you don't understand, but you know your Dad loves you and that's what's important.

shandyleer Fri 24-Jun-11 20:09:17

Thanks for all replies ladies, it seems I am BU. I don't want to argue any more as I will be accused of drip feeding. One thing though - Dh is terminally ill. I think its fair to say I have some insight into terminal illness.

Izzy, I feel I should justify myself as you have me painted as selfish and thoughtless. I don't think I am, but nevertheless tis interesting to see how my posts come across.

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Fri 24-Jun-11 20:16:21

Shandy I'm so so sorry about your dh. Tbh it kinda explains a lot about what you have said so far. Don't underestimate the impact all of this is having on you, make sure you are looking afterself.

PelvicFloor0fSteel Fri 24-Jun-11 20:36:27

It sounds like you have a lot on your plate. How are you coping with your DH's illness and looking after your Dad? I'm wondering, if he needs so much looking after that his DP can't do it, whether this is all going to be too much for you. Sorry to ask so many questions but are you happy having your Dad with you or do you resent that extra pressure?

I can see where you're coming from about the will, it's not about the actual cash value but the way it implies he's putting them ahead of you. Before having DC I would have split my estate (what little there was of it) between my sisters. One is rich and one is poor but I felt it had to be an equal split so they felt they were equally important to me, even though common sense said that much cash made no difference whatsoever to my richer sister and doubling the amount she got would have been lifechanging (enough to pay off debts) for my poorer sister. Are you comfortably off and is your Dad's DP more cash strapped? That's one way I can see some logic in the division of assets.

It might be against the etiquette for AIBU but have a ((((hug)))).

shandyleer Fri 24-Jun-11 21:57:19

Thank you for latest posts ladies. Dh's illness is just part of our life now - he could go tomorrow, he could live for another 5 years. I tend mostly not to talk about it on here but felt it was relevant to add up there ^.

The thing about Dad is that he actually doesn't need that much looking after, in the weeks they were together he was caring for his partner, even after his illness was diagnosed. When he has a crohn's flare up, steroids usually settle it, so there are maybe two/three dodgy days when you daren't wander far from the nearest toilet! When he was living with his partner he was still driving (prob shouldn't have been to be honest), shopping, cooking, doing the washing etc. He's very domesticated and independent (having brought me up virtually alone). Since he's been here he doesn't drive, and has become a bit infirm, but still manages to potter about making tea and reading his paper. So he's no burden really, I'm glad to have him.

Pelvic - that's exactly how I feel about the will, you've explained it much more clearly. I'm so glad you could see what I meant.

PelvicFloor0fSteel Fri 24-Jun-11 22:12:53

That makes it a bit odd that his DP won't have him around because she can't look after him, it sounds like she may have other reasons. Horrible situation for all of you sad.

skybluepearl Fri 24-Jun-11 23:53:07

i would act as an equal adult. Fairly and matter of factly tell him what his partner has arranged in terms of moving him out of the house permanently. He does need to know.

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