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Starting to feel guilty -HIBU?

(24 Posts)
AttitcusFinchIsMyFather Tue 23-Dec-14 15:58:54

Wondering if I have been unreasonable for not inviting my father to join us for Christmas dinner?

I have never had a great relationship with him, didn't see him for long periods of my childhood (his choice) so have never had a real father/daughter relationship.

As an adult, I find him irritating and a bit of a free-loader - he always turns up if there is free booze/food (my brother gets quite annoyed by this!). I don't spend much time with him.

Anyway, I have always tried to foster a good relationship between him & my kids, as I wanted them to have a loving Grandad, and to be honest he wasn't too bad with them. Until this last summer, when he wanted to take them out for the day, but did not inform me. He askedthe night before, we already had plans & he got all huffy. He then sent my DDs (age 13 and 14) really passive aggressive messages! I got very angry at him, as they really upset my daughters, and told him to never pull a stunt like that again. Haven't heard a word from him since, though my eldest DD has said she bumped into him in the shopping centre, and he ignored her sad

He usually spends Christmas with us, as we are his only family nearby who celebrate. He could spend the day with my sibling who lives an hour away, but they don't speak to him much either. This year however, I haven't contacted him & invited him. He sent a message through another family member to say he couldn't afford to buy any presents this year. My DH and eldest DD are not keen on having his company. Until today, I agreed with them. But now the guilt is setting in, him being all alone ...

Should I send a late invitation?

FarOverTheRainbow Tue 23-Dec-14 16:01:27

YANBU, I wouldn't invite him if I were you, your family don't want him there so why ruin everyone else's Christmas? It would be different if he made an effort with you and your family and not treated your DDs the way he did with them messages

hesterton Tue 23-Dec-14 16:01:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MagratsLongWhiteBeard Tue 23-Dec-14 16:02:58


If you are kind enough to invite him & he turns up expecting to be fed & watered at your expense with no gifts for the children then your resentment is going to rise to sky limits & will spoil your Christmas. Your DH & DD do not want him there & assuming you are not the dictator of your household smile you have been outvoted.

AttitcusFinchIsMyFather Tue 23-Dec-14 16:05:14

Why do I feel so guilty?

MagratsLongWhiteBeard Tue 23-Dec-14 16:10:37

Because you're a woman & we have been told for many centuries that we should put other people first & never say no to anything, you are not obeying this & as such feel guilty as its what you have been taught since you were a young girl smile

Perhaps have a think about the reasons why he is alone on Christmas Day.

Its not your decision really, your DH & DD have told you that they don't want him there so if you do invite him where will that leave their Christmas? & if they have a rubbish Christmas to whom will they turn to blame?

You really are kind OP though wine

AttitcusFinchIsMyFather Tue 23-Dec-14 16:14:58

Thank you. He has 4 children, yet none of them even send him even a card. I have realised that I am not so bothered about what he thinks of me, but what other people think of me for not including him.

Bulbasaur Tue 23-Dec-14 16:29:54

I wouldn't worry about what other people think.

FIL can be a pain in the ass, and is very manipulative. He's very much a "Give a mouse a cookie" type person. He'll ask for a cup of coffee, then ask while you're at it/in the kitchen can you... It'll build up if you let it until you're doing something utterly ridiculous like cleaning the whole kitchen area. But he'll do it in a way that each request sounds so reasonable, so if you say no it just sounds like you're purposely being mean. I've come to terms with being a "bitch" and tell him no to extra. wink

Oddly enough we get along fairly well. Probably because he knows he can't push me around and I don't build up resentment doing thankless favors for him.

One time though, he wanted us to sort through boxes for him, we refused. He got a neighbor, who got all self righteous and chastised DH for not helping his own elderly father. We just sort of laughed at him, told him if he's willing to put up with the man, more power to him. Interestingly enough, he was "busy" by the second day. That man is literally impossible to work with.

If your father can't get anyone to want to be around him, he needs to work on himself.

The only reason DH will tolerate him now is because of how well he treats DD, but he's standing on thin ice with him.

Crinkle77 Tue 23-Dec-14 16:37:02

YANBU. To treat his granddaughter like that and ignore him is pathetic. If he has fallen out with you then that's one thing but to do it to them is mean.

Crinkle77 Tue 23-Dec-14 16:37:14

Sorry ignore her

whois Tue 23-Dec-14 17:54:41

He sent PA texts to his grand children and ignored one of them in public?

Why on earth would you invite home for lunch?

He's made his lonely bed by being a shit father and a questionable grandfather.

AttitcusFinchIsMyFather Tue 23-Dec-14 19:25:44

Thanks, I feel less guilty now, it IS his own fault.

Stylecraft Tue 23-Dec-14 19:30:23

I love my dad, but he is equally lacking in adequate fatherly behaviour. So he can get stuffed. Please don't feel guilty. Family is not just for one day at Xmas. You take out what you put in at the end of the day.

Hatespiders Tue 23-Dec-14 19:44:03

I wouldn't invite him. I realise you'd like a lovely grandad for your dc, but I'm afraid he doesn't fit the role at all.

It seems to me that if he did come to yours, he very well might ruin it for everyone. He probably only wants a good meal. He hasn't even got any presents (and no-one is too poor to get small gifts for the children; some sweets would do)

He hasn't exactly been a delightful father over the years has he?
Ignore him and have a happy Christmas with your dc.

timetoplay Tue 23-Dec-14 21:21:14

Its his own fault. He doesn't sound like a good dad or granddad, though you sound like a good daughter.

It will ruin your and your families Christmas and quite frankly, he doesn't deserve the consideration.

ihatethecold Tue 23-Dec-14 21:44:28

God no!
You have no reason to feel guilty.
Enjoy your day with your lovely family.

cansu Tue 23-Dec-14 22:18:24

The only thing I would say is to consider how you might feel about this later. I had similar feelings at times about my father. He died suddenly of a heart attack three years ago and I still regret not making the effort to spend time with him. This doesn't mean putting up with shit behaviour by the way but I just wish I had been more welcoming sometimes. I kind of think it was also up to me to forge a more adult relationship with him rather than expecting him to be helping me out and doing what I needed. Sorry to blather on about this but your post struck a chord with me.

ihatethecold Wed 24-Dec-14 06:06:19

Great. More guilt from Cansu.

timetoplay Wed 24-Dec-14 08:47:40

OP I understand Cansu's post, she obviously wants you to consider the other side of things but you need to just ask yourself this: who am I doing this for and who will it affect?

Are you doing it just to appease your guilt? In which case I would get counselling to help you rather then inflict upon yourself, if you don't actually want, love and miss his company then he's nothing more then a burden that has made his own bed.

Who will it affect? You family. How will they feel? Will they be on edge just knowing he is coming? Will they be upset and angered by his bad attitude? Will they be upset and furious seeing him ause you? Will they resent you and be annoyed?

The latter is also important because it's 'who do you put first?' The answer is you but also yours. You and your family, which your father is not. I love my relation to death but they are so fucking toxic and I resent my parents forcing me to see them be abused like that. I stood up to him once and I got shut out for a punishing time and now I'm even more resentful. I refuse now I'm an adult to even be in the same room as this person if my parents or uncles are there.

Have a good Christmas with your family OP. From the sounds of things your dad doesn't give a damn about the day or what it means to you, so go and see him after Christmas if you have to but please don't let him ruin things. Do it on your own terms.

timetoplay Wed 24-Dec-14 08:50:16

And I should be clear that I understand Cansu's point but I don't agree. Her experience is very different from yours, you never know your own reaction to be honest and as I said above this man is the east important person-not the most.

My non-toxic relation cut off a toxic one, she still says to this day that they are a horrible person- dead or alive, she's just relieved it's the former. So everyone is different.

cansu Thu 25-Dec-14 14:29:40

My intention was not to upset you but to offer a different perspective. There will be plenty of people who tell you cut him off, what's the point etc. I have different feelings due to my own experience. I thought you were genuinely seeking advice from people. If all you wanted was people to Agee with you then clearly I was wasting my, time sharing my experience. Lesson learned.

HoHonutty Thu 25-Dec-14 14:34:40


FryOneFatManic Thu 25-Dec-14 14:59:31

I just wish I had been more welcoming sometimes. I kind of think it was also up to me to forge a more adult relationship with him rather than expecting him to be helping me out and doing what I needed.

And that is what toxic people rely on, that decent normal people keep trying to forge a relationship even though it's not possible. A proper relationship is one of equals, not one where one person feels it's down to them to keep it going.

ihatethecold Thu 25-Dec-14 19:08:17

. A proper relationship is one of equals, not one where one person feels it's down to them to keep it going.

Omg. That is a lightbulb moment.
Even for me that resonates.

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