to ignore these messages from my dad and his new partner?(35 Posts)
I'm really at the end of my tether and wish I could tell them both to piss off but it's not that easy. This is long!
There are lots of relevant details about my dad so I'll try to strike a balance between dripfeeding and writing a novel of an OP.
My mum and dad divorced when I was 5. He had an affair and then went one step further and married the OW- convincing her that he was a) divorced already b) had a daughter (me) but that his ex (my mum) wouldn't let him see her and that she demanded he pay up all his salary to my maintenance. This was a huge lie and, in fact, he paid no maintenance at all. Mum found out about the cheating/ sham marriage, demanded a divorce, he refused, she demanded it again and then he threatened to have me kidnapped and taken to live abroad with his mother. Mum took him to court and managed to secure prohibitive steps against him with a court order that expired when I turned 16.
Between the ages of 5 and 16 he came in and out of my life, probably seeing me about 6 or 7 times just for the afternoon. He lives abroad. I would get a phone call maybe 3 or 4 times a year with a bunch of excuses as to why he didn't call. In that time there were a LOT of lies, tall tales and excuses as to why he hadn't called or visited, made up birthday presents that were lost in the post, stories about frozen bank accounts meaning he couldn't send child support.. The works. Highlight was the year that I turned 12- he didn't call on my birthday but instead called on HIS birthday livid that I had forgotten. I said sorry. I'm now angry that I did.
Some of his stories were ridiculous - not really relevant to this thread but the stories were laughable. Only an idiot would believe them but he would swear blind they were true.
His wife and him had a son and were married until about 4 years ago when they divorced. I've recently got to know them and we are now very close. My mum and her are also very good friends and mainly bond over how ridiculous he is. I've grown up with this and it's fine. I don't see my dad a lot but we are friends on Facebook and he sometimes writes me messages on there- on my public wall these are always ridiculously flower - showy messaged about how much he loves, thinks I'm wonderful and how he brags about me to all his colleagues. Private messages between us are a lot more guarded.
Anyway, that's enough context and sets the seen. Now to the AIBU/ WWYD
6 months ago he announced his engagement on facebook. This received a lot of attention with many people shocked, lots of congratulations but mainly people saying they were so surprised as he has never mentioned a lady to him. I messaged him to ask who this was and he replied saying it was complicated but I would be the first to know. On his public Facebook he wrote another message saying that Facebook had 'made a mistake' and that his relationship status had been updated by mistake. It stayed the same.
I chatted to my stepmum about this and she said that an old colleague of theirs found out that the fiancé was somebody he had a long standing relationship which undoubtedly overlapped with my dad and stepmum's marriage. The fiancé's divorce wasn't final and she lives in a part of the world where having a relationship out of wedlock is very taboo/ arguably dangerous for a woman.
My birthday was at the weekend. My dad put a ridiculously flowery message on my wall- 2 days late- and also sent me a private message saying that his new partner had sent me a friend request and a special message. I checked my spam messages and saw her message where she wished me a 'happy birthday baby and used lots of heart emojis and kissing icons'. I'm just exasperated.
AIBU to be so angry and to ignore this?
I'm afraid I can't just cut him out of my life - at least not for another year (that's a whole other story) and need to be at least civil but I'm so angry. I've never told him what I really think of him but I don't think he realised I'm not 5 anymore.
Thanks if you've read to the end!
Can I ask how/why his bigamous marriage could end in divorce when the marriage wasn't legal in the first place? Not strictly relevant, I'm just intrigued.
The woman's message is bizarre to send to somebody she's never met, although maybe with her being from a different culture..? If you really do need to keep him in your life for another year, you just have to ignore. Could you block her on FB, or would your dad flip at that?
Keep to minimal contact for the year that you have to, then sack him off with a quickness.
He sounds like a tool, a useless tool - public (FB) displays of affection, with no genuine care given.
Good luck to the new wife. Is she mad?
Ignore the spam message, forget to check it, deny all knowledge, whatever...
Bare minimum contact with the twat of a father.
If I didn't know better, I'd suggest he sounds like my ex. I'm expecting my son to be able to say similar in the future.
But then his dad really can't be bothered and as he's abroad. good riddance, he has no influence on anyone or anything in my life. The kinds of "women" that inhabit the pitiful country he lives in would absolutely do the same as your dads gf has. Just ignore.
You're a grown adult and can manage who you have and don't have on your FB.
You poor love. You've been dealt a shit hand, haven't you! NO ONE deserves a father like this.
You sound very sorted. I say trust your instincts! And whatever you decide, don't feel guilty! x
You don't have to answer his messages immediately, wait until you've calmed down and don't go into things, just be polite. Only people who are worthwhile deserve home truths.
One time when I was living in a house without running water my father sent me cuttings about Princess Grace of Monaco and her philosophy of life, recommending that I follow her advice. I laughed for three days solid and then when I had got over the joke, wrote a nice letter in reply.
If you want to keep the peace, friend her, then put her access to your page on restricted. I think all she'll see is your updated profile picture, whenever you change it. Another option, of course, is to ignore.
You don't have to do anything to please this useless excuse of a 'father'. The new lady is nothing and nobody to you. Ignore and block her.
Is your dad my dad op!?
Our stories are so similar! Cheated, moved abroad with ow, then married, had kids, recently separated and now with some woman announcing all sorts!
Can I ask why you cant cut him off for a year?
And I bet like me you never ever confronted him about being a shit dad did you?
Can you give us a clue on the 'at least not for another year' thing?
Is important not to offend him in that year? Would it have ramifications for other family members?
He called me last night, late. I didn't pick because I was too anxious and angry. In his voicemail he wished me for my birthday and said that his partner had sent me a friend request. I replied this morning saying that I only picked up the messages this morning and that I was busy today at work but thank you. I sent her a thank you message too but I'm feeling hounded and don't want to accept the friend request.
It's making so horribly anxious and I have a really important work meeting today.
Oh and to reply to the messages:
- his second divorce went through because his marriage to my mum was in a different culture - I can't say much more without outing myself.
- the reason I have to keep things at least civil between us this year would also out me but it's self-preservation as he has the power, this year, to make my life pretty hellish if he turned nasty on me.
That's the only thing that's making me think I should back down and accept the friend request but I really don't want to.
I haven't told him, ever, what I really think of him. Really really not in my nature but also I want an easy, non-confrontational life.
What will you do at the end of the year? Cut contact?
Accept the request but put her so she can't see much. I would also do the same with your dad.
Ps... Belated happy birthday
Good idea. 'Restricted' friend list is a mercy. You could just smile (laugh) at her message.
Put them both on restricted - lock down your face book page as much as possible and maybe be very careful about what you put on face book generally.
Really really not in my nature but also I want an easy, non-confrontational life.
I can get the emotional distance thing and restricted information that works - but the easy, non-confrontational my Dad was like that with his parents actually meant doormat. So you may need to think about being assertive not just accepting things possible in a year time if it will be easier then. Otherwise you might find he walks all over you the rest of your life causing mayhem and upset.
Recently I have had to confront the damage, pain and profound sense of loss caused by my father's ... choices. Thus, I'm reading your post and all I can see is just how badly he has failed you. Time and time again. And he just isn't stopping, is he.
There just aren't adequate words to express how sorry I am that he still hasn't worked out how to stop hurting you, and how to start making some steps towards making things as right as they ever can be.
<Empire State building sized hug>
I'm not that up on Facebook, but I think there is a way you can add her as a friend (to avoid any fall out from ignoring it) and then change your settings so she essentially becomes invisible to you. It will still require you to self censor when you post to Facebook, becuase she'll still be able to see your page.
Not ideal. But I understand the need to take on a compromise too far in the short term, in order to access a better place in the longer term.
I replied this morning saying that I only picked up the messages this morning and that I was busy today at work but thank you. I sent her a thank you message too but I'm feeling hounded and don't want to accept the friend request.
You could build in a time delay with answering any contact - a day or to later - wean him off an immediate response expectations - or only deal with his messages on x day of the week when ever they happen just say if questioned you are very busy at the moment.
Highlight was the year that I turned 12- he didn't call on my birthday but instead called on HIS birthday livid that I had forgotten. I said sorry. I'm now angry that I did.
If he does this again - cultivate the non apology apology I'm sorry you feel that way
Reading between the lines you are waiting until you are 18 and legally an adult so your father has no control over your life. As you are from a different culture, I am assuming (perhaps wrongly), that until then, your father could potentially take you to another country and force an arranged marriage?
If you are in the UK and are a British citizen, then I would get some advice from the UK govt to see what measures you can take to improve your safety in the meantime.
Just a thought, since he's done millions of 'lost in the post' and 'sorry my bank account froze' and other types of 'sorry miss the dog ate my homework' type excuses, why don't you do the same with things like facebook messages?
If you have to wait a year and youneed to keep him sweet in that time, then if I were you I'd accept the friend request, put her on a restricted list so she can't see/post on your wall, and sit the year out. You'll probably get loads of emoji type spamming on your wall from her when your friends too, so maybe change your settings so you need to approve any wall posts.
Then sit tight for a year, reply a few days late saying you've been busy, and then in a year once you've got (whatever it is that you need) then cut contact if you want.
And don't feel bad about using him like that. Small justice for the complete non-father that he's been all these years. He doesn't get to pick only the good/cheap bits of being a parent (eg the gusty shitty FB messages claiming pride and credit for things you've achieved
I was think more access to something money or something else that OP Dad could make difficult this year or making a big event family event Op has to attend difficult. There are a few possibilities - that the OP doesn't need to go into at all.
Just lie to him, 'I've checked and checked but no message or friend request, I'll let you know when it comes through' then if he's as bad as you say just gently ignore over the next 12 months to go quietly into limited/no contact.
You could tell him that 'Facebook made a mistake' and wouldn't let you accept the friend request!
Have a good rant on here to get the feelings out, then post neutral, anodyne responses to your Dad and his partner. Keep this up for 12 months until whatever you need resolved is sorted. Then you can block them from Facebook and unfriend. Don't worry about manipulating or tricking your Dad, look after your own interests, that is all he has ever done.
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