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To feel hurt that my DC's have been forgotten about.

(70 Posts)
Eyerolling Fri 12-May-17 10:08:58

My father has remarried again in the past year. Whilst my DM was alive they rarely saw or wanted to see or spend time with my children, always making excuses that we lived too far away (20 mins drive), or my mum was unwell (suffered with anxiety) etc. I got used to this, never had the expectation that they would help with the children at all and we did it all ourselves.

DC's are now late teens, since my father remarried in private and without us being there (8 months) he's not seen them at all, I suspect this is at the instigation of his new wife who has a large family of their own. If I made arrangements to visit him he would make sure he was out, change plans at the last minute etc. All invitations to come to us were declined. Contact has become very sporadic as I took the attitude that I'd wait to see how it would be before he thought to pick the phone up to me and he hasn't. This is how he seems to want it, and I suspect its partly manipulation from the wife, whenever we have met she's been very cold and unwelcoming.
Christmas he sent a card with £10 each for the DC's. No other contact. The DC's text to thank him and he replied 'no problem'.

I now find out from extended family that him and his wife have been taking her grandchildren (babies) on short holidays, been looking after them for her daughter to work etc.

I feel like I've been kicked in the belly, really hurt and upset. My kids actually couldn't care less but I do. I know If i have it out with him it wont change anything and my kids don't actually want to see him anyway so there's no point. On the other hand its gnawing at me and I'll love to clear the air once and for all and give him a piece of my mind. WIBU to do this?

LovelyBranches Fri 12-May-17 10:12:27

YANBU and it doesn't sound like you have anything to lose by having it out with him.

Daffodils07 Fri 12-May-17 10:15:53

Can you write a letter of how you feel, if you do decide to send it then it might go down better then talking to him (and probably turn into an argument).
Or if you don't send it at least you have put into words how it makes you feel.
Might make you feel a bit better.
But in reality he really does not deserve you or his

user1493022461 Fri 12-May-17 10:16:33

Why would you blame his new wife for him not seeing his grandchildren, when he didn't see them long before her? Don't do the blame the woman thing.
She is proactive in seeing her grandchildren, thats not a bad thing. He has never had any interest in his, why would you expect that to change now that they are adults?

Nothing has really changed, so what would you even say? Why are you so upset now?

Eyerolling Fri 12-May-17 10:20:12

When I examine my feelings I suppose I feel a bit jealous. He never pushed a relationship with my children when my mum was alive always preferring to blame her for a reason why they couldn't visit or they didn't want to have them.

I guess his new wife is only doing what most grandparents do, I would have hoped she would have encouraged him to spend time with his own grandchildren too but I dont think she's the type to care about anyone else (lots of small things been said and the way she is towards us).

Yes, its him at fault.

HallowedMimic Fri 12-May-17 10:20:25

It's really odd that you blame his wife, when neither of your parents wanted anything to do with your children.

You are strangers to her, and largely to your father now.

It sounds as though the wife has a perfectly normal relationship with her own family.

user1493022461 Fri 12-May-17 10:21:53

I would have hoped she would have encouraged him to spend time with his own grandchildren too but I dont think she's the type to care about anyone else

She clearly cares about her own family, so thats hardly fair. Probably she can tell you don't like her and blame her for your fathers behaviour.

Devorak Fri 12-May-17 10:22:29

It sounds like it's her who has the grandparental instincts not him, explaining why it's her family they've been going away with.

I think it's a little unfair to suggest that it was your stepmum's instigation for you not being at the wedding as you have no proof or none you've given here.

You're unreasonable wanting to clear the air. I'm sad for you but he's made his position very clear. Accept it and continue to manage without him. It's sad but also a blessing that your children don't care abut the situation. wine

BarbarianMum Fri 12-May-17 10:23:32

It's not her, it's him. And I'm sorry - that must be painful for you to accept. It really isn't a reflection on you, or your children though. The deficiency lies within him.

sarahconnorsbiceps Fri 12-May-17 10:25:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SleepFreeZone Fri 12-May-17 10:27:57

Does he send you a gift for your birthday/Christmas? Do you celebrate his birthday/Christmas? I think that if he has pretty much ceased contact I'd just cut him out and get on with my life. His actions tell you that he couldn't give a shit.

2014newme Fri 12-May-17 10:29:06

He was like that before he married his wife. She clearly does want to spend time with her grandchildren.
He sounds a hopeless dad and grandad. Stop waiting for him to change because he won't. My mother is dreadful we are nc so. D know it's not easy but set you expectations to zero, send him a Xmas cars and let that be it.

I wouldn't tell him how you feel, no.

Willyorwonte Fri 12-May-17 10:29:33

Yanbu to feel hurt. Of course it's natural to want your parents to be interested in your children.
However if affections were sporadic before your fathers remarriage, what makes you assume it is his new wife instigating less contact?
If your fathers new wife wants to take care of her grandchildren, I cannot see see that it is anybody else's business.
You seem to be making comparisons based on your negative assumptions, this will give you heart ache.
If you want a relationship with your father..... contact him, some people need abit organising.

Willyorwonte Fri 12-May-17 10:31:25

Otoh... he does sound quite absent emotionally.. can you accept that?

Jaxhog Fri 12-May-17 10:33:27

I would find it very hard not to send a letter to him, if only to express my sorrow at his lack of interest. But don't blame his wife.

Another option would be to talk to his new wife over coffee and see if she can influence him in any way or include you and the GCs in some of her plans. At least that way, you've covered all bases.

DontOpenDeadInside Fri 12-May-17 10:39:34

My dad is the same, but he lives literally round the corner. Sometimes if I'm passing and he's out the front we'll wave but think I've seen him twice this year. I know he takes his g/fs grandkids out because he has a car seat in his car (mine have never been taken out by him without me) We're off to Spain on Tuesday and in my mind a grandparent would give their g/kids a bit spending money, but nothing. (I've not asked as last year he knew but still didn't give them anything)
Makes me sad as my mam died 5 years ago and dps mam lives away, so they've only got my elderly nan as a g/parent (who thankfully is fab-she's coming to Spain with us)

FizzyGreenWater Fri 12-May-17 10:40:02

There was a thread recently where someone pointed out that no matter what we all like to think about men having just the same feelings towards their children as women do, it is actually really really REALLY hard to get away from the massive bank of solid evidence saying that, in many cases, they simply do not.

Men leaving. Men not paying maintenance. Men who are still part of the family having zero input into their childrens' everyday lives. Men leaving and then simply switching off what it is to be a parent - just no longer caring or doing or loving in the same way. Men walking out of their kids' lives without, seemingly, a backward glance.

Men do it every day and women hardly ever do it. It is so accepted that a man who, post-split, actually still behaves like a loving parent is more often than not LAUDED for that behaviour.

We don't like to think that it's like that though. 'Oh, he still loves them even though he's too busy to see them'. No. He doesn't love them. He may have feelings for them that you could call something else but he doesn't love them. Lots of men have families and then when that family splits they stop being a parent, stop loving and cut the ties. Terrifying but true.

It seems to apply here OP, in a more minor way. Your dad has done what a lot of men do - become part of a new family and been fairly ok with swapping the extended members of his original family for those of the new. He may feel fondly for your children but doesn't love them or wish to be part of their lives, and he's happy to follow his wife and spend his time with her grandchildren. How he feels about them personally is anyone's guess!

I am really sorry. But your best bet I would think is just to acknowledge this and move on. He has little or no urge for that close family tie, I don't understand it, I find it bizarre and hurtful but that is the way he feels. Don't ruin your own happy times with your children trying to make it change, I'd say.

tweezers Fri 12-May-17 10:40:39

Letters can be misquoted, taken out of context or misunderstood. Better to call and see him face to face, when you've decided how you really want things to change or otherwise.

tammytheterminator Fri 12-May-17 10:40:41

How hurtful. I'd be inclined to cease all contact. Not sure 'having it out with him' will have any effect tbh.

Devorak Fri 12-May-17 10:43:13

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

user1493022461 Fri 12-May-17 10:44:33

FizzyGreen is entirely correct, no reason to call her bitter. Or are you suggesting that there are NOT men who walk away from their children and never look back?

PortableVirgin Fri 12-May-17 10:47:05

Why would you blame his new wife for him not seeing his grandchildren, when he didn't see them long before her? Don't do the blame the woman thing. She is proactive in seeing her grandchildren, thats not a bad thing. He has never had any interest in his, why would you expect that to change now that they are adults?

This. She's behaving like a nice, involved parent to her grandchildren, he's behaving the way he always has. Why not put the blame where it actually lies? Though I can appreciate it is hurtful to do so.

Although interesting to think about what she thinks of the situation. An ordinarily involved grandparent who presumably sees her children would find it very odd to marry someone who sticks a tenner in a card at Christmas and actively avoids visits from his grandchildren. If she's cool with you, I'd be wondering what he's said to her?

BorisTrumpsHair Fri 12-May-17 10:48:00

I think you make very good sense and what you describe is all to common sadly.

You know personal attacks are against MN rules? You are bang out of order with those comments to Fizzy

abbsisspartacus Fri 12-May-17 10:48:45

I would have it out with him even if nothing changes because it would fester in me the injustice of it all

PortableVirgin Fri 12-May-17 10:49:49

And so many threads on here suggest Fizzy is not fantasising, or indeed 'bitter'. See also the number of threads where women marry/get together with these men who've lost contact with their children from a previous marriage/relationship, and appear to accept, often on no evidence, the party line of 'Oh, his crazy ex wouldn't allow him to see them.'

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