I feel so much resentment towards our parents - AIBU?

(55 Posts)
SilenceTime Tue 15-Jun-21 14:48:30

I am a middle-aged woman with a family of my own and I feel so, so much resentment toward my own parent and my PIL.

My mum died when I was a child very suddenly and my DF moved on very quickly with someone else who had DC of their own. My siblings and I were sidelined and I left home at 18. My DF was married to this person for many years and then he was widowed about 2 years ago. My DF is very much a part of their lives including DGC and extended family and friends. He has a very good social life.

My in-laws have been off with me since the day I met them. TBH my MIL sees anyone who is female and not blood-related to her as a major threat and competition. It is actually very weird.

We/ I have had absolutely no help from anyone in our families. My DF used to mind his step DGC for weekends, go on holidays with them and babysit for them. My DC wouldn't really recognise him if he walked past them in the street. I have had ZERO help from him. My step-family actually told me that he is the most amazing person and they look on him as a father.

My PiL have also never helped us with our DC or with anything else, whereas they bend over backwards for his siblings. They have had them on a very few rare occasions on their terms, but if you were to ask them to help you out in an emergency they would say no because that would mean that I benefit from it. My DH has pulled them up a few times on, for example, not acknowledging me at Christmas and generally being a cow. I did try to turn this around as I already had one unhappy side of the family but no matter what I did, I was always in the wrong.

I just want to say that I am not weird or anything. I get on really well with my own siblings, their families, I have great work colleagues and friends who have been a rock for me. I don't think I am in conflict with them because I am not a nice person!

Now our parents are in their 80's and they are becoming more sentimental and a bit less reluctant to churn up drama. Now that my DF is solo, he thinks that my role is to listen to him all the time about how lonely he is, how much he misses his wife and how terrible his life is, etc. He doesn't call anyone else up like this, just me, because I am his daughter. This morning he called me 3 times. I was busy, but he will keep calling till I pick up.

The resentment that I feel is really not healthy and it is eating me away. I have had many, many hard times over the years since my mum died, including issues with my pregnancies and births, my marriage, and other things. Who was comforting me when I was on my knees, crying because I had no one to turn to for help? No one, that's who. It's not that I expected my in-laws to do anything for me. I am not that entitled, but I could have been shown a bit of compassion by them. I know that I am able to do this for others, let alone someone my son loves. I look at my friend's families and they have at least one set of GP's helping them out and I have never had anything.

I know that as our parents get older, we are going to be expected to step up. My DC are now grown and I no longer need any help from anyone. I feel resentful that I haven't had a break since they were born and now have free time and elderly relatives now think it's my job to entertain them. I really do not feel like I owe anyone anything. I just want to be left in peace.

This sounds so horrible I know.

OP’s posts: |
dancealittleclosertome Tue 15-Jun-21 15:09:06

You don't owe them anything. Tell them you're too busy - claim to be at work even if you're not. You reap what you sow and they've sown nothing.

SilverTotoro Tue 15-Jun-21 15:10:05

You don’t sound horrible at all - far from it! I don’t believe anyone is entitled to help from others - but that works both ways. Your DF doesn’t get to prioritise others over you and then dump all his woes at your door later in life. It must have been difficult seeing your DF be there for your step siblings children and not your own, most people would be resentful of that. It’s up to you whether you express those feelings to him or not - but don’t help him / pick up the phone if you don’t want to, it will only feed your resentment further and frankly it doesn’t sound like he deserves that level of support from you!

SilenceTime Tue 15-Jun-21 15:21:55

That is exactly it Silver, dumping his woes at my door now. He even tells me his life is not worth living etc. I did tell him how I felt a couple of times, once when I was younger and as told not to upset step-mum and after she died and he basically had rewritten history and told me that is not how it was at all and my siblings don't feel that way, which they do. They feel the same as me.

PIL keep arranging things to get us all together and then get all upset when we are busy.

OP’s posts: |
Jasmine11 Tue 15-Jun-21 15:22:36

Their actions have consequences and now they must live with them. Where are your DF's beloved step children? Surely they should be lavishing all their time on him not you. Make yourself some firm boundaries and stick to them, you don't owe these people anything and don't let anyone guilt you into thinking otherwise.

stackemhigh Tue 15-Jun-21 15:29:06

You don't owe any of these people anything. Certainly don't provide any care for any of them.

DH can go and see PIL alone if he wants to, you don't need to go.

Where are your father's step-kids now? Sounds like they aren't that close anymore?

Honestly, just stop accommodating any of them, they all sound awful.

looptheloopinahulahoop Tue 15-Jun-21 15:34:48

You don't have to step up. His step-kids can. Tell him to bog off because he never showed any sign of wanting you once he remarried and he reaps what he sows.

As for the in-laws you don't have to help them either. They're not your parents. DH can do any helping they want if he feels he needs to.

MIL sounds like the woman a friend of mine married. His mum told me her DIL just about tolerated her as his mother but could not bear him speaking to or having anything to do with any other woman.

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SilenceTime Tue 15-Jun-21 15:34:54

The StepC and their families are still on the scene. My DF still has a great social life with them. He'll go to their parties, spend special occasions with them, spend the holidays with them, but when it comes to grieving his loss, his aches, and pains and his woes, he calls us up, well mainly me. I get none of the good stuff. He doesn't show this side of himself to them. We see a very different person. In fact, my step-siblings think his DC are all awful as we don't have a great relationship with him. They think it is us. I think he gives them a sob story about us. My Stepmum used to make me feel really guilty about him and had a very short memory as she actually hounded me out when I was 18.

OP’s posts: |
Iloveacurry Tue 15-Jun-21 15:35:03

You don’t owe your DF or ILs anything. Where are your DF’s stepfamily now? Why can’t he phone them? Just tell your DF how you feel and leave him to it.

Iloveacurry Tue 15-Jun-21 15:37:20

Just read your update, I’d probably tell the stepfamily your side.

stackemhigh Tue 15-Jun-21 15:42:12

SilenceTime

The StepC and their families are still on the scene. My DF still has a great social life with them. He'll go to their parties, spend special occasions with them, spend the holidays with them, but when it comes to grieving his loss, his aches, and pains and his woes, he calls us up, well mainly me. I get none of the good stuff. He doesn't show this side of himself to them. We see a very different person. In fact, my step-siblings think his DC are all awful as we don't have a great relationship with him. They think it is us. I think he gives them a sob story about us. My Stepmum used to make me feel really guilty about him and had a very short memory as she actually hounded me out when I was 18.

I would stop taking his calls (unless you're expecting a large inheritance? It's the least the fucker can do).

If you do take the odd call, when he starts on about his loss and woes, start talking about the time your mum died when you were young and he re-married a woman who pushed you out and hounded you out of the house aged 18. How he had a whole life with step-family yet never spent any time with your children and never took you on holiday.

That will soon shut him up.

Tangled22 Tue 15-Jun-21 15:42:27

Agreed with PP, you don’t owe your Father or in-laws anything.

Your father in particular can call his step-kids when he’s feeling down, not you. Answer his calls less and less until he gets the picture.

You deserve your peace and quiet. Whatever you think you need to do to stop feeling resentful - do that! Even if it means blanking people. You have no obligation to them after how they’ve treated you.

modernfemininity Tue 15-Jun-21 15:53:27

It is tricky, and is it possible he will want to live with you if he becomes infirm?

Shehasadiamondinthesky Tue 15-Jun-21 15:57:47

Don't step up you owe them absolutely nothing.
I have the same with my "parents" there is no love lost there at all. I have no intention of looking after them when they grow old, they made their bed and they can lie in it.
I, with the help of extensive psychiatry, am living my life for myself now and I very much grey rock any self pitying comments from them and have moved far, far away.

Shehasadiamondinthesky Tue 15-Jun-21 15:58:53

modernfemininity

It is tricky, and is it possible he will want to live with you if he becomes infirm?

No, just say no, remember he has ignored your children for the children who were not related to him. You owe him nothing.

BarbarianMum Tue 15-Jun-21 15:59:59

As others have said, you owe these people nothing. Which is exactly what you should give them. Let your father talk to the answer machine. Leave your inlaws to your dh.

sugarapplelane Tue 15-Jun-21 16:00:42

I can sympathise totally Op

My Mum died when I was 7, DF married again too quickly. Step Mother already had a DD from a previous marriage and her and my DH had 2 children together.
I was sidelined and pushed out in my formative years with no DM to fall back on.
For self preservation reasons and because my DF was a blind idiot I haven't spoken to him for years and years.
He's tried to get in touch, but I don't want anything to do with him. He didn't want me when I needed him most and I've moved on.
I think you should just ignore the calls or if you can't do that tell him to tell his word to one of his step children who he was there for.

Ozanj Tue 15-Jun-21 16:05:28

Honestly in your position I would just block your df and leave him to it. If he were my dad I wouldn’t care if he lived or died and certainly wouldn’t be taking calls from him.

Your in laws are your OH’s problem. He can do whatever he wants with them but the beauty about not being a blood relation is that you don’t have to get involved.

fairycakes1234 Tue 15-Jun-21 16:07:30

When my mam died, my brothers and father rang me non stop for everything, it was like I had replaced my mother. It got so bad I had to see a counseller, and she said something that stuck in my head, "by you saying yes to other people you are saying no to yourself". It always stuck in my head. I think you are in a very unfair situation and I can understand you being resentful. I dont have any answers, its easy for people to just say no, you dont owe him anything but its hard to do that as I am the same. Hope it works out x

Hollowgast Tue 15-Jun-21 16:08:14

As has been said, you don't owe them anything. I'm in a similar but much less extreme position. We had triplets and had absolutely no help whatsoever from my parents despite them being 1h away from us. (DW's family are in a different country so cannot help either).

However, my DSis had a baby and they're round there multiple times a week - have changed their whatsapp pictures to their new granddaughter and constantly go on about how wonderful they are.

It pains me to say it but as they get old and need support, I will remember being utterly desperate, sleep deprived and ignored, while they visited my sister every other day and did all sorts. It sticks with you, this sort of thing.

DidSheGetOffThePlane Tue 15-Jun-21 16:12:45

I will not be doing a thing for my parents in their old age; they have always preferred my sister and have been very unkind and unpleasant to me for my whole life, until I went non contact 7 years ago. My mum always used to repeatedly tell me as a teen that if I ever ended up in a wheelchair, as a friend of mine had done from having a car accident, that I'd be on my own and they 'certainly wouldn't be looking after me'. When my DC were young they refused ever to help and yet have done everything for my sisters' kids.

So they can fuck off and look after themselves in old age or get my sister to do it. If it was up to me I'd send them to one of those care homes shown on Panorama where the carers abuse residents!

billy1966 Tue 15-Jun-21 16:14:08

OP,

I really think you need to get a grip, cop on and give your head one big wobble......or maybe some counselling.

What the heck are you doing entertaining ANY of them?

Your selfish father still doesn't give a damn about you, that's why he thinks he's entitled to bore the arse off you with his gripes.

Your awful in laws? Not your bloody problem.

Step back. Well back.
Stop answering the phone. At all.

Send your husband if he wants to see them, but they are NOT your problem.

I'm just back from a lovely lunch with an old friend.

Her in laws never liked her, included her, or were interested in her children.
They certainly never, ever looked after them.

She is a foreigner and a wonderful woman.

30 years she is married and was kept at a distance as an outsider.
She is a recently retired nurse.

Her arrogant BIL, a CF, had the gall to leave a message on her phone that she will REALLY have to STEP UP, and start spending time doing bits for them, shopping etc.,starting with a full days hospital appointment next week!

She rang her BIL and told him she is NOT family and never has been, as a foreigner, and wouldn't dream of involving herself in the very private care of HIS parents.

She was in great humour and laughed at the notion that they thought she was going to devote even 5 minutes of her retirement to her in laws.

I applaud her.

She said they deeply hurt her when they returned from abroad many years ago, but now they literally are nothing to her and her husband knows better than to ask her to ask.

Avoid your father as much as possible and when you do occasionally speak to him answer ANY gripes with how hard it was on you and your siblings to be abandoned by him.
If he asks for help, direct him in the direction of his step children with whom he has such a close bond.

You have dealt with enough hardship in your life.
Put yourself firmly first and don't allow anyone tell you otherwise.

flowers

LuaDipa Tue 15-Jun-21 16:14:48

I’m sorry you have had such a tough time. I’m a great believer in family but you owe these people nothing. Families help and support each other but when you were struggling they did nothing.

I would honestly tell your father the truth. He abandoned you for his step children so why is he expecting you to be the one to support him now. He made his choice and he has to live with the consequences. Your children are grown and you deserve to enjoy your life, free of burden. Don’t let these people take that away from you.flowers

stackemhigh Tue 15-Jun-21 16:20:35

DidSheGetOffThePlane

I will not be doing a thing for my parents in their old age; they have always preferred my sister and have been very unkind and unpleasant to me for my whole life, until I went non contact 7 years ago. My mum always used to repeatedly tell me as a teen that if I ever ended up in a wheelchair, as a friend of mine had done from having a car accident, that I'd be on my own and they 'certainly wouldn't be looking after me'. When my DC were young they refused ever to help and yet have done everything for my sisters' kids.

So they can fuck off and look after themselves in old age or get my sister to do it. If it was up to me I'd send them to one of those care homes shown on Panorama where the carers abuse residents!

What a nasty thing for your mum to say. What did they do when you went NC? do they still try and contact you?

UrbanRambler Tue 15-Jun-21 16:22:15

My sympathies, OP, that sounds hard and many people suffer similar feelings towards elderly parents who were less than caring towards them during their earlier lives. I understand something of what you're going through, as my father was cold towards me for most of my life, he was not supportive or loving towards me, but in the last few years if his life I had to step up and help him, when dementia and other age related issues took their toll in him.

There is an expression... "A son is yours till he finds a wife, A daughter is yours for all her life." Are you his only daughter? That might explain a lot of your father's attitude. Either that, or maybe your step siblings are all carefully distancing themselves from the situation, as no one wants to end up being the default carer/counsellor now that "Super Stepdad" is no longer useful to them. It sounds like your step siblings had the best of your father's attention, so if anyone owes him care perhaps they do, but some people are just very selfish and don't try to help, even if their parents were perfect in every way.

You owe him nothing. I would have a frank conversation with him about how you feel - what have you got to lose? If he takes offence and cuts you off, that might be a plus! If your step siblings pressure you, tell them the truth and feel no guilt. Don't worry about upsetting them, and be prepared for them to try to guilt trip you, and them painting a picture of you being your father's favourite child... they'll try anything!

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