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To be a little peeved with step dad for telling me 2 days ago that he won't be coming when newbie-due in 4 days-is born

(19 Posts)
UmSami Thu 23-Oct-08 23:53:15

OK, I don't know if i'm being hormonal here, a spoilt brat, or please let me know your thoughts...

I moved overseas nearly a year ago and am about to have my second child.
I have no family except for my step-dad (and of course my DH & DS1)

I saw my step dad a month ago in the uk and he was adamant that he was coming to stay with us sometime in november after DC2's birth, to meet her and support DS1 who absolutely adores his well i'd have hoped giving me a bit of moral support.

Anyway I've spoken to SD since getting back here and he has given no indication of not coming, until 2 days ago when he announced that flights are more expensive than he thought, but he's still coming...I at that point did the responsible thing and said look I dont want you getting into debt, using credit card unecessarily at this point, think about what you can realistically afford and only come if you can afford it...I'll be ok...
(he retires officially (early retirement) in december but gave up work in July...recieving his lump sum in early december, as well as his final salary pension...his private pensions (share based) mature later but have obviously taken a battering recently...he's 59.)

Anyway, since that point he has made a number of impossible proviso's on his coming...and the sum of money he is willing to put towards the flight has dwindled...

At the end of the day, if he can't afford to come he can't afford to, so be it...I wish we could help out but we can't...if its a money thing I get it...BUT he jsut doesnt seem to want to come or care that he's not coming...all communication on this has been by highly impersonnal e-mails, not once has he asked how I am doing, apologised, seemed disappointed...and the whole thing is really upsetting me...

To add insult to injury, the place where we live is literally impossible to get visa's for, to get him here I have had ask FIL to pull in favours, twist the truth, incur costs and basically do everything he can to get a visa. SD knows this but seems oblivious to it...I've had to chase him over the last two days and tell him over and over the work that is being done and if he is not coming he needs to tell me asap as if he wants any hope of coming in the future he can't let this visa come and go, I can't ask again! Despite this conversation he still didnt bother to tell me if he was coming or not until I chased him again...when he said he would only come if it was in 2 weeks time (impossible with visa situation - he knows this - he said so himself the day before) Or if we can find him a flight for an impossibly low price. I'm rambling... I came up with a solution that would enable him to use airmiles and supplement the cost with half the price he was willing to pay (i'd suddested it to him before but he said it worked out v. expensive...when I looked into it, it didnt)...I e-mailed him...he still hasn't replied, which leads me to conclude that he just doesnt want to come...I'm getting really upset by this...had hoped to have familiar face about and DH fam are making an effort, so i just feel really rejected by him.

I can understand that you may think i'm a bit of a brat with the credit crunch and all...I swear i'm trying not to's more the way the whole thing is being handled, I feel like he's not interested...and completely oblivious to the fact he was supposed to be coming to support ds and meet newbie...not for a jolly, also feeling rubbish as he spends 1000's on technical gadgets - projectors and the like, as well as model railways...over the last year has bought hundreds (high hundreds) of trains, some very rare, some in duplicate...that are now just sat in boxes in his study (floor to ceiling), as well as re-doing 2 bathrooms and kitchen...he ALWAYS cries poverty. Yet he can afford not to work for 5 months between retirement and pension...this woried me, until he announced I can pay myself my full salary til my pension kicks in shock

Sorry am rambling but v.upset and struggling to understand and rationalise whats going on myself...your thoughts please ladies!

Mum2OliverJames Fri 24-Oct-08 00:25:27

i feel sad for you feeling so upset, i dont know what to suggest though.

i think he should have let you know by now whether he is coming or not, unless he is going to try and get a cheap last minute flight maybe?

i do hope so

i didnt want your post to go unanswered tonight x

UmSami Fri 24-Oct-08 00:32:02

Thanks Mum2OJ, very much appreciated, its really sweet of you, hormonal old me feeling pretty invisible hehehe, guess its just the last slog of hormones as much as anything. Doubt it on last minute flight...but you never know grin x

Mum2OliverJames Fri 24-Oct-08 00:38:42

Is he usually reliable?

maybe he cant come but hasnt wanted to tell you because he feels guilty about it, esp if he knows you have been pulling strings to get him a visa.

Not defending him at all because i think that it is quite (unintentionally im sure) mean, esp as you have enough on your plate to worry about anyway (and not long left of unbroken nights sleeps)

soultaken Fri 24-Oct-08 00:38:45

Where do you live? Your profile says Middle East but that could mean anything.

purpleduck Fri 24-Oct-08 00:47:30


Maybe he does have personal reasons for not going, I'm sure he does want to come.

Maybe he honestly can't afford to come. Our pension plan has lost THOUSANDS in the last few months. For us, we can get it back in the next 30 years -your step dad can't (if he is in the same situation.

I think you should give the poor guy a break - stop bothering him, and don't assume the worst.

UmSami Fri 24-Oct-08 00:56:45

Mum2OJ...he's a bit up and everyone I guess...with somethings he's fab, eg if I ask him to research something for me he's great...he's been chasing round looking at P&T's for me this week...he was also v.supportive this summer when I was stuck in UK for 2 1/2 months...cos of hrm... visa probs! With other things he is completely disasterous, emotionally distant and generally oblivious...think it's getting to me more as thought we really moved forward this summer, ds got V close to him, and now cries for him...but since we got back he has hardly called, and it's always me chasing him.
I don't think it's a guilt thing, as he just doesnt seem to see things in that way, and as I have expalined to him what fil is doing and he still didnt come back with an answer or place any priority on giving me one...he was just like ok. :S
Oh and do feel free to defend...I want to understand whats going on with him, not hate him...just feeling aaaagh with the whole thing and cant make sense of it!
Soultaken...we're in Saudi, DH works here, as does his dad, which is good as some fam, but other than that v few folk about.
Pat on back to me for updating profile with location...even though vague...didnt think i was that organised LOL

Mum2OliverJames Fri 24-Oct-08 01:07:05

My XPs family are very much like that, dont really talk, just think and expect you to know what is happening, so i can understand how frustrating it is!

i know it is a bit different because i am closer to my family but i hate speaking on the phone, i always feel like a numpty if i cant immediatly think of something to fill any gaps, maybe he feels similarly and that is why he hasnt called

has anything significant happened in his life recently to have made him withdrawn?

it could just be that he was bought up differently to you, my family talk alot and have always shown alot of emotion, including arguements, but the members of my family are like my best friends, on the other hand is my xps family (sorry for comparing again) and they dont really argue about anything(they also seem emotionally distant), but they dont get on half as well as my family do even if we do have our downs also

purpleduck Fri 24-Oct-08 01:10:09

I know its hard when you don't have much family around.
Its even harder when the family you DO have disappoints you.
This visit - was it mostly you that initiated it? Is it something he is good at (the emotional support you want)
If he has never been good at it, then don't expect him to be able to come through now - even though you probably really want, and maybe even really need someone of "yours" to be there for you.

I think people can only do the best that they can do - I came to realise this last month - my mother came to visit for 2 weeks, and I finally realised that she simply isn't able to be a loving supportive mum.
Let your SD do the things he is good at, and drop the rest. IME, its the unrealistic expectations that rip families apart.

Good Luck with your new little one

UmSami Fri 24-Oct-08 01:10:57


As I said, if he can't afford to come he can't afford to come, I get that...

His primary pension plan is final salary related so will not be affected by stock market...also a lump sum, not affected by market.

His private plans will obviously be, but I dont know to what degree...

A month ago he was still spending stupid sums of money on trains...

He is mr glass half empty as a rule...but has NEVER left himself short and he admits this even when crying poverty, but then spending thousands on gadgets...As a rule I worry more about his finances, and his quality of life than he does.

IT IS NOT ABOUT THE MONEY as I said...its about the way he is handling the situation.

I AM NOT ASSUMING THE WORST...I am trying to get this in perspective and understand whats going on, without my emotions over shaddowing things.

AND I AM CERTAINLY NOT BOTHERING HIM...I'd love to send him an e-mail right now, saying what the f*, whay can't you give me an answer on this, respond to my suggestion that is way within your budget, show that you care that you won't be here...but i am not, because i want to give him the benefit of the doubt...and dont want to make him feel worse if he is feeling C* about this, things are worse than they seem, but he is just not telling me.

Thanks for your imput, and sorry about your pensions, the cc royaly sucks.

UmSami Fri 24-Oct-08 01:20:51

Sorry PD, x-posts...

You are entirely right on the UE comment, I learnt this a long time ago when my mum died, I was 16...and found myself very much alone.

I do as a rule try and give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and 15 years on I tend to just appreciate what people can offer, and see anything as a bonus...

SD is not good at the giving advise/emotional stuff as a rule, but this summer he was so good with ds, and our relationship really seemed to grow. I'm not looking for emotional support, I'd like it, but i dont expect it if you see what i mean, I'm just disappointed and finding it hard to understand whats going on...he was the one who said he is coming, he is the one who was talking about it...I've said I'd love for him to come but understand if he cant...I told him he shouldn't jeapordise his financial situation for a trip that can happen later. He's probably just being oblivious...and he is on the hwole a good guy who I love dearly, he's just really trying my patience right now IYKWIM!

purpleduck Fri 24-Oct-08 01:22:41

my first post obviously came accross harsher than I meant it.

Its just that my whole family has virtually imploded because everyone is expecting more from people than they can give...

Your SD may have personal reasons, like maybe he knows he isn't so good in situations where he has to give alot of support..

Maybe he would feel clautrophobic in an unfamiliar country...

Maybe to you the money isn't an issue, but maybe to him the whole retirement thing is starting to sink in and is a bit scary.

When I said don't assume the worst, I meant don't assume that him messing around is a personal affront .

purpleduck Fri 24-Oct-08 01:26:05

x posts all over the place here

I think we are on the same page here

So, you were hoping that your relationship would get stronger, but this has been a bit of a letdown?

UmSami Fri 24-Oct-08 01:32:33

Mum2OJ, Thanks for that...I get what you is most probably a communication thing, DH's fam are like yours seem to be, scream, shout, hate each other then love 5 mins later...they are closer than any family I've seen.
SD is hard, I don't know, he has a v explosive temper, but it takes a long time to surface, he is generally v passive, and would rather avoid confrontation, but takes any constructive comment as criticism, and responds with attack...i guess I would describe him as emotionally unaware...
I am without question, emotionally vulnerable, overly analytical, and have a desperate need to solve and avoid all conflict!
Thanks...I think you've helped me answer my own question...why am I suprised by this...he's oblivious, I'm too sensitive, he's being a stupid male...what else can he be?! I'm being hormonal...
Doesn't stop the situation sucking though!

UmSami Fri 24-Oct-08 01:43:03 say the least! grin
Sorry about your fam, I've seen it happen myself, it helsp though when you can see the unreasonable expectations at least then you can try and limit them...diplomat is a hard role though...
Yeah, I was hoping it would improvr...
I really worry about him...he married my mum later in life and a year later she died suddenly. He is not close to his genetic family, and has a very small social network.
Mum was the kind of woman who took no s**t and really brought him out of himself. With DH and I moving overseas my biggest worry was leaving him alone...then when he decided to retire I worried again!
His plan was to travel on retirement, come see us, do stuff, set up a model railway in his back garden hmm so I'd have thought that this would be a good thing.
He really came out of himself so much this summer with my son, he calls him grandpa, and from someone who was initially really distant, the 2 really bonded...I guess with the phone calls (or lack of them) and not coming I am most disappointed for my DS.

UmSami Fri 24-Oct-08 02:07:41

Good news! Ranting and stressing about this seems to be helping with contractions, had 3 in last hour...not much but the most thats happened so far! Fingers crossed! Come shout at me, stress me out...lets get this lil' one moving!
Make that 4! YAY

wishingchair Fri 24-Oct-08 04:19:43

Hurray! Hope the contractions are still coming. I've not got anythign to really suggest but maybe you just need to talk to him. A lot of your conversations seem to be over email which just isn't the same is it. Do you think he feels awkward about accepting financial help from you?

Hope baby is on its way soon x

purpleduck Fri 24-Oct-08 09:39:01

How are the contractions going?

Fingers crossed for a fast and safe delivery.

UmSami Fri 24-Oct-08 23:15:42

Hi ladies, thanks for the good wishes...unfortunately still nothing, guess it was just BH...continued pretty frequently til 9am local (7am uk-6 if the clocks have changed :S), then not much...had a few twinges today but nothing more...still pretty exciting for me though as didn't even have a twinge with DS1 'til I was induced at 40+11...fingers crossed for no induction this time...seeing obgyn tomorrow so we'll see...
As for SD...woke up this morning feeling much better after our chat, but then checked e-mail and still we've spoken a few times up until yesterday, all calls made by me...I didn't want to call again...I figured he knows that I need to know, he knows that I'm looking for alternatives for him, and so if its a priority to him he'll keep in touch, if he doesn't wanna come well I'm not gonna chase...anyhoo, still nothing so am feeling pretty rubbish...DH tried calling him tonight, he's sick of me moping, and has good relationship with SD so seems like a good option...but no I'm still just sitting and stewing and wondering why he still hasnt replied angry

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