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to want unconditional support from my dad over divorce

(9 Posts)
Marmaladenotmarmite Wed 21-Oct-09 16:38:36

I separated from my husband about 4 years ago and we divorced a year ago. We have a ds of nearly 5.

When we first split up my parents got involved because my exh swung two punches at my head while I had our ds on my lap and I phoned my dad to come and pick me up as I was so scared. He took me and ds back to my parents home. A while later exh and my fil turned up. FIL and my dad had long conversation in garden.

My dad later told me that he and fil had been talking about what 'silly kids' exh and I were and how they should bang our heads together. I was really upset as exh had been violent towards me and thought my dad would have killed him not talked sagely of how 'silly' we were.

My parents were very helpful during those first few months, especially with childcare as I worked long hours and I did not want my ds seeing my exh without supervision as he had been violent. However, they did press me several times to let exh have unsupervised access and I thought that some of this was because they were fed up with having to help out with childcare.

There have been lots of similar things in the intervening years, most notably the day after I had told my parents some more details around various bits of violence (not major) and emotional abuse (major), my exh picked up ds from their house and they asked him to stay for lunch. This really upset me. I couldnt believe that they invited him after Id told them what he'd done. I fell out with them badly over this.

Things dont seem to have changed though. I now dont mention all the problems I have with my exh (lack of maintenance / arsing around re access etc) because I know they will play 'devil's advocate' rather than just giving unconditional support.

Today, I did say something about exh bullying me (he keeps threatening me with court for no reason) and when I told my dad he said 'Pah! I can't imagine anyone bullying you.' This is upsetting as obviously he sees me as 'too hard and domineering' to get bullied. Yet on the other hand if I ever question what he says to me he says I'm too sensitive.

AIBU to want unconditional support from my dad re my exh and my divorce? AIBU to be upset that I seem to be (dont know why exactly) the 'black sheep' of the family and I'm always either too aggressive or too sensitive (depending on which suits his argument better).

I've had counselling over my relationship with my parents in the past and thought things were better but if just this one comment of his can have me crying again then obviously Im not dealing with it well.

TheArmadillo Wed 21-Oct-09 16:44:33

This all sounds horrendous. Have you thought about going for more counselling?

How much contact do you have with your parents at the moment and how much imput do they have in your life? It maybe that it is time to reassess this.

Marmaladenotmarmite Wed 21-Oct-09 17:25:05

Hi thank you for your response.

Lots of contact, they are very close to DS and used to have him one day a week for me. Now he is at school there is less contact but we still talk probably every other day.

I'm just fed up that they know exactly what buttons to push and they can reduce me to tears with just one sentence.

TheArmadillo Wed 21-Oct-09 18:30:33

I would see if you can cut down contact even if its just temporarily just to give yourself time to rethink. Withdraw if only for a while to regroup.

I know how you feel when your ds is close to them - my ds (5yo) was close to my parents. I have chosen to reduce contact to once a week over the last year but am now reassessing that to make it more infrequent as their behaviour is beginning to escalate again. I was worried originally how ds would cope but in all honesty it really hasn't bothered him. Which was a big surprise to me.

Mine used to control me financially as well as me being reliant on them for childcare. I have managed to disentangle myself completely from that which really helps (though they are not happy with it). As well as all the emotional mindfuck stuff.

I find I am happier the less contact I have with them. But if I had cut them off completely to start with the guilt would have been overwhelming.

diddl Wed 21-Oct-09 18:34:39

So, they think you are lying?

I´d see them as little as possible,tbh!

Marmaladenotmarmite Wed 21-Oct-09 18:50:24

The thing is they are really lovely most of the time, have helped me so much with practical things like helping with the house when I was a single mother, and money and childcare but emotionally they can be strange.

My therapist said I had attachment disorder and said that I veer between loving them totally and hating them. I certainly do!

Thing is I blame myself because I knew how my dad would be if i brought up my exh and I did it anyway.

Seriously I can't win though, if I get upset then I'm 'too sensitive'

Also I've been labelled, various different ones but mainly 'difficult', 'sensitive', 'exaggerates', 'dramatic' (if too vocal about being upset). 'sulky' (if too quiet) etc.

Sorry, AIBU prob not the place for this!!

Marmaladenotmarmite Wed 21-Oct-09 18:52:01

Diddl - I suppose that is what he means. Hadn't thought about it that baldly. If I'd picked him up on that though he would just saw 'oh you're always exaggerating'. Hes very dismissive.

TheArmadillo Wed 21-Oct-09 18:58:05

being lovely most of the time doesn't make up for the shitty behaviour.

Maybe you could look at having a break as being good for all of you? HAving a rest from each other can be beneficial to all concerned.

curiositykilled Wed 21-Oct-09 19:09:17

I had this from my parents too when I split up from my abusive XP. They meddled and took his side and tried to press me for info about private things that had gone on in our relationship.

It all came to a head one day when I had a screaming shout at my mum about her attitude and meddling. We didn't speak for a long time. I won't feel the same about them again I think but this is not an awful thing.

I allowed myself to think my parents were wrong, that I was right in my way of doing things. I'm not sure if my parents see that row as any different to any of the others we've had but it gave me the freedom to feel I could interact with my parents on more equal terms and didn't have to defer to their authority.

They have since been more respectful to me but I'm unsure whether this is because I am more distant and more confident or if it is because the row made them realise they were wrong - I suspect it is the first thing! lol

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