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Brexit still affecting family relationships - total loss of respect for my Dad

(91 Posts)
MathsFreak Thu 08-Aug-19 01:59:05

In retrospect choosing Brexit may be a bit of a red herring, but let's see where this goes...
This evening I came across my dad's latest latest Facebook entry, a repost of a Zerohedge article.
(my particular favourite is reason 8, which effectively says the EU will suffer more than the UK because... well because it bloody will.)
To be completely honest I unfriended him shortly after the referendum but still occasionally snoop on his open profile. So 'came across' is being a little generous, and re: 'occasionally' read 'daily'. Anyway, it's about the most coherent thing he's posted in a while and neatly demonstrates what I'm dealing with here. It's got me thinking / lamenting the breakdown of our relationship and if there's anything I can do to fix it.
Disclaimer: I try to have a little balance in the Brexit debate, I can see opportunities but I think the costs and uncertainty outweigh them. I'm a remainder who feels it comes down to a judgement call and everyone's entitled to make their own. Unfortunately, I rarely come across a Brexiteer who doesn't rely on garbage information or isn't a politician with obvious self interests.
I'd put my Dad squarely in the former of those two categories. Possibly due to our previously heated debates, I find it difficult to critique my Dad's arguments in front of him without him getting defensive and shifting the focus of his argument without taking on board anything I say. I've ultimately given up trying to engage. But over time, with each additional flawed post, I lose a little more respect. I'm at a point where there's little remaining. And we rarely talk.
Interested to hear if anyone else has similar experience and any tips for coping with it (apart from the obvious not snooping my dad's profile).

OP’s posts: |
Janista Thu 08-Aug-19 04:22:19

Ridiculous that you would fall out with a family member due to their political views unless there was something else a problem. People have a right to differ politically, without falling out

Alicewond Thu 08-Aug-19 04:28:30

So you say everyone is entitled to their own views, yet you unfriend your own father on social media when he disagrees with yours? And stop talking to him but spy on him? Wow, this has made me a bit sad

MiddleForDiddle Thu 08-Aug-19 04:29:27

I find it very sad that one would fall out with a family member over Brexit, or any vote for that matter.
Are there underlying issues in your relationship? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion whether you agree with it or not.

Mileysmiley Thu 08-Aug-19 04:32:54

My Dad voted to leave and I voted to stay. I always joke about it, telling him its his fault that the country is in such a mess. I would never fall out with him over it.

Singlenotsingle Thu 08-Aug-19 04:47:07

So why do you think you're entitled to your opinion, but anyone who disagrees with you isn't? What will you do if Brexit turns out to be a roaring success? Will you apologise to him? No, I thought not! And why would you feel the need to critique his arguments in front of him if you know it just means a row?

Brexiteers don't necessarily think with their logical head on. They rely on instinct, a gut feeling, an emotional response - and all the logical chattering in the world by you, won't change df's opinion. So give up. And stop spying.

throughthelookinglass Thu 08-Aug-19 04:50:46

Anyone who falls out with a family member because they have different political opinions to this extent needs help. Your relationship with your father matters more than whether you agree with the way he voted. Get over yourself. We supposedly live in a democracy.

lonelyplanetmum Thu 08-Aug-19 05:37:17

* But over time, with each additional flawed post, I lose a little more respect*

I completely understand this. There's an extra dynamic in the parent relationship even when you are a parent yourself. You want to respect your parents and feel that (if you ever needed it) their advice would be sound.

When you see a flawed, illogical position being put forward by a parent, it magnifies the reality that his or her judgment is flawed, at least in that one respect. I guess it's important to remember that because they don't see things politically in the same way, their judgment in other respects can still be valid.

I do completely understand though. Both my parents have died and I still miss their presence as parents and grandparents. However- I know that my mother would have regurgitated Daily Mail rhetoric on a daily basis and would have found Mr Johnson witty and entertaining. In a way, I am glad that we don't have to negotiate our relationship past that hurdle.

Sandybval Thu 08-Aug-19 05:43:25

Unless there's a backstory this seems excessive considering he helped raise you and is your father. You don't need to convince him he is wrong, his views are just different to yours. Cripes.

Legomadx2 Thu 08-Aug-19 05:45:17

You sound very superior and unlikable OP.

Your poor dad.

PristineCondition Thu 08-Aug-19 05:53:17

Your not coming across as a normal
Decent person OP.

I voted and campaigned for remain dp voted leave - he's allowed differing views from me because im not a cunt

GADDay Thu 08-Aug-19 06:47:59

In a similar position here OP, compounded by constant spouting of Britain First bullshit and pro Trump posts. My solution was to completely step away from Facebook.

I live in ignorant bliss and my Dad knows NEVER to direct his racist, homophobic, xenophobic, mysoginist crap in my direction. I despise his views but remain on speaking terms because, well, he is my Dad. If it were anybody else or if he tried to force a discussion, I would drop like a hot potato.

AnnaMariaDreams Thu 08-Aug-19 06:55:48

My parents both voted leave and my mum still would. They both defend their position although my dad would now vote remain because he’s seen what a shitshow it is.
They have a massive stockpile and keep talking about the war.
DH and I voted remain and I’m terrified of no deal.
I love my parents though and would never fall out with them over it, we just don’t talk about it much.

CrunchyCarrot Thu 08-Aug-19 07:06:10

That's really sad for both of you, OP. hugs I have to say I disagree with most posts above. Brexit has caused massive divisions and fallout, never sadder than when it's between family members. If your dad's an ardent Brexiter and you are not then it's unlikely he's going to listen to reason from you or anyone else.

I think it would be better for you to avoid reading his profile, you seem drawn to it and it's not doing you any good. Perhaps block him so you can no longer visit it, that would be the best way, you can always unblock further down the line. Unfortunately bridges may not be rebuilt until after we leave and then Brexiters will likely see the error of their ways.

SonEtLumiere Thu 08-Aug-19 07:19:58

Gosh that article is very thin on content isn’t it.
It isn’t even coherent, which i personally find more embarrassing than it being pro Brexit.

If you asked “how will lower Corporation Tax help you and me Dad?” could he put a sentence together?

bellinisurge Thu 08-Aug-19 07:21:15

I have a couple of Leave voting beloved family members. Don't have Brexit related conversations with them.

allthegins Thu 08-Aug-19 07:21:31

You’re not a nice person OP

Dongdingdong Thu 08-Aug-19 07:23:20

You sound ridiculous OP. How sad to put politics above family.

Pineapplefish Thu 08-Aug-19 07:23:57

I hear you, OP. My MIL said to me that there are lots of scaremongering articles about Brexit. I said "how do you know they are scaremongering?" and she was completely unable to answer.

SonEtLumiere Thu 08-Aug-19 07:27:52

I don’t know why you are getting a kicking OP. That article is an embarrassment.

Being a parent doesn’t mean you get a free pass with adult children. It just doesn’t.

OP, does/did he have any good qualities. Kindness/humour/etc. if you can make yourself blind to this (admittedly extreme) lack of judgement then focus on the good stuff. If on the other hand this is actually typical of his character then, maybe argue about that instead.

msmith501 Thu 08-Aug-19 07:34:25

I love the fact that your dad has an opinion, a view he feels passionate about. A bit like many of my friends tbh, solid views which differ to mine and enrich all our lives. My dad on he other hand has bigoted, racist entrenched views for no reason other than he's thick and ignorant. No that's something I can't stomach - I'd give anything for him to have views that can be expressed and discussed properly.

NoWordForFluffy Thu 08-Aug-19 07:36:40

I haven't discussed how my parents voted in any detail at all. I think I can guess how mum voted, but I've no idea about dad (no Facebook for either of them).

I can't imagine falling out with them over it. They're getting old; life's too short for a grudge over a vote, IMO.

I just shrug and move on / gloss over anything which makes me go 🙄🙄

Maybe learn some tolerance?

Dyrne Thu 08-Aug-19 07:37:57

I kind of know where you’re coming from, OP. My Dad infuriated me when he talks about Brexit. “Just buy stuff somewhere else!”. Oh, all right dad, that’s sorted it. I’ll just tell the entire food/chemical/medicine industry that it’s OK cos you’ve said it will be fine then.

He lives abroad, and speaks mostly to his friend who is a millionaire so she’ll be absolutely fine whatever happens; so I think that colours his view. He dismisses everything as ‘scaremongering’ even when it’s a valid concern being expressed in a rational way.

I insist on not speaking about it any more with him. If he goes off on one then I just say “I don’t want to talk about this any more with you Dad”.

It’s sad, and upsetting that I feel like in mocking “Remainer overreactions”; he’s completely dismissing my very valid frustrations and concerns.

Completely cutting him out of my life would be an extreme overreaction though. Try to build a relationship with him where you refuse to discuss politics with him.

MonkeyToesOfDoom Thu 08-Aug-19 07:40:27

Op are you allowed on the internet at this one of day? Shouldn't you be tucked up with your blankie and bott bott?

Part of adult life is meeting people with different views. If you cut everyone fro your life that holds views different to yours all you do is create an echo chamber, as seen by some activists in twitter.

I'd suggest to grow up.
Realise you can disagree about things with people without having hissy tantrum.

bellinisurge Thu 08-Aug-19 07:49:08

Op, I know it is hard seeing a family member who has succumbed to a cult.
I think one of the reasons people won't back down or compromise is because they have splurged all their views online and don't see an opportunity to rein it in.

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