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so this weekend I stand up to my dad in a spirit of "openness" and it hasn't really worked.

(21 Posts)
AvonCallingBarksdale Sun 28-Aug-11 20:14:30

DF is 81 and has always had a short temper, ever since I can remember. My DM and I have facilitated his behaviour over the years by not rocking the boat, and allowing him to get away with some fairly appalling temper tantrums. Anyway, to cut a woefully long story short, this weekend, DF and I ended up having a row - the subject matter is largely irrelevant - and I decided to ask him directly why he was getting so annoyed and angry with me, why he was shouting at me, just purely because I disagreed with his beligerent point of view. Cue banging of plates, throwing of food and much shouting from him, culminating in me being told to stop the conversation because I was embarrassing my DM. DH was mortified, DM pretended it wasnt' happening, which is her default setting. I went off to calm down, then we all had a chat about my DPs needing to realised that I am an adult and treat me accordingly. As is the way in their house, this morning, it was as if nothing had happened. I'm only posting really to get it off my chest. Feel equally sad and angry and absolutely no better for having had it out. maybe maintaining the status quo would have been better.

OracleInaCoracle Sun 28-Aug-11 20:21:14

You have done the right thing and should be proud of yourself <hands over gin>

OracleInaCoracle Sun 28-Aug-11 20:21:15

You have done the right thing and should be proud of yourself <hands over gin>

DancesWithWolefCubs Sun 28-Aug-11 20:25:42

Well done. smile

<sneaks off with the second gin>

HerHissyness Sun 28-Aug-11 20:26:10

You need to keep reinforcing the fact that you are an adult, if the situation arises again.

Many parents perpetually keep their offspring as children in their minds.

AvonCallingBarksdale Sun 28-Aug-11 20:36:16

Have opted for a few glasses of wine - worried the gin could make me feel worse! I do feel proud - my heart was absolutely pounding during our row and I did end up crying, which I was so desperate not to do, but couldn't stop.

Well done. It will be easier next time.

BustAMove Sun 28-Aug-11 21:13:52

Well done! I did this too, about a year ago now. Was shaking afterwards, only really did it because my DD was there, and I didn't want her to see someone treated me badly and me accepting that.

His behaviour has been enabled his whole life, and actually I was just sick of that. It has not improved our relationship, but he is now not confrontational with me, basically behaves himself, and is, actually, a little pathetic. The big change has been in me, feels fab to have finally stood up to him, and know I can do it and the sky will not fall down. Also, I could do it again, no problem! Can only assume he realises that, hence the good behaviour. Wish I done it years ago.

Also, as a further thing, I am now no longer scared of him. Sorry, completely long post, but it feels so good, and I'm so pleased you've done it.

lovecat Sun 28-Aug-11 23:34:19

Good for you, I hope that it's helped a little, even if it's now that he knows you're not going to put up with it any longer.

My dad, when he was still alive, was just the same with the temper and the intolerance of any behaviour that wasn't just to his liking. It was only when he started in on DD when she was only 3 that I developed some balls and stood up to him. I went a bit mother tigress on his arse and told him never to shout at my daughter again or speak to her like that - to my amazement, he actually apologised to me and never lit up at DD again. Didn't stop him doing to to the rest of us, but I think it took him aback that I wasn't prepared to let it ride.

Have some more wine wine

AvonCallingBarksdale Mon 29-Aug-11 14:14:28

Oh, thank you all for your words of advice and support!

angrywoman Mon 29-Aug-11 15:35:30

My Dad is also of the 'he's a law unto himself' variety and people just let him get away with things others wouldn't.
Last time he stayed he told my son (8) that the tooth fairy AND Santa were myths and that your parents do it! This is after years of writing Santa letters to us as children. I was furious. But at least I have a healthy attitude toward him and express my anger quite efficiently. Since I have been able to do that I have been a better person, mentally and in terms of having a mature relationship with him.
My mother on the other hand... she would just cry if I said what I thought sometimes, which I don't know how to deal with!! It's almost as if I am kept in an immature relationship with her on account of her sensitive (when it suits her!) nature.

springydaffs Tue 30-Aug-11 10:13:42

Well done op. you've changed the default setting. It may take a while to take - and may need reinforcement - but you did it! bravo!

eslteacher Tue 30-Aug-11 20:40:01

You had to stand up to him for once, to be true to yourself and what you believe is right and reasonable. So even if you don't think your actions had the desired "effect" on your dad that doesn't mean it wasn't worth doing for you yourself and acting on your own principles instead of working around your dad's for once.

I am another one with a father who is a bit of a law unto himself, and who is allowed to get away with way too much. When I was a child I think I idolised him way too much, and my poor mother has taken the brunt of his erratic behaviour. Now as an adult, I do make a point of speaking strongly to him when I think he is being selfish and unreasonable (generally towards my mother). I have zero expectations that he will actually change, I think it's just too late, but I wouldn't feel right with myself if I didn't speak up sometimes.

garlicnutter Tue 30-Aug-11 20:47:00

Well done! grin

Yep, keep it up. It's worth it!

Mind you, I had to give mine a knockout punch before he took me seriously ... [proud]

susiedaisy Tue 30-Aug-11 20:48:18

Are you all talking about my parents?? Bad tempered get away with it all the time father who is always right, and a mother who pretends not to notice and cries if you mention fathers unreasonable behaviour! it's bloody hard work isn't, and guess what I left home and married a man exactly like my fathersadsad just a shame it took me so long to realise, you have my sympathies Op it's so hard to change the default pattern of a relationship well done for standing your groundsmile

AvonCallingBarksdale Wed 31-Aug-11 15:52:25

Wow garlicnutter - I've often felt like doling out a right hook with my dad! susiedaisy, I've found it really helpful having all these replies, just reinforcing that I'm not the only one with parents who behave like this. I'm sorry to hear that you feel sad about your DH. Another good thing to have come out of the weekend is that DH really appreciates how bonkers my parents can be - and gets how hard it can be.

HeifferunderConstruction Wed 31-Aug-11 16:11:20

Whilst reading this It became clear your mother needs a good kick up the arse does she realise her behaviour enables him?

Im sorrry to be blunt Im actually sure shes probably a very nice person

GetAwayFromHerYouBitch Wed 31-Aug-11 16:15:33

"Cue banging of plates, throwing of food and much shouting from him in me being told to stop the conversation because I was embarrassing my DM"

Sorry, but that's actually quite funny when you think about it, and a good example of why you did the right thing. Yes, he's unlikely to have a sudden epiphany (toddlers don't suddenly stop pushing people the first time they are told off for it - it's more of a drip-drip approach), but you still need to draw a line in the sand wrt his behaviour.

AMumInScotland Wed 31-Aug-11 16:38:28

Even if it hasn't had an immediate effect on him, hopefully it has already had an effect on you. You know you can do this, you know you can stand up to him and the world doesn't end. You know you can do it again next time it's needed.

You may have to do it quite a few times before it seems to make any difference, but at least you have started the process.

If you're lucky, you may have also started paving the way to having a good relationship with him, instead of the bad one you've had up till now. And that's a good thing for everyone.

AvonCallingBarksdale Wed 31-Aug-11 17:14:54

Getawayfromheryoubitch - I know, it'd be funny if it wasn't so bloody annoying!! Heifferunder, yes, my mum is lovely, just not great at standing up to my dad, and has been in a pattern of behaviour with him for so long now that I'm not sure she could or would want to change. I don't want to paint them as all bad, cos they're not, not at all. I think it's also that the worst aspects of DF's personality seem to have come to the fore and been magnifyed as he's got older and that he's found becoming an "old" person very difficult.

LesserOfTwoWeevils Wed 31-Aug-11 23:01:58

I bet it has worked, and in more ways than one.
He'll think twice before he lets rip again, at least when you're around.
And now that you've stood up to him once and lived to fight another day, you won't be nearly so upset or intimidated next time he flies into a rage.
Well done, you!

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