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Relationship with dad at an all-time low

(2 Posts)
whackamole Mon 03-Oct-11 15:45:38

Just need a bit of advice about really my whole family and my dad. Will try very hard to keep this brief!

Basically, my dad has always been a bit of an arse. Always just on the wrong side of appropriate with comments, a little bit sexist, and little bit homophobic etc etc. Lately, as I think we (his kids) approach 30 and he approaches 60 this has become worse and worse.

He thinks it is appropriate to call me and my sister 'sluts'. I don't know if he genuinely thinks this is similar to calling us twits or something equally inoffensive, but surely after the first time he reduced my sister to tears he should have realised? Instead he got all huffy and basically made out that as he was our dad and had supported us through life then it's ok!

He has made some ridiculous comments to me lately - including how all 'tax credits workers are bitches' purely because I couldn't get through on the phone. When I queried why he thought all of them would be women, again he got defensive and said he 'didn't know I was a feminist'! Had I not been so stunned I would have retorted that yes, I am a feminist - ie, I support equality for women, what is bad about that?? As it was, I can't remember what I said. He also, totally out of the blue asked me what people say when I make comments about Jews. Again, this was met by total confusion by me, and I asked him what he meant. He wasn't really able to articulate clearly what he meant, but clearly he was being derogatory.

He has a wealth of these remarks on hand, but got absolutely incensed when an employment agent assumed he was a foreign national from his name, fired off several letters, phone calls, emails etc to complain about it.

Sorry this is turning into a bit of a rant now!

He also seems to have major problems with his memory. I know this is a symptom of age (probably) but could it be something else? Eg, he called me from Costco the other day to ask if he should buy me and OH some crampon things for when the snowy weather arrives. I asked him the price, and he said he'd buy them for us. Ok, thank you very much - but I told him the reason I asked is because both of us need new boots anyway so I'm not sure there would be a lot of point. He said 'oh well you can use these on ice which boots are not so good with'. Fast forward a few days later, and I am telling him about shopping for boots in town. He tells me about the crampons he has bought us, with a really hurt sound in his voice, like he has done us a huge favour and we are being ungrateful by buying boots. I point out I did tell him at the time we both needed new boots but he has forgotten this part of the conversation. I now feel like a horrible ungrateful daughter that has allowed him to spend his hard-earned cash on something we might not use as often as he had hoped.

TBH I don't really know what I am asking here. It is getting me down though, I don't want to speak to my dad anymore as I feel I am walking on eggshells all the time. By the same token, I don't really know if this is normal behaviour - my mum says he has always been a bit like this, but now they are not together and we are all older, it's almost like he just sort of thinks he can get away with being outrageously inappropriate?

Apologies for the length, thanks if you got this far.

rightchoice Mon 03-Oct-11 22:50:29

His choice words say so much more about him than it does about you or anyone else he is choosing to label. Men of his age (and some younger) have got away with this outdated thinking for so long. It is outrageous to call you a slut, outrageous but just because HE said it of course does not make it true. I would definately say to him next time he says it I AM NOT A SLUT. I would definately defend myself he called me anything I did not consider myself to be, and I would say it with feeling. Will he change.... I think not....he does not sound like he likes women much, but wow doesn't it speak volumes about him. Not surprised your mother and him are not together either sounds like she had enough too. He probably thinks buying you something makes up for his insults. My opinion. Tell him he is WRONG and this is not what you want to hear, especially from your dad. What a sad world he lives in.

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