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Some advice about dealing with my father

(9 Posts)
MarmiteNotVegemite Sat 11-May-13 09:24:05

First post, and just testing for opinions, experience, and general wisdom! It could go in AIBU, but I suspect I am being unreasonable, and I'd like some advice rather than debate! Hope that's ok.

My father is just over 80, he & my mother divorced about 20 years ago. He'd never really been fully committed to family life (string of affairs I gather) & generally seems to prefer other families to his own. I love my father in that generally familial way, but I suspect I actually am quite e, and maybe despise him. There's a lot of resentment left from events in my late teens when it was clear he'd checked out of the family emotionally. Although he really tried -- he's just fairly emotionally UNintelligent; quite tactless and thick, in a very charming way (these upper-middle class public school boys learn the charm). Obviously, I'm really a middle-aged grown up, (and I shout at myself to BE that grown up!) but it doesn't feel like it in dealing with some family dynamics ...

Anyway, big family get-together coming up for my father's 80th birthday -- a big deal because several of us live continents apart. An email recently from my father outlining a trip he'd just done -- walking in mountains, so he's pretty fit for an 80 yo (indeed, he probably looks vaguely late middle-aged).

Huge case of mentionitis of some woman -- let's call her "Jane" -- I asked a sister of mine WTF is "Jane"? She told me it's a woman he's going about with who is younger than my sister (who's the baby and late 40s).

I find generally (feminazi hat on) that relationships with such huge age differences (ie 30 years) are a bit disgusting -- not the sex bit, but the power imbalance: the "man can't cope with a woman who's his equal" aspect. But this is my father.

If he brings her to the family gathering (which won't include my mother), how do I deal? I am inclined to laugh at my father, and ignore "Jane." Or be very English & upper middle class (she's not English, and comes from a culture with far more relaxed manners). But then the rational bit of me tells me that I'm a grown up, and this is petty behaviour not worthy of me.

Any advice? Or better still, anyone been in this situation from any angle? What did you do?

jessjessjess Sat 11-May-13 09:36:54

YABU. Just be polite to the poor woman.

IHateSafeStyle Sat 11-May-13 09:39:23

Why would you be rude to a women you do not know who has done nothing to you?

something2say Sat 11-May-13 09:41:35

It's not the woman's fault.

The issue seems to be the way you feel, as a result of the way your father has behaved.

And that is perfectly reasonable and acceptable.

I would say maybe stop pulling the class card as well. It's not done these days and is not appropriate not intelligent in today's world. Where we all have value and are of equal worth.....

Own your feelings of being pissed off and angry and let it out. Forget who he is with. Get stuck into why he hurt you.


cozietoesie Sat 11-May-13 09:44:45

What makes you think that there's some 'power imbalance'? I was in your situation in the past and the woman was quite fine with my father and he with her.

Just go - and treat her as a person. I did, on the basis that it was my father's relationship and not mine. And it worked out fine. In fact I still meet up with her on occasion (he died) because I enjoy her company.

Lweji Sat 11-May-13 11:22:08

Yes, why the power imbalance?

And why the need to worry about this woman?

You have a problem with your dad. Yet you still go to his birthday.
Be open minded towards this woman.

MMMarmite Sat 11-May-13 11:36:47

YANBU to be angry at your dad for being emotionally unavailable. But that's between you and your dad, don't take it out on a woman you don't even know. Whilst his actions may be questionable, I can't see how it's a good feminist action to ignore or make fun of this woman.

If you're furious at your father, direct those emotions in the proper direction. Talk to him about it, or decide not to see him if talking never works, or seek counselling to talk about your childhood.

thepixiefrog Sat 11-May-13 17:46:24

Can't you reserve judgement about this woman and her relationship with your df until you actually meet her? It would be very unreasonable to allow your issues with df to justify being rude her. She has nothing to do any of that.

And, yabvu for using the term 'feminazi'.

ImperialBlether Sat 11-May-13 19:04:03

OP, there is nothing right about your post! You sound rude and a snob, to be honest.

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