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Could someone explain why my Dad does this, please?

(23 Posts)
Ephedra Sun 03-May-15 11:36:26

Dad left when I was 4 and my Dsis was 2, to be with ow who is now my stepmum of 24+ years (they now have 2 teenagers together).

Dad text and then called Dsis on Thursday with some news but hasn't contacted me at all (last contact I had with him was a 'happy new year' text).

He's done this a lot, tells Dsis something and then, I assume, expects me to know what is happening. Someone died and he only told Dsis! I didn't know that dads last birthday was his 60th because he didn't tell me. Dsis didn't realise he wasn't contacting me when he contacted her until I saw her on Friday so didn't know to tell me.

I haven't seen dad for 2 years (he came to my wedding) and we only speak on birthdays, fathers day and christmas. I have tried in the past to talk to him more but its like talking to a brick wall so I gave up.

I don't understand why he can go to the effort of texting Dsis with news but not me. Does he really expect her to forward every text he sends and repeat every phone call to me? I am not an extension of my little sister!

Can anyone guess why he is more confortable contacting Dsis rather than both of us? I would just like to know whats going on in his head.

PotteringAlong Sun 03-May-15 11:37:41

Ask him?

Ephedra Sun 03-May-15 11:42:33

I don't think I can but can't really explain why! We don't talk about personal things, its more like talking to a stranger.

I might do anyway but I can't yet as he was really really upset when he called my sister on thursday and it doesn't seem fair to bring this up when he is so sad.

Meerka Sun 03-May-15 12:37:38

How odd of him. At a guess he simply feels a lot more comfortable with your little sister than with you hmm Im sorry.

it might be that, it might be that he is playing some sort of head game (seeing you as good sister/bad sister), he might feel guilty about you more than her for some reason and so avoid you. Only he can say.

Have you talked to your sister about this? Does she have any ideas? This would need thinking about and discussing, but maybe she could start pushing him to ring you "oh, please will you let Ephedra know Dad". But it does sound to me like he doesn't want to be close to you and pushing might not work. Not sure it's a good idea.

Ephedra Sun 03-May-15 13:19:58

Thanks Meerka, my Mum thinks he feels guilty and that is why he is weird with me, but he left 26 years ago and that's a long time to carry that around.

Dsis and I have completely different but still distant relationships with dad. She missed a lot of the tension between me and dad/stepmum and so is easier for him to get along with I guess. I tried making a relationship with him but he didn't respond so I gave up.

I'll make sure Dsis tells dad to tell me what her tells her. It never really bothered me before but this time I am really annoyed.

Wrapdress Sun 03-May-15 13:23:41

Does he want to be able to complain to other people about how you never talk to him? How you don't care about him - poor pitiful him has a child he treats him badly? Does he want to come across like he's the victim and you're the thoughtless daughter?

If that is the narrative he is trying to create then he can't text you or contact you because it doesn't fit in. You don't contact him and he exploits that.

My dad always did this and I think it was really out of guilt for cheating on my mom and him running off to marry the OW (they have been married 21 years now). I haven't talked to him for 16 years and it's not because he cheated on my mom and ran off with the OW. It's more due to his manipulative behavior like this - where he has to make me look like the bad guy.

Ephedra Sun 03-May-15 13:36:09

I don't think so Wrapdress, he has always been very proud of me and sis, and always tells people that he has two lovely daughters as well as the two teenagers. Plus Dsis would be just as bad a daughter as although he contacts her more it's still less than maybe 10 times a year. I don't think Dsis has seen him since my wedding either.

Dad isn't manipulative, he is a very weak man who is walked all over by his wife. Some of the trouble we had when I was young was that stepmum resented us and objected to anything he gave us. He would never go against her for any of his DC (which is why I called SS when I found out she was abusing their DC and he couldn't/wouldn't stop her).

PeppermintCrayon Sun 03-May-15 14:18:03

OP, I think you've been dripfeeding a bit here. You called SS on your step mum? I think that's probably your answer. How is she with you now? Is it possible your dad isn't contacting you because of her?

Ephedra Sun 03-May-15 15:43:02

I didn't mean to drip feed. Dad does not know that I called SS so that isn't part of the issue, I did it as anonymously as I could. I made that call only 2 or 3 years ago when I was 27 or 28 so if dad is not contacting me because of that, then what the hell was his excuse before then? Also the death that dad didn't tell me about was before then.

I get on with stepmum ok. We are not at all close and have never been. I have the same kind of relationship with her that I do with friends DHs/DP that I don't really know.

If dad doesn't contact me because of her then he is more of an idiot than I gave him credit for.

Meerka Sun 03-May-15 16:11:27

Dad isn't manipulative, he is a very weak man who is walked all over by his wife

If dad doesn't contact me because of her then he is more of an idiot than I gave him credit for.

You've answered your own question I'm afraid. It's likely to be that simple.

Ephedra Sun 03-May-15 16:21:05

Thanks Meerka, thats just sad if it really is that simple.

Meerka Sun 03-May-15 17:50:39

Is there a slightly closer link between your sister and your stepmother than you have?

and ... are you quite, quite sure she finds you 'ok'? sometimes people can put a nice front on for a very long time or forever.

AuntyMag10 Sun 03-May-15 17:56:47

You say you don't talk about personal things and that's probably why.

Ephedra Sun 03-May-15 18:09:40

Is there a slightly closer link between your sister and your stepmother than you have?

No, both of our relationships with stepmum are though dad. Its sounds harsh but to Dsis and me, stepmum is just dads wife.

are you quite, quite sure she finds you 'ok'?

Yes. Maybe. The only issue she has ever had with us has been money. Like I said we don't really have a relationship with her anymore. We used to when we were young. We loved her once but once she had DC of her own her focus (rightly) shifted to them. Her DC were born at the time Dsis and I became teenagers were losing interest in travelling hundreds of miles once a month to visit dad, so our relationship faded.

Meerka Sun 03-May-15 18:15:04

if the relationship between the her and the both of you is about the same, it does sound like it could simply be your father being a sod for unknown reasons then :/

Ephedra Sun 03-May-15 18:15:57

AuntyMag how do you talk to someone who is basically a stranger about things that are painful. I know nothing of dads life and he knows nothing of mine.

I once made a proper effort to get to know him. I called him once a week for 3 weeks. The first phone call was amazing. We talked about things we liked, tv and films. I was so hopeful that it would continue. The next two phone calls were awful. So awkward. Dad hardly said a word. He very clearly didn't want to talk to me.

He is like this with Dsis too yet he tells her when people and pets die. Why not me?

DistanceCall Sun 03-May-15 20:44:48

People tend to think that children who share the same parents are treated more or less in the same way, except in the case of golden childs and scapegoats. But it needn't be that way. Your parent obviously feels differently about your sister than he does about you - not necessarily in the sense that he loves her more, but that for some reason, he finds it easier to talk to her.

I think possibly the fact that you were older when he left and she didn't speak yet is related to this.

Ephedra Sun 03-May-15 21:01:21

I think possibly the fact that you were older when he left and she didn't speak yet is related to this.

Yes, maybe that is it. I was also a daddys girl which I'm sure didn't help. Mum says that I was his world (until sis came along).

If it is guilt that is causing his behaviour then I hope he gets help soon. 26 years is a long time to feel guilty and it must only be made worse by his behaviour towards me and Dsis.

DistanceCall Sun 03-May-15 21:08:38

He probably isn't even aware of it, OP. It's just that talking to you triggers his guilty feelings on an unconscious levels, because you were his little girl and he abandoned you etc. etc. If he's not a very emotionally aware person - and it doesn't sound like he is - he probably just muddles through, unaware of why he does it or what impact it has.

Something similar happened to my Dad and my younger sister. I was always his favourite, but he didn't realise to what extent my sister felt left out. Until she was a teenager and told him that she thought that he loved me more than her. This shocked him into action, and they've had a wonderful relationship since.

I really think you should speak to your father and tell him how you feel, rather bluntly.

Ephedra Sun 03-May-15 21:21:29

Thanks DistanceCall thats very good to know.

I would love to tell him how I feel but it would feel a bit like walking up to a stranger and insulting them. I also think he would back off even more although I don't know that for sure.

honeyroar Sun 03-May-15 21:44:51

Could you send him a letter/text telling him how it would be lovely to hear things from him and not through your sister? Tell him you want to feel as though you're as close to him/as loved by him as she is. Tell him he's important to you?

He probably does it because he's weak and he thinks she's a softer touch.

DistanceCall Sun 03-May-15 21:53:01

Honeyroar's suggestion is a very good one. Presumably you would (both) find it hard to have a face-to-face conversation about these matters because you are so unused to it. But I think writing him a letter telling him about your feelings would be easier for both, and give him time to mull it over and react.

And if he doesn't react, well, then you know what he is a very weak man indeed and there isn't really much you can do about it.

Ephedra Sun 03-May-15 22:07:36

I would love to send him a letter but I don't think he can read well. The texts he does send often don't make sense as he has awful spelling and are always really really short. He doesn't write any of our birthday/christmas cards. Any letter I sent would likely be read to him by stepmum and I would like to keep any heart to heart we have between us (at least while we are having it).

I haven't yet reacted to Thursdays news, so tomorrow I might text him saying I only just heard what happened, and maybe try to find a way of asking why he didn't tell me.

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