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advice wanted on relationship with my Dad(14 Posts)
I have a DD who's nearly 3 and one on the way. The plans I had in place for childcare for DD when I go into labour have fallen through (my mum) as she's going on holiday when I'm due (although baby could be late so it may work out as originally planned).
I called my Dad to see if he thought he may be able to help, I stipulated that I didn't know how this would look due to me not knowing when the baby will arrive but was just putting it out there for him to have a think about. This turned into an argument with me eventually hanging up in tears.
The argument was based around him turning it round and complaining he never sees my DD and my mum sees her all the time. They have been divorced for nearly 30 years and both have been remarried for 25.
For context, I see my Mum a lot. Her and my stepdad are involved a lot with DD and help out with regular childcare because 1. they can, and wnat to, due to their free time and 2. they make an effort to see her.
My Dad on the other hand, works full time and has a busy social life when he's not working. All fine. I, in no way, hold any of that against him or complain that he doesn't see DD often. He used to watch DD once every few weeks for a few hours when I had to work occasional weekends however I stopped those particular hours during my pregnancy.
The issue is the manner in which he speaks about my Mum - it is filled with hatred and vitriol, even spitting the word Mother when he mentions her, like "your MOTHER!" I don't call her that, she's Mum. My Dad and I speak on the phone most weeks and he mentions that he wants to see DD. Every time he does this I say absolutely, you know where I am, I'm free most weekends (true, I'm stuck in the house nearly every weekend as have been unwell this pregnancy) just let me know and you can see her. But he never asks/aranges a date. It's always me who has done this. He just likes to moan he never sees her.
He never comes round to mine, it's the same with my sisters, we have to go to his. If he does come round it's for less than 10mins, barely sits down, rarely takes his jacket off and never accepts a drink. It's always been that way. I've always had to lug everything baby and now child related to his if I wanted to visit him and I don't drive so that involves lifts/taxis etc too.
He holds a grudge (he was bringing up things on the phone that I did YEARS ago), he's so single minded, never in the wrong, can't see how the constant derogatory comments about my Mum can upset me (he doesn't care). I called him in tears when I left my (first) husband and the first thing he did was yell at me because he said was going to ask my exH to help my other sister move house that weekend as she was going through a separation also and I was selfish for doing it then.
I am really anxious about the birth especially as now my Mum may not be around to help so for him to not only disregard my question of help should I need it but then to turn it into how little he sees my DD and use it as an excuse to be nasty about my Mum.
We haven't spoken since the argument and I don't really want to. I'm resigned now. I've had enough of it. We have a blow up about once a year and it's normally relating to the same thing, his jealousy over my Mum or something similar. I don't have the energy anymore. I'm fed up being stuck in the middle, they've not been together since I was very young - why am I still having to go through this?? He just doesn't care how much it upsets me. I told him that I'm fed up with it and I'm not having my children going through the same thing that I did because he can't get over the fact my Mum is in my life.
I'm sorry it's so long. I could have written tons more!
Can anyone help me? I feel so down about it.
I'm sorry you feel so down actually given his general disinterest in your dd he doesn't sound like someone you would want to leave your did with anyway! Especially since you will be in hospital away from her, she needs someone comforting rather than him. Is your dh taking any leave? Can your dh not take his leave earlier ?
Do you have any friends who would be more reliable? Just as standby.
I think it's time to accept that, whenever you have anything to do with him, you end up upset. He doesn't bother coming to see you or your daughter, but he moans about it instead. Lovely. He's not the dad you want or deserve. I'd steer more clear and, if he asks why, tell him.
I posted a thread about the birth situation under a different username yesterday and got lots of practical advice so will be putting other things in place hopefully for the actual birth so feeling a bit better about that at least.
It's the problem in general now with my Dad that I don't know what to do about. I think you're right about the disinterest. He doesn't make the effort but likes to play the martyr.
That's what DH says something. He's seen these episodes between us a few times now, they're very shouty and aggressive with me in such a state for a long time after it with nothing ever resolved.
It's got to the stage that I am so weary with it all and have realised that he doesn't actually care that he's upsetting me. Never once has he apologised or ever thought he could possibly be in the wrong.
The thing is we have a laugh and get on well out with these scenarios but I'm always walking on eggshells worried that I could say something to set him off.
Well if you were in any doubt why your MOTHER! divorced him, I bet you aren't now.
You don't have to do anything about it. You aren't going to be able to easily lug two kids and all their crap to his house via taxi or bus. You shouldn't have to, either, given he has 1. a car and 2. no need for a nappy bag or car seats. As you've said all along, he knows where you are.
What's your relationship like with your step-mother?
My relationship with my step-mum is okay. I only ever see her with my Dad and no communication really other than that. She will take his side for an easy life and I don't blame her, his temper is frightening and it's easier being amiable than standing up for yourself to him.
OP I don't want to upset you, but when you look at your dad's actions, it is clear that he doesn't love you as a father should.
His interest in you is entirely based on you doing what he says, never confronting him, challenging him or disagreeing with him.
It's great that your mum managed to break free of him. It's a shame that she encouraged you to have contact with him, because you've fallen into the trap of believing he gets to be a first class fuckwad just because he had a hand in your conception.
Ask yourself what positive things the relationship with your dad brings, that could only come from that specific relationship? "We have a laugh" is something you could do with any friend. He is your parent. Can you call him when you feel down, and be comforted? If you rang him to say you'd been promoted/got pregnant/DC had won a competition, would he be interested? If you ask him for help, does he provide it? From what you have posted, the answers are all no.
This is no father. This is a selfish, bullying prick who bring you only sadness.
pocket you're right in terms of when I look for support, it's not really there in ways you'd expect a parent to help. It all turns round on him really. I have to make sure I put in my diary when he has a doctors/hospital appt or some special event on as otherwise, if I miss it, I get a passive aggressive text that it went well and he's okay or they had a good time and it gets held against you indefinitely that I never asked about it.
When it comes to me in these situations he never ever calls to see how I got on or shows any interest when discussing it. But I get a blow by blow account about his diary and what he's been doing. He asks how I am but it feels out of obligation than interest then I feel I have to rush through what's happening with me so we can get back to him.
The divorce was ultimately as a result of him leaving my mum for my step mum after multiple affairs over the years. He was physically violent with her however I don't know to what extreme. He did attack me a couple of times when I was late teens and VERY confrontational and difficult and I said to him that he was just doing to me what he did to my mum (physical) and he said she deserved it too
He's very materialistic and since the divorce I've always got the best and most expensive gifts, it's all part of one up manship and appearing to be the best. DH says that it's his way of easing his guilt over his behaviour. He will help out financially if I've ever needed it over the years and is very quick to put his hand in his pocket, same with fancy gifts for DD. I thought it was great but now it seems just all part of the way he wants to be perceived.
The scales are falling from my eyes and I'm scared about what this means.
The most recent argument was the last straw in terms of I do NOT want my kids going through the hell of feeling torn between my parents the way I have been since the day and hour they split. It's awful hearing a parent talking in such a nasty, spiteful way about the other when I never asked for any of this. I'm fed up of being referree and trying to keep the peace.
Rationally I know I can't change his behaviour and only the way I react to it but why can't he just see what his behaviour is like???
What's the old saying, your father's a man who could start a fight in an empty room.
You know lavish presents don't make up for him being so self-centred and aggressive. He has a warped outlook on life and I don't see it changing.
Put your energy into your little family.
You could have another thirty or forty years of this so as he won't budge you need to alter how you deal with him.
I'm not sure he's someone you should leave your dd with anyway? Maybe he's only violent with grown women and teenagers, but really? Your dd will grow into a teenager. Do you want her potentially exposed to violence for the sake of an ideal of family life with him that doesn't exist?
Tbh, I would accept him not coming round much as a gift and keep contact to the minimum duty visit.
He's not a good person to have in your life.
I think the keeping contact to a minimum would be better than going NC, I would find that too difficult with our family dynamics.
I agree for now just keep limited contact. It would be too stressful going NC especially with the new baby, you don't need that problem.
Make other plans for your dd, and just remember those that stepped up in your time of need. This must be a real eye opener for you. You and your dh will figure it out, don't worry. Best of luck.
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