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what should I do about my relationship with my dad?(5 Posts)
Name change as this is very identifying. I have spoken to friends about this but would appreciate wise words from strangers
My dad has form for sending me letters. He has strange ways, and bad social skills and lacks tact. He can't handle change and is sometimes insensitive but sentimental. Having said that I've always felt he loves me
He send me a letter in March last year (previous ones have been about my weight, my relationships, my attitude, previous debts etc, he thinks he's doing me a favour but they are always hurtful and critical)
This letter in summary said I was selfish and after his money. This followed a few conversations about what kind of care he would like in old age. I think I'd watched a film about dementia, and it made me really sad. I said I wanted to make sure that if he ever got poorly I would know what he wanted. He took this to mean - how much money have you got, will I get your house, will I have to spend on care home fees etc
My intentions in asking him were good because I care about him a lot but he took it in the worst way. His letter essentially called me and my DH money grabbing. His letter was explicit and contained the worst accusations you can level at people (I feel.) he also pointed out what a wonderful dad he has been (for context my parents went through an awful custody battle when I was young, he lost everything because of it including access to me and my sibling for several years. My parents both behaved appallingly throughout)
I was so incredibly upset by the letter and remember spending that whole weekend crying about it. In response I sent a text in anger. It was mean and spiteful and said I didn't want to see him for a long time
He made no contact. Six months later and following DH and I splitting and me nearly having a nervous breakdown and getting signed off from work, I asked him if he wanted to get a coffee. I apologised for my hurtful text message and said I found his letter very upsetting. He couldn't apologise for it though and tried to justify it by saying I had responded with a horrid text. (I had said things like no wonder you fell out with your sister and mother, you'd think you'd be kinder to your children etc). I apologised again. He kept saying 'you called me a shitty parent.' I had never used those words, ever. He also said actually he had been most upset with something my DH had said before he sent that letter. When I asked why he had then taken it out on me he couldn't answer. He stormed out of the coffee shop and I haven't seen him since. He has texted occasionally to say hello, sent me a birthday and xmas card. Apologised for taking my sibling (golden child) on holiday for xmas because it meant I was alone etc. He also suggested I sent a birthday card to his wife. I said 'that woman I haven't spoken to in a year? Despite me having the worst year of my life she hasn't contacted me once?' So I have been a bit of a dick too
It was Father's Day yesterday and I know my dad will be so upset I didn't send a card. It's his birthday next week and he'll be sad I don't get in touch then.
But I don't know what to do. He will not apologise for that letter, and he won't forgive me for the text despite me saying sorry and meaning it.
My sibling won't 'get involved.' I think it would be helpful if they would actually and tell my dad to stop being a dick
What should I do? I'm sad he's not in my life. My mother is very difficult too and I have previously gone NC with her. What with separating from DH and my sibling not ever really contacting me I feel a bit alone sometimes.
Thank you for any advice
Bumping for traffic, I think you sound like you need to have some boundaries to protect yourself from your parents but not sure what. Could you try the stately homes thread? Sorry you are going through this, Father's Day won't help
It's like kicking a dog and getting sniffy when it bites you. OP he sounds like a dick. I think it's best not to have contact with someone who clearly doesn't support you, no matter what relation he is to you. Storming off like a kid? Not apologising even though you did, even though your were provoked? Behaved appallingly during your childhood? And now sulking it seems. Just ditch him, you're better off out of it. I don't think a letter that a parent sends to his child should ever make said child cry for a whole weekend. Yes it's sad don't get me wrong, I caught my dad out in a lie 3 years ago and his reaction was stormy/sulky and I just thought, fuck you ya prick, I am an adult and I don't have to swallow lies, I've had a titful. I am sad, I was sad yesterday but ultimately he just caused more drama in my life than he ever helped me so it's his loss.
You've really got to put yourself first here. I'm sorry your marriage is over. Don't let the lonely feelings make you sentimental, it would be easy to fall into the compassion trap. It is better to be alone than with selfish people. If he's sad on his birthday then it's his own stupid fault for being a fault-finding prick.
Hmm your dad sounds like mine, no real advice but I feel your pain.
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