Argument at Christmas meal…

(261 Posts)
Violet4 Sun 28-Nov-21 05:45:51

NC for this one. DH’s parents are away this Christmas who live locally and my parents live 4 hours away. We generally have a tradition each year as everyone gets on very well where we will do a pre Xmas get together myself, DH, in laws, my parents, SIL/BIL (SIL has children we do not yet). Is generally always a nice evening out and has been going on for about 5-6 years now since married.

Anyway tonight we had this meal, went to a local french restaurant, all well - drinks flowing but not to an excessive extent that I was aware of. The bill came at the end, bill agreed to be split 4 ways. My father insisted on paying, only at this point I noticed he was quite drunk at the table. Really nice thought but we all insisted no, this went back and forth to the point where it got incredibly awkward. In the end bill agreed to be split 4 ways between couples but he became a bit grumpy, subject changed all fine. Then my mum who had forgotten her glasses, handed me her card and asked me to put it in the machine for her, I misheard what she said and replied “sorry, what did you say?” Across the table. At which point my father said “for f**cks sake Violet4 just sort it out stop making a fuss.” Myself and my mother looked across at him at the table confused, as it was so out of context and I explained to him the only issue was I hadn’t been able to hear my mother. Again all fine.

Meal ended, bit of a strange atmosphere at the end but nevermind, all said goodbye lovely meal etc. Restaurant is a short walk home so myself DH and parents began the walk.

As soon as my PIL and SIL were out of ear shot, my Dad absolutely lost it started asking “what the hell was your problem at the table I saw the way you two were looking at me” , we were absolutely bemused and explained he was making something out of nothing and just drunk, this caused him to get more and more angry resulted in him screaming in the street, swearing, called us a “pair of pr*cks” , shouting at us saying JUST WALK AWAY, but then kept trying to walk past us first. Clearly absolutely hammered drunk. Almost squaring up to us, nostrils flaring really really frightening. All got very emotional and very very nasty, DH walked ahead with myself and my Mother, he trailed behind stormed off somewhere then I heard him come in about 20 mins after us. They are staying at ours. I got home in tears, as did my mother. Now everyone asleep and I’ve been wide awake all night. Obviously they live 4 hours away so nowhere else for him to stay and really sad as we only see them once a month or so. It was honestly frightening, I’ve never seen him like that.

Now I know people say “this is out of character”, I am 34 years old and drunk or otherwise I have NEVER seen my father behave in that way, ever. Nor has my Mother and her reaction tonight you could tell she was utterly shell shocked afterwards. We have a very close relationship we speak daily on the phone and she tells me every little disagreement they’ve ever had etc. I really believe her that he’s never done this before.
I can’t piece together why this has happened tonight. He recently lost his mother (my grandmother) and he himself has been quite unwell with Covid. Maybe linked to that but I just don’t know why this behaviour manifested out of absolutely nothing.

Anyway if you have got this far, thank you. I don’t really know what I am posting for, I’ve been awake anxious about the morning for most of the night and not sure how to navigate this tommorrow. We have plans with SIL and her kids before they head off tomorrow and I don’t even think I can face being around him after last night, despite the fact he’s in the guest room as we speak…

Thank you x

OP’s posts: |
Violet4 Sun 28-Nov-21 06:31:31

Sorry realised the above post is probably super long.
Short story - pre- Christmas meal out with IL’s & parents who live away and are staying with us. End of meal my father started a huge argument lots of shouting swearing crying over me and my mother apparently giving him a “look” re: the bill at the table. He stormed off down the road, eventually came home & now I can’t face leaving the room this morning not sure how to go about it. X

OP’s posts: |
PlumManor Sun 28-Nov-21 06:38:41

I hope he wakes up this morning with one of those “oh no, what did I do” moments and apologises profusely al though I suspect he will pretend it didn’t happen.

I think it would be reasonable for all three of you to sit him down and explain how difficult and unacceptable his behaviour was last night.

Ilikewinter Sun 28-Nov-21 06:40:43

I think i would leave him in bed today and spend the day with family as planned.

I think i would see what he says when he gets up, ie is he mortified and apologises or does he act like it was a great night and can't remember what hes done.

GnomeyGnome Sun 28-Nov-21 06:40:53

I'm sorry your night ended up like that. It's horrible when things turn sour, especially with such little ammo as it were. Because this is so completely out of character for your dad I'd be concerned that there's something else going on. Physically or mentally. Have you noticed any other odd behaviour, memory loss etc? Wait until he gets up and see how he's feeling then, hopefully he will be mortified and apologize to you all.

My2favboys Sun 28-Nov-21 06:40:58

probably with the stress he's been under lately (mother passing and covid) it's just kinda built up inside him and he blew up over nothing when drunk.
hopefully he'll wake up and apologise and maybe it will open up a conversation about how he is really feeling day to day.

Weenurse Sun 28-Nov-21 06:43:37

How old is he?
Could this be a grief reaction?


sandgrown Sun 28-Nov-21 06:46:36

Not making excuses but is he still suffering following the bereavement? Is he drinking more generally? Are there any signs he could be suffering with dementia as this altered a close friend’s personality? I hope he will be very apologetic when he wakes up .

SnoopsCaliforniaRoll Sun 28-Nov-21 06:53:52

You poor thing @Violet4, what a horrible and surreal situation for you all (particularly your DM). I can imagine you must have been so terrified and embarrassed.

As PP mentioned, leave your DF to stew a bit. Hopefully once the hangover clears he will realise what an arse he was. I would also confront him, and ask what on Earth he was playing at yesterday. A delayed grief reaction is understandable but not acceptable. How many times is this going to happen? Is your DM even safe going forward?

I would also suggest that your priority here has to be your DM. Has she noticed any change in your DF, any increase in drinking or volatility? Is this really the first time he has been so aggressive?

Violet4 Sun 28-Nov-21 06:56:09

Thank you for your replies everyone it means a lot. Have been awake since about 3am. Although DH was lovely and supportive/agreed my Dad’s behaviour was unacceptable he still managed to drift straight off to sleep, I am a very anxious person anyway so have been awake with my mind racing overtime and envious of his snooze!

I am concerned there is something else going on physically or mentally. He is 67. (A very young 67 physically I must say bit still).
It has worried me as it came out of absolutely nowhere. Wasn’t a 2 sided argument whatsoever, it was as if he suddenly became paranoid.

I went to let the cat out just now and can see there is a pillow and blanket laid out on the sofa so presumably he either slept there all night and has gone out for a walk or has taken himself up to the guest room now

OP’s posts: |
Alonelonelylonersbadidea Sun 28-Nov-21 06:57:17

He is grieving and has been sick himself.. It's not acceptable behaviour by any means, but it could possibly make sense.

He needs to apologise this morning and mean it.
I do understand your need to stay away from him though, so I would leave him to his own devices and take your mum with you.
Horrible behaviour. Sorry OP.

Violet4 Sun 28-Nov-21 06:57:55

This is honestly the first time I’ve ever seen him like that, to the point where as someone said above I was concerned there was something Medical going on

OP’s posts: |
msbevvy Sun 28-Nov-21 06:57:59

Is he on any medication that might have caused the alcohol to have had a bad effect on him?

The only time I saw my mother noticeably drunk was when she met my sister's in-laws for the for the first time. A couple of sherries mixed with her tablets left her in a right state, but luckily a happy one.

Violet4 Sun 28-Nov-21 06:59:03

Or as someone else said above perhaps a grief reaction. It has been a hard year, he himself was ill with Covid and then my grandmother was hospitalised with Covid and passed away

OP’s posts: |
LunaAndHerMoonDragons Sun 28-Nov-21 06:59:21

If it's truly out of character, and it may not be, then I'd be more concerned that he's either struggling badly mentally or that the angry behaviour is caused by a medical condition.

VeruccaSalty Sun 28-Nov-21 07:09:01

I think the drink, the grief and the fact that he tried to do a nice thing by paying and it got turned into something awkward, have combined to make him behave in an out of character way. My dad always used to say if someone offers to pay it is better to accept with good grace than make a big fuss about not letting them. I am not saying you were wrong at all, just for a man of a certain age, it might be pride thing.

Fairylights25 Sun 28-Nov-21 07:10:12

He needs to apologise, and apologise profusely and stop drinking from now on, your poor mother. I know it was awful for you, but I wonder how she is feeling? Very embarrassed and afraid.

I would go out for a walk with your mother and check she is okay op, and talk about taking your father to the GP for some advice possibly?

I would be mortified if my father swore at me like that, you poor thing. flowers

VeruccaSalty Sun 28-Nov-21 07:11:01

Also, Robert Webb talks about in his book, how anger is one of the emotions men are allowed to show but often it isn't really emotion they are feeling,

Capferret Sun 28-Nov-21 07:11:04

I suspect your df is anxious and has been bottling up his feelings. I would calmly tell him today that his behaviour was horrible and unacceptable.

My dh said some very hurtful things to me a few months after his df’s death. I told him he was being unreasonable and he knew he was.

Fairylights25 Sun 28-Nov-21 07:11:22

I would also check they are okay financially maybe it is linked to him being turned down to pay, he is feeling useless/without purpose and not needed any more as he gets older? It could be lots of things, but if it is genuinely out of character it needs investigating.

Theunamedcat Sun 28-Nov-21 07:12:14

Wait to see of he apologises or doubles down

DeadoftheMoon Sun 28-Nov-21 07:13:53

Your dad is a human being. They fuck up sometimes.

Thatnameistaken Sun 28-Nov-21 07:14:50

My otherwise easy going DP had an uncharacteristic rage about getting a large object into a car. It was a bit fiddly and he lost it! His DB and myself who were trying to help where shocked. There were a few more similar instances following that, he recognised there was an issue, got some counselling and we found it was all wrapped up with the loss of his Dad the previous year, he'd not really processed it.
Could be something similar going on here?

tenredthings Sun 28-Nov-21 07:16:05

Could it be a sign of dementia ?

MrsLargeEmbodied Sun 28-Nov-21 07:17:14

he will feel rotten today that's for sure.

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