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Am I being unreasonable to let my Dad visit us for a week at a time?

31 replies

wassername · 05/04/2007 10:43

My dh has just complained to me that he thinks my Dad's visits are too long - and I can see his point but really don't know how to address it with my Dad. My Dad lives on his own so his time is his own and also I guess he can get a bit lonely. He is in his seventies, lives about 250 miles away from us and had a heart operation 2 years ago but is pretty fit despite that. He helps me with the children (3 under 7) so I find his visits quite useful, and we do get on pretty well. My dh gets on with him OK but I guess just feels his space is being invaded for too long as my Dad usually stays for about a week at a time. Over Christmas he stayed for two weeks which I accept was really too long - although I was fine with it, I can see why my dh wasn't! How on earth do I approach my dad about this? I can't bear the thought that he will feel unwelcome or uncomfortable in our home

OP posts:

FioFio · 05/04/2007 10:46

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expatinscotland · 05/04/2007 10:46

You're so lucky to even have a father who is able to come visit you and wants to.

Are you being unreasonable?


Your DH needs to get over it.

It's a fortnight, not the rest of his life.

You might find yourself in your father's position one day. How would you feel if your children approached you like this?

Our parents are only here for so long, then they're gone forever.

Sorry, but I always think, 'How would I feel standing over Papa's grave knowing I made him feel unwelcome in the home I wouldn't have at all but for him?'

Like shit.


harpsichordcarrier · 05/04/2007 10:46

how often does he stay?
I think dh is being unreaaonsable, not you btw.


powder28 · 05/04/2007 10:50

Your dh is being unreasonable. This is your father and he helps you with the children. Thats fantastic imo. Also he probably does get lonely and if you get on well with him when he is down then thats also great.
I would cherish all the time you get to enjoy your dads company, he sounds lovely.


taramac · 05/04/2007 10:51

I'm on your dh's side here but then I wouldnt want my dad to stay for a day let alone 2 weeks - would literally kill me.

I know my dp finds my dads visits nearly as hard as me which I totally understand as he gets very little time off and when he does he wants to spend it with me and the children as do I.

I think 2 weeks is a long time to spend with someone esp over holiday period when your dh probably would love to spend some quality time with HIS family.


expatinscotland · 05/04/2007 10:53

I see my FIL as my family, too, and my MIL.

What a sad thread!

Especially considering we are all parents who will, hopefully, one day have grandchildren.

How crushing to think your own children can see you as a nuisance.

He had a heart operation. He's in his 70s.

He's not going to be around for years and years.


taramac · 05/04/2007 10:54

Perhaps your dad could time his visits to come when dh is working? Would he not find it as intrusive then and also then his help is of benefit to you as you are on your own.

I am sure if you spoke to your dad and explained that you want more family time together he would understand and arrange his visits accordingly as his time is a lot more flexible.


expatinscotland · 05/04/2007 10:56

How long do your ILs stay when they visit?

I guess peoples' definition of a family is more limited than mine. I grew up in an extended family, hence, why I see my ILs as my own family, too.

My 'space' is their space. My family is theirs, too.

They help with our children, we help with their garden and home.

Isn't that what it's about? Sharing and all that?


SherlockLGJ · 05/04/2007 10:56

MY DH would never do this, but if he did I would seriously question why I married him TBH.

Agree with EPIS.


OrmIrian · 05/04/2007 10:57

expat - I don't think the OP dislikes her fathers visits - just her DH.

I tend to agree that you need to make the most of elderly parents whilst they are still here. But then again mine are lovely so it's easier and they only live 14 miles away so they wouldn't need to come and stay. If they regularly came for a week at a time I think my DH would struggle.

Does your DH get the chance to see hid parents too?


taramac · 05/04/2007 10:57

I think thats great expat that you have that kind of relationship with your inlaws - some of us dont and its a 2 way street.

I would hope I will have done a so much better job than my dad that my kids WILL want me around so heres hoping.

You cant magic a relationship out of nothing


expatinscotland · 05/04/2007 10:57

How will your DH feel when his son-in-law feels that way about him?

Gutted, I'll bet.

This thread just makes me want to go and hug my Papa.

He's had 2 heart attacks. One of his brothers and one sister, as well as a niece, are already dead from heart disease and Papa will be 71 in July.

Just can't wait to see him again, and our girls are so delighted whenever he comes to visit.


wassername · 05/04/2007 11:16

Thanks for all your replies - I'm surprised by how many of you seem to support my own view - I want my dad to feel free to visit us and to see his grandchildren and I despair at the thought of having to ask him not to stay as long...I just can't think of a way to do it that wouldn't be hurtful. But I am desperately trying to see my DH's point of view. My Dad is usually here when my DH is at work but also over a weekend. My DH has said he actually feels marginalised and that I spoil my Dad when he's here - this makes dh sound like a jealous child and he kind of admitted there might be a bit of that going on. We are not as close as we could be - we have to keep working on our relationship, and I think dh feels that when my Dad is here the lack of "couple time" for us is quite damaging (am I doing well at being understanding...?) My dh's parents live 175 miles away and I actually would like them to visit more!! They are great when they are here - and are very happy to help look after the kids so we can have the odd night away etc, but don't seem to come and visit just to spend time with us and the kids.

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FioFio · 05/04/2007 11:17

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harpsichordcarrier · 05/04/2007 11:19

I normally hate this kind of post but here goes - you have a grandad who likes you enough to want to stay for a week at a time, who is interested in the children, who HELPS with the children, and you get on with him?
your dh needs to get a grip and count his blessings. seriously.


harpsichordcarrier · 05/04/2007 11:22

lack of couple time for one weekend?
yes, maybe you could get your dad to babysit and go out. though I REALLY think this is dh's problem. sorry.


wassername · 05/04/2007 11:24

Harpsichordcarrier - thank you for permission not to have to be understanding of dh's point of view!!!
FioFio - you are so right. It was our anniversary while my Dad was here and he offered to babysit but when I rang dh at work to ask if he wanted to go out he wasn't really up for it. I have now told him we need to make the effort next time.

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ShoshableEggEater · 05/04/2007 11:33

My Pops is 78, and lives a hour away, I pick him up every second Friday night after work and bring him to my house and I take him back on the Sunday tea time. DH is away alot, but even when he is here, Pops still comes, My Mother died 16 years ago, and wasn't a Daddy's girl at all, but since then we have a really close relationship.

Yes there are times I would like a weekend 'off' and wish my brothers would take over, but mostly I love having my Pops here.


lizziemun · 05/04/2007 11:33

I would say your DH is being unreasonable, unless your dad is with you say a week a month then yes that would be to much.

If this is the first visit since christmas then no it's too long.

I would love to have a relationship like this with my dad, he just doesn't do children his own or his only granddaughter, but that's his choice.


Aloha · 05/04/2007 11:36

So, he is upset because he doesn't get enough couple time...but when you suggest 'couple time' he says no...hmmm
He is SO being unreasonable!
Ask how he would feel if in later life he was told not to visit his children. I presume that your dad isn't an alcoholic who hogs the remote control and spouts stuff about immigrants? If not, then your dh should be more understanding.


yomellamoHelly · 05/04/2007 11:45

My mum stays for this amount of time. (I find her a huge help.) PIL only ever do 3 day weekends. At times it does feel a bit much (no spare room so all guests camp out in the (open-plan) lounge). We get over it by going out a lot (every other night) and dh isn't here in the day anyway.


wassername · 05/04/2007 11:56

Aloha - omg - what an obvious contradiction that I totally missed...will save this up for ammo in the next "discussion" Seriously - you are absolutely right. If we need couple time then we have the perfect opportunity. There is too much negativity in this house right now!

We are lucky when it comes to space too - we have a converted loft with en-suite so my Dad has his own space and doesn't get in our way . He really is helpful too - he does the school and nursery run for me so I can stay at home with the baby. And for the last 2 days he held the fort with my 10 month old for an hour while I took the older 2 for swimming lessons. He also watched all three while I went for a doctor's appt (if he hadn't been there I probably wouldn't have bothered to go to the dr at all). The more I think about it the more I see how lucky I am and I need to convice my dh of this.

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Avalon · 05/04/2007 11:58

Whilst I think it's lovely that you get on with your dad and he's a help with the kids, and you're helping him with his loneliness, I do think your dh has got a point.

If your dad stayed just in the week and left on Friday night, I think that would be fine for all concerned. For your dh to see your dad every evening and then over the entire weekend as well is too full on.

Why don't you suggest shorter (ie, in the week) visits to your dad, but more frequent ones? That way, you and dh get to spend time together with the kids at the weekend, your dad gets more time with you and you get the help you need.

If your dh is the stay-at-home-and-relax type who doesn't like going out much, then maybe it's his point of view that he can't relax at the weekend because your dad's there?

Try suggesting a compromise. I mean, all he's said is that your dad's visits are too long, not that he doesn't want him to come at all.


expatinscotland · 05/04/2007 12:02

How immature, especially given he's got a loft and en suite to stay in.

My husband is grateful when my folks come through and we get to swan off for couple time at the drop of a hat.


Aloha · 05/04/2007 12:03

Avalon, given that the dad is in his seventies, has heart trouble and lives 250 miles away, not sure more frequent visits are really that practical.

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