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AIBU?

To be hesitant to forgive and forget?

24 replies

Isthisthisreallife · 06/01/2024 23:58

So sorry for long story…

My grandparents (Mum’s parents) started to distance themselves from the family a few years ago. Started with them just turning up to the ceremony and then leaving for my brother’s wedding for no given reason. They declined the invitation to my own wedding. They blamed covid for this (it was summer 2021) saying they didn’t feel comfortable being around lots of people but were happy to go to the pub to see friends surrounded by lots (more than my wedding) of strangers only a week later.
My Nana was the driving force in this separation from family and I think my grandad went a long with it for an easy life. She’s always been, for lack of a better word, miserable. Glass half empty, she was never wrong and everything was always someone else’s fault.
I would pop over with cards on birthdays and on the odd day for a cup of tea but other than that, didn’t really see them and we never heard from them.

My daughter was born in 2022 and radio silence from them. When my daughter was around 2 months old I went to visit my aunt (their daughter) and my grandad pulled up to drop her off at her house just as I arrived. I waved expecting him to come over to meet little one or just say hi, but nothing. He just drove off. This hurt a lot. I was very close to them in my childhood, being the oldest. So at this point I said I was done.

Fast forward to 2023 and my Nana passes away. My grandad now wants to carry on like the last few years never happened. Comes and hugs me hello at family gatherings and smiles and says hi to my daughter. Nothing has ever been mentioned about how they just fell off the face of the plant and how they didn’t acknowledge the existence of his new great grandchild for a whole year. He knows I’m not too happy about it as he’s told another family member that he can sense I’m off with him.
My mum thinks I should be the bigger person and get on with it but I just don’t feel like I can. I’d like some form or acknowledgment or apology.

YABU - get over and welcome him back into the family and forget the past

YANBU - you’re right to want an explanation/apology

Thank you

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

144 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
28%
You are NOT being unreasonable
72%
Yazo · 07/01/2024 00:01

Sometimes people have different ways of apologising, actions can speak more than works and hugs and smiles mean a lot of they're genuine. It might take time to trust him more but I think if he's making an effort it goes a long way

GreatGateauxsby · 07/01/2024 00:02

I'd do a mix of both.

Tell him how you felt / the impact it had (the thing with not meeting the baby was pretty cold!) and say you want to move on.

Assuming you want to move on.

JMSA · 07/01/2024 00:03

He could have been totally held back by his wife.
Would you feel comfortable having a chat with him about how you feel?

ZebraD · 07/01/2024 00:04

Just speak to him.
grandad, not sure what happened but you became distant with me after Covid and I am not sure why but it felt really upsetting. Cue response..
you don’t have to be offensive but when he replies just make your peace and move forward.

ditalini · 07/01/2024 00:07

I get you. My dh's husband was a coward and lost his son and the chance to meet his grandchildren because he wouldn't stand up to his wife, dh's mother.

In the last weeks of his life he did have a phone call with dh and asked for a photo of the children he never met. What a waste.

I've no doubt that if she'd gone first then he'd have wanted to rebuild a relationship. I'm not sure what dh would have done. He was very badly hurt.

Whatever you do will be the right thing for you. No judgement either way.

Salesarefullofcutpricesprouts · 07/01/2024 00:07

Being old isn't an excuse to be rude and disrespectful to your family. He needs to explain himself. Imo.

ditalini · 07/01/2024 00:08

ditalini · 07/01/2024 00:07

I get you. My dh's husband was a coward and lost his son and the chance to meet his grandchildren because he wouldn't stand up to his wife, dh's mother.

In the last weeks of his life he did have a phone call with dh and asked for a photo of the children he never met. What a waste.

I've no doubt that if she'd gone first then he'd have wanted to rebuild a relationship. I'm not sure what dh would have done. He was very badly hurt.

Whatever you do will be the right thing for you. No judgement either way.

Argh! Dh's dad, not husband.

pizzaHeart · 07/01/2024 00:08

I agree with PPs that you need to ask him gently what was going on. He probably saw it differently at some situations or in some just followed his wife.

Ilovelurchers · 07/01/2024 00:10

As there was no reason behind this it's all very bizarre, and must have been very hurtful and perplexing at the time.

However, you say yourself that your nan seemed to have been the guiding force behind this separation. And it's easy to imagine that someone happy to.cut themselves off from their family would also be quite hard and even controlling to live with? Maybe your grandad felt pressured to go along with the separation from family against his wishes - his conduct now would certainly suggest this.

Anyway, I do understand your wish for an apology, but as I have got older I have reached the conclusion that life is too short to hold grudges against people we love. I would just forgive him and welcome him back into your life if I were you - he may not be around for all that much longer after all. (But I realise that's easy for me to say, as I didn't experience the hurt you went through).

JingleSnowmanTree · 07/01/2024 00:11

i could argue both sides of it tbh.

it sounds like your Nan was the driving force & he just took the easy way out. You don't know how much they argued about it behind closed doors.

what happened when your Nan died?

maybe when you saw him at your Aunts he just didn't know what to do/say & 'ran away' in case you didn't want to see him?

My great Aunt who I was very close to has pretty much overnight got dementia. I haven't seen her much the past year & I really really regret it.

if he's a nice person in general, I'd want to try to
a) make up for lost time
b) help him be less lonely now your Nan has gone
c) want my child to get to know him
d) have few regrets when he does go
& E) try to find out why they pulled away as they did.

Do what you feel happiest doing

your Aunt is obviously seeing him. Was she estranged from them as well or was this just you?

Isthisthisreallife · 07/01/2024 00:11

My nana was definitely controlling but he never gave much away so don’t really know the ins and outs of their relationship

OP posts:
Isthisthisreallife · 07/01/2024 00:14

ditalini · 07/01/2024 00:07

I get you. My dh's husband was a coward and lost his son and the chance to meet his grandchildren because he wouldn't stand up to his wife, dh's mother.

In the last weeks of his life he did have a phone call with dh and asked for a photo of the children he never met. What a waste.

I've no doubt that if she'd gone first then he'd have wanted to rebuild a relationship. I'm not sure what dh would have done. He was very badly hurt.

Whatever you do will be the right thing for you. No judgement either way.

Sounds like a very similar situation. I went to see my nana in hospital just before she died because I felt I’d regret not doing so. She asked to see a photo of my daughter too

OP posts:
GlitteryDirt · 07/01/2024 00:18

Have you asked him about it?

RheaRend · 07/01/2024 00:19

People who say forgive and forget do so because they are uncomfortable with the situation - it is never for the person who has been the one who has suffered it is always about them. This is about your mum's comfort not yours. She is saying shut up about it as it makes me uncomfortable and she wants to not hear about it and make it go away. Doesn't help you at all.

PastorCarrBonarra · 07/01/2024 00:20

My instinct is that he was controlled by your grandmother who ruled the roost (not being misogynistic, it can work the other way too in a couple). He perhaps struggled to assert himself. Talk to him OP.

Isthisthisreallife · 07/01/2024 00:23

JingleSnowmanTree · 07/01/2024 00:11

i could argue both sides of it tbh.

it sounds like your Nan was the driving force & he just took the easy way out. You don't know how much they argued about it behind closed doors.

what happened when your Nan died?

maybe when you saw him at your Aunts he just didn't know what to do/say & 'ran away' in case you didn't want to see him?

My great Aunt who I was very close to has pretty much overnight got dementia. I haven't seen her much the past year & I really really regret it.

if he's a nice person in general, I'd want to try to
a) make up for lost time
b) help him be less lonely now your Nan has gone
c) want my child to get to know him
d) have few regrets when he does go
& E) try to find out why they pulled away as they did.

Do what you feel happiest doing

your Aunt is obviously seeing him. Was she estranged from them as well or was this just you?

After she died, I first saw him at a gathering my aunt hosted in her memory as and she didn’t want a funeral. He was very sheepish but still hugged us hello and introduced himself to my daughter and that was about it. He’s since been posting cards around for Xmas birthdays etc but still no effort to see us despite texting before Christmas saying he would like to get to know my daughter more which I said would be nice.
My aunt was the only one to still see them. Mostly because she doesn’t drive so grandad would always take her to work and home again. She would go and clean for them too. She had many arguments with them about the whole thing.

OP posts:
Salesarefullofcutpricesprouts · 07/01/2024 00:50

Mil dumped us when ds was 3 months old. Sadly she encouraged fil to stand by her... Been 9 years nc.

WandaWonder · 07/01/2024 01:05

I take people as I find them at the time if they have issues it is for them to deal with not me I won't waste my life giving them any more time in my head than I need too.

When I looked back on life I think of how I treat people not how they treat me.

Does it feel good to feel this towards them?

PissedOffNeighbour22 · 07/01/2024 01:10

My gran did the same as OP's. She just stopped contact and was full of excuses why she couldn't see us, then speak with us either. Covid hit and I had 2 children she never met. I was extremely close to her as a child and it was odd that she suddenly didn't want any contact. But I didn't push it.

She died Christmas 2022 and I hadn't seen her for over 3yrs. She'd been bed ridden in her living room and the first thing I saw when I went in the house was my DD's baby photo facing the bed. That really upset me, especially as I hadn't bothered to send her one of my son when he was born. I later found out she spoke about my children a lot to others and no one had bothered to tell me.

I'd assumed she wanted nothing to do with us but after she died I realised it wasn't true. She was unhappy and more ill than she was letting on. I'll never know exactly why she did what she did but I wish frequently that I'd acted differently. If I had the chance to reconnect like OP has, I'd jump at it (especially as OP's GF doesn't seem to have been the instigator of the situation).

T1Dmama · 07/01/2024 01:34

YANBU
Whatever his reason he owes you an apology and explanation and in your place I’d be telling him so!
I have a family member who decided to fall out with me and actually be quite nasty to me because his wife took a dislike to something I’d done, it’s been maybe 8 years and out of the blue he visited family and told them “He ‘expected’ me to make an effort to see him and his daughter”…. This caused lots of issue because my parent decided that I should indeed just forget years of abuse from member member & his wife and just ‘get over it’… my parent then decided to harass me and guilt trip me by phoning up crying and sending messages of her sobbing about me not wanting to see family member and his DD…. In the end I just refused to oblige their demands and told them all to have a lovely time together but to leave me alone…. I distanced myself for a couple of weeks and not much more was said, when he visited again another family member asked me if I would see him, I said I wasn’t interested and thankfully this person relayed it to parent and said they needed to respect my wishes and leave me alone… thankfully they did.
I don’t want or need this person back in my life and I’m not about to forgive everything they did just because they want to play happy families all of sudden… I wish them all well, but I’ve no interest being around people who can hurt me so badly and not even feel the need to apologise… instead thinking we can just pretend nothing happened and act like he hasn’t treated me like shid for 8 years!

Fraaahnces · 07/01/2024 01:36

I think you should ask your grandad wtf that was all about.

Klcak · 07/01/2024 01:40

You can mostly ignore him - you dont need to do anything like cutting contact etc. presumably you can just get on with life, barely seeing him? It’s not a bother to see his occasionally?

it seems shocking that he saw you at your aunt’s and drove off. What kind of grandparent does that?

Gymnopedie · 07/01/2024 01:53

He was very sheepish but still hugged us hello and introduced himself to my daughter and that was about it. He’s since been posting cards around for Xmas birthdays etc but still no effort to see us despite texting before Christmas saying he would like to get to know my daughter more which I said would be nice.

No matter how controlling your DGM might have been he is not innocent. And he's hardly putting himself out to make amends now is he?

I think I'd see two choices. Either continue to keep him at arms' length, or insist on an in depth discussion with him about why he kept away and what he plans to do to rebuild the relationship. If he doesn't acknowledge what he did, or brushes it off, or turns it on you, walk away. I don't think you should just let it go and it's not up to your mum to say what you should do. You were the one who was hurt. And if you do get an apology don't accept a half hearted one, the sorry/not sorry. He has to understand how you feel and be genuinely apologetic.

Hankunamatata · 07/01/2024 01:55

Seen this is my own family but we know it was the husband who was the controlling ass who cut off family for no reason (or one imagined in his head) he was not a nice man. If his wife talked to anyone he didn't like he made her life miserable. He died early due to illness and the wife finally has a full life again and been embraced back into the family

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