AIBU - I am starting to seriously dislike my Dad.

(54 Posts)
radicalradish Sat 11-May-13 07:48:05

Trying to summarise...My mum died a long time ago. Within 2 days one of the women from their bowls was coming around with cottage pies. Within 2 weeks my dad was getting togged up and wearing aftershave and going on dates. At the time we were very upset about my DM dying as it was really sudden and found it difficult to deal with this. Anyway, along the way I hid my feelings about this other woman. TBH she is really not very nice and it is not only me who thinks so. My Aunt used to come over to see if we were OK and get a bit of a shock when new woman was sat there on our couch. In the end she stopped coming (mum was her sister) and they slagged my aunt off no end for this. I adore my aunt and she has always been there for me. Over the years new woman has been quite nasty to me and my brothers wife. She has basically pushed us out and my Dad spends 99% of his time with her and her 4 grown up kids and their offspring. I went to stay with him a few months ago with my 3 children and she brought her GC over and they basically told my GC that he is their granddad and wouldn't let them near him. Ons sat on his lap and refused to move.

Anyway OW face booked me and I felt I had no option but to add her in. When I looked on her page there are photos of my Dad, her family and things that they do together e.g. holidays (where I knew he was going, didn't realise that her 2 kids and 5 GC's were going too), days out etc. I felt that it was a person I don't even know. We used to be a really tight knit family with a lovely mum and dad and 2 siblings. Going on holidays and days out. Now it couldn't be any further from that. I feel like she stole my Dad and he went along with it. When I go to see him, he goes round to her place or brings her GC over and I end up on the phone to my DH saying I'm not coming again, it was a waste of time. When I invite him over he brings her (they are not married) and they stay 1 night (as she clearly doesn't want to be there, but dad says she won't let him go alone). Either way I am usually in tears.

My DH says she is awful and I am not being a spoiled brat throwing my toys out of the pram.

I am starting to think that my Dad is actually a pile of crap. I look at my DH's parents and see that they would rather cut off their own head than upset their kids and I feel like shit. I am beginning to think that perhaps I should just let them get on with it and make no more effort as I usually end up in tears.

BoundandRebound Sat 11-May-13 07:52:17

Your father list his wife and fell into a relationship that it sounds like this woman forced on him in his grief.

It happens some people cannot cope with loneliness death brings

However this was years ago, he clearly now has a new family that he is a big part of.

May I ask what you have done to be part of this family or develop relationships with them?

EllaFitzgerald Sat 11-May-13 07:59:00

That sounds like an awful situation to be in and yanbu. What did you say to him when he told you she wouldn't let him come by himself?

pictish Sat 11-May-13 08:04:24

What does your dad have to say about it?
Have you attempted to communicate your feelings to him? If nor...it might be a good place to start.

He sounds weak and lazy rather than malicious...but he is hurting you and needs to know.

Ledkr Sat 11-May-13 08:07:44

It does sound upsetting yes. Can you speak to you dad alone and tell him all this and ask him if he could have some times with your children and not hers.
Do you invite him to your house or on days out?

Torrorosso Sat 11-May-13 08:10:32

It sounds like you are still grieving for your DM, and your dad's new relationship is compounding things.

My dm died 9 years ago and my dbro had difficulty accepting our dad's new relationship - but it was a few years before our dad was ready to date again. He had been suicidal after dm died, so I was relieved someone was making him happy - and I like his gf.

Your situation is very different.

What sort of a person is your dad? Can you talk to him on the phone and say you'd like to see him alone so the gc have chance to have time with him alone?

BiscuitMillionaire Sat 11-May-13 08:12:32

Ouch that sounds very painful. Dates within 2 weeks of your mum's death? That's awful.

The tricky thing is how to approach it with your dad. If you say anything critical of her, he's just going to get defensive, as he's clearly very invested emotionally in her and her family. You could try sending him a note or email saying that you feel sad that you hardly get to see him and you would really appreciate some one-to-one time with him, even just once every few months. Suggest a time and a place. If this doesn't work then there's not much else you can do.

What do your mum and his former friends think of it all?

BiscuitMillionaire Sat 11-May-13 08:14:01

I mean your mum's and his former friends.

HollyBerryBush Sat 11-May-13 08:25:52

Well, having been in the same situation, sort of, my dad hooked up with an old school friend 4 months after my mum died, this was after 43 years of marriage.

I was a bit "whoa" until a good friend pointed it out to me that I should stop trying to parent my father, he wasn't a child, and as such was entitled to move on. I made a good friend of my stepmother, we still talk ten years after my fathers death, even though she was only in his life for 6 years. Had I chosen to be arsy, I would have lost my father. As it was, I would say that my stepmother was the best thing that happened to my father. She gave him his life back.

I suppose it comes with age, that as an adult you have to accept you are no longer the most important person in a parents life, their partner is.

Does he live quite close to you, or is it a bit of a trek to go and see him? You say they aren't married, but are they co-habiting?

Your father is probably very lonely and grateful for the company.

Vivacia Sat 11-May-13 08:33:28

I agree that you shouldn't hold the timing of his relationship against him. People grieve and cope in different ways. Perhaps as you had your husband, he needed someone too?

I agree with others advising you to ask him for time to talk to alone. However, part of me feels it's not realistic to expect him to change. He hasn't seemed very caring towards you and your children so far. It may be a case of accepting that he's flawed and that you'll never have the father-daughter relationship you want. At this point you need to decide whether you want the father-daughter relationship that is on offer.

I'm sorry your so upset. But some people just can't be on their own.

My best friends husband passed away at 43 within weeks of finding out he had cancer. She and all of us were devastated. sad

Within three months she was on a dating site, met someone and was posting photos of their days out on Facebook. Her parents and friends were a bit hmm but I've known her over 20 years and I knew she wouldn't be on her own for long.

I don't know what the answer is for your situation, could you ask him out for coffee and just tell him how you feel?

Smellslikecatspee Sat 11-May-13 08:45:07

Have you posted about this before? Not picking on you but if it was you I remember you'd made a big effort to get on with your Dads GF and family and it was thrown in your face?

I appreciate that having gone from a tight knit family to this must be heartbreaking and I can understand why you keep making an effort but at some point you have to see you're just flogging a dead horse. And not only are you bring hurt on yourself but also your children. Sorry that sounds harsh.

But think this way, you had a lovely Mum and a great childhood, her being gone doesn't take that away. you have a supportive husband extended family and in laws. Count your blessings.

The GF sounds very insecure and needy, and not very nice. Do you really want her in your/your children's lives?

This happened to me although I was really young. Gradually over the years my stepmother got more and controlling and jealous of him / his time love and attention that things got really bad. Once I married with my own children I was unable to see him alone unless 'secretly'. Eventually he actually told me that he couldn't deal with the hassle of seeing me and we broke off all contact - 2 years ago. This is the sign of a really weak man I think, he has chosen his bed let him lay in it. Underneath I'm sure he really loves and misses you as you do him but ultimately he has chosen to put his new family above you and you need to do the same for your peace of mind. Mostly this works for me - I have a lovely family of my own now. Hope you work it out.

PlasticLentilWeaver Sat 11-May-13 08:50:50

Could she have picked up on your dislike/disapproval when they first got together?
Does she make your dad happy?
How would you feel if he disapproved of any new relationship you might form?
His life did change when your mum died and he is probably just trying to make the best of his position. It doesn't sound like you all live locally, so of course you won't know everything they get up to.

EdgeOfSociety Sat 11-May-13 09:06:30

Radical, I really sympathise as my dad is exactly the same. He has never been single since my mum died in 1998 (I was 17) and it really does hurt when you can see your dad fully embrace a new family and ignore the one he has got.

It was a stark truth at 17 to learn you had no one at all. It is interesting lots of posters say how lonely the man is. Yes, probably - aren't the bereaved children lonely without their mum and need their dad? Don't the grandchildren deserve to have their granddad take an interest in them?

I am all for people moving on and moving upwards but I have never understood why, in my dad's case and in the case of a lot of men it would seem, this inevitably has to involve metaphorically burying the 'old' family as well. It is so very unfair and heartbreaking for the individual, who is dealing with the death of their mum and the disappearance of their dad.

likeitorlumpit Sat 11-May-13 11:28:55

people grieve in different ways ,i can understand you were hurt because it seemed so quick after losing your mum, you had a partner to lean on , your dad was probably lonely and glad of the company , until you lose a partner you have no idea what it is like ,you might of shown your disapproval (not meaning too) and the new partner was feeling threatened , you are an adult with your own family ,your life has changed from when it was you ,your mum and dad , and now his has changed ,if hes happy just be happy for him .

likeitorlumpit Sat 11-May-13 11:33:02

edgeofsociety i completely agree it does seem like men bury the old family , ive known it to happen , even when the old family welcome the new family with open arms , it seems like the man cant cope with both lives and just wants to move on ,maybe its to upsetting for them thinking of what life was like and they need to block it out, sad but true.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 11-May-13 11:33:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 11-May-13 11:35:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OTTMummA Sat 11-May-13 11:41:50

2 weeks!!! Sorry but this isn't a relationship, it's a coping mechanism.
I would be just as upset as you tbh.
She sounds like a viper, inwould just leave them to it tbh I think to keep on trying and making all the effort will leave you feeling even more heartbroken.

SilvercloudRainbow Sat 11-May-13 11:50:20

Are you my long lost sister lol! My Mum died 12 years ago this August and my Dad met an old neighbour of ours at the funeral and within days was dating her. They are still together and he seems to have adopted her family has his own, me and my 3 brothers have been virtually sidelined by the whole thing. I've kind of come to terms with it by being completely indifferent to my Dad, I don't even call him "Dad" anymore when I speak about him but use his first name. 2 of my brothers are still fit to be tied about it though. I don't have any advice to give you, just letting you know that you're not alone and it's a shite situation.

CelticPixie Sat 11-May-13 11:50:25

I don't care how hard it is for men to be on their own. Two weeks is so fucking insensitive to his children who are still grieving for the mother they have lost! I'd be beyond upset at this. I don't think anyone expects their parents to be on their own forever after the other dies, but two weeks!!! Come on. That's sick, insensitive and cruel.

b4bunnies Sat 11-May-13 13:00:56

i read somewhere that when a partner dies, the instincts of the bereaved partner kick in, and they have to get laid, to prove to themselves that they are still alive. there's a kind of survival logic in that, and it explains why people hurry into new relationships.

another reason for the instant switch to a new partner is that single women don't like to miss opportunities - i recall a colleague watching the breakdown of a neighbour's marriage and stepping in in to grab the newly-separated husband asap. started by taking meals round...

keep away if it hurts you. un-friend them, or whatever its called, on social networking sites. its his life, and his choice, but you don't have to be involved.

MadamFolly Sat 11-May-13 13:01:33

Not fair on his children despite how he was feeling, were you still living at home at the time OP?

MorphandChas Sat 11-May-13 13:10:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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