Worried for and hurt by my father

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2011
Worried for and hurt by my father
17
Thu, 03-03-2011 - 4:33pm

Two years ago, my dear mother passed away from a brief bout of cancer.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Thu, 03-03-2011 - 6:05pm

Ultimately, it is your Dad's decision whether or not to marry this woman.

But, you don't have to oblige him, especially if he has resorted to neglecting his part of the relationship with you and the rest of the family.

And when it comes time to RSVP kindly decline.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2007
Thu, 03-03-2011 - 6:13pm

Your Dad is a grown man.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2003
Fri, 03-04-2011 - 6:45am

Your dad is lonely and this girl is filling that need.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2006
Fri, 03-04-2011 - 9:55am

"Two weeks after the big announcement, he mentioned that he and his fiancee are hurt that nobody sent a card or phoned to congratulate them.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-2004
Fri, 03-04-2011 - 12:52pm

I could have written this post about 20 years ago, only my parents were divorced. I acknowledge that you keep trying to like her, but you can't. I was there too. Like your soon to be step-mom, mine was looking for financial security too. It became quite evident in the things she was doing. We were still in college and if my dad wanted to help us out, he had to "sneak" the money to us. Once we became more stable (during our early twenties), he distanced himself too. It was very hurtful, because we all felt we were not gaining a step-mom, we were losing a dad.

However, we still went to his wedding, engagement party, housewarming, etc... The reason we did, is because we KNEW we had to "be there" for when the bottom falls out. The bottom did fall out and my dad felt very comfortable calling each of us and he got support from us. If you diss Dear Dad now, he'll feel he won't have anyone to turn to if the bottom falls out of his relationship.

I know you feel like you're "endorsing" the relationship, but try not to see it so black and white. You are being there for your dad, even if you don't relish his choices.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009
Fri, 03-04-2011 - 1:55pm
Thanks for throwing your experience out there.

I felt the OP was being unfairly judged. And I thought of you. Sometimes the kids just know, and it takes the parent longer to figure it out.

Your dad is lucky you stuck it out so long....

 

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Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Fri, 03-04-2011 - 9:58pm

"I have a hard time endorsing a relationship that looks headed for disaster." This comment made me think about a related situation that has happened to a few people I know: their daughters decided to marry men that the parents just cannot like and saw the marriages as doomed. Talk about taking the high road...they had to shell out $$$$ for big weddings and act like they were happy while doing it, without badmouthing their future SIL, how bad would that bite? Because you can't really tell your daughter that you'll pay for her wedding only if she marries who you want her to marry. A couple of those marriages have failed but one is at the 7 year point, the parents still don't "like" their SIL but have come to tolerate him because their dd loves him. You may have a friend who married someone that you don't much like, did you boycott the wedding over it?

Attending the wedding is about showing support and love for at least one of the marriage partners. You wish them well and hope for the best, the best meaning that the relationship will turn out better than you expected and that he will be happy.

I get that you feel rejected by your dad. He probably feels rejected by you too. It sounds like Romeo and Juliet except this time its the old lovers united against the young people who just don't get it. Please try to reach out to your dad again. Invite him to lunch and ask him to tell you the 5 greatest things about his fiancee. You've already told him what's bad about his relationship and he's indicated that he doesn't want to hear it, so see if you can discover what's good about it. Its possible that this woman really does care about him and will take good care of him. Sure, she may be looking for financial security, but that doesn't mean that she doesn't care for him. Consider that he may be looking at a marriage of convenience, he's older and maybe he just doesn't want to cook and clean and be alone most of the time. And remember that she's signing on for an uncertain future too---something could happen and she could end up spending 15 years changing his Depends and driving him to doctor's appts instead of taking cruises to the Caribbean. Or she could be a gold digger who spends all of his money and bails at the first problem--in which case your dad will really need you then. Hopefully he is financially savvy enough to protect himself, and if you have mended your relationship you may have some influence in that.

Sorry if this seems harsh, but it sounds like your dad is marrying her with or without your approval so its in your best interest to find a way to accept the relationship, learn to tolerate and maybe someday like your new stepmother, and move forward.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2008
Fri, 03-04-2011 - 11:11pm

I agree with almost everything here - especially that it is your dad's choice who he marries...if you don't like this g/f, for whatever reason, you may not like the next one either.

But it isn't fair to say this to the OP:

"My dad has largely ignored his children and grandchildren since the relationship began."

Gee, I wonder why?

It isn't fair to say this because it appears her dad has neglected his children and grandchildren since the g/f came into the picture.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-29-2006
Sat, 03-05-2011 - 8:45am

irish,

Of course, I respect your right to disagree with me, but to say that my comment is unfair when you took it out of context by omitting the reason is unfair as well. What I said was:

"It seems to me that you have no right to blame him for "ignoring" you when you continue to judge and demean his fiance and their relationship. Frankly, I would avoid you, too.

Ask yourself how you would feel if the tables were turned. If your father--or anyone else close to you--disapproved of your husband/partner/SO and continued to badger you with criticism and judgement about them and your relationship.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2008
Sat, 03-05-2011 - 9:01am

kkayt -

I understand why you made your comment - because you interpret the father ignoring the children and grandchildren as a result of the disapproval, judgment and criticism from his family.

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