Author Topic: My Story Reconnecting Furious with my Dad - Request for input for letter  (Read 3472 times)

Offline The NavigatorTopic starter

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My Story Reconnecting Furious with my Dad - Request for input for letter
« on: April 29, 2017, 07:18:18 AM »
Request for input

My Dad was visiting from England when our son was born last week.  He wanted to come at the time when DS was about to be born so that he could potentially "support us", i.e. look after DS7 and DS6 while I went in with W to the birthing unit.

Long story short: he had made some "other arrangements" with people he knows on the day that W actually got induced. The baby was a week late and the doctors gave her the option of inducing which she took because Dad was still here. At 4pm on the day of the induction he called me, asking if I was going to "come and take over" between 6pm and 7pm so that he could go and see some friends/load a trailer/pick up a grandfather clock that my Mum doesn't even want in the house.

I told Dad that we don't have any other babysitter.  He replied that he "didn't want to mess people around" i.e. those with whom he had made the arrangements.  I then asked him in manspeak if he expected me to leave W at the hospital to cope with the labour and birth by herself if we couldn't find any other babysitter, to which he replied "yes".  My wife heard the conversation with jaw dropped in disbelief.

From that moment on I wanted him out of our house and scrambled to find another babysitter. Fortunately it was a Friday evening and a friend of ours offered to come.  The only thing I could sense from Dad when I called to notify him was palpable relief.

On the one hand I'm extremely grateful to our friend for coming to the rescue, on the other I'm utterly furious with my Dad. A bunch of folk he barely knows were obviously more important to him than enabling his son to see his grandson come into the world, and for his son to provide his wife with much needed encouragement and emotional support. 

The rest of my family are mad at him too. I will be writing to him to let him know how dismayed I am.

I would be grateful for input as to the letter's content.

Dad is a complex character, he's 68 years old, former military man, loves his grandchildren but is very selfish sometimes and incapable of seeing and/or caring how his choices impact upon those closest to him. I've never once known him to admit fault for anything and, to be honest, there are rock formations with more emotional intelligence than him. He can see flaws in others but none in himself. His preferred tool of manipulation is the guilt trip and, to be honest, his ways are very probably the reason for my abominable husband skills when I was first married to my wife. He loves to look good and be "important".

He's getting a letter, this isn't me asking as to whether I should or shouldn't send one, I would simply love to know your input and know of no better people to ask than the members here.

Thanks for reading and replying!

The Navigator
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 02:42:29 PM by OldPilot »
Bomb & Separation: 28th January 2008
Moved in with OM for 5 months
EA/PA persisted from 2008 to 2010
Kids: DS ( 9 ), DD ( 8 ) confirmed mine with paternity tests
Another DS born April 2017
MLC lasted 6-7 years

Offline Ready2Transform

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Re: Furious with my Dad - Request for input for letter
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2017, 09:04:06 AM »
Dear Dad,

You and I don't share the same experiences and opinions on certain things. I am disappointed in how you acted while you were here, but since you are not responsible for my feelings, I will process it and move on. After all, I have a new child and a restored marriage and those things are much greater than the stress you caused that day, even though at the time it was a dark shadow on a very happy event.

It is a great relief we are both adults now and don't require each other to change for the other. But do know that moving forward, I will make choices according to your past actions, and that will cost you time and responsibility in my life that would have likely caused you joy.


I am not trying to be harsh, Navigator. I think you likely want us to see how unfair that was, and we do. It WAS unfair. But there is nothing that can change that event now. You have processed through so much already with your wife's MLC. Pick your battles from here on out. If you had a crystal ball and knew that you only had a short time on this planet left with your father, would it change the conversation? How would you want your own kids to forgive you for the shortcomings you will have in their lives?



"Unconditional love is the highest of high standards, and while we are letting go of our need to control the process of anyone else, we are taking within our lives complete accountability for our own experience."

http://seriousvanity.com/how-to-cultivate-unconditional-love-and-change-the-world/

Offline in it

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Re: Furious with my Dad - Request for input for letter
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2017, 09:46:00 AM »
Uhmmm mad,furious, slightly pissed? You might say I would be..he's selfish and self centered. REALLY?? You are supposed to leave your wife at a time like that??

I'm here to at least let you know I'm in favor of whatever way you decide to handle this as long as you tell him just what you think and it's the truth.

Ready is probably putting it a whole lot nicer than I would.. so I'd keep it short to the point and I hope that purges you of the disappointment, upset, and anger you must feel..
There are two ways of spreading light:
Be the candle; or the mirror that reflects it

Don't ask why someone is still hurting you; ask why you keep letting them.

Women are NOT rehabilitation centers for badly raised men. It is not your job to fix ,parent, raise or change him.
You want a partner not a project.

Offline The NavigatorTopic starter

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Re: Furious with my Dad - Request for input for letter
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2017, 09:57:08 AM »
R2T, Thank you so much for responding.

It was indeed "unfair" but I do genuinely want some input from the posters here.  I haven't asked anyone else because I can't think of a better crowd than here.

I love my dad, know that he's never changing in this life or the next, and accepted that long ago.

It's this specific instance, this particular behaviour, which has upset me a great deal. And I feel I'd be a sissy if I didn't bring it to his attention that I'm disappointed. Not communicating it to him would be wrong in my book.  I'm just going to take several sleeps to figure out how to word it though.

Thanks again, R2T

Bomb & Separation: 28th January 2008
Moved in with OM for 5 months
EA/PA persisted from 2008 to 2010
Kids: DS ( 9 ), DD ( 8 ) confirmed mine with paternity tests
Another DS born April 2017
MLC lasted 6-7 years

Offline OffRoad

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Re: Furious with my Dad - Request for input for letter
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2017, 07:02:56 PM »
Navigator, you get to have those emotions, you get to feel angry and you get to express them.

Dear Dad,
I was so happy you came to visit and appreciated the time you spent with my family. It was unfortunate that my wife's induced labor coincided with previous plans you had made. I was disappointed when i thought i could depend on you to watch the children while I was with my wife, but found i was wrong. It caused me great stress and worry to have to try to find a baby sitter at the last moment.
I am saddened that it couldn't have been different, but what's done is done, and I now know that your priorities may not  lie with what is best for me and my family. I will choose better the next time I need someone I can depend on. Lesson learned.

As always,
Your son.
When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

Offline The NavigatorTopic starter

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Re: Furious with my Dad - Request for input for letter
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2017, 12:04:46 AM »
Uhmmm mad,furious, slightly pissed? You might say I would be..he's selfish and self centered. REALLY?? You are supposed to leave your wife at a time like that??

I'm here to at least let you know I'm in favor of whatever way you decide to handle this as long as you tell him just what you think and it's the truth.

Ready is probably putting it a whole lot nicer than I would.. so I'd keep it short to the point and I hope that purges you of the disappointment, upset, and anger you must feel..

In It, thank you so much for your input.

I still haven't written the letter yet but I must.  It won't change him, I'm very sure it won't make him "say sorry" and he'll likely try and guilt trip me because he did look after our other two kids for a few hours so W and I could run some errands but....... I would gladly have forfeited all of that so that he'd be around when it really mattered i.e. when W was getting induced.

Haven't rung him since the baby was born.  Dad came by a few days later for 40 minutes to hold and cuddle him but that's it.  He also suggest bringing his friend's 19 year old daughter who apparently "loves babies" and seemed surprised when we told him in no uncertain terms no to bring her.  We don't know her from a bar of soap.

W didn't want Dad to drop by at all.

Will get this letter in the post this week, and keep it very, very brief.  Like a tweet.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 12:06:29 AM by The Navigator »
Bomb & Separation: 28th January 2008
Moved in with OM for 5 months
EA/PA persisted from 2008 to 2010
Kids: DS ( 9 ), DD ( 8 ) confirmed mine with paternity tests
Another DS born April 2017
MLC lasted 6-7 years

Offline in it

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Re: Furious with my Dad - Request for input for letter
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2017, 10:48:43 AM »
Please don't put it off or overthink it Navigator..you need to express how let down you felt by his lack of support. Again this isn't to change him It's for you.
Your W is justified in feeling the way she does.
There are two ways of spreading light:
Be the candle; or the mirror that reflects it

Don't ask why someone is still hurting you; ask why you keep letting them.

Women are NOT rehabilitation centers for badly raised men. It is not your job to fix ,parent, raise or change him.
You want a partner not a project.

Offline The NavigatorTopic starter

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Re: Furious with my Dad - Request for input for letter
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2017, 12:28:39 PM »
Navigator, you get to have those emotions, you get to feel angry and you get to express them.

Dear Dad,
I was so happy you came to visit and appreciated the time you spent with my family. It was unfortunate that my wife's induced labor coincided with previous plans you had made. I was disappointed when i thought i could depend on you to watch the children while I was with my wife, but found i was wrong. It caused me great stress and worry to have to try to find a baby sitter at the last moment.
I am saddened that it couldn't have been different, but what's done is done, and I now know that your priorities may not  lie with what is best for me and my family. I will choose better the next time I need someone I can depend on. Lesson learned.

As always,
Your son.

Thanks very much for your input, OffRoad
Bomb & Separation: 28th January 2008
Moved in with OM for 5 months
EA/PA persisted from 2008 to 2010
Kids: DS ( 9 ), DD ( 8 ) confirmed mine with paternity tests
Another DS born April 2017
MLC lasted 6-7 years

Offline The NavigatorTopic starter

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Re: Furious with my Dad - Request for input for letter
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2017, 12:59:40 PM »
Right then.

Once again, thank you so much to all of you for offering some input.  Here is the letter which I have drafted and will be posted tomorrow.  It should get to Dad by Saturday:

Dear Dad,

There's no easy way to say this but I'm afraid I'm very dismayed about our conversation on 21st April as W was about to give birth. When we spoke at 4pm that day you asked me if I was going to come and "take over" so you could run whatever errands you had planned/see whichever people you had planned to meet.  I asked you directly if you expected me to leave W at the hospital to cope with the labour and birth herself if we were unable to find another babysitter and your answer was "yes".  W was well and truly into labour by then so I had to frantically scramble to ring anyone I could think of to babysit.  It's only by sheer luck that C and her daughter were able to come and look after DS7 and DD6.

The only thing I sensed from you when I called to let you know was palpable relief. Without C I would have been quite unable to provide my wife with much needed emotional support and would have missed cutting the cord, seeing our son, your son's son, come into the world.

You will no doubt hate getting this letter from me but it has to be written or I am going to be mad indefinitely, possibly for years.  The message I got was that these folk you've befriended in Bavaria in recent years are more important to you than your own immediate family. Yes, you babysat DS7 and DD6 a number of times while you were here, spent time with them and bought all of us lunch.  I am very grateful for that and would gladly have forfeited it all if I could have been sure you'd be around when I needed you most.

I worked on the basis, wrongly as it turned out, that you'd be willing and able to look after DS7 and DD6 during the period you were "around" for as long as necessary whilst your grandson was being born.  C told me the next day that she and her mother
(my cousin's aunt from her other side and part of a group of people that Dad has befriended) were rather taken aback that you found it so necessary to go that evening.  I'm sure these people you were scheduled to meet would have entirely understood if you couldn't come and knew the reasons why. That is, if they're worth being friends with at all.

This letter is for me, Dad.  I must write it.  It doesn't change the fact that I love you and miss you - I've always loved you and have missed you since I first went to boarding school aged 11.

Take care, be well and lots of love,

The Navigator


This letter or a doctored version thereof is going out in tomorrow's post.

I rang my Mum tonight.  I didn't tell her I was going to write but did let her know I would be letting Dad know how I felt.  She urged me to "let it lie" but placating, appeasing and "pretending everything's OK when it sure ain't" just isn't in my DNA.  Mum has bitten her tongue for the best part of 40 years and I do not want the results of doing that.
Bomb & Separation: 28th January 2008
Moved in with OM for 5 months
EA/PA persisted from 2008 to 2010
Kids: DS ( 9 ), DD ( 8 ) confirmed mine with paternity tests
Another DS born April 2017
MLC lasted 6-7 years

Offline Airmid

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Re: Furious with my Dad - Request for input for letter
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2017, 01:14:54 PM »
Navigator -
Honestly, your father's behavior was despicable.
I am surprised you even want to close the letter with how much you love him.
But certainly let him know your feelings about the matter.
Air

 

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