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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I'll try to keep this as short and clear as possible. My dh's father was an awful dad and husband when dh was growing up. Repeatedly cheated on his mom, walked out and didn't see the kids for years or pay child support... the man was arrested for kidnapping a prostitute on my dh's due date!! Anyway, allegedly he has now changed. He's remarried to a very nice woman with three preteen- teen kids. My dh decided this spring that he no longer wanted anything to do with his father. I completely understand this and don't try to change his mind. However, his father's wife and kids have known both my dd's since they were born. I feel like she has nothing to do with this situation and is my dd's grandmother, too. So I've continued to see their family without my dh. He's been ok with this. His dad maintains that he has no idea why my dh doesn't want to see him and occasionally calls my dh and leaves a message acting like nothing is wrong. ("Hey, its Dad... wanted to see if you all would like to come by this weekend.") He has never acknowleged the fact that my dh hasn't spoken to him in 9 months. Ok, so fastfoward to this past weekend:

I take the girls over to their house for our Christmas celebration. We all exchange gifts, have a nice time, etc. Dh's father sends home this huge gift for dh with me. Well, I convince dh to open it, and it's a clamping table for woodworking. My dh has never done any woodworking. His dad does, though. It upset my dh because he says this is typical of his dad; if he remembers an occassion, the present either comes from the gas station or is something that has nothing to do with the person's actual interests. Dh goes on to get pretty upset and talk about how he doesn't understand how his dad *wasn't* a good dad or husband as he himself is now both and doesn't find it that difficult. So I'm guessing what is going on is that my dh became a husband and father and realized just how crappy a guy his dh is that he couldn't do the minimum to be decent at those jobs, if you kwim. I guess it just hurts him more now. So I ask if he'd rather us not go see them anymore, and he says "yes". He is my husband and I want him to be happy... I don't want to cause him pain by seeing his dad. He also said he doesn't want his dad to say or do something to hurt our dds.

So, what do I do now? I feel awful for dh's dad's wife and kids. I can't see them without dh's dad because, of course, she feels the same supportive way towards her husband as I do toward mine. Do I write them a letter explaining why we won't see them anymore? I have to take care of this even though it isn't my problem/ my family; dh won't and I accept that. Even though dh's dad is a jerk, I kind of even feel bad for him as he won't be seeing his only grandkids anymore. I'm just confused... I support dh and don't question his decision to him as it is his dad, but I do wonder if it is the right decision. Sorry this is so long and rambling... any advice for me/ us? Thanks.
 

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First off,
& let me say you're handling this in a very mature way. It takes a lot to approach a situation like this in a reasonable manner.

I totally understand your dh's position (no kidnapping or such, but an awful father & nice, but clueless mother), but I think he needs to be upfront with his father about the situation. If dh doesn't want to confront him, maybe he will write a letter or you to write a letter with him. I think it's really important for him to address the issue. By ignoring it it just keeps it fresh iykwim.

As far as the grandfather goes, maybe your girls can keep in touch by writing letters for the time being. My father died so I've actually avoided a lot of that issue, but things with my mother have been very difficult since I became a mother. Like I said she is nice, but she made a lot of poor choices at her children's expense, and to this day doesn't see any problems with what she did or how she raised her children. While we are not close, I do think she is a good grandmother (I don't if this is true in your case). I've tried to foster a postive relationship between the two of them without getting involved (emotionally) too much. I never knew any of my grandparents so it is something I want my dd to know.

Just my opinions, hope it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Irishmommy
Can you, his step mom and all the kids just meet together without his dad being there? Would that be okay?
I would like this, but I know she won't go for it... she has no idea why dh doesn't like his dad. She thinks he's great. I understand her feelings, though. If someone wanted to see mr and the kids w/o dh because they didn't like him- and I thought them to be unjustified in their reasons- I'd say no, too.

Thanks for your hugs and replies. I totally agree with you, Gwen, on dh writing to his dad, but I'm careful not to push the issue at all as he is so sensitive about it. Btw, his dad has been an ok grandpa- not around too much, but a lot of that is because of dh. He sees dh's brother and sister pretty often.
 
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