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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I had another nice kick in the ass, on my birthday, of all days.

My dad's been planning to come visit dd for the last, oh, six months. Has his hotel room booked, tix, sent reminders, etc. I was skeptical, since he's been making noises about coming to visit me for the last 15 years, and has so far made it out once, when dd was almost 2. He's supposed to be here Thursday. I get a call today with the excuse. It's a nice excuse -- his wife has pneumonia -- but it's remarkable how there's always something.

He's handy with a checkbook, for which I'm profoundly grateful. He's basically paying for the lawyer, and he's helped support us for the last couple of years, while stbx has been on disability. But I'm done telling dd he's coming to visit, arranging time off, etc. That's all she needs, one more model of giving a guy "one more chance (oh please oh please, maybe next time you'll treat me better)."
 

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First of all, happy birthday!
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I'm sorry about your dad. I wouldn't tell dd anything about his visits until they are actually happening. I think it would be a dilemna...being that he helps pay for your lawyer and stuff...to completely block him out. OTOH, you really can't let your dd see men treat you (and her) that way and just be forgiven without a thought. What's up with his wife, do you really believe him?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Actually yeah, I do. They're both getting on, and she had heart surgery not all that long ago. And they have a couple of big dogs to take care of. Still, if it were a business obligation (he's retired now), he'd find someone else to look after her for a few days and go. Pneumonia sucks, but she's a very bright woman and I suspect she'd figure out how to manage with a nurse or sister taking care of her.

I've actually yelled at him about this before, via email; dd was nearly two before he made it out here the first time. Yelled at him about what he set me up to expect from men, and about what this kind of thing sets her up for. It worked temporarily, and he was all shocked and apologetic and saw the light, but I think that really, ain't nothing gonna change. He's totally following his own dad's pattern, which he swore he wouldn't: lots of money, lots of gifts (you should've see the birthday boxes he sent), very little in the way of being there. His dad used to be up at 3 to go to work, and would be in & out of the house at odd hours for naps, to yell for food, etc. My dad may be retired now, but he's still impossible to get him on the phone without an appointment; he's dived into legal controversies in his new place and has a new volunteer career in zoning law.

OK, so I will call him by his father's name, and remind him that future therapy will cost big so keep that signing hand loose.
: Actually it works out nicely, because I was thinking about taking dd to visit him for a few days while I'm at a conference nearby in Nov. He's absolutely not into either doing childcare or having a nanny-stranger in his house, but if Mohammad don't come to the mountain, Mohammad can suck it up when the mountain comes to stay in the lavish guest room. He'll grouse about it for a long time, but I don't think he'll be a jerk directly to dd.

I would work on his wife, but I feel sorry for the lady. Apart from the pneumonia. She's very nice & has put up with a lot, being married to him for 20 years, but I think it's really tenderized her self-esteem. She's been pretty miserable with him for a while; she retired early to be with him, they built a house in the middle of nowhere, and he was very demanding/negative around retirement & afterwards. Last time they were here she actually talked quite a bit about it in kind of a desperate way, and talked about how nobody else would have her if she left. It all surprised me, because she's a very private person. She did manage to get him into couples therapy, and come to think of it I wouldn't be surprised if that's got something to do with all this. I'm sure he ditches her all the time whenever some interesting work catches his eye, and maybe there's some conscious thing about actually being there for her & paying attention to her needs/wants.
 
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