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I finally confronted my father… (1 Viewer)

stbugs

Footballguy
Reading this thread though, there's a lot of us in the exact same situation. Having this conversation is tough, because we don't want to lose the relationship that exists pushing for more. By having this conversation, you're drawing a line in the sand that the relationship as it exists cannot continue. As several people have stated, the conversation can lead to even less interaction and fulfillment.

My wife and I have had the same conversation regarding my father. He and my mom split up when I was two, he remarried a woman that he was counseling and had two more kids with her. I saw him every other weekend. New woman left him after 20 years and he remarried in 2012 to his third wife who had three daughters. I was living six hours away at the time and he got wrapped up in her kids and their life. My wife and I (and our three kids) moved back at the end of 2019, currently about 40 minutes away. There will be birthday parties at his house, they will take her grandkids to do activities and will watch her grandkids when the parents go away. They have never offered to watch mine. We're flying my mother-in-law up to give my wife a hand while I am out of town over Labor Day weekend.

While it does get under my skin, I'm really trying to just accept the relationship for what it is. If I invite them over, they'll generally come. If we invite ourselves over to their house, they're generally OK with us coming by. At the same time, when we get together and the first thing my dad does is tell stories of the outings they had with her grandkids...man I get heated.
Damn, the end of your post would absolutely rile me up and I wouldn’t be silent. It makes me feel better than my parents are involved. They might even call my boys too much since they live a long way away! My wife’s parents were the same before they passed. Heck, my oldest son would help dress my FIL when he lived with us before he wanted to go back home and passed of cancer. It would suck to know any of the four grandparents wouldn’t do anything for my boys. Definitely blessed.

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
That’s an interesting approach and may lead to a weird call. It’s a good step. Be prepared to potentially hear some not fun news. I'd also be hesitant to believe everything you hear because as you’ve seen above and what I’ve seen in my extended family. It’s not surprising that your step mom would lean towards her own kids and maybe your dad isn’t speaking up so good luck and hopefully she hears what would be tough to hear that your kids feel like their grandpa doesn’t really care about them.
I hear you man. I will definitely be guarded. 

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
That’s an interesting approach and may lead to a weird call. It’s a good step. Be prepared to potentially hear some not fun news. I'd also be hesitant to believe everything you hear because as you’ve seen above and what I’ve seen in my extended family. It’s not surprising that your step mom would lean towards her own kids and maybe your dad isn’t speaking up so good luck and hopefully she hears what would be tough to hear that your kids feel like their grandpa doesn’t really care about them.
Also, and my wife pointed this out to me, my dad should be doing things with my step-mom’s kids and that side of the family. It shows that he is capable of sharing in those relationships. But if that is not shared and reciprocated with his kids, and his grandkids, that’s a problem.

Can’t say I disagree with any of that. 

 

yak651

Footballguy
Tom Skerritt said:
Sorry for your situation, but sounds like it is improving. Hope mine does as well.

And you’re exactly right. My dad made it all about him during our conversation. Which was weird, because I’ve never seen him this way. He was very defensive. 
He was defensive most likely because he knows it's true and he's embarrassed by his actions.  Hopefully he takes it as a wake up call and starts to spend some time during his retirement with your family

 

Manster

Footballguy
My parents divorced as my brother and I were becoming adults.  He's remarried.  My mom never really got over it.  I hated my dad for some time.  He was difficult to live with growing up as well.  He's a good man mostly, but very emotionally unavailable and had a temper.....we walked on egg shells most of the time waiting for the next blow up....there's damage there that he never dealt with and it affected everything....he and his father had a falling out that I never understood...

He's since mellowed some...but the fallout he's left in his wake is still apparent, and lives on......my mom's self esteem never recovered.

I've got kids of my own.  I made the decision that I was going to show him grace as I've come to realize how stressful life can be raising a family.....I go out of my way to keep in touch, and honestly, it's been the best our relationship has ever been.  And my kids have a grandpa.....is it perfect?  Absolutely not......but I'm trying to break the cycle.

Something I have learned from the Bible....and I'm not trying to push religion on you, just stating my ways of handling this....we should forgive even those who would be considered unforgivable.  Very freeing, and good for your own mental health.

 

STEADYMOBBIN 22

Footballguy
One of my friend's husband slept with the secretary and then married her.  He basically ignored the two kids he had with her in favor of the new ones.  It was really bad for them and kind of messed them up.  What kind of person does that?


My childhood best friend did this. Our parents were lifelong childhood friends and our families were very close growing up. His mother was my godmother. We were as close as brothers. 
 

He had two kids with his wife and adopted her oldest. They divorced and then about year later he knocks up another chick, moves to Texas and buys a big house and then is shocked when the courts made him pay big time. 
 

He later tells me that his wife is unreasonable and gets upset when I call. I say well I can just not call for awhile (expecting that he would call me when he could). About a year goes by and I finally call him. He tells me that we have “grown apart” and that we aren’t friends anymore. 

I was (and still am) crushed by this. My entire childhood is now marred because like 80% of my childhood memories are with him. 

I know his new wife hates me and has brainwashed him. I know he’s doing whatever he can to keep his current marriage together cause he can’t afford another divorce but it’s inexcusable. 

I can and will never forgive him. A person like that is not worth knowing. 
 

SCUMBAG!

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
My parents divorced as my brother and I were becoming adults.  He's remarried.  My mom never really got over it.  I hated my dad for some time.  He was difficult to live with growing up as well.  He's a good man mostly, but very emotionally unavailable and had a temper.....we walked on egg shells most of the time waiting for the next blow up....there's damage there that he never dealt with and it affected everything....he and his father had a falling out that I never understood...

He's since mellowed some...but the fallout he's left in his wake is still apparent, and lives on......my mom's self esteem never recovered.

I've got kids of my own.  I made the decision that I was going to show him grace as I've come to realize how stressful life can be raising a family.....I go out of my way to keep in touch, and honestly, it's been the best our relationship has ever been.  And my kids have a grandpa.....is it perfect?  Absolutely not......but I'm trying to break the cycle.

Something I have learned from the Bible....and I'm not trying to push religion on you, just stating my ways of handling this....we should forgive even those who would be considered unforgivable.  Very freeing, and good for your own mental health.
Believe me, I hear you. And good for you. Sounds like we have a lot in common. I have shown incredible forgiveness to both my mother and father over the years. Quite frankly it’s amazing I exist at all. They did a ####### head job on me, my brother, and themselves. It was an incredibly dysfunctional family, though thankfully not physically abusive. And I will take your comments to heart. I probably do need to show some forgiveness and compassion here too.

At the same time, I want him to hear me. The fact that he can drive 15+ hours for a two week vacation, but he can’t take one day out of that time and drive another hour or so to see his grandson? He didn’t even bother making a phone call. Like I said, it was the last straw, and it set me off.

Appreciate the kind words. 

 

wikkidpissah

Footballguy
i might be talking to "stepmom" more than dad on this'n. pop dont seem like he's jeopardizing his deal w her for nuttin & guys that age dont like changing their patterns. i'd be telling her she "won". "now what can you do for my kids? they still want a grandpa" dont like giving advice of this kind, but i never lie & i'm always right and i didnt see that aspect of how i'd approach it in my scan of the other responses. and, tho i dont think i need to remind you cuz of the way your OP is written, you're doing this for love , so do it with love. good luck -

 

Charlie Steiner

Footballguy
My childhood best friend did this. Our parents were lifelong childhood friends and our families were very close growing up. His mother was my godmother. We were as close as brothers. 
 

He had two kids with his wife and adopted her oldest. They divorced and then about year later he knocks up another chick, moves to Texas and buys a big house and then is shocked when the courts made him pay big time. 
 

He later tells me that his wife is unreasonable and gets upset when I call. I say well I can just not call for awhile (expecting that he would call me when he could). About a year goes by and I finally call him. He tells me that we have “grown apart” and that we aren’t friends anymore. 

I was (and still am) crushed by this. My entire childhood is now marred because like 80% of my childhood memories are with him. 

I know his new wife hates me and has brainwashed him. I know he’s doing whatever he can to keep his current marriage together cause he can’t afford another divorce but it’s inexcusable. 

I can and will never forgive him. A person like that is not worth knowing. 
 

SCUMBAG!
I have a similar story, but with a cousin.  Our mothers were close as sisters (their mothers actually were sisters) so we spent a lot of time together, we went to the same HS and were roommates in college. A couple of years later, he almost lost his job, which scared him into becoming a born-again Christian. He moved out a year or so later, saying he was moving in with a co-worker who was also a believer, to 'help' him be a better Christian. He got married to a girl he had met in college, and when my own life's twists and turns led me to being 'born again', I started attending the same church he and his wife were going to; at the time it made sense to me, as my 'conversion' was partly his influence and the fact that I still hung out with him once a week to play basketball at that church.

I met my wife there, got married there and both my and my cousin's kids were born around the same time. My wife, formerly a special ed preschool teacher, stayed home while the kids were little, and while my cousin's wife couldn't afford to stay home, my wife offered to watch their kids for free--"you're family" she insisted to them. At one point, she was watching 5 kids under 5, but once they no longer needed the free daycare, they basically stopped all interaction with us, even at church.  To make matters worse, my middle son, the social butterfly, liked playing with his cousins and nearly every Sunday after church, he would ask to play with them, and every time (except maybe once) we asked, my cousin said 'No, we have other plans.' Their 'other plans' was visiting his wife's family, whom they spend time with constantly anyway. Eventually, they moved to a different church, but still lived in the same school zone as my kids.  They all went to the same HS, but didn't interact with each other as far as I know.

While all this was happening, I tried to keep some semblance of a relationship with my cousin, but it was clear he was trying to leave me behind while not admitting to it. 

All of this made me see our entire history in a new light.  It may not seem fair, but there were signs of this along the way.  He's always had this way of ingratiating himself, getting people to confide and trust him, and then he moves on; never any conflicts or dust-ups, just he moves on and reduces contact to an occasional phone call "to say hey".  He was the best man at 4 or 5 weddings (including mine), yet he doesn't speak any of them on any kind of regular basis. He was like that growing up, and even as a "Christian", he's that way still.

I've mostly resigned myself to moving on as well. I know I'm supposed to turn the other cheek and be just as loving as ever, but I'm not there yet and don't know if I'll ever be.

 

Manster

Footballguy
Believe me, I hear you. And good for you. Sounds like we have a lot in common. I have shown incredible forgiveness to both my mother and father over the years. Quite frankly it’s amazing I exist at all. They did a ####### head job on me, my brother, and themselves. It was an incredibly dysfunctional family, though thankfully not physically abusive. And I will take your comments to heart. I probably do need to show some forgiveness and compassion here too.

At the same time, I want him to hear me. The fact that he can drive 15+ hours for a two week vacation, but he can’t take one day out of that time and drive another hour or so to see his grandson? He didn’t even bother making a phone call. Like I said, it was the last straw, and it set me off.

Appreciate the kind words. 
You can forgive, and also say what needs to be said.  You are being the responsible adult here.  Your father isn't.  He will need to decide if he can suck it up and do what's right.  If it makes him too uncomfortable, then so be it.  We don't truly know what goes on in someone else's head.......you would think the guilt would be eating him up, but maybe not.....maybe he just isn't wired that way.

 

E Street Brat

Footballguy
Me and my mother are close to having this conversation over my son. 

We got real close to it several months ago, until I flat out asked her. "Is this a conversation you really want to have?"  Her answer was "No I guess not" But it's coming. I can feel it, and I dread it. 

 

Judge Smails

Footballguy
One of my friend's husband slept with the secretary and then married her.  He basically ignored the two kids he had with her in favor of the new ones.  It was really bad for them and kind of messed them up.  What kind of person does that?
There's a ton of these out there.  While I applaud those who get divorced and then do everything possible to stay involved in their kid's lives, co-parent, etc I despise those who ignore their own kids and focus on those from the new wife.  Sickens me actually.  

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
Me and my mother are close to having this conversation over my son. 

We got real close to it several months ago, until I flat out asked her. "Is this a conversation you really want to have?"  Her answer was "No I guess not" But it's coming. I can feel it, and I dread it. 
Having been on your side of this for the last 15 years, it’s funny to see it from the side that I am on now. Good luck. I dreaded it too. Still sucks, but just starting the conversation, I feel it getting better for me already. 

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
There's a ton of these out there.  While I applaud those who get divorced and then do everything possible to stay involved in their kid's lives, co-parent, etc I despise those who ignore their own kids and focus on those from the new wife.  Sickens me actually.  
Yeah, my dad is not a serial philanderer. He is not an #######. I think my father is damaged, immature, and scared. My wife has called him a coward multiple times. He was never able to have difficult conversations. He was never able to show love. We never really hugged or said “I love you” until I was in my mid to late 20’s.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that he ignored my kids. But I would say that he has not made an effort to have a relationship with them.

Your situation sounds tougher than mine. One thing that this thread had provided is some perspective. Thank you for that, and I wish you the best. 

 

Chemical X

Footballguy
i read the OP, but not the whole thread.  you have the right to voice opinion, others don’t have to like it.  that said, you don’t mention if your kids actually care one way or the other.  i mean, after so many years, do they really care to have a grandfather anymore?  i grew up without any….one passed before i was born and the other bailed on my mom.  i grew up without a grandfather and that’s just the way it was.  at a certain point you play the cards you are dealt…..

 

northern exposure

Footballguy
Interesting. Sounds like we have a lot in common.

And my dad is not the warm and fuzzy type either. I told him that I am not asking for much. A phone call, a text, a letter. Just let them know that you are thinking about them and you care about them. Jesus Christ just ask them a bunch of stupid questions about school, sports and friends. It’s not that hard.

It was odd during our conversation the other day. My dad made a passive-aggressive response with “I guess I don’t know what the rules are for being a grandparent.” I didn’t really know how to respond. So I didn’t. I also know that I’m hurting him with all that I’m saying, so I just let it go.
I'm lucky that my sons have a great relationship with my Mom and my wife's parents.

I also wasn't asking for much from my Dad. An email or card on my sons' birthdays. They could send stupid joke emails to us, but couldn't be bothered to send one saying Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas.

Regarding your conversation with your Dad, I think you can hope it causes him to change. But, you can't expect it. As someone who didn't have the discussion with his Dad, I think it would have been cathartic to let him know how I felt. Then the ball is in your Dad's court. If his actions change, that's great. If they don't, you have done all you can do. 

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
I spoke to my step-mom this morning. It was a good conversation. I first wanted her to know that I do not blame her for any of this. This is about me and my father.

But she said that she and my father are both surprised by all of this. They had no idea that I have been hurt by this for so long. But she validated my feelings and appreciates that I am being honest. I guess that I excused their lack of involvement for so long, that they just assumed everything was fine. And I can’t blame them for that. That’s my fault.

On the good side, she asked what they can do going forward. She also asked if it’s too late. I told her that I’m doing this because I don’t want it to be too late. And so now we need to figure out how to make amends. This will be hard too, but they obviously feel bad and want to make things better.

I could hear her getting weepy, so I ended the conversation and said “I love you”. She suggested that I give my dad some time to process all of this, and we should talk again in a couple of days. 

 

AAABatteries

Footballguy
I spoke to my step-mom this morning. It was a good conversation. I first wanted her to know that I do not blame her for any of this. This is about me and my father.

But she said that she and my father are both surprised by all of this. They had no idea that I have been hurt by this for so long. But she validated my feelings and appreciates that I am being honest. I guess that I excused their lack of involvement for so long, that they just assumed everything was fine. And I can’t blame them for that. That’s my fault.

On the good side, she asked what they can do going forward. She also asked if it’s too late. I told her that I’m doing this because I don’t want it to be too late. And so now we need to figure out how to make amends. This will be hard too, but they obviously feel bad and want to make things better.

I could hear her getting weepy, so I ended the conversation and said “I love you”. She suggested that I give my dad some time to process all of this, and we should talk again in a couple of days. 


How old is your Stepmother and when did she become your Stepmother?

I wanted to give a little more detail on my situation.  My Mom remarried after my parents split.  My Dad lived in one county and my Mom and Stepdad moved all of us about an hour north where he lived.  Yes, an hour away is a little bit of a pain but once my Dad also remarried he didn't make it to as many events and back in those days you got every other weekend almost by default and I would go but if I had basketball or something at school I wouldn't.  Fast forward 15 years and he would 3 hours south to a large property, got divorced and remarried 2 more times while he was there.  Wife #5 and he moved to Florida maybe 10 years ago and been there every since.  I'm not one to talk on the phone and neither is he - they are 8 hours away by there choice so it kind of is what it is.  They divorced when I was 8 so it's 40 years ago now.  I feel he made a choice and I'm assuming doesn't regret it.  It hasn't really defined me as a person, IMO, because my Stepdad was always there and still is as a Granddad.  I think I would feel more like you if me and my Dad had a closer relationship earlier on or if I felt like my kids are missing out.  They aren't and don't ask about "Grandpa" all that often.  Stinks for him and I would prefer he lived close by and was around for things.  He's always welcome but we are again, 8 hours away and by all of our other relatives.  We aren't going to change holidays or birthdays to go 8 hours away - he's always welcome to come up here but never does.  I guess I say all of that to say - do what you want and what you think is right.  There's not a one size fits all situation.  You should feel like you have to talk to him or owe him anything and you also don't have to shy away from it if you do want to discuss it.  I'm actually at a point where I want to avoid the conversation because there's really no point in my mind unless they move closer.

 
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Judge Smails

Footballguy
Yeah, my dad is not a serial philanderer. He is not an #######. I think my father is damaged, immature, and scared. My wife has called him a coward multiple times. He was never able to have difficult conversations. He was never able to show love. We never really hugged or said “I love you” until I was in my mid to late 20’s.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that he ignored my kids. But I would say that he has not made an effort to have a relationship with them.

Your situation sounds tougher than mine. One thing that this thread had provided is some perspective. Thank you for that, and I wish you the best. 
Thanks.  Like many others in the thread, the way we decided to parent and raise a family were molded from lessons learned of what not to do from our parents.  In some ways that's a gift.  Chain was broken and generations are better off.  Already seeing my kids choose great life partners and doing great starting families.  I've forgiven my own Dad.  He had so many regrets late in life and what has driven me is to never have the same regrets.

 

E Street Brat

Footballguy
I spoke to my step-mom this morning. It was a good conversation. I first wanted her to know that I do not blame her for any of this. This is about me and my father.

But she said that she and my father are both surprised by all of this. They had no idea that I have been hurt by this for so long. But she validated my feelings and appreciates that I am being honest. I guess that I excused their lack of involvement for so long, that they just assumed everything was fine. And I can’t blame them for that. That’s my fault.

On the good side, she asked what they can do going forward. She also asked if it’s too late. I told her that I’m doing this because I don’t want it to be too late. And so now we need to figure out how to make amends. This will be hard too, but they obviously feel bad and want to make things better.

I could hear her getting weepy, so I ended the conversation and said “I love you”. She suggested that I give my dad some time to process all of this, and we should talk again in a couple of days. 


How does your son feel? 

In my case it's too late. My son flat out doesn't even know my his grandmother, and really can't be bothered. 

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
How old is your Stepmother and when did she become your Stepmother?

I wanted to give a little more detail on my situation.  My Mom remarried after my parents split.  My Dad lived in one county and my Mom and Stepdad moved all of us about an hour north where he lived.  Yes, an hour away is a little bit of a pain but once my Dad also remarried he didn't make it to as many events and back in those days you got every other weekend almost by default and I would go but if I had basketball or something at school I wouldn't.  Fast forward 15 years and he would 3 hours south to a large property, got divorced and remarried 2 more times while he was there.  Wife #5 and he moved to Florida maybe 10 years ago and been there every since.  I'm not one to talk on the phone and neither is he - they are 8 hours away by there choice so it kind of is what it is.  They divorced when I was 8 so it's 40 years ago now.  I feel he made a choice and I'm assuming doesn't regret it.  It hasn't really defined me as a person, IMO, because my Stepdad was always there and still is as a Granddad.  I think I would feel more like you if me and my Dad had a closer relationship earlier on or if I felt like my kids are missing out.  They aren't and don't ask about "Grandpa" all that often.  Stinks for him and I would prefer he lived close by and was around for things.  He's always welcome but we are again, 8 hours away and by all of our other relatives.  We aren't going to change holidays or birthdays to go 8 hours away - he's always welcome to come up here but never does.  I guess I say all of that to say - do what you want and what you think is right.  There's not a one size fits all situation.  You should feel like you have to talk to him or owe him anything and you also don't have to shy away from it if you do want to discuss it.  I'm actually at a point where I want to avoid the conversation because there's really no point in my mind unless they move closer.
My dad will be 78 later this year. My step mom is about 10 years younger. She has been my step mother for about 30 years now.

Sounds like you did not have a great relationship with your father. I’m sorry about that. Though sounds like your stepdad has fulfilled the role quite well.

One of the reasons this bothers me as much as it does is because I have always felt so close to my dad. Still do. He was never a man of many words, but we had/have a bond. I always admired him. He was strong. He was responsible. He worked hard. He was there for me when he could be. He was/is my hero. He has his faults for sure. But he is a good man. I want this good man that I know to take an interest in my family.

My step mom said that he cares about us very much. Is very proud of me and my wife. Cares about my kids. The problem is that we never hear that from him.  He never shares these feelings with my kids. And I think that he should. I would be more mad if he didn’t do this before he dies. And again, all I ask is that he make the smallest effort. A simple text to say hey. Just let them know that you’re thinking about them. 

 

DA RAIDERS

willy t flyers
good for you for having the conversation.  i hope it gives you some closure on it.  if you put zero expectations on him doing anything different, it will be even more freeing.

i'll have a different take on this.  why do want him in your kids lives?  he hasn't been around for 20ish years.  what would your college aged kid get, from suddenly having his absent grandpa in his life?  same for the HS aged kid.  honest question.  i don't see the benefit.  he's not going to suddenly, be super communicative, and loving.  

here's my tale of woe.

my grandpa was a widow and remarried before i was born.  i was close to my grandparents.  my grandma was my grandma, regardless of blood relations.  my grandma had 3 daughters before she met my grandpa.  in 9th grade, one of my grandmother's daughters(my aunt) went bat #### crazy and wanted nothing to do with "my side' of the family.  whatever, no big loss.  we still went to my grandparents house, the aunt just wouldn't be there.  fast forward to when my grandpa passes away.  crazy aunt gives her mom(my grandma) an ultimatum.  stop interacting with my family, or she will never see her, or her blood grandkids again.  my grandma chose her blood relatives.  i was in my 20's at the time.  it hurt and pissed me off.  but at the end of the day, why would i want someone like that in my life?  i even understood her choice.  it was a ####ed up position to be put in.  i didn't invite my grandma to my wedding.  i had zero issues with that decision.  one of her kids(my favorite aunt) did come to my wedding.  

 

jwb

Footballguy
I did not expect to hear as many people in similar situations. It does make me feel better those of you saying I did the right thing.  My insecurities tend to get the best of me. 


There's a lot. I remember years ago when Shady posted about his dad meeting a new woman and being quite distant to his grandkids, and a bunch of us had similar stories. 

I think the age group and "society back then" is partially to blame. Millions of boomers did the "get married, buy a house, have 2 kids" thing right out of high school, because that's what you were supposed to do. Then later in life, the inevitable divorce, and the realization of "wait, I get to live for me?" thing. And some men took that a little too far, especially with the time allotted to grandkids. I've heard of plenty of older fathers saying something like "hey, I raised my family, you raise yours. I'll see you when I see you." In a lot of cases, our parents are not the types of grandparents that we had as kids. 

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
How does your son feel? 

In my case it's too late. My son flat out doesn't even know my his grandmother, and really can't be bothered. 
Good question. It has been mentioned by others.

My kids are great kids. Very mature. I was just telling my wife the other day that it pleases me that my kids are the ones all of the other parents are comfortable having a normal conversation with them. Not a superficial perfunctory one, but a real one. It is very normal for them, and they can hold their own. It’s not forced. It’s genuine.

My kids have great relationships with my mother and with my wife’s parents. They are all different relationships in many ways, but they are very deep and meaningful.

In fact, my son made a special trip to visit them before he went off to college last year. He knew he was going to be away for awhile, and he essentially wanted to pay his respects and tell them goodbye and thanks for everything. He knew he owed them that. He’s an amazing thoughtful kid. So proud of him.

Now as for my father, they don’t have that relationship. It was always one-sided, or ships passing so to speak. So there not really anything there. I think that if my dad had made any effort, it would be different. But he didn’t, and it’s not. And it makes me sad. 

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
You don't forgive someone for that person.  You do it for yourself.  It doesn't mean you forget or that what happened was okay.  It's more permission to let it go.  When you are locked into this sort of anger, it controls you.  Lay it down.
Cannot like this enough. Took me 15+ years to forgive my mother, and it is one of the best things I have ever done. I was holding on to so much anger for so long.

Unfortunately my brother has not been able to do the same. And he does his best to compartmentalize it and store it away. But it cannot be good to hold onto all of that stuff.

But I get it. Been there. 

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
i'll have a different take on this.  why do want him in your kids lives?  he hasn't been around for 20ish years.  what would your college aged kid get, from suddenly having his absent grandpa in his life?  same for the HS aged kid.  honest question.  i don't see the benefit.  he's not going to suddenly, be super communicative, and loving.
Good question. I think it’s important for them to know that their family cares about them. That they are interested in their lives. I’m sure there are many kids (myself included) who never had a relationship with a grandparent. It happens, and life goes on. I’m not hoping for a miracle or anything. But I see some incredible bonds and meaningful relationships built between grandparents and grandkids. I guess I would like for my kids to experience that with my father.

You’re right. My father may be incapable of doing this. But I have to try. I would hate myself if he died, and I never said anything and I never tried.

And sorry about your tale of woe. That’s pretty ####ed up. 

 
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msudaisy26

Footballguy
Tom Skerritt said:
And I am struggling with the decision to do so. I’ve hurt him, and I feel bad about that. But I also think that it was something that needed to happen. Gonna just put this here for feedback/constructive criticism.

My parents divorced when I was in grade school. Only seen them in the same room together once since then, at my brother’s wedding. And it was extremely uncomfortable.

My dad has been with my step-mom for 25-30 years. She has two boys from a previous marriage. My mother has not had any meaningful relationships since the divorce that I know of.

My issue is that my father has not shown much, if any, interest in having a relationship with my kids. They are older now, my son is in college, my daughter is in high school. We live roughly 200 miles apart in the same state. I have lived in my current house for almost 20 years. He and my step-mom have made a dedicated visit to see me and my family maybe twice. They never came to any of my kids’ birthday parties as young children. Never came to any important life events. And so on and so forth. I have made many trips to visit them.

It has bothered me for a long time. I always made excuses for my father. He was busy. He worked a lot. I never wanted to rock the boat. I am afraid of confrontation. I love my father very much and I did not want to upset him or make him feel bad.

Fast forward to recent years. My father is now retired. Nothing has changed except for the fact that I have increasingly talked myself into saying something to him.

I was talking to my father on the phone a few weeks ago, and he told me he was in my town just the weekend before. He and my step-mom came to down to celebrate the birthday of one of her sons. And they also visited some of my step-mom’s other relatives and friends. They did not tell us they were in town, and obviously we did not see them.

During this phone conversation, my dad tells me that he and my step-mom will be on a two week vacation out of state. They will be less than 100 miles from where my son is away at college. He asks for my son’s contact information (yes, he doesn’t already have it), and says that he wants to hopefully get to see him while on vacation.

It is now three weeks later, and my dad tells me that he had a great vacation. He tells me that he didn’t have time to reach out to my son, his grandson, who he hasn’t seen or talked to in over a year. Too complicated apparently.

Long story short, it set me off. I was as kind as I could be, but I told him that it made me very upset. It brought up all of the other crap that has bothered me over the years. I laid it all out. And so I have hurt him. And I feel awful about it. But I also think it was something that he needed to hear.


I won't go into my whole story unless you are interested in hearing it, but we have very similar family issues. My father has only met my daughter twice (both times at funerals). 

I tried to reach out to him a couple times and nothing has ever come of it. It sucks, but at least I know I did what I could to try to have a relationship with him and for him to have a relationship with his granddaughter. He just doesn't want to, and there is nothing I can do to change that. 

Good luck. 

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
I won't go into my whole story unless you are interested in hearing it, but we have very similar family issues. My father has only met my daughter twice (both times at funerals). 

I tried to reach out to him a couple times and nothing has ever come of it. It sucks, but at least I know I did what I could to try to have a relationship with him and for him to have a relationship with his granddaughter. He just doesn't want to, and there is nothing I can do to change that. 

Good luck. 
I would like to hear your story if it’s not any trouble. Sorry to hear. It sucks. I know how you feel. And thanks for sharing. 

 

gianmarco

Footballguy
I spoke to my step-mom this morning. It was a good conversation. I first wanted her to know that I do not blame her for any of this. This is about me and my father.

But she said that she and my father are both surprised by all of this. They had no idea that I have been hurt by this for so long. But she validated my feelings and appreciates that I am being honest. I guess that I excused their lack of involvement for so long, that they just assumed everything was fine. And I can’t blame them for that. That’s my fault.

On the good side, she asked what they can do going forward. She also asked if it’s too late. I told her that I’m doing this because I don’t want it to be too late. And so now we need to figure out how to make amends. This will be hard too, but they obviously feel bad and want to make things better.

I could hear her getting weepy, so I ended the conversation and said “I love you”. She suggested that I give my dad some time to process all of this, and we should talk again in a couple of days. 
Don't think you could ask for much more.  Hopefully this is a good ending for all involved and based on this, it seems that's very possible and perhaps even likely.  And don't kick yourself for not saying anything sooner.  Doesn't do you any good and you aren't the one at fault.

 

AAABatteries

Footballguy
Tom, the more you talk the more I think you did the right thing.  It’s obvious (to me at least) that it bothered you and you needed to do it.  You seemed to have handled it well and it was at least somewhat received well.  Even if nothing changes, you tried.  

 

jobarules

Footballguy
There's a lot. I remember years ago when Shady posted about his dad meeting a new woman and being quite distant to his grandkids, and a bunch of us had similar stories. 

I think the age group and "society back then" is partially to blame. Millions of boomers did the "get married, buy a house, have 2 kids" thing right out of high school, because that's what you were supposed to do. Then later in life, the inevitable divorce, and the realization of "wait, I get to live for me?" thing. And some men took that a little too far, especially with the time allotted to grandkids. I've heard of plenty of older fathers saying something like "hey, I raised my family, you raise yours. I'll see you when I see you." In a lot of cases, our parents are not the types of grandparents that we had as kids. 
Yep we reconciled and get along with his new wife. My father is still distant but does come watch my son play baseball and we do visit each other's houses. I don't know if we will ever see eye to eye but I'm glad we reconciled. 

 
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Reactions: jwb

jwb

Footballguy
There's a lot. I remember years ago when Shady posted about his dad meeting a new woman and being quite distant to his grandkids, and a bunch of us had similar stories. 

I think the age group and "society back then" is partially to blame. Millions of boomers did the "get married, buy a house, have 2 kids" thing right out of high school, because that's what you were supposed to do. Then later in life, the inevitable divorce, and the realization of "wait, I get to live for me?" thing. And some men took that a little too far, especially with the time allotted to grandkids. I've heard of plenty of older fathers saying something like "hey, I raised my family, you raise yours. I'll see you when I see you." In a lot of cases, our parents are not the types of grandparents that we had as kids. 
Yep we reconciled and get along with his new wife. My father is still distant but does come watch my son play baseball and we do visit each other's houses. I don't know if we will ever see eye to eye but I'm glad we reconciled. 


Good to hear. My father started coming around too - his 2nd wife died, and I guess he realized "I'm kind of alone". He reached out to me and my brother, and is getting to know my brother's kids. Better late than never. 

 

msudaisy26

Footballguy
I would like to hear your story if it’s not any trouble. Sorry to hear. It sucks. I know how you feel. And thanks for sharing. 


So I grew up with a verbally abusive father that was an alcoholic. My parents stayed together because he was raised Catholic and "for the kids" until 2007 when my mother couldn't take it anymore and left him while he was gone on a motorcycle trip. 

The divorce split my family in half. My father and middle brother stayed close, but never spoke to my mother and I. I also have a youngest brother that I would say my father disowned for lack of a better word. 

I got married in 2008. I invited my father to the wedding and still asked him to walk me down the aisle. Even though I had probably only spoken to him 5 times since I had moved out in 2004. I wish I still had the letter that he sent so I could accurately quote it and show you how disgusting it was, but he basically told me he didn't approve of my marriage, that I had been living in sin for the last 3 years and that he would pray for God to have mercy on my soul.

He then sent another letter about a week later saying that he was a forgiving person and would grace me with his presence at my wedding and walk me down the aisle only if I met his conditions. Once again I don't have that letter so I am going off memory. First condition was we had to postpone the wedding for a minimum of 1 year, then I had to move back home with him and pay rent of 400 dollars a month. I was also to limit visits with my fiancé to 3 times a week with no sleep overs and go to a marriage counselor of my father's choice that we would pay for and he could sit in on. He also was nice enough to not count that as a weekly visit. 

Obviously none of that happened, however I continued to send him Christmas, birthday and father's day cards every year with no return contact.

So 5ish years later my grandma (my dad's mom) passes away.  My father did everything in power to prevent me from finding out. He didn't want me to show up for the funeral. I got notified by a cousin and then contacted my grandpa and asked if it was okay if I came to the funeral. Which he explained to me that he wanted me there and that my grandma would want me there too, but I was still crushed that a family member would go to those lengths to keep something like that from me. 

At the showing my grandfather pulled me aside and explained to me that he knew what my father did and how he also tries to forbid my grandparents from going to wedding 5 years earlier. He asked me to be the bigger person, go talk to him and introduce him to his granddaughter. 

So I went over and talked to him and introduced him to his 15 month old granddaughter. He asked to hold her and as soon as I handed her over to him she started crying. This made me feel a little better at the time. 

Now this might seem normal, except it isn't with my daughter. Ever since she could sit up on her own she has been very out going. She would let anyone hold her. She is 8 years old now and if you met her I am pretty sure you could find out enough about our family to open up several credit cards in our names in about a 30 minute conversation. 

Nothing came of this attempt though. 

The last time I seen my father was 2016 when my grandfather passed. This time there was no talking, I never had a chance. If I entered a room, then he left. When my family came to the funeral he stood outside in the middle of an Iowa winter and smoked his pipe. When we drove to the cemetery he sat in his car because I was outside to the burial site. 

It was then I realized that nothing I could do would change our relationship and I stopped sending cards. It hurt so much. I teared up just writing this all out and reliving it in my mind. 

All I can say is move on and surround yourself with good people because life is too short. I am lucky enough to have married a man that treats me great and his family treat me like I am one theirs. We have friends that are like brothers and sisters. 

Good luck. 

 
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STEADYMOBBIN 22

Footballguy
So I grew up with a verbally abusive father that was an alcoholic. My parents stayed together because he was raised Catholic and "for the kids" until 2007 when my mother couldn't take it anymore and left him while he was gone on a motorcycle trip. 

The divorce split my family in half. My father and middle brother stayed close, but never spoke to my mother and I. I also have a youngest brother that I would say my father disowned for lack of a better word. 

I got married in 2008. I invited my father to the wedding and still asked him to walk me down the aisle. Even though I had probably only spoken to him 5 times since I had moved out in 2004. I wish I still had the letter that he sent so I could accurately quote it and show you how disgusting it was, but he basically told me he didn't approve of my marriage, that I had been living in sin for the last 3 years and that he would pray for God to have mercy on my soul.

He then sent another letter about a week later saying that he was a forgiving person and would grace me with his presence at my wedding and walk me down the aisle only if I met his conditions. Once again I don't have that letter so I am going off memory. First condition was we had to postpone the wedding for a minimum of 1 year, then I had to move back home with him and pay rent of 400 dollars a month. I was also to limit visits with my fiancé to 3 times a week with no sleep overs and go to a marriage counselor of my father's choice that we would pay for and he could sit in on. He also was nice enough to not count that as a weekly visit. 

Obviously none of that happened, however I continued to send him Christmas, birthday and father's day cards every year with no return contact.

So 5ish years later my grandma (my dad's mom) passes away.  My father did everything in power to prevent me from finding out. He didn't want me to show up for the funeral. I got notified by a cousin and then contacted my grandpa and asked if it was okay if I came to the funeral. Which he explained to me that he wanted me there and that my grandma would want me there too, but I was still crushed that a family member would go to those lengths to keep something like that from me. 

At the showing my grandfather pulled me aside and explained to me that he knew what my father did and how he also tries to forbid my grandparents from going to wedding 5 years earlier. He asked me to be the bigger person, go talk to him and introduce him to his granddaughter. 

So I went over and talked to him and introduced him to his 15 month old granddaughter. He asked to hold her and as soon as I handed her over to him she started crying. This made me feel a little better at the time. 

Now this might seem normal, except it isn't with my daughter. Ever since she could sit up on her own she has been very out going. She would let anyone hold her. She is 8 years old now and if you met her I am pretty sure you could find out enough about our family to open up several credit cards in our names in about a 30 minute conversation. 

Nothing came of this attempt though. 

The last time I seen my father was 2016 when my grandfather passed. This time there was no talking, I never had a chance. If I entered a room, then he left. When my family came to the funeral he stood outside in the middle of an Iowa winter and smoked his pipe. When we drove to the cemetery he sat in his car because I was outside to the burial site. 

It was then I realized that nothing I could do would change our relationship and I stopped sending cards. It hurt so much. I teared up just writing this all out and reliving it in my mind. 

All I can say is move on and surround yourself with good people because life is too short. I am lucky enough to have married a man that treats me great and his family treat me like I am one theirs. We have friends that are like brothers and sisters. 

Good luck. 


Im sorry your dad is a ####. I really am. 

 

jwb

Footballguy
All I can say is move on and surround yourself with good people because life is too short. I am lucky enough to have married a man that treats me great and his family treat me like I am one theirs. We have friends that are like brothers and sisters. 

Good luck. 


It breaks my heart to read stuff like this, but I am happy you found some solace in your husband's family. My wife had a similar experience, with a similar outcome - my family embraced her, and she them. My wife grew up in dysfunctional, alcoholic, and abusive household, and my family (especially my mother) have been a Godsend for her. 

Best  to you.

 
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Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
So I grew up with a verbally abusive father that was an alcoholic. My parents stayed together because he was raised Catholic and "for the kids" until 2007 when my mother couldn't take it anymore and left him while he was gone on a motorcycle trip. 

The divorce split my family in half. My father and middle brother stayed close, but never spoke to my mother and I. I also have a youngest brother that I would say my father disowned for lack of a better word. 

I got married in 2008. I invited my father to the wedding and still asked him to walk me down the aisle. Even though I had probably only spoken to him 5 times since I had moved out in 2004. I wish I still had the letter that he sent so I could accurately quote it and show you how disgusting it was, but he basically told me he didn't approve of my marriage, that I had been living in sin for the last 3 years and that he would pray for God to have mercy on my soul.

He then sent another letter about a week later saying that he was a forgiving person and would grace me with his presence at my wedding and walk me down the aisle only if I met his conditions. Once again I don't have that letter so I am going off memory. First condition was we had to postpone the wedding for a minimum of 1 year, then I had to move back home with him and pay rent of 400 dollars a month. I was also to limit visits with my fiancé to 3 times a week with no sleep overs and go to a marriage counselor of my father's choice that we would pay for and he could sit in on. He also was nice enough to not count that as a weekly visit. 

Obviously none of that happened, however I continued to send him Christmas, birthday and father's day cards every year with no return contact.

So 5ish years later my grandma (my dad's mom) passes away.  My father did everything in power to prevent me from finding out. He didn't want me to show up for the funeral. I got notified by a cousin and then contacted my grandpa and asked if it was okay if I came to the funeral. Which he explained to me that he wanted me there and that my grandma would want me there too, but I was still crushed that a family member would go to those lengths to keep something like that from me. 

At the showing my grandfather pulled me aside and explained to me that he knew what my father did and how he also tries to forbid my grandparents from going to wedding 5 years earlier. He asked me to be the bigger person, go talk to him and introduce him to his granddaughter. 

So I went over and talked to him and introduced him to his 15 month old granddaughter. He asked to hold her and as soon as I handed her over to him she started crying. This made me feel a little better at the time. 

Now this might seem normal, except it isn't with my daughter. Ever since she could sit up on her own she has been very out going. She would let anyone hold her. She is 8 years old now and if you met her I am pretty sure you could find out enough about our family to open up several credit cards in our names in about a 30 minute conversation. 

Nothing came of this attempt though. 

The last time I seen my father was 2016 when my grandfather passed. This time there was no talking, I never had a chance. If I entered a room, then he left. When my family came to the funeral he stood outside in the middle of an Iowa winter and smoked his pipe. When we drove to the cemetery he sat in his car because I was outside to the burial site. 

It was then I realized that nothing I could do would change our relationship and I stopped sending cards. It hurt so much. I teared up just writing this all out and reliving it in my mind. 

All I can say is move on and surround yourself with good people because life is too short. I am lucky enough to have married a man that treats me great and his family treat me like I am one theirs. We have friends that are like brothers and sisters. 

Good luck. 
Yeah this is pretty messed up. I’m sorry. I’m that you carry this stuff with you every day.

And I can empathize with doing everything in your power to be the better person. In spite of not being a priority to my family, I always made every effort to be involved for them and their life events. I made visits for birthdays, and holidays, etc., or for no other reason than simply to see them and spend time with them.

Though in your case, I would say #### it! And #### you!

Thanks for sharing. Best of luck. 

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
I did want to share this little nugget from the conversation with my stepmother.

After we talked about the major issue, she said she was surprised, had no idea I felt this way, etc. And then she went into defense mode to try and explain their behavior. And the first line of defense was to essentially blame my daughter from when she was a 6-month old infant. Stepmom said [paraphrasing] “Do you remember when we first came down to meet her, and you said that you cannot hold her because she will freak out?” 

My dad and stepmom did not come down to see their granddaughter until she was around 6 months old. Now by that time, she had some personality, and she was able to recognize people, and feel safe with those she knew. And she would be afraid of strangers. As any ####### infant baby would!! But for some reason, my stepmom thought this is a legitimate reason for not being more of a presence in our lives. As if to say that they didn’t want to be a presence because my 6-month old daughter didn’t like them. It was so weird. I had to call bull#### on that, and after thinking more about it later, it was just such a weird exchange. I still can’t make any sense of it. 

 
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jwb

Footballguy
I did want to share this little nugget from the conversation with my stepmother.

After we talked about the major issue, she said she was surprised, had no idea I felt this way, etc. And then she went into defense mode to try and explain their behavior. And the first line of defense was to essentially blame my daughter from when she was a 6-month old infant. Stepmom said [paraphrasing] “Do you remember when we first came down to meet her, and you said that you cannot hold her because she will freak out?” 

My dad and stepmom did not come down to see their granddaughter until she was around 6 months old. Now by that time, she had some personality, and she was able to recognize people, and feel safe with those she knew. And she would be afraid of strangers. As any ####### infant baby would!! But for some reason, my stepmom thought this is a legitimate reason for not being more of a presence in our lives. As if to say that they didn’t want to be a presence because my 6-month old daughter didn’t like them. It was so weird. I had to call bull#### on that, and after thinking more about it later, it was just such a weird exchange. I still can’t make any sense of it. 


I doubt it's because your daughter didn't like them, it's that you didn't let stepmom hold her. Mind you, I do not feel this should be the launching point for a lifetime of coldness, but I can definitely see them driving home and saying "really?" They probably felt like outsiders at that point. Now maybe they were already (seems like it - 6 months is a long time unless the trip is a major one that involves airplanes and a week-long hotel stay/etc.)

Just saying, you probably should have let her hold her. I can see where that would hurt, and be remembered. 

 

Steeler

Footballguy
You did the right thing confronting him. But let me throw out something.

My wife and I have been married a long time (28 years) and had a rough patch 4 years ago (my fault). We separated for a bit but all is good now. The kids (3 adult kids in their 20's) really took her side (as they should have). But, I will say, if we had divorced, it would have been VERY hard to go to family events and such, knowing that I was the one responsible for situation. So I could see myself pulling back from the family to let her and them move on, as hard as it might be. I don't know the situation with the divorce of your parents, but I do know there is a LOT that goes on that kids don't know about and shouldn't know about. Is it possible your dad feels "judged" by you and your family, or that he doesn't want to disrupt what you have with your mom?

I guess I've just realized that relationships are very complicated, and sometimes what looks like one thing is actually something else. 

I do hope you and your dad get things better - I'm sure he wants that too.


I get pulling away from family functions to minimize drama or whatever, but you can still have a relationship with the kids individually, or even collectively outside of family functions.  There is no reason to stop having a relationship with your kids.  I'm probably reading too much into this based on my dad being an ####### so forgive me if that wasn't exactly what you meant. 

 

Manster

Footballguy
So I grew up with a verbally abusive father that was an alcoholic. My parents stayed together because he was raised Catholic and "for the kids" until 2007 when my mother couldn't take it anymore and left him while he was gone on a motorcycle trip. 

The divorce split my family in half. My father and middle brother stayed close, but never spoke to my mother and I. I also have a youngest brother that I would say my father disowned for lack of a better word. 

I got married in 2008. I invited my father to the wedding and still asked him to walk me down the aisle. Even though I had probably only spoken to him 5 times since I had moved out in 2004. I wish I still had the letter that he sent so I could accurately quote it and show you how disgusting it was, but he basically told me he didn't approve of my marriage, that I had been living in sin for the last 3 years and that he would pray for God to have mercy on my soul.

He then sent another letter about a week later saying that he was a forgiving person and would grace me with his presence at my wedding and walk me down the aisle only if I met his conditions. Once again I don't have that letter so I am going off memory. First condition was we had to postpone the wedding for a minimum of 1 year, then I had to move back home with him and pay rent of 400 dollars a month. I was also to limit visits with my fiancé to 3 times a week with no sleep overs and go to a marriage counselor of my father's choice that we would pay for and he could sit in on. He also was nice enough to not count that as a weekly visit. 

Obviously none of that happened, however I continued to send him Christmas, birthday and father's day cards every year with no return contact.

So 5ish years later my grandma (my dad's mom) passes away.  My father did everything in power to prevent me from finding out. He didn't want me to show up for the funeral. I got notified by a cousin and then contacted my grandpa and asked if it was okay if I came to the funeral. Which he explained to me that he wanted me there and that my grandma would want me there too, but I was still crushed that a family member would go to those lengths to keep something like that from me. 

At the showing my grandfather pulled me aside and explained to me that he knew what my father did and how he also tries to forbid my grandparents from going to wedding 5 years earlier. He asked me to be the bigger person, go talk to him and introduce him to his granddaughter. 

So I went over and talked to him and introduced him to his 15 month old granddaughter. He asked to hold her and as soon as I handed her over to him she started crying. This made me feel a little better at the time. 

Now this might seem normal, except it isn't with my daughter. Ever since she could sit up on her own she has been very out going. She would let anyone hold her. She is 8 years old now and if you met her I am pretty sure you could find out enough about our family to open up several credit cards in our names in about a 30 minute conversation. 

Nothing came of this attempt though. 

The last time I seen my father was 2016 when my grandfather passed. This time there was no talking, I never had a chance. If I entered a room, then he left. When my family came to the funeral he stood outside in the middle of an Iowa winter and smoked his pipe. When we drove to the cemetery he sat in his car because I was outside to the burial site. 

It was then I realized that nothing I could do would change our relationship and I stopped sending cards. It hurt so much. I teared up just writing this all out and reliving it in my mind. 

All I can say is move on and surround yourself with good people because life is too short. I am lucky enough to have married a man that treats me great and his family treat me like I am one theirs. We have friends that are like brothers and sisters. 

Good luck. 
What an #######.

It blows my mind how a parent can treat their own children like this.  Good for you for moving on, and surrounding yourself with positivity.

 

Tom Skerritt

Footballguy
I doubt it's because your daughter didn't like them, it's that you didn't let stepmom hold her. Mind you, I do not feel this should be the launching point for a lifetime of coldness, but I can definitely see them driving home and saying "really?" They probably felt like outsiders at that point. Now maybe they were already (seems like it - 6 months is a long time unless the trip is a major one that involves airplanes and a week-long hotel stay/etc.)

Just saying, you probably should have let her hold her. I can see where that would hurt, and be remembered. 
I’m sure we did. I might have said that initially, but it wasn’t like “you can’t hold her now and forever.” And come on. Just give it a minute. It may take a day. It may take longer. Maybe if you spent some time with her, she will feel more comfortable. Maybe if you were here 6 months ago.

I think you’re missing the point. How would that be a reason to not want to get to know your grandkid? And why put the blame on me or a 6 month old baby. If anything, it should tell you that developing relationships take time and effort.

Whatever. I thought it was a weird defense. 

 

Manster

Footballguy
I’m sure we did. I might have said that initially, but it wasn’t like “you can’t hold her now and forever.” And come on. Just give it a minute. It may take a day. It may take longer. Maybe if you spent some time with her, she will feel more comfortable. Maybe if you were here 6 months ago.

I think you’re missing the point. How would that be a reason to not want to get to know your grandkid? And why put the blame on me or a 6 month old baby. If anything, it should tell you that developing relationships take time and effort.

Whatever. I thought it was a weird defense. 
Its a very childish response from your step mom.  That's the thing about many of the parents in these relationships.......parents are supposed to be our rocks.  They are supposed to be our safe place.  They should have wisdom, and understanding......when parents are petty, and childish with their own children it blows everything up.

 

Judge Smails

Footballguy
There's a lot. I remember years ago when Shady posted about his dad meeting a new woman and being quite distant to his grandkids, and a bunch of us had similar stories. 

I think the age group and "society back then" is partially to blame. Millions of boomers did the "get married, buy a house, have 2 kids" thing right out of high school, because that's what you were supposed to do. Then later in life, the inevitable divorce, and the realization of "wait, I get to live for me?" thing. And some men took that a little too far, especially with the time allotted to grandkids. I've heard of plenty of older fathers saying something like "hey, I raised my family, you raise yours. I'll see you when I see you." In a lot of cases, our parents are not the types of grandparents that we had as kids. 
Agreed. Which is why our parents generation will go down as the most selfish ever with respect to parenting/family. I realize that doesn’t hit home with many of you. If so you’re lucky. 

 
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Steeler

Footballguy
What the hell, I'll share this story:

My parents divorces when I was 16 because my dad cheated.  He didn't stay with that lady and over the years our relationship wasn't very good - he often complained about how hard his life was rather than having a normal father/son conversation - it was always all about him.  He eventually remarried and all communication stopped from him.  I got married and didn't invite him to the wedding.  When I was in my mid 30s I had two kids and sent him a letter basically giving him an update on my life, told him I didn't need a father but wondered if we could have a relationship -- heard nothing for years.  Then out of nowhere I got a call from my dad and we chatted for a while.  A couple weeks later another call from him and the talk was a bit shorter but pretty much the same, we didn't relive the past or anything, just catching up on each other.  About a week later he calls again asking for money - I said I couldn't do it, small kids and all that.  Conversation ended shortly after I said no and I never heard from him again.

I have two siblings and a step-brother from his second marriage and my dad was such an ####### none of his kids were with him when he died.  It sucks to have this kind of a father but he was so narcissistic I've actually come to the conclusion that it was probably better that he wasn't in my life that much.

Like some others have mentioned, I've learned everything not to do as a father.

 

jwb

Footballguy
I’m sure we did. I might have said that initially, but it wasn’t like “you can’t hold her now and forever.” And come on. Just give it a minute. It may take a day. It may take longer. Maybe if you spent some time with her, she will feel more comfortable. Maybe if you were here 6 months ago.

I think you’re missing the point. How would that be a reason to not want to get to know your grandkid? And why put the blame on me or a 6 month old baby. If anything, it should tell you that developing relationships take time and effort.

Whatever. I thought it was a weird defense. 


I was just trying to give some perspective on maybe how she felt that particular day. I mean, she remembered it all these years, so right or wrong, it had meaning to her.

I apologize if I came off as taking her side or anything. I'm not - in the end, the parents we're all talking about need to be parents (and grandparents). 

 

kutta

Footballguy
Steeler said:
I get pulling away from family functions to minimize drama or whatever, but you can still have a relationship with the kids individually, or even collectively outside of family functions.  There is no reason to stop having a relationship with your kids.  I'm probably reading too much into this based on my dad being an ####### so forgive me if that wasn't exactly what you meant. 
I agree with you. I’m just saying there are a lot of things that happen that kids aren’t aware of in a marriage that sometimes makes one party look really bad when in reality there is more behind the scenes. There’s really no excuse for ignoring your kids or grandkids, but there may be other circumstances we or the OP aren’t aware of that contribute to the situation.

 

jobarules

Footballguy
Tom Skerritt said:
I did want to share this little nugget from the conversation with my stepmother.

After we talked about the major issue, she said she was surprised, had no idea I felt this way, etc. And then she went into defense mode to try and explain their behavior. And the first line of defense was to essentially blame my daughter from when she was a 6-month old infant. Stepmom said [paraphrasing] “Do you remember when we first came down to meet her, and you said that you cannot hold her because she will freak out?” 

My dad and stepmom did not come down to see their granddaughter until she was around 6 months old. Now by that time, she had some personality, and she was able to recognize people, and feel safe with those she knew. And she would be afraid of strangers. As any ####### infant baby would!! But for some reason, my stepmom thought this is a legitimate reason for not being more of a presence in our lives. As if to say that they didn’t want to be a presence because my 6-month old daughter didn’t like them. It was so weird. I had to call bull#### on that, and after thinking more about it later, it was just such a weird exchange. I still can’t make any sense of it. 
I mean, I'd be offended too if someone told me that but would I hold a grudge my whole life? Probably not.

 

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