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Old July 29th, 2016, 10:22 AM
slr0031 slr0031 is offline
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Back to it with Dad

I haven't been in here in a while. I hope everybody's summer has been good. Mine has been! I had my baby. He is 2 months and absolutely beautiful. It has been wonderful having him with us this summer. My older 2 have been wonderful with him also. Always loving on him. I have felt a good amount of moms guilt not being able to do what I normally do with them but I have gotten them out to the library and park and had friends over and I think they have had a good summer. It is already getting easier also and so our transition has been good.

That being said it has also been a strange summer and even though I am ecstatic to have my baby boy with us I have also felt a loneliness. Nobody in our family has seen our new baby boy. My husband's mother has been in the hospital and is now in a rehab facility and his dad thinks it is best if we do not bring the baby there. we are hoping to have him visit on his own if he can. my mom has not been able to get time off of work so she has not come and is now trying for sep. to visit. and my dad has not visited.

He called last week and said my half sister misses me and he hopes it can be normal again. she called me when i was in hospital and i have not called her back. i felt like my dad was confronting me about not calling her back. i find it hard to beleive she actually misses me since i have not heard from her in years and it is my opinion my dad had her call me. After many times of her not calling me back I am the bad guy for not calling her after giving birth to a baby. I did not hear from her my entire pregnancy. He said she thinks I am mad at her. And so I told him I am not mad at her but also that I don't know what normal is and don't really know what to say about it. He then delved right back into step mother situation and asked if it is just supposed to be him visiting me without his wife. I said yes I think it is best as I have not visited with her in over 5 years! He asked how am to tell my wife she can't come? I said I think she knows how I feel and that I have communicated this a few times now. I said I have barely seen him in the last 4 years because of problems with her. This is the main reason why I don't want to visit with her anymore. He told me not to throw that stone because I have not visited him. I told him I moved twice and had a baby. He lives 10 hours away. He is retired. I have told him quite a few times we would visit but would stay at a hotel. He brought that up and again asked if we would stay with him or at least leave kids with him. It always has to be his way and when it is not he doesn't visit doesn't call. I told him I don't ever want this kind of pain and stress in my life again. We did not leave off on a good note and he was crying. He is back to ignoring my pictures on Facebook. And I know I am probably going to have to accept that he is not going to see my newborn son and I don't know if we are going to talk anymore. This has happened many times. After making it clear how I feel I am selfishly not wanting to share this time with his wife and don't want her at my house. On one hand I cannot believe he continues to stay away out of pride because I don't want to be around his wife. I have not seen him in over a year again. He has not seen me throughout my pregnancy and I don't think he is going to visit us now. On the other hand I am not surprised and knew he was going to do this. I don't mean to hurt him but don't want to be part of this situation anymore.

My 8 year old daughter asked me a few days ago if we were going to visit Grandpa. I told her Grandpa needs to visit us. I am wondering if I need to tell her what is going on but I don't know how. I don't want to bad mouth her Grandpa but also am afraid she is going to be angry with me and blame me. I really don't know how to explain it to her.
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Old July 29th, 2016, 11:06 AM
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Re: Back to it with Dad

Welcome back, slr0031, and congratulations on your new baby! What a wonderful addition to your family.

I'm not exactly sure how to word what I'm thinking, so please forgive me if this comes out wrong. I know this is a huge struggle for you and I sympathize with it.

I feel that you keep having the same discussion with your father and you really have to make a decision one way or the other. I know it's hard to hurt your father, but he's the one who keeps asking for what you aren't willing to give. You need to learn to give the one word answer "NO" and stop explaining yourself to him. A slow drip, drip, drip of water can wear through the hardest rock and that is what your father is trying to do. He won't change so it is up to YOU to stop hoping he does.

I think that's really the hardest part for you - that you feel lonely and sad that you don't have the relationship you wish for with your father. So when I say "you have to make a decision" what I mean is that it is past time to completely give up hope on the relationship with your dad being what you want and accept what it is. If he is going to stop speaking with you because you won't stay with him when you visit, you need to accept that and say "Oh well, that's on him." Stop taking responsibility for hurting him when it's his behavior that is causing the problem.

Stop letting him turn a phone call about the joy in your life (the baby) into a guilt-fest about your step-sister and your dad's wife. Those are things HE chose and you aren't required to allow them in to your life if you don't want to. You do have to accept that if you don't allow them, you may not get him. But really, who wants to have a relationship with someone who just badgers you to graciously accept abuse? Next time he calls (and he will call, once he feels you have been punished enough) and starts in about your step-sister or his wife, just end the conversation. Tell him it's time to feed the baby or you have to get a chore done or run an errand. Take control of these conversations.

I don't know what to say about your daughter. How does she feel about your dad's wife and your step-sister?
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Old July 31st, 2016, 04:47 PM
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Re: Back to it with Dad

Hi slr0031, I am not familiar with you backstory. I gather from what you wrote and what KayKay replied that you Dad has some issues with manipulating you. I'm sure your reasons for keeping him at a safe distance are good ones and same for your stepmom and half-sister. Just keep clearly enforcing your boundaries. Them expecting a call back from a mom with a new baby after a missed call while you were in the hospital is a bit unreasonable and silly. It's like she/they wants 'brownie points' for making the call, which would have been OK, if not for this nonsense about, "Why didn't you call her back yet?"

Without knowing your backstory - I can say that accepting both partners of a couple is somewhat expected BUT not if there is a legitimate reason for their estrangement from you. Sounds like you are offering reasonable solutions, like the hotel option and he's just pushing, pushing, pushing for his way. In my opinion, if someone truly wants to reconcile, build a bridge, whatever, they tread softly, they try to be cooperative. What you have shared does not sound like that.
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Old August 1st, 2016, 07:32 AM
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Re: Back to it with Dad

Hello, I appreciate what you wrote KayKay and I agree. It did not come out wrong. I do keep having the same conversation with my dad and have been for years. He thinks if he ignores it for a couple years that I will give in and do what he wants. I did say no to him and I don't expect him to change.

I struggle with not knowing if it is worth it. I know that if I would visit with his wife then I would see my dad too and my kids would see him. I am afraid I will really regret my choices with him/them someday. It doesn't help that I also have a lot of problems with my mom and I feel we have missed out having family so much. But then I look back to when I did visit with all of them and it wasn't great and there were problems. I am happy to not be having those problems and that is the benefit to not seeing them. I am also not cutting my dad out of my life and never have and have tried to compromise with him which he won't have. So I struggle with knowing that by doing that it is cutting him out of my life indirectly. He also acts like I am cutting him out of my life by making the boundaries I do which is really confusing to me. I am sad that it is more important to him that I visit with his wife to make him feel better/normal/whatever it is than it is to see me and my kids.

Thanks for your suggestions about ending calls when he starts in. It is awful because he won't do this, won't even mention them for 2 years and then in an important time in my life when I would like him to be a part of then he brings everything up and tries to get his way.

My daughter and son love my dad and I know they wonder why he doesn't visit us and why we don't visit him. The last time they saw step mother was 5 years ago and the last time they saw half sister was over 2 years now. My son doesn't ever mention them. about a year after we had our last visit with my sister my daughter asked me when we would see her again. She was 6. I told her I didn't know and told her we were not very close and that is why we don't see her often. She began to cry and also said she could not remember what my dad's wife looked like. I told her it was ok because we don't ever see her and I just held her because she was sad. She has made comments about how we don't have a lot of people in our family. It breaks my heart and that is why I always question if I am doing right thing. I know my choices with my dad are hurting them also.

Yes PeeWee my dad tries to manipulate me into acting the way he wants and does not want to listen that I don't feel it is healthy for me to visit his wife anymore. It is uncomfortable for me. He had affair with her when I was a teen and the divorce hurt my mom and me alot. I understand that was a long time ago and have tried to move on but she does/says things to cause problems between my dad and me and he will stop contact sometimes for years. It has hurt me over and over again and I have gone through periods of depression/insomnia over it. I don't trust her or my dad anymore and I also don't trust my sister. She goes long periods of time ignoring me and then will act like she has tried to connect with me and I am rejecting her. And I believe this time is no different. I struggle with knowing if I am doing the right thing but don't feel I am missing a whole lot when I really think about it. I feel bad for my kids.

Last edited by slr0031; August 1st, 2016 at 07:36 AM.
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Old August 1st, 2016, 08:44 PM
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Re: Back to it with Dad

Quote:
Originally Posted by slr0031 View Post
She has made comments about how we don't have a lot of people in our family. It breaks my heart and that is why I always question if I am doing right thing. I know my choices with my dad are hurting them also.
But slr0031, my point is that it isn't YOUR choices that are hurting them. It is HIS choices that are hurting them.

You have not told him he couldn't visit your kids. He has chosen to not come. You are willing to visit him but he doesn't want you coming unless you stay in his home. He is trying to force your stepsister on you when you two do not have a good relationship.

I know it's painful to not have family (I have barely any), and I know it's hard to live with regret. But I really encourage you to regret the situation (your relationship with your dad being strained) without regretting your actions (blaming yourself for it). You have done all of the compromising in the relationship and he has done none.

Maybe you need to take a deep look at the relationships and decide if you want your children to have them or not. Obviously you want them to have a relationship with your father - you love him and your kids love him. Do you want them to have a relationship with your father's wife? With your stepsister? You don't trust them. If you don't trust them, why do you want to encourage a relationship between them and your children? You are supposed to be protecting your children, not letting have people who will manipulate them have access to them.

Do not let your children be pawns. The more you nurture a relationship between your dad and your children, the more hurt they will be when he starts withdrawing to punish or manipulate them the way he punishes and manipulates you.
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Old August 5th, 2016, 08:53 PM
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Re: Back to it with Dad

I agree with your post. This is how I feel. I still feel guilt and struggle with it and probably always will but not like I used to. I think I am probably doing the same as him by choosing not to visit him and telling him I think it is best his wife doesn't come with him to visit us. There is part of me that wants to just go and visit and stay at his house and have his wife come with him so I can see him and there is part of me that just doesn't want to deal with this anymore. I look at all the times he has stopped talking to me and know it would just happen again even if I visited on his terms. I really don't want my kids to have relationships with his wife or my sister. I don't think my dad would try to punish or manipulate my kids but he definitely does that to me and has hurt my kids in the process. Even though it is sad maybe this is the way it is supposed to be. It is better for them to have less family than to have hurtful relationships with them.
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Old August 5th, 2016, 09:41 PM
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Re: Back to it with Dad

I'm so sorry.
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Old August 7th, 2016, 09:59 AM
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Re: Back to it with Dad

Thank you KayKay
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