One Last Chance Before NC?

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sunofanarc

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One Last Chance Before NC?
« on: November 18, 2018, 12:13:56 AM »
First time Poster here.

Short back story: My uNdad has a pattern of making incredibly inappropriate comments about my wife and about all women in general. When we confronted him on his behavior he acted like any narc and attacked my wife and then never talked about it again. It's taken 5 years to fully understand what happened and get the proper labels in place. A few months ago, his nfather (my ngrandfather) passed away and now my dad is putting the pressure on the reestablish a relationship. There has been no admission of guilt or apology or even an acknowledgement of the pain we've felt. He keeps saying it can be on my terms  but then he crashes our boundaries.

Still, I feel like I need to give it one more shot and be 100% straight forward about our terms before going straight NC. I know a lot of you have a lot of wisdom and I thought I would post them email I want to send to see if it is a terrible idea or not.

(ndad)

I have been thinking about your emails a lot lately. I appreciate you wanting a closer relationship and I know it takes a lot of effort to reach out but I am just not there yet. You have said that any future contact could be on my terms. (wife) and I have thought about it a lot and here are the first steps it will take to rebuild any kind of relationship.

1. Apologize to us: In the conversation at our house you attacked my wife and tried to divide us and conquer. You mocked her tone and left her in tears when we were trying to be open and honest with you about how your behavior made us feel uncomfortable and unsafe. We tried to be honest with you and refused to listen.
2. Admit that you have a problem with pornography: A lot of guys may do it but that doesn’t make it safe. It impacts every aspect of your life and is evident in your “locker room” humor and the way you flirt with other women. We have heard you make remarks time and time again that are incredibly inappropriate, humiliating, and degrading to women we know and care about. If you need examples of this pattern of behavior I would be happy to provide them for you.
3. Seek help: Seek a therapist or 12 step group to address number 2. Get help. We are not willing to expose our family to someone with an active and untreated addiction especially one that is sexual in nature.
4. Stop the games: Just be honest about your intentions and what you want to happen. We still may not go along with it but at least no one will be guessing. Also, please stop inviting me on 5 day solo excursions. We are nowhere near ready for that level of relationship.
5. Cut the cutting remarks: honestly, I don’t understand why people put up with these comments. The insult to (coworker) at the memorial in front of everyone made my heart break for her. I’ve heard it said, “You’re uncomfortable or (ndad's) upset.” Or “You know you’re in trouble when (ndad) stops making fun of you.” That’s not exactly the definition of a safe relationship. It is worth digging into your own insecurities to find out why you feel the need to make these kinds of jokes.

These terms are subject to change over time but this is a start that would allow us to move towards some kind of relationship. Let me know when you’re ready to discuss next steps.

I really appreciate you reaching out and I hope there is willingness to do what is necessary to begin to heal. I do love you.


I apologize if this post is too long r in the wrong forum. I am just looking for advice before I completely close the door on my past life.

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Sooz

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Re: One Last Chance Before NC?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2018, 05:47:42 AM »
This is going to sound very harsh but I do have YOUR best interests at heart.

I wouldn’t send that communication to an N parent. Although you have every right to set those standards/limits for going forward, I genuinely don’t think pointing out his faults and flaws in that way will get you anywhere.

I can sense the same ‘core wound’ that all children of narcs have in this letter - ‘one more try’, ‘maybe this time he’ll hear me’, ‘if he’d acknowledge it and get help, maybe we could have the close, loving relationship I’ve always wanted/needed’.

Sadly, I’ve had to accept and grieve the fairytale happy ending. My NPD mother isn’t going to change. While change is not impossible in your father’s case, please consider how likely it is that he’ll do those things you’re asking (apologise? get help? stop game playing?).

Unfortunately, ageing narc parents tend to become even more rigid, inflexible and, well, narcissistic.

It’s often said that we can’t change them - we can only adjust our boundaries/borders and the way we respond to them. In your case, I’d consider very carefully how much influence you want your father (with those issues) to have on your own family.

I can feel how much pain and anguish has been caused in the past by your father’s words and actions. Is more pain a price you are prepared to pay for having a ‘closer’ relationship with your father? Is it the idealised loving father you are still seeking? Is it likely you’ll get what YOU need from him this time around?

I’m sorry if this is a negative answer. If you do decide to write, I’d stick to something more like:

When you do X, we feel Y. If you don’t stop doing X, then we’ll hang up the phone/leave/limit our time with you.

I think they call it a ‘connection contract’. Basically setting out the terms and conditions of any contact, rather than demanding apologies and asking the PD’d person to accept/acknowledge their faults, which they simply can’t do (being ‘perfect’ is their disability).

Good luck with finding the right outcome for you.

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: One Last Chance Before NC?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2018, 11:25:31 AM »
One thing I've learned in my journey is we can't ask or expect others to change for us even if their behavior is toxic and damaging. Others have the right to be who they are. The 3 C's Rule from the Toolbox says 'we didn't cause it, we can't cure it, we can't control it's and is our mantra of sorts.

You can, as you already have, outline the offending behavior so they can choose to control it. By outlining the other person must make core changes to themselves as an individual it basically means you won't be re-establishing contact as it's unlikely they will comply and if they do that you can properly assess progress. What you propose would takes years of concentrated effort. See this link
http://www.outofthefog.website/treatment/

We only have control over ourselves so all boundaries and requests are stated from that perspective. What we will do (consequence) when our stated boundary is crossed.

DH and I have a somewhat similar issue with toxic in laws and he maintains established remote contact without me. The only time I have contact is family occasions and our established parameter he verbally delivered to them is that any misbehavior and we leave, together and to expect likely neither of us will never return.

If a PD is high functioning (see top 100 Traits) they can sometimes control behaviors and they can do this if they choose. Or not.

Other Toolbox topics help us prepare to engage in contact, how to engage, and how to decompress post contact event. It's lots of work but so is NC and the choice is yours.
Each and every contact with a PD person results in damage. Plan accordingly and make time to heal. See Toolbox for tips. "The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause." Mark Twain

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Thru the Rain

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Re: One Last Chance Before NC?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2018, 12:00:45 PM »
I sent a much gentler letter to my uPDFiL on behalf of my DH.

I pointed out DH's concerns, and offered an olive branch of staying in contact myself.

That letter was ignored, no response whatsoever.

I think no matter what you send, you may be disappointed the end result.

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sunofanarc

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Re: One Last Chance Before NC?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2018, 12:05:34 PM »

When you do X, we feel Y. If you don’t stop doing X, then we’ll hang up the phone/leave/limit our time with you.

I think they call it a ‘connection contract’. Basically setting out the terms and conditions of any contact, rather than demanding apologies and asking the PD’d person to accept/acknowledge their faults, which they simply can’t do (being ‘perfect’ is their disability).

Thanks so much for your thoughtful response. If that was harsh then I can't imagine what we would call what my dad has done my whole life :stars:.

Do you have any more insight on the "connection contracts"? That peaked my interest. I dont think i am going to send that letter. I dont want to open myself and my family up to more of his abuse.

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sunofanarc

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Re: One Last Chance Before NC?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2018, 12:07:02 PM »
I sent a much gentler letter to my uPDFiL on behalf of my DH.

I pointed out DH's concerns, and offered an olive branch of staying in contact myself.

That letter was ignored, no response whatsoever.

I think no matter what you send, you may be disappointed the end result.

Yea. I know. I think I just needed someone to read what I wanted to send. Honestly, him ignoring would probably be the best outcome. Why open myself up to that disappointment?

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sunofanarc

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Re: One Last Chance Before NC?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2018, 12:10:14 PM »
One thing I've learned in my journey is we can't ask or expect others to change for us even if their behavior is toxic and damaging. Others have the right to be who they are. The 3 C's Rule from the Toolbox says 'we didn't cause it, we can't cure it, we can't control it's and is our mantra of sorts.

You can, as you already have, outline the offending behavior so they can choose to control it. By outlining the other person must make core changes to themselves as an individual it basically means you won't be re-establishing contact as it's unlikely they will comply and if they do that you can properly assess progress. What you propose would takes years of concentrated effort.

We only have control over ourselves so all boundaries and requests are stated from that perspective. What we will do (consequence) when our stated boundary is crossed.

DH and I have a somewhat similar issue with toxic in laws and he maintains established remote contact without me. The only time I have contact is family occasions and our established parameter he verbally delivered to them is that any misbehavior and we leave, together and to expect likely neither of us will never return.

If a PD is high functioning (see top 100 Traits) they can sometimes control behaviors and they can do this if they choose. Or not.

Other Toolbox topics help us prepare to engage in contact, how to engage, and how to decompress post contact event. It's lots of work but so is NC and the choice is yours.

This is a good reminder. I need to repeat the 3 C's to myself a lot more than I do. I think we will outline our desires for behavior when we do have contact. I like your approach a lot.

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Kiki81

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Re: One Last Chance Before NC?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2018, 08:32:19 PM »
They love getting that kind of letter/communication. it is the opposite of dropping the rope, which is what they HATE but yet respect.

It'd be NS, narcissistic supply.

A lot of people have to send that letter, so if you send it don't get down on yourself. For some people, its part of their process.

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Starboard Song

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Re: One Last Chance Before NC?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2018, 09:27:16 PM »
I tend to always be in favor of such an outreach: it is at a great interval, he initiated it politely, and you are staying very much in control.

My big concern is the sexual nature of this, and whether you have any children. If you do, and you don't need to admit this to Dad, but I plan on never leaving him alone with those children ever.

If the history here is not so extreme the exposing yourself to further contact is not like asking a rape victim to endure contact with her attacker, then I think it is a great thing to give someone a chance, with very very high boundaries, and moving very slowly.

It is extremely damaging to Children, though, to have someone come into and back out of their lives. If children are involved, I don't think he should see the chance to darken your door, until he has already achieved several labors of Hercules to prove his worth.

Good luck to you. Understand that you do not owe this man or the world a single moment of additional contact or energy. You can just walk away. This attempt at Outreach however, he's very decent and kind of you.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
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nwbc

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Re: One Last Chance Before NC?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2018, 03:05:27 AM »
Hmm. My experience, especially with NPD people, is that you can give them endless "chances" but they're not going to change. Perhaps at some point in the future you'll be armoured enough to put up with him and maintain clear healthy boundaries, but I doubt it will ever be 'easy,' and I very highly doubt he'll ever be able to truly apologise.

The problem with real apologies and healing is that the person needs to deeply feel the impacts of their actions and connect with their own pain and dysfunction before they can change. My uPDm is a narc and she's amazing and faking healing until the makes it, but she refuses to deeply feel the impacts of her behavior (it is always someone else's fault, of course) and come to terms with her own problems, so ultimately the behaviour patterns don't change.

Sounds like staying away will be best for you.
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Liz1018

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Re: One Last Chance Before NC?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2018, 01:02:21 PM »
I can’t say what you should do, but you basically just described my Nfather. Inappropriate comments, porn addiction, being very reactive, playing victim, acting like nothing happened. I am NC with entire FOO 3 years and it basically came down to “they have been given enough chances” and enough is enough.

If he has never taken responsibility for any trespasses before, he most likely won’t now. The letter is really for you and your wife, even if you don’t send it. If you do send it and he acts as predicted, it will be disappointing, but at least you’ll know. By the way, kudos to you for standing up for yourself and your wife. And knowing right from wrong.

Why is it that the ones of us that go through and come Out of the FOG have a true sense of conviction and integrity when we were raised among those with so little?

Whatever you decide to do from here, eventually you will get to a point when trying is just too exhausting with people who have no regard for your feelings. Good luck. Xoxo
« Last Edit: December 02, 2018, 01:07:16 PM by Liz1018 »

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all4peace

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Re: One Last Chance Before NC?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2018, 05:13:07 PM »
I agree with all the above. It's decent for you to try to help your father, and to open your heart to show him the pathway back into your life.
On the other hand, it's exceptionally unlikely that he will be willing for the intensely hard work it would take to change his character.

This is just opinion, but I do see a difference between bad habits and bad character. I think your father is exhibiting bad character.

It sounds like you and your wife are united in this, and I would just want to check in to be certain that she's comfortable opening the door. I have an enFIL with much lesser issues regarding women, sexuality and inappropriate comments, but even his much more moderate behavior and comments have left me feeling totally unsafe in any kind of close contact with him, or him with our DD (or even DS, as an example of male behavior)

What I would have wished for was my DH to continue his relationship with his family, on his own. It's not what my DH wished for, but is it a possibility for you? You have time with your F that doesn't need to involve your family? Just another possibility.

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newlife33

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Re: One Last Chance Before NC?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2018, 04:44:53 PM »
My two cents:

Usually the "last chance" efforts are met with a vicious response and using your letter against you by twisting your words.  I would still send it but more of as a "getting things off your chest" maneuver and less a "he's actually going to read it and reconcile letter"

I remember *handing* a letter to my father, and he ignored it and didn't even read it once he realized it was a critique of his actions.   :stars:

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moglow

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Re: One Last Chance Before NC?
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2018, 01:16:15 PM »
For what it's worth - my experience has been that putting my thoughts and feelings in writing just hands (more) ammunition to my mother. With it in writing, she has a permanent reference to throw in my face (and share with countless others). She's one who will hone in on anything that can be twisted into a weak spot, and bear down on it. And she can somehow pick when I'm most vulnerable to do it.

But absolutely write the letter. Write four or five or a dozen, get it all out. Then burn them. Or use our unsent letter forum here, where it'll be taken and understood just as written, no questions asked. It's tremendously therapeutic, just "voicing" it and actually being heard and accepted.

Whatever you choose, we're here with you. We get it.
“Nothing exposes our true self more than how we treat each other in the home.”  ~ Joseph B. Wirthlin

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newlife33

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Re: One Last Chance Before NC?
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2018, 12:19:36 AM »
I can second the feeling of freedom from burning the letters instead of sending them, it helped make me feel more powerful.