Problem with elderly father

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p123

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Problem with elderly father
« on: November 13, 2019, 08:38:10 AM »
My problem is with my elderly Dad. In terms of marriage, 23 years, 2 kids. We've had ups and down but we're OK. She has her moments lol (Sorry I feel bad because of all the awful stories the rest of you have).

Anyway, we're OK NO THANKS TO MY DAD. Hes been a nightmare last 5-10 years. Some of you may have read my posts in the forum.
To be honest, if I hadn't put a stop to it I WOULD be divorced by now. Sadly, I think he'd be pleased about it (He'd expect me to move in with him).

Hes done some truly awful things. For years my wife put with up with him but now shes NC with him. I've accepted that, why should she put with him?
Of course, he hates it, doesn't think hes done anything. Kicked off recently because she didn't make a special effort to phone him on his birthday (Eh? I dont phone my MILspecially?). Not happening after what hes done.

Got the "Xmas Day" argument coming up. I used to drive 25 miles pick him up, bring him to ours, repeat later. To be honest, he got worse and worse - my wife and breathed a sigh of relief when he went home. But he got worse, pretty much ruined Xmas for us both and especially my kids. (You may have seen the ambulance threat post one xmas day which meant I had to stay with him -my kids were crying because they wanted to show Daddy their xmas presents but I was stuck at his house!.

Wifes a nurse so she does work 365. Yeh I should tell him straight but its easier to use an excuse "sorry we're not doing xmas dinner because wifes working". He doesnt like it. Went to brother last year (lives mile away, no kids - he looks after anyway). This year brother is already playing the "on holiday over xmas" card. Done this a few times now and as soon as Dad is sorted coming to mine the holiday plan seems to disappear. Good eh?

Bottom line - He honestly makes me ill with all his demands. Just does not give a monkeys that I've got a family to look after too. Wife has got long term illness, My 16 yr old has Apsergers (which can be a challenge), and a 6 year old. Yet he sees no issue in trying to blackmail me to visit because hes run out of milk (25 miles each way like I said). (BTW he refused the home delivery idea from Tesco)
« Last Edit: November 13, 2019, 09:43:59 AM by Starboard Song »

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p123

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2019, 01:11:38 PM »
Sorry if some of this stuff is repeated. Admins moved from Dad forum....

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SunnyMeadow

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2019, 01:22:51 PM »

Bottom line - He honestly makes me ill with all his demands. Just does not give a monkeys that I've got a family to look after too. Wife has got long term illness, My 16 yr old has Apsergers (which can be a challenge), and a 6 year old. Yet he sees no issue in trying to blackmail me to visit because hes run out of milk (25 miles each way like I said). (BTW he refused the home delivery idea from Tesco)

p123,

Is this just a vent or are you looking for additional opinions/advice...different from all the advice you've received thus far?


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Fiasco

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2019, 05:16:30 PM »
You might find it helpful to know there is an ďabout this forumĒ description in each forum. The ďdadsĒ forum you posted in says the following:

Welcome to the Non-PD Dad's Forum!

This Forum was created as a place for Dad's who are trying to raise children in a situation which is affected by someone who suffers from a personality disorder, to discuss the unique challenges and perspective that Non-PD Dad's share.

Hope that helps.

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illogical

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2019, 07:11:11 PM »
Hi p123,

I'm thinking that your problem is that your dad is not going to accept your "excuse" that your wife is working Xmas.  Is that correct?

A hypothetical--

Dad:  "What time are you picking me up for Xmas this year?"
You:  "I'm not picking you up, dad.  I already told you that Wife is working.  Me picking you up and you spending Xmas at my house won't work."
Dad:  "You'll find a way.  Can't leave your poor ole dad alone at Xmas."
You:  "I'm sure you'll figure something out.  Wife is working and I won't be picking you up."
Dad:  "Brother is on holiday.  There is no one else but you."
You:  "Dad, I'm not going to argue with you.  I've already told you it won't work for us.  I'm not going to say anything more about it."
Dad:  "Okay, guess I'll just be alone on Xmas.  Don't trouble yourself about me."
You:  "You'll be fine.  Gotta go now.  Promised Wife I would be home early."

This is just one scenario.  There are endless possibilities, but from what you've posted, your dad plays The Victim when he doesn't get his way, and you generally cave, or offer JADEing as to why you can't do this or that.  If you feel you must give your dad the excuse your wife is working, then state your boundary and move on.  When he starts in with the "poor, pitiful me act", don't placate him.  Don't offer him any out, such as spending time with him on Boxing Day.  He won't buy in.  Ns don't compromise, period.  It's their way or the highway.

Keep repeating your boundary like a broken record, or a parrot.  When he starts winding up, leave.  Gotta go.  A million things to do.

Practice if you have to in front of a mirror, with a mock script. 

State boundary.  Repeat boundary.  Repeat boundary again.  Gotta go.  Leave.

Your dad isn't going to like it one bit that you won't be over for Xmas.  Too bad, so sad.  Let him deal with it.  Let him rage, let him invent medical "emergencies".  Go your own way and do what you know is the right thing to do-- spend time with your FOC (family of choice) and let your dad stew in his own juice.  He has brought this on himself.  You are always saying in your posts, regarding your brother-- "he made his own bed".  Well, so has your dad.   :yes:
"Applying logic to potentially illogical behaviour is to construct a house on shifting foundations.  The structure will inevitably collapse."

__Stewart Stafford

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illogical

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2019, 08:11:37 PM »
I just saw your other post on the Sibling forum.  Looks like WI and I were posting at the same time.  And we both said a lot of the same things.   :yes:

Btw, my GC brother moved hundreds of miles away when my parents started aging, leaving me "holding the bag" for their aging needs.  It looks like your brother is trying to push off on you most of the work of your dad.  Convenient that he beat you to the punch in stating he was "going on holiday" during Xmas. 

Well, the bottom line is, as long as you put up with your dad, so much the better for your brother.  He gets a "free pass" this holiday-- expecting you to host "dear ole dad".  I would absolutely push back on that one. 

You are the only one who can do this, p123.  There isn't a "white knight in shining armour" that is going to ride in and save the day.  Nor is there anyone who can "wave a magic wand" and make this uncomfortable/stressful/abusive situation go away.  Nor is anyone on this website going to provide you with a "quick fix" for your problem.

Set your boundary and let go of the outcome.  Don't give a fig what your dad says/does/thinks about your boundary.  That's the only way your boundary is going to work, as your boundary is to protect you from further abuse, not put in place with the expectation you can change your dad or the outcome here.  Let the fire rain around you when he rages or creates chaos-- e.g., a medical "emergency".  Stand your ground and go about your day.  I agree with WI-- block him from calling you on Xmas.  Let him create his chaos-- I term it "wrecking the train"-- and let him deal with the aftermath.  You don't have to board that train.  It's going nowhere.  Step off and let him wreck it and pick up the pieces-- or someone else.  Enjoy your holiday!
« Last Edit: November 13, 2019, 08:51:54 PM by illogical »
"Applying logic to potentially illogical behaviour is to construct a house on shifting foundations.  The structure will inevitably collapse."

__Stewart Stafford

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2019, 09:18:59 PM »
p123, you would be doing your marriage and your relationship with your children a great service if you would set boundaries with your dad and not use your wife and your children as the excuse for setting the boundaries.  Make clear to your father that your wife and children are higher priorities for you than he is, and if your father attacks or denigrates them, defend them.

My ex-husband would complain to me about the things he did for and endured because of his late father (former FIL died three weeks ago), bu he kept doing the things and allowed his father to do and say things that contributed significantly to the destruction of our marriage. I get along okay with my ex, but I will never forgive him or his father or his siblings for allowing and encouraging my ex's neglect of me and our children. 

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GettingOOTF

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2019, 09:34:51 PM »
This is the part of dealing with our PD relatives that isnít really discussed - the toll it takes on our loved ones.

The energy you are putting into your father is energy you donít have to put in to your marriage and your relationship with your children. When you go home exhausted and frustrated it puts the burden on them. Children canít process complex emotions so automatically think they are the cause of any strife or unhappiness in the home.  It robs people of an active, engaged spouse and parent. These will be the memories your children carry with them of holidays growing up and how available their parents were to them. It will be how they learn to conduct their relationships as adults.  This is why healthy boundaries are so important for everyone in a family.  This is about so much more than your father.

Boundaries are hard. I left an abusive marriage. I realized that I had exactly recreated my parents marriage and had married a man exactly like my father. It took me years to see this. I am also NC with my very aggressive and volatile siblings and my father. I understand how frightening it is to set boundaries and how hard it is to enforce them but other people donít change. Especially after a lifetime of such behavior.  If you truly want to change the situation you have to change the way you handle it. There is simply no easy way. It will be hard but ultimately less draining in you, your wife and your children.

I do feel for you. I have been exactly where you are - asking the same thing over and over, laying things out in different ways hoping there was an easy solution. There isnít. You have to do the work. Itís so worth it though. Keep going!

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lkdrymom

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2019, 08:56:49 AM »
The problem with difficult relatives is that they don't realize they are being difficult.  And the rest of us are too polite or scared to enlighten them.

I can't imagine you saying to your father "Look Dad, you are too unpleasant to have around at Christmas.  You are demanding and self centered and ruin it for everyone else.  Why would we want to have you around???" 

I am still on the fence about having my father over at Thanksgiving.  He is not nasty....if he was that would make my decision real easy.  He is needy and requires a lot of attention.  I am hosting a party at my home and I don't have time for 40 bathroom runs.  Plus I don't want to see my father on the toilet or help with emptying his catheter bag. We were never close like that.  Last year I missed out on stockings at Christmas because he timed his bathroom run to just after I got him settled for that.  Then there is the whole have to transport the parent so you can't have a drink and you have to be away from the party to take them home.  Maybe that sounds petty but we aren't talking just one holiday.  We are talking all holidays for what could be decades.

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FromTheSwamp

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2019, 03:42:45 PM »
I don't tell my parents that I'm not going to spend Christmas with them.  That's telling them something they can't have and gets the toddler "but WHY" reaction.  Instead I tell them what I'm going to do.  "I'm going to spend a quiet Christmas this year, just me and the dogs."   It comes across as less of a rejection, but still lets them know and gives them time to make other plans if they are so inclined. 

There might be hurt feelings.  Sometimes I know there are, and sometimes they keep them to themselves.  Either way, that's not actually my problem.   Having children doesn't guarantee you a lifetime of having every Christmas with them, including in families where there is mutual love and respect. 

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illogical

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2019, 06:51:50 PM »
I don't tell my parents that I'm not going to spend Christmas with them.  That's telling them something they can't have and gets the toddler "but WHY" reaction.  Instead I tell them what I'm going to do.  "I'm going to spend a quiet Christmas this year, just me and the dogs."   It comes across as less of a rejection, but still lets them know and gives them time to make other plans if they are so inclined.

There might be hurt feelings.  Sometimes I know there are, and sometimes they keep them to themselves.  Either way, that's not actually my problem.  Having children doesn't guarantee you a lifetime of having every Christmas with them, including in families where there is mutual love and respect. 

Hi FromTheSwamp,

I think your response regarding Christmas with your parents is very good, providing they don't question it, and it seems that works for you.  In my case, if I had told NM what you told your parents, she would have still whined and carried on as to why I wasn't coming over Christmas, put on the "poor-pitiful-me-no-one-cares-about-me" act and maybe even shed a few crocodile tears.   :dramaqueen:

You are 100% correct in your statement that "having children doesn't guarantee you a lifetime of having every Christmas with them", but try telling a N that.  My NM felt ENTITLED to me spending every Christmas with her.  It was no small task finally waking up, going VLC, then NC.  She was never going to understand that I didn't want to spend Christmas with her.  She was never going to understand that she was a royal pain in the ass and I didn't want to spend Christmas with her. 

Unfortunately for me, I had stupidly accepted a large sum of money from NM and there were heavy chains attached.  She thought she had bought and paid for me and I owed her servitude.  This, of course, included me spending major holidays with her. 

To p123,

I know you probably feel a major obligation to your dad because he took you and your brother to raise, but as I said in a previous post, that was his job, his responsibility to raise you.  He was your father.

You don't owe him to spend Xmas with him.  You don't owe him to sacrifice your life on his altar.  Do what you can do, without compromising your integrity, your family, and let your father live his own life.  Refuse to be a part of his drama.  Refuse to REACT to what he does when he doesn't get his way.  It takes time and effort, but you can do this!  The reward is that you will reclaim your life and not get sucked into the black hole of his endless needs.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 06:53:27 PM by illogical »
"Applying logic to potentially illogical behaviour is to construct a house on shifting foundations.  The structure will inevitably collapse."

__Stewart Stafford

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FromTheSwamp

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2019, 10:22:22 PM »
Illogical,
Oh, my parents definitely questioned my not coming for Christmas.  So many tantrums.  That's why my explanations got shorter and shorter, until it became a bare statement of fact.  The less I give them to argue and complain about the better for me.  They can be unhappy about it.  That's up to them.  But I'm not going to feel guilty any more about not visiting people who don't actually want to see me and will do anything in their power to make me miserable.  I would love for it to be different, but there's nothing I personally can change about the situation except absent myself from it.  It took me years and years to reach that conclusion, and I dearly wish I got there sooner.  I spent so much time trying to contort myself into a version of myself that didn't make them angry.  It's just not possible. 

P123, your father and your brother try to convince you that if you don't bring your father to your home for Christmas, he has no choice but to sit there at home by himself, with nothing but a poorly heated up microwave dinner to cry into.  It's just not true.  He could arrange transportation to go somewhere, he could invite a friend over, he could make himself a nice meal and watch a Christmas movie (what I usually do). If he chooses not to do these things (which may include choosing not to bother doing the work of maintaining friendships), that's on him.  Let him live with his own choices.  I think it's kind to tell my parents in time for them to make other plans, but heck, I don't actually owe them a damned thing. 

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illogical

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2019, 09:59:20 AM »
Illogical,
Oh, my parents definitely questioned my not coming for Christmas.  So many tantrums.  That's why my explanations got shorter and shorter, until it became a bare statement of fact.  The less I give them to argue and complain about the better for me.  They can be unhappy about it.  That's up to them.  But I'm not going to feel guilty any more about not visiting people who don't actually want to see me and will do anything in their power to make me miserable.  I would love for it to be different, but there's nothing I personally can change about the situation except absent myself from it.  It took me years and years to reach that conclusion, and I dearly wish I got there sooner.  I spent so much time trying to contort myself into a version of myself that didn't make them angry.  It's just not possible. 

I totally get that!   :yes:
"Applying logic to potentially illogical behaviour is to construct a house on shifting foundations.  The structure will inevitably collapse."

__Stewart Stafford

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p123

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2019, 06:11:49 AM »
Illogical,
Oh, my parents definitely questioned my not coming for Christmas.  So many tantrums.  That's why my explanations got shorter and shorter, until it became a bare statement of fact.  The less I give them to argue and complain about the better for me.  They can be unhappy about it.  That's up to them.  But I'm not going to feel guilty any more about not visiting people who don't actually want to see me and will do anything in their power to make me miserable.  I would love for it to be different, but there's nothing I personally can change about the situation except absent myself from it.  It took me years and years to reach that conclusion, and I dearly wish I got there sooner.  I spent so much time trying to contort myself into a version of myself that didn't make them angry.  It's just not possible. 

P123, your father and your brother try to convince you that if you don't bring your father to your home for Christmas, he has no choice but to sit there at home by himself, with nothing but a poorly heated up microwave dinner to cry into.  It's just not true.  He could arrange transportation to go somewhere, he could invite a friend over, he could make himself a nice meal and watch a Christmas movie (what I usually do). If he chooses not to do these things (which may include choosing not to bother doing the work of maintaining friendships), that's on him.  Let him live with his own choices.  I think it's kind to tell my parents in time for them to make other plans, but heck, I don't actually owe them a damned thing.

Oh its so funny because hes got other family. In the past they've given me major grief over things.

His sister and cousin both lay low over xmas and do they're own thing. Can guarantee they'd look at me in disgust if Dad doesnt come to mine but they wont offer instead.

I've always thought as I've said, Dad hates it too. He comes to my house, theres kids running around and you can tell hes uncomfortable. Hes glad to go home. But he stays for hours. He says "oh no I cant rush off it'd be rude". I honestly, think he only comes because in his head "its the right thing to do".

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Kiki81

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2019, 01:38:54 AM »
*If* you have any responsibility for someone's Christmas ( or Easter, or Boxing Day, Fourth of July, etc. its your *wife.*

You married her, not your father.

I had the same type of insanity with my parents. I decided to choose my marriage instead of the sick toxic garbage my parents offer.

My husband means more to me than my mother or father.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 01:41:31 AM by Kiki81 »

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p123

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2019, 09:30:19 AM »
*If* you have any responsibility for someone's Christmas ( or Easter, or Boxing Day, Fourth of July, etc. its your *wife.*

You married her, not your father.

I had the same type of insanity with my parents. I decided to choose my marriage instead of the sick toxic garbage my parents offer.

My husband means more to me than my mother or father.

Or my kids I'd say as well....

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NumbLotus

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2019, 10:27:22 AM »
Your children's childhoods are finite. They get only so many - and it's really very few - Christmases as children.

What memories do you want them to have, looking back?
Every sailor knows that the sea
Is a friend made enemy
Every shipwrecked soul knows what it is
To live without intimacy

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p123

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2019, 11:33:36 AM »
Your children's childhoods are finite. They get only so many - and it's really very few - Christmases as children.

What memories do you want them to have, looking back?

With you on that one.... Dads comments (When he wants me to drop the kids for him) is "there'll be other xmases". Nice one.

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NumbLotus

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2019, 12:14:05 PM »
Your children's childhoods are finite. They get only so many - and it's really very few - Christmases as children.

What memories do you want them to have, looking back?

With you on that one.... Dads comments (When he wants me to drop the kids for him) is "there'll be other xmases". Nice one.

Your dad had his childhood, for better or for worse. You can't fill whatever needs he has. It's not your fault. It's not your responsibility.

You do, however, have responsibility for your children.

It would be nice to have a nice holiday for everybody, your father included. But it cannot happen. You would not share your family's Christmas with the wino yelling on the corner, even if you feel bad for him, because it would greatly disturb and intrude on your family, and it won't even help the wino.

Your father is beyond help. Your children aren't. Put them first.

I say this as someone also facing that I need to grow a spine for my daughter.
Every sailor knows that the sea
Is a friend made enemy
Every shipwrecked soul knows what it is
To live without intimacy

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Problem with elderly father
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2019, 08:13:11 PM »
My former father-in-law told my ex-husband (his permanent, 24/7 caregiver) a few years ago that it was okay for ex to spend all his time with former FIL because former FIL would die in a few years and then ex could spend time with our children again.  I have two thoughts about this.  1) It's a mean and selfish thing to say whether or not it turns out to be true. 2) So far, it isn't true.  Former FIL died this autumn, and ex's life continues to be totally consumed by caring for his mom. 

Our children have tried to be very supportive of ex.  They went to their grandfather's funeral; one of them had to cancel a trip out of the country to go to the funeral. Only one of their six cousins went to the funeral. Our children said to me, "We need to help Dad." I agreed.  But he's ghosting us again.