Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....

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p123

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Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« on: April 26, 2021, 07:30:41 AM »
Dad is 86. Lives alone. Pretty good for age. No real needs.

FM brother is a nightmare. Constantly trying to get me on the "rota". He lives a mile away has no kids (that he sees). I've got a teen with aspergers and a 7 year old and I live 30 mins drive away. His availability is different to mine.

Wife is a nurse. (She has fibromyalgia too). I work as an IT consultant do on call 24/7. Hectic life is not the half of it.

Wife a year ago took a new job working 7 out of 8 weekend days. No problem. It was easier for childcare since, apart from on call, I dont work weekends. Also, because of her illness, this was an office based job - she was struggling as a community nurse.

So I told Dad weekends were out and I'd visit in the weekday evenings. Part of the deal was he is completely disinterested in my kids (his grandchildren) so it was unfair to drag my 7 year old there and be ignored.

Neither him or my brother liked that. Brother tried to do a "rota" but I refused. All got nasty and I've blocked brother. Also, caught Dad out talking about me behind my back - he denies it but Im 90% sure.

BUT he still won't give up on this weekend thing. I've forever hearing stories of how brother is away for the weekend  and I'll have to come over to "look after him". Its crazy. He knows my situation.

I called his bluff last week and said "OK but I'll have to bring both my kids". His reply - "Oh no don't bring the kids". Are you serious? Hes not see either of them for well over a year. What on earth does he expect me to do with them?

Its as if, in his head, hes the most important, and I've got move heaven and earth to sort something out. Crazy

At the moment, wife doesnt work as many weekends. But I'm loathe to give in because it'll open the floodgates and next thing I know there'll be the rota.
To be honest, I wasn't sure what to do but the comment about me not bring the kids I think has decided it for me.

Or am I being mean here?

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Happypants

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2021, 09:19:40 AM »
To be honest, i wholeheartedly agree with your 2nd last sentence.  I personally think thatís more than enough justification (if you really need it) to say no.  Heís asking you to prioritise him over your own kids - thereís an opportunity there to shut his ďrequestĒ down.

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moglow

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2021, 09:40:57 AM »
Seriously?? Take your kids -his grandchildren!- or you don't go. Period. That he'd say that would decide for me. No discussion. No endless rumination or listening to it, no making excuses. No. You're not available. Find some boundaries and stop having that endless conversation. Shut it down.

It doesn't matter whether your brother or his wife are available or who lives closer or anything else. Your children aren't wanted there?? Fine. Neither are you. Make your obligatory phone call whenever you feel necessary and call it a day.
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Sneezy

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2021, 01:13:34 PM »
I suspect that you could visit your father every weekend, without your kids, and cater to his every whim, and he would still find something to complain about.  And your brother would still say that you aren't doing enough.  Your dad and your brother sound like a black hole of need.  There's no filling it up.  So set your boundaries, stick to them, and ignore all the rest.  You are not being inflexible at all, you're being practical.  Which needy people do not like.

Also, I had to look up "rota."  Now I have to start using that word, I like it  :)

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2021, 06:46:30 PM »
I suspect that you could visit your father every weekend, without your kids, and cater to his every whim, and he would still find something to complain about.  And your brother would still say that you aren't doing enough.

DING! DING! DING! We have a winner.

To answer your question: no, I don't think you're being unfair. In fact, it sounds to me like you are being a responsible adult and doing everything you can to meet the needs of yourself, your wife, and your children.

You've offered to meet them halfway by visiting when it's convenient for you - that's not good enough. You've now offered to meet their demands wholesale by visiting on a weekend - and that's somehow not good enough either now.

It sounds like the issue here is that you want to be seen as "fair" in their eyes. And I don't think that's possible given the fact that anytime you prioritize your legitimate adult responsibilities, they act as if you're being selfish. Par for the course with PDs, in my experience. There's no amount of JADEing that is going to change their mind.

The funny thing is, your dad has given you an out, really. You've said, "OK, I'll visit on the weekend, but that means I have to bring the kids." He says, "No, don't bring the kids." So respect his boundary and don't go. He's an adult who has said "No." In my book that means the discussion is closed.

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Boat Babe

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2021, 06:38:20 AM »
Don't burn yourself out catering for the unreasonable WANTS of your father. They are not NEEDS so let them go

You are not being unreasonable. At all.
It gets better. It has to.

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blues_cruise

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2021, 09:23:27 AM »
Nope, you're not being mean. You can't leave your kids on their own and he doesn't want you to visit with them, so it's the end of discussion. His only real 'need' here is his desire for control, which is plain toxic. I think having no interest in or wanting to see your children is the real mean thing here.

Dad is 86. Lives alone. Pretty good for age. No real needs.

These are the facts, right here. Concentrate on this. It sounds like he's perfectly capable of spending a weekend on his own. You deserve your own autonomy and to spend your weekends however you like, particularly given your already busy life. He's not exactly giving you any reason to want to see him either, which is entirely on him. He can't treat you like his personal lackey and expect you to just come running every time he clicks his fingers, it's ridiculous.
"You are not what has happened to you. You are what you choose to become." - Carl Gustav Jung

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Leonor

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2021, 10:20:42 AM »
Hey P,

If your father and brother had a smidgen of human decency they'd be offering to look after your family rather than demanding you go take care of them.

Your dad isn't your family. Your brother isn't your family. Your dad is your parent and your brother is his other son. Your family is your wife and two children. You're a good father.

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p123

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2021, 03:49:48 PM »
I suspect that you could visit your father every weekend, without your kids, and cater to his every whim, and he would still find something to complain about.  And your brother would still say that you aren't doing enough.  Your dad and your brother sound like a black hole of need.  There's no filling it up.  So set your boundaries, stick to them, and ignore all the rest.  You are not being inflexible at all, you're being practical.  Which needy people do not like.

Also, I had to look up "rota."  Now I have to start using that word, I like it  :)

Oh yes they'd never be happy.....

Assume you're in the US, what word do you use there instead of rota? would you use schedule or roster?

Thats the US and UK for you. Two countries divided by a common language lol.

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p123

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2021, 04:01:54 PM »
Yes Dad has always been strange with the kids. Never really interested.

He thinks of them pretty much as a drain on my resources taking my time away from him. When we told him my wife was pregnant with our youngest he was pretty annoyed you could tell. Wife doesnt speak to my Dad any more and I can't blame her.

I can't understand either why you wouldn't want to see your grandkids?

In his head, he thinks he needs someone there. He doesn't. He likes to have someone there or I should say he likes the feeling of knowing he can make someone visit him. He does not NEED someone there over the weekend at all.

To be honest, he looks at it as my duty. Its a case of sort your own issues out but don't let it affect your visits to me.
It got bad a few years ago, I'd be divorced now if I hadn't stopped a bit - it got that bad. I'm not great now but getting there.

I used to take my daughter with me. He'd ignore her completely. As she got older she noticed these things, and visits were boring for her sat in the corner being ignored, so I made the decision to stop taking her. Not once in the last 18 months plus has he asked to see his grandkids......

His attitude to children is strange. Brother has kids from previous relationships that don't live with him. He doesn't see them pretty much. Dad likes that. He hates that brother has to pay child maintenance because "these women have babies then want money from the father". Very very strange is my Dad. I remember when there was an issue with one of his ex-partners and social services wanted him to take temporary custody. He refused (egged on by Dad) and told her to put the little girl into care. (in the end it didnt happen luckily)

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Boat Babe

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2021, 04:19:03 PM »
P123, your dad sound like a frigging nightmare. A deeply unpleasant man who doesn't like his own grandchildren, is contemptuous of women and treats you like dirt.  And he keeps trying to yank your chain at the expense if you marriage, family life and personal well being.

If he wasn't your father, how would you feel about him?
It gets better. It has to.

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Sneezy

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2021, 09:42:03 PM »
Thats the US and UK for you. Two countries divided by a common language lol.
:cheers:

Hmmm, I guess I would use "chore list" or "chore schedule."  Or if I'm assigning chores to DH, then it's his "honey do list."   :)

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nanotech

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2021, 08:55:33 PM »
I simply agree with everyone else. Dad and brother are being unreasonable, over-demanding and histrionic.
The day you see this, I mean REALLY see it, that day will be your freedom day.
You wonít need any more reassurance or validation from others, that you arenít been mean or unreasonable.
After that,  nothing they can say or do will have any effect on you.
Itís like a spell breaking, itís amazing and itís wonderful.

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p123

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2021, 06:43:57 AM »
P123, your dad sound like a frigging nightmare. A deeply unpleasant man who doesn't like his own grandchildren, is contemptuous of women and treats you like dirt.  And he keeps trying to yank your chain at the expense if you marriage, family life and personal well being.

If he wasn't your father, how would you feel about him?

Oh yes spot on.... If he wasnt my father I'd have nothing to do with him....

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p123

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2021, 06:54:49 AM »
I simply agree with everyone else. Dad and brother are being unreasonable, over-demanding and histrionic.
The day you see this, I mean REALLY see it, that day will be your freedom day.
You wonít need any more reassurance or validation from others, that you arenít been mean or unreasonable.
After that,  nothing they can say or do will have any effect on you.
Itís like a spell breaking, itís amazing and itís wonderful.

Know what you mean im getting there. I just dont like having to play these games...

This week was a classic. Dad gave me the old sob story, brother wifes parents were both in hospital, she was working two jobs at minimum wage and WAS so depressed. Brother was taking her away for the weekend to cheer up but he'd be "ALL ALONE!" all weekend and NEEDED someone to help me. Heard it before 100 times to be honest.

We've all got our crosses to bear. Not being cruel but how brothers wife deals is not my problem. When I was talking to brother years ago I said the same - fair enough, shes got other commitments, you don't need to justify to me or Dad - just tell Dad you're too busy. Also, in the past, both of them have been caught out making up these sob stories as well.

The "poor working class" thing REALLY gets my goat. We're all from the same background. My wife was brought up on a council estate too (not sure what its called in the US - social housing). Difference now, wife and I are college educated, brother and his wife have a total of ZERO qualifications. Don't come to me saying its hard work and pay is the poor and imply I've got it easy (which they do all the time!)

Anyway, back to this. Of course, this was all leading up to "Can you try to visit sunday?" which in Dad- words means "Drop the kids, put me first".
So last night I said "nope not visiting the weekend, looking after the kids".

"Oh its ok we got it wrong, you're brother in away mon-fri not fri-sun".

Very clever. Now one of them I know has tried it on again. Could be brother he tries all ways to get me to visit at the weekend... Or it could be Dad off his own back this time - hes got an issue at the moment I wont visit weekends.

Oh and he didnt waste the opportunity "Oh if you're busy this weekend you must be ok to visit me on sunday weekend after?"

It just wears me down all the time...

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nanotech

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2021, 09:52:03 PM »
I simply agree with everyone else. Dad and brother are being unreasonable, over-demanding and histrionic.
The day you see this, I mean REALLY see it, that day will be your freedom day.
You wonít need any more reassurance or validation from others, that you arenít been mean or unreasonable.
After that,  nothing they can say or do will have any effect on you.
Itís like a spell breaking, itís amazing and itís wonderful.

Know what you mean im getting there. I just dont like having to play these games...

This week was a classic. Dad gave me the old sob story, brother wifes parents were both in hospital, she was working two jobs at minimum wage and WAS so depressed. Brother was taking her away for the weekend to cheer up but he'd be "ALL ALONE!" all weekend and NEEDED someone to help me. Heard it before 100 times to be honest.

We've all got our crosses to bear. Not being cruel but how brothers wife deals is not my problem. When I was talking to brother years ago I said the same - fair enough, shes got other commitments, you don't need to justify to me or Dad - just tell Dad you're too busy. Also, in the past, both of them have been caught out making up these sob stories as well.

The "poor working class" thing REALLY gets my goat. We're all from the same background. My wife was brought up on a council estate too (not sure what its called in the US - social housing). Difference now, wife and I are college educated, brother and his wife have a total of ZERO qualifications. Don't come to me saying its hard work and pay is the poor and imply I've got it easy (which they do all the time!)

Anyway, back to this. Of course, this was all leading up to "Can you try to visit sunday?" which in Dad- words means "Drop the kids, put me first".
So last night I said "nope not visiting the weekend, looking after the kids".

"Oh its ok we got it wrong, you're brother in away mon-fri not fri-sun".

Very clever. Now one of them I know has tried it on again. Could be brother he tries all ways to get me to visit at the weekend... Or it could be Dad off his own back this time - hes got an issue at the moment I wont visit weekends.

Oh and he didnt waste the opportunity "Oh if you're busy this weekend you must be ok to visit me on sunday weekend after?"

It just wears me down all the time...
Okay- the sudden date change is interesting!  My Dad has tried to pull this one on me too. Wanting me to drive him 30 miles to a hospital appointment on my birthday. As soon as I said no, the date had suddenly and inexplicably changed. This was because his quest to get my undivided attention and make my birthday all about him had failed. So now no point going on that day, and if he changed it he may still be able to hook me in for some him-time on that day.
Our birthdays are all about them.

 This -  Ď You must be available the following weekendí - is dripping  with entitlement, and layers on obligation and guilt.

Ignore it all and tell him you have plans.
 
 Thereís no obligation to elaborate on the plans.
Hereís the thing- Iíve got grown up kids and I love seeing them. But to force them to come see me out of obligation- well it sort of defeats the object. Iíd really hate them to feel resentful and annoyed. Iíd rather they came when they wanted to.
Your dad is so demanding and difficult  that he never lets you get to the point where you actually may miss him, and begin to FEEL LIKE seeing him.
This is where PDs really show their colours.  And they donít seem to mind that their incessant words and actions demanding more and more of us, harm us emotionally.

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Boat Babe

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2021, 07:08:55 AM »
 :yeahthat:
It gets better. It has to.

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p123

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2021, 07:29:11 AM »
I simply agree with everyone else. Dad and brother are being unreasonable, over-demanding and histrionic.
The day you see this, I mean REALLY see it, that day will be your freedom day.
You wonít need any more reassurance or validation from others, that you arenít been mean or unreasonable.
After that,  nothing they can say or do will have any effect on you.
Itís like a spell breaking, itís amazing and itís wonderful.

Know what you mean im getting there. I just dont like having to play these games...

This week was a classic. Dad gave me the old sob story, brother wifes parents were both in hospital, she was working two jobs at minimum wage and WAS so depressed. Brother was taking her away for the weekend to cheer up but he'd be "ALL ALONE!" all weekend and NEEDED someone to help me. Heard it before 100 times to be honest.

We've all got our crosses to bear. Not being cruel but how brothers wife deals is not my problem. When I was talking to brother years ago I said the same - fair enough, shes got other commitments, you don't need to justify to me or Dad - just tell Dad you're too busy. Also, in the past, both of them have been caught out making up these sob stories as well.

The "poor working class" thing REALLY gets my goat. We're all from the same background. My wife was brought up on a council estate too (not sure what its called in the US - social housing). Difference now, wife and I are college educated, brother and his wife have a total of ZERO qualifications. Don't come to me saying its hard work and pay is the poor and imply I've got it easy (which they do all the time!)

Anyway, back to this. Of course, this was all leading up to "Can you try to visit sunday?" which in Dad- words means "Drop the kids, put me first".
So last night I said "nope not visiting the weekend, looking after the kids".

"Oh its ok we got it wrong, you're brother in away mon-fri not fri-sun".

Very clever. Now one of them I know has tried it on again. Could be brother he tries all ways to get me to visit at the weekend... Or it could be Dad off his own back this time - hes got an issue at the moment I wont visit weekends.

Oh and he didnt waste the opportunity "Oh if you're busy this weekend you must be ok to visit me on sunday weekend after?"

It just wears me down all the time...
Okay- the sudden date change is interesting!  My Dad has tried to pull this one on me too. Wanting me to drive him 30 miles to a hospital appointment on my birthday. As soon as I said no, the date had suddenly and inexplicably changed. This was because his quest to get my undivided attention and make my birthday all about him had failed. So now no point going on that day, and if he changed it he may still be able to hook me in for some him-time on that day.
Our birthdays are all about them.

 This -  Ď You must be available the following weekendí - is dripping  with entitlement, and layers on obligation and guilt.

Ignore it all and tell him you have plans.
 
 Thereís no obligation to elaborate on the plans.
Hereís the thing- Iíve got grown up kids and I love seeing them. But to force them to come see me out of obligation- well it sort of defeats the object. Iíd really hate them to feel resentful and annoyed. Iíd rather they came when they wanted to.
Your dad is so demanding and difficult  that he never lets you get to the point where you actually may miss him, and begin to FEEL LIKE seeing him.
This is where PDs really show their colours.  And they donít seem to mind that their incessant words and actions demanding more and more of us, harm us emotionally.

Does this all the time with dates....

Usually its brother. "I'm doing this the weekend" so you'll have to visit Dad. This time though, Dad has been going on recently about "you always used to visit sundays, I wish you would" so I'm wondering if he took the initiative this time to be honest.....

I've begun to realise the last few months that Dad can be very manipulative at times and I've caught him a few times in bare faced lies.....

Hes clever, he probes to try and get his way. He tried this - didnt work. He backs off right away before an argument can start. Then he'll use it to try and find another opening. In this case, you're busy this weekend but that means you're probably not next weekend then. And of course, with the date "change", its "oh well you'll definitely have to come in the week then since you're brothers away".

Wouldnt surprise me 100% if there was no trip away at all and its all made up. That happened before. I remember once taking Dad out to the local park, and as we walked back to the car, brother came out of a restaurant. But dad believed his "12 hour shift got cancelled" yeh right.

No you're right Dad does care. I feel I mourned for the loss of my Dad years ago to be honest. All thats left is a selfish manipulative old man.
You're right - I dont want to visit him at all to be honest. Its an hour of this to be honest.


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lightworld

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2021, 10:31:54 AM »
P123 your posts ful! of frustration about your father always remind me of that overwhelming and stifling feeling of never being able to do enough, trying to and then your efforts not being recognised or acknowledged and instead criticised. It really makes you wonder what being enough means, being with them 24/7? I don't think so.  At it's worst with my parents it got to the stage of them asking "when are you coming to visit?" just days after I had driven 300 miles round trip to see them. There is no logic, Ns are not rational they are purely about self, you are an object to them but they need to know that you are available at all times for some unknown reason. As you've found, trying to reason with a PD is crazy making, they use manipulation and lies to get their way and always will so you have to take care of yourself regardless of how they feel about that. You and your family are your priority and it's so worth fighting for that.

From what you've said I can see that you are doing your best for F but you quite rightly want to have a life of your own and enjoy it with your family without all the manipulation and lies from F and B so no you are not being mean or unfair at all.

My parents also took no interest in their grandkids, including GC brother's children and really resented it when I brought them to visit when they were young. Since they've grown up,  none of their grandchildren have anything to do with them, their loss. It took me a long time but eventually I hung onto the truth that my kids and DH are my priority and so I set boundaries accordingly.  This is how I now think of my own children and grandchildren, I'm delighted to see them but they have their own lives and I have mine. I believe this is the normal pattern of behaviour for grandparents.
An empathic, highly sensitive, caring, loving, naÔve, emotional and vulnerable child is a prime target for a narcissistic parent
Clare Lane

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p123

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Re: Am I being unfair? Being inflexible about weekends....
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2021, 08:32:28 AM »
I know a lot of the problem is ME. Lay boundaries and walk away.....
I'm still at the stage of letting it get to me.

Last nights visit really tried my patience. He badgered me about why I was early and I admitted I was meeting a friend later who I hadn't seen for ages.

Cue a 20 minute lecture about how I shouldn't take the car. How drink driving is wrong etc etc. And, best of all, how I could be tempted to drink and lose my licence. This is about the 20th time we've had this. I'm 53 years old and quite capable of understanding the laws, and being able not to drink when I drive. In the end, he would not leave it go. He was badgering me to say I'd drop the car home, in the end I told him to mind his own business and drop it.........

Final straw (and I walked out the door) - "So how come you've got time to meet you're friend when you're telling me you're busy".
That was it - no more for me yesterday. How dare he think all my free time is allocated to him?