Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Parental Love

Hi guys, seeing as we are all talking about "Love" at the moment, thought I would share some stuff that is happening in my life. Specifically my relationship with my father. There are many different kids of love, love we have for our friends, parents, siblings, children, lover, boy/girlfriend, spouse etc..., but surely the most significant, and most necessary of all, is the love our parents have for us (and also the love we have for our own children)

Over three years ago, my marriage broke down and my wife left. She didn't just leave, I wanted her to go and she did. I was left with the kids as she was not able to take care of them as she generally had difficulty coping with stuff. Anyway, as time went by, she got her act together and we came to a 50/50 arrangement for the kids. A bit awkward for me with work and all but I really value my time with them and wasn't going to be just a weekend dad.

Over the past year or so, things have gotten quite difficult, she wants more money (I don't have anymore to give her), she wants me to just be a weekend dad (no way!), is starting court proceedings again and generally being very difficult.

My Dad is the kind of person who likes to help out and seems to need to be needed, my ex is the type who likes to ask for help a lot. Seemingly as a result of this my Dad would spend time helping her out with the kids. But not just that, the only times he would ever see the kids was at her place or picking them up from school to bring them to her. He would extremely rarely come down here in the evening to visit them. I used to invite my family down for Sunday dinner every few weeks and then I might have Sunday dinner in my Dad's place every so often and that was another way he would get to see the kids. For various reasons I invited my family down much less often and the situation arose where the only times my boys say my Dad was with their mum.

So recently I found myself in the somewhat confusing situation where I have this antagonistic and hostile ex, yet my Dad has no interest in interacting with me to see my boys. Whatever happened to a bit of family loyalty? I don't want my family to hate her or shun her or anything like that, but what about me? Am I just a silly child looking for attention?

Today I challenged my Dad on the fact that he was prepared to take my ex and the boys on a holiday to my grandaunt's farm in the North. (A bit of background info might be helpful here: I am not welcome there as I refuse to keep my marital separation a secret! Yes, I know, great old catholic Ireland still alive and well in some places). I tried to explain that that just wasn't on and at one point stated that he was either my father or her father. It wasn't long before my Dad quickly stated that he had enough shite in his life and that he didn't want to have anything to do with me anymore and to never call again! Can you believe that?


  1. I'm so sorry to hear that PM. I don't really know what to say, it seems a bit messed up alright. I'm hoping you find an outcome...

  2. Without getting into my own situation too much, I can definitely say that I can very easily believe that, PM.

    At 26 years of age, my mother still has far too much influence on my moods. I would rather not have her in my life at all. My thoughts on this: you can't choose your family. It's very sad and very true.

    You, however, are being pushed away by your dad, which is very tough. I've seen so much cruelty from parents to their children (I'm not just referring to physical abuse on children - but to the mental and emotional scars they leave).

    It's always awful (and I don't believe you ever recover from it) when the day comes and you realise a parent just isn't on your side. I found this out very early and yet I still persevere and try to gain approval.

    Have I advice? I don't know - nothing's worked for me, but perhaps you could try talk to him again and try to make him understand your point of view on this. I don't know your ex and I'm sorry if I cross a line here, but perhaps she is telling him some things that might turn him against you - that might be worth finding out.

    Best of luck, Sir, and keep us informed.

  3. as I was reading your post I had the same thought as Darren , girl's , women can be coniving and sly and is putting herself across as hard done by. However I have to say my kid's mean the world to me and I would hope that no matter what I would be there for them . Keep trying to talk to him .

    I know what Darren means about alway' s trying to please a parent my mother is eighty eight and I am fifty eight but I still try and I sometimes feel like crying .

  4. Plas - ever breaking things down in to the binary, it looks to me like your dad has picked the sham marriage your ex will offer over the reality you do & is willing to let you go for it. As a consequence, you have a choice of keeping up a show of marriage to get on with your dad, or live without the sham and without your dad.

  5. I've chosen to live without my father - I see him occasionally when I vist my granny, but apart from that we have no contact.

    It's hard, especially having kids. HAving lost my mother I know just waht you mean about wanting that bit of support, that feeling of being looked after a little! Yet there are many more people for whom the role is reversed, and they're the ones who support their parents. I'm sure my fahter is well aware of that.

    In the end, for me, the loss of family makes up for the anxiety and stress interacting with him causes. And obviously for him too. He stated that 'grandchildren were an irrelevance to him as I'm such a disappointment to him'. That really told me a lot about how to make my choice.

    I think you need to weigh up the balance between the need to have a dad, and the pain dealing with him causes you and your kids. Just because we'e born into afamily doesn't mean we're going to be good for eachother. It sounds like he's made his position pretty clear.

  6. Jaysus, I have no idea what to say, but I do think he is spending a hell of a lot of time with her, and from what I can gather from your post, I would agree that maybe she is blackening your name.

    Obviously as your kids grandfather, he is doing the best for them, but to go against his own blood is beyond me!

    I too hope that something can be worked out in this situation.

    Also hey Annie nice to have you commenting.

  7. As my friends keep saying to me this is such a 21st century situation. I prefer to think of us all as being in a big Woody Allen movie. However...

    I can't begin to believe the stresses you're under every day PM, I really can't. Even though we are in ostensibly similar situations they're really worlds apart.

    I've had more than my fair share of run ins over the years with my father. We were never emotionally close, he just came from a generation of Irish fathers who didn't express their love that way. We right out barnied a couple of times a year, leading even on two seperate occasions to him not speaking to me for months on end. But the sort of attitude he's giving to you at the moment? No. He shouldn't be choosing anyone's side over yours, particularly when there are kids in the middle.

    You can't choose your family is sometimes sadly true. Usually this means you get on with it even when there is conflict and they are always behind you in the end, but often this isn't the case. I think Milan may have hit this on the nose.

    If he's anything like mine he probably means it at the moment but he'll get over it, particularly if he realises how it's hurting his grandkids, which it will, in time.

    Best of luck with it all.

  8. Hi Guys, Thanks for all the support, it really means a lot, especially the stories that some of you have shared with me. Helps me realise that I am not alone.

  9. Now it gets uber Woody Allen alright, my ex husband commenting on my boyfriends post.....hmm, ex's who all get along? We are through the looking glass here people!

    All of the advice ans storeis shared here have been fantastic, and I hope they have helped you sweetie?

    As your (lovely) girlfriend I have the inside track, to a certain extent anyway, I know how hard standing up to your dad was, I am so proud of you, cos it takes a lot of self belief (as shown by the other commentors in their own situations) to stand up to a negative influence in your life.

    I have no advice, the Goddess knows we have spent long hours discussing it, getting no where. But he prefers the sham, you and I are dating 7 months? He met me once, grunted once and that was it, he doesn't even refer to me by name, so I'm like a mistress, even though neither of us are doing anything wrong! I don't think there is much hope really.

    But you, you need to work on you, work on loving and appreciating you, look at how fantastic you are, and if you can do that his approval won't be necessary?