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Old 11-06-2001, 08:44 PM   #1
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equivocated HB User
I don't know if this is the proper board for this...

...but I'm not sure where else to post.

If anyone would like to give me non-physical health related advice, please read below.

Alright, to make a long(er) story short, as of 19 months ago, my mom and my step dad seperated because he claimed he didn't love her anymore, and had been cheating on her with a 19 year old for a year.

Now, my mom and step dad had been together for 15 years, and I'm 17, so you can see why I had always considered him as my real Dad since I never really had much contact with my biological father.

When he seperated with my mom, he was a mess. He even wanted to commit suicide. Now that he claims he has his "life back on track", and still does not love my mom, nor is getting back into our imediate family... he called me tonight.
He asked me if I wanted to go to dinner. I was shocked, because I've barely spoken to him for 19 months, since I was angry at him for what he had done.

Although I'm not angry anymore, I feel as though I cannot pursue a relationship with him because of the time that has gone by, and I've already healed.

Is it unfair of him to ask me to dinner? Should I go?
I asked two people for advice. My older sister, who said that I should ABSOLUTELY not go, because of how he treated us. And my mother, who says that I should give him another chance because of the hard time he's gone through. I also asked my boyfriend, who says that my most valid opinion is my sister's, since it is the opinion who would be closest to mine.

If I don't go, what should I say to him? Because if I do go, he's just going to break my heart.

My sister said to say VERY bluntly that I don't want any part of him... I feel that I should break it to him nicely. (if I don't go).

I'm SOOO confused. If anyone has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated. He's calling me TOMORROW night!

Sigh...

(p.s. sorry for the disorganization, I'm just flustered)

(p.p.s. if it's any consolation, I'm a 17 year old girl who is moving out in next fall anyway...)

 
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Old 11-06-2001, 09:59 PM   #2
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whitewolf95 HB User
Re: I don't know if this is the proper board for this...

You know at the rate we are going we might as well swap emails since it seems we talk so much on here.
I can help you in a round about way with this one.
My mother lost custody of my brother and I when I was 11 yrs old and that was the last time I saw or heard from her. She lost because the jugde found out I had made plans to run away if my mother was granted custody of us. We had a great lawyer who arranged for him to get the info. Anyway the reason being is my step-father hated my brother nad I and abused us both mentally and physically. Well my mother had several kids with him...eight to be exact. Ok enough background info
In March of 2000 my uncle called me to tell me my half sister had just talked to him and that they wanted to get intouch with me. I was in a state of shock and with much pushing from hubby I called this girl. I was nine the last time I saw any of my siblings(my mother and step-father were the only ones to show for court). We talked several times in which they kept trying to push for a family thing with them and to met with their mother. Yeah she is my mother but I can barely admit to that. Anyway after about 10 months of emails and such they started accusing me of making stuff up aobut their mother. I still hadnt agreed to meeting with them or their mother. That I am thankful for because come to find out they only wanted to try to convince me none of the abuse happened. That their mother nad father are saints and that we should all be one happy family.
Basically what I am saying is your sister has the right idea. I went through 10 months of BS because my hubby wanted me to give them a second chance. I had my life together and living very happily until they tried to enter it(after 14 yrs of not hearing a thing fromany of them). I know my hubby meant well,he just didnt realize how twisted those people were.
Anyway you have to do with is right for you.
As for how to tell him. That can be hard...you can simply tell him you dont have time. Or you can tell him now is not a good time for you. Itis endless what you can say. He will probably be hurt no matter how nicely you may put it but he is an adult and has to learn to deal with it. He has to realize he caused a lot of pain and that even 19 months may not be enough time to heal. I know with me I can honestly say I am still healing. I think I will always be in some state of healing or another.
Good lucka nd Ihope things workout for the best for you.

 
Old 11-07-2001, 09:34 AM   #3
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MelanieB HB User
Re: I don't know if this is the proper board for this...

Has your father ever abused you or anyone, physically, verbally, emotionally? That would be a reason not to go.

Honestly, knowing nothing else but what you've written, I think you should go. If there are other considerations or reasons that you didn't write, then maybe I wouldn't say that, but based solely on what you wrote, I do think that you should go.

When someone stops loving someone else... like your stepdad stopped loving your mom, what are they supposed to do???? Would you rather that he stuck with you and was miserable? And you know, if he's miserable, it does show and it does effect everyone else in the family. It would not have been a healthy situation. It would have made your mom miserable too, and in the end perhaps it would have been her saying she's no longer in love either.

Now the cheating is just plain stupid of him. But to me, it sounds like he had stopped loving your mom long ago and was trying to stick around anyway. Sticking around in a relationship you don't want to be in is extremely difficult, and perhaps the cheating was either a way out, like an excuse - it's easier if your mom finds out and dumps him, because then he doesn't have to admit he no longer loves her. This is a subconcious thing too. He probably didn't sit down and plan to cheat as an excuse. He just didn't stop it from happening, which he would have done had he still loved your mom.

And I'd also like to say that when one person stops loving the other person, it's usually a combination of how both people feel and act that leads to it. If your mom and stepdad were having problems, arguing, etc, and not properly dealing with it (by talking it out, never going to bed or leaving the room mad, being open, honest, etc) then that unhealthiness in a relationship can lead to one person falling OUT of love. It's happened to me, but I was the one the fell out of love first. So maybe that's why I can see your stepdad's situation. But with me, I broke off the relationship before any cheating or lying went on. That is something that your stepdad didn't do, which is probably because after being with someone for so long it gets harder and harder to admit that you're no longer in love. With me it was only three years, and as hard as it was it was most likely easier than what your stepdad had to do.

So while I don't think your mom should have anything to do with him, if he is your father (maybe not biologically but in all aspects) then maybe having dinner with him isn't such a bad idea. He obviously loves you and wants to make it up to you and have a relationship with you. And he's not even your biological father - he doesn't have any real obligation to do this. I would just go to this one dinner, with no commitment for a second dinner. Maybe he wants to apologize to you. If you don't like how it goes or don't think he's genuine, then let him down easy at dinner. Tell him then that you don't think it's in your best interest to maintain a relationship with him.

But at least go and tell him in person. He's really trying to reach out to you. I'd say give him a wee little chance.

Good luck.
Melanie

 
Old 11-07-2001, 02:48 PM   #4
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DivineO HB User
Re: I don't know if this is the proper board for this...

You call him your stepdad, when in your own words he's your 'real Dad'. Forget the labels, this man is your dad, who has loved you and raised you, and been there for you, for as long as you can remember.

Sounds as if he's gone through a classic midlife crisis-19 year old girl and all. It's something that happens to men when they reach a certain age. They suddenly realize they are getting old, that life has 'passed them by', and they want to feel young, find themselves, etc. Then once the novelty has passed, they have to patch things up with their families. It's a part of life.

Not a happy part of life, but one that is increasingly common. Most marriages end in divorce. And the children are usually on the side of the mother in cases such as yours. Usually angry and hostile and hurt, not necessarily understanding that problems in a marriage are not related to them.

Think about the future without your dad. Imagine your wedding day. You joyous in your white gown, your fiance waiting at the altar. Will you wish he was there to walk you down the aisle?

You are in the hospital, your first child in your arms. Will you wish your dad was there to see his grandchild?

Somewhere a will is read, a bequest is left. You didn't even know he had died. Will you wish that you'd been there to say good-bye?

It's your time to go, you list your regrets. Will you wish that you had not rejected your dad all those years ago?

Now, it's up to you. Your dad's been an idiot, and he's trying to recover something that he's lost that is valuable to him, his daughter. Will you forgive him or will you reject his overture at repairing your relationship?

 
Old 11-07-2001, 04:26 PM   #5
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equivocated HB User
Re: I don't know if this is the proper board for this...

An answer to Melanie's question.

Yes he has abused us emotionally and mentally; never physically, though.
Although I was close with him as a child, I also lived in fear of him. His moods varied frequently to excessively happy to the point where my sister and I used to hide from him.

Also, he is 10 years younger than my mom, (he's 34) so I'm not sure if I can think of that as a midlife crisis, since he is still quite young. And I have plenty of uncles who are that age with children, and love their wives deeply. It's sad to think that men would go through that...that's a huge generalization. I hope I don't marry a man like that.

A part of me wants to go out with him, but an even bigger part is advising against it, because of all the ups and down he has brought upon us. He even shunned my brother (his real son) for QUITE a while during the entire thing... and my brother is only 10. (8.5 at the time... and questioned frequently whether or not he still had a dad)
Although he has pursued a better relationship with my brother lately, I don't see how any father can do that to their child at any time in their life, for any excuse.
And if my brother and him have a date, and he's late to pick him up, (even by a few minutes)... my brother gets very nervous.
(he's mostly ALWAYS late)

Maybe I should just talk to him for a while first, on the phone or internet, and see how things go from there... so I will give him a wee chance.

I'm still just a little skeptical, though. I really don't want to be hurt again. And if he hurts me, that will only hurt my mom more. I really want to avoid that.

 
Old 11-08-2001, 09:45 AM   #6
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MelanieB HB User
Re: I don't know if this is the proper board for this...

Ok, if he was emotionally/verbally abusive then I take back what I said. He's got bigger problems than simply falling out of love or being in a midlife crisis.

I don't think it's healthy to maintain a relationship with someone abusive, whether is physical, verbal, or emotional. So yes I agree that maybe you should test the waters by phone or e-mail or something first, before seeing him face to face.

Abusive people go through cycles, where they are really nice to you for a long time and build up your trust. Once they have your trust, they start to push the limits and take it for granted again, and eventually the abusive behavior comes back. Then if you leave or end the relationship, the cycle starts again. This is why I take back what I said... if it was just a case of him falling out of love, then he deserves a second chance. But if he's abusive, then I don't think he should get a second chance UNLESS he proves that he is seeking help for his abusive behavior and is trying to be a better person.

This is not a good situation you are in. So if you do talk to him, make it phone or e-mail only at first, and be very clear that at any sign of him hurting you, the relationship ends for good. Maybe he'll sort out his problems to maintain the relationship. If he's not willing to do that and you get hurt, well then he's had his chance and that's it, it's over.

Ok? Take care. So sorry you have to go through this.

Melanie

 
Old 11-12-2001, 01:27 AM   #7
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equivocated HB User
Re: I don't know if this is the proper board for this...

Well...

just a little update.

I think my "step-dad" has answered the question for me... by not calling.

He said that he'd call by wednesday, and now being sunday, and still no phone call, i think that's a way of showing me once again, the off-and-on father he was/is.

I'm not saying that I'll never talk to him... but a relationship may not be the best choice for me to make.

Thanks to all who replied.

 
Old 11-13-2001, 09:26 PM   #8
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Shaelle HB User
Re: I don't know if this is the proper board for this...

My feeling is that you should just be a friend, and not anymore than that. My feeling is that he's not going to ask anything of you, and that you will probably will not ask anything of him. If he calls back and asks you again, just say yes. When he decides to actually go, then worry about it. But I wouldn't go and try to find all the nitty gritty on him just to tell your mother. And I wouldn't go and tell him all the nitty gritty about your mom. Keep the conversation to what applies to just you two. How's he doing, how's work, how's the dog, any plans for the holiday's, etc. Superficial in other words. His plans may have been to just to see how this has affected you, your mom, and your sister. If he wants to know about your mom, she's doing fine will suffice, but if he really wants to know any details, then he can get them himself, but not through you. It won't hurt to keep in touch, especially since he was part of your life for so long. But you don't have any commitment to be best buds, just like distant relatives.

Good Luck!

 
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