My bf and his father - VeggieBoards
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 Old 10-15-2004, 12:08 PM
Veggie Regular
 
eggplant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,604
I apologize for the length of this post.



Ok, here's the situation. My bf and I live in Arizona and his father lives in Michigan. Every winter he comes here for an extended period (sometimes up to a couple of months) of time and basically moves in with my bf.



First, let me give you some background about his dad. He's been married and divorced 4 times. He left my bf's mother (wife #2) when my bf was 8 years old, after she found out he was having an affair. He's very eccentric. When he retired as a landscape architect in Santa Barbara, CA, he moved to rural Michigan where he lives in a tiny cabin with no heat. He owns millions of dollars worth of land in SB, but is pathologically cheap. He offers no financial support to his 3 children (all from different marriages). When they were children he wouldn't even pay for things like the dentist. When he travels, he sleeps in his van rather than pay for a motel. You get the idea... He's also one of those people who talks at people rather than with them. He's got lots of absurd theories and doesn't listen to anything anyone else says. All he does is motivated by his own needs--he lacks the capacity for empathy.



This is what happens when he stays with my bf. 1. He makes frequent judgemental, insensitive remarks toward my bf about his choices and lifestyle. 2. He sits around the house most of the day watching tv (mostly automotive-type shows) at high volume because he has some hearing loss but is too cheap to get hearing aids. 3. He brings his poor dog with him. She is a 13-year-old, blind cocker spaniel. He won't take her out for walks, so unless my bf or I do, she goes in the house, which he also doesn't clean up. On the rare occasions he does let her out, he doesn't pick up her poop.



Of course my bf is driven crazy and gets quite depressed about all of this. Of course it also affects me because I am left to deal with my upset bf, I worry about the dog, and I have to interact with his awful father. It also concerns me because we've been talking a bit lately about the possibility of him moving into my house. There's no way I want his father staying with us for months at a time.



As winter approaches, my bf is starting to mention his anxiety about his dad's impending visit. I keep telling him that he needs to lay down some ground rules with his father and issue some ultimatums. I think he should tell his dad he can stay for say two weeks, and if he does come, he has to walk the dog regularly and refrain from making any disparaging remarks about his son's life. My bf agrees with me, but has done nothing yet, and I don't think he will because he feels for some reason that he has to be incredibly accomodating with his dad.



So I guess what I'm asking is what else do you think I can do or say to help my bf stand up to his dad and deal with this situation which really causes him, and by extension me, a lot of emotional turmoil?
eggplant is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 10-15-2004, 12:24 PM
Veggie Regular
 
qetta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,089
Wow, eggplant. That's insane. Even if your bf's dad were courteous and helpful around the house and not neglectful of his doggie, a several month visit is beyond the realm of "accomodating." I don't have any good advice - except to totally make it clear that if your bf moves in with you, Dad is not part of the package.



Good luck! I hope others will have some better advice.
qetta is offline  
#3 Old 10-15-2004, 05:52 PM
Newbie
 
GhostUser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 0
Well, looks like we have a narcissistic parent on our hands. Does he treat your boyfriend like a person, or like an extension of himself? (Does he ask to visit, or just say he's coming?)



My guess is, also, that your boyfriend finds it difficult to confront his dad, or to give him a hard time for being a lousy guest. Am I right? If this is so, YOU may have to be the one to lay down the rules, and do most of the confrontation, to save your man the anxiety.



Right now, I can tell you that I don't want this guy in MY house. You two probably feel the same. My advice is: don't let him visit unless he respects the rules by which you two live (respect for others and animals, etc.) This guy is all about himself. He's not going to get any hint. You have to get right in his face. He might throw a tizzy and such. So what. You will have to be firm as a brick wall to get him to act like a decent guest.



And whatever you do, DON'T let him move in!!! A better recipe for misery I have never heard of.



Good luck.







The Rev
GhostUser is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#4 Old 10-15-2004, 06:50 PM
Veggie Regular
 
Thalia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 6,902
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rev View Post

My guess is, also, that your boyfriend finds it difficult to confront his dad, or to give him a hard time for being a lousy guest. Am I right? If this is so, YOU may have to be the one to lay down the rules, and do most of the confrontation, to save your man the anxiety.

I agree with the part about eggplant laying down the rules, but not the second part. I think the foot needs to come down on the boyfriend telling him he needs to put the foot down on the dad. I've heard too many stories about people driven crazy because their spouse lets their parent/sister, etc. run things. If you guys ever get married, your boyfriend's responsibility will be to you and your relationship and he should be a leader or full partner in confronting the dad.
Thalia is offline  
#5 Old 10-16-2004, 09:25 AM
Veggie Regular
 
eggplant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,604
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalia View Post

I agree with the part about eggplant laying down the rules, but not the second part. I think the foot needs to come down on the boyfriend telling him he needs to put the foot down on the dad. I've heard too many stories about people driven crazy because their spouse lets their parent/sister, etc. run things. If you guys ever get married, your boyfriend's responsibility will be to you and your relationship and he should be a leader or full partner in confronting the dad.



Yeah, I totally agree that this is what should happen, but it's complicated by the fact that my bf worries about his dad and I can understand why. The guy is 66 years old and has no health insurance or other plans in place should he get sick. As my bf bluntly puts it, "I don't want to be wiping his ass when he gets older," but I worry just that will happen. He doesn't seem capable of saying no to his dad, and so he certainly wouldn't turn him away if he got ill. My bf tends to be the caretaker/moderator in his dysfunctional family, and sometimes this can go too far. For instance, his half brother is 28 and just got married, but I never hear any mention of him feeling any sense of responsibility for his father or being accomodating in the same way, and with good reason. Their dad has never really done anything for them and is mostly a poisonous influence in their lives and yet my bf feels some sort of obligation. It's almost like their roles are reversed--his dad is the narcissistic teenager and my bf is the understanding dad. Ugh. Anyway, thanks for your comments and for letting me vent...
eggplant is offline  
#6 Old 10-16-2004, 11:14 AM
Veggie Regular
 
MollyCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,145
It sounds to me like your boyfriend is still seeking his father's approval. That seems to be the case with most narcissistic parents and their children. My mom has Narcissistic Personality Disorder and for years I would go out of my way to make her happy. Her approval meant everything to me, to the point of me getting back together with my ex because she didn't want her daugther to embarrass her by getting a divorce. My father catered to her every whim for 61 years and when he died last January, my mother's world fell apart and with that, the world of myself and my siblings.

Your boyfriend probably has issues from his childhood that he's buried or repressed and that's what makes him want to be accomodating to his father, even though he was treated like crap while growing up. A therapist suggested I read a book called, "Home Coming:Reclaiming and Championing your Inner Child". I know it sounds cheesy and when I first started reading it and doing the exercises I felt pretty ridiculous but it did help me tremendously. The author is John Bradshaw. You may want to pick up a copy for your bf before the big visit.

I also remember something the Ann Landers used to say: You can only be taken advantage of if you allow it. Your boyfriend has to be the one to set the limits.
MollyCat is offline  
#7 Old 10-17-2004, 04:18 AM
Veggie Regular
 
TheFirstBus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 336
I got to say I agree with The Rev 100%. I think if you just lay down a couple groud rules your boyfriend might feel a little more comfortable with layin' down the law.
TheFirstBus is offline  
#8 Old 10-17-2004, 09:46 AM
Newbie
 
GhostUser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFirstBus View Post

I got to say I agree with The Rev 100%. I think if you just lay down a couple groud rules your boyfriend might feel a little more comfortable with layin' down the law.



GhostUser is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the VeggieBoards forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off