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Wayward Side :
Difficult conversation with father

Topic is Sleeping.
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 8:59 PM on Sunday, October 1st, 2023

This weekend coming I am heading to see my parents and need to have a conversation with my father about a lot of difficult subjects:

- His abusive behaviour towards BS over the last 20+ years

- His justification for that behaviour being a lie told by my grandmother about something my BS said

- Him holding resentment over this for 20+ years and not coming to me and discussing it

- His lack of support when I reached out to him for help a couple of years ago

- My pat behaviour and need to work on being a better man. As such needing to have people who are not friends of the marriage playing no or lesser part in my life (the lesser part being him)

- My need for support or at least acknowledgement of my past and my need to move forwards as a new man

- The new boundaries being put in place

- The fact I have chosen to work on marriage and his lack of support on this decision and in fact lack of support through the whole marriage.

The list is longer, but I suspect you get the idea.

I'm nervous about having the conversation and worried about his reaction. It's needed as part of my recovery and my journey to being a better person. I've no idea what his reaction will be. I'm having lots of negative self talk and fear that he will be a dick about this.

I'm planning what to say and how to say it, as well as thinking about my reactions should he react in certain ways.

Have you guys any experience of talking to family about your infidelity and how their actions both in the past and present are impacting you?

Thoughts and guidance will be appreciated.

I have the full support of BS on this and while she will not be present during the talk, she will be staying with me in the hotel while I'm there.

[This message edited by Bulcy at 7:51 PM, Tuesday, October 3rd]

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 357   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8810163
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 12:14 AM on Monday, October 2nd, 2023

I just wanted to let you know that you are heard. I wish you luck and strength. Confronting our parents is never easy. You need to be prepared for the worst but hope for the best.

If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

posts: 16497   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Anywhere and everywhere
id 8810177
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 9:38 AM on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023

Thank you

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 357   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8810346
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 3:00 PM on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023

I don't have a lot to offer you by way of advice on this particular topic. My father passed in 2018 and all the infidelity issues in my marriage, some of it would happen prior to his death, but none of it would come to light until 2020 and I've often wondered how conversations with him would've gone. My mom was certainly supportive of it all, but my father was a tremendous influence in ways that I had forgotten.

My wife and I bought our second home (thought it was our forever home, but my job situation didn't cooperate) in the summer of 2014. My parents came down to see us for the first time after moving away from Nebraska to Alabama. So we got to see my parents and they got to see our new house, as they helped us by watching their grandson for the day while my wife and I coordinated all the parts of the move. My parents stayed with us for a few weeks, they really liked getting to see us and so we made plans for everyone in our family to come to my house for Thanksgiving that fall. My parents being retired, they came down to the week before and I took the whole week of Thanksgiving off to spend with them, we had all sorts of plans.

The Monday before Thanksgiving, we had just got our son off to school, my dad and I were sitting at table having breakfast and coffee when I hear a loud cry coming from our bedroom. We both rush to the bedroom to find my wife in the bathroom wailing in agony, my brother-in-law in El Salvador was on speaker, my wife's mother had just passed away. I don't even remember what we were planning to do that day, as everything was completely shot. I tried to console my wife and when I came out of the bedroom to talk to my parents, my dad looked at me and said let's go to the store, he was going to make his famous lasagna. While him and I were driving to the grocery story, he asked me about our plans for the trip to El Salvador and I told him that we agreed my wife was going by herself. I shit you not, he pumped the brakes in the middle of the road and he told me, "you are going, we are going to watch (our son's name), because if you don't, you and her are going to regret it forever. I don't care if you need to borrow the money from me to pay for the plane tickets, the two of you are going." In the end, with it being the week of Thanksgiving, we spent far too much money on travel arrangements last minute, but looking back on it now, my wife was glad that I came. She is the youngest of 8 children, 7 daughters and 1 son, 5 of the daughters lived in the USA and were married to US Citizens (aka gringos) and I was the only gringo son-in-law who made the trip, which is something her family has always kept in mind. The crazy part about all that is my wife being the youngest, we have nieces and nephews that are older than us both, so her sister's husbands were more than financially capable of paying for a trip like that and none of them came.

At the time, when it was all happening, I didn't think much about what my dad did that week. Him cooking his lasagna that day was a big deal because it meant that my wife, who was immediately in a state of mourning, didn't have to worry about cooking and her son was well fed (grandpa's lasagna was one of his favorites, a recipe I still try to copy to this day). Like I said, he passed before any of the issues within my marriage (My EA and my wife's PA) ever came to light and I've often wondered to myself what kind of disappointment and wisdom he would've shared with me/us during those difficult times.

Like I said at the outset, I don't have much advice for the situation where you are going to confront your father. Recognize that right now you have the opportunity to make things right between you two while he is still with us. It won't be the slightest bit easy, but it seems like it is very important to you and your family in recovery, so just try to show yourself and him some grace.

Myself - BH & WH - Born 1985 Her - BW & WW - Born 1986

D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 643   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
id 8810366
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 9:08 PM on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023

Bor9455,

Thank you for your response. I'm sorry for your loss and take your point that I need to have this conversation before it is too late.

Your father sounds like he was a million miles from mine in his thinking. My father is not supportive of the marriage. He would never have suggested what your father did. One of the issues is when I told my father about my infidelity he responded with two comments:

- Most of the infidelity happened before you were married, so it does not really count
- I don't really like her...long winded story about something said to my Grandmother 20 years earlier, that actually did not happen... so... you know...

The man has chosen to show no empathy to me since I told him about the infidelity and has never spoken to me about this, my decision to marry BS or my decision to stay and work on marriage.

I imagine your father would have reacted differently.

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 357   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8810426
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 11:23 PM on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023

Bulcy

I hope you don’t get mad at what I’m about to say and apologize in advance if I do.

Your father does not sound like a friend of the marriage.

Have you considered treating him as such? He may not like your wife. He may even have his reasons. But that doesn’t give him the right to disrespect her. She is your wife, not his. JMO he should follow the old rule of If you don’t have something nice to say, STFU.

Again JMO but it might be worth considering cutting him out of your life unless he wants to change how he interacts with your wife.

Me -FWS

posts: 2096   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8810449
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seizetheday ( new member #83712) posted at 3:25 AM on Wednesday, October 4th, 2023

Bulcy,

Your question is "Have you guys any experience of talking to family about your infidelity and how their actions both in the past and present are impacting you?"

Yes - I talked to my parents just before i got married 30 years agoabout my Dad's infidelity and my mum was embarassed and ashamed and tried too minimise and protect my father by saying "once in 25 years" is not bad. I was hoping for an apology and I didnt get one.

During COVID I talked to my father about PORN habits that I picked up from him and where they came from. He acknowleged the role that alcohol had in some of his poor decisions. We did this conversation in a walk around a park.

At the beginning of September I had a discussion with my parents about some of my childhood memories and issues. My Dad surprisingly reflected that he yelled at me on the sports field when I was young and apologised for that.

Over the years I have been very critical of my father and his need to be the centre of attention and some of the behaviours that have excluded add-ons/in-laws.


Now going to the subjects you listed it looks like you are still treating your father like your Dad and maybe he is still treating you like a child. The bible talks about a man leaving his family and becoming one with his wife. in my mind that "leaving" also needs to be emotionally as well as physically. when we do that I think we man-up and it becomes an adult-to-adult discussion rather than parent-child.

so in that vein of adult-to-adult and being a man you
- could affirm that you love him and apologise for complaining and criticising about what he says and does
- could call him out on his BS attitude/behaviour towards you and your wife
- could share with him the boundaries that you are putting in place to protect your marriage
- could share how you look forward to a more healthy relationship with him moving forward

and you can get some feedback from him on what he would like to change in the relationship too.


hope that helps

Me - FWS

posts: 9   ·   registered: Aug. 10th, 2023
id 8810480
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 2:25 PM on Wednesday, October 4th, 2023

ff4152,

I'm not offended in the slightest.

I've certainly considered him not a friend of the marriage. That is exactly what he is. This trip is to discuss this with him, hopefully rationally, and try to get him to understand my position. Moving forwards I am putting boundaries in place and hope that he understands this.

The intention is that this will not be an argument or a name calling exercise, but an open and honest talk about my feelings and to invite him to share his.

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 357   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8810505
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 2:28 PM on Wednesday, October 4th, 2023

Thanks seizetheday,

Your comments were really helpful. I am ultimately hoping for a different attitude from my father. I'm not expecting this, but hoping.

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 357   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8810506
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 5:02 PM on Wednesday, October 11th, 2023

Well, we spoke. Some positive and quite a lot of negative.

Positive -

We did not argue or lose our temper
He acknowledged he should have spoken sooner
He is doing more for my mother
He said he was supportive of my choice to work mon marriage
He appreciated that BS was with me on the trip and took the time to have lunch with my mother
Accepted that there was no relationship with him and my BS but keen for BS and my mother to have a future relationship

Negative -

Still in denial about behaviour
Did not believe the conversation between my BS and Gran did not happen
Was still offensive to my BS
Minimised infidelity
Minimised abusive behaviour
Still supported BIL despite acknowledging he is aggressive and abusive
Holding onto resentment
Did not feel he should be supporting me emotionally as I am a 50 year old man
He was in denial, minimising and gaslighting me

I walked away thinking things went well, better than expected. As time goes by, I'm more annoyed with him. Speaking with BS has made more things obvious about his behaviour. My mother is not well and struggles with daily life, and I need to be more active with her. Unfortunately this does mean I have to be speaking through my father.

I need to think carefully about what I really want from this relationship

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 357   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8811239
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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 3:16 AM on Thursday, October 12th, 2023

I'm glad you finally got to speak with him. That must have been scary for you to prepare for, and it sounds as if things could have ended better. But it was important that you had that very conversation.

So... what's next with your father? Where do you go from here?

It's amazing how "doing the work" through infidelity helps us to understand others better. Look at your father. He says the right things. He says he supports the marriage, wants your BS and mother to be close, and tries to own it by saying he should have spoken out. Those are all lovely words, and I'm sure he thinks he meant every one of them. But his actions say otherwise. He still can't be nice to your BS. He's still minimizing, gas-lighting and blame shifting. He won't accept reality. So he can say whatever the hell he wants to, but his actions give him away. Nothing has changed. He hasn't changed. And he's a liar so he can't even be trusted. To coin an SI term, he is still "in the fog" when it comes to understanding himself and how he hurts others - family - that he should be prioritizing and loving instead.

Oh, and just my opinion, but kids are for life. 50 years old, 150 years old, your kid is always your kid, you made the choice to bring them into the world, and so you have a responsibility that comes along with that. We sacrifice for our children when they are young. And we sacrifice for them still when they are grown. It's just different kinds of sacrifices. Sometimes, the sacrifice is allowing yourself to let go of bullshit and anger, regardless of what you believe is true, in order to have peace and cohesion in your family. To have empathy for others and what they need. He's not willing to do that for you, and that is why you can't trust him. He has his own best interests at heart.

Not to be a broken record, but I would urge you to take some time to reflect on your relationship with your father, and then apply that point of view to your BS's relationship with you. He said all the right things, but then he negated them all in the same conversation. He says one thing, but does another. He is more concerned with his own anger than he is in loving his son and his son's family. What is it you would need from him in order to trust him again? In order to feel he has changed? Now, apply that to your BS. How does she see you? Do your words match your actions? Are you willing to put aside anger for peace? Are you able to make a decision to live a different kind of life? Are you worried about what you need, or focused on what others need from you? I'm not going anywhere specific here, these are open-ended questions to ask yourself, and to help further dig down into those "why's".

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1421   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8811289
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 3:58 PM on Thursday, October 12th, 2023

Thanks for the feedback DD.

You're right. I saw and have since seen more of my behaviours in him. Something I'm finding interesting being on the receiving end of. I will see if I can use this experience to change my own behaviours.

I'm not sure what future relationship I want with my father. I have to stay in contact because of my mother, but still have some thinking to do about my next steps

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 357   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8811330
Topic is Sleeping.
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