Christmas/family issues

gomntwins

Well-Known Member
Well, I ran into an interesting/horrible Christmas issue with my parents. Some of you may recall I posted on here a number of monthes ago about some girlfriend issues with my ex. Bottom line, I moved on, and things have been great... until Christmas.

These are issues I'm having with my parents. Not my current girlfriend. My current girlfriend and I have been together for awhile now... we'd been friends for years, and we decided a number of monthes ago to give it a shot. It's been amazing. Absolutely amazing. Good news for me... she's a girl I can see myself with forever.

The bad. This last Christmas (a couple days ago) she met my parents for the first time. I'm not going to lie. I haven't always been the best son. We've had our share of issues (my parents and myself), and this last Christmas went off with a few hitches. A few that were my fault. I didn't have the best haircut (I'm a freight pilot... it fits in where I work), I didn't have the best presents for my family, and I was not openly appreciative enough of the amount of work my mother put in to our Christmas. I understand that I screwed up, and I take that responsibility.

But. And the big but. My dad pointed out all these things to me (the issues I need to work on). That's fine. I can hold my own, I can take these comments, and I can work to fix them... and will try. But, my father than went on to personally attack my girlfriend. My parents were great in front of her. They treated her great, she was great, there were no issues... none. But, yesterday (the 26th) I talked with my father on the phone and he went on a rampage about her. He had nothing but personal attack after personal attack on her. I stood my ground. He openly told me that if I was to even consider marrying her it would be the hugest mistake. Why? Because she's heavyset. Also, she was tattoos. He had nothing to say about her personality... he openly admitted that he'd made his decision on her before she'd said anything. She's an amazing person. The sweetest, nicest, best girl I've ever been with. But, it was attack after attack after attack. I know some of his comments came out because he was mad at me, but there's a lot of honesty in what he said... he told me these things because he believes them. I know it.

My issues: my girlfriend thought it went great and loves my parents. Obviously, it did not. I didn't even know it didn't go great until after the fact. I'm not going to keep this from her. But, I don't know how open/honest I should be. Second issue: what should I do about my dad? I'm not going to give up on talking with him. He's my dad. I won't give up my parents, but I'm not going to lie... I've lost a lot of respect for him. I really don't know where to go from here.

I know I've screwed up, I do that a lot. I'll work on it. But, my dad made many comments that are pretty damn close to unforgivable. He attacked a person I care deeply for... and that's not acceptable.

Any ideas?
 

Qgar

New Member
Ooh boy...sorry you had those issues with your parents, especially around Christmas.
First, I'll tell you how it is as a parent. No one is ever good enough for their child, especially at first. Coupled with the fact that they don't like her physical attributes is rough. Most parents grow to love the significant others their children love, but sometimes it takes a little time.

Now, I'll tell you how it is as an "adult" child. My opinion is you should wait for the dust to settle a little bit. You're probably right--your dad probably lashed out at you because of the issues you two are having. As you said, he's your father, and you love him, but at some point he's got to to accept a woman you love, or he risks losing you. You will need some patience and at some point calmly explain to him (and your mother, if possible) all the reasons why you love her and why you think she's good for you. You can't FORCE them to accept her, but if you plead your case and show them how happy you two are together, they may come around. Unfortunately, some parents NEVER do, and that's sad for everyone involved. Hopefully, that won't happen in your case and I want to wish you good luck with your girlfriend and your parents. It's a tough situation, but you sound like you will handle it well.
Remember, some day you may be a parent and you can learn how not to handle a similar situation. :)
 

gomntwins

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the response. I usually wait for a few before I reply, but yours was great. First off... I do love my dad and my mom. I always will. I'm not going to let this get to the point where we don't talk. I may be mad, but it's not my style to give up. I have a small family as it is, and there's no way in hell either they will give up on me or I will give up on them. At least I hope not. But, what's been said is unacceptable.

Your last comment... about learning from my parents- that's actually pretty funny. My father has told me the story (and my grandmother confirmed it) that his mother (my grandmother) told my mother that she should never marry my dad because she was too good for him. It's not the same situation, but pretty close. They just celebrated their 40th anniversary. He also told me how much that hurt him. Hopefully I can learn. My father obviously has not.

It's really a tough situation. I'm holding my ground. I'm not engaged, yet, and maybe this won't work out... but no matter how things work out between my girlfriend and myself it's a pretty good indicator about my father's personality. I really have lost a lot of respect for him. It's really too bad. I'm not perfect, and I've made my share of mistakes (and plenty of them), but I really don't think his approach to this situation has been anything near civil or acceptable.
 

splash

your social justice comic center
I'm not going to keep this from her. But, I don't know how open/honest I should be.
I would not get her involved in how your father presently feels at the moment. It may take time for him to understand and respect how you feel about her. If you let her know then she will always feel uncomfortable around them. I'd try holding out on this as long as possible because it is between you and your family. Don't put a spin on her genuine feelings about your family unless you want to build the bridge from both sides. I'm not saying you should never tell her this ...but not in the early mending process. Good luck.
 

Hacker15e

Dunning–Kruger Observer
Live your life for you, not for your parents.

I mean....you're apologizing for your haircut! Your father is identifying issues for YOU to work on??

If you were 16 and living at home, this would be valid.

At some point you are going to have to be an adult and be responsible to yourself for your actions. You can't control how your parents feel, so stop trying to.
 

Kristie

Mama Bear....
Staff member
I agree with not getting her involved until you two are seriously involved. your dad might come around before or by then....

but the only thing you can do is hold your ground and hope that he does come around.

if he doesn't come around, well, then there are bigger problems and it's going to get worse....but again, if you like her that much, you have to hold your ground take what comes and dish right back in order to earn his respect on the issue.

as far as the haircut or other superfluous things go....sweep those things under the rug...i used to go home wearing blue nail polish just to see what my mom's reaction would be and i'd get the 3rd degree everytime (didn't even need to ask either)...now had she told me she liked it and wanted to try it herself, i might have never worn it again. HAHA
 

Velocipede

New Member
I agree with Kristie. Don't burden your girlfriend with your Father's issues. Because they're his issues. He and your mother were mature enough to treat her well at Christmas, so I'd let that sleeping dog lie for awhile.

After all, they didn't attack HER personally. So just let it settle down for awhile. Holidays are stressful for every one and that could be part of the whole brouhaha.
 

Maximilian_Jenius

Super User
Live your life for you, not for your parents.

I mean....you're apologizing for your haircut! Your father is identifying issues for YOU to work on??

If you were 16 and living at home, this would be valid.

At some point you are going to have to be an adult and be responsible to yourself for your actions. You can't control how your parents feel, so stop trying to.
:yeahthat:


Whoa..the holidays are ruff.

I really have nothing more to add to what he said. I took the bf home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, thankfully my whole family likes and accepts him.

His parents love me too and told me that I'm their second son. Even gave me keys to the house.

That of course meant a lot to me. I am however sorry to hear that your holidays weren't the very best.

Question, if you don't mind me asking.

How old are you?
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Kristie's parents couldn't stand me when they first met me, I really didn't care and they eventually came around. Now her dad thinks I'm baby Jesus or something. I don't know.

Don't take it personal, don't let your dad force you to inherit his issues, after all, you're an adult.
 

gomntwins

Well-Known Member
My age was asked: I'm 28. I agree on some (most) points about the issues between my father and I made by some posters. I shouldn't have to and won't apologize for long hair. I will say he did point out some valid points on things I can work on, and I agree with a few things he said- and if I do work on those things, I think I would be a better person. Those are my choice to change, not his, but I agree that I should work on a few things. And any issue he has with me I can deal with.

My main issue is what he said about my g/f. I won't get her to involved. I may mention I've had a little bit of a falling out with my father, but sure will not get into details. Not at this time anyway.

I appreciate your responses. They're on par with what my friends have told me. I'll hold my ground and hopefully sway him. If not, I'll have a rough road ahead. Wouldn't be the first time.

Thanks. Any more thoughts are appreciated.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Hold your ground, man. If you like her, it's a healthy relationship and you think it's worth it, any parent with an ounce of brains is going to come around and accept the relationship.

Now if she's shooting up in the bathroom during Christmas dinner and she keeps getting paged by someone that goes by "Daddy", eh, maybe not so much!
 

TurdBird

Well-Known Member
Do you think there was something bothering your dad prior to this and he basically snapped and is just using her as a scapegoat? Think about it, he didn't just go after her. He did go after you too. That makes me think something had him aggravated and he just snapped on you guys. Maybe try talking about it again now that a few days have passed and who knows, he might be all ears and willing to talk about things.

Issues like this are never easy. Just hang in there and I'm sure everything will work out for the best.
 

minitour

New Member
I'm not in quite the same situation, but my family treats my wife like crap. I don't know why, neither does she. She makes me happy though and in the end, that's all that matters. If my family doesn't like it, then they don't have to be involved.

Do what makes you happy.

-mini
 

BrewMaster

Well-Known Member
My advice is kill them with kindness. I know you love your parents, but a haircut? C'mon. Not being more openly appreciative? C'mon. I think the best thing you can do is just let it go on your end and continue to move forward with your girlfriend. Your parents obviously care about you, otherwise that little stuff wouldn't be a big issue. When I say kill them with kindness, just continually stress that she is the best thing that has ever happened to you and you couldn't be happier. No matter what, the both of you should just keep being warm and kind to your parents, after a while they will see the big picture.

My freshman year in college, I had a roommate/teammate who was originally from Burundi, Africa. He has been living in the US for over half his life and was dating a white girl. He told me her grandfather hated him when they first met, and so he made a point of directly talking to him and doing everything he could to directly squash and stereotypes or misconceptions he had of him. He said after a couple of family meetings, the grandpa started to annoy him because all he wanted to do was talk and hang out. See, it can be done. Try that route.
 

Maximilian_Jenius

Super User
I'm not in quite the same situation, but my family treats my wife like crap. I don't know why, neither does she. She makes me happy though and in the end, that's all that matters. If my family doesn't like it, then they don't have to be involved.

Do what makes you happy.

-mini
...frack that! If my family disrespected my spouse (if I had one) we'd have a strongly worded chat. And, if it continued I'd have far fewer family members. Or just not come around to family event any longer, or accept phone calls from said members. Or other family members that sat silently and allowed others to treat my spouse like crap.
 

TheShortOne

Well-Known Member
My dad and my husband haven't gotten along ... pretty much ever. Dad thought he was too much of a geek/nerd for me and I could do a lot better. John thought my dad could go F himself. I'm very close with my family and needless to say it caused me a lot of pain/tension. My dad has finally really started to come around just before the wedding and since then as well. It definitely took several years before this happened though.

I don't really have any useful advice because I was pretty torn up. I let John know what was going on as far as what my dad was concerned because we had that type of open relationship. (plus my dad wasn't exactly subtle about his dislike). With you and your gal, I'd say keep it quiet for a little while, unless you feel like this is something you can be open about with her. It depends on you and your relationship with her. Is she able to comprehend how your parents were nice to her face, and jerks behind her back? Will she be able to move beyond it when (if?) they come around? Dad and John still don't have a great relationship and I doubt they ever will because of the hostilities in the past, but at least they are amiable now.

Good luck. It's a difficult situation to be in.
 

jtrain609

Anarcho-Bidenist
My dad and my husband haven't gotten along ... pretty much ever. Dad thought he was too much of a geek/nerd for me and I could do a lot better. John thought my dad could go F himself. I'm very close with my family and needless to say it caused me a lot of pain/tension. My dad has finally really started to come around just before the wedding and since then as well. It definitely took several years before this happened though.

I don't really have any useful advice because I was pretty torn up. I let John know what was going on as far as what my dad was concerned because we had that type of open relationship. (plus my dad wasn't exactly subtle about his dislike). With you and your gal, I'd say keep it quiet for a little while, unless you feel like this is something you can be open about with her. It depends on you and your relationship with her. Is she able to comprehend how your parents were nice to her face, and jerks behind her back? Will she be able to move beyond it when (if?) they come around? Dad and John still don't have a great relationship and I doubt they ever will because of the hostilities in the past, but at least they are amiable now.

Good luck. It's a difficult situation to be in.
It was a pretty crappy situation for, well, years. Thankfully her Dad DID come around, though. But what Emily left out is that I always had an in; her Mom didn't hate me, and was willing to give me a chance. That, I found, was huge.
 

minitour

New Member
And, if it continued I'd have far fewer family members. Or just not come around to family event any longer, or accept phone calls from said members. Or other family members that sat silently and allowed others to treat my spouse like crap.
That's pretty much what it's come down to...

-mini
 

NotCoolEnufToFly

Well-Known Member
WOW! I pretty much had a couple of family members in the past who had told me they would disown me had I married some of the guys I was dating. I knew I wouldn't but it went all through me. I love my dysfunctional, crazy family but obviously they didn't know me well cause I responded with why they would miss me and some other harsh words about how imperfect they were and yet nobody disowned me for loving them. Later when I saw said family members again they apologized, said they thought about it and as long as who I chose treats me right...lol That said, luckily my family honestly does love the man I chose. Even my stubborn, arse of a grandpa. I'm with everyone else on this...stand your ground!
 
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