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Thread: To go visit my family or not to go... that is the question...

  1. #1
    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    To go visit my family or not to go... that is the question...

    I will make this as short as I can. I have a Dad that I have known my whole life but who hasnít been in my life much at all. He has four other kids and he left them all as babies and didnít reconnect with them until adulthood. Two of them I actually found. My half sister that I just found about a year ago lives in Texas and we had all decided to fly to Texas to meet her because she ďdoesnít have any money.Ē Well, this is how it works with my dad. Heís a nice guy and a sweet talking fellow. He is generous and uses his generosity to buy my siblingsí love. I donít get the same treatment. I never have. My half sister that I found a year ago and I had been building a relationship with was like, ďWell, I wonít fall for any of that schmoozing, etc.Ē SO! We plan to all go meet her in Texas. I live in California. My dad then asks her if she wants to fly to California to go on a cruise with her family to Mexico. Of course Iím thinking, why the hell am I flying to Texas then when you are coming to California?! My sister was like, ďYeah, we decided to save our money and come out.Ē I personally wouldnít want to go on this cruise anyway but I also canít take off four days in the middle of the week because I teach college. My dad who has no filter confessed to me that he paid for her entire family to go on this cruise and that ďheíll pay for me tooĒ if I want to go. My sister of course didnít tell me that my dad paid for her family but whatever. Anyway, Iím just frustrated that this relationship turned out to be just like my other siblings where they are in my dadís good old boysí club and I have always been the outsider. I feel really uncomfortable going to Texas now and I donít want to go. My dad is turning 70 as well and I feel like I ďshouldĒ go but they are all going to be in LA in Feb for the cruise and I could fly down them. Any thoughts about my obligations here? Since my sister decided to have this little secret with my dad, we havenít spoken as much on the phone. Itís sad but Iím just not one to do something just because Iím supposed to. Then of course my sister tells me that she is going to Arizona with her friends to a resort. This is exactly like my dad. Tell everyone you have no much and take a bunch of trips. That part is none of my business but the entire premise of our flying out to her home was because she didnít have a lot of money!!! And frankly, I donít want to go!!!!

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Don't go if there is divisiveness with your father and his other kids. And especially if there is resentment. Let the dust settle and revisit it at a later time.

  3. #3
    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    Don't go if there is divisiveness with your father and his other kids. And especially if there is resentment. Let the dust settle and revisit it at a later time.
    Wiseman2, you are always so wise. I donít think THEY have a clue as to how I feel. I am typically a great communicator but with my dad, I could never tell him anything. That hasnít done anything in the past but piss him off. So I think they all just think Iím a flake because I am not a joiner when it comes to them.

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    I think you need to separate your sisterís actions from your fatherís actions.

    I do understand why you would be upset (and maybe jealous?) about how your father treats your siblings differently than you. Itís not right. Itís not. But - thatís really not your siblingís fault. What was she supposed to do? Turn down a cruise because you couldnít go? She probably knows exactly how you feel about your father and how he likes to spend money on them (in fact - youíve clearly had a conversation about it...) - so she probably felt awkward and in a really weird place confessing that he was going to pay. I think she was stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one and I donít think she needed to turn down the cruise in solidarity or tell you all about how he was going to pay (which probably would have just upset you). I get why you are upset - but to me, you should direct that anger to where it belongs - with your father.

    The situation that holds more water for me - and is directly related to her - is the argument that she could not afford to come to you but could afford to go to a resort. That said, you again probably donít know the whole situation. Maybe someone has a timeshare or itís just her and not the whole family or she got an awesome deal or the trip has long been planned or... it could be a number of things. Unless you are directly in someoneís finances, you canít really say what someone else can or cannot afford.

    I donít think that you should let this situation jeapordize your relationship, but I DO think that - you are probably a pretty generous and sacrificing person - but maybe you want to hold back on that a bit. Donít put more into the relationship than she is and donít sacrifice more than you are willing to ďloseĒ. Only do what YOU are comfortable with, with no expectations in return.

    Anyways... all that to say, I do agree with Wiseman. You sound pretty resentful right now. Now is not the time to make this trip, IMO. Make up and excuse and let the dust settle, I agree. Thatís probably in the best interest for the relationship.

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  6. #5
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    I think you need to open up to your father.

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    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RedDress
    I think you need to separate your sisterís actions from your fatherís actions.

    I do understand why you would be upset (and maybe jealous?) about how your father treats your siblings differently than you. Itís not right. Itís not. But - thatís really not your siblingís fault. What was she supposed to do? Turn down a cruise because you couldnít go? She probably knows exactly how you feel about your father and how he likes to spend money on them (in fact - youíve clearly had a conversation about it...) - so she probably felt awkward and in a really weird place confessing that he was going to pay. I think she was stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one and I donít think she needed to turn down the cruise in solidarity or tell you all about how he was going to pay (which probably would have just upset you). I get why you are upset - but to me, you should direct that anger to where it belongs - with your father.

    The situation that holds more water for me - and is directly related to her - is the argument that she could not afford to come to you but could afford to go to a resort. That said, you again probably donít know the whole situation. Maybe someone has a timeshare or itís just her and not the whole family or she got an awesome deal or the trip has long been planned or... it could be a number of things. Unless you are directly in someoneís finances, you canít really say what someone else can or cannot afford.

    I donít think that you should let this situation jeapordize your relationship, but I DO think that - you are probably a pretty generous and sacrificing person - but maybe you want to hold back on that a bit. Donít put more into the relationship than she is and donít sacrifice more than you are willing to ďloseĒ. Only do what YOU are comfortable with, with no expectations in return.

    Anyways... all that to say, I do agree with Wiseman. You sound pretty resentful right now. Now is not the time to make this trip, IMO. Make up and excuse and let the dust settle, I agree. Thatís probably in the best interest for the relationship.
    Thank you so much, Red Dress for that truly thoughtful response. Youíre right about my sister and I do think she probably felt weird and probably embarrassed to tell me about my dad offering to pay for her whole family to go on that trip. She is a really good person. They are just so different than I am. They are all more alike. Iím different than them I guess I should say. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. I just feel really anxious about flying into Texas and into that situation at this point. I also donít want to upset anyone or make them feel like I donít care but I would be so out of my element. Thank you again.

  8. #7
    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Hollyj
    I think you need to open up to your father.
    I would love to if it did anything. I just donít know what to say to him to be honest. In his mind, heís a great dad I think. He never grew up knowing what a great dad was and so he doesnít have any idea. He has a kind heart but no sense of responsibility around his kids.

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    Why do you want to bother with your half-siblings? Send them Christmas cards, but you don't need to be in their lives. They're strangers to you. And your father is still playing games. Disown him too. Why bother with any of them?

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    This is a tough position to be in. He is your dad after all and he is making an effort to connect with you. If you skip the trip, perhaps you can do something else. Something just between the two of you to celebrate him turning 70. For example, going to an exhibition you both enjoy (you get to connect with him whilst share opinions about what you see) and grabbing a bite to eat after.

    Nice family members are worth it.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by Soulsister2010
    I would love to if it did anything. I just donít know what to say to him to be honest. In his mind, heís a great dad I think. He never grew up knowing what a great dad was and so he doesnít have any idea. He has a kind heart but no sense of responsibility around his kids.
    Start from the beginning and lay it out. Write about what has upset you over the years. Staying silent does not help you, not will it change things.

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