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Bad relationship with my father - have you experienced similar - any advice please? - Page 4 - Carers UK Forum

Bad relationship with my father - have you experienced similar - any advice please?

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Just re-reading this thread - as going through a particularly awful time with my father. His health deteriorated and for a while he was slightly more bearable as he was so weakened - now he is somewhat recovered, he's back to his vile, negative, argumentative, critical self. Our relationship seems to go from bad to worse.

Jenny, thanks for your wise words and advice. More than anything I wish I could just walk away - I really have to get something in place as I can't bear to be around him.

What a sad state of affairs - simple fact is that some relationships are just not "fixable" due to lifelong issues.
J - does your father have dementia? If not, maybe it's time for some blunt talking, where you lay out what you are willing to do to help him, within certain boundaries, and set a few ground rules.

You could say "I'll cook you a meal once a week, but on condition that you keep any negative comments about my cooking to yourself. I'm not a master chef but it will be edible and if you don't like it you don't have to eat it."

Or:

I'll visit you twice a week and you can let me know if there's anything you need help with, on a practical level. However, I will not listen to you endlessly moaning about all the other people who won't or can't visit you, and if you persist with the constant negative conversation I will stop visiting, for the sake of my own health."

If dementia is involved he probably won't remember the conversation but at least you might feel better after getting things off your chest.

I do understand how hard it is when your father is ungrateful, but I also know how hard it is to walk away. It's possible to hate the way they treat you, but still love them and want to do the right thing by them, even if they haven't always done right by you. It's complex and difficult when you feel trapped by blood ties but haven't received much affection from the caree. Good luck.
Shewolf - thanks for your thoughts. I think my father does have some form of undiagnosed dementia - however he's as sharp as a tack with regard to anything associated with money - how can that be? - and won't spend any of it, or his Attendance Allowance. Oh no, he wants to squirrel his money away for "things that can go wrong".

I'm not sure I do even love him or his character - it's the selfishness and negativity that really gets to me - and the blatant disregard for my health issues. Whatever is wrong with me is nothing compared to his suffering.

Getting old and ill and losing your wife is so much worse for him than anybody else in the history of mankind. Everybody he knows who is ill or bereaved, he tries to 'top trump' them with his misfortune. "Tell me about it" is his favourite expression. Not in an empathic way though. In reality he enjoyed good health for all his life until old age, and a very long marriage.

It's not worth trying to have a conversation with him about anything contentious as he simply does not listen or it turns into an argument - or he falls asleep.

Still working on reducing my visits, I do less now and if the housework is not done then so be it, I really don't care now. He likes to remind me that he's 'dependent on me' now (and don't I know it - and I am horribly trapped by a miserable old man in a situation that can only get worse) - which I absolutely loathe.

I have read of elderly parents who have the awareness to say they don't want to be a burden to their offspring. If only ...
Remind us again why you are looking after him?.........

!!!!! Jenny
I'm sure counselling would help you deal with dad better, it certainly helped me with mum. Dad has become totally "self focussed" which comes with old age. Has he actually asked you to do his housework? Or just assumed you would take the place of mum? Do you ever refuse to do things for him , or are you stuck, grudgingly being the obedient dughter?