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Old 12-26-2010, 01:14 PM
 
56 posts, read 127,593 times
Reputation: 72

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Hi, I need some advice...this might be a little long...

I have had a tumultuous relationship with my father and stepmother through the past 16 years. Some years were tolerable, but most were very difficult. My stepmother was emotionally and verbally abusive to my brother and I growing up, but my father was always too passive and afraid to lose her that he would never say anything to defend us; and rather blamed my brother and I for being "bad" kids. It was always our fault for everything that happened, and why we don't have a good relationship with them. She was/is a very selfish person. At this time, I really want nothing to with her and not interested in having her in my life. Anyway, a lot of resentment built up over the years, my father had less and less contact with us, and our relationship was basically non-existant by the time my brother and I reached adulthood.

So anyway, I grew up living with my mother who was single, and very poor with hardly any help from my father. By the time I reached 18, I had to take care of myself completely; including my car, food, college, room & board, which is fine, I have my health, my mom and I can't complain too much. But it is a bitter pill to swallow when your father owns his own business, has a wife that doesn't work, a son between them in private school (oh and pre-paid college!), makes over $250,000 yearly, and flies all over the country to go on vacation. Anyway, at 22 I was working full time and going to school full time and struggling trying to do both. So my dad decides to pop back into my life now, and feeling guilty (or really, who knows!) offers to help me out by moving in with him. This would help me finish college so I don't have to work so much anymore.

So I instinctively feel like this is a bad choice, but my mind tells me to go with it because I will not only have to worry less about money but I can hopefully rebuild my relationship with them (and their son, who is my half brother!) and let bygones be bygones. I moved in with them, and my dad told me not to work, he will take care of me...buys me a new car, which was "for me" and I didn't have to worry about a thing. This was all great and I couldn't believe that they were helping me out so much, but I never felt the car was mine (it was in my stepmoms name) and I still felt very weird about the whole situation. Things went ok for a year; I got straight A's, hardly ever went "out", and stuck to my responsibilities.

The beginning of the second year I lived with them, things starting going badly. My stepmother began talking about me behind my back to other family members, and they started asking me to move out and they would "pay for everything". I had a strong feeling that this wasn't completely true and didn't trust them, so I resisted, and begged that I only had less than a year left and I would be finished with college and I wanted to save money before graduating. She said she" decided she didn't like having other adults living in her house". She also has a tendency to blow up in rages and quickly kicked me out of the house for not "doing what they said to do", which was move out. So, there I was, back at square one, having to take care of myself again. I had to reduce the amount of credits I was taking to accomodate more hours from work, they took "my car" away, and I ended up moving in with a girl who turned out to be a drug addict and her friends stole some of my electronics (which I paid for, not my dad...).

This happened six months ago. My dad still thinks this is all largely "my fault". But I try to keep in touch with him on somewhat good terms because he helps me out with my electric bill. I keep in zero contact with my stepmother. I am graduating in May, and I can't wait to get back to my hometown where I have real friends and family nearby that actually care about me! Now, I have a limited number of tickets for my graduation. I am really conflicted about whether or not to invite my dad and stepmother. They DID help me for a little while, but then they basically treated me like a meaningless piece of trash. In 2004, I invited my dad to my highschool graduation but he did not attend because, verbatim, my stepmother once said "I made sure he wasn't around for that". I feel like if I don't invite my stepmother my dad would never go, but I really don't want to see my stepmother at all. And I would feel very guillty for not inviting him. I don't know what the right thing to do is in this situation......sorry this sooooo long, (it's years of my life jammed into a few paragraphs), I really don't know what to do! I feel very sad over the fact that my dad may not be much a part of my life anymore, but at the same time, it's a relief. Any advice?
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Kerkrade, Limburg, Netherlands
262 posts, read 444,447 times
Reputation: 162
Tough situation man. What about visiting your dad (without his wife) and talk about all that stuff, like telling him what you're telling us right now and see how he reacts? Make clear to him that you are his son and you want to be cool together on good terms and don't like ho everything went.

Never experienced this myself though so hard to say.
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,620,437 times
Reputation: 46995
Divorce causes so many problems which you well know. I'm sorry this has happened to you.

I have 2 college graduate children. Neither one of them even wanted to attend any sort of graduation ceremony. Now I know it is important to some but it just wasn't to them. I was kinda disappointed but what can you do?

Are you sure you even want to go yourself, especially with all this drama going on? Can't you just invite your Mom and if Dad asks about it say "I knew you wouldn't want to come without Step mother and since we don't get along I felt it was best not to even bring it up."

Or you could just wait to see if he even brings it up himself. If it was me I would ask whoever you really want there and make it the best time you know how. I don't think it is the time for drama and tension.

BTW you might end up having more of a relationship with your Dad when it becomes 2 adults dealing with each other rather than a Dad and kid.
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:53 PM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,109,412 times
Reputation: 23049
Short answer: Don't invite them.

Don't dwell over this fact or you will drive yourself crazy. If your post is true you are more mature than your Father and Step Mother. Move on with your life you will be much happier. Your Father made his choice of his new wife and family over you many years ago. This situation will never change unless he divorces your step mother. Which I doubt because he sounds weak and needy.

Good luck with your life and kick them the hell out. Harsh but you don't need that drama just starting out as a young adult. Hell no one needs that kind of drama at any age.

Sounds like you took a step backwards in moving in with them. It's tough but you will thank yourself in 10 years for gutting it out.

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Old 12-26-2010, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Texas
15,637 posts, read 14,692,108 times
Reputation: 62446
I agree that it is a tough call.

Let's look ahead 10 years. How would you feel about it in 10 years if you did not invite them? If you think this might be a guilt trip problem (most of us have them-via our parents) for you in the future then invite your father.

I'd also invite his wife, too. Who would be the better person in this? You would be. You would never regret the decision because they probably won't come anyway but you would have done the "right" thing and would never have to think of it again.
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Old 12-26-2010, 02:38 PM
 
Location: maryland
3,967 posts, read 5,672,835 times
Reputation: 1711
Don't invite them.
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Old 12-26-2010, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Colorado
1,706 posts, read 2,922,123 times
Reputation: 1741
Is there another family member or good friend that you would invite in their place if you didn't invite dad and psychomom?
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Old 12-26-2010, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Denver area
21,137 posts, read 22,107,592 times
Reputation: 35503
I would go with being the better person and inviting them. If they don't show then it's on them, but you'll know that you gave them opportunity and won't have anything to regret on your part later in life. Don't beg but simply invite. I would ask them to RSVP by a certain date so that someone else could use the tix though. JMHO.
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Old 12-26-2010, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,858 posts, read 43,564,164 times
Reputation: 58603
I would invite 'Dad and Family'....while hoping she doesn't show up and that you'll get a nice gift out of their guilt.
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Old 12-26-2010, 03:26 PM
 
29,988 posts, read 35,848,534 times
Reputation: 12719
Yes, invite your father and his wife. You will not be around them much since you will be in the ceremony. The more opportunities you give your father to be in your life the less regrets you will have after he is gone. If he chooses not to be there for you then you will have done your best.

Just because you open a door for a family member, you cannot make them walk through. An invitation to your graduation would serve as a reminder to your father that you have "left the door open" for him.

Graduation is your accomplishment. Be proud and share it with hose whom you love. Your father's wife is like the ugly sidecar on a classic motorcycle. She is his burden, not yours. You merely have to tolerate her brief presence but he chose to live with her! Give your mother extra attention at your graduation for her support through the years and I suspect you'll barely notice your father's wife, if she even shows.

Good luck, don't stress.
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