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Father to Son: You're out of the will!

desperaterobotsdesperaterobots perth, ausRegistered User regular
edited April 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Okay. Quick background.

Parents marriage always been kinda rocky. Lots and lots of tension. I got kicked out of home very randomly one night during my last semester of university which really fucked things up for me for some time.

Last year my mum came to live with me after my dad had become violent. The violence was brief, alcohol fuelled, but came after a sustained period of emotional/mental abuse, and my mum had had enough.

Having no job or education, my mum is in a fairly weak position. Dad threatened to ruin her if she divorced him. But she proceeded to do it anyway (10 years too late in my opinion) and she leaned on me for help. They finally settled, and are now waiting on the family home to sell. I have recently moved in to both save money and help my mum around the house and with some board, as she's on welfare which is nothing when she has to pay council rates. Also she has to move back to england because she can't afford a house in Australia with the amount from the settlement.

The Point: I got a letter last night. It had a computer printed label on it (so that I wouldn't recognise handwriting). It was from my father, and the crux of the letter said that he'd taken me out of his will because I had 'abandoned him' and chosen to support my mother without seeking his side of the story.

There are complicating factors, but essentially throughout all of my parents dramas I have maintained that this was their problem and they needed to find a solution for it; it had nothing to do with me. When my father tried to have me deliver messages to my mother (letters he'd shoved under my door) I told him that I wouldn't get involved. This letter I received references this, basically saying that I'm one-eyed and biased, and that I act toward him with indifference.

A few years ago (he hasn't spoken to me since the violence happened) he did ask me why I seemed to have a problem with him. When I gave him a laundry list of things he'd done and failed to acknowledge as being hurtful, he replied telling me that I had no idea what I was talking about.

Now, I'm not exactly a fan of my dad, but all I've attempted to do is avoid the stresses of a divorce. I have enough shit to deal with. If my mother had a job and was less of an anxious emotional car wreck I wouldn't be talking to her about it either.

So: At this stage, I've written a very long, emotionally detatched email in response, basically trying to explain myself and debunk his assumptions that I'm taking sides. But I decided it would probably be a fruitless exercise -- he would be likely to ignore what I'm saying since clearly he's already made up his mind. Also I'm not sure it is my responsibility to mend bridges that the other party burned.

So right now I'm going with the 'water off a ducks back' route, and I'm choosing not to respond. I might change my name on the quiet so I take my mothers surname, something of a symbolic gesture.

What I'm keen on avoiding is a situation where this becomes an issue for me at some point. Is it healthy to shake my head and wipe my hands of my dad? The truth is I don't love him and I'm not sure I ever have, and in the end, I'm not sure I'd want anything he might bequeath to me anyway, it would be like taking a cheque from a stranger.

Respond and provoke more tension and drama, or forget and potentially regret it later?

desperaterobots on

Posts

  • FellhandFellhand Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I have enough shit to deal with.

    Right there. You have enough going on managing your own life and helping your mother to deal with this drama. It sounds like you have your shit together, so just ignore him and focus on your life.

    Fellhand on
  • EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Wills are shitty guilt-based passive-aggressive tools when used like that. Wills should essentially not be spoken about, as they are a way of leaving your possessions once you are dead. They should not be treated as a "lottery" or as purse-strings that you can hold, to get your family members to do what you want.

    Which is a long way of saying "screw him." If you're angry and he pushes the issue, tell him you don't want the money anyway so he should stop holding it like some kind of emotional ransom. If he drops it and you don't hear from him, leave it at that.

    EggyToast on
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  • DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    What I'm keen on avoiding is a situation where this becomes an issue for me at some point. Is it healthy to shake my head and wipe my hands of my dad? The truth is I don't love him and I'm not sure I ever have, and in the end, I'm not sure I'd want anything he might bequeath to me anyway, it would be like taking a cheque from a stranger.

    Respond and provoke more tension and drama, or forget and potentially regret it later?

    Honestly just sending a letter at this point, no matter how dispassionate, is going to amplify this drama. Things that you read as dispassionate might come off as very emotionally charged. Maybe with some distance and time, things will cool off to the point where it might be effective. If the relationship has already deteriorated to the point where your father is "disowning" you, there's no way that this will not be an "issue" in your life for some time to come.

    This isn't to say that things can't be improved or mended, but it won't happen overnight. Having a mediator (e.g., a therapist) mediate interactions when things cool off and you're ready to resume a relationship wouldn't be a bad idea. At this point, a letter like yours might be more effective. Therapy might also help you all to better understand the different roles in your family and how each one was/is part of an overall dysfunctional system (yes, you're part of that system).

    If he's threatening to withhold an inheritance, he's trying to trade money (well, the promise of future money) for loyalty. Obviously this is sort of ludicrious but it works for a lot of people every day. I think it's sort of silly for people to get tied up in inheritances anyway; life is a lot better if you live like you expect nothing from your parents and relatives and treat it as a nice surprise if they end up helping you out.

    Anyway, sending the letter now probably won't improve things. It's also probably a bad idea to write your father completely out of your life. Right now, I would take a step back, wait for things to stabilize, and then start to figure out how to create the healthiest possible relationships with both of your parents, likely with different boundaries.

    DrFrylock on
  • LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I think you have taken sides, and I don't think it's a bad thing. You are looking after your mother because of your Dad's failings. He may well want your help, he might be lonely. But, whatever happens in a relationship, violence is completely unacceptable. He then threatens to spitefully ruin your Mother, and is now threatening you.

    You do not need to, and should not, feel bad about washing your hands of your father. You are old enough now to see him as a person rather than just a Dad, and you have come to the conclusion he is a man you do not respect.

    I'd not send him the email, he's obviously trying to provoke a response from you. If you lose the inheritance, so what? When's he going to die anyway? When you're 60? What good is it then? Would you feel good about having it? As you said, probably not.

    Show that you're the man in the family, and just let it go.

    Lewisham on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I just wouldn't respond. He isn't worth the drama.

    Thanatos on
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Standing by your mother in her time of need is worth whatever money he would've thrown at you if you did, given what it sounds like the situation was. You done good.

    VThornheart on
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  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots perth, ausRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Yes, I do like all of these words you're saying. Thanks guys.

    And I guess it's true that I have taken a side, and probably true that nothing he could have said would have been able to excuse or justify his behaviour; not just the the violence but his on-going, uh, "crapness" let's say.

    Email shall remain saved in drafts. In 15 years time I can pull it out and laugh/cry at my former self!

    desperaterobots on
  • Clint EastwoodClint Eastwood My baby's in there someplace She crawled right inRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    No, if you want a laugh in 15 years, save the email he sent you. If you're lucky he'll come crawling back to you and revenge is a dish best served cold, as we all know.

    I would not email him either, and the idea about changing your surname sounds like a nice idea too.

    Clint Eastwood on
  • SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Depends how involeved you want to be, and what sort of ties to your father you wish to maintain, but a lot of the above advice has been pretty sound.

    Basically the issue is between him and your mother, which is thier relationship, and not any of your doing. Their are no sides in that - it has nothing to do with you. You made choices on the fallout which involved you directly. In the end, you made the choice to survive, and have the life that you felt you needed to have in order to be content with it. If he can't understand that, and accept you as a person, then the rejection is appropriate and real- but it is his failing, his shortcoming as person, his lack of fatherly understanding and appropriate behaivior that makes that situation what it is.

    There are no changes you can make in your own life to correct the failings of another person in thier life, and as such, nothing you need to do to 'make up for it', to explain yourself, or even to grant the illusion that somehow it would be possible for yourself to do something differently in order to make your father feel better about his own personal failures.

    Sarcastro on
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Standing by your mother in her time of need is worth whatever money he would've thrown at you if you did, given what it sounds like the situation was. You done good.

    My father abused my mother on more levels than I care to discuss, and I stood by her to the best of my 11 year old capacity to understand what was happening at the time. Luckily, while he still tried to play me against her, my father never stooped to this level. He was an abusive alcoholic (never to me) who in many ways taught me what NOT to do.

    But this isn't about me, I just wanted to provide a measure of a background to my past in regards to giving a suggestion: don't dignify it with a response. If that's what he chooses to do, it's his choice to make, and hopefully one day he realizes just how horrible a thing that is to do to someone; not the part about removing you from his will, but by trying to use it as some sort of financial/emotional blackmail.

    That said, my father passed away 2 years after my parents got divorced, so I'm somewhat against the idea of cutting him off from yourself forever and ever, but in a similar situation I would have very little to say to such a man until he cleaned himself up (in many regards).

    Forar on
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  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Just because he provided the sperm that paired with the egg in your mother's womb does not mean he is a human being worthy of undue respect, independent of the way he treats you.

    Don't respond, and move on.

    MikeMan on
  • HalfmexHalfmex I mock your value system You also appear foolish in the eyes of othersRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    I just wouldn't respond. He isn't worth the drama.
    This.

    Always remember, you can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family. Just because this sucessfully procreated doesn't mean you owe him anything. Good fathers seem to be in the minority, because even guys who stick around to watch their kid(s) grow up aren't necessarily a positive influence. He cut you out of his will and refuses to see any sort of logic, that's the path that he chose. Walk your own path, pity him if you must, but don't waste another second on his negativity (or anyone's, for that matter). Life's way too short to be dealing with things like this.

    Halfmex on
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Forar wrote: »
    Standing by your mother in her time of need is worth whatever money he would've thrown at you if you did, given what it sounds like the situation was. You done good.

    My father abused my mother on more levels than I care to discuss, and I stood by her to the best of my 11 year old capacity to understand what was happening at the time. Luckily, while he still tried to play me against her, my father never stooped to this level. He was an abusive alcoholic (never to me) who in many ways taught me what NOT to do.

    But this isn't about me, I just wanted to provide a measure of a background to my past in regards to giving a suggestion: don't dignify it with a response. If that's what he chooses to do, it's his choice to make, and hopefully one day he realizes just how horrible a thing that is to do to someone; not the part about removing you from his will, but by trying to use it as some sort of financial/emotional blackmail.

    That said, my father passed away 2 years after my parents got divorced, so I'm somewhat against the idea of cutting him off from yourself forever and ever, but in a similar situation I would have very little to say to such a man until he cleaned himself up (in many regards).

    Aye, that's exactly what's going on - I couldn't put it into words, but that's what I feel is happening here for sure. And that's just aweful. You're definitely doing the right thing by not responding to his attempt at manipulation.

    VThornheart on
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  • mspencermspencer PAX [ENFORCER] Council Bluffs, IARegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    This is a tough one. On one hand, you only have one set of parents, and you should do your best within reason to keep them close to you and see to their well being.

    On the other hand, I agree you shouldn't let him push you around.

    Some random borrowed wisdom comes to mind:

    Less communication is bad. This isn't some random Internet troll; this is your father. If he's doing bad things, I vote you tell him firmly that you really hate some of the things he does, but you still love him and want to reconcile your differences. It's tough to do that without being accidentally condescending, especially if you've only recently left the nest.

    If you think his "you're out of the will" statement was an attempt at manipulation, tell him so. You don't appreciate that, but you can understand why he did it. Make it clear you WILL NOT be manipulated, but of your own free will you want to help.

    I don't know how I'd word the letter, but if I were writing it the main take-aways would be:
    * Some of the things you do really piss me off, but you're still my Dad and I still love you.
    * I can see through your attempt to use your inheritance to manipulate me. Stop doing that.
    * You have apparently hurt someone else I care about, and I will not let you stop me from helping her in her time of need.
    * You obviously felt the need to reach out and slap me via mail, and because I love you I need to know why. Please stop with the BS and level with me.
    * In the long run you're still Dad and you're always welcome here, even if I have to kick your ass occasionally for doing mean things.

    mspencer on
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  • Stupid HumanStupid Human Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Picture of middle finger.

    Attach to email.

    Send.

    Stupid Human on
  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    mspencer wrote: »
    This is a tough one. On one hand, you only have one set of parents, and you should do your best within reason to keep them close to you and see to their well being.

    I just don't see why this is so. If someone treats you poorly, they do not deserve anything above and beyond the treatment of any other person who treats you poorly just because they are your parents. He may be your biological father, but as far as I am concerned if he is abusive and manipulative he does not deserve the time of day. There should be no "honor code" that extends to manipulative, abusive parents. It does not make sense.

    MikeMan on
  • shutzshutz Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    In a similar position, I would ignore the letter, and wait a while. If the father decides he actually wants to have contact with you again, lay down some ground rules (something like mspencer listed) and leave the minute he breaks them.

    If he admits that he:
    1- has a problem
    2- has hurt your mother
    you'll know there is hope for him (and your relationship with you.) Otherwise, just leave him to himself until he "grows up".

    But what do I know? I've been lucky enough to get a nice family whose worst dramas have been each of my grandfathers' deaths and my father's heart attack and subsequent triple bypass. I have a terrific relationship with both my parents, who clearly still love each other a lot. Knock on wood? Anyway, all this needed to be said because I'd hate to be considered an authority on dealing with messed-up family stuff. If things like that happened to me, I'd be completely helpless!

    shutz on
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  • Brodo FagginsBrodo Faggins Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Do you have other relatives that know of the situation that you can turn to? Aunts, uncles, grandparents?

    Brodo Faggins on
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  • TheungryTheungry Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    mspencer wrote: »
    This is a tough one. On one hand, you only have one set of parents, and you should do your best within reason to keep them close to you and see to their well being.

    On the other hand, I agree you shouldn't let him push you around.

    Some random borrowed wisdom comes to mind:

    Less communication is bad. This isn't some random Internet troll; this is your father. If he's doing bad things, I vote you tell him firmly that you really hate some of the things he does, but you still love him and want to reconcile your differences. It's tough to do that without being accidentally condescending, especially if you've only recently left the nest.

    If you think his "you're out of the will" statement was an attempt at manipulation, tell him so. You don't appreciate that, but you can understand why he did it. Make it clear you WILL NOT be manipulated, but of your own free will you want to help.

    I don't know how I'd word the letter, but if I were writing it the main take-aways would be:
    * Some of the things you do really piss me off, but you're still my Dad and I still love you.
    * I can see through your attempt to use your inheritance to manipulate me. Stop doing that.
    * You have apparently hurt someone else I care about, and I will not let you stop me from helping her in her time of need.
    * You obviously felt the need to reach out and slap me via mail, and because I love you I need to know why. Please stop with the BS and level with me.
    * In the long run you're still Dad and you're always welcome here, even if I have to kick your ass occasionally for doing mean things.

    I think you are assuming the OP still loves his dad, but it sure doesn't seem like there is love in that relationship... not in any definition of love I'd accept, anyway.

    I do agree that communication is a good thing in most cases, but only if there is something that the OP values holding onto. His dad can't be expected to change because the OP wants him to, so there would have to be some value in the relationship that the OP has not given evidence of as yet.

    Theungry on
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  • shutzshutz Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    From my "rosy-colored glasses" perspective, it seems to be that the father would have to be way more of an asshole to justify completely cutting him out of his life. What I mean is, if the father actually shows some signs of wanting to make things better, instead of just hurting both his ex-wife and his son, he should be given the chance.

    On the other hand, if he keeps being an asshole, and things keep aggravating, then yeah, by all means, cut him out of your life.

    shutz on
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  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    So: At this stage, I've written a very long, emotionally detatched email in response, basically trying to explain myself and debunk his assumptions that I'm taking sides.

    [snip]

    So right now I'm going with the 'water off a ducks back' route, and I'm choosing not to respond.

    Well, you did write a very long e-mail. No matter how "emotionally detached" you think it was, a truly emotionally detached response would have been to not start writing at all. I'm pointing this out because I went through something similar in my youth, and then found out that the same pattern of abuse threads through generations in my family. I hated and despised my dad and my grandad for a long time, but I've come to realize that your parents will always be a part of you. Try to cut them out of your life and you cut yourself. Hate them and you hate part of yourself.

    Don't take me wrong: I think you did the right thing by not responding. I fully agree that whatever happened between your parents over the years is their business and if your father chooses to overreact to the current situation that's his problem. But in time he might change, and regret what he's done, and maybe you'll change too, and come up with questions you'd like him to answer. I guess what I want to say is that you should keep that door open, in your mind, if you can. Forget about the will, cease all contact with your dad for the time being if you want, but don't pretend he doesn't exist or waste your energy hating him.

    Bliss 101 on
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  • Cynic JesterCynic Jester Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I'd say cutting someone out of their will because they didn't side with you is a pretty asshole thing to do. If his father wanted to talk, why the hell didn't he, as opposed to sending a blatant attempt at manipulation down OPs throat? I've cut the link with my mother once, because we were close to coming to blows, but these days we get along just fine, because we talked about it, figured out that we were very different people with very different views and resolved not to discuss things like that any more. If my mother tried to manipulate me into feeling sorry for her, I probably wouldn't have given her so much as a thought.

    Ops father doesn't strike me as wanting help so much as he wants his son to take up his side and abandon his mother in favor of him. Which, while human and understandable, is not the way to go about reconciling differences.

    I wouldn't reply to the letter. It is an obvious attempt at unbalancing you. Rather, wait and see if he contacts you in a more normal fashion, with less of an agenda and more of a want to make up attitude.

    Cynic Jester on
  • DakalDakal Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Something simmilar happened to a friend of mine. His father, after almost 30 years of marriage, became abusive and arrogant and was threatening his mother, etc etc. His mom filed for divorce and it basically split the family. Him and his younger brother sided with their mom because they lived through all this. His two older brothers who were into their 30's couldnt believe that their dad acted this way.

    Long story short, the 2 older brothers cut relations with their mom, and the two younger cut relations with their dad. Now the older and younger brothers dont talk anymore. In fact, his oldest brother had a baby and didnt tell himor his own mother about it. And his dad tried to use it as a way to get back at his mom.

    So far, my friend has gotten on well, but there is always that hidden resentment towards their dad for dividing their family.

    It's sad really, when you think about it.

    My point is though, that you can get on even if you have to write off your dad. We're human, we can find ways to cope and deal with things. Just dont let him get to you with these petty things and you'll be fine. Eventually he will get on with his life, and so will you. Let bygons be bygons.

    Dakal on
  • EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    edited April 2008
    I can't speak with certainty about inheritance law outside of what little I learned about the Swedish laws in school, but there should be plenty of online resources you can check up for free if you want more information about the will and stuff. Also newspaper columns with Mr. X, Attourney at Law etc.

    (In Swedish law there's no such thing as removing from the will; biological children are entitled by law to 50% of the inheritance after any debts are paid. The rest can be distributed freely; or the children will get it all if there's no will.)

    Echo on
  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots perth, ausRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Damn you all! I come back here and the waters are muddy again, yeesh.

    Right now, I don't want to seek any kind of reconciliation with this guy. Some further background, growing up my family moved from England away from my extended family to Australia. It was normal growing up for my dad to work away for extended periods of time; away on oil rigs, on mine sites, interstate, and he'd come back for a weekend here or a few weeks there, and perhaps because he was 'on holiday' or tired from work or whatever, me and my brother got very little in the way of fatherly attention, but a lot of annoyed glances and instructions to go away and shut the fuck up. Heh. We just never built any friendship or mutual respect through, you know, 'hanging out' or whatever. He's a stranger.

    When my brother was 17 he stole some money from my mum. It wasn't an insignificant amount, we're talking maybe $1000+, and my dads reaction was to write him out of the family. My brother was apologetic to the nth but itt was probably 5 or 6 years before my dad said a word to him, and now, over 15 years later, they are virtually strangers. Oh, and he's out of the will too by the way.

    Meanwhile it was perfectly okay for him to gamble away so much of his earnings that after 15 years the family still owed the bank almost the entire loan of the family home. Because it was his money and he'd do what he wants.

    Before coming to Australia my Dad and my Aunty (mums sister) had an argument. I don't know what it was about. Before the final straw touched down and my mum said 'enough', my aunty and grandmother arranged to fly from England to Australia. It was the first time my aunty was to come after us living here for 20+ years. My Dad said he didn't care if she came. And as the year leading up to their visit passed by, Dad continued to say he was indifferent. Until about a week before they arrived, when he flipped out and left the house and didn't tell anyone where he was going.

    All because he still hates my Aunty over that argument. Ruined their trip and showed my mum exactly what he thinks of her and our family.

    He kicked me out of home for 'quitting my job' when in fact I'd been made redundant. He didn't believe me. At the time I was sick with undiagnosed type-1 diabetes. I had to start at a new job and couldn't miss a day of training or I wouldn't be able to pay the rent, so I was pretty much on the verge of death when I finally said 'okay maybe I should skip work and go to the hospital'. My dad's reaction to being told I had type-1 diabetes: Bullshit! (I think, eventually, he came to realise that I wasn't lying about that either.)

    That was the second time he kicked me out. The first time was on a friday night after he'd asked me to walk the dog. I was in my room putting on my shoes when he came in and told me to pack my things and get out. Last semester of university, no home, no job, no access to welfare. Awesome!

    Thanks for reading! What I've boiled it down to is that this man cannot handle not being in control. Whether it's direct, as in "I'm going to have my way with you, whore!" like with my mum, or indirectly by doing a vanishing act so no one knows what his next move will be, and everyone will be worried. Part of the reason I think we never got along is that I saw right through this and did everything I could to ignore it, unlike my Mum and Brother who are probably vastly more pragmatic, and appeased him to their best ability.

    So, reflecting, I see that this is a man with a history with a sheer, bloody-minded stubborn streak who feels perhaps more wronged than he ever has before. If Dr Phil has taught me anything (and I'm generally inclined to suspect that he hasn't, but oh well), it's that past history is the best indicator of future behaviour. Or something like that, right? So with the remaining years he has, he will most likely never concede that he's always been the catalyst for the problems in the family, and even if he did concede, an apology passing his lips would have to be an event with a lower probability than winning the lottery.

    Writing all this makes the eye-rolling and shrugging response seem all the more obvious. 8-)

    Echo: Regarding wills in Australia I wouldn't have a clue, but my mother mentioned it casually to her divorce lawyer and they said I could contest if I wanted to. Given that all he'd bequeath would probably be a large mountain of crushed beer cans (probably amounting to about $15 worth of minerals), some uncashed casino chips and the remainder of a subscription to Crotchety Old Fucker Monthly, it probably wouldn't be worth the time.

    desperaterobots on
  • Clint EastwoodClint Eastwood My baby's in there someplace She crawled right inRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Crotchety Old Fucker Monthly has some really good articles in it, I'd weigh your options very carefully

    But seriously, unless he wins big gambling, I wouldn't bother contesting anything. In the event that he does though, I would definitely recommend contesting it, because man that would feel good if you could take his money.

    Clint Eastwood on
  • DakalDakal Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    When he dies, all that debt you were talking about... your family has to take care of that usually. So... I'd watch out.

    Dakal on
  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I'm not you, so I could never tell you what's right and what's wrong. You have more information than anyone else here could possibly have. That being said, making the choice to shut someone out of your life forever is a big one and should not be taken lightly. He did something very petty to get your attention, and by the sound of it he's made a lot of mistakes in the past, some he probably will never be able to make up for and maybe doesn't want to. But the biggest mistake would to find out too late that you should have made amends with your father.

    I would wait until he can approach you in a mature manner, willing to talk things out and start a relationship with you. He may not be ready now, and he may not ever be ready, but like I said before it would be a terrible thing to realize you wanted a real relationship with him after it's too late. I would think really long and really hard about what you want to do.

    Zombiemambo on
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  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I had some issues with my father that lead to me cutting him out of my life around ten years ago. The best advice I can give you is to forget the fucker even exists.

    There's other good information on this thread, but what I believe your father is looking for currently is attention. He wants to know that he can still invoke the ol' childhood fear and memories in you and bully you into giving him the attention he wants so he can continue to be the big boogeyman he wants to be.

    Don't answer his letters, plop his e-mail addy in your spam folder, and refuse to talk to him. From the sound of it, he doesn't have anyone else in his life to rank over, and that is just torture to people like him. The will is a last, desperate act to try to get you back. Resist it. No amount of money is worth the emotional and psychological damage this man has wrought upon you and the rest of your family. I'd also suggest that you tell the rest of your family to ignore him as well.

    it's that past history is the best indicator of future behaviour.
    (enlarged and bolded for truthness)

    Once an asswipe, always an asswipe. He'll come to you again in the future. He'll write something all dripping with honey and sweetness on how he's sorry, how he never meant to do any of it. Open said letter to make sure it's not a death notice, if not, then chuck it in the trash. The paper is worth more than any words he has to say to you.

    JaysonFour on
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  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots perth, ausRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I'm not you, so I could never tell you what's right and what's wrong. You have more information than anyone else here could possibly have. That being said, making the choice to shut someone out of your life forever is a big one and should not be taken lightly. He did something very petty to get your attention, and by the sound of it he's made a lot of mistakes in the past, some he probably will never be able to make up for and maybe doesn't want to. But the biggest mistake would to find out too late that you should have made amends with your father.

    I would wait until he can approach you in a mature manner, willing to talk things out and start a relationship with you. He may not be ready now, and he may not ever be ready, but like I said before it would be a terrible thing to realize you wanted a real relationship with him after it's too late. I would think really long and really hard about what you want to do.

    Re: bolded, I'm pretty sure that's what he has done to me with this out of the will shit? I mean, the letter had no number or return address and was hardly an invitation to an open dialogue. The part of me that wanted a relationship with him has been constantly eroded by his bullshit behaviour. I just don't think I'm forgiving enough to discount all of that history and try to 'start fresh' with someone who has made plain how little they think of me.

    It is good advice though, thanks.
    Dakal wrote:
    When he dies, all that debt you were talking about... your family has to take care of that usually. So... I'd watch out.

    Can anyone else offer advice as to this? I wouldn't have though I could have been held to my fathers debts. In any case, once the family house is sold, the bank will be repaid, the profits split, and my folks go their own separate ways. Worrying about gambling debt is one of the reasons my mum was so exhausted with the marriage.
    JaysonFour wrote:
    There's other good information on this thread, but what I believe your father is looking for currently is attention. He wants to know that he can still invoke the ol' childhood fear and memories in you and bully you into giving him the attention he wants so he can continue to be the big boogeyman he wants to be.

    I believe this to be true also, and I've counselled my mum when she's been upset by my fathers actions. He put a newspaper article highlighting the 'growing costs of divorce' in an unaddressed, unsigned envelope in my mums letter box. I explained that his entire family life appeared to centre on control and power being the primary motivators; by taking control of her own life she's wrestling that power away from him and naturally he's not going to like it, and will attempt any way he knows how to exert influence over her again.

    And I think this might just be a way for him to try and do the same to me.

    And you're right J4; no amount of money is worth the sense of relief that I won't have such a negative influence in my life any longer. Gosh, I sound like such a christian right now. :|

    desperaterobots on
  • METAzraeLMETAzraeL Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Just because you're his offspring doesn't mean you owe him anything. If he is a negative influence, and ultimately does you no good, you have every right to better your life by cutting him out of it. And remember that nothing you do is final - he can change, you can change, and maybe someday he'll be worth having in your life. But for now, you need to look after yourself.

    METAzraeL on

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  • falsedeffalsedef Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Dakal wrote: »
    When he dies, all that debt you were talking about... your family has to take care of that usually. So... I'd watch out.

    IANAL, but you can't inherit debt from your parents, unless you inherit or are given assets associated with that debt. They might take payment out of his belongings (i.e., that HD flatscreen he bought on credit card will just be seized), but they can't charge relatives for it. That'd be ridiculous, and debtors who harass children should be reported.

    falsedef on
  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I believe that if you accept to inherit anything valuable, you may also inherit debt, but you can choose not to inherit anything and not accept the debt. Pretty sure that's how it works over here in clog country anyway.

    SanderJK on
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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    falsedef wrote: »
    Dakal wrote: »
    When he dies, all that debt you were talking about... your family has to take care of that usually. So... I'd watch out.
    IANAL, but you can't inherit debt from your parents, unless you inherit or are given assets associated with that debt. They might take payment out of his belongings (i.e., that HD flatscreen he bought on credit card will just be seized), but they can't charge relatives for it. That'd be ridiculous, and debtors who harass children should be reported.
    You can't inherit debt, only assets. When the estate goes through probate, it will pay down all remaining liabilities in full; any assets leftover after that are inheritance. If there's not enouch to pay down all the remaining debts, the lenders are SOL.

    Thanatos on
  • korrianderkorriander Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    As someone who did change their last name to be rid of *father's* name, leave him for dead and divest yourself of reminders of him. I have nothing left of my father. No pictures, no gifts, not one item with a memory attached. He was a useless and painful part of my life I cut out and am very much the better for. Sounds like you should do the same.

    korriander on
  • falsedeffalsedef Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    falsedef wrote: »
    Dakal wrote: »
    When he dies, all that debt you were talking about... your family has to take care of that usually. So... I'd watch out.
    IANAL, but you can't inherit debt from your parents, unless you inherit or are given assets associated with that debt. They might take payment out of his belongings (i.e., that HD flatscreen he bought on credit card will just be seized), but they can't charge relatives for it. That'd be ridiculous, and debtors who harass children should be reported.
    You can't inherit debt, only assets. When the estate goes through probate, it will pay down all remaining liabilities in full; any assets leftover after that are inheritance. If there's not enouch to pay down all the remaining debts, the lenders are SOL.

    Yeah, that's what I was attempting to say, just didn't get the words right.

    falsedef on
  • UnbrokenEvaUnbrokenEva HIGH ON THE WIRE BUT I WON'T TRIP ITRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Speaking as someone who was put in a similar situation, except that my mother was smart enough to divorce my father when I was 2, I'd say you don't lose anything by removing someone like that from your life. When I was a teenager my father would talk to me about "hearing his side of the story", though I was never sure how he planned to explain the stuff I was old enough to remember. Regardless, I formally changed my name as soon as I was old enough to do so without his consent, and when he started playing mind games with my half sister, wiped my hands of him and that whole side of my family.

    It's been years now, he's since driven my sister away as well, gotten married a third time, and I've gotten married myself. My wife has occasionally asked about that side of the family, but understands my reasons, and that I'm better off without them.

    UnbrokenEva on
  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots perth, ausRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    This is all very helpful, thanks guys. And thanks for the advice on inheritance, I did think it was suspicious that debt could be transferred to relatives who hadn't asked for the loans.

    desperaterobots on
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