I recently got a new car after 11 years…it’s very exciting, but it has indirectly caused quite a bit of drama in my life. After hearing about the car, my father started sending a lot of emails about it- asking questions about the APR, questioning why I got all the “bells and whistles” I did on the car, etc. He also stated he was disappointed I didn’t come and show him the car. I own a house by myself and am very conservative with my money and this car is definitely within my means and within the budget I had set for myself. Part of my dad’s emails stem from his sheer boredom and I understand this. My father’s emails are way better now that he’s not drinking, but they still are usually negative. I honestly pay very little attention to them and I don’t feel like I need to answer to him about my finances or purchases.
Long story short, after receiving some of these emails, my live-in boyfriend decided to email my father back “defending” me. My father copies my mother, sister, my boyfriend and me on all of his emails, so I guess my boyfriend was offended by what my dad was writing. I have not read the emails that were exchanged between my boyfriend and my dad, but I know my boyfriend wrote to my dad that I work hard and that my dad should not be making me feel bad about the purchase, etc. etc. He also told my dad that his emails make him sound like an asshole (again, I’m paraphrasing). My dad apparently responded that he was offended and upset (which is also what he told my mother). When my boyfriend told me he did this, he had already written my dad a second time doing damage control and apologizing. Meanwhile he told me that he doesn’t regret saying what he did to my father, he just knew I would be upset. My bf and I have discussed him wanting to email my dad in the past and I have always pleaded with him not to.
Needless to say I am very upset about the whole thing. On one hand, I understand that my bf felt that he was defending me. My mom said to me that part of her is proud of him for doing so and that she told my dad he should be glad I have a man in my life who sticks up for me. I know that any man who loves me is eventually going to have to deal with the way my father talks to me and how he often insults me or puts me down. On the other hand, I feel disrespected because my bf clearly went against my wishes and now I have a lot of anxiety about my dad and him. Ever since my dad had the stroke and stopped drinking (in October), things have settled down. He doesn’t leave me crazy, screaming voicemails, his emails are much less offensive and family visits have become almost “normal”. I explained to my boyfriend that I feel like my family is finally somewhat functional and that I resent the fact that he just created this drama. I was happy that my dad and my bf got along and that my dad liked and respected him. I know my bf was never thrilled about how my dad treated me (and my mom and sister), but he is able to see the changes my dad has made since his stroke. I just don’t understand why my bf would choose this moment to confront my father (because he’s read much nastier emails in the past).
I haven’t spoken to my dad since all this happened because I am so afraid of confrontation. My dad told my mom that my bf didn’t sincerely apologize (although my bf told me he did write two emails back to my dad apologizing and trying to explain himself). Even talking to my mom feels a little strained because there feels like an elephant in the room (and I am super close with my mom). My sister is being really nonchalant about it and keeps telling me it will blow over, but I’m still incredibly uncomfortable. I was looking forward to having a few family bbqs over the summer and now I am dreading what will happen when my bf and dad are together.
I’m just really angry about the whole situation because I feel like for two decades I had to deal with my dad being a crazy, abusive alcoholic and then finally…finally…things seemed like they were getting better and this happened. My therapist said she understands why my bf defended me, but that maybe he didn’t understand how much work and effort it takes for me to have a delicate balance of my family life just being “ok”.
We talked about it again last night and my boyfriend clearly feels awful about how upset I am and wishes he had never sent the email. But what’s done is done. My bf said he will call my dad to try to talk things out man to man, but I am nervous about that (even confrontation by proxy makes me anxious). I just wish I could forget about it and let it blow over, but as time goes on I am getting more and more upset and more resentful towards my boyfriend.
Gah. Hope the bf can come to an understanding about your feelings for your family. while he does sound like a stand-up guy, it’s an awful position to have put you in.
I know! And I know that he is in a hard position, too. He says that any man who is worth anything is not going to let my father mistreat me and just stand by and watch and I do get that. Buuuuuuut…it just sucks now.