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Adjo's avatar

My dad keeps venting his anger about his girlfriend ignoring him on me. What should I do?

Asked by Adjo (57points) November 18th, 2010

My dad has a girlfriend whose daughter is truant (won’t go to school). The girlfriend has had to take her to court and things like that and lately she keeps ignoring my dad. My dad didn’t know what to do and after about a week or so of not hearing from her, he broke up with her. The whole time she didn’t talk to him, he was getting madder and madder. He has a short temper already but it seemed as if he always puts me in his line of fire. He and his girlfriend got back together but he says she has started ignoring him again. I’m already on a short fuse. What should I do to get him off my back?

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14 Answers

janbb's avatar

Tell him you don’t really want to hear about his ups and downs with his girlfriend. Tell him you have a lot of stress in your own life and while you wish him well in his relationship, it is not really an appropriate subject for him to be airing with you. It’s all about establishing your boundaries.

Welcome to Fluther!

Summum's avatar

I would do as @janbb suggests and just talk with him and let him know how you feel and what this is doing to you.

marinelife's avatar

If he is abusive, you should talk to a school counselor or a teacher.

If it stops short of that, wait until your dad isn’t angry, then say that you want to talk to him, but you are afraid that he will get mad.

He should then assure you that he will not get mad.

Then calmly and quietly tell him what janbb suggested. Tell him that it is not right that he take his negative feelings about his girlfriend out on you.

If he starts to get angry, remind him that he promised not to.

Good luck!

6rant6's avatar

Find a couples counselor (who you have reason to believe is good.) Whenever he brings up his ongoing troubles, say, “Have you called the counselor? No? Then you’re not serious about solving it, so don’t use our time together venting, OK?”

Now realistically, most men WILL NEVER make the call. But at least you can shut down the crap without appearing not to care.

Adjo's avatar

@janbb I have actually tried that but he twists that around and brings up other matters and stuff that is supposed to make me feel guilty. For example, when I do my online schooling, I do it in my bedroom because I have a very nice desk and everything I need and it is quiet. Sometimes during the days he comes home from work early and then has me help him (if I don’t, he taunts me about why I do online schooling) and so I get no work done and then he yells at me that night for doing my homework instead of watching a movie with him or something. This is something he uses to make me feel guilty when I say that. I will try again and hopefully it will help.
@marinelife he’s a very loving dad and has NEVER been abusive (except when it was seriously called for in my “earlier” years of rebellion) and he loves me very much, it’s just his words that hurt a lot. I talk to my mom about it too because she knows how to just listen and not criticize me. I only have a few months until I’m out of school and can work full time. I’m already 18.

janbb's avatar

@Adjo It sounds like he is trying to make you a friend and have you fill that role, instead of letting you grow as a daughter. This doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you, but may be serving his needs more than yours. If you cannot have a productive talk with him about these issues, maybe you can suggest going with him to a counselor or pastoral counselor for a few sessions on how to improve your relationship. If it can’t be improved or he won’t cooperate, maybe you need to think about changing your living situation.

Pandora's avatar

Do you have uncles or aunts he can call and talk to? Tell him you love and care for him but that you feel there is nothing you can say that will ease his problems. Suggest he call a sibling or a friend that may understand what he is going through.
With you being so close to leaving home he may also be going through some stuff on that front.
Some parents try to hold on closer before the child leaves home. I call it the “loving death grip”.
Especially if there are no siblings at home or you are the favorite. This may be more than about the girlfriend ignoring him. He may feel you will be abandoning him as well. Thats why the guilt run on the movies.
Explain that you would love to watch things with him but school work is a priority. If he insist that you watch shows than tell him you will have to give up assisting him with his stuff so you can get your things done in a timely manner and be able to watch shows with him when he is ready.
Set up a movie night once a week when you don’t have homework or other things to do.
But you may want to talk to him about your leaving doesn’t mean your are leaving him alone but he had his time to grow and shine and you feel it only fair you be allowed to do so as well and that you will need his love, and understanding and emotional support in the months to come.
Share with him what you said here. That you think he is a great dad and add that you know he will always be there for you.
Knowing that he is still needed may force his conversations to change away from the girlfriend.

Adjo's avatar

Thanks! I will try these ideas!

DandyDear711's avatar

my daughter doesn’t hesitate to tell me whats on her mind.- that i am bugging her. lol

just tell him! good luck!

DandyDear711's avatar

(i got scolded just last night!)

BarnacleBill's avatar

Welcome to Fluther!

Lots of times, people just want to vent. They don’t expect you to say or do anything. They just want to talk, and don’t realize it’s wearing.

Perhaps just listen to him, then ask him what he plans on doing about it. You could also redirect him to an adult relative or a friend by saying, “I don’t know what to tell you. Aunt Martha’s good with relationship stuff; perhaps she can tell you what you should do.”

Or you could send him to Fluther; we’re here to help. We’re good at delivering the “move on” message.

Cruiser's avatar

Honestly ignore his outbursts. Shame on him involving you in his pissy behavior. Not a good role model and you should not be party to nor patronize his rants. Ignore them, leave the room or the house if you have to and don’t say a word.

skfinkel's avatar

Your father is not acting in your best interest by involving you in his love life. So, you need to let him know, at a time when things are quiet and not when he is angry, and see if he can hear you. If he can’t, I would spend time in another house of a relative or your mom. And, since you are almost 18, maybe you can move out soon. He is not treating you with respect, and you deserve that.

Adjo's avatar

@skfinkel actually I turned 18 last month :-)

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