Birthdays and gifts.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by newstart, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    My husband had a 63rd birthday yesterday. Our 35 yr old CD daughter was trying to make the day special for him. It was good to see her put time and energy into trying to make it special. Last birthday I turned 60 and was ignored. My husband and friends made it good but daughter was uninvolved.
    We decided to have the party at our daughters house. Usually we try to avoid her 42 year old boyfriend or he tries to avoid us. I knew with us being there he would be very uncomfortable to the point it would make all of us uncomfortable.
    We get there and awkward boyfriend shakes hands with my husband and tells him happy birthday and asks him how old he is, husband says 63. Awkward boyfriend has a hard time giving eye contact so no eye contact to both of us.
    For his birthday my husband wanted all of us to go to the gym and work out. Daughter, my husband and I go to the gym.
    We get back to daughters home and there are balloons, a cake and a gift from awkward boyfriend. He is not around of course because we stressed him too much.
    The balloons are regular balloons and one special balloon with Peppa pig. Who is Pegga pig? I google and find out it is a child cartoon character. The cake had a 56 on it, after my husband told him he was 63 and the gift was a large box of depends.
    My husband is a very gracious person and just told my daughter to tell him thank you.
    The boyfriend just does not sit right with both of us, I guess he was trying to celebrate in his own way but oh my God, he is 42 years old. I try so hard to look at the silver lining in all of this and the more I am around him the sicker my stomach feels. This guy is possibly our future son in law.
    My dad's parents had a very wicked off/on relationship. Highly toxic and destructive. Both died in their early 50s and left 10 kids behind. Could that gene that causes a person to set up a life of misery be inherited? How could an educated woman make such a bad choice on such a major part of her life.
    When we got home, I lit a candle for my deceased son and cried my eyes out.
    I know some of you will say 'well look at the bright side, he gave you gifts.' Well, why does it feel like a slap accross the face?
    I try everday to see the positive in everyone and everything.. I try hard.. I can not see anything positive or good coming from my wayward daughter and her wayward boyfriend. Cobwebs growing all over the inside of her home, just like a real haunted house. I cleaned the cobwebs and thought what a mess living in such a nice home. I know it is HER home, I have no idea why I feel I had to clean the cobwebs. Sometimes my emotions are much better when I don't see the mess she creates in such a nice home.
    When around my daughter and her boyfriend I feel empty, used, disapointed, stressed and grieved to the core. They are certainly not good for my health.
    42 year old boyfriend lives with my daughter and when fighting with her lives with his mother and stays at his sisters home. 3 women covering all of his bills. What a catch!
    I know someone will write, well that is none of your business. It is my daughter so it is some of my business. Working on detatching, it is hard for me because I can have a good day with my daughter and then a horrible day..I know getting distance is the answer and I hold on to the bits and pieces of love she dishes out when not manic. Sometimes I feel as if she loves me deeply and other times she does not give a hoot. I celebrated my husbands birthday with my entire heart and was so grateful to God that he is with me and healthy. He is a good man, balanced and I am ever so grateful he is not CD..

  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    One thing you can do for yourself is not to ever hold an event at daughter's house. Yes, I know SHE probably insisted, but you have the final say in your life.

    As for your daughter, you can certainly fret over her. It is your choice. What you can't do is change her. She is what she is....neither a good housekeeper nor with a man you would choose for her. You can continue to not like it. That is your right. But don't waste too much time. You can't control another person.

    My older daughter is with a man I would not have chosen for her. But I love my daughter and granddaughter so I treat him with love and never e press my feelings to my kid. I do feel it is not my business. She is 34 and allowed to make her own decisions. He is the father of my beloved grandchild.

    Maybe your daughters boyfriend had Asperger's or some neurological glitch that makes him socially awkward. He must have something that your daughter likes and that is all that really counts.

    I hope next time you choose to have affairs elsewhere. I still think your daughter sounds more borderline than bipolar. But that really won't change anything either way. She is who and what she is and you have no choice but to deal with her as she is if you want any sort of relationship with her.

    A college education, even a PhD, doesn't mean good emotional intelligence. It has been proven that people with good emotional intelligence have better lives than those with high academic intelligence. Look up emotional intelligence.

    I am sorry you still suffer because of daughter. I hope you can learn to gently let go so that both of you can live good lives without interference from intense emotions.

  3. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    SWOT, thank you for the peace, I live for the peace.
    The reason we had the party at daughter's house, there is a family friend staying with her from out of the country. He is on a very tight schedule and wanted to celebrate with us. We had more time together with him that way. Yes, I agree, we do not go over often at all. I have read all about emotional intelligence. It is hard to see a person with high intelligence, low emotional intelligence and no common sense. It is just so sad to watch. I do think her boyfriend has some kind of aspergers. I have a dear friend with aspergers, he is a chemical engineer, I really like him, he is kind hearted and off the charts odd but his heart is good and he means well. Daughter's boyfriend is just plain odd but not in a good way.
  4. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    It was odd that boyfriend gave him the gift of Depends, which I would consider as more of a joke type of gift, when he really doesn't know him.

    This sounds tough. I think I'd just keep my distance as much as I was able to. You have to find the right combination of what YOU can deal with. I think at some point we just have to put ourselves (and what our nerves can handle) first.

    They are both adults and in their version of an adult relationship. For my own sanity I'd have to limit contact.

    As my therapist says: you have to accept the way things are for now. That's all we can do. Accept.
  5. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Exactly RN, Boyfriend does NOT know him or us at all to give my husband a large box of depends. First of all there are many people that have to wear them, not a laughing matter and second of all, I am a huge jokester, I love jokes and fun loving people but I do not find anything boyfriend did fun or funny or even kind. Please know that I look for the good in everyone and I try hard to find something good in the boyfriend and I know my daughter loves him so there has to be something redeming but I can't see it and it's not like I am not looking to see it, I search, I search hard. I guess I could say that he loves his dog but the flip side is that he does not take proper medical care of him. He does everything 1/2 a--.
  6. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    I agree—totally inappropriate to give your hubby a box of Depends as a gift.

    The guy is living rent-free in your house!

    What did your daughter say when that gift was opened?
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  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    NewStart, I understand "odd." My ex is just like that boyfriend and has no social skills at all and no caring of what others think of him. My daughter has been mortified by him when she is with him and he says,"Wow, look how fat she is!" In a loud voice or " that braided hair is UnAmerican." That was a direct quote from what my daughter told me he said. When she tries to stop him or make him see it's mean and rude he doesn't understand. It's frustrating.
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  8. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    My daughter said she thought the gift was inapproperiate but then turns around and tries to defend him. She is very defensive of him. She knows he does wrong, sets her life upside down yet is quick to defend him. I see their relationship more as mother/son than husband/wife. I think he is repeating his pattern, he is a big time momma's boy and just repeating the pattern with my daughter.
    I have looked at this situation 100 different ways, telling myself that he is the only man that can tolerate her mania and abuse. There is no leader in that team, no clear head or anything moving forward. My daughter before she started dating him was keeping over water financially and doing fairly well, he comes into her life and she has spriral down 100 notches. I am sure she has spiral his life down a bunch of notches too. Together they are crap. Wish they both could find a partner that would lift and move them forward in a satifying life. They are always in turmoil and confusion. And wish I had the 'what ever' it takes to let go and walk away and not think about it. Staying very busy does not help my emotions when all I want to see is my daughter on the right path. There has to be a right way to get through this I will find the right fit. Thank you for your comment and observations.
  9. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Did the boyfriend make the cake and decorate it?

    Or did he just put those (wrong) numbers on?
  10. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    The gift sounds like a joke. I suppose this could have been the boyfriends attempt to reach out.
    From what you have shared, the boyfriend having trouble making eye contact and the odd choice of gifts really reflects that he does not have good social graces.

    I understand your concern about your daughter being with this man. It's never easy when we have to be around people we don't care for. When I find myself in this situation I really do my best to just muddle through it. I have found it helps to try and find one positive thing about the person and that helps me tolerate it much better. Something as simple as "they are wearing a really nice shirt".
    You say he loves his dog, that's a good thing. As for not taking proper medical care of him, I question if he realizes he should.

    I have a sister in law that grates on all my nerves. Anytime we have a family get together I dread having to spend time with her. She too does not have good social skills and really lacks common sense.
    I know how draining it can be to spend time in someone's presence that you don't care for.

    As much as you dislike this man, for whatever reason, your daughter loves him.
    Because you already have a strained relationship with your daughter I don't think I would share with her that you dislike the boyfriend because that can have the opposite effect that you want and just push her farther into his arms.
    It's not what you say, it's how you say it.
    Something like "does your boyfriend have eye problems because he never looks us in the eye's and I'm just wondering if he's okay"
    You can bring attention to the issue but say it in a way that sounds caring. This way your daughter will be made aware but not in a threatening way.
    "that sure was a funny gift your boyfriend got for your dad, it's a good thing we knew it was a joke because someone else might have been offended to receive a gift like that from someone they don't know very well. We sure had a good laugh"
    Again, you bring attention to it but not in a threatening way.

    Hopefully you won't have to have too many interactions with him.
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  11. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    SWOT, That is probably the reason your husband is your EX. I bet when he was trying to get you to marry him he was on his best behavior until down the road and his true self came out. It had to be very hard for you to have a partner like him. I bet you suffered deep agony. There are many people without social skills and the best of us fall off the wagon from time to time. In real life I cut a lot of slack because I know I am far from perfect but this boyfriends does not only have NO social he has bad social skills.
  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    No. I married him partly because I knew I was no longer welcome at home and had serious learning issues that made keeping even simple jobs hard. I did not think I could make it alone and he was handsome in my eyes and seemed stable but I knew it was a bad match. He demeaned me a lot but I saw this with my own parents and it wasn't until I had three kids that I realized that the was he talked to me and gave me no money wasn't normal. I divorced him after 17 years and after that met my current husband who is the opposite of ex. Awesome!

    I personally don't think you should say anything about this man to your daughter. I think she knows he has quirks and, being the way that she is, will see through your pointing things out about him. It could anger her.

    She is with him because she wants to be, warts and all. Now I asked my mom early on if I could come home and she told me I made my bed and I had to lay in it so I made the best I could out of my marriage, not thinking too hard that it was bad and focusing on my kids. I was happily married by 45. I got a lot of help for myself while married to the first man.

    Anyhow I tried to answer your question. I did have to be on my own in my marriage and it did a lot of good for me to see I was more capable than I knew. It wasn't totally wasted time. I was rather difficult due to low self esteem and a depressive mood disorder in my 20s and early 30s. I would not have wanted my mother's two cents, if she had cared enough to see me much or voice it. It would have made me very angry for her to point out the obvious, even though it was true. And I felt I was with him partly because she gave me no safety net. But we were not close. She was cruel to me and very sensitive and cruel when I tried to defend myself.

    my depression has been successfully treated, late 39s, I am far more apt to take care of myself and much more prone to feeling I am worthy and discarding toxic people from my life. I was looking for a nice guy or none at all after the divorce.

    If you want to preserve the relationship you have with your very touchy daughter, I would stay completely out of her relationship. "if you can't think of anything nice to say don't say anything at all."

    I believe this man's present to Husband was his awkward attempt at humor. Eventually this will probably break up but feel that if you interfer even good naturedly you may push defiant daughter right into his arms. Please do not the create a middle age Romeo and Juliet!
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    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  13. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Tanya, I have tried the great way you have described. I have talked to the boyfriend about the no eye contact and ignoring us. The reason I had to confront him was because he walked up to me and said 'My mother always tries to make your daughter comfortable' and to that I said 'Your mother has something to work with, you do not talk to me, or give me eye contact and as soon as you see me you get on your phone and ignore me, you have no idea who I am and you don't even know me, even though you have been with my daughter for over 8 years off and on. I have tried to work with it but the chemistry is so odd that I have to ignore it. I keep telling myself that he is someones son no matter how awful I think he is. I would want someone to always be nice to my son. I know that no one can take the place of my son but having a good potential son in law has always been great for my husband and me. Our daughter's former boyfriends and us had great times. I still hear from several of them. They would tell my husband and me that they love us, we all went to places together and had fun. I am used to being loved and loving.

    I have done that 'no threatening' way with my daughter sometimes my nerves just can't take anymore.
  14. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Opps, I wrote a reply and accidently deleted it. Glad you found a good husband and I know the more bad I say about him the more she will run to him. So glad you got out of your bad situation and into something you enjoy. Big hug.
  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My daughter's boyfriend of twelve years is not quite that awkward, but he is hard to get close to and very not social. He tends to stay in the basement a lot when we are over. He doesn't try to stop us from coming, and is perfectly nice, but it is hard to be close to him so the focus is on daughter and granddaughter.

    My youngest daughter has a friendly, sweet fiance so we do things with both. Different personalities. Younger ones fiance has good social skills and feels at home with us. Also he has similar interests to my husband. The older ones boyfriend is uncomfortable around people, period.

    Your daughter's boyfriend is who he is. Eight years is a long time. It doesn't sound like he is going anywhere. One thing I do with oldest daughters SO is tell him I think he is smart, a good father, etc. He probably likes me. It is hard to tell with him but he acts more comfortable than he did long ago. His own family doesn't get along and his mother demeans him even in front of his child. So I try to tell him good things about himself.
  16. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    So many different personalities. When my daughter and boyfriend were PG I said many good things to him and about him. I really tried. Gave it my best shot. He is someone's son. I have tried. Hard.
    When they are together I feel as if someone put them in a rubber room and knocked their heads together..
  17. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I'm going to address the first thing I quoted above...educated, smart, even capable, sober and well-balanced women make very stupid choices of men at times. I'm their poster child.

    Mind you I am NOT talking about wonderful soul-mate of a husband who has put up with me for nearly 18 years now. :love: But my first husband, the biological father of my son, well...he was no catch.

    How did I - a lawyer - who was mature, intelligent, and steady by most people's reckoning - marry a lazy bum who didn't work, dropped out of high school, had two children by two other women who he did not see and didn't support, had a criminal record, and was controlling to the point of being stalkerish? Well, I guess the fact is, he did and said all the right things to me. He confessed all his past transgressions, told me he wanted a wife, a family, the Leave It To Beaver life that I wanted too. He wanted someone to grow old with, to share things with. I was rapidly approaching 30, on the rebound from a rather intense relationship, my biological clock was ticking so loud you could hear it in the next room, and I thought no one would ever want to marry me and have babies with me if I didn't settle for him. I decided he had "potential". We married 5 months after we met. I actually considered calling it off - but the invitations had been mailed and I was too proud to admit I'd made a mistake. I told myself it would be okay. I told myself that he would change.

    He was a jealous - which I found flattering at first - but which eventually was simply a sign of his emotional abuse. He drank - at the time I did too but I soon realized he couldn't stop. He would keep the car and stay out all night and lie about where he'd been. He denied cheating up to and including the day he moved in with another woman. It wasn't long before I realized all the past sins he'd confessed were true...but there was no ambition to ever change. He simply refused to work and very nearly bankrupted me. We married 1/1/94. Had a baby 4/5/95. Separated six months later. Were divorced 10 months after that.

    Now if my parents had been alive and in my life, I would never have married him...but that's because I AM in fact a pretty stable, intelligent person and my parent's would not have approved...I'd have never done anything they would not have approved of while they were alive. If not...if I were bipolar and iffy with my family at times - a Difficult Child...well I might still have ended up married to him and maybe, without a great job and good friends, I wouldn't have gotten out as quickly as I did.

    I guess what I'm saying is smart woman make stupid choices in men every day and sometimes their faults are things that can not be lived with and sometimes they are. Maybe she sees something there you don't. Maybe what she's seeing is something that he, socially awkward as he is, doesn't show to others, but only to her. Maybe she's afraid of being alone. Maybe he makes he feel loved and important. Maybe she feels like he's as good as she'll do. Maybe they compliment each other in ways you can't know. Maybe she simply refuses to admit she's made a mistake. Maybe whatever his faults, she just sees the good in him. Even my ex had some good in him.

    I'm not going to tell you it's none of your business. She's your daughter and you want the best for her and you don't think that he's the best. But I guess what I'm saying is - SHE'S the one who has to think he's the best...not you. So do your best to ignore him. Do your best to just think about her and if she decides that he's not what she wants - be there for her then. For now, you don't have to like only have to tolerate him.
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    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  18. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    New Start, daughter's boyfriend doesn't hug and kiss me or even ask how I am doing in spite of my overtures to him. He isn't warm and fuzzy to others but he is much less uncomfortable than before. Be glad this boyfriend may not be your first choice, but at least he doesn't influence your daughter against you. It happens more than you think! :(
  19. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I think you are right about this...I think he was trying. The cake and balloons and "gift" - well, who knows? The "gift" while inappropriate was not an unusual "over the hill" type gag gift I got some once - I think for my 49th. Awkward, but so is the boyfriend, right? Maybe they were out of 3's and so instead of no candles, he thought he'd do 56 as a joke - better than 65 (I'm assuming they were candles) So Peppa Pig is a kid's cartoon character...maybe he just thought it was cute???

    Try thinking of it this way - he went to the trouble of running to the store to get cake and balloons and, yes, made a bad joke of a gift...but he did something. He didn't just ignore it or just say "Happy Birthday" and then do nothing.

    I have a dear friend who (thank GOD) broke up recently with her boyfriend of a number of years - like 8 or 9. He's 15 years younger than her and whenever anyone who knew them both found out they were a couple the reaction wasn't "WOW! She's so much older!" It was, "OMG, she's with HIM?" Because she's awesome. Beautiful and funny and brilliant and affectionate and kind. He's - odd. Standoffish, kind of cold...awkward. Too intelligent to make a social mistake like giving Depends to someone they don't know well - and with enough money that he'd just give a gift card or nothing at all - because he's kind of they type to do nothing...but if he was a person with limited funds and was trying to make an effort to reach out and be nice, I could see that kind of awkward attempt at humor.

    He broke up with her. Telling her he wasn't good enough for her does NOT make her happier. She knew he was awkward. She thinks he may be mildly autistic. She loves him anyway.
  20. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Well my grandmother used to say you don’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear. This fits here for me.

    Awkward is one thing but no mindfulness, tact and taste are all over this mess.

    Depends would be funny as a gag gift if your were close to someone.

    I hope you don’t hear a kid complaining that their Balloons were stolen from their Birthday party and hear of another person exclaiming someone ran off with their 56th Birthday Cake.

    It makes you shake your head. I try very hard to limit my expectations to protect my heart but some days are just tougher than others.

    New start. I am sending you a warm hug and might I suggest you and your husband have a nice date night just the two of you. :grouphug: