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Always is when I go away for the weekend with my family...


You can guarantee when I come back he's "been ill". EVERY TIME. So I phoned him - first sentence "I've been ill". Like its my fault because I went away!


STILL not taking all his medication that the GP gave him so I offer ZERO sympathy. Basically, wants me to tell him how he can feel better - "Take the meds the GP has given you Dad, if that fails then go an see you're GP but I'm not a doctor."


His words - "I desperately need you to visit the weekend." "I've got no food in the house" (Brother lives literally 5 mins drive from him - I live 35-40 mins. Brother is probably laying low). Anyway, he knows my car is in the garage so I'm struggling for transport and he knows my wife works weekends so may need our other car. So I tell him I can't promise. Anyone would have thought I'd told him I'd murdered the family next door.


Apparently, I'm "letting him down" and "need to arrange something", and "wife needs to understand". Of course the standby offer of home delivery groceries is not good enough - he doesn't want to spend the £30 minimum - they have to be hand delivered by me!


I've tried setting boundaries, I've said no can do, I've tried ignoring, I've tried just not doing. Give him his due he's relentless in his quest to get me to do what he wants!

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What if when your dad goes into his tirade about whatever it is he must say... you shut it down? Tell him you refuse to listen. Or dont reply. No facial expression, tune him out. Or better yet walk out of the room. He has no right to cram his opinion down anyone's throat. Hell be talking to himself it he kept that up around me.
Sounds like hes being an adult child and going to lecture you if you like it or not. Id tell him have fun lecturing an empty room and walk out. Make visits brief and to the point, then leave.
Your no longer a child and have to tolerate it. Its abuse really.
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OMG - Glad it was a hire car, and not yours. Next time, I recommend you insist on incontinent brief or NO GO. This time it was just pee, next time it could be p--p.
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CM - Yeh I just can't imagine letting Dad sit there with a bottle. I'd probably crash the car trying to watch him so he doesnt pee all over the dashboard!
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Fortunately, the hire car seats survived. No visible evidence at least so I didn't tell them. Hope they wash them soon though.... :-)

Despite me telling him to take more, he did come for a night away with no spare shirts, no spare underwear, and, luckily, one spare pair of trousers. Thats Dad for you- clothes last days and days without washing. (It was very hot in the uk - record temps for easter -so I was glad he had to change lol!).

So, of course, we had to go and buy the full lot. He was not happy. I think he was planning to hang his trousers off the hotel balcony overnight (4* Hilton this was) because he kept saying "they'll be dry". (Ewww but dry pee instead!)

Also made him buy some incontinence pants before we travelled home. Sensible of course. Again he wasn't too keen because they cost money. He tried to say there was no need because we were heading home anyway i.e. If I pee I can sit here wet until we got home. Umm no thanks mate!

Pointed that if I got the car seats any wetter I'd have to pay to have them cleaned and it would cost loads!! He agreed then lol.
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Glad you had a good weekend, Paul! 😊
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As the little girl said to the little boy: "what a useful thing to bring on a picnic!"

You didn't have an empty bottle handy?

Glad you had brilliant weather for the cricket, at least. And everyone home in one piece? - not counting the bill from the car hire company, of course.
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Well weekend away was eventful to say the least....

He behaved ok to be honest. Made it a little hard work but we did have a few issues.

Lets just say his bladder is not what it was. Getting stuck in a jam didn't work out well. I think he was more unhappy about having to buy clothes (he brought NO spares at all - so his fault)

Luckily I had a hire car not my own car with leather seats! :-)
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Paul,

Told you that you would have enough material for a comedy act or a crazy reality television show!

What would be a good name for a senior citizen reality television show starring your dad as the lead ⭐️ Star?

Thinking about what I would name it for my mom. Haha
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Agree with DesertGirl. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Since the more you try to convince him of your position, the more ammunition you give him to fire back at you, so perhaps it's best to just agree with him, go along, that way he can't lecture you (much) if you already on his side. Just a nod, or 'uh huh,' or 'right, dad' or something along those lines. Then try to tune out as much as you can. Easy said than done.

Anyhow, good luck. Let us know how you deal with him and if you are successful at not losing your marbles. :D
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Hmmm. I wonder what would happen if you *nominally* agreed with everything he said. You say if you ignore him (as so many of us suggest) he will go on and on for hours until he makes his point. So... cut to the chase, maybe. Agree with him. What if ay things like, "Yes Dad. Quite right Dad. You've said that before, Dad." Might quite take the wind out of his sails.

Anyway, I'm glad you still enjoy his company enough to want to take him out. And about that "expensive" sandwich. When he complains, suppose you tell him he's worth it? 😉
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For these 5 statements, and others, the best response is no response at all. Rest your head on your chin, smile and nod. The only exception *MIGHT* be the last one - you're not paying a dime for that sandwich. You don't want it, I'll eat it (or give it away.)

"1. Can't believe how much you spend on your kids.... 
2. When are you going to get a proper job with pension etc (I'm a successful IT consultant whos got his own business).
3. Whys your wife still working? In my day, the wife stayed home and looked after the house.
4. You need to give that boy of yours a clip around the head, dont listen to those doctors (Teenage son with behavioural problems whos got Aspergers)
5. I'm not paying £2 (About $2.70) for a sandwich! You must have more money than sense!"

"Quite why he feels the need to get involved all the time, be annoying and act like a complete d@ck I'll never know." Some people feel they have all the answers/opinions and only theirs is the correct one. Ignore and/or start another topic. However, you also mention:

"If hes got a point to make and you ignore him or change the subject he will literally keep going on it for HOURS and HOURS until he gets it in." Let him get his point in all he wants - just don't respond to whatever it is. Smile and nod.

"We often have arguments because he says "You know me, if I've got something to say I've got to say it". I always answer "You know me Dad, if its none of someone elses business I won't be listening"" Smile and nod. NO answer. It takes two to tango, two to play games and two to argue. Let him argue all he wants, just smile and nod. It will grate under your skin, but the more and longer you can maintain this stance, the easier it will get.

"EVERY year he moans that it costs more for two rooms and I have to say no. He'd sleep in a dormitory if it was cheaper." Although the smile and nod would work here too as you close his door, if you have to respond it is only to say it is not costing him a dime, then smile, nod and shut the door.

"It'll be entertaining. I can already predict a few things.
He'll want to eat in the cheapest place we can find in the evening. He won't eat during the day (will be at the cricket) because its too expensive.
Over the course of two days, I'll get a lecture about how I spend too much money, how I spend too much on the kids, and how I should buy a cheap car (mine is broke). (BTW - by cheap car he means £500)
He'll have me captive in the car for two hours on friday - I'll get the full works then ;-)"

At cricket, you know his likes/dislikes, don't ask if he wants anything, just go get it and put it in front of him. Any comments, take a bite of your own, smile and nod while you chew! Let him go on all he wants. Might be a waste of money if he doesn't eat it, but it's your money to waste. Munch away on your own and if need be shush him so you can watch the play! You can also excuse yourself, get up and go to the restroom mid-sentence/complaint.

For where to eat at night - you CAN say you hate the food at that cheap place, and you refuse to eat there. Otherwise, you're driving, he has no real choice. You go where you want. He complains, just Smile and nod.

Spending too much money? Smile and nod. If you must respond, just state you are not spending his money. Then smile and nod.

No response to pretty much ANY of these statements and complaints. Just nod, smile, nod. He cannot argue with someone who refuses to play the game!

Captive in the car? Every time he brings up one of these topics, smile and nod, ignore him and turn up the radio one tick. Eventually it will be so loud you won't hear him!!!! :-D

During your smiles and nods, just think of us - we're all there in spirit behind you!!!!
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" It's my life to fooock up, in't da? Now let's be friendly and enjoy the day. Tell me all about your and mum's divorce, why don't you? How did you come to have custody of us? Must be an interesting tale."
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Lighten the atmosphere and talk about Brexit, then. Should be a laugh.
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Just to give you a bit of a laugh, based on past experiences, these are some of the subjects you can guarantee will come up.

1. Can't believe how much you spend on your kids....
2. When are you going to get a proper job with pension etc (I'm a successful IT consultant whos got his own business).
3. Whys your wife still working? In my day, the wife stayed home and looked after the house.
4. You need to give that boy of yours a clip around the head, dont listen to those doctors (Teenage son with behavioural problems whos got Aspergers)
5. I'm not paying £2 (About $2.70) for a sandwich! You must have more money than sense!
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Percy Pigs essential part of balanced diet. They are strawberry flavoured pink sweets with darker pink ears.

And to make sure your balanced diet is *really* balanced, some genius came up with a second version, darker pink sweets with pink ears, and called them - da-da! - Reversy Percys.
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DesertGrl - thats what makes it so sad. Obviously hes not going to go on for ever and I do enjoy the trips with him.

Quite why he feels the need to get involved all the time, be annoying and act like a complete d@ck I'll never know.
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CM - Glamorgan v Hampshire in Southampton tomorrow.
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Jasmina - interesting the grey rock thing. I do something similar now. BUT he is persistent.

If hes got a point to make and you ignore him or change the subject he will literally keep going on it for HOURS and HOURS until he gets it in.

We often have arguments because he says "You know me, if I've got something to say I've got to say it". I always answer "You know me Dad, if its none of someone elses business I won't be listening".
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How about this: make the car a "no-whine" zone. Make a sign saying "you whine, we fine!" Say $5/complaint ( my keyboard doesn't do "pounds," apparently, sorry!). At the end of the trip use the money to go out to a nice restaurant, go swimming or hit a nice pub, go out for ice cream or something. Do something fun. See some sights you haven't seen before. Go see a movie. Fly to Rio, whatever you have money for, tee-hee! Hmm. Past my bedtime. I think I just said tee-hee. 😏
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CountryMouse, what is this PercyPig to which you allude? Very mysterious to us across the pond, I must say. I suppose I shall have to Google.....

Paul, I can imagine how my brother would put your old Pop in his place when Pop asks these silly invasive questions. He'd glance right at him, raise an eyebrow as if to say, "are you serious???" Then he'd frown in bafflement, look away, shake his head in utter disbelief, and just look puzzled a moment. Then he'd change the subject. All this to say, "I can't believe you just asked me that. There must be something bad wrong with you. But since I'm far too polite to say so, I will just ignore that and move on to something more cheerful/ sensible/ interesting."

He has a great gift for this non-verbal put-down.. I've never known it to fail! In fact, growing up, he practiced it often on me and I eventually perfected it on my own kids.

I agree with what others are suggesting. Use humor to defuse the terror and resentment upon which this relationship has been built for a lifetime. Maybe keep a journal (keep it private!!!) So you can look back and a) laugh later, and b) mark your progress.

Someday these excursions may be memories you'll actually cherish! Are you taking pics of the two of you together? 😊😊👍
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Jasmina,

I do that all of the time. People can ask anything they want. We aren’t required to answer. They learn that we won’t answer, plus so satisfying to know that it drives them crazy while we remain calm. Love it!
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Oh CM,

I giggled at that shopping list! Why the hell not have some fun??? I have done that and it’s a blast! It’s so much fun, drives the point home and is very rewarding. It took awhile for me to understand that we can’t choose or change others but we absolutely can change our reactions. Love your answer and I agree wholeheartedly.

Paul said himself that he wants the attention but I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of mentioning anything about brother’s companion, giving him the opportunity to defend her! Say nothing at all! Even if good old dad brings it up, say nothing! Good time to daydream. Haha, there are marvelous daydreams he could be thinking about.
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More seriously, you can preempt quite a lot of this by making a few simple decisions in advance.

Decide where you're going to eat in the evening and book it. Then don't discuss it. If he complains about the price, say "why, are you paying?"

Pack a bag containing: water, sun screen, sun hat, sunglasses, umbrella (obvs), cushion, blanket, insect repellant/bite cream - whatever creature comforts you can predict will be wanted.

Stop at M&S on the way down and get a small cool bag (they're about a fiver) and buy some sandwiches and crisps. And Percy Pigs, v. important.

Have you got some binoculars? That might occupy him for a minute or two.

I agree about the Grey Rock/Wall technique. Another catchphrase for stopping him mid-whine might be "behave yourself."

Who's playing, by the way?
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Paul I think it is a very sad thing that you have totally lost your sense of humour. Brother's gf asks for a packing list and you miss the opportunity? -

teddy bear
pink baby doll nightie
10 pairs Y fronts
one sock
two tubes shaving cream
toothbrush

keep going and have fun!
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You can always change the subject or go total " grey rock method". You can look that up on youtube. Its how to deal with a narcisist.
You just dont answer. Fiddle with the radio, say wow look at that. Or answer very little when he tries to take over and get you frustrated/upset. You can always tell him if he is going to be miserable the whole trip you will turn the car around. Or youll go by yourself next time. The constant complaining will stop. Boundries. Good luck.
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Brothers GF text me last night too. She wants to know what to pack for him....
Don't see for weeks and now shes Florence Nightingale again.

Jeez. Hes not helpless. We're going for one night hes perfectly capable of sorting himself out.

Trouble with Dad is he likes being mollycoddled. More you do for him, more he needs done if you know what I mean.

Not by me. He can manage himself.
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Friday we're going (Good Friday bank holiday in the UK).

Oh yes. Separate rooms is a must for my sanity. Excuse I make is his snoring. EVERY year he moans that it costs more for two rooms and I have to say no. He'd sleep in a dormitory if it was cheaper.

It'll be entertaining. I can already predict a few things.

He'll want to eat in the cheapest place we can find in the evening. He won't eat during the day (will be at the cricket) because its too expensive.

Over the course of two days, I'll get a lecture about how I spend too much money, how I spend too much on the kids, and how I should buy a cheap car (mine is broke). (BTW - by cheap car he means £500)
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Hey Paul,

Have fun with your dad, especially the long car ride!
Free entertainment! You will have enough material to do a stand up comedy routine afterwards. Can we get a preview? We can be your first audience, haha 🤣

Let me tell you, my husband’s grandma always had crazy drama and we always wanted to put together a comedy routine about her life! God rest her soul, but if I know her, she is driving all of the Angels and the Saints crazy up there!
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Hope this excursion went/is going well. Paul, I wonder if it would help if you thought of your dad, and treated him, like an annoying and somewhat ill-mannered youngster, perhaps a boss's child you had to put up with and be nice to.

You don't want to be rude, but you do want to maintain your privacy. A little humor might even help lighten things up a little for both of you. So when he asks about the separate rooms you might say something like, "Well Dad, this way you can watch whatever you want on your telly and stay up as late as you like. I'll be right next door if you get scared of the dark! 'Night now, see you in the morning!" And shut the door.

Really, it's probably no different than the way you'd treat your own kids. This sort of thing will help you stop thinking of him as a monster and reduce him to just a fussy old man, which is really all he is.
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