Overbearing Grandpa - FamilyEducation
Overbearing Grandpa
01/21/2008 at 10:59 AM

My father in law lives alone and close to our house- 2 mins away. His sons were taken away from him when they were little and chose to go their separate ways as teenagers. My husband reconnected with him after we had our first child. They still have a very teenager type of relationship though my husband is 30. My husband sets no boundaries with him and they get into shouting matches whenever there is conflict. My father in law calls us every Friday and Sat night to go out to dinner as well as every Sunday brunch. He chooses not to own a car though he has money in the bank and the means to buy 5 cars if he wanted to. Instead he coordinates his grocery shopping with us (he is in his fifties and in good physical health) and borrows our car- but then uses the car transfer as a reason to come over again during the week and be at our house frequently till 9 at night. He expects us to spend a week at the beach with him, go to Mardi Gras ( I dont like drinking) with him, Christmas, Easter, Church on Sundays( I am not even Catholic), Thansgiving etc.Whenever we do go out, he immediatly takes the patriarch role and will discipline my daughter, wont let my husband or I have a word in and disregard my parenting requests- like handing my 5 year old a whole bag of candy though he knows I like to control her sugar intake.  I have humored him and never been rude many times over the years but after our 2nd childs birth I have been tired sometimes, and craving family time with our immediate family. I also am getting tired of the constant phone calls and requests from him to babysit our daughter and 7month old son all the time. I know he is available and lonely but I feel we see him enough and his overbearing personality is really starting to cause stress between my husband and I. I also enjoy spending time wtih our kids they are in daycare/school during the week. I feel sorry for him but I think it would be healthier for him to go out and make friends his own age- maybe pursue his interests and try to find someone to share his life with again. How do I let him know he is crossing boundaries with unrealistic expectations? I dont want to hurt his feelings or cause my husband to feel bad that I am complaining about his dad. It feels like a burden that I have to handle on my own. I am so stressed about him that I stay up at night over this and dread the phone when its him and dread breaking the news to him that I simply want to make pancakes at home for us one Sunday instead of to go out with him.Sorry for the long post. I am looking for some much needed advice. [

I would insist that unless hubby and father-in-law can be civil to one another, that the children not be witness to that relationship.  If your husband wants to go over and fight with his dad, that's his deal, not yours.