We were looking forward to a nice visit with my father-in-law, Dan, this weekend. But per his usual status quo behavior he cancelled at the last minute. We are now left with an $80 turkey dinner for 5-6 people, and no one to eat it. I invited a family whose husband is deployed, but I don’t know if they will come, as they were looking forward to a dinner at Golden Coral. Personally, I’m relieved. I don’t get along with Dan. Surprisingly, it’s not for the reason he believes. He thinks that I don’t like him because of something he may, or may not, have done 30-some years ago. To me, that’s neither here nor there. While important, the reason I don’t like him is the way he treats me. All my life, I have been bullied. It started with school kids, then some of the personnel in the military, and now Dan. After I had kids, my toleration for bullying behavior is gone. So I stick up for myself, and like many bullies, he does not like it when his victims stick up for themselves.
That leaves me stuck between a rock and a hard place. I do not want to deny the kids their grandfather, but I’m also not going to be condescended to in my own home. So I’m left being the scapegoat of a ruined relationship between father and son, grandfather and grandchildren, or so my bullying father-in-law feels. I, on the other hand, believe in personal responsibility. I am willing to overlook his bullying behavior for a weekend, so he can enjoy the pleasure of his grandkids. He, unfortunately, is not willing to declare a truce. He would rather be a bitter mean man, and blame me for his decisions. He made his bed. The realization that he will never have the relationship with his grandkids is his loss.