Author Topic: More uninvited guest (sort of) questions - bit long sorry.  (Read 7908 times)

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perpetua

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Re: More uninvited guest (sort of) questions - bit long sorry.
« Reply #30 on: December 24, 2013, 04:41:02 PM »
There doesn't have to be domestic violence involved and/or a situation where Dave is trying to push Linda's buttons.

He should know better.

It has been suggested that maybe he was hanging out in the house because Linda being uncomfortable was making him uncomfortable.  Well, whose fault is that?  His!

He imposed on her in the name of their child, he should suck it up and stay in the presence of his child.


And then he makes Linda even more uncomfortable by being in her presence. What is the man supposed to do?

If Linda isn't also mature enough to 'suck it up' and deal with his presence because her child wanted her father there on her birthday, that's her own issue and not Dave's fault.

padua

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Re: More uninvited guest (sort of) questions - bit long sorry.
« Reply #31 on: December 24, 2013, 05:54:43 PM »
i'm in the same camp of those saying dad was fine going to his daughter's birthday party at her request. there may be a discussion at a later time between mom and dad about boundaries and then another between mom and daughter about 'mommy time' versus 'daddy time,' but until every little item is ironed out and all boundaries defined, i don't see it as rude or dismissive for a father to say yes to his daughter who is asking him to attend her birthday party. i would also find it strange at 10 to NOT be able to invite one parent to a birthday party when i have all my friends and other family members there.

and i've had enough birthday parties to know that you can't always spend your time with one person. if the dad had dominated his daughter's attention at the party, that would have been an even bigger faux pas (spelling?). for me it was enough to know that the people who cared at me were in attendance- i didn't need to be with them every second to appreciate them being there.

and if he knew he wasn't exactly wanted by his ex but he was trying to support his daughter, maybe hanging out in the house was what he saw was his only option. was he snooping in bedrooms? or supporting his daughter but staying out of the way by hanging out in the lounge? maybe this is more of a case of cluelessness than rudeness?

m2kbug

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Re: More uninvited guest (sort of) questions - bit long sorry.
« Reply #32 on: December 24, 2013, 06:36:03 PM »
Bah12, I'm glad you have a better post-divorce rel@tionship with your ex than I do.  The parenting days and "turns" are set up for a reason.  They establish routine and stability and also create clear boundaries for parents, especially those who will be in conflict.  Flexibility is good whenever possible.  When your ex-spouse is forever manipulating their way around parenting days, you have that defined "turn" to fall back on.  You plan things around your scheduled days since you are no longer planning things together.  There will always be people who break the system and see the schedule as black and white and my turn/your turn, but the schedule's overall goal is to reduce conflict.

I don't see that Linda saw this birthday party as Linda's "turn."  She did not want her ex there but I don't think she was pulling "turns" so much as she just really didn't want him there.  If the divorce papers defined a clear timeline, she could have fallen back on "turns" if she felt she could not tell him no outright.  She allowed him to stay, so Dave stayed.  I can't fully fault Dave for that once Linda gave the green light, but I think Dave should have known better. 

From here I fall into personal experiences where he didn't want to be the bad guy and say no, and he was passively-aggressively manipulative, and made use of his ex-wife's desire to please her child and his child's invitation to insert himself into a situation where he was unwelcome, and knowingly so.  Everyone thinks Linda made him sooo uncomfortable that he had to hole up in her living room (including poking around everywhere) to avoid her and the child he was there to be with in the first place.  If it was that uncomfortable, make your excuses and leave.  Otherwise, buck up and participate.  That's why he stayed, and Linda, as it sounds, was quite pleasant and accommodating, but maybe not since she caused her ex-husband to hole up on her sofa in fear?

I don't think Linda was obligated to host her ex-husband, but once she said yes, she cleared Dave to participate.  I think they are both wrong (and right, depending on how you look at it with all the divorce dynamics with kids), but Dave pulled a couple extra stunts in the rude-department overall.

AnnaJ

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Re: More uninvited guest (sort of) questions - bit long sorry.
« Reply #33 on: December 24, 2013, 09:20:10 PM »
Linda and Dave had been divorced for 4 or 5 years and in that time Dave had never been in Linda's house, or she in his - this says to me that the parents had put up definite boundaries and Dave crossed those boundaries.  He had his own birthday celebration with his daughter earlier that day, so he wasn't closed out of that special day.

Parents make decisions about kid's birthdays all of the time - not buying presents that the child wants, not going to Disneyland for the day, not inviting more than X number of kids or not inviting certain kids - so I don't understand the idea that Pam should automatically get what she wants (dad at the party) whether mom agreed or not.  Since she was only 6 or 7 when her parents divorced, it wasn't as though there had always been family birthday celebrations and this was an exception.

JoieGirl7

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Re: More uninvited guest (sort of) questions - bit long sorry.
« Reply #34 on: December 24, 2013, 11:04:55 PM »
There doesn't have to be domestic violence involved and/or a situation where Dave is trying to push Linda's buttons.

He should know better.

It has been suggested that maybe he was hanging out in the house because Linda being uncomfortable was making him uncomfortable.  Well, whose fault is that?  His!

He imposed on her in the name of their child, he should suck it up and stay in the presence of his child.


And then he makes Linda even more uncomfortable by being in her presence. What is the man supposed to do?

If Linda isn't also mature enough to 'suck it up' and deal with his presence because her child wanted her father there on her birthday, that's her own issue and not Dave's fault.

He needed Linda's perimssion to be in her home.  Being mature for the sake of the child would have required him to actually talk to her first, not just impose himself like he did.

Daugher and father do not get to make decisions for the mother.

They did an end run around her.  Very PA and rude.


NyaChan

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Re: More uninvited guest (sort of) questions - bit long sorry.
« Reply #35 on: December 25, 2013, 01:22:39 PM »
He got his time without Linda to spend with his child, Linda should get hers.  They are no longer married, he doesn't get automatic entry into her private home.  He should have known to check with Linda before accepting the child's invitation or request.  I don't agree with those who say that it is the child's house too so she should get to extend the invitation and he should be able to count on it as being legitimate- I can tell you with certainty that I would have been in a world of trouble if I had gone around extending invitations to our family home without informing my parents.

Dindrane

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Re: More uninvited guest (sort of) questions - bit long sorry.
« Reply #36 on: December 25, 2013, 03:02:29 PM »
He got his time without Linda to spend with his child, Linda should get hers.  They are no longer married, he doesn't get automatic entry into her private home.  He should have known to check with Linda before accepting the child's invitation or request.  I don't agree with those who say that it is the child's house too so she should get to extend the invitation and he should be able to count on it as being legitimate- I can tell you with certainty that I would have been in a world of trouble if I had gone around extending invitations to our family home without informing my parents.

And you know, even if it is her house, it's not her party (in the sense that she's not the one hosting it). If I was throwing a birthday party for my husband (who, as an adult and my spouse, has the same privileges regarding invitations to our home as I do), and he invited a friend at the last minute without telling me, I'd be upset with him. Not because he had no right to invite that friend, or even because the friend would be unwelcome, but because he wasn't hosting the party and therefore had no right to issue invitations without checking in with me first. Inviting someone without warning can make it difficult to accommodate that person, even if they would otherwise be welcome (or not unwelcome).

The parent-child dynamic in this situation really only affects Linda's ability to control the guest list (she has more power over it because she is the parent than she would if Pam wasn't her young child), and Dave's ability to know that the last-minute and unexpected invitation is just exactly that, and almost certainly given without the host's knowledge.


purple

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Re: More uninvited guest (sort of) questions - bit long sorry.
« Reply #37 on: December 25, 2013, 08:05:28 PM »
When Pam asked him to stay for her party, the polite thing for Dave to do would have been to tell her that he needed to check with her mother.

As for entering the house--Dave does not live there. He had no business wandering through the house. Even if Pam wanted to show him her room, he should have told/asked Linda. As for going anywhere else except the bathroom--very rude. Making himself at home (I'm guessing he turned on the TV or something), absolutely not.

Linda would have been within her rights to nicely give him the choice to come out and join the rest of the party or go home, making it clear that staying in her house unescorted was not going to continue.

I'm not sure if that would have been a good answer for Dave to give to Pam, because it could end up making her mother seem like 'the bad guy'.  Picture that if Dave gave that answer, then they arrived at the party and Pam said 'Mother, can Father stay for my party?' then Mother says 'no'.  Pam doesn't understand the mother's discomfort of having her ex-husband at the party and just sees her mother as 'the bad guy' and Pam is upset right before her party.

I think Dave could have sort of half committed by saying something like, "Well, we did just go bowling and I've got to work later today but perhaps I can just come in to have one ice cream with you".  Then, he could arrive, ask his ex-wife privately if she minded him staying and if she said she didn't want him to stay, he could explain that he'd been invited by Pam and didn't want to upset her and that he'd told her he'd have an ice cream with her then have one ice cream with his daughter and leave after 10 minutes.  If ex-wife said he could stay, then he could have extended his stay.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2013, 08:07:02 PM by purple »

Peppergirl

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Re: More uninvited guest (sort of) questions - bit long sorry.
« Reply #38 on: December 25, 2013, 11:57:52 PM »
Speaking as a divorced mom, I think Linda handled it as well as she could have.  I think Dave should have pulled Linda aside to discuss the awkwardness of the invitation and therefore checked how she felt about it. 

I also feel he could have been much more unobtrusive at the party by staying outside and not wandering around the interior of the house, etc.

My ex husband would do the old 'knock and enter' thing at my house.  He'd walk in, say 'Hey, Pepperkid wants me to hook up his game console', go INTO my fridge and grab himself a beer, then enter Pepperkid's room.  Yeah, so that happened exactly ONCE and it was before I steeled my spine.  It also occurred when the ex and I had a much better relationship than we eventually ended up having (ours got worse over time, oddly), so it wasn't quite as horrendous as it would have been after we'd had subsequent fall outs.

bah12

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Re: More uninvited guest (sort of) questions - bit long sorry.
« Reply #39 on: December 26, 2013, 02:53:59 PM »
Bah12, I'm glad you have a better post-divorce rel@tionship with your ex than I do.  The parenting days and "turns" are set up for a reason.  They establish routine and stability and also create clear boundaries for parents, especially those who will be in conflict.  Flexibility is good whenever possible.  When your ex-spouse is forever manipulating their way around parenting days, you have that defined "turn" to fall back on.  You plan things around your scheduled days since you are no longer planning things together.  There will always be people who break the system and see the schedule as black and white and my turn/your turn, but the schedule's overall goal is to reduce conflict.

I don't see that Linda saw this birthday party as Linda's "turn."  She did not want her ex there but I don't think she was pulling "turns" so much as she just really didn't want him there.  If the divorce papers defined a clear timeline, she could have fallen back on "turns" if she felt she could not tell him no outright.  She allowed him to stay, so Dave stayed.  I can't fully fault Dave for that once Linda gave the green light, but I think Dave should have known better. 

From here I fall into personal experiences where he didn't want to be the bad guy and say no, and he was passively-aggressively manipulative, and made use of his ex-wife's desire to please her child and his child's invitation to insert himself into a situation where he was unwelcome, and knowingly so.  Everyone thinks Linda made him sooo uncomfortable that he had to hole up in her living room (including poking around everywhere) to avoid her and the child he was there to be with in the first place.  If it was that uncomfortable, make your excuses and leave.  Otherwise, buck up and participate.  That's why he stayed, and Linda, as it sounds, was quite pleasant and accommodating, but maybe not since she caused her ex-husband to hole up on her sofa in fear?

I don't think Linda was obligated to host her ex-husband, but once she said yes, she cleared Dave to participate.  I think they are both wrong (and right, depending on how you look at it with all the divorce dynamics with kids), but Dave pulled a couple extra stunts in the rude-department overall.

I am not divorced.  My other reply was deleted for some reason unknown to me...I wasn't being mean or inappropriate, so I'll assume it was technical.  I will summerize what I said instead.  Linda was gracious in her response and her feelings about her ex being in her house is valid.  Dave was wrong not to call her first and was wrong to go inside the house.  None of those makes him vidictive...even if your experience with your ex is.  While I understand that we all use our personal experiences to form our perceptions of situations and there's nothing wrong with it...I think it's unfair to push motivation on people where there is no evidence.  I also think it's unfair to assume that just because someone is acting rudely, that the behavior is specifically targeted at someone.

Dave being wrong for going in the house and Linda being gracious in how she handled his surprise attendance, doesn't mean that Dave is wrong for accepting an invitation to his daughter's birthday party. I think that an 11 year old is justified in wanting her father at her birthday party and I think her parents need to put aside whatever resentment they have towards each other and let her have her wish on her birthday.  That day is about Pam...not her parents. 

Ryuugan80

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Re: More uninvited guest (sort of) questions - bit long sorry.
« Reply #40 on: December 26, 2013, 03:45:52 PM »
I have to agree with the people that say Dave was in the wrong on this. He probably wasn't being at all malicious about it (never attribute to malice what could just as easily be explained by ignorance, right?), but that doesn't change the fact that his being in her house was IMO completely, undeniably wrong if not rude on top of that.

Dave just had his own celebration with her. He knew that his wife wouldn't want him at this party (and I'm fairly certain that he definitely knew. I find it extremely unlikely that after the two of them making a point to not socialize or celebrate anything together for either children for HALF A DECADE that he wouldn't know she wouldn't want him there. This cannot have been the first time something came up where the child wanted both parents at their celebration. Actually, it's possible that Pam asked her father because she knew her mother would say no if SHE asked. She is 11 after all, not 4, and thus more than old enough to consider playing her parents...not that I'm talking from experience or anything...).

And, birthday or not, Pam is not so young that she can't be made to handle disappointment. Because the parties (two of them) are GIFTS. She is not entitled to have both of her parents there. This isn't a wedding or the birth of a child or something where it is a once in a lifetime event where she deeply, truly needs them both there. She may feel like it is at the time, but it's not. She has two parents that seem more than happy to lavish her with love and attention. Just not together. And that has to count for a lot. Because, where they are right now, what was the point of having him there? He wasn't involved or engaged. Her mother might have been a bit noticably uncomfortable than she would be otherwise, so I can't imagine she was quite as fun as she could be.

All of that said, he decides to go into her house and STAY there without her permission. This is the first time he was ever been inside her house and it's without permission when he already must have known he wouldn't want him in there? And browsing? That's kind of weird. Because even though he was once her husband and is her children's father, this man has been essentially demoted to 'acquaintance' status. Someone you see occasionally but is not, in any way, close enough for it to be okay to make himself at home at your house. They are not friends, they are not family (not hers anyway) and no one (especially not a child) has the authority to issue an invitation to her home. I don't know if inviting people over is normally a thing that Linda lets Pam do, but I doubt it. And if Dave didn't feel comfortable outside, he could have made his excuses and left. Surely he had something to do with his time since he had not planned to be at the party to begin with.

I think Linda did a pretty decent job handling a weird situation. Though I do think she would have been entirely justified in doing something, anything, to usher Dave out of her house ("Oh, we're starting the Game of Great Excitement! Why don't you go over to Pam and help her out?") if not off her property.
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Allyson

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Re: More uninvited guest (sort of) questions - bit long sorry.
« Reply #41 on: December 26, 2013, 05:42:56 PM »
Nobody likes "surprise ex". Even the most cordial relationship could be strained by suddenly having this happen. Dave should've told Pam he had to check on some things first, then asked Linda in private (be that on the phone or pulling her aside if it was on the car ride there that Pam asked.) Compromises could've been made--Dave could've stayed for half an hour or so, enough that Pam could introduce her dad to her friends, then made an excuse about leaving. I feel like at least part of Linda's coolness was probably due to being thrown off.

katycoo

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Re: More uninvited guest (sort of) questions - bit long sorry.
« Reply #42 on: December 26, 2013, 08:38:01 PM »
I appreciate that the mother was annoyed at Dave for hanging out in her living room.  But how does she know Dave was snooping about her house? If she saw him, why didn't she say something to him?

bah12

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Re: More uninvited guest (sort of) questions - bit long sorry.
« Reply #43 on: December 26, 2013, 09:06:35 PM »
Do not underestimate how important having both parents, even if divorced, celebratea child together, is to a child...especially that of a child Pam's age. Making an argument around the premise that she was probably playing her parents is reaching even further than the assumption Dave was just out to get Linda and didn't go because his daughter asked him to.

Psychopoesie

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Re: More uninvited guest (sort of) questions - bit long sorry.
« Reply #44 on: December 26, 2013, 09:44:13 PM »
I appreciate that the mother was annoyed at Dave for hanging out in her living room.  But how does she know Dave was snooping about her house? If she saw him, why didn't she say something to him?

OP here. Thanks for all the responses. I'm too close to the situation to feel I can be fair. Plus I'm the child of parents who had a really nasty divorce so this sort of thing presses a lot of my buttons.

Just to clarify. The mother didn't see Dave in the house - she was outside supervising kids. I'd ducked back in to get something (no idea what) and saw him in the lounge room. It is not on the way to or from the loo or the kitchen. Linda found out afterwards and she was not happy about it. It's a while ago so details are a bit fuzzy but I do remember that.

It seemed strange at the time. Both his kids were outside so I'm not sure why he was there. It was only just warm enough too swim so I don't think he needed a cooler spot (aircon wasn't on anyway). Linda was polite to him so I can't think he was so uncomfortable he had to grab some distance. There were some other parents outside to talk to if he wanted to avoid Linda. Or he could have watched his kids. Or he could have made his excuses after half an hour and gone home.

I ended up talking to Dave in the lounge room until Linda's father came in and could take over keeping him entertained while I went out and helped again. Dave and Linda's dad get on fairly well. Not sure how long Dave stayed inside but it was more than a few minutes - he settled himself on the lounge while I was there. I recall he was back outside again by the end of the party when the candles were blown out, could have been earlier though.

Linda and Dave have always done separate birthday stuff for their kids. They don't go to each others' events.

The kids get asked about what they want to do, who they want to invite and the parents talk to each other about the arrangements. So it's pretty much sorted in advance. If Pam had said she wanted a joint event, I'm guessing it would have been ok. However, I expect it would have happened at a neutral venue, like a park, not at either parents' house.

No problems with both turning up to school events, sporting stuff, etc, that's on neutral territory. Linda reckons Dave doesn't show for many of these events, disappointing the kids after promising to be there. I don't know if that's really true overall or just how she sees the situation through divorce goggles.