Bitterly Disappointed Dad, Super Bitter

I totally understand what it’s like to have your parents become disappointed with your career choices, but one of the things I’ve got going for me is that I’m completely self-sufficient, so their disapproval is limited to some extent. Unfortunately, the three middle-aged children who received this critical email from their “bitterly disappointed” father, a retired Royal Navy officer named Nick Crews who lives in the U.K., may not be able to say the same:

We are constantly regaled with chapter and verse of the happy, successful lives of the families of our friends and relatives and being asked of news of our own children and grandchildren. I wonder if you realise how we feel — we have nothing to say which reflects any credit on you or us. We don’t ask for your sympathy or understanding — Mum and I have been used to taking our own misfortunes on the chin, and making our own effort to bash our little paths through life without being a burden to others. Having done our best — probably misguidedly — to provide for our children, we naturally hoped to see them in turn take up their own banners and provide happy and stable homes for their own children.

Fulfilling careers based on your educations would have helped — but as yet none of you is what I would confidently term properly self-supporting. Which of you, with or without a spouse, can support your families, finance your home and provide a pension for your old age? Each of you is well able to earn a comfortable living and provide for your children, yet each of you has contrived to avoid even moderate achievement. Far from your children being able to rely on your provision, they are faced with needing to survive their introduction to life with you as parents.

The youngest child works in a sailing shop. Fred, who is 35, works for a taxi firm. Emily, 40, is “struggling as a business interpreter,” and was the one who asked permission from her father to have his email published in The Telegraph. The public has generally sided with Crews, but in a followup article, he wonders: “I haven’t done well as a father, have I?”

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4 Comments / Post A Comment

CubeRootOfPi (#1,098)

Not sure what the situation is with this family. It’s one thing where the parents are disappointed because they had a certain vision of what the kids should be like but the kids live a life that makes them (the kids) happy. In that case, the parents need to get over themselves.

On the other hand, some adult children do need a kick in the arse. I know far too many people who don’t work or have not stopped relying on their parents for financial support, even though they’re in their 30s. For whatever reason, they don’t want to make a plan to become financially independent. If you ask them why, it’s always some variation of either “I had a bad childhood and I just don’t KNOW and it’s so unfair that my parents never supported me!” (Though in those cases I think that the parents should start cutting them off.)

hopelessshade (#580)

Wait, people SIDED with this asshole?? Augh. “yet each of you has contrived to avoid even moderate achievement.”?? I hope all three kids have the best therapists they can find, because surely they need it.

Markham (#1,862)

@hopelessshade

I think the point here is that the three kids aren’t self-sufficient AND they have children:

This quote from the e-mail: “Which of you, with or without a spouse, can support your families, finance your home and provide a pension for your old age? Each of you is well able to earn a comfortable living and provide for your children, yet each of you has contrived to avoid even moderate achievement. Far from your children being able to rely on your provision, they are faced with needing to survive their introduction to life with you as parents.”

There is a pretty clear implication here that none of the three children are capable of supporting themselves, even with the help of a spouse. The obvious implication here is that he’s not only supporting adult children who can’t support themselves, but he has to support Grandchildren too.

I would think that if you’re supporting adult children, you would feel a touch miffed if your kids had children they couldn’t afford to raise that you now have to support as well.

I’m not a father but I’ve been in the situation of family taking advantage, it’s not a good feeling.

-M

WaityKatie (#1,696)

@hopelessshade I would say, if the parents are still supporting them, he has a right to tell them how much they suck. But if they’re not…it’s a “mind your own damn business, Dad” situation. Not clear from the email. I mean, if these people are married with kids and still getting money from their parents, I just have no sympathy for the freeloaders. But also, why don’t the parents just stop giving them money?

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