Beautiful MoM community you might need a cup of tea for this one, sorry in advance for the novel!

For my husband’s 40th birthday I bought him a car- nothing fancy mind you. But just something that he had wanted.

He absolutely LOVED it. But then soon after he had to drive my dad’s car somewhere and he noticed that my dad was driving a vehicle that was on death row- I mean if a car could be on death row, that’s most certainly where it was.

Anyway, my husband told me that he wanted to give the car I had just bought him, to my dad. I freaked out- because it had taken me a lifetime to save for a 40th birthday present and I told him that as lovely as the gesture was I just didn’t feel right about it… even though it was for my dad.

My husband insisted that my dad’s car was dying and convinced me that we HAD to give it to my dad.

So that’s what we did- although it wasn’t easy to do because my dad was super scared to take it as he didn’t want to upset my mum (she doesn’t like ANYONE having ANYTHING).

He only took it after my kids repeated what I had said to them- I told them that they were NEVER allowed to be nasty and miserable like my mum about anyone else’s good fortune (after he initially told us that he couldn’t accept the car as he didn’t want to make my mum mad).

It’s now FOUR MONTHS LATER and my dad hasn’t driven the car ONCE because he’s scared of my mum- she stopped talking to all of us once she noticed that the car was parked at my dad’s house (she stalks my dad and myself regularly).

Not only have the calls stopped- but she no longer forces him to take her to work anymore (although they’re divorced she would get him to drive from his house to hers and then to work and back home again, even though she has a license and multiple cars… it’s a control thing… and although my dad should count his blessings that he’s out of that vicious cycle he’s more worried about it than anything else).

In addition to this, she decided not to wish my 12 year old for his birthday this month. Sure he’s got severe brain damage so one could argue that he doesn’t know what’s going on… but I know (not that I cared because hearing from my mum is NEVER a good thing AND she’s the type of person to drop in on my children’s birthdays with dirty laundry for me to wash, dry, fold and have ready in time for when she’s leaving… one of my previous MoM topics).

That was the final straw for my dad though and now he wants to give the car that I bought for my husband, TO MY MUM- just so that she talks to us again!

Honestly I’m happier without her! Her never ending abuse is something I honestly can live without… but my dad only cares about her happiness and keeping the peace.

If you’ve got this far PLEASE guide me? I am so so SO very lost! I really can’t believe that we’re even in this position!

Of course I understand that once you give someone something it’s up to them what they do with it. Regifting is real- but this is so much more than a “regift” though! It feels like giving in to a terrorist! This woman is playing mind games to get what she wants because it’s worked for her SO OFTEN in the past (she’s taken two cars off him before) and now she wants it to work with this car- except I can’t accept it no matter how I look at it.

What would you do? Would you potentially damage your relationship with your dad and tell him that if he doesn’t want it that he has to just give it back? Or cut your losses, suck it up and simply learn the life lesson from this emotionally damaging mistake?

I know that at the end of it all, I really need to get out of this toxic relationship. I’ve expressed to my husband how much past trauma this is bringing up for me. All I need is someone who has experience with a mum like mine to please tell me how they got themselves out of it… because often real life experience is more relatable than therapy sessions- not to mention less time consuming.

Thank you all in advance and wishing you and your family good health xxoo

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  • I’m so sorry this is a situation you have to deal with, it sounds exhausting. I would be very unhappy with the thought of her getting the car. Rewarding someone for stone walling the entire family out of jealousy and spite is just gross. It’s never too late for your dad to reach out and get some therapy. He can have joy in his life that doesn’t involve how it will affect your mum.

  • ohh. i really feel for you.

    I would explain very gently to your dad the reasons you gave the car to him. Remind him that he does not have to do anything for his EX wife. Let him know you plan to be free from your mother and not have that toxic behaviour in your life and it would be nice if he could join you in this.

    Let him know if he is not going to drive the car, then you wont be offended if he gives it back to your husband.

    hugs to you mumma

  • So…..If I have got this right. What you are really wanting is to get out of the awful relationship with your Mum. I had a toxic relationship with one of my siblings. I allowed them to treat me poorly and suppress my own opinions for years – to keep them happy and keep the peace. It was only recently that they said something very hurtful to me, that I finally saw the light! I apologised to them for supposedly hurting them, yet they continued to belittle me and were hurtful and cruel. I (finally) realised that I could have control in the relationship. I told them that their behaviour was hurtful and compassionless. I also said that unless they were prepared to apologise for causing this pain, to not contact me again. I feel free. I am setting the terms on how I will be treated. It is now entirely their choice as to whether they choose to be part of a two-way relationship or not. Look after yourself, stand up for yourself. I would seriously suggest engaging a counsellor to talk through this all with. They will help to empower you and support you. Best wishes and peace in your relationships.

  • I totally would not be okay with giving your mum the car. You should just get your hubby to talk to your dad and say that if he’s not going to use it he’ll just take it back. Did he have another car before that one or were you two sharing the one?
    Just tell your dad that he’s not married to your mum anymore so he really doesn’t owe her anything nor does he need to bow down to whatever she asks for!

  • Let him more that you’re much happier with him having it and it means a lot to you. Talk to him openly, more. Tell him how you feel, tell him as much as you like your mum your life has been less stressful and more happy since she stopped talking to you and that’s a good thing.

  • This is a really tough one. I do not think your mum should have the car. Try to explain to your dad that her reaction and behaviour was totally irrational and out of line. Of course this is not simple and he may not want to embrace that. Say that if he feels so badly and simply cannot drive it, that he has to then give ir back to you as you gave it to him for the sole reason that you believed he needed it.

    I completely feel your anguish in this situation and sorry that you are going through this stress. I hope that it all turns out well for you.

  • I would tell my dad he’s very sweet but 1. that you’re happy with your mum out of your life and rather not have her back in it 2. That she has multiple good cars and he hasn’t 3. That you and your husband with much pondering gave him the car and not her 4. That he would reinforce her toxic behaviour by giving in to her

  • I completely understand your pain and confusion. My divorced parents had a similar relationship, Dad paid chid support for my 2 younger teenage brothers, even though they spent 365 days a year living with him.
    When I found out, ~3 years after the official divorce, I tried to gently explain to him that it was not necessary nor peacekeeping ( she always wanted more – materially, mentally and emotionally) to pay her these amounts whilst he couldn’t afford to eat at a decent restaurant. Wouldn’t the money be better spent by him on feeding and clothing my brothers? At the time he wouldn’t hear of it, as it would cause too much commotion. True, but she can’t keep emotionally blackmailing him. I then let him know that I was going ‘cold turkey’ with mother, as she was too toxic for me to deal with anymore. Conversation ended amicably but Dad was disappointed with my decision and I was with his.
    He must have thought about what I had said and seen me become a much happier person without the looming presence of mother. Then he became close friends with a Buddhist who had genuinely hit bad times. Soon he started to regain his independence (emotionally and financially) from my mother. He became a much happier person – much more like my father from when I was toddler, before the troubles had begun in earnest.
    I can only say to tread lightly but logically with your Fatherwhilst clearing explaining to your Mother that if she is “gifted” another car or anything else of value, then you will not see or speak to her, nor will she see her grandchildren until they become adults and decide for themselves. The door will not be opened for her at Christmas or any other significant holiday. You are NOT her SLAVE. What on earth possessed you to leave your child’s birthday to do her unannounced washing?
    These years whilst you have a young family disappear so quickly. Put you and yours first. There’s plenty of time to pander to your parents when they are old and sick/disabled. Ensure your Father knows what you are doing and why. If he gives in and she accepts the car, then you must be scrupulous in implementing the rules.

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