Team everyone ...say no.
Is it too late to take a holiday cruise?
Down with the Tsar!
Time to storm the Winter Palace...
Good for you. It's okay to set and enforce reasonable boundaries.
NOPE. Bending over backwards for this guy at the last possible second sets a precedent for this guy that would forever make the holidays full of additional unnecessary stress. I can understand that Beth is still young and dreaming of a functional family of origin that is unlikely to ever materialize. By not succumbing to contorting yourself and your family to a completely unreasonable request, you're a good role model for her. Otherwise she's setting herself and Jacob and their future family up for enduring chaos.
And I can totally see Tom's POV, if the guy is going to harass his coworkers, that puts him in an extremely awkward position where he can't even speak freely at his own dinner table. ITA with what Inky said about that, too.
At some point I'd want to talk to Beth and make it absolutely clear that this isn't a rejection of her - just the opposite. You aren't going to let her dad weasel his way into that sane part of her life because you care about her.
Even with advanced notice, there's no way I'd be opening my home to a convicted embezzler who lets his service dog piss all over the floor. NFW!
And I agree with those who have said that would be acting as a positive role model for Beth who would likely benefit from learning that you don't have to accept truly disrespectful crappy behaviour from someone just because you're related.
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Team everyone - especially the "even with notice" crowd. You are under no obligation to this man and I wouldn't include them in any future plans. Hell my mother never even met my in-laws
Moving right along....
The kids came over yesterday as planned. We had a great time, and when they left, Beth thanked me for letting her enjoy the day. I didn't dig any deeper at that time, but later my son told me that while she was hurt by my initially saying no, she enjoyed the time spent without any pressure of seeing her dad and dealing with his drama.
I struggle, because I just want her to be happy. I know all too well what it is like to want to please your family, and feel like you are a part of it, but I also have the gift of experience telling me that sometimes you have to back away, and be true to yourself.