|02-15-2007, 03:25 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Poor relationship with father
Perhaps I'm writing this in a public forum just to get it off my chest, not really expecting an answer or solution... just another personal issue that I can't figure out. And saying/writing things 'out loud' is sometimes a way to better understand ourselves.
I'm 27 years old, don't get along with my father; have a wonderful relationship with my mother -- we're very close. Parents have been separated for about 12 years (mom & kids left dad). I was glad when we left him -- I'm the eldest of 3 children.
I would call my father a fundamentalist Christian, which no longer jives with how I choose to view the world and others. We've had many conversations/arguments/emails about how we each don't really accept the other's viewpoint. When I was growing up, he was very judgemental and controlling. So based on that, I've developed a consistent habit of not wanting to share much of my life with him because I don't want him to judge my behavior. (side note -- I'm a very well-put-together person, professional, smart, capable... nothing overtly 'wrong' with the way I live my life.) He doesn't agree with the fact that I'm living with a guy before being married, the fact that I watch mainstream movies, the fact that I don't go to church, the fact that I used to like Madonna's music...seriously.
I don't see him often, but when I do, I have a very strong physical repulsion to having to be near him -- like a panic attack. My senses are on high alert, and I feel incredibly uncomfortable around him. If I had my way, I'd try to never see him again.
My siblings don't have great relationships with him, but I think they deal with it a bit better (or differently) than I do. My mom refuses to speak to him unless it has to do with the kids. Like I said, they've been separated for 12 years at least, and just a few months ago Dad finally accepted that they would not be getting back together! He has some depression issues (I do too) and probably some psychotic issues. Maybe bipolar or schizophrenic (this is what a therapist suggested -- not me) I think even his parents and siblings just tolerate his presence -- he's kind of the black sheep, socially not very adept.
My problem, to try to state it clearly: he wants to have a relationship with me. He says that we need to communicate openly and by talking more, we'll get to a place where we feel comfortable together and can be happy and share things. Like I said, I am so uncomfortable around him -- I don't respect him, don't feel that he respects me, I don't want his advice, don't want to know him. I honestly never see us having a 'normal' relationship. I'm getting married this year and don't want him at the wedding. Part of me knows I may be callous and immature in behaving this way, but the other part of me reacts so physically and strongly against having to be near him and communicate with him.
I feel like 'society' would say "He's your father, even if you don't like him, you owe him a relationship... to not include him in your life is wrong." But the other part of me says "This is unhealthy! This is not good for you...and it will never get better."
So... leaving out ALL the sordid details... that's it. I know that cutting ties with him would be incredibly painful to him, but to me, it would be wonderfully freeing.
|02-15-2007, 03:53 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
It sounds like you've got a tough decision to make and a lot of thinking to do. Let me suggest that, if you do give him a chance, lay down a framework for your relationship that you both must abide by. In other words, agree to disagree about the sensitive topics that cause friction and don't talk about them. Perhaps you shoud be frank with him that you really would rather never speak to him again, so he understands the gravity of the situation, but, since he's your dad, etc, etc, etc, you'll maintain contact under certain conditions.
|02-15-2007, 04:06 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2007
I think that is the point I'm at. But it's also part of the problem (and I hate to keep saying 'problem' because that promotes a certain mind-set on my part):
I have suggested to him that we agree to disagree. His response is that he will keep talking about the things he believes to be true 'until the sun implodes'. He doesn't think we're disagreeing -- he thinks he is sharing with me vital information that is for my well-being and happiness.
Lay down a framework: my therapist suggested this also. It's kind of a one-sided thing... I can abide by it, and he will too, for a little while, but then things deteriorate to what they were. Which is where I'm at now.
In any case, many thanks for your thoughts! It's just been on my mind a lot lately.
|02-15-2007, 05:21 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
It does seem like a difficult situation. You're supposed to want to have a relationship with your father. He's supposed to be at your wedding. Well, what do you do if you don't want that relationship? Me, I love my dad, but I had to kick him out of my life because I can't agree with his values or the way he conducts his life. Maybe this could work for you too? I told my dad, dad, we've tried, it doesn't work, we have a great deal of differences, I love you, but you need to stay out now. I don't speak with him any more, but I still care about him, and that what works for me. My other friend, who also has dad problems, just tries to escape him the best she can. She told her dad not to come to our graduation and he didn't. My dad did (it was before I kicked him out). But basically if you don't want him to be at your wedding, tell him that. If you feel really guilty invite him to meet your new spouse at some other time. Your day shouldn't be spoiled. It's really frustrating to think that blood ties are the be-all and end-all of everything, when there are so many different types of relationships that can be more meaningful and beneficial than one of blood.
Good luck, lrose.
|04-07-2009, 03:50 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2009
i am the youngest child of 4 children in my home! i have a mother and a father which are still togeather! me and my father havnt got a relationship together atall, we ardly talk, we dont do anything together and i cant even look at him with out pulling a face, we do not get on atall. he tries realy hard to talk to me and to get along with me, but i just cannot talk to him tidy. he is very over protective over me, as i am his only daughter,and i have three brothers which are over protective on me too! my dad will not let me go out far with my friends just incase anything happens, but i am 15 i will be 16 next year. i dont tell my dad if i have a boyfriend or not because i now he wont like it and he will start shouting,and so will my brothers. i have a real close relationship with my mother, i love to do everything with her and go places with her. i help her around the house cause i find it fun to hang around with my mum. i am realy happy in my family. i care about my dad, and i love him too, bit we cannot agree on anything atall, and your supposed to want to have a relationship with you dad, but i dont think i can, because we are soo different and i feel as if i dont want to talk to him. x
Last edited by misspersonal; 04-07-2009 at 03:54 PM.
|04-07-2009, 08:17 PM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Mexico City
I feel exactly what you mean here, I have the same with my dad.
What might be a suggestion is to have a time-out of 1 year. Donīt see him, talk to him, listen to him for 1 year. Tell him you need this time and if he loves you and wants a relationship with you, he will give you that time.
That way he doesnīt have to be in your wedding and you have some time (and wonderful time it will be) where you donīt have to think about him.
When the year is over meet him for coffee together with your husband. Just short and simple and talk about nothing special.
From there, decide if you want to be in contact with him or not.
If not, then donīt. Just because he is your father you do not need to be misserable around him.
The only reason I am still in contact with my father is because he and my mom are still together and it would break her heart if I would leave (and besides I owe them money.. long story).
If anybody has any suggestions on how to break the dependency and the panic feelings without breaking off contact.. please let me (us) know!!
Good luck, and remember, nothing is more important than you being happy! You deserve that and let nobody take that away from you!
|10-15-2009, 08:31 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2009
first of all, i am so grateful to know that i am not alone. i have been struggling with my relationship with my father for years; the guilt i feel for the way i treat him is debilitating. i am 37 years old, cannot move past this point and am at a loss. i am paralyzed by the vision of being at his funeral, filled with guilt and regret and wishing i had done something different.
so what did he/does he do that makes me so ashamed of him, disgusted by his presence? here are the most prominent reasons:
1. he cheated on my mother, treated her pretty horribly during the course of their marriage; condescending, controlling, verbally abusive.
2. he's an alcoholic and has a sex addiction.
3. he takes frequent trips to thailand to indulge his sex addiction, a country that exploits children to support sexual tourism.
the bottom line is this; he's just not someone i can love. he's not someone i would choose to be associated with, if not for the fact that he's my father. i am angry; i feel short-changed.
i don't know what to do.
|10-16-2009, 09:11 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Southern California
Society can go to hell. Culture is not your friend.
Create whatever kind of relationship works for you.
Tell your father EXACTLY how you feel. If he's unwilling to listen to you and address your concerns, he really doesn't want a relationship with you, he wants to assuage his guilt for being a d-bag.
|10-17-2009, 02:03 AM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2007
|10-17-2009, 02:53 AM||#11 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: earth, everywhere and nowhere
if your dad is an alcoholic and uses sex in a needy way, he has very very deep emotional wounds and he is either afraid to deal with them or he has bought into the idea from culture that men aren't supposed to show any weakness (really, owning our emotional wounds, looking at them and working through them takes great courage - far more courage than it takes to pretend we're ok when we're not). so if you can see that your dad does these things because he is in a whole lot of pain, you may be able to reach your compassion and extend that to him instead of your judgment.
@ lrose - if you're even still around, i hope the situation has gotten better for you. when i read that, my impression was that your father either behaved in an inappropriate way toward you or his witnessing is oppressive. my advice would vary depending on which of those is closer to the truth, and i won't go into it unless you respond so i know you're still visiting the forums.
|10-17-2009, 03:02 AM||#12 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2008
You don't have to maintain ties. Screw that bs about having to maintain relationships with a person "because they're family", when they're making you unhappy. Utter nonsense. You don't need that stress in your life.
(and fundamentalist Christian, yeeuucckkk)
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