How daughters can repair a damaged relationship with their divorced dad
If I hadn't had a bad relationship with my dad I wouldn't have had one at all (that's It isn't a comforting thing to go through life with no relationship with a parent. Daughters across the US feel like their relationship with their father was damaged by their parents' divorce. could my relationship with my father have been better if my mother, . I had no idea what an impact I'd had on him. I have counseled clients through the estrangement process, and have also seen they have no real idea about how bad things may have been in the estranger's family! Feel free to explore my book on dysfunctional relationships, Overcome.
As part of my own therapy, I was able to vent intense feelings of righteous anger, victimization, and outrage. This ongoing venting of rage and hurt eventually opened up a totally unexpected memory.
I came to realize that there had been a time when I was really young where I actually had wanted something from my father. It was a shock to have this memory. I also came to realize that this did not change anything with him, but it meant a lot to me to uncover this wanting feeling for him.
Unfortunately, nothing in the realm of relationship was possible with my father.
When You Need To Cut A Parent Out Of Your Life : NPR
So I had to let go and feel the pain of that old rejection and my anger, and then I was able to disengage and move on. When I had a son of my own, I was tested as a father myself. The first early years with my son started off really well, but as he developed and became more autonomous and defiant, sadly, I was unable to manage my reactivity to his testing of boundaries, etc. Here it was happening to me, not as extreme, but still a strained relationship, and this broke my heart that I was still so psychologically immature.
I ended up on quite a roller coaster of a ride as a father. My son is now a grown man and we are currently sorting out our relationship. Now I am the father open to dealing with the issues with my own son. I am willing to acknowledge my shortcomings and listen to his childhood experiences, as painful as they are to hear. We are slowly making our way through our troubled history moving towards something of a relationship.
As men face the truth about their father-son bond, they will experience both pain and liberation. The son can come to feel more integrated as a man and perhaps willing to see his father more realistically, with both positive and negative traits. Both father and son may be able to recognize more clearly how their negative unexpressed feelings may still be impacting their intimate relationships as well as intruding into their friendships with men.
The optimal outcome, as men move forward toward resolving their feelings with their fathers, is to no longer be entangled with them through anger or hurt. Men can bring their newly earned individuation and energy into their love life, work life and friendships with other men. He certainly wasn't worth it! If it seems your dad doesn't understand, it's probably because understanding is not a priority for him.
He's busy with his own life. Let's face it; people put time and energy into the things they value. We fatherless daughters find this hard to accept because it's so incredibly painful. But, when we do, we find a whole lot of peace and can move forward building our own lives. I started knowing my father at age eleven. I thought he would be excited to have us as part of his life, but he has phases.
We don't talk much, and we only do so when I initiate the conversation.
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He claims that he cares about us, but he barely does anything for me, my brother, or my mother. Am I pushing too hard? He's who he is and isn't going to change. That means you make a choice.
Do you want to keep him, realizing his limitations and enjoying the little bit he has to offer, or would you instead let him go because his indifference is causing you too much hurt? Only you can decide what's right for you.Relationship With My Father
I'd stop pushing and focus on other areas of your life: It's easy for us fatherless daughters to become obsessed with what we don't have—our dad's love and attention—and not enjoy all the marvelous things we do have. It's ironic that in their absence our fathers' presence can loom so large in our lives.
Our longing for them can blind us to the abundance of love, beauty, and opportunity in the world. Most importantly, build a strong relationship with yourself and enjoy your own company. Don't think anyone—your dad, a boyfriend, a child—is necessary to make you happy and complete. When you're ready to have a romantic partner, you don't want to repeat the pattern you're now experiencing with your dad: If you feel confident and happy in your skin, you'll attract a partner who can give and receive love wholeheartedly and not be stingy like your father.
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Investing in yourself now will pay off in the future with healthy, balanced relationships. Don't think your dad's behavior makes you unlovable. That's certainly not the case. He has demons from his past that keep him from being a caring and involved father today. A person can't give away what they don't have, and it seems your father doesn't have much love to spare.
Focus on yourself and all that you have, not what you lack. Value yourself and all you have to offer. Since your mother forced your father to be an absent dad, you have a lot of healing to do and may want to consult a therapist. That's a lot of pain to confront on your own, and a professional can guide you through this rough terrain.
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If you're angry with your mom for keeping you and your dad apart, you may be experiencing profound hurt as if you've lost both parents. If your mom is willing, you could invite her to join you in the therapy.
Then the two of you can talk through things, see the other one's perspective, and move forward in your relationship. The best case scenario would be that your mother forced your father out to protect you from him.
Perhaps, he had a drug addiction, a drinking problem, run-ins with the law, or was simply a bad role model for you. If that's the case, you need to accept her decision and not hold it against her. She was acting out of love for you and was concerned about your best interest. She did what she believed was right at the time. Communicate with her and clear the air. However, if she made your father an absent dad out of spite or revenge, it will be difficult to forgive her.
She'll need to show true remorse and acknowledge the pain she's caused you. Otherwise, you may not want her in your life at least temporarily while you make sense of things and find peace of mind. To begin healing, you'll need to forgive your mother—not for her sake but for your own. If you have bitter feelings toward her, they will corrupt all areas of your life. Holding a grudge against your mother will make you a prisoner of the past, preventing you from enjoying the present.
You can't change history, but you can relish every day with the ones you love in the here-and-now. Forgiveness doesn't mean you need to keep her in your life. You'll need to make that decision based on the totality of your relationship, not just based on one thing.
Understanding your unique story and putting it in perspective will help you heal as well.
When I looked at my family's past, I saw how my mom played a big role in my father's emotional detachment. Her father wasn't involved when she was growing up, so she had always seen dads as non-essential.
As long as my father supported us financially, she was okay with it. My mom and dad made a deal that worked for them as a couple but proved extremely deleterious for their kids. How can I improve? I know in my mind that my father doesn't hate me; he just never connected with me. And ever since mom died, there has been no effort to. He never told me he was going to propose to my stepmother.
I found out after. It's like I've never been a part of his life, especially since then. He's involved in my stepmom's family. I'm tired of being around, hoping for a relationship. Sometimes we fatherless daughters need to get so thoroughly sick and tired of the situation before we're motivated to make a change.
Sometimes that takes years and, sadly, sometimes it takes decades. In your question, you have all the answers you need and show real insight.
Now you just need the courage to make some real concrete changes in your life. You need the determination to make the best possible future for yourself instead of wallowing in the past. Through no fault of yours, he didn't take the time and make an effort to form a parent-child bond with you. When that isn't established in the early years, it's nearly impossible to construct it later. The feelings aren't there.
He may be dealing with so much shame and guilt from the bad choices he's made that he just wants to forget it all, including you.
You are a reminder of how he's failed. For the most part, women set up the social life of the couple, and the men go along with it. Your dad is loyal to the woman he shares a bed with and, if she puts her family first, he's fine with it. He gets sex from her, so he's not about to make waves. He's content with the situation. He's not longing to be with you like you're longing to be with him. That's the cold, hard reality staring you in the face. In situations like this, I'm helped by the mantra: He'd been involved in our lives marginally but, once he was with this new woman, we rarely saw him only on major holidays.
He was totally caught up in his new wife's world: My siblings and I didn't care, but my mother was devastated by the rejection and was constantly complaining about it. Instead of enjoying what she had, she obsessed about what she didn't. When my grandfather's wife eventually died, he came back into my mom's life. Then she constantly complained about how thoroughly annoying he was!
The moral of that story is we often want what we can't have. Then, when we get it, we realize it wasn't so great after all. I think there's a good chance you would discover that about your father if you were able to spend a lot of time with him. The idea of him is much more desirable than the reality.