Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Should I cut ties with my dad?

(12 Posts)
PJBanana Thu 18-Aug-16 20:27:16

I've lurked for a while, finally feel ready to post.

My relationship with my dad has never been good. He walked out on my mum when I was 3, saw me sporadically for a few years, which gradually became less and less. Probably a few times a year. Mum has always done everything for me and supported me. She had to go back to work full time straight away, so I was raised and supported by her and my grandparents (on mum's side). Dad hardly ever paid maintenance.

We've just never got on at all. Whenever we spent time together, it always felt forced. He has always been completely unreliable, made false promises etc, and has always relied on occasional 'grand gestures', which I imagine make him feel like he's being a 'good dad'. (E.g. going completely off the radar for almost a year, then turning up with £1000 on my 18th birthday).

Shortly after my 18th, he emigrated. Since then I have seen him twice (I'm now 25). Once was when I visited the country he now lives in for a holiday, the other was when he came back to the UK for a funeral. When he was over here, I made every effort to try and see him. He didn't seem bothered. If I hadn't done this, he definitely wouldn't have bothered to see me, despite only being 30 minutes away from where I live.

Since then, I've heard from him once. He half-heartedly invited me to his wedding to his fiance, who I met when he was in the UK and she seemed nice enough. However, travelling to where he lives would've cost me and DP around £1000. He didn't offer to help us out financially so that we could be at his wedding, despite posting about a VERY extravagant purchase on Facebook a few days before contacting us.

On the whole, I feel like we have no relationship. I find it difficult, as my dad is a popular man with many friends. Everyone loves him. He seems to love his own family (sisters, nieces, nephews etc), but I genuinely do not believe he cares about me. I have never seen a glimpse of this wonderful man that everybody else seems to adore. I feel that he has always done the bare minimum to be in my life. I have absolutely no happy memories with him, that I can recall.

I often think of sending him a message telling him how I feel, and I believe life would be much easier if we just cut ties. But I worry about his reaction, and although I have no reason to be loyal to him, I'm scared of hurting him. But I know our situation isn't right. I've been lucky enough to have my grandad and stepdad as wonderful father figures, who have supported me and done anything for me.

Does anybody have experience of this type of relationship? I feel like I would be better off without his presence in my life (however small). Sorry for the ramble, I just wanted to get these thoughts off my chest and get some advice sad

TheFurryMenace Thu 18-Aug-16 20:36:40

I don't have experience, but ypu seem really lovely and deserve better. Why waste your time and effort on him when you could be spending with the people who show their love and care such as your mum stepdad and grandparents flowers.

pallasathena Fri 19-Aug-16 11:51:15

I think you need to be kind to yourself, put yourself first and ask yourself the question, "Is this a positive, life affirming relationship or am I trying to create a reality from a childhood fantasy here?"
If you think you're trying to re-create some childhood fantasy by having a meaningful relationship with someone who basically, just thinks first, last and always about himself, then you're setting yourself up for a lot of heartache and upset.
He is who he is. Accept that. You can't change it, you shouldn't even try. You should however, put yourself first in all of this, every single time.

donners312 Fri 19-Aug-16 12:30:11

I totally agree with PP. You have a rose tinted image of your Father as a popular figure with other people except you.

I strongly doubt this is true.

Your Dad probably treats everyone how he treats you and isn't the wonderful figure you think he is.

He only cares about himself there is no benefit to you to give him another chance or forge a better relationship with him.

Concentrate on all the wonderful people who do care about you in the way that you deserve!!

MatildaTheCat Fri 19-Aug-16 12:45:18

I suspect you have formed your views on his popularity via Facebook which is notoriously crap for getting the truth. The truth is that he's a loser to have treated you and your mum so badly.

I'm not sure it's worth writing to him, you have barely any contact as it is. I think I would defined him and get on with life as if he never existed. He's not worth your headspace.

Congratulations for being so grounded and nice sounding despite him.

MatildaTheCat Fri 19-Aug-16 12:46:39

Defined should read 'defriend '.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 19-Aug-16 12:59:06

I would think your biological father is not the popular man you think he is; I think its an idealised image in your head or one further distorted by social media like FB.

I do not think your biological father has been at all worried about hurting you to be honest. Even if you did send him a message its not going to give him an epiphany because he is an inherently selfish person who has always put himself first. He is a deadbeat and he is not worthy enough to be in your life. There is no benefit to you at all in trying to have a relationship with someone this selfish.

RatherBeRiding Fri 19-Aug-16 13:09:40

It doesn't sound as though there are any "ties" to be cut. By your own admission you don't really get on, you don't really know each, you rarely see each other. And he doesn't sound at all bothered by that fact.

I'd not bother writing to him though as others have said I doubt very very much he would be hurt - I'd just not bother writing because I can't see it achieving anything. He's not going to change

He knows where you are if he wants a relationship with you. But he doesn't really, does he?

Just carry on with your own life and let him get on with his, but if it makes you feel better leave the door open for him should he feel the need to make an effort. That way the ball is in his court.

You've got lots of other wonderful, caring family who love you - don't forget that. It's not your fault your DF is the way he is - it's his loss, not yours, at the end of the day!

user1468769430 Fri 19-Aug-16 13:21:32

had same problem with my dad very selfish,only come to find me when he needed looking after which i felt i had to, with the advise you have on here i think you know what to do look after the people who care for you.

Dizzapea Fri 19-Aug-16 13:34:56

I dont have an answer for you but just wanted to say I competely understand where you are coming from. I havent seen my dad since I was 5 and until about 8 years ago I had no contact with him. He found me on facebook and wanted to meet up but it was weird for me so i kept backing off. He didnt try very hard to be honest and gave up. I get a happy birthday/christmas message every year and thats about it. It hurts to see him playing happy families with his new kids to be honest but cant bring myself to defriend in case i upset him. Mad huh!?

Grannypants1 Fri 19-Aug-16 13:43:04

Hi dp. This sounds just like me. Mum kicked out dad when I was 3. He was emotionally abusive and one day he called me a bitch and my brother a bastard when he was hungover and she said say goodbye to your kids I am taking them to nursery and expect you to be gone when I am back. He hardly came to visit and when he did it was all empty grand gestures. He wouldnt turn up for visits and not to hurt us she made his excuses. Until he stated dating a woman on our street and parking outside our house. She asked him to atleast park around the conker so we couldn't see his very distinctive car, which we did and ask why. (in the end he refused so she posted paint stripper over it and painted go father stripes at which point he changed his mind). Throughout my whole childhood he was off and on. He dissapeared for 2 years, we found out later he had moved to american, he could have been dead for all we knew. His family were no help they blamed my mum for leaving him, supported him and didn't want anything to do with us. He always worked overseas wouldn't pay maintenance and wouldn't give us contact details. They wouldn't give them to us either. He would only try and talk to us in between wives, each time I would get my hopes up he would change and each time he would get a new wine and forget. When I was 14 he got married, he didn't tell us or invite us. When his naive got married I was a bridesmaid (she was the only decent one) and I found out about the wife when he came to england picked me up then dropped me off in his mums house with his chinese wife who didn't speak a word of english and should at me alot. I stopped talking to him because I was upset, at that age I would have really wanted to be a bridesmaid. Eventually he apologised. Again then he dissapeared and sent an email maybe once a year stating he was busy etc. Fast track a couple of years,he tries to contact again and I ask if he is in between wives, he stated no then admitted he was divorced. log on to my email a few months later and see pictures he has uploaded to sky drive, he had got married again. She was about 19 and phillipino. At this point I cut contact. Honestly it was the best thing I ever did. I have been no contact for many years now. It is the best thing I ever did. I am 26 now, the man is a stranger to me. He wasn't there, we have no bond. It is too much effort to have him pop in and out. Honestly at this point at most we would have an adult relationship, but thinking logically if he was just someone I didnt know there is no way I would be his friend, he isn't a nice or fun person, he is just a manipulator, so why should I talk to him just because he is tied to me by blood. Occasionally he sends an email trying to reconnect (but everytime he asks if I have legally changed my surname because I have my mums maiden name as everything so really he is just pissed off about that) I never respond. I had everything I needed in a wonderful mum and a great male role model in my granddad. No point holding on to toxic people because of some perceived obligation.

PJBanana Sat 20-Aug-16 12:54:01

Thanks for all the lovely replies.

I think most of you are right in saying that maybe writing to him to 'officially' end contact might not be the best idea.

The truth is I have always hoped he would come around and realise he wants a proper relationship with me. What hurts a lot at the moment is seeing how happy he is with his new wife and her children (who are quite young), he seems to be taking on a 'father' role in their lives (although again, I've only seen this from Facebook so everything may not be as it seems)!

I think the best thing to do might be to delete him, and all his family so that I can't see any of this. It wouldn't surprise me if I never heard from any of them again afterwards anyway.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now