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When is too late to build a relationship with your father?

(5 Posts)
dazedandconfused17 Sun 13-Mar-16 19:22:20

My mother died when I was six of what was either an accidental or deliberate overdose. No one knows.

The aftermath was not good. My father dealt very badly with being left with just me. I don't think he was ready to be a single parent. I had nannies at first, but they used to leave because my dad was awful for just vanishing and leaving me with them - not for long, but up to 24 hours which the nannies (totally understandably) couldn't cope with. I went to live with an aunt for a while and then my grandparents, who were amazing, but my grandmother died when I was thirteen and my father and grandfather decided I should come home.

My father does love me, I think, but doesn't know how to show it. He tends to get very caught up in what he's doing and then overcompensates with presents or big gestures. He has always been a workaholic and control freak which sometimes makes him very hard to live with.

When I was at university he remarried which helped a bit - my stepmother is lovely and has got him to loosen up and he's a lot more hands on with my stepbrothers but I'd moved out by then.

Now I'm in my late thirties and live miles away. I do try and call but he doesn't really like to chat. We've gone on holiday but that is always a massive family holiday with lots of people around.

I wish we could have more of a relationship but I don't even know where to begin. Last time I raised the subject he got really offended and just started going on about the school I had gone to and the fact I had a pony. Which I had for six months before he sent me to live with my aunt. How do you say "I just want to be able to have a conversation?"

custardmountains2 Sun 13-Mar-16 19:41:03

I hardly ever saw my dad ( see him now about once a year). As a result I don't really understand men. Now I have got kids I understand what it's like to be a parent and it's not for everyone. I accept him how he is and I am at peace with that now.

Gfplux Sun 13-Mar-16 19:52:38

Why not talk to your step Mum. She could be a great ally.

hesterton Sun 13-Mar-16 19:56:22

He will let you down again if you give him trust. Honestly - I can't help thinking you're better off expecting less not more from this man. He was selfish then and will not change.

And I'm sorry you lost your mum so young. It is a huge HUGE hole in anyone's life.


dazedandconfused17 Sun 13-Mar-16 20:38:13

My stepmum is lovely but fiercely loyal to my dad and tends to minimize his faults - like my aunt and I were telling the great family story of the time dad went to New York on a business trip and forget to tell my nanny he wouldn't be back that night, and she got really defensive and was obviously uncomfortable with the story. I think she'd like us all to be close but is very edgy about the reasons we aren't. But I think you're right. She'd be a good first step.

And maybe he is selfish. I think that's what I'm trying to figure out.

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