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Do I carry on NC with DF?(8 Posts)
DB and I have been NC on and off with our Dad for the last 10 years or so.
He remarried and raised our stepsiblings as his own as their Dad wasn't on the scene.
DB and I always came last in his list of priorities, his new wife is very controlling and sees us as some sort of threat. She was also violent to me when I was a teenager and her son assaulted me.
It's been easier emotionally to distance ourselves from him.
In the last year DB got married and is expecting a child, I had my first DC and I'm expecting my 2nd so I thought this would be an ideal time to reach out to our Dad and build bridges but his behaviour is still odd and cagey, backing up the reason we are NC. He also made the comment that he puts so much effort in with our stepsiblings DCs to make up for being a crappy Dad to DB and I, I found this pretty hard to hear as we are still alive and kicking yet he makes no effort to see us or his grandchildren, it's like we've been written off so he can start afresh.
What are your views? I'm very reluctant to start a relationship with him again as he puts in zero effort and I don't want him coming in and out of my DCs lives like he has me and my DBs. It seems easier to just move on. My DB says he cannot be bothered with him anymore but I know he is really hurt by his reluctance to make any effort with us. Has anyone been through anything similar who can offer any advice?
How can YOU build bridges?
The bridges are his to build and any overtures of wanting to rebuild need to come from him.
He also made the comment that he puts so much effort in with our stepsiblings DCs to make up for being a crappy Dad to DB and I
There isn't some cosmic justice for him. Being good to them doesn't make up for being shit to you. Worrying about his Karma doesn't make up for the fact that you and his grandchildren miss him a lot. You can tell him that! Selfish, selfish man.
There is a very good thread on stepchildren around at the moment where a lot of people've been through the same. here
In the end you can't force a relationship with him. The only thing you can do is to accept that you're never going to have a close and loving relationship by his choice, and grieve for the loss of yoru father. He's not really what a father should be; he's a weak man who's let you down. it doesn't stop hurting, but you -can- decide to stop putting your hand in the fire and consciously choose to step back from him. It's self-preservation for you given that there is no chance of a positive closer relationship here and that can be a wise decision.
If you try and make a relationship now, and nothing has changed, your children will be involved, and hurt in the same way you have been all your life.
Sadly, you want a father you didn't have (and who could blame you - it sounds like the one you have is a shit). You want a lovely grandfather for your DC, but this man is not it.
Unless the overtures came from him, with lots of true contrition about treating you so badly as a child, then I would leave it as no, or very low contact.
Thank you all for your comments, all of the above points have reassured me that I am doing the right thing.
He is a weak man, which is the reason that my DM left him.
If he wants to build bridges then he can come to me but I won't hold my breath!
It does petrify me though that something could happen to him as he isn't a spring chicken anymore and I will have to live with the guilt of never making things up with him.
I will have to live with the guilt of never making things up with him
He's a parent who chose to disengage with his own children and, unless he takes step to reach out to them and attempts to make amends for his disregard of them, he'll have to bear the guilt of behaving in such a callous and unfeeling manner until he dies.
The fact he may not feel guilty is neither here nor there as he's been fairly judged and rightly found wanting by his own flesh and blood..
He also made the comment that he puts so much effort in with our stepsiblings DCs to make up for being a crappy Dad to DB and I If that's his speech in mitigaion he's convicted himself and has shown there's little chance of him becoming a reformed character.
and I will have to live with the guilt of never making things up with him.
<gently> you can only ever be open to the idea of reconciliation but making things up has to come from him
A relationship doesn't work if only one person wants it to, and I think you are forgetting that in your need to have a good relationship. You can't force him though. The ball is firmly in his court here.
Please don't blame yourself here.
OP - I have been NC with my father for over 20 years; he has never seen my 3 dc, nor has he ever indicated that he would like to. His loss, believe me. It would be a cold day in hell before they meet him.
I will have to live with the guilt of never making things up with him - but why would it be guilt? If you do make things up with him,, and he is vile to your children, that is a rather more significant guilt you will feel. Keep your dc away from toxic people, and be glad you can do. The alternative is pain, confusion and hurt on your and your children's side.
He doesn't deserve you.
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