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think i'm going to give up trying to make my father have a relationship with me (long -sorry)

(8 Posts)
canella Wed 24-Jun-09 20:59:55

my mother died when i was 9 and my father really didnt cope well in the years after - he left my older sister and i to be brought up by my very elderly grandmother and my mum's sister while he got drunk and stayed out at random women's houses.

he got married again when i was 17 to a woman with grown up children and grandchildren (although she's about the same age as him) and over the next 5 years he just grew further and further away from us. He lived about 30 mins away but just had no interest in us but spent time and money on his new wife's family.

My sister and i gave up trying to keep the relationship going and lost touch with him until i had my dd in 2001 and i got back in touch with him. We had a letter contact for a while (i'd moved 3 hours away) then i met him expecting apaologies and tears from all of us - got none of this - he just made polite chitchat then went home!!!

we still kept in contact by letter but some of them were verging on nasty when i tried to get answers for why he'd neglected us after my mother died and when he got married - his reply was that i should have been more attentive to how upset he was feeling and that would have made things better (i was 9!!)

so fast forward to the last 6 months - we moved overseas so i went to visit him and his wife for the first time in 7 years - he still made polite chitchat but appeared pleased that i'd made the effort.

I phoned him on his mobile on xmas day - no reply and he didnt phone back.

i sent him an email after we moved - no reply.

I sent him a birthday card - no email or text to say he'd got it (he's quite good with the computer and his mobile!)

so i phoned today - he says yeah i got your card and email - no shame that he hadnt replied in 2 months!

just feel like i'm making all the effort and he just isnt interested - think i'm trying to force him to have a relationship with me but its really hard to accept that i'm being rejected again by my father. been in tears so many times about him and wonder whether this is the time to just stop the effort?

bohemianbint Wed 24-Jun-09 21:04:19

That's so sad - I understand how you feel and it's heartbreaking. Am having counselling at the moment for vaguely similar reasons - basically my dad is not arsed about me either.

I'm sure you'll get some excellent advice and I'll come back when I can. But there does come a point where you realise you are flogging a dead horse and you have to start looking after yourself. It's rubbish though. sad

toomanystuffedbears Wed 24-Jun-09 21:46:55

Hi canella,
I am sorry for you for the loss of your mom as such an early age.

Your dad was a crap parent to you. Sorry to shock you, if you didn't already know it.

Yes, I agree with the thought line of bohemianbint:
I think these circumstances follow the course of -your family of orgin has expired and you should focus on your immediate family - that is your dp and dc.

canella Wed 24-Jun-09 21:58:17

thanks for your replies - he was a crap parent but since having dc i really felt i had to give him a second chance - to let him know me and dh but for the dc to know their grandpa. just wish now that i hadnt bothered - its so hard to explain to dd (nearly 8) why he's crap but also why we're not in touch with him as much as her other grandparents.

spoke online to my sister before - her relationship with him isnt any better - and she said i have to see it as his loss - he'll never know the family i've made for myself but this just makes me sadder.

feel sad that i will have to carry this with me forever - he'll still send a card on my birthday and the kids birthdays so i'll always be reminded of him - what kind of father doesnt want their children - cant imagine it

crokky Wed 24-Jun-09 22:16:03

I'm sorry about your mum canella.

Regarding your dad, I personally think that you should give up trying to make a relationship with him. My dad, although in contact, only has nasty things to say about me, my siblings, my mum, my DH, in fact everybody really. Since you are going to be in contact with your dad via cards etc, my advice would be to cut yourself off emotionally - deal with the cards as though it is admin at work and don't expect anything more from him. I would not ask him again why he has not been a better parent - it is getting you nowhere and giving you false hope that he might give you a meaningful answer. I have cut myself off emotionally from my dad and it has helped me a lot - I just deal with him in a civil manner, behave as I should behave when I have to see him and just get on with my life otherwise.

With your DD, I would just say to her that he lives a very long way away and leave it at that. Don't expose her to all the stuff he has put you through yet.

HolyGuacamole Wed 24-Jun-09 22:48:48

Lots of great advice here. Accepting that he is not going to change and stopping yourself from banging your head off a brick wall is a start. Easy to say I know, but I have been there. Do try to do what crokky says and distance yourself from him emotionally, lower your expectations and don't wish for him to be somebody that he is not.

There is another thread in relationships at the moment about father/daughter relationships that is quite interesting. I'll link it for you in a moment.

Anyway, harsh though it is, you have to concentrate on your own little family unit, your own life and your own future. Be selfish, after all, that is what he has done.

Wishing you luck as I know this is not easy for you.

HolyGuacamole Wed 24-Jun-09 22:50:04

Canella - Have a look at this

canella Thu 25-Jun-09 20:21:29

thanks holy for that link - its a support to realise that other people have crap fathers too.

i think i can go through most days without thinking about him but it pisses me off that the situation will never be better until he dies. there are often occasions where people who dont know the situation say things like "how often do you get home to your parents?"
" do your parents not miss the kids now your in germany?" - its easy enough to answer the questions without explaining the situation but then i'm thinking of him again.

my sister was a great support last night - she expects nothing from him so maybe thats the way to go

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