dysfunctional relationship or no relationship?

Rachel - posted on 05/20/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )




My father and I are estranged, but he really wants a relationship. He has one with my brothers, but they strongly feel that they owe it to him to be in his life. They think I am being selfish for not wanting him around. I tried to allow him to come over with boundaries, but my father grew very passive aggressive and manipulative under that, so I pulled the plug on his visit, so now I am being cast as a heartless selfish tease. I need some support or advice on what exactly I owe this man.


Beatryce_mckinnon - posted on 12/10/2012




You don't owe him anything, any relationship is a two way affair, Q, If he was not your father would you have any thing to do with him and why?

So the question you need to ask yourself is do you love him as your father or is he just a person in your life. Then decide if you want to see him, your brothers are boys and probably do have the same control issues from him you seem to be having, it would depend on his attitude to women in general. Don't be affraid to make a disission for your self, you don't have to put up with bad behavior jst because he's your father


Amber - posted on 08/10/2012




No one owes your father anything. If he left, then it's up to him to make it up to you. You set boundaries to protect yourself from any hurt that his presence may cause and I applaud you for that. A lot of people wouldn't be able to set boundaries for themselves with family because they don't want to come off the way that you are being made out to be. I don't believe that you are selfish or heartless, in fact, I think that you've been hurt by him and you just don't want to fall for the same crap. Stand your ground and let people think what they want. Ultimately, it's your life and if your Dad wants to repair your relationship, then he will respect your boundaries and do what he was put here to do... be a parent.

Good luck. Hope this sheds some light on the situation....

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Wendy - posted on 10/25/2013




You don't owe him anything! It sounds like you've set boundaries to ensure you are comfortable, it sounds completely fair to me.
My father and I have been estranged for the past eight years, and a month ago I made the decision to contact him and go for a cup of coffee. It felt very strange and I'm still not sure it was the right thing to do, but I did.
I am comfortable because I set the limits and met in a public place, so he couldn't lose his temper as easily, but in your situation, don't doubt yourself.
You're completely allowed to have your feelings and set whatever boundaries you need to in order to feel comfortable. Hang in there :)

Linda - posted on 02/06/2013




Rachel that's a tough one and in a sense something I've been through. I'm not sure if your father was around to raise you. If he wasn't you don't really owe him anything. If he was financially and/or emotionally there for you I think I would try to be open to it but if he cares about you than you need to let him know that you have boundaries.

You can't worry about what your brothers think. This is between you and your father. You are all adults (i'm assuming) and making your own choices.

I do feel in a way that you are so lucky that he cares enough to want to be in your life but, with a lot of parents they have trouble seeing you as an adult (with boundaries).

My father and I have had a difficult relationship in my adult life and I have many brothers and sisters so I really get that about the sibling pressure---don't give in for that reason.
I was very late bloomer and really can't say that I've appreciated my dad and what he brought to our family until I was married with children which has been the last five years. I'm now 43. And I will tell you this---your feelings about your father will play out in your marriage. So whatever those maybe, take care of yourself.

Working on a relationship with your father may be what's best for YOU in the long run if he can care enough to respect your boundaries.

Good luck and God Bless.

Dove - posted on 05/20/2012




If he can't respect the boundaries that you set up for your own mental health and well being... then you are not the one in the wrong by keeping your distance.

What you owe him? Your life. But that doesn't mean you let him control and harm YOUR life. You need to have the boundaries that make the most sense for your well being and if someone can not respect those boundaries... the natural consequences of that choice are on them.

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