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How do I form relationship with my dad?

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posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 05:10 AM
Hi folks,

I thought I’d put this out there to you guys, because to be honest I trust your judgement.

I turn 30 this year and what I’m about to talk about has been playing on my mind for years. I essentially have a non-existent relationship with my dad which I think should be rectified. To put this in context I better give you a bit of background to all this. I’m not moaning or anything like that, I just would really appreciate advice from a group of people that I trust.

When I was growing up he always worked hundreds of miles away as the CEO of a huge multinational firm so I only ever saw him the occasional weekend. Even then I always remember him being very cold. When we would go for ‘drives’ on a Saturday or Sunday, he would just sit in the driver’s seat and say nothing for hours. I grew to dread it. This pattern continued for years until I went to university for the first time.
To be honest the weeks were pretty good fun though. My mum is great and we would have a ball. As I got older – say 16 or so, we’d go out for meals a few times a week, go the pub quiz and end up with a lot of my friends back at our house drinking in the lounge and chatting crap with my mum.

During my first year at uni he took early retirement and was back home all the time. I remember going home for the first holiday when he was around all the time. He would sit there and just grunt at me when I tried to engage him in conversation. The atmosphere was awful. I’d be listening to music in my room extremely quietly and get told to shut up and turn it off when I could hardly hear it.

Since then, the only contact we have is when he grunts at me from time to time. I’ve suggested going to the pub but he always says no. There have been other incidents that I don’t want to talk about on here, but he is an extremely cold man and I have no idea how to rekindle – or start – any kind of relationship with him as I feel he has no idea who I ‘am’ because he missed out on me growing up.

We did used to play golf together the odd weekend with people he knew when I was in my teens but he doesn’t even consider doing that now.

Part of me thinks that I’m a disappointment to him because I decided to go into teaching rather than continue into the law, and part of me thinks he is just a cold man with no relationship skills – He never really spoke to his parents – he’d go months without seeing them – and they only lived 5 mins away.

However, he does seem to get on with my sister’s partner – the cynical part of me thinks that it’s because he earns a lot of money – therefore deserves respect. I don’t earn a lot of money – therefore do not deserve respect.

So guys, any advice? He’s been great to me in a financial way –bought me cars, holidays, lent me lots of money, pays my rent, is buying me a house - all with miminal discussion, but I want more.

I want a relationship with my dad. I’ve not got many friends outside of work and am at the point in my life where I think I need to sort this out. It would be so nice to go away for a boys weekend with him or something, you know what I mean? It would give my mum a break from his mood swings as well!

Right - rant over.

Am I being selfish and just need to accept the way things are? I apologise if I sound like a teenage emo - I don't intend to.

Thanks for reading,


[edit on 20-4-2008 by more_serotonin_pls]

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 05:39 AM
Its not good is it, I feel for you as i really know the feeling of wanting a parent to be there for you in an emotional way, I wonder what his fears are? maybe hes just scared to show weakness maybe he is upset with him self about how things where when you where little so he trys to handle it by being distant from you,
Really what you both need is some time away from everything together,

something where you have to really sit and talk, is there anyway you can both get away for a short time? Camping?? sounds funny but being out there in the open and together can do amazing things,

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 08:37 AM
Thanks for the reply Asala, it's nice to know I'm not the only person thinking like this.

I wish there was somewhere I could go with him, but he simply won't consider it. I've suggested in the past and I get a 'no' and then he goes back to the silence of working through his papers.

Good advice though. Thanks.

posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 09:27 AM

I will be 58 in another month, and I share your dilemma: “I essentially have a non-existent relationship with my dad ...” although I am not so sure about an unqualified "which I think should be rectified.” I surely would like to have a relationship with my dad, of course, but I am not willing to accept his seeming all-about-him-and-his-life (narcissistic?) terms for one.

By the time I was about 12, my dad had become almost as distant as yours even though his factory was not far away. He was not actually “cold”, as such, just consumed by his work and feeling important. We all went for drives and picnics and did other things almost weekly, and we enjoyed regular vacations as a family. However, I always felt secondary to whatever else my dad was actually doing.

My dad sold his factory and retired from business during my senior year of high school, and I left home and entered military service a year later. I would go back home whenever I had time off, but it was like my dad and I were still mere acquaintances living in different worlds. Even today, and as you have shared, “I feel he has no idea who I ‘am’ …”

Personally, and even though my own dad has always been very critical of me, I doubt you are actually “a disappointment to him”. Rather, I believe our fathers were (and still are) simply unaware of what we actually need(ed) from them, and that you are correct about their having “no relationship skills”. Personally, and whatever the cause might be, even I now find myself with virtually no social or emotional intelligence to offer my own children.

It is not selfish to desire relationships with others. For all of us, including our fathers, being needed, wanted and loved in meaningful ways is natural and instinctual, and we do not feel complete (or actually “secure”, overall) without those instincts being satisfied and our needs being met. In my own case, I had a lot of anger and resentment toward my father for many years, but I have since come to understand and accept that he has done (and that he still does) his best at living life in accordance with whatever philosophy or religion seems to satisfy him.

What is the solution here? I have yet to find one. My father and I do not embrace the same “measure of success”, and neither of us holds much respect for the other’s lifestyle. Does that make him wrong and me right? No, but neither does any of that leave him right and me wrong. Rather, and as in what little I remember of something I once heard many years ago, we have been as two ships passing in the night and ultimately continuing on their own courses.

I just did a search, and I believe this is that poem:

As Two Ships Passing in the Night
As two ships passing in the night,
So quietly neath the stars soft light;
Our paths cross but now and then.
Reaching out, seeking one another again.

We say hello and then we part,
Knowing we've shared a piece of our heart.
Some friendships stay and sadly some go.
My prayers remain steady hoping ours will grow.

I ache when you're hurting,
I cry when you're sad.
Wanting to comfort and hold you so bad.
Know that I'm waiting here, with open arms,
To share all your troubles and relish your charms.

I have nothing to offer but the soul of a friend,
Strong shoulders to lean on that don't easily bend.
I offer these freely with no strings attached,
For in caring and sharing you'll not meet my match.

So on some long and lonely night
When nothing seems to go just right
Close your eyes and think of me,
Under the moon's glow is where I'll be.

Author: Unknown

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 04:43 AM
Hiya,can I suggest writing a letter? You can say just what you want to say,without interuption. You can tell your dad just how you feel,and you'll have the time to give it proper thought. (unlike a conversation,where things can change very quickly)

Post it to him,or take it to him and give it to him personally. Which ever one you think would be best received. As you know your dad better than any of us,you'll know which is best.

What ever you decide to do,good luck. I hope you can rekindle a relationship with your pa.

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 02:29 PM
my wife's father always saw her as the one that didn't have her life together. even though she would hold down jobs and do her own thing...she didn't work 9-5 so in his eyes it wasn't a real job and he fully expected to be supporting her the rest of her life. he even told her that.

now she gets more respect because i have a good job and she doesn't have to work at all. and the sister that was supposedly the one that was "fine" has moved back in with them off and on.

point is some people are just not cut out to be parents. i don't want to sound mean, but from the way you tell your story, it sounds like you might have been...unexpected. since he never really got to know you he might still see you as a burden and not as the great person you turned out to be. somehow you have to gain his respect enough to at least get him interested in you. how to do that? maybe ask him about his life, since i suspect you know about as much about him as he knows about you. maybe he'll open up a bit?

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