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  1. #1
    OJandMe's Avatar
    OJandMe is offline I am the strength my children will have.
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    Jul 2005
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    Default Can re-building a relationship with a parent ever happen?

    Things came to a head with my Dad recently. And I've realised that he has absolutely no understanding of me as a daughter.

    He treats me like I'm a student and he's my academic adviser. He knows nothing about what I was involved in at school, shows no interest in my likes and dislikes and really hasn't ever been an affectionate person in any way.

    The problem is, he thinks were 'really close'.... but he can't see how hurt it makes me that he goes on and on and on about what my little brother is up to (third and current wife.... my sister and I were second wife.. ended when I was 7.. so he was fortnight/half-holiday Dad) and then has to turn around and ask me if I did any sporting clubs at school.. and then goes on and on and on and on every time I see him that I "have my degree" so "Should be working full-time"... without having any understanding or support for what is going on in my life right now.. ( two infant school kids, 3 kids still at home, DH who is a full-time student, and the inability to afford childcare full-time + the stress that would place on my family) I'm doing relief work... I'm HAPPY doing that and being home with the kids, I have no desire to work full-time till they are in school...

    But he keeps pressuring.

    His marriage to my Mum broke up because he put his career first, dragged us all over the country/world to further it, then walked away because it was too stressful juggling an unappreciated wife, two little kids and his work.

    So I kind of blew up at him and basically want to try and start again....

    With him actually being my FATHER....

    I just want a Dad....

    So has anyone else had to break off a current parental relationship, re-establish boundaries and then rebuild it? Can it work? I thought letters might be the way to go....


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    I broke off my relationship with my mum for about 3-4 years. I wrote her an email asking her not to contact me. She did ring but I didn't answer. She then kept up with how I was through my dad (they were divorced). Dad would pressure me a lot to meet with her but eventually I put my foot down and told him to back off.

    I broke off contact as mum was VERY judgmental and controlling about who I should be etc. and I wasn't that person. I felt like the black sheep and it hurt.

    Anyway, it was about 3-4 years that we weren't in contact. It gave mum time to realise who I was and be ok with that. And it gave me time to realise my mum was trying to do the best for me etc. During that time mum grew up A LOT and really changed as a person, she became much less judgmental of people generally, more relationship focused, valued people more respectfully.

    So now we are really very close. I think it can work. I now have the relationship with my mum that I always wanted.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    My DH went completely no contact with his mum after she refused to observe boundaries. He'd been specific about what he needed from her and she refused to respect his wishes (no speaking ill of me and his dad and brother, not calling him repeatedly at work, not insulting him, not denying his abusive childhood...)

    After that year he gradually reintroduced contact. Now he sees her every few weeks and she's much better at respecting his boundaries. She's apologised for past abuses, and tries to be on good behaviour. The obnoxious behaviour is so far kept to herself. So its worked for him.

    It was hard though. He found it tough, but was much happier with her out of his life, than when she constantly belittled him. And he's happier still to have her back in his life and less toxic.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012

    To add to the mix - do you think that estranged relationships with fathers/father figures are harder or easier to redeem than those with mothers/mother figures? Or is that too much of a generalisation? Each person/relationship is obivously different.


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