My relationship with my dad
TULIP - May 23 2021 at 16:35
I have been finding my relationship with my dad frustrating for sometime now. My mom passed away when I was In my mid twenties and dad remarried some years later . He and his wife always made it clear, they would move back to her home country when my dad reached retirement age. They made the move early and now it feels like he cant be bothered with me anymore.
I put all the effort into our relationship and dont get anything back. He never calls, its always me that calls him, if i left it to him to make contact, I don't know how long it would be. When I call him and he's busy, he says he'll call back and never does. When i do manage to have a conversation with him, it drys up pretty quickly. He isnt the same with my sister, he calls her every other wednesday and im hurt he hasnt made the same arrangement with me. There Have been a couple of times when i have opened up to him about something personal and he became aggressive, i hung up each time hurt by how he's talked to me.
He expects my kids to talk to him but because he hasn't bothered to build up much of a relationship with them they can be shy. When they don't respond he then becomes rude and insulting, last time he called my DD odd. I do talk to my kids about him, I show them photos of him and his wife, every year for their birthdays' we send a birthday package and the kids do drawings but I become disheartened when he doesnt give back. There have been no birthday or christmas presents for a couple of years now,
Before the pandemic he was putting pressure on me to visit him, comparing me to my sister, telling me shes been to visit him 4 times now. I don't like flying, he knows this, yet he still make me feel guilty about not visiting . My sister and i get along well but we are very different personalities. Shes single, very independent, flys around the world with her career, and doesn't want to settle down or have children. I'm a married stay at home mom, my little family is my life. To compare us is silly.
He and his wife seem to favour my sisters company, they will choose to stay with her when they visit once a year. Every time, before he flys out, I try to get an idea of his schedule to when i can see him but he always tells me he'll make contact with me when hes in the country. Guess what, he doesnt until the last minute, It ends up me and my family traveling hours to where he is staying because if we dont, we wont see him.
My relationship with my mom wasnt always easy but i know if she was here she'd at least care and make more effort. I feel like giving up with my dad, he's so selfish.
I don't know that I'd ever "give up" on a relative who isn't abusive. Things can change and he's your dad and, while he sounds trying, he doesn't sound, "BURN HIM WITH FIRE" bad.
What I'd probably try, instead, is to not worry so much. So...he never calls? Cool. Call him when you feel like talking to him (no more). If he claims he's hurt that you don't talk more? Tell him to call you and either change the topic or end the conversation. (If he keeps complaining, y'know what's great about phone calls? You can end them.)
If he's rude to your kids, don't have them talk to him. If he's complaining about you not visiting, remind him that he's free to visit you whenever would be convenient for YOU. If it's too much work to travel to see him when he's around, don't. (Or do, but make a short, convenient visit of it.)
In short, I don't think I'd cut him out of my life. But I would put a lot less effort into this relationship since it's not making you happy.