I can’t for­give my dad

Woman (UK) - - Family Dilemmas -

My dad left us when I was 10 and my brother eight. all I can re­mem­ber is that one day he was there and the next he wasn’t. I was 14 when I saw him again. He had a new wife and child and lived in lux­ury, while we lived hand to mouth. I used to blame my mother but I re­alise now he never paid her a penny and let us down again and again while she tried so hard not to bad-mouth him. now I’m a mum-of-two, he wants to come and play grandad – prob­a­bly be­cause his sec­ond wife and chil­dren refuse to see him af­ter he left them, too. I’m so an­gry at him – why should I give him what he wants when he never did a thing for me?

Suzie says:

Men of­ten aban­don first fam­i­lies, not nec­es­sar­ily be­cause they don’t love their chil­dren, but be­cause it seems too hard and painful to put in the work to keep con­tact go­ing and jug­gle two fam­i­lies. He may be want­ing to ‘play grandad’ now be­cause he’s sad and lonely or he may be try­ing to do it to make amends. The prob­lem is that it’s not just about him, or about him and you. If it was only about him, you could tell him he made his bed and now to lie in it. In that case, you might have gained some sat­is­fac­tion in telling him what you think. But your chil­dren, his grand­chil­dren, are a part of this too and they de­serve a lov­ing grandad. So I’d tell him if he wants to come back, he needs to hear your anger and say a proper sorry – no ex­cuses ac­cepted. He has to re­alise he can’t let your kids down the way he did you. If he’s will­ing to try, it may be worth­while.

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