I can’t forgive my dad
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?
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.