I have taken a long look at the relationship I have with my father and am quite unhappy about it. I am expecting my first child, a son no less, in late September.
My OH and I have spoken about it at great length and she has seen me sink over the last two Sundays: it occupies my mind a lot! I wrote him a long message on facebook last night trying to explain how I feel. He is quite controlling and always feels like he is entitled to a place in my life, if he can't get me after one attempt on the phone he will try two or three times ... I have only recently got back in touch with him.
I know the advice may be, if it hurts ... turn away. I don't want to take the easy route and not have contact (he's already had this done to him by his other son). My wedding is fast approaching, as well as the birth of my first child. I want him to have contact with his grandson ...
Anyone else had similar experiences: unhealthy relationship that has been turned around? Any advice ...
Really tricky one - I remember when I was getting married and my wife had a similar issue with her natural father, he had left the family home when she was quite young and she wanted little to do with him.
She felt under pressure to invite him to the wedding which caused more problems. When the children came along we both felt it was important for them to see their grandad. Her relationship with him is ok now and whilst she is still feels let down by him she would never deprive the kids.
I suppose the one question you need to ask yourself is if you decided to turn your back on him would you later regret that decision and also would you be comfortable depriving your child of that relationship with their grand parent? However if the relationship is to work you need to be very honest with them now before the child is born as they cant miss what they dont know!
It's a very tricky situation, and while turning away may seem like the easy way out, you are still left with unresolved feelings to carry around.
If you are into reading youu may be interested to read a book called How to Cope with Difficult Parents (Sheldon Press) by Windy Dryden and Jack Gordon. You can get a copy through Amazon. It's a book for anyone who wants to build a more adult relationship with their parents.
To quote "So many people feel trapped and frustrated by emotional blackmail, rejection, manipulation, constant demands, guilt, jealousy and criticism and this book offers constructive advice to help you face and resolve problems in an adult way. Essential reading for anyone with family problems, it will help you and your parents find a new, more satisfying way of getting on."