Dad Issues – What's your take?

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

If you want to, you could ease into a relationship– with clear boundaries– by taking baby steps and evaluating at each step whether you want to continue.

Moving in with you or your sister? That’s a bit nuts. Or just really really clueless. Only you know which. But you could have coffee with him, then maybe introduce your husband… I guess it depends on whether you actually care to have him in your life or not.

As far as insight… Personally I don’t think his behavior has to do with being adopted per se.; on the other hand, it doesn’t sound like his adoptive family was very successful. Maybe he never bonded or something. I wouldn’t try to look for reasons why at this point. AFter all, you aren’t going to change him. Any changes will have to come from his side. What you need to do is really think about what you want out of your relationship with him, if anything.

Post # 4
Member
6744 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

Take it slow and establish clear boundaries. Reasonable=dinner once a month, unreasonable=moving in with your sister after 14 years of estrangement. 

Post # 5
Member
6028 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

I was adopted and I find it ludicrous to even think that your father’s commitment issues and other issues are related to his being adopted. I would not be surprised if how his adoptive parents handled his adoption may be a factor but really in the context that his parents mis-handled his entire upbringing, causing these issues. The simple fact that he was adopted has no more to do with his issues than his hair color or eye color does. 

One of my fi’s closest friends (he will be our best man) is also adopted and, like me, has deep, close relationships with his adoptive parents and siblings, is in a committed and loving relationship, and has many close friends. My fi’s friend also located his birth mother (something I have never had the desire to do) and has a warm and loving relationship with her as well. By comparison, an estranged cousin of mine was also adopted and is a giant asshat, because his mother is a screaming harpie who has never said a nice word to anyone and is just about the most selfish person I’ve ever met.

Why has he met the new girlfirend’s kids already and not tried to foster a relationship with you? Most likely, convenience. He’s seeing the girlfriend regularly. Her teenage kids will be around him as well. Perhaps instead of questioning why he wants a relationship with those kids but hasn’t tried harder with you, you should look at the new girfriend like she is a good and positive influence on him. Maybe she places a huge priority on family and your father will learn and grow from being in a relationship with her.

Not everyone who makes a baby is ready to be a proper parent. Forgive your father for all the times he let you down. Don’t let your guard down — be a little skeptical and don’t let him too close too quickly. It is hard to unlearn bad habits and you shouldn’t open yourself up too quickly because you risk being hurt again. But there is no harm in letting your father get to know you, and giving him the chance to win your trust. Tell your mother that you will be speaking with him and ask her to keep any commentary to herself. You don’t need her emotions coloring yours.

Post # 6
Member
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014 - 11/15/14-Vineyard

He clearly has never had any sort of emotional bonding relationships or role models, hence him being absent of having them as well. As we all know, we learn from what we see as children. He didn’t have that. It has manifested in all of his relationships from his SO’s to his children. I applaud the woman he is dating now, showing him that it is never too late to make amends and move forward. 

If I were you, I would definitely meet him. It sounds like you want that, too. I agree to start with baby steps, maybe coffee with your DH to make it less awkward, then move to lunch, dinner, before inviting him over to your home.

At some point, maybe even suggest you guys going to counseling to really get into the relationship to help heal and move forward. He has a lot of issues stemming from his past that he may not even realize that is present. 

Post # 8
Member
2878 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

 

Horseradish:  +10,000

Don’t blame adoption for your father’s problems.  I’m adopted and I have a wonderful relationship with my parents and had 100+ family members attend my wedding.  There are plenty of examples of bio-kids turning out poorly, who cheat on their spouse, and who don’t have great relationships with their children.  And people’s desire to meet or not meet their bio-family has absolutly nothing to do with it either.  I only have a passive interest in finding my bio-family.  My adopted brother has no interest in finding his.  Neither of these has left us with commitment issues.   

The first thing as far as a relationship with your dad you have to decide if you want one.  The answer can be no, and that is acceptable.  If it is no, lose his number and stay out of contact. 

If you do want a relationship, take it slow.  Know that he isn’t magically turn into a different, very involved father.  Don’t blame yourself if it doesn’t work out.  He sounds like he has his personal issues, and those are not in your realm of control.   

Post # 9
Member
389 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014 - Norton Country Club

The best way I can describe my relationship with my father is “cautiously optimistic”… we have a different history, but I can relate to the way you’re feeling here.  I always hope for the best, but know that his attempts at connection/sobriety/better communication are often going to end when he finds something or someone new to put his attention on. 

I think the advice above about boundaries is important- it’s ok to have lunch or dinner together, to grab ice cream sometime, but it would be weird to try to live together or go all-in on a “traditional” father-daughter relationship…

Post # 10
Member
6028 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Ryansgirl:  crappy parents fail their kids, regardless of whether they birthed their kids themselves or adopted them. It is actually very offensive, as an adopted person, to hear someone attribute an adopted person’s emotional baggage to their adoption when it is their parents’ influence that created that adult’s baggage. Plus, with your father being a grown man, he has had plenty of time to realize he has commitment issues and other damage, and do something about it.  My brother and sisters were my parents’ natural children and while my parents were not perfect, they did make the effort to make no distinction between their adopted child and their bio children.  Your father’s parents would have very likely left him with issues and baggage even if he were their bio child.

If an adult grew up extremely overweight and their parents constantly criticized them for it, leading to low self esteem and lifelong eating disorders, would it be the fact that the adult was overweight as a child that created that baggage, or the crappy parenting?

Lay the blame where it belongs: on your father’s parents and, to a lesser extent, on your father himself, for not having a long hard look at his history of failed relationships and emotional detachment. Don’t reinforce the playground taunts and the social stigma that adopted kids face every day. Not only is it it a horrible stigma to reinforce, it prevents you and your father from seeing the real causes of his issues. and you can’t fix those issues till you know where they come from. 

Post # 12
Member
1209 posts
Bumble bee

Ryansgirl:  I think when you refer to his adoption as a ‘reason’ or to provide insight you dont meant the actual act of adoption. But the circumstances surounding his adoptiv family and how his life played out.

I don’t have much insight, but I have a half brother (7 years older) who comes out of the wood work every 5 years to visit and the disappears. Sometime inbetween he’ll FB msg or tell my father that he’s dead to him, that we dont care about him and that my father never tried to be part of his life. All compeltely false as my parents lost their home paying legal fees to try and get custody. But I digress….  Each time he comes into our lives we tread with caution and cross our fingers somethign will come of it but we hold no expectations.

Post # 14
Member
30 posts
Newbee

If you can manage your expectation than go for it. But if he has nothing to offer you ladies but hurt you are under no obligation to allow him back into your life. I wish I knew why your Dad acts like he does as mine is very similar. I stopped trying to understand him a long time ago. I just accept that he isnt going to change and loves me in his own way. Even he sucks at showing it.  But I no longer go out of my way to seek his approval or affection either. We live 6 miles from eachother and see eachother about 3 times a year. 

Post # 15
Member
30 posts
Newbee

Ladies take it easy on Ryansgirl, she came to us for help. Ibelieve what she is misidentifying as “issues from being adopted” may actually be her fathers issues with a lack of self worth and abandonment issues. I agree his parents may not have made himfeel equally loved or part of the family (or he perceived that). He may have self inflicted wounds surrounding why he was placed for adoption which 99.999% of the time is a heart wrenching and loving decision on the part of his Bio mother.but ultimately his behavior is his responsibility.

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