Relationship Issues With Father

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

My father has been dating this woman for 6 years. I believe that she is only after his money, as she demands a $90,000 car, a new house, and many vacations — none of which he offers us. He has never mentioned her to me, only my two sisters. My sisters told me about her and I always secretly knew that my dad was dating even though he didn’t want me to know. After 6 years of dating, my dad tells my youngest sister that he has proposed to her. At this point he still has never introduced me to her. I feel like he has been lying to me for all of this time. I try to keep a healthy relationship with him, but sometimes I feel disconnected from him as he is keeping me from huge part of his life. I don’t want anything to do with her or her bratty children. I want to talk about but he would just tell me that I don’t know anything. I heard this afternoon that there is an official wedding date set for next month and I still have not even met her. She is a very promiscuous person and I know that this marriage would do only harm to everyone in my family. What should I do to put a stop to this wedding and better my relationship with my father?

A: I am sorry to hear of the strained relations between you and your father. Your dad obviously doesn’t want your input, and most likely knows you would disapprove. I would not wait, but rather tell him that you are disappointed in the fact that you feel this woman has eclipsed you in his life. Don’t try to change the wedding, or him, or her. Just let him know your feelings about you.

Rather than condemn her and his behavior, or try to control his decisions, put your emphasis on being honest and telling him how you feel about what has happened. You are the world’s expert on your feelings so you are always on safe ground to express them. As soon as you try to control your father by altering his thinking and behavior, you are in the weakest position with him you can be.

Finally, I would show him this response so that he knows the depth of your concern. From there you can talk about your feelings. Your father is going to be whom he is and will do what he wants to do. The most you can do now is let him know your disappointment and frustration.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Photo

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Jul 2011

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2011). Relationship Issues With Father. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/07/29/relationship-issues-with-father-2/