At times like Father’s Day and Christmas, many people feel tensions rising because of the need to confront the pain of difficult past or present relationships with their dads. Making peace is not easy, but treading on eggshells is not either. How can you rebuild a fractured relationship with your dad, even in adult life, so that you can still get along? Here’s a few factors to consider in trying to move forward as best you can.
1. Forgiveness – This is not for his sake but for yours. The stress and anxiety of unforgiveness churns you up. The test that the forgiveness is real and not intellectualised is in being real about the feelings that exist. If the feelings aren’t healthy, then the relationship may not be either. If you don’t sort it out, it may just sort you out!
2. Fences – It is important to put boundaries in place so that expectations aren’t mismatched about the depth of relationship and the frequency of catching up. You can’t easily rebuild a relationship if it was never there but you can be positive about maximising the one that exists, whatever it looks like.
3. Feedback – Who are the accurate reflectors in life that can give insight into unhealthy emotions or skewed perspectives? Maybe we are all dysfunctional to some degree, but people are rarely able to identify their own blind spots! Friends and family can ‘care-front’ emotional and attitudinal unhealthiness for productive outcomes.
More tips to follow tomorrow.