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Is it unfair for me to bring up past wrongs that my father has done to me constantly?

November 7, 2021

I’ve reached an age where i’m prioritising my mental health above all and just filtering through all the wrongs i’ve been through. I find that these days i’m confronting my dad so much more often about the past wrongs he’s done to me. I bring up specific events and the reasons behind it, and I mention how it hurt me. He’s completely dismissive of them. But I know every time I confront him it hurts him because he goes quiet and sinks into his shell for a few hours. Is there a better way to go about this?

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Post Information
Title Is it unfair for me to bring up past wrongs that my father has done to me constantly?
Author [deleted]
Upvotes 22
Comments 12
Date November 7, 2021 2:30 AM UTC (2 years ago)
Subreddit /r/MenSupportMen
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[–]LeftInside6155777 5 points6 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

Is it possible for you guys to see a family therapist?

[–]CunningHamSlawedYou 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

This. It can be hard to break out of a rut alone, especially if you've had many years to cement the pattern. I'm going through this with my parents atm and it's like we're talking different languages sometimes. A therapist is invaluable as a mediator.

[–][deleted][S] 2 points3 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

I don’t think he has the mindset or attitude to willingly do that.

[–]SoundProofHead 3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

In my view, it really depends on your objective. Do you want to improve your relationship with him? Or do you want to feel better yourself? A family therapist is really for those who want to improve their relationships but you don't have to improve anything if you don't want to. Sometimes you have to cut ties or reduce your interactions with toxic people, even if they are family. In any case, a therapist, for yourself, can help you sort this all out in your own mind and grieve for the dad you didn't have.

[–]TheFenixKnight 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Exactly. What are YOU trying to get from therapy. Different kinds of therapy are better for different outcomes.

[–]Damsa_draws_stuff 5 points6 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Keep in mind that he will need as much time to process what you said to him as you needed to come to the conclusion of what he did to harm you. Realising you harmed your child is painful, so he probably doesn't want to admit that to himself, so he'll always dismiss it at first.

It's not wrong to bring it up, but if you want it to be constructive, I'd say you should be more tactical about it. Mention it at the right moments, when there is room for further conversation, and not all guns blazing spitting out everything he did when you're in an argument. Be understanding, but firm, when he goes to dismiss it, stop him and say that you've already processed through this, it's done, it's in the past, but you just need him to acknowledge that he wasn't a perfect father.

Hope this helps

[–]UnHope20 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

This is probably one of the best responses to this sort of question that I've seen on the internet.

Great stuff.

[–]Damsa_draws_stuff 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Well, luckily or sadly, I'm speaking from experience dealing with a similar situation.

Happy if i helped anyone!

[–]Affectionate-Sock-62 3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

It's... not appropriate, as my therapist would say. Not wrong or unfair.

You already noticed it, does bringing it up has done anything for you? Will he go to the past and change what happened? If he suddenly changed into a completely different person would it fix how you feel?

At some point we can look at our parents and feel sad for them rather than angry. We can be grateful for all they did, because in their own twisted way they did the best with what they had. It's not hard to imagine how they learned to be that way; it's they way they were treated when they grew up and now they just repeat it. And likewise we will be like that to our children.

It's not what they did didn't had an impact on us, but we can know they are not the ones who can fix it. We are. And in doing so we shape ourselves as the person we want to become.

[–]dirtyredsweater 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

It's not wrong to bring it up, but if he is unable or unwilling to do the work to make the old wrongs right, then you have to prioritize your feelings and get those unmet needs met, elsewhere.

[–]happygloaming 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Tell him you'll make a deal with him, that he has to sit with you and allow you to get it all out one time. Then you agree that it won't creep into daily life, that you won't blind side him constantly with the past out side of an agreed occasion to do so.

[–]EgalitarianFacts 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

No. He must acknowledge wrongdoing, apologize and make amends. When someone doesn't do this and you forgive them, you're giving them permission to continue to hurt you.

Self Respect is more important than any relationship.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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