Q&A: Dealing with the pain of abandonment

Question:

My father abandoned our family when I was young. Now that I’m getting older and really need his input, he’s not here for me. Do you have advice for dealing with this pain?

Answer: If your mother is available, a starting point would be to tell her that you’re having a hard time right now. Even if she’s dealing with “stuff” of her own, she may have important insights to share. Did your dad have a problem with alcohol or drugs? That wouldn’t excuse his leaving, of course, but it might help explain it.

Maybe you could talk to your mum about the possibility of writing your father a letter. Ask her if she has his address, or if there’s someone else who might know where he is. Perhaps his parents or siblings would be able to forward a letter to him for you.

After this discussion with your mum, you can begin writing to him when you feel ready. Express your feelings openly and honestly. Ask any questions that are on your mind. Let him know how important it is that he responds. There’s no guarantee that he’ll answer, but it’s worth a try. The process of writing can be beneficial for you, too. It’s often a very healing experience to put our deepest thoughts and emotions down on paper.

If you’d like to talk to someone about this, call our Family Support Services at 03-3310 0792 or write to support@family.org.my.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

Share

MORE

MARRIAGE

When You Have a Great One-Liner 

Showing disrespect has become a modern marriage pastime. We laugh as our favourite on-screen wives make fools out of their husbands. Watch out or you’ll be in danger of picking up that unhealthy habit. 

Read More >

PARENTING

Q&A: Establishing ourselves as a distinct family unit

My fiancé and I are going to be married next month. His family is extremely close – relationally and geographically. And though I’m sure that their presence and influence will be positive for our marriage, I’m concerned we may struggle to establish ourselves as a distinct family unit. Am I worrying needlessly? 

Read More >

FAMILY Q&A

Q&A: Resuming friendship after an emotional affair

Should we terminate our friendship with another couple after the man and I became involved in an emotional affair? It’s over now, and our spouses have taken a firm but conciliatory attitude towards the whole thing. We’ve suspended our normal get-togethers for the time being. At some point, though, do you think it would be okay to resume our friendship?

Read More >