That was also what I was trying to add to the conversation: own your dysfunction. If you genuinely want to have a better relationship with someone, do what you need to do to get there.vampireshark wrote:Anyways, something I’ll also add a bit to the conversation: if you know you have a problem, whether mental, emotional, or otherwise, then the only way to change is if you first recognize or admit there’s a problem. No amount of therapy really is going to help unless that person takes the first step in realizing that there’s an issue that needs solving.
I watched my father struggle with this all through adolescence. He was never close to his father, who was a quiet man who never shared much about himself. Granddaddy was also in the military (WWII) and never really talked about it. At some point, Dad realised his inability to connect with us emotionally was harming the relationships he wanted to have. This was apparent to him (and he started working on it) even before he and my mother divorced, but after that he redoubled his efforts.
We did not make it easy for him. At first his approach seemed really artificial (he was trying to put in practice what he'd read in books and learned in therapy) and we felt manipulated. It took me another decade to accept that he was coming from a genuine place, let go of my resentment, and start cultivating a close relationship with him (and even that took the urging of my partner at the time, who was estranged from his two sons).
That sounds like a really good response.vampireshark wrote:I'm currently working on an e-mail to send him and should do it within the next few days. I'm really mentioning that my major issues are the lack of communication and finding out things secondhand. (Honestly, the fact that he remarried so soon after the divorce also hurts, but less so than the feeling of not mattering or that he just doesn't really care...)