Move on — together.
Sometimes, the hardest thing for children and adult children to do is to understand that mom and dad are fallible human beings. We find ourselves as kids comparing our family's behavior to that of other families, or to movies and sitcoms on television.
When we're little, we often think our parents "hang the moon" and are perfect because we don't know anything else yet. As we get older, we still expect perfection from our parents, and we become confused, scared, disappointed or even angry when they're not.
The funny thing is that when we become adults, we sometimes still think of mom and dad as a different type of species, even after going through our teenage "we know better" phases. As adults, we can dwell on the past in judgment and be over-sensitive to current situations that involve our parents to the point where we become obsessively angry at them.
Since Father's Day is coming up, it would be nice to give yourself and your dad a break, and be able to get over some of the pent-up anger. The fact is, no matter what he's done, it doesn't change that he's a human being, and that makes him lovable in many different ways, just like the rest of us.
An interesting phenomenon is that children don't stop loving their parents, so you might as well accept that you love your dad, regardless of his undesirable traits or actions. It'll be easier on you without that intense inner conflict.
Here are four more facts for consideration:
1. Everyone has the right to make their own mistakes.
People are always doing the best they can with where they're at in life at any given moment (even if you think they can do better).
2. Accepting your dad for who he is will bring you peace.
Since you're an adult now and you're accountable to yourself for your own thoughts, feelings and actions, you can consider acceptance of who your dad is. Grant him forgiveness for not knowing any better of how to please you, and love him anyway...in a way that you are comfortable doing it.
3. You always have a choice.
Give yourself permission to limit your exposure and conversations with your dad if you find it too negative or stressful for you. This way, you can still visit or call to express your love, but not participate in negative conversations with him.
4. If it weren't for dad, we wouldn't be here.
This is the greatest gift we've been given: life.
Give some of these strategies a try; you can only feel better.