Need advice dealing with my feelings

Discussion in 'Biblical Advices' started by steveh53, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. Need advice dealing with my feelings

    I am a 53 year old christian man with four grown up children, and five grand children. My problem is that I don't feel any love for my kids or grand kids. Their mother and I were divorced in 1990. I was devistated and did what ever I could do to be a part of my kids life. Their mother used the kids to get her way and actually put the kids up to stealing from me on many occasions. I was not perfect but throughout the years, I tried to be a good father but my ex wife was always their "hero" and nothing I did was ever good enough and their mother could do no wrong. Through those years, each one of them has stolen from me,lied to me and talked and laughed behind my back and I felt like a fool. The final straw was when my son got married and did not invite me to the wedding because it would have made his mother uncomfortable.

    Now they are all grown up married,and have kids and call me and want me in their lives and I don't feel anything for them. In fact, when I hear their voices I tense up. If I never saw any of them again it would be just fine with me. I do see them out of some kind of duty because I am their father, abut I honestly do not want to be there. I feel no connection to them or the grand kids.

    I know that this is not the way I am supposed to feel and I know it is wrong. I have prayed about it many times and have tried to act as if I did love them in the hopes that something would come back but I just can't get it back. I wish they would just leave me alone.
  2. Steve - This is not a biblical answer per se, but is applicable to your situation:

    Remember in the "HOME ALONE" motion picture where McCauley Culkin goes into a Church because the 'bad guys' are chasing after him? He sees the 'scary old neighbor' across the aisle from him and the older gentleman asks if he can come over and sit with him for awhile. They talk and get to know each other and for the boy, things aren't so scary any more. The older gentleman mentions that he is there to see his grand daughter in the choir and that he can't see her at any other time because of 'issues' between himself and his son. The young boy (Culkin) suggests that the man should call his son and try to patch things up so he CAN see and get to know his grand daughter. The older gentleman is affraid that his son will still reject him, but at the end of the movie, one scene shows grandpa, grand daughter and son all together again in family harmony.

    McCauly Culkin said, "How will you ever know if your son is over all this unless you call him?" And that is the key, here in your case... feelings of resentment toward the person who created the overall situation should be swept aside if possible so the family that you missed so much of can once again be reunited. Your resentment of a situation created and manipulated by one person is disallowing you to be the person that you wish to be now that the scenario has changed. Open your heart and open your mind... pray to Our Father about it and I'm sure that He will show you the way...

    God's blessings to you and Your Entire Family...
  3. Theophilus,
    I think that you are under the mistaken opinion that I am choosing to feel this way. The anger is gone for the most part, and I am also not crying about it. I live a very active and successful life and I am not sitting around thinking of things to complain about. I have been trying to act as if I do have feelings for them in the hopes that my actions will bring about some change in the way that I feel. I don't hate them, I am just dead inside when it comes to them. I also don't CHOOSE to cringe and tense up when they call me. I think I need a miracle or something to opem my heart to them again. It saddens me when I see other people taking such pride in their kids and grandkids. I know that I am not normal.
  4. Theophilus.

    I, for one, am becoming a little tired of this. A man has come here for advice and your response has been to launch an attack followed by holding yourself as an example to us all. You may see yourself as full of virtue but on the evidence of this thread I certainly don't. In fact you can think yourself lucky that Jeff is the administrator here and not me.


    I'm sorry you have been subjected to Theophilus' advice. It's entirely up to you but in your shoes I wouldn't continue this discussion publicly. I'm sure if you contacted one of the forum leaders they'd be more than happy to try to help out.

    Take care
  5. I was wrong. I apologize. I have removed the offensive posts.

  6. Thank you Cliff. Much appreciated.
  7. Steveh53,
    You need to be having this discussion with your children and possibly someone who knows you and you can trust, and or possibly some qualified professional councelor.
    Not in an open forum of anonymous, people that you know nothing about.

    The problem in seeking advice in a forum like this is that you may come across individuals(like me) who may not have sympathy for your situation or be willing to tell you what you want to hear.

    Individuals (like me)who have seen first hand the havock that devorce rages on the lives of inocent children.

    Individuals (like me)that when as an adult, like your children, while trying to reconcile with their father were again rejected. Told that he wished they would just leave him alone.

    Please forgive me (all of you) for speaking from the heard about things that many would rather not be faced with reading. I shall not make that mistake in this forum again.

    Sincerely His
  8. Steve,

    You have described a long and complex set of relationships in just a few paragraphs. I hope you are a Christian. Are your wife and children?? I wonder why the children now want to renew a relationship. That strikes me as the key. Have they figured out the past was not accurately represented to them??

    At any rate, you have a situation that is going to require a lot of time to figure out. You will be discussing it with a lot of people, I'm sure. Be patient. Give yourself all the time you need. God knows things aren't worked out over night. He is willing to be patient, as long as he sees you beginning to move in the right direction, wanting to change your heart and find his will.

    M Paul
  9. Cliff,
    I am not angry over what you said. If I wanted to be coddled, I am sure that I could find some sap to agree with me. Sometimes we all need a good kick in the butt. Anyway, I will go to my grave, never telling my kids that I feel this way about them. That would be the most cruel and selfish thing that I could ever do and it would serve no purpose except to unburden myself. I guess I am doing all I can do. I will keep praying about it and keep trying to do the right thing in the hope that if I drag the body along, the mind will follow.

    Im sorry that I put you through this Cliff. It sounds like I made you relive some of your old nightmares.

  10. Steve,

    Draw from your memories, God blesses us in that our heart holds for us the good an important memories. Seek and hold to the positive things.
    They are happy healthy and have families of their own there are plenty of reasons to be proud that you are their father. And When you make a sincere effert to get to know them again you will see what you knew in them as children has made them what they are today. Talk to them about things they did when they were children. Funny things, happy or embarrasing things. Personal things that revive that connection you all had before the tragidy struck. Saver the joy of making them laff and let them know that you are still here. The father they once knew and loved.
    You do realize I hope that they also have guilt feelings about what happened. Every one does in a devorce, even the children. And they regret the things they did to you at their mothers direction as well. But remember that they were under her control and probibly did so more out of fear of loosing both parents than desire to hurt you.

    The grandkids!! Those precous little ones. I guarentee that when you spend some time with them you will see your children when they were that age. Such a delight.

    Grand kids are so great!! If I could have I would have had them first.

    All the love and fun with praticaly none of the responcibility.

    Yes it will take time ,but trust me it will be worth it. Every minute.

    If there is any one thing on the face of this earth that can warm a cold heart or soften one made of stone it is the laffter of a child.

    You want to fade the pain you now have to a memory? Then respond to your childrens willingness, and desire to restablish a relationship.

    Beat your wife with love and caring. Accept and enjoy the children she tried to take away from you forever. Prove her wrong. Prove that you love them as much if not more than she. Don't bash her. (I say this knowing full well that it is not an easy thing to do) But show them that you bare no anger or malace tward her. Don't make them chose any longer. Avoid conflict and confrontation by arranging alternitve ways to share the good times. They will appreciate it and love you for it.

    The best my father and I could ever do was be civil to each other. He died never realy knowing just how much I needed and loved him. It is a bond that never should be forsaken, a void that can never be filled by any other relationship.
    Don't let this happen to you and yours.
    I pray for much more for you and your children than that.

    Even grown children need their parents. They still need and want your love and acceptance, Your judjment and advice. Your freindship and caring. What you pass on to them they will pass on to their children.
    That is your legacy.

    Sincerely His
  11. Hello steveh53,
    this no different then if it were just a brother or sister who had wronged you. I suggest that if they want a real a relationship that you simply tell them how you feel. Not in a harsh tone, just the truth. Tell them of how you have felt to be violated and why. Be clear about how you feel. If they admit their wrong and ask forgivenss without excuses then there can be real healing and forgiveness. if not then I would suggest that you simply forgive them for your sake and move on without them. :)

  12. Actualy it is very differant than with a brother or sister in or out of Christ. We are talking about the relationship between a father and his children.
    Thats not like a freindship that is started and can be ended at will.

    There are factors that must be concidered in relationship to the childrens behavour. The effect the divorce had on them. The mothers obviously using them to strike back at their father. The trama of loosing the security of both parents and a family.

    In such cases any healing is better than none. In situations were the father either caused or initiated the divorce then I would expect that he would apologize before making the relationship contingient on their appology.
    Any way we look at it love rules, not anger or pride. If it doesn't then all the apologies in the world won't save it.
  13. No it is no different. These are adults, not children and they are accountable. More then that they owe the parent respect. If they do not want to listen then tell them not to call or come around until they do. There is no need to allow them to reck your life because of their selfish hearts.
  14. WHY?

    Except that what the adult does is undeniably related to the teaching or lack there of from the parent when they were children. The presence or lacking of honesty, integrity, respect,compation, and many other morals habits and traits are taught to them as children and primarily by their parents.
    Your contention that there is no differance doesn't stand in the face of reality.
    If your children as adults have no reguard for you, no or little respect, you are at least partialy to blame because of your failure to properly instil in them these values.
  15. Steve,

    Please answer this questions with all honesty.

    1. Have you forgiven them for all the pain they have caused you in the past?
    2. You said that you don't feel anything for them anymore. If this is the case, why do you tense up when you hear their voices?
    3. Do you hate them? If not, then why don't you want to be part of their lives?
  16. Hi Steve, I would like to suggest that the misbehaving of your children when they were younger was only a smokescreen to hide their true feelings. Children often don't understand situations like that and can manifest their feelings in anger, rebellion and resentment- to a child it may be hard to understand why dad is not there but easy to see that he isn't. Perhaps your kids are grown up and mature enough now to deal with these things and want a fresh start with their father. Your apparent coolness in the emotional department is probably your way of dealing with the years of wounding, pain and dissapointments- at the time when you needed love the most all you could see . While the rational adult mind can comprehend this the heart of a man still wants to be loved. I am no Doctor but I reccomend the following-
    Sit down in a quiet room and go back to when all this started , think of one of your family members at a time- go over everything they did to hurt and wound you - then pray this prayer- God I release (name) and I choose to forgive them, they were acting out of anger, hurt and confusion . I know we can be controlled by You or the god of this world and if they new your love they couldn't have acted this way. Help me to see them thru your eyes.
    Go thru each one and every situation releasing each one in turn and then ask God to help you forgive yourself for all your shortcomings and mistakes. You will feel a million pounds lighter and you will have opened up your heart to God's healing power. Forgiveness is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of a christian and I have seen this technique produce some amazing results. Remember your God is love and it is the nature of His children to love- I will keep you in my prayers- God bless you.
  17. That's exactly what I was thinking why I was asking the questions I posted. I am not an expert but I feel that Steve really haven't forgiven them. It's like he still hold grudges. I feel like he's still in pain about everything that happened. I'm still young to give my advice. The truth is, I'm just about to have my first child this April and I'm also concern about being a good father.
  18. tlc congratulations on the upcoming birth of you child- you will make an excellent father because you have God's love in your heart. As far as advice you are never to young to give it if God's Holy Spirit dwells in you- He is the one who gives the Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge and He is the one who leads and directs us and gives us words to speak !

    Steve ask God to reveal the wounded areas in your heart that are keeping bound up and unable to express His love thru you to people who really need it.:
    2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
    2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
    2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    A stronghold in our lives is usually an area of thought were we aren't renewed in our minds- it is litterally a house of thoughts - by aplying God's love and truth to that situation our minds are changed- we come into agreement with God's holy Word and we are set free- the advisary can no longer manipulate us in that area and not only is healing manifest but the love of God is free to flow thru you !
  19. Thanks a lot Boanerges. I'm really trying hard to be pleasant in GOD's eyes.
  20. it seems you are doing right by doing your duty.... often in the Christian life we feel as if we may be "going through the motions" but by doing so, God often revives us and renews our love for Him and others because we were faithful to do as He commands, even when we didn't feel like it.... so too in your relationship with your children and grand children.... if you do not continue to do your duty, then you will never know how God might have sparked a new stronger love for your kids and grandkids.... so hang in their.... look for ways to be active in their live.... act out the things a caring loving Father or Grandfather would do, and who knows, soon you may feel as if you are no longer playing a part, but instead the love has been renewed.... maybe as your kids got older they saw what your wife did... if she manipulated them and you.... maybe by their seeing this they are trying to take some small steps back towards a relationship with you... as a child, though, they may not want to hurt their mother by coming right out and saying that they felt she used them or whatever.... so the kids are caught in the middle here and their taking steps to be close to you again may be the only thing they can do at this point.... maybe a time will come when they share their feelings, and again, if you are not around, it most certainly won't happen.... if you are around and active in their lives, it may happen... either way, by doing as God commands regarding how it is a Father should be reacting towards his children an grandchildren you are simply being an obedient servant, by failing to do so, you are in active rebellion and sin.... so get in there and be with them as best as you can... in this way you will be serving God first and foremost.... your children and grandchild secondly, and you will be doing the right thing which will, thirdly, serve to give you the satisfaction that no matter what happened in the past, you are taking the high road now, and this you will be able to be proud of as you look back on your life someday.... but putting pride and everything else aside, its always best to obey God’s word and what it has to say about relating to others, be they your children, or a total stranger…


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