Help with my father?

My dad is a very moody person. He has mood swings that can take him from happy one second to screaming and cursing the next and back again over VERY tiny things (something falling out of the fridge, one of my dogs laying down in his way, cars being too spread out/not spread out enough so he can’t pull onto the street without having to wait a few seconds). He yells at me, my sister (who has Asperger’s syndrome, and inadvertently makes it worse by yelling back) and my mom, as well as not AT us but with us right next to him about something or someone else.
When he yells, my heart races, I get indignant and mad but can’t defend myself without being rude or making him madder, I cry in the aftermath sometimes…
A lot of people say talk to him about how it makes me feel once he calms down, but he KNOWS that and he would say he would try and he would apologize- he has in the past when he sees I’m still mad about an exchange, but it wouldn’t change anything. I’m a minor, but will be going to college soon, and my therapist (not related exactly to this whole mess, I am a managed Obessive-Compulsive, andmy struggles escalated the tension between my dad and me, and that’s why my therapist and I were talking about this in the first place) said that that would be good for me, to be away from the yelling and stuff, but I WANT to have a good relationship with my father.


Ask your therapist if you can bring your dad along. If yes, ask your dad to come along and talk to him with your therapist there. Tell what you told us. That you are anxious when he yells, you love him and you want to have a relationship with him, but he upsets you with his yelling etc. Ask him what he thinks he could do to make your relationship stronger.

If he won’t go, write him a letter and give it to him. Tell him how his behavior upsets you, and that you want yo have a better relationship. Maybe suggest that he may want to get a few sessions of counseling so you and your sister can become closer as family.

And of course, keep him in your prayers.

IWhen I was your age I was in a similar position except for the therapy and my dad hit me. It was hard. My mom divorced him right after I left for college. I joined a college Christian group and prayed a great deal for him and for me. Hesitantly I kept in touch with my father. My brother cut all relations with him. A few years after the divorce, with my urging, he started going to church. He changed quite a bit after that, met a woman at the church, and they married. Together they became very involved in the church community. I could hardly recognize his behavior. He had become a very nice man and charitable.
I know everyone is different, but l’m a firm believer that prayer works.
God Bless!

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First question, are you living at home as a minor or are you an adult? Advice for a 13 year old will be different than for an 18 year old.

I’m still a minor. Almost ready to go to college, though.

Keep working with your therapist.

Your dad is unlikely to change (it is possible, but, without lots of therapy and God’s help, people don’t change). The ideal dad you have in your mind may never come to be. Work with who he is now, keep praying and know that your Heavenly Father will never leave you.

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Honesty is best in this situation. You don’t say if you will be financially dependent on your dad or family once you go to College. If so, enjoy the distance and don’t rock the boat. Once you are no longer financially dependent, you can let your dad know you want to have a relationship with him but you aren’t able to with his current behavior. Explain the issue for you, offer to help him find some therapy if he is interested. Tht is about all you can do. You will have to be strong and break ties if he continues to be so volitile. Revisit the boundaries with him often and with love. “Continued behavior equals limited or no relationship”. “True effort to resolve the issue equals a loving and continued relationship”.

Don’t expect perfection. Expect accountability and effort.

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