I Hate My Dad And I Feel Conflicted

Not everyone has a healthy, loving relationship with their parents. We all long for a parent or caregiver that has concern for our safety and well-being, and loves us unconditionally.

No matter how old we get, nearly everyone benefits from relationships with older people who can guide us in the right direction in good times and bad.

Hating Your Dad Feels Awful. You Can Work On These Family Issues in Therapy
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We Hold Paternal Relationships in High Regard

When we think of father figures, we think of words like protector, leader, supporter, and shepherd. We admire qualities in them like honesty, courage, and empathy to name a few.

Hate is a strong word to use for either parent, so if you are feeling that way, you may have already exhausted all attempts at reconciling your differences with your father.


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It's normal to feel conflicted in this situation because the loss of the paternal relationship is a significant loss. To keep from feeling angry and bitter, you'll need to resolve your feelings by working through them.

I Hate My Dad So Why Am I So Sad?

You may feel hatred for your father because he hurt you in some way, or because he was never there for you, or perhaps you never knew him at all. Regardless of your reasons, you are sad because you are grieving the loss of the relationship with your father.

Hating Your Dad Feels Awful. You Can Work On These Family Issues in Therapy
Speak to An Online Therapist About Your Family Problems

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The loss of a father means the loss of hope for ever hearing the words and having experiences that are special between a father and child. You grieve over not feeling loved or hearing your father boast about how proud he is of you.

A Lost Father Relationship Is Like a Loss Over Death

To begin the process of grieving the loss of the relationship with your dad, recognize that you are going through the five stages of grief:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

The certified counselors at BetterHelp.com are ready to help you better understand the complex feelings surrounding the loss of the relationship with your dad.


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Managing Conflicted Feelings About Your Dad

Your feelings are valid whatever they are-anger, deep sadness, regret, or something else. You are entitled to them. It's healthy to express your feelings rather than bottle them up. Cry, shout, punch a pillow or express them in some way that doesn't hurt you or anyone else.

It's completely okay to be angry over what your father did or didn't do during your life. It sometimes helps to learn more about the cultural, ethnic, or familial issues that may have led his unwillingness to form a healthy bond with you. It can also be helpful for you to acknowledge any strengths or other positive attributes that you know of or remember about him.

Set a goal for yourself to let go of guilt without having negative or conflicting feelings.

Moving Forward Without a Relationship with Your Father

Find someone that you can talk to about your conflicting feelings and who will listen empathetically. Seek out a good friend or a qualified counselor.

No one can replace your father, but you can learn to accept caring and nurturing from other people in your life.


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Prepare yourself emotionally on difficult days like Father's Day and milestone celebrations like weddings.

Recognize that it can be hard to be around people who had wonderful relationships with their fathers. Learn how to acknowledge their happiness gracefully.

Write out a short elevator speech about what you want people to know about your relationship with your father and memorize it in case it comes up unexpectedly during conversations.

In time, it won't hurt as much.


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Why Do I Hate My Father?
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