My father is always working. He sees nothing wrong with this, but I am resentful because he is putting all of his energy into work and little into our family. When I told him that I forgive him for his absence, he said that I am wrong, that there is nothing he has to apologize for. Is there anything you would suggest I do to move him toward seeking forgiveness and changing his behavior?

You might want to first ask him how his own father behaved in this regard—the balance of family and work.  If his own father overworked, which I suspect was the case because your own father sees it as normal, then please ask your father how he felt as a child when this happened. The similarities between his own feelings as the child and your feelings as your father’s child might become apparent to him.  He then might be ready to seek forgiveness.  Even if his own father balanced well family and work, first forgive your father and then have a heart-to-heart talk with him (after you forgive him) about what you see as unfairness here. I would use the word “unfair,” not in an accusatory sense, but in a sense that this is the truth and you would like him to see this truth.

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Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness


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