Father’s Day rolls around the same time every year. It feels the same for most of us, recognizing “Dad” with gifts and maybe a backyard barbecue. For others, it’s not that simple. Family relationships are complicated. You’re related by blood. You’re “stuck” with each other without really having a choice in the matter or so it may seem.
The reality is, family relationships can be like any other relationship. When it’s not working anymore, and after trying to repair it over and over, sometimes it’s better to call it what it is. Whatever that “it” is to you, when it comes to a relationship with your father it can be tough.
That “it,” might be loving him from afar. “It” might be that you haven’t spoken in years and never will again. “It” might just be acknowledging your father for the role he has played in your life and keeping it simple, getting together for family holidays and keeping your distance otherwise.
If your relationship with your dad is complicated, or even just a little rocky, here are some ways to make it through Father’s Day emotionally unscathed.
You’re human and you may make mistakes. Your father is, too! It’s easy to put our parents on a pedestal and expect them to do everything right, but that’s just not a realistic expectation to have of someone. Everyone is going to make mistakes from time to time. Accept your father for who he is today. Hopefully, if he isn’t quite where he needs to be in life, he’s on his way there. If not, try to accept that nobody is perfect.
Let Go of the Past
As we grow up, many of us tend to think back on times where we were wronged during our childhood and try to associate it with things that are going wrong in our day-to-day lives. It’s natural to try and place blame, but the reality is that the only person causing you to hold onto your past is you. It’s your job to let the negativities of the past go and to look to the future without anything holding you back. You’re in control of your adulthood, not your father.
This method is probably one of the hardest to achieve. Some ways you can avoid Father’s Day altogether is to stay off of social media and make plans with your friends instead. This isn’t being in denial, but rather protecting yourself from unnecessary negative emotions. Give yourself a day to celebrate you and how far you’ve come, regardless of how your father plays into your life.
Seek Out Advice
If you feel comfortable talking about it, maybe it’s time. No matter what your relationship is with your father or anyone else for that matter, if it’s complicated it’s best to work through it. Even if you don’t know why your relationship with your father isn’t quite right, talking to someone can help uncover those mysteries and maybe help you move on with your life.