My sons make no effort and use me for money – can I walk away?


DEAR DEIDRE: AFTER years of trying to make my children love and respect me, I feel it’s time to throw in the towel and cut all ties with them.

Painful as it is to accept, my two sons don’t like me.


They don’t make any effort, and just use me for money

I’m now 54 and they are 29 and 27.

I’ll admit I wasn’t the greatest dad. I was often absent, I cheated on their mother and I drank.

But I have since turned my life around. I’ve repeatedly apologised for my behaviour and tried to make amends.

Get in touch with Deidre

Every problem gets a personal reply, usually within 24 hours weekdays.

They don’t make any effort, and just use me for money.

I feel I would be happier breaking off contact with my sons and concentrating on my new, happier life with my partner, instead of constantly feeling used and rejected.

DEIDRE SAYS: I can’t give you permission to break contact – it needs to be your decision.

Breaking contact may give you the space and time you all need to heal. But they will always be your children.

If you do decide to walk away, apologise one last time and explain you would love to hear from them if they ever feel ready to give you another chance.

Anya's pregnancy is still a secret, but Jack wants her to meet his brother
I feel like a disappointment and think everyone would be better without me

That way, there would still be a chance of reconciliation. Make it clear you are open to this.

You can get support from Stand Alone (
It supports people estrang­ed from family.


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