Paternal absence | How to recognize the wounds, understand the consequences and follow a path of transformation

in hive-161155 •  2 months ago  (edited)

Growing up without a parent is a constant and a problem for many children around the world, but this publication is not a way to criticize those Parents.

This text is a look at the men who are no longer children and who, in some way, suffered the absence of their father, but who would like to treat this wound differently.


My father left home when I was 10 years old, although the separation between him and my mother affected me, I never felt abandoned because he was always close to me.

It is important to note that the concept of paternal absence has more than one definition.

A first definition refers to parental absence directly related to the lack of affection of the father, that is, such absence would be due to the emotional distance between father and son, which can occur even when the father is physically present. Therefore, it would be one that even "present" did not know or did not want to play its role. It is a psychological absence capable of creating various emotional wounds.

On the other hand, the absence of the father can also be understood as the lack of contact between father and son, which may be due to a marriage separation, death and / or work of the father in another city or state. In this case, there is no physical presence of the father.


Unfortunately, for some people, the father's physical absence ends up contributing to an emotional distance.

It is important to highlight that the absence of the father due to the death of the father arouses different feelings in the children compared to the cases in which the absence is motivated by a marriage separation and / or divorce.

While in the first case, the children's feelings are linked to the feeling of loss and sadness, in the second, there is also generally a feeling of revolt and outrage, since they understand that the father could reverse this situation, if he wanted to, which is Not feasible in the first case.

How to deal with this pain?

If possible, one of the main ways to heal the wounds caused by the father's absence is dialogue with that father.

Establishing a dialogue with someone who made you suffer is not easy, especially when there is a conflict that does not seem to have a solution, but avoiding the dialogue can create additional tension.


You may not be interested in resolving conflict through dialogue, but using silence won't solve anything either. Silence increases distances. And distance is not usually a good ally to understand or restore broken ties. Rather, it contributes further to widening the gap.

Thinking about it, I brought some tips to facilitate the dialogue with your father:

1 Express yourself

Express to your father what you felt when he left. Good advice is to say, "When you did this, I felt this way ...". The person needs to understand what you felt, because they may not even know how much it hurt you.

2 ask

Don't try to guess why your father left you. Express your perception but also make room to see the other person's perspective. Asking the only way to ask and understanding the situation can be liberating.

3 Be transparent

Be honest and transparent, even if it is sometimes difficult. Some people say what they think and it can hurt. The problem is not what is said, but how it is said. So, find the best way to express yourself, without lying or hiding what you know needs to be said. Speaking from the heart, always referring to the things you feel and not what you suppose the other feels, is a formula that generally works.

4 Choose the correct location.

The conversation will be difficult, find an environment with good conditions to speak. The exchange of daily space for another sometimes contributes to a renewal in communication: a place where other people do not interrupt can help, at the same time, a public space can help to ensure that the conversation does not take on proportions of fights.

Now you are with yourself:

It is not always possible to establish this dialogue with the absent parent, and even when it is, it may not be a good option for you. Some practices, which are not easy at all, can help you deal with these wounds and gradually resolve them from within.

Ask yourself some tough questions.

Was my father physically, emotionally, or spiritually absent when he was growing up? Did I feel the pain of his absence? Am I ready to heal the wound from my father's absence?

Be willing to explore the wound

You may have to come into contact with uncomfortable memories and you will spend some energy reviewing your feelings. However, it is worth remembering that "leaving the subject buried" will not make that part of your life any longer. Sweeping under the rug is the kind of attitude that creates a bump in the middle of the living room floor - it may even be imperceptible at first glance, but stumbles multiple times a day.

Free yourself from your shame, guilt and anger

It wasn't your fault if you didn't get the loving support your father needed. Maybe he didn't get the same from his father himself ... but it was definitely not your fault as a son.

Name your feelings

Start observing yourself and trying to understand your feelings. Name them. In a fight, or in a moment of distress, look at what those feelings are and where they come from: if it is sadness or anger, if both, if you have resentment ... Also try to remember when you have felt this way before and compare What do these situations have in common? Can you see a pattern in how these feelings manifest?

Communicate with the people around you

Once you can identify your feelings, admit what you are feeling and try to communicate your pain to the people around you: colleagues, family, close friends.

Observe the impacts of absence on your life and those around you

Try to observe how these pains affected your behavior, if you ended up having attitudes that hurt you. Analyze if these attitudes have also hurt the people around you.

If you feel smart and listen to what people have about their attitudes, but listen with an open heart, without resentment, looking for a path of change.

Commit to your transformation

If, in this process of reflection, you feel that these hurts have negatively affected your behavior and, as a consequence, it has also affected the people you love, make a real commitment to your change.

If you think that changing everyday attitudes can make you a better man, don't hesitate to act differently for fear of causing strangeness in your own family and having to give an explanation, if necessary, it will undoubtedly generate important conversations and then take the opportunity to open up.

Above all, don't be afraid to seek professional help. Find a psychologist, in an office you can let off steam without worries and work on topics from the most everyday to the most delicate. A psychologist can help you break the cycle of pain and escape.

Find a group of men

There are groups, rounds of conversations, talks of men committed to listening to other men for healing wounds.

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It can take time to heal wounds, but it's worth the investment. Take one step at a time. And fortunately, today there is a network of professionals and people committed to helping heal the wound of those who had an absent father.

I never forget the phrases of a mentor when I did a Master in Therapeutic Counseling:

"This knowledge they are acquiring is not to keep in the trunk of memories but to help many people who need it."


Thanks for your attention!
I will be attentive to possible comments.


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Great post and a so relevant subject in these days with ever increasing numbers of divorce. It is a whole manual to arrive at a point of healing. Thank you for sharing.

Yes my dear @hope777, I still remember its good content for the health of marriage. Thanks for stopping by