My mother will be deeply hurt if I offer my philandering father a home

He was never really there for us as children and he regrets it now but my mother and siblings are still very angry

Your desire to offer a home and companionship to your father is laudable but this could cause massive disruption to your larger family web and so you must proceed with extreme caution. Photograph: iStock

Your desire to offer a home and companionship to your father is laudable but this could cause massive disruption to your larger family web and so you must proceed with extreme caution. Photograph: iStock

Question: My parents separated when I was a small child and my mother worked very hard to bring up the children on her own. My father’s job meant he travelled around the country a lot and after the marriage ended we would only see him about once a month. His financial contribution was minimal and he never really provided emotional support to myself or my siblings. Over the years, he had numerous girlfriends and as children the focus of our meetings with our dad would be on impressing his new partners.

I am now in my mid-30s, have a successful business and am married with three small children. My father is in his late 60s, lives in a small bedsit and has a lot of debts from years of lavish spending. As his oldest son, I have started to spend a considerable amount of time getting to know him better. I can see that he is regretful about his failings as a father. I hate seeing my father struggle and whilst I am angry at the way he treated us as children, I don’t want to see him being isolated and living in relative poverty. He is very charismatic and my wife and children adore him and love spending time with him.

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