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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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I found out my father that raised me isnt my biological father

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I found out my father that raised me isn't my biological father after 43 yrs. I've met my bio father and at first it was beautiful his bipolar wife hates me and has since blocked all my phone numbers from contacting me. They are in AZ for winter and he promised her he wouldn't contact me. Is it foolish for me to hold out hope that he will realize I'm worth the trouble he goes through with his wife and he will want contact with me? He promised not to break my heart. That's all he has done.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

You don't need to fully abandon hope that your bio father will eventually connect with you in some way. But you do have a wise, rational mind that can step back and look at this situation critically. Your wise rational mind has for example, concluded that all your bio father has done so far has been disappointing. You also have a "sort of" emotional, needy and irrational train of thought or 'mind' that has desperately wanted to know your biological father, have a relationship with him and feel his love and concern. But your rational mind is (thankfully) able to see the cold, hard facts of the situation as well. The fact is that for whatever reason, HE CHOSE TO NOT INVOLVE HIMSELF whatsoever in your life as you grew up. He paid no child support apparently, didn't set up a college or vocational training account for your future---even anonymously. And it is clear that he values pleasing his bipolar wife more than he values challenging her and insisting that he maintain a relationship with you. Of course, his wife is threatened, jealous, insecure and her 'nature' and problems do reflect a bit on the kind of man he is. That is, who he chose as a mate speaks volumes about his thinking and judgment, etc. And I think your wise rational mind sees she isn't much to be proud of and that most men would NOT view her as much of a 'catch'. But he chose her and continues to choose her over you.

So..............what does this mean? It really does mean that your wise rational mind is telling you that you can hold out a bit of wistful hope and wishing that your father will become the father you always wanted him to be. If you have a good relationship with your step dad and if he raised you, HE IS YOUR REAL DAD, and you can and should offer him the devotion and love a father deserves, IF HE DESERVES IT. I don't know if he does or does not. Fact is, your biological father has never, and is not presently, really stepping up to fight for a relationship with you. Sad fact of life, but true. So let's pretend you have a basket and it contains 12 'eggs' containing all of the love and devotion you have to give. I don't know that your bio dad has EARNED even one egg so far. You can save one for him if you'd like. See if he is willing to earn it. I wouldn't give it to him if he doesn't work a bit harder for it. His 'life' right now is his current wife, and he aims to please her, rather than you. I do understand a bit about the internal, mental conflict you have experienced about this relationship involving your emotional mind and your wise rational mind.

I'm going to pause here and solicit your reaction to this response. What do you think?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So it gets even more "dad" I grew up with does not know ANYTHING. I could write a mini series or keep Dr. Phil in business for the next year. I knew coming into this that my bio dad had a "past" as I was a result of an affair while he was married and my mom was married (to my dad)...they were engaged 5 years prior and I guess I was "unfinished business". My bio dad has 4 other children.. I told him when I met him I gave him a clean plate, would forgive him of his past faults until he proved me wrong. So, it didnt take long for him to show his true colors. I being the loving person, tried at first to overlook them. I love him so much, he is the other missing "half" of "me". And he told me that same thing before I told him how I felt. I understand he is an abused spouse, in marriage #4 for 32 yrs. He said he has been miserable for 28 yrs and the first 4 yrs werent that great. So, how do I let go? I feel so rejected, so foolish, so deceived. I've been humiliated to no end, I found out early he has had a relationship with one of his employees and it turns out she went to high school with me! She wants me out of the picture also, as I took time away from time spent with her. I know I've fought a loosing battle. Any advice on how to move on? I'm crushed, devastated and so hurt. I opened my heart and gave him love as well as my family and he took it and abused it. I'm a strong person. Why has this man been able to suck me into his web of deceit and betrayal and have me coming back for more? It shouldnt be a game but thats what it feels like his wife and "girlfriend" want to have a step ahead of me to control the situation. I guess they've won as he has allowed it. I'm so hurt. I want to find myself again. The person I've become is not who I am. It has been poison, yet I crave the relationship with him. Sick, I know. I did not have a close father-daughter relationship with my dad growing up, nor are we close today. Thats why I was so thrilled to find out I had another "father" out there. And the funny thing is I look just like him, mystery solved. I always felt different. Now I know why..AND I have 4 other half siblings out there whom I've met and love. So there is a bright side. I just wanted it to turn out "normal" but how could it have ever? It wasnt "normal" from conception. The first thing he said to me when we met in person is "Tammy doesnt know I knew about you from day one and thats how it has to be." Wasn't that a big red flag that told me I should get back in my car and leave? So the latest "issues" we had I called him out on it, emailed him and his wife with a copy of an email from his ex-wife clearly stating he knew all about me 43 years ago. He hasn't talked to me since, nor tried to reach me. I want to move on. I want to heal. What do I do to accomplish this?
Your last post shows you ARE in the early stages of moving on. The more you think about this situation and the kind of many your biological father actually is, the more you study up on his past behavior, the more you see he isn't actually deserving of your love and affection. It would have been quite easy for him to set a clear 'line in the sand' with his current wife and absolutely insist, upon threat of divorce, that he see you and form an ongoing, happy relationship with you---as you are his 'blood' and actual kin. HIS WIFE IS NOT!. Also, he could have told his girlfriend your classmate that she should fade from the picture since he wanted his daughter back and had no time for her. But he didn't do this. It appears he wants a mistress or wishes to placate or please her more than he wants a relationship with you. (Gosh I hope I'm getting the details of your story straight). So the unhappy facts are that your biological father doesn't want to disrupt his life in the ways it would have to be disrupted to make room for you in it. You want him, but he doesn't seem to want you, in his life.

So I truly meant what I said in suggesting that your posts show you are already in the process of moving on and fully realizing the sad, cruel facts of your biological father's character and his life. I realize there is still a part of you that wants a real father and fantasized that your biological father, being your true 'other half' biologically, would realize how important a true blood relationship is and 'step up' to this calling. But he will not, apparently.

Now you stated, "I have 4 other half siblings out there whom I've met and love. So there is a bright side. I just wanted it to turn out "normal" but how could it have ever?" This is probably one of the wisest thoughts you have hit upon in writing your posts. The pathway to feeling more complete and biologically connected in this world with through the nurturing of the relationships you do have with your half-siblings. One or more of them almost certainly wants and NEEDS to have a healthy relationship with you. You can be the 'together' and healthy sibling and companion to them. So getting over your biological father, who is little more than a sperm donor throughout your life, can be best done if you determine to be of SERVICE to family members who want and need you most. I think you know who might best "fit the bill" here. The best way to get over being shortchanged in a family, by a parent that has abandoned us emotionally, is to not allow someone else in the family feel alone and isolated, if you can help it. You don't have a real dad in your life but you can best compensate for this lack of connectedness by being the best half-sister or surrogate maternal figure to someone who needs you. What do you think?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

So Dr. Michael...I have to tell you (you already know) you are RIGHT ON with your comments. I know everyting you have said to be true. I guess sometimes you need to hear it from an outside source. The only questions I have now are this....

How do I move on? I know I'm in the early stages of it, but what things can I do to clear him out of my mind? I'm tired of waking up every morning, thinking about the rejection I feel and how angry I am, going through a dialogue in my head each morning as I get ready for work of things I want to say to him if I had the chance to talk one more time. This has consumed me. I no longer want it to. How do I get this poison out of my system? I've thought about calling him and asking him to talk to me. But seriously what good would it do at this point? I've already told him how I feel. Wast of time, right? Its kind of like I feel I need to "hear" it from him that he wants nothing more to do with me. His "girlfriend" or his wife texting or telling me isn't good enough. I know if he really wanted to talk to me he could reach me. He knows how. So, I need to just let go and stay with that idea, right? If he WANTED to talk to me, he could. Since he has not tried to I should keep that at the forefront of my thoughts and pretend he is dead. Agree?

I should NOT contact him. Right?

So, how do I contact you for future questions? I am very pleased with your responses with regards XXXXX XXXXX situation. Thanks.

I have to run off and teach a class right now so I'll have to mull over your post and get back to you later today. I am keenly interested in the self-talk you describe---the ideas and dialogue that goes through your mind each day. I hope you can write down the very things you say to yourself, the internal conflicts and arguments that go on inside your head. Knowing about this is critical to moving forward. Also, here is a link you can cut/past/download and use:

For now, you should not contact your dad---you are correct!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'll await your response...I have written and emailed myself when I need to get the thoughts out of my head with the idea of printing them out and keeping them. I have also saved copies of emails I have sent him and his wife AND copies of dialogue I had with the employee/girlfriend. I think being "put in my place" by her, a girl I went to high school with (small world, Hugh? I didn't know this when I first found out about their affair..made it even worse when I put the pieces together) and her even getting involved in the first place is what adds to the anger and hurt. Him allowing this makes me furious. I can see why people snap. She put me on an x-rated dating website this last weekend. That's the kind of trash I'm dealing with. I've contacted my attorney about it. I'm an educated professional woman and I just cannot believe I've allowed this group of individuals to affect me the way it has. Guess it goes back to yearning a close father-daughter relationship and never having it. I wanted it so badly, especially when I saw pictures indicating there is no denial who my bio father I feel used, like the newness wore off for him. At first he was getting attention, showing me off as his daughter, strutting around that there are BIG problems on the home front he is casting me aside. I'm just another notch on his belt. He's used and lied to women all his life. I thought it would be different with me. I thought he would not do it to me, being flesh and blood and being a devoted daughter. Obviously I couldnt have been more wrong.
My are correct in that this is the bright side in a dark situation and I will offer love and support to them regardless of who our sperm donor is or whether or not he is involved. Out of the five of us I was the ONLY one who wanted a close loving relationship with him. They see him for what he is.
I'm just back on the computer for a few minutes preparing for my class again. I do have a question I'd like you to think about. It is clear that a primary question you have is, "How do I get this preoccupation out of my mind and let this issue with my bio dad go, and move on?" I think though, that a related question has to do with why at that same time, part of you really doesn't WANT to let it all go just yet. So the follow up would be, what would you really like to see happen going forward, regarding this relationship? Do you want to extract an apology, do you think you secretly want to punish him, or retaliate? Do you feel you want to punish or get even with the high school peer mistress? So far, your increasing involvement has repeatedly exposed nothing but a bunch of pathology e.g., enrolling you in an x-rated website to harass you, etc.? What are your deepest wants and needs right now that you want to have 'happen' given this situation?

What do you think? You are welcome to use the info on the link I provided if you want.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I will look at the link tomorrow. What I want to happen now is for him to realize he wants a relationship with me bad enough to challenge his bipolar wife and hostile girlfriend. However I don't expect that to happen as it would have already. I could write a book about all that has happened and the opportunities he has had to "draw a line in the sand" put his foot down and set boundaries with his wife. I'm a realist....if it hasn't happened yet, it's not going to. The 90 day period of "newness" and the high we get chemically is gone now. I wrote them both a four page email and it was filled with nothing but the truth. They call it harrassment.
I can't control what he does or what he wants but what I want and have always wanted is a relationship with him. Since that doesn't seem possible on his end, not mine, I think I need to get used to the idea that I'm not going to have anything with him when all is said and done. His wife dictates what he does and who he spends time with. She has a daughter whom spends every weekend at their house, goes to concerts, movies, etc. because it is ok with her...I on the other hand, sm his flesh and blood but am not allowed near him. That is why you hear me say I need to know what to do to get him out of my thoughts and move on. I'm fighting a loosing battle. She has won. They've been married for 32 years. I've known him eight months. So you see, it is age 68 he will never change. I just need to figure out how to get over the hurt, rejection and disappointment.
I think that in your struggle to reconcile this loss completely, you are probably making a bit of a mistake in putting most of the blame or responsibility on your bio father's current wife. Yes, he might have a relationship with if IF SHE WASNT" IN THE PICTURE. However, she is in the picture and he wants to keep her happy or at least 'satisfied' and is willing to sacrifice a relationship with his own daughter to keep the peace. I mentioned this point before but it bears repeating: Really, this man could have a relationship with you if he demanded it, and he could make his wife tow the line and accept his desire for a relationship with you. He has no interest in doing so or no 'backbone' to stand up to her. So I hope you understand that HE is mostly responsible for the failure to have a relationship, not his current wife. A dad who really loves his 'flesh and blood' would climb mountains to have a relationship with them. Your bio dad is too self-absorbed and self-preoccupied to think about what this truly means and what he is missing out on in not having you in his life. He has serious character flaws. I hope you will keep the focus on HIM, his choices, his failure to stand up to his wife, his unwillingness or disinterest in doing whatever it takes to 'climb the mountains' for you. Your wise, rational mind knows all of this but your emotional, needy, little girl inside of you is still having a very hard time accepting the reality of it. I suspect your life will be perfectly well off without this man in it.

Do you have any other men in your life? I scanned the messages and didn't see reference to any? I have this sort of 'wish' if you do not have any male figures in your life, that you would meet up with a fatherly figure---maybe someone in their late 50s or early 60s, who is alone, but who is a smart, loving 'stand up' kind of guy, who'd welcome a relationship with a surrogate daughter. Someone like you who might dote over him a bit and he, likewise on you. He'd be accomplished and financially self-sufficient and near or at retirement. I think you deserve such a person in your life, who would at least treat you better than the sperm-donor guy who is your father. I may be out of line in thinking this aloud.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm married to a 53 year old man who is wonderful to me and the kids. I know that my bio dad is the one that is the real reason I'm not having a relationship with him. So what steps can I take to accomplish moving on, should I potentially need to? I know te reality. My bio dad is not able to give me what I need in this relationship. I now need to work on myself and not feeling so hurt and foolish..I need to get over the disappointment. How do I do this?
There is a kind of internal debate you can fantasize with yourself. It involves trying to visualize yourself as a young woman----you as you acted and looked, who is able to verbal how badly she wants and needs a loving father and the ways she is suffering without him. You'd literally write out a script if need be to express this. This internal visualization of the young woman can represent all of the emotional, needy and distressed trains of thought you have that 'demand' justice in having a father. Also, you can stand in a mirror and study how you appear now and then as you did in fantasizing you, as a young woman, you visualize yourself as you are now as the wise, rational person who has a clear understanding of what your bio father is really like, the kind of man he is. This is the wise rational mind you have that wrote about 90% of the content of your posts here. It has a clear, rational understanding of the situation.

The next step is to find some quiet, alone time and visualize the young woman talking to the older wise/rational woman. You create imagery much like you would a movie running in your head. They talk to one another and the young woman wants to primarily know why she can't have a relationship with a real dad. She goes through her needs, wants and emotional demands. The older woman listens and responds---much like you did in describing her father's shortcoming, lack of interest, and the fact that he doesn't want a relationship with her. The key point in all of this is to try to get the two discussing this problem together and debating a bit. They have to reach a compromise. The compromise would involve having the older, wise/rational 'you' figure out what she can do to COMPENSATE the young woman for not having a father. Literally, she cannot have one because this man is alive but doesn't exist as a father; he is just another male living in the world who doesn't want to be a father. I'd like this older woman to strain her brain so to speak and identify some possible compensations or things, ideas, gifts etc., that would help make up for not having a father. What would this older, wiser woman do for a young girl who lost her dad in the Afghan war as a support person or second mother? What would she try to do for the young woman who had to grow up in an orphanage to help her get on in life without a dad. The thing you need to keep in mind is that this is serious business and this older, wise woman has to do something for the young woman who is you, and for these other two woman who have had their father die or never knew a father in the first place. How would this wise, older woman help them? What would she say or do? You have to write up a compelling script or screenplay for a movie here---something that would sell or could be a credible book storyline. Let me know what you come up with in the next day or so.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I had a counseling session yesterday and the funny thing is she wants me to take a piece of paper, on one side list what the little girl wants and the other side what the adult woman wants. Guess I shouldn't be too surprised that you are both on the same page as you are the professionals in dealing with this. I have to say that I've actually gotten more out of reading your responses that the two sessions I've had. Perhaps I am able to internalize more effectively when reading print than listening..Thanks! I'll be getting back to you in the next few days.
O.K., let me know. You can click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen at this point, and then get back to me when you finish this "homework" assignment.
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