How do we move on--forgive, let go, and perhaps even find a restored relationship-- when our fathers have wounded us deeply?
We can't control others' behavior, but we can make changes in our own lives that will help us move forward and heal.
Here are three practical principles:
1) Set healthy boundaries. Leave unhealthy and damaging patterns behind, as much as it depends on you, and establish new patterns. Don't enable bad behavior, and protect yourself. But if it's possible, try to establish a relationship based on healthier forms of communication.
2) Begin again. Grieve the past, but also determine that you will not dwell there. If you can, find out about your father's past, in order to understand his choices and actions. When we can empathize or have compassion for the wounds our fathers have experienced, it can give us perspective and soften our hearts.
3) Realize our Heavenly Father is the only perfect parent. Just as we make mistakes as parents, our fathers and mothers make mistakes, too. God through Jesus imparted grace to us when we were at our most sinful, and He enables us to give that grace to others. He can give us the understanding, forgiveness and strength to move forward.
Finally, keep seeking Him and falling on His mercy. Live in the light of His love, and pray for those who have wounded you. Trust that He is working and healing You, one small step at a time.