“Should I Forgive An Abusive Father, And Re-Establish Contact With Him?” (Podcast)

This is probably the most serious question I’ve ever received from a reader.  A very heart-felt email from a man who is faced with an extremely difficult situation: he has been contacted by a dying father who abandoned and abused him as a child, and who now wants to have contact with him.  He is unsure whether he should re-establish contact.  We offer some suggestions on how to arrive at a decision.


This podcast can be heard on Soundcloud, iTunes, YouTube, and Google Play.


Read more in Sallust, a historian who has never been more relevant than today.  My annotated, illustrated translation is designed both for those who no prior background in the classics, and for the serious student:

3 thoughts on ““Should I Forgive An Abusive Father, And Re-Establish Contact With Him?” (Podcast)

  1. Two additional things to consider. One way to gauge the father’s intent and help decide is by the brother’s assessment. Is the father asking for money, still a selfish psycho, etc. or is he genuinely remorseful and wants the best for his sons now. Second is consider this potentially huge positive impact on the writer. If the writer has negative issues now resulting from the abuse, conversation with the father may help mitigate them. Confront the demons and put them on notice their power is gone. Then for the rest of his entire life he is free from those burdens. Nothing to do with reconciliation and sunshine, just really get complete with the past and don’t drag that baggage forward in life. Keep the fire and motivation you mentioned and ditch the useless burdens. There exists a specific, excellent format for this kind of conversation. Excellent podcast on a difficult issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As Quintus said, a heartfelt email that took great courage. Not sure what road he will decide, but I have some thoughts based on my own complicated family history and being around the same age as the reader. While I wouldn’t expect to see a fully repentant man full of pleasant surprises, life is unpredictable and there could be something of value done by him. There are no excuses for that kind of behavior, but he may want to share stories of his past/upbringing that led to his inability to function as a moral and virtuous man, or something similar. Along with that, this could be used as an opportunity to connect some dots and come up with a more cogent explanation of half of your blood, whether good or bad. I sense great resolve and mental strength in this reader, and believe he would use any result of this interaction for good, both for himself and the world.

    Liked by 1 person

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