My Father No Longer Trusts Me

By Daily Graphic

Dear Nana Ama,

I made a mistake in the past by jumping into a relationship with a guy l barely knew. When my father got to know about the relationship later, he thought because l had agreed to visit the guy so l could sleep with him.

He became more suspicious of me when l gained admission to a tertiary institution. Anytime I get a phone call he asks who the caller is and what the conversation is all about.

He does not allow me to attend any social functions with my friends, not even educational ones organised by my faculty.

He does not trust me in the least and it makes me very unhappy. He keeps a tight rein on me because he thinks l am doing things behind his back.

Please help me because the relationship between him and me is getting worse. I am 19 and a student.

Elizabeth, Kumasi

Dear Elizabeth,

if what happened in the past was a one-time incident and your father has known you to be honest, open and with nothing to hide, it should not be difficult to make him appreciate that whatever happened was a mistake which will not be repeated.

What is happening to your relationship with your father can be described as unpleasant aftershocks of what happened.

From what you have written, it is entirely possible that his attitude is based on that unfortunate incident in your past which you must try to deal with.

You can have a chat with him, if that is possible, and fill him in on any blanks that he may have lost from his wrong assumptions of who you are. If you cannot talk to him yourself, find a close family friend or anyone your father respects to talk to him on your behalf.

We all make mistakes and it is important that your father is made to understand that the past wrongdoing on your part has been made right and that you will not repeat it.

Whoever talks to your father needs to assure him that he has done a good job in raising you up and so he needs to have faith in the good job he has done.

You must bear in mind that trust is earned over a period of time and that once it is broken, it takes time to mend. Make sure you do not do anything, during the mending period, to arouse his suspicion. Also, do your best to be open with him.

With time, he may put aside his mistrust and hopefully the relationship between father and daughter will be based on honesty and trust.