Q&A: Bad Relationship with Father

Q: My fiancé has a bad relationship with his father. My friends say that this can be a big problem after getting married. What do you think?

Gary Chapman: If a fractured relationship with one’s father has never been dealt with—yes, it’s going to show up in his behavior and very likely be a problem. Ideally, everyone needs a father with whom they had a loving relationship as a child and now as an adult they can reach out and seek advice from time to time. However, we don’t live in an ideal world and he didn’t choose his father. He may or may not have been the one to cause the fracture, but I would encourage him to work through the difficulty, seek to reach out to his father, and rebuild that relationship. Additionally, I think it is important enough to delay a marriage while this process takes place.