I Know You Love Me, But I Need to Hear The Words

Dear Mr. Dad: My dad is an engineer and has always looked at the world in a very logical, no-feelings-allowed, Mr. Spock kind of way. I guess that’s just his style. The problem is that I don’t think he’s ever told me that he loves me. He’s always been a great dad and I have no doubt that he does love me. But as I get older—I’m nearly thirty—I start second-guessing myself and I really need to hear the words. I tell my kids all the time that I love them. Why won’t he tell me? Do you think he ever will?

A: Whenever I get an email like this, I’m nearly overcome with sadness. It’s tragic that your dad has never told you that he loves you. But I’m encouraged that he’s found other ways to get the point across and that you’ve gotten the non-verbal message. That still leaves your questions. Going in reverse order, yes, I think he will tell you, but it may take a little work on your part. As to why he hasn’t said those three magic words, there are quite a few explanations.

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Dad won’t say, “I love you”

Dear Mr. Dad: I’m in my twenties, and my dad, who has a very scientific mind, doesn’t communicate his feelings. I know he loves me because he has been good to me. But I long to hear him say, “I love you” and am hurt that he never has. Why is this so hard for him?

A: Every once in a while I get an email that brings a tear to my eye—and this is one of them. It’s so sad that in your 20+ years your father has never said, “I love you.” I’m glad, though, that he has found other ways to express his love. The big question is why he finds it so difficult to utter those three magic words? There are a number of possibilities. Let’s take a look at a few.
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