How To Remove Your Dad From Your Life (+10 Reasons Why)

To remove your dad from your life can be a time-consuming and emotional process if it is not done correctly. From having less and less contact with him to having a difficult conversation(s), there are plenty of ways you can begin the process of removing your dad from your life completely.

Toxic fathers can vary from person to person, but some behaviors can be entirely over the line. Toxic people behave poorly towards people to make them feel bad about their lives and themselves.

A toxic individual is characterized by criticism, manipulation, control, and guilt. If you have noticed that these things have been going on for as long as you can remember, it might be time to think of ways to remove your dad from your life.

Man sitting on bench dealing with difficult decision on how to remove his dad from his life

Related Reading: Why Does My Dad Hate Me (What Can I Do?)

How To Remove Your Dad From Your Life

Have a difficult conversation. When you decide that your dad is toxic and your mind is calm and clear, it is time to take action. It is a good idea to talk to your family and friends about what is going on. There are a few things you need to refrain from when talking to your dad.

Refrain from any name-calling and trying to play psychologist. Calling people names will inflame the situation rather than finding a clear and healthy solution. Calling names can be extremely harmful when it is used as a way to invalidate or even discredit someone, especially your dad.

You will need to completely let go of making your dad understand why you decided to remove him from your life. Your dad may consciously or unconsciously try different techniques to keep you from establishing the boundaries you need.

Some of these techniques include blame, invalidation, deflection, gaslighting, and guilt-tripping you. Your dad may even try to pin all the responsibility on you, no matter how calm you try to stay and react to his accusations.

Daniel Mackler, a former Psychotherapist, breaks down the process of breaking from your parents and the benefits this can have.

Set Boundaries, And Keep Them

Setting boundaries is one of the best possible places to start when removing your dad from your life. A boundary can be seen as an invisible line you set for yourself without allowing other people to cross it. Boundaries can be both physical or emotional. It is completely up to you where that boundary is drawn.

  • Be clear with the boundaries you set, and never leave them up for negotiation or interpretation. While your toxic dad may not be happy being told what to do, he will completely lose the ability to push you past your breaking point.
  • Continuously check in with yourself. You need to make sure that your dad respects your boundaries, and if he is not, you might have to come up with a plan B, even if that means that you need to remove your dad from your life with immediate effect completely.

When To Remove Your Dad From Your Life

By giving attention to certain types of behavior, you will easily know whether you will be better off without your dad in your life. Below are ten signs that you might be dealing with a toxic father:

1. He Keeps Comparing You to Your Siblings or Other People

If your dad continuously compares you to your siblings and other people with other types of occupations, it can make you feel insecure and attacked.

2. Your Dad Doesn’t Respect or Understand Boundaries

Of course, you love your dad, but it can be hard to be around people who don’t know their place. When your dad regularly shows up at your house uninvited, thinking he could stay until after dinner, It is a clear sign of not respecting your boundaries.

You might give in to the visit, but even after you talked to him about asking to visit first, he continuously does so without confirming with you first.

3. Your Dad Thinks He Is Always Right

Your dad might have the same opinions as you about your friends, career goals, and everything else. If you have stated that you are perfectly happy with your life and the people in your life, your dad may still stick his nose in your business.

This is a clear sign that your relationship with your dad is getting toxic if it isn’t already.

4. Being Around Your Dad Is Emotionally Draining

Have you noticed that you feel tired physically and even emotionally after spending time with your dad? Although this can also happen with people we love to be around; it is worse with toxic people.

After interacting with a toxic person, you may feel defeated by their needy or overdramatic tendencies, making you feel like life is sucked out of you.

5. Your Dad Consistently Acts Like He Is the Victim

Sometimes, parents can’t help but guilt-trip their children. However, there is a big difference between expressing disappointment and creating a toxic environment by blaming everyone around them for their feelings.

If your dad refuses to do things for you because you make your own decisions, he is taking part in toxic behavior.

6. Your Dad Tries to Compete With You

It is normal for any child to want to talk about their newest and best achievements in life. If you call or visit your dad and try to converse with him about your promotion at work, he might try to change the subject to himself, focusing on his achievements.

Any healthy relationship is a two-way street, and if your dad is incapable of celebrating your wins in life, he is a toxic individual.

7. Everything Is About Your Dad

You might notice that your dad seems to always talk about his life instead of asking you about yours. If he was dealing with some important issue or had some exciting news, it is fine.

However, if this pretty much happens every time you communicate with your dad, then you should consider the possibility of a toxic relationship.

8. There Are Always Some Strings Attached

Your dad might always be willing to help you, but you will never hear the end of how lucky you are to have his help. After helping you, he may request your help as well.

Parents are supposed to help their children, but you should be able to ask for a favor without him asking for anything in return.

9. Your Dad Seems Impossible to Please

You may feel like you are constantly bending over backward to please everyone in your life, including your dad. While most of your friends and family may be pleased and thankful when you help them, your dad always seems to want more.

If you always feel like you are not doing enough for him, it may not be your fault, but your dad.

10. Your Dad Physically or Verbally Abuses You

Abuse may not always take the form of yelling, hitting, or threats. You may encounter less obvious forms of abuse such as name-calling, silent treatment, gaslighting, or even shifting of blame.

This is one of the first and foremost signs of having a toxic dad, and it is your responsibility to do something in order to protect yourself.

Related Reading: Why Your Family Hurts You The Most


Always be open to the possibility of recognizing when your relationship is beyond repair. Although every parent and their child have the occasional misunderstanding, it should never get to a point where it turns toxic. Remember always to put yourself first, and never allow yourself to become depleted.

However, sometimes the situation with a toxic father can be fixable, with enough dialogue and therapy, and there is no shame in doing so. In some cases, you will be able to keep your relationship minimal and distant.

At other times, even that isn’t possible. If this is the case, you will need to remove your dad from your life.  While it can be extremely hard to cut your toxic father out of your life, you need to decide what will be best for you.

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