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My dad never visits

Dear Cary,

I've read through years of your advice columns and haven't found this specific issue in them so I thought I would write to ask for your help. I've found your advice to be very good and think you should have some useful advice for me. Thanks for your time and consideration and Happy New Year!

I don't know how to handle my adult relationship with my father. He rarely visits. My parents divorced when I was 7. For the rest of my childhood I spent about every other weekend with my father. He remarried soon after the divorce and had two more children with his second wife. He has traveled to see me once in the last 12 years. I am 33 years old now. Of those years, five of them were when I lived in NYC, a 2.5 hour drive from his house. I've lived in Europe for the past three years (but recently moved back to the States) and he never visited me there either. My mom visited twice. I have friends who have fathers who visit them regularly and they do things together and I am jealous that they have fathers who show an interest and come to spend time with them. I have expressed to him that I would like him to visit and he always responds in the affirmative, but never follows through. My question for you is how am I supposed to feel about this or deal with it? I find it frustrating that he never visits. It's not like I want him visiting every two months. Instead of once in the last 12 I would've been happy with three or four times. When we actually do spend time together it is enjoyable. He has been there for some of the major events like weddings and graduations, but no more than that. He is a well-paid doctor who lives modestly so affordability is probably not the issue. Am I being unreasonable to want a father who visits me once in a while? Over two years ago my wife and I had a son. He never visited to see his grandson, and would not have even seen him in person had we not traveled to his house during the holidays last year. Other than this I don't have problems with him. I just feel like the relationship is lopsided. Is this normal? Both my brother and I have been upset by this for many years and I was hoping you could give me advice on how to approach this. Am I being unreasonable? I feel like he's probably never going to change.

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