DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have a good life and are financially secure. Our kids are grown and we now have grandchildren. The problem is my father.
Every time I'm around him, he always comments on my shortcomings and faults. I have never measured up to my father's standards, and I finally realize I never will. I have lost all respect for him and do not want to be around him at all.
My mother is nothing like him, and I still enjoy her company. I don't understand why he treats me this way. Most fathers would be proud to have a son like me. Any suggestions, Abby? -- LOSING SANITY IN KENTUCKY
DEAR LOSING SANITY: Your father may act the way he does out of a need to control you. By withholding approval, he makes you constantly try to win it. Or, he may be hypercritical out of some deep-seated insecurity of his own because it makes him feel superior.
Believe it or not, your father's behavior probably has less to do with you than with him. For further insight into your toxic parent, please talk to a psychologist. It will be money and time well-spent.