Absent Father Wants To Repair His Relationship With His Children (VIDEO)

05/04/2013 09:06 am ET | Updated May 06, 2013
  • OWN

One in three children live apart from their biological fathers in America -- and with statistics like that, it's not difficult to see why Oprah says there is an epidemic of fatherless sons in our country. But not every absent father stays that way. When Dad resurfaces, looking to reconnect with his son or daughter, how can parent and child even begin to rebuild trust amid so much pain?

In this clip from a special two-hour episode of "Oprah's Lifeclass" on fatherless sons, one father admits to walking away from his children and shares his struggle with trying to rebuild their trust. Yet his apologies and explanations don't seem to help repair the relationship. Why not?

"What they're looking for is to see and feel your heart break," Oprah tells him in the clip. "When they can see and feel your heart break, and not have it be an intellectual discussion about 'where I was' and 'I wasn't there for you,' that is when they will be able to see you not just as the image they've created for the father that was absent. They will be able to see you as a human, feeling man, [a] fatherless son who also had pain."

"I've had that discussion..." the man begins.

"It's not a discussion," Oprah interrupts.

Relationship expert Iyanla Vanzant chimes in. "You're not there yet, and it's okay," she says to the father. "You can say that all of your life, but until you... say, 'Forgive me' -- not from your throat or from your head, but from the core of your being, your daughters will not know that they can trust your presence, and they won't trust you."

Oprah adds, "You haven't broken open. You haven't allowed them to see you break open."

Watch the full two-hour special of "Oprah's Lifeclass" on the topic of fatherless sons on Sunday, May 5, at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.

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