First, understand why it’s hard for them to hand you their trust. Give them enough time to fully open up because being abandoned at an early age has given them the fear that everyone will eventually leave them. They guard their hearts with steel and iron so that when someone runs away from them, like their father did, it hopefully won’t hurt so badly. Maybe will just feel normal.
But break those barriers because even though they make themselves appear like they are indestructible, they still hope that someone will come in their lives to love them wholly. They still wish to experience that feeling when someone will hug them tenderly, and give them a warm kiss on the cheek.
Because these are the affections that they were deprived of growing up.
So please, give them the kindest, sweetest, and most sincere gestures they yearn for. You have no idea how much they need them.
Sit beside them on the darkest nights, the nights they feel lonely. Hold their hands as they look back and can’t comprehend why their fathers left them. Listen to them carefully as they lash out their frustrations about the circumstances they had no control of or participation in, but destroyed them badly, so badly.
Because this is how you earn their trust, and this is how you show them you love them.
If they give you the rare opportunity to look at how messed up their past is, how crushed they are on the inside, and how these terrible memories still haunt them, listen. And stick around. Don’t give up on them.
Remind them that they are enough when they start to feel insecure about themselves.
Once in a while, they will convince themselves that they are not worthy of any love, and they don’t deserve to be kept forever. But shake them off from their self-doubt and tell them that with you, there is no haunted memory that can bring them down.
With you, the amount of sadness they have accumulated over the years will no longer matter.
With you, the gaps in their soul will be filled.
With you, the smile on their lips will never falter and their laughter will be nothing but pure.
Let them hear a lot of assurance from you that they are safe, secure, loved, and protected. Persuade them into believing that they are capable of changing their lives. Encourage them with all the empowering words that you can think of because they need someone to push them forward after all the years that they kept stepping backwards.
Let them know that their fathers’ failures aren’t their faults.
Slowly teach them to accept their pasts, slowly guide them to let go, and slowly help them to stand confidently on their own two feet.
Heal them with your love. Please do. Please take care of them, complete them, hold them tight, and never let them go.
Please promise to them that you will not go anywhere, you will not ghost them, and you will not be afraid of their brokenness.
Please be patient with their stubbornness to believe in themselves.
Be the person who comforts them when they are having troubles forming stable relationships with people. Be the one who rescues them when they are trapped under the negative thoughts of their fathers, and please do not get tired of them.
Be someone who gives them more than partial love, more than unbroken promises, and more than false hopes. Be someone who actually stays in their lives.
And most importantly, be the kind of man that their father never was.