Against elementary powers of judgment, I accepted an invitation from… - Dr. Holiday Wednesday
Your father seems to be an infuriatingly stubborn man, Doctor. I have nothing but sympathy, despite a lack of an analogous experience. One statement in particular stuck out at me:
"There was a time when I believed she became pregnant on purpose, to force me into marriage."
What a horrifically myopic thought. One immediately wonders if that alone stands as singular coping stone to the justification of his treatment of you; if it does not, then at least it is indicative of a high degree of paranoia. But assuming he has discarded this view, as he claims, then it begs the question: what did force his marriage and continued commitment to you and your mother? Perhaps in all aspects, save the financial, it appears from my cursory and ill-informed position that your father's presence served detrimental to an already difficult life. He was clearly miserable. The degree to which he distances himself from the belief that your mother had indeed "slept around" is further troubling in this regard, as though he had (and I hesitate to lay my accusations plainly, lest they be too extreme) sincere doubts about her emotional connection to him at one point.
Given his other transgressions, a sense of duty alone seems a poor motivator for his continued presence in the marriage, and it is simply difficult to believe that he could have made the decision to stay for your sake as he seems to allude by suggesting that he did the right thing by staying and "inflicting your uneasy childhood upon you." All that could possibly remain is the desire to maintain some illusion of a successful family, whether it be towards Ashley, himself, or the outside world, and this is unconscionable.
Regardless of whether your hate is healthy, it is doubtlessly justified. Your fortitude remains commendable in the face of what has happened.