September 29, 2010
I am wanting to know if anyone else has a relationship with their father that is dysfunctional. My father and I don't talk to each other, even about normal day to day things. I feel uncomfortable around him and I can feel that he feels that way to. It has been this way for as long as I can remember. He has always been a quiet man, who seems to be never interested in what I am doing with my life. I have many friends who have great relationships with their fathers and this makes me feel jealous, sad and angry that I will never have this sort of relationship. Just talking together, going out and having fun together would be great, but I can't see this happening in the near future as I am still angry about the whole thing. I'm sure this type of relationship has affected the way I see men in relationships that I have had. I know many people will say why not just talk to him and tell him how you feel, but when you have never had an indepth conversation with your father before,it becomes a little daunting, any suggestions.
September 29, 2010
Yes, talk to him and tell him how you feel.You don't have to repeat doing what you have always done.Suppose he is the one who wants you to talk to him and tells you how he feels, would you mind?
Remember that you are communicating with people here,even though you probably have never had conversation with any of them.
Approach the situation as a problem-solving situation, so don't blame or criticize...Use "I messages" (when you don't talk to me,I feel sad and angry because I love you ...).
September 24, 2010
Some men were raised (especially older men) to sort of keep themselves apart from female concerns. It may be that your father feels that same leel of discomfort. For me, although I have a good relationship with my Dad, he's always been reserved. He isn't one to approach me or ask me personal questions. But I forced him to interact with me when I was younger. We sat down at first, just discussing politics and philosophy (he loves Greek philosophers), geology, whatever I thought he would beinterested in. Then, as we talked, we would interject personal beliefs and comments and it basically brought us closer together. He still isn't one to ask personal questions, but we both feel comfortable and that was my only goal.
Try doing that, good luck
Men of your father's age have been taught that to be a man is to be tough. Iwojima, the Alamo etc is real man stuff. Real men don't cry, they just take the other guy out. They don't feel, they just 'fix things'. Hmmmm!
The problem is that when we shut our feelings down in one arena we do so in all others too. So...'real men' are uncomfortable with dealing with their own emotions or anyone elses.
Women, on the other hand and especially in your generation, are much more liberated and free to express themselves, emotionally and otherwise.
Your father obviously is having great difficulties overcoming decades of socialisation. You, I suspect, have a much greater chance of adapting to his personality than he to yours. Should you have to be the one to adapt? I guess that depends on how much you want to have a relationship with him. Unless there is a catastrophe in his life, I doubt that your father will change.
However, the good news is that there is always a crack in any brick wall. Find that crack and go for it. Does your dad like a beer? Or fishing? Or motor racing? Or...? Find the common ground, eh.
September 29, 2010
You have no idea how blessed you are to even be able to ask this question. I was seven-years old when my father, the great abuser that he was, left our family, mom and five kids under 12. I never had the experience to be anything but angry at my father for what he did to me, my mom, and my brothers. Then I realized that he had given us the greatest freedom of all time. No more meals taken at gun point, no more drunken fits of rage, no more nights of trying to make myself invisible from his touch. When I turned 18 (I never saw him after he left 11 years before), he took a shotgun to his mouth and pulled the trigger, right in his livingroom so his wife and young son could find him. That is a full blown b...... if ever there was one. But I still have been able to love him, simply because without him I would not have life.
Ask yourself if you are angry with him, or is your ego bruised. Sometimes we don't get what we want, but we get what we need, in time. Go easy on the two of you and feel the blessings. You still have each other, and, as the saying goes, where there's a will, there's a way. Find it. May your peace come from understanding each other in a way neither of you thought possible.
September 30, 2010
Does anyone NOT have a dysfunctional relationship with their father? I love mine. I love that he did not leave me and my 4 sibs when my mom left. I can overlook a lot of shortcomings just because he didn't leave. When my parents divorced (the first time) I think it was a wake up call to my dad that he was a father--hello? Then they remarried (can you believe it?) And when they divorced again, I think it was another wake up call to his self. He took some classes got into a support group and he learned to say "I love you." With real words and everything. I was 18 then, and it made a world of difference.
We still don't have great conversational skills, it's still awkward to spend too much time trying to talk. But it's OK. We rarely see each other now (logistics) but we phone occasionally, and he sends me cards sometimes-- which always surprises me. He tells funny stories. Our conversation time is better if there is someone else there to jump in. My husband is great for pulling out the best in him. Also, when I was 18 we got in the habit of writing a note if there was something we needed to say but couldn't discuss.
My best wishes to you and your Dad, Tame!
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