How's your relationship with your father?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 24, 2007 7:01 AM GMT
    Does anyone else out there not have much love for their dad...?
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    Dec 24, 2007 7:33 AM GMT
    Mine isn't very good. My parents divorced when I was 12. Most of my happy go lucky memories with my dad were all before I was 12. After that, I don't think we had much in terms of a real relationship. Fast forward to now, we talk and see each other, but he really has no clue about who I really am. I thought about opening up the lines of communication as my Christmas present, but I think for now, I just may have to have some secrets.
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    Dec 24, 2007 10:39 AM GMT
    Miracles can happen.

    My relationship with my parents was so bad that I didn't speak to them from age 16 when I ran away until age 26.

    They now live 5 miles from me and we are extremely close. This didn't happen overnight. I had six years of intensive therapy (in my thirties) and my dad has had 25 years of it.

    I'm still angry at the man he was. But, strangely, I both like and admire the man he now is.

    Go figure.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11648

    Dec 24, 2007 11:04 AM GMT
    My dad was the stereotypical emotionally abusive man
    which in turn came from his very dysfunctional background
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    Dec 24, 2007 11:09 AM GMT
    i'm very lucky with mine. had a bad few yrs when i hit five and it was obvious i was 'different'. but we've got on brilliantly for many yrs now. about 20 yrs ago we got very drunk together and bonded and it's been great ever since.
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    Dec 24, 2007 12:49 PM GMT
    My dad?
    As far as I know he was an abusive drunk. I only had my mother to get to know things about him seeing as he slammed his car aswell as himself agains a tree driving back home drunk one night when I was about 5. So I don't really remember him, but the stories I heard wern't very nice.

    A nice thread though!
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    Dec 24, 2007 1:33 PM GMT
    My Father
    Was an awesome guy
    He never raised his voice
    One time he yelled at me and i remember he apologized and said "I will never yell at you again out of anger and i'm sorry"
    He never swore
    He made me breakfast every morning before school
    He also worked full-time in the steel mills and he build houses on the side
    He took our family on vacation every year
    Oh yes he was strict. He taught me great lessons in life and a good work ethic.
    I love my Father
    PS he always supported me in everything and anything i did and wanted to do.
    He said "you can achieve anything you want to do"
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16308

    Dec 24, 2007 1:35 PM GMT
    I consider myself pretty lucky. I was brought up in a home where I never questioned the love of both of my parents.

    My Dad has always been a good role model in most ways, professional, hard working, guidance when appropriate,
    always the staple of groundedness. Have never seen him abuse any kind of drugs of alchohol.

    But as an adult you also see parents as individuals with strengths and weaknesses. His biggest weakness is his inability to express emotion and take action based on need, ignoring discomfort.

    I guess we all put things off if we aren't comfortable with taking those actions. Sometimes that procrastintion doesn't matter. Sometimes it does.
    But yeah... I've always loved my Dad.
  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    Dec 24, 2007 2:26 PM GMT
    I have always had a good relationship with my Dad even though I don't remember much about living with him because he and my mom got divorced when I was 7. (He moved out when I was 5). My other siblings and him are estranged. He married a few years after the divorce and really put most of his spare time in helping my step mom raise her 2 boys because their father abandoned them. I stayed close because I was into sports and we had common interest. He is in the early stages of alzheimer's , so I have been spending more time with him. It can be frustrating at times because his memories are distorted and he puts my step brothers on these imaginary pedestals, but I realize that this is his reality now. I took care of him for about 2 weeks last year because my step mom had to attend her brothers funeral in her native country Japan and it was more like a blessing than a bother. I just remember looking at him some nights that we were just sitting in his living room watching a game and thinking 'when did he get old?" It happened almost over night. icon_cry.gif
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    Dec 24, 2007 2:42 PM GMT
    My dad was a great father. He was a radio engineer. He provided for my mom, two brothers, and me just great. Put us boys thru college so we didnt have any debt when we graduated. He had no problem with my being gay.

    He fought in WWII in the south Pacific. Send his pay back to his mother to save. When the war was over, he returned and bought his first apt house. Now my mom has over 22 houses, townhouses, and condos in Virginia and Florida.

    My dad intended to retire to Florida. But he became ill with hardening of the arteries and had to have operation after operation. His last years were full of sickness. Then he got lung cancer and died within 2 weeks and a day of diagnosis. I was the last person he spoke to. He never made to Florida for retirement.

    I miss him. I wish I had his advice and guidance now. One thing I really remember him for is that he didnt get into our business as we grew up. He was there, but he didnt try to run our lives.
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    Dec 24, 2007 2:53 PM GMT
    I've hated my dad all my life for a variety of reasons:
    1) He was stern and always right, in an annoying-lawyer sort of way; he was always right even when he was clearly wrong
    2) I felt he never pitched in help my mom out with the other parts of running a household cuz he was the sole breadwinner of our family (which meant everything else was my mom's job)

    The turning point for me was when I was finishing up grad school. He was starting up some stupid shit again with my mom (probably nothing really big if I were to think back on what it was), but I had had enough. I was in the middle of finals, job interviews, and ending my first real relationship. I told him I was sick of his shit and didn't want him to be at my graduation. My mom was punished too at the time cuz I blamed her too as well for not being able to stand up for herself.

    Anyway, they've moved out of the country temporarily so I rarely converse with him anyway (I talk to my mom now maybe once every 1-2 weeks), but I don't think I'd be talking to him any more if he were still around. So things have somewhat settled down a bit.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Dec 24, 2007 3:05 PM GMT
    I am 37 and it's approaching 25 years since I've spoken to my father. My parents divorced when I was 6. He was a physically and emotionally abusive husband and father. My older brother still maintains a relationship with him, my older sister tried again as an adult. I have no interest in having a relationship with him. When he found out I'm gay, I'm told his response was "There's nothing I can do about that."
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    Dec 24, 2007 4:15 PM GMT
    check this out
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    Dec 24, 2007 4:17 PM GMT
    Now, I miss my dad since he died a couple years ago this February from some weird immunological disease from working in the railroad yards. He improved as a father as times changed. When I was a kid, fathers just did not react to their children with a lot of outward expressions of love. At that time, he was an excellent provider, gave us a secure home, encouraged us with our education, took us on fun vacations, and loved my mother in very obvious ways. As time went on, he changed with the times. He readily accepted both my sister and myself when we came out. He started to show the real compassion that was in his heart and later as his children became older he would kiss us when we went "home". This was a big change for my father. Even later he expressed a lot of love for us and told us how proud he was of all his children.

    I would only offer one criticism of my father, in all respect to him, I think he would agree. He should have taught me more of what he knew. Because all his children were very upwardly mobile, I guess he thought that with just his high school education that he had nothing to offer us, but he was wrong. He actually had a great deal to offer us.

    Overall, I would have to say that he was a great dad, God keep him and love him.
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    Dec 24, 2007 4:35 PM GMT
    I was very cynical at 12-years old when Dad reappeared in my life. That was when Mom filed for divorce. Dad would emotionally abandon us for a long time, then briefly try to establish a relationship and then re-abandon us. That cycle lasted up to the divorce. Mom forced us to maintain contact with him. Being the "good boy" that I am, I complied. Now I see him once a year and speak with him every couple months or so. I'm still an adult child.

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    Dec 24, 2007 4:45 PM GMT
    I've got one of the best fathers around - a great, caring, responsible guy full of integrity. My brothers, sister and I are lucky to still have our parents. Additionally, I had terrific grandparents - who lived only a few miles from me all my life. I think of them every day - all the good things they taught me and did for me.
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    Dec 24, 2007 4:57 PM GMT
    GQjock saidMy dad was the stereotypical emotionally abusive man
    which in turn came from his very dysfunctional background

    I hear that one...

    Mine finally committed suicide when I was in college, and home life eventually improved fairly dramatically.


    PS: Subsequently met my birth father and oddly enough, we get on pretty well, albeit from a distance.
  • gymingit

    Posts: 156

    Dec 24, 2007 5:27 PM GMT
    My parents divorced when I was 10. Of course I moved with my mom out of state with my brother and sister, myself being the oldest. Once when I was home on leave from the Army, my stepmother informed me that my father had told her, we hadn't gotten along since I was 5yo. As far as I remember, he was never really there for me at all. When I asked my mother about it, she just laughed and pointed out I was always saying, "leave my mommy alone." He never abused her physically or even cursed. He was psychologically abusive; nagging all the time. (I'm sure people remember the wife that shot her Church of Christ Preacher of a husband...) That type of mental abuse. Anyway, supposedly, even though he seems to be ignoring the fact, my sister and sister-in-law told my dad I was gay earlier in the year. GET THIS: my dad has been more attentive and has called me on an average of once week since he found out. When we might have talked once or twice a year on my birthday or Christmas. Guess where I'm spending Christmas this year. Go Figure.
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    Dec 24, 2007 5:57 PM GMT
    my relation with my dad isn't good, he's good-ish and generous but i don't know i never was able to like him and he doesn't really like me, but maybe it's because of me i never made an effort or wanted to bond with him
    but i'm VERY close to my mother which is stereotypical of a gay guy icon_cool.gif.
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    Dec 24, 2007 5:58 PM GMT
    My old dad was a great guy. He was tough and macho yet kind and gentle to me and my brothers and my mother. I never told him that I am gay, he didn't need to know that.
    When I was 18 I enlisted into the Army and stayed for 24 years. I didn't get to see him all that much in that time, I kind of regret that but he was so proud of me. I came home for the last two weeks of his life and was there for the end. When he died, he taught me how to be brave and that death isn't so bad, something at the last moment told me that he was just fine.

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    Dec 24, 2007 6:30 PM GMT
    My relationship with father isn't so good. All started long time ago, before I can even remember. Mother told he used to be very violent with us and her, and he had drinking problems for a long period. And after the war in Kosovo,he lost his job, and became really bitter person with antisocial behaviour, so I really don't tend to build my relationship with him, as every conversation that we have turns into really bad argument. And of course, there is the fact that I am gay, not really something I want to share with him...
    Call me whatever you want but, after two nervous breakdowns I had because of him, he is not the person with who I want to have some friendly relationship...
  • cityguy39

    Posts: 967

    Dec 24, 2007 7:30 PM GMT
    My father was very strict and ultra macho. He was apart of the nation of Islam under Elijah Muhammad. Being gay and into white men, totally unacceptable. He was raising me to be a good little muslim. I went to school year round even in summer and other various rituals to help me become a man. He was killed when I was eight years old. I knew if he was alive today we would not be speaking. I think my father knew deep down I was gay, hell I knew when I was 5!!! I wish I had a happy story like some of the other guys have about their dads. I also realize my life was alot easier once he was gone, I know that's a horrible thing to say because from what I can remember, my dad was a good man.

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    Dec 24, 2007 8:43 PM GMT
    Wow, lots of responses.. it's great to see how many of you have a nice relationship with your dads, treasure it. And to you who don't have one at all, I feel for ya. My parents divorced when I was mom left him for another woman, he flipped and went crazy. From what I hear he was abusive to all of us before the split. I didn't see him for a while, then he came back in, still a drunk and a pothead, abusive both physically and mentally. He kept going in and out of mine and my sisters life. Don't have any sort of relationship with him now, as he knows I'm gay, and he's said some not so nice things to me about that and my mom.
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    Dec 24, 2007 11:57 PM GMT
    Its funny, once I was willing to make the first move and forgive my dad, he was totally willing to open the lines of communication.

    After years of not really speaking much, and when we did, it was stilted and awkward, we finally buried the hatchet about a year ago. No, it isn't easy making the first move, but once you behave like the kind of person you want to be, you see that attitude reflected back at you from others. This was my experience.

    I'll never forget talking to my dad on the phone not too long ago and, as we were saying our goodbyes, hearing him say, "I love you, son."

    I had to pull over and take a moment. It was beautiful.

    I love my family, and I'm so happy and grateful that they love me back. Be grateful for yours this Christmas!
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    Dec 25, 2007 1:08 AM GMT
    Timely topic.

    My father died the day after Thanksgiving this year. He was 84 and died in his sleep.

    We were estranged most of my life, although we had something of a reconciliation during the months preceding my mother's death 18 months ago. In fact, last Christmas and on Father's Day this year, he couldn't stop telling me how much he loved me. I believe he did.

    But I also believe he detested me. He could be unbelievably unkind. And that is the part of him that I'm left remembering now. It turned out that soon after my mother's death, he cut me out of his will, disinherited me without explanation. I suspect other family members played a role in this, but it still amazes me that any parent would want to leave such a legacy of rejection to a child, no matter how troubled the relationship was.

    Nonetheless, I refuse to hate my father. But I also refuse not to speak of his actions to others. Hatred is poisonous. It's equally poisonous to keep one's own wounding secret.

    I did an uncountable numbers of hours of therapy over my relationship with my parents. It took me years to face the reality of their treatment of me and more years to get really angry about it. I was told early on in this process that I would eventually need to forgive them. I found that ludicrous, especially during the time I felt so empowered by my anger. But it's true, forgiveness is eventually necessary. You can't rush it and you can't feel it 100 percent of the time when it finally arrives, but it's the next best thing to whole-hearted love.