What Was Your Father Like? Good or Bad?

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by Jovial, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. Jovial

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    Thinking about one's father can bring up some strong emotions. I knew three guys, all over 40, that had to hold back tears when I asked them about their father. (a good way to get an emotional response from a guy.) One guy was successful, the other two barely making it in life. The common feeling was that they wished their father had taught them so much more before they grew up. They wasted a lot of time figuring things out for themselves. They felt like they could have been better men if they had known things that would have been so easy for their father to teach them.

    My father never really bonded with his kids when we were young, so he never had a good relationship with us as teenagers. That makes it harder to communicate. He never really talked about his life, growing up, what he would have don't differently, what his goals were, disappointments he had, etc. He never really discussed things about growing up (sex for one!). He kept a job, put a roof over our heads and food on the table, but that was about it.

    I think when you've been an adult for a little while and you get to be about 30 you can look back and honestly evaluate your father. So grab a box of tissues and tell me:

    How was your father, good or bad?
    What do you wish was different about him?
    If bad, have you changed yourself to not repeat his mistakes?
    Have you ever seen someone get choked up trying to talk about their father?
     
  2. Love-it

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    My father is a fine person with nearly all the qualities that one could hope for. Communication with me as a child was lacking but his other attributes more than make up for that. We talk more now and he actually will ask for help when he needs it.

    A stoic New Englander, we are from Vermont, quiet, kind and thoughtful, I wish I was more like him. I suppose the biggest difference is that I will open up to almost anybody about anything while Dad has never let on to showing emotions.

    Salt of the earth.
     
  3. galaxus

    galaxus Member

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    well i'm only 19 but i'll give it a shot.

    I love my dad. But I'm much more cloeser with my mother. My dad was Janitor most of his life. When my mother was mad at him, she always brought up the fact that he couldn't make enough money, his family was trash, and he was just a drug addict, which was all true (my mother had her faults to but we're not talkin about her).

    lookin back he really didn't teach me how to play basketball, how to dance, or how to talk to girls when i was younger. he did all those things with my older brother though. the reason was that my he had a cocaine addiction and he and my mother couldn't stand each other.

    now that i went away to college everything is great. he only smokes weed now and my parents are happy to be together again.

    one Great thing about him is that he took me fishing a lot. I love fishing!
     
  4. Jovial

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    galaxus, sounds like you've had a rough time dealing with all that drama. Maybe you can reach out to your father in the future. I'm sure he wishes he had been a better father up to this point and maybe he will be in the future by helping you not make the same mistakes he made.
     
  5. B_Hung Jon

    B_Hung Jon New Member

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    Great question Jovial. My dad is a very funny guy. He's had a lot of life experience. I would say that he's a warm guy also with a big heart. He helped raise me equally with my mom & was always patient and loving toward me (well most of the time). The best thing I remember about him was when I was little & used to cuddle next to him on the couch & watch TV. He's always calling me & asking how I am since I've been in college. So yeh my dad shows a lot of emotion & always tells me he loves me. I love him too.
     
  6. slate_australis

    slate_australis New Member

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    I suppose I exist in that idealised world.

    My father died suddenly from a heart attack at 46 on Xmas Eve when I was 8 years old. What's scary is that I have no clue what he sounded like, I'm told my timber is the same, but his voice was much deeper.

    I remember not that much now, but what I do remember is all good - apart from that day which will be burned into my memory until the day I die. He was very affectionate, very encouraging - both my parents read to me, and I could read and write before I went to school. He was very intelligent spoke 5 languages fluently.

    I think he did what I think as sons we want, a father who loves us. I think that's the lesson from both my parents, just love your kids, expect the unexpected, embrace the unexpected. While that hole in my life is there, I feel very blessed to have nothing but positive memories of my father, when there are people with a lifetime of negative ones.
     
  7. SpoiledPrincess

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    My father was incredible, when I was a small kid he doted on me, I was always a little mouthy and even when I was being cheeky and he was telling me off he had this sort of attitude that was encouraging to my independence, it's hard to explain but many parents will verbally slap a child down that tries to assert it's independence and wants to make it's own decisions but he encouraged. All of us knew that he loved us and would do anything for us, there wasn't a lot of money but there was loads of love. If you're encouraged and loved for who you are as a child it gives you a bedrock of self esteem that can't be shaken no matter what knocks life throws at you. He was very funny and very quick, and one of those men that was able to get on with everyone, people who met him would chat away with him as if they'd known him forever. Recently my youngest brother has been looking so much like him it's uncanny, but it's nice that every time I see him I get a reminder of my dad.
     
  8. sweatyblackballs

    sweatyblackballs New Member

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    Good or bad? Could sometimes be magical. Mostly really bad.
    Different about him? Talk, listen, love, learn, apologise.
    Mistakes? I will turn into him unless he learns to do the above.
    Choked up? No. Don't talk about him.
     
  9. SR_Benjamin Spanklin

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    Our fathers were very similar then. My dad always thought that by just keeping me alive and doing well in school that he was giving me what i needed. He made decisions for me that he shouldn't have. He thought he was doing the right thing. We talked about it a while back, and I told him that I still hated him for all the things he put me through for 8 years. I didn't want to hate him but I did and it was affecting my life. I just wanted it to stop. We had a lose in the family that made my dad start thinking about the choices he's made and probably will make for the rest of his life. He's become a better person since then; more concerned with my feelings than he has ever been. I feel like I can actually talk and confide in him finally. I think it was actually last week that he apologized on his own for making me unhappy cause he really did think he was doing the right thing.

    I'm 22 and I feel fortunate to have gone through all this already. Some people keep it bottled up until they die. I'm glad that didn't happen to me and I'm thankful for my father. He's an amazing man, and is finally turning into an amazing friend too.
     
  10. Axcess

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    Both my mother and father really suck as being parents. I would grade my dad a D minus.
     
  11. sweatyblackballs

    sweatyblackballs New Member

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    I hear you ... I so hear you.
     
  12. Hunter007

    Hunter007 New Member

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    Well--

    Let me just start off by saying that for the last five years my Father and I have a great, healthy relationship. We communicate and love each other. It has not always been like that.

    For the first 27 years of my life it was a terrible realtionship. He was always working or working around the house and didn't want me around and told me to get away from him. He had a lot of anger problems and yelled a lot and when I started being a teenager I started yelling back. After each episode (happened continually) we didn't talk for weeks. This quickly developed into a disgust toward him. Growing up he never hugged me or touched me or told me anything positive about myself, let alone saying "I love you."

    As I said we have a good relationship now but that will never make up for a childhood of pain and rejection. So currently I am dealing with all the problems because of that now. Even though I have forgiven him, there is some anger that pops up occasionally. But sometimes the pain is still over whelming. I often wonder what my life would look like if he was a real father when I was growing up. It would probably be much different...
     
  13. Axcess

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    That is one of the reasons of why I dont want to have kids. If I dont have a good father how the heck I will be be a good one. Isnt impossible to give what you dont have but is very hard.
     
  14. AlteredEgo

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    My father was a great guy, but a terrible father. Not counting our encounters in my infancy, I didn't hear from him until I was seven. That year, he randomly mailed me a birthday card. I was thrilled. I finally met him when I was 9. I remember being so nervous. I just wanted him to like me.

    My father was very cerebral. You could tell in his eyes that his mind was always on 100 different things. He had a rich internal life. Talking to him as a teen, I discovered how much of a thinker he was. I learned that he was one of those people who approached subjects from completely unexpected angles.

    My father was very generous. He didn't have anything, but whatever he could get his hands on he was willing to share with you.

    My father was extremely irresponsible. You could never be sure which promises he'd keep. It was best to assume he was not coming to any recitals, rehearsals, dinners, parties or anything. In retrospect, I believe he was avoiding my grandmother (maternal) when he failed to make appearances at key pointsin my life.

    My father was easily, and objectively, the best bass player I've ever watched. This is completely without a doubt.

    My father regretted not raising me himself by the time he was close to death. He cried about it in front of me. That was very emotionally satisfying from him. I never felt like he loved me until that moment, despite many bonding experiences together, and despite being hugged, kissed and told on many occasions.

    I regret that I did not ask him why he was such an awful father. I asked his mother afew years ago, but she was not objective about it. She blamed my other grandmother. Grandma is a hard, cold woman. Most people have no idea her capacity for tenderness. While I can understand my father's reluctance to be over-exposed to her, my mother and aunt would have taken me anywhere in the world to be with my father. (I'm being literal. Most of my early contact with him was in the form of post cards from Europe and Asia.) So there's some other reason. I always felt particularly rejected because he didn't raise me, but he raised my brother, and my brothers home was a nightmare. I'll never know why he left me; I'll never know a lot of things about him. This is what I regret.
     
  15. sweatyblackballs

    sweatyblackballs New Member

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    My father did not take responsibility for his feelings. He did not take responsibility for his children. I speak in past tense and yet he is alive and well.

    His mother is also alive and well. Very volatile. Very cold. Very wicked. He is the spitting image of her emotionally.

    I want children desperately, but I fear I may not have any because I have a mechanism that neglects closeness due to events with my father. I do not want my children to feel how I do now. I do not want to promote resentment.
     
  16. bigtwin

    bigtwin Member

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    Gosh, I always feel badly for people whose fathers were absent or otherwise didn't fulfill their responsibilities. Mine is a great Dad and from what I can tell an excellent husband, friend, coworker etc. My Dad's Dad died young and he was raised mostly by his Mother and some aunts. I think this as well as his experiences in war and a few other things molded him as a person and influenced his approach to fatherhood. Yes, he's been a good role model as a Dad, too. I do believe you can be a good father without having one yourself so don't sell yourselves short, guys.
     
  17. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    My dad was a mean drunk. He died on my 11th birthday.
     
  18. sweatyblackballs

    sweatyblackballs New Member

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    That he died on your birthday, how does that resonate?
     
  19. galaxus

    galaxus Member

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    Yeah it's kinda like that now. But i do love him and i know he loves me. We kinda just had a late start.

    O yeah. i remebered some more stuff waking up this Morning.

    -To this day, he is the best uncle to all my cousins (on both sides of the family). he was very generous.
    -when I was a baby, he and i constantly listen to RnB and New Jack Swing music.
    -And i have choked him out once. My brother pushed him into a wall. the made a hole.

    well there was a lot a drama in my life, but mine wasn't that bad compared to my friends. everything is great now Jovial.
     
  20. B_Swimming Lad

    B_Swimming Lad New Member

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    My Dad was a fighter pilot and he fought in two wars. However my parents were not, in my opinion, ready for a child. Let alone two! Subsequently my brother and I were considered less important than our parents careers and were given to our Grandma.
     
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