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Posted by: son | 2004/11/05

My father

My father is a suddenly very successful business man since a couple of years ago. Before that my father were caring, and considerate, with little and even No money at a stage. Since then things evolved - for the best he could have ever dreamed of money-wise and for the worst moral & caring wise.

My father's mission these days - be positive - cut out all negative. I chose to study after school. Some things: My father never supported me in the decission. I'm now back in the house(beautiful house!) while finnishing studies. My father must always be right. My mother don't even know ANYTHING about his multitude of finances. He will threaten you if you don't believe his viewpoint. I've been called names and attached lables to my face in every possible way. I'm label spoilt brat living under his roof, eating the food, riding his wonderful cars allthough it certainly is not justified. My father lessen you morally to proof points. This could go on for miles.

Things is - my father is a guy who everybody likes alot in the business world at first impressions, actively speaking. Overly ignorantly funny. My father doesn't go to church anymore-thinking people there are window dressing, but he keeps a fully christian lable. Gambling started after money came in perfusely. It's at a stage where gambling is the most funnest thing to do, everything else is boring. Winning 50 grand in one night is not uncommon. Being around familly for him is not fun anymore. Allthough the braai's happen, it's plastic, there's no athmospheer, and not only for me..

Some more - My father knows the morals in life - he tells you : don't be greedy. He tells you money is evil - but that's where it ends - after that said and done he's free he's labled - MORAL MAN allthough the actions afterwords doesn't tell the tale. He became selfish, and got a great love for money making. He has alot. He agreed to pay my studies and books. The last few times when money needed be payed, i had to pay myself because the money is "tied up" allthough notifying 3 months in advance. After a month or so he gave me some though, peanuts for him really. But i'm gratefull none the less - and so i should be i'm told cause i got all this food i ate during my years, and there's a TV to watch.

The things bothering me more: I'm loving the most wonderful girl. She's alot younger than me. My parents condemned the relationship long before it got on track. My father called my girl "not so pretty" it will never work out etc. My father had issues with her parents living in a lesser suburb than we. There were issues of my parents thinking that i Think their better because i tell them how really nice a family she has. now after almost 4 years: i'm still with her and gonne marry her soon. After seeing me & my girl are never gonne split my father takes interesst in how good she & her family is, now my father invites himself there and enjoy their undeniable hospitality (something he lacks these days). i'm still labled bad - and my father threatens he's going to tell them just how bad. I laugh it of - it's just another empty thread, i know who i am - i know what she/her father/mother sees in me after these 4 years. I'm always there with them. I hate when my father in front of women and elder people have the MOST disgusting things to say - and justifying it by - i'm happy it's Funny, positive (but he sees all the bad things in his family negatively never telling them positive stuff)

Now me - i've my faults - one being not keeping quite when i believe and are sure something is right in front of my father - telling him that it's not good being disgusting in front of women/even children. It translate to - not giving respect to him in his words. Not that i get any in anyway. Telling him that doesn't sit well with him and he gets angry with me - granted people don't wanne hear there faults - tell them their good points and you'll be fine. I think alot - i like to think and speak it out gracefully. With my father i argue. Because of this even when i'm right, i'm labled by my father as thinking i'm better than everyone else. This is certainly not true (my girl will tell). I've been labled selfish by him. Also not true. Allthough everyone has a drop of selfishness which is needed. So i realised alot of projection from my father from him onto me, and understand it somewhat. Argument with father always ends in me being bad from his side, he needs always being right. That even doesn't bother me as i know the truth.

All i want to know- this is getting too long and i feel i have a thousand more things to say - what should be my mission - Because the situation is getting worse. What's the best way that things can be athmosperic. Giving my father what he wants. Utter commitment to him and doing what he says. always. cause this seems the only way. Not being bothered when he has something bad mouthed to say? Cause sitting down talking with him doesn't seem to do the trick except if i tell him he's always right. Because he's loosing me he's trying to fit in with my girls family - and allthough i'm aware that my girls parents are honourable, and inteligent - i can't help feeling that i don't LIKE him being there during a say: rugby game - allthough it's not for me to decide -But i'll never tell him - stay away. I just like to be there with her familiy, and i'm focussing on her, and my almost finnished degree. SHOULD I BE NOT LIKING IT THAT HE IS AROUND ME/THEM ?

Regards
a son

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Morning, son.
Just shows us how money, when you don't have it, seems so marvellous and a sure solution to every problem ; but how it rarely ever proves to be that, if and when it arrives. And when a man like that succeeds, which may be largely due to sheer luck, he often concludes, wrongly, that it's because he's marvellous and wise and always right. Suspecting deep down that this may not be so, he often becomes very rigid and intolerant of disagreement.
You don't need to disagree with him ( and after your studies are finished you will be able to be more independent ) but maybe you don't have to disagree with him openly. If you don't feel able to give him "respect" sincerely, you can give him silence. Ignore points of friction that won't be useful or fruitful.
Sometimes you can influence such a person by congratulating and praising them, not insincerely, but whenever PART of that they do is PART ot what you want, in other words, when they move, even accidentally, some way towards what you would want. For instance, instead of confronting him about the insulting things he said in company ( which is likely to only make him much more rigid about this ), look for some kinder things he said, or at least something less rude than usual, and thank him for being so gracious and tactful when he said X or Y. Show him he can get appreciation when he's pleasant, rather than when he's strutting round trying to sound important.
And he shows another pattern I've often noticed, the generosity of the poor, and the meanness of millionaires. I think this is especially so with people who WERE poor, and have become millionaires. In a way they always fear sliding back into poverty, so they can be excessively cautious about money.
What should your aims be ? That's up to you. Possible aims could be --- avoid needless conflict ; achieve independence as soon as possible ; try subtly to shape his behaviour towards becoming more reasonable, as described above. And don't give him so much power to bother you.

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Our users say:
Posted by: lady nina | 2004/11/05

hi there

oh i fear the day my children write a letter like this...

you are abviously a mature and stable guy with good morals and any parent should be proud of you
is there no way you can move out of the house? maybe study at another university?

the thing is your dad is not the kind of guyyou can talk to and thats very sad, i would surgest you write him a letter about how you feel, then put it in the draw for a week and re read it and do some changes, do this for 3 weeks, by then you would not speak only from emotion but fact and most men like fact more than an emotional rambling

don't attach him, let him know how you miss the good old days and what your learned during those times, let him know that you love him and hate the feelig that you are no longer a team
tell him how much you would like it if you spend time together,

the purpose of this letter is to get him to listen to yout heart and open the lines of communication and have an opportunity to have a little fun - reach out and hope for the best

if this doesn't work then at least you know you have tried and emotionally you can move on ( expect nothing lose nothing)

you shouldn't allow him to bulldose you and you should stand your ground but in a very respectful manner, never attacking him as a person but his actions, he will respect that in the long run

but if i'm you i wouls slowly but surely cat him out of my life or rather your emotions , till you are out of the house and independent

you have a wonderful chance to use his fasilities and money to make something for your self and putting up with his attitude is a small price to pay in the long run, remember this is only for a time and keep ypour eye on the ball

nina

Reply to lady nina
Posted by: son | 2004/11/05

Thank You!

The power of him being happy go lucky and me with the hurt and anger towards him doesn't seem justified. I've ignored alot in my life from his side - and i keep my mouth 99% of the time knowing the result - but it still hurts knowing he think he's right and i should be the sorry son. It even got to a point of physicalness at a few stages where i couldn't accept what he had to say about my girl and her family calling them stuff you don't wanne hear. Strange how he now suddenly changed towards them is puzzling for me though ( allthough better that he has this view now ). I just can't except when bad things said about truely inocent people allows him his points. and because i told him it's NOT so, disrespect is seen once again, i can't talk like that to him, ends with a bit of physicalness. I walking away. Silence will do here as well, i need to do that.

Thanks for the advice, anything more = appreciated.

Reply to son

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