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Thread: What is a healthy father/son relationship?

  1. #1
    Mr. Rosewater
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    What is a healthy father/son relationship?

    Could someone describe to me what a fairly healthy father/son relationship looks like so I can decide if I have one. I'm pretty sure I don't. I'm the son by the way.

  2. #2
    wayoverit
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    Healthy is when son and father can talk as good friends.

    Unhealthy is when there are minimal conversations.. like a distant relative.

  3. #3
    thejigsup
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    A healthy father/son relationship looks differently at different ages. What worked at three won't work at ten and nothing works at fifteen! A great parent/child relationship is when all is said and done, you've learned something from your father and he has molded you into someone to be proud of. It is also true that you will change you father for the better, also. This all takes time, but if you have a good relationship, you will see it sooner or later.

  4. #4
    melrich
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    There really is no "perfect model". I have seen many different sorts of father/son relationships that work. I think as the others have mentioned, good communication is essential but it is in any relationship.

    Ideally there is love, mutual respect and a familial bond.

    But really, the easier way to appraoch this is to tell us what you feel is not right about your relationship with your Dad.

  5. #5
    Mr. Rosewater
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayoverit [Register to see the link]
    Healthy is when son and father can talk as good friends.

    Unhealthy is when there are minimal conversations.. like a distant relative.
    Yep. I was right. It's not good.

  6. #6
    Mr. Rosewater
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    Quote Originally Posted by melrich [Register to see the link]
    There really is no "perfect model". I have seen many different sorts of father/son relationships that work. I think as the others have mentioned, good communication is essential but it is in any relationship.

    Ideally there is love, mutual respect and a familial bond.

    But really, the easier way to appraoch this is to tell us what you feel is not right about your relationship with your Dad.

    Honestly I just don't enjoy his company. He is a classic ADHD case that refuses to recognize that A) this is a diagnosis worthy of addressing and B) even if he thinks it is worth addressing his response is that he has made it work for him. What he doesn't understand is that he has alienated his wife and his children. My Mom drinks every night, my sister and I live in states far away. At first opportunity to come visit his grandson he didn't come because he had a prior engagement.

    I realized that this is how he has been his whole life. All about him. I used to HATE IT when he would come home from work...he would always rant and rave endlessly at the dinner table about employees performing poorly etc. My family life wasn't fun at all it was always stressful! And then he wanted me to take over the business!!! What was my incentive? Witnessing the stress and anguish it caused him? I just don't think he gets it. And then the perverse irony of it all is he is always going on about the importance of family but has NO CLUE how to maintain a healthy one.

    He is just like Willie Lohman in "Death of a Salesman" and I'm Biff. (For those of you who like plays and literary references). He extols the virtues of hard work and "ambition" (one of his favorite words) but his has brought our family precious little of anything. Making $$$$ is less than half of raising a family IMHO.

    Well....I'm covering all od this in therapy and what I'm realizing is that I never allowed myself to be ANGRY at him before. But I'm learning that that is OK. And that's good.

    I vent therefore I am. Thanks for listening.

  7. #7
    wayoverit
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    Your father's generation is all about procurement and making every dollar count and that includes the togetherness of a family. He grew up with a generation (your grandparents) who went through life-and-death hardship. You did not witness people having to eat tree roots so you cannot even begin to imagine what survival means. He expects understanding from you and need every bit of teamwork and agreement from you. His primary goal is to lay the foundation for you. Of course, they also lack the communication skills to convince you. I think if you meet him half way and be less resistant your relationship may become better. After all, his intention is all good. You just need to show him you understand his goal and that you can do even better with what he has taught you. Like thejigsup said, it will take time for you to change your father for the better. But it will have to start with you.

  8. #8
    FarthestEdge
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    What I was taught in uni was this;

    Barring the existence of an unbalanced power dynamic, a relationship is functional if all the people in it believe it to be.

    So as long as neither you or your father feel abused, intimidated, threatened or otherwise coerced into specific behaviors in the relationship, if you both feel it is working for you, then it is....

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