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Father Trying to Control Me


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My whole life, my father has tried to control me. Examples:

 

1) When I was a kid, he didn't like it when I went off to play with friends

2) When I was a teen, he grounded me at home for the summer vacation (I was caught for drinking some beer)

3) When I was in the military, my dad would never write or call me, he only took interest when I decided to play football after the military (he was a football player)

4) When I was in my 20's, he would call every weekend to spend time with me. When I did this, he would bad mouth me many of the times, bossing me around

5) When I left him and went off on my own, he would never visit me. He would bad mouth me to other family members, when I came back home, everyone looked at me as a lesser person based on his comments

6) I now have lived in Chicago for 2 years. I have visited family over 30 times. They have NEVER visited me. I'm only 1.5 hours away.

 

What should I do about this? I have this feeling that if I go off on my own, the bottom will drop out. If I do my own thing and don't visit and stand up for myself, I'm on my own. They will disown me. I have proof of this because when my sister left home, my dad and mom stopped talking to her and her kids. She has not heard from them in 3 years.

 

My concern is that family is so important. When things go wrong we are supposed to look out for each other. But, this is a one-way street. I'm worn out.

 

I've never been married. I'm 35. I'm smart, funny, good looking, and make a great salary doing work I enjoy, but I have this weird fear if I get married my family will try to mess it up.

 

There are 5 kids. 2 have gotten married then divorced. 1 is happily married. Me and my brother are tenative of getting married.

 

I've got to do something about this. I can't keep sitting on the sidelines of life!

 

Should I just break ties with my dad?

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This is a scary thought. Your father has put you down for 35 years and it has heavily effected your behavior. I really can't tell you what to do, but something drastic is going to be in your future.

 

You father will not be around forever. What I do sugest you do is find out why he has spent the later part of his life opposite you. If you lose your father before he tells you, the rest of your life will have a great mystery. It sounds like he needs to grow up and realize you have a life of your own.

 

I doubt it was anything you did. I don't know what someone could do for another family member to begrudge them for years on end.

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Dear Routerx,

 

I am sorry to hear of you turmoil. I am 36yrs old and never been married and it was my chioce not to be. It seems like you have been there for your Dad and he really has'nt noticed. I don;t know what you should do but if it helps if I found the right person I proably would'nt let them be a factor. Sometimes no matter how we try we always seem like a child to our parents. I will keep you in my prayers and wish you all the best. I hope you find someone really terrific! PS. Live your life you only have one shot! And it's your happiness right?

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All of the Posters suggestions were great however no one seems to want to tell you those words "should you cut him loose" I will get to that later but first lets discuss the fact that they don't visit you and you only live an hour and a half away. That shows laziness and lack of reciprocation to you. It would be different if they at least offered to pay your way sometimes. I would not be surprised if your father is behind this. He sounds like a severe control freak who has to have it his way or the highway. I hate people like this. They make others miserable because they can't handle the realities of life. I bet your father's father was just like him. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Your biggest worry, is not "I think my family may turn my wife to be against me" But more so "what if I make my new wifes life a living hell because I turn into my father" That's a big issue. Most things we hate, we turn into. Your father will not change. He hasn't changed in 35 years and he's no longer helping you. I suggest you stand up to him. I can't say cut him loose because if I do and you do it and then later regret it then I'm up the creek and reamed hence forth. But I will tell you my sisters and I were so mad at my father one year for all his crap that they (I was out of town) didn't even come visit him for fathers day. He cut them loose for two years and they have never been happier. He now wants to talk to them and its just a hi/bye relationship. Nothing more. He has no power over them any more. I am the type of person who can love you from a distance. I would not visit them anymore.. And if they act funny tell them. Why should I visit you guys and you never visit me.Its not fair". I would call less. When my dad called I wouldn't be available. Pull away slowly and see how this improves your life and the stress your imature father is causing. Sweeheart some men are stuck in their ways and never grow up. Its not your fault. Its not your problem its his .

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I am 29 years old and recently broke up with my 23 year old boyfriend. A LOT of it had to do with the control his dad has over him. He is afraid to stand up to him or live his own life. He still lives at home and craves his fathers approval and attention. His dad takes advantage of him - expects him to do all the "farm" work and then rips him down. When he has talked about moving out of town (with me) his dad makes comments like "oh, like you think you will like it there" and laughs. Pretty much knocks down every thing he says or does IF it isn't what his dad agrees with. It became a control thing between me and his dad. I finally gave up. I wasn't going to fight with a 40 some year old man. The dad should have been happy that his son was happy and supported him in what he chose. THAT IS HOW A GOOD FATHER BEHAVES.

 

The dad somewhat disowned his sister when she got pregnant and moved out of the house. Took a couple years but he eventually came around. He still to this day belittles his daughters husband to no end.

 

My ex was so afraid of living his own life he lost me because of it. The dad started out liking me and after 2 years convinced his son I was bad. Told his son bizarre things like he said I am anorexic and his son should watch becasue every time I eat I go to the bathroom. It is just absurd. Anything the man could dream up he would try to implant in his mind.

 

My advice to you - stop letting him have control over your life. You talk about "standing up" to him. The way I see it - you don't have to "stand up" to him but put all the hurt, anger, resentment, etc to the side and just talk to him. Tell him this is important to you and even though he may not think it is, you need to talk to him. Tell him how you feel and express that you want him to be a part of your life but he needs to understand that you have your own life. That he may not always approve but he is family and you are still his son. Don't bring up all the things in the past that made you feel this way (made that mistake with my own father), after years of feeling that way it is hard to stop yourself from getting emotional and going overboard. If you do though, the point of the conversation and the goal you which to reach will be hampered. He will see it as you are attacking him and doubting everything he has ever done. He will shut down and take the defense - at this point of the game you don't need that. It will only make you feel worse. Do what you can to have him not "disown" you BUT stand your ground and don't feel guilty or bad about what you think. You are OLD enough to make your own decisions and live your own life. You've made it this far - right? Your dad won't be around forever and do you really want to end up in your 40's 50's alone because you allowed your dad to control your life.

 

My opionion - this has gone on long enough. It is a form of manipulation and you don't deserve it and never deserved it. A parent should support there child. Hoever, not all parents have that instinct and have an attitude that children are property. NOT TRUE! Don't continue this cycle.

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