Hurtful words from dad are affecting my views on women
I’m 21 years and in university. My parents separated when I was a teenager and offered no explanation, though I saw dad being violent towards mum.
My sister and I left with our mother. Sometimes when I visit my dad, he says to me words that hurt me, such as, I will never be a real man because I’m controlled by women.
I don’t know how to tell him that it hurts. It has affected the way I look at women. I now struggle to take instructions from women. Should I stop seeing him?
Thank you for your question. We can only imagine the pain you have been through following your parent’s separation.
Many young people are adversely affected by their parents marital issues, be it domestic violence or a separation like in your case.
It’s hard for them to understand what’s going on as rarely will the adults offer an explanation and if they do, they will try to paint the other parent bad.
Many parents underestimate the impact the separation has on children.
A bitter man
They feel that they cannot reason with their children as adults let alone as teenagers.
Even when the children grow up, parents are either ashamed or too proud to talk about those things with them.
It is apparent that your dad is still hurting and maybe full of regrets for not being there for you as his son.
He may also be bitter with the fact that you went with your mum instead of him.
The chickens have come home to roost for him whenever he sees you and thus his reactions.
He is hurting and they say hurting people hurt others. He is also angry and that anger is usually deflected to those who are near and dear to us.
So, please try and understand him, it has everything to do with him and nothing to do with you.
Your struggle to receive instruction from women and how you view them is coming from what your father is hurling at you. You are not the target— the target is your mother.
He is transferring his hatred for your mother, which is extended to all women, to you and this may affect your future relationships.
Put your foot down
Should you stop seeing him? It depends. You are now an adult at 21, you need to have an adult-to-adult conversation where you let him know that as much as you honour him and want to have a relationship with him as your dad, you will not continue to tolerate his abuse.
This means you will not continue visiting him. This way you will be putting a boundary to protect yourself from him as those words hurled at you, especially from a father, can drastically affect you psychologically.
If on the other hand, he listens to you and agrees to change, then continue visiting him. The writers are marriage and relationship coaches [email protected]