Most fathers would encourage their sons in everything they want to do. My father has been the opposite and tried to sabotage my life. I am now in my mid forties and he still treats me as part child, part servant.
In secondary school I started to learn the clarinet. I loved it and sailed through my music exams. I even joined a jazz group, which was great. I also decided I’d like to take a music degree. My father thought playing the clarinet was a waste of time and threatened not to help me financially or even let me come home during the uni holidays if I did what he described as a ‘stupid, irrelevant music degree.’ I felt so disheartened I gave it up and did a boring law degree. My life improved when I got a job in the entertainment world which gives me some satisfaction.
I met my wife in my last year of university and initially took her home to meet my parents because I was so proud of her. He tried to sabotage that relationship too saying I was much to young to know my mind, that I was reaching out desperately for someone because I had no confidence and that she wasn’t much to rave about any way.
I couldn’t stand the strain and we split for a while but a few years later we met at mutual friends, got back together and subsequently married.
I now just about stay in touch but keep most things about my life to myself. I still get anxious about him but my wife has encouraged me to try yoga, which I enjoy.
As well as trying to spoil my life, he also seems to sabotage his own. He doesn’t keep friends for long because he finds fault with them over the slightest thing and subsequently cuts them out of his life. The then grumbles about feeling lonely and puts pressure on me to visit more often, which I don’t want to do. Any suggestions?
You are not alone in having a horrid parent who tries to manipulate your life and disregards your own choices even though you are an adult. It’s not your fault. We suggest that you discuss with your wife how often you want to visit and stick to it however your father reacts. If he keeps complaining suggest he joins a local club or takes up a hobby to make new friends. But this too could backfire on you.
It is excellent hat you can see through him and have had the strength to choose your own satisfying path.