My father is a terrible snob and social climber. He is a property developer and when he’s not working, his hobby seems to be making sure he and my mother are following the latest trend. This includes going to ‘in’ restaurants and ski resorts. He even changes his car every year to have the model of the moment. He is also obsessed about body building, goes to an expensive gym where he’s thrilled to see the odd celebrity and wears tight but expensive T-shirts that show his six pack.
I couldn’t be more different and have no wish to look like Superman’s understudy. Nor am I interested in sport. Going back as far as I can remember my father has made it clear that I am a huge disappointment to him. Even when I was at school I couldn’t see the point of having the most expensive trainers just because other boys in my class wore them. I went for comfort. After my 16th birthday he tried to impress on me that I had to join him in his property company so he could “make something out of me.” He was particularly keen to stop me some how or another from being plump and gay. I couldn’t think of anything worse than working for him. I’ve always been interested in people not things, and especially those who are on the bottom rung of society.
My decisionto be a prison officer horrified him. “Why do you want to spend your time with scum?” he keeps on asking. Or “ Do you want to be a criminal too? That’s about all you are fit for.”
As it happens I’ve worked up the ranks and just been offered a job as deputy prison officer in a tough prison up north. As I am not yet 30 it’s a big endorsement for me. My partner is thrilled and wants us to get married. How do I tell my Dad without putting him in a position where he can denigrate me again? My mother has been brain washed by him to be a ‘yes’ person and wouldn’t or couldn’t help me.
Well done for successfully getting far away from your father’s orbit by following your own life path and making your own choice of career. It is not easy to do and shows your ability and determination to make your own decisions both professional and personal. Congratulations on both your promotion and future marriage.
Sadly your father is unlikely to look positively on any of your achievements. He is obviously a very dissatisfied man and everything he does is geared to make himself look strong and accomplished. If that wasn’t enough he’s also fought for you and your mother to follow suit. It is unlikely he will be pleased about your forthcoming nuptials or indeed anyone you choose to marry. They will never be good enough. Our advice is rather than wasting any time trying to find a way to avoid him being negative about you you should distance yourself from him.
If you write to him letting him know your wedding plans you will be able to avoid listening or seeing him be unpleasant. Don’t expect him to change, but relish the freedom you have achieved, move on and enjoy your life.