Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Daddy Issue

There are two kinds of men in this world and I've decided today that I'm not dating guys out of one of those categories anymore. What are the categories? Glad you asked. The categories are very simple, but unfortunately, the dividing line chops a chunk out of the dating world. You're probably still wondering what I'm talking about. Well here you go. The two kinds of men are: those with daddy issues and those without. I'm sure you can guess which one I'm blackballing. Now before you tell me how impossible this is, let me explain the theory and why I am signing up the way overweight celebrities are signing up for Jenny Craig.

In my long dating history, I've come to realize that dating a man who has unresolved issues with his father, is a recipe for disaster. I know it isn't his fault and I'm not saying that either. Saying that would be insensitive and would be tantamount to someone saying they wouldn't date me because I come from a divorced household. The truth is a little boy's first model of a man is his dad and if his dad is a piece of sh*t, he probably will be too, even if he tries to fight it. He may not be the same kind of sh*t, but whether it's a rhino's poop or a bird's poop, it's still poop. Let me be more serious. It's very unfortunate that so many men don't harbor the skills to be a proper father and I'm not just talking about geography. They can live in the house, be a seemingly perfect little family, and still have issues with their fathers.

In house battles.

My ex boyfriend came from a normal, well off, suburban home. His parents had great jobs and many degrees lining the walls of their office. They lived in a five bedroom house, complete with two sons and a mom who balanced work with cooking full-on, amazing meals, cleaning the house, and having cookies on the counter at all times. His dad was always putzing around in the garage, had gadgets and toys, but had the worst temper ever. He believed in raising men's men, he forced his homophobic and narrow-minded opinions on his sons and somehow raised little monsters, while simultaneously doing everything for them and not kicking their asses out at the proper age. My boyfriend's older brother and second wife and newborn child lived in his parents house for years and no one ever said, "Son don't you think it's time to move out." All this created a very odd dynamic in their family. You could see the lumps under the carpets of things left unsaid swept under there. In the beginning, they seemed fine and I loved my boyfriend, so it wasn't a major focus. But I remember my mom telling me to watch his relationship with and between his parents. She said I'd see how he would be with me. I listened and suddenly realized his father was a jerk on good days, an asshole on bad. He could be charming and funny and then suddenly flip to a patronizing and rude SOB. Then I started noticing the same temper in my boyfriend and the arguments they had with each other were always epic and ended with some sort of version of, "I'm never speaking to you again." Lovely. It became so apparent in our own relationship, it eventually broke us up.

The approval seeker (Dad isn't there).

Another issue between men and their fathers is the constant search for approval. If they aren't around, abandoned them when they were little, it's clear that the search usually manifests itself in the ongoing and endlessly tiring (for the women in their lives) search for the stopper that will plug that hole of longing. They search high and low for someone to love them like their daddy's did not, to make them feel worthy,to show them people can be trusted, and to help them feel complete. They usually come up lacking because no one can fill that hole but their pop, who, obviously, isn't up for the challenge.

The approval seeker (Dad is there).

Then there's the kid who grew up with a father who never seemed to appreciate anything his son did. He'd get an amazing three-pointer at his basketball game, his dad would remind him of the free throws he missed. Son would get into Dartmouth, dad would complain he didn't get into Harvard. There are a lot of fathers like this. The ones who set the bar so high, and maybe with good intentions, but wind up ostracizing their sons because the bar is too high. Never attainable. But little Jack doesn't realize that until he's laying on a couch in therapy at the age of thirty. After he's killed himself his whole life trying to be the best because his dad made him that way. And guess who's around at thirty? Not dad, but you, his girlfriend reaping all the rewards dad left behind.

The cheater/abuser.

This is probably one of the most popular daddy issues out there. Sadly, the number of boys growing up with philandering fathers or dads who beat up on their moms is high. I can't imagine growing up in an abusive household, but I can imagine growing up with a high powered father who had mistresses on the side. My mom told me that she realized it was time to kick my father out when she thought about the affect his being there, with that kind of behavior, would have on her children. She was raising daughters to believe it was okay for a man to cheat on his wife. Nope, you're outta here. I can only imagine what it's like on sons. In some weird, Freudian way, those little boys grow up to cheat on their girlfriends and wives, some consciously, some not. And on the other side of the fence, little boys are having to fight their fathers to protect their mothers, swear they'll never be like them and while a few do not, many wind up repeating the same behavior in some way shape or form with the later women in their lives.

You may disagree and that's fine too, but I think it's safe to say that the real root of the issue (insert soapbox) is that biologically making a kid doesn't make you a father, it's about being there for them, teaching them to throw a baseball, but also teaching them how to respect women and, on a whole, life. Teaching a boy to be a man is a task only another man can do and I think that's forgotten. So even if you don't feel like it, even if you don't think it matters, know that it does, know that they need you, not me (ie women), to be complete. They need you to show them how to stand up and take life lessons head on, to show them that being a real man is one of the hardest but most worthwhile jobs out there. So, in conclusion, I'm not coming near you with a twenty foot pole unless you grew up with a solid, dope ass TV-like dad, whom you idolize and want to be just like in all the best ways possible.

Damn, wiping out men with daddy issues wipes out virtually everyone...

That bitch stole my line,


Blackie Collins

1 comment:

  1. blackie! where were u when those lames were on TV tombout the state of the union of black women or "black is the new bitch"?
    um, yeah, that last line definitely...ALL men are effed up in the head, please believe and live accordingly.

    i have 3 rules...
    1)sincerity (because men do not do honesty...their 2nd language is Liese)
    2)workability=job/own place/transpo/credit/non-deadbeat dad
    3)bedroom skills

    all that other sh@t, we can work out together!

    hmph! heffa's be on my nerve like their uhn dont stink!