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I Feel Robbed...

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When I got married in 2000, my parents weren't there. The reason behind this was the fact that my mother and my wife just could not get along. Certainly there were other things behind that, but in order to heal, I've had to put them in the past. My father and I were stuck in the middle of two warring factions, each one thinking that they were in the right. And my father and I had to choose sides. And choose we did.

My father chose my mother's side; as she was his life. They had been married for over 40 years and one would expect him to choose his wife's side.

Likewise, I chose the side that I felt understood me and what I had gone through. Years of being subordinated by my mother to college students that had no familial relationships; (they were placed on a pedestal; I was the son that could do no right); a feeling of self-worthlessness, and that made up for a bitter cocktail that set me up against my blood-family. In anger and in bitterness against my blood family, I chose to stand by my wife.

When I was in my 20s and single, I couldn't relate to my father as I wasn't a married man and I didn't feel like I was completely grown up. When I had gotten married in my 30s, he and I would have been on equal footing, a meeting of equal minds. I had hoped that in my marriage that my father and I could look upon our wives as our loving spouses and be "one happy family". But it wasn't to be.

Put it plainly and simply, I feel robbed. I feel robbed of my time with my father. I feel robbed that I couldn't spend time with my father in any shape or form as married men; that we (the two of us couldn't go out to a coffee-shop, grab a coffee and sit down and talk to each other as men; not as father and son, but as men). We should have been able to have that time together; to see each other as grownups, not as my father viewing me as the child who in his eyes never was able to grow up.

As men, our roles are to take control of the family; to guide the family in a direction meant to bring prosperity and a secure home. Our goal is to bring family harmony to the hearth. And if that means telling your spouse that in no way shape or form that you are going to condone family disunity, then that is something that we should have done in the first place. As men, it was our role to step in and say to our wives. "That's enough...this stops NOW!" We both failed to do so and in that regards, we were robbed of our (my father's and mine) time together.

And now my father isn't here anymore for us to be able to have that time together. So think on this. Is petty family squabbling worth squandering precious moments together? Is a few moments of satisfaction of "one-upman-ship" worth a lifetime of pain. Think of that the next time that you feel that your mother or daughter-in-law is the face of evil. I'd give anything to have that time with my dad; the rapport that he and I would have as married men; as equals, but I know that I never will now. And I feel robbed.

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Dear friend,

Please accept my condolences for the passing of your father, and also for the hardships that your family - yours with your wife, and yours with your parents - experienced. I hope that some healing can take place so that the relationship between you, your mother, and your wife can become one of light and love.

I have not myself experienced family battles like this, but I can relate to the longing for a future that was imagined, of being adults together, of you and your father being on equal footing. My father passed away, too, and I am young; I also wish that I could have experienced a life where my father saw me as adult, and where I myself was more adult. I'm in my 20s, so I thought I was grown up, but really I am realizing that, I am still growing up. So I wish very much that I could have experienced how my relationship with my father would have grown as I grew up, got married, had kids. Now my father will never meet any man I marry, or any children I have. I had an image of going on hikes - an old favorite pastime of my father's and I - with my father and children. Now, that image is nothing but a wish that will never happen. So I can relate to feeling robbed. You are not alone.

I wish you healing, and please feel free to post here anytime. We are all on the long journey of grief together, and talking helps.

take care,


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