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rockfan's avatar

I love my dad, but I can't stand him?

Asked by rockfan (6934points) April 25th, 2014

Everything about him annoys me, the way he talks (he has a muddled Brooklyn accent and he over pronounces everything), the way he eats, his awkward physical motions, his insensitivity to different cultures, his oblivious sense of sentimentality and his narrow-mindedness towards music and movies.

And I know all these reasons are completely trivial, but I still can’t get over it, and it’s hard for me to even enjoy being around him. What also bugs me is that I look exactly like him.

He’s a loving person, so I feel really bad. Is anyone else in this kind of situation with a family member?

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19 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

Do you currently live with him?

GloPro's avatar

I’m not dismissing your feelings, but the reasons you listed indicate to me that you are displacing anger. I remember when I was almost out of the nest that everything my mom did embarrassed or angered me. She sucked on plastic bottles when drinking to the point of caving them in, and all I could think of was the spit back in the bottle if she asked for a sip of my soda. Argh!
So it seems you’re going through that. Chances are, these annoyances will fade, or the important things will come to the forefront again one day.
Tough it out, suck it up, and be nice to your dad. You said he is a loving person. He won’t be around forever, and you will appreciate the things you have in common with him when he’s gone. For now, make it a point to find good traits among the small annoyances.

Smitha's avatar

You must be thankful that you have a father to love and care for you. Your dad is who he is, he has his own identity, he can never completely become a man that you would have preferred to become your Dad. Right now you are very young, just imagine how you would have felt if your kids behaved like this. Many youngsters go through this phase. I’m sure you are going to find him a lot more intelligent, sensible, and broadminded in about 10 years. For the time being may be you should try moving out. Distance and space might be helpful during such a situation.

rockfan's avatar

@johnpowell Yes, and I also work full time for his business. I think that may be part of the problem.

johnpowell's avatar

Ouch, that is rough. What are the odds of you moving out? If you lived alone you might be able to stomach the things you hate while you are at work.

I feel that it is safe to say he won’t change so it is all on you.

rockfan's avatar

I’m 22, and I’m at a community college getting a degreee. So I’ll most likely be moving out in 1–2 years. My life is definitely not on the track that I wanted it to be

johnpowell's avatar

I’m 36 and I will say that what feels like forever right now will be a drop in a bucket in a few years. It sucks but I would just tough it out for a few years while you finish up school. It will be worth it in the end.

And really, nothing feels as good as getting a key to your own apartment where nobody but you can come in. Deal with the crap for a few years so you can have that feeling.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Every young guy can struggle to build an identity separate to their father. That is especially hard when you live and work together. I work in the same profession as my father, and even though we live over 400km apart, he is well known in the profession, and I inevitably fall under his shadow to some extent.

What you need to do, is become more secure in who you are. Develop skills that are completely unrelated to your work or your studies. Take up sports that your father wouldn’t. Make sure your comments in conversation are intelligent and considered. People will quickly come to see you for who you are, and in turn your father will annoy you less, because you will associate yourself with him somewhat less in your mind. And ultimately your father will want you to become your own man. Even though I am associated with my father because of work, appearance, and to some extent temperament, we have some very different interests and opinions. People know this, so the association between my father and myself in their minds is limited, however close we actually are.

Cruiser's avatar

Time to teach the old dog new tricks and culture the old man. Take him to task over his old ways and alert him to the fact that times have changed and it is time he lighten up a bit and appreciate the various spices of life he apparently is oblivious to. Start taking him out to really great Indian or Thai restaurants, some great live music, take him to a yoga class twice a week that will help him limber up and regain balance and grace in his step.

Instead of criticizing your dad….step up and help him navigate these elder years to be a better man that you want him to be and in turn you will be helping yourself avoid turning into him.

BosM's avatar

I’m sure what you are trying to say is that you dislike the behavior, not the person. Your dad is who he is because of his life experiences and beliefs. You’d be better served by embracing this and trying to understand why than you would hating it.

You do not need to become your dad, but his belief’s can shape who you are – one way or another. Take the good with you and leave what you don’t want, that’s what we all should do. So, in the meantime, enjoy time with your dad. Life is short make the most of it while he is here with you. Enjoy the journey, don’t sweat the small stuff.

Juels's avatar

Yes, my father drives me crazy. He wasn’t a part of my life while growing up. He came back into the family fold when I was about 30. He hasn’t processed that we’re all adults now and don’t need (or ask for) his approval. To make matters worse, in the 25+ years that he was gone from our lives, he found religion. While I don’t begrudge anyone for their personal beliefs, I will not let them dictate what I should believe. The last two family parties, he has completely ignored me because I refuse to follow his faith.

Aster's avatar

I loved mine in the sense of respect for all the effort he put into making a safe home for me and my siblings. I admired his lack of self pity and his enthusiasm for his hobbies, his amazing physical strength and his intelligence. But I avoided him most of my life. I couldn’t stand his macho,everything is about sex personality. When he became sick and went into nursing homes I did everything I could think of to be a good daughter but he was so cruel to me at that time that when he died I was fine with it. A burden lifted and we buried him next to my mother who adored him.
The whole story is still a source of sadness and anger but I’ve had worse experiences.

pleiades's avatar

There is no nice way to put this… But as a human growing up without a father because he walked out on my mother and I you are extremely ungrateful. I would love to have had my goddamned father in my life. I’m 26 and feel the same as when I was 5, never under standing where he was or why he left. To hell with him, but for you? You need to understand you are beyond blessed/lucky/fortunate to have him. Realize what you have and learn to grow in your mind and heart.

AshLeigh's avatar

I know what you mean. I feel the same way about both of my parents, and I don’t even live with them anymore. I haven’t lived with my father for six years, and haven’t lived with my mother for six months. I’m still instantly annoyed when I see them.
It’s just that when you spend so much time with someone, it’s easy to notice the annoying things they do and get angry with them.

Buttonstc's avatar

“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child.”
William Shakespeare

In case you’re wondering why I’ve listed that quote, go to a few ACOA or Al Anon meetings and listen to the stories of people who really had it rough growing up.

You have absolutely no idea how fortunate your circumstances are.

Yes, I’m sure it would be very nice if your Father were more cultured and spoke better English but there are worse (and far more damaging) sins which parents have committed that would make your situation look like tiddlywinks by comparison.

Get your head out of your self involved ass and perhaps follow a few of the suggestions given for exposing him to some of the finer things in life. But try to do it out of gratitude for the live he has raised you with rather than resentment because he doesn’t live up to your fairy tale picture of a perfect father.

There are tons of kids (in foster care or runaways) who would give their right arm to be able to have a Father that loved them (as you have acknowledged he did). Be grateful you aren’t in their shoes.

rockfan's avatar

@Buttonstc I’m not thankless. Did you even read my question in it’s entirety?

chewhorse's avatar

Something in the past must have happened to give you less respect for him and now, as you discovered he is human (and not an idol to look up to) you find even the smallest glitches to sedate your major contempt. That’s what happened to me between my step-dad and today I realize I wasn’t playing fair with him.. Communication will take the edge of your rebellious nature but it will be up to you to break the ice and forgive him his humanity.

DipanshiK's avatar

Hey.Your opinions about your father are pretty rigid and standout. Well i am not here to judge you just wanna help out. We all have certain situations in our life where we feel annoyed and frustrated be it because of a family member or some other random problem.I can say this because I can relate. And your just growing up and getting a degree, these thoughts that you are experiencing about your father are very much possible. But one thing you should always remember is that he is your FATHER. Whether he’s good , bad , frustrating, ignorant, embarassing, hazendrous…one thing that you should know that he’s a loving and caring father. Well, yeah sometimes the water is too cold to bear and you might break out. But then a father is a father and you surely can’t replace him.You can always sort things out with him. Talk to him and fix your issues.

rockfan's avatar

Wow, I came across like a complete asshat 3 years ago. A lot has changed since then.

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