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The ability of Fathers and Sons to have a conversation...

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Posted

The fundamental connection you both have...you're both fathers of sons (well, you are anyway). If you can't make a connection about the life of a father....then you may indeed have a rough road to hoe.

I was almost 30 before I had a real conversation with my dad. He was a hardass, too....but he has done a 180 the second he started having grandkids.

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Yeah that's my dad too. I like to work my 40 then enjoy football, free time, and family. My dad works his 60 and complains about how tired he is. I bring up sports in his presence and he says stuff like "some of us are too busy working to keep up with that stuff". The one thing that bothers me more than anything is when I see him bully my nieces the way he bullied me. I don't believe in treating kids that way.

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I ask for advice regarding work, photography, cars. Most dad's love dolling out advice.

this is my experience as well. advice and stories about the past.

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My dad and I were that way for a little while. He's 65, and he's been working full time since he was 15. I'm a broke 23 year old college student about to enlist in the Army. We talk about racing, football, military, SOME politics (but this is usually a no-go), food, "projects" that he wants to do/wants me to help with in/around the house.

Outside of that, we don't say much. He stays to himself, I stay to myself. When I'm not home, we might talk on the phone once over the course of 2-3 months. Now, it sounds like we may talk more than you and yours, but it really isn't that much (and it's usually talking about and doing something like building on to the back porch, repairing a small motor, changing the starter on my jeep, etc.).

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I feel your pain Kurby, in a way.

My dad is capable of expressing himself and we get along great, we just don't have anything in common, and therefore don't spend much time together. Throw in the fact that he's still turning wrenches to make a living at almost 60 and he's working most weekends, the only time I have off.

He likes Nascar, building computers, and diet coke.

I like football, golf, and Pepsi max. Go figure.

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I had a strained relationship with my dad for a long time after I moved out, got married and started a family. We had no common interests and even fewer common beliefs.

What we did was talk about TV and movies. Eventually that led us to other things of more substance and now we are pretty ok. Not great mind you but its a work in progress.

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Posted

I thought you were talking about not being able to talk to your son. If it's your dad, just forget it and be confident that you're a different person and won't carry it on.

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My dad was a hard on me when I was young. My folks divorced when I was 13 and he moved out west. I have no idea if this had an affect on our current relationship but we can and do talk about anything. From shooting the poo about sports (he's a raiders/dodgers fan), to our political stances, we'd had some heavy conversations. He once asked if I was gay and that if I was he would still love me none the less. While that was great and heart felt my dad thought I was gay.

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My Dad and I fought like cats and dogs when I was in high school on through college. He thought that I was not applying myself as well as I should. Mainly because I had a very bright future, and he could see that I was a really smart kid. Just liked to have fun more than study.

With my first job things got a little better, and when I started moving up the ranks, it got even better than that. I was applying myself and he seemed to be a little more proud. He always knew that I could "go farther" than him in life, and it hurt him to see me throwing it away.

Now we don't talk on the phone, but he wants me to go to the beach house all the time. When we are there, we fish, drink, play cards, cuss, and pretty much act like best friends. It was really tough to go from the screaming matches from high school to what we have today, but I wanted a better relationship and so did he.

I had to grow up and he had to loosen up.

P.S. does this have to do with your farm?

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P.S. does this have to do with your farm?

No not at all.

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Wow. I expected this to be a teenage child issues. Not belittling your situation in any way but its hard for me to imagine as an adult having any sort of stress over a poor relationship with my father.

I talk to my dad maybe every 9 months or so and i never go to him for fartherly advice. But i had a great relationship growing up with him so so maybe i dont feel like there is a gap that needs to be closed.

My wife has issues like this with her mom, but it stems from a poor relationship growing up

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oh boy. i don't know if there is enough bandwidth for me to tell the whole story how my dad, a sgt in vietnam who saw and did some BAD BAD stuff reconciled over a letter i sent him telling him about some hurts/bitterness because he wasn't there for certain big moments growing up. all my big sports accomplishments etc. he was there for my graduation.

i was about 23 or 24 and finally put into words what i felt. sent it to him and he called. the first thing he said was, i made you feel that way? and the bawling started.

fast forward 7 years. my dad was having some issues with his family. he and my mom divorced when i was 6. his sis my aunt is at his house and he gets misty eyed and goes, well, im not sure what everyone thinks of me but i know pstall(no not my name) loves me.

that same year, for his 50th he has me and my 3 other bros and their sig others over for a big cook out and movie. we watch The Deer Hunter. Amazing movie and much deeper to see as a 30 yr old.

after the movie we are on the deck and all stunned at what we just saw. then my dad walks out and its his moment since it's his birthday. and for the first time EVER in his life, he opens up about his demons from Vietnam. he just started going into detail of what he saw and what he did. i was speechless and just walked up to him, gave him a huge hug and went to my car and sobbed.

a few months later for my 30(dad was 20 when i was born) he calls me and wishes me happy bday. but he says those words every son wants to hear. son...im proud of you. i was sobbing again. took him 30 yrs to say it but he told me.

also that same year, he reconciled with his dad, a hard case WW2 vet. my grand dad opened up after they went and saw Saving Private Ryan. heck, who couldn't?

a couple of years later my grand dad diied. i remember sitting in the hospital room while he was fighting for his life. there was my grandmother, my uncle and aunt and my dad near the door. i was then about 36.

what stood out was that for the first time in years, that side of my family were all together at the same time and were close again. and i thought back to my letter. what if i had never said what i said? i think it was a ripple effect of reconciling with my dad and it freed him up to do the same.

called my dad yesterday for his 65th and left him this voicemail. " hey man, just wanted to wish the coolest hermit i know a happy birthday. now you can get cheaper coffee and shoplift with out any jail time. i love you."

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