Are you a selfish father? Man up and face up.

I know that there are some amazing fathers out there.  I know many such fathers.  This post is not to make fathers feel bad about the imperfect parent they are.  It is about fathers who don’t try!  These fathers consistently put their own needs before the needs of the wife and children’s needs. 

 Previously I posted on the secrets of mothers.  I said some made me very sad.  This post is about on theme in the secrets moms revealed.  It all related to the role fathers play in their children’s lives. 
Read all about it
I’ve posted some of the secrets and added emphasis:
  • I look forward to when my husband goes on deployments and work ups because I have one less person to take care of. It’s like he is my 3rd child and I am starting to resent him for it.
  • I can’t leave my husband alone with our baby. Oh he loves her dearly, its not that. Its the fact that everytime I leave her alone with him she screams bloody murder until I come back. Either he pays no attention to her (doesn’t talk to her, play with her) or he isn’t paying ATTENTION. Case in point, last night he was giving her a bath and instead of splashing around and playing with her, he was on his phone playing games, not paying attention. Then, as he was drying her off he decides its a good idea to put the space heater right next to her to help dry her off (???). Next thing I hear is screaming because she has burnt her fingers touching the too close heater, because he was NOT PAYING ATTENTION! I’m seriously considering that he may have ADD. Meanwhile, I cannot leave our baby alone with her father.
  • I really hate that my husband has he own life and just gos and can do what he wants and i have to always stay home with the kids or take them with me.
  • sometimes i pretend i don’t feel well so my husband will take more responsibilities with our baby
  • I love my husband. But if I’d known the kind of father he would be, I wouldn’t have married him.
  • I can’t stand my husband. He’s fat, lazy, immature, and wants me to go on psych meds cause he says I’m nuts if I think something is wrong. It makes me withdraw and then I am not a very good mother to our son.
  • I feel like my life is invested in my family and my husband’s is invested in himself
  • Sometimes I feel like my kids hate me and love my husband because he always lets them do things that I don’t allow when I am gone.
  • Some days I can’t stand my husband and resent him for still being able to do whatever he wants without stopping to think about what the baby needs…he knows I will be taking care of things…Argh!!!
  • Okay, so it’s Friday night and my husband is out having fun with our friends(again) while I sit home alone in my pajamas. I feel so left out. Everyone is out having fun while I sit here and look up baby stuff on the computer and watching The Food Network because there is nothing on T.V.
  • I routinely hack into my husband’s computer to see what porn sites he’s been surfing.
  • If I had known what kind of father my husband would be, we would not have a child. We will not be having a second. Between doing 95% of the parenting by myself, and getting almost no sleep or time to myself, I physically and mentally cannot endure this again.
 The messages of your selfishness.
If you are in any way giving the message to your children that your needs are more important that their or their mothers’, you may be teaching them implicitly that:
  1. Their emotional/physical/psychological needs are wrong;
  2. Their mothers’ emotional/physical/psychological needs are wrong;
  3. Women’s needs are to be ignored if it in any way impedes on men’s needs;
  4. Men don’t care about the needs of females; or
  5. I’m not worthy of attention from my father. 
Your daughters are hurt by your selfishness

If you are a selfish father, this is the legacy you are leaving for your daughter/s:
  1. Teenage girls try to find the love and approval they never received from their dads from other men.
  2. Because of the male-female relationships that you have modelled at home, they are vulnerable to being treated with disrespect by these guys.
  3. They are willing to be disrespected to feel loved. 
  4. They get into sexual relationships at a very young age to gain approval. 
Boys to men?
Your son/s have not learnt the lesson of healthy manhood from you.  You are thus perpetuating an unhealthy relationship pattern.  What is healthy manhood?  There are many ways to define this.  One that I found interesting is explained by Richard Rohr’s in his book Adam’s Return about male initiation.  According to him, boys become men by learning these five messages:
1. Life is hard.
2. You are not that important.
3. Your life is not about you.
4. You are not in control.
5. You are going to die.

I like this because it fits in nicely with the comments by moms.  I can see that those fathers had not yet assimilated these messages.  They think:
  1. Their wives/moms/others should make life easy.
  2. They are important;
  3. Their life is about them first;
  4. They should ignore situations in which they don’t feel in control (which is parenting most of the time!)
  5. They ignore the legacy they are leaving after they die. 
So what now?  Man UP and Face UP!
If you are still reading this, I suggest the following:

Ask yourself:  Am I a selfish father?
Maybe I’m too idealistic but I hope that you as a father will ask yourself, your spouse and your children the following questions:
  1. Score me out of 10 for my involvement in parenting our children.
  2. How do I make your job as a mother more difficult?
  3. What do you want me to do as a parent without you telling me?
  4. How does daddy make your heart sad?
  5. How does daddy make your heart angry?
  6. How does daddy make your heart happy?
  7. What is daddy NOT doing that daddy should?
It will NOT be easy to hear the truth from your family.  Even if you are already trying hard not to be selfish, you will get feedback that might surprise you.  But better make changes now before your avoidance leave a legacy that you want to avoid. 
You have the opportunity now.  Use it.  You will not be sorry. 


Dallas Single Mom Examiner said...

I think you have interesting insight. I'm doing an interview with an author that is writing a roadmap for single moms in raising sons! A must read book! I will share next week!

Lee said...

Wow, you have summed up so many of my thoughts so well and with such clarity. It's very hard to not feel extremely resentful when many many dads are like this. Take care.

Amanda said...

Dallas SM and Lee.

Thank you for you kind comments. Lee, I feel you. That's why I've started DibanisaWay - so I can have a tool through which to train and inform.

I think a lot of men grew up with selfish fathers and just perpetuate the trend. Often when they are given tools, they do change. And even a little pebble can have a ripple effect in a large pond.

So much to say, so little time.

Anonymous said...

Jayson Won Sr. is a very selfish man.We've been married since 1994 and since then he's had a girlfriend for 10 years,got her pregnant while he is seeing a new young and dumb woman named Haleh, and dumps the long time girlfriend. My two girls are now teenagers and this is the example of a father they have. He is so selfish and evil he just had a birthday party for the baby and would not let the baby's own mother come. He has the ignorant new girlfriend there instead. He doesn't give the new mother a dime for diapers or food for the baby. He's in court trying to not pay her claiming to make no money while he drives a Jag, has a $5k mortgage, took girlfriend & my daughter's to Hawaii for a week, pays for young ignorant girlfriends apartment, new furniture, clothes, shoes,wining and dining her but nothing to his children. He gives the girls minimal when they ask. He is so content with himself. He sleeps good at night and has no problem looking in the mirror!

Anonymous said...

You've summed things up well.

It's easy for people who have had either good relationships with their fathers or who have been beaten into mental submission to believe that their fathers possess every right to treat them like sh*t to say, "You should NEVER feel that way toward or say those kinds of things about your father."

Sometimes, the people who are supposed to be the ones raising you up are the ones beating you down. And this doesn't exclude close, biological family members from whom you've derived your DNA. Blood isn't always thicker than water. In some cases, family members can be absolutely toxic to your well-being.

My father is likely the most selfish person I know. In fact, he may be the most selfish person I ever meet. Throughout my life. Period. Part of his selfishness probably stems from deep insecurities which, in turn, possibly stem from a genetic disposition toward having mental problems. So as I've gotten older, I've been able to rationalize his general approach to things -- rationalize, NOT justify.

He has in countless ways, both big and small, hurt me, my mother, and my brother through sheer disrespect and negligence. It has taken a toll on every one of us. And we are all we have: outside friends and family are under the impression -- because of my father's excellent acting and masking skills -- that he is a martyr and his kids and wife are the ones who bring him down. It has had an incredibly alienating and displacing effect. Compromise has never been a part of my father's life vocabulary. And it never will.

The only recourse I have realized can be taken is to cut him off. I have gone through years of being chastised for this. But of course, people who haven't been in my, my brother's, or my mother's shoes are the quickest to judge based on only what they see on the surface. It has hurt me deeply but I have developed a thicker and thicker skin as the years have gone by.

It's sad. I have trust issues, issues with men, and issues with my view of myself -- all of which I am constantly trying to improve. But this is what happens sometimes. You've got to work with the cards you've been dealt and hopefully twist your circumstances to take a more positive direction.

I just wish people would be less judgmental. Especially when they really have no clue.

Anonymous said...

I grew up with a selfish father. I have zero self esteem because I can never understand why he didn't care about me when I tried my best at everything and did what I was told. I can't relate to men properly because of this. I found out later that my father was told by his mother all through his life that he was better than everyone else. So really why would he take anyone else or their feelings into consideration. Sometimes I feel so low I wish I had never been born.

nouse said...

this is EXACTLY my father......i hate him because he is drunk and blind....a narcissist. If he doesn't want or like something...he pretends that it doesn't exist. He refuses to raise me or teach me anything of value...but he also refuses to resign as my father...and i mean if no one else cares about i still have to care about myself which is a monumental challenge with this bitch of a father.

Kris said...

I can empathize with you in every way. I think there are a lot of us out there that fill these shoes and its tough but we all seem to endure. I would like to know how you're doing now, are you still in the relationship? Have things improved or fallen apart?

Anonymous said...

hey guys need ur suggestion how to deal with ur stepmom and ur father who is changed in behaviour, ignorance towards childrens, not giving money and brg new stuffs(luxury stuffs) for her....

joy said...

Hi, just passing by your site to see something that will interest me and luckily you impressed me with your great article and I have a great time reading everything that is written. I'm looking forward to see more of your write-ups. If you have time you can also visit my site which indicated below.

Post a Comment