Mod’s, please feel free to remove this if you feel this is inappropriate for this subreddit. But i wanted to make a post that talks about a perspective that not only affects a man’s personal financials and mental health. And to give purpose and inspiration to men to keep fighting for custody and visitation.
Background- * Mom (19-20) and Dad (29-30) get together from a party. Mom is a waitress with a turbulent family life bc parents keep fighting and her family is splitting up. Dad came from another country, but appeared to have his stuff together bc he has his own place, a nice car, and is the brother of her boss (appears to be in charge). * Mom gets pregnant, and they start a family. Dad’s financials don’t appear to be as good as he let on. She wants to go back to school. And my dad catchers her holding hands with a guy from school one day. * They split when i was around 6.
Post-divorce- My dad did not take it well and my mom ordered a restraining order. He gets absolutely obliterated with everything. Wherever we move, he stays close, and I’m able to be around him two weekends per month. I don’t remember the exact details bc i was young.
My mom demonizes my dad, calls him an abusive alcoholic and says he used to hit her. Which i don’t recall. My dad did have alcohol problems, in her defense. At this point it’s almost an indoctrination from her to think that he’s a bad person, and i don’t know better, so i think less of him and lose respect for him. Although it turns out he was the fun parent and he did let me do a lot of things that i wanted.
I get confused when i see her dating other men, and get angry, and fight those guys. I don’t know where this comes from, maybe it’s an attachment to my mother or something else. I’m still like under 10 at this point.
As i age a little bit, i start developing feminine mannerisms and become a gossiper. I have emotional issues, and also repressed anger. Maybe it’s hormones.
Up until my last year’s of HS, I prove to suck with girls bc obv. I’m given bad advice. I still have no masculine influence, have learned nothing to develop my mechanical abilities, and still have feminine mannerisms. I’m very frustrated bc the world doesn’t match what my mother has taught me.
At this point, my dad and my relationship is fractured bc I have an innate feeling of disrespect towards him. We become semi-alienated but he still remains part of my life bc i feel it is right. He didn’t really teach me much, partly bc his English never improved a lot and his way of showing fatherly affection towards me was by giving me money, which i would reject usually. He didn’t really have an ability to express himself, and teach me.
Mom gets re-married to a guy who is a great provider, and really adores her. She has retired her single mom status and her dating around officially. He and i barely speak to each other, but when when we do it is cordial bc now i’m older and a little more mature.
With no masculine influence, i turned to the internet as my surrogate father and i started researching popular questions that young men would have that weren’t taught by their father. A lot of what i researched has contradicted what my mother has taught me. In fact, it kind of hurt bc my ego was invested in the previous untruths I’ve been fed.
On top of that, i’ve never really received maternal affection. Case in point, we stopped hugging each other pretty early on and i cringe every time it’s appropriate to say ‘I love you’. It also didn’t help that my mother had manipulative tendencies. She would gaslight me all the time, and i really have no confidence in myself despite me being considered relatively successful compared to my extended family.
My dad at this point is almost completely out of the picture, although we talk a few times a year. He got re-married but divorce almost immediately bc he was taken advantage of again for resources. And he’s married a third time, and he’s already complaining about it, but i don’t think they will get divorced anytime soon.
As for me, i’m single and have never had a girlfriend. I only short-term date. And yes, there are probably girls out there that wake up every morning hating me bc i refuse to give them access to my emotions or feelings or attention. But i can’t help. Beneath my stoic demeanor and acting like i don’t care, i’m scared to get hurt like my dad. I’m also scared that i can only keep up the charade for so long until she finds out my lack of masculine characteristics that were supposed to be passed down from a strong father. That might seem oversimplified, but i think at the core that’s what the issue is.
Also, my maturing was severely delayed and i didn’t start coming into my own much later in life. I had no guidance. I used to ask older people constantly for advice, and because of the ‘just-figure-it-out’ ethos we have between men, i’m sure they used to get annoyed. But the guys who were kind enough to share their time with me and their experiences and their ideas, i benefitted greatly.
My mom and my relationship is doing good today, but mainly bc i’m out from under her roof and she can brag to her co-workers about how she raised smart and handsome young man. Really, I’ve built myself this way bc of other men’s advice and hearing other guys experience.
If you take anything away from this story, please take away that sons need their father’s masculine guidance. It’s hard to navigate this world, whether financially, how to control your emotions, interacting with the opposite sex, or career guidance. It’s so important.