I had a good relationship with my Dad and have some very fond memories of him. Yet, when my Dad passed away in August 2001, I remember having some feelings of regret – of not having had a deeper relationship with him. But deep is relative isn’t it? If we sat down together over a cup of coffee and I told you about my Dad, I know you would walk away thinking our relationship was great. And it was.
I had a problem during the later years of my Dad’s life though. My problem was that I expected my Dad to want the same things I did and that it was his job to ensure that my needs were met. I wanted a deeper relationship with my Dad and expected that he would view things the same way. Because this never happened, I felt betrayed when he passed away.
Since then I have had seven more years as a father (and now grandfather) and watched my kids move from adolescence into adulthood. Based on my experiences, it is finally sinking in that we are all built differently when it comes to relationships and expectations.
It was wrong of me to expect that my father would have the same desires, wants and needs as my own. I now realize that he gave what he could to our relationship – and that by itself was great. I clouded it all by throwing in my expectations and focusing on all the things I thought I should have, instead of all the things that I did.
I now realize that all I can do is control my part in a relationship, and that it is important to give more than to receive. While this may sound corny – it is true and the sooner you realize it, the sooner you will be at peace in your current relationships.
Some of you may be struggling with your relationship with your dad. Here is a HUGE tip – give… remember… honor your dad – without expecting anything in return. Even if you don’t think so, most dads (including yours) want to do the right things for their kids (even adult kids). Your dad is who he is. He doesn’t have all the answers, he doesn’t always do the right thing, he probably doesn’t give you all the things you need… but so what? He is your dad and he loves you. Spend less time worrying about your needs, and more time giving to meet his.
Honor Thy Father….
All the Best!
All the Time!