What does a "normal" dad act like??
This is a big one for me. My SO has 3 kids, 2 sons 22 and 20, and 1 daughter, 14. We've been together 3.5 years. His ex got remarried less than a year after she left him, but it is her goal in life to put him down at every opportunity and tell him what a POS father he is.
Here's what I see:
- his ex's mom got pregnant as a result of an affair with a married man, who was killed in war while she was pregnant. As a result, the ex did not grow up with a father figure - her mom met the man she would eventually marry when the ex was in middle school.
- my SO, who of course has his own flaws and demons like everyone else, is a good dad. He is very loving, ends every phone call with all of his telling them he loves them. Has spent countless hours supporting them in sports and all extra-curricular activities, cooks for them, etc.
- I was raised by both of my biological parents, who were married at age 18 and 20 and were together until my dad died just before their 50th anniversary. My dad was the "provider", my mom stayed home and took care of every thing and every one. I knew I was loved by my parents, and I never wanted for anything. Except my dad's time. He either worked his butt off, and when he wasn't working he was either at a meeting for one of the many civic organizations he belonged to or at a poker game. Saturday nights were always "date nights" for mom and dad - some event or out with friends. My dad, never... and I mean not even once said the words "I love you" to me. He was not the one that brought me to piano lessons and dance lessons - he would breeze in to recitals with seconds to spare.
- As a teenage girl, my dad was the last person I wanted to hang out with. It was all about my friends, or doing things with my mom.
So, he's basically stopped fighting it - his daughter is with her mom full time and he rarely sees her (especially now that softball is over until spring). He's actually enjoying life! I have disengaged, so I don't get involved when/if he sees his kids. We have the oldest over for dinner when he's in town and I thoroughly enjoy his company.
I know that I'm not the reason he doesn't see his kids, but I do still feel guilty for some reason.
I have no idea what kind of advice I'm looking for, but it sure did feel good putting that all down!!