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Old 06-21-2013, 03:06 PM
 
Location: KC
980 posts, read 783,355 times
Reputation: 811

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I have had a recurring issue over the past several years where I measure my life as opposed to my father's, and I always come up a little short; it leaves me feeling a bit depressed. I am in my early thirties and here's what I have accomplished to date: I have earned my CPA license, have a modest house in the suburb of a Midwestern city. I have held steady, well-paying jobs for the past half-dozen years. I work as a financial fraud investigator, which provides for a decent upper-middle class lifestyle. There are some small things I want to change: I am trying to sell the house and move to a more urban area of the city, but those adjustments will come in time.

My father is a high-earning attorney, real-estate developer, and investor who lives in Manhattan. I feel like he doesn't take that much of an interest in my life (or my brothers' either). He says he does on the phone during our bi-weekly phone call, but his actions don't really show it. When my brother's child was born he made a point to be out of the country and refuses to be called "grandpa". He's never really visited me here (aside from a weekend visit nearly five years ago). To him, everything in NYC is far better (and the people are far smarter) than anywhere else and I get the feeling he really can't be bothered with coming out to the Midwest. His newest wife (she's younger than me) is nice, but can be super materialistic (and it sometimes feels like she is judgmental).

It's tough for me because he has been very successful and I want to achieve success like he did. However, I also feel like I don't like the same things he does, and it results in a very different (some might say inferior) lifestyle. Working in New York City would be nice, but I also like where I live (and my more relaxed lifestyle that I am afforded because of the affordability and slower pace here). I like the company I work for (and going into work each day), but it probably won't bring me the highly visibly, status-showy station in life that he has. I have vision for what I want my future to be, and I just wonder if it measures up. I should probably talk about these issues with him, but he is not the easiest person to talk to.

Any suggestions?
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,347 posts, read 76,673,344 times
Reputation: 17253
Your father has the problem, not you.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:51 PM
 
43,012 posts, read 82,627,848 times
Reputation: 29986
You sound conflicted. It doesn't really sound like you want a highly visible status-showy success. It sounds like you like your life, but you feel you need to be more successful so your father will pay attention to you. It doesn't matter how successful you are, he wont' pay more attention to you. Why? Because he's a shallow jerk for not already being thrilled with the successes you have already accomplished. If he did give you more attention, you should be offended. He should be proud of you now. Don't dwell on this. It won't make you anything but miserable. Accept that he isn't the person you wish him to be---instead of wishing you were someone else. Your successes are truly worthy of your own self pride. Be proud of yourself. Be kind to yourself. Love yourself.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:52 PM
 
4,787 posts, read 7,782,150 times
Reputation: 12528
It's not a horse race, it's not a competition. Your life is yours to live as you see fit. Everything you do, you do to make yourself happy.

Your dad has chosen a high powered life. I've known many such people in NYC. They work 110+ hours a week. Vacations are working vacations. They sustain no marriages because no woman will put up with a husband who is never there. Instead their relationships with the opposite sex revolve around trophy wives and eye candy. Those relationships are based upon power and money, not equal partnership marriages.

Familial relations with them are a mess, again, because money and the deal comes first, last and most. You and you brother are a case in point. You're just not that important to him. He doesn't want to be
" grandpa" because grandpa connotes an aging man. Your dad seems himself as strong and powerful, not aging.

So ask yourself, do you really think you can pick and choose those elements of your father's life for yourself. Think you can be well off financially and that career driven and still maintain some sort of soul ? Do you want to totally turn into your father - emotionally cold and emotionally distant? Or is it that you just want money ? Making gobs of money always comes with a price. Are you willing for the tradeoff?

You might want to try a few counseling sessions with a good therapist, for yourself. You seem to have a good life now- the kind of life you actually want and you realize that. You may need to find out why you're willing to throw that away to become like your father. Good luck
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Old 06-22-2013, 12:18 PM
Status: "Trump's worst is still better than Hill's best!" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Kansas
17,923 posts, read 11,702,204 times
Reputation: 16840
You have made good life choices because your lifestyle pleases you and it doesn't hurt anyone else. Your father has some issues, one is obviously not handling aging very well. Sometimes we have to put family members like this on the back burner in our life and just know that they have issues and that you don't want to be a part of that. I think the physical distance is a plus in this case. You have your life and he has his.
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:50 PM
 
11,397 posts, read 12,932,651 times
Reputation: 12526
Do you think you would be happier having a "highly visibly, status showy" station in life?..Why do you think that because you are different than your dad , and enjoy different things than he does, your lifestyle may be seen as "inferior"?..Why care? You are your own person...you can never be your dad..the main thing to ask yourself is ...are you happy, and are you content with what you have?..Whose "vision" about what you want your future to be is it?..yours?, or dads. Who decides if it measures up`or not..you, or your dad....Don`t you think it`s time you accept that YOU are in control of your life, and it'll never be like your dads, it can't be.......times have changed.
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:44 PM
 
Location: KC
980 posts, read 783,355 times
Reputation: 811
I spent the day with my SO yesterday walking many of the neighborhoods throughout our city (I am trying to lose some weight and have been tracking with a fitbit - put in many miles yesterday!). We did things that I thoroughly enjoy - stopped at the art gallery, grabbed some lunch, enjoyed the weather, did some window shopping, etc. This is what I am happy with. Yet, I still can't help but feel that I am "being lazy" or "settling". My dad (and some other family members) have criticized people who aren't go-getters all of the time. Also, every weekend it takes an act of congress for me to get my dad to take my calls. I think he ignores them (or at least fails to return them). How can I be this disappointing as a son?
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Warren County and loving it!
5,074 posts, read 6,735,949 times
Reputation: 2548
You're not. You need to shift your focus from making him happy to your own happiness. If you are and it sounds like it, own it. Make no excuses or apologies for it.

You get one life and you need to live it for yourself. If he were any kind of father, he would be so happy for your happiness. I know that's what I want for my kids. They don't have to be millionaires, just successful enough to support themselves and be happy.

Remember, you cannot control others and how they feel. You can however control yourself and your own feelings and most importantly decide what you will and will not accept.

Sounds to me like you need to let go of trying to control how he feels about you and smile more about your own accomplishments. He can choose to accept it or not. It isn't on you.
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:23 PM
 
11,397 posts, read 12,932,651 times
Reputation: 12526
Are you living to please your dad?...or yourself. You'll never find true happiness if you continue putting yourself down, and trying to be someone (your dad) that you're not...Bet your gal likes you the way you are. Ask her if she's happy and wants you to change. Does she think you're lazy?.You really need to think more highly of yourself, and cut the ties to daddy.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:58 AM
Status: "Trump's worst is still better than Hill's best!" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Kansas
17,923 posts, read 11,702,204 times
Reputation: 16840
So, why are you calling him and setting yourself up for disappointment when he won't take your calls or doesn't call you back? Think hard about the answer. You keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. Have you talked to your dad about your feelings? What about written down how you feel and sending him a copy. Keep in mind that your dad will become or may already actually be jealous of you. You have found a happiness and peace that I am betting he will never find. He is so wrapped up in him that he doesn't have room for anyone else. If I were so bothered, I would write him and tell him how he makes me feel and mention that maybe it would be better if you didn't call because it seems like it is just a bother to him when he take your calls or doesn't return the call. You're not asking for money are you? I'm thinking not but that would be another issue.
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