“I’ve changed partners a few times before, but I feel trapped in every relationship. Every time a girl mentions that she wants to get married and start a family with me, I get scared and end the relationship. I will find a new girlfriend soon and I hope I won’t run away this time.”
“Before I met Klara, I had the feeling that I was successful in life. I liked Klara very much, so I agreed to her initiative to get married. After the wedding, I soon began to feel completely incompetent. I also started acting like it. Klara took over the reins and made sure that the construction of the apartment went on, she took care of the household, the upbringing of the children… I feel even more incompetent.”
“I come from an orderly family. I grew up with my mom, dad, and sister. They all considered us a good family. I’m 32 years old, but I haven’t had a serious relationship with a girl yet. I really want to start a family, but I don’t know why this goal is increasingly eluding me. “
Was my father also emotionally absent?
These are the stories of adult men who grew up in families with emotionally absent fathers. Such a father hides his emotions and is not interested in the well-being of other family members.
An emotionally absent father is usually not a bad person. They confuse the children, so they live in the belief that everything in their family was in the best order.
When the father is emotionally absent, one of the children takes his place. It often happens that a boy takes on the role of a mother’s emotional partner and the role of a father to his siblings.
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This boy needs to grow up fast. He is of great help to his mother, so his mother praises him and glorifies his abilities. The tasks the boy takes on are too difficult for him, but he is driven by a sense of guilt that he has to help his mother. The boy’s needs are overlooked.
The path to freedom leads through pain and anger
Kenneth M. Adams, in his 2011 book “Silently Seduced” notes that some fathers are unable to cope with their own marital problems. Subconsciously, the son’s relationship with the mother suits them as it allows them to escape the problem.
Adams writes that an adult male justifiably cultivates anger towards the father as a result of the father’s unwillingness to intervene and separate the son from the mother.
Adams says that a man has to face pain and anger because he played his mother’s partner, writing:
“As long as you deal only with superficial relationship problems, lasting change is not possible”.
He has to face a huge reservoir of repressed emotions: anger, bitterness, guilt, and deep sadness.
Let him admit that he missed his father
Acknowledging that his father left him in some way is one of the harder steps on the road to healing. Every child sees their parents as sacred.
He believes that his parents are the best in the world, no matter how they treat him. He is afraid of losing them, so he would do anything for them and put up with everything. As a boy, he was not allowed to admit that he missed his father. He had to stay strong to be able to help his mom.
It is a heavy burden for him to carry. Today, the worst is behind him. Today it is safe to feel what he was not allowed to back then.
Let the man talk openly about his feelings with his father. Don’t force yourself into a conversation. There will come a time when he will feel ready for this step. Maybe Dad won’t change. Still, the conversation will make you feel like you’ve been relieved of your burden.
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Many seek the help of a mentor. The mentor should be a man who is eight to fifteen years older than you. A man that you know well, who is sympathetic to you, someone that you can trust.
Maybe an older co-worker, neighbor, or relative. The mentor will help you realize your life goals by guiding you in gaining relevant adult life experiences.
Healing power comes from the realization that the Heavenly Father is always with us. He never leaves us. Believing individuals report how they drew healing power from this very realization.