Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fathers & Daughters

This really has nothing to do with anything, but has been on my mind lately because of something a friend is going through with her husband...

Everyone says "You marry someone like your father" to girls like the saying was somehow meant for them.

The saying was meant for men. The saying isn't some implication of latent Oedipal feelings toward your father, but a reminder to men that each and everything they do is creating the blueprint of the men that will court and eventually marry their daughters. Your father is who shapes your perception of what a man is and what is expected of a mate.

If one has a hardworking father that cherishes his family, the daughter will most likely be attracted to that same type of man. That is what she grew up thinking a man is. But what of the girl whose father belittles the mother and spends most mights escaping his family on the comfort of a bar stool? She will have been taught that this is acceptable behavior and most likely settle for the same. (Once again, for those few that need the obvious stated-there are always exceptions to the rule).

Having two boys, I always try to be aware of how I show (not tell) them women should be treated -what I'll accept and what I won't...but I truly believe that you men have a harder task in this regard. Each of your actions, every word that you say to your wife in anger and in love, every demonstration of affection or lack thereof is being watched, recorded and stored for later use. What an enormous responsibility --and one that you won't know if you passed until your daughter chooses a partner.

To put my father's mind at ease... The Man is as hardworking as they come. He prefers being home with his family to being "out with the boys". I come before his friends. I come before his mom, brother and sister. He rarely yells at me or calls me names in anger. He has never hit me, pushed me or even acted like it was a thought in his head...

So instead of thinking "marrying someone like your dad" is just a saying to ick out teenage girls, think of it as a mandate for fathers to be what they would want in a partner for their precious little girl.

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