Tag Archives: relationships

Bad Husband, Good Father?

12 Oct

I seem to live my life in commercials (compared to my son who lives life in musical numbers), because I keep picking up nuggets of confusion and blogging about them. So in today’s online therapy, here’s the fun phrase I overheard: “Bad husband, good father.” Really?

At first blush, this is perfectly understandable. As the son of divorced parents, there is a huge difference between a father who’s there for you versus a father who’s not. To quote another commercial, “Your kids don’t need the perfect parent, they need you.” Simply being there makes a HUGE difference. My dad was in the Navy, so he physically couldn’t be there, but he tried as best as he could through letters, but there was a big difference. So I have a lot of appreciation to those divorced dads who stay in the same area, make sure to take the kids half the time, continue to be a parent even though they’re no longer married to their mom. To the kid, their relationship to your mom is less important. At first…

However, parenting is just another relationship, just like marriage – there are different needs with adults than with kids. So naturally, a relationship with your spouse is exponentially more difficult, because your needs are different and often harder to fulfill. If the kids wants junk food, and you refuse to give it to them, sure you’re got a tantrum for a few minutes and then life goes on. If your wife wants you to stop X, and you don’t want to stop X, this will continue on and on for… weeks? Months? Years? That lingering “tantrum” will poison your relationship for a long, long time.

That poisoned relationship will affect your kids, whether you like it or not. I certainly remember the day my parents divorced – it was done remotely, again because my dad was in the Navy – but it made an impact on my life. That anger can make things difficult for everyone in the family. Even when you stop that behavior, or start doing something to mend the relationship, it’s hard to forget that anger. For the one trying to change, when that anger is still directed at you… what’s the incentive to keep with the change?

Man, that was vague! I guess what I’m trying to say is that… yes, you can be a good father but a bad husband, but it’s preferable to try and be both. I’ve been married 14 years and I find it a wonder that anyone stays together. Relationships are hard work. However, being a good father is… a little easier. It’s still difficult, but it seems to be easier to keep your kids happy than to keep your wife happy.

Then again, my kids are only becoming teenagers now – I’m sure that as they become young adults, they’ll get more of those adult complexities, and they’ll hate me half the time too. Then they’ll become parents and they’ll forgive me, just like I forgave my father, because it’s only once you’re in their situation that you understand what your parents went through.

What do you think? Is there a happy medium you can make between all your family members? Or do you find relationships with children harder? Let me know in the comments below!

“You Pay For Convenience”

1 Sep

Convenience itself is a commodity – you can sell it as much as the product you’re selling itself. It’s important to remember that when approaching two-day shipping, getting into easy classes, or easy relationships – the prices are going to be higher even though you’re satisfied now.

This is why this is Maxim #2 for me, or to elucidate: “Things that are easier to get usually come at a higher price.” The convenience store is the easiest to understand. Same things you can buy at a grocery story, it’s easier to get to, and the lines are shorter. However, your options tend to be brand name only, there’s a lot less choices, and the prices are always, always higher. So depending on your situation, the reason you might buy that box of Frosted Flakes ™ there is because you believe your time is worth more than the extra money you’d be saving if you went to the grocery.

This can be carried over into many, many areas – which is why it’s a maxim for me. Take relationships: there is Ms. Right and Ms. Right Now. In my own life, I only had eyes for my main crush in high school that I was blinded to the woman who was dying for me as well as the other smart women who (in retrospect) I should have pursued. Because people are unpredictable and unable to be easily categorized, I figured (easily skipping over other factors) that it was less painful (rejection) to pursue the one girl I wanted than the ones I could have.

Better example is after I broke up with my first girlfriend, I simply wanted another woman to date, so I lucked out and found a woman online (for context, this was 2000, so online dating was a relatively new thing). Things took off and we had a good, but brief relationship. This woman was not who I would normally have pursued, but I wanted someone, ANYONE, to help me avoid the grief from losing the woman I loved. Of course, when the new woman decided not to pursue the rebound relationship, that grief came back in spades. I sought out counseling, and eventually, sought out a new career in a new place.

To take it in another direction, our entire online economy is based on convenience. Amazon grew by leaps and bounds because of its ability to get us stuff we wanted now… or sooner than we could find it in our hometown. When the pandemic hit and their supply chain was damaged, Walmart and Target suddenly went big because their system wasn’t affected and THEY had what we wanted right now.

Remember, you pay for this convenience, not just in cash, but in how you perceive the world. You now expect this convenience from Amazon, and when they suddenly couldn’t provide it, you sought it from others. Now we wonder why we can’t get this in other parts of our lives. Why can’t other people in my social media see things the way I do? Why can’t our government fix the problems with a simple click?

And what’s our response to this? We get angry… and depending on your situation, anger reveals itself in many ways. We had riots in several cities across the US last night; interestingly enough, NONE of them were covered by any of the normal news outlets, although Twitter was buzzing about them. Why? Because anger is also convenient. We’ve had riots so long that it’s no longer news. It no longer gets clicks. And it happened on a Sunday, when no one’s checking news anyway. So why bother reporting it–wait until Monday.

So convenience has warped our view of the world, and because things are easier and cheaper, we’re not willing to travel farther to get the things we want at a better price. Gee, no wonder people are lonely and miserable.

Wow – didn’t realize my rant would lead itself there. I try to stay on the lighter side of care. However, I must ask you, did I go too far? Is convenience truly the bane of our modern existence or has it been our salvation? Am I completely wrong? Let me know in the comments below!

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