Post # 1
Hi bees. My dad and I have always had a somewhat distant relationship. We’re friendly, but definitely not close. He lives across the country so we talk on the phone or about 10 minutes every other week, mainly just to make sure each other is alive. Today when I called, I told him DH and I adopted a 10 month old puppy. His instant response? “A dog?! Oh great, that’s just something for you to take care of. Who do you think is going to care for it? Should have thought about the other dogs you’ve had before you got this one” Then he tells me about his sister’s dog, my uncles dog and my grandma’s dog who are all so great and well behaved. Bees, the only other dog I had was when I was a teenager, and it was our family dog. My dad had him put down when I went away to college beca use he didn’t want to care for a rambunctious personality dog. DH’a dog moved in to my home when DH did, and he was put down after a few years because he was so old and his health quickly declining. But, my dad never knew about DH’s dog, because I knew he wouldn’t care anyway. So apparently, the dog I didn’t ask for as a child, and couldn’t care for when I was 18 and living in a dorm is proof that i can never have a dog again. And for some reason, I am such a complete failure of a person that I cannot handle the responsibility of caring for another living being. I have been living on my own since I was 18. And unlike a lot of college students, I was then completely financially independent. So for 10 yearss I have been entirely on my own, living far away from family and not asking for help. I tell my dad we have a sweet, house trained, well behaved dog who we have yet to hear bark once after a week, who knows all her training commands (sit, lie down, etc.), is crate trained, simply lies down on car rides, and wants to kiss everyone and every animal she meets, and I’m being irresponsible because I’ll have to what, take care of her? Sorry for the rant, I’m just feeling really small and insignificant from his remarks.
Post # 2
sofialovesmikey: Sorry you’re feeling down.
Do not give your Dad the power to take away your happiness. It’s hard when we don’t have the Dad that we want, when he’s not the Dad you see in the movies or on TV. But, the reality is many Dads aren’t like that.
You said you’re not close, yet you are allowing him to upset you- and long distance at that. Stop letting what your Dad says from across the country take away your joy.
I suggest you lower your expectations when it comes to your Dad. He might then be able to meet them.
Post # 3
sofialovesmikey: It doesn’t sound like your dad knows you very well anymore so don’t let his opinion of you shape how you define yourself. It hurts more when our parents criticise us but it doesn’t make the criticisms any more accurate.
Post # 4
He is a jerk. Sorry, but he just is. He is definitely not perfect and sounds like he was closer to a failure as a parent than you will be to your dog. We care for animals differently when we are young. I had a bird that I ultimately failed to give as much love as she gave me and I actually regret that every day of my life. It was terrible to stop playing with her as much. I had a family dog who became my mom’s responsibility when I left for college. I LEARNED from the bird experience (the pup was fine except she was very sick and even with hundreds in meds died at 11 years). Now I have three dogs and am devoted and know my daily and long term responsibility. Don’t beat yourself up based on your dad’s words, and dont let his words from his own hostility and insecurity harm you since they are not grounded in anything.
Post # 5
Don’t let your dad’s (sstupid) comments affect you. Harder said than done, but try to let it roll off your back.
*You* know that you and your DH are responsible, able, and willing to care for a dog, while your dad only has a 10-minute-conversations-worth of knowledge about your life. His opinion means nothing to the space, relationship, and life stage that you are at now.
Good luck OP!
Post # 6
sofialovesmikey: I have a similar problem with my mom and I have to say it has gotten worse as she’s gotten older. I have 4 dogs and she never has anything nice to say. You know, perhaps like, “Oh that’s so great you’ve rescued and saved the lives of 4 dogs.” Or, “That’s really cool that you do doggie transport (volunteer work where dogs need rides from high kill shelters to rescue groups) Or, “I’m so proud that you made and sold those magnets to donate all the money to Riley’s rescue who’s in dire need of $$.” Nope. Oh, and, “You’re getting married again? Why don’t you just use your last wedding ring?”
So… I feel your pain! And super congrats on the dog. They’re loads of fun, LOVE YOU UNCONDITIONALLY (listen up mom and dad), and will bring such joy to you.
Post # 7
Being realistic, your relationship isn’t going to change. He’s not going to become the loving, supportive father that you want. I doubt this is the first unthinking, hurtful thing he’s said. Have you considered switching to email instead of calling him? That way, he’s less likely to make a snap comment without thinking.
Post # 8
sofialovesmikey: dont let anyone put you down like that you and your DH are adults you take care of the dog not him he really sounds bitter about something perhaps the fact that you havent needed his approval/help since you were 18. My mother and i have a similar relashionship she is dismissive of everything me and my FI do, we just got a german shepard puppy and currently have my dog tht came with me when FI and i moved in together my lil doggy is a maltese first thing my mother said when she found out was is the german shepard going to kill the maltese?.. The following week she had “heard” a news story about a german shepard in italy that ate a baby… So totally disconected with reality and dismissive of our own choices in life it used to bother me because until FI and i met, my mom and i were very close But i dont let her get to me anymore. I used to be upset about every other conversation with her but ive since learned that this is my life and i can live it however i want. I still love her and appreciate her but i dont let her make me miserable.