I am all too often reminded to be a positive example for my kids. In fact, if my wife wasn't a great balance for me, I would probably still be making some of the irrational and thoughtless decisions of my youth...meaning through my early thirties.
But in addition to having a positive male influence in your life, I am here today to share why having a negative role model has its value as well.
A number of years ago my mother made the decision to leave my "father" after 24 years of marriage. While I refer to him as my father, I must point out that he was actually my step-father, but had been around for the majority of my life.
He wasn't my biological father, but he was my Dad.
When my mom left, he took it pretty hard. He was not built to be alone, and didnt do it well. The house quickly fell into a state of disarray, and though he wasnt a man who was capable of admitting being in a state of depression, he was clearly there. It was no surprise when he started dating soon thereafter, but a bit concerning when he announced that he would be getting married again to a woman he had only met 3 weeks prior.
Well that woman, of course, turned out to be a psychopath. And long story long, she drove an incredible wedge between my Dad and my wife and I. Finally, this woman persuaded him that we were only loyal to my mother and her new husband, we were trying to ruin her marriage with my Dad, and ultimately persuaded him to cut off all ties with us. Not with my brother and sister of whom he was the true biological father, just his ex-wife's kid.
So after almost 3 decades, "Dad" became "my ex".
How do you put yourself in a place to be a child's father for the bulk of his life, and then just decide to walk away rather than face the hard times? Were you that scared of being alone again that you traded a son for a woman you knew to be trouble?
Any positive lesson you taught me is now suspect. Every decent thing I ever saw you do is now marred by your ultimate weakness and irresponsibility. And your legacy is that you are the biological father of two kids who are scared to tell you what they really think of you and your wife, for fear you will disown them. Nice work.
This week's Tribute is to an unbelievable coward. Clearly I carry some pain and bitterness, I know this. But in the end, I also have to thank you for what you did. For it is one thing to teach positive lessons, but to be a living example of what I will NEVER do to my kids is invaluable.
This Tribute is to you, "Dad". I only ever wanted you to be happy again.
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