Fathers are notoriously tough to get past. It doesn’t matter how much schmoozing you do, the only remedy for a father accepting the man that his daughter has chosen as a partner is time… time…. And more time…. Fathers aren’t stupid. They were once rambunctious young men themselves and they intimately know what is going through a guy’s head when he’s dating a young girl; and it’s not chivalry. Her pop knows that the guy has visually undressed his daughter 3 or 4 times every 30 minutes.
He knows the guy has had his baby girl in all kinds of nasty activities in his imagination. And if the guy and his daughter haven’t physically consummated their adoration for one another, it’s only a matter of time.
What makes a father’s blood boil is not the thought of his little girl growing up. No… That is the thought he handles with ease. What bother almost all dads is equally is that he himself has objectified women for the majority of his life and he knows the cycle is an unbreakable one. Just look at your television. The game goes on and on. Fathers know this. No matter how many feminist activists protest such treatment, it’s going to happen. No matter how many laws are created and strengthened by more and more years of punishment, there will always be men willing to break that law to satisfy their sick fantasies. And now their daughters, their baby girls, are exposed and in the sights of a potential predator.
That is where fathers lose sleep; the fear. And there is absolutely nothing fathers can do to stop that fear. Now your man may be the most well-intentioned individual on planet earth, but that’s not what fathers are thinking.
Ultimately all fathers are forced to temper their fears with reality and accept the inevitable: They can’t protect their daughters from every monster and life’s most important lessons are often learned through trial and error.
Their daughters have to pick a few bad apples in order for her to know what the good ones are. Failure is always a part of the equation. It always was and fathers have to accept that.
And so… Instead of going out and getting handgun after rifle after submachine gun, fathers comfort themselves by putting faith in the teachings they gave their daughters. They pray that their daughters were listening when they schooled them about the minds of men. Hopefully some of those teachings sunk in.
But fathers also have faith that society’s laws will protect their “baby girls”. And that too is a reasonable expectation.
Truthfully, most men are aware of the boundaries established by society and stay within those protected zones. They don’t wish to throw their lives away by doing something stupid. In time, fathers accept the guys their daughters have chosen. And after quite a bit of time they slowly realize that the fears they had were overblown and most men aren’t that bad. Next thing you know most dads tuck their shotguns away behind the fishing gear they plan to use on the weekend getaway with a potential son-in-law. Time changes all.
But there is an exception to the rule….
What do you do if you have a dad that absolutely refuses to change his position? What if you have a SUPER DUPER NUCLEAR DAD?
What kind of dad is that? The kind of dad that pops by your college dormitory to make sure you’re tucked in with JUST your “female” roommates.
The kind of dad that canceled your high school prom date and instead, rented a tux for himself and went with you. The kind of dad that made you wear long, ankle-length dresses just to cover up nature’s developments in your body…. from kindergarten to 12th grade! The kind of dad that took you to school every day just so you could avoid talking to boys on the bus. The kind of dad that agreed to give you a credit card when you got your own place in the city, just so he could keep tabs on where you went and who you went out with. The kind of dad that screened your new job’s male to female ratio before he would allow you to accept the position. The kind of dad that screens your cell phone records and actually calls people to verify gender! The kind of dad that ran off not one, not two, not three, but four of your boyfriends by sending not so cryptic threats to them about his eagle-eye marksmanship.
Yeah, that’s the kind of dad I’m talking about.
So what do you do about that kind of dad? How do you handle someone so controlling, so dominating that you almost always bow down to their every wish?
Here are 5 Ways to Handle a Controlling Father:
- Build a Coalition: Wise people know that there is strength in numbers. Get your mother involved. Get your siblings involved. Or better yet, if you really want to play psychological warfare with your dad, get his parents involved.
Chances are his out-of-this-world behavior was initiated by someone or something in his childhood anyway. Talk to his mom and get an idea of what it could be. Have her go to bat for you. Changing perspectives are always better when you have a group to sway that stubborn person.
- Separate your life: Your love of having mom and dad pay your bills is part of the problem.
Start searching for jobs without informing them. Stop having your dad pay your cell phone bill and pay it yourself (that way he can’t see who you’re calling). Get off of the credit nipple of mom and dad and get your own credit cards. It’s called “responsibility” before it’s called “independence”.
- Stand up for yourself: Standing up for yourself doesn’t mean getting into shouting matches. Shouting only demonstrates to your dad that you’re not mature. When he makes a demand that is far beyond the norm, politely refuse. But you need to be a woman of your word. Don’t tell him “no” and then when he amps up the pressure you back out like a lame. Stand up for yourself. Because when the chips fall down and you’re moving through this life, you’re going to be on your own anyway.
- Never get your man involved: One reason men often get eaten for lunch by protective fathers is because they try to stick their noses in when it’s not their place. You don’t need to give your boyfriend the “blow by blow” on your struggles with your father.
Keep him out of it. Until you and your father come to a mutual agreement on respect, the further your boyfriend stays away the better. Fathers are just itching to tee off on a guy and release some testosterone. That’s kinda hard to do on your little girl. But a nosey strange guy that wants to stick his claws in his daughter? That’s very easy to do.
- Put real distance between you and your father: Some people were born in a town, grow up there, meet their wives and husbands there and ultimately die there. Come on…. The world is too small for you to be giving that kind of lifelong commitment to the same area code. Branch out.
If you need some real breathing room, try 400 miles away from your dad. Sure he can complain by phone, but you never have to worry about the “Poppa Popup”. Leaving your home town gives you the opportunity to discover who you are and what kind of person you want to be. You’ll never discover that standing still in the same city. Embrace change. Embrace distance. Get outta there.