Thursday, February 20, 2014

Iyanla VanZant says "All women marry their fathers…"

Gee, I sure hope not.

My dad is not a horrible person, but I sure wouldn't want to be married to him.  For one thing, he's a terrible control freak who gets frustrated, loses his temper, and lashes out.  For another, he's a raging alcoholic who, at least when he was in his right mind, would turn into an unpredictable asshole when he drank.

Bill does have a lot in common with my dad.  They do share the same name, although technically they don't.  You see, my dad's name is Charles.  My husband's name is William.  Dad has always gone by the name "Bill" because my Aunt Jeanne liked it better than Charles and decided she wanted to call him Billy.  The name stuck.

Bill is a LTC in the Army.  My dad was a Lt. Col. in the Air Force.  Both of them are very military.  But my dad is very old school and conservative, while my husband is a lot more open-minded and even tempered.  My dad is very much a Protestant.  My husband is not into organized religion anymore, though he does very much believe in God.  In fact, I think my husband is more spiritual than my dad is, though my dad has always been a churchgoer.

Both my dad and my husband are basically nice people with a strong sense of wrong and right.  My husband has issues standing up for himself sometimes, though he's gotten better since we've known each other.  My dad has never had a problem standing up for himself.

My dad has never been one to swear much, although I have heard him use bad words on occasion.  He's more likely to be violent than use the f-word.  My husband cusses almost as much as I do, but is not at all violent.  He doesn't raise his voice much and would never hit me.

Both my husband and my dad have strong work ethics.  Both are good looking men.  Both adore their mothers.  My husband loves his dad, but isn't as close to him.  I don't know for sure, but I'm pretty certain my dad hates his father.  I never heard him say many good things about him.  My aunts and uncles seem to have a more even keeled opinion of "Pappy".  I never knew him, since he died when I was two, but he was also a raging, violent alcoholic who apparently abused my dad because he was the oldest son.  Bill was not abused by his parents, but I think he missed out on having a father figure.  His mother married twice after she divorced Bill's dad and neither husband really stepped into being a stepdad.  In fact, my husband's first stepfather turned out to be transgendered and hoped my mother-in-law would teach him how to be a woman.  Thankfully, that union didn't last long, because the man was not kind to Bill.

My husband treats me like royalty.  He is always concerned about how I feel.  He's kind, considerate, and loving.  He looks after me.  My dad tried to look after me, but his good intentions would often go by the wayside in favor of other interests.  By the time I was in high school, my dad didn't really seem to give a shit about me.  He was more concerned about how I appeared to other people.

My dad was big on shaming and belittling.  My husband props me up, probably to a fault.  He's always encouraging my interests, no matter how much of a waste of time they may be.  He believes in me, whereas my dad often discouraged me.  The one exception in my dad's case was music.  When he found out I could sing, he tried to co-opt me into his singing groups… and then he would compete with me.

Both my husband and my dad are well-educated and well-traveled.  I would say that Bill is probably better educated than my dad is.  But my dad probably had a more distinguished military career than my husband has.  Bill has done great work as a staff officer and as a "diplomat", but he is not as good at war.  My father was pretty decorated after several visits to Vietnam.

On the surface, it does look like I married my father… but looking deeper, I don't think I did.  My husband is a lot nicer to me than my father is.  


  1. I surely as hell will not marry a clone of my father.

    According to my mom, I shouldn't do so because my dad and I are too much alike. According to my dad, i'm just like my mother. They blame each other for me while they try to take credit for my brother. Go figure.

    1. Wow Alexis… Does it make you feel bad to hear your parents blame each other for you? They probably say it in a joking way, but most jokes have an element of truth to them.

      I think my parents might have thought I'd marry a loser and were pleasantly surprised by Bill.

  2. I've learned to consider the source. and they can joke all they want, but i happen to know that I'm to become the executor of their estate if anything happens to them once I turn 25. (My uncle would be the executor until then.) Sometimes actions speak more loudly than do words.

    My parents are a bit worried that Matthew will marry a floozy, though I think they've finally learned that it's sometimes best to keep their mouths shut about it.. They seem to trust me more to make decent choices in that regard.

    1. It sounds like their jokes are playful in nature. My mom made fun of me when I fell in love. She said she wasn't sure if she could stand it.


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