Should I still look for my father's approval?
I emigrated here several years ago; I struggled with finding a job related to my profession back home.
I was ready to start from scratch and work my way up, as I did before.
Coming with young children, it was very hard to pass the language barrier and also be the best mom, the best worker, and also return to school for a long period (as my previous education isn’t fully recognized here).
My father didn’t understand why I was stuck for so long in a job unrelated to my university education (for which he’d paid by working two jobs).
I did apply for school twice, but all the doors were closed.
I just kept working hard at the current job having satisfaction from doing my best. It pays the bills and allowed me to buy my first house.
My mother understood, but not my father.
She wanted to help us so I could go to school, but she had serious health problems. My mother-in-law offered to be with the kids but, having some issues in my marriage, I considered it not the best help at the time.
Should I still try to convince my father that he’s wrong to be upset with me?
It’s your life, not your father’s.
You’ve been far more successful than either of you acknowledge.
Your education didn’t go to waste. It helped give you the inner confidence, determination, and foresight to make choices that have worked well for you and your family.
You can still thank your father for his financial help towards making you a determined but resilient person who could adapt to a new environment.
Take ownership for your life.
His approval no longer matters. Your own accomplishments, plus those of your children (be open to their adaptations, too), are the results of your creating a meaningful life in your adopted country.
Live it with pride.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding your answers to two men (June 10):
“Why do you always take the woman's side in these issues?
1) Why should the first guy apologize to the woman? Unless the picture was obscene or something, it's legitimately his work and if she's such a dolt to incorrectly assume it isn't his, he’s better off without her. He should forget about her.
2) On the second guy - if I came home from the hospital and my wife had given away my stuff, I'd be upset too. He obviously needs to find out what’s going through her head.
“But if the roles were reversed and the guy had given away his wife's stuff, you would tell her to have the locks changed and go to a divorce lawyer.”
Ellie – Not Guilty in either case, sir.
1) The “first guy” sent a photo that upset the woman he cares about.
But he says he can’t stop thinking about her so I suggested he apologize for upsetting her and to show his sincerity. He doesn’t want to give up on her, so I encourage him to follow his heart.
I’m on his side.
2) No bias here either, except against my being asked to approve his anger without a shred of background information.
Were they already separating? Was his wife always spiteful and mean? If so, why?
No, I would not answer differently if she wrote me this same story of conflict without any relevant explanations.
I’m on neither side here.
Reader’s Commentary “When our (now 31-year-old) twins were babies, my in-laws sent money to us to start an education fund for each of them.
“My then-husband, who was physically, emotionally, and sexually abusive towards me, kept the money, saying it’d be going towards the girls’ good anyway.
“When I said this was wrong and not what his parents intended, he shot me down.
“Imagine my surprise when, some 17 years later and it was safe enough to leave him, I discovered that to this day he’s vilified me to his parents, blaming me for not starting up the fund for the girls and keeping the money.
“So perhaps people don’t always have the benefit of the whole story when they accuse someone.
“I still feel sad that my former in-laws think so ill of me, even though we no longer see any part of his family. Who knows what other lies they and others have been told about me?”
Tip of the day:
Parental approval that’s being withheld from accomplished adults is just another form of parental control.