Live your life with pride with­out dad’s ap­proval

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO -

Q. 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).

My mother un­der­stood, but not my fa­ther.

Should I still try to con­vince my fa­ther that he’s wrong to be up­set with me?

A. 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 to­ward 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 in­laws sent money to us to start an ed­u­ca­tion fund for each of them.

“My then-hus­band, who was phys­i­cally, emo­tion­ally, and sex­u­ally abu­sive to­ward me, kept the money, say­ing it’d be go­ing to­ward the girls’ good any­way.”

“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.”

DEAR EL­LIE

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