I Almost Married My Father Three Times [that’s why I never married]

Happy Father's Day

Jun 17, 2011 by

There’s a platitude which, like most platitudes, turns out to be mostly right.  And that’s that most women marry their fathers.  Peek in at anyone’s family reunion and it’s almost ludicrous to observe how many women have spouses or boyfriends who are dead ringers for Papa Bear.

Both my sisters married men like my passive, dependent, self-pitying father.  After therapy, the younger sister stopped all that and hooked up with a go-getter who was grown up enough to stand on his own two feet.

Me?  Three times I became seriously involved with mirror images of dear old dad.  The man I actually became engaged to physically resembled my father, right down to the shuffling way of walking.  Wisely, I never married.  In 2003, I finally did have the kind of therapy I needed.  Since then, sure, I have the insight and emotional strength to overcome the pull force to the kind of person not good for me.  Would I like to marry?  Yes.  Life would be easier and less lonely.

This Father’s Day, as with every Father’s Day since my father died in 1980, I have mixed feelings about the man who probably did his best in “dealing” with me.  Like him, I was a mess.  Back in the Eisenhower era and especially in ethnic homes like ours the expectation was for the “perfect” daughter.  She was slim, beautiful, reserved, and selfless when it came to family.  Count me out.

By now, what kind of fathering I experienced doesn’t matter.  My breakdown in 2003 gave me a fresh beginning.  It’s been that long since I have reflected on my father with anger, resentment, or even sympathy.  It was what it was.

I wish other women still struggling with these issues inner peace.

Graphic credit: First Comes Love

About the Author

Jane Genova Has Written 24 Articles For Us!

I’m a coach, book author, and lecturer on careers, specializing in transitions. When I was 58, I restarted my professional life. That was in 2003. Since then I have I have muted into one of those renaissance folks who keeps multiple lines of work going. My latest book Over-50: How We Keep Working has helped thousands of people realize that exciting careers don’t depend on your age. I write four blogs: Jane Genova, Law and More, Career Transitions, Over-50.
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1 Comment

  1. polli

    Thanks for presenting a story of an imperfect relationship- comforting for those of us who wish we had the ideal “Daddy”. Congrats on making peace with the past

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