Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day, Part I: Three Key Relationships

I was asked recently by a friend for some advice on how to not end up in my situation. How the hell could he avoid ending up with someone who would treat him like a piece of chewed up pet dog's bull-penis rawhide, experience massive depression, mid-life crisis, infidelity, and possibly* mental health issues (BPD, Narcissism, PTSD). In short, how to "pick someone better" the first time.

*I say "possibly" here, not to demonize my wife, and also to acknowledge that I am not a mental health professional, nor has she been diagnosed in all of the above areas...formally, yet...

Without going into the complexities of the unique relationship that my spouse and I had, and all of the faults that are possibly my own, this is my response.  This falls in the category of "Three Things to Set Your Please Don't Screw Me Over in 10 years" radar onto.  Important to look at early on, which, I feel, could determine the success of any long-term romantic relationship, be it two humans, chimps, squids, micropachycephalosauri, etc.

1) Relationship between Mom. Duh. Of course, in certain circles, this relationship is handily blamed for everything from suicides to thumb-sucking and 40-year-old virgins. What you might miss in your Psych 101 textbook, is the 'nature' of this relationship and how it sticks with us into adulthood on an unconscious level, as well as, how this kid to mom relationship impacts a family, GRANDPARENTS-deep.

2) Relationship between Pops. Oft overlooked is the relationship between the child and the father. Hopefully not today, being that this post is dedicated to all of the fathers on Father's Day 2011 who aren't deadbeating around, and who get it. Fathers are HUGE! Let me say it again, the relationship between that little girl that became your wife, and her father who beat her, punked her, possibly molested her or raped her which she never talked to you about, who spat on her for growing into a strong woman, who basically abused her in every way imaginable and..well, you get the picture. Check this relationship out. Grandparents-deep as well.

3) Relationship between Siblings. Brothers and/or sisters. Can't live with them, can't live with them. If you haven't thought about your new girlfriend's relationship with her brothers who, like her father, beat her ass when she was a kid, and stole her lunch money, and now steal her gas and rent money, or her sister's who broke her back with the leftover chores and such. Were not talking a little sibling rivalry here, and it goes both ways: if she had a brother who she beat on all the time in private and showered him with love with the uncles and aunts around gearing up into Christmas season, guess who's going to get the short end of the stick late night after all the fun and joy of the cocktail party is over and you get plowed for not mentioning how sparkling her necklace looked on her that evening. Just saying. God sibling relationships are a good sign.  Good bros and sisters are a good sign. Kids breaking each other's heads in, not so much.

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