My wife has to put up with a lot when it comes to her husband. (Honestly, I think most wives do.). For more than too many years, she had to deal with a workaholic, social alcoholic of a husband who would come home on the weekends, demand the remote, and ask her to quiet the kids down because daddy had a headache and just wanted to relax.
At the time, three words defined my life: anger, bitterness, and resentment. And because I...
Because when we squelch the emotions of a boy and constantly tell him to keep them bottled up, he will do so until his dying day. When we tell a young man not to be authentic and transparent, is it any wonder that he grows up to be an adult man suffering a divorce because he can’t emotionally connect or communicate with his wife?
Eventually, I came to understand that my “problem” wasn’t my problem. In other words, just as alcohol drowned whatever bad feelings I didn’t want to feel—abandonment, loneliness, frustration, anger, confusion, grief—my addiction masked the real issue: my father wound.
Because my father had chosen to leave me by killing himself when I was just eleven years old, I was angry with so many people for decades. I was chiefly angry with my father, but I was also angry with God for allowing something like that to happen. As I grew into a man, I became easily angered with myself for not being able to do even the smallest of home repairs because I’d never been taught how to.
The first time I encountered the phrase “father wound” was in Gordon Dalbey’s Healing the Masculine Soul: God’s Restoration of Men to Real Manhood. I read that book in 2007, and I was shocked to learn that this “father wound” thing had been named fifteen years earlier, as if a person’s lifelong ache for a relationship with their father was a recent discovery.
During my twenties and thirties, Goodtime Johnny was my best friend on the road. In fact, he was my only friend.
Whenever we were away on business, he’d usually take me out drinking. Sometimes he’d buy drinks for strangers. Everybody could tell he longed to be the life of the party, the guy seen as everyone’s friend. But they were all getting free drinks, so what did they really care?