Is there something wrong with me?


#1

Hello friends, I wanted to put this out there, as I am struggling mightily with it. I am a married man (of 16 yrs) and have 2 daughters -- one stepdaughter who is 23 and a younger one who is 15. My marriage and my performance as a parent and as a Christian man has been under attack. I married my first girlfriend...not only that but the only girl I ever so much as kissed or even held hands with. I suffered from depression and OCD as a youngster (from which I have been liberated--praise God!!). Now that my youngest is dating, I feel inept to be able to offer any guidance and I feel very inferior due to my lack of experience in this area. I think I have let this feeling convince me that my wife and kids disrespect me. Ultimately I am left with the feeling that maybe I made a mistake 16 years ago....I missed out on life in some way. Things have gotten better since I have returned to Confession and daily mass...but still.....i feel like i am alone in the world with these feelings--no one understands.

I hope that didnt sound like I am whining. Thanks for listening!


#2

Thank you for your post. I've had my struggles with depression and am grateful that I've had healthy periods of time that I've been free of this condition. I feel that you are sad or are having trouble knowing where you are at. Call it a "mid-life crisis" or whatever, it would be my recommendation to talk this over with a priest or a counselor and do so quickly. The sooner you get help the sooner you will feel healthier. Peace, g.


#3

[quote="blackice71, post:1, topic:230142"]
Hello friends, I wanted to put this out there, as I am struggling mightily with it. I am a married man (of 16 yrs) and have 2 daughters -- one stepdaughter who is 23 and a younger one who is 15. My marriage and my performance as a parent and as a Christian man has been under attack. I married my first girlfriend...not only that but the only girl I ever so much as kissed or even held hands with. I suffered from depression and OCD as a youngster (from which I have been liberated--praise God!!). Now that my youngest is dating, I feel inept to be able to offer any guidance and I feel very inferior due to my lack of experience in this area. I think I have let this feeling convince me that my wife and kids disrespect me. Ultimately I am left with the feeling that maybe I made a mistake 16 years ago....I missed out on life in some way. Things have gotten better since I have returned to Confession and daily mass...but still.....i feel like i am alone in the world with these feelings--no one understands.

I hope that didnt sound like I am whining. Thanks for listening!

[/quote]

I am sorry you have had some depression, but I am so glad you have been liberated from it. The relationships that you discribe as marrying your first girlfriend, and have not ever kissed or held hands with another, I believe is the way God would want it. You are so blessed! That sounds like the purest love, like the Garden of Eden.

When we get into relationships and date many people we tend to give our heart away to those who we may not ever have contact with again. I did not know Jesus until I was 20 as an unwed mother. I married a man who I am the only one who has ever been with. I sometimes have the opposite feelings, that I did not save myself for the one who I would be with for life as he did.

I think your life is the way God would want it. Please teach your family that God did not intend for us to be with many people, teach them to save their heart and body for the one true love Jesus has for them.


#4

Thank you so much :)


#5

God bless you and thank you for coming here and sharing your story! I am happy to pray for you.

Jesus loves you so much! What a blessing that you have a beautiful family and have the additional blessing of confession and daily Mass. You have a wonderful life, God loves you so very much. Jesus knows your heart, he knows your struggles, he knows your feelings. He knows that you feel pain yet you are trying your best anyway. He is very proud of you for sure!

The family is under attack by evil forces. Your feelings of not being a good father and having "missed out" are not coming from God please know this.

Keep fighting. When you are worn out and tired and bored and depressed and feel like you can't even pray simply say one word "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus" over and over and over again. When you are discouaged and feel like you made a mistake 16 years ago simply say "Jesus" over and over. Simple, yet more powerful then any of us will ever understand.

Prayers for you and God bless you


#6

Having married my high school sweetheart I can see where you are coming from.

I think it's fairly natural in this day and age to feel like you missed out a little bit on going wild, and no person would really care. And although I married my high school sweetheart, we didn't marry until we were done with college. And OH BOY was the temptation there.
Attractive men around every corner. And so many quite "interested". Needless to say, I managed to stick to my relationship... and Here we are, nearly 15 years of marriage.

I think sometimes it would feel better to say... Yeah, I dated a handful of guys, and my DH is the ONLY one that did it for me. As if there was a process that I went through. Intead, I happened to get lucky at 15. I even knew then he was the man I'd marry. Turns out, I happen to get lots of things (eta: except for spelling LOL!) right the first time around... ;) And that's how I present it...

With your situation, as much of the one paragraph that I know... I would tend to think: Again, look at how blessed, Here's my wife. Who didn't find Mr. right the first time around, had a beautiful daughter... and STILL found me! We all have different paths. Some less than ideal. I realize that some would think of that as experience, which is fine. But the simple fact is, some of us don't have to get it wrong in order to recognize what's right. There's NO SHAME in that!!!

Now, I have friends that are into the try before you buy. But you know, even a car loses value the minute you drive it off the lot... Not my thing. My friends think it's a little crazy... but they also talk of admiration for what we have.

I would seriously doubt that your wife has any disrespect for you in that she is your one and only. That's quite special. And you can't help it if you got it right on your first dating attempt! :thumbsup: Some of us are just blessed that way!!! (And that's the story I'm sticking too!) Your daughter probably doesn't disrespect you... but may easily be of the young ways... "like dad, it's not like the OLDEN days... you've got to date around..."

And it's hard on girls should they feel any pressure to marry to have children in a timely manner... they may want that, but just can't find the right one... or they may NOT want that right now, and they feel like they are battling the world.

All I can say, is that my teen years were NOTHING like my dad's. My relationship with my boyfriend, now husband NOTHING like my mom and dad's... That doesn't mean I don't respect their opinions, and it certainly doesn't mean they can't teach me anything about relationships.

If you've had some self esteem issues, I'm sure it's hard, but you don't want to project your thoughts onto someone else. Your 23 y/o daughter is going to have her own opinions. Let her share them with you... you don't need to give her ANSWERS about life, just guidance to the best of your ability.

Personally, I think what a dad can do, regardless of his history, is tell his daughter that she's special. And that he expects any man she's with to treat her with respect and dignity. That she deserves it! You don't need some sort of special experience to relay that message.

HTH's...


#7

Thanks all----and boy are you right, Faithfully!!! Being a teen now is nothing like what it was when I grew up in the 80's!!! Its soooo much more complicated now. Complicated?--yes, technically advanced?--yes, better? I dont think so :-(

It seems like the further society "advances" the more self worth is based on things contrary to the life Christ would want us to live. It worries me as a dad.


#8

blackice,

I agree, praise God that you have been liberated from the psychological troubles you had when you were younger!

[quote="blackice71, post:1, topic:230142"]
Now that my youngest is dating, I feel inept to be able to offer any guidance and I feel very inferior due to my lack of experience in this area. I think I have let this feeling convince me that my wife and kids disrespect me. Ultimately I am left with the feeling that maybe I made a mistake 16 years ago....I missed out on life in some way.

[/quote]

You did not make a mistake 16 years ago in marrying your wife. Marriage is a vocation, and God would not want you to put aside that vocation for something else.

You mentioned feeling inept in guiding your daughter in these things, and that this has led you to believe that your wife and kids disrespect you. As tough as it is, you have to make sure you do not let these feelings of fear turn your focus inwards, selfishly, like curling up in a ball and hiding in a corner. That you are convinced that your wife and kids do not respect you now is evidence to me that you might be starting to do this.

Christ called us to love our enemies. Obviously your wife and children are not enemies, but the point is that you have to give love even if you do not get it back. Your wife and kids need you. Even if they do not appear to show it. At the greatest moment when a child needs his father to stand strong, that might be the time when it is hardest for you to do so.

You are afraid, but take courage, and stay strong. Let Christ be your guide in doing what is right for your wife and children. If you do not know what to do about something, take it to the Lord and ask Him what to do.

Keep up the daily mass and using the sacraments. Go to adoration if you can. Do not stop praying.

I will pray for you.


#9

[quote="oneplustwo, post:8, topic:230142"]
blackice,

I agree, praise God that you have been liberated from the psychological troubles you had when you were younger!

You did not make a mistake 16 years ago in marrying your wife. Marriage is a vocation, and God would not want you to put aside that vocation for something else.

You mentioned feeling inept in guiding your daughter in these things, and that this has led you to believe that your wife and kids disrespect you. As tough as it is, you have to make sure you do not let these feelings of fear turn your focus inwards, selfishly, like curling up in a ball and hiding in a corner. That you are convinced that your wife and kids do not respect you now is evidence to me that you might be starting to do this.Christ called us to love our enemies. Obviously your wife and children are not enemies, but the point is that you have to give love even if you do not get it back. Your wife and kids need you. Even if they do not appear to show it. At the greatest moment when a child needs his father to stand strong, that might be the time when it is hardest for you to do so.

You are afraid, but take courage, and stay strong. Let Christ be your guide in doing what is right for your wife and children. If you do not know what to do about something, take it to the Lord and ask Him what to do.

Keep up the daily mass and using the sacraments. Go to adoration if you can. Do not stop praying.

I will pray for you.

[/quote]

WOW--you hit that one on the head!!! I have really been fighting the urge to just give up and stay away--with varying levels of success. Thank you for your prayers and advice!


#10

I have to say--finding this forum has been a blessing! My priest speaks a lot about the value of christian community and fellowship. I, being an introvert at heart, have not had much luck with this. You guys are indeed making me see that my priest is 100% correct in his assessment of the value of christian interaction. :)


#11

Glad to be of help :)


#12

[quote="blackice71, post:1, topic:230142"]
Hello friends, I wanted to put this out there, as I am struggling mightily with it. I am a married man (of 16 yrs) and have 2 daughters -- one stepdaughter who is 23 and a younger one who is 15. My marriage and my performance as a parent and as a Christian man has been under attack. I married my first girlfriend...not only that but the only girl I ever so much as kissed or even held hands with. I suffered from depression and OCD as a youngster (from which I have been liberated--praise God!!). Now that my youngest is dating, I feel inept to be able to offer any guidance and I feel very inferior due to my lack of experience in this area. I think I have let this feeling convince me that my wife and kids disrespect me. Ultimately I am left with the feeling that maybe I made a mistake 16 years ago....I missed out on life in some way. Things have gotten better since I have returned to Confession and daily mass...but still.....i feel like i am alone in the world with these feelings--no one understands.

I hope that didnt sound like I am whining. Thanks for listening!

[/quote]

Please do not let your thoughts interfere with giving guidance to your younger daughter! Oh, she SO needs you to be her father and Number One Prince right now! Emphasize to her that staying chaste is absolutely critical, and that putting herself in sketchy situations is not what she wants to be doing. I can't support the dating thing, I believe in courting once the young adults are truly discerning marriage, but I know that is kind of an extreme viewpoint right now. But if she is dating, you must screen those young men, and be there for her to talk to about each one afterward. This will be a challenge for you! I hope you have already "dated" your daughter, gone on father-daughter special outings, shown her how a young man should always treat her, with respect at all times. DO NOT listen to those feelings or thoughts that you have nothing to offer your daughter! That is from the Devil!! You are more critical to her now than ever before!

No one but a Daddy can show a girl how her future husband ought to treat her. She totally needs you now.

:thumbsup:


#13

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:12, topic:230142"]
Please do not let your thoughts interfere with giving guidance to your younger daughter! Oh, she SO needs you to be her father and Number One Prince right now! Emphasize to her that staying chaste is absolutely critical, and that putting herself in sketchy situations is not what she wants to be doing. I can't support the dating thing, I believe in courting once the young adults are truly discerning marriage, but I know that is kind of an extreme viewpoint right now. But if she is dating, you must screen those young men, and be there for her to talk to about each one afterward. This will be a challenge for you! I hope you have already "dated" your daughter, gone on father-daughter special outings, shown her how a young man should always treat her, with respect at all times. DO NOT listen to those feelings or thoughts that you have nothing to offer your daughter! That is from the Devil!! You are more critical to her now than ever before!

No one but a Daddy can show a girl how her future husband ought to treat her. She totally needs you now.

:thumbsup:

[/quote]

Thank you---my daughter and I were always very close...it just seemed to change after she became a teen. I wont give up! :thumbsup:


#14

Blackice, I married my high school sweetheart. My one and only too. We were just 18 yrs.old. We have been through many good times and bad times. We are still married now for 33 yrs. We have taken our vows seriously through it all. God wants it this way and we are called to lose our lives for the sake of getting our spouse to heaven. Not easy, I know. You have already received very good advice from others but I wanted to tell you about my dad and his 4 daughters.

My dad too felt disrespected by my mom and my older sisters when they were teens.

He was ridiculed by my mom, my older sisters, and family friends for standing up for what is right. He was the only one who would say, "no" to us when others our age were dressing immodestly, engaging in sex, dabbling in drugs, and leaving the Catholic Church.
He would also walk out of movies when inappropriate.

My mother would not support him because she was more into her daughters being popular and part of the secular culture rather than be holy. Dad was always making sacrifices for us and many, many other people. My dear father passed away almost two years ago now and during his illness and death they all realized how my father had lived his life as a holy example of imitating Christ!


#15

[quote="onmyknees, post:14, topic:230142"]
Blackice, I married my high school sweetheart. My one and only too. We were just 18 yrs.old. We have been through many good times and bad times. We are still married now for 33 yrs. We have taken our vows seriously through it all. God wants it this way and we are called to lose our lives for the sake of getting our spouse to heaven. Not easy, I know. You have already received very good advice from others but I wanted to tell you about my dad and his 4 daughters.

My dad too felt disrespected by my mom and my older sisters when they were teens.

He was ridiculed by my mom, my older sisters, and family friends for standing up for what is right. He was the only one who would say, "no" to us when others our age were dressing immodestly, engaging in sex, dabbling in drugs, and leaving the Catholic Church.
He would also walk out of movies when inappropriate.

My mother would not support him because she was more into her daughters being popular and part of the secular culture rather than be holy. Dad was always making sacrifices for us and many, many other people. My dear father passed away almost two years ago now and during his illness and death they all realized how my father had lived his life as a holy example of imitating Christ!

[/quote]

Thank you, and God bless you AND your father!


#16

[quote="blackice71, post:13, topic:230142"]
Thank you---my daughter and I were always very close...it just seemed to change after she became a teen. I wont give up! :thumbsup:

[/quote]

It will seem to change, and she may seem as though she is rejecting you, but believe me, she needs you all the more. Persist! There are tons of good books about what dads give their daughters - read them for support! I wish your wife was backing you up but some moms do side with the teen girls because they wish they were a teenager again themselves...Show your daughter how much you love and cherish her mother, too, even if it takes everything you have...Your strong commitment to your marriage is a great gift to your daughter...

It may seem that since you can't talk to her about becoming a woman, physically, that you have nothing to offer...but you do...Take her out and treat her as you would want a young man to treat her, and she will notice when/if they don't...And make sure that structure is in place, for the boys to come and meet you and her mom!

I love the response just above this one! That was an honorable dad! May God bless him in Heaven!


closed #17

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