In this counseling answer:
“Your relationship has not always been rocky, but it most likely started to change when something changed between you. Think about it what it might be and forgive your father for his imperfections. You will feel much better, and it will give you a chance to choose a different direction in the relationship.”
Wa ‘Alaykum As-Salaam sister,
My heart goes out to you. May Allah (swt) bring your hearts together, Amin. I’m sure there is more to the story than the small amount of information you have provided. Remember that having a child that is not close to you is hard on a parent also. It may be that your father doesn’t know how to communicate with you because of an underlying problem that may not be apparent to you. I don’t know what it is, but a good starting point is to try to look at your situation objectively.
When a relationship between a parent and child gets so far off track, it’s usually something that took a time to spiral out of control. I’m sure the day you were born, your father saw how beautiful you were, and he only wanted good for you. I’m sure at some point in his life he worked hard and gave up the best years of his life so his family could be provided for to the best of his ability. I’m sure at some point in your life he played with you and you laughed.
The point is, your relationship has not always been rocky, but it most likely started to change when something changed between you. It could be a financial situation, health situation, a generation gap between the two of you, or even a lack of maturity on the matter. It’s hard to say without knowing more about the situation. But I do know that you as a child, who has a father who lives with you, who contributes toward the food you eat and pays for your shelter, deserves a certain level of respect. It’s not easy being a parent emotionally, financially, or physically. Of course, you deserve respect, too, but your parents are entitled to it. If you look at the Quran, you will see that Allah (swt) mentions parents’ right after He mentions Himself. This shows the high level of respect parents are entitled to.
We are patient with our parents because it’s an act of worship – just like prayer is an act of worship. Think about it this way. If you had a son who you raised, spent countless money on, gave up countless hours of your life taking care of, everything he is or has become is mainly because of your actions and the investments you made in him, then one day he says, “I can’t be patient with you anymore”. What would you do, or how would you feel?
Check out this counseling video:
Our parents want a good relationship with us, but many times they are just as confused with the deterioration of the relationship as we are. You have made it 18 years with your father, please be patient with him. At this age, you probably spend much of your time at school, or at work, and spend a minimum amount of time around him anyway. Please don’t talk back to him. Lower your wing of humility to him, and Allah (swt) will bless you for that.
I know you don’t want to go to school and work, but what if you do? Will you make it an excuse not to be successful? In the West, many single parents go to school, work 40 hours a week and have their children to take care of. Maybe you can reduce the number of classes you take. This will cut down on the tension between you and your father and allow you to go to school. A compromise for family peace is worth it.
Sometimes, we get into such a routine of being angry and mad at people that we stop communicating with them or looking for solutions to actually improve the situation. It’s like the husband who wakes up every morning thinking that his wife is such a pain, nag and complainer. He does this every day for years and conditions himself to act in a way that encourages the other person to be that way. Even if a part of him wants a better relationship, he is the one who has made a routine out of it, because he has it in his mind that his wife has the problem and is a pain, and he is good and the victim. It takes two to have a conflict.
If you are in a daily routine that not only encourages but ensures you and your father will continue having problems long term, then stop. Forgive your father for his imperfections, and maybe he will forgive you for yours. Take the time to forgive him. You will feel much better, and it will give you a chance to choose a different direction in the relationship. When you can look at him for what he is – a normal, everyday person who is just trying to make it and not a hindrance to your happiness – you will see new options in the relationship. It starts with how you think when you wake up in the morning.
In addition, you may want to read a good book on family counseling as it can be an investment in your overall happiness. Allah (swt) will reward you, in sha’ Allah, and when you have children, you don’t want them to witness family discord. Investing in family peace is not a sign of weakness, rather it’s a sign of faith and maturity.
Finally, it will be better for your college education if you concentrated on studies instead of family conflict.
May Allah (swt) make it easy for you!
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.