As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear brother,
Thank you for writing. I am very sorry to hear of the difficulties you are having with your dad. May Allah (swt) reward you for your patience, continued kindness and your perseverance. Be assured brother that your dad does love you very much.
Sadly, parents often take out their own personal frustrations on one or more of their children. This is called “scapegoating” and according to Nambka “Scapegoating is a serious family dysfunctional problem with one member of the family or a social group being blamed for small things, picked on and constantly put down. In scapegoating, one of the authority figures has made a decision that somebody in the family has to be the bad guy.” Nambka further goes on to describe the parent(s) who does this as insecure and states that they scapegoat one of their children to avoid feeling their own internal guilt, shame, hostility, and suffering.
So, in actuality, my dear brother, there is nothing wrong with you, but indeed your father is suffering from some internal pain such as possible depression, fears of dying (diabetes), inadequacy, or any other number of mental health issues relating to the past or his current health condition. Perhaps this is also why you are seeing odd behaviors from him such as cursing God and the religion, texting/talking to girls, making fun of you, or not complimenting your mom. There is something deep within him that is bothering him. You stated he does pray and read Qur’an, so he still does love Allah (swt) and seems to be seeking help from Qur’anic readings and prayer; however, he may need help from a professional to get at the root of the problem.
As you state, the reason you are writing is because you are tired of not having a “proper father-son relationship”. I am wondering whether you are close to your mom, and whether you could discuss your concerns with her? Perhaps discuss his behaviors which you find contradictory to Islam and as a family man. However, please leave out the “talking/texting to girls” part as that would only cause more problems right now. I would suggest dear brother that you seek her guidance in trying to get your father some help.
As far as you, you must realize that you do not deserve to be abused emotionally. It is haram for parents to abuse their children. In sha’ Allah dear brother, I hope you realize all of your fine and honorable qualities. I pray that you don’t let your father’s issues become your own. They are not. I know it’s often difficult to separate your true self from the horrible things said and done to you, but you must understand that it is not you – it is your father. In order to create a loving relationship with your dad, it may take a lot of hard work and further sacrifice on your part. It won’t be easy, especially if he refuses to get counseling.
I would suggest being patient and trying not to argue with him. Don’t bring up his faults at this time. A person who is depressed or angry all the time doesn’t have the capacity to think logically, unless it is under extreme conditions such as you confronting him about his haram behavior with women.
Be a model of good behavior, kindness, generosity, and most of all, show extra respect for your father, and you will be amazed at how much this may impact your father’s behavior. He can’t possibly continue to misbehave and be abusive if everyone around him is smothering him with kindness, respect, and generosity. I know you are already being kind and respectful, but you may have to “go the extra mile”. Try to be as kind, loving and gentle as possible even though it hurts you to be rebuked, in sha’ Allah you will get great blessings from it.
Regarding building a loving father-son relationship, or at least starting positive communication, there are a few ways to approach him. One is a direct way and one is indirect. Concerning the direct way, I would suggest that, when things are calm, you approach your dad when the two of you are alone and say something to the effect of “You know dad, I really love you and I wish we could be close” or “dad, I love you, what would it take for us to be close”. By posing a question to him, an answer is required. In sha’ Allah, you will get an answer which is positive towards growing the bonds of communication. If not, approach him another time with your request.
Using the indirect method, you could start building a bond and good feelings by inviting him to go out with you somewhere for coffee or tea. You don’t have to talk about anything in particular. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend talking about work or home, but rather discuss any mutual interests you both may have. Enjoy the special time you both have together with no pressure.
Also, continue making du’aa’ to Allah (swt) that He (swt) heals your relationship and your father. As parental responsibilities to children are taken very seriously in Islam, your father is accountable to Allah (swt) for the way he treats you. In regards to a father’s responsibilities towards his children, one responsibility is to provide a peaceful and loving environment at home that is conducive to the children’s overall spiritual and moral development.
With this in mind, keep close to Allah (swt) for strength and guidance. Also, don’t neglect your social life brother. Enjoy your friends and seek fun times when you can. Life cannot be all about work, problems and sadness. We must have our times of joy as well.
You are in our prayers. Please let us know how you are doing.
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