There’s that decisive point in your life—well, apart from gravity hitting your lower chin, the wrinkles growing more crisp, and you’re short of breath much more often—you realize you’re becoming like your father.
For a man, it’s a turning point. Like a young wolf leaving the herd to start his adventure, the path he follows shares the same milestones as that of his father. I’m aware wolves might be an odd analogy. I also doubt they have a father complex… or, they possibly do, but they don’t possess the intellectual capacity to realize it. A lot of men don’t, either.
Your father has been brought up with different values, in an age much more analogue than this digital era; he did not possess an iPhone, nor did he waste his precious time “like’ing” posts on Facebook or Instagram. No, he was busy providing a living—building some sort of life. A life that would provide the intellectual and physical foundation for you growing up. And as mothers would eagerly agree, a father is far from perfect. So, he probably also possessed incredible selfish traits while you were growing up—most fathers keep those traits permanently, mind you.
I realized in my 30’s that I had a terrible father complex. It wasn’t at all evident to me in my early life, because my father is a lovable character: emotional, complex and passionate about his writing above all else. Only later in life did I realize that he was more a friend figure than a father figure – and that actually filled a void in my life.
Now, I see more of his traits embossed in my personality. I could only be as much of a man to a certain extent, as long as it was within the frameworks of my father’s inherent masculinity.
For many young boys who’ve spent a lot of energy rebelling against their parents, namely their male role model, this is a huge issue in adulthood… and now that the ideas of the modern man—which clearly conflicts with the ideas from your father’s generation—are dominant, they will leave many men stripped of their masculine identity. The man you’re slowly turning into—based on your fatherly role model—is an outdated model.
How do you deal with it?
This is a question of both identity and power. Your identity, which is an endless bin stacked with memorabilia, flaws, strength and, let’s be honest, skeletons. Your power—which is a choice—to stand by the man you are, regardless of whether or not, your father is embossed in the frameworks of your identity. If the woman by your side, aims to change you, be gentle, sometime rough, but show little compromise.
Staying true to your strengths as well as your flaws, is a timeless defining factor in shaping your masculinity. It is a mixture of upbringing and genetics your biological nature can only succumb to… just as women can’t fight over 60,000 years of biological inherent behavior. Women will, consciously or subconsciously, seek a man solid as a rock and true to his own spirit and nature. If she doesn’t like your father, fine. Her mother is probably no picnic, either.
How did I deal with my father complex? I told him, I loved him. To reveal your love to your father is the singular defining moment in your life. It leaves you whole. If you are struggling with any issues or disagreements with your father, call him today rather than tomorrow and tell him: I love you. Someday, it’ll be too late and you’ll be reminded of him when you see your reflection in the mirror in the autumn of your years.