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Protecting myself from a manipulative father

2933 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  xor
Hi all,
So this is my first post, though I have been reading these forums for years. I have found the information on here to be very helpful to me in regards to communicating with, and truly understanding different personality types.

I have always had a rocky relationship with my dad (He is an ESTJ and I am INTP). We don't really have a personal relationship - the only way he can relate to me is by giving me "life advice". The only time he respects me as a person is if I comply with his wishes. As I got into my 20s, his influence grew less and less, and I became much happier with myself as a person. Since then, he has more or less disowned me. He doesn't try to make contact with me, doesn't call me on my birthday, doesn't ask me about my life. Even when I visit home for holidays, he mostly ignores me.
He has proven time and time again that he doesn't trust me. When I was in my teens, he would search through my things, lie to me about it, guilt trip me, and even threaten to leave our family. He verbally and emotionally abuses my mom on a daily basis and will completely shut people out if they don't agree with him. He verbally assaults me whenever I see him. He will say that I am a weirdo, have no social skills, can't hold a job, that I am a homosexual, detached from the "real world", pot head, etc... Some of these things are partially true, but for the most part I am pretty well off in life. I have never been in trouble with the law. I have a good degree from one of the top 10 universities in CA. I run my own contracting business as a freelance software developer. I have a really wonderful girlfriend and am deathly loyal to the people I care about.

I am going to bring my new girlfriend home to meet my parents in a couple weeks, and I am worried that my dad will use her to manipulate me in some way. This may sound paranoid, and I know people are usually anxious to bring home someone new to meet the folks, but I have a strong feeling this is a very likely scenario. He knows that I really care about her, and he is the type to use anything at his disposal to get what he wants. He can be very charming and clever, and he is very socially capable. My girlfriend knows a bit about him, but I haven't really laid out how crazy he is.

An obvious solution would be not to have her meet my dad, which has been my default solution in the types of situations. But, we are leaving for S. America shortly, and I really want her to meet my mom and my friends back home. She also wants to meet my family, but I don't know how to prepare her for this. Any thoughts or strategies are appreciated. Thank you.
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Well, ironically, this will be more on her than it will be on you.

With your dad's type of personality, your girl friend is going to have to take charge. For instance, my older brother is the militant ESTJ type, and I'm an INFJ--so you can figure the strife and belittling. :p When I brought my girl friend home, she didn't sit back and play the observer. She helped my mother, she joked around with my step dad, and she charmingly stood up to my older brother when he started in with his crap. Not stood up like create conflict, but stood up to show that her stature. Because of which, he respected her, and it went over well.

While you can't really tell your girl friend to do it, it's something she should think about.

For instance, you are all sitting around the table having dinner and conversation. Your dad laughs between open chews and says, "You know, for a long time I thought my son was going to be gay!"

Instead of your girl friend kind of sitting back awkwardly with you saying, "Dad, please."

Your girl friend flicks her head over to you with a warm smile, and she says, "Hmm... I don't think a gay guy could have kissed me the same way he did with our first kiss."

While it kind of stands her up, it also gives her a voice to your father, and it starts to seem like its your two versus him, making him out numbered.


On a side note, that situation worked for me, but granted my brother isn't an major asshole like your dad. I'm all about family, but there is nothing wrong with shutting your dad out if he is the way he is. If he can't behave, then he can't be a part of your life. It's that simple.

When your spouse is an alcoholic, you don't put up with it because you love them. You tell them you are leaving if they don't get help--you give them that shocking motivation.
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