Monday, June 16, 2008

One of my "Must Not"'s

After I recovered from my last relationship breakup, and as I began to think about re-entering the dating world, I made a list. A series of lists, actually, for what I do and don't want in a future partner.

Part 1 is the Six "Musts" that are immediately assessable. ie: sense of humor, positive energy, etc.
Part 2 is the Six "Musts", "time will tell" version. Things like communication, priorities, follows up words with actions.
Part 3 is the Ten "Very Importants". Things that are not 100% crucial but are....well....very important! Things like past relationship experience, manners, geographic location.
Part 4 is the Six "Must Not"'s. ie: smoke, drugs, abusive, etc
Part 5 is kindof's the Unlimited "Wouldn't it be nice if..."s where you get to list all these things that aren't necessary but it sure would be a bonus if he were.....whatever. Hilarious, wealthy, into the same sport I enjoy, etc.

Let's back up to Part 4. The Must Nots. Understandably, the vast majority of my Must's and Must Not's have been created by the experiences I've had in life. A particularly sensitive entry is that my future man Must Not have children who he is not involved with out of choice. This is born, of course, out of the situation with DD's bio-donor.

I've been talking with a man who lives pretty much on the other side of the country from me. Hence we've not met in person. I'll call him KC. We've been talking for about 2 1/2 months now. I like him. He had an abusive upbringing which always raises my flags but it seems as if he's really processed alot. He's been in therapy for years with full intention of continuing. He's intelligent, self aware, takes responsibility for his actions.

He has three children. His oldest is his son who he hasn't seen in about 5 years. His son is married with a daughter and KC has never met the DIL or granddaughter. Next is his older daughter. These 2 kids, the son & older DD, are from his 1st marriage. There are some massive issues with his older DD and they don't speak. He has a younger daughter from his 2nd marriage. He was in her life when she was a baby and then decided it was best to get out of the picture when the mom remarried. She subsequently divorced and KC has tried to get back into the DD's life.

It's tough to summarize all of this into a short, easy read. Basically, KC was going through life in his pre-counseling state of abuse brain-fog. He was drinking & smoking pot to escape reality. He was a man-whore and a player. He cheated on his wives. He wasn't involved with his children. He was living a life of selfishness and of trying to avoid the pain. I can understand this. I did it for a long time.

What I don't understand is the situation now. He seems to have very distant relationships with the oldest and youngest. And no relationship with the middle. I've asked him about it but I guess I don't feel like I've gotten an answer that satisfies me. I'm not sure what else I want to know, though. I think he feels like he really screwed things up with them through his own actions and now he just accepts that for what it is. Like it's his punishment, or something? He hasn't seen his youngest DD since she was a baby. And she's like 17 now. I'm going to have a very different perspective on this than he does. When I talked to him yesterday, I wished him a Happy Father's Day and asked if his kids had called. No, he said, none of them had called. I asked him if he'd called his son to wish him a Happy 1st Father's Day since he has a baby. He hadn't thought about it and thanked me for reminding him; said maybe he'd do that.

You know, as the daughter of a man who royally f***ed up with his kids, I'd love it if my father went through his own healing process and then pursued me to make amends. I feel like it's a parent's responsibility. I could be wrong. Or actually....I'm not wrong. It's just my opinion. KC's is not wrong's just his opinion. But I'm having trouble navigating how this all fits in with my "Must Not". I mean....he's marginally involved with 2 of his 3 kids. He'd happily welcome a closer relationship with them from what I can see yet he does nothing to foster it. I think he works under the belief that they will come to him if/when they are ready and he accepts that. But he is a logic-driven man. I'm an emotion-driven woman. And one who's been betrayed/abandoned by her father. So I can't possibly see things the same way he does.

I have my yellow flags on this developing friendship. This is a major part of it. I know it's hypocritical but I have concerns about his abused past as well as his prior coping mechanisms. Part of me says it's a major "Pro" that he understands certain things about what I've gone through; that he is in therapy. And yet another part of me recognizes the "Con" of the situation as well. I think I'll try to broach the subject with him tonight.


Angel said...

I hope the conversation went well. He must not have met you through your blog since you posted about him.

One thought I've got about his not being involved with his children is that it's an avoidance. He may not use the pot or casual sex to avoid his feelings anymore but that doesn't mean he can bring himself to proactively confront the absence of a relationship with them. Would that be the same way he would "deal with" problems in a relationship too?

While I agree that a relationship with his adult children is a two-way street, how are they supposed to know that he suddenly would be interested in them?

On the other hand, he says he is in therapy so that is to be commended. That is proactive.

Perfect said...

That's a good point, Angel. Thanks! I've definitely got my feelers out on this whole situation. I talked to him about it last night. His youngest DD is supposed to be coming to visit him this summer. But he's leaving the planning to her mother who seems hesitant. I started asking him why he doesn't get to the bottom of her reluctance. And then I asked him why he doesn't just go visit his DD where she lives which came down to an answer of not liking where she lives. ???? That really floored me. Really? You haven't seen your DD in 15 years but you won't visit her b/c her town is trashy? I just don't get it.

Angel said...

OMG, I don't care where it is--if my child lived somewhere and it had been 15 years since I had seen him/her, I would be there! It wouldn't matter how much I didn't like that area.

He can come up with some excuses, can't he? Slippery.