Subject: Step-dad issues.
Question: I have a query reguarding the relationship between me and my step dad. He’s a good guy. Infact admittedly, he’s a better father figure than my biological farther who left when i was 9. I’ve tried to analyze myself to see what the problem is with me, but i can’t seem to work out why i don’t like him. I even took psychology as a subject to help me work this out. I’m 20 now, but there was a two gear gap between my farther leaving and my mother meeting him. I am also a middle child, I don’t know if that alters my traits or how why im so hostile towards him all the time.
Answer: Dear Tim,
I don’t have a magic crystal ball to read into your mind.
I am sure that you are not going to “make” yourself like someone you don’t like. Here is what I can suggest. Sit somewhere quietly and ask yourself what specifically (behaviors or character traits) your step-dad has that annoy you. If you can deal with these traits one on one it may help your understanding of yourself more however, it can also be as something as simple as you expecting yourself to like someone who was not your dad.
It is not uncommon for children to resent the “replacement” parent. We can not ever replace our parents and trying to force ourselves to love someone or care for someone rarely ever works. It maybe that you just wanted your dad back when you were 9. What 9 year old can truly understand a parents leaving them behind? Isn’t that asking a bit much of yourself?
If you want to continue this self exploration work I highly recommend some readings by Bryon Katie. She has some free downloads of exercises you can do on the side bar of her website. I have used them myself with great results. http://www.thework.com/index.asp
That you own your resentment and hostility says much about what a great young man you are growing up to be. Taking responsibility for our feelings is very mature and responsible. I think you have a great life ahead of you. Try not to live too much in past judging yourself!