The Workaholic Dad

The father in this life story loved to work. He had a structural steel business and it was his pride and joy. Hence, the absence of interaction and connection between the sisters and their dad defined the complicated relationship in the entire family.

He left for work at 5:30 A.M. and returned about 6:30 P.M., at which time he sat down, exhausted, and said to her mother, “Get me a beer.” Her mom raced to the refrigerator to get the beer, and by 9:00 P.M., he had gone to bed. During union negotiations, he came home even later.

Still, Unconnected dads are nothing new. In the Bible, we read about King David’s family problems, in which Amnon, his son raped his daughter, Tamar:

‘“No, my brother!’ she [Tamar] said to him. ‘Don’t force me! Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing. What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel. Please speak to the king; he will not keep me from being married to you.’ But he [Amnon] refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her. Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, ‘Get up and get out!’”

David was furious over the situation, but did nothing. He didn’t punish Amnon, perhaps because he was his firstborn son, but also because he had forced himself on Bathsheba. David was unequaled as a military leader, but lacked “the right stuff” as a husband and father. Other dire consequences came about because of his inability to pay attention to his family.

The results in this life story are quite similar. The young girl’s father, so enmeshed in his steel fabricating business, paid little attention to his family. His business was his first priority over everything else. He provided well for his family, and to him that was most important and quite enough. As far as he was concerned, the three females in his life had the best of what he wanted to provide.

Research in the twenty-first century says, “Make no mistake: being a workaholic [dad] leaves a powerful legacy. Children carry those vivid memories and feelings into adulthood, thinking of Dad as the man behind the closed door, or missing most of their activities.”[1]

So, did the young girl and her older sister suffer any consequences? Did her dad leave a powerful legacy that was harmful or beneficial?

To be continued …

[1] http://www.fathers.com/s7-hot-topics/c40-workfamily/the-legacy-of-a-workaholic-dad/

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