Reflections and stories about father hunger

Friendships, relationships, friendlationships, and interpersonal men's issues.
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Reflections and stories about father hunger

Unread postby musicmonkey » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:10 pm

Richard Rohr describes father hunger as "the profound, but usually unconscious longing for affirmation and limits from male authority figures." He says, "The most common words people use to describe their relationships with their fathers are 'absence,' 'sadness' and 'I don't know him.' Men have not been given the permission or the skills to pass on who they are to their children. We often know what makes fathers angry, but not the deep desires and dreams of their hearts, much less their loneliness and hurt."

He believes that father hunger is intrinsically involved in such diverse phenomena as military and athletic bonding, prostitution and addiction to success and power, some expressions of homosexuality, gangs and male aggression, among others.

He says, "A man who has been initiated into manhood by his father has no need to be macho. An insecure, uninitiated man has to be: He takes on the symbolic, exaggerated masculine [role] because he has never been given the real thing. We are now living in a time when many people believe that all men are stupid, insensitive and self-seeking. There is no way to build up good models of maleness when males themselves are ashamed and mistrustful of maleness."

My relationship with my father has improved tremendously over the past twenty years. When I was in my late teens and early 20s, I think I hated my father. Today I love him very much but also see him as a broken man who grew up without his own father present in his life. Around five or ten years ago, my father and I were alone together and he said that he wanted to pass on his blessing to me. I remember feeling a childlike awkwardness about the subject or maybe it was just his awkwardness that made me feel a bit uncomfortable. I hope to ask him more about that one day.

Feel free to share your thoughts and stories about your own father hunger, past or present.

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