Why Do Fathers Hate Their Sons? (What Can Sons Do?)

Some people could not conceive of the idea of a father hating his son. Besides, no father would feel that, right?

There are also fathers who, on the outside, appear to be cool with their sons. They may even seem to be great dads. But deep inside, they hate their sons.

In this post I tackle 6 reasons fathers hate their sons. If you’re a man whom you suspect your father hates, I also offer tips on what you can do.

However, I’ll preface this by saying that in most cases where the fathers genuinely hate their sons to the core, these fathers likely have unresolved issues and they feel hopeless because dealing with these issues takes huge amounts of work, time, and patience.

why do fathers hate their sons

Why do fathers hate their sons? (6 Reasons)

1. These fathers can’t accept that their sons grew up different from them.

Imagine a “cool” father. He was athletic for most of his youth. He now regularly goes to the gym. He dresses sharply, and regularly meets up with his colleagues and prominent figures of the community.

Now this father has a son who’s the complete opposite. The son doesn’t like sports. He’s an introvert and would rather read books and listen to music at home.

The same can be true for the reverse. A father and son can be completely different.

Some fathers develop this sort of disappointment into hate. Their inability to accept and work out their relationship with their son leaves them to resort to nothing else.

Related: ‘Son Hates Father’ Complex: Reasons and What You Can Do

2. These fathers did not want a son.

This can be for several reasons. Maybe the spouse/wife did not want a son. Perhaps they had a previous traumatic experience. Or they wanted a girl after having five boys.

Or, like with toxic fathers, there can be no reason at all. Reasons are arbitrary. Who knows the motivations of these men to think that way?

3. These fathers have unresolved childhood trauma.

People who have experienced childhood trauma need to deal with and heal from it.

Childhood trauma isn’t something you can manage by simply “believing in yourself” or “choosing to be positive amidst negativity.”

It needs work that likely needs the help of a professional.

Fathers who have unresolved childhood trauma may have negative feelings and they can’t pinpoint or identify what they are exactly. These negative feelings are further riddled with insecurities, low self-esteem, or shame, and they may think they hate themselves or the life they’re living.

These are effects of childhood trauma and, not knowing any better, these fathers develop hate towards their sons and think this hate is somehow warranted. It’s a combination of a dark past and a confused present.

Related: Why Are Fathers Mean to Their Sons? 

4. Through their sons, these fathers see what they hate in themselves.

The apple sure doesn’t fall far from the tree. What the father is, the son likely absorbs and imitates.

This is particularly true for fathers who have unrecognized (or undiagnosed) mental or emotional issues.

Let’s say a father has undiagnosed clinical depression. He feels the struggle but does not acknowledge it. This creates internal conflict. He wants to escape the gloomy feeling.

He’s now somewhat expecting his son to give him a sense of joy. But he fails to see that because his son simply patterns his behaviors and traits from his.

Without seeking help, this father then resorts to hate, aside from his sense of helplessness in which he feels he can never get out of this dark place.

5. What these fathers really hate are parenting and the things they had to give up to raise their sons.

Some people say, “A child will change you (for the better).” However you may believe that, it’s simply not true for everybody.

There’s nothing wrong with someone who decides to go childfree—I believe this with all my heart.

However, some men are not sure if they want a kid at the outset, decide to bear one in hopes they’ll change their sentiments later, but regret it.

Some of these men end up being “responsible” by society’s standards but they would hate giving up all the freedom and luxuries they could afford if they had no child. Of course, they learn this after the child is born.

These fathers then may direct their hate towards their son because, in the first place, the son is the reason for this major change the father was unprepared for.

Related: 24 Signs of a Bad Father-Son Relationship You Must Watch Out For

6. The sons turned out to be genuinely problematic.

To be fair, there are good enough fathers whose sons turn out to be quite problematic.

But arguably, it still boils down to how these fathers raised them.

For example, always being too permissive can cause Childhood Emotional Neglect. When this happens, the son loses his ability to regulate his emotions, which is a recipe for more issues that could persist in his adult life.

On the other hand, the sons could be enjoying a high level of privilege, but in refusing to choose good problems to solve, they grow up emotionally immature and unable to thrive when faced with real-world obstacles.

Fathers could hate their sons in this case, too. Without wondering they probably had shortcomings, they think their privileged sons should be doing better.

What can you do if you think your father hates you?

1. Know that it’s not your fault.

A father’s responsibility is to be a good enough father to his son. This doesn’t absolve you from being a terrible son, but it’s simply what a father means.

Your parents chose to have you. You could say they had you by accident. But it still isn’t your fault.

I can’t even think of a common reason a son deserves his father’s hate. If you grew up to become a terrible man of some sort, then who was responsible for raising you to become one?

Blaming aside, the father’s role in a son’s life cannot be underestimated.

Related: 8 Effects of Emotionally Distant Fathers on Sons

2. You’re not responsible for your father’s hate.

While you have the freedom to do whatever you want, choose wisely. While you may feel somewhat responsible for your father’s emotions because it’s your relationship in the first place, it is not the case.

You are responsible for your emotions, thoughts, and actions. Would you allow toxicity and negativity to influence them?

You can only do so much with your father. For the sake of your happiness, set boundaries. It’s okay to let your father be. It’s okay to refuse something that can take a toll on your wellbeing.

3. You can try to talk to him and enlighten him about this hate in hopes that he’ll seek help.

You can still extend a helping hand. This may be impossible to achieve but I just want you to relinquish what-ifs had you not offered to help your father.

I’m assuming you love him and, even though it’s hard, you only want what’s best for him. He may start with finally admitting he hates you (or the relationship), and—hopefully—try out professional help.

Set your expectations low, though. Remember, he is out of your control.

Related: How to Deal with an Emotionally Distant Father

4. Talk about it with men you trust.

Nothing beats a circle of friends you’d entrust your life with. Perhaps they’ve been in your shoes. These are male figures who have also experienced a conflict or two with their fathers.

If you don’t have this core group, then it’s never too late to find them. Maybe reach out to childhood friends. Or go to meet-ups.

One reason you feel alone is that you can’t tell anyone about deeply personal issues like this. And sometimes, it’s the mere fact that you have no one to talk to.

5. Strive to be a good man, nonetheless.

Perhaps you’ve gone through that “rebel” phase in your youth. You drank, smoked, had trouble with school. But I can tell you that phase was likely a reaction to the hurt you felt living with a toxic father. I take this further and say that everything was probably meant to happen—and it’s okay.

However, if you’re reading this, you’re probably aware by now that how you were raised is a significant, if not the most significant, influence on your present relationships. The quality of your life largely depends on the quality of your relationships.

Above all, keep striving to be a good man. No matter what you’re dealing with, even if you haven’t healed from your pain yet. Being a good man is not the goal. It shouldn’t even be a goal. You just live it. Sometimes you fall hard but you shrug it off and get up again.

Image Credits: Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

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