Basically the Father Wound is unresolved conflict or anger between father and son, or father and daughter. Through his trained observation he has detailed the motivation behind the crime of domestic violence and abuse by the batterer personality (a psychopath). “Many of the men I’ve spoken to have told me that if they had just had a father to affirm their worth, love them, discipline them appropriately, and hold them accountable for their behavior as kids, they might not have ended up in prison.”
The thing everyone of them had in common was the lack of a father in his life and an intense hatred for his father if he knew who he was. Most of them had the attitude that, “Dad, you could beat me, neglect me, or abuse me when I was a little kid, but now I’m big enough to hurt you or hurt someone else. I’ll show you what I’m capable of. I’ll get your attention one way or the other.”
Many of the young men I talked to were motivated to commit crimes just to get even with their fathers. They all had very high anger levels combined with noticeable sadness because of their dads, and many of them felt isolated and alone.
Another thing these gang members had in common was absolutely no sense of right or wrong. If they knew the difference, they didn’t care because they had no moral foundation under them. If it felt good, they’d do it. If they wanted someone else’s property, they would just take it. All of them lacked a good role model for how a husband, father, and man should behave. For many of them, the only thing they ever saw their father do was beat them, assault their mother, come home drunk, break their promises – and their father never told them how much he loved or appreciated them. Most of their fathers were emotionally absent, unpredictable, dictatorial, and unreasonable. Many that I talked to had never been to church and knew nothing of God. I heard a number of them say, “I swore I’d never turn out like my old, man, but I guess I did.”
Our juvenile detention facilities are packed with brokenhearted boys and girls because of the father wound. They will enter adulthood angry, wounded, and determined to get even without even realizing why. They will be the next generation of wife beaters, child abusers, murderers, rapists, and armed robbers, who feel worthless and unwanted. They will spend their lives unconsciously looking for the approval and acceptance of their father, who never affirmed their worth.
For those who do not fall into a life of crime, many will become workaholics, trying to become successful in order to gain their father’s approval. In their thirst of a father’s blessing, they will sacrifice their wives and kids to the god of money, power, and influence. Some will become prominent in the church and community and will quietly batterer their wives, who will be forced to live under their dictatorial and controlling hand.
Many will take reckless chances in business, risking family finances and the stability of their homes in order to climb the ladder to the top. In their wake will be a trail littered with wounded children who may never have been physically abused, but are nonetheless empty and hurting from the emotional absence and lack of moral leadership from their fathers.
Excerpt from REFUGE; A pathway out of Domestic Violence and Abuse
By Detective Sgt. Donald Stewart