False Pressure From Dad

Yells, screams. Acid to the stomach. Stress on the heart.

by Greg Hague

We fought into the night. A wife? A girlfriend? Nope. It was my dad.

Pressure from Dad

1952. Mom pins an award on Dad.

In 1977, I broke up with Chubby. This is a story very few know.

For over a year I hated the man I loved. He felt the same about me.

It started three years before. I had graduated from law school. Chubby owned a real estate firm in Cincinnati. I wasn’t sure what to do. Practice law? Work with Dad?

Dad never pushed. I knew what he wanted. I joined the firm.

It was pressure from Dad exerted by me.
For three years it was horrible and great.

The great? I learned a lot. It shaped my life. The horrible? We fought. A lot.

Why did we fight? Dad never said, “Greg, do things like me.” Still, I felt the pressure inside…like that’s what he wanted. My car. The way I talked, walked and treated our agents. Sales meetings. The copy I wrote for newspaper ads.

I tried to be Dad. I forgot about Greg.

I became a young Chubby Hague. Dad never suggested I should try to be him. It was pressure from Dad…exerted by me.

You can’t do good work when it’s really not you. Dad justifiably criticized. I rebelled. We fought. Some days we’d battle into the night.

Finally I decided, “I’ll show him.” I left in a fit. I started my own firm. I competed with Dad. We didn’t speak for a year. It was a stupid, emotional thing.

This was a knee-jerk, “get even” reaction to pressure from Dad…exerted by me. A year passed. We got back together. That’s a story alone.

What did I learn from my battle with Dad?

Kids feel pressure to be like us, their dads.
Often, it’s nothing we said.

A message to my sons:

Be as much like me as you want to be.
There is no pressure from Dad.

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