If a father knows his son is with him on the feeling level, that is what is most important to the father. If the father feels the son is pushing him away, it is very painful and the father will want to pull the son in closer, control the son, all the more. The issue between father and son is not so much on the surface of what it being done day to day… it is on the deeper feeling level. The father also wants to feel that the family is close, that the kids are close and supportive, and love one another.
If it feels to the father that the kids are drifting apart, it will be painful for the father and he will try to rearrange the surface to bring them closer together, just as the father will rearrange the surface to bring the son closer to his dad and the family, if he feels the son drifting away emotionally. If the son speaks to the father from the place of love and understanding for father and shows that, through not just words, but even more importantly, tone of voice, all will be well between them. The father will feel safe in affording the son more freedom on the surface of life.
Due to emotional issues between most every father and son, this is not so easy for the son to do. Also, when the father holds power such as money or flat out verbal aggression over the son, or when the father historically does not ‘hear’ the son, it is not so easy to do.
However, if it is done, it will be heard and is the most effective way for the son to gain autonomy. It also shows the maturation of the relationship between father and son. Many people may mature extremely well in all areas of life with the one exception of their relationship with father. Yet, it is actually easy to do if the son can maintain this simple open-hearted approach… Few sons overcome their childhood issues with the father. Few even acknowledge the issues. Yet, to do so is the mark of a great man. When accomplished, the relationship of a father and son as adults is exquisite, beautiful, deep, and fulfilling for both.