For many years my father gave the impression that he never wanted to marry again. His first marriage was a nightmare, he hated his ex-wife, he hated all women in general; me included. Women were stupid, ignorant, desperate, disobedient. I was all four.
But something changed. Around nine years after the divorce, my father began searching for a new wife. He was tired of being alone, he couldn’t cope alone. He was not a social man, he didn’t call friends for a chat, he expected everyone else to ask after him. He wouldn’t go on a holiday by himself, it took a long time before he did and even then it was to stay with family. I thought he wanted his freedom, he certainly never wanted my mother.
Of course, after the divorce, he expected me to step into my mothers place and in many ways I did. There was never any sexual abuse. I did not become his “wife” like that. However, I was expected to take care of him, the house, myself. I did not enjoy my new found role. I rebelled against it which only deepened his hatred for me.
In 2008, my father joined many different dating websites. He had no chance of meeting a woman in any other circumstance, he never went out. He made me take his photograph several times to put on his on-line profile. I didn’t want to be a part of it. I couldn’t care who he married, I just didn’t want to be involved. I felt too involved already. It was just another boundary he crossed. He was too invasive, too open, I needed to be left out of it. But I had no choice. The calls to the computer room would begin and I would be summoned up there to assess his female choices. When giving him no response released his anger I tried to give constructive advice instead, this only gave him a chance to attack me and accuse me of wanting his world to be filled with loneliness.
In many way, I did want him to be alone.
His search went on for a couple of years. Within that time, he did meet a few women. But nothing lasted, how could it? He hated women and found fault in all of them. He dated a Caucasian, English woman for a few months. I think I may have even met her. There was nothing wrong with her except that she was an independent, successful, strong woman. A threat to him. Someone who would not take orders or be bullied. He soon ended it and looked to a website that matched Asian men to Asian women abroad. That was more like it. A woman who needed to flee her country and fall into his arms. A woman who had been trained to take care of a man. A woman who looked up to him.
Surprisingly, he never found a new wife.
Much to my happiness, he was alone.