About 5 years ago, I made a deal with my dad that I would try out 10 episodes of his favorite TV show because he really wanted me to try it. Then he said if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have to watch it anymore. I didn’t like it — sci-fi isn’t my genre. Anyway, my dad has asked a few times every year since then if I’ll try the show again, and I always say no and remind him I don’t like it. He says I didn’t give it a fair shot, and basically says anyone would like it. It involves some gory things like worms coming out of someone’s stomach, and I hate watching any violence or gory things. He tries to argue with me about why I’ll like it, but I’ve always hated sci-fi. I’ve offered to watch a show that we both like together. My dad has said multiple times “there’s no way you’re my daughter” or “you can’t be my daughter” since I hate sci-fi. I’m adamant against watching this show because I think he’s not respecting my answer and always wanted his kids to be interested in what he is interested in. He has tried to manipulate me by saying he would do what his father asked, and that if I’m so inflexible on this I’m bound to have problems in future relationships. He has said he doesn’t ask much of me. My dad has guilt-tripped me my whole life and has always been controlling. Maybe my resistance is partially coming from a huge history. Recently he asked again and I said no– I have a big problem being assertive, and I’m practicing sticking up for myself. I very rarely stick up for myself with my dad because he’s so overbearing.
Anyway, he got very angry and now he has said to me that on Father’s Day he wants nothing but for me to watch the show. If I don’t, he will not accept any gifts from me. He says it’s my choice what to do — “you can refuse if you can live with your conscience.” This puts me in a very tough position. I tried to explain my point of view, but he refuses to listen. He says one episode is not a big deal, and that he did things for his father all the time that he didn’t want to do. He asked if I would leave my mother to starve if he was dead and she lost her memory, which is such an unfair comparison. I really don’t know what to do. Do you think I should just give in? If I do, this all goes away and peace will be restored (artificially). But it will be telling him that it’s okay to treat me this way. If I don’t, I can imagine him holding a grudge forever and he gets to look like the victim since it’s Father’s Day. I’m still living with him too, so it may make things that much more difficult. He’s an incredible arguer, and can make me question very easily whether I’m brave and independent or ungrateful and selfish.