Who Needs Fathers? 20 Famous Partnerships

While expecting our second child, my wife and I went to the hospital for an orientation to make sure we didn’t try to go to the cardiovascular operating room instead of labor and delivery on the Big Day. The nurses and staff were all wonderful, but one thing really grated on our nerves. Everyone we met kept referring to me as my wife’s “partner.” Each time, I immediately corrected them, “I’m her husband” or “I’m the father.” A partner is not the same thing.

This weekend is Father’s Day. Sadly, many children will not be able to celebrate this day because their fathers are absent, but for those fathers who do the right thing by becoming husbands–preferably before getting their wives with child–and supporting and nuturing their children within the sacred bonds of matrimonial love, shouldn’t we give credit where credit is due? A father is not merely a partner. A father can be a partner to his wife in many beautiful ways, but marriage is so much more than that.

A father is also a role model, a teacher, and a protector for his children. On the other hand, a partner is someone you find at an accounting firm or a medical practice or in fiction. Indeed, whenever I was addressed as a “partner,” I had to keep myself from laughing because I immediately thought of swashbuckling tales of adventure and Wild West shootouts. Literature and television are full of great partners:

1. Holmes and Watson

1. Holmes and Watson

2. Lone Ranger and Tonto

2. Lone Ranger and Tonto

3. Frodo and Sam

3. Frodo and Sam

4. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza

4. Don Quixote and Sancho Panza

5. Scrooge and Marley

5. Scrooge and Marley

6. Aubrey and Maturin

6. Aubrey and Maturin

7. Batman and Robin

7. Batman and Robin

8. Jeeves and Wooster

8. Jeeves and Wooster

9. Bert and Ernie

9. Bert and Ernie

10. Laverne and Shirley

10. Laverne and Shirley

Partners solve crimes and battle against darkness and evil, or maybe they just go bowling. This is all well and good. Indeed, children should learn that in every struggle great and small, it’s best to have someone by your side to help keep the dragons at bay. We can also find wonderful examples of partners in history. Whether in exploration or entertainment, it is often true that two heads are better than one:

1. Felicity and Perpetua

1. Felicity and Perpetua

2. Lewis and Clark

2. Lewis and Clark

4. Dr. Johnson and Boswell

4. Dr. Johnson and Boswell

5. Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday

5. Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday

6. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

6. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

7. Gilbert and Sullivan

7. Gilbert and Sullivan

8. Rodgers and Hammerstein

8. Rodgers and Hammerstein

9. Simon and Garfunkel

9. Simon and Garfunkel

10. Abbott and Costello

10. Abbott and Costello

However, in the greatest struggle of all–life–children don’t need their parents to be partners on some metaphorical or–unless they are ranchers–literal cattle drive. Mothers are not composers in search of a librettist and children are not a Broadway production to be rewritten or canceled according to the fashions of the day. Though life is beset with many storms, a father is not a captain in search of a first mate. Fathers should be both superheroes and dutiful servants, but if that is all, there is still something missing. Children also need their fathers to love them and teach them how to love. That’s something a “partner” simply can’t do.

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Categories:Culture Humor Marriage

9 thoughts on “Who Needs Fathers? 20 Famous Partnerships

  1. Bob says:

    I’m sorry, but Laverne & Shirley don’t belong on this list. A mediocre sitcom at best, although Pemmy Marshall has directed some great movies.

  2. Ann says:

    It is interesting to note that this is precisely why homosexuals are changing their language and therefore changing it’s meaning and all of it’s depth. No help from hippies who find offense and have had it beat into to them that husband and wife is a bad thing. Yes there is an ownership of each other in husband and wife. That is not a negative thing. It is not slavery. Modern liberalism and feminism however is a negative thing. Look how it’s messed up so many heads and hearts.

  3. DAD RECKONING
    “Though my comments may sometimes offend
    And it seem I’ve gone off the deep end,
    I’m determined to see
    You live longer than me:
    I’m your father and not just your friend.”

    HAPPY WHATEVER’S DAY!
    “Is your father a man? I’m so glad.
    That’s the kind that I wish that I had –
    One that’s not a pretender,
    One that is the right gender –
    But my mother’s butch lover’s my ‘dad.’”

    POP PSYCHOLOGY
    What a fashion sense he had,
    Mixing stripes and checks with plaid!
    And the jokes that he told,
    All so corny and old!
    How I miss my dear old dad!

    THE INVISIBLE MAN
    Someone opened a devilish door
    Without caring what might lie in store:
    Disconnected from “donors,”
    Single mothers are loners
    And their kids don’t have dads anymore.

    FATHER TIME
    Twenty years ago I lost my dad
    And the loss to this day makes me sad,
    But I’m glad he was there
    In my formative years
    And can cherish the time that we had.

    POOR DAD
    “I’ve been poor since the day of my birth
    And may die with a negative worth;
    Though I live on the skids,
    With my wonderful kids,
    I’m the wealthiest man on the earth!”

    LONE CHENEY
    “Mommy, why did you do something bad?
    Mommy, why did you make me so sad?
    Mommy, what will you say
    When I ask you one day,
    ‘Mommy, why don’t I have my own Dad?’”

    FATHERS STAY
    The third Sunday in June will be gray
    For the sons and the daughters who may
    Not remember the dad
    That they never quite had
    ’Cause he left them and went far away.

  4. Harry Smith says:

    Personally, I would be honored if my wife referred to me as her partner. I find it enduring and accurate. “Husband and wife labels,” to me, seem like labels that imply ownership of some sort. I certainly consider my wife as my partner in life and I in hers. To each their own.

  5. faithandfailyfirst says:

    Chesterton and Belloc

    1. Mario Pacheco says:

      Yeah, why aren’t Chesterton and Belloc on this list?

  6. GREG SMITH says:

    Actually, at least among lesbian and gay people here in San Francisco, the term “partner” seems to be falling out of use being replaced by boyfriend or girlfriend, fiance, and wife or husband.

    1. caro says:

      And Greg, this is the dictionary for each of those terms:
      Husband – a married man considered in relation to his wife..
      Wife – a married woman considered in relation to her husband (who by definition is a man).
      I think it’s really important that this whole sin is put into perspective. I don’t see ANYONE applauding people who kill each other, even though that’s what they felt like doing and did it. No we don’t, because it is wrong and that is what sin is. What’s going to happen when two same-sex people want to baptize a child? Are we going to deny that child? That would have to be, because when you are baptized through the Catholic Church it is stipulated that you have “live” according to it’s teachings from Jesus and the Bible. And, if the church chooses to deny a baptism, is that discrimination? And if they choose to go ahead and baptize the child, will his moral teaching differ on what the church teaches about sexuality and family life???

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