After interviewing her friends the Ditkas, Jeannie Morris said this (as reported in Ditka: Monster of the Midway):
The Ditka marriage [to Marge], like many others of that time, was dysfunctional from the start. I dont think it was ever any good. Mike and Marge, I mean, you can put it in a nutshell. Mike and Marge never got along...You know, I think the deal was that when they got married, they got married with the idea of being married forever. I mean, there was nobody else he wanted to marry and he thought he was supposed to get married. Both are very strong willed and theyre very much alike, and Marge tried to go by the rules for a long, long time...The rules being hes the boss and we do everything his way, and if he doesnt feel like being here for whatever period of time he doesnt have to be.
Megan Ditka, his daughter, is twenty-nine now and reported to the author of Ditka: Monster of the Midway:
I have very few recollections of my father. My mom basically raised us by herself. I love my mom a lot. Shes a real brave woman. I couldnt ask for anybody better. My dad was never really around a lot. And even when he was, he wasnt. We were always pretty much afraid of my dad. My dad is just like his dad. You didnt have conversations with him. Hes a little intimidating when youre a kid...I dont think he knows how to love.”
I dont know the private Mike Ditka. But its clear that his drive to succeed, his focus, and his strong emotions impacted his family and cost him dearly.