Although my father isn’t physically abusive, mentally, he’s close at times.
I’d feel my throat burning to see the way he talks down on my mother. Yet I wouldn’t always defend my mother.
One, I didn’t want to lose approval or validation from my father; and two, my mother has always been a tiny bit jealous of her husband’s love for her daughter.
Sounds pretty fucked up, right?
What does the term “daddy issues” even mean?
Daddy issues are a term to describe the emotional consequences due to the absence of a fatherly figure since childhood. These wounds are especially magnified in intimate relationships in adulthood.
How do daddy issues manifest in your attachment style and relationships?
I cannot speak for others since I am no psychologist, but here’s how the absence of my father’s emotional presence has affected me throughout my adult life.
- I tried to compensate for the lack by becoming more masculine. I developed an obsession for women and tried to take care of them like a man. Attending an all-girls school exacerbated that obsession as well.
- With men, I especially loved being dismissed in relationships. It turned me on. It made me feel protected and safe being told that my thoughts or feelings are irrelevant or silly, like a little girl.
- I projected my desire for a partner who has mommy issues to be the father of my child. Coincidentally, he also projected a desire for me to be the mother of his child.
- My previous relationship was quite toxic, and our parental issues corresponded to each other perfectly.
- I have fears of being attached to my partners and turn to my partners to seek emotional reassurance and relief.
For male friends who have a troubled relationship with their fathers, here’s my observation of their tendencies:
- They may be unsure of their masculinity, afraid to speak up and show their true colors.
- They may become ultra-protective of women or dismiss strong female voices.
- They may be passive-aggressive and overly seductive.
- They may become ultra-competitive with other males to prove their ego. or that they are better than their disappointing father.
The pathway to break the cycle of daddy issues
“The most important distinction is the difference between an attraction of deprivation and an attraction of inspiration. “ — Vice, We Asked Three Experts How to Deal with Daddy Issues
Subconsciously, humans have a repeat compulsion to create familiar cycles. Daddy issues are common, not easy to detect however, until we step into the space of intimacy and see our own patterns.
What’s true intimacy?
I didn’t understand what it means to hold space for each other until much later.
In true intimacy, there is no power play. There’s differentiation of big or little, powerful or powerless. On the contrary, there’s deep listening, understanding and helping to complement each other.
A man or a woman who loves you will try for you. He listens to your concerns and understands from your perspective, and sees how he or she may accommodate.
He or she doesn’t dismiss nor defeat you. You would feel seen, heard and understood.
He or she gives you room to experiment on your own, and is secure that he’s not needed as you venture into your own exploration.
I am not sure how to end this awkward article, so here goes nothing:
I love you, father, mother and brother.