Growing up in a country where most of my friends, including myself were raised by single parents. Most of my friends and I had to deal with daddy issues. Daddy issues are described as unconscious reactions and actions due to the lack of a father figure in ones life. Or having a father figure that is not emotional or otherwise present for you. Over the years this term has also been used to describe a number of issues that young women face in response to being raised without a father or an absent father. However, as a “condition” and coping mechanism, daddy issues are much more complex than most people make them out to be.
Whilst we would all love to be raised by two loving parents. The case is quite different for many young women and men around the world. And whilst the lack of a father figure can have long term effects on both men and women. For the sake of this article I will focus primarily on daddy issues within women.
What are daddy issues
As I previously described, the term daddy issues refers to issues that arise from not having a male parental figure in ones life. In the case of young women, this can lead to seeking out this kind of parental father figure in other areas of their lives. This can be either through other older men they encounter in their lives, boyfriends, teachers or even family friends. And whilst this may seem harmless. This need for affection, praise and love can lead to many young women’s vulnerable emotional states being used against them.
This means that when attaching the father figure to someone who is not the father. Sometimes, said person can take advantage of the situation to manipulate you instead of nurture as a father figure would. Which is why it is important to be aware of any underlying issues from not having a father figure in ones life. But in order to better understand daddy issues. One must first understand that everyones reactions to not having a father figure can manifest in a variety of ways.
Common responses to not having a good relationship with the father figure in your life
Healthline describes 3 common responses to not having secure attachment to a father figure. These are;
- Anxious-preoccupied. People with this attachment type may be anxious, crave closeness, but feel insecure about their partner leaving them.
- Dismissive-avoidant. People with this type may have trouble trusting others for fear that they’ll be hurt.
- Fearful-avoidant. People with this type may feel unsure about intimacy and tend to run away from experiencing difficult feelings.
In some cases one can have one or all of the above responses. Or rather can go through phases of experiencing one after the other. Which can lead to dysfunctional male-female relationships.
How do you know if you have daddy issues
One sure fire way of knowing if you have daddy issues is if you keep ending up in relationships that bring up childhood trauma. Wether it’s abandonment or not feeling loved or wanted. Seeing this type of pattern can help you deal with the real issue so as to not repeat it again. So if you grew up with an absent father, or without a father at all then it may be time to take stock of your relationships. Start by looking at all past relationships and see if there are any common threads to them. If there are, then it may be time to speak to someone to resolve any childhood trauma and reactions so that you can better manage your actions and reactions of not having a father figure.
This can be done by seeking out professional help through a therapist. Or if your father is alive and around, sharing some of the negative effects your relationship has had on you. If he is not willing to listen, it is important to remember that although he is a parent and should nurture, love and support you. He is also human, and thus may be living out his own childhood trauma and daddy issues through you and your relationship. And that whilst you cannot and should not try to change another person. You can change yourself.