Daddy issues refer to the psychological or emotional challenges resulting from an absent father or abnormal relationship with one’s father.
10 Signs one has daddy issues
- They mostly date older men.
- They are hardly ever single, moving from one man to the other, desperate for male attention due to fear of being alone.
- They get into relationships with emotionally unavailable men, abusers, or narcissists. They may also over invest in people they hardly even know.
- They may struggle to appreciate their partner, always comparing them with their father.
- They may sabotage a good relationship.
- They fear commitment and may push men away.
- They have trust issues in a romantic relationship.
- They may prefer emotionless casual sex as opposed to intimate lovemaking to maintain control and avoid attachment.
- They find it difficult to let go and break ups are devastating for them, due to their abandonment issues.
- They feel insecure and may constantly need validation.
How to deal with daddy issues particularly if your father has passed on
It is important to acknowledge that you have a problem and to also reflect on how it has affected your romantic relationships.
- Write a letter to your father detailing how you felt as a child and how you feel now, the unfulfilled expectations, the abandonment, the disappointment, and the pain. Do not leave anything out. Take breaks if you need to. Allow your tears to flow as you reminisce on your childhood memories and what that has done to you as an adult.
- When you are done, read the letter out loud as many times as you need to and then burn or bury it to symbolize closure. You can have a ceremony at his gravesite. It is important for you to tell stories of your pain, but do not spend too much time on that, a fresh wound must eventually be covered to allow healing to take place. You can remove the cover at a later stage when the wound has closed up and dried. When you can talk about your father without feeling anger or pain.
- In a separate blank sheet of paper, write down the good things you remember about your father. List as much as you can. Interview your close relatives, your siblings, your mother, your aunties and ask them, what they loved about him? Gather as many photos of him as you can, catalogue everything and keep it. That is the legacy you will uphold and celebrate. A legacy which invokes feelings of letting go, forgiveness, love, compassion, and peace.
- Adopt a compassionate approach. Instead of viewing your father as a horrible monster, is there a possibility that he may have been a broken, wounded man? Maybe he could not love you, not because he did not want to, but because that was all he knew and that was how he could be a man in his opinion and experience. Perhaps the only way to medicate his wounds was through escape, being aloof, alcoholism or lashing out at his own family? Acknowledging that he was an imperfect person humanizes him. When he can be a flawed human in your eyes, he can no longer haunt you or threaten you, you can release him and be free.
- This will also help take the pressure off yourself for seeking out perfection. He was not a perfect man. You can never fix all his mistakes, stop trying to. You too are not perfect. You will also never be a perfect parent. There are no perfect human beings.
- For you to move forward, you will have to release self-blame. Your father did what he did because of who he was, not because of who you are. Forgive him and then forgive yourself for thinking you were responsible for his insufficiencies. It will require intention and effort from your side. Give time, time.
- Take control of your own life and give yourself that which you never got from him, or your parents for that matter. If you were not loved, give yourself love, love your own children, if you were neglected, be there for yourself, be there for your own children. Re-invest your heart in things that are meaningful and redemptive.
- Choose men who are the healing elixir you need. Men who can prove you wrong about men. Men who have plenty of affection and will not reinforce your thoughts of being an unlovable reject. Stable men who can handle a strong woman without feeling intimidated and a weak woman with care. Allow yourself to learn healthy love and allow yourself to be loved. Men who will pursue you, fight for you and grow with you. That is your medicine.
If your father is still alive, build a new and revised relationship with him on your own terms, being as kind to yourself and them as possible, control how far you go with the relationship and have back up or exit plans in place for those sticky, awkward or triggering moments.