I would say, Hell Yea they are Real! Although, some men side-eye women when she blames some of her unpredictable, insecure behavior on her Dad.
To a certain extent we as adults must take responsibility for our actions, however, some of the behaviors and thoughts were derived during childhood. There are things and thoughts we’ve had for years if only to protect the little girl inside of us. This little girl might have felt scared and exposed and later grew into this woman that remains guarded and too afraid to be vulnerable.
Role of a Father
I searched all over the Web and came across so many roles of fatherhood from helping their child with relational development to the protector of the home. Afterwards, I did a specific search of a Father’s Role in his daughter’s life and according to pediatricsoffranklin.com “Young girls depend on their fathers for security and emotional support. A father shows his daughter what a good relationship with a man is like.”
In retrospect, the father is supposed to be the prototype of his daughter’s mate. He is supposed to be her first date, the one she runs to for protection and the first man to trust with her secrets. Ideally, the father sets the tone for the type of man his daughter will date in the future. If he treats her like a little lady she will expect her mate to do that same.
But what happens when the Father fails to fulfill his duties?
Quick Disclaimer: It is possible for a father to fail at this even when he opted to remain in his daughter’s life. We tend to think because a Father is present in the home that he is not neglecting his children. He may be physically in the house but mentally absent. He may have been highly distracted with work, unfulfilled dreams, relationships or other things that could unintentionally take an insurmountable amount of time from his daughter. This does not mean he did not love her just means she never felt that he did. Emotions like these grow up with her causing what we call Daddy Issues.
Then we have that perfect father that his daughter puts on a pedestal making it impossible for her find a replica as an adult. She may find Mr. Right and he does one thing different than what she expects, and she is out the door. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having standards but it always wise to be realistic. There may in fact not be an exact replica of Dad out there but close…hence this is still a form of a Daddy Issue.
Absent fathers have failed at all of their responsibilities leaving his little girl searching for a prototype of Prince Charming. Without a realistic idea of Prince Charming, she creates her own criteria which at times caused her definition of love to be unrealistic or plain reckless. She will innately expect her mate to be everything her Dad should have been causing a lot of undue expectations. Men may never admit to this but they get overwhelmed by these expectations and it may sometimes cause him to feel defeated and incapable of making her happy.
Daddy Issues include but are not limited to:
- Severe Insecurity caused by abandonment
- Issues with feeling invisible
- Lack of Confidence
- Fear of Commitment
- Inability to express oneself without blowing up
- Constant Nagging
- Lack of Self-Love
- Un-instilled Sense of self
- Lack of Self-Awareness
- Constant need for Attention or the Feeling of Closeness
Daddy’s Little Girl
Like most women this is a sensitive subject for me. For as far as I can remember I’ve been Daddy’s little girl. He was my hero, first to open doors for me, first to show me how to change a tire, first to tell me how beautiful I was.
Then life happened, causing him to be in and out of my life. Even still, when I saw him he lit my world but when gone I felt so abandoned. Matters worsened when my Step-Dad that was in my life since 5 years old unexpectedly left the house when I was 13 years old. That was the mere moment I told myself I caused their disappearance.
I wondered what was it about me that causes people to leave me?
At 35 I understand it was not my fault but I did not realize that until years later after I had these abandonment issues and severe people pleasing ways. And of course, all the broken promises made me not even pay attention to keeping my word growing up. You can imagine these issues caused me to hurt many people. When I became aware, I changed it but how many irreparable things I did until I reached that point.
When I first realized I had these issues I felt ashamed to associate them to my Dad. I did not want to be a person that blame my parents for my mishaps. I wanted to fix these things I felt I caused until I realized these things were inadvertently planted inside of me as I grew older.
Over the years I built a defense mechanism and bad habits to protect the little girl from feeling hurt and abandoned.
First years of my marriage, I was afraid of my husband leaving me and I sometimes created scenarios to leave just so he would not leave me first. I would hold so tightly to him like a Mad Spider-Woman because I was sore afraid he would not return. I allowed men to step all over me just for the sake of someone liking me. One part of my mind was like “What in the hell are you doing?” while the other side was “I don’t want to be alone and they don’t mean it”. I was literally rationalizing that being treated unfairly was OK.
It took therapy and years to improve this behavior. Overtime I realized that my husband may one day grow unhappy and leave but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Not that I want him to leave, but it is security in knowing that I would survive if he did. I speak my mind now without the fear of someone exiting my life because at the end of the day, I am important to me. Working on conquering these issues have me stronger and although he did not intentionally plant these seeds inside of me. I love myself more for it and I love my Dad more for it.
Daddy’s Lack Become Her Gains
The more I grow as a person, the more I give my parents slack. My parents had me in their early 20s and I remember how I was in my 20s and I couldn’t imagine having to grow up while being responsible for another human being. What’s most important is I was loved and constantly reminded of that.
Forgiveness may be harder for those who had absent fathers. Forgiving your Dad releases you from the anger and hurt you’ve felt over the years. I found the more I released, the better perception I had of myself and in my relationships.
So, conclusively Daddy Issues in women are as real as Mommy issues are in men! With each waking day we have the choice to give in to these issues or do the work to change them.
Let’s Chat! Please feel free to share ways you identified and dealt with your personal Daddy Issues.