Growing up with your dad by your side is a privilege that some people are deprived of. No one can deny that growing up in a complete and emotionally healthy family is a wonderful gift.
Individuals who are having difficulties creating secure attachments in adult relationships may have daddy issues. They could develop if you grew up without a father or lived with a dysfunctional one.
Having daddy issues is not a serious mental health condition. However, this term is sometimes used to put down women in their romantic relationships, including men who are perceived to be acting like their father.
The term is often misinterpreted and misused. Daddy issues are real, but there’s absolutely no need to use “daddy issues” as a term of derision on those who may have them.
The Origin of “Daddy Issues”
There is no certainty as to how the term “daddy issues” came about. But the concept started with Freud’s father complex.
A person with father complex has unconscious impulses because of their poor relationship with their father. These impulses can either be positive or negative. A negative impulse towards a partner could be fear or distrust, while a positive impulse could be admiration towards the partner.
A daughter with father complex develops unhealthy relationships with other men who care for her. In women with father complex, the brain recreate their relationship with their father as a way of trying to fix the broken relationship.
Freud conceived a similar theory called the “Oedipus complex” towards the end of the 19th century. In this theory, the famous psychoanalyst posits that children are subconsciously attracted to the opposite sex parent.
Signs You May Have Daddy Issues
Below are some indicators pointing to a very high likelihood that you might have daddy issues:
1. You Are Interested in Much Older Men
If you grew up with a dysfunctional father or without one, you subconsciously desire someone who can protect and adore you, like the ideal dad.
You think they can provide the lack of affection you missed growing up. You prefer older men because they are more stable financially and have a more settled lifestyle.
2. You Are Clingy, Possessive, and Protective
If you are continually anxious that your partner will leave you, you can be very clingy, possessive, and even protective of them. You have developed an anxious attachment style because of the relationship you had with your caregivers in childhood.
You tend to be very irritable. You always check your partner’s phone to find out if they are cheating. You also worry if they frequently come home late.
This anxious behavior could strain your relationship and leave you abandoned.
3. You Consistently Demand Assurance of Love
If you grew up developing insecurities, you would consistently seek assurance from your partner about their feelings for you. You also tend to compare yourself with your partner’s exes.
Again, this can be suffocating for your partner. Aside from being abandoned, you will also feel unloved and unimportant.
4. You Constantly Attract Abusive Partners
You have that subconscious desire to fix your broken relationship with your estranged father. Because of this, you are unconsciously attracted to self-absorbed and abusive partners.
Why? Because their attitude reminds you of your father, the person you badly wanted to please when you were younger.
5. You Seem to Crave a Lot of Sex
You think that sex is the only way you can keep your partner. You build your self-esteem through regular sexual interactions with them.
Wanting to feel love through sex is like using a band-aid to cover wounds. Sex covers up your emotional wounds. You know you are struggling with attachment issues, and you cover them up to feel good about yourself.
If this is the kind of love that you have now, there is no doubt you will get hurt in the long run.
6. You Don’t Want to Be Alone
You are never single. You are jumping from one romantic relationship to another without pause. You don’t care whether you end up with a decent or abusive partner.
If this is the kind of love you desire, you will never discover your unique character. You can never have a healthy and promising relationship if you don’t resolve the underlying issues that make you so uncomfortable being alone.
How to Know If You Have Daddy Issues
Asking yourself “Do I have daddy issues?” may not give you a clear answer. There’s a clearer way to know if you have daddy issues, but you have to be honest about your relationship with your father. Answer these questions honestly:
- Did you grow up fatherless?
- Have you lived with an abusive father?
- Do you have a father figure who is mentally unstable or emotionally unattached?
If your answer is yes to any of the questions, you may have attachment issues that need to be addressed.
Types of Fathers
There are different types of fathers who are the cause of their daughters’ childhood trauma and adult relationship issues.
1. The Emotionally Unavailable Father
They are physically present at home but are emotionally unavailable to their daughters. The child feels incomplete and abandoned despite having a parent who is physically available.
2. The Abusive and Violent Father
They mistreat their daughters because of their impulsive, hot-tempered, and unstable emotional and mental state. Children living with this kind of father grow up struggling with mental health problems.
3. The Pampering and Indulging Father
Children from this type of father are spoiled and over-indulged. Their father gives them a lot of attention and love. Growing up spoiled, the daughter would want to be treated the same way.
She will look for a partner who will treat her like a queen. Most daughters end up with older boyfriends who are financially capable of providing the lavish life they think they deserve.
4. The Toxic and Controlling Father
Have you heard of helicopter parenting? Helicopter parents are parents who focus extremely on their children’s activities and decisions.
These parents are excessively involved in their children’s lives and are shielding them from disappointments. Daughters who grew up with a helicopter dad often seek very dominating partners.
5. The Ruined and Dependent Father
These are fathers who are dependent on their daughters for their everyday survival. Caring for a dad who is not working can result in children with low self-esteem. They grow up easily manipulated or exploited by men for sexual or financial means.
6. The Anguished and Distressed Father
In normal conditions, daughters look up to their fathers with admiration. So, when a father begins to disappoint his daughter constantly, there is a big possibility that she will grow up with daddy issues.
The daughter will grow up rebellious and self-destructive. She may even entertain suicidal thoughts. A girl who grew up with an anguished father may have the tendency to engage in unprotected sex, take drugs, or develop an addiction.
Types of Daddy Issues
Individuals with daddy issues develop insecure attachment styles toward their parents. Insecure attachments happen when caregivers are unresponsive to the child’s needs.
Insecure attachment can be categorized into the following:
These individuals are very clingy and anxious. They are unsettled because they’re worried their partner might leave them.
These individuals have trust issues. They are afraid to get hurt by those they trust and depend on.
These individuals are fearful and worried about intimacy. They avoid being close to anyone. When faced with difficulties, they prefer to run away.
Who Can Have Daddy Issues?
Anyone can have daddy issues. Daddy issues are more prevalent than most people believe. That’s because many people have childhood baggage that they bring into adulthood, including the unhealthy relationship they had with their parents.
How Do People with Daddy Issues Choose a Partner?
Growing up, you dreamt of the person you wanted to spend your life with. Often, you want a person who has similar characteristics as your parents. Whether you grew up in a happy or troubled family, you are still inclined to have relationships that you are familiar with.
The kind of relationship you experienced growing up is considered your comfort zone, regardless if it is traumatic or not. You are more likely to look for a partner who could give you the same kind of relationship you had with your parents.
Daddy Issues and Sexuality
Many fathers are unavailable emotionally, can be abusive, or physically absent. Children with less involved fathers develop poorly. They have an unstable development, which could result in an increased desire for sexual activities.
Males who did not have a father growing up will have insecurities in their masculinity. Their insecurities can make them avoid dating or sex altogether. They can even exhibit aggressive behaviors, or worse, become sexual predators.
What Can Be Done?
It’s about time you think about all the relationships you had. Are you mostly happy, or do you constantly end up in unhealthy relationships?
Look at the other couples you know. How are their relationships different from yours? If you have close friends who have healthy relationships, ask for their advice.
If your partner is willing to help you resolve your daddy issues, you can both get couples therapy. The goal of the treatment is to resolve underlying conflicts and come up with concrete solutions to the problem.
Now is the time to think about having a better love life. Doing this alone is not going to be easy. You should seek professional help to be able to move forward and not look back.
People with daddy issues tend to not love themselves enough or love themselves the wrong way. This inevitably affects every relationship they have, be it familial, romantic, friendly, or professional.
Love should be a two-way street. You love the person, and the person loves you back without any conditions. You are most likely to have stable, loving relations if you learn to love yourself and set personal goals.
Kentucky Counseling Center (KCC) is here to help you resolve your daddy issues. They will guide you in looking for a partner that is fit and perfectfor you. Call now and inquire which type of therapy is best for you. Our counselors are well-trained and will help you overcome whatever mental or emotional issues you may have.