June 13, 2014
I’ll be the first to admit that I had daddy issues…major ones. I went from being the apple of my dad’s eye and thinking he was superman, to having almost no contact with him. Then eventually making peace with how I felt about him and landing somewhere in the middle.
I’ve often heard people say, that a man shouldn’t marry a woman who’s got daddy issues. But what well-adjusted human being who’s been to therapy of any kind, doesn’t realize they have some latent issues with their dad?
Once I hit my teen years, I started having a lot of problems with my dad. I saw him less and less as my dad and more as the man he was to my mother. And without getting into all of the details, what I saw broke my heart, and nobody took the time to explain it to me. I didn’t become just angry with my dad, I was filled with rage. I’m a relatively calm person, but nobody could press my buttons the way my dad could.
When I was old enough to realize (with the help of therapy) that my dad wasn’t this big, bad man who deliberately tried to ruin any chance I had of seeing men in a positive light, I started to have some compassion for him. I eventually got to a place of feeling grateful for some of the amazing lessons my dad taught me. He always told me I could be whatever I wanted to be, and to make sure that any man that came into my life took care of me.
I realized that my dad did the best that he could as a father, and I learned to be more accepting of him.
I wish I could say that all of this understanding and acceptance of my dad parted the Red Sea in our relationship and drew us closer together, but it did not. He’s still the same man he always was, so we talk occasionally but keep each other at a distance. I can honestly say I’m not angry with him anymore, and while there are times that I wish I had the kind of dad that I could gush about on Father’s Day, I accept our relationship for what it is.
My relationship with my dad has deeply and profoundly affected the way I love and the men I choose. And as conscious as I am about my patterns, those men just like my dad continue to show up in my life. I haven’t managed to completely stop those types of men from showing up, but I’m better able to filter out the ones who have the worst of my dad’s qualities and spend more time with the ones that highlight the best.
I don’t think your relationship with your dad has to be perfect in order to find a good man. But I think it helps to understand the dynamic you have with your dad, so that you can see how it plays out in your relationships. Once you have that knowledge, you can make healthier, more conscious choices about the men you bring into your life.
If you had a dad who was a great example for how a man should treat a woman in a relationship, celebrate him! And if you didn’t, forgive and accept him for who he is, and be grateful for the lessons he taught you.
Do you have daddy issues, and are they preventing you from finding love? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.