Growing up, all we want to do is to break away from our parent's shadow and influence. That is why we find it so hard to accept the role they play in our future relationships. What does this mean? Simply that all the relationships you form over the years, mostly romantic, might be affected by the relationship you had with your father. That is where the term 'daddy issues' originated from. So if you've had a bad relationship with your father, you subconsciously attract and are attracted to men that mirror the relationship you had with your father or a relevant father figure in your life.
Simply put, if you had a difficult relationship with your father, where he constantly disapproved of you or was completely absent, you will seek out men who are emotionally unavailable to you, sometimes abusive too, because you find comfort in that cycle of constantly having to prove your worth to the men in your life.
The bottom line here is that the cycle is essentially very difficult to break. That's because it's not just limited to your relationship with your father. Your parents' relationship with each other is also a huge determining factor too. Your father normalises any behaviour that he displays. Anything he does, good or bad, becomes the thing all men do, making you accept that behaviour in adult life as well. And the truth is, you cannot escape this influence because of The Familiarity Principle. This principle states that you prefer things that are familiar, even if they are toxic because they provide a sense of comfort.
Recognising 'Daddy Issues' can be a problem in itself since you've accepted this behaviour as the norm and it is all subconscious so you don't even realise you're doing this. But, we've put together a few ways you can recognise this issue.
1. You have self-esteem issues and no matter how hard you try, you cannot help but constantly try to please people in life.
2. You look for validation from the men in your life, especially your partner. You also end up associating your worth with the number of suitors you have.
3. You're jealous and over-possessive and, with your actions, try to provoke the same emotions in your partner because it makes you feel wanted.
4. You feel like the only way to keep a man is to be submissive and please him, with little regard for your feelings.
5. You need to be reassured all the time that, 'you're good enough' and 'everything is okay'.
6. You seek out emotionally unavailable men and good guys just don't seem to cut it for you.
7. You have serious abandonment and trust issues.
While these points may seem a little too much, but once you've recognised the underlying problem of why every guy you date is 'not a good guy', you'll actually be able to break out of it. It may be hard in the beginning but there are actually things you can do to stop this toxic cycle of bad relationships and work towards a healthier future. Here are some ways you can help yourself.
The first step to solving any problem is acceptance. If you choose to live in denial and not recognise the behaviour that is causing problems, then nothing will ever change. So call a spade a spade and see the errors of your way, even if what you did wasn't deliberate.
The only way to release toxic, self-sabotaging patterns is to identify them. What are the things you do in a relationship that harm you? What kind of men are you attracted to and why? Sit down with a pen and paper and write down all similarities you can think of. Are they dominating just like your father? Do they constantly disapprove of you? Do you deliberately mess up things only to have them save you so that you can feel protected and safe? Are you giving to the point where you harm your own mental health? Consider it from all angles and then decide to release all these patterns.
Remember, it's NEVER too late to take control of your life. Say it out aloud - I will break out of any negative patterns, behaviour or relationships that do me no good. While your childhood may have hindered your life until now, make sure it doesn't do that to your future.
Forgive your father for not being the influence he was, for not treating you right, for not being the man you needed him to be. You're old enough to know and accept that it was his life and this is yours. Next, forgive yourself for holding on to the patterns and letting yourself be treated in a way you didn't deserve. It may take a while but once you've done this, your healing starts.
Especially, self-love! You need nothing more than love to be happy. Anything that you need from a man, you have it within yourself. It is your biggest gift to yourself and you deserve it. So love yourself like everything depends on it. You don't need another man's validation to prove you are good enough, not now, not ever!
AWESOME NEWS! POPxo SHOP is now Open! Get 25% off on all the super fun mugs, phone covers, cushions, laptop sleeves, and more! Use coupon code POPXOFIRST.