Growing up watching movies, I envied father/daughter relationships because mine was not a fairytale.
We're taught that our father should be our first love and he should embody the traits we seek in a partner. Unfortunately, I did follow this view which resulted in my many toxic relationships.
I witnessed my dad jump from relationship to relationship while cheating and scheming. I witnessed him come and go, put his girlfriends and friends before me, make unkept promises and be MIA when I needed him the most. What hurt the most though was seeing my dad be a real father to my brother, the father he wasn't and still isn't for me.
Regardless of what my dad did, I was a daddy's girl and subsconsciously, I searched for him in every man I encountered. I started to believe that lies, drama, cheating and disrespect were all characteristics of a relationship.This dysfunction seemed "normal" because all I saw was broken people and relationships while I was growing up. I also had a savior complex, I thought I could save these men from whatever issues they had, rather than focusing on my own.
My dad broke my heart before any guy could.
To this day, my dad has never talked to me about men or how I should value myself as a woman. I would be lying if I said that his absence and lack of input didn't negatively impact my life but it didn't break me. I no longer let my daddy and trust issues impact how I view love.
Here are a few lessons I learned from my daddy issues:
I Am Not A Product Of My Environment
It is so easy to blame others for the poor choices we make and it was so easy for me to pin my poor choices in males to my father. I could have used that reason for the rest of my life. However, it does not benefit me to do so. I had to recognize and accept that despite the love I have for my father, he may never become the man who shows me how a man should treat his partner.
Regardless of how I was raised, treated and what I was taught, I DECIDED to break the cycle.
I am not my circumstances or environment, I am who I choose to become.
I made a conscious effort to not copy the traits of my father in a relationship (lie, cheat etc ). I decided to be the complete opposite. I chose to do and be better.
Every Man Is Not My Father
My dad is a good person but he's not the best boyfriend. I started to believe that true love and commitment were impossible, I thought men would always cheat and disappoint me. I had to get out of this mindset and learn to judge a man for who he was as an individual and not box him into a group or compare him to my father.
Good men honestly do exist and it's not fair to make a man pay for my dad's mistakes. I have to allow him to only be responsible for what he does/did. Just because my dad disappointed me, doesn't mean that every man will.
Relationships Are Hard Work
No person or relationship is perfect, issues and problems will always arise. Even if I was the product of a marriage and happy household, there is no guarantee my story would be the same. With or without daddy issues, I will always experience problems in a relationship.
It's Okay To Proceed With Caution
I won't let my daddy issues define my love life but at the same time, I will proceed with caution because of what I've seen and experienced and that's okay. However, it's also important for me to leave my heart open so that love can eventually find its way in.
My daddy issues have taught me that parents are not perfect, they don't have it all figured out and often times don't recognize when they hurt us. It has taught me that those we love and expect a lot from may disappoint us. We all want to view our dads as a superhero but just like Clark Kent they have a human side. Sometimes we need to empathize with them as they too have their own issues.
Your biological father may fail and disappoint you but your Heavenly Father never will.
As much as we do not have to be a product of our environment, our circumstances and past do help shape who we are as a person. Some of us carry baggage from having daddy issues and allow these issues to disrupt our lives.
To those of you who have never met or don't have (good) relationships with your father and you battle with that pain, my heart goes out to you. I am sorry that you were not truly loved but don't become who hurt you.
You have every right to feel the way you do, however, you also owe it to yourself to fight through the pain and strive to have genuine, loving relationships. Forgive your father for not being the father you needed him to be because forgiveness is not for him, it is for you.
Stop assessing your value and worth by the amount of people who have walked out of your life.- Nikita Gill
To those who have friends or significant others who battle with daddy issues, don't be so quick to be dismissive. Try to be understanding and take time to learn about their childhood. We are all battling demons that no one knows about.
Do you have daddy issues?