The Father complex or usually called as “Daddy issues”. First appear in psychology literature with the collaboration between Freud and Carl Jung, as a group of unconscious associations and strong impulses that will affect many spheres of life. Be it positive or negative effects in both males and females because of their father’s influences and presence/absence.
Therefore, and contrary to common thinking or understanding, men can also develop the father complex. Although it can be more visible in women, in one way or another, at some point in our lives, we all had or still have daddy issues.
So let’s dive in how the Father complex can negatively affect your development as a woman:
- More likely to have sex at an early age and get pregnant.
- Lack of the self-confidence to say no to sexual behavior that makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Use sex and the body as a form to buy love and attention.
- Settle for too little or are far too demanding in their relationships.
- In the past, to feel loved, she felt that she has to be perfect or nearly perfect to receive the love of her father.
- If she failed or made a mistake, he would ashamed or embarrassed her because it was a blow to his self-esteem and public image.
- Her father made her believe that it is a man’s responsibility to make her happy or rescue her from life problems.
- When going to the dating market, she will make poor romantic choices because she is like a hungry person who walks into a grocery store. The package is appealing, but the content is like poison to your body.
- She is looking for the imaginary alpha male that will fix all boo-boos, and because of that, she will end up often disappointed and angry because of her poor choices.
How the father complex can affect your development as a man:
- Disconnection from their own emotions and struggle to create bonds with other people, intimately and platonically.
- Development of emotionally unavailable characteristics, or commitment phobia.
- Inability to share authentic and intimate feelings either in romantic or platonic relationships.
- Can feel used, resentful, and exploited by women because his father failed to role model how to built and sustain healthy intimate relationships, and his mother has a controlling personality.
- Feelings of unsafety in adult intimate relationships because of fears of being judged and abandoned by his partner.
- Resentment and intimacy fears lead them to withhold sex and affection, or manipulative and passive-aggressive behaviors towards their partners.
- Rejection of healthy romantic partners because they don’t provide toxic familiarity.
- Too much focus on wealth stability and achievement, decreasing the importance of affection and love.
After this explanation, the question remains: Are you emotionally broken because you had or have The Father Complex? The answer shouldn’t be a yes or no, but how you feel about yourself and your life in general. How much self-awareness you have about your feelings/situation, and if you had or still have in your life someone who healthily did the father figure role.
As I wrote here before, my father personality changed after a severe car accident that he had when I was 9 years old. And after that, he left my mother for another woman, causing severe consequences to the whole family system. My fathering role model was my grandfather from my mother’s side, who died when I was 28, and my brother 21. He was always present in the important events of my life. He taught how to be real, consistent, and present in platonic or intimate relationships. I never had casual sex in my life. I never tried drugs or smoked. Did I make mistakes? Yes, like anybody else. Do I shy away from commitments? No! Do I know what I want? Yes! I’m not a survivor! I am a thriver, and I have a profound dislike for bad behavior and people that play games or string you along.
Honestly, I had all the reasons to be a real
bitch, but I made the conscious choice to honor who I am and be proud of all my life story. I was born on the same day that the Wonder Woman character was present to the world. That explains a lot of who I am, at least, for me.
Don’t let your fears or past unsatisfactory experiences detriment your bright future, and always seek a good professional to guide you through your healing journey.
Life is too short to let other’s confusion or unsure feelings dictate who you are and where you are going.
Adams, K.A. (2011). Silently Seduced: When Parents Make Their Children Partners. Deerfield, Fl: Health Communications Inc.
Adams, K.M. (2007) When He’s Married to Mom: How to Help Mother-Enmeshed Men Open Their Hearts to True Love and Commitment. New York: Fireside.
Baron, Tessa (2019) Working with Father in Psychoanalytic Parent-Infant Psychotherapy
Baron, Tessa (2009) Relational Trauma in Infancy: Psychoanalytic, Attachment and Neuropsychological Contributions to Parent-Infant Psychotherapy