I’m sure we’ve all heard the term “Daddy’s Girl,” you know that “Princess” who was spoiled by her father and could do no wrong in his eyes. Most women fortunate enough to have a special relationship with their father wear that title as a badge of honor. But for others who weren’t as fortunate, they carry a different label that often reads: “Daddy Issues.”
They say a woman has “daddy issues” when her behavior or mindset indicates that her father was either absent from her life completely, or was physically present but emotionally unavailable. These issues can plague a young girl into adulthood, especially if she’s trying to compensate for the attention she may not have received from her father in her relationships. As clinical psychologist Barbara Greenberg, PhD, explained to Vice:
“Here’s the deal. How their father treats their mother is one of the most important things that ever goes on in a kid’s life. If a father treats the mother poorly, not only will it influence the [daughter]’s choice of partners later in life and what she’ll tolerate in terms of abusive or unkind behavior, but it will also influence the girl’s self-esteem. That’s probably because her mother is willing to tolerate negativity and neglect, and the girl looks to her mother as a role model and says ‘Well, I guess this is what a woman tolerates.'”
While women are typically the gender poster child for daddy issues, “Boys have daddy issues too,” Dr. Greenberg pointed out. “If their fathers are treating their mothers like sh-t, boys think, ‘This is what being a man is like. You treat your woman poorly.’ So they influence their sons’ relationship issues just as much as the daughters’. I think with the daughters it affects their self-esteem more.”
We don’t always know what it is that makes us behave the way we do, particularly when it comes to our relationships with other people. If you suspect your relationship with your father might have an affect on your relationship with men or women, read on for a few signs.