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What are daddy issues and do you have them?

21 February 2014, 07:36

Abuja - Apparently, the concept of ‘daddy issues’ is derived from the psychological term developed by Carl Jung, which is called the Electra Complex.

Freud pioneered the Oedipus Complex, which is the idea that a male child will idealize and fantasize about his mother. It is the boy’s desire to have his mother and he becomes very jealous and resentful of his father for having such a connection with the mother.

The boy sees his dad as his rival and wants to get him out the picture.

The Electra Complex is the opposite of this. In this scenario, it is the girl who rivals her mother for her father’s attention. Initially, the girl is connected to the mother but once she realizes that the mother doesn’t have a penis, she redirects her affection towards her father.

As the girl matures, she  develops a fear of losing her father.

The modern understanding of daddy issues is more broad and complicated than the Electra Complex. The latter focuses on a positive relationship between the girl and her father.

Whereas daddy issues encompass both negative and positive relationships but it’s often the negative that receives the most attention.  It focuses on the fear of being hurt and the constant quest for male approval.

A girl is considered to have daddy issues if:

-    She had/has an abusive or absent father figure. Those fears and insecurities will be projected onto male romantic interests in her life.

-    She had an absent father. She will share herself and her love with a lot of men as a way of filling the void her father left or completely close herself off from men as a means of pay back to her absent dad.

In cases where she was neglected by her father it could result in her staying in a relationship no matter how bad things are/get, becoming clingy out of fear that her partner will lose interest, and she will want to maintain a level of submissiveness in the relationship to satisfy her partner.

Daddy issues can also emerge when a girl doesn’t have a good relationship with her father maybe because he was a womanizer or abuser. The girl is said to have trust issues which fuel her daddy issues.

Basically the understanding is that, daddy issues are based on  your past and  determine your present as well as  your future and you have no control over it.

I’ve come across girls who embrace the idea of having daddy-issues, they’ll do or say something stupid and blame it all on having daddy issues.

I had a friend who was afraid of dating. She had liked this one guy for the longest time, and when he finally asked her out on a date she said NO.

Later that day, she came back home balling her eyes out. Being good friends, we asked what was wrong.  She told us the story and in harmony all four of us said: “ Seriously?! Why would you do that”. To which she responded: “ I don’t know. I think I have daddy issues”.  

Her father had abandoned her and her mother when she was a teenager. Because of that she had the fear of loving another man who would eventually do the same thing. I was proud of her for knowing the root of her problem. However, I was saddened by how she let it control her life. Because of this experience with my friend I believe that the concept of daddy issues does exist.

But there are some non-believers who think that it’s absolute nonsense.

Back in varsity, guys would talk about how they think girls use daddy issues as a way of gaining sympathy and it was a type of emotional blackmail.

This retort was usually directed towards promiscuous girls (“they’ve been with a lot of guys because they’re actually ‘sluts’, not because they’re trying  to fill a void”) and girls who cried daddy issues when a guy wanted to break up with them.  For these girls, it was a convenient excuse.

Although the topic of daddy issues has received mixed feelings and opinions it is one which cannot be ignored. Fathers need to realise the profound impact they can have on their daughters.

I always say a parent can either be a blessing or a curse, and wish that mothers and fathers could take their responsibility of raising a child seriously.  It’s not enough that she is the sperm that won.

She still needs to be loved, nurtured and protected. I’m not saying that this is the formula to raising a perfect child but it can make a difference.  Being raised by a single mother can either create an emotionally weak (insecure, timid woman whose value is determined by male approval) or emotionally strong (independent, bold woman who doesn’t need a man).

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with these women, if this is their natural disposition. But when their development has been negatively altered by the existence or absence of a father figure, it’s not right and it’s not fair.

Don’t burden yourself and your lover with your father’s faults and gents try to be more understanding and compassionate if you sense that your girl might have some daddy issues. Open the lines of communication and help her get over it. This will benefit the both of you.

The truth is people will hurt you. They’ll betray you and walk out of your life as if they never knew you.

But when you let this define your existence and purpose in life, you’ve let yourself down.

You aren’t broken. Just bent. And you can learn to love again(yes, I just quoted Pink and that other guy).

Many women seek counselling to help overcome their past problems instead of continuing to live a life full of issues and making it everyone else’s problem.  

It’s all about not letting your past control you, take responsibility of your life don’t allow yourself to become a victim.

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- Women24


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