I became acutely aware of what the term “daddy issues” meant as I started dating after my divorce.
I had a ton of them. This fact is apparent to anyone who has read my writing for any length of time.
The women that I dated had their daddy issues as well. I learned just how important a father plays in their children’s lives, for both sons and daughters.
I find it fascinating that when we hear the term “daddy issues,” we immediately assume that we are talking about women. When in fact, the daddy issues cast a long shadow over most men and women.
I had strong connections with the women who had healthy relationships with their fathers. The women spoke highly of them and always had beautiful stories to share about their daddies.
Interestingly, I resembled their fathers in some way. It was so weird.
Years before, I had read somewhere that it’s not uncommon for us to find partners that mirror our parents in some way. This started to look accurate as I continued to stumble my way through the dating world.
Then it hit me.
I needed to get my shit together. I have two daughters who are looking at me and creating their own stories and beliefs in real-time. I had to tackle my daddy issues for my benefit and wellbeing, but also for them. They were going to find partners who mirrored me in some way.
This realization was both disturbing and empowering. So I put my head down and started doing the painful work of improving myself from the inside out. Despite the resentment that I had for my father, I had to make amends.
Fast forward to today.
My oldest daughter has a boyfriend.
Not a week goes by that my big girl doesn’t say: “That’s what he says too!” or “OMG, X does the same thing all the time!”
Disturbing, I tell you.