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What are Daddy Issues?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Daddy issues refer to something of a slang term for the idea of the Electra complex or Bernfield Factor. While Freud developed the term Oedipal Complex, the Electra Complex was pioneered by Carl Jung. Freud continued to use Oedipal Complex to refer to the idea of a child idealizing the different gendered parent to the point of sexual desire, and a desire, at least in part, to get rid of the same sex parent. Such behavior, when exhibited by females, was a desire to “become pregnant by the father and kill the mother,” or alternately, evoked the idea that women entering puberty suffered from “penis envy,” the failure to have a phallus.

There is a lot of debate on whether such daddy issues truly exist, and much debate on the Oedipal complex as a whole. Young girls may identify more with their mothers than fathers, but so may young boys. This may be culturally predetermined or situationally determined. It’s hard to know what a stay at home dad scenario would do to “daddy issues.”

A poor father-daughter relationship can cause a woman to develop daddy issues.
A poor father-daughter relationship can cause a woman to develop daddy issues.

Often though, in the colloquial sense, the idea of having daddy issues relates more to the fact that a girl received inadequate or inappropriate attention from the father figure in her life. An absent father might trigger a girl’s desire to seek male approval elsewhere, and as a teen or young adult, to do so in a sexual manner. An abusive father might seriously wound a father/daughter relationship. Girls, or young women, might express unresolved daddy issues by seeking relationships of a sexual or romantic nature with older men, or alternately, they might replicate their poor relationships with fathers by having abusive partners. Generally, daddy issues implies that a female remains incomplete and seeks some sort of fatherly or familial relationship with mates, which is not the best foundation upon which to build a relationship.

The Oedipal Complex, developed by Sigmund Freud, suggested that a child might idealize the opposite-gender parent while wanting to eliminate the same sex parent.
The Oedipal Complex, developed by Sigmund Freud, suggested that a child might idealize the opposite-gender parent while wanting to eliminate the same sex parent.

Fathers or strong and consistent male presence in a girl’s life do have a significant effect on self-esteem. This is largely undisputed by experts in psychology. Feeling attractive and loved by “daddy” (or other strong male figure) can help a girl have more confidence and strength. This is not necessarily penis envy, but it does appear as though girls and women can prosper better in their lives if they had positive male input from a father figure. Without that, girls may express daddy issues in seeking out father figures, or placing even very good men with whom they are in relationship, in positions that they really can’t adequately fill.

An absent father may cause a young girl to develop so-called 'daddy issues'.
An absent father may cause a young girl to develop so-called 'daddy issues'.

Daddy issues can thus be perceived as attempting to work out problems with the father/daughter relationship, either its complete absence, abuse of the relationship, or unreliability. A woman who goes through life without these issues is often one who had a secure and loving father figure in her life. A person still working on this may try to make today’s relationships “serve” a need that was not adequately fulfilled in childhood and adolescent years. This can lead to poor relationships with men in the present and the future, until the women is able to reconcile a past father/daughter relationship, often through therapy, that wasn’t altogether satisfactory.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent WiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent WiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...

Discussion Comments


Why is there no mention of the sexism behind this phrase? A phrase that is used mainly on women despite the fact that boys, too, can suffer from a negative relationship with their fathers.

Moreover, why would anyone who believes in the scientific method take Freud seriously? He was obviously not a scientist and his theories about children wanting to screw parents of the opposite sex is as disturbing as it is unscientific.

As a scientist, my thesis is that the unhealthy emphasis many place on the male parent to explain sexual choices, is simply a reflection of our sexist society. We like to tell ourselves that the male always plays a stronger role even though children are mainly reared by their mother, even within married couples, so it woukd make more sense to talk about mommy issues.


I wrote a book called, "Subconsciously You're My Daddy" in 2009. The book deals with some of these topics and offers advice from a personal male point of view. I hope to get your opinions and help, so I can continue to help others. Be blessed.


And a little more detail of my previous writing. (from the 22 year old mother of a 1 year old son):

My relationship with my father was made even more complex because of his behavior of wanting everybody to pity him. He didn't show his emotions and instead of that he was always pitying himself. "I'm just this old stupid man who knows nothing. Boo-hoo," and at the same time he was proud of himself. It was so, so confusing.. I always had to be the older one. He acted like a child. He could always be as selfish as he wanted, and never ever stood behind that. He made our family to dance as he wanted, with all this weird crap he wanted us to do. Usually he got manic in the springtime and started all kinds of "projects" where all of us from our family (me, my mum and my older brother) had to help him. Someday he wanted to build a bridge to an island and every day, there was a new, crazy idea. (he is not in good health and always overdoes everything with that maniac psychotic "bling" in his eyes).

Nothing was ever clear. He never explained his decisions. It was all about his moods. If he felt "good," nearly everything was allowed, but when he was in a bad mood, everything was denied. When we were all together at out summer cottage, he wanted us to smile and smile and smile. "C'mon. We are all our family here, let's be happy and do this and this and this" to "No! You can't do that now because I want us to do this now.”

Thinking back, it was like a little child who yelled "I want, I want that now, I want this now". And he neer opened his eyes and see how he was acting. And the craziest part comes here: If we had a guest or friend coming over, he suddenly changed. He started being nice and "the perfect dad that is nothing but perfect". He put a nice act on and I think he even didn't realize that himself. We were all like what is going on? And then in those moods, he always told me what a nice daughter I was and how proud he was of me. It was so confusing.

Sorry if this post might be confusing, because my emotions started to flip when I wrote this. It has been a real rollercoaster of emotions -- my life. Right now, all is good, but one word can make it hell. Always be careful what you say and what words you use.

It's like, I totally understand the thing that it's not okay to just split your crap from your mouth to another person, but still, nobody's perfect and if someone says something "bad," it should be discussed afterwards, but no.

In our family, if someone said something unacceptable, that was the worst thing you could do. You would never be forgiven.

Yesterday, I asked my dad to watch over my son for a half an our, so I could rest a bit. He said, "I can do that but you must go for a walk.” I said, no dad, I need to rest now. I'm tired. And he said, "No I cannot watch over him. You should go for a walk - that's good for you.” Well, I didn't go for a walk, and he got angry and left us. I stood up for an hour and we fell asleep, both me and my son. It’s like I never get real help when I ask. And it has always been that way. He always has conditions for his help. "I can do that, if you do that and that". And the thing is, he always thinks he knows better about what’s good for me. I never, ever get the chance to make my own decisions.

I've lived my life about 15 years like that. I always did what my dad told me to. I didn't know of another way to "survive". It's so sad. And I still can't believe this situation. I hope things are getting more clear!

My dad is still mad at me and not giving me a hand with my baby boy. He said I'm spoiled and should not be here because I don't help him (or myself?) and being lazy and crap. (I had a rough pregnancy and I'm still tired). We are at out summer cottage, and I’m thinking about leaving for good. He is not talking to me. I tried to tell him how I feel, but he started to blame me, saying that I just want to hurt him and make he feel bad.

This thing has made my self-esteem non-existent. Can anyone relate to me, or give me any good advice? Should I just stop this unhealthy relationship?


I have "daddy issues". My dad is insecure, unable to express his feelings, and he is unable to admit he has done something wrong. My feelings don’t matter. Even if I held a knife at my throat and cried and yelled for some attention, "Dad look, I'm suffering and lost! Please notice my suffering!" he would just laugh and say something like "stop that stupid behavior" and would look psychotic. (Sorry for my bad English.)

I never felt understood. I'm that type of girl who is highly sensitive, empathetic, honest and "pure". I always loved unconditionally. I think I'm still a bit naive. I've grown a lot from my childhood, but still, I've made some stupid lifestyle choices because of my father's behavior.

During my teenage years, I became masculine and aggressive. I wanted my body to show, and I wanted attention and approval, from everyone. I wanted women to envy me. And they did. I wanted men to really want me, and they did (of course some did see through my behavior and must have laughed at me).

I got quite lost with my issues and my sensitive side. It was never gone, so I started to feel ill, tired, exhausted. I started to blame myself that my life was turning into a failure every time I tried to choose a path. I realized that nobody knows me, nobody seems to see my true self and I had no one to talk to – really, honestly talk, without feeling guilty or ashamed of myself. To the world, I just tried to fit in, go to school, to work, to socialize and stuff.

I think I kind of gave up on myself and my life. I became blind to suffering, and did accept my life as the hell as I felt it. I was blind to the fact that I could change it and take responsibility for it. I hurt people around me and made myself that "stupid blonde". I didn't want to see that.

My mother has never been sensitive or emotional. She is more like a "doer" than "being", if you know what I mean. She could never understand what I've been through or how I could have felt things so deeply. Sometimes she tells me it’s no good to be so sensitive and worries how I will survive.

She never, ever stood by my side. When I tried to tell how I felt about my father’s behavior, she said, "Sssh. Just do what he says, then we won’t need to argue." I guess she got tired of arguing all the time, but she made me go through denying my emotions and pretending I'm fine. I didn't know what else to do at that time (about 2-13 years old). My dad was always the one, whose word is law and there was no arguing about it.

I guess my dad is sorry he hurt me. I know it, but he won’t show it and I think he is kind of scared of me, because I've been yelling at him recently.

I felt I had let go of my hate and I won’t feel bad about it, if it hurts. If I say something that hurts him, I will apologize, but I'm sick and tired of being forced to analyze and rationalize my every emotion and suppressing it because of lack of understanding. I often think "this is a childish emotion and I cannot express it. This is stupid". And that's what is keeping me still and I hate it. I hate the feeling of not being able. I felt I never got the chance to just be a child with these "childish" emotions. Now I feel ridiculous I have them inside of me at the age of 22. And I have a 1-year-old son.

Two years ago, I met my soulmate. He is my other side – the true masculine part of me. He made me realize what is real. He showed me I don't need to be tough, that it's okay to show your emotions. He cheered me up and loved me like I'm the part that has always been missing from his life.

He told me it's all about experiences. Everything I've been through - I can learn from it. I can accept it and let go of it. I'm still struggling, but getting better every day. I won't give up on my life anymore.


@jmt325: Your friend is probably right. I have a similar aversion to my father's touch.

I remember him that we had made a family trip to the grocery store when I was 8. When we got back home, my mom told me I could unload the groceries and but my dad started to, so I told him that my mom said I could and he put his hands around my throat for a minute for some reason (I think it might have been some psychotropic medication he was on that wasn't working right). He had anger issues and was physically abusive to me on several other occasions growing up, but now that I think about that first incident, it's probably the reason why I wouldn't hold his hand when I was younger, but I would hold my mom's hand and now I cannot stand when he touches me but I don't mind at all when my mother touches me.

I never connected that incident to my aversion to his touch and never knew why I didn't like when he touched me, but now I realize that that's probably why. I'm 18 and I've never had a boyfriend and I usually lose interest and pull away once someone is interested in me (although I am attracted to guys and I really like the attention I get from them).

As soon as I realize that someone's interested in me, they usually become less attractive to me, even if I've liked them before. I also don't have many male friends, so I'm wondering if part of that is me subconsciously feeling unsafe with males, or maybe just thinking that I'm unworthy of being really loved. My parents are getting divorced right now and I'm also the only child in the family who gets along with him and treats him like he's my father. This is because I'm the only one who's forgiven him for what he's done. My five younger siblings can't stand him and want to have nothing to do with him.


I am a girl and my mom and dad divorced years ago, and I have not talked to my dad ever since. Later, my mom met my stepdad and now I'm living with my mom and stepdad.

Although my stepdad is nice to me, he actually has his own biological children with another women before my mom met him. So I think he must love his biological children more than he loves me. And I don't want to give a damn about it because I have come to the conclusion that I don't freaking care if I have a dad or not, because my mom is super nice, and I know my mom is the one who is always there for me and always loves me no matter what.

So I think I seem to have daddy issues in terms of the absence of my biological dad, and the presence of my stepdad doesn't matter that much to me anyway. But I don't have the Electra complex. This is just really stupid. I have never tried to even think about seriously loving my dad and stepdad. All I care about is my mom, and I love my mom the most. I don't love my dad and stepdad at all! So the whole Electra complex thing is just absolutely stupid!


From my own experience with a father I saw perhaps 10 days a year because of work, I've realized that I crave men's attention. Probably 99 percent of my friends are male, and it doesn't need to be sexual but I find myself befriending men more -- wanting to be "one of the boys" in a sense.

Perhaps it's overcompensation for a missing father, or a need to feel more protected or "approved" by males because I never felt that way with my own father. To this day, I still doubt whether he actually loves me, or I'm just a "duty" for him. It does make sense then that I seek this elsewhere - almost all the time.

More than that, I've always been compelled to have a "back up" when I am in a relationship, for fear that my boyfriend will leave me. I get close to male friends, and fall for them, or end up cheating. That's almost always been the case. Both my parents had multiple -- and not very hidden -- affairs, and I've told myself over and over to be better than them. Only to fail, and then wonder why I keep repeating something even though I know it's wrong. It's completely irrational. I'm glad though that I can understand a little bit more about what's driving this behavior.

As of late, I've been developing myself to be okay with being alone (an in fact, love it), and respecting myself enough to not fall into the old trap of promiscuity -- which sadly, was my previous routine where I would drink copious amounts and have a string of one night stands just to feel some sort of affection from someone. Which is completely foolish, I know.

My hope is that other girls can find that inner strength, and realize, too, that it's perfectly okay being by yourself and that we should actually embrace that. No matter what has happened growing up, we all deserve to make better lives for ourselves rather than letting it affect us for the rest of our lives. We don't need other people to make us feel secure, safe, and happy. We have ourselves. We change every day, and each day is another chance to recreate ourselves for better.

I love this quote: "If you are lonely when you're alone, you are in bad company." - Jean-Paul Sartre

It's only when I started loving my own company lately that I've been able to think rationally and be true to myself and others. Good luck!


I think women with daddy issues are women who look for partners their age or younger because it gives them a sense that they are in control. Look at Madonna and Demi Moore. These women figure that if they are in control of the relationship, they will not be abandoned or hurt in the future, so they date men their age or younger.


Do I have daddy issues? I don't think I do. My dad has always been strict and overreacts, but he is also fun to hang out with sometimes. Apparently, I've shut him out of my life now. I'm 15. He's working a bunch and I'm doing stuff and we can go months without having a real conversation. It doesn't bother me in the least bit though, because he's judgmental anytime I do say something.

I'm dating an 18 year old right now. When we met I didn't know how old he was, I thought he was about 17 or 18, but I didn't care. He is really attractive, and has an awesome personality. But he does something that my dad used to do, and I like that he does it. I don't know if that has any significant value though. I haven't become any more sexual than I was with any other boyfriend I've had or before "I shut out my dad". Do I have daddy issues?


My girlfriend has daddy issues. Her husband whom she left for me is two years older than my father, who is 63. Every guy she has dated or been married to has been much older and abusive. Now we are together and it seems like she does everything to me she used to tell me they used to do to her. I want to leave but she's pregnant. Please help.


I don't know about any of this or whatever, but I do have problems with my father. As a kid, we were close and tight, we would always stay up late together and hang out.

It was after my younger sister was in school that he started liking her more. She was the perfect grade student and whenever I hurt her when we fought, he'd always get really mad and hit me. When he found out I had F's in school I'd get yelled at. He kept doing this for years.

Now I'm 18 years old and just being around him is annoying. I never say I love you back or goodbye on the phone to him. I just mumble or say uh huh.

Last month I was walking around, listening to music, when suddenly my sister, who was riding on the four-wheeler (she's 14 now) did an annoying smile and tilted her eyes back.

I turned back and saw my dad following me, so I turned around and muttered, "Stop following me."

And you know what? Instead of ignoring it and just saying "I wasn't," he threw an unopened beer can at my leg. It hurt and left a mark. He's so annoying. He acts like a child. It just bugs me and my sister constantly. Or if he hits me and I start to cry, he says, "Stop being such a baby!"

Whenever a game is on and the team he wants to win is losing, he will became seriously mad. While watching the game, he's drinking beer, throwing remotes, slamming doors, screaming, yelling and knocking over chairs. He sometimes apologies after hitting me.


My father left my family when I was 9; he cheated on my Mother with her brother's girlfriend. Shortly after he left, he moved in with her and we found out he was addicted to drugs and had to go on a methadone programme.

My father was very depressed throughout my adolescent years and was on the benefit, so he could not support us either. To make matters worse, he did not work the entire time leaving it to my mum to provide everything for us.

My problems with him are his egocentric personality. He is convinced he is an artist, yet he watches TV all day. In short, he has lived for himself and I did not feel supported from him during my tender years.

I think it's important to learn how to forgive. That's what I am working on now and am looking forward to the future. You can fix your "fatherly/daddy" problems. Counseling is good, focusing on your life and setting goals.

If you had a father or someone in your family that was really depressed, like me, you may find yourself wanting to fix them or feel really sad. First of all, you need to take care of yourself; you have value as well. And it's not up to us to fix the problems of family. We can be there for them but we are not gods and have our own lives to work on.

At the moment, I'm trying to work on my happiness and feeling free of these issues that have weighed me down in the past.


I'm not sure if I have daddy issues, but my best friend tells me all the time that I do, so I'm hoping someone here can give me some advice. I've also never been in a relationship, but my father is the only person I can't stand touching me. I have guy friends and I'm 100 percent fine with them. I am a 19 year old girl and I grew up with two older half brothers. My mom had a kid with three different guys. I'm the youngest and my mom and dad have been together my whole life.

I've never called my father "dad" – always by his first name, even when I was a child. When I was younger, I didn't have an issue with my father. It was just before puberty hit that I started to develop a dislike for my father. I know kids go through the whole hating parents thing, but I've never hated my mom, just my dad.

We weren't the kind of family that showed much emotion, like we never said, “I love you” to each other or really hugged. I grew up watching my father and my middle brother hate each other and fight all the time to the point of it being scary to listen and watch. My father would talk to me all the time as I grew up about how much he hated my brother, and I would just sit there and listen, not saying a word, because when I did, my father would act as if I turned on him. He never gave me compliments as I grew up and still never told me he loved me.

In my younger teen years, my father and I would fight all the time, and it mostly revolved around him touching my butt. He would slap it (not hard), grab it, pinch it (and not all the time). I would freak out at him, yelling at him, saying, "Don't touch me!" Even up until the present time, if he touches me in any way, like put a finger on my elbow, I freak out. I feel absolutely disgusted with myself. His touch freaks me out to my core. After I turned 16 we rarely fought, only because my mom had enough of us fighting and just wanted us to have a good relationship, because she and her father never did. So I just ignored the things he would do that pissed me off just to make my mom happy.

I hate just about everything about him, I hate being around him, talking to him, him talking to me, the littlest touch, everything. I just bite my tongue and move on, but sometimes I can't help but freak out on him. Recently, he grabbed my arm when I was getting the mail and I screamed at him, "When I say don't touch me, I – mean it!" So he's laid off for a while but he still will poke me in the arm or do little things. He just disgusts me, and I truly believe that he's a bad person and I just do not like him one bit.

I kind of make it obvious that I don't particularly like him, but I think he chooses to ignore it. My best friend thinks he may have done something to me when I was very young that I don't remember at all, but that my subconscious may still remember. Please give me some advice. I'd very much appreciate it.


I had a father who was weak and allowed himself to be controlled by my mother. My mother loved me, but was really tough on me. She used to say my dad and I were acting like two lovers and made fun of any nice gesture he made for me. I suffered from abuse from both of them, unintentionally of course.

I got kicked out of the house by my own mom. Then when I got older, I chose to frequently run away from home. I would stay with guys I did not know and had one night stands. I always felt an emptiness I could not define. I found it hard to stick to anyone who liked me. I have an attraction to older guys, unavailable guys (married or emotionally unavailable). The farther away they seem, the more I want them and then, the minute I have them, I start questioning what I want.

I have always been told I was really smart. I was never a party girl. I've always tried being independent and to do things on my own, but I feel this strong urge to do anything self destructive to the point where the tension physically hurts. I hope women dealing with this will find a way to get better.


My ex girlfriend is 26 and she has two kids: one with a 55 year old man and another with a 46 year old. She never knew her father and I'm convinced she has major daddy issues. She can't attach fully to any man in a relationship, and she's had a lot of them. This is due to low self-esteem, lack of trust, insecurity and fear of abandonment (as her dad abandoned her).

I actually think she has borderline personality disorder, but I'm sure it all stems from the lack of her father in her life. The saddest part of it all is she is in complete denial and just keeps blaming the blokes! I still love her, but due to her issues, I don't think she'll ever be happy.


I have never met my bio dad but had a replacement for a while. He was my daddy in my heart but then he just gave me up. I am very flirty with guys and have a lot of guy friends, but when it comes to relationships I have a huge problem trusting guys. It is physically impossible for me to let any guy in my life.


I'm 16 and have been struggling with daddy issues for around a year and a half now. I had the greatest relationship with my father, even considering him a best friend to me. We had the exact same sense of humor and I confided in him about most everything. I was really pretty scared of cool people and was completely against drinking and drugs. I never went to parties and spent a lot of my time studying, drawing or hanging out with my dad.

In April 2011, my dad literally dropped dead. No one had even the slightest clue that something would ever happen to him, considering he was a health nut. I was, and still am, extremely devastated. I thought all of his best friends who I was pretty close with would step up to the plate and be like a father figure for me. When I started to notice no one did, I turned into a confused, I-don't-give-a-crap-about-anything-or-anyone wild child.

I have used alcohol as something of an escape, just as well as weed and hooking up with random guys. I'm not in any way proud of it, but it actually all makes me feel better. I know this kind of behavior isn't normal, and I totally realize that. I had a huge source of self-confidence and positive male attention from my dad, and now that all of it is completely gone, I can't help but feel like a huge chunk of my life is missing. Using boys has become a weak source of male attention, but I find myself always craving to kiss them.

What a lot of people don't realize about the loss of a parent is that the child longs for touch. Because I only have one parent left, I get half as many hugs as I normally had -- even less than that considering the loss of my dad has drastically changed my relationship with my mother for the worse. I look for that lost contact with other guys, even though I know it's not healthy.

Alcohol and weed are always available, and because I pretty much always have a good time when using them, I turn to them to forget about the pain I'm experiencing.

I totally get that everything I just explained isn't right, but its kind of like a shoulder for me. Daddy issues stink, and I'll be the first to tell you that. I'm posting this because I know I'm not the only girl going through a situation like this. To anyone else who can relate to this, I'm so incredibly sorry. It will get better, though.


What about a woman who has taken a wife's place in every way but sexually, with her father? Hopefully, the father has not gone that far, but she will try to sleep in the same bed with him in the hopes that she will substitute herself for any woman in his life.

She is 40 years old and has been with him all of her life and complains about any woman to anyone who will listen until she has rid him of anyone who comes into his life. She will argue and fuss with him until she gets her way with him.

He sees her as his responsibility because she was there when he struggled with his ex wives who were proven by her to be untrustworthy. I hope there is nothing sexual going on, but she is in competition with anyone who comes into his life.

She pushes guys away who are interested without getting to know them because if they do the least thing that is not exactly like her dad or she cannot control or tell them what to do, she wants nothing to do with them. She does everything she can to keep women away from him. Is this a daddy issue or an electra complex?


I'm unsure if I have "daddy issues" or not. I'm 19, and I've had my father in my life my whole life so far. He and my mother split up when I was young, and every weekend my older sister and one of my older brothers would go stay with him.

I used to have a great relationship with him, until I became a teenager and pretty much realized that he says a lot of inappropriate things - none of which I'm going to mention. Also, he's really embarrassing. I know all dads are, but it's to the point where I actually hate him. I'm the youngest in my family, so he keeps calling me "his baby", which I just hate. It's not even that, but just the fact in front of strangers, if I entered the room he'd grab me and hug me and try to kiss me and just be really annoying, and has this thing of saying to strangers "isn't she gorgeous?"

There's so much about him that I dislike. Pretty much every aspect of his entire personality, really. And how he acts in front of people. I can never imagine bringing a boyfriend home to meet him. My oldest brother has brought his girlfriend home, they've been dating for years now, and it's just the things he comes out with and how he acts and I just don't understand why he did bring her home. And for me it would be worse, being a girl and the youngest.

I thought maybe I'd grow out of the way I feel towards him, but knowing he isn't going to change, I doubt it. I don't even like having friends around him, let alone a boyfriend.

So, do these clarify as "daddy issues"?


@post 67: Think of the U.S. in these terms. Would you give up your independence as a U.S. citizen for a piece of security offered by the government? No. It's not worth it.


I'm currently struggling with what I think are "daddy issues." I'm a 19 year old girl, and my dad left my mum when I was three after my younger sister died and he remarried and now has three sons with this woman. The last time I saw my dad I was seven years old and the only contact I currently have with him is an email once a year, if he can be bothered but all I hear about my dad from my grandmother is how lovely and amazing he was, although I never got to see this.

I've recently started to notice that I'm finding myself attracted to older men. I began dating a 38 year old man and had to call it off because I didn't think my family would approve of it and since then I've been finding myself liking older men all within the 32 - 40 range. I haven't had a sexual relationship with anyone within this range and actually found myself really intimidated, but comfortable all at the same time while being on a date situation with an older man and I find it really hard to explain.

I'm sure this isn't normal or healthy, which is another reason that I called off what was about to blossom into an 18-year age gap relationship with a 38 year old man and then I did start to wonder that it may be because I have a very responsible job for my age where I am the youngest team member that this might have come about but I'm ridiculously confused as to whether or not that's the reason, or if I'm completely cliche and have daddy issues?


I know a girl with "Daddy issues." What's disturbing is she is married with a child. She will do anything for attention. It doesn't matter where she gets it from, men or women.

If you ask me, I think it's pretty sad. I also think there was an ugly duckling complex from when she was younger and didn't get to do the things she is doing now. And now, she thinks she is the beautiful swan by surrounding herself with older women who are not that pretty. Her confidence level is through the roof, and she is going out, spending all her money to make herself look like something she is not.

What is sad is she is going out looking for something she did not get as a young woman, when she is missing out on the things she has already.

People need to stop and really look in the mirror.


My dad is indifferent and he never made me feel loved or instilled confidence in me. He's depressing and negative.

He made me feel ugly by his indifference and I realized that I do fear men. I just immediately think that they will dismiss me since I'm rather androgynous looking. I'm always surprised when they are nice to me. If he had instilled confidence in me, I wouldn't be as awkward around men.

I've always believed that he used my mum. He never encouraged family time unless it involved his extended family and he always indirectly made us feel like we ruined his life.

I do have a lot of resentment towards him and his side of the family. I tense up and feel extremely melancholy and numb.

I know that I never will have a happy family environment. It hurts but there are worse situations and I should be grateful.


I believe I have entered unknowingly into a very serious daddy's girl issue. She is 43 and completely consumed with pleasing her father. All she does is an effort to please him, whereas she has none of the same qualities for me, or for that matter, any person.

She and I dated briefly and she became pregnant. Now that she is pregnant, which she was hiding, her father has taken her away and told her to have nothing to do with me. He has offered her a new home in another state as long as she has nothing to do with me. She has several children by different men and has since apologized for his behavior but she and I are not permitted to converse. It's very tough to see her go through this as if she is still a child. She always says she doesn't want to disappoint him and it seems like he has prevented her from being committed to any other man.

He is her knight in shining armor and I do want to marry her and be a father to my child. I do not believe in leaving my family to fend for themselves, but it seems I will have to wait for him to pass away to have her love – if it is available at that point. I don't know what to do. I just keep saying I will love her unconditionally, but it hurts to be left out. It feels like sperm kidnapping has just occurred.


"Seeks some sort of fatherly or familial relationship with mates, which is not the best foundation upon which to build a relationship."

Actually, older-man-younger-woman in an exchange of independence for security is the most successful and rewarding sort of marriage ever created, Feminazi crap aside.


I agree with sevenseas. I think that 'daddy issues' just affects children in general. Being a good father is something that should be taken very seriously.

Possibly due to his parents being absent a lot, my dad was not a particularly good person when he was younger. He never learned not to run away from his problems and he ended up involved in a fair few bad things, but my mum constantly worked hard to support him, gave him endless 'second' chances and tough love, forced him to get a job and he turned his life around completely. When they ended up having kids, my dad was fully willing to become the main earner of the family to return the favor and support my mum.

My dad could've very easily been a total flake of a father thanks to his childhood, but I'm very glad he wasn't.

I think 'daddy issues' could more accurately be called 'neglect issues', because neglect is really the catalyst here.


I don`t know a lot about psychology, but I think the relationship with my father and my mum's relationship with her father have a great influence.

My dad was really career obsessed and cheated on my mom. He wasn't home very often and they broke up when I was five. My mother came together with my little sister's father, she got pregnant after three years in the relationship. He left her, and he doesn't want to pay up to now. My mom's current husband is great; they even live together. And I really think they will stay, I mean seriously! They are talking, and fighting but they make up after it and they seem happy!

He has two sons who are older than I, and I really like them. But I am so afraid that mum will break up with this man and I would lose my new home and family members. And my little sister would lose her new daddy. He really cares for her. He also acts like he was her real father.

However, I can't really trust men, but in truth I just want them to protect me (??) somehow and I look for this in "bad" relationships, and when I like them (my stepbrothers, not in a sexual way)I am afraid that I`ll lose them!

I guess some part could have been created by my mom's relationship with her father. He was extremely abusive (sexually and verbally) and her mum didn't support her and her sis, not even when they sued her dad, even though she knew what he did.


So so true! At the gym I go to, it's like all these older, creepy late twenties or 30 something single ladies are fighting for the last chance they've got at finding a mate and they don't care how but they will get him.

It doesn't matter if there is love more than there is money, or even creepier, why they need to get married just get them pregnant because their bio clock is ticking and leave!

At least some women (the ones who are creepier) have these types of crazy thoughts. So I definitely agree that this daddy issue is just some hatred induced rumor. Totally creepy!


I definitely agree with anon212266 post 60, totally creepy behavior! Eeew!


I had an abusive stepfather who would hit me and my step sister for ridiculous reasons. Sometimes he would beat us so bad I couldn't stand anymore. He usually did that when my mom wasn't around. I tried to tell her but she never believed me. They got a divorce when I was around seven years old because she found out he was cheating on her for three years. I did the typical things like make guys fall in love with me then break their hearts until they cried. The sad part is, to make them cry was my goal and I thoroughly enjoyed hurting them.

When I got a bit older, I had sex with older guys and tried to make myself believe they cared for me even though they were horrible liars. Until I was 14, I searched for my real father, considering I never knew him. I found him at age 15 and decided to live with him. Unlike my mom, he has showed me what love is and sacrifice and he's the best dad in the world to me! He's understanding, sacrificial, loving, etc. Now this other woman came along about two weeks ago. Also, he is very old school as in not liking to text. He tells me not to text while he is talking because if I do then it means what he's saying isn't important at all. He never had texting on his phone until his phone messed up and he had to get it for work related issues.

Now, this woman he's interested in can't talk on the phone because she doesn't have time so they text each other. She texts him as soon as he wakes up until bed time. Also, he used to never go out on dates and such. Just a while ago, I was trying to talk to him and while I was talking, he was texting, which made me feel as though what I have to say wasn't important. Also, when he left tonight to go out (which he doesn't usually do) he didn't even give me a hug! This woman just wants to have sex with him and I know this because my dad and I tell each other everything and he told me that she told him, "I want you" three times! He hasn't had sex with her, thank God, but all he does is talk to her and I feel as though he and I are drifting apart and all I do is cry. I've cried for the past three nights straight.

I'm threatened by this woman and want my daddy back! I feel as if he's given some of my attention away to her! I'm very jealous and talked to him about how I don't feel as loved as he used to make me feel. He doesn't introduce me to people anymore when we bump into his friends. He used to be so proud and would introduce me before he asked how his friend was doing. Also, when he used to check me out of school, he would boast about me and call me his princess and the best daughter. Now he just says my name. It seems as though he's not as proud any more and I don't know what I've done!

I talked to him about that stupid woman he likes and he says he has "needs" because he's a male. (a.k.a. sex.) I don't want him to do that because it would break my heart. He's already breaking my heart because he's so different now. He gives her the attention and here I am on the sidelines. I don't know what to do and I'm very depressed. I almost started crying after school today. I do not like what he's becoming with this woman. I mean, I exist, I'm still here. I've never had so much love and attention that he used to give me because my mother was very selfish, so I'm desperately begging what do I do?


I also agree that this daddy issue is just a hatred induced rumor. I just want to say that I understand all you older ladies (and the ones trying to pass out for younger ones posting fake ages)for being ticked off at older guys, for preferring younger women over you, and younger men not even acknowledging you. But look on the bright side!

Remember all that undeserved power you had over people when you were young, especially over guys? There were a lot of decisions that you made, like the ones you made without even consulting your boyfriends, like when to break up the relationship, and you attributed all this power to your intelligence, and never stopped to realize it was because you were young, and guys wanted to have sex with you regardless of their age, and this in return helped you have the upper hand in relationships.

Now that you're old you have to beat the crap out of yourselves to accomplish certain things in life. Just like guys do.


@Post56: I was 29 when I met my wife who was 20. My big problem (and it is a blessing now at 40) was I always looked younger than I am. At 29 I must have looked 20 due to my gangly frame and young appearance (healthy active living and limited sun). Didn't realize this was an issue with me dating until I went to a Desperate and Dateless ball where you were hooked up with a computer matched date and I arrived to meet my date who was about my age (28) and she took one look at me and said, disgustedly, "what are you, like, 19? I've been set up with a kid!" and stomped off. This had never come up before as my previous dates must have been more polite!

I seriously took stock of where I was at and decided on a few ground rules: 1. Talk to similarly shaped girls, likely to be into sports (as I am) with conversation in mind and not prospective partnership and expectation. There are awesome friends to be made!

2. Important, talk to young looking girls who look similarly aged in appearance and 3. don't discuss age. I am intelligent and used to model (started at 27!) so I was a classic 'late bloomer'. My advice is: Don't write off older men! They have a clearer sense of self. Check their careers; they may not have had time for relationships.

You have a filtering system in place though, and it will get better with age and experience. Remember that most young men are more after sex at your age and less keen on commitment; they tend to settle down more after 25. Concentrate more on whether a guy has the 'it' factor.

I used to ask all my friends in long term relationships how they knew their other half was the one to marry and everyone, and I mean every single one said "I just knew". That response used to annoy the crap out of me until exactly the same thing happened to me when I met my wife. Just enjoy life and focus on yourself in social situations and let life flow. You will attract like for like and one day you will "just know."


This is a good article. I am a 20 year old woman. As a young child (preschool age) I would not refer to my father as "dad." Instead I would call him by his name. When I was about 5 my dad started to become distant and he walked out on my mom, sister, and I when I was 7. Maybe two years later he was remarried and living in Japan with his wife and her kids. Verbal contact, once a month, maybe. And I would only physically see my dad one or two times a year. As I got older I talked to my dad less and only when he would come to visit.

When I was 17, my mom sent me to live with my dad. I realized then he and I didn't have much of a father-daughter relationship. I tried to build a relationship with him by seeing if he wanted to hang out, build something, anything really. However, my dad told me we didn't have enough in common to talk and pretty much pushed me away. Still, contact with my father is always initiated by me.

After my parents' divorce, my mother got remarried as well. She got pregnant and stayed with the baby's father so we would have a father figure. That man was abusive, mentally, physically and verbally. I had two surgeries before I was even a teen because of him.

People talk about their first love, but I can't relate. I have attempted relationships and have destroyed multiple guys' hearts. I have never once been hurt by a boyfriend. They can have it all and it's not enough. My last boyfriend worked his butt off for me and I couldn't tell him or stand to listen to him say "I love you" anymore so I broke it off. I don't think I have the capability to love. I have tried to love but it doesn't work. I just cannot love intimately. -the Cold-Hearted Ice Princess


Being a young father who has recently reconnected with my teen daughter, I can say that if you are willing, as a father, they will be receptive to you. They will in fact be drawn to a father's love, if they have never had it, like nothing else. Dads, you have powerful responsibility to your girls.


So I'm a 19 year old girl and if you're a guy more than five years older than a woman, trying to date her, then you are damaged goods. It means that women your own age aren't willing to date you, which basically like raises this huge red flag to me, and you're trying to date a much younger girl because you're not mature enough to date someone your age, meaning you must have some mental problems. And if you're a certain age and have never been married and never had kids, then you obviously have an issue and are a creepy old guy. Sorry, but I'm telling the truth.


I understand the sarcasm in the anon129123 post. In a way, this post is trying to expose the real reason behind all this anti age difference in relationships.

Certain groups of people in our society are mad because their dating potential is null, so they try and sabotage their counterparts' success. Unfortunately, the bitter minority are always the ones who find the time to publish their pitiful lies on the web, which explains the vast majority of posts supporting this twisted daddy issue wacko lie.


I read anon129123, and It definitely deserves a article on its own. You see, what this article is talking about is something we hear about all the time in the gay and feminist controlled media, but we never hear about all those hetero guys who actually make this world we live in work, because these types of men are not so internet article writing or tv gossip focused.

They don't overpopulate the entertainment industry like gay and feminists do, but always risk their tails off so we can have the freedom to write what we want to. So we never hear these men's points of view, even if they are the force that keeps our world in balance.


I think that I have daddy issues, but it's not that I date older guys. I just always go for guys who are emotionally unavailable or who have another girlfriend or girl interest.

My dad and I don't have a good relationship. He wasn't ever abusive, but he wasn't ever nice to my mom and still isn't, and when my parents got divorced it was really hard on me. The only way my dad has been there for me was a dinner at his house a couple nights a week and he will give me money whenever I want. I think that because my dad hasn't always been there for me, I can't have a real relationship.

I've never had a boyfriend and I'm 18. I can't trust guys and I can't trust myself. I always think that I'm going to cheat or the guy will. I always want a guy who is stronger and in control. I can't be with a guy who's nice to me. I don't really know what to do about it or how to change it, and I know my dad won't really do anything to help me out.


I liked the post by anon129123. The author makes a really good point and probably deserves a complete article on its own.


I met a girl last year and it was not too hard to see she had serious daddy issues. She was an alcoholic, dated older men exclusively, wanted S&M and begged me to be brutal during sex and was one of the most promiscuous girl I had ever seen.

She liked playing elaborate games where her father would "rape" her or hire men to do that.

When I probed a little, I found her dad never really took care of her, dumping her on relatives and friends. At 14 she was seduced by an older man who introduced her to the world of S&M and left her the day she turned 18.

I knew I couldn't "fix" her but I gave helped her enough to show her that she had those issues.

The point here is that we cannot be their fathers, but we can help them see that this is what they are running after.


a friend also has a serious daddy issue. her dad has divided his children into two. he loves his first two who are not my mom's children and always speaks evil about the other three he has with her mom. this has led to disunity in the family. please help her out.


I think I may have "daddy issues". My "lover" asked me if I had daddy issues because it would be hot. I didn't think about it before but then I realized I might.

I don't know who my real father is and when I was little my mom married a man who molested and raped me. I feel so bad now.


you hit it right on the nose. As a 30 year old, I've been often told I have daddy issues and your explanation is perfectly accurate.


I am a young male with daddy/abandonment issues. I know that he tried but he was never there and when he was he was emotionally distant. This has left me scarred though I have recovered a bit in the past year or so.

I constantly seek male approval though I am often aggressive and spiteful towards other males. This has influenced all relationships with past girlfriends and has been the reason most ended. I need help. Please someone, help me. -- Devon


I had a 14 month long relationship with a girl whose birth father is absent in her life with no real reason to be. Her mother remarried when she was still a baby, and this man has played father figure for the remainder of her life. This man is verbally, and occasionally physically abusive with her and her mother. She has dealt with depression for the months I had known her, and, also being a victim of depression, I was able to help her through her problems.

However, about a month ago after nearly a year and a half long relationship, she cheated on me with a guy she had never formally met prior to that night. She began a relationship with this guy just three days later. Within two weeks, she had also cheated on him. She began yet another thing with a guy who she had met just one time. Last night, she cheated on him too when she hooked up with two different people in the same night. All incidences occurred within the past month. She still contacts me every day and tells me of her issues. She needs help desperately, but refuses to allow me to give it. I don't know what to do anymore. Input would be appreciated.


These responses are very heartfelt. I share views with many of them. My father was emotionally and physically distant and my household as a child was male dominated as I have 4 brothers too.

I grew up scared of males raising their voices and believing I was a second class citizen. Now as a mother of three of my own and a step daughter, it is not my own children's father's issues that cause me stress. It is the step daughter who comes into my house every fortnight and dethrones me. She continually tries to keep her father to herself and lies to make him believe I am not welcoming or nice enough to her.

I truly believe he has kept up this game for the last five years. He loves to be the protector and blameless father, who coincidentally, is so filled with shame and guilt for abandoning her and her mother in his first marriage break up that he cannot see her little games. They may be subconscious at times, but more often than not they are blatant disrespect for 'mother' that he never pulls her up on. Both of them put all of their 'bad' feelings onto me due to their inability to express difficult emotions and I have been left drowning in blame.

I am taking a stand now and if he can't take responsibility for putting me in this position, then our marriage will be done. I am tired of the cliche of evil stepmother. This is such a cruel label and stepdaughters and fathers need to take responsibility for their cruelty in keeping the stepmother offside just in order to keep themselves exclusive.


I am pretty sure my wife has daddy issues. Her parents divorced when she was young and her dad never called or bothered to be involved. Recently they reconnected and that just went to hell.

I have a daughter from a past relationship and i feel that she is jealous of me and my daughter's relationship. I don't want my daughter to have issues because of it. She will never admit it but I think that's what it is. She gets angry when i side with my daughter and her mother on things and not her when it really is not her place to have an opinion.

My wife has a son and we had a child together. I don't get involved with her and her son's father's affairs so I expect the same. This has really put a black cloud over us and we are on the edge. Not really sure what to do. I love my wife but she is wrong and for some reason does not want to admit it and let me handle my daughter the way I see fit. Any advice?


This article (and its comments) was tremendously helpful for me and helped me to understand what I'm facing in life.

For me, my daddy was my hero. Unlike some of the people who commented above, he treated me like a princess and was always protective of me. He taught me so much and to top it off, he was super smart too.

Unfortunately, he never treated my mum with respect, and ridiculed everything she did or said. He got me to join in too, when I was young and agreed with everything he said. I admired him and he was the perfect father in my eyes.

I overheard them quarrelling and talking about divorce many times as a kid. But that did not change my perception of him as I laid the responsibility for their failed relationship on my mum.

Then when I was 17, my mum discovered that he had been having multiple affairs and visited shady massage parlours for "services". My mum forgave him but it came to light that he never stopped living this other life of his. They have since divorced and I am now living with my mum.

When confronted, he denied that he cheated as having one night stands apparently does not meet his criteria of cheating.

It has destroyed my faith in him, and, I realize, in men. I am now ultra paranoid about my own relationship and have massive insecurity issues. Every time I can't manage to contact my boyfriend (e.g. he is driving or went to the toilet), my mind wanders to think of the worst possible scenario (e.g. he could possibly be with a prostitute).

I can't emotionally cope when my boyfriend so much so as mentions a girl because I start having ideas that he is interested in her. When he looks at a guy, I start suspecting if he may be sexually interested in men.

I get panic attacks in the middle of the day and need to call him and ask him where he is, to calm myself down. Even then I have doubts about if he is lying about where he is. Even if he is at home, I think about whether he is surfing prostitute websites or perhaps Facebook messaging a girl.

I guess the fact that my dad led a double life for so long, without anyone doubting him, has left a very big scar on me. I wonder if everyone does the same, or leads some "secret" "dark" life (e.g. closet gays, into transsexuals. I don't know -- my mind goes to the sickest possibilities and I feel genuinely scared!). I am scared of not knowing what is actually going on, or what the truth is.

I do not have a solution yet but I hope that I can find some way to move forward with my life and manage to have a healthier relationship with myself and my boyfriend.


I think my own daughter will have daddy issues. It's heartbreaking for me, but I also sort of feel like the die has been cast. Her father and I divorced when she was 18 months old, and by the following summer, at 2 1/2 she was saying things to him like "I'm not coming to your house, dad. You've seen me enough." (in response to her visitations we were supposed to have). And, the most appalling part is that he went along with it.

Now, I see her, even as a young girl, manipulative with boys and male figures (uncles, grandfathers, etc) -- even her own dad. While he tries to be involved, since he was never a caregiver, she doesn't trust him, and misbehaves with him, or does other small sorts of rebellious acts. She really does have a sweet, loving and loyal heart, but, I am at a loss for how to redirect their interactions.

So, Fathers: Be there. Show up. Snuggle them. Hold them. Color with them. Play with them. Listen to their made-up stories. Gain their trust. They need you, even when they say they don't.


@39 I read your story. Man with respect, reflect on yourself. Forget her and her issues. Since she has daddy issues, she is driven to treat you this way. She is unconsciously reversing roles on you. She does not appreciate you. She's a feminist, bro. Feminists believe that all men are out to out-compete and outsmart them. It's a competition in their minds to "grow balls" for themselves hurting good people like you in the process.

Make a strategic hidden plan to escape that person, because those types of women are sneaky. They know the dirty side of life and you are elevating her to succeed in her life while you are miserable.

Look up professional victims. That she is what she was without you. You're a hero without a hero's ending. Oh, sorry, heroes sometimes go unnoticed and end up in jail for "DV" or other stuff.

Dude, kindly ask her to go to couples therapy and see her reaction. A. She doesn't and will say that you are the problem, not her and she is successful and fine. B. She does: Oh my god she is in for an awakening of herself -- just what she fears and runs from. C. She explodes: run for your sanity, and for your kids.

You will not be worth much in jail, ill or emotionally traumatized, dude. There are men out there like you. Learn to walk away or you might just have mommy issues from n her perspective. Take care and yes you can be happy. You deserve it. Do what she does to be happy and that is what you want. See where she stands for your happiness, and decide her or you.


I'm not sure if this should even be posted here but I was just recently dating this girl who grew up thinking that her father passed away in the military and she later found out that the father was alive and that her mom lied to her about it because the mom did not want to be with the father. Everything we were doing seemed to be going well, I was understanding to her and did everything I could to make the relationship go as smooth as possible. I guess I just wanted to know how maybe the absence of her father and her experience affects her daddy issues. She just wanted to stop dating all of a sudden and that left me very confused because prior to that, she was acting as if everything was fine.


I think my wife has daddy issues. Her father left her family for another woman when she was three or so. Her mother remarried, to a man 20 years her junior. Her father figure is a wonderful man who raised her with discipline and morals. Unfortunately, my wife got pregnant from a drug dealer who beat her at 18, then got pregnant from a guy she found out was a meth user 5 years later. She then became an alcoholic, and the two daughters were both juvenile delinquents.

When I met her at work, she drank Jack and Coke every night either at work or with friends, when I first went to her house there was rubbish all over the house, dishes in the sink piled up, garbage overflowing in the trash. I grew up totally opposite. I think our relationship was all physical in the beginning, and I helped her straighten out her life.

We got married after seven years of an on and off rocky relationship, with not too much faith in it lasting very long, but here I am, another seven years later, still with her and a girl and boy of our own, ages 3 and 5. But she goes out to drink with friends without any guilt tonight while I'm sick and watching the kids, when we were supposed to go to my friend's baby's first birthday. She's always grouchy and moody and has a hard time watching the kids because it stresses her out.

I was raised in a pretty normal family, although my father was verbally abusive and demanding of our whole family, but never physically abused me or my brother. I have a good job, do all the bills, throw out the trash, do all the yard work, wash laundry most times, help the kids with homework, just because I want to make sure I raise the kids the right way. While I do this my wife literally will be lying down watching TV or outside smoking cigarettes.

Maybe she doesn't know any better, but I was thinking daddy issues may have something to do with it as well. She's so well liked at work, winning awards all the time, but when she comes home she's the total opposite. Maybe deep down inside she expects me to leave so she's not putting any effort into the relationship.

I really don't want a divorce, just for the kids sake, but this taking me for granted is driving me crazy.


I agree with the term 'daddy issues' because I feel that the relationship between a girl and her father is extremely important, especially when it comes to her adult relationships and friendships she forms during her life.

I remember when I was little around 2-5, and was a typical 'daddy's girl'. Every morning before dawn he would put me on his shoulders and walk up a hill to watch the full sunrise. I would be sort of half asleep but the routine of it every day did have a big positive impact on my childhood. Even though I hated being woken up so early, watching the sunrise from the highest point (my dad's shoulders) did feel like a sense of achievement and wonder. I could sense that I was his world (and he was my everything) and that was enough to be a happy, confident child.

But things didn't stay that way, unfortunately. I realized my parents didn't love each other. They lost respect for each other, started threatening each other violently, and my dad slapped her face too. I was shocked and confused. I thought life was meant to be a happy, family portrait.

The teen years didn't help either, I stopped looking after myself and dad hated his family by then, he wanted nothing to do with us. Mum walked out, and took my sister and I with her. We lost contact with Dad and ever since, I've been longing for that happy childhood feeling.

I go for guys that I'm physically and sexually very attracted to, dunno why. I force myself to like them and be physically intimate with them, in return for their support. And I blame my relationship with my father for that. So I'm trying to mend that relationship right now, but it's a lot of hard work. Mum doesn't really get why I need my father so much, so I have to kind of push myself and take responsibility for all my relationships now. The most important thing in the world to me are my mum, dad and sister.

The only thing I know is that for girls to move on and make their own family one day, it's quite crucial to get along with the family you were born with first. I honestly can find no other solution.


Thanks for this post and everyone who commented! I would especially like to point out post #10 and #8 - I think those two posts really hit the nail on the head in terms of describing the effects of daddy issues.


I never thought I'd write this but I'm giving it a go, hoping maybe it would make me feel better.

I'm 35 now and I am dealing with major issues with men. In only one year I've dated close to 16 men (went on 50 or so dates), but never more than four dates with one guy. I very rarely got physically intimate with any of them. I am still single and have not yet found my man. I decided to take a break from dating and try to figure out why I can't start a relationship with any one man. I have recently been divorced.

I also was never treated like a "princess" by my father. He was physically and verbally abusive to me. My ex-husband was verbally abusive. I know I have father issues that need to be resolved before I can have a successful relationship with a man.

I also play hard to get and run away when I feel a date can turn into a relationship. I don't trust myself around men. I can't express myself with I disagree with men. I play the nice girl, who runs away when anything gets serious; it's safer that way. That way I don't have to fall for a guy, get attached and then watch things disintegrate and get disappointed again.

I feel like time is passing by. I want a serious relationship. I want a family. I want kids, but I don't know how to get there. I am often scared I will end up alone, depressed, old and lonely.

In an ideal world, I'd resolve my father issues, choose the right man, get married and have a happy family. I just don't know how to get there!


The comments for this article were fascinating to me, and I can completely relate to everything. I definitely have daddy issues as my father never expressed emotion, and never told me he loved me, etc. He is also aggressive. All I ever had to put up with at home was him screaming his head off at everyone 24/7. He also once hit my mother in front of me when I was 12 and it scarred me terribly and sent me into severe depression for years.

When I was a teenager, I did suddenly become fascinated with sex and had a few partners, but not an extreme number. I'm now 20 and have been with my 40 year old boyfriend for a year and have never been happier. I guess that subconsciously, he makes up for what attention my father was never able to give me, and I do love the feeling of getting spoiled and treated here and there. I feel safe and protected but our relationship is not based on any of that at all.

When I met him, I felt like I'd always known him and just had a gut feeling about him that I now know was right. I can easily say I've found my soul mate and have never been happier. I never imagined I'd ever find anyone I could click with like this who knows all about my history and issues and is so accepting of who I am. He's extremely understanding and supportive of me, especially in times where I'm completely confused about what I want to do with my life.

What's best is just how we are together. We can laugh at anything together for hours, never run out of things to talk about, have our repetitive silly fights, know each other so well and have the same interests in so many different areas.

I think daddy issues can work out badly for some girls/couples, but for others like me I think it can be a blessing, subconsciously guiding you in one direction and you might end up lucky and happier than you ever thought you could be.


I was sexually abused by my father from a very early age, until my mother finally found out and kicked him out for good, leaving her to bring up his four children on her own. She gave up her own happiness by vowing never to bring other men into our family while we were growing up unless we were totally comfortable with it. We did receive counseling, but it didn't exactly help.

To this day, I'm unsure if I was the only child who was molested by my dad, and I notice changes in my siblings, especially my sister as she has hit adolescence - she's rebellious, aggressive and gets into trouble a lot at school. I'm the opposite - smart but excruciatingly shy and timid. I suffer from low self esteem. I think I'm fat and ugly, am afraid of talking to boys. In fact, I'm 17 yet I've never flirted with or dated a boy. To put it bluntly, I'm scared of men, and what they're capable of.

If a male teacher comes into the classroom, I tense up.

I'm now in my first relationship - with an older 22 year old man, who is extremely loving, understanding and kind. I've always sought out the weak type, the nice guy, who is like a father figure. However, my clinginess, insecurity and moods are slowly driving him away. I understand he can't 'fix me' and I don't expect him to. He's got his life together. I'm just kind of messing it up for him. He's the love of my life and I'm destroying our relationship with my Daddy issues.

And in a weird way. I like being self destructive. I like destroying relationships because I just don't know how to keep them going. I find it impossible to believe anyone could ever love me in a romantic way. I adore children and would love to get married and start a family. To be a nurturing, loving mother. But how can I ever find a man who will endure marriage with me? I'm annoying and I'm a coward. And afraid to love.

It makes me kind of sad because I know I can never contact or love my father. He was a pedophile. I want nothing to do with a sick man who molests children. And I look exactly like him and it makes me sick. It would be nice to have had a dad, just so that I wouldn't be so messed up now, but at least I have an amazing mum. I think I'm very lucky in that sense. It's a shame that the reason so many people are so messed up because of bad parenting.

Being a parent - it's the most important job in the world, yet they'll let any jerk be a father. Or mother, for that matter.


Post #28 is extremely similar to how I feel. I'm in high school, and I do believe I have daddy issues. Like many who have posted here, my dad was never emotionally there for me. He is slightly abusive, but is extremely controlling, dominant, immature, and demanding. He has had multiple affairs, and my mum is too meek to defend herself, or me.

Recently, I've found myself in a mild/severe depression. I've secluded myself from a lot of people, and I've lost all self esteem. I self-loathe because I've never had a boyfriend, and I have trouble talking to boys, despite the fact that none really talk to me, either. Even to boys that flirt with me, I act "hard to get," because I'm afraid of rejection, and showing my own feelings.

It sounds pathetic, I know, but I do honestly feel as though this is a result of daddy issues. Because I've never received that fatherly affection, I fear that I'll unconsciously seek that in a future relationship.

I don't want a partner who will treat me like my father does, either, but that is a pattern. I have friends who are completely content with their lives, being single, and they all have fathers that serve as great father figures.

It's unfortunate that I don't have a father who is emotionally there, and sometimes directly takes a stab at my self esteem with crude comments, and although I feel like I have a bit of clarification on the situation now, I feel as though it is so, so unfair on my part, that the failure of having a loving father ruined my self esteem, and also will likely take a major toll on my future.


I grew up with a father that was extremely verbally abusive, and violent. He rarely physically hit me but i was constantly very unhappy living with him. when my parents divorced it got even worse because it seemed like he had nothing to focus on other then me which resulted in fights everyday and extreme emotional hurt.

I'm now 18 and I've slept with 46 people. i can't maintain actual relationships whatsoever and don't know how to change my view on men. Neither of my parents will put me in counseling, and i hate myself more and more as my number goes higher and higher.


I'm looking for a little interpretation and advice. I am in my early 50's. The young lady in question is 36. Her father was absent her entire life. When I say absent, I mean gone, not emotionally unavailable. She lost her mother in a tragic automobile accident when she was a little girl.

The father and I were friends. We grew up together. Several years ago I began gifting her on holiday occasions with a sweet card, a little spending money and a small collector type gift. When I see her she is very affectionate towards me which I have always taken in stride and with a suitably appropriate response. She hugs me, kisses me on the cheek, puts her arm or arms around me, hangs on me, etc.

I always compliment her appearance but have always maintained the pseudo father - daughter relationship that we have. I have nurtured that relationship. I adore this girl, woman, due to who she is, her inner strength and compassion.

She has serial boyfriends, none lasting longer than a year, never married and has no children.

Things went sideways when she kissed me on the lips twice, on two separate occasions and the last one has me a little confused. These are chaste kisses, touching lips only, no tongue, but I can't help but wonder if she is interested in something more from our relationship. I cannot and will not betray the trust she has in me by making a pass at her. So the ball is in her court. But the question is, Is there a ball game or not?

Any advice or observations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. --Mark.


My father was cold-hearted, never showed his emotions. Obviously i was never like a "princess". Only afraid and miserable. He never said to me 'i love you." He was abusive, he was cursing me with the worst words.

One minute he was happy and after one minute he was yelling. when i was a kid i was just afraid to show him my emotions and i was treating him like a boy.

my mum was treating him like that too, like they weren't in love, like she was his friend. while i was growing up i started feel disgusted in the thought of hugging him. he still abuses me but only in words. and my mother too. oh and if you hug him, he goes away!

i ended up being afraid of boys (I'm 17 now), afraid to touch them because i feel they will go away. i never had a serious relationship, and if i like someone I'm so afraid of rejection.

I'm cold-hearted to them like my dad was to me and i treat them like my friends, like I'm a boy, even if i like some of them so much!

Now that i discovered who's responsible for that, i feel slightly better and trying to improve my self-esteem. now I'm better with boys but still trying. If you have any advice, it would be great. it would give me more self esteem!


I do think daddy issues affect the way a woman chooses her partners. I had an absent parent, he was never around and always cheated on my mom however he was a pretty good person. He never did anything abusive or mean to me but the fact that he wasn't around always bothered me a little.

Now I'm 22 and I'm dating a 54 year old who gives me the affection and love my dad never gave me; and sometimes I see it more as a dad-daughter relationship than a romance. It's not something I'm proud of and I feel very stupid for doing so, but it makes me feel protected.


I always knew there was something different in me when choosing men. I grew up with a cold hearted father who i knew loved me but he never showed his emotions.

He was slightly physically abusive and very dominant, controlling, protective, and what not. I'm not sure if he is the reason i don't remember most of my childhood.

Now at 23 years old i find myself seeking a guy just like my father. I cannot stand guys who are nice to me. I get attached instantly to guys who are aggressive, controlling and dominant. I hate that i have these daddy issues because i have a feeling I'm not going to be very happy in life.


I guess I have daddy issues because I had a very tyrannical, overbearing father. I do not like men significantly older than me.

I guess I like "weak" men as opposed to "strong" men. But honestly I find this to be oversimplification. Society frowns on men that aren't completely aggressive or assertive.

Whether or not they're a result of "daddy issues", I don't find my preference for nice men my own age unnatural. Frankly, more women should like more 'passive' guys. (even though as I said, I find weak-willed and passive to be a negative term applied to men that wouldn't be applied to women with the same characteristics).

Either way, this argument is sort of dumb. Women with daddy issues date men older than them that take control, or younger than them that don't take control? The same can be said of women without daddy issues. I know plenty of women without daddy issues who love older men.

The other side of the equation is that with/without daddy issues, older men tend to have ore money and a lot of women look for this.

Society is so flattering of old rich men and young pretty women that these two groups of people tend to be very arrogant in my eyes. Lots of old rich men aren't nice at all and don't give you the princess treatment because some of them are creeps.

I guess if you find a nice older guy that's great for you, but it doesn't always happen.


I am engaged to a man 20 years older than me who, in fact, was my father's best friend.

Because my father died when I was one and the man who raised me was -- less than loving, people are always saying I have daddy issues. But I disagree.

I agree with no. 7, though. I think it's more likely that a woman with daddy issues would date a weak willed man, they could control them. I speak from some experience.

I am a smart, confident woman who has a rather dominant personality, and as such I've come to notice that my best friends are not. They're not weak or push overs, but I know they look up to me, see me as a leader and want my approval. And while I've grown to love them more than my own life, I can fully understand that I sought their friendship because I have more control in my relationships with them.

I understand that my father loves me, even if he cannot be with me. And my fiancée is the sweetest, most amazing man. He's mature, adventurous, loving, and he keeps me on my toes. As I've said, I'm a dominant personality and I tend to push people, (not in an aggressive or demeaning manner). One of the things I adore about my man is that he is confident and not afraid to push back.

Sure I feel a lot of things with him that a father should make you feel -- safe, loved, beautiful -- but shouldn't the man you're with make you feel this way, too? No matter the age?


This is a great article. I'm an older woman and I hate seeing younger women dating older men because It makes me feel I'm being replaced and outdated.

I constantly try to tell myself that these women and these men have serious issues that make them date each other. I guess the only reason I do it is because I like living in denial.

After all, when I tried doing the same thing (dating younger guys, that is) was like trying to sell a freezer to an Eskimo in the north pole! Anyway, I guess I'll just keep telling myself that these women and men have issues, and also writing fake posts on the internet to see if I am able to sabotage their happiness (after all If I can't find a partner why should they).

And maybe one day when I wake up older and even more wrinkled at least I'll know I wasted my better years hating older men for dating younger women and telling myself that my miserable love life is all their fault.


Thank you for this article. It has been most helpful for me to read.

I grew up in a household where my father was abusive and weak in character.

I have found myself with one long term partner who was essentially a replacement father figure. A good man, but essentially a father figure.

We were married for ten years and remain friends but since I was looking for a father figure there, not a mate, of course this relationship could not be sustained romantically.

I now find myself with a man my own age who is weak in character and easily controlled. I did not see any of this until I read the article. Amazing.

This is scary for me. I wonder if I will ever be able to have a healthy relationship? I also have a horrible fear of abandonment and fear of isolation/ridicule. How can I heal this? I am desperate to have normal relationships and a healthy and balanced life.


Women with daddy issues usually express a strong need for protection. This can manifest itself in the form of needing a man to replace a father figure (choosing a older man as a partner)or wanting to replace a father figure by becoming a controlling person (choosing a younger or closer in age partner weaker in character), the latter being more often but less acknowledged.


Good article. This is a real issue and one that breaks up many marriages without either partner being aware of what's really going on half the time.

Daddy issues can manifest either by choosing someone like daddy to some degree or by slowly transforming the relationship into a parody of the parental relationship via the pressure of warped expectations, unaddressed wounds, poisoned bitterness and unforgiveness, etc.

Fathers/men play a hugely important role in shaping a daughter's view of their own worth, femininity, ability to form a loving and close bond with a man, etc. that shouldn't be underestimated.

Good, strong men of character who are capable of loving in a healthy way are absolutely necessary to a healthy society and the world is impoverished without their strength and leadership.


Older women need to stop harassing and envying men for their ability and preference of dating younger women.

I'm dating a man who is 20 years older than me, and what I've learned from him is that the older I get, The better I have to become when it comes to relationships(instead of becoming more bitter).

The way he courted me when we first met and the way he treats me now is beyond anything I've seen in any woman courting and treating men.

Cougars need to realize that men are successful with younger women because they really now how to treat the ladies. Lack of humility will get us nowhere, and telling ourselves the opposite of this will not change reality. Neither will making up posts in articles like this one just to prove something that is not entirely real.


I completely agree with the article. I am 24 years old, I grew up hardly ever seeing my dad because he was always working, and when I did see him, he was stressed and was verbally abusive with my brother and I. He was very strict but in an irrational way, like he expected too much from us that was purely for his benefit, not for our development or discipline.

I have grown up afraid of men, and I can start crying if I just hear a man raise his voice! I formed this monster in my mind and believed that every man was like that. Unaware, I found guys who were ambitious and quite arrogant like my dad, attractive, but always made a point to be emotionally detached - yet their approval had always been my first priority!

I became quite promiscuous and at one point, worked at a strip club. Of course that all made it worse, and I grew into hating every man and assuming the worst of them. Now I am with a guy (14 years my senior) who has seen past all this and understands, more than I.

I can see that he cares so much for me but I always find myself looking for the smallest things in him that remind me of my dad, and I accuse him of being too controlling when in actual fact he has given me more freedom that I've ever had in my life. I don't want to lose him but I have to stop thinking like this and I don't know how.

How do I reverse this, when I take even the things inherent in guys, to be a sign that he is egoistic or controlling? Society actually encourages this so it seems there is no escape from it!


This article fails to show the effects of absent fathers on women. a lot of these women grew up without fathers because the mother made sure of that. And just as some women will look for father figures in their older mates, other women will try to substitute their father figures and pretend they don't need them, and will look to date younger men or men their age that are weaker in certain character traits than they are to control them.


I'm a guy and my mother was always bullying my dad around so I grew up with a weak father and a controlling mother. It never occurred to me that this was the reason I could never date the prettier younger girls I met, and ended up with girls my age or older mostly, that where always telling me what to do.

Maybe if my mother hadn't been so manipulative and controlling, I would have grown up confident and independent and wouldn't have missed out on all those beautiful younger women all my friends went after. Mom, you stole my youth from me! I hate you!


This article strongly shows the effects of bad fathers as I have been through. My dad was abusive to me when I was a child. This has left me to panic when I'm in a relationship with a guy and not be able to trust them.

So any men who read this, please be the best dads to your daughters. Even if you've had a bad relationship with them before. it's never too late to fix it and to say you're sorry. I know I would give anything for my dad to be sorry for all the things he did to me.


I love older men simply because I grew up in a family full of love, and my father is 15 years older than my mother, both my parents are wonderful. My current boyfriend is 14 years older than me. I am fascinated by him and he is by me.

I don't try to change him; I love him just the way he is. He is strong, mature, independent, reliable, romantic, wild, adventurous. You name it, he's got it. I have noticed how some women are insecure about dating older men because they fear they will be controlled or have to depend on them, or simply won't be able to have the upper hand in the relationship.

My cousin grew up in a broken family, her parents are divorced, and she had terrible insecurities all her teen years. She has a boyfriend her age, that she constantly ordering him around. She wouldn't date older guys because she felt that they would be to strong to control. I guess she's afraid of being hurt or abandoned.


This article sums up the daddy issue phrase and offers good insight into what those issues are and how women compensate for not having a father figure. My wife had a terrible dad that she only saw on the weekends when he was usually drunk. She was very slutty in high school and slept with many people.

She flirts with anyone that is receptive and always has to touch and get acknowledgment from men, especially older ones. In her mid 20's she started to date and become obsessed with someone twice her age. She was a drunk liar, but had a good personality and was actually pretty funny.

She was obsessed with him for a long time and had some really gross sexual experiences with him. I want someone to tell me that these are not daddy issues, because you are so wrong!


My father also treated me and my mom very badly and eventually abandoned us when I was only 15. But I on the other hand decided that this wasn't going to happen to me when I got married, that I was going to take control of my life and relationships, and always ended up dating guys that weren't as smart or mature as I was, mainly my age or younger.

Always trying to prove myself that I was just as independent emotionally as guys, became a very promiscuous teen, until I got pregnant at age 20 with an 18 year old who looked like a 15 year old and had the brain of a 13 year old! Sadly, I ended up having an abortion. It wasn't until I turned 24 that I realized I had daddy syndrome. I guess being with men that I considered had less character that me, made me feel I could have control of the relationship and never be hurt or abandoned like my mom was.


This article is 100 percent dead on. I had daddy issues. I started sleeping with very older men at 16. I wasted six years in one relationship with a guy who was emotionally unavailable. Then I wasted four years with a guy who was verbally abusive, and lowered my self esteem, constantly lied to me.

Now, at almost 30 I realize I unknowingly picked guys who treated me just like my father treated me and my mom. Wow, if you live it, you don't realize it until later, sometimes. Now I'm seeking therapy, so I don't repeat my same mistakes. At least I'm aware of it.

If you haven't had a bad father relationship you have no idea the effect it can have on someone without knowing, so don't pass judgment because you don't know. Everything this article says is true.


Women who grow up with strong, kind and supportive fathers are not afraid to depend on a man, and thus are not afraid of choosing an older partner that is usually more mature and stable than they are. The feminist media tries to poison these women into thinking otherwise, for the sole purpose of destroying the traditional family that threatens feminist values.


I don't agree with this article. I think women with daddy issues are women who look for partners their age or younger because it gives them sense that they are in control. Just look at Madonna and Demi Moore. These women figure out that if they are in control of the relationship they will not be abandoned or hurt in the future, so they prefer to date men their age or younger.


To number 5, the article did not say attraction to older men was exclusive to women with "daddy issues." Furthermore, along that vein, there is a difference between an attraction to older men (which in itself is very common, since, biologically speaking, women are innately geared to seek successful partners, most of whom will be, by default, older) and exclusively and actively seeking out older men.

The latter does usually stem from a few issues or less-than-noble motivations, though, as opposed to a woman who is just non-discriminating in terms of age and happens to date an older man once in a while.


I somewhat disagree. The attraction to older men is not always over daddy issues.

Personally, in a weird twisted sort of way i think the respect and love i have for my father makes me attracted to older men, but good men.


My life makes perfect sense now. My first love was a nice amount of years older than me. I did anything and everything to try and make him happy.

My next few boyfriends just seemed to get older and older, "just a couple years older than the last, no big deal" and every time I was overly devoted to each boyfriend. I loved them, just maybe in the wrong way.

So now I'm a young adult dating a guy twice my age and I couldn't be happier. He doesn't treat me like an actual child mentally, but at the same time he's sort of like a dad with his physical actions; protective (not overprotective or controlling), loving, caring, likes to hold me and buy me candy, make me giggle, tell me how beautiful I am and that I'm perfect. I could go on and on.

So besides his age that might seem slightly, slightly normal, if it wasn't for the fact that my parents got divorced when I was a kid, and I was taken away from my dad.

I think all girls need a father to do those sweet things that pamper the girl and make her feel special. That's self esteem that most moms can't quite give. Moms can say it, but unless you grow up to be a lesbian (nothing wrong with that) it just doesn't give off the same meaning. We want to be daddy's princess.

And even with my "new daddy" I'd do almost anything for his praise. If I could only break this never-ending cycle. Reconnecting with my dad hasn't seemed to help just yet. -Hoshiai 900


i recently broke up with a girlfriend of mine. she always expected so much of me in the relationship, things that i thought were standard in humans.

i had a great upbringing and i am successful in my life and i helped this girl out with a place to live and even fixed her car. I gave her money if she needed it, anything she could come up with i could fix.

but it soon became clear that she was not right within herself. She honestly told me she wanted to sleep with older men and lots of them and in another conversation she mentioned that she didn't get along with her father. i got really hurt by this girl because i was in love but she was unable to express her feelings due to a lack of confidence. her daddy issues were getting in the way.

this article has cleared my head, and i thank god again for the internet and search engines.

i understand her now. Thanks, neil


Good article. Freud was such a dumb jerk. Everything was about sex (big surprise). There are people who envy their fathers penises? that sounds pretty damn far fetched. Weirdo!


I do not know about the Electra complex, or any other associated issues, but what I do know is that girls who have strong, but loving fathers in their life while growing up, have it easier in their adult life.

A loving father is so important to a girl's healthy development, as it is to a boys healthy development.

From her father, a girl learns how to be a healthy, strong woman, and a boy learns how be a strong and confident man.

So I would say to the fathers, take your role as a father seriously, it has a large impact on the development of your little girl or boy. And to mothers, help and support your husbands. Both you and your children will be better for it.

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