Present absentee fathers who do not connect with their daughters
There are also absentee fathers, who cause unfulfilled curiosity. A daughter may blame herself — in appropriately so — for inability to gain or retain the attention of her father. This is common where a father is present in the house but distant to his daughter; an agonising kind of absenteeism. Such a dad is physically visible but emotionally unreachable. She may wonder what it takes to get dad to “look this way” and offer a helping word or hand.
In that circumstance, “What does dad think about…?” is a question that goes oft unanswered. Such a daughter may be tempted to satisfy this curiosity for “dad answers’ by engaging senior men who are ‘dad-like’, ending up in ‘sugar daddy’ relationships.
Discipline-focused fathers who stalk their daughters
Unhealthy father daughter relationships may also emanate from strict disciplinarian fathers, who treat their daughters to ruthless ‘laws’. A daughter would want the dad to pay attention to her and be interested in her life. But there are dads who become too interested and too involved to the liking of the daughters. Such dads are harsh disciplinarians who will nearly stalk the daughter and correct her at every instance. His attention becomes a burden and his counsel is more of manipulation and blackmail than it is guidance. He thinks more about his views and his preferences than he cares about his daughter’s feelings. His words and actions are like painful non-physical whips, more excruciating than physical assault.
Fathers who display might and rigidity
There are also overbearing fathers; whose daughters leave home as soon as they can. Even in adulthood, daughters feel overwhelmed by the strength and unyielding power of such fathers. A daughter may never feel she has mustered enough strength to fight back a dad; so she tends to run away from him. Fathers who shout “shut up” to their daughters teach them how not to speak out when oppressed. A father who does that makes her growing mind understand that men have the final say and one should never question them.
A father needs to be conscious that the eyes of a daughter see the dual combination of father and man in him, not just father.
Fathers are not always in control, though
Children expect their fathers to always be in control, but that is not always the case. In fact, there are many cases of fathers losing touch with their children because of life pressures. Facing a high level of family responsibility can make a father distant if he is unable to meet his own expectations. This is prevalent in fathers who had high hopes about life but have not actualised their dreams into reality.
A father in this scenario may be thinking too much about his predicament and may be trapped by self-resentment to the extent of being unable to offer happiness to his daughter. He may be going through such unspoken challenges that he comes across as aloof and uncaring to a daughter. In such a case, he may do things that negatively affect the daughter without realising it, leading to unhealthy father daughter relationships.
A father’s impact on the daughter’s psyche and character may therefore not always be the result of a deliberate parenting style by a father; it may be purely accidental.
Father’s influence on a daughters relationships with men
Can a father’s care lead a girl to relationships with older men?
You may have heard that many girls marry men who have characteristics similar to their “bad” dad. This may be due to subconscious influences that make a girl gravitate towards men who exhibit traits that are familiar in her life.
Girls who get into relationships with men to subconsciously satisfy the inadequacies of their father-daughter relationship may find themselves trapped in loveless relationships. This may make them wonder if all men are the same as their father. Such girls may offer sex for affection, but find that real love is not forthcoming. They end up feeling dejected, lonely and even suicidal.
There are moments when withdrawn fathers open up, and even tell a daughter something that may shock her. For example a father owns up to a daughter that he is dead broke. This may leave her panicky and wondering how she can help. She may find herself throwing her life to a rich man with the hope of changing the financial fortunes of her dad and the family.
A point of debate is to what extent a stable, wealthy and caring father can influence a daughter to seek father-figure relationships that may not be possible with younger men. Older men might offer more attention, have the financial resources to make her more comfortable and have the time to give her lots of attention and put her needs before all else.
Whereas a father should be caring and while prioritizing his daughter’s needs is recommended, he ought to spend time teaching her about real life issues. He should help her differentiate his parenting style and fortunes from those of other men.
Can dad’s care for daughter be the cause of a failed marriage?
When you have a caring, protective and loving dad who helps you as you seek solutions at an early age, you set out in life with a winner attitude. One thing you always know for sure is that there is someone to fall back to – if you ever fall. It’s like having insurance cover. You may never use it, but having it makes you confident that risks you come across are taken care of.