Daddy Issues: Meaning, Causes, and 6 Signs You Have Them
“There is no single definitive cause of ‘daddy issues,’ as each person’s experience and relationship with their father or father is unique,” Koshy tells mbg. However, most experts agree that the idea of daddy issues can be traced back to Sigmund Freud’s “Oedipus complex,” which he proposed as part of early psychoanalytic theory.
“This complex suggests that a person may have certain unconscious impulses, both positive and negative, due to a bad relationship with their father,” Koshy tells mbg. “Women with this complex may develop unhealthy relationships or patterns with male caregivers in an attempt to repair their broken relationship with their father.”
For example, if your father was overly controlling or critical, you may have low self-esteem in future relationships and seek constant validation. Or if your parents were physically or emotionally absent, you may want to try to heal that feeling of abandonment or neglect in future relationships. “When parents do not express their emotions or communicate with their children, it can lead to difficulties in forming close emotional bonds with others. [later on]”, – adds Koshy.
However, sometimes daddy issues have more to do with your overall attachment style than your relationship with your father. “In general, insecure attachment—whether avoidant (ie, dismissive), ambivalent (ie, anxious or preoccupied), or disorganized (ie, unresolved)—can lead to a wide range of mental, emotional, and behavioral patterns, including daddy issues. “, Manley tells mbg.