Do You Have These Symptoms of Daddy Issues? – What to Do When Your Parents Are Toxic

By Tiffiny J. Fambro | Relationships

Mar 23

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When I was a kid, I did not have a normal relationship with my biological father. This resulted in me contracting some symptoms of daddy issues (more on this later).

He and my mother were not married when they had me. By the time I was born their relationship was over. Growing up he would come to see me every so often, but the visits were inconsistent, much like his behavior.

There would be times when he said he would be me up then cancel at the last minute. Then, months would go by without a word from him. Birthdays and Holidays, I might get a phone call but not even that was a guarantee.  By the time I went to college I had no contact with him. I got student loans to pay for my tuition and part-time jobs to buy my books. I never had the luxury of calling ‘my dad’ for help.

Thankfully I had a grandfather and stepfather that did show me love and affection. However, I always wondered why my biological father never showed me what I interpreted to be love.

The experience I had with him, made me feel inferior, not good enough, and unworthy of a man’s affection. Ironically every man I had a romantic relationship had behavior similar to my biological father’s.

I found myself trying to prove my worth to them and trying to please them so they would stay. I also tried very hard to get them to validate me. When the relationships ended, I often felt like it was my fault. However, I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong.

It was not until I was much older, divorced and in therapy that I realized that the problem I had was not just a “daddy issue.” It was in fact a self-love issue.

So many times, we as women grow up in situations where we don’t really experience what it means to have a functional, loving parent.  Whether it’s your father, your mother or the people who were raising you, having a healthy parental bond shapes our adulthood.

Some of the women that I have coached have had similar stories where they never had a close personal relationship with one or both parents. So, they were not taught how to be properly treated. Or, they may have a very abusive relationship with their mother or father. This meant that the only form of ‘love’ they understood was abusive behavior in their adulthood. 

It was not until I was much older, divorced and in therapy that I realized that the problem I had was not just a “daddy issue,” it was a self-love issue.

Even if you had both parents in the home but one was struggling with an addiction, mental illness, or a self-absorbed narcissist, the bottom line is that parent was not providing the emotional support that you needed.

The root of the problem may be different for different women, but the solution is very similar.

What to Do When Your Parents Are Toxic

Wondering what to do when your parents are toxic? Here are some steps to start moving past your dysfunctional parental bonds:

  1. You must be willing to forgive your parent(s) for their abuse, or neglect, or abandonment or selfishness or addiction. Whatever it was that they did not give you that probably led you to destructive adult relationships.
  2. You must start working to heal by cultivating self-love, self-acceptance, healthy self-esteem and building your own confidence.
  3. You must be willing to create boundaries and standards when it comes to the types of romantic partners that you allow in your life. If you love, appreciate, respect and value yourself, then you need to be with a person that can treat you in the same manner.

The relationships that we form in childhood truly are the foundations for how we connect to others in our adulthood. Are you struggling to attract a mate that truly values you and sees your worth? It may be time to do some introspection and work on yourself.

As a women’s empowerment coach, so many of my clients not only learn to build their mental strength. They also set goals, increase confidence, and they also learn to give themselves the much-needed affection they never received as children.

If you are in a place where you know it’s time to work on yourself so you can start attracting better relationships, then let’s talk.

I offer free coaching strategy calls to discuss your challenges, next steps and how I can possibly help you move forward and get the love you deserve.  Take a look at my calendar to schedule a free coaching strategy call – CLICK HERE

About the Author

Tiffiny has a B.A. in Psychology, and master’s degree in Public Health Education. She worked in consulting for over 16 years, as well as previously owning a fitness and health business. In her personal life, she used personal development, mindset and health strategies to go from being overworked in a demanding corporate career, emotionally drained in a toxic marriage, physically unhealthy, and depressed to becoming an award-winning figure level bodybuilding athlete and entrepreneur. As a women’s empowerment coach, she works to help women get clear on their goals, build confidence, increase self-esteem, take action on their deep desires and create a life they love

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