Surely everyone has heard about the father complex in women. An unhealthy, and sometimes even absent relationship with the father can lead to the daughter having problems with her partner later in life. It is typical that the behavior towards the husband or friends is repeated over and over again. It comes again and again to the same quarrels as with the old partner. How can this be and what can be done about it? First of all, it is important to determine whether you have Daddy Issues. Then you can act accordingly.
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What is father complex in women anyway?
The term Electra complex, still popularly known as father complex, is derived from the name of a female character from Greek mythology. Electra murdered her mother and stepfather in revenge for her father’s death.
Close relationship with the father
Similar to the Greek woman who felt a (too) close bond with her deceased father, many women feel the same way. Sometimes the daughter is aware of this, sometimes – not. Love for one parent goes hand in hand with hostility towards the other. Thus, it is not uncommon that the mother-daughter relationship suffers and that the two do not get along well and quarrel more often.
When the male caregiver is missing in childhood
In some cases, the relationship with the father is decidedly bad. The girl tries to win his affection and love, but she does not succeed. The father is distant and does not show any feelings. In other cases, a male caregiver may even be absent. The absence and distancing of the father may also affect love relationships later in life.
A lack of relationship with the father leaves traces that are sometimes not noticed until later in life. Those who did not have stability in childhood tend not to trust future partners. One is always afraid of being abandoned. Moreover, one often maintains unhealthy relationships and expects one’s partner to take care of one. Fundamental to the father complex is that one always chooses men who remind one of the father figure.
Father complex is not always a bad thing. It can also have a positive effect on the relationship. For example, because you respect your partner and love his positive traits. Also because one appreciates the relationship and always tries to take care of it. Women with a father complex always stand by the men in their lives.
When father complex leads to relationship problems in women
So, father complex is something different from daddy issues. While the first term includes the positive sides, Daddy Issues means the negative consequences of the relationship with the father. The women themselves do not even notice it. Only after they specifically ask themselves certain questions do they realize that it is a Daddy Complex.
Recognizing Daddy Issues: The test
Take the test and write down the answers to each question. Then count how many questions you answered “yes” to.
1. Did you grow up without a male caregiver? Maybe dad traveled a lot, maybe he died, or maybe parents divorced and he had a new family.
2. for you, in a relationship, affection and attention to the partner is very important. You value it highly when the man by your side constantly shows you that he loves you.
3. does it happen often in your relationships that you are jealous. Have you had trouble trusting your last three partners? Are you afraid that they will leave you?
4. was the age difference in your last three relationships greater than 10 years? Do you prefer older men who already have significantly more life experience than you?
5. if it is a one-night stand, are you attracted to macho men?
6. does it always happen in relationships that you always do more for your partner than vice versa?
7. your last three partners are very different from your father in appearance and character. They also have different professions. Is this true?
8. you love to give your partner little things as a token of your love and do this at least once a week.
9. your last three relationships were toxic.
10. it has happened more often that you have tried to bind your partner to you by physical closeness. You believe that this is the reason why you are still together.
If you answered “yes” to at least 4 questions, then you may have Daddy Issues. Due to a poor relationship with your father, you are trying to attach every man in your life. You do try to find partners who are very different from your father. But unconsciously you want to “repair” the relationship with your father with every new relationship. At the same time, you can never really trust the partner and always have doubts whether he is faithful. Often the men at your side feel overwhelmed with the role.
Recognize father complex in women: The test
1. your father has always lovingly taken care of you, you were always his little princess. He always gave you a lot of attention and could never tell you “no”.
2. you need a lot of attention from your partner. You want to feel appreciated.
3. your last three partners were visually very similar to your father.
4. your last three partners have similar professions to your father. Or they had similar world view, same hobbies.
5. you are attracted to older men. An age difference of more than 20 years is not an issue for you, you can simply understand and converse better with older men.
If you answered “yes” to at least three of the above questions, then you may have a father complex. This is more about the fact that you have always received attention from your father, even in excessive amounts, and therefore expect the same from any partner.
Of course, such a short test cannot attack all the important issues, so a visit to a psychologist is always useful and recommended.
How can I save my relationship?
For now: everyone has their problems. In this sense, it is not necessarily bad to have a father complex. Only if it has a negative impact on your relationship with your partner, or brings you mental suffering, it becomes an obstacle in your everyday life. A psychologist can really help to work through the problems in childhood and to recognize one’s own needs. However, the mother and relationships with siblings should not be underestimated. It may be that the other family members help the process of healing, or it may be that they make it more difficult. Those who have problems in their relationship should talk seriously with their partner and explain the situation as simply as possible. In this regard, partner therapy can help tremendously to save the relationship.