Daddy Issues

Updated : Nov 07, 2019 in Articles

Daddy Issues

To say that someone has ‘daddy issues’
is a somewhat rude and humiliating way of alluding to a very understandable longing:
for a father who is strong and wise, who is judicious, kind, perhaps at points tough,
but always fair – and ultimately, always on our side. It would be so understandable
if we were to feel we wanted someone like this in our lives, especially at moments of
confusion and chaos. The longing for a strong father has been a recurring theme in history.
Most religions have conceived of their central divinities as male parents. In ancient Greece,
Zeus was described as the ‘father of men and Gods’; in Christianity, God was the
heavenly father; in Germanic mythology, Odin was the Allfather, the father of all other
gods. The longing has been no less present in secular culture. In the US, the individuals
who led the war of independence and drew up the constitution came to be known as the Founding
Fathers; Garibaldi, the dignified and authoritative man who fought for the unification of Italy
in the 19th century, earned himself the title of the ‘father of the fatherland’. In
early childhood, we are all immensely weak and in need of protection. We can’t understand
the world, we are so fragile, we could be killed by a moderately sized dog; so much
feels mysterious and outside of our control. A hunger for a ‘daddy’ is – in the circumstances
– wholly natural. A grown man inevitably and rightly seems immensely impressive to
a small child. They appear to know everything: the capital of New Zealand, how to drive a
car, how to say a few words in a foreign language, how to peel an avocado. They go to bed mysteriously
late. They’re up before you. In the swimming pool, you can put your arms around their neck
and rest on their back; they once kicked a football so high, you nearly couldn’t see
it; they take you on their shoulders and help you touch the ceiling. It’s beyond astonishing
– when one is four.. The paradox of daddy issues is that those who have them are – almost
always – people who didn’t have very good fathers when they were small. Perhaps one’s
father was strong but ultimately cruel, bullying or disinterested. Perhaps he was more interested
in another sibling or in his work. Perhaps he wasn’t around much, left the house after
a divorce or died young. The adult longing for a father is not the result of having had
a good father in childhood: it’s a consequence of abandonment. The longing can incline to
us some tricky patterns of behaviour. However mature and sceptical we may be in most areas,
in relation to the idea of male protection, we remain a little like the young child we
once were and haven’t been allowed to mature away from. We secretly yearn for a man to
step in and fulfill an unquenched fantasy role. They’ll take charge; they’ll make
the big decisions, they’ll be tough and certain and make our problems go away. They’ll
make sure the money side of things is sorted, they’ll get angry and aggressive with anyone
who hurts us; they will be proud of us and love us as we are. We’ll be looking out
for daddies in friendships, at work and, not least, in politics. The danger is that these
‘daddies’ may in the end hugely damage our trust, for it isn’t in anyone’s power
to assuage the sort of longings we bring to bear on them. They may know very well what
we want, and naively or cynically promise to provide it for us, but gradually – too
late – we stand to realise that they had a thousand flaws, as we all do. We may realise
that they are bullying rather than noble; that our enemies haven’t gone away; that
they couldn’t help us; that there isn’t in fact enough money in the world to do what
they promised; and that – in fact – they didn’t really love us at all. The fantasy
‘Daddy’ figure of adulthood isn’t in fact a good father for one big reason: truly
good humans know they aren’t that powerful and are happy to admit to the fact cleanly
and honestly, just as soon as we are ready to take the news, which is normally when we
are around twelve years old and conscious of new powers and capacities. A good father
doesn’t – beyond that age – pretend to be all powerful, they confess they can’t
solve all our problems and can’t magically save us from a myriad of dangers, no matter
how much they wish they could. The good daddy disappoints us just as soon as we are strong
enough to bear reality. Out of love they deflate the idea that there could ever be a perfect,
ideal daddy. They try as best they can to help us grow up. If we encounter someone who
has daddy issues, the temptation is to get frustrated, tell them to mature, mock them
and – in particular – poke fun at the particular daddy figure they might have identified.
This isn’t either a very wise or ultimately a very kind strategy. It simply tends to entrench
their devotion – because, whenever we are attacked, we of course feel ever more intensely
than ever the need for the protection of an idealised father. What we really need to help
us out of our daddy issues is something more like the actions of a genuinely good father:
someone who truly acknowledges our suffering and our fears, who deeply wants what is best
for us and isn’t reluctant to say so; but who, at the same time – out of love – wants
to help us come to terms with a messy and essentially disappointing world; a man who
– out of love – will encourage us to be independent and, specifically, not to fantasise
that anyone, however outwardly imposing, can ever do the impossible. Good daddies allow
us to bear the truth that there are, in the end, no ‘daddies’. . We love bringing you these films. If you want to help us to keep bring you thoughtful content please consider supporting us by visiting our shop at the link on your screen now.


  • Omg this is actually so true. My father wasn’t around much when I was younger and he made me keep secrets of him bringing women over while he was married to my mother but when I got older I broke down and told my mom. I just got into my first serious relationship with my boyfriend and I notice myself being more submissive and I guess “little” as some may call it and him as more dominant. I sometimes wonder if my dad was normal that I wouldn’t be like that in my relationship.

  • I hate my dad. He always made cheap ass excuses, and threatened to divorce my mom for over a decade. He always made promises you knew he wouldn’t keep. He instigated a lot, especially with me- making me the horrible stupid bitch of a daughter that he always said I was. Now he’s gone, and I feel no remorse for his sudden departure.

  • The problem is the one hypergamous female and the many different fathers (i.e. step-dads as well as biological).

  • My father was a total narcissist. He was cruel, judgmental, and absent emotionally. He was emotionally, physically and sexually abusive. The scars he inflicted are permanent. I try to get over it, but it is a constant struggle and I make little progress. My father is dead so I can't confront him, not that that would work, but perhaps it would make me feel better.

  • Never felt the need to be with farther or getting to know him and wanted anything from him. I did not grow up with him. I always felt alright without him.

  • My father treats me like crap. He doesn’t acknowledge me or talk to me. When he talks it’s to put me down and degrade me. His loss! His choice .

  • I have daddy issues, no wonder I’ve been longing for a man to take charge and be aggressive with me. Thank you school of life. 🥵🥵

  • 1:29 lol x] i can't.. "a hunger for a daddy is only natural" lol… what about sugar daddies? is that natural too x]

  • I am ina lesbian relationship, amd sometimes I wish to be hugged and loved by a man. My father died when I was 14, and I still feel deeply sad sometimes, not knowing why. I am 28 years old, and I probably have Daddy issues.

  • Sure it sucks to have a dad that’s an asshole, but how do you think I feel. I had a great father and he died. It’s worse once you have something good and it’s just taken away from you.


  • My father has hardly ever been around. There was always something of a higher priority for him to do, work, hobbies, working on his car, going out to a bar or a game of tennis, literally anything. During his vacation he'd take his motorbike and go away for days to weeks on end. When he was at home, he'd sit in front of his computer or lock himself in his bedroom. Any interaction we had was him getting angry, beating me and leaving me alone to cry. Occasionally he'd come back and tell me to shut up or hell give me a real reason to cry. He'd destroy my belongings in a fit of rage, throw things at me, yell and insult me. Other times he'd laugh at everything I said or belittle me, my feelings and my thoughts. I don't feel safe around this man. I feel like he can snap any second and lash it out on me. My mother wasn't a big help either. She'd stand by him. She never tried to stop him from beating me, only sometimes she'd mutter "that's enough". Yeah, like that was gonna stop him. My father was both the physical and emotional abuse, he was neglect and a scare tactic. My mother would start an argument and blame me for it. If she started a fire, I was to blame for it. Nothing I ever did was good enough for them. My feelings were always inferior and insignificant because they were inconvenient. I'm just learning how to be a person and how to see myself as one. This is so strange to have my opinions and thoughts being considered by others. It feels like a privilege I haven't earned.

  • My real question is why no-one talks about men’s daddy issues? Whenever one hears someone has daddy issues, it’s automatically inferred that someone is talking about a girl.

  • I had a dad until I was 5 and he died from a drug overdose but when I think back on it, I don’t think he ever really acted like a father to a young child, thata probably why I was never really that upset when he died because I never viewed him as most do to there fathers at a young age, so I didn’t see it as my dad dying, just someone I stayed with and hung around sometimes.

  • Shaming single-mother/parent household men has become a mainstream trend these days. Instead of compassion for a life with less support, you get called weak. It’s great.

  • I honestly don’t really care about my dad and haven’t since I was 12, I only feel bad sometimes when I notice how set back I was with less financial support to get my life started. Having to struggle just to get things that fell into the laps of everyone else my age, and still not getting them.

  • I bet my dad hates me.
    He kinda abused me and my siblings when we were little. He still does, but now it isn't physical anymore.

  • it's really hard to accept this, but i do have daddy issues, i wanted a father so badly when i was young and all my life really; and now that i'm fully grown it still represents a huge empty space that i don't think i can ever get to fill….it hurts remembering all those times when kids back in school seemed very happy and protected by their parents…whilst i felt abandoned and without a loving dad to rely on. I started to build a wall around me, that served as an impenetrable fortress (substitute for human protection) that has become nearly indestructible, making me an introvert and sad person…i'm writing this in the hopes to tell you that if you're reading this and have children, please be a loving parent, be there, spent time with them, DO NOT walk away…because abandonment leaves scars and trauma and makes unhappy/bitter people. <3

  • 2:50 – 3:55 , I subconsciously have done this most of my life. I wanted to have a father figure that would help edify me, be proud of the progress I made in life, and generally provide a father-son experience I never had. A man provides structure to his children.. I tried my best to replicate this by joining leadership programs and reading personal development books. Through time I've met some elder men in passing who dropped jewels that really helped forward my progress in life, and there were others that I got burned by due to trusting or exalting them so highly. The older you get the more clear your responsibility to give yourself the things you yearn from other people becomes.. because such people may or may not make an appearance in your life, and even if they do it might not be at a reliable rate. Doing this won't fill the void, but you will be much better off.

  • Oh dear. This video took such a weird turn right at the beginning. Typical contemporary Western philosophy BS they feed people at the universities these days so they can recite it perfectly… Why do you presume religions "chose" the father figure as their central deities, how cute of you to think you have solved the mystery of archetypal figures occurring in religions. The fact that no human could ever live up to the father archetype(or any other for that matter) you use to crate tongue in cheek "no daddy" nonsense to push your boring agenda that gains traction among contemporary intellectual fops.
    Also, your reading of Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky is appalling.

  • Well now I'm realizing that I have daddy issues, covered them up with my boyfriend for 3 years and suddenly he got tired of me and abandoned me, hummmm that must be the reason I can't get over him after 4 years

  • And this is hell I come to be married six times this is all very true very sad but in time you work through things but that feeling of the emptiness never goes away

  • I hate my father.
    I just hate that guy and anything that comes from him; name, a feature, a city, or even a country, hes from ❤

  • this is why i actually admit that daddy issues are a part of who i am, unconciously it has led me to making most of the decisions in my life. i was going through a mess of a time and ended up fucking around with people 20+ while i was 15/16 and they all knew of my age. ive had to be independent and learn to take care of myself since i was young and somehow i was unable to relate to my peers, i only found people way older than me interesting and so did they with me.
    now im in a happy relationship with my boyfriend thats 6 years elder, we have plans of having a family and getting married and are moving to a new country together soon. i guess my point here is daddy issues kinda rules lmao

  • This video made me tear up. I'm 45, and my dad died 4 days before my 10th birthday. Your dad dying is painful enough, but 4 days before your birthday is a special kind of cruel. Although, I have worked on healing from the abandonment and pain I felt, the healing doesn't happen in a linear fashion. For me, recognizing what it is has helped, but there is still some work to do.

  • When he said "not very good fathers" that hit me hard. I got that sunken feel that even after trying to love my father for who he is futile because, after all is said and done, he is my father and…not a very good one. Thanks school of life.

  • My narcissistic father will always be a piece of shit. At the age of 60, he still blamed his mother for making him who he is. The man doesn't deserve sympathy anymore, he is weak, abusive, consistently gaslights – he is pathetic. His foolish stupidity is at the level of not having the capacity to even confront himself. The first 23 years of my life with him fucked me up and I lost my friends because his own toxicity was embedded in me. He is dead to me, I hope he suffers and I have accepted I will never have a father. My life has gotten better by leaps and bounds cutting his presence out of my life. Narcissists deserve nothing.

  • my dad and I never were able to have a relationship. yes he is still in my life but not really though. he barley knows me yet acts like he does. but I’ve got two other siblings that he had with my step mother and I’m glad they have him around. they get what I didn’t

  • Is it possible for teenage children/young adults (whose had a rather happy and privileged childhood) to still be impacted negatively from their parents divorce?

  • I don't think I have "daddy issues."
    I don't look for anyone who was like my father, or who could play that role.
    My father was physically around, but was emotionally and mentally abusive. Hell, he left my mom when she was on bed rest while pregnant with me, in the middle of nowhere, in a state she had no friends or family in. He came into my life when I was 2-ish, and judging from the wedding photos, I didn't like him. My older brother (who's 10 years older than me), and my granddad were more or less the "father" figures for me. My father was just a shitty roommate who only cooked for himself after I turned 10, and wouldn't clean anything. I had to do the cooking and cleaning, because he lost his job, and became a lazy POS, while my mom had to work overtime to afford rent and food. He never even learned how to handle my younger brother during meltdowns (he's Autistic, as am I, and Brooks ((father)) probably was as well).

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