People imagine that daddy issues crop up in the absence of the father only. They don’t understand how someone with a father can have men-related problems. And society adds on to that by encouraging women in bad marriages to stay. Because apparently your children will suffer without a family. That single parenthood is frowned upon, is common knowledge. So they would rather, you survive the beatings, the veneral diseases, the struggle to provide for your children plus a grown man. After all, he will change eventually. Just pray hard enough. It is worse if you got married in a church, God does not allow divorce. So the pastor prefers you abating an adulterer, a drunkard or a wife beater instead. I say abating because, I think a man will only cheat if he has a wife to cheat on in the first place, he will only beat, if he has someone to beat, so technically, you staying there or our mothers staying there allowed them the liberty to continue with their evil practices. Obviously, the victim is not the cause, but in my thinking, their condoning it encourages the victimiser in their preferred habit. I know these things are complicated, that its not as straightforward as I might make them seem. That people who stay in bad marriages do it for their children’s sake. And that is where my problem is.
Why would a mother raise her daughter with a man who cheats on her? And then expect that girl when she becomes a woman to have healthy relationships with men.
How now? That is where daddy issues stem from for girls who were raised by dad’s with issues. Because the standard measure they have in their head is already skewed. I’ve observed that children raised by drunkards, grow up to be either drunkards too, or to totally loathe drinking. Girls raised by cheating fathers, either marry and condone a cheating man(because they had a perfect example in their mother) or loathe men completely (again because they saw first hand how hurting it is) or can’t stand being cheated on completely. Bad fathers raise kids who instead of going out there and exploring the world on their own and forming their own opinions, get into the world with already formed stereotypes of what awaits them.
I’ve just read a blog on a lady who has daddy issues because of being raised by a single mum. And I keep on wondering if she realizes that the other side may look greener, but that may be an illusion. Is it better to struggle on having no idea on how to handle and be handled by men? Or is it easier to struggle to get your father’s action not affect your relationships with men? I don’t know. All I know is that bad marriages wreck the children involved. And the worst thing is that they may not even know it. The last statistics I read in Kenya claimed that 70% of marriages are ‘bad’ with those in them claiming that they are only there for the kid’s sake. 30% were found to be good according to those in them. According to me and my analysis that translates to 7 out of 10 children having issues they should deal with first before considering dating in the near future. Because those children in the 70% of marriages already have a bad idea on how to treat other human beings or be treated.
And just in case, you are wondering if daddy issues should be taken seriously or even dealt with, look around you. They influence every sphere of everyone’s life. For example, I don’t know why, but I grew up never asking my dad for anything,as I mentioned here. Yet he was there and had money for whatever I wanted. I never thought much of it until I realized I rarely ask God for anything. Only when its absolutely necessary. And I realised that I regard God as my father. And how I relate with my earthly father had formed a basis of how I related with my heavenly father. I have been trying to unlearn that behavior. And trust you me, learning is easier than unlearning. I mean look at us Africans, after decades of being independent we still regard our colonizers superior to us going by how we treat them. Point is, how you relate with others is informed by how your family relates with each other. I hate it when I see my girlfriends staying in bad relationships. Because unless they wake up and smell the coffee, they will marry those men and they will never change or by the time they do the damage will already be done on their children.
And the cycle will continue. And we will frown at the single mother while pitying her fatherless children. We will read news of people who wake up one morning and wipe off their entire families and loudly wonder why that woman stayed. But had she left him, would her pastor whose God does not like divorce accept her broken heart in church? We will not bother about ourselves who were raised by ‘complete’ nuclear families, I mean, we are okay, right? We will listen to those young people who vow to never marry or get married and label them names or better still say, wenye husema hivyo ndio huolewa wakwanza. While in that process avoiding to deal with the oozing scars that lead to these people avoiding the war zones that were their parent’s marriage.
Point is, for as long as you suspect your parents marriage lies in that 70% , search within yourself first. How you treat yourself, how you interact with others and how you feel about relations in general. There is a 100% probability that there are some things you either need to learn afresh, unlearn completely or come to terms with. No one comes out of being raised by a family uninfluenced. Whether good or bad influence. The goodness or badness is that we are many. Is there comfort in numbers? The good thing is that you are not alone. Bad thing is, tyranny of numbers has a way of normalizing abnormal things. Look at the corruption in our country. You would be forgiven to think that all Kenyans were born corrupt. Don’t console yourself that at least you had a father. You are certainly not better off if he did more damage than his absence would have done.
This is a touchy issue I agree, one with as many opinions as as many people will read this. But by the end of the day I think a majority of us have daddy issues, both with absent and present dads. What do you think?