In light of Fathers’ Day last weekend here in Australia I thought that I would re-hash an article I wrote about 6 years ago on the impact of our father on our life and relationships.
It is probably more important when it comes to dating and relationships than you think! So here we go……
Many people are aware of how their father has helped to shape their life (the positive ways, and the not so positive ways), but many are unaware of the real unconscious impact that their father had on them during their childhood years – which effects their current adult relationships.
From the day we were conceived we have had such a strong connection and bond with our mother. There is generally a huge focus on mother during the time we are inside her womb, being born and infancy. While there is this huge emphasis on the impact of our mother, the impact of our father is sometimes not highlighted as often – however the influence that our father has had on us is huge.
Whether we are male or female, the mood and energy of our father towards our mother and her growing belly during pregnancy is felt by us on many levels. His presence or non-presence at our birth, his ability to connect with us emotionally, to help us feel safe, loved and wanted is essential to us feeling whole and complete. Many of us have feelings of abandonment around our father and suffer from “absent father” related issues. It could be because he left the family unit due to something like divorce or that he did intentionally distance himself from the family. It can also be due to the fact that he simply had to work longer hours to provide for the family – and unfortunately we don’t realise this at such an early age and generally feel a lot of grief and anger towards our father for “not being there for us”. Traditionally, men tend to find it difficult to get in touch with their feelings and emotions hence the young baby or child can feel that their fathers are not being “present” with them on many different levels.
Some Questions for Men to ask themselves…..
What did your dad believe about relationships? Did he feel comfortable around women? Was he in his masculine essence? How did he treat other people? Was he a good role model of a man? Was he around or did you sometimes feel abandoned? How did he let your mother / women treat him? Did he express himself and speak his truth? Was he able to get in touch with his emotions and show them? How was his self-esteem? Did he distance himself from the family or was he actively involved in every area of your life?
Your relationship with your father will always reflect the relationship you have with yourself. If there are certain aspects of your father that you dislike then it is a good idea to take a look and see if you can recognize these aspects in yourself (this is sometimes the hardest thing to do). Our father teaches you, even without words, how to be a man – through his actions, his energy, his thoughts and his emotions. As a child he is the model of what a man is meant to be and you build yourself around it. It is also a good idea to observe your current relationship – can you see similarities to your mum and dads relationship? Do you react the same way your dad reacted? Do you treat your partner the same way your father treated your mother? As much as you may hate to admit it, you learnt how to be a partner/husband by watching how your father acted and behaved in his relationships.
Some Questions for Women to ask themselves…..
What was your relationship like with your father growing up? Did you feel unconditionally loved by him? Did you sometimes feel abandoned by him? Was he in his masculine essence? Did you feel that you needed to constantly live up to his expectations? Did you feel that he listened to you and understood who you really were? How did he treat your mother? How did he let himself be treated by your mother? What did he teach you about relationships through his actions?
Your relationship with your father will always reflect the relationships you have with men in your life. If you felt your father abandoned you in some way, then men will keep leaving you. If you felt that your dad wasn’t present to you or didn’t understand you, then you will attract men who do the same. If he had high expectations of you, are you constantly trying to prove yourself through work to be a success? Do you try to get the things from your partner that you never got from your father but always wanted? You will also unconsciously treat your partner the same way your mother treated your father, because their relationship is what gave you the foundation of what relationships are all about.
By exploring these questions you can begin to become aware of how your father may have influenced your own behaviour. You will no doubt see some of yourself in him (even though we hate to admit we are like our parents), and also see the influence he has had regarding your relationship patterns.
This self inquiry is only the tip of the iceberg – your father has influences far beyond what you can grasp with the conscious mind. The majority of beliefs and emotions around father are unconscious and they affect your relationships at least 96% of the time!!!!
After healing some of these unconscious issues around father many people have dramatic shifts in the way they relate to their partner, the way they relate to themselves, and the way they relate within a relationship. If you desire a smoother, easier and more loving relationship I would highly recommend you take a deeper look at the profound affect your father has had on your life. If your relationship with your dad as an adult could be improved upon – take every opportunity you can to re-connect with him in a new way. Healing the relationships with our parents will always make our love relationships better.
I have only focused on the more challenging aspects in which our father has had an effect on us, but of course our father also affected our lives and relationships in many positive, joyous, loving and fun ways and these deserve to be celebrated and remembered. Keep and grow these positive influences and do what you can to reduce the unconscious challenging ones. This will greatly enhance the quality of partners you attract in to your life and give you easier and more harmonious relationships.
I know that you CAN and WILL find love.
Bye for now!