And what you can do to STOP it!
We’ve all heard that toxic parent relationships are the bread and butter of psychotherapy — that the unresolved issues we have with our parents come back to haunt us with relationship problems.
But is there any truth to it?
In our latest Expert video, Melanie Gorman, Senior VP of YourTango Experts, asked a group of our big name Experts if we really play out our unresolved issues (a.k.a. “daddy issues”) with our parents in our relationships, or if that’s just the stuff of TV talk shows.
You can see their full comments in the video above, but our team of love and relationship Experts — Noreen Ehrlich, John Gray, and Katherin Scott — all agreed that while there is truth in the idea of us living our unresolved issues in our relationships, that doesn’t mean we’re doomed.
There is something we can do about it.
From a young age, we create a mold of how relationships are supposed to work from our parents’ relationship.
We learn how a husband and wife treat each other and how they are together, and we internalize it as the mold with which we try to find relationships of our own.
So if we, unfortunately, grow up with a poor father example — whether he’s absent, abusive or just a horrible role model — he shapes the way we see men and how we believe a relationship should be.
And when we find men who have similar traits to our father when we’re dating, we want to do anything and everything we can to earn their love, the same way we yearned for our father’s love.
The trouble is, “daddy issues” don’t only apply only to unresolved issues you may have with your father, but with both of your parents.
Even if it was your father who was the abusive one, it was your mother who taught you how to handle it.
We tend to stay in the bad relationships and stick to the guys we know it’ll never work out with because it’s safe and familiar.
After all, the devil you know is better than the one you don’t right?
The first step to moving past your daddy issues is to recognize when it’s affecting your relationships.
Ask yourself if you find yourself attracting the same guy over and over again, only to find that it never works out.
Do you fall for these men super fast and attached to them right away?
If so, chances are you have so unresolved daddy issues to work through.
But don’t despair, because there’s a simple way to break the cycle if you’re brave enough to do it (HINT: you are!).
The next time that same guy comes up to you to ask you out, say no!
Give the guy who terrifies you because he’s so different a shot.
The only way to break the cycle is to give yourself wake-up call, and there is no reason why seeing (and being in) a normal, healthy relationship can’t be the wake-up call you need.
And don’t forget to say to yourself, “I am ok. I am enough. I am never alone. And I am worth it.”