Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 28th 2014 Contents 8|
FOR MANY OF US, our daddies are the first men we fall in
love with: when we're three or four or five, and dancing with
our little feet placed firmly on his, when he lifts us onto his
shoulders to see a parade, and when we give him butterfly
kisses on his cheek. Our fathers teach us a lot about our worth
as females and our place in the world, and a lot of that sense
of self remains with us as we become adults, and affects
many of our other relationships, including --- or especially ---
our romantic relationships with men.
And that can be a problem. The key is to examine your rela-
tionship with your father, whether it remained close and loving,
or whether it became heated and antagonistic as you grew
into those rebellious teens and beyond. What are the prob-
lems you're facing in your current relationships? And can you
identify any triggers that remind you of Daddy, causing you to
If Daddy was strict with you, your siblings (especially the girls)
or your mother, you shouldn't be surprised if you develop a re-
bellious stripe. It's all well and good for you to learn to stand
up for yourself, and make your own decisions, but what if you
find yourself bristling just because your date takes the initia-
tive and orders dinner on your behalf? Do you put on a
miniskirt for a night out just because he asked you to wear a
more decorous dress?
Decide what you're really reacting to. Is your irritation legiti-
mate, or are you just hearing Daddy telling you to finish your
homework, clean your room, and for God's sake, put on a
longer skirt before you leave the house?
Attraction to older men
There's nothing wrong with loving a few strands of grey in a
man's hair. We agree; it does look distinguished. But if you
find yourself compulsively dating men who are significantly
older than you, enjoying that feeling of being taken care of, ask
yourself if you aren't subconsciously seeking out a prototype
of the first guy in your life. It could even mean that the man
you're so attracted doesn't actually possess all the wonderful
qualities you think: you're just projecting an idealised version
of your dad onto him.
You keep looking for "the Anti-Daddy"
On the other hand, if you were at loggerheads with your father
for most of your life, or if you grew up in a marriage fraught
with animosity, bitterness and hurt, you may have decided
long ago that you would NEVER marry a man like him.
Which leads you to shun anyone who reminds you of your fa-
ther, and seek out his polar opposite. If Daddy drank, you go
for a teetotaller. If he loved sports, you fall for a couch potato.
Fine, but again, you might be so busy trying to find someone
who's nothing like your pop, that you might miss the perfect
partner who's practically in front of your nose.
You're jealous and clingy
If you get hot under the collar if your boyfriend so much as
smiles at the waitress, you might be suffering from the after-
effects of an early fear of abandonment. Maybe you were
jealous of the attention he paid to your siblings, or even your
mother...don't worry, it happens to the best of us. Maybe he
left the family while you were young.
If you find your eyes going green for no legitimate reason, con-
sider that what you're reacting to is not the current situation,
i.e., some random woman smiling at your man, but the long-
buried feelings of insecurity and loss that you MUST over-
come in order to be happy.
You're sexually inhibited ... or excessively promiscuous
Even in the absence of any inappropriate behaviour whatso-
ever, how our fathers treat with us, especially in our teen years,
can impact heavily on our sexuality. What he communicates
to you about sex and sexuality, about boys, or even about your
mom, can and will shape how you view your own sexual de-
Was he overly protective, dismissive or hostile to your
boyfriends, harshly critical of how you dressed and conducted
yourself? Did he treat you like a delicate princess or a slut?
Seeds like these, buried deep in your psyche, can result in your
being sexually inhibited in adulthood...or driven to wanton be-
haviour just to "show him you're a big girl". In either case, your
best bet is to seek out competent counselling. You'll be much
happier because of it.
In the end, we are what our families have shaped us into, but
we can choose to let it bring us down, or make us as great as
our parents hoped we would be.
By Roslyn Carrington
| PRACTICAL INSPIRATION |
Our fathers teach us a lot
about our worth as females
and our place in the world,
and a lot of that sense of
self remains with us as we
Links Archive September 27th 2014 September 29th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page