I don’t mean literally. I’m talking about whether or not you are playing out certain dynamics in your romantic relationships, due to the relationship with your Dad. Or more importantly, your perception of your relationship with your father. I’ve got news for you. Whether you are consciously aware of it or not, you are.
Through years of observing my interactions (and those of friends and family), I realised that my relationship patterns have been very much influenced by my ‘absent’ father. Due to my Dad being unavailable (in his own words ‘not father material’) I interpreted this and unconsciously made it mean that I was unlovable, unwanted (by him), invalid, unworthy and the list goes on. As an adult I realise that his behaviour was nothing to do with me – it was all about his own levels of stunted emotional development, due to his perception of his own childhood.
However, this is impossible for a little girl (or boy) to understand, who is wondering what is so wrong with them that their Daddy doesn’t want to see them. There can be many confusing feelings such as guilt and shame and wondering if she was ‘better‘ then maybe her Dad would love her. I remember being very aware that I was the only one in my class without a sibling and who didn’t live with their father. So often we are still reacting to a belief system formed by our childlike self, which is not conducive to having healthy, balanced adult relationships.
I have observed how these insecurities can play out differently within myself and other women. Some may be desperate attention-seekers, needing constant validation and to be told repeatedly how desirable they are. Being alone is unthinkable and they go from one dysfunctional relationship to the next. They need to be with someone to validate their sense of self-worth. She could also be attracted to much older men and play the ‘little girl’ in their parent/child dynamic (a very common relationship pattern). I knew a woman years ago who used to speak with a lisp when her partner was present so she sounded like a little girl, a very bizarre thing to observe. She spoke normally when he was not there and it seemed like a totally unconscious behaviour. Another variation is the supremely self-sufficient type who has convinced herself she is fine on her own and doesn’t need a man. She feels mortified at the thought of letting herself be vulnerable and will only do so when a man has jumped through all sorts of hoops. These self-sabotage patterns are eye-opening to observe and acknowledge.
Anxieties can arise in relationships that the man will leave or cheat, because she is clearly incapable of maintaining love, attention, affection or interest from a man. It must be true if her own father doesn’t love her, right? Therefore, she will be attracted to that same type of man in the subconscious hope that she can heal that issue. However, if she does find a man that offers her all that she yearns for, she may reject him because deep down, she doesn’t believe she deserves to be loved. It all seems too good to be true and it can’t last. Does any of this sound familiar?
I was in a workshop about 15 years ago and the facilitator said “we anticipate 100% love from the feminine and 100% acknowledgement from the masculine. If we don’t perceive that this is our experience with our parents, we will constantly unconsciously seek this in all our relationships until we realise we can only ever give this to ourselves.” This resonated so deeply for me and those words have always stayed with me.
Much of these learnings, I have only really integrated in the past 5 years or so. I grasped this at an intellectual level for many years but still hadn’t truly ‘got it’. Even though I don’t consciously have any unresolved angst towards my Dad, I can’t deny the impact this has had on my beliefs about men.
From a very young age, I remember being consciously aware of certain beliefs, such as:
“Men are weak; can’t be relied upon and think with their dicks. They are liars and not to be taken seriously. I will never let myself be vulnerable because they’ll just take advantage. I need to ensure that they have deeper feelings for me than I do for them, otherwise I’ll just get hurt. I need to be in control of the situation.”
These ‘rules’ seemed to work to a degree and I remember as a teenager often feeling bored and disdainful about male attention. I was particularly unmoved as one very sweet boy sobbed at the bus stop, pleading with me not to break up with him, in front of a whole queue of people. I felt nothing as I walked away from him. His only mistake had been to adore me. I couldn’t accept it and actually wondered if there was something wrong with him. I experienced variations on this theme as I got older and it gave me a suffocated feeling whenever they were really loving and present. I wasn’t used to the masculine being so attentive and when they were, I felt overwhelmed and always thought ‘this can’t last‘. I would sabotage the situation and reject them before they could reject me. I also experienced extremes where they became obsessed as I pushed them away. I was more comfortable with men who seemed disconnected and distant. That was my foundational blueprint.
As I navigated through my 20’s and 30’s, some of my other beliefs came to the surface:
“Men can’t be honest with me because they can’t be honest with themselves; frightened little boys trapped in mens’ bodies; they say the ‘right’ things but there’s no substance; they project their unresolved issues about their mothers; they can’t be alone and just go from one woman to the next; they need to be the centre of attention. I have to be the strong one. I have to do everything myself.” More defeatist phrases such as ‘nothing but a disappointment and pathetic’ also featured heavily. These were my repetitive thoughts and beliefs. Lovely. These poor guys didn’t stand a chance.
I moved to the other side of the world at 25 and got married. We played out our unhealthy dynamics perfectly for each other, based on the unresolved energies of our perceptions of our parents. Our 11 years together were one of the most challenging, beautiful and painful experiences of my life. He was the perfect mirror for me, in that I was ignoring myself on so many levels (that’s another story). I felt immensely loved and betrayed in equal measure. I will feel eternal gratitude and love towards him, for being a catalyst for such transformation. It was the biggest learning experience of my life.
The abrupt end of my marriage spiraled me into a deep depression and an excruciating period of self-enquiry. I proactively addressed each belief, each behavioural pattern and each response that I had to my beliefs about men and myself. During this period, my radar would magnetise me to anyone who was bipolar, suicidal, depressed, obsessive compulsive, avoidant and with unresolved issues towards their mothers and/or their exes. Sexy hey! A match made in heaven. I couldn’t understand why I kept attracting these situations, regardless of how much healing work, therapy or a million different modalities that I experienced. Oh I wonder why?
I started to notice a couple of very clear patterns that emerged over the years. The one I was most aware of was that I had become really comfortable with men who were vacant or unavailable in some way (just like my Dad). This could play out in a few different ways. It could mean that they were geographically distant, emotionally unavailable, struggled to express their feelings or disappeared into their cave whenever confronted. This left me to mindread, overcompensate and feel frustrated.
Whilst I said I wanted to experience a deeper connection and more openness, I realised there must be a part of me that was terrified of true intimacy. I was actively rejecting it. Otherwise surely I’d be attracted to men who were capable of experiencing it? Not a balanced and healthy picture is it? I suspect it’s a very common story. Just to make things more interesting, I set an intention that I wanted to experience a lasting ‘Divine Union’ with a partner, someone I could connect with equally on every level. I mean, really? Unlikely wasn’t it.
If any of this is sounding familiar to you, then I have good news. You can heal and resolve these unconscious beliefs and transform your relationships.
Even though I had already been immersed on a transformational path of self-love for years, I had to go more deeply within. Until I could transform my judgements and beliefs, it was going to be impossible for me to experience a different reality with men in my life. This was a very intense experience over 6-7 years, but I’m happy to say I feel blessed to have many amazing, beautiful men in my life now. They are loving, supportive, loyal, strong and committed to anchoring their masculinity in a balanced way. What is really indicative of the internal change in me is that some of the men that I perceived a few years ago as ‘unreliable and can’t get his shit together’ are some of the SAME men that I now perceive as ‘clear, reliable and self-aware’. So my perceptions have changed. The change ALWAYS has to occur within, before we can experience the external manifestation.
Many of my limiting filters and beliefs were released during my process of creating Fatherlove Alchemical oil. This vibrational tool addresses 3 different aspects:-
1) Acknowledging the role of your Father and releasing limiting filters that may be distorting your perception of men in general due to your judgements.
2) Honouring all men in your life (past and present) knowing that they are a reflection of the state of your own inner masculine energy – at that time. Reflect on your past relationships and see the gifts that you received, especially the ones presented in the most painful way. Send gratitude to the soul of each of those men who have been a teacher in some way. They all have.
3) Consciously choosing to activate and integrate new, empowered ways of being with the Divine masculine energy. Move into a more centred space to create clearer, empowered choices about what you would prefer to radiate out and then start to experience with men.
The more accepting and loving we can be towards ourselves, the more we can extend this to others in our lives. It comes back to compassion and tolerance. We can only attract what we are radiating, so if you are not satisfied with the experiences you are having, take another look in the mirror.
Whatever your current situation with your Dad, I hope you realise that however he behaved was due to his own childhood programming, insecurities, self-doubt and beliefs about love and his self-worth. When you understand this at a deep level, it brings such freedom! It was never about you. There is nothing wrong with you!
How do you choose to engage with men now? Are you ready to embody the qualities you are seeking? Please share this post with anyone you feel is ready to transform the way they relate to men. This sacred foundational work can only positively impact every single relationship in your life.
I would love to hear below how you have transformed your relationship with your Dad. How has this has positively benefitted your connections with all men? Please comment below by 10th June and one lucky person will win a bottle of Fatherlove Alchemical oil.
If you are in Sydney and would like to explore this topic deeper, then I would love you to join me and my lovely co-host Frank Boffa of “Choose To Be Your Greater Self” for a transformational half-day event “A morning of Fatherlove” on Sunday 30th June. We will let go of any residue from these unconscious patterns together – the group energy is immensely powerful. For those who are not in Sydney, then we will be creating an audio program for you to access and work through in your own time. Transform the relationship with your father, your own inner masculine energy and all men on the planet!