Written by Ann – Angels by Grace Pub. July 1997
A client recently commented to me that her husband reminded her of her father. Though physical appearance can vary a great deal, many women choose men as boyfriends and husbands who have similar personality structure as that of their fathers.
Why is this often true? A girl learns a great deal about developing male-female relationships through her interactions with her Dad. He is the first man in her life. How well she learns to relate to men later in her adult years has a lot to with the level of security discovered through that basic relationship.
It is helpful for a woman to understand the effect that her own father has had on her emotional development. His influence on her as she grows up follows with her as she matures and becomes a woman. The degree of satisfaction achieved through male adult involvements that she experiences is very often symbolic of how she related to her Dad as she grew up.
This places a great deal of responsibility on the concept of “fathering.” The loving, nurturing father who relates to his daughter in a calm and supportive way demonstrates to her that the world is a safe and happy place to be. His patience and acceptance of her many attempts to learn and to grow will encourage her to develop into a rational and creative woman.
Henry Stack Sullivan, an American-born psychiatrist, believed that humans, in addition to their biological requirements, also have a need for status, recognition and a relationship with others. Self-esteem comes from the capacity to deal effectively with the anxiety an individual experiences in her daily life. If a girl grows up feeling uncertain or with disapproval from her Dad, she will likely transfer these feelings of anxiety into her adult life.
Girls who are raised with fathers who are physically or emotionally absent may totally avoid men, fearing that they will feel lost and alienated as they did during their childhood years. Others may thrive on searching for the father they never had and often may only find temporary solace with yet another emotionally absent adult male. The scars left behind by a father’s desertion often remain through a woman’s lifetime.
A girl can learn a positive and basic trust of men if she grows up with a warm and caring father. It enables her to establish and maintain a healthy and rewarding adult relationship with a mate. This woman has been fortunate enough to enjoy the strength and security offered through the very special bond between a father and daughter.
NOTE ADDED: Whatever the relationship was with your father growing up will have an impact on how you perceive God the Father.
Blessings to you.