Does having a ‘bad’ relationship with your father affect your relationships?

What defines a bad father? This can be interpreted in many different theories and concepts. He may not spend quality time with you, he may lack the ideals or standards you wish he possessed or he could be abusive. Can this influence the way you think and how you choose a life partner? 

Why am I writing about this?

Personally I have grown up without a stable father figure, which has been quite traumatic at times and I can confidently say (although I wish it wasn’t true) that it has changed the way I perceive marriage and handle relationships. I have also witnessed similar accounts with friends and their parents.

On the other hand I have seen many families that have a different family dynamic and girls who have great relationships with their fathers and no matter what I have personally been through,  there are truly some greats dads out there for sure!  This topic is quite close to my heart,  without getting too deep into it (because that’s a story for another day…maybe.)

The concept

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Your father is your role model; you grow up in a society where you should respect your dad and ideally, you should want to marry someone like your dad. According to psychology and a study by Glenn Geher, also supported by Freudian theories it seems that we do tend to choose a romantic partner that is similar to our opposite-sex parent. Some scientists believe that children use their opposite sex parent as a template for finding a suitable spouse or partner.

“Sometimes the resemblance between spouses and between partner and parent is so strong that we were really astonished,” – said lead author Prof Tamas Bereczkei.

But what if you don’t want a partner like your father, Can you help it?

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It can be hard for girls NOT TO fall for such a man who resembles their dad. They may not be 100% the same but the qualities are there regardless.

You may not notice the similarity because this is what you’re used to seeing, what you’re used to dealing with. How he treats you may not be right and what you deserve but you don’t know any better.

If you are strong enough to stop this subconscious effect that draws you to a man, hats off to you! It may be difficult but once you have noticed this isn’t the right kind of guy you want, do something about it!

 How can it affect your relationship?

Attachment and Craving Love
For one that hasn’t had a stable and reliable father figure in their life (I think this can also relate to your mother too), you may crave the love and affection from your partner or other men (if you’re not already spoken for); that you haven’t ever really gotten from anyone else. You feel that you need that extra special attention, you notice all the little things that he doesn’t even pick up on, for example, when he doesn’t compliment you and tumblr_msbs7fukaE1s8zw3oo3_400call you pretty as often as he used to.

You become attached to the relationship, you cling on to what you have; it might not even be the best of relationships, you  might even settle for less. Because at least you have someone …right? Hmm.

The Sabotage

The horrible thought that ‘every guy will eventually leave me, if my dad left, any guy can’. You may start to sabotage your relationships. He may be a great guy and what will you do? You’ll push him away because you think he will leave you anyway.giphy (3)

If your partner raises his hand on you or verbally abuses you, you may quietly accept it maybe because that is how you have been treated in the past.  No one deserves to be treated that way.

Any sign of ‘cheeky banter’ from your partner, you get defensive and upset. Thinking ‘how can he talk to me like this, I know I don’t like this so why is he behaving this way?’. He may just be joking with you, there’s no harm in being playful, right?

You don’t know how to be treated like a princess because you’ve never been looked after that way, however, that doesn’t mean your partner can’t treat you like the princess you truly are to him. A father should wine and dine his daughter and spend time with her, show her exactly how she should be treated by other men.

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He’s a good guy, what should I do?

These are just a few factors that have been witnessed, you may send out negative vibes because you are unhappy at home and he reminds you of the father figure you have/had which you do not wish to marry.giphy (5)

He may actually be a really great man, and the more you send these negative vibes out, your partner will start to think he doesn’t make you happy anymore and it could even ruin your relationship.

These should never be used as an excuse however it’s healthy to acknowledge that sometimes your certain behaviours may be triggered by other factors such as your childhood or your relationship with your dad.

It’s okay

These are just some experiences that have been discussed, every relationship, whether it be a romantic relationship or a father and daughters bond. Have you ever experienced something like this before.


An Award-Nominated blog which discusses what it's like to be a contemporary British Asian Woman. ‍

3 thoughts on “Does having a ‘bad’ relationship with your father affect your relationships?

  1. This post is interesting because Olivia and I spend a lot of time together. We go shopping together, we walk together, we run together, we do yoga together… She is always with me except for her school hours. Now with that said I am always encouraging her in so many ways. In the end though I keep hoping when it comes time for her to marry she finds a better man than I because then I know she will be well looked after properly.


  2. Suppose of you dad who’s been physically abused and then you have.what change s you have to stop the viciousness cycle yourself but reflects on one own actions you dont reliese until years gone by that its effec ed you life


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