As women we often undermine or overlook the importance of having a father around. Not just “around-the-way” around, but an active, checked-in, available father. Men, in all there might, forget the glory found in fatherhood, especially to their little girl. Thus women of the tribe suffer from a lack-of, absence and/or void when it comes to their first love, their father.
For all intents and purposes, the father is the example (or fantasy) for what a woman will chase. His love establishes the baseline of normal accepted behaviors in her romantic relationships. Little girls love their fathers forever, for always, even when they hate them. When it comes to their lovers many women stay chasing a love they’ve yearned to feel from their father. It sounds Oedipal twisted, yet a parent’s love is that ever-fixed mark, unchanging.
Therefore, there is an undeniable pain from knowing your father doesn’t love you back; the knowledge that despite a genetic bind, the originator is detached from his creation. At its root, a woman wonders how anyone will ever love her, if the man who is supposed to love her does not.
In an effort to find an immutable love, I dated a few men who helped me grow up. Below are some of the implications of dating men who are like my father:
Love is a Battlefield: My father abused my mother, so naturally my first serious relationship was with an abusive man. Society always wonders why women stay in abusive relationships. At the heart of the argument is the thought that every woman deserves better. But if she does not know better, it is easier to stay. Watching my mother repeatedly beat on by a man normalized the idea of violent love. In turn I became leery of “nice men”, a suspicion rooted in the idea that perhaps he is hiding something…
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