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Time to let go of your daddy issues

Saturday December 7 2019


A woman battling 'daddy issues'. Having an absentee father doesn't mean that a woman is destined to become desperate, broken or cheap. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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I was bingeing on The Mantis, a French television series this week.

The main character is a female serial killer who kills her husband and seven other men before she is nabbed and imprisoned.

To justify her actions to her son, she tells him sob stories of her abusive father.

She justifies that, because of her father's cruelty, she is right to slaughter any male she comes across who is less than perfect. A most serious case of one afflicted by 'daddy issues'.

Also this week, I spent some time with an acquaintance I haven't seen in a few years.

She spoke about a string of abusive and toxic relationships in her recent past. She told me she has resigned to her current bad relationship because, in her words, "No good relationship can come out of me. My father ruined me."


She believes that because her father was absent, she is destined for a life of bad relationships.

Too many women are hung up on these 'Daddy Issues'. Pop culture has even romanticised the phenomenon.


We have adult women going around making irresponsible decisions and treating people of the opposite sex badly and pulling out 'I had a bad father' card.

I will be lying if I say that the romantic relationships of the people you grow up around have no effect on your views on relationships.

I, however, know that growing up with an absent father or with parents that have a bad relationship is not a life sentence to romantic liaisons.

Having an absentee father doesn't mean that a woman is destined to become desperate, broken or cheap.

I know this because I know countless women – and men - who never doubted even once growing up, that their father loved them but still can't stick around a union for a label to stick.

Just as I know women who never knew their fathers but have consistently made good choices of dating partners.

They say that you either become your parents or you become their exact opposite.


This means that you make the choice to either resign to the fate you think their actions inflicted on you, or one choice at a time you lead your life in a different direction from theirs. It's called taking charge of your life.

Stop taking the sympathy that people are going to lump on you when they hear that your father refused to claim you when you were born.

That was his choice; his absence was his loss. Now, you have your own choices to make.

You can choose to wallow in the sympathy; expect the worst of your relationships and in the process sabotage them, or you can decide to have healthy relations with people of the opposite sex.

You should never use your father's bad behaviour as an excuse for your own bad behaviour. Yes, your father may have failed the women in his life but if his decisions are still dictating your life, I would say that you have been holding on too long.

Your life is more than the decisions of one man.

-The columnist is the author of the book Things I Will Tell My Daughter