My dad is emotionally unavailable and fights with my mom and me. I envy the relationships that my friends have with their fathers and feel quite low. He is very controlling in nature and, therefore, when something doesn't go his way, he just bursts. He sometimes even gets a bit violent. Due to some issues, we are in no place to leave him. How do I deal with this until I get away to college?

Answer

I’m sorry this is happening in your family. If you believe your safety is at risk, please find an alternative living environment: with your grandparents, a friend’s family, or a neighbor. Like many couples in abusive relationships, your dad and mom are involved in a kind of twisted dance. Even if she had another place to go, she’d probably refuse because she enjoys their dynamic in some perverse way. Therefore, you need to look out after yourself and not worry about her.

If you believe this living situation isn’t a threat to your physical well-being, avoid your dad as much as possible and focus on yourself. Stay involved with your studies, your friends, and your goals for the future. Create a daily routine of activities that enhances yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically: exercising, meditating, writing in a journal, studying, reading, and talking with friends.

Realize that your mom is a weak woman and that’s why she’s with a controlling man. Strive to become stronger and more independent so you’ll never be in a situation like this again. Find some powerful women that you admire and ask them for advice and support.

I’m glad that you recognize that your father is emotionally unavailable and incapable of being a warm, loving parent. Accepting this reality will save you a lot of heartache in the future. The spiritual teacher, Bryon Katie, says it best: “If you struggle against reality, you will suffer.”

Sadly, many women try to win their dad’s love and blame themselves when they fail. They often turn to boyfriends and husbands to give them the attention that they didn’t get from their fathers. Yet, men in romantic relationships don’t want to be their partner’s father substitute and eventually get fed up with it.

When you’re well-established with a solid education and career, you can look for a man with whom you can have an emotionally reciprocal relationship. You have so much to look forward to so it’s important to lay the groundwork now. Take good care of yourself!

Updated on April 22, 2020

Original Article:

Fatherless Daughters: How Growing Up Without a Dad Affects Women
By McKenna Meyers
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