My father and mother got divorced when I was born. I was always scared of him because he drank a lot. One night he threw things at his girlfriend and that was the last time I ever saw him. Ever since then, I've been eating way too much and have been in countless relationships where I've been with guys that don't care about my feelings or think I'm not worth much. How should I change this?


As you know from reading the article, some women suffer from “father hunger.” It’s a response to having dads who were either physically or emotionally absent from their lives. Some experience an emptiness that they try to fill by overeating. Others starve themselves to be thin in a futile attempt to win daddy’s approval. Instead of using drugs or alcohol, they turn to food (eating too much or too little) as a way to numb, harm, or preoccupy themselves. It’s a way to steer clear from dealing with the profound hurt that they feel from their dad’s rejection.

I strongly recommend that you read Margo Maine’s Father Hunger: Fathers, Daughters, & Food. Keep a journal while you’re doing so, jotting down your thoughts, feelings, and reactions. This exercise will make you more conscious of why you overeat and what you’re seeking to avoid. Once you understand your emotions surrounding food, you’ll gain control. When you have command over what you put in your body, you’ll grow more confident.

I also recommend that you take a six month hiatus from dating to focus on building your self-esteem. This is accomplished by setting goals for yourself, whether it’s beginning an exercise routine, losing weight, learning a second language, taking college classes, or learning how to sew. When we have lofty aims and work hard to achieve them, we develop pride in ourselves. As a result, our self-worth swells and we attract a higher caliber of guys.

If you need support along the way, don’t hesitate to work with a cognitive therapist. Albert Einstein said: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Therefore, when we’re stuck in our thinking, we sometimes need a professional to help us see things in new, constructive ways. I wish you the best!

Updated on June 16, 2020

Original Article:

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

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