Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual
Monday I proposed that what comes to mind when we think of our dad, our father, and our father figures, contributes to the trajectory of our lives.
Yesterday I supported my opinion that “father hunger” affects us deeply. Many people have a void inside them that is due to “father hunger,” and this disguised hunger has had great impact on the way they live.
I finished by asking four questions:
How hungry am I?
How hungry are you?
Do you know someone starving?
How would we know?
Emotional Signs of Father Hunger
While it’s not an exact science, ask yourself, “Do any of these statements apply to me?”1
If so, some of the trajectory of your life — including your thinking, your decision making and your reactions to circumstances — may be affected by unresolved father hunger.
- When I think about my father I become emotional—insecure, sad, or angry.
- When I’m with my father I don’t act like myself; I’m either childish or grandiose.
- I consider my father wonderful, but others think I’m fooling myself.
- I feel numb toward my father.
- I have trouble with competitiveness.
- My motivation is poor because I feel beaten down.
- I have difficulty establishing relationships.
- I move too quickly into new relationships.
- I’m confused about my identity—it’s not as if my father ever made me feel good about myself.
- I don’t feel like a real man.
- I lack confidence in my femininity.
- I feel unattractive.
- I feel incompetent.
- It is difficult for me to relax.
- I have problems with my sexuality.
- Being assertive is hard for me.
- People seem to feel that I violate their boundaries.
- I’m afraid to get too close to others.
- I fear being abandoned.
- Authority makes me uneasy.
- My father’s criticism hurt me too much. Now I have difficulty accepting criticism.
- God often feels a million miles away. I have little interest in spirituality.
- When my father does not provide the emotional support my mother needs, my mother unknowingly tries to get me to provide that support.
- My father confides in me too much.
- My father and I do not talk openly and honestly about our lives.
- I keep trying to please everybody especially father types or mentors.
- I run to things and people to nurse myself in a compulsive way.
- I am rarely satisfied.
- I live with a vague, diffused fearfulness.
- My mother’s boyfriend annoys me.
- My stepfather and I do not get along very well.
- I am a parent who worries I am repeating my father’s and grandfather’s mistakes.
- Sometimes I feel like an orphan.
The conditions listed above are often associated with incomplete father relationships. The absence of a healthy and maturing father-child connection creates a void in the soul, a residual “father hunger.”
1 – From James L. Schaller’s Rebuilding Your Father Relationship pg. 15-16.