Father wounds are damaging. They are deeper than physical wounds. When you as a father, do not play an active role in your child(ren)’s life, you are putting them at risk for failure in cultivating good romantic relationships.
Many of you fathers want to see your child(ren) grow up and choose an amazing spouse that will treat them with respect, protect as well as truly love them. If you desire these things, why not become role models for them? Why not show your child what respect, protection and true love looks like?
As a father, ask yourself this question. When my child grows up and chooses a spouse would I want them to choose someone like me? If the answer to that question is no, you need what I call a ‘paternal transformation’. Far too long children with absentee fathers reap the side effects of their father’s negligent actions. The change must begin now.
The effects of a father being absent in a child’s life are many. Quite often the tendency is that children with absentee fathers may become sexually involved at an early age, most likely in their teenage years. This is proven by research conducted by Ali & Lailatul which states that the duration of father absence significantly predicted early sexual debut. At this age, it is natural for their curiosity to be aroused especially when relating to topics like sex and identity. They tend to feed this curiosity by talking to friends and watching pornographic content. This tends to be due to most mothers or other caregivers being overtaxed with the responsibility of managing the household and other related tasks, for example, juggling a job(s) and providing protection for the child(ren). The mother or caregivers may not have the quality time to provide valuable communication on sex talk and other related conversations with their child. When information is gathered by the child(ren) on their own the risk to push them to become sexually active is very high. This premature attachment multiplies into causing problems such as depression, substance abuse, teenage pregnancy and do not forget teenage fathers too.
Children with absentee fathers also resort to self-blame. The child(ren) blames themself for the separation of their parents and the ‘sudden’ disappearance of their father, especially, if nothing was explained as to why the father is absent. This self-blame tendency has a way of transitioning into adult romantic relationships. This is evident when an argument between them and their spouse arises. At this point they tend to internalize things said and blame themselves believing that whatever happened is solely their fault. It is an unconscious way of avoiding the situation due to the fear of discussing the matter with their partner, thinking that he/she might ‘disappear’, like their father. A lot of unresolved issues build up creating relationship problem(s) that causes more hurt than good. Furthermore, those who have experienced father wounds tend to have trust issues. Especially girls, they end up not being comfortable in confiding in their partner because they associate every male as someone who always ‘disappear’ from an intimate relationship. The entire relationship is spent waiting for that moment when their spouse will leave instead of enjoying the relationship. They never really let go to appreciate real love. Some may believe that the love is not real, or they do not deserve it. They develop a self-sabotaging tendency which causes them to be super clingy, very distant or both.
The emotional state of individuals can be damaged because of having an absent father. Fatherless children are more likely to experience emotional turmoil (Kruk, 2012). The child may become cold hearted and cannot find it within themselves to even say the words, ‘I love you’ or ‘sorry my love’ with meaning to their partner. They become so filled with anger that relating to their spouse’s emotional needs become difficult for them to do. This is likely to cause a separation and make relationships very hard or often unsuccessful.
Father wounds are damaging. Fathers, it is not too late to become educated about what your absence have caused or may cause due to the lack of your involvement in your child(ren)’s growth and development. ‘Man up!’ from experiencing tragedies of emotion. Start being real a father now! Protect the future of your child. The shaping of their successful future depends on you being an active contributor.
Ali Husin, Lailatul Qamar, “Father absence and early sexual debut: Understanding the influence of gender, risk, and protective factors” (2013). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 13879
Kruk, E. (2012, June 23). Father Absence, Father Deficit, Father Hunger. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/co-parenting-after-divorce/201205/father-absence-father-deficit-father-hunger