Many of us have fathers who were simply not there in our lives. We grew up with them physically outside of the home and/or mentally and emotionally unavailable. This void has affected the way we respond to the opposite sex in our adult romantic relationships.
As adults, we have to let go and move on, recognizing our loss but not dwelling on it. Specifically, here is what you can do:
- Know that you are not alone.
- See lack of fatherhood experiences are part of a systematic problem in American society, not just a problem in your family. Your father was probably parented the same way.
- Recognize the way that slavery experiences affected the functioning (or lack of) of Black family units.
- Understand that our parents are imperfect human beings who often did the best that they can under stressful circumstances.
- Know what your needs are due to your experience of fatherlessness. Are they reasonable? Can you find what you need?
- Be specific about your needs when you visualize your ideal partner, a man or woman who can naturally and effortlessly fulfill them.
- If your issues are still unresolved, find support. If needed, seek professional help from a counselor or therapist.