Tragedy of marrying daddy’s girl
Is she her father’s princess or the apple of his eye? Does she run to him and cares more about what he thinks? Beware of the bumpy life ahead.
Nailantei Norari @artnorari
Just like sons tend to gravitate towards their mothers, daughters tend to gravitate towards their fathers.
In what psychologists call the electra complex, daughters’ view of the opposite sex is formed through their interactions with their father or the primary father figure they interact with.
This forms the template they will use to review spousal candidates in future.
“Girls learn a lot from their fathers. A girl’s first love is the father. Girls tend to treat their husbands the same way they treat their dads. So meeting and dating a daddy’s girl is not the problem.
Especially since, most daddy’s girls respect authority. It only becomes an issue when the father is overprotective of the girl or when the daughter is over reliant on the father,” Ken Munyua a leading psychologist in the country explains.
He talks of how even the absence of a father figure or the presence of an unemotionally available one can influence the girl to look for the exact same qualities in a potential mate.
This is part of the reason why a woman will find that they gravitate towards emotionally unavailable or abusive partners as their brains are more familiar with the feelings these people engender in them due to the relational templates they formed when growing up.
A father’s influence
“Emotionally, a girl fits into the mould of the father as she grows to be a mother and wife in the future.
Without the father, the roles of the mother and wife are not well pronounced and articulated to influence the girl.
This is why it is important for single mothers to get their daughters and sons a primary father figure.
When the girl is unusually attached to her father, she is likely to manipulate and intimidate her husband to continue where her father stopped.
There could also be a problem with shifting gears from girl to wife. In extreme cases, this will lead to conflicts, dependence on the father for everything from financial to emotional needs and other psychological disorders such as anxiety and strained relationships between husband and wife,” Kabii Thuo, a relationship therapist chips in.
Silas Nyanchwani, a journalist and author of A Sunday Afternoon Drink with Uncle Silas agrees.
He recognises the importance of father figures, but warns all men to vet their potential mates to see if they are over-dependent on their dads.
“If you ever find out that you are dating a daddy’s girl, stop immediately. Then proceed to run in the opposite direction fast,” Silas cautions.
He adds,“The truth of the matter is that women tend to veer towards the strongest father figure in their life, be it an ex, their father or you.
A 30-year-old man can never win when pitted against a 60-year-old man. As the future spouse, you will, therefore, always fall short. So save yourself the trouble and find someone else.”
Silas believes that it is easy to spot a daddy’s girl. They will always run to their fathers when there is a problem in the relationship and will choose their fathers over their spouse any day, even when they have children with their spouse.
In extreme cases, some daddy’s girls choose to invest with their fathers rather than their spouses, and tend to respect their father’s decisions more than those of their spouse.
The issue is made worse when the father figure is a man of means. Silas’s advice to men is for them to date women from the same social status as they are or lower, never higher.
Spotting a daddy’s girl
“If you date from a higher social class, you are bound to feel emasculated. Now imagine dating a daddy’s girl whose father is a man of means.
You will never measure up. This is part of the reason there is so much violence happening in some relationships today.
A man will get in to debt trying to outdo their girl’s father. When their emotions are not reciprocated, they might resort to violence, something that could have been avoided had they just gotten someone they do not have to break their backs to impress,” he advises.
But what should someone do, if they did not run and are already in love with a daddy’s girl? Silas’s advice is for men to fall in love with their brain.
This way, they do not get shackled up with a daddy’s girl, and can easily pray for the girl, send them to a therapist and maybe even pay for therapist while they move on and search for a girl with a more balanced relationship with their father.
You can never fix or mould an adult, he says. Whatever problems you see while dating will only get worse in marriage as both parties get complacent and stop working as hard in marriage.
Ken, however, says that all is not lost. With proper support, the daddy’s girl can unlearn the unhealthy habits of overreliance on the father.
“The secret lies in premarital counselling where the girl is taught how to draw the boundary between her spousal life and her relationship with her father.
She has her own man to take care of now hence she ought to leave her father to her mother.
The man also needs to be clear and firm that all problems will be discussed with him first and he should hold her accountable to that.
It might be hard for her to adjust to him being the de facto leader rather than her dad, but with support and over time, she can change,” Ken says in ending.