The bond between a father and a daughter should be something very special, unique, pure and strong.
Unfortunately, sometimes it can turn into something bad and toxic.
There are so many unhealthy father-daughter relationships today and in most cases, neither father nor daughter is actually aware that their relationship isn’t good for either one of them.
Too much love can be as damaging as too little love. An extremely close relationship can easily become a toxic relationship.
It can affect a person’s well being and confidence and other relationships as much as a poor father-daughter bond.
In addition, once the health of the relationship is broken, both father and daughter will have a hard time making things better again.
If you want to find out what the types of unhealthy father-daughter relationships are and how to fix it, keep reading below and you’ll find out.
7 Types Of Unhealthy Father-Daughter Relationships
We all experience some issues in our parent-child relationships and because of that incredibly strong bond we share, all issues can be fixed.
Here are the types of unhealthy relationships between fathers and daughters and some tips to make them better and healthy again.
1. The absent dad
We have to admit that fathers have one of the most important jobs in the world—providing for their family. Still, that’s not the reason why they shouldn’t always be present in their kids’ lives.
Nothing is more important for a daughter than to have a father who’ll be present in her life, supporting her in everything she does and spending time with her.
No matter whether you are his 1-year-old or 21 year-old-daughter, he needs to understand that you’ll always need him to step up and be your dad, not just on special occasions but every day.
I’m not trying to justify them but yes, fathers have so many obligations that make them less included in their daughter’s lives but still, they need to find a way to dedicate themselves to them in-between all those obligations.
Having an absent father leaves so many consequences on your mental health.
It may result in having some behavioral issues, self-doubt, depression, insecurities or bad grades at school.
It may even affect negatively on your adult relationships or starting a romantic relationship with someone because you’ll always be kind of afraid that the other person might leave at any moment.
2. The abusive father
Fathers who have a bad temper or have any kind of addiction are more likely to abuse their daughters.
Don’t think that you shouldn’t tell anyone about it and that it’s your duty to help him first because it’s not. You’re the one who needs help.
There is no justification for any kind of violence or abuse and you shouldn’t try to justify your father for abusing you or make that your fault.
Trust me, it’s never your fault.
Don’t put up with your dad’s toxic behavior just because you think you have no one to talk to because there are so many people and organizations that can help you.
Turn to someone for help. It will clear your vision. You will see whether your father’s problems can be resolved or not.
If not, please don’t work on that relationship at any cost.
Some fathers didn’t deserve to be dads. Sometimes you have to cut them off and let yourself free.
Abuse is not something you should put up, with no matter the situation.
The emotional and physical consequences of an abusive father for a girl are awful and long-lasting.
They may result in having anxiety attacks, depression, low self-esteem, hate for all men, a personality disorder, loss of sense of self or even a problem with substance use.
3. The emotionally absent dad
Just as much as you need your father to be physically present in your life, you need him to be emotionally present too.
You need to know that you always have his emotional support.
If your father never expresses his feelings for you or you feel that he’s emotionally distant, you should talk to him about that and tell him that him being so emotionally unavailable bothers you a lot.
It will have negative effects on all of your future relationships.
It’ll be hard for you to maintain any kind of relationship because you too will become emotionally distant and won’t be able to deal with your emotions in a healthy way.
A present and caring father is everything that a daughter wants.
Your father is your rock and you have to be able to go to your dad for advice or consolation every time you need it.
4. The narcissist type of dad
A narcissistic father tries to be the best at everything he does, which includes parenting too. He just wants to show off his kids.
That kind of father considers parenting as a competition.
A competition of who’ll do a better job of raising their kids, whose kids will be more successful, rich or famous.
You don’t have to fulfill all of the unreasonably high expectations that your father has set for you.
If he’s always comparing you to other kids and expects you to always be better than others, you should tell him that it makes you nervous and ask him to stop doing that.
The narcissist type of father will try to manipulate you with some kinds of rewards and gifts because that’s his way to make you do what he wants you to do. Don’t fall for that.
Your opinion is important and it should be important to your father too.
Tell him that his inability to be mindful of your thoughts and feelings really bothers you.
If you allow your father to have complete control over your life and manipulate you with gifts, you won’t be able to ever become completely independent.
5. The father who’s an addict
Addiction is a problem for the whole family, not just for the addict.
Watching someone close to you who is destroying his life every day and not knowing how to help him is terrible.
It happens so often that fathers who are addicted to alcohol or drugs physically and emotionally abuse their kids or their spouse and it leaves negative effects on their daughters especially.
If you’re the daughter of an addict, I know that you had to face many difficulties in your childhood.
Mockery and bullying from other kids are just two of those. No girl deserves that kind of childhood.
You deserve to have a secure and stable life and a father who’s an addict will never be able to give it to you.
6. The critical father
There are some fathers who think that being critical will help their kids to achieve all their dreams and goals but that’s not how it works.
By constantly criticizing you and setting you unreasonable goals, it will only result in you having self-esteem issues.
I know that you’ll feel bad about not fulfilling them and for disappointing your father but you shouldn’t.
The only thing that’s important is that you should never disappoint yourself.
If your father puts too much pressure on you, you’ll be mentally stressed and won’t be able to focus on your goals and it’ll result in failure.
Because of your father’s criticism, you’ll feel like you’re a complete failure and it’ll definitely change your relationship with him.
Don’t allow your father’s criticism to influence you so much as to make you doubt your self-worth.
If he can’t see how much you’re worth, then that’s his problem, not yours.
7. The cheating father
Once a daughter finds out that her father has cheated on her mother, their relationship can never be the same again.
There will always be some resentment on her side.
I know that accepting the fact that a man you look up to has done something like that is especially difficult for young girls.
You just can’t accept that your parents are divorcing and you’ll never be able to fully forgive your father for hurting your mother like that.
You’ve always seen the love between your parents as a true and forever kind of love, you’ve always hoped that you’ll get to experience that kind of love one day.
Still, if you see that your father regrets it deeply, you should give him a chance to explain his reason for doing it.
You don’t have to forget it but you should forgive your father and work on your relationship.
Don’t think that all men are the same or be afraid to fall in love with someone just because you think that the same thing will happen to you one day.
Don’t stop believing in true love because of your father’s infidelity.
13 Signs Of An Unhealthy Relationship Between A Father And A Daughter
If you just want to check out whether your father-daughter relationship is healthy or not, just see these signs of an unhealthy parent-child relationship.
1. The father wants to have complete control over his daughter’s life
Yes, parents have to worry about their kids’ lives, where they go and with whom they hang out but they don’t have the right to control their lives completely.
They can always give you some advice on how you should do some things in your personal life but they should never make you do something or make a decision on your behalf.
They gave you life and work hard to provide you with a better life and of course, you should respect them and listen to their advice.
However, only you have the right to decide about your own life.
2. There are some unclear boundaries
Setting some healthy boundaries is essential to make any kind of relationship work.
If there are some unclear boundaries in a relationship between a father and a daughter or if they don’t respect each other’s boundaries, their relationship will become toxic for sure.
The father needs to respect his daughter’s privacy. Going through her phone means that you don’t trust her and that can be very painful for your daughter.
You need to accept that your daughter is growing up and she’ll need more and more personal space and privacy.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this because we all need our privacy.
We all have some ‘sacred place’, our personal space where we feel most comfortable and in this case, it’s probably her room.
That’s why you should never enter her room without knocking first.
3. A lack of communication
It’s a fact that adolescence weakens the bond between a father and a daughter.
It’s all because both of them need to have more open communication and they avoid it because they don’t feel comfortable engaging in those kinds of conversations.
I agree that adolescence can be a pretty hard time for both fathers and their daughters.
One of the most common issues in a father-daughter relationship that occurs is a lack of communication.
It’s hard to understand a teenage girl’s needs and how to communicate with them but together you’ll have to find a way to get through it and not let it affect your strong bond.
4. Unrealistic expectations
Unfortunately, there are some parents who set unrealistic and unreasonable expectations for their kids.
That’s how they put too much pressure on them, which causes them to be nervous or stressed.
You should have some expectations for your daughter because you know that she’s capable of achieving them but if you set some absurdly high expectations for her, it’ll harm her and your relationship with her in so many ways.
When she understands that she can’t meet those expectations, she’ll feel like she has disappointed you and it’ll affect her self-confidence.
Even when she fails to reach her goals, you always have to show that you’re proud of her no matter what.
If she decides to take some other path rather than one you suggested, she must know that she has your support.
5. The father doesn’t allow the daughter to say her opinion
We are all different human beings with different opinions about certain things. We all should have the right to say our opinion in all situations.
This kind of unhealthy relationship when the father underestimates his daughter’s opinions will only result in low self-esteem for her.
She will become emotionally closed off and it’ll be hard for her to open up to anyone.
She’ll be afraid of talking about her feelings and thoughts with someone because she’ll think that they’re wrong or that other people don’t care about them.
6. Any kind of emotional abuse
Most parents represent role models for their kids but unfortunately, there are some parents who harm their kids with their constant emotional abuse.
The fact is that leaves some indelible consequences on their kids and their future relationships. Verbal abuse isn’t any way to raise your children.
What if your daughter made a mistake? We all do it and kids learn best from their own mistakes.
Any kind of criticism or humiliating her won’t do any good. You have to talk to her, point out her mistakes and together find a way to fix them.
7. The father comparing his daughter to other kids
Comparing your daughter to other kids from school, the neighborhood or her siblings is one of the worst things a father can do.
It’ll affect her self-esteem and self-worth. She might become jealous or start competing with all those other children.
We’re all good at something and you should understand that she can’t be good at all of those things you would want her to be.
You have to know that your daughter is unique and that she shouldn’t be compared to other kids.
Girls are pretty emotional and you don’t know how painful it is for her to hear (especially from you) that some other kid is better than her.
8. Constant criticism
If you think that constantly criticizing your daughter is a good way to point out her mistakes to her or to make her progress in life, you’re wrong.
Constant criticism will only make her doubt herself. She’ll always have the feeling that she is letting you down, no matter what she does.
It’s impossible to have a good relationship with your daughter if the only thing you do is criticize her.
If she does something wrong, yes, you should point it out to her and criticize her a little but you should also encourage her to be better and criticizing her isn’t the way to do it.
She deserves to be criticized if she has done something bad but also, she deserves to be praised every time she behaves well and does something good.
9. The father never accepts the responsibility for his own behavior and blames it all on the daughter
There is no justification for any kind of abuse, therefore there is no justification for verbally abusing your daughter.
You can’t blame it on her and tell her that it’s her fault. If she did something bad, you could react in another way than swearing or yelling at her.
There is no such thing as perfect parenting because we as parents make mistakes too.
But the thing is that every time you make a mistake, you have to take responsibility for it and admit it.
That’s a good example you’re giving to your daughter that will help her with her adult relationships.
10. The father uses his daughter as his primary source of emotional support
Have you ever heard of emotional parentification? That’s when a parent involves one of their kids in their problems too much.
That kid needs to hear their problems and give them advice; in other words, the child is actually doing the parent’s job.
Some fathers do exactly that with their daughters and unfortunately, they aren’t aware of the long-term negative consequences it can leave on them.
This happens mostly when the parents are divorcing. The father uses his daughter as his primary support and the daughter mediates between her parents all the time.
The daughter will feel sorry for her father and his problems and she won’t feel comfortable sharing some of her own problems with him.
She’ll be suppressing them along with her emotions, which might result in depression or stress.
11. The father doesn’t allow the daughter to become independent
You have to be aware of the fact that your daughter is growing up and that one day she’ll be an independent woman.
The only normal thing to do is let her spread her wings and leave your nest.
Of course, she’ll still be your little girl and she’ll still come to visit you. Becoming independent doesn’t mean she’ll forget her father and you’ll grow apart from each other.
Every parent has a hard time letting go and realizing that their kids have become independent but if you try to keep her dependent, she might miss some great things in life because of you and you’ll regret it one day.
12. The daughter is constantly afraid of disappointing her father
Each kid’s biggest wish is to make their parents proud of them and you should never think that just because you’ve made one mistake or didn’t manage to fulfill some of their expectations, you’ll disappoint them.
If you’re constantly afraid of disappointing your father in everything you do, you’ll feel more nervous and stressed and that will affect your relationship with him too.
Don’t only consider your father as an authority, consider him as your friend too because indeed, your parents are your true friends.
Feel free to open up to him when you think you’ve disappointed him and talk about it.
Don’t run away from your problems or try to avoid talking to your father because that would only mean that you are suppressing it all and that’s the worst thing you can do.
13. The father is always included in his daughter’s decision-making processes
You can always ask your father for advice when you need it and your father will always give you some advice if he feels you need it but it’s unhealthy for both of you to seek permission from your father every time you want to do something.
You can always consult your father before you make a decision but he shouldn’t always be included in your decision-making processes.
Some decisions you have to make alone because that’s how you’re learning to be independent.
Remember that anyone can give you advice that will help you make a final decision but only you have the right to make the decision.
Becoming a father for the first time is both frightening and beautiful at the same time. You want to do a good job with your kid but it’s all new to you and you’re afraid that you’ll fail at it.
To Wrap Up
Unfortunately, I think that many of us aren’t even aware of the true importance of fathers and how essential that father figure is in every girl’s life.
A father’s influence in a daughter’s life is so incredibly important and unfortunately, most fathers aren’t aware of that.
They’re their daughter’s role model and they really need to ask themselves if they are really role model material.
Unhealthy father-daughter relationships always leave negative effects on every girl’s life.
That’s why it’s necessary to work on your relationships and try to be a better daughter to your father or a better father to your daughter.