As much as the title of this article sounds kind of wrong, bear with me, you’ll know what I’m trying to say in a couple of minutes. Anna Akana (my queen) once said in one of her youtube videos, “How our fathers treat our mothers greatly influences how we view relationships and what we accept as normal”, and I couldn’t agree more.
I’m 25 years old, but I had some fair share of difficult relationships and questionable decisions in choosing my partners. At first, I didn’t see any pattern at all but when I finally look back, a lot of the mess had to do with what my dad did (or didn’t) do in my life. You see, I’m a child of divorce(s). My mom left my biological father when I was just a toddler. He was an addict back in his younger days, so thank Lord that my mom came to her senses and left. BUT, years of absence didn’t make me sit on a comfortable couch. He never reached out to get to know me, or maybe he tried but it was just me, a stubborn kid that didn’t want anything to do with him. He died before I get the chance to know him better, but that’s a story for another time.
Tracing back the lines, I finally realized why my relationship always went south. I subconsciously look for someone with an addiction. They were either addicted to attention, drugs, sex, alcohol, or even addicted to themselves (no, it is not impossible). The minute that they showed signs of their addiction, I instantly was hooked. It was as if they were water to my thirst. Why? Years later I found out it was because I couldn’t fix my dad’s addiction, so I decided to try and fix my partners’ instead.
This goes to show that as humans (borrowing another quote, this time from Stephen Chbosky), “We accept the love we think we deserve”, and it couldn’t be farther than the truth. Yes, we all freakin’ do. I thought I deserved those people, I thought it was some kind of lifelong duty to get them out of their addiction.
You see, we couldn’t help but sneakily look for those traits. If you think about it, who would want an addict to be your partner?? I don’t. But maybe it is true, we always look for someone that in one way or another, mirrors our father. Though it is beneficial if you search for these kinds of sweet gestures, like when your father..
..Compliments your mom here and there
..Kisses her goodbye before going to work
..Hugs her when she’s mad or upset
..Actually listens to her
..Brings her favorite snacks, or as simple as
..Asking about her day
But, baby, when he’s just...
..Always blame your mother for everything
..Short tempered, or
..Physically or mentally abused your mom
And your partner is ALL of the bad things above, then it is definitely time to get the hell out of that relationship.
The point is, if you want your relationship to work, the first thing to do is to be aware of what kind of situation you’re in. Essentially, I did just so, and greater things came after that. I found someone that is nothing like my dad, and it took me a lot of figuring out before I could accept someone as amazing as him into my life.
Now, ask yourself these questions:
- Why do I like him?
- What we fight about over and over again?
- What made it so easy/hard for me to fight for this relationship?
- Why is he treating me in certain ways?
Lastly, the question that the answer could be the revelation: Am I dating my ‘father’?
So tell me, are you?
Illustration by @signumnobilis