Emotional Signs of Father Hunger
from ‘The Search for Lost Fathering’ by James L. Schaller, M.D., M.A.R., P.C.
Many people have a void inside them that is due to "father hunger," and this disguised hunger has had great impact on the way they live. Do any of these statements apply to you?
- When I think about my father I become emotional-insecure, sad, or angry.
- When I'm with my father I don't act like myself; I'm either childish or grandiose.
- I consider my father wonderful, but others think I'm fooling myself.
- I feel numb toward my father.
- I have trouble with competitiveness.
- My motivation is poor because I feel beaten down.
- I have difficulty establishing relationships.
- I move too quickly into new relationships.
- I'm confused about my identity -its not as if my father ever made me feel good about myself.
- I don't feel like a real man.
- I lack confidence in my femininity.
- I feel unattractive.
- I feel incompetent.
- It is difficult for me to relax.
- I have problems with my sexuality.
- Being assertive is hard for me.
- People seem to feel that I violate their boundaries.
- I'm afraid to get too close to others.
- I fear being abandoned.
- Authority makes me uneasy.
- My father's criticism hurt me too much. Now I have difficulty accepting criticism.
- God often feels a million miles away.
- I have little interest in spirituality.
- When my father does not provide the emotional support my mother needs, my mother unknowingly tries to get me to provide that support.
- My father confides in me too much.
- My father and I do not talk openly and honestly about our lives.
- I keep trying to please everybody-especially father-types or mentors.
- I run to things and people to nurse myself in a compulsive way.
- I am rarely satisfied.
- I live with a vague, diffused fearfulness.
- My mother's boyfriend annoys me.
- My stepfather and I do not get along very well.
- I am a parent who worries I am repeating my father's and grand father's mistakes.
- Sometimes I feel like an orphan.
The conditions listed above are often associated with incomplete father relationships.
The absence of a mature father-child connection creates a void in the soul, a residual "father hunger."
Father hunger is the result of receiving too little quality fathering as a child or young adult. Some argue that even grown men and women need fathers or father surrogates and that the absence of such role modeling and support is associated with less fulfillment in life. In general, father hunger results from too little intimacy between child and father.
Suggested reading: Boys to Men/ Father Hunger
Suggested reading: Seven Steps to Manhood
Suggested reading: How the Masculine Grows by David Deida