I sometimes scan celebrity news (don’t pretend like you don’t!). So I was alarmed, as many people were, to read rapper and actor T.I.’s strange statements on fatherhood. I won’t repeat what he said, but feel free to read the story if you haven’t heard it by now. The celebrity dad was criticized for his remarks and many called it an example of toxic parenting. He apologized, obviously, and claimed his comments were misconstrued.

Anyway, it got me thinking about what you might call unhealthy father-daughter relationships. Not that I know the personal business of T.I., but I do actually hear stories all the time from our community of women who have very bad relationships with their fathers.

Unfortunately, these toxic relationships ca leave a heavy psychological toll on the young girl who is trying to grow up and become a well-adjusted woman. Both parents help to shape a young child’s self-esteem, but the father’s role is especially important. He is the male role model who shapes her future view of men. He helps her to learn how to cope with stress, how to deal with the opposite sex, and how to be happy in a family unit.

As you can imagine, OR as you well know from your own experience, if there is an absent father or if your father was neglectful or abusive in some way, it’s very hard to recover from that.

Maybe you’re not sure if you’ve had an unhealthy relationship with your dad. Maybe you’re sort of in the middle. You love him and you know he never intentionally abused you. But on the other hand, you do consider your relationship with dad to be complicated. Why? Maybe you’re not even sure how to explain it.

Well I thought what might help is to review five of the most common unhealthy fathering styles that we encounter in our community, based on stories that some women tell me. Maybe in considering how these relationships form (and how sometimes they continue the dynamic even into adulthood), it might help you to understand some of what you feel.

1. Toxic Dad

Toxic dad refers to a man who is manipulative, possibly abusive, and just nearly impossible to get along with. Many people on the “outside” may not even know that you have issues with him. He seems sweet and can be sweet a lot of the time. But he also has rage fits and may even be verbally abusive at times, with harsh criticism, mean-spirited jokes, passive-aggressive behavior, or just scheming behavior to get what he wants. It’s very difficult to recognize a toxic dad for what he is – because he does love you and may express that. However, most everything he does hurts your self-esteem. He guilts you when you get upset at his behavior. There just doesn’t seem to be any way to get along with him.

2. The Tough Dad

The authoritarian father is not necessarily toxic or abusive, but has always been a hard man to get along with. His parenting style may have been tough, as he often used fear or punishment to train you to be well-behaved. He was all about discipline and respect but never really taught you compassion or kindness. Girls grow up under pressure and will oftentimes struggle with depression, repressed anger, and low self-esteem. Even as an adult, you might have difficulty expressing criticism to your father, since he’s never actually talked to you like an equal.

3. The Absent Dad

Fathers who are absent – not necessary deadbeat dads but even dads who were just not closely involved in talking to or raising a girl – can also do psychological damage. If he was always working, or pursuing hobbies rather than raising you, or maybe even more involved in the lives of friends or his other children, that can hurt. He was emotionally unavailable or perhaps he was physically gone, such as in the case of divorce. A father’s absence can leave a girl feeling rejected and unworthy, even into adulthood. You may still have frequent bouts of anxiety and loneliness.

4. The Bulldog Dad

Talk about overprotective! This kind of dad loves you and might be a good dad in other ways, but when it comes to taking care of you, he tries way too hard! He pushes too hard and becomes overprotective – even invasive or hostile to other people, all because he’s afraid of what might happen to you. He means well and it’s usually not coming from a place of selfishness or cruelty. Rather, he’s likely still struggling with issues from his own childhood. He never quite learned how to cope with it and so he’s overcompensating now, trying to make sure your life is perfect and you never get hurt like he once did. The problem here is that if he never allows you to “learn”, and make some mistakes, then this can affect you later in life. You may struggle with a lack of self-confidence or even low self-esteem. You were so dependent on your father “protecting you” you either never got a chance to grow up, or you went the other way and rebelled against him.

5. The Pushover Dad

Finally, there’s the extremely liberal dad, the one that lets you do anything you want. At first glance, he seems like a good parent. He doesn’t believe in punishing you and he wants to be involved in your life. The problem is, his unwillingness to establish rules or boundaries will either cause you to be spoiled, OR it will place the burden of discipline on your mother. This can create conflict with parents and even give you mother issues – since she was always the “mean” one and he was always trying to make you happy. But the duty of parents is to teach a child about the world, not to give you anything you want. That’s certainly not how the world works!

But this article isn’t about bashing dad. There’s a good chance you do love your father very much, even though your relationship hasn’t always been perfect. He did the best he could and that’s what counts.

The real issue is, do you understand how your father’s relationship with you affected your outlook on life and your relationships with men? Becoming more self-aware about your upbringing may actually help you see patterns you’ve missed, and also see ways to change your life for the better.

The 5 Word Phrase That Destroys a Man’s Love For You And Drives Him Out Of Your Life

There’s a simple 5 word phrase that will destroy any man’s love for you and drive him out of your life completely…

It usually comes out as an honest question when you want to connect with him…

But only serves to push him away and slowly kill your relationship from the inside out…

It can take a man who is filled with love and passion for you…

And make him feel cold, distant, and uninterested…

Have you figured out what it is yet?

Many women send this as a text message when they’re feeling insecure…

And then are confused why he suddenly pulls away and disappears completely…

Most of the women who ask it don’t even know how harmful it is…

Yet it can take a relationship that seems like it’s perfect…

A relationship where you feel loved, cared for, and like you’ve finally found “the one”…

And overnight, it can tear that relationship apart…

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If you don’t know what this simple yet seemingly innocent question is…

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