Enmeshed Father Daughter Relationship
We always fantasize about the relationship of a father and a daughter. The term “Daddy’s girl”, is always used in a very constructive manner, where a father is very eager about the upbringing of his daughter. In this article we are not explaining the healthy relationship between a daughter and a father. Here we are talking about the parasitic relationship which a father and daughter may share, “Enmeshed father daughter relationship”.
In an enmeshed relationship, both parties show toxic traits and unhealthy relationship habits. Both of them are destructive to each other and can perform better in their lives without depending upon each other.
So, here we are explaining to you about parent-child enmeshment.
In this type of enmeshment, the father provides everything for his daughter from her clothes to education. Her daughter on the other hand feels very “Significant”, and hence she does not have to earny anything, because her father is providing for her everything.
As a result, a feeling of “Self-centeredness” develops in the daughter. Above all she thinks of herself as the controlling authority, and she can actually control her own father through her charms and being “Daddy’s girl”.
Consequently, the father ignores all his other relations like wives, other children, and parents etc. Such daughters lack discipline, boundaries, and they cannot work under any authority.
Such females do not develop into mature women, and they behave as immature girls throughout their lives. The father of the daughter recognizes himself as being a “Best father”, and both continue to live in this toxic relationship.
Unhealthy father daughter relationships
The relationship of a daughter with her father is a very beautiful and secure bond. But sometimes even his beautiful relationship can turn into an abusive and toxic one.
There are plenty of relationships in which the father or the daughter are being unhealthy to each other. But unfortunately, due to the lack of psychological education, they are unable to realize that their relationship is not positive for either of them.
“Excess of everything is poison”. Similarly, a too connected relationship or a too distant relationship, both are unhealthy for both of the parties. Consequently, if the father and daughter are unable to read the signs of their negative relationship, then the damage will be irreversible in the future.
Signs of unhealthy father daughter relationship:
Every relationship undergoes a hard time, and as the relation between children and their parents is a pure one, anything can be fixed. However, to do that you should know about the reflags of any relationship.
- Being absent: We know that usually the father is responsible for providing for the family, But that cannot be used as an excuse by the father to be there for his children. A father is the most important male in a daughter’s life and she expects him to be with her through thick and thin.
- Toxic or abusive father: Fathers who have an inclination towards aggression, or bad temper will probably be abusing their daughters. Moreover, alcoholics or addictive fathers are also abusive to their daughters. Sometimes, daughters are even abused physically from their fathers when they are drunk or whatsoever.
- Emotionally unavailable: Like the physical support, a daughter also needs his father to be there for her emotionally. A father who asks his daughter about her troubles, tries to be a part of them, and tries to fix her daughter whenever she is having a breakdown. Such fathers are emotionally available, Else, they are not available to you mentally.
- Competitive fathers: Those fathers who are narcissists, try to be best at everything. For them parenting is like a competition, and not a responsibility. Such fathers always compare their children with the others, because they have the same criteria for measuring their own excellence as well. So, remember you don’t have to fulfill a criteria set by your father to be successful.
What is an enmeshed father daughter relationship?
Enmeshment of the daughters can happen with either of the parents. A daughter may have this emotional incest either with her father or mother or both.
A daughter who lives with her single mother, may demand more caretaking from her mother and due to the absence of a father she may begin to hate every other male present in her life.
Similarly, enmeshed daughters with fathers are usually termed as “Daddy’s girl”. Those daughters try to replace the romantic relationships in her life through their fathers. As being the daddy’s girl, her all needs are accomplished by her father, she may think that she does not anybody else except for sex and physical relation’s.
Below are some attributes depicted by enmeshed daughters:
- They love to be perfect at everything (Perfectionism).
- They demand others to be their sole caretakers.
- They are unable to differentiate between their self needs, and the needs of others.
- Extreme dependency on parents even being adults
- Can’t respect privacy and boundaries
- They fear while being intimate with others.
- They may get addicted to their own fantasy land and idea of love which does not work out in reality.
- They can’t tolerate any rude behavior or even healthy criticism.
- They are unable to control their temper and aggression.
- They may intermingle sex and love.
- Over-obsession towards their partner
- Codependency regarding the relationships in their lives
- Objectifying people sexually
- May get more comfortable with the male company.
- May become introverted and will have a very small friend circle.
- Eventually become dependent on their own children emotionally, and expect them to fulfil their emotional needs, so that they can feel complete.
What is inappropriate behavior between father and daughter?
A relationship between a father and a daughter relies on love, security, and mutual respect for each other. The first male person in a daughter’s life is her father, and she loves him as he protects her, and cares for her.
However, as the daughters grow, from babies to teens and then to women, the nature of these relationships evolves accordingly. It is evident that there should be some clear and obvious boundaries within a father and his daughter.
- The grey area boundary is not bathing together.
- Not washing the private parts of the daughter when she reaches a specific age number.
- Not sleeping with her if you are addicted or alcoholic.
- Restricting kissing, hugging, and picking on your daughter’s ass.
- Talking about periods, female hygiene, and bras in a very respective manner while not being objectifying.
My husband is enmeshed with his daughter
Family members love each other as they share a strong blood-bond with each other. However, if any member becomes unaware of the boundaries which exist between relationships, that lead to enmeshment.
A daughter enmeshed with her father, will look up to him for her all needs. She cannot accept anyone’s authority, and she will believe that her father will come to her rescue every time she needs him. This creates a lack of maturity in our daughters. Even when they become women, they will still be having a “Girl’s mind”.
How to overcome enmeshment?
To remove yourself from such relationships, you will need to:
- Recognize that you are in an enmeshed relationship.
- Believe that you are not an addict and you can come out of this.
- Recognize the factors that trigger you and try to overcome them gradually.
- Communicate privacy, and respect boundaries with your partner, and implement them in the true sense.
- Feel responsible for your deeds, and start to own yourself instead of being dependent on the father.
- Know that no one is perfect and you cannot too.
- Set milestones and try to win them to keep a track of your mental health progress.