It’s no secret that little girls who grow up without an ever-present father in the home will always become women who are hungry for the love, affection and attention of various men and will go to great lengths to get what they need.
Now that I have your attention, I will say that I don’t believe in that theory nor do I endorse it, but it’s definitely something that most of us have heard at one point or another, especially those who come from single parent homes.
How many times have we heard, “She only acts like that because she has ‘man’ issues or ‘daddy” issues?'”
There definitely hasn’t been a shortage of material or conversation about women who grew up fatherless, but is it possible that some men out there could be seeking a mother figure? Could there be a deeper discussion on men with “mommy” issues?
Granted if we were to take a look at statistics, the number of women who grew up without a father would most likely outnumber the amount of men who grew up without a mother, so I could see how this could seem like an anomaly, but it still exists. And just because mom or another woman was there doesn’t mean she was loving and available.
Sitting and watching Donald Draper’s behavior on Mad Men got me thinking. Why is it that society has always had an obsession with women who grew up without an active father but not the reverse, men who grew up without an active mother? Draper’s character on the show has what most people would want–a successful career, a beautiful, loving wife and children and a picture perfect home. One would think that he would be satiated and content with his life, but Don seems to always be searching for more, always looking for the next woman to physically connect to, and it made me wonder. Is he just another example of a greedy individual that enjoys the comfort and stability of a home life but still wants to enjoy the many women encountered on a daily basis, or could it be possible that since he didn’t have a loving relationship with his mother growing up he is constantly seeking a feminine presence that he doesn’t have to be fully emotionally tied to all while trying to fill a void? It’s not that I care about Donald Draper’s character enough to discuss him extensively, but I am fascinated and curious about the way he conducts himself because I know that he doesn’t stand alone.
The theory that a child who is raised in a home without the direct influence of the opposite sex will be a maladjusted adult who is unable to cope with the demands of a normal social environment is simply not right. Many adults were raised with both parents and still struggle in certain areas. But could there be a link between men who grew up lacking a strong female figure in their lives and certain behaviors being perpetuated?
Challenges within marriage, emotional detachment and disconnect, mother/wife transference, fear of abandonment or the exact opposite, not feeling fearful at all of losing people, difficulties within emotional intimacy–are these manifestations of “mommy” issues? I’m sure many of these could affect people who came from a two-parent home, but perhaps men who lacked having a present, loving mother are more susceptible to these symptoms.
There is a lot that can be said about parent/child relationships. We can talk about daddy’s girls or the mother who just can’t seem to cut the apron strings out of their sons’ hands and stop controlling their every move, but this time around I wanted to talk about the motherless son.