Motherless Child


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.

What do you think? Do “mommy issues” exist? Sound off!

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  • Todd

    There is a strong push for fatherless statistics as cultures got a hang-up on “deadbeat dads,” but truthfully I’m curious what motherless statistics are myself. My mother actually didn’t abandon me until 14, but it was a very dramatic abandonment, 2 years after divorcing my dad she married a guy with sexual abuse history, a literal creepo, and turned on me first (years later, my sister as well), telling me “I wish you were never born.” Months earlier she had started dosing on Prozac and some other medications. I spent years questioning where my loving, involved mother had gone. With my father out of my life for 2 years after the divorce (which I now see was parental alienation in her favor for child support), she temporarily became my rock, and who I spoke too.

    Earlier in my late childhood imprint years (5-6) I had a baby sitter who threatened to leave me in random locations. Her sociopathic daughter almost drowned me in a kiddy pool. I got left out in thunderstorms, no access to bathrooms. She never lost her daycare license as courts are majorly in favor of feminine pleas and have been for quite awhile.
    But I remember my mother not believing me when I finally had the guts to tell both of my parents, my dad actually reacted, she doubted me. This became a common theme.

    My fathers not short of his own issues either, while I moved back in with him after my mother pulled the crap that she did, he had always been that distant, unemotional working father (which I now attribute to his own father that held in his emotions after WWII, probably PTSD).

    I’m left with two discerning problems now. A very deep mistrust of women in their intent, and especially a keen eye for deception after my mothers parental alienation, as well as a very vile reaction to my significant other having mother-like partner moments as it instantly feels belittling.

    From my father, I feel a lack of direction of what manhood means, as much as he must have. His mother also died at age 14, so its like this repeat “feeling of distress” with the female sex. I also found out from him, in which some ways I wouldn’t of that my mom was a bit of a mindf—, threatening to commit suicide if he didn’t marry her. While he may pass as a man in many ways, his inability to stand up for himself (missing emotional father), and his direct need filled by his current wife to have a completely unintelligent woman (control issues, lack of a female figure from youth) has to some degree poisoned my well. Deep scars carry over generations.

    I do believe that me and my current girlfriend work so very well because her mom was a narcassist who might as well have emotionally abandoned her from day one, and that also took sides with her drug addict younger brother almost always. Her own father was of the silent generation, but he had as much issues if not more then her mother. He wasn’t there to validate his little girl.

    We’ve both had a shared level of trauma, its kind of like a real life version of ‘Black Snake Moan’ (movie with Samuel Jackson) where two broken people try their hardest to put together’s pieces back together, and have a very deep understanding of what comes ahead. I’ve since my youth gotten deeper into philosophy and psychology as a hobby of sorts. Being aware of whats going on under your own hood helps identify the wounds and the wrongs, even if it won’t stop all that was caused, it gives you faith that you can change them.

    I urge people to realize that there is alot of negativity finally coming to a head in the near future in the way of returning to the family culture. I think it’ll be good to beat it back into the youth that family matters. We’ve had feminism since the 60’s, all in part probably from women with missing or destitute fathers, but increasingly in the last generation we’ve had missing mothers as well, I’d even beg to say MRA/MRM/MGTOW men are men with broken families. I also think we are coming to see the negative place of the state, ever since no-fault divorce’s men have been given the short straw in the divorce court and child-parent arena. I think education is pushing hard to remove physical activity, moving men out of their natural competitive games and physical activities. I think the doctrines and memes being spread to make men effeminate is equivocal to women wondering where all the strong men are. Men are portrayed as idiots by advertising and television, it will hit a backlash as this search to heal the wound of the father comes to fruition. I’m not even sure when the backlash of the reverse will become apparent, I haven’t seen any signs of the problem even being addressed much outside of this article.

    Ultimately nature will return men and women to their biological status, but it’s going to be an ugly ride, a very ugly ride. This is the hard truth time for human kind,