We all want fathers who love and care for us but not everyone is lucky enough to have a devoted guardian.
The relationship we have with our parents and the kind of people they are shapes us as we grow up. It can have a longterm effect on us and on our future relationships. Everyone hopes to have a loving dad who is supportive and caring. Someone who sees our talents and encourages them. Someone who sees our sensitivities and respects them instead of making them the butt of their jokes.
If you find it hard to commit to relationships or know that your relationships have been affected because of the unresolved issues with your father or even face difficulty dealing with authority figures, it is likely that you had a difficult and toxic father. As a daughter, you wanted to earn his praise but instead, you may have only received barbs or neglect. If you are not sure if your father was a toxic figure in your life or not, here are five types of toxic fathers to help you evaluate:
This kind of father would have been neglectful of everyone around him. He would have not been emotionally present even if he was physically present. He may have been unable to express his emotions easily, good or bad. It's possible that he was a silent figure in your life except for few and far in between emotional outbursts. He may have been equally distant from your mother and let her be the primary caretaker. If you didn't have a mom, it's possible that you felt that you raised yourself even when he was around. Perhaps, he was working too much and too long for there to be any bond between you and him. Or, he didn't know how to raise a daughter and didn't make an effort either.
This type of dad is likely to be an emotionally abusive person who took joy in keeping you at an arm's length by never offering a word of kindness. It's not that he stayed quiet and out of your way like the distant dad, but he actively made you feel bad about yourself. The only way he could feel assured in himself was by putting you, your siblings, and mom down. He didn't know how to show love, and openly repudiated you and your siblings.
If you had a father who cared solely about himself and nobody else in his life, then you had a narcissistic father. These fathers made sure that they got what they wanted even if it risked or damaged the family. They are arrogant, self-assured, and self-centered. Key traits that could set narcissistic dads apart were their lack of empathy or even lack of morality. If you grew up with a narcissistic dad, it's possible you struggled with some of those traits or even with your self-worth.
This type of father is the one who chose to leave you right at the beginning or somewhere along the way. They played a part in bringing you into the world but they didn't want to be around to shoulder the responsibilities of raising a child. You or your mom likely didn't know where he was for long periods of time or even if you did know, he just wasn't engaged in your life. It's likely that after a while he didn't return as the pain and shame of having gone away was too large. It's possible that if he was around until some point, he wasn't a bad dad then but simply looking for ways to get away from his family life.
Dads who never had a good word for their kids is likely someone who was a critical person. You probably grew up with them overinvolved in your life and asking you to live up to their extraordinarily high expectations. You probably struggled constantly to get their approval, something that just came rarely your way. They asked you to keep doing better instead of recognizing the achievements you had. You probably broke your back trying to impress him and those words of praise never fell from his mouth.