Emotionally Unavailable Fathers: Can A Man Have A Lot of Unmet Needs To Grieve If He Had An Emotionally Unavailable Father?
Just because a man’s early years are behind him, it doesn’t mean that what took place during this time in his life is no longer affecting him. This may have been a time when his father was physically there, but emotionally absent.
What this means is that even though his father was around at this stage of his life, it wouldn’t have been possible for him to really connect to him. In general, his father may have been working, caught up in something and/or just not been present.
Out of Reach
This would have meant that he wouldn’t have been able to form an emotional bond with his father. As a result of this, this need would have been unmet, causing him to disconnect from this need after a while.
Disconnecting from this need wouldn’t have been easy, but it would have stopped him from experiencing as much pain. His attempts to connect to his father would then have come to an end.
Still, while this would have stopped him from having to experiencing the pain of not being able to connect to his father, there would have been all of the things that he missed out on. As a child, he would have experienced the pain of not getting certain needs met and then he would have come to forget about these needs.
For one thing, he would have missed out on his father’s support and encouragement. This means that he might not have received what he needed to receive in order to develop self-belief and courage.
Furthermore, if his father was totally absent, he might not have provided him with any guidance either. This may mean that he wasn’t shown the importance of taking action or having discipline, self-control, and being able to delay gratification, for instance.
Ultimately, the person who was supposed to guide him, empower him and to show him how to be a man would have left him to fend for himself. Perhaps there were other male figures around him at this stage of his life to soften the blow.
If not, the damage would have been a lot worse, and now that he is an adult, he may have started to become aware of the impact that this stage of his life had on him. He could find that as he was rejected and basically abandoned by his father, it is hard for him to feel good about himself and to feel comfortable in his own skin.
The reason for this is that he would have been egocentric as a child, and this would have caused him to take everything personally. This would have stopped him from being able to see that there was nothing wrong with him and that his father was distant due to his own issues.
And, thanks to his inability to connect to his father, he may find that it is hard for him to connect his feelings. Now that he is an adult this will cause him problems, yet when he was a child, it would have been a way for him to survive.
What served him at one point in time is then going to be causing him problems at another. If he was to get in touch with how he feels, he may find that he is carrying a lot of emotional pain.
When it comes to the emotional pain that he is carrying, a lot of it will relate to his needs that were not met as a child and the years that came after. Additionally, if his father is still alive, there could be the needs that his father hasn’t been able to meet now that he is an adult.
So, whenever the man had a need that his father didn’t meet as a child, and as the years went by, this would have caused him to experience pain. This emotional pain would have ended up staying trapped in his body.
Another way of looking at this would be to say that the man will have an inner child - or inner children as there is more than one - that will be in a lot of pain. This part of them will need be heard and given the chance to express what it wasn’t able to express all those years ago.
If this sounds a bit airy-fairy, the man could be in for a big surprise if he has an open mind and gives inner child work a go. Anyway, not only will the emotional pain that is inside him make it hard for him to connect to his he feels, it will also have a negative effect on his mind, his relationships and make it hard for him to be present.
Once he starts to get into his body and to feel his feelings, he may find that he starts to feel very sad. He will be getting in touch with all the memories where his needs were not met, and there are likely to be a lot of these memories.
In addition to feeling sad, he can feel rejected, abandoned, helpless, hopeless, worthless and powerless. There could be times when he is consumed with anger, rage and hate.
The key will be for him to allow himself to feel his feelings and give himself permission to cry if he needs to do so. Crying is likely to be a great way to let go of the pain that was experienced all those years go.
Trying to think this pain away is likely to be a waste of time; this is not pain that has been thought into existence. If a man can relate to this, he may need to reach out for the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.