Father Wounds: Can A Man Unconsciously Search For A Father Figure If His Father Was Emotionally Unavailable?
Through getting to the stage of his life where he is now a man, it could be said that he won’t need all of the same things that he needed as a child. To put it another way, he will have grown out of certain needs that he had.
To focus solely on the needs that he would have primarily had in relation to his father, he will no longer need him to affirm his worth, to support or to protect him. This is not to say that he will no longer need to be affirmed or supported, or even to be protected at times, but that it will be different now he is an adult.
Thanks to what took place throughout his early years, he will have the ability to affirm and support himself. He will also feel safe and secure, and he could be trained in a certain type of martial arts, allowing him to freely express himself on this planet.
He is then going to feel strong on the inside and won’t be dependent on other men for their affirmation, support or protection. Thus, he will look like a man and, to go with it, he will feel strong and capable.
However, although this is going to be an experience that this man can relate to, there are going to be plenty of men who can’t. When a man is in this position, he will look like a man but he will seldom, if ever, have the inner experience to go with it.
Many years will have passed since he was a boy yet he won’t have moved beyond this stage of his development. The reason for this is that he won’t have received the type of care that he needed during this stage of his life.
At this stage of his life, his father would have either been physically absent or physical present but emotionally absent. Either way, it wouldn’t have been possible for him to receive what he needed to receive in order to grow and develop.
This would have been painful and he would have most likely sensed that something wasn’t right, but there wouldn’t have been anything that he could have done. He would have simply had to put up with what was going on.
One way to see this would be to imagine that, as a child, he was like a small tree that had been planted without a cane. Without this cane, it would have still grown but it will have grown sideways and not straight up to the sky
For this tree to have grown properly, it would have needed two things: it would have needed water to grow (the feminine) and a cane to keep it upright (the masculine). This cane would have given it the support and guidance that it needed to grow properly.
By not having his fathers support very early on, his physical body will have changed but he won’t have been able to truly step into his power. Instead, he can come across as passive and lacking direction, more like a small bush than a big oak tree, or he can come across as aggressive and obsessive, more like a tree that has been able to grow but hasn’t been able to grow in the right way.
He can then be consumed by what happened all those years ago or he can resist what took place, developing a false-self that allows them to function as an adult. Beyond the mask that he has developed will be a deeply wounded boy, irrespective of how manly he appears to be.
A Deep Longing
Now, if a man hasn’t created an inflated false-self and he is in a position where he is generally passive and lacks direction, and thereby has a deflated false-self, he could have a very strong need to find the father that he never had. If his father is alive, he could still try to receive what he wasn’t unable to receive from him as a child.
Along with this, he could be drawn to men who come across as strong, capable and supportive. Another part of this is that he will project the parts of himself that he hasn’t developed onto these men.
What this means is that he will see things in other men that they don’t actually possess, or at the very least, not to the degree that he believes. The wounds that he has in relation to his father can also be played out with these men, which can cause him to put some men on a pedestal and to see others as being totally worthless, and for there to be conflict.
Still, while he, or to be more accurate, his child self, will have a strong need to find the father that he didn’t have, it doesn’t mean that he is aware of what is going on. This can play out just outside of his conscious awareness.
He may prefer to spend time with older men, with this being a time when he acts more like their son. If was to get into self-development, he could end up being drawn to a “guru” or a teacher and elevating them to a very high position.
Deep down, the child part of him will believe that he has finally found the father that he has wanted for so long thanks to the defence mechanism known as transference. This will then be a time when he feels affirmed, supported and protected, and if this relates to a “guru” or a teacher, there will be an endless amount of guidance.
Ultimately, as his early years are over, it means that these unmet childhood needs can’t be met and they have to be grieved. This is not to say that being around well-developed men won’t play a part in his personal evolution, but if he doesn’t realise what is going on and understand that no one can give him what his father was unable to give him, and begin to heal his inner wounds, he will continue to be dependent on men like this and this will stop him from being able to step into his power.
If a man can relate to this, and is ready to change his life, he may need to reach out for external support. This can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, 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.