How To Cope with Father Hunger?

I've had a few fears about writing this blog. I've been afraid it would become too heavy, and few people would read it. Then I received your incredible, meaningful, questions on Father Hunger. I realized then, trying to find healing from Father Hunger is a big, big deal.

Then I received a comment from Danielle, and it rocked my world. She said, "When I was 11-13 my dad never even talked to me. He would tell me I looked and acted too much like my mom (who had just left him) so he wanted nothing to do with me. I went online and started getting into major trouble. Phone sex, cyber-sex, webcam shows, you name it I did it."

If this blog helps one person like Danielle, it's worth it. So how does one go about getting healed from Father Hunger? And how do you deal with father hunger? I have a few ideas and your comments gave me some more.

Two Ideas for Coping with Father Hunger


1. Every person who overcame Father Hunger had to first overcome denial.

Denial is an unconscious defense mechanism used to reduce anxiety. By denying thoughts, feelings, or facts that are consciously intolerable, we attempt to protect ourselves. No one wants to think about or have those awful feelings of being neglected, rejected, or even abandoned. So, it is very easy, when it comes to Father Hunger, to pretend the hurt that comes from a broken relationship with him doesn't really matter.

The only problem is denial only works for a little while, and then the hurt comes back, and usually even stronger. There is a saying from the Bible that goes, you can't heal a wound by saying it's not there! It's kind of like finding out you have Cancer. The doctor tells you if you don't have an operation, you will die soon. Yes, the surgery will hurt, but at least you will live. Emotionally, healing can't really begin until we admit the painful truth that Father Hunger is real.

2. Don't react to Father Hunger by acting out and thereby making matters much worse.

It's easy to overreact to the kind of pain Father Hunger brings. Sometimes people who have Father Hunger lash out in rebellion. Others look for any kind of medication they can find to try to make the pain go away. But acting out to solve Father Hunger never works.

I received a comment from a really honest girl named Rheagan. What she had to say stopped me in my tracks. Her father really hurt her sister and her.  "He left us with a shovel and no direction on how to fill a huge hole. It seems we're using guys over and over and hurting them by tossing them away and going for another one different trying to see as if maybe, like a puzzle, the piece will fit in. Sometimes you get a piece that is almost right, but the edge is different and the only piece that fits is the father. Without him, we keep searching trying to find it, without realizing the piece is hidden."

Tossing guys away and purposely hurting them is a wrong response to Father Hunger. And as I have said all along, giving in to guys isn't the answer either. Take a look at the comment I received from Juli, "A lady who goes to schools and talks about abstinence holds up two hearts cut out of foil then she crumples them together. She makes everyone laugh by saying 'I bet you've never seen foil having sex!' After she takes them a part, she tries to make them look smooth again, but she can't. It means that even if we don't think it does, sex does something to crumple our heart. We need to protect our heart as much as possible."

Then I received a comment from Cali. I was stunned by her anger. "They say that you hurt the ones you love most. Well then in that case I guess my dad loves me to death!"

Covering the Pain Causes More Pain

Trying to cover the pain by rage, sex, drugs, self-harm or any other false feel good never works. In fact, acting out can cause more hurt to ourselves than even what our fathers may have done to us. If you are acting out, you need to stop. You're only making matters much worse. And in the end, the only one you're hurting is yourself.

Colleen's father was abusive and so she turned to cutting to numb the pain, but she got help from a HopeCoach. Read Colleen's story of HOPE here.

Let's talk next about "Reaching out for a Father."

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13 comments on “How To Cope with Father Hunger?”

  1. My story might be different i grew fond of my dad we were best friends we had that father daughter relationship but i never liked my mom she never tried to be the best mom. My dad was shot dead when i was 13 and everything changed, i had to cope with my mom's bad attitude and i missed my dad a lot so im order to keep things out of my mind i became food addicted, music addicted, social media addicted without those i would cry the whole day

  2. 21 years old. My father got stroke when I was 7 and by the time I was 13 yeas old, he had lost most of his motor capacity and died later. Though we never really got a long very well, I'm aware that there's only one father yet I know that there are many men out there that can inspire or motivate you just like a father or a mentor would do but it's not the same. Friendships come and go over the years and what if you were looking for someone you can hold on to without any fear of being abandoned?. People say you must be your own hero but what if you needed a little hand?. What if you needed someone to take you as you are?. Everytime I try to change the way I face life or the way I relate to others, all I get is that I'm on my own. I had met a good man, a few years ago. He was my best friend, he taught me a lot of things. He was like my Mr. Miyagui. He was just like a father to me and I felt joy that I had met someone like him but friendships eventually end. It's just like trying to solve a puzzle that you just can't solve because the missing piece is lost, gone forever. All you can do is move on and accept the cards you got. It's all you can do. No one ever said life would be fair.

  3. My father hunger experience was when I had a fight with my girlfriend. I accused her of being too immature on one particular night and we had heated arguments. Then I realized my accusations and arguments show that I am a weak man because it suggested lack of trust, insecurity, and possessiveness. When I got home I realized that the root cause of that fight was a simple yearning for a father. I realized that not only did my lack of a father figure caused that fight, but it also caused so many bad things I did in the past which include vices, mediocrity in school, not maximizing my potential in sports and academics, joining a fraternity, and other ridiculous things that are "cries for help" hoping that a "father" would correct me and tap my head and hug me in his arms. I cried so much the day I realized my father hunger because I missed so many opportunities in life. Now, I'm past the denial stage and having a hard time trying to accept that I will never truly find that "father" I am yearning for. I have to admit though, I still am looking for a dad who would love me, listen to me, and spend time with me.

    My dad has a mistress (which my mom doesn't know yet) and I've had thousands of experiences when he disappointed me. We were never close and never talked about each other's lives, just small talk. I just try to think that our personalities simply just do not match; nevertheless, I am sad. At this point I just consider him as a "resource" because he can provide my needs in life. But with this father hunger, I am finding it hard to escape the rat race.

    What motivates me to push through with life is my girlfriend, and my future family with her. With this experience, I will make sure that I'll never let my children experience this same fate and I'll make sure they will live their lives happily as they contribute their skills and talents to society. May God bless the people who pray for me and may God guide men who are in experiencing father hunger

  4. I also can share my story. I don't see how I might get fixed and maybe it's too late - I'm 36 years old.

    I had emotionally distant parents. In general, they were supportive and they trusted me, but in our family we didn't have hugging, sweet words etc. And my father had majors issues with alcohol, so my mother took the control over our family and important decisions. When my father came home drunk and weak, and my mother attacked him with screams and accusations, I went to my room and started playing role games with my toys. I played that I have found a new father - strong, authoritative, but also emotionally reliable. Sometimes I reversed the roles and I myself became the father who has found his lost son. In my fantasies I felt so happy... just for that single moment.

    Another issue was my health problems since birth - I was weak, had poor vision and I was bullied in school. So I started avoiding boys and communicating with girls more because they were more accepting and not aggressive.

    In my childhood, I had romantic relations with a girl. And when I reached my 16, I was shocked to find out the truth - I don't feel any sexual attraction for the girl I love so much. She's my soulmate, I like to hug her, to share evening sunsets and music, but when she get flirty and wants a kiss or even something more, I don't have any desire for that.

    I tried some psychotherapy, but it did not work. The doctor did not give any exercises or approaches to try out and see what happens; she only did analytics and tried to convince me about my wrong attitudes, but I already knew most of it myself.

    So - I have no idea what to do next. Maybe I'll have to live my life alone till the end. Unpleasant perspective. But in my country it's hard to find asexual & romantic girl because that's not something you could say at once, but postponing it is also not fair, I don't want to give false hopes to a girl.

  5. My 'father hunger' cuts very deeply... I can't seem to get over it even though i understand it...
    Maybe I am wrong, like my mum says 'you are an adult - deal with it!' Even though she was raised by a narcissistic mother, she had a dad, my grandad; who died when I was 8. To me he was a father figure, from what i remember about him and stories from other people - he was very much like me in character and stuff he enjoyed... sometimes I wish that it was my overbearing, jealous, vindictive grandma that was gone instead of him ;((
    I am a daughter of an abusive alcoholic father that my mum ran away from when i was 3. He is okay now, not drinking, working, married. He tried to have a relationship with me but it didnt work out because (in my opinion) he's just too ashamed of himself. His mum died when he was 5 and i think he's still stuck at that age. He's had many relationships with a lot of women (i have a 6 yr old sister from one of them). The woman that he is with now (not my sister's mum) controls him and tells him what to do. Like a mother would. That is what he's been looking for all his life - a mother figure.
    I am now 25 years old. I used to blame myself for my 'daddy' not wanting me and not having a proper father-daughter relationship like my friends had with their dads. Self-harm, eating disorder, alcohol and substance abuse - you name it i've done it. Only now i realise why i felt abandoned - it wasnt me, it was him. Thank God for my mother who's got balls of steel and was raised by the greatest dad that anyone could wish for; i did not sink. I have a Bachelor's degree, a job and i am happy. Although i am attracted to older men and have a boyfriend 16 years older than me and I do sometimes wonder why my 'daddy' is not there to celebrate my acheivements - i understand... in his head, he is still that 5 year old boy looking for a mother. He can't take care of me...

    1. Thanks for sharing your story so openly and honestly. You are an overcomer and encourager to others who are struggling. Way to go on getting your degree and beating your addictions!

    2. My dad was an abusive alcoholic too, and ended up taking his life when I was 10, all I remember before that was him ranting and raving at my mother, sometimes even getting the shotgun after her. Many times we had to leave, and stay gone for days, until he would run out of alcohol. When he spanked us, (I had another sister) he would beat us. My sister remembers one time when she actually thought he was going to kill me, but I don't remember that either. Back then there was no help for women, and she did not work, until we moved into town, and she finally gained some independence, and that is when he took his life. My mother was 16 years younger than my dad, and I married a man 16 years older than me. He was very good to me, and I think he kinda wanted to be the dad that I never had, One of the favorite songs we used to play was Let Me Help, I think it was by Billy Joel. I loved him with all my heart, and I believe he loved me back, but we were not without our struggles.

    3. women cannot help you with the "Father wound" they are not men....only manly men with compassion, truth and pressence can help you with your father wound. probably these are things you run from. you'll have to deal with your defense mechanism's keeping you from God and God's agents of change in your life. make sure you read the bible and watch christian videos and read christian books on father issues.

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