Stress Management Relationship Stress I Hate My Dad: How to Cope When You Feel This Way By Sanjana Gupta Sanjana Gupta Sanjana is a health writer and editor. Her work spans various health-related topics, including mental health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness. Learn about our editorial process Updated on February 14, 2023 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Daniel B. Block, MD Medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD LinkedIn Twitter Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Fizkes / Getty Images Table of Contents View All Table of Contents Reasons Why You Might Think "I Hate My Dad" Mental Health Impact of Hating Your Father Coping Strategies If You Feel "I Hate My Dad" It’s possible to feel hatred toward your father. These feelings typically develop in childhood, depending on your father’s behavior and parenting style. Hatred can be difficult to cope with and painful to live with. It can also lead to arguments and fights between you and your father, as well as tension and conflict with other family members. Understanding your feelings and processing them can help you manage them in healthy ways. This article explores some of the reasons why you might hate your father, the impact of these feelings, and some strategies that can help you cope. Press Play for Advice On Healing Childhood Wounds Hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast, featuring award-winning actress Chrissy Metz, shares how to heal childhood trauma, safeguard your mental health, and how to get comfortable when faced with difficult emotions. Click below to listen now. Follow Now: Apple Podcasts / Spotify / Google Podcasts Reasons Why You Might Think "I Hate My Dad" Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and professor at Yeshiva University, outlines some of the reasons why you might hate your father. These reasons are listed below. Lack of Emotional Connection You may feel detached from your father if you grew up in a nuclear family where your father was busy pursuing his career and spent less time with you as a result. Alternatively, if your father abandoned you, you may have longed for a connection with him, which can eventually cause you to resent him. Regardless of the circumstances, children need their parents to have a significant presence in their early life. When this need is not met, children can develop strong feelings of anger and hatred toward their parents. Authoritarian Parenting Style Most children express some type of developmental rebellion during their formative years. While this is typically a normative process, parental reactions tend to vary from permissive to controlling. When parents use too much force to control rebellious children, it can inspire further hatred and insurgence in their children. Instead of helping their children actualize the independence and autonomy they are pursuing, some parents utilize an authoritative approach and actually cause their children to gravitate further toward rebellious behaviors. Child Abuse Children are dependent on their parents for survival. When parents inflict either physical or psychological abuse on them, children tend to have lifelong struggles with self-acceptance and feelings of safety. If you are a victim of child abuse or know someone who might be, call or text the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 to speak with a professional crisis counselor. For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database. Family Violence Children are perceptive and are acutely aware of relational dynamics among their primary caretakers. When their father is abusive toward their mother, children become protective and might view their father as a threat to their own well-being. When children witness the suffering of their mother at the hands of their father, it damages their relationship with him and pulls them into a parent-like role where they adopt an incongruous amount of responsibility to protect the vulnerable adults in their world. Alcoholic Fathers and a Child's Development Mental Health Impact of Hating Your Father Romanoff explains how conflict in your relationship with your father can affect your mental health and your relationships with others. Difficulty With Trust and Intimacy Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD Children who experience strong negative feelings toward their fathers tend to have trouble in their attachment to others as adults. — Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD Conflict in the relationship with their father in childhood creates deep-rooted feelings of mistrust. This can lead to hesitation in getting closer to others due to the anticipation of hurt associated with intimacy. Difficulty With Emotional Relationships When parents act in unpredictable ways or abuse their children, their children grow up to have difficulty understanding their emotions and the feelings of others. This limits their ability to build stable and close relationships. Ultimately, they may struggle to connect with others, avoid intimacy, or be highly anxious in relationships. Coping Strategies If You Feel "I Hate My Dad" Romanoff suggests some strategies that can help you cope with the hatred you’re feeling toward your father. Break the Cycle Recognize the ways in which your father impacted you and how that may alter your relationship with men or romantic partners. This is referred to as an attraction of deprivation, as these individuals will seek out partners who are unsatisfying or disappointing in ways that are familiar to them, and believe that they will finally get their unmet needs from childhood met in the present through a corrective emotional experience. Typically, there is a fallacy to this type of thinking as these partners rarely change. Instead, pick partners out of inspiration–meaning people whose love you don’t have to constantly earn, who you don’t want to change, and who inspires you to be the best version of yourself. Seek Therapy It is important to recognize the enduring impact our relationships with caregivers have on current functioning. Therapy can be a great tool to not only recognize and identify this influence, but also interrupt the maladaptive patterns that are extensions from this primary relationship. If your father is toxic and still in your life, a therapist can also help you learn how to deal with them while still protecting your mental health. A toxic father is one who is more damaging than nurturing or isn't available to you in any meaningful way. Work Toward Acceptance Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD It’s important to accept the father you have instead of distorting the father you wish he would be. — Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD Most of our pain comes from distorting the reality of people to fit our desires for who we need them to be. Once you can separate fantasy from reality, you free yourself from perpetual disappointment and can live a more stable and consistent life without the ups and downs of intermittently viewing him through the lens of fantasy and reality. 9 Reasons the Cycle of Abuse Continues A Word From Verywell There are many reasons why you might grow to hate your father. Childhood conflicts with your father can cause you to develop feelings of hate that may accompany you well into adulthood. It’s important to seek therapy for the emotions you’re experiencing so that you can start to heal and move forward with your life, toward acceptance and healthier relationships. How Family Therapy Works 1 Source Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Nelson E. Toxic masculinity and the generative father in an age of narcissism. J Jungian Scholarly Studies. 2019;14. doi:10.29173/jjs6s By Sanjana Gupta Sanjana is a health writer and editor. Her work spans various health-related topics, including mental health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for Stress Management Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.