Father died when I was 19, I feel unworthy of marriage

posted 8 months ago in Relationships
Post # 2
1983 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

First of all I have to commend you on being able to articulate your feelings so well, many people have these feelings but are unable to put them into words. And I know it was ten years ago, but in our subconscious there is no such thing as time, so the death of your father is still very real and raw especially if you never truly recovered. I am so sorry for your loss and the fact that this has spiraled into you feeling unworthy. 

You are absolutely worthy of love and marriage. I am glad you are seeing a therapist tomorrow. I just wanted to reach out and say that you are not alone. And you are a very strong woman. 

Post # 3
6428 posts
Bee Keeper

I’m no therapist but I think this is a mummy issue re the worthless-ness and a daddy issue re people you love leaving you so best set up some subconscious  dynamic so I can’t be loved/love – and therefore counting yourself out of marriage pretty much takes care of that possible pain. 



Ill just just give you the happy ending to my story to hopefully help you see hope and know it can be different if you want it to be – divorced parents, abuse, alcoholism, various step dads – got plenty going on there. Yet aged 37 I met and then married a man with parents both together for 40 old years. Baby now on the way for us. 


It it sounds like you’re taking steps to do the work you need to do. You’ll be just fine 🙂 

Post # 4
10042 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

I am very sorry for your loss. This has clearly been life altering for yourself and your family. 

With love and kindness, I fail to see the link between a fathers illness and being “damaged goods”. Sweetheart, all families have issues. Some far worse than others. The loss of father does not make you less worthy in anything in life, nor does the way your family handled his loss. 

It is great you are seeking help, hopefully it will be very beneficial for you to work through this issue 

You are obviously very intelligent, very well spoken, introspective, you are well aware of your sense of self. That is what a man looks for to commit to someone, not whether or not she has a father. This guy couldn’t commit, that means he was not right for you. That is not a reflection on either of you but rather you both learned from each, grew and then grew apart. That happens with all of us. Although breakups are hard it is part of the process of learning so we can be ready when we meet the right one. You will meet him when the time is right.

Post # 5
798 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

Bee, you are not damaged goods, you never were and still are not. You had a tragedy and then a really shitty boyfriend. I can see how those this can really weigh on you, but you’re worthy of love and marriage. You just haven’t met that guy that will treat you like the most important thing in his life. Therapy is an excellent idea, begin the healing process from your fathers death and allow yourself some peace. I know our wounds are still fresh and the pain is really bad right now, just keep taking care of yourself and with time you’ll begin to feel better. 

I wish I could give you a big hug bee, everything will be alright 

Post # 6
7826 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I’m sorry for your parental losses. Good luck on your journey. You do deserve love. 

Post # 7
312 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Be confident in knowing you are taking the right steps to process your grief and loss. It takes a lot of courage. 

It is extremely difficult when family falls apart. Know that the loss of your father does not make you “damaged”; it changes you, without a doubt, and the loss is heavy and affects those around you, but you are worthy of love and kindness. 

Take the time to work through the death of your father, and take care of yourself. 

Post # 8
503 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

gradstudent07 :  hey bee,

im going to be super honest with you because you have been so vocal and vulnerable and the deserves a response in kind.  Reading your post broke my heart and I am so sorry for your loss.  Before I tell you that you are not damaged goods in any way I am going to recognize that you feel that way because I understand.

 My father passed away when I was 7 years old and I completely understand the feeling of somehow being broken in some unfixable way.  Of feeling somehow being destined for loss and then creating a self fulfilling prophecy.  Experiencing such a tremendous loss (as you say emotionally orphaned) like that at such a developmentally crucial age is going to have an incredible impact on how you develop relationships throughout your life.  Respecting how you feel is important in dealing with it, you experienced a life changing event it only makes sense that it changed how you relate to your world.

therapy is the best thing you can do and the courage it take to make that step should not be overlooked so congratulations to you for having that strength. It does sound like one on one would be good before you start looking at relationship stuff ( you need to feel worthy of love before you can accept it ).  I would also think about having a session with your mom, it may be painful but could be helpful for both of you.  


In my personal experience….Grief does not go away with time it digs in and become part of you and can be difficult to give up because it’s all you have left of the person…. I spent a lot of time feeling unworthy and broken and finding relationships that would prove that to me. It took a lot of work and time to get to a good place with it all and it’s still a struggle.  The differnce is now instead of unworthy I think of myself as strong.  


My point is… you can do this…. your already taking the first steps … you are not only worthy but you are stronger than you know , you have experienced true sadness and loss and while you will always know that it will also let you appreciate the happiness in life so much more.  Keep your head up and focus on one step at a time.

Post # 9
8190 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

my DH’s father passed away when he was 20, my father passed away 6 months before i met DH. DH’s mother passed away when I was 20 weeks pregnant.  we are happily married.

sorry you lost your father, but thinking you aren’t worthy of marriage bc of that…..definately continue seeing your therapist.  there are probably other issues involved.

Post # 10
1513 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

gradstudent07 :  I am so sorry for the loss of your father. I too, lost my mother at 19. Know this, you are not damaged goods. Your worth is not measured by if you have a living father or not. Is my life different because my Mom died? Yes. But it is part of who I am. I am getting married in October, and my father will not be attending my wedding, so with my mother gone, I dont have any immediate family at the wedding. My father is an alcoholic (in denial) and has lost the privelage of having a relationship with me. I was, originally, going to walk down the asile by myself, but then my FI suggested his grandfather walk me down the asile. We are very close, and he is the closest thing I have to a living grandparent.

When you get married, you dont have to have your father there to give you away. I know that is hard, and emotional, but its something that has happened to you. Just because your father died does not make you unfit for marriage, not damaged goods. My FI never met my mother, but he knows my life changed when she passed. He knows I have hard days, her birthday, mothers day, the anniversary of her death, and now wedding planning. On the day I bought my wedding dress, it was hard, as it was something I always saw doing with my mom. But, I had the support of my MOH, FMIL, and FI’s grandmother. I may have lost my mom, but I have gained some amazing women in my life through my FI.

Everyone handles grief in different ways. I think the best way to start working on viewing your self as valuable and lovable, is to continue to talk to your therapist. You should be able to work on your view of self worth in addition to processing your grief. I wish you the best of luck bee. You are worthy.

Post # 13
76 posts
Worker bee

gradstudent07 :  Many people have lost parents at young and vulnerable ages, myself included. My experience was very traumatic due to the nature of my fathers death. It’s taken years of therapy to deal with it in a healthy manner. That said, I never decided that not having a father made me damaged goods when it came to relationships or getting married. That is what I think other people are saying, that it’s not a typical reaction to a parents death and that seeking therapy is a very good thing. This is something about your perception of yourself and reaction to your fathers death may have triggered it but I suspect there is more to it than that. I hope therapy proves helpful to you, good luck!

Post # 15
5182 posts
Bee Keeper

gradstudent07 : 

The most hopeful thing I take from your post is that you so clearly see that this is  about cognitive distortion. As many pp’s have said,  there is no , NOT ANY  link betweeen a parent’s death or even emotional abandonment or family problems and ” damaged goods”. In fact the very  term ”damaged goods”  should be expunged from your vocabulary  , humans are not  goods,  damaged or otherwise and I think it is particularly problematic for a  woman to describe herself this way .. I do hope your therapist helps you see this .

Forgive me , but I feel as if I detect in your responses – though you are kind and generous with them – a tendency to say , ‘yes I can see you had it hard too but you had family/other supports  so you can’t really know how bad it can be’ . I don’t think this thinking is useful either , another of the things it might be good to shed. Some of the family histories on the Bee and of course elsewhere,  are truly horrific and anyway  ‘comparisons are odious’ as they say.

I wish you the very best of luck  on your journey and hope you can ‘ report back’ to us with a lessened sense of  worthlessness and a much reduced distorted link between it and past events.  

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