A dad explains: “Why I don’t see my child.”

why father doesn't see kids

Bring up the fatherless epidemic in the United States, and the arguments are as diametric and unrelenting as bipartisan politics.

It is either:

  1. Men are irresponsible douchebags who abandon their children to mothers, who are left to raise the children with few resources, or …
  2. Women are conniving, malicious, entitled nut-jobs who alienate fathers from their children while taking all said fathers' money — all of which is supported by the family court system.

After studying this issue for the four years I've had this blog, I understand that the issue is complicated and nuanced, and there is plenty of legitimate room for both points of view, outlined above.

Ready to take action? Join MomsForSharedParenting.org — an activist org devoted to changing policy, law, culture and attitudes around parenthood. Time for 50/50 default parenting! 

A father's experience with parental alienation

What I haven't reported much is the point of view from the checked-out dads, many of whom have shared with me articulate, thoughtful, and often heart-breaking accounts of why they are not part of their children's lives.

These stories resonate with me, as they have challenged my earlier, blind admonishments that every parent has a moral obligation to fight for their children, no matter what.

I still believe this, but I also believe in empathy, and for recognizing each other's humanity.

Here is one story from a commenter on the above posts:

Related: Resource guide about parental alienation

Point of view from a dad who doesn't see his child

From John G:

From my own experiences, I believe it's widespread for women to use children as a weapon to exact revenge against the ex during, and after, divorce proceedings.

During my lengthy divorce, my ex-wife claimed I was abusive, that she was ‘afraid for her safety,’ and tried to get ‘supervised visitation.’

None of it worked, because it wasn’t true, and because, as an educated professional I had enough money to spend six figures on an attorney.

However, it was still a waste of time and money. Even after the divorce, the games continued.

My son was being tutored on what to say to me (did you ever hear a 7-year-old respond ‘I’m not comfortable talking about that’ when asked a question?) and being instructed to call me by my first name and not ‘dad.’ I grew tired of making phone calls that weren’t answered, or of being put on hold and the child not coming to the phone, and of canceled visits.

It was heartbreaking seeing the child slip away from me, little by little.

I went to court on several occasions. There is the assumption that the man will just sit there and take the abuse because he does not want to lose the child.

She stuck by the letter of the law, and was able to severely limit my contact with my son by way of orders of protection and maintaining to the courts that he was a ‘danger.’

Orders of protection as divorce strategy

Of the divorced, professional men that I know, all of them had orders of protection against them by their wives.

This is even a problem that is recognized by the courts. Some attorneys go so far as to admit that the ‘afraid for my safety’ issue is part of the ‘gamesmanship of divorce.’ I went from the mindset of being a father to the child, to being reduced to the status of a ‘visiting uncle’ or a ‘Disneyland dad’ allied with thinking all the time like an attorney.

I was often worried what would happen if she started to make untrue claims that I had (for example) abused the child. When he fell over and scraped his arm when he was with me, I was advised by my attorney to go to all the trouble of going to the doctor, having the scrape bandaged and so on, just to legally cover myself in case she would claim that it had in fact been intentionally caused.

While on the lookout for anything that could be used against me, all the while constantly being told I was a bad person, a bad father, and all my involvement with my son was systematically stripped away. The whole process became a painful sham.

Father refuses to see his child? Not quite …

I eventually reached a crossroads with four paths. Some men commit suicide because they can’t handle the anguish. Others resort to violence and anger against the ex-wife. Others take the difficult road, and sacrifice years of their happiness, battling on a hopeless battle with the ex, just to maintain some sort of contact with the kids. The fourth way, is to simply give up, and decide that the cost to the child through seeing the conflict, and to oneself, is too high.

Consider online therapy to help you through painful challenges>>

I considered all the above paths for a long time and was tempted by more than a few of them. In the end, I walked away from all contact with my child more than two years ago.

Mother keeping child away from father

After I had calmed down, I tried again and contacted the ex. I had hoped she would have calmed down and would be willing to work with me.

But no, she is still the same bitter and vengeful baggage that she always was. Rather than attempting to discuss things and put things on the right track, she is willing to communicate in writing only.

She refuses point blank to let me contact the child. Everything has to go through her.

Some people will say it would be the noblest thing to carry on fighting regardless. ‘I would do anything for my kids!’ they spout.

Frankly, I feel that’s very naive and is almost always a view propagated by women.

Any father here who has been generously granted a weekend every two weeks knows the feeling when you say goodbye.

You’re just getting used to having them around, and they are gone. It’s like having a wound that never heals. Like a band-aid being ripped off over and over. The pain never really went away.

During those days, I used to recall these lines from Shakespeare's King John:

Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;

Logically, I have to balance the damage to myself, my life and mental health, the possibility of the conflict damaging the child, against the damage done by my absence.

People who don’t know the situation raise their hands in horror, or pass judgement, assume that this is a choice that is taken lightly and easily. It is not.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about it. Sometimes I see children in shops that look like my child and find it hard not to break down.

Sometimes I can’t take my eyes away. Even the shoes are the same. I don’t like to watch movies with children of that age in them.

I had to remove all the photographs that I had of my child and every other item and put them in a box. And that’s where all those emotions are now.

In a box, held tightly under control, so that I can try and enjoy some semblance of a normal life. It usually works.

I spoke to my ex recently. She claims that the child is just fine. She doesn’t seem to think that I’m needed and believes that my seeing the child is a bad thing.

She told me that the gifts I had been sending postally were in a box and he never got them. What is the point of trying? Who am I to argue?

She lives with the kid and does the real parenting. All that I could do, once a month or less (she lives a long way from me) would be to visit for a shallow shared visit, a museum trip perhaps – that’s not parenting – that’s just being a Disneyland dad.

I am in despair that many people and the courts expect the impossible. They expect the man to be totally interested, committed, involved with his child’s life – and yet – they make it impossible for that involvement to happen.

How can you remain interested and involved when you are given no information about the child’s everyday life, when even the most basic contact is made difficult or impossible, when you are limited to four days a month contact time if you are lucky?

In far too many cases, the father is merely viewed as a source of income.

The mother is viewed as the ‘real parent’ who almost always gets physical custody of the child. And once she has the child, she is then almost entirely free of the threat of any consequences.

Consider online therapy to help you through painful challenges. Very affordable, convenient and anonymous (no one will see your car parked in front of the counselor's office!), get the help you and your family need via video, phone or text therapy. Find a counselor now >>

How fatherlessness affects children

This is a great shame for the children involved who will probably be involved in divorces of their own or be afraid of marriage because they have seen the consequences when they fail.

I shouldn’t be surprised if more and more men eschew marriage and traditional family values over the next century.

Personally, I refuse to be blackmailed by my better instincts. I refuse to be reduced to the level of a Disneyland dad by some judge, attorney, social worker or indeed his mother.

I refuse to beg for access, or beg for photographs, or ask permission when I can please take him on vacation.

No. They will have no more of me.

One day, I will be able to get in touch without going through her once the child is old enough. Until then, I intend to get on with my life.

Please listen to Terry Brennan, co-founder of Leading Women for Shared Parenting, explain why default every-other-weekend visitation leads to absentee fathers.

Note that in cases where ‘standard’ visitation is awarded — every-other-weekend — fathers become depressed and non-involved, and within 3 years, one study found, 40 percent of children in an unequal visitation arrangement had lost complete touch with their non-custodial parents, which are nearly always the father.

Have a listen:


Other ways to listen: iTunes  ♦  Stitcher   ♦  TuneIn   ♦  SoundCloudGoogle Play


Read more about Emma Johnson's stance in favor of shared parenting, empathy for absentee fathers, and other related topics here:

The real reason your ex doesn’t see the kids

How to get dads involved in divorced and separated families

Related books:

Kickass Single Mom, Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children, By: Emma Johnson

Blend, The Secret to Co-Parenting and Creating a Balanced Family, By: Mashonda Tifrere

Co-parenting with a Toxic Ex: What to Do When Your Ex-Spouse Tries to Turn the Kids Against You, By: by Amy J. L. Baker, PhD and Paul R Fine, LCSW

Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing, By: Dr. Richard A. Warshak

What do you think? Are you a dad who no longer sees his kids? Why? Please share in the comments …

Or, are you the mother of a child with an absentee father? What is your response?

Here is my advice to moms and dads whose other parent is not involved.

If you are tempted to turn your child against the other parent, or not sure what is the best kind of parenting time arrangement, keep it simple, and equal. In fact, there are now more than 60 studies that prove that equally shared parenting is best for children (and, moms and dads!).

While we're at it, have a read about why a simple, fair 50-50 shared parenting time with no child support is the best, fairest, and most feminist arrangement.

To prevent this kind of trauma, here are some tips to healthy co-parenting.

Are you a child of a father who is not, or was not, around? What do you say to this dad?

About Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.

339 Comments

  1. Palmasailor on June 16, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    To be honest it’s a miracle that any man ever touches another woman after he’s been through the alienation process by his ex.

    I haven’t got close to one since and I don’t know any other man that has either.

    I’ve just turned into an older player.

    • Fred Reilly on June 20, 2019 at 12:09 pm

      I am going through this process with my child’s mother. This week (It has been a year and half since my daughter has visited my family in California) my daughter’s mother cancelled my daughter’s trip two days before he flight. The reason she said she cancelled was due to growth hormone treatments. I called the doctor and found out that there was no reason her two week trip should have been cancelled. Anyway, my family and I spent a lot of money and planning for this trip only to end up with a broken heart. I do fly out to see her every 4 months but I no longer get along with the grandmother, who acts like Stevie is her child. Stevie’s mother and grandmother are the most controlling and manipulative people I know.

      I read this article and have decided to take the same stance. I will no longer beg to see her one or two weeks out of the year. Hopefully, when she gets older, I could resume my relationship with her then.

  2. Dennis Sarpong on June 15, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    This is really an interesting article and difficult situations for both parents. Currently, am in a similar situation, and it’s really difficult for me to live without my daughter. Fortunately, me and girlfriend didn’t get married but we used to live together and had our baby girl. I have been involved in my daughter’s life until our separation because I couldn’t tolerate her disrespectful and cheating attitude. After walking, we agreed on $300 a month and I will pick up my daughter every Sunday while she goes to work. I have been abiding by the agreement and everything involved until I met someone else. My ex-girlfriend doesn’t want my daughter to come to my house because I have met someone else. She said that in plain language to me. And I have been consistently given her the $300 every month. When it was my daughter’s birthday, I had to beg her to take my daughter out since it’s her birthday. I picked her up from her grandma’s place, and after picking her up, within one hour, the grandma called to tell me that I should return my daughter and I ended up spending only two hours with her. The funny part of it is, my ex continues to give my daughter out to her friends and family friends to take my daughter out and to their houses but not me (the biological father). On top of all these insults, she has sent me to the court (child support), and I asked her what for? She said because I don’t care about my daughter and that the money is too small. Whenever, my daughter sees me, she will run up to me and doesn’t want to go back to them. For the sake of peace, I don’t want to argue with her when it comes to my daughter. I have tried to be as respectful as I can but, it looks like I am being used. For about six months now, the longest time I have spent with my daughter is 3 hours, and while outsiders are enjoying and getting familiar with my daughter. I have receipts and evidence of being responsible in the life of my daughter when we go to the court. I don’t want full custody, I would prefer split custody. Does any of you think I have a case? And do I stand a chance of getting a split custody. I really wants to be involved with my daughter.

  3. Vee on June 10, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    As a woman, I would like the opinions of fathers –

    How would you advise a mother to coparent with a father when they are not in a relationship?

    I am not angry at the father, I just don’t want a relationship with him due to multiple reasons. I have told him I want him to have a relationship with our child, and that relationship with our child does not demand that I be in a relationship with him. I am open to joint custody, though it seems the father is determined that we live together as a family unit.

    I do not want to be the difficult mom that separates her child from the father, and I’m looking for the best way to go about this for the child, and also for my sanity and well being.

  4. Adam on June 8, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    I am about to start this kind of battle.

    My ex and I were together for 8 years, before I found her cheating. To be honest we’d been drifting apart for a while so I pretty much forgave it instantly, but it made me realise we shouldn’t be together anymore. She didn’t accept it well, she assaulted me while I was holding our son, she threatened suicide if I didn’t come back, etc. But after a month or 2 she got things together. While separated we had a 50/50 childcare split, I had my son Monday morning to Thursday evening, she had him Thursday evening to Monday morning. My ex and I had almost zero contact during this time as our son was dropped off at and picked up from kindergarten. It worked, with no paperwork or lawyers required. All good.

    After being separated for around a year i met my current SO, and she fell pregnant after we had been together for 10 months. I spoke to my ex and let her know the situation and that I was going to be finalising the divorce. Everything changed. My ex refused to even speak to me about it so I needed to hire a lawyer, she then refused to speak to the lawyer too. At the first court hearing she accused me of assault, abuse, of regular cheating and numerous other things. She then told the judge that she was refusing to get divorced. I mean if I’m as bad as she said you’d think she’d be desperate to get a divorce right?

    I asked for the joint custody to continue, she also rejected this, and demanded full custody with no visitation for me. Eventually I was awarded custody on every second weekend, and half of all school holidays. Not enough time, but better than nothing. My son used to tell me regularly that his mum and grandparents always tell him how bad I am, or that I’m not his family, that my new daughter isn’t his family. But it’s ok, because he doesn’t believe them.

    3 months later my ex ran away with our son. Nobody made any attempt to find her. I’ve since found her living in the U.K. (where both me and my son are from) it’s been 3 months now since I saw my son. The country that we were all living in (my ex’s home country) isn’t signed up to The Hague convention so my ex will face no punishment for this child abduction. If I go back to the U.K. to fight for my son I face a court battle, that will cost thousands of pounds, could take up to 2 years and on top of that I’ll have to leave my SO and daughter behind while I do it as the visa process is complicated and lengthy. If I don’t go back then my son is being raised by someone who has committed child abduction, is a consistent liar, and has clearly demonstrated that she has no interest in what’s best for him.

    The laws on these issues are clearly broken. They’re sexist, and they’re not in children’s best interests.

  5. Mark Bundgus on June 5, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    This is a terrible, terrible world that discards so many fathers. All the hateful people that make comments that fathers must have done something wrong to ‘deserve’ being thrown out of the lives of their children must think they have never done anything wrong, and that they ‘deserve’ to be in sole control of children. This is a fallen world.

    To fathers that have been cheated on, falsely accused of terrible things, and spat upon by the court systems, remember this when you are sitting in your car, at the designated time and location, with your stack of court papers signed by a judge, and your ex just refuses to comply with court orders. Remember this when the police tell you that their District Attorney had directed that they don’t enforce state law felonies for interference with child possession time. Remember this when you have realized that you could comply with the designated orders for 1,000 years and it would never help your kids:

    God knows the truth.

    Your awful ex may have ‘won’ and you and your kids have ‘lost.’ Your kids may be brainwashed. Maybe for the rest of their lives. But God will redeem all. In heaven there will be no more lies, nor more hate, and no family court system. And no amount of child support payments or alimony or expensive vacations will save your ex from their judgement. And I sure don’t want to stand before God as a family court judge.

    My wife and I have met many couples, including a woman that goes out of their way to encourage their kids to have a relationship with a father that was just released from prison. Think about that for a second. This woman could take the hateful path of blocking their kids from having a relationship with their father, a convicted felon just released from prison. The courts would allow it simply by nor enforcing any of the father’s ‘rights.’ She surely would get plenty of encouragement to take that path. But she chose not to block their father. Instead, she spends her weekends and weekdays driving the kids to see their dad, because he doesn’t have a car. Imagine that for a second. Really, just think about that – this is the ideal that we think about for mothers – we imagine them doing what is best for their children even when it isn’t personally convenient for them. We hope they will reject the hateful ‘advocacy groups’ and reject the court systems that show them that they don’t have to do what is right. And sometimes, even if rarely, it does happen.

    I am so very sorry for all the dads that have had their children stolen from them. And I’m sad for you and your kids that were denied their dad by someone filled with hate; whether you were a perfect dad or not.

    • Angel Brown on June 9, 2019 at 4:58 pm

      God bless you

  6. Peace on June 3, 2019 at 4:41 am

    Thomas Kmetz, your words are true. I am sorry for your pain and that of the others who have posted here. For the others, please don’t give up. Read Thomas’ words and hang in there. I hope that you continue to show up for your children and reach out to them. Keep sending them your love, show them that you think of them and are always there for them, even in small ways. Whatever you can. Text messages, gifts, time spent together. Show up for school events and activities. Most parents can access school info online and both parents have the right to be in contact with teacher. Your children will notice that you show up for them. And if your exes are truly bad parents who do not act in the interest of your children, remember that your children NEED you. But if your exes are good,stable parents, then minimize the conflict and make peace. Kids hate the conflict more than anything. Take the high road – there is no other way: My mom tried to alienate my dad and I didn’t want much to do with him when I was a teen, but over the years we have become closer. He never stopped showing me love and support in his own quiet way. We didn’t talk much, but his quiet , calm presence was a balm compared to her histrionics and drama. He never said a negative word about her but he didn’t need to. She did all of the alienating and it eventually backfired. If you behave well with your children they WILL see and feel your love. If your ex partner is evil and manipulative, chances are that one day, your children WILL see through her too. My 3 sisters and I all eventually did, but it was a slow process, and had my dad walked away from us, we would have lost the chance to have a loving and stable parent. We now all have good relationships with our father and stay away from our mother because of her manipulative ways…..Had our dad given up on us, we would have accepted his abandonment and I don’t know how things would have turned out. Fast forward 30 years: I left my own abuser husband after 28 years and my 85 year old dad was the one who showed up for me, reminding me to have courage, When I was completely terrified. For most girls, our Daddy is our protector, and I was grateful that he was there! My childrens’ father, the abuser, moved 75 miles away, and has continued to claim victim hood, parental alienation, etc , because I left him and his abuse was covert, all the while that he dated, remarried, and barely chooses to show up for the kids. He told the children I had an affair and fights me for the support that he giives me. I work full time and care for my kids. I drive them up to see their dad. Your children are lucky that their father wants to provide for them, play ball with them and do the things that they enjoy. Please don’t stop loving them! if you are a good parent , they need you!! and every little bit of concern and caring will make a difference to them. Peace.

  7. Jeffrey T Conklin on May 26, 2019 at 12:56 am

    I’m currently in This position where I get my kids every two weekends i get my kids it really does feal painful not being able to see my children everyday ive raised my girls she has attempted to place a restrainning order on me however it didn’t stand it was placed as a behavioral order refrain from stalking harrassing etc
    However I’m fealing so much and just debating on giving up anymore my two baby girls come here and say they want there mother meanwhile I literally take them to park every weekend I have them and we spend as much time as i can together with them I had my oldest daughter when I was 18 a couple months after we got married we lived at her mom and dads house where everyday I was forced to do outside work and work on there yard and everything 2 years later we decide to move in my brothers x girlsfriends house with my wife and daughter big mistake on my part where i was accused everyday by her eventually she attempted to kill herself i grabbed the knife in attempt to save her life and she cut 5 fingers open so i put a restrainning order on her in pike county later 3 months I move back in her mom and dads house drop the restrainning order get back with her and end up having another child we moved in 3 diffrent places lived in hurleyville ny/liberty ny on chestnut st witch was probably the best place for us we hardly ever faught then we ended up moving to liberty commons in liberty ny 6 months later she ends coming up with some bullshit where she came home told me she wanted a break from our marriage then 2 weeks later on nov 21st she places a restrainning order on me (as mentioned above didnt stand) but yes I get to see my kids I thought it was the greatest moment of my life therefore I didnt realize how much stress its really putting on myself I love those kids with all my heart I’ll do anything for them I’m also fealing this point where I wanna give up because of all the mental stress its putting me through its not me walking away because im a bad dad its putting me to the point where I might do something I might later regret or do something i wont be able to regret because i won’t be walking anymore amongst this earth
    I dont wanna step away from my whole life
    I dont know what to do anymore im so confused because my choice wont only impact me it’ll impact my mother father and sister there all really into my children’s lives do i just move away and never look back?

  8. Drawing the line – Struggle for Justice on May 25, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    […] I ask you, especially you Canadians, what would you have done if a government scammed you out of your good life with lies, took everything you have, enslaved you, tortured you, dehumanized you for years; forced you to making a choice between starvation and homelessness and being with your infant child; most importantly, helped kidnapping of your child and made it impossible for you to get her back with illegal, inhumane games? What would you do to that government if you were capable of responding in kind? Would you retaliate by knowing that innocent people will get harmed if it meant getting your child back? What would you do if you have tried every legal option under the sun and nothing worked? Would you rather be a good mother or father and force that government to return your child by using all the means available to you or would you rather be a good human being and abandon your child by either ending your own life as some do or by running away? […]

  9. Drawing the line – Justice Struggle on May 24, 2019 at 12:07 am

    […] I especially ask Canadians, what would you have done if a government scammed you out of your good life with lies, took everything you have, enslaved you, tortured you, dehumanized you for years; forced you to making a choice between starvation and homelessness and being with your child; most importantly help kidnapping of your child and made it impossible for you to get her back with illegal, inhumane games? What would you do to that government if you were capable of responding in kind? Would you retaliate by knowing that innocent people will get harmed if it meant you could get your child back? What would you do? Would you rather be a good mom/dad and take that government down by using any means or a good man and abandon your child by either putting a bullet into your heads or running away? […]

  10. Holidat on May 23, 2019 at 4:44 am

    Oh brother. Men that do not get contact with their kids should have learned how to communicate, care, and actually be in a healthy relationship with the mother. So few men are capable of this. This guy obviously did something wrong, like most men.

    • Michelle on June 1, 2019 at 6:06 pm

      Completely agree. These men make themselves sound like victims instead of taking personal responsibility.

      • Reggie on June 3, 2019 at 3:33 am

        I have to disagree with you, as a father and a divorce lawyer, I have learned that many people are unaware of the depths people will go through to hurt someone in a divorce case. Men do not make themselves the victims this often occurs on the way they are treated by the court system. In divorces both parties need to be more responsible in the separation process. It’s unfair to say men make themselves the victim and not acknowledge that some women may do the same.

    • Dena on June 6, 2019 at 11:19 pm

      You are wrong to judge a person if you don’t the situation. I’m living with a man and he’s been put thru the same situation with his baby mama. I’ve tried to help with the relationship and communication since I was a single mom for 10 yrs but had a good relationship with my ex. This baby mama is a liar, sociopathic and most likely bi polar. You can’t win with these type of individuals

  11. Thesystemdoesntwork on May 21, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    This is sad. I don’t get why laws are not equal for everybody. There are good dads that suffer extortion by their kids’ moms. This shouldn’t be allowed. And the law should be there to avoid this, but its not. The system fails fathers all the time. They say “for the welfare of the kid” but they don’t make it easy for the child to have time with the dad. Some women are not mature enough to be moms. Usually women act by feelings and not with reasoning. They hate the man that impregnated them but now there is this new human that doesn’t belong just to the mom to put all that anger into them. The child is a dad and mom topic and if a dad really wants to share some time with that kid , the mother shouldn’t have the power to interfere. (unless of course the kid’s life is in danger)
    I never got to spend time with my dad and not because my mom ever prohibited my dad to do so, but because he didn’t have the interest. But i think if my mom was making it difficult for me to see my father, i would have been full of resentment because it would be my mom’s fault that I didn’t have time with my father. But that wasn’t the case.
    I feel sad for these dads that do want to spend time with their kids but the moms make it so freaking difficult. I mean if you, mom, hate the dad then hate him but that doesn’t mean that because the dad doesn’t want to be with you, he doesn’t want to be with the kid either. Its totally different. Stop making it difficult for the father to be with their kids. Just stop! And grow up and be a mother. A real one!
    Hopefully, the laws change at some point in the not so far future and the fathers get the right as well to spend time with the kids if thats what they want to do.
    In the meantime, at least fathers have the hope that your kids will grow up at some point where you won’t need to beg to spend some time with your kids to the mothers or judges anymore. So hang in there good dads.

  12. Jason on May 20, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    It hurts so much. I chose the third action. I’ve fought the temptation to quit, and I’ve had to keep battling for two and a half years just to get to a third of the time with my children. How I long to be a full-time father again. The courts don’t care about history or context. Justice is rather stale.

  13. Daniel on May 20, 2019 at 7:51 am

    It is vary painful what we men pass through n the hand of our ex. Wife I am an example, for over a year I haven’t seen my son who is just 13 months when the mother apply for a divorce. She have accused me of a threat to her and my 13 months old son. She have ask for supervised visits because she and the child is not safe around me, she have accused me of threatening to kidnapped our own child, she said I am abusive to the child, investigation have go on, none of this is true, yet she is still playing the game of unsafey. She is not interested in away how I can see our child but only call for money. And the court is not doing anything. Being supported by the so call social worker. Instead she think the child is better of without me around. Is a painful experience.

  14. Lauren LaBar on May 19, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    I stubbled across this article while trying do some research about the same subject, just different circumstances.
    My grandmother and I have shared custody of my 13 year old son, who has been diagnosed with both High Functioning Autism and Oppositional Difiant Disorder.
    Knowing her and I could not live together, as we do not get along, I still moved her into my home after she lost hers. Something as sad as it is to say, because she is after all my Grandmother, I regret.
    She not only underminds my authority when it comes to my son and downgrades me as a mother, she also continues to baby him, which makes it very difficult to try and get him prepared for adulthood.
    Not only do I deal with her and her “nastiness”, my child has also become very disrespectful to me as well. Yes, I realize teenagers say things they don’t mean. I myself wasn’t the greatest to my own mother during those years. However, I honestly do believe my son hates me.
    I may be a mother, and I may love my son more than he ever realize, but I am still human.. and I do have feelings.
    The treatment I receive is so hurtful and hard to bare, that I have lost myself. My soul feels empty.. dead. I don’t even know who I am or what my purpose is anymore. I am just a body.
    Even those who knew me, tell me I’m not the same.
    I contimplate everyday about given in and given up. Giving him what he wants.. who he loves – HER. But I’m so stuck. Do I let the people around me continue to tear me down both mentally and emotionally until I just “remove” myself all together, because she made me lose him once and I refuse to be without him again?? Or do I let go, and never forgive myself for that either?? Either way, I lose.
    But I also worry that if I don’t just give up, I may never find myself again. That what/who I have become will be all that I am.

  15. Keely on May 8, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    Watching my children grow up without their father hurts my heart. My dream was never to be a single mom, much less a single mom who has to answer the questions like “does daddy still love me?” “Why does daddy not call?”
    The reality is, daddy is sick. Daddy can’t stay sober. Daddy loves you very much and I wish he was here too. And that’s the truth.
    We end up talking about their feelings and laughing at funny memories of daddy. And as much as I can hug them, teach them, discipline them, love them, I can never fill that spot in their lives. I can never be dad. I can play pitch and catch, I can talk to them about girls/boys eh o might like them, I can teach them to be a lady and gentleman, but I can not teach my son to be a man, and I can not teach my daughter certain things about men…..only their daddy can do that.

    Men, step up, sober up, man up, grow up….be the dad he/she needs you to be. Even when it’s hard, even when it hurts. Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t give up on them. Find courage to persevere.

    • Ralph Wisconsin on May 14, 2019 at 4:51 am

      This is my situation exactly – toxic ex wife, three kids, I spend so much money on kids on my every other Saturday plus the $2200 a month child support. I pay three huge bills for lawyer, guardian ad Litem, court costs. In court for almost 2 years, the system is so biased against the father it has not funny. Was thrown in jail on false charges when she filed for divorce, never once had any issues with law or women before or since. She called me, my friends, my family, even my lawyer names. I love my kids but I have to check out, they are getting coached and have heard untrue stuff about me. I would rather be a big brother , but for now I have to pay massive bills for next 6 years before oldest is 18.
      I used to have different opinions on this, I now see why so many fathers simply give up.

      • Tina on May 16, 2019 at 6:00 pm

        I totally understand what you mean. I’m a mother who’s going through this at the moment.

      • Brenda on May 22, 2019 at 2:15 am

        So why is your ex wife so toxic? You did something. You have 3 kids. Which assumes to belief the oldest has memories of you saying/doing something ‘wrong’ that has triggered him to ‘belief his moms lies’ Sorry dude. Seems like you’re just pist off your ex left you and won along with child support that you obviously hate to pay cuz u whine about it a lot. You’re the toxic one.

        • Brenda hater on May 26, 2019 at 12:35 am

          After scrolling thru some of the comments, all i see you is bash and make assumptions on what YOU think went down. You have nothing better to do than spew your negativity on these comments? Have some freaking compassion we are all human, we make mistakes, but using a child against someone is just harsh. You are right they are alot of situations where the fathers are complete dick heads. But not everyone is like that. If you have nothing positive to say, keep it to yourself Brenda.

          • Brenda hater 2 on June 11, 2019 at 8:26 pm

            There are some women so toxic, the laws are so skewed I have seen innocent men driven to insanity. The laws are from the 50s when many women got abused, nowadays women via courts have all the power and those that are abusive towards their husbands will someday be abusive towards their kids. No wonder men give up on their kids- even if they are drug free with a good job and no criminal history. I am not saying all women are abusive (or no men are abusive) – I am saying that a woman has all the say and she has to be the biggest loser to not win custody in today’s court system. No wonder some women never have the father in the kids lives – the whole society is geared against him regardless of his character. US courts need to be like foreign courts – assume 50/50 and make them prove otherwise. Otherwise you will have a society filled with toxic single moms and abused kids, who turn into toxic single moms themselves.

  16. Carol Logan on April 30, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    I have and now my new husband is enduring the “alienation” – it is very real and true thing. Ignored texts and calls – even when things were kind of good there were games, comments such as child not wanting to go. Now, husband was using (he is clean now) and did not pick up child and for this (understandably) is cause for the alienation – but I sure wish parents could truly co-parent — the primary parent seems to hold the other parent to such a high standard like they are another one of their children. Anyhow, begging, texting, no door answered – it’s punishment at it’s finest – does the child really need to see a bully parent do this and the other parent must accept not only are they not perfect, or that nothing can be talked out or discussed – just banishment. I think that kind of co-parenting is sickening and just as bad and unhealthy as for 2 parents to stay together for the kids — toxic co-parenting is really unhealthy and instead of the angry primary co-parent going and getting their own counseling – they act out their anger towards the other parent and the kid watches. The kid some say needs to say the other parent will do anything for them even be bullied and cause disharmony for all – or do you step back – I chose stepping back – it was putting my kids in the middle – they could see what was going on – I stayed ready, willing and waiting and did any appointments needed (which was one of the few times called) I think child support should be paid but toxic primary parents need to get support for themselves not take everything out on the co-parent and the end result is in my opinion some children learn to be manipulative, bullies and most of all unhappy. The withholding – or unwillingness to work through things for the sake of the child is beyond toxic and cruel to ones self and all those involved. Single parents sometimes are so busy playing games and not utilizing the self care they can do when sharing custody fairly and respectfully. Doesn’t anyone ever remember – when the parents were having happy moments the kids were truly the happiest! All was safe and ok. Hope in time parents grasp this for future co-parenting parents.

  17. Coombs on April 25, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    I am going through this decision process TODAY 2.5 years of hell, fighting for any chance to maintain a relationship with my daughter. This story is 100% mine as well. Been dragged to court over a dozen times, never lost in court but it makes no difference. Ive decided to step away. I’ll pay my monthly payment and hope that when my daughter is old enough i can explain and she’ll understand and forgive me. Im glad i read this article. Is meant a lot to me. Thank you.

  18. Paul Johnsen on April 24, 2019 at 7:05 am

    This makes me so sad and so so so not alone. I am in this exact situation and today, right now, am at a crossroads as to whether I do continue this or do I stop. My sons mother has and still does, at every single turn, make it her life’s mission to sabotage and ruin every aspect of our relationship. She took him for no reason, I was actually in a hospital bed having final chemotherapy. I cam home and she was gone. Everything. I didnt see my son for 2 mnths after that. I had to move, I had no job, she had cancelled the apartment we lived in. Did I mention I was in Sweden and did not speak a single word of swedish?
    SO far, for 7 years (my son is 6.5) I have driven 700km every week to see him for 1 day, its a 4.5hr one way drive. I pay all of my support, always, I pay for EVERYTHING and it has cost me countless hours in the car, in court and over $500,000.

    From the smallest thing, like swimming lessons and getting an award, to doctors visits and holidays, I get nothing. IT is HELL that I would never wish on anyone. I have been lied about, called all kinds of names and she has done things with SOcial Services (who are family friends would you believe and the court dont seem to care) that not even my lawyer believed initially. She has forged my signature, taken money from accounts, closed accounts, accessed information, accused me of driving unlicenced and was apprehended by 5, yes 5 police for her accusation of driving unlicenced (which I wasnt).

    ANd what do I get? NOTHING. I have remarried and have a beautiful wife and a new baby and my sons mother STILL wont stop. I dont want to fight, I dont want to argue, all I want is my son.

    WHich makes me ask, why? WHy does she do this? She got what she wanted, she tricked me into taking my child, I am over 350km away, she gets money. SO why does she still continue 6 years later? What is the purpose.

    So as I said, now I am at the exact crossroads right now as to what to do. I have always said and always sworn to fight for him, but I can see it is all coming to nothing. I am losing him in his mind, in fact I would say its already lost.

    I dont know what to do but I do know I cannot keep doing this.

    • Brenda on May 22, 2019 at 2:07 am

      Really? You have NO IDEA why your ex wife ran away and hid for 2 months? Sounds like she was scared of you. Just because you were in chemo does not mean you were a nice innocent man. Most countries have a abandonment of home law that you could have filed and would of granted you more leaway and been able to have more control of the outcome. Seem’s like you gave up once you made a new family.
      You can try skype you can try online games. BUT i dont get why you only got 1 day visitations.. Seems like she got something on you! And let’s be real. In court you have to PROOVE things so none of that yappy yap about ‘making up lies’ That’s the lie. Yes ppl lie but if they cant prove it the judge ignores their statement etc.
      You did something to that ex of yours and like any typical being, you act like “idk’.

  19. alain smithee on April 22, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Like the author, I gave up trying to get the courts to let me see my kids in the interests of my health and sanity. And for the trolls out there, I am still paying half of my take home pay as ‘child support’ to my very …ex-wife and her cohabiting paramour so your assumption that I am a “deadbeat” is false.

    I have also told my children that my door is always open to them, and that I’m read to listen when they are ready to talk, but that I’m tired of the battles, the false accusations, and their mothers lies (that both they and the family court judge have caught her in).

    I just hope and pray that I don’t live the rest of my days without my children in my life.

  20. Steve More on April 19, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    To all of those who thinks that this article is BS and this is something outlandish. In many cases this is true. I was in EXACTLY THE SAME SITUATION. I was accused by my ex of being abusive to her and children (excuse to get a house,) and my court appointed attorney tried to push me to take a plea (I did not, because had plenty of proof that she is lying). I was a victim where my ex had affairs while I was working. I was accused of sexually molesting my children (Proven that it is not true and case was closed by child protective services). Kids were trained to call me by my first name and the ex-convict that my ex married call dad, daddy, father. I was accused to kids that I did not pay for the house and don’t pay child support (Not true again and caught up with her in court). Kids were told that I am “just a biological father and the real father is the man who wakes you up in the morning and cooks for you”… And etc and etc and etc.

    To make a long story short and to bring some hope to those fathers that are still fighting and want to be in children’s lives….

    Outcome of my case:
    1. Received sole custody to retrieve children from a different state (Had to hire a private detective to locate my children)
    2. Kids now live with me with total 8 weeks vacation with their mother.
    3. $2,500.00 in child support out of $3,000.00 per month earned, no longer taken by my lazy ex and her new ex-con husband and money now goes for my children.
    4. 1 year living with me and my kids, even when they are angry still call me Dad.

    Side Note:
    1. Ex still receives phone calls from kids every single day (I want to stop it emotionally, however will not be stopped because it is not about me, but about the children) They still miss their mother and I just hope they will realize later and appreciate my efforts to be in their lives and my efforts to make them better and compassionate human beings.
    2. Ex does not want to pay child support and cancel or schedules something just to deplete me and kids financially. Side effect of getting married to the wrong woman and a boost to my self appreciation that I did not degrade to her level. She can do whatever she wants now and the more ways she will try to get under my skin the more ammo I will have against her in case she will try to get kids away from me again.

    ALL MEN. If you are discouraged and depressed, and rightfully so. Have a HOPE and keep on fighting for your rights. You and your kids will be rewarded in a long run. You are needed. Kids don’t understand what they are saying and confused. Help your kids by fighting those women that should NOT BE EVEN have an honorable title of mother.

  21. disgusted by abusers on April 17, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    Whoever is writing this sounds like an entitled, coercive domestic abuser. Are you paying child support while being so high and mighty?

    If you had a protection order against you there’s a reason. A permanent one is NOT easy to get, that’s one of many lies in here, along with several obvious points of verbal and emotional abuse towards your ex while you play victim.

    Which is probably why she only wants to respond to in writing which is a SMART AND FAIR thing to do if you’ve been verbally abusive to her as you have in this writing.

    You pass along a lot of myths and half truths here that are easily swept aside by studies and documentation. For example, it is not true that children do best with both parents if one has been abusive. The truth is that witnessing emotional and physical abuse is permanently damaging to a child’s psyche and can change not only a child’s emotional safety and sense of self but their biochemistry.

    What’s also true is that a man who wants to be a father is awarded joint or sole custody 70% of the time even when he’s committed domestic violence. So what’s your excuse? Something fishy here… if you deserved custody you would have gotten it.

    The fact that you didn’t is very telling and it sounds like your ex is being a righteous protective mama bear not “baggage” and I pity her for having had to deal with you.

    I’m sure your son will be better off with a healthy, not entitled step father.

    Entitlement like yours, where you’ve made ALL of this about YOU, is the number one sign of an abuser. That you think you refuse to be cowed by the courts and that’s somehow a better value than being a good man for your son only demonstrates that further: it’s all about power and control with you.

    The number two and three signs of an abuser.

    That’s what you’re really after. You want things your way and if you don’t get your way you walk away.

    Don’t have more kids. Please

    • Windrunner on April 18, 2019 at 5:37 pm

      disgusted by abusers on April 17, 2019 at 10:30 pm

      You’re an idiot. My story is very similar. I have never raised a finger, been abusive, been in trouble with the law or anything ‘fishy’. All I want is to be a father. My relationship with my daughter is hanging by a thread. After her indoctrination by her mother. Mind games and relentless fabrication of her wish to denigrate and desparage me at EVERY given opportunity. Looking for angles and spin to blacken my name. All I do is give love and affection to my daughter. I get not much back. Distant, no reply to calls and messages. Oh the occasional request for materialistic things, which I simply will not do give in to. If I dont buy her the latest iphone. I’m cruel, I’m a miser, I don’t care. I buy my daughter an iphone, I’m buying her affection, trying to win her over. So there you have it you cretinus individual. walk a mile in his shoes you prat,

    • Melissa on April 20, 2019 at 8:06 pm

      the author sounds like my ex. No excuse for walking away. She was probably upset you weren’t prioritizing her and your son in the first place instead of you spending your free time at the bar. This wreaks of entitlement and no acceptance of responsibility .. what a speciall snowflake you are putting yourself above your son… accusing your ex of baggage after I am sure you
      caused it. Lol men want to be treated and respected as men…. act with some respect in the first place at least towards your child. Funny you found a way of validating walking away from YOUR CHILD but what if your ex was too walk away… what then… there’s no excuse. Shameful

      • Ivette on May 19, 2019 at 6:51 pm

        Melissa, I think you are judging this man. I am married to a divorce man with an adult child and a minor who has autism. All that I can say, is that some women take advantage of their privileges the court gives to them. Some women abuse the fathers economically and emotionally just because they can. My husband has been abused by his ex wife and she takes every opportunity to come out with bills that dont make sense. She is getting 3,100 for child support, medical insurance, life insurance, plus 2,700 from SSI and that is not enough for her. I work full time and I don’t even make that money. My husband took the decision to stop seeing his autistic son because he doesn’t speak, he doesn’t interact with anyone and just keeps hitting himself when the mother forces him to come to visit dad. This is child abuse because he likes his routine and doesn’t want to be with us. His ex wife doesn’t care that he keeps screaming and hitting himself, she just wants to have free time for her. She can get a baby sitter with the money she has but she doesn’t want to spend the money in that. Enough is enough. You have to take in consideration each case and don’t judge this man. Don’t think that women are right all the time. They’re humans and as humans, they abuse people too.

    • Jarus rian on April 21, 2019 at 12:53 am

      My mother in law is controlling my wife and encouraged my wife to leave me even her dad my mother in law also said that my son is her only hope my wife wont live with me and took my son to her house no phone calls not messages I can’t even see my son the more i think pf him i feel sad but i am relieved somehow that he can grow in a peaceful environment without witnessing his parents fighting. A man can’t express his sadness and pain but he drowns in it. I still feel the sharp pain in my chest when I think of my son and all the things i missed as a father, it also hurts to realize that the women i married is not with me when i needed her the most even though i tried talking to her and know what is that she wants she never opened up to me she even called cops on me for no reason and made false claim of violence when i never laid a hand on her or talked to her in a improper manner or abusive way. I am in a dark place i feel so lonely because the most important person my wife and kid are not with me no matter how hard i try or give time i am just alone. People should understand that life is short and we should embrace it live it with love. Hopefully one day people like my wife will understand. I left the rest on god.

    • Sandy Beach on April 22, 2019 at 2:46 pm

      Did you even READ his article??? I am the mother of a man who was never abusive in any way to his former wife….yet, she kicks him out of his own home and does it in an EMAIL!! He was left without a toothbrush. She then proceeded to post on social media what a victim she has been. I Iived with them for 4 out of their 6 years and never saw him be abusive, we don’t go for that kind of thing. Eventually she was confronted about all the lies by their mutual friends who knew what kind of father and husband he was. She has since had to create a whole new circle of acquaintance because she has lied on him so much. He has his kids EVERY weekend and 1 night during the week, because she wants her “free time”….I don’t want to hear anymore assumptions about divorced dads, The mom’s have all the power.

      • Mark on May 13, 2019 at 1:34 am

        Thank you for speaking the truth. Nothing worse than being lumped in with truly abusive men, just because you are a divorced man. I was cheated on multiple times, treated with total and complete lack of respect as a human heing. I was kind, loyal, patient and a loving father. My character was drug through the mud. Abusive and cheater. Lies spread about me on social media. Flying monkeys everywhere. The things people didnt know is that my daughters spent 7 straight days with me, when she left for her lover. In the 9 months of seperation before the divorce, i was the mother and father. I was the one meeting with teachers, principals, coaching sports teams pretty much doing 90% of the parenting. It wasnt until our divorce was final (extortion, blackmail, victim status) that she had time for the girls and her secret lover because well its too hard to be a cheater and a good parent. She made her choice. Then came the exploitation of our young daughters and her new lover all over social media, the day after the divorce. It was completely selfish, immature and a sign of somone with severe mental issues. But society gets off on it and encouraged it, by fake comments and fake likes. For a yr and a half i had our daughters every thursday-Sunday. I paid 900 a month in child support. Its very difficult to reason with the illogical and unreasonable. Her problems lay much deeper inside of her and she truly is somone who needs alot of help. My relationship has been strained with my daughters. They fear her, without her even having to say a word, especially when it comes to me and I get it. I was a grown up and she did it to me. There is no words she wont use to literally tear you apart in the worse possible way. The lies, the fake love. Its very disturbing to say the least. I see my daughters now 2 days a week. So i just keep it simple, love them as much as i can. But ultimately they have been indoctrinated to believe that she is the ultimate voice. Her new husband is conformant and probably is responsible for the kids the majority of the time. He and his family have been duped, unfortunately he will learn the hardway. People like this dont change. Im remarried now, have 2 boys. Some of the things my current wife has heard about me is mind blowing. Thank God she is a free thinker and an overall great person. Its easy to see if you want to. But my ex is pretty much everything she always claimed to hate and everything she has accused me of.

    • Paul Johnsen on April 24, 2019 at 7:15 am

      I am sorry but your attitude is one of the reasons why great dads are given such a hard time and it is sad that you are not alone in your thoughts. I have been in exactly the same situation (minus the protection orders etc) and I can absolutely tell you, that in my case, I am a professional and earn a lot of money, have a house, 2 cars, a great family life, pets and the stereotypically great family things. My sons mother has no job, relies on welfare, spends any money I give her on tattoos, sleeps on the lounge in a 1 bed apartment which she cannot pay for and she was given primary care rights.. Crazy right?

      I fought in court for 6 years ongoing, $500,000 and continuing and I have been accused of things you would be shocked at, with absolutely no proof. She just cries in court and says I dont pay, I left her etc etc etc yet I have all of the proof I need to prove her wrong in every aspect. BUT she still maintains control over my son and primary care. I have been harassed, run over by her family members in a car, targetted, sworn at and called all kinds of things in public, they turn up to court and just laugh at me.

      This is very real and unfortunately, becoming more and more common.

      Please try to think better of people if and when you know all of the facts. “Sounding” like something in written form is really difficult to interpret. I really wish you could see it from another perspective here. Good luck and hope you can have some patience as things arent always as simple.

    • Also disgusted by abusers on April 24, 2019 at 12:49 pm

      OMG you just made me burst into tears! In a good way. The article had me feeling horrible, thinking that my daughters Father probably will say this EXACT thing about ME. Everything in the article is our current situation except that he’s in jail and never had an attorney, But I had to resort to everything in writing, getting a protective order, dealing with emotional and verbal abuse in front of our baby etc. But reading the article I empathized a bit and started to feel like maybe I’ve been too hard on him until I got to your wonderful response. You just validated EVERYTHING I have been feeling for the last year and a half of my daughters life.

      I get that there are parents, both men AND women, who play the system, lie and try to manipulate their kids for personal gain or revenge but I have NOT been that way at all yet the outcome is the same and my daughters father would like write this EXACT article leaving out all of the facts and reasons behind my REACTIONS to his behavior.

      So anyway, thank you for your response to this

    • Meh on May 5, 2019 at 9:04 pm

      Angy much? Sounds like you need to work on your own shoulder chip than scold people on the internet.

    • Name on May 20, 2019 at 1:57 pm

      Some people are in the military, like me, I deploy and am gone. There’s nothing “fishy” about what I do. I’ve taken orders to be closer to my child, as soon as I did that, mom decided to move 12 hours away. Court wears you down mentally and financially. Because I’m always gone for work, I will never be awarded any semblance of custody. Just trying to talk via FaceTime to my child is a hassle. Mom constantly says my daughter is busy and won’t let me see her for days.

      You can tell me that I could get out of the military, but I’m 10 years away from a full retirement. You can tell me it’s my choice and it is. But if I had gotten out where would that leave me? Jobless, no insurance, retirement gone, and id still be fighting for scraps while my daughter slips further away.

      I’m still trying, but it is a daunting task. Everyone has a limit and for this individual he found his. Your judgement is annoying and inconsiderate.

    • Brenda on May 22, 2019 at 1:52 am

      I agree.
      Men, quit the drama. There are REASONS why your kids mom dislike you. There are reactions to your actions. So to prevent YOUR hurt. You rather abandon your child? That’s what I hear. Unless the kid is old enough to say no in court. You are still entitled to spend time with them and any reasonable judge will okay a check in call twice a week to be mandatory. If your kid is over 12 and chose to not see you. You fu*ked up and he resents you for it.

      Most people think that what was done in the relationship is between the parents but no. You hurt that child when you hurt their mom or vice versa. Unless the kid is under 3 he/she WILL remember. Also there are studies that show toddlers know and pick up the vibes.

      Most mothers are okay with the dad being in the picture. The only ones I’ve known to not be are the ones who suffered domestic violence or some kind of psychological abuse. But it you’re a ‘good dad’ then there are no reason for the kid to dislike you even if the mom badmouths you BECAUSE they never seen you be mean or heard you be mean ans you show them kindness. BUT if they have heard or seen you be mean to their mom THEY will make their opinion on you. But even then. Don”t stop contact. Regardless of how ‘they will grow up and understand’

      HOW WOULD YOU FEEL if as a child one of your parents stopped looking for you. calling you. visiting you. What’s worse How does your abandonment help them? You dont think they feel forgotten? You dont think it hurts their feelings that other kids have their dad to play ball with or see dads at their games or even practices. STOP the BS and accept you are playing the victim card.

      If you live far. Move nearby. Just because standard court docs say 4x’s a month doesn’t mean a mom wont accept your help in between. Have you ever even offered to help on Wednesdays or ask if they will let you take your kid out to ‘McDonalds’ after school or how about saying I want to do homework with them. Also schools let you visit your kids. All i’m saying cut the BS. you men did something shady to your ex’s.

    • Michelle on June 1, 2019 at 6:13 pm

      You’re dead on. A protection order is extremely hard to get granted by a judge without THREE incidents. There’s definitely information missing here.

  22. Rada on April 17, 2019 at 5:23 am

    Reading this in awe. I do respect so much those men who fight for their kids no matter what. I am on the side of a future mother now, 6 months pregnant, and had to leave the father of this kid behind in another country, because he tried to make me abort and said things like: nothing will stop me from fighting,I will not be a father now. Long story, will not share here. But! I never wanted to be a woman who becomes a single mom, or wants to keep the father out. But I am turning into that now. Its nobody’s wish for a child to grow up in single-parent family, or for him/her to witness all the problems his/her parents face, but it happens. I just wish we all would remain humans. I wish all those dads to be able to rejoin with their kids when those are grown. For me..I am not much for financial support from him, I just always wanted him to be a part of that kid’s life, but now I am not sure..as he did everything he could for me to lose this child, not seeing that I could only make this one decision, which is keeping this kid. Well, not that he wanted to become a part of my boys life. All those dads, good luck! I believe you will get your parenthood even though after some years. I wish as well for those women to realise the harm they are doing to their own kids.

    • Chris on April 17, 2019 at 12:47 pm

      Every man that considers marriage OR fatherhood should read stories like these. People are incredibly naive and think it won’t happen to them. Many become parents by accident. Men: right now before it’s too late have a vasectomy!

    • thomas r kmetz on May 21, 2019 at 1:27 pm

      There is an answer for the dads hurting (as I am constantly). When you read these stories, you see stress, pain, anxiety, strain on their current relationships, countless days thinking at 3 am when you have to get up for work, so much pain that you cannot watch a movie that has divorce or court cases, the burden you carry on your shoulders every damn day of your life, the coworkers and friends having to hear your “story” again and again with you just hoping for some healing. and lets not forget the countless tears. Of which I am fighting back right now as I think about my own “life situation” I assure you, There can be peace. The pain will never subside, nor will the tears, but you can get on with your life in peace rather than torture.
      In order to do so, we must stop resisting what is. Yes it is hard. But not as hard as what you are putting yourself through.
      Let it be. Look at what you have done as a father. We always look at the glass half full. “My son doesn’t talk to me”, “I just want to teach him how to grow up as a good man”, “This is unfair”, Millions of kids wish they had a father and mine disown me, (etc). And you are correct. But we never look at all that we did do for our children and continue to do financially if we are not there in person.
      What I am about to say is so hard to do, but you will find PEACE. You will still cry. You will still hurt. But you will have a quiet space inside, you will no longer be constantly tormented by thought.
      And that is; Accept this moment. (Yea right) I heard that. And yes it takes a while to sink in. Accept that right now, this moment your son(s)/daughter(s) do not want anything to do with you. Accept that you fought as hard as you could. Accept that your children have made a decision that you believe is wrong, That is crushing you, killing you, tearing you up inside. You are a FATHER. It is your job to teach your child the ways of life until adulthood right? How can you do that when your child refuses to talk to you?
      Accept that for you, (right now) it isn’t going to happen. “When you resist you persist” which means the more you resist what is, the more you will be in pain.
      Just as you are correct that there are millions of kids who cry because they want their dads in their life, so there are millions of dads who cry because they want their children in their life. What makes us hurting fathers so special that we should not feel pain? In other life situations it might be: Why did I get cancer? Why is it me that lost my house? Why did I have to marry such a ……. Or, for some other fathers; Why did my child have to die? Step out of your life situation and look. WE are not alone. WE are not the only people feeling pain on this earth.
      What I am suggesting you try is this: 1) ACCEPT your situation. Say to yourself. Yes, my son/daughter does not want me in their life and that is what it is. I do not like it, but that is, what is. 2) Know that you are not alone in your pain. Say to yourself, I know this is a common occurrence and I am not alone. 3) When the voices in your head start complaining, and say, “God, why doesn’t my son want anything to do with me? I just wanted to be the best dad”…. Take a breath. step back and say, this is out of my control and I accept what is. Hard? Yes. but it will stop the tormenting you are putting yourself through.
      If you think you can control your life, you will be in constant pain. We have no control. Your son/daughter has made a decision. A decision that hurts you, but it is their decision, not yours. It Is Their Decision, Not Yours! Accept their decision. Keep the door open if you can get that message to them. Perhaps they will come back. But that future day will not help you now. Accept what is. Accept the pain. Accept the “failure” you feel, Accept that your ex is doing everything she can to punish you. (And they can be damn good at it). Accept that you still have a life. Accept that it is not fair to your new wife/family to burden them with your pain. And the hardest step if you can even reach it; is to accept your child’s decision as if you wanted that decision and made that decision yourself. Then and only then will you find peace.
      I have been a police officer for 28 years. I have dealt with broken families for my whole career. I personally lost my 15 year old son who chooses to live with his mom. I have lost my custody battle in the courts. I have a 13 year old that is slowly choosing to do less and less with me ie: fishing, kayaking, practicing hitting, snow skiing…. but chooses to still come to my home everyday after school, (I bought a house a mile away and went for 50/50 custody when I got back on my feet).
      I live for every moment with my 13-year old because tomorrow he may be gone. I hurt. I cry…often, but I am at peace. I did not ask for this life situation but I have been dealt it. And I accept it.
      I hope this helps you, dad. I hope you can find peace too. Two suggestions. Get on you tube and listen to Echart Tolle and Mooji. I even bought a subscription to you tube where I download the videos and listen to them going and coming from work.
      One last thing. Cry. Do not hold it in. Yes we are men and men do cry. You are not human if you do not cry. Losing your child in death is the same as what we are going though. However, we do have a glimmer of hope that our child will come back someday. And if so, it will be our birthday. The best day EVER! Until then Accept the pain. Stop fighting it. Stop complaining. Start living again.

      • Janette on May 25, 2019 at 2:29 pm

        Your words are healing, I pray for you and so many who suffer in silence. Your a good man! I believe they will come to you when they are ready. Just don’t give up and make sure to take care of yourself while you wait for that day to come as it often does :)

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