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

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Mention the fatherless epidemic in the United States, and the arguments are polarizing:

Why fathers walk away after divorce

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.

Why do fathers give up?

This post challenges a cultural assumption that men willingly walk out on their children and are irresponsible, apathetic parents. Instead, we all suffer under a sexist culture and legal system that marginalizes fathers, and makes it hard if not impossible for them to be meaningfully involved with their children, for reasons including:

  • Sexist culture
  • Family and divorce courts that favor mothers
  • Many dads don't believe the child is theirs.You can buy a home DNA paternity test online that proves whether you are the father.
  • Parental alienation, in which one parent turns the kids against the other parent
  • One dad's compelling story about why he doesn't see his kids.
  • 637 reader comments and counting

Related: This is the real reason your ex doesn’t see the kids

How can a father walk out on his child?

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 of these points of view.

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 reader:

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.

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.

What to do when the non-custodial parent doesn't show up or cancels last minute

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 judgment, 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.

Related: Parental alienation: A call to change parenting culture — and law

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:


“I hate my child's father.”

Negative feelings for your kid's dad are totally normal and understandable, but unless he is actively hurting your child, you have to work through that and put your kid first. Mothers standing in the way of fathers' relationships with their kids is central to the reason fathers don't see their kids. Focus on being part of the healing — not the problem.

Co-parenting counseling can help, as can personal therapy for you. Work through feelings of grief over the loss of the relationship, and mourn your original vision for your family. Educate yourself on the importance of fathers' presence in their children's lives and how that benefits moms, too.

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

Learn more about parental alienation, and solutions for reuniting estranged parents and children in the documentary Erasing Family:

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.

50/50 custody — who pays child support?

Why coparenting is important

To prevent this kind of trauma, here are some tips to how to make co-parenting work:

  • Accept that mothers and fathers are equal. This is a gender equality issue
  • Accept that just because the other person doesn't parent like you do, that is not abuse.
  • Let him fail, succeed and find his own parenting style. Many dads become better fathers after divorce because they have to.
  • When communicating with him, use ‘your house' and ‘my house' … not ‘Home.' Same when you address the kids – “daddy's house” and “my house.” Both places are their homes..
  • Keep him posted on matters large and small. Even if he doesn't show up for the teacher meetings, or make the doctors appointments, keep him abreast of what is happening with the kids.
  • Buy him holiday and birthday presents on behalf of the kids.  

But the bigger challenge is to change our culture, from one in which it is presumed that fathers are incompetent, and mothers are the default primary parent. Terry Brennan of Leading Women for Shared Parenting, and an equality activist. Listen to our podcast conversation:

For more on co-parenting communication, and reasons for better shared parenting, read: Co-parenting rules–even with a difficult ex

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

Why fathers walk away after divorce?

It is either: Men are irresponsible douchebags who abandon their children to mothers, who are left to raise the children with few resources, or women are conniving, malicious, entitled nut-jobs who alienate fathers from their children while taking all said fathers' money.

How can a father walk out on his child?

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 of these points of view. 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.

Why do fathers give up?

Instead, we all suffer under a sexist culture and legal system that marginalizes fathers, and makes it hard if not impossible for them to be meaningfully involved with their children, for reasons including: sexist culture, parental alienation, courts that favor mothers, and more.

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.

739 Comments

My experience

I’m basically on the verge of giving up, i was only with my ex for a very short time, In that time i became a father and she became a mother for the second time. We worked hard to make things work between us, but she lead me to believe that we could be together again but only because she wanted things out of me. After about a year and a half of battling with her shes given up on me, shes got that i dont care do what you want attitude. Iv noticed iv became a recluse and my life has become work and see my son. I’m pretty sure I’m detaching myself from it because i want to be the selfish person i once was and Work hard gym hard and go on adventures. But at the same time i feel guilty if i take this path. I’m fed up with the arguments and and consent “your days are your days with your son” I’m just like… when do i get time for me? In the evening after work or the mornings i.have off? It doesn’t seem fair to me,

I’m I’m shift worker and i only get the odd weekend off… is it fair i.have my son every weekend i don’t think it is. This causes moor rows with my ex and she then gets it.her way and i see my son only for him to be with a depressed father.. some one point me in the right direction because I’m so close to walking away from this.

You should’ve worn a condom. If you don’t want to be a father because having a weekend off is more important, just get out of this kids life and stay out. The worse thing you can do is in and out. I don’t feel sorry for you. My husband would kill to have his child every other weekend and he works. It’s called being an adult.

Well what do you do when the father uses the excuse he lives too far away and gas is expensive? Noone told him to move that far away. Actually noone told him to sleep with that thing at work either. Noone told him to throw hos family away. He chose this so in my opinion be happy with your 2 weekends and don’t come at me on Holiday’s you just so happen to have off work when you worked every single one when we were married. I mean it sucks when the power is finally in the womans hands but you chose your path. She tried literally everything to keep the family together and you chose otherwise.
Sometimes it really is the dude that.”walks away”. I feel no empathy for absent fathers that claim they want to see their kids because the courts can indeed enforce visits. Trust me i know otherwise our kids would be better off not having to ride in a 3 hour round trip every other weekend and me have to calm them back down to home life for a week only for it to be repeated again over and over again. In my humble opinion forces visits do more damage than good. Their school is suffering because of it too. They’re moods are bland. They just hate that ride.

This mans account is a long whine. And in the end, it comes down to him and his needs, which is most likely why he is in the position he is in—in the first place. A man who is tired of being held accountable is a man who is burdened my responsibility. Your children deserve someone who at all costs will be there for them. It’s about the kids man, not you.

Wow, that’s an incredibly cruel response. We don’t need that kind of vitriol in the world. If that’s what you think, you obviously have no heart at all, no compassion—nothing but bitter hate. Stop poisoning your children with your filth and choose to exercise some empathy instead. Shame on you.

Watched a friend lose his child in a divorce after she cheated on him back in 1999, (I was in my 20’s)

I literally stopped dating and never asked a women out again.

Because I wanted a family and realized that isn’t possible anymore.

“WHAT DO YOU THINK? ARE YOU A DAD WHO NO LONGER SEES HIS KIDS? WHY?”

*Raises hand*

Men are vilified and viewed as disposable; they’re nothing more than human wallets as far as custodial mothers, child suppoort divisions, and society in general are concerned.

After seven years of being a good non-custodial father the Family Court unilaterally stripped me- an average, educated, professionally employed, law-abiding (no drugs, crimes, alcoholism, promiscuity, abuse, neglect, weirdness, etc.), basically good citizen that tried “to do the right thing”- of all parental rights, responsibilities, and obligations EXCEPT for providing money and insurance coverage. What other conclusion can be reached? Get this: the Court Order said for visitation I’d have to ask the Suppoort System for permission, scheduling, and oversight! They eagerly installed themselves as “the other parent” and it seemed I, the father, had fewer rights than a common criminal or random stranger from the street. When I called the doctor to find out what their bill for my child was about, they refused to tell me. When I called the school to find out how my child was doing, they wouldn’t tell me either. When I called the child’s mother for an explanation she hung up on me. When I used to try to explain to people how dads are victimized they closed their minds right off because who cares what a “deadbeat” thinks. See?

There was no need to involve the Suppoort System in the first place as I, of my own volition had been paying 1/2 the mutually agreed upon costs of supporting the child and doing the visitation thing from the start. The child’s mother eventually decided to use the System as a weapon to punish me for my failure to provide a wedding ring. They have an amazing array of weapons at their disposal and they sadistically enjoy deploying them… but they always made sure to say, “It’s in the best interests of the child”. Come to think of it men are more than mere wallets; we serve a useful purpose as good whipping boys for all that pent-up female frustration and anger… or something… and the courts and society get off on it too. Hey, somebody has to take the heat because it sure wasn’t the fault of those poor, pretty, innocent girls. Oh- and the Legal System is all about Justice. /sarcasm

Speaking of fault, I can’t think of any other legal matter where the actions of one party cause the OTHER party to be held wholly liable. You’d think that by default a conception would incur 50/50 liability at least as a baseline but the Suppoort System is (or was years ago when I was in it) set for more like 100 male/0 female financial liability, or even 200 male/-100 female liability if the female got a well-salaried male on the hook and he believes the support money is disproportionately benefiting her more than the child. “Wealthysinglemommy” never fails to make me snicker a little, because so many mommys fancy fetching unearned income on the backs of the victims of their little child bearing/wedding day schemes. No, having physical custody of the child(ren) is not a compensable job especially if she wanted her egg fertilized.

You see, as a student at the time I indicated from the start of the relationship that I did NOT want to be a student parent and all forms of non-permanent contraception including abstinence were on the table. She assured me she could not get pregnant because reasons. I didn’t have 100% confidence in that so continued to use condoms until SHE said not to because, “It feels soooooo much better without them!”. This is where my gut feeling kicked in telling me unprotected sex was ominously, obviously risky for a couple desiring no kids but much to my later chagrin I rationalized that, “If ya can’t trust your girlfriend, who can you trust?” After all, she said she loved me.

I learned the hard way you can’t trust your girlfriend, at least with these matters. Look at any blog: the poor, pretty, innocent girls- and the Knights On White Horses- will tell you: If you didn’t want babies you should have kept it in your pants. It’s the man’s fault even if it’s her mistake… or lie. That’s one reason why there was no wedding ring. I may never know the truth of whether she was mistaken or lying but either way she could no longer be trusted. Anybody think marrying a person you can’t trust is a good idea?

Of course the child didn’t ask for any of this but as noted, I tried for years to bond and overcome all the negative energy but as John G. more eloquently put it, you can only be punished so much for so long before you reach the breaking point. Were I not subjected to so much antagonism, belittlement, and gratuitous sadism, the outcome could have been very, very different.

I married a woman who had a teenage daughter from another relationship. My wife got pregnant and it all seemed fine until our daughter came. Then she began cheating on me. I wasn’t the first to find out as a matter of fact, it was my boss at the time who saw her at a motel, with her boyfriend. I was at home with the kids. It became so flagrant that she would get dolled up and leave,with me begging her to please stay home Tonite. She would leave. Her own daughter started out feeling sorry for me but,as time went along she joined in because I guess it’s exciting to see a man breakdown and cry . Anyway I refuse to be a cuckold and I left. Then it became a game to pit him against me. When I met someone else,my ex told her that I messed with her daughter,and that became their new game until I told them to call the law or I would. Anyway,she married Sancho and he became who as my daughter who is now grown, calls ,”Dad. I payed child support off and tried to stick to the visitation order. Ex would not leave me alone calling at odd hours, showing up on my job to make a scene, so I moved. I remarried and my poor wife had to put up with more than I could imagine. This one really loves me and mygrow up kids. Anyway, my grown daughter believes her rotten sister and I am a p.o.s. Oh, Sancho got cheated on but still hangs around for a conjugal visit. He is the best dad in the world per the father’s day Facebook post. I got hfd. RUN and don’t turn around.

John G…thank you for sharing your experience. I have the unfortunate experience of having to deal EXACTLY with this type of dynamic you refer to…and for 10+ years. The silver lining I would suggest is when that child comes of age and finds out the truth and makes an effort to reestablish what should under any situation aside from actual endangerment be normal and continuous access…it becomes a vindication of sorts of all the suffering that has been endured.

I only wish I had come to that realization earlier as a lot of my older relatives told me that I would have to simply “let it go”. It was hard for me because of how much I loved my children but I had to come to the realization that many of us have had to come to…that being that you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Absolutely. There has to be a point where the price is too high to continue the fight, no matter how unpalatable that may be. I intend to learn that lesson before the wasted years and not after.

John- First let me start by saying my heart hurts for you, I’m so sorry that life has dealt you these cards. I found your post to be very eye opening and gave me another look at the father’s point of view. I truly believe in what you wrote about a mother feeling like the child is more hers over the father. Which is completely false. Both mother and father created that life and they should share the responsibility of the life as long as they are living and able to do so. I hope one day we will stop hearing these stories and finally have equal rights across the boards, I hope we stop giving judges (complete strangers) the right to dictate what they believe is best for these children. I hope one day you will get the relationship you’ve always wanted with your child.

Thank you Alexis. That’s very kind. The whole process was an eye opener for me too.
I used to truly believe in the concept of the law and the notion of ‘justice’. No longer. Without putting it too strongly, I now have the utmost contempt for the law. And this is me speaking as a very highly educated and law abiding professional man.

It took my divorce case to make me realize that the American court system is not about truth or justice. It’s about which side has the most money, and is willing to twist the truth & tell the most lies without being found out. On one occasion, my ex-wife actually had third parties testify and sign affidavits that I had received some papers in the lobby of my apartment building. The only problem with that is that I was miles away at the time. Even though I had ATM receipts showing me at that location, because I didn’t have an independent witness with me, it was assumed that I was lying. But the fact is, that I was telling the truth. I had discovered to my cost that it’s very very hard to disprove a lie. How could I disprove my ex-wife’s claim that I had threatened to kill her and dissolve her body in acid? I didn’t do that – but I couldn’t prove that I hadn’t. It’s kind of alarming – you can imagine this sort of thing happening in a more serious matter… if people are willing to lie in a miserable divorce case – then surely they will lie when the stakes are bigger.

Anyways. Thank you for your kind words. Don’t break your heart too much for me. My life has taken an upward turn, as is often the way. Everything will turn out right in the end.

Thank you for sharing your story, I cannot fully understand the pain and situation you have gone through! My best to you, and future opportunities with your son.

I am currently in a similar situation. I had relocated from Wisconsin to Colorado with my then wife and 16 month old daughter. 6 weeks in, my wife fled with my daughter as I left for work travel. I was unaware she had fled until the following week when I was to return home. I ended up staying in Colorado for 16 months to negate the cost to buy out the contract which I had signed prior to arriving in Colorado, without breaking the condo lease and ending upside down financially.

Fast forward those 16 months, which included flying back and forth to MN for visitation, custody, and psych evals. I was the recommended primary custodian which I was notified two days after I had relocated to MN (where Mom fled to live with her parents and our daughter). While we do have a trial date in the coming months, my daughter’s mother continues to live with her parents.

Even with custody/psych evaluation recommendations favoring me, Mom continues to gas light, obstruct, and belittle. Mom was “shocked” that I had relocated to her home state in pursuit of a relationship with our daughter. With that said, the tirades and overall difficulty of reaching a joint decision, generally lend themselves to a negative impact on our daughter for which I am unilaterally blamed.

Of course, this has not been without incredible expense financially, but mentally as well. Fortunately, this event occured while I was making good money (enough to be the sole provider for the previous 16 months.)

I was very moved reading about your experience, as I find incredible similarities to my own situation. For some time, I had wondered (outside of counseling) where all the fathers were who have experienced similar situations, and what they had learned, and experienced. It’s quite an isolating and painful event, as you’re incredibly aware. So again, thank you for sharing.

I should add, my experience was an abusive relationship; however, it reads backwards from what society generally perceives. Or as an evaluator put it; “the horse that ended up being a zebra”.

This is the best written example of why I think I will end up taking the suicide path eventually.it explains my situation well

I have read through many of these comments and although some points do hold validity Id like to share a different perspective.

I left me husband a few years ago as the environment had become one that was unhealthy emotionally for my children. When I married my husband I intended on us growing old together and watching our grand babies run around us. I didn’t foresee the writing on the wall and it was by no means an easy choice and in fact I fought hard to keep my family together for more then 2 years before I made the final decision.

One thing I have said all along to my ex-husband is that children need both parents in their lives. Don’t get me wrong we have had some rocky roads we have overcome and Im sure their will be more. However, our priority is always the children, their wellbeing and mental health.

Children are not a tool or a possession for anyone and unfortunately this does happen in separation. When I married my ex-husband he also had a child from a previous relationship that he was supporting so I have lived in both worlds and have seen injustices from each angle.

Equal contribution emotionally, physically and financially is the commitment we made when we became parents and this does not change due to separation.

The child support systems are different worldwide and I truly believe that none of our nations have got it right. Our society has become one where blended families are the norm. Realistically Im not sure they ever will, when people are dealing with 2 of the most sort after things in their world, Children and Money – Emotions will always play a big part, and conflict is inevitable no matter how hard you attempt to avoid it.

We live in a society of high stress, high demand, instant gratification and ridiculously high percentages of mental health concerns. I say to anyone and everyone, mothers – fathers or children ..If for any reason you as a child feel you are affected due to the relationship breakdown or you have concerns for yourself or your child you should seek help.

If communication is not possible seek a 3rd party that can mediate between you without the heavy price tag.

I also don’t blame this father for making his decision. I have an uncle that did the same thing many years ago and unfortunately never had any further children and he has reconnected with his daughter and although he has lost many years with her he is proud to now be a grandfather to her children.

If I can offer any advice I would simply say this. Remove your emotions from the communications and keeps things factual and also relevant to the children. The affect decisions have on them and why.

In separation and unconscious power struggle always happens and out emotions set off a cycle that can run like a mouse on a wheel if one party can’t see it and make changes.

We go through this. It’s so heartbreaking. My husbands ex is a classic narcissist. Technically according to our CO he’s supposed to see them on his days off which actually results in more than 4 days a month. Does anyone think we actually get that? NO. Depending on her mood we might go a month or two without seeing them because “they have plans, how can you hurt them and tell them they can’t go through with their plans” which ends up with the kids upset and not knowing what to do or say. But if that child support is a day late (it’s through the state not us even!) by gosh our phones ring and we had better call child support office.

It is emotionally exhausting. Our kids are constantly told how horrible my husband is and she even did this while they were married- that’s emotional abuse of children but do the courts care? No because moms are automatically better right? Before she cheated and divorced she was telling the kids that daddy just doesn’t love them anymore.

So while we still try and at least ask for our rightful time it does get to a point where you quit calling 20 times a day because no one ever answers unless they want something. Can’t be bothered to get our actual parenting time but can always be hit up for money in addition to the CS that is always paid. So unless someone has walked a mile in an alienated parents shoes they have no room to talk. And yes I’m talking alienated parents, not deadbeat parents.

It’s so frustrating I feel ya. Going g through the same thing and as a step mom you have no rights, no say. You just get to be sad this little child that looks so much harder like the person you love most in the world won’t have a great relationship even though they both want it because mom is vindictive.

Dear all,
thank you for sharing those thoughts and stories.
In the entry of this post, Emma says, there are two assumptions.

” 1.Men are irresponsible douchbags 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.”

I’m afraid, in most of these posts, only the second view is seen. I don’t understand why mothers are stated as lazy beings, taking the father’s money but refusing him to see their children.
I am also pro self-resposibility, but that’s not the answer to every problem.

And no, I did NOT agree, that my ex husband suddenly stops working and leaves me alone with the financial resposibility. Here in Germany, only 25% percent of single parents (mainly women) get the financial support they are entiteled to (not for themselves, for their children!). And that is not just because most women alienate their children.
Some do, but so do some fathers.

I don’t know how that’s in the US, but that’s also a problem of a court system, that doesn’t do enough to ensure that children get their financial support.

My Ex and me share custody at about 40/60%, I never speak bad about him or alienate him in any way. But the financial resposibility is on my shoulders only.
The poor guy is just too tired and stressed out to work properly… while I work extra hours and ensure my son’s living.

That doesn’t make me a man-hater. But you can’t just say “You agreed to raise the children, so it’s your problem, if you’re left and get poor!” A new way of thinking is required, which empowers women in their carreer and men to engage more in fatherhood. But those are political topics, too. In Germany, the tax system sill rewards the classic division – one working and earning a lot, the other earning nothing or only little: best way to save taxes! :-(
That has to change!!!

Best wishes to everyone and I’m sorry for all alienated fathers and for all left-alone mothers. We must fight for a heavy change

(please exuse any mistakes, I’m not a native speaker).

“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.”
It would be brilliant to know the source. Please be so kind to provide the reference.

I know this pain all too well. I hated the fact that I was putting my children through a divorce, I decided I would do whatever it took to make the divorce as easy as possible on them, and to make sure they still had a good dad in their lives. Then, when my children were first taken from me, I vowed I would fight to see them until my dying breath. Now it has been five years of no contact, and I can’t go on any longer. The constant grief eats me up from the time I wake up, until the time I go to sleep. My work suffers, my relationships suffer, my health suffers. If I don’t find a way to disengage, I won’t survive. I will end up damaging every relationship I have, and I will end up taking my own life. Hope is no longer a comfort to me, rather it is a hand in the graveyard, rising from the ground, grasping my ankle and preventing me from leaving.
https://walter-singleton.com/2017/02/04/to-envy-those-who-grieve/

Walter – I’m sorry for your situation.
It resonated with me because for a long time I’ve felt that my child is effectively dead.
I won’t offer you trite advice because you will have heard it all before.

One final thought about the suicide option though if I may.

I too thought long and hard about suicide and even made plans for it at one especially low point, but the thing that stopped me was that I had always promised myself that before suicide, I should be totally prepared to walk out of my apartment, sell all my possessions, leave my job and everyone I knew, and fly to another country far away and start again.

If you’re not willing to do all of that. Then you’re not ready to die. And if you ARE willing to do the above, then rather than die, get a plane ticket. You might find happiness. When you’re that low you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

During that time in my life, I lost my wife, child, house, job and both parents. But I still had my health and now, five years later, I have a new wife, job and outlook and things are a hell of a lot better than I thought they could possibly ever be.

Nice to read, especially after I thought it was taking a dark turn for the worse. That’s a great outlook for any situation where you know your life has found itself in a place that you would of never imagined on the worst day ever. My best wishes to your family/friends during these oddly unsafe and unhealthy times. My Best…

I’m sorry this is happening to you. I’ve experienced much of this in my life. Nothing I could say would be helpful. I know some things about myself: Counseling helped. I try to keep myself presently focused in the here and now. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. I soak up every single moment I get with my kids as if it were the last. I never lie to my kids. I never make a promise I don’t KNOW for sure I can keep and I ALWAYS keep my promises to them. I call and call and text and text weather I get an answer or not. I never say one bad word to them about their mother. NEVER! When I feel like I need to justify my actions or defend myself from her in response to something the kids say, I don’t. It’s none of their business what I think about what she said. The most I ever say is “well, that sounds like grown-up business and kids shouldn’t have to worry about grown-up stuff” or “I’m not sure who’s telling you those things but does that sound like something you’ve ever seen Dad do with your own eyes or heard me say with your own ears?” I do my best to teach my kids to believe the ACTIONS people take and not the WORDS they say. I leave it up to them to decide if what she is saying, does or does not match what they see me doing. I love them and I show them, I tell them, I act like it and I do it. It’s all I have. It’s all I can do. The rest…her words, her actions, how they affect my world, how they affect me, that’s up to me. I changed my world to minimize her contact and effect on it. I have to let it go. Even a LOT of time lost with my kids, I HAD to let that go. If I let that turn me into a toxic, unhealthy man, all I would be is everything she said I am. That’s NOT me and it will never be me. I define me…not she.

This happens to many mother’s now too it isn’t just females turning kids against the other parent. I know this personally. I try to just enjoy the little time I see my son. I call and text daily also even if there is no response. Now I just try to focus on being the best me I can and hopefully one day my kids will see through all the lies that their Dad tells the.

I hear echoes of my own story in John G.’s statement. My appearance was almost exactly the same, except that in my case I could not afford a good lawyer (she was the primary professional money earner), and she could afford the best. I had a clean criminal record, no history of abuse and always considered myself something of an old-fashioned gentleman when it came to women. None the less, I also got branded with the “danger to the mom” label and I was forced to endure two years of “supervised visitation” before I could even begin to have standard twice-a-week visitation.

For the women out there it might be hard to explain just how emasculating and infuriating it was to a proud man and father to be “overseen” as a dad by a (always female) junior social worker during time with your child, told what and where you can be with your child (like you were a misbehaving child), have your child told “Daddy can’t take you out of the room, to the bathroom,etc.”. I had to drive 3-hours to see my son in this environment for 45 mins a time, twice a month for two-years, in this fashion. When I wished to take my son out on outing, I had to beg a special committee of female social workers for the “privilege”, and had to pay for a social worker to walk behind me and my child in public.

I also experienced reaching the “crossroads with four paths” that John mentioned, Suicide, Violence/Anger, A Constant Battle/Pain, or Give Up. Our society taught my generation that men were supposed to be pro-active, we DID things about situations that were difficult or intolerable. Facing an experience that was at one soul-crushing and to which the only legal option was acceptance was extremely psychologically and morally difficult. For a long time I hovered around suicide, I thought about violence and possible direct action. I simply could not stand the fact of being denied my son and it all being perfectly legal and from the attitudes to the judges and social workers I encountered, business as usual and “perfectly legitimate, as your just the father” as one judge told me in a later hearing.

In the end, leaving was not an option. The way I was raised, the very “must do something about this” attitude that so tormented me and left me in the suicide/violence circle, would not allow me to leave my child even if heaven and earth were aligned against me. I studied family law, something in a “prison lawyer” fashion, and forced more pro-se hearings, slowly chipping away for more access and visitation. I remain in that cycle today, always fighting-never quitting or giving up. In my heart I realize I will never “win”, that my son will turn 18 and become an adult before I ever get the joint-custody I long for.

Until then, again as John said, I take the gut punch every time a visit ends and my son hugs me and slowly walks across the parking lot to his mom’s car pulling his little suitcase behind him. I return to my apartment and as John quoted from Shakespeare look at his empty room for a long time.

“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;”

Ryan – that’s a heck of a sad story. I admire your courage. The social worker aspect would have made me incandescent with rage. It is hard when the world is against you.

I do have to ask though – If you *know* that you will never win your fight for joint custody (and frankly – having been there – I know why you say that) then you have to ask yourself whether continuing to fight is the most sensible thing to do – it’s always important in any battle to know when to cut your losses and retreat. If you have access to spend time with the child then perhaps it’s time to just count your blessings and take a break from conflict.

I’ll just say that personally – I found that fighting became part of my life – and was constantly on my mind. You could say that it almost became a security blanket. I have always felt that too much of that prevented me from moving on, and had an impact on my friends, partners & family, and on the child too..

Good luck.

Hi John you’re story is so similar to what my son has experienced. His ex is also “fearful for her life and the lives of her children’ As a grandmother I haven’t seen my two grandsons in two years. My son hasn’t seen his boys in two years. We are heartbroken. His ex got sole guardianship without his knowledge as she said he was an absentee father and had never supported the boys (my son has had them at least 500 times since they divorced in 2012) she also had a protection order against him (ex parte) all made up. She had the help of a private adoption agency who believed all her lies. When she got sole guardianship she changed their names removing his name from the birth certificate. She changed them to her boyfriends name. A few months later they married and the new husband adopted the boys. My son has been fighting in court provincial and supreme but it is so very slow and the full extent of her deceit just isn’t believed. Everyone says how is this possible while I’m sure they think somehow he must have signed away his rights. His heart is not able to give up as yet but the cost is overwhelming. He is now living in a suite in my basement while paying for two lawyers.
I must say I am very tired and at my age all I want to do is spend nice quiet times with my grandchildren, I would love to take them for a walk. The ex got a protection order against me too, saying I was following them, I don’t drive at night or very fast but she had no problem getting the order, now I have to carry it in my purse at all times. The reason for this is obvious you can’t see the children when there is a protection order. I just hope the children will remember some of the good times with us and won’t be too brainwashed by their mother and new Dad.

Having been on both sides of this, I had trouble getting to see my daughter from her 3rd year until she was nine, when her mother started another family and decided she no longer wanted our child so she came to live with me, I can totally understand why some men do this. The pain and loss we suffer every time we have to give them back, having to rebuild the bond the next time we see them, listening to the mothers words spoken through the child, the utter heartbreak of the empty child’s bed, I could go on and on.
When I was a teenager, my friend told me how his father had cut all ties, no longer being able to cope with the hurt of not seeing him enough, I was horrified, how could a parent be so selfish?
In my deepest despair I finally understood.

I am a grandmother who can completely understand why fathers walk away….it’s sheer frustration from spending a fortune on legal fees to get their rights of visiting with their children abused by vicious mothers who are only using the children as pawns. Why is it that when parents divorce they divide their assests 50/50 except for the children? Why are the fathers now having to fight to spend time with their children who are being brainwashed by the mother? Why is it that when the mother is in contempt, not a damn thing happens to her? What’s the point of having a court order when it’s not followed? Why can a woman file for a PFA using false allegations?
I have spent more than I should have to have the rights of a grandparent to see their grandchild, only for him to be told that we are the bad ones who are keeping him from living with his mother. I didn’t create this situation, his mother did. His mother was the one who left him with us for 4 out of 7 days and then his mother signed over custody to his father 4 years ago but now wants to come back and have full control over all the people involved. Funny how holidays are just such a priority in their lives all of a sudden. I am criticizing the mothers because I can see why the fathers walk away….I don’t know why the mothers walk away, maybe someone can explain. I think the law needs to be changed and 2 people who agree to have a child together should know going into it they will automatically have 50/50 custody and willl be responsible for raising this child! Maybe more men will have less baby mamas and women won’t be using the children as pawns.

YES THIS!! ” think the law needs to be changed and 2 people who agree to have a child together should know going into it they will automatically have 50/50 custody and willl be responsible for raising this child! Maybe more men will have less baby mamas and women won’t be using the children as pawns.”

I am a single mother and raised my daughter solely without any support financially, emotionally, spiritually or physical presence in her life after divorce. I wish my ex would have made any type of effort to be present in his daughter’s life, so I commend any Father that is doing the “right thing” and making efforts to fight to be a part of your child’s life (even though you should not have to fight for this right). if the situation was reversed as a mother I would be fighting for my child as well. This is a great article with lots of interesting discussion. I agree with Emma regarding the 50/50 Custody and responsibility for the children. I feel for this Dad, especially if all of what he is saying is true. This is a sad situation especially for the children who are the Biggest Losers. This is not usually the case though for so many other situations with absentee parents (mom or dad) and there are always 2 sides to every story and the (God honest truth side). There are a lot of judgmental comments and people tend to be condescending towards others until they experience it from the other side. Great to hear another perspective. Kudos to Dads that are doing what they are supposed to and being involved in your child’s life, no matter what.

My soon to be ex is a Major in the Army. My son is almost 8 years old, all the deployments, schools ect.. I was his mom and his dad. We moved every second year, so I gave up my life to support his, I took care of everything, doctors, schools, piano and swimming, cooking, cleaning…….Yes, we do everything, all you need to do is be a parent, be involved and don’t complain.

Naira. This is the sort of remark that I have a problem with and that makes a lot of men angry.

No. You did not give up your life to support his. You were a partnership. Your life and the life of the child were supported by the career of your husband. The world doesn’t owe you a living. People always must work to survive. It sounds like you are complaining about the ‘sacrifices’ you made. However they were YOUR choice. And frankly you did pretty well out of them because you survived and ate without earning a wage for many years. You instead chose to make a contribution looking after the children. How bloody dare you boast or complain about that or claim that you ‘did everything’. Grow up.

I dearly wish I could give up my job and spend time at home looking after a child. I have had no more than 10 consecutive days off work my whole life. I have worked 15 hour days and 7 day weeks, as do many men, and to be honest it’s amazing how cheerfully we men put up with it. The lot of your average man is to work, often until he dies actually AT work. He makes huge and unappreciated sacrifices for the good of his family.

Frankly, you sound spoiled and entitled and epitomise the attitude problem of many women today. I wouldn’t mind betting that you will be fighting for a large alimony payment to sustain the standard of living to which you feel that you are entitled. That sort of attitude makes me physically feel sick. It is disgusting and parasitic. This bizarre notion that women want equal pay, want equal rights, but at the same time want alimony payments, doors opening for them, meals paying for them and custody of the kids.

As for the rest. ‘Be involved?’ . Are you serious? Have you even read the article or the text of some of the replies? The whole point is that plenty of men would like to be involved, but are barred from involvement by the malicious, vindictive actions of their ex-wives assisted by the family court system.

Woah! This woman chose to have a family with a soldier. I hardly think we want to make marrying a military guy a bigger burden. Now, the divorce and the wife is a lazy shrew? This is the mother of his child, who was perfectly competent to be a single parent for months (years?) at a time. Now, he’s going to sue for custody? Who will care for the child when she goes to work to support them? Will he ask for a court order that doesn’t allow her to move? or is he still moving all the time and expecting expensive visitation by plane?

Naira did not say that he would be suing for custody and I did not imply it. I would expect that she would retain custody of the child. Most women do since most courts assume the child will remain with the mother. If she divorces, then she will have to make arrangements for childcare like anyone else. Merely having a child is not a good reason to expect massive payments so that you do not have to work.
I have no idea what court orders the man may attempt to obtain. I would hope that he would be reasonable.

My partner has basically same story, only he kept trying, and the mom successfully turned the kid against him. Same mom who wouldn’t tell him where his dog was, called the cops when he came to the house to get the dog, took the dog to the pound, and had to be forced by a judge to reveal the pet’s location just days before the dog was scheduled to be euthanized. So you can imagine she tried even harder to keep him away from the thing he loved the very most, his child. Her revenge has been successful. It’s a daily heartbreak. He tries to wall himself off, like the writer of this article. Sometimes works, but often it ends up in sleepless nights, ten years later. I questioned the extent to which he’s given up, at first. He does send gifts, birthday wishes, holiday invitations…. and gets nothing back, except occasional uncovered medical bills, sent without a note. He says he’s used to it but I can see that it’s a major punch in the gut, every time. I’d probably keep trying in more and more elaborate ways and end up in jail or in a mental institution. I have come to understand the sanity of the approach this man has taken. Tragic all around, though.

This whole topic breaks my heart, particularly because my two-year-old son is picking up on all the dads in pre-school TV shows and out and about in our community. I’m honest with him to the extent that makes sense for now. When he was a newborn, I shied away from all books or pictures that included daddies, but now I talk to him about daddies and mommies. He has Mama and Mimi (my mom). His father and I split up halfway through the planned pregnancy due to differing opinions on resuscitation at birth (it was a high-risk pregnancy). I asked to meet up and discuss arrangements with him closer to my due date, and when we did, he said he wanted a clean break with no contact. I requested that we keep current contact information in case any of the kids (he has others) would ever need some sort of life-saving. He agreed to that. He has since reached out to apologize to me and “extend a hand of friendship”. But when I asked if he wanted to meet his son, he said no. A few months later, he liked something on Facebook. I again asked if he was trying to reach out and get involved. He again said no, he wanted nothing from us. I try, very hard, to empathize with people and generally care about fellow human beings regardless of how much of their situations are their fault. Just because your arm broke because you put it in the bear trap doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. But it is very hard to have sympathies for women who keep kids away from fathers or for men who actively choose (when there is an open choice) not to be involved. I love (in theory) Emma’s stance on fathers having 50/50 custody. I can’t imagine that it would be easy – my son has only spent 2 nights away from me (with my aunt), and they were hard. But seeing him start to understand he doesn’t have a daddy is pretty hard, too.
And because I try to be a positive person in general, I can’t let that be the end of the post. I absolutely, completely, unimaginably love my son. And I would go through it all again even knowing the challenges. And I LOVE my life. It’s a WIP, and it’s messy and challenging and sad (Mimi has stage 4 cancer but that’s a whole other ball game). But it’s my beautiful, crazy, one life to love, enjoy and improve.

PS As a mother of a son, I also hope we get past this gender divide anti-man culture. Nothing good happens in the extremes of any philosophical standpoint. Men can be great parents, and women can kick ass. They’re not mutually exclusive. I am happy my son has well-balanced, nurturing, tough men as great role models in his life.

I was the child of a divorce in the 1950’s, when that was rare, and I was a divorced single parent of teenagers at the turn of the millennium. Both were the source of great sorrow and angst. But none of all that comes anywhere near the grief of being unable to be a grandma to the now 4 year old child that has been stolen away from our entire family. The Laws that exist to protect abused women and children are being horribly abused by women who want power, or to exact revenge or whatever they imagine they could get out of this…
The children who are being kept away from their fathers via trumped up orders of protection are being horribly abused by their mothers (usually – sometimes it’s the other way around) and the courts.
The real victims of abuse suffer because the system is tied up paying attention to frivolous and fake allegations.
The parents suffer because their resources that could have been projected towards family growth and personal fulfillment are redirected into the wallets of attorneys and time wasted in courtrooms.
The lawyers suffer because while they all dreamed of being Atticus Finch, they have morphed into monsters being paid to inflict maximum pain onto an opponent for money. What happens to a person whose workdays depends on applying torture for profit?
Society suffers because we have so many people living stressed and deprived of all the love they need to thrive.
Teachers suffer because so many kids are in trouble or just unable to focus beyond their personal despair.
We grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins suffer for losing the opportunity to connect with our own relatives. We want to share our love and our holidays and our silly stories with our grandkids who share our DNA (Adopted kids should not be kidnapped away from half their families either.) but our beloved children of the Family are being held for ransom. I should tell my son “wait 15 years and she might come to you on her own” ??? – not.
Oh, but I WILL tell my son to not give up on life. Suicide, you estranged dads, takes the unbearable pain you suffer and amplifies it for us exponentially. Don’t go there! I will walk in pain with you – all of you – rather than walk without you forever.
Oh, but I WILL tell my son that angry violence make things far worse. Although it’s hard to imagine worse pain, it does indeed exist. Worse for you, worse for your child, worse for us. Worse for the world. Please don’t create those ripple effects.
Oh, but I WILL tell my son “As long as you choose to struggle against these chains that bar you from your child in the hope (yes I know sometimes it’s with the absence of hope) in the hope of regaining some semblance of family with your own child – I will stand by you.”
And I WILL tell my son if he chooses to move on in the hope of regaining some semblance of a happy life for himself, “I will still stand by you there in your new life.”
Meanwhile I say to everybody there is another path. We have to come together to change this.
I am a feminist, I am a single mom, I have a darling daughter. I hear you young women, but this has to change.
I am a law abiding citizen, I am a patriot, I respect the Court. I hear the value of protecting women against violence, but this is all out of kilter and the laws have to change.
I am a mother of sons, I value fatherhood, I believe in you young men. I hear you and stand with you. But be prepared to change – and to change the system.

At which point and at which time throughout the reproductive experience to men in US society either through social custom, social norms, or law be it penal or civil do men have any reproductive rights? Gotcha. If you say men have none then you are guilty of gender elitism, discrimination, and misandry. If you state men do? The right was given at consent then you are guilty of out right gender hypocrisy to its fullest. The fact is- some dad’s dont want to be dad is short sighted half hearted attempt at beginning to understand what this nations males grow up with and live with as men- gender discrimination in regards to raising our race and the direction in which our race will go. It is pretty simple- The choice for women to decide these things? Fairly? That was made at consensual unprotected sex. Therefore, if young women can abort parenthood, which is what is happening during abortion, then young men deserve that right too. His body? His right. Works both ways. The hypocrisy by women in our nation needs to stop. Single mom by choice is an incentive’s plague and playing that card as is often done through law enforcement and baiting fathers is a disgusting abuse of law, a slap in the face to actual victims, and tantamount to conspiracy for the end of kidnapping another human beings child. There is not one father who truly lies at fault for bailing since every father from birth has been systemically taught- you don’t matter…. just wait, watch and learn. That is a fact. And also the gender discrimination done to men on a national scale from testicular cancer research to hours worked to education to life expectancy is an outright joke of a premise for their to be given no immediate and pressing concern nor action taken on the part of anyone… no a man. Enough is enough- if the law and women want to intrinsically act like men don’t matter as much as any women in any aspect of life then you get out of US fathers exactly what you tried to put into the role- practically nothing. That is not the abused men by this societies fault who are constantly bombarded by the “patriarchy” fallacy and the “rape” culture lie that now states men don’t have to touch a women to rape a women. Anyways. Look- either US women start getting honest and take a long hard look at what they have done, such as allow and promote a disgustingly gender discriminatory VAWA while 25% are victims of DV themselves with zero help, and take a long hard look at the kidnapping that has been going on and take responsibility or guys like me and MGTOW are going to continue to preach and teach- walk away. Men will be treated equally as human beings or they will walk away.

Yes. MGTOW. MGTOW + pro-marriage activists are going to be the solution to this.

Funny thing is, it won’t make MGTOW disappear :)

MGTOW always existed — it just wasn’t the club it is today.

My husband refused give up. He fought to see his teenaged daughter. DCFS was called and our other children were interviewed and inspected. He still refused give up. He paid over $200 a week in child support but his daughter was told he didn’t pay anything. She hated him.

There is no happy ending here. She is 25 and will only text before Christmas and her birthday. He continues to try, but it is pointless. She is pregnant and it is doubtful he will meet the baby. She did “let” him buy the crib.

He should have given up. It a sad reality.

My sympathies are with this gentleman. My son was divorced about 9 years ago and his X-wife has continued to harass him and deny him visits with his daughter. The courts listen to her lies and my son is powerless to make a difference in the outcome. He is 41 years old and is now facing an early death because of her vindictive, selfish , and cruel behavior.

Our Family Courts need help. To accept a woman’s complaints about her former husband is not always the best thing to do..

Family courts need help ceasing to exist. They don’t CARE about the child. They don’t care about anything but money.

Marriage should be abolished and replaced with civil contracts and arbitrated, if need be, in civil courts.

I wrote the story above and would like to address a few points that were made.

I agree that it is desirable that a child has two involved parents. However this involvement is realistically possible only where the parents manage to cooperate for the good of the child. When a custodial parent undertakes a systematic campaign to limit access to the child and to information, and fosters an atmosphere of conflict, then that ideal becomes unworkable.

I have an issue with the above comment that blithely remarks ‘His child is suffering because of this father’s behavior’.

I feel it more accurate to agree that the child is suffering, because of the situation. I do not see it as being solely the fault of my ex-wife, but crucially, I do not see it as solely my fault either. A cooperative shared parenting arrangement would have been helpful but that takes cooperation from both sides.

Things are made worse when there is an atmosphere of active non-cooperation and passive-aggressive behavior from the mother. Many women seem to indulge themselves in such behavior, which often goes unpunished.

I am certain that many of the below items will be very familiar to that unhappy band of men in the shadows, the non-custodial fathers.

In addition to the things mentioned in the article, I personally have endured more than sixteen court appearances and almost four hundred thousand dollars in joint legal fees.

I have had all decision making responsibilities taken away from me, with the result that my child has been to hospital, changed schools, changed addresses, changed telephone numbers and changed doctors, all without consulting or even informing me.

On one occasion, I asked for details on a medical problem. My ex-wife refused to answer, pointing me at the court order and requesting that I call his doctor. I called the doctor and found out that my child had changed physician. I emailed and requested the physician details. My email was ignored.

On numerous occasions, I have had visitation cancelled because of another social engagement or because my child had a birthday party to attend. On another occasions, I have requested to reschedule visitation and delay pick up by 2 hours because of work, only to be told that wasn’t possible because she ‘had other plans’ and therefore that I must cancel the visitation. On all these occasions, I have asked, and been denied extra ‘make up’ weekends and have been held up as being a ‘bad parent’ because I didn’t see the child.

Schools have been instructed not to talk to me. I have been unjustly accused of emotional and physical abuse. Gifts that I have bought and given personally, just vanish, are ‘lost’ or are simply confiscated. The child does not have, and is not allowed to have, a photo of me in the house and is not permitted to communicate with me electronically using IM, email or skype. Letters, gifts and cards that I send are not delivered. Phone calls that I make go to voicemail or are not answered.

I was required by the court to approach no closer than 50 feet when exchanging the child. This seven year old child had to walk alone with his little bag across the empty no-mans land between us. I had to fight a court battle to avoid being compelled to exchange this young child at the police station. I leave it to your imagination what sort of mental damage that type of situation could do to a child.

I am also aware that my new wife and new family are also entitled to some happiness. I feel that it would be unfair of me to spend all my time, energy and money on a fruitless enterprise, fighting against an embittered woman who has decided to try and make our lives miserable, at any cost.

And lest any shrill readers conclude that my new family and wife are the result of an affair. That is not true. I decided to rebuild my life and start again in an attempt to move on from the past and as an escape from the echoing rooms and the empty children’s clothes that still hang, several sizes too small now, in my closet.

The non custodial father is frequently embattled and alone, trying to do his best for all the other people in his life, with the limited dear fuel of life that he has remaining. Unfortunately, he is damned is he does, and damned if he does not.

Your story breaks my heart. As a mother, I would do everything I could to make sure my son had both parents involved in his life at all times, unless the other parent was truly a danger to the child. I really wish people realized that making the child a pawn does not make you a good parent. Eventually kids grow up and some even find out the truth. The child’s best interest should be first and foremost in every decision. People break up, make mistakes, get divorced but holding onto the bitterness over the situation isn’t healthy for anyone. My head understands why you have given up but my heart hopes you keep a journal or some kind of record so if your son were to ask you what happened he would understand why you made the decision you did. I hope at some point his mother puts your child first and fosters an environment in which the two of you can have a healthy relationship.

“my heart hopes you keep a journal or some kind of record so if your son were to ask you what happened he would understand why you made the decision you did. ”

I like this – or even email and phone records of your contact with the mom over the years …

As I mentioned in an earlier post I have kept a journal and of course have copies of all the legal papers. However, I often question whether I should ever reveal those in the future when I hopefully speak to my son when he is old enough. I wonder – would it be right for me to shatter the illusion that he has about his mother? Imagine – he comes to me feeling secure – knowing he has a loving mother and a useless father. I show papers and evidence. It may do more harm than good. He winds up with a broken relationship with both parents. It is only human for me to want to tell ‘my side’ of the story and thus appear a better person than I am. It might not be the right thing though.

For what it’s worth, as someone who once vilified one parent and sanctified the other (unhappy marriage including emotional abuse), as I grew up (well after 18, mind you), I’ve been able to see that both parents had their faults and struggles. Age and reflection combined with authentic experiences in the present can often shine more light on a situation than hearing another side of the story. So you might not have to shatter the illusion of a perfect mom; she could do that all on her own while you showcase your own true self in the present (which is future) instead of explaining the past. You have my massive respect for considering this side of it, though.

In this day and age there are fathers who alienate mothers from children after a divorce. Using the same arguments. I am one of them. I sympathize with you, except as a woman. I too have to walk away so as to avoid being jailed or any number of horrible things which would not serve to make me a better parent to my children.

John,
Again your post hits me right in the heart. I just got engaged 2 days ago (Valentine’s Day) to a wonderful woman. She understand my situation and has stood by me and supported me through the hell that I have been going through. And as hard as I know must be for her, she has never complained and keeps finding strength when I have none.
“I am also aware that my new wife and new family are also entitled to some happiness. I feel that it would be unfair of me to spend all my time, energy and money on a fruitless enterprise, fighting against an embittered woman who has decided to try and make our lives miserable, at any cost.”
Your eloquent words describe exactly how I feel. I need to move on with my life, and my fiance deserves a man who can make her happy every day.

Hello Mike. Thank you for your remarks. I agree that moving on with your life is the healthiest option.

The sad and dangerous thing is that ‘moving on’ and lack of contact seems to involve the father ‘letting go’ of his attachment if he want to keep his sanity and be happy. Otherwise he would be forever pining for the child, for something that the court has decided that he can’t have.

In my case, ‘letting go’ wasn’t something that I chose. It just seems to have happened over time, with the distance, the separation, and the knowledge that there is no possibility that the child will ever live with me or spend a large amount of time with me ever again.

My point is that, no doubt it hurts the child to have you absent. However, you may find that it hurts you less and less as time goes by, and you may find yourself questioning whether your feelings for the child are exactly the same as before. I know I do.

Your story told here is sad. However, you begin with the divorce. Something happened to get you there. I stayed in a crap marriage for 15 years to avoid divorce. Of course, eventually another woman wanted the ring and divorce ensued. Mine was also six figures. Fatherhood wan’t much of a priority when it was diapers, childcare, broken bones. When the youngest was old enough to stay home alone, he sued for sole custody based on my job (he was retiring that month). I was delivering them to a house where they were, in fact, home alone.

The sad fact of divorce is that two people that can’t agree on anything either let the child decide or go to court on every school, medical and religious question. Neither are great options. But, now you have a new family. So, you have moved on and your son sees that. Do you integrate the child in your new family, or do you and your wife bitch about your ex? I guarantee that the child won’t be able to tell you off for a few years if ever, but he is reporting it back to his mother.

Someone has to be the final word. Perhaps you were in your marriage. or your marriage failed because you weren’t. But, now it is your ex. If you can’t find a way to get along with her, you’re going to need bouncers at his wedding. Don’t be that couple.

Liz, your words are so ignorant. When dealing with Parental Alienation the majority of the time the Alienator has completely brainwashed the child into thinking the other parent is the most awful person in the world when they are not and normally have done nothing to warrant this abuse. The Alienating parent is a narcissistic liar. I NEVER said anything about my ex-husband in front of my daughter but he brainwashed her into making me a horrible person.

My father just stopped being my father when my parents split up. It is VERY hard on the child. I would have been thrilled to even just have a “Disneyland dad”. It is devastating to know your parent doesn’t try to see you. Devastating.
I think this father is telling himself things that make him feel better but he is kidding himself . His child is suffering because of the father’s behavior.

So you think that everyone else’s experience is the same as your experience, and we’re all just lying about our experiences…

Ann – Perhaps, rather than simply blaming your father, you might wish to explore the circumstances surrounding his decision, what your mother may (or may not) have done to have brought this on. It may have been just as devastating for your father. Perhaps not only is “his child suffering because of the father’s behaviour,” could it be that the father is also suffering because of the mother’s bahaviour? It may not be so in your case, but maybe re-read the article and see why some fathers finally walk away.

My heart breaks for this man and his children. My marriage to my kids’ Dad didn’t work out, but that’s about me and him, not our children. I am grateful for the coparenting relationship we share and I know it’s good for my kids. Has it been easy? No, not always but well worth it for my children and my own sense of self-respect. I hope the author is able to find some peace, and I hope his children grow to understand and open to him in time. I don’t pretend to know everything about his situation but I simply can’t imagine biasing my children against their father.

I haven’t finished reading everything because I’m at work, but I will. I felt compelled to comment after reading a father say it’s a widespread issue for women to use their children as weapons. That’s horrible and it breaks my heart that anyone would feel it’s commonplace. That was his experience and I’m sure it feels common to him because of that. The horror stories, the extremists and the most vindictive stories are always pushed to the Forefront. The Plain Jane normal stories would be boring, we don’t hear about those. I have no doubt that his story is true and I know there are terrible people, male and female, all over the place, but they aren’t the majority. It’s not widespread for women to use their children as weapons, the women who do that are a small percentage of mothers. A larger percentage of mothers would never do that and only want the best for their children. I am a mother and I am against parental alienation. Please remember that most of us aren’t like that, don’t let a bad experience give us all a bad name.

Emma,
In co-founding LW4SP, I’ve spent 5 years talking with “non-custodial parents” (mostly fathers).

Frankly, you nailed this, on so many levels.

While many will likely feel, “were I in that situation, there’s NO WAY I walk away from my kids”, I’ll respond, its a situation you only know how you’d react to AFTER you’ve been faced with it. Fatherlessness is the top social issue in America. Yes, its caused by many factors, including fathers who don’t want to be involved. But as the damage to children is so traumatic, we should be doing all we can, at government, corporate and non-profit levels, to encourage active fatherhood. Instead, like what’s described in this story, many of those same institutions help create fatherlessness rather than address it.

Thank you for such a great piece.

Terry Brennan

Wow. As a mother of three who has been forced to raise my children solo with zero child support since my divorce 9 years ago because my ex-husband simply refuses to work, I’m gobsmacked. I can tell you that my children have really been affected by his absence, especially my daughter, the eldest, who is now 21 and has recently been kicked out of college for reasons that defy logic…especially because it was a miracle for me to find a way to send her. My son’s won’t know how to be a good father because they never had one. As a result of my ex refusing to help financially my kids also got a mom who is stressed & frazzled all the time because everything else suffers when one parent gets stuck doing everything…especially when there is no support system & no money. I’m sorry pal, you make some good points about the unnecessary manipulative bullshit scorned ex’s sometimes resort to, but damn, one day you’ll have to explain your rationale to your child & all he’s going to think is, my dad didn’t care enough to fight to be my Dad. The damage is irreperable.

Lucy – It’s hard to focus on your argument here because all I hear is blame and victimhood. Yes, your kids’ dad should have been involved, but we can’t hinge every problem in your life, or your kids’ lives, on that one tragedy. Single moms with no outside help or income raise productive, healthy children who grow up to be great parents, and make the decision not to be stressed and frazzled as an overall life theme.

Yep, easy to blame ‘the bastard’. Although there are boys who walk away I can’t imagine a man doing that. Having and loving children is what separates the men from the boys.

Kieth: Sanctimonious: self-righteous, holier-than-thou, pious, churchy, moralizing, preachy, smug, superior, priggish, hypocritical, insincere, goody-goody.

I agree with that!! My husband left me and my 1 year old son while I was 7 months pregnant with our daughter , he left with his best friends whore of a girlfriend, and never came back , never came to the birth never came to meet his daughter while we live 30 min from him , he got the whore pregnant and is going to be a father to her kid , yet we aren’t even divorced yet and he won’t see the kids or meet the baby , or even pay child support he changed his number and completely stopped talking to me , this all came out of no where , and now I’m a single mom of 2 with no help and finished my pregnancy alone , while he’s there for hers . He’s not a man , he’s a little boy .

I can see your point only a boy would walk away .i have a daughter I was 22 when I had her very young and immature with no life experience.i haven’t seen her sense she was 5 years old .i have tried to talk to her and meet her but I just get silent treatment her mother won’t pick up the phone .i refuse to go through the courts now because she is 13 years old now.so I have walked away .her mother plays games always has now that I’m a man with life experience I have no time for kiddie games life is to sort .my door is always open for my daughter but it’s up to her now she is a teenager now.

I begged her mother on the phone to talk to my daughter I write letters after letters .but her mother gave nothing just silence like I was no one .and her mother is a lesbian and thinks her wifey is my daughters daddy .that women has mental issues.and when we where together years ago she was sleeping with my uncle for years and with my step brother.this woman is messed up damaged goods in my book.run for the hills is what I did I was free from this broken woman.

I had a one night stand with a friend I knew for long, she told me she could not fall pregnant it was impossible well she did she had the baby and I have been paying 50% maintenance she moved to another city I see my baby now one year 12 hrs a month she drinks takes drugs and she allowed her druggy ex to cuddle my baby after a month of being born without his shirt staying over by him before I could bond I still have not bonded the mother keeps breaking contact and lying to me

Emma, you sound like a troller. Lucy is obviously stressed out from her situation and has a right to feel anger. Try being more sympathetic to her instead of chastising her.

Emma, all you hear is blame and victimhood? Really?!!! I don’t know your particular situation but if you’ve never had to take care of children full time with zero emotional, or financial support, then I’d like to invite you to shut the fuck up! It may sound like this woman is bitter but if she is, she had help wouldn’t you say? You think she just woke up one day and decided to be miserable all the fucking time? No, bitch! Her ex drove her there and it’s easy to get stuck and if you don’t like it than maybe you should reach out and offer to help her instead of judging her!

When a woman uses vulgar, indiscreet language, why does she, in our North American society, still uncompromisingly respected and given full, ordinary credibility???

If you would have given him equal parenting things would have been a lot different. You have no one to blame but yourself for the way your children are now! I know because I am one of those fathers too. I have 4 practically worthless children who I didn’t get to be a part of their lives because of the system. I didn’t refuse to work. I just couldn’t afford to bring them into my home because I would not have been able to pay my bills after paying the stupid support. Go cry in someone else’s beer ma’am. You will get no sympathy from me!

Share parenting would have stopped my ex’s narcisstic behaviour shame really. I have never met a more selfish and destructive person in all my life she accussed me of rape child abuse child abduction etc etc went to court around 55. Times before calling it a day. I could write a book on what i went through

My kids father pays the min support and I let I’m know that he can see his kids whenever he wants or he can call but he doesn’t he sees them once a week and always plans vacations so that holidays he doesn’t see the kids even though we have the standard agreement. What’s his excuse, I’m still civil to him but those are questions I can’t seem to get answered.

I see your point. However it would be equally valid for the child to ask ‘why did my mother keep my dad from me?’. You seem to have the assumption that it is up the man to ‘fight’, come what may, and regardless of cost, for the right to be an equal parent, when common sense would dictate that both parents should be equal.

However, in the real world, I believe that almost every mother believes deep in her heart that the child is ‘hers’ and that she is the more important parent, when it really comes down to it.

I have often wondered what I will say when the child approaches me. Would it be the right thing to do, for me to show him my journal, my court papers and relate the stories? Would shattering the illusion he has about his mother being a good person in order to make myself look better (even if it is true) be the right thing to do? Would it be in fact more noble to keep the truth from him, even if that means that I am forever in the wrong in his eyes?

It is often said that Life is a hard teacher. She gives the test first, and the lesson after.
I believe that one of the more useful lessons that life teaches us, is to know when to simply give up. Human beings are notoriously bad at it, which is why you hear people complaining about their job and yet doing it for years. We are all on this earth only once. Sometimes we have to make hard or unpopular choices. Sometimes whatever choice we make carries a penalty and it’s a question of the greatest good of the greatest number.

I intend to keep reminding his mother that I am here, that I am willing to see the child, that I in fact would love him to spend time with me. But if she refuses to cooperate, I am not going to write begging letters. I will continue to pay all the money that is asked of me, but if the courts and his mother refuse to support my role as a father, then that’s sad for the child, and for me, but I have seen the writing on the wall and I sadly conclude that I should not spend any more money, time, energy or heartache fighting a one sided battle that I can never win.

John – My deepest sympathies on your situation. first and foremost – I can entirely understand and support your decision. I witness first hand, every darn day, the same struggle and feelings my husband goes through. As a woman myself I am disheartened by women today and their self-entitled, self-righteous, disgusting behavior and thought process. How anyone could think that one parent would have a superior, God like right over the other parent in regards to a child is ridiculous and insulting. We should all understand that every “family’s” situation is unique and there will always be circumstances that make everyone’s story different from the other there is really one ultimate goal… We need to stop screwing up our children. The family court system has been the primary source of the destruction of the family unit and is resulting in the destruction of our children. Our children are supposed to be our future… this is why our nation is in the shambles that it’s in.. divided. We are teaching our children not of equality but entitlement.. power.. money.. hate. My step son’s mother accused my husband of being a bad father and irresponsible for not using the same laundry detergent as her. All because she got pregnant after dating for a month, showed up 7 months later (claiming she didn’t know she was pregnant the whole time) and expected him to move her in and be with her. When he politely rejected the idea.. shit hit the fan! He was a dead beat, abusive, irresponsible, a danger. And after keeping the child away for 9 month.. claimed he was a danger because he was a stranger. So now the poor child, my husband, our entire family must suffer at the hands of this woman and her parents all because my husband wouldn’t take her in and marry her.

I was joking with a friend the other day that we mine-as-well just go back to the gladiator arenas back in the time of the Romans because that is really what is happening… throwing parents in a ring and seeing who comes out alive. They make money off of it, the more drama = the more money.. the wealthier you are the better chance you have of having good weapons and you can only have one winner. sad but true. Society has bred us to believe that men cannot raise children and lead us to believe the “dead beat dad” saga. Women are emotional creatures… Women use Domestic violence as a crutch to seek revenge to make men feel the pain that they have “causes” them. It merely boils down to a “how dare you” situation. You want to cheat.. how dare you, i’ll take your kid and your money and use my power to exert control over you…you want to leave me… how dare you, i’ll use my power and control over you to make you miserable… you want to see your kid… too bad how dare you, you shouldn’t have left me… no matter how much you hate the other parent, your kids shouldn’t be used as a pawn, a possession, a weapon. Everyone needs to get off their high horses and walk in the mud with the rest of us. we are all equal. We need to do a better job at fighting for our children. Our children need equal UNHAMPERED access to both parents. We need to get along and put our hurt feelings aside. We need to get it out of our heads that one parent OWES the other anything. we OWE our children.

Lucy – I don’t know you or your situation.. you have my sympathy that you have struggled… but with that said, I would bet a year’s salary, if after I heard your story I’d respond with something you wouldn’t want to hear like shame on you.

Emma – *high five*

My sons dad isn’t allowed to see my son because he will not make it equal and I refuse for my son to be treated like an outsider.. he favors the one he lives with comes to get my son when he feels like it and does not make him a priority.. if he can’t take him consistently on a regular basis he cannot see him at all.. it is not fair to my son or me for him to see him once every five months while he kisses his girlfriends ass and raises his other son everyday.. he also is not on child support and never helps financially

Obviously this is about you, not your kid… who are you to decide all this? Thank you for putting this in your kid’s head, that is certainly very damaging. Mother of the year you are. Re-read your comment, this is all about you, your vengeance, and your jealousy. Seriously, wake up, let your kid see the dad, be courteous to him, it’s so not about YOU! You really do sound like you are making it this much harder for the dad to have a healthy relationship with his dad. Shame on YOU for ruining your son.

The Mothers can’t see or feel our Father’s pain. To the Mothers the children are just property, held back from dad for spite. Face it and just deal with it ladies. If a mother was fair she would lay down boundaries, be mature enough to know the damage of not having the father involved and it’s consequences. Just because a relationship ends for the parents doesn’t mean the mother should also end the Children’s relationship with the father.

We all make mistakes, stretch truths and manipulate the situation. But no mother can understand the pain us men feel when dropping off our children, you can’t understand and never will. You should be more focused on yourself for pushing and Alienating the father from his children and the longterm effects on those children rather than dancing around with your trophy and sipping margaritas with your girlfriends of how much control you flex over the father.

Sure, not all mothers are the same. There is a tiny fraction of fair and rational mothers who learn to co-exist. Just like not all Father’s are the same. I am in that minority of Father’s grasping at whatever I can get as my case gets dragged through the system. However, the father in this add, sadly, has thought thru all 4 options, considered their weight and realized, next to suicide over the heart brake and rabbit hole of loneliness, depression and feelings of his life shattered by not being involved and treated merely as an atm…made the right decision.

Knowing it would cost thousands I don’t have and years that I don’t have, suicide or vanishing is the only way some of us can cope because no matter how ,Uchiha we spend or how long it takes, we still have to support ourselves and the children are being brainwashed the entire time. These mothers should take a walk in our shoes, be grateful we would accept boundaries with equal parenring, not counter parenting to just be involved. Stop being hell-bent to Alienate us when we all know of dad’s out there that wud prefer to just leave u with the kids.

None of us want to be ‘Disneyland Dads’, it’s not fair to the children either and statistically speaking mothers are willingly causing more harm for the children by handling matters this way. You should hope and pray the children don’t grow up bitter against you as they will resent you once they come of age and discover you pushed their daddy away.

I agree with a good many of the sentiments in this reply. It is clear that the writer is as annoyed at the situation as I was. For myself, I think I’m down the path to acceptance of the situation now – but only because I chose to cut off contact and allow the wounds to heal. Perhaps that is the way that men often deal with issues.

I also often reflect that:

‘Feeling hate and anger, is akin to drinking poison and hoping that your enemy will die’.

I know some men that have battled for ten precious years with the ex-wives over the kids. There are stories in these replies today of poor men who have sacrificed a large percentage of their lives in an ultimately fruitless quest. I know other men that cut off contact when the ex started to play games and then resumed contact with the kids when they were old enough to be free of the mother’s control. They most likely have judged themselves in the secret halls of their hearts more times than some people imagine.

I applaud any man who is grimly being dragged through the system, doing what he can, the best he can, to maintain some sort of relationship with the children that have been taken from him. That is the hardest road of all. It’s a very difficult and noble thing to do. It may be fruitless, but at least his conscience is clear that he did everything he possibly could. I am often ashamed, despite my reasoning, that I took the route that I did. People who know me urge me to forgive myself. That is not so easy. I often wonder whether I could have or should have spent more, done more, argued more.

We are expected and conditioned that as parents, we should be willing to go through any form of hell to bring happiness to our children. However, there has to be a line. Just like any parent would agree that they would not be prepared to sell their house in order to buy junior a pony, in a similar way, I reasoned, I would have to balance the financial and emotional cost to all parties of the constant fighting against the consequences to the child of a break in contact.

Hello John,

My name is Terry Brennan and I’m a co-founder of Leading Women for Shared Parenting. Perhaps you’ll investigate our organization…. just google LW4SP.

First, let me say, I’m not here to judge you and, with one exception, I do understand your rationale as I’ve spent five years talking with “non-custodial parents’ and, likely more often, those who love them. Among the gender issues that are underreported by our media is that estimates of those deemed “non-custodial parents” by US Family Courts who lose touch with their children range from 30% to 50%. It’s a horrific system we put families through and a direct cause of Fatherlessness. In fact, using the low estimate, US Family Courts create a Fatherless child every 60 seconds. In short, you’re not alone. Having talked with so many, I hope you’ll accept that I do understand.

However, In the above, I said “with one exception”.

That exception is, you almost never hear the voices of those who’ve lost touch with their children, and tell the story you so eloquently told, as these parents don’t typically peruse blogs about child custody, family law or shared parenting. As such, the stories of those who made the decision you did, typically aren’t told, as the connection between the story teller, and the publishing platform is never made. The vacuum of this void is then filled by those, who’ve never been through the experience, but none the less, feel capable of sharing their judgment.

If I may ask, how did you connect with Emma and why did you send your story? (And I’m happy you did).

Thank you John.

Hey Terry – this is pulled from comments he left on various posts I’d written on shared parenting / absentee dads.

I am a divorced father of three, my daughters are 17 and 18 my som is 13. I consider myself the best ex husband in the world, I pay my child support , I pay for ALL medical, I give my ex wife $1,200 cash every year in August for school clothes, my ex and her husband went to Disney on a Wednesday I stoped by their house on Tuesday and gave her $500 cash and told the kids to have fun, I payed for two phases of braces on all three kids, I pay for all sports and music instruments, I bought both of the girls cars for their 16th birthdays it goes on and on. The shit hit the fan when my oldest daughter got nominated as the homecoming queen, I borrowed a convertible drove in the parade. When they announced the home coming court on the high school football field each kid was represented by their mother, father and siblings. When my daughter was walking down the isle they announced her mother, step dad, siblings and step brother. The bastards left me out. I was absolutely crushed, I know it was done on purpose. To make matters worse, I graduated from the same high school, I got up and left (there was about 5,000 people there) I ran into several people I knew when I was leaving and they kept saying to me wast that your daughter? I was now humiliated on top of being crushed. I didn’t sleep for three days. It just got worse from there, when my oldest graduated last year, I talked to my ex wife and said how do you want to do the graduation party? She said we are having our own party and you are not invited. I begged her to do it together, I told her we can do it at my house, your house, a hall, anywhere. I told her I would pay for the whole thing. She said no, you can have your own party for her. This caused tremendous stress on my daughter, I asked her to reconsider 3 times to no avail. To make matters worse my ex invited all of my friends and family to her graduation party. I had a party for her but it was really awkward with people getting invited twice. My 18 year old stopped staying over when she was a senior in high school, her younger sister stopped coming about three months after I gave her a car for her 16th birthday, about 8 months ago. My 17 year old just called me and asked me if I was going to give them money again for school clothes and I said no, you don’t come around anymore and all I am is a walking ATM machine, I told her that it hurts my feelings that the only time I hear from her is when her car needs repairs or she wants money. My 13 year old son told me Wednesday that he doesn’t want to come over anymore. I am absolutely crushed, he would rather hang out with his step father. John G, you were talking about the four emotions and I feel all four of them, what is really crazy is I am a John G also. I have given these people untold tens of thousands of dollars over the years, because I didn’t want my kids coming back on me some day saying I lived a good life and they didn’t. I am not a millionaire, I just always put those kids first and sacrificed my own goals. I drive older cars. My ex wife and I got divorced 11 years ago, because she is sooo bad with finances. She is an obsessive compulsive spender. She has bought 5 new cars in the last 3 years, trading them in and rolling the negative equity into the next one and they are all luxury suv’s to boot. I am going to fight for my boy, I am going to go to every game, practice etc. I don’t even like sports. His step father is an ESPN junkie and so is my son now, I tried to explain to my son that it’s just kids on tv playing a game and keep it in check, don’t waste 30 hours a week on something that won’t add any value to your life. One of my biggest issues I have had with my children is I always try to create a teachable moment when I see the opportunity and they don’t like it. I believe these kids will come back in my life but it hurts like hell, it could be 10 years from now or maybe never. Fathers are so important to the development of their children, if daughters don’t have their Dad they tend to have trouble with boys, with boys they struggle with having to prove to the world they will achieve because they never heard it from dad. I don’t have the answers. Prayer and faith is all I have. Hang in there.

My dad tells me to forget my son and move on. I want him in my life but I don’t want to be miserable and shamed for nearly two decades due to his mother.

Life is cruel and we can’t change that but the kids who forget there fathers are missing out on the jokes and the fun the kids that forgot there fathers have worse lives because what’s life without a dad somewhere in the world. I love my dad and I miss him a lot and it’s all my moms fault and I won’t ever forget about my dad. The people who do are terrible people

I chose not to go through the courts. I realized thatbI was dealing with a broken man. He needed constant attention, reassurance of how great of a person he could be when the truth was he was mean spirited, emotionally needed and a veey petty and spiteful man. He carried lot of hurt from issues with his mom and unlashed on me anytime I tried to get him to open up. I supported and loved unconditionally until I realized that he enjoyed being this ugly part of him. He told me he knew his behavior was unhealthy and wanted help but after several years of his emotional abuse, I couldn’t keep in this relationship that physically drained me. Telling me F××× me, walking out and blaming for not chasing him. Not respecting or understanding boundaries. How dare I try to have a voice, but I fell inlove with the pieces of a great man with a tortures past that allowed his demons to get the best of him and blaned everyone else because of it.
He had a 5 year old child from a previous relationship and he didn’t see her as much as he wanted, but I quickly realized it was because of his lack of respect for the mother’s time. He expected to call her on a Saturday morning and take his daughter but of coursw, most times that wasnt possible. I would hear him cancel seeing her, because he couldn’t get up because he was completely toasted after stumbling on my house from s drunken night. As time passed, he became more excited about living than killing himself with addictionns. When we got pregnant, I was concerned but I’ve committed myself to him and were starting our family, so I thought.
It seems like when I got pregnant, old habits resurfaced and much worse than they ever were. I was a very high risk pregnancy and things got so bad, I had to move back with my parents, my parents while my husband was out feeding his addiction. I was 5 months pregnant and my partner, my friend had abandoned me. Fast forward, I spend 9 days in the hospital when he showed up, only after my emergency C section. And while in the hospital recovering, procedes to tell me how I hurt him. Needless to say, that was my last straw and separated. He didn’t feel comfortable coming to my parents house, so he didn’t see our baby much. The times he did come by, he left to get a fix and then came completely off. But what is a dad to expect when he chooses to pop in and out of your childs life as he pleases? I think it becomes irresponsible to allow that behavior around your child. How long do you allow your child to feel that hurt and disappointment of being second to another child, another lover, alcoholism, addiction? A parents state of mind is extremely important in the health and their abilitybto care for their children. Telling a mother to just get over her pain is as irresponsible as it is telling a father to deal with not seeing his child. A divorce is a loss. The dissolvement of a family is heart breaking, regardless of the reason and both parties must be empathetic towards that. Healing while caring for your children is Extremely difficult and it absolutely takes time.
He became so disrespectful and nasty,I made the decision to put some space between us. He was still able to see our son, until recently. He’s screaming he hates me, and disappointed in me for not fighting to keep us together, but I realized he’s projecting his reflection of himself. I can’t have our son around that behavior. I think I have every right to guard him from thst destructiveness. Am I wrong for not wanting our son to think thst behavior is ok? Am I bitter, No, Im disappointed and very hurt but Im more scared that our little boy will pick up this negative energy and start to feel insecure because of his father unsettled issues.
Emotional abuse is hard to heal from, and I truely loved my husband. But thinking about this young man we’re blessed to raise, puts him first. Mother and father have to be capable. It troubles me when people say get over it. It doesn’t happen in a day and it takes both parties and open and honest communicstion.

“Maybe I should be a fuck up and maybe then my ex will left me see my kid more without being shamed.”

Whoever wrote this, you obviously didn’t read anything that the previous poster wrote, and you don’t care. Chances are you are a fuck up, since you decided to post this in response to a woman who left a man who decided that drugs were more important to him than the health and well being of his own child. Men and women who are addicted to drugs are incapable of properly taking care of themselves, let alone their own children who are the true victims of their abuse. The person abusing the drugs makes a choice as to what is their priority, and it usually is none other than their drug, making everything else second. It’s irresponsible and unhealthy for any woman to stay in this kind of volatile and abusive environment. But you are a fuck-up so pointing this out is probably a colossal waste of my time. To the OP who posted about why they decided to choose to not be a part of their childs life, its just a lengthy and well worded excuse for someone who is essentially selfish. We all make choices that we will have to explain later on in life. Children grow up, when they do, they will want answers, regardless of what either parent says, they will recognize the truth eventually. How much is a clear conscience worth to you? To the fathers who can justify leaving, apparently, not very much.

John,
I read your post last night and I cried. I am in exactly the same situation only with 3 kids and a financial situation much worse than yours. I have reached the crossroads and when I the only options left I see are leaving the world or leaving the kids, then I have no choice but to stop seeing my kids. I know in my heart that this is not a choice I’m making lightheartedly but a choice I’m forced to make due to a vengeful ex wife and and a corrupt family court system.
Although I’m sad it also gave me strength reading your post, knowing that I’m not the only divorced father feeling like this.
I refuse to continue taking abuse. I refuse to continue being blackmailed by the biased court system. One day my children will understand.
In response to what to tell the kids once they ask…YES, you need to show them everything. Court documents, journals, emails, messages. EVERYTHING.
Right now the kids are only getting one side of the story. They need to hear both sides. Even if it will only happen in several years from now. Keeping the truth from small children is sometimes necessary. But once they’re old enough they NEED to know the truth. It’s not noble to hide the truth. Much better to be honest with your children once they are old enough to understand. I guarantee you that in the end they will appreciate you for your honesty.

Everyone saying you don’t understand and you can’t fight forever and blah this blah that. All I’m reading are I’s and blame but no one is saying what they did or how they got there or how they will never give up cause no matter what these are your children. You never stop fighting for them no matter how stressful it gets for you. That’s what your children will appreciate the fight. Some of you want sympathy cause you kept losing battles and couldn’t take the heartache and stress and pain. Which is understanding but I can’t sympathise with. I try every chance I get to be in my kid’s life and although they are in highschool and I just now got to really be a Dad it paid off cause my kid’s know I never stopped fighting and they welcome me open arms. It’s hard for some men now in this post but your kids will eventually be grown and it’s them you have to answer to and their not going ask you why mom kept me away they are going to ask why you didn’t keep fighting for me and it got to hard isn’t an answer some kids will accept,I didnt.

John G. We are with you 100%. I speak on behalf of my husband who endured similar behaviours and much worse. After years of battling his ex. And a fortune in legal fees, he too walked away. It broke his heart and mine too – but to regain our sanity, some semblance of calm and order in our life- it absolutely had to be done. Shame on her is all I can say. And shame on the courts that fed her narcissistic and deviant ways. ☹️

I know who you are and see through your lies, JG. The extent of your pathology is shocking. You have been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder and aspects of sociopathy by a highly credentialed expert. It doesn’t surprise me that you’ve chosen a public platform to spew your lies to an audience that can express sympathy for your suffering. I know the truth. That you had no interest in your children (yes, there are two). That you only cared about how little you had to pay in support as you lavished gifts on your girlfriend. That you cheated on me with this girlfriend, who you now have a child with. And who you seem to have now married finally – the poor woman has no idea what she’s dealing with. You can believe this nonsense but you and I know the truth.

John, I can’t relate to what you are going thru. My husband had a child with a woman who thought having a baby would make him marry her. He didn’t know her that well when she got pregnant. As he found out more about her, he realized he could never marry her. He fought in court for over 2 years to get visitation, and had to go thru restraining orders based on false accusations. He fought until he was arrested for falsely violating a restraining order that was based on false allegations. This was a retaliation for finally being awarded visitation. He spent 3 days in jail, lost his job & apartment he just moved in to. During the 2 years he fought for visitation, his ex told the court he wanted nothing to do with the child. They came to an agreement that her then husband would adopt the child. So my husband signed the consent for adoption in 2005. Now 12 years later, he receives court papers for the mother seeking child support!! So he went a total of 14 years without seeing this child, and the court is allowing this matter to go forward in the court system. This woman is a special kind of EVIL to do this. It started when she found out we got married. We were being stalked on social media for a whole year before she reached out to me with such bitterness. She emailed me to say negative things about him. Then she started contacting our relatives doing the same thing. We finally purchased a beautiful home after saving for years, and because of it, she is mad. He’s made life changing decisions based on not having a child to support. He knows the truth about her, and things she’s done (which are the same reasons he would NOT marry her). He doesn’t want to hurt this child, but also does not want to be the monster she’s made him out to be to the child. I’ve looked at her facebook & I’m shocked that she asked him to sign the consent for adoption, and yet makes horrible posts about him being a deadbeat dad!! This woman never got over my husband, and now thinks we can all be friends I will not feed into the drama this woman wants to start. There is also NO WAY this woman will ever be a part of our lives. So I can truly relate to what you’re going thru. And there will be a time when the child grows up & looks for him, but he will tell the child the truth & nothing but the truth.

John, you are in a very difficult situation. I begged my children’s father to see them even when the kids were angry at their father for not seeing them, I held the door open for him because my children loved him. He never paid any support for them and still I held the he door open for him because they lived him. My children are in their early 20’s now and have not seen their father since the day he left when the were young. Their father is a whole in their hearts. They went through anger, low self esteem and depression as a result of his rejection. The kids have put their broken pieces together and moved on with their lives. Their father is dead to them and the will never allow that wound to be opened again. What I want to tell you is you won’t be able to shatter his bubble when he is older. The wound of your absence will be so healed over with massive scar tissue nothing will open it again. Maybe when he is older he may meet with you just to face you tell you what you did to him. You will never be able to tell him your side of the story, in his heart there will only be his side, you won’t don’t have a side. No matter what you have been through you have to find a way to hold on to your son. Even if you saw him only once a month, then when he is older you will be able to build a bridge with him. This is difficult, I know. But not seeing him at all will cause him to experience your absence from his life as abandonment by you. You won’t come back from abandonment. Him being g grown and free to make his own decisions won’t change anything, he won’t want you in his life. He us the one who can now call the shots. I am sorry for your situation. I hope you choose your son no matter how difficult it is.

John, I agree with you 100%. My husband is going through the same torment from the mothers of his two sons. You are absoulutely right about the depression, the court cost, the attorneys, fighting tooth and nail for a phone call oe a text back, is beyond exhausting. Its demeaning and one sided. While continuously paying child support and buying what is asked of him. My husband is at the same point where enough is enough. It’s his sanity that is at stake. The 4 crossroads you mentioned earlier are 100% real. I appreciate your honesty more than you know.

To John G-
My son sent this link to me for one reason. Your comments. He identifies with your story, because he has been experiencing this for almost four years himself. I have been by his side through all of it. It definitely takes a toll on the mind and body. I have seen “the best interest of the child” get kicked to the curb when the ex started demanding money in court. Not just child support, but maintenance and every dollar she could lie her way to, in court. I sat and watched her and the family spew lie after lie under oath. It is hard to watch this and made us sick most days.
For starts, she left him, kidnapped their two year old, and their premie was still in NICU. She and fam repeatedly blocked his visits with his baby. The head nurse had to be called three times and the social worker contacted. Next, the baby was released to the exes care, with my sons agreement. Then she kept his baby from him too. It was almost unbearable to witness the agony of this time. The divorce papers came, then court. His lawyer charged him high end fees but gave him bottom barrel service. He was given visits with his two year old, but it was always something, so the police always had to be called and shown court orders. As he went to pick up his child for visitaion, the police arrested him. She made false reports against him three days earlier. He spent the night in jail. With his lawyer by his side (for another $2000) they watched as her lawyer presented printouts of prefabricated texts. Her corrupt uncle had arranged this game. He was there too. Thank God my son saved his texts- the real ones, because he proved she lied about harassment charges. She should have been put in jail for this. Its a small neighborhood, so it didn’t take much to find out that she had a boyfriend when she was pregnant with his second child. Also collecting maintenance while sneaking to a job. She snuck his children out of the state with her boyfriend, but my sons lawyer (the fourth one the firm passed him to) said there was nothing they could do?????? He even had proof of the police report. He has had to call the police because her parents dog bit his child’s face and her and family refused to take her for medical care. ? I was with him and then she and her family were laughing about this. ? He lost his lawyer(s) due to lack of funds, so all we could do is pray. The games continue to this day. Now she manipulates and plays with his children’s minds. Its very sad and makes our family sad for the kids. My family never says a bad word about her or that family, but the children are fed so many lies by them. She gives orders not to give the kids baths, but won’t take care of them. I clean them and they eat well here. This doesn’t make any sense. But she has designer clothes, nails, tans, and a brand new car. The divorce is many pages long with all mini contracts that are all about control and money. He didn’t have a lawyer, so the judge made him sign a lot of ridiculous contracts. The ex even wanted to be renamed SPOUSE so she can scrape up anything that’s left after dies! This is insane! And beneficiary?….. They were only married two years and she gets all this power? All because she filed first-the lawyer told us. And she cheated, stole his babies, and lied repeatedly to a judge?! Oh also the family friend whi works for clerk of court and knows the judges and lawyers, showed up to every divorce court date with their whole family! I find all of this very curious. But getting back, I wanted you to know his story because getting himself through all of this and making it to his job, and getting through a day with this constantly going on, is almost impossible. I have to say, his sisters and my husband and I have all been here for him and his kids, but the grief and struggle are still there. He has been and is still fighting the fight. I believe you have helped my son, by sharing your story. Just knowing that someone else has or is going through this twisted situation, is supportive. I wish you the best and I am praying for you and your child. I am sorry you have to go through this, and all the other dads that have to endure Malicious Mom Syndrom. Take care of yourself. God Bless You. I believe in miracles!

Stories like this make me believe artificial wombs are utterly necessary. Having children without a woman is the only way a father have any real right. If artificial wombs already existed, the many many stories of fathers destroyed by perverse ex wives would be just a bad nightmare not something real

John G.
When the children are old enough to ask questions, they are entitled to know the truth. Not how you relay it but as it is documented. Children who have been lied to tend not to trust, so your verbal information will not be well received by them. Children will eventually find out through their own reasoning and life’s experiences that some things just do not add up. Your Ex will transpose the hate she has for you onto the children because she knows that is the only way she can get to you. That is your heart’s pain.
Yes, you will have lost all the formative years and yes, you have had to struggle to keep your life in order because your children were on your mind as you placed one foot in front of the other and learned to cope.
Father’s are required to take the High Road and the family Court System will hold a Father to the strictest standards without one iota of deviation. Custodial Decrees are only guidelines for Fathers not for Mothers… even in so called’ joint custody cases’. That is the Motto.
It gets worse when your Ex gets Safe Nest involved and accuses you of abuse. Even if there are testimonial statements from neighbors, in your behalf and sworn to by these witnesses, no hospital records, and not even one police report or police summons to the residence,
YOU AS THE ACCUSED MALE are required to prove yourself innocent. What I read on this Web site for Fathers reads like a road-map each Ex feels she must take ‘to get even’ ‘use the children as pawns’ ‘defame and sling Mud in the hope that it will stick and YES.. YOU as the FATHER must prove her wrong. In the end when your child reunites with you and finds out the truth, the wrath is huge and the IRONY is … that YOU, as the responsible parent are then charged with reuniting the mother with the children again. AND YOU WILL TRY TO DO THIS as the responsible Father because you don’t want your children to be forever carry the emotional scars left by their Mother, into any relationship with another female in their future.
While you are trying to foster your children’s forgiveness for their mother’s actions and behavior patterns and the Court’s tolerance of documented neglect, abuse, and criminal behavior against the children, you must also overcome repeated and current and ongoing threats, constant intimidations and attempts to belittle you as the father, levied by the Mother.
Steady as she goes, enter the Judge, who tells you that it is your responsibility to reunite the children with their mother again because otherwise you are an INEFFECTIVE FATHER. After the children have been interviewed by a court appointed Counselor who also recommended that the children need to remain in the father’s care. Of course, that was deemed hearsay by the Judge (are we still on the same planet), so this goes into an evidentiary hearing with witnesses and a brutal cross examination of the children by their Mother, during which she accused the children of criminal behavior and badgered/bullied the children (who were fearful of her wrath should they ever have to see her alone again) over the repeated objections of the father. A Mother who threatened one of the witnesses (her own family member) with ‘making a lot of trouble for his family’ if he were to testify.
AND YES, a Mother who advertised her then small son on a sex web site with her insinuating a threesome with a minor… AND YES she received responses in kind to her posting.
A Mother who had her children mix her and her boyfriend drinks and smoked Cannabis in their presence and co-habited with known felons while the children were in her custody. We haven’t gotten to Welfare Fraud and Social Security Fraud yet but we will, as the report to the Department of Social Services (where she was sanctioned twice before ) has been submitted as well as to the Office of the Inspector General.
AND YES, as a good Father, YOU are expected to justify (what in my opinion is) blatant Judicial Misconduct and the behavior of a Mother who is so twisted that she still can’t recognize that she has to win the children’s trust and respect again.
AND YES, as a good Father you will try to do this… because you travel the high road.
Welcome to the Las Vegas, Nevada Family Court System.
As a Grandmother, I support the Father’s interventions but … beware the power of the pen is mighty AND IT IS MINE. THERE WILL BE PEACE OR PUBLICITY BEYOND IMAGINATION. THIS INJUSTICE MUST STOP. IT IS DAMAGING OUR CHILDREN.
John G. Hang in there and believe. Believe that the truth will prevail and sometimes it is so twisted and presents itself with a bolt of lightening.
Pls do not point to your Ex’s violation or talk down to your children about her. Point out that there is a custodial decree and you and the children have to abide by it because the Judge said so. If you do this long enough, they will finally ask why and what is going on because mommy does not have to do this (whatever THIS is). If you do this long enough and consistently you will be seen as having respect for the law (however skewed it is) and in turn your children will respect you.
In your case, if your Ex is providing a good and safe home and is not abusive, sets a good role model and truly loves your child, let it be. Send your Cards regular as clock work because one of these days your child will retrieve the mail and find your card… or find the box where all of your cards are hidden away. You must believe in that. Good luck

Tell your child everything when they are between 16 to 18 my advice would be to tell them in a matter of fact fashion with no opinions thrown in let them form their own opinion and keep and show any relevent docs which show clearly that your telling the truth. Eg in my case i had to go to court to get my name on birth cert as ex named another man… so i kept a copy of false bc and copy of cout applicatio. Etc ie cannot be denied.

Did the dad ever have equal opportunity, authority into the childs upbringing, and access? If not then you got what you made. You made. The first sign of the disingenuous mother is the monetary statements. As always the tell-tale sign of a parent who’s values are upside down. smh.. tsk tsk. Single mom’s by choice are a sham and kidnappers. Pretty simple.

You have no idea what you are talking about Lucy ! I quit seeing my daughter after fighting to see her for 14 years ! $150,000 in attorneys fees and nothing but heartache and stress ! Your financial stress will never compare to the emotional pain some of us men go through from evil manipulative exs that use the kids as payback !!!!

By the way you say, it’s better for a real dad to push to the limits, to fight till the end, knowing that the end is most likely prison, or broke and roofless, or killing himself. Then, when the children become aware of what happened, they will be thrilled to have such a good dead dad, and a mother they don’t want to see for the rest of their lives.

Some single mothers are single mothers because they chose it, caused it, and deserve it. Of course, it is always someone else’s fault. That’s how you sound.

Starting ANY relationship starts with YOU and through YOU first. If you’re in s relationship you feel you didn’t get in to then…. ?? Were you kid napped like these children?

Yes I was kid back then young dumb didn’t grasp the importance of being a father and for not fighting though court .in my defence I couldn’t for to years from police and judge orders that meant though court system I was take courses for violence for two years then I could apply for visitation.i was fucked legally.

I’m happy inside my life is heading where I want it to go .i have a good job .i keep studying for personal growth.i have dropped all my family except for my brothers and mother i feel it was the best thing for me to do.im going to wait to bree is 18 I know it’s selfish but I’m not perfect and still have a lot of issues with you and feel it’s best for everyone if I just drop out of the picture completely just to bree comes of age .my mind is made up now .if I had my time again I never would have dated you when I was 20 gods truth I wish it never happened to be completely honest.people tell me to fight though court now .but im my own man and have made my decision and completely content inside with my decision it was a very hard and I fought my demons my rage my explosive temper .i would here them laugh at me for being a bitch and not belting Gordon and big Tyson and you .but I found my discipline and self control .i just want to move on now with my life and I will meet bree at 18.this is my last post goodbye .thanks for reading.

Or he can tell his son the truth.

He can show proof of presents and cards sent to his child over the years and prove how the Mother prevented contact. Mom is the monster in this story.

I’ve known children who have reconnected with their fathers years after being alienated by their mother, not one of them thinks Dad did not care enough to be a dad. The Truth eventually comes out.

Sorry you have a Bad ex…that was your choice. This man has an ex that is using his child as a weapon against him.

Thank you Feminism for this Female Privilege.

Sorry but i raised 2 boys on my own as my ex was an alcholic and narricist. Everytime he let us down or the kids or they went somewherre with another 2 parent family I would tell my kids thats the way it should be and that not all Dads are like theirs. It may have made then disappointed but it will help them to become loving dads in the long term. Looking after yourself and the children is your main job and yu should give yourself credit every now and then. Your kids love you so show that back and dont compensate constantly it doesnt work. Just tell the kids we all will be fine and move forward, dont look back just keep moving forward and you should get some help so you can help yourself which helps the children . Yes kids should have there dad more but its out of our control and the kids need eventually accept that, if he isn abusive and the kids what to talk to him so be it but just keep being there wonderful mum and just do the best and for you also, please take care of yourself also. dont say much about there dad concentrate on you guys, get p/time job go out a bit etc.The kids will realize your the responsible parent and they are going to need you all there lives.

I am sorry that your Ex is a douchebag, however, my experience is totally different.

My Ex & I broke up on a Saturday, she was in court the next Mondsy claiming to be scared for her safety. I didn’t even know about the court case, because no one thought to inform me.

The Child Support Agency (CSA) rang me about 2 weeks later as she had rightly applied for child support.

The battle over the next year consisted of her making demands that I give her half of the $25,000 computer at home (an old PC), half of the $40,000 camping equipment (she hated camping in our tent), and half of the $30,000 hand tools in the garage. I tried everything to see my son, yet double guessing everything I did in order to avoid allegations of violence & stalking. CSA took money out of my pay in a random fashion, sometimes emptying my bank account without notice. This created problems when they did it a few days before Christmas, so I had no money for presents for my older kids & family.

My son was 14 when we split, do no child orders for visitation were made.

Suicide & other forms of violence were daily companions, because fathers in Australia are treated as cash cows, yet any support groups are usually woman-hating sessions that don’t help you deal with the situation. My son is now 20 years old, & communicates by Messenger. The conversations are shallow and very brief, with no hope of an actual visit on offer.

I’ve paid child support, as it is the right thing to do, about $50,000 over 3 years until he turned 18, then his mother bought him a new $42,000 car for his 18th birthday. It’s not like she was desperate for money. Some of the tactics employed by my Ex were;
Sending my son to school with a note saying he didn’t want me to attend parent-teacher interviews, even though I’d arranged a different night to him & his mum.
Applying for an Intervention Order because I’d looked at him in the street once (I didn’t recognise him at the time).

Sending me texts abusing me for never taking an interest in his sports whilst we were together ( I was the team first aider for his soccer team & took him to a lot of his tennis matches).
General abuse by text that I was trying to ruin his life.

I now wonder what I saw in marriage & would never go through it again. I can’t understand how the system allows people who have an axe to grind, such options to destroy another person’s life without evidence or reason.

I lost my high paying job as a result of my unstable emotions, & not being able to concentrate on tasks. Now I can’t pay my bills & face becoming homeless unless something drastic happens.

I have my now second husband and the manipulation carried on by his ex-wife. His daughters have been conditioned to not even speak to him in public when he has and is a very loving, fun and caring father. She gets alimony when she has a good job as well as child support so that half his paycheque goes to her. The only time we have heard from his girls in the last 2 years is when she had the eldest call him up looking for more money. They do not call on his birthday, Father’s Day, they were invited to our wedding. One of them lived with us for 2 years but chose to leave without saying goodbye when her mother moved close to said child’s boyfriend. We just attended his eldest grade 12 grade and he tried to get a picture of him and called her name and she didn’t even look at him. We had to go to the school to get tickets and demand tickets to go to her grad. 4 tickets was the maximum but when we got their his ex’s parents were also there and gave us nasty looks for even showing up because the fantasy is that their dad doesn’t care about them at all. We noticed her grad photo on the big screen and even though my husband had paid for those pics he hasn’t been given one! It is the cruelest demonstration of alienation that I have even seen. My ex-husband and I love our 2 children and we see them everyday which is why I chose my house 5 minutes away and my son leaves his home every morning to attend school in the same neighbourhood. We downloaded our own agreement and did our own divorce without lawyers because we both felt that our children were first. My now husband’s ex-wife uses them and she is the biggest narcissi I have ever met. Her actions are ensuring that her daughters will repeat this behaviour with their future spouses. It breaks my heart. Family Law ensures alienation and fathers and their children lose. It’s only the money!!!

The **purpose of alimony** is to limit any unfair economic effects of a divorce. my ex-wife is a manager of a company , she earns $10,000 more than me .she remarried and is receiving alimony and child support from me and new husband + her income . i am paying all in a severe economical situation but no one understand. my wife didn”t agree on 50/50 custody so . i said to the judge that i would spend 7 hours as much as my ex on children daily because she was a manager of a company , hired a babysitter and i had to pay for it but my ex got full custody and he ordered me to see my children weekly. just an hour. under the law fair is 50/50 custody because i am hardly paying a lot for my children and i would spend time with my children as much as she and her babysitter would . i am paying a lot for babysitter .everyone cares about mother and children but no one cares about fathers rights. how can it be possible to live with your children and spend hour s and hours daily , hugging , kissing , go camping , playing , taking them to shower ,… but guys sadistically told me you have no right to get 10% custody , you have no right to see because you are just a father and your right is just paying this paying that paying these paying those .if you search it on google you can find article about fathers can’t can’t catch a break

My son just had a childhood friend commit suicide because of the neglect from his father after years of divorce. Deadbeat dads have no idea the pain they cause to their children.

The father of my son, has drug habits wouldnt come home when we were together worked yet somehow I payed for all our sons things and helped him with money aswell…found out he cheated with a hooker…he ran to another state to get away from all his problems “including me” visiting his best friend of 13 years and decided to start an affair with his gf of 4 years…he’s back in ga now still doesn’t see our son at all, working but still doesn’t help at all owes me 6 grand…says he will hate me till I die needless to say I did not handle all he did with grace, “wants to see his son” but refuses to have any contact at all with me, told me to figure that out…, is avoiding being surveyed childsuport papers…..idk if it was/is the drug use…that had/has him like this….but at this point there’s no turning back…I don’t trust him with our son alone…with how things are at this time, and don’t know really how to allow visits in a way I know Our son is ok….it’s not like I even have a way to suggest it…why am I the one fighting for my son to have a dad and being blamed for him not having one at the same time…I’m blamed for his drug use his cheating his leaving…..I’m the bad guy just cuz he wasn’t doing us right and I found out and wasn’t excepting the lies and wanted him to do right…I should give up…part of me thinks it’s better for him to not have a dad at all then a dad like this…it just breaks my heart that he “loves him, wants to see him” but runs away and cares more of his habits and affairs” the. Tonwork out a way to see him that works for us both

Only one that was having affairs was you .look at your record .yeah I did run away from you and my family only when I found out the truth.i never run from my daughter .i have no respect for you gods truth I think you are the only person I (hate ).i swear that on the bible .everything about you makes me sick .as for drug habit been clean 4years and the hookers well that’s been longer.i have a girlfriend first one sence you that’s how much torment and hurt you did to me .as for my daughter I love her that is something 100percent .i will see her when she is 18 .when she is away from you .not long now couple of years .and I’m starting to do really well and no by the time I see her when she 18 she will get the awards from my hard work .i can’t believe I loved you 100percent back in the day when you never loved me I trusted you 100percent .i have learnt from that big time .my new girlfriend well it’s only early days but it’s good to have someone it’s a confidence boost and not bad having a female in the house .you couldn’t even talk me on the phone that fucking still hurts.you are a scar in my heart I wish would go away .i will be a father to her just have to wait couple of years .i don’t ever want to see you again in my life gods truth.you want to call child support do it you have the right .thanks for nothing and fucking my bond with my family .you are a real peace of work.stop hurting sam get a job as a hooker it would suit you plus you make more money then the coffee club.last text forever tell bree I will see her at 18 .

Lucy, totally agree. There are millions upon millions like you who have been abandoned by men who were purely selfish, end of story, and this author is extremely one sided. Badly written article which should be much more balanced.

bad written article you say ?.i told it how it was no sugar coating.i take creative writing classes (believe it or not )and find (extremely fun and enjoyable)people who know me would never guessed it .they think I’m a (meat head) construction worker.more balance you say ?.i never abandoned my ex or my child she left on her own and cut me out of the picture.im not going into the whole thing on here .i have written it all down in my journal and my child at 18 and read it .

See ma’am how dare you critize this man. You are that selfcentered irraagent female he was talking about. Yes he will explain his descion on why and what he did but he will also know his mother was the cause. You have no clue you females would rather fight fight and fight some more in court and for what. Exactly what you said in your response money. So why not give the father 50% custudy then he would have no choice since he had the child half he would have to provide for them. O shit wait darn i forgot then you wouldn’t get your extra money anymore ya I see it every day of my life. The day that you bonehead women the courts and every sexiest person really start working about the child’s best intrest and not money then our children our futures and what most moms and fathers will say is out worlds. Well show moms think of your child/children screw money they need there father so give them there time and quit trying to take it and having control.

Hi Trev, please don’t try to speak for others. You may have had this experience but it does not mean every other situation is the same. There are other women, like me, who are fighting to give their children the best they can, and money doesn’t come into it. I’m talking about mum that are fighting to provide their children a life filled with respect, love, acceptance, belonging and safety.

Hi Lucy, I don’t know your story but I can relate to you. I too have been given no choice but to raise my two children on my own and I too often feel frazzled and stressed. My ex is prone to depression (and quite likely has other mental health concerns) and that prevents him being a good father even if he wanted to be – I don’t know if he really does or not. I have tried very hard to keep him in their lives and irrespective of our relationship, but it seems too hard for him. I think he resents me for giving him kids in the first place. But then there are times he tells me he doesn’t want to be in their lives and other times he tells me I am taking his kids away from him and that he’ll fight for them in court. In my situation my ex made serious threats towards me and I got the police involved because I was legitimately scared. I now have a protection order against him and parenting order in my favour. I never intended for these to be long term, it felt like a necessity in a time of crisis. I want to resolve things with him so he can be in our children’s lives but he does’t want to talk to me. He won’t admit he has done anything wrong. It is hard for me to keep trying and there are times when I think it would be just be easier to keep the parenting order and protection order and stop worrying about him, to stop trying and just worry about helping myself and my young children. A big part of the reason I feel so stressed and frazzled is because of this battle with him. But I want the my children to know their Dad. I want them to feel proud of who they are – with consideration to both parents.

I dont agree necessarily with this statement! How much should a father continue to fight. I have been on the other side of two dads…..one fought and fought and the mother has admitted now that her behaviour although she didnt realise it at the time was the cause of the anguish and discord and the relationship with those little girls is still strained. The other fayher has bent over backwards to placate the mother and all of her wishes to include thebchildren moving to another town so as the mother and step father are happy, which inturn provides a more stable environment for the children. However the mother has such a vendetta against the father that the daughter is able to play the mother and father off each other. She refuses to come to visitation and when she does she makes it unbearable for eveeyine else involved. Should he continue to fight? At what point should he go too! Until he has a mental breakdown? Put yourself in those shoes……

I think in all divorces with the exception of where LEGITIMATE abuse has been PROVEN it should be 50/50 custody with ZERO child support. I have always thought if the MONEY is taken out of the equation the dynamics of shared parenting would change dramatically.

You literally made that entire post all about YOU…and that’s the logic that is driving fathers out…it’s supposed to be a partnership, but it can’t be because fathers like myself, just get pushed out the picture because of them being so bitter, conniving, and cold. The system is set up for fathers to fail…they sad part is, it’s the courts failing the child.

Lucy, really you sit here and blame the father for doing what he thought was best. Every situation is differ, your ex didnt try therefore your children are paying the price. Alot of men, unlike your ex try and try and try and its a never ending battle, try reversing the roles and see how exhausting it is….not just on a father, but mothers that dont have custody of their kids. The system is broken. And until you have to walk in a parents shoes that hits a brick wall everytime they try or fight or go into court then you will never understand where this father is coming from my dear. FATHERS HAVE FEELINGS TOO AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT THEY CAN ONLY BE PUSHED AWAY AND FIGHT SO MUCH UNTIL THEY BREAK. WOMEN NEED TO STOP ACTING LIKE THEY ARE THE ONLY ONE THAT BROUGHT THESE CHILDREN INTO THIS WORLD. ESPECIALLY WHEN THE FATHER IS TRYING TO KEEP THE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS CHILD!!!

I see both sides. I was in a relationship with step children. We had the kids almost every weekend, holidays, in service days. It is true that I did the majority of the care but we never told the kids no when they wanted to come to our home.
My grandchildren rarely see their dad, there have been times when 15-18 months has gone by with little or no contact via phone or social media and no visits. We have bent over backwards trying to initiate visits, we have made suggestions about keeping I. Touch by phone, by letter, via Facebook, playing online games together but dad has so many excuses, he either doesn’t answer his phone or tells them he’s busy when they call. Once, when the kids were 4&5 yrs old, we were begging him to get more involved, to make an effort to see them, talk to them, he told us ‘ they don’t make an effort to keep in touch with me’.we used to buy gifts for the dad for birthdays, Christmas, Easter, father’s d etc on behalf of the kids to him as well as encourage them to make things for him but not only did he not appreciate the homemade crafts( said he didn’t need any garbage cluttering his home) he didn’t buy for his kids for holidays and never bought for my daughter for Mother’s Day, Christmas or her birthday from the boys. We tried to explain that he’s the adult, that he can pick a day, a time and designate it for phone calls etc but he refuses. We told him how important it is to establish a relationship now and to continue as they grow up or one day he’ll realize they are strangers to each other. He did start buying gifts for birthdays but buys expensive for the younger one and cheap token gifts for the older one. His family comes by on their birthday to drop off a card, with money and the past couple years has invited them for Christmas dinner. The boys are uncomfortable with the aunts uncles cousins etc because they are strangers. The boys are now 15&13.5 yrs old they’ve seen their dad maybe 30 times in their lifetime. Their dad doesn’t pay child support either. Has been to court and because of health issues he is unable to maintain employment so his employment record is inconsistent.
There are dads who really want to see their kids and their are dads who don’t. Too bad there isn’t a better system to help those that want to.

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