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Father not involved in child’s life? 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. We hear things like “Father refuses to see child” or “Father not involved in child’s life.” It’s easy to fall into stereotypes, but I discovered the issue is quite complicated:

Father not involved in child’s life? A look into 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.

However, as we unpack in this article, the real reasons are more complicated, complex and human. Men after all, are marginalized as inferior or at least secondary parents, a fact that is codified in family court when mothers are nearly always granted primary time with children — a power position that means men and dads are officially a lesser parent. 

Read: My advice to moms and dads whose other parent is not involved

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 that does not value or support dads, or prime boys to grow up to expect to be involved, meaningful parts of their children's lives
  • Family and divorce courts that favor mothers=
  • 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 (keep reading)
  • Many dads don't believe the child is theirs, or were tricked into fatherhood, or otherwise felt they did not decide to father the child. A DNA test with a site like MyHeritage can help you understand who your children — or father — really is. Try MyHeritage.com now for free >>

806 reader comments and counting on this post tell a story about how prevelant fatherlessness is, how passionate people feel about its reasons and results — and how varied and nuanced those reasons can be.


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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. Men walk out on their child for many reasons, including:

  • They never wanted to be a dad in the first place but were trapped 
  • They have been marginalized by our culture and court system to every-other-weekend parents, which is more painful than walking away and starting a new life that promises more joy 
  • Conflict with the child’s mother is too difficult to navigate 
  • They feel unworthy of parenthood, and feel like walking away is the best thing for the child 
  • The father never had a strong father figure, does not feel competent as a dad nor understand how important his role is.

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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, John G:

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

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.’

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

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.

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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: What is parental alienation?

Impact on a child’s life when a father isn’t involved

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:


 

 

Bottom line: Father not involved in child’s life? Try to make co-parenting work.

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

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

To prevent this kind of trauma, here are some tips to 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

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?

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.

How can a father walk out on his child?

After studying this issue for years, 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.

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.

831 Comments

When a father is abusive, manipulative, and refuses to work on himself, he is able to make it appear that the mother is “alienating”. The term is low hanging fruit setting in motion an immediate pity party for the father.

I am a therapist and more than often if a mother is saying there is abuse, there has been multiple signs of domestic violence, especially with multiple women, a child is not safe with that father unless he decides to be accountable for his actions and choices. We are what we do. Not what we say we do.

Please look into Coercive Control and believe women.

By definition ‘Coercive control’ is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

Whilst that is awful, surely it is a separate subject altogether and should be filed under the ‘Abusive Relationships Thread’?.

If someone is abusive, violent, manipulative or dependent on alcohol or drugs, then no one will disagree that the person should not be allowed anywhere near children (or anyone else for that matter) until they seek help or prove otherwise.

But not all relationship breakups feature abuse.

In most of the cases that I have read on here, the father is a loving man who only wants to continue his relationship with his child / children after the relationship between him and the mother has broken down – nothing else, he doesn’t even want to speak with the ex, yet alone abuse her.

So why jump to conclusions on this thread and put a person who has been alienated from their child in the category of “a father (who) is abusive, manipulative, and refuses to work on himself?
I was never abusive, so I guess this puts me in the minority.

I know that there are lots of abusive relationships which is sad and terrible when that happens, but to say “more than often if a mother is saying there is abuse, there has been multiple signs of domestic violence” and to link that comment to this thread is actually assuming that most men in the category of being alienated from their children are abusive.
But as a therapist, I’m sure that you know better than to discriminate or make judgements without knowing the full story from both sides.

I am the mother of children who live with their father and I feel this fathers pain so deeply. I am so close to giving up. The alienation and blatant attempts to completely cut me from their lives takes such a toll and I feel it’s better for all of us Iif I just walk away.

My son is now 5 years old. He has a 3 year old sister who is not biologically mine.
My ex convinced my son another man was his father even though I visited him every other week if not more.
This other man died in a bar fight when my son was 3.
Then my ex cut me off completely. She lied to everyone involved, and the Judge believed her when we went to court.
I was forced to get random drug testing, get a therapist of my ex’s choice, and only see my son 4 hours every other weekend.
I kept my head down. Did everything asked of me. I had to struggle to not give up.
The hopelessness became overwhelming. It became painful seeing my son.
He repeated the lies told about me. He refused to acknowledge he knew me at all.
I almost gave up.
I just kept saying to my self. “Do the right thing” for him and his young sister.
Do the right thing. Just do the right thing.
Be There.
I now have both kids in my house full time.
The mother is working on getting back into their lives.
The truth finally came out.

Just do the right thing.
My son and his sister are now safe, healthy, and happy.

Don’t give up.

My grandson is 5 at xmas. His father has issues regarding cannabis and drink I mainly look after the little boy. His dad wants to see him at xmas. He last saw him last xmas. He makes false promises like I will step up. He pays nothing for the child. Just a present at xmas and birthday which is xmas. He sees him once a year. Should I say he can’t see him anymore if it’s only once per year. Thankyou.

I am in the same situation where I cannot see my 1 year old daughter. This is not how I had imagined my daughter to grow up. Her mother is the most irresponsible human being I have met. At 8 months, during the pandemic, she saw no problem in going out to get drunk with her friends leaving our daughter at home with the nanny. Confronting her let to this situation where unfortunate threats were made and I haven’t been allowed to see my daughter since her first birthday on the 1st of November. She blocked me from all WhatsApp and she doesn’t answer my calls nor respond to my SMS messages. I feel so guilty for bringing my daughter into such a toxic environment. I have been there since she was born and I had the most indescribable connection with her. Looking at the current situation, she will grow up not knowing me.

I read the dad’s story and couldn’t help thinking that he was feeling sorry for himself. Parenting is hard. It hurts and is the hardest thing I have ever done. Kids grow into teens that say hurtful things and make bad choices and tend not to follow their parents advice. Younger kids throw tantrums and challenge boundaries and can be completely exhausting. Not to mention the feeding, cleaning, driving, homework, and schooling. The first time your teen sneaks out and you get a call from the police in the middle of the night. These are the realities of raising kids. I have been doing it on my own for quite a long time. Their dad cheated and left years ago. He didnt have much to do with them when he lived at home with us. That was his doing. I always encouraged him to spend time and bond with them. Now, they dont have much to say to him. It is always really awkward. I know it might hurt him, but honestly he made his bed. He needs to own his actions and be present. I would love for him to be a dad to these kids. They would benefit from having a dad. I also happen to know he has some of these same sob stories he spreads around. He doesnt want to look like a bad guy, so he deflects. Puts the blame on the kids and I. They are angry and have unresolved feelings that he needs to be open to hearing and dealing with. He isn’t willing to put in the effort. Yet, he tells everyone how much he misses them and how they don’t want to visit him. Well, he never calls or texts them. He only wants to see them for holidays or birthdays and even then it is only for an hour or so. It takes time, effort, and unconditional love to be a parent. It takes putting their needs and feelings above your own. It is hard. I dont have the choice to just leave or decide my feelings are hurt. I dont get a break either. I wouldnt change it either. I chose to be a parent. So, yeah, it’s hard. And yes, it hurts. But a parent does not get the choice to walk away. You are hurting the child. I am also thinking if the courts find that you only get supervised visitation, maybe you can look back and find something that might open up your eyes. Yes, there are some false instances of abuse, but more often than not, if you are a decent person, you would be loved, valued, and cherished by your kids and most moms would welcome a co parent partner and a break.

Thabks for the lecture on parenting but I don’t need it. Through circumstance I have actually parented several kids through to adulthood and currently have some more kids. The article wasn’t about that. It was about my experiences with my ex wife and the alienating behavior that I encountered. It is also wroth pointing out that many commentators seem to assume that there is no smoke without fire, and that there must have been some grounds for the claims of :abuse’ thrown at me. I still don’t feel there were. My new wife has never complained about feeling abused (we have now been together longer than my first marriage so I assume if I was an abuser it would have come out by now) or controlled and I have asked her about it often enough, because for a while I really questioned myself and wondered – was I doing something abusive without realising it? I’ve come to the conclusion after a lot of thought that I simply wasn’t and I’m comfortable with that. I had a lot of friends who went through divorce and many of them had the same nonsense – the orders of protection – the ‘afraid for my safety’ claims – its often used in the gamesmanship of divorce and that is plain wrong. So.. To all the commentators out there with the drugstore psychology and the theories.. Go forth and multiply. I visited the page just on a whim to read the comments. It’s been a blast – but much of the strident comments from women have been way off the mark. I think there was a woman further down who said she was the wife and there were 2 kids. No she wasn’t and there was one only. It’s weird how many people think this story refers to them. It doesn’t.

My custody agreement with my child’s father is “as mutually agreed upon”. I had this wording put into our divorce decree because I knew that his father would not visit him as much as the standard possession order called for and I didn’t want him to have any reason to say that I wasn’t holding up my end of co-parenting. I have spent years trying to get him to spend more time with his child, to be met with excuse after excuse as to why he “couldn’t” visit his child. I feel for this father that would really like to spend time with his child, but is met with hostility from the mother, but you still have to be a parent regardless of how hard it is. After 7 years of being separated I am just tired of arguing with my child’s father, trying to make him see the importance of being involved in his child’s life, but I fight for it because my child still wants to see his dad. As a parent you fight for what’s best for them, not what’s best for you.

I live in nyc. Great living dad and separated husband. A month before COVID-19 lockdown my wife got an order of protection stating she feared for her safety. I broke things and used drugs. It has almost been a year and I have not seen my kids. I do not use drugs. Have passed a drug test and the kids are being coached by the mom. The kids are being emotionally and psychologically harmed. Myself included. I am guilty of staying out late and sleeping around. My wife suspects this and this is why things are the way they are. It does not make me a bad dad. I am a great father and have been there since day 1. Every day if there lives I have been there. I live my wife and kids. My rights have been stripped away. I feel as if my life is on pause. I have never harmed my wife or kids. I have contemplated suicide, taking matters into my own hands and possibly walking away until my teenage kids are 18. What is happening is disgusting, not right, down right wrong. And happening on a wide spread level it’s sick. The game is rigged and I don’t feel I should be explaining to six people how I parent. After three kids I know what I’m doing. I get one weekly zoom phone call a week. That’s it. And that is supervised. I do not even get supervised visits. What is happening is like a sick dream. I cannot believe it. God help all those involved and those that are turning a blind eye to what is happening. Shame on the family court system.
Kindly,
A hurt loving father who just wants to love his kids

I’m still going through my divorce in Ny .Originally an Irish emigrant to nyc I meet my wife and married .After the birth of my first child 1 of 4 .I went into full father mode and took us from a small apt in Queens to a house in upstate Ny .I’m in the construction industry and worked long hours with little or no free time to give my kids and wife a good life .Everything unravelled in late 2019 .My wife wanted a divorce .I discovered after the fact that she was having an affair .We tried to cohabitate in our house but it quickly spiralled out of control and I took a trip to Ireland to get support from family .I won’t go into the details too much because they are messy .During the messy period she said to me I was only a paycheck and that she could sleep with a man whenever she chose because NY was a no -fault divorce state among many others .I decided to fight back I returned to NY after 2 months in Ireland and did initially see my kids though I moved out and got a small apt 85 miles from my work .I had went through my financials and studied up on NY divorce law and decided after a the court had its way with me it’s all I could hope to afford .I had hired a lawyer and so had she .It was slow due to Covid .I continued to pay the bills mortgage etc .She then moved her new boyfriend into my home and tried to play happy family .Naturally I found her lack of respect towards me disgusting .Father of 4 of her children .That’s when she decided to go into NY family Court and make a false allegation that I was an abuser .So she could gain sole occupancy of our marital home .Tactics that are widely used against men throughout the country .I had studied the divorce laws and knew the odds were stacked against me in a sexually bias system .That order of protection was never served as I had kept my apt a secret .During this period she whisked my children herself and the new boyfriend out of state to her parents house for the summer claiming she was in danger .I spent some time alone thinking about my future in the United States .I decided that I wasn’t prepared to sacrifice 15 years in a country not my own paying for an adulterous wife to live it up while I lived the life of indentured servitude.I felt totally alienated going from a law abiding hard working husband of 4 children to a so called abuser .I sold my car .Got into my own house and sold all my tools and 20% of the furniture .The sheriffs dept actually came to the house knowing I was inside but were unable to serve me the PO .I then returned with 6 suitcases to my home in Ireland .I spent 6 weeks in Ireland before I got the first phone call from my kids supervised of course .I wanted to see how long it would take for someone to call .I could have been dead in a ditch .I decided to take my life back .I left the US before the case was actually initiated.I made the difficult decision that I was more than a every second weekend dad .That I deserved happiness ! .I could not even hope to house my children in my small divorced dads apt in the US and did not want the mind games and belittement that would have been my life if I had stayed .I wanted to consolidate my time into 1 lump sum and see my kids in the summer in a large family home in Ireland .Of course my soon to be ex was livid because she had just thought that she had won the lotto to having it snatched away .I got a hold of her bank statements for the summer she was await .She spent $300+ on liquor in less than 39 days .Actually I spoke to my kids on a regular basis for the first 8 months of me being in Ireland more than I ever did in America .Until theonline court sessions started .I saw the bias of the female judge and the unfairness in the American court system first hand as my remaining assets were handed to my wife .I have lost control of the sale of my house and remaining vehicle titles in my name ..I have had a temporary astronomical judgment set against me alimony and child support and health insurance cost based on my American salary .Even if I had remained in America I wouldn’t have been able to pay the amounts sought against me .Money that has to be paid regardless of health ,age ,pandemic recession .I would have been sleeping on a park bench .Believe me I have tried to make a deal with my wife 50/50 custody deals and have willingly offered to pay support based on my Irish wage to no avail .To her it’s all about the money !My contact with my children has been completely cut and I’m waiting on my next court visit to inform the judge but expect little or nothing from her .I’m the fish who got away .I’m totally entitled to live in Ireland the country of my birth .Child support is enforceable here but it will be based on Irish law and alimony isn’t recognised as its abhorrent that a human would have to support the lifestyle of another here in Ireland .I’m still hoping to see my kids in the summers though I hold little hope .I can never return to the US to see my children graduate ,married etc .I hope when they get a little older that I can communicate with them directly .I wasn’t prepared or capable of living the life of indentured servitude and relegated to the every second weekend let’s go to Burger King dad .Divorce and custody laws need to be completely revamped for the modern world .70% of divorces are initiated in the US by women because they are incentivised to do so .I used to be a dad who got to see his kids every day .My whole life was turned upside down .My assets have been stripped and as my debt accrues I will be become a criminal subject to imprisonments.All because my wife wanted to sleep with a new man .I couldn’t care less about my pension and property in the US I’ve written them off .To me it’s about having a decent relationship with my children and time to be a proper father .The saga continues and I hope for the best

It is interesting to read different comments that are a result of personal experiences and personal pains and wounds.
I think that the experience that I have might be relevant, and I agree with the author.
My parents got divorced when I was 2 years old, my dad had a son from a previous relation. Just to put into context I never witness any drama between my parents and their divorce was very amicable. He was never a present father to my brother, and my mother had to constantly make sure he would make an effort and pick up my brother for the weekend. When it comes to me the issue was the same, but I was young, the time that I passed with my father and stepmother (and her kids) was always so much fun that I ignored the fact that I was the one to always reach out for my father. Until I was old enough and the lies and excuses just didn’t make sense to me anymore.
So, I was at Uni and decided for one year to not call him. Not call him for his bday, for Christmas, for New Year… and see if he would be the one to give the first step. Guess what. He didn’t. Not even for my birthday he called. There was NOTHING in his life that could justify not calling me. When after more than one year I decided to call for Christmas, he said he had tried to call me many times but he couldn’t, and he said that maybe I had changed my number, which I didn’t. My number was the same.
The pieces started to puzzle up from my Uni years, when he and my mother agreed on supporting me during those years – after years of him not paying any child maintenance and his cheques constantly being refused by the bank. (My mother never took him to court because she and my stepfather had a very stable financial situation, and she didn’t think it would be worth it.) But every month I had to call my father telling him the money had not arrived yet, and if he had forgotten to transfer. He lied every single time. Saying he had transferred and probably it was the bank. Which was a lie…
I found it hard to confront him and tell him how I felt. Until 4 years ago, when I was 35 years, as I am no longer living in the country, I was born I sent him a text message. Saying everything that I felt. The answer was unemotional, not supportive. Bland. He didn’t understand or acknowledged. He didn’t really want to talk about it either.
Off course I can try to analyse his own childhood and justify that he doesn’t know how to be a father, that he is still a child himself… But sometimes we as daughters and sons must make peace and cut the cord. That happened last year, when I called him during Christmas, after not talking with him for months, and the first thing I had from the other side was – “yes, tell me, what do you want?” Not the – “Hi Kika (is what he used to call me), Merry Christmas!!!”. Expectations are shit, aren’t they?
Off course an absent father (by his choice) throughout my life and the fact he didn’t protect me when my mother was struggling with an abusive relation with my stepfather (I witnessed a lot of domestic violence) , by taking me away from that house for some time while my mother was dealing with it (when my mother asked him to but my father said – “I don’t want to get in between a couple. try to solve your problems the best way.”) left it’s marks on me.
I must explain that my mother and my father always got along after the divorced. I never saw them arguing or bitching about each other.
This is getting way too long, but now I want to talk about my partner.
This is a completely different experience to the one I lived. My partner is a caring father, who lives 5min away from his kids (who live with his ex). He texts them several days a week and tries to call them. He tries to plan dinners with them and activities – outside of his weekend that is every 15 days. But they don’t engage and are more and more closed off to him for no apparent reason. He was very close to them before the divorce, and his ex because of ego, being selfish, childish and passively aggressively driving the kids away from the father, he doesn’t get to see them as much as he would life to. She tells lies, keeps confusing them, manipulating, and creating intrigues… She even, together with the kids, when through his stuff (The eldest had the keys of his house) because they wanted to know if my partner had already someone else. (We were trying to preserve the relation, build foundations, before taking the decision to tell his kids. To protect them, and our new relation). So, they found and went through our diary, where we were writing down our love story from when we first met. Something sacred to us was violated. They even took pictures to show their mother. Our and his kids timing was violated. Even after he confronted her about it and said this was not okay and was an invasion of privacy, she refused to see it how as an adult she failed my partner and her own kids. She didn’t even apologise… What is the message that her behaviour is sending to the kids? If their mother knew they went through it, encouraged, they took pictures of the diary to show her and she didn’t tell their father or stopped them from doing it. It was her responsibility to not fuel this, to avoid this to happen as an adult, as a mother. We got to know months later after this happen, and off course since it was out, we decided then that I should meet his kids (who are amazing kids).
This is a father who pays maintenance every month. Who tries to reach out for his children in every way he can and saw his privacy being invaded.
The heart breaks he is going through, seeing his eldest ones (he has 3) stepping back and closing off is very hard to watch. There is NO justification for exes to make life difficult to anyone. Especially when their kids are going through very hard times. What is the priority? The kid’s wellbeing? Or trying to fuck up the ex’s life just because? There is NO reason or justification for this! And when the “single mother” argument pops up I don’t even know what to say… Because if I had a full time job, 3 kids – 2 of which are teenagers who are seriously struggling with some issues – I wouldn’t have time in my life to think about ways to fuck up my ex!! Where are the priorities?! I cannot even comprehend how a mother can put their ego ahead of their child’s wellbeing. Just blows my mind. I do hope courts see this as a factual issue in the future and mothers who do this are called out. It is not okay.
This is only creating a new generation of future adults traumatised, who will need a lot of healing. Parents have the upmost responsibility in making sure this doesn’t happen.
Let us stop with the wars against all men. Not all men are bad men! Patriarchy doesn’t affect just women; it also affects men.
I am saying this having been raised to be a feminist. But you know what? There is no justice in this world if we keep fragmented and divided.

I’m lying here wide awake at midnight, this week marks one year since I’ve seen my boys. My ex has moved them to four different states in five years, and I’m just tired of trying. I’ve been through three different court systems, 10s of thousands of dollars in attorney fees, and have driven and flown literally from coast to coast and up and down the eastern seaboard to be a “Disney Dad” as few times a year; bearing most of not all of the expense.
Now the kids ( 9&11) do not want to travel here, they want me to come to them. They are now moving to FL from PA and want to stay in their new home, wanting me to come to FL (leaving my wife and step kids here) to see them for Xmas. They have no relationship with my parents who are in their 80s or any of their other family here, as they barely know them. (They were moved away to CA when they were 3 and 5). I’ve 1000% tried because I knew none of my grandparents, and it breaks my mother’s heart because she knows her days are numbered. My father gave up a long time ago and says I should too.
I’ve been accused of abuse 3 times over the years, all investigated and found to be untrue. Lie after lie has been told about me to teachers, coaches, etc. When they are found out to be lies, she picks up and moves to a different state. New state = new court = more $ for kids that don’t give a shit; knowing she’s going to pick up and move again.
I’m all done. They can call me when they care.

Unfortunately, children are used a weapon against the ex and at some point, one has to decide if the war of attrition takes too much of a toll on your life and it is time to save yourself or face the fact your life was wasted.

Unfortunately, I married a very unstable and it turns out violent woman who actually never successfully lived with anybody, including her own family. Everyone she lived with threw her out of the house, unable to cope with her behavior.

That would of solved my problems but I failed, finally leaving after having two children, I fled for my safety, unfortunately leaving the children behind, a big mistake. Her violence and ability to yell non stop for 4 to 6 hours a day until I actually dozed off, only to be violently shaken awake because she was not done yelling I could put up with, the non stop belittling of me and insulting me not only in front of the children but THROUGH the children, I could not take. I finally decided if Dad was going to be called an idiot all day long, he was not going to be there to hear it.

But the battle started before I even got to a buddies house for safety. Little did I know, when I agreed to put my wife on my joint bank account, it set me up for economic disaster. I kept many tens of thousands of dollars in my checking account and more in my savings. All of that was gone without my knowledge. I left with NOTHING but a sleeping bag and air mattress. I had to start buying clothes and toiletries and food and every single purchase would bring me a insufficient charge. By the time the bank called me, I had a huge amount of charges.

Without any money, I had to live on credit cards. I agreed to use a mediating attorney SHE picked and that person told her she was mentally unstable. It took 18 months of fighting, with the ex saying I lived TOO far away to ever see the kids, much less have any custody. I lived minutes away. She was told she needed to seek professional help.

But the kids were being coached into saying the same exact things mom said, too far away, dad can’t do our homework (I was nearly a straight A student and in college, finished with a 4.0).

My phone would ring all the time, my oldest child begging me to come get her, mom is mean. She would text me a dozen times as I got off of work, telling me to hurry to pick her up (before mom got home) but when I got there, mom was there and I sat for 45 minutes, waiting for the kids to leave the house, no matter how many times I knocked, or called. Any vacation I wanted would be impossible, mom would sign the kids up for one camp after another and then take vacations with them on the couple of weeks free.

When all of her efforts were failing, she started telling the kids that I want to molest them. She would then tell their counselors the same thing. That would lead to investigations without my knowledge “does your father touch you”?. C.P.S. would be called. They would speak to the kids and find it not to be true. I never knew any of this was going on, since they never spoke to me. But I did notice the children’s friends parents become distant from me, then suddenly stop allowing their children from spending the night. My kids would soon NEVER have any friends over. When one therapist would not tell the courts I molest the kids, she would switch to another, then another and another.

Everyone told me to keep fighting, the kids will come around.

Meanwhile, she was always taking me to court, with one allegation after another. One of my children become suicidal, not too surprisingly, mom was TELLING her to kill herself, according to her texts to me. While hospitalized, I was told by the hospital I was not allowed to see my child, I was a danger to her. I found out that came about from what the doctor was told from my ex. Then my ex took the doctors report and went to court for an emergency order, both my children were taken from me without a hearing, it was done on a emergency basis. By that same afternoon, I had both children back.

The children were taught to hate every girlfriend I ever had, no matter how nice these women were to my children, my children would not only hate them, but say things I never fathomed young children saying to any adult, one of my children called my girlfriend a complete fake, even pointing out her “fake” breast. Having a relationship was simply impossible, since we could never make any plans my ex could not interfere with. If I had to settle these disputes in court, it would mean I lived in court and would be permanently bankrupt.

There is literally a thousand things I could say, it went on every day for years. I hired a therapist to try to repair the damage done from my ex, to the relationship between the kids and I and guess what happened? Unbelievably, MY therapist had been secretly speaking to my ex!! So my very first session was a disaster. She seemed unable to make any more appointments with me, even though I could see on her calendar she was available. I told the courts I was doing all I can and the courts expected to see some therapy for me and the kids. I called my therapist on why she was not approving ANY of my appointment requests and she lied and said she was out of town, which I can see on her calendar, she was not. She finally approved of ONE more appointment.

How do I learn this? I am in court and guess what? My ex’s lawyer is claiming I am some deadbeat who never even got the therapy with the kids. I explained I have been trying and finally got ANOTHER appointment in a week. We took a break in court and my attorney overheard my ex calling my therapist and cussing her out, saying “I thought you F-ing said you were not going to approve any more appointments”. We brought that up in court, I contacted my therapist to find out if she had been speaking to my ex and she sent me a email that had a couple of “F” words in it saying she was tired of the both of us. Both of us? My ex was not part of “both of us” she was told by the courts to not even ask the kids what happens in therapy.

Finally, my children, now both in counseling, both on psych meds, are told by their therapist their mother is has a serious mental illness and there is nothing they can do, they should stay with their father.

So, with that, it seemed, after a decade of stress, we had turned the corner. The children confided in me that their mother was violent all day, yelling and name calling and telling my oldest to kill herself. That’s her, that is exactly her.

I was told that the cops were called several times on my ex, the school called, the kids called. Nobody did anything. CPS called me in about bruises on my eldest, of course I had to say I was not there, so I can’t say how my child got them but my child said it was from mom. Nothing was done.

But at least I had both kids and my youngest said she was not going to stay with mom when the oldest goes to college.

Then one day, they go off with other families and camp. This was this year and it was in a area where COVID was a “hotspot” so I asked them to isolate for 14 days before returning.

I never saw them again, they texted me, saying it was too far to see me again…..15 minutes away and they need to “study”. I have not heard a single word in months.

So, can a father simply give up? Sure, the war with crazy takes a heavy toll on all involved.

There grades are in, they have fallen dramatically, including F’s. This from kids who should be straight A’s. My oldest actually aced the state exam, ACED it, years ago. But now? F’s?

I think I could win in court, if I had 100,000 dollars to blow and by the time I won, the kids would be adults.

So, I give up.

Reading these comments, there is clearly a lot of hatred on here of men. Some of the comments are deeply upsetting, that these women would write an entire gender off because of actions of a few. Remember that people do bad things not a group, there are both bad men & women.

I read this and I feel for the guy but it’s not always the case. I keep my daughters father up to date daily send pictures daily.! He has chosen to not see his daughter this Halloween, her first one mine you, cause going to his gf’s party was more important. Then I still was nice and made plans for today to go to his family’s so they can see her and him. Mind you the drive is an hour and fourty. Well I have made it clear that our daughter would not meet his recent gf anytime soon. I do t want gf’s or bfs in and out of her life. Made it clear. Well not only did he not talk to me or ask me he just tells me she will be there. So I kindly canceled plans and I was clear to everyone in the message as to why. I gave him two hours to change his mind and leave his gf alone flrb2-3 hours to see his daughter and he chose not too then he tries texting me telling me I’m putting a wedge in btw he and his daughter. Far from the truth I offer him to see her all often and I do the drive half the time. Keep in mind I also offer him to come to doctors appts he never does. This is all after 9 months of him putting me down and telling me I should abort her and made it clear he wanted nothing to do with her and that if I can’t handle her financially on my own I should give her up for adoption. So as much as I feel for this guy I always wonder what really transpired because my daughters father tries to paint me the bad one but the people that know the both of us think im constantly to good to him. And maybe I am cause I’m putting our daughter first. But it burns me cause he isn’t. So when you don’t put your daughter first why should you have a say in things. He expects me to take care of everything.

This. I am in the same situation. & i am beating myself up about him not being able to get her during this pandemic. but when it comes to working with me & getting times to see his daughter, he never says that he will not show up or he just shows up whenever he pleases. which is inconsiderate to me when we are waiting around for him. its frustrating because i am trying to do right by him but its like if its not the way that he wants then he isnt going to go with anything that i suggest at all.

Today women (well, i can hardly call these trash a women but ok) don’t actually know what healthy FAMILY means and they are the one who provoke, behave like immature brat and after divorce they do everything to hurt their ex husbands. Because of this behaviour my friend finally run away from my country as his kids starts to hate him….women are just pathetic, not worthy to date them and marry.

What are the reasons why a custodian parent would want to prevent the other parent from being involved in their child’s life?

If a father (or mother, if the father has custody) wants to continue the relationship with his/ her child or children and to be involved in their life after a split, then there is no good reason to not let that happen or to interfere in the relationship between parent and child by making things difficult, because both parents can and should add value to that child’s life, assuming of course that there is no history of violence, drugs or any other reasons that would put the children in any kind of danger.

Of course things have to be amicable with respect to all parties including the children but there should be no intentional barriers, especially if it is a simple situation where two partners who once loved each other then split up or divorced after having a child or children together.
The only reason that I can see as to why someone would intentionally prevent access or cause issues would be for revenge, spite or to hurt the other person.
In most breakups someone will usually end up getting hurt and it’s easy to use a child to your advantage in the power struggle.
I also understand that when a relationship ends, the gut instinct is to automatically cast the other person outside of the family circle.

My Story.
Unfortunately, I had been placed in the position where, I was only allowed to see my child on the mother’s terms which were for bare minimum time, it was when she was present and usually at inconvenient times (basically scraps) to which there was no compromise. I don’t know if it was designed to prevent me from bonding, push me away or to make me feel unworthy as a father to be alone with my child, but it worked and I had to accept these terms or not see my child at all.
Arguing pushed my ex further away and my continuous attempts to appeal to her better nature fell on deaf ears as she would get angry and use the same excuses and we ended up going round and round in familiar circles which produced no results and only more friction.

I was constantly told that they are a team that I could never be a part of and piece by piece my relationship with my child suffered as the child picked up on the vibes that mummy gave out subconsciously and perhaps didn’t want to break that team bond by liking someone that mummy clearly didn’t want around.

The end result was that my child stopped wanting to see me and speaking with me and my ex will not interfere in that decision or help me to find out what the issue is. She took joy in calling me to tell me that my child doesn’t want to see me and that there was nothing that I could do about it – of course she added that it wasn’t her fault. I had no communication with my child, only via my ex and when asking ‘why’ I was told that ‘it is not her decision’ and ‘why would I want to force a child to do something that they do not want to do’. The child was 5.

I threatened court action – but ended up backing down to avoid a mini war which nobody would win and would be unlikely to work out in my favour and I didn’t want my hopelessness to cause me to make me make poor decisions that would eventually make me financially and mentally broke with no change of outcome. After all, what is the court case actually about? to force a child who doesn’t want to see me to have to see me? where is the sense in that?

Empathy
There was no point in reacting, it didn’t work for me and it reaffirmed her decisions. She became a wall repeating the same things and standing firm, there was no empathy or backing down from her side at all. Maybe it’s the ‘Stockholm effect’ but over time I learned to see things through her eyes and I realised that she was hurt, although she would not admit that to me. She had also placed me firmly outside her family circle, I was now a low priority and potentially viewed as a threat, even though she knew me better than that and that I wasn’t.
She kept her child tight which is what a good mother would do and I had to accept that I was a nobody to her and a pariah to her family. The worst feeling in the world to a man, is to feel useless.
I want to do everything that I can for my child, but I am prevented from doing so. My gifts are unwanted and stored away or I am told that they have it already or don’t want it or that someone else will be buying it and I am given no advice or help as to what to buy or do. Her response is that my child doesn’t want or need anything from me. That message is loud and clear.

My Solution
I cannot salvage the relationship with my child and I was even told that I will have to wait until my child decides that they want to see me, but I am not prepared to put my life on hold and wait for that knock on my door and neither am I prepared to further exhaust myself by fighting a cold battle for years that I can never win and which will likely leave me bankrupt and/or mentally unstable. I must move forward and walk away with whatever is left of my dignity. The kid that I have memories of is gone and although that makes me sad, and I feel robbed. I can no longer continue to water a dead flower. I hold on to the last time I saw my child, playing a computer game and kicking a football and looking up at me with that silly smile whilst we laughed together. I will never forget that.

The point is that sometimes the father is left at the mercy of the mother and if that mother does not want to cooperate or feels that a father is an unimportant addition in that child’s life or such low priority for her, then few options are left apart from knowing when to quit and to find a healthy coping mechanism (not drugs or alcohol) because by hanging on to things it’s easy to develop bad habits to cope and that will slowly destroy you.

My only son is 23 I went through all of the same. Paid children support but not acknowledged in anyway as his father.
I don’t even look back I lived in family Court and fought to be in my son life and his mother made me unimportant.
Good luck to you live your life no one understands unless they experience the same shit.

I am father of a one year old.I can’t even imagine my life without my child but at each and every step my wife threatens me of abandoning me and taking away the child. It kills me every day, every night, even the thought of not being able to see him. Life is hell now, will be hell then. So I am just living.

I’ve been through this situation. It’s horrific. A decade on and I still haven’t had any contact with my now just turned teenage son. False allegations (proven in my case) are soul destroying. Falsely accused parents often take their own lives. And for all those deniers who claim #ParentalAlienation isn’t real, or is made up by abuse men, just remember, there are alienated mothers too. In the USA there are lots of them. #ParentalAlienation is real, and is nothing short of DA/DV. It is also a form coercive control – pay me more child support or you won’t se your child again!

This is my story, albeit in a pen name.

https://www.amazon.com/Parental-Alienation-Loving-Fathers-Years-ebook/dp/B078HWF3GC/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=parental+alienation+a+loving+father%27s+lost+years&qid=1601930014&sr=8-1

This is a UK dad (or what is left of the term). I’ve been separated from my ex for 5 years. Before this we split childcare and financial responsibility 50/50. When we split up she said that it would be best for the kids if they had a stable home and so wanted to keep the family home with the kids (This is pretty much apart of the course as I was told). Actually I agreed in principal, and decided to agree for her to stay in the family home giving my a massive deficit in my ability to buy another home to have the kids to say with me. After a year of hard work and stress I managed to buy a home for me and the kids to stay. I was overjoyed.. seriously… The happiest day since my kids where born. The last few years have been troublesome. Changed dates for visits so I don’t get to see the kids… the usual stuff I think most divorced dads face. Until this year….

After 5 years of not going on holiday.. I decided to book a blow out break as I was burning out at work and the kids had started to notice my impatience and “grumpy dad”. It worked I had a refresh and loved having the kids around every other weekend and some of the school holidays which I could do with my annual leave. Then for court order landed. As fair disclosure I had refused to give my permission for my ex to take the kids abroad as she was talking to me and school about he not coping (I won’t going to the history). But to cut a long story short school et al said their was no issue so I agreed and gave my consent. So the court order wanted a “lives with order” and extra time for the kids to spend with me. Great I don’t actually have a massive issue the this order… but I have limited annual leave and due to history I would like the opportunity for the kids to live me me if needed. I decided to contest the hearing. I did not have a solicitor and she did. I hoped that the British court system would see my simple plight but unfortunately they did not. I have been ordered to see the children more (GREAT! really… work may not be so happy) and the kids will “live” with their mother (Great this was happening anyway… but what if needs change).

So I’m left as a dad with the parental responsibility but with no power to shape the children life. I can live with than I guess. Until she starts making the usual demands or changes to access. Then I have one of the 4 options mentioned in the above post. I’m not a violent person (and to the dad that are.. dude.. it’s your kids mum.. grow up). Other options have been thought about but the most preferred is that I quit giving the kids a hard time via proxy and I just move on. The reason for my post is not for up and down votes but an honest evaluation of what the people on here think of my situation and if I’d suddenly become selfish to say bye to me kids until they are adults… not only to give them a happy childhood but also so they are adult enough to see the politics that happens in these situations. My mum and dad have been married all their lives and still are. My ex mum and dad are bitter individuals who have separated and don’t talk. I’d like to me more like my mum and dad. More importantly I don’t want my kids turning out like my ex. Please if you have the golden answer to how I do that… let me know

I’ve not seen my three children in over 5 years, congrats to my wife’s attorney, the “deals” she made with my attorney worked out and she is a judge hearing his cases now , after all this time it has not gotten any better, I was simply thrown away , 3 years in divorce court fighting to see my kids has left me in financial ruin an with payments to children I can’t even see I’ll never be able to fight for my children in court, it has litterly killed me to walk away and I understand why so many fathers do , nothing in my life holds meaning to me anymore like it once did , as a father many attorney I had thru case told me all I could do was walk away and like a fool I fought to see “her” children allieanated by once a month visits court ordered because of her distance away , fathers have no “rights” and walking away and trying to forget about them is all I can try to do

I’m 23yrs old and a Father of 2 beautiful boys. A 6 year old and a 2 year old. My boys Mother has another child with a different man. I love that boy as if he were my own. In fact, I really think he is my son though biologically I consciously know that he isn’t. He’s 3 years old. It’s a long long story that me and my kids mother share in our relationship but in all honesty I am to blame. She is the most amazing human being in this world and and an even better Mother. But I ruined everything good about her. I broke her heart in every way. Though my intention was never to cause her any harm, I always came back to repair what I’ve broken just to end up breaking it all over again and losing a piece of her innocence with her in the process. I meant well and in the moments of me trying to repair everything I genuinely mean everything I say and when I tell her the words I Love You, they aren’t just words. I mean them. I guess I just don’t know how to Love. If I haven’t mentioned I am a drug addict and have been since about the age of 9. That also plays a huge part in my life. Honestly speaking, I love drugs and to be even more honest with myself I don’t think I’ll ever stop or even If I really want to. At times I really do want to and I’ve done it before but I always find myself back to the drugs. I’ve done so many unforgivable things to nearly all that have crossed my path. I could go on forever but moral of my story is I left them because I am simply no good for them and me being there would cause more harm than good. I love them with all my heart and miss them so much but I fight with myself so I don’t go to see them or even call them because I know eventually I’ll just leave again or do worse cause I and god know that I could do worse. I love them all so much that I left them. I know that no one will agree with me but you don’t know me, I know me. I hate myself for making the decision to do so but I know it is what’s best for them. I’ve even thought about killing myself but I can’t cause I’m a coward. I don’t even know what I’m writing anymore. Thanks if anyone even got this far.

We have watched our son go thru this same exact thing. The kids were in his life for 12 years and after 12 years he decided to remarry. His ex-wife had been using parental alienation over the last 12 years and it got worse when he got married. He had been in and out of courts fighting for his kids for the last 12 years. We watched him continue to fight for them after he remarried. His ex became so obsessed with the fact that she did not want the children to have another mother figure in their life that she made up lies, Took the kids for information every time they went to his house, talk to all of him his new wife and our family and pushed the kids over the edge. Judicial system is not good these days two men fighting for their kids. We watched our son run out of money to fight, his ex never got into trouble for withholding the kids and he finally had to walk away. He did tell his kids that he love them and would always want them. It’s sad to see this happen. His ex is guilty of emotional and mental abuse on those children yet he fought so hard, numerous attorney and lots of money spent.

We know one day when the children are older they are going to realize what happened and how much their dad loved them and how hard it was to walk away. It’s so sad is now the whole family has been cut off the whole entire family. These kids will grow up only knowing a very small family of their mothers and nobody of their fathers. We are the grandparents and live 8 miles from his children and his ex refuses to let us see them or even talk to them on the phone. Vet very sad. These things do happen even when you fight with all you have. This is pure pro alienation us and malicious mother syndrome. Unfortunately the law doesn’t know enough or educate enough about these issues and it basically goes nowhere.

Hey.
After an 8 year break up 4 years ago I am now raising our three boys alone. Up until June this year I battled for the boys father to see them throughout the 4 years. He would have them every other weekend for some time but make my life a misery when he did. I have never stopped him from seeing his children as I believe that we are both equal and should raise them 50/50.
3 years ago I went to see a solicitor for him to see his children more than every other weekend and for mediation so we can have a proper plan in place for the children. He didn’t respond to that back then and is still the same now.
He was the best dad while we were together; we just felt out of love. I expected him to still be the best dad when we parted. I have recently been back to see the same solicitor and she has informed me again that there is no law to say a father should see his children. How sad is this! And also that I’m the first mother since the last meeting that has come through her doors with the same situation. My boys are now 12, 9 & 6 and I deeply believe that they need their father in their life. But I can’t do anymore than what I’ve done to make him. The solicitor informed me that the two eldest are of an age where if they stood up in court their voice would be heard and it’s up to them whether they want to actually see their father now. I asked them after my meeting if they would like to have contact with their father again and they have said no as he hasn’t been around. It really does break my heart. It’s now my choice whether the youngest sees his dad. I have contacted him about this and he has told me that he’s moving to Devon. When my youngest plays on his Switch and sees his daddy online he gets excited and wants to interact with him. Such a sad state of affairs!
I don’t see how a father can just walk away.
So from a mother who believes fathers should have equal rights (situation depended) I will continue not to speak bad of their absent father even though I feel like shouting and shaking him and showing him what he’s missing out on. I will just hang on for the sake of the boys and see in the future if they would like to have contact again, and I will keep trying!

I’m a male and you just described my ex-wife. I found your site on Google hoping to find some useful information, but I am really distressed by the gender bias in your message and the gender bias of the overall system, which demonizes fathers, even good fathers. I’ve been the victim of donestic violence, but because I’m a man, people like you call me a wimp for complaining about my wife battering me, but if I was battering my wife (which I don’t), you’d call that domestic violence and call her a victim. My wife gaslights me and the kids, trains me 4 year old daughter to call me by my first name and not Dad, alienates me from the kids, and that doesn’t even scratch the surgace. There are some great attorneys in the world, and there are ghouls who feed on the misfortune of others. I don’t think you’re a great attorney. You’re part of the problem. Not the solution.

You right Jeff,
I’m in a similar situation with my ex washing mind of my 12yo daughter;
my little girl use to adore me, to look at me all the time for to take her out to park, cinema, buy toys, sweets.. all those things now are gone because her mother and above all my ex mother in law a very vicious person.

do you know a solicitor dealing with parental alienation ?

thank you

How dare you as a woman make excuses and support this narrative bs excuse men use. Stop blaming the mother for PROTECTING her child from an emotional and mentally abusive parent! It’s disgusting! This entire article is disgusting! Excuses are tools of uselessness and those that use them are masters of nothing. Most men that think like this go off and procreate again and again with the same cycle of blame. No accountability whatsoever. If you don’t want to be a father just say that. Don’t blame the mom for not doing YOUR JOB FOR YOU! She has a job to nurture and she’s watching you HURT her child. I don’t blame her. Fathers that show up for theirs do it without talking. They just show and prove. This is about the dads bs emotions he caused on himself?! What about the damage being done to this child?! What about the extra work the mom has to do?! Men are little bitches!

I’m going through everything the article talks about .I tried, and tried to be a part of my daughters life and was shut out by my x wife.The only time I ever get to see her is for Christmas for about an hour .Im not perfect and never claimed to be .I would never in a million years do this to another person .Today I can barely hold a conversation with my daughter because it’s awkward for both of us .We used to be so close .All she wants is my money for support.All I want is time with my daughter .Its been 6 years since I have spent a weekend with her .I have tried everything and the only reason my x wife isn’t in jail because of this is because I wouldn’t ever want to see the pain in my daughters eyes when they tell her that your daddy put your mom in jail .I wouldn’t want her to be without her mom .

Kicked him out after 21 years, Why did I wait so long? I played the fool for my FAMILY! Remember that word men? FAMILY? Maybe you didn’t have a good family but isn’t that more of a reason to make the best of your own family? Maybe without creating other families around town?
Well, I’m ready now. But he’s not. He won’t communicate and he’s definitely not financially supporting his four kids with me! I pay it all! Well, I’m certainly not asking! He knows where we live. He knows what we need. I allowed him to stay in our lives even when he “went to work” and came “home” every three days! My kids would always ask “ When is dad coming over?” not “When is dad coming home?” How pathetic. Even they knew. For a man to constantly dote on his wonderful children and then choose not see them for three weeks is strange…even for him. I guess one of his other families is still under his spell.

How dare you for saying all men are like this. My partner is an incredible dad, but unfortunately he’s forced to be a Disneyland dad because the mother is a selfish person and only allows him to see the kids every other weekend. He is aware that he doesn’t do the majority of the parenting but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to because he does. SHE is the one that does not allow him to even prove himself to be a good parent. SHE is the one that is neglecting the children’s emotions by depriving the kids of their fathers everyday love. …And that goes for the same woman in this article. There’s no excuses here, it’s plain as day.. the father tried and tried and tried but the mother’s selfish actions and lack of actual REAL care for her child is what caused the outcome of this. She’s not protecting the child or nurturing them by alienating the father. Sure she does hard work being a single mother and taking on everything on her own but guess what? She didn’t have to do that. She chose to. She chose to remove the father gradually through her bs actions. So don’t go around calling this article garbage with your “all men are trash” attitude. I gotta say though Dee, it really is such a shame to see that there are still such small minded people out there that think like you do… I wish you the best.

You absolute idiot. How about the Father’s that try absolutely everything to be 50/50 care of their child, but the Mother due to her controlling behaviour refuses to let the Father be involved in jointly making important decisions concerning the future and welfare of their child. You are nothing but part of the problem. Women like you are total control freaks who believe it’s their right to control the child. They have no idea how to CO-PARENT!!!

How can you base your judgement on gender ?Why just cause your a woman ?There are alot of evil and manipulative women and get a free pass and sympathy because they are women and moms.Dads do get the short end of the stick alot of the time.They hardly have any say so but are made to pay but made to live through hell to see their kids at times.Its not fair and im a woman and see the way men are treated in these cases.

This man sounds like he’s putting his pride above his child and making excuses for it. I didn’t turn my kids against my ex but our situation is I talk to my ex as little as possible and we split when I was pregnant so he has never lived in the same house as the youngest, the youngest is 6 years old now and he still sees them every other weekend, a week in Christmas, Easter and summer breaks. My ex doesn’t pay any child support.

I want so badly to believe this is true for most men. Honestly for years I believed this about my husband and his son from a previous relationship. I believed everything he said about the mother being crazy, using their son as a pawn, etc. UNTIL, we had a child of our own. Now I’m literally seeing him do to me exactly what he did to her, abandon me and his child. If I don’t force him to spend time with him or his oldest son it doesn’t happen. The days he’s with me he won’t even call, and I have to be the one to pick up the pieces and stumble through answering questions about why their dad isn’t present. It’s heartbreaking. So yeah, I just can’t accept this as true. I’m the most agreeable person ever, I want them to have a great relationship! But he’s shown me that he clearly is not interested in being a father to either of his kids. Shame on me.

what the FUCK was the point of this article? Even if you don’t have every day with him you can still parent the child. Calling himself a disneyland dad and saying why even try is the exact reason why all of this is probably fake LOL. wah wah i’m a shitty dad to my kids ok loser

Im really struggling and cofused with this. My father left my mum when she was pregnant with me and now after 24 years I came into contact with him. I just cant accept it he tells me my mum kept me away from him but I remember him going to courts when i was young and saw me for abit but after that he left again and said he was waiting for when I grow older. I have one side telling me that its not his fault because men eventually walk away when the mother makes it hard but I just feel he could have done more? or is that just not realistic? I feel as a society we always make excuses for men. Women are empathetic humans and we let them get away with alot.

No girl. He could have ALWAYS done more, sent cards everyday, called everyday, tried to talk to you more, sent gifts, E-GIFTS, contacted you through social media, He knows your full name and *probably* address. Boyfriends do this … so why can’t dads? he could have tried more. Remember that he’s the adult he had his chances, not having “enough time to parenting and only be a ‘disneyland dad’” is about control more than actual parenting when you think about it :)

I sent my daughter something through the mail, the mother didn’t like it, got in big trouble, why would you stop dad from sending cards or presents, woman, not all, are strange.

I’m really struggling with this issue as me and my husband are recently separated. Our son was 8 months at the time. My ex had a decent bond with our baby but he was completely attached to me as the main caretaker. I would take him to his dad’s for the weekend but not overnight. He also didn’t see our boy for a whole month during this separation because he was in a bad place. Our son’s separation anxiety peaked and he basically cries the entire time he is with his dad now. He is 11 months and spending time with his dad went from hanging out the whole day alone to me having to stay and meet at a public place for a few hours. It’s really hard to spend time with my ex every weekend but I’m doing it for our son. Reading all these comments is so depressing and i would hate for my ex to walk away from our son.

Hi Olivia- I really appreciate your devotion to your son, and humility in asking for guidance. Without knowing the details, I urge you to start increasing one-on-one time between your son and his dad. So much research supports that this is what is best for all of you, and I believe your instincts tell you that already. You can start here, and read more of Linda Nielsen’s research on this: https://ifstudies.org/blog/10-surprising-findings-on-shared-parenting-after-divorce-or-separation

Ugh! My ex- husband just sent a link to this article to my 15-year-old son… complete with all the Google ads about seeking counseling etc.

It appears to me that he is using articles like this to make excuses for his own insecurities or shortcomings.

To start the article off stating that a parent is either one of two things is pretty rough.

What about a mom who got divorced almost 5 years ago and they creepy ex has been harassing her with info and articles like this for 5 years..one who needs to be accountable and not take his own insecurities or shortcomings out on her or his kids….pushing away his own kids on his own by sending his 2 teens stuff like this about their mom… please reread what you put on number 2- as what the mom probably is- so upsetting to be honest with you.

Please thoroughly reread what you wrote. Now imagine a kid reading it.

Some people can get divorced and move on with their lives and share parenting responsibilities… others, play the blame game for their own insecurities and/or shortcomings.

Personally, I think this article was to stock the ego of someone who wanted and excuse to walk away as it was suggested at the end.

What a shame. Imagine a kid reading and article like this… one that called their mother things he knows she isn’t… this puts a kid right in the middle… and some times, probably more often than not, that isn’t what truly happens… Behind closed doors…

I am not going to share my personal info here, but clearly, since this article was sent to my 15-year-old son who could really use a great father figure right now, from his father, it to me, looks like he just sent my son a farewell letter and blamed me for him not participating in his life. I think it is pretty mean.

I came to this post because I’m seriously considering doing the same. My situation is as follows. I live in Texas. My ex decided shortly after we got married that I was her punching bag. She was physically and emotionally abusive. She had sexual relationships outside of our marriage. I actually have copies of emails she left up going back and forth with her lover from 2007 to 2008. After her oldest child who was not mine graduated from college she filed for divorce. I had stayed in the marriage for the sake of the kids because I knew that the courts would give her custody and child support. Yes, she played the victim card claiming she was afraid of me, that I was abusive, and even tried to have me arrested by pretending that I had hit her. We had even paid a court appointed therapist to make a custody evaluation that recommended I get the kids due to her anger and violence towards the kids. She even had a CPS case against her for bruising up her oldest child. I spent thousands in court and had a very good case. None of that mattered. The judge gave her primary custodian and 30% child support for three children. They also make me pay the children’s medical premiums. The judge also awarded her the visitation schedule of her choice. This turned out to be me picking up the kids during the school year every Tues and Thurs and bringing them to school in the morning. Also I pick them up every other Friday and take them to school on Monday. Over the Summer I get them every other weekend beginning Friday evening and ending Sunday evening and the entire month of July. Only in July does she pick up the kids for one weekend. If you do the math I have them 49% of the time. See what they did there? My cost of raising the children is more than half due to medical premiums and traveling back and forth to her home every other day. Additionally they are taking 30% of my after tax income. I also cannot claim a dime of what I spend on my children for tax relief. Child support is taken out of my check but somehow I owe $2k plus interest to child support. I owe the irs $3500 for the first year alone. Last month while I had my kids my electric and water usage almost tripled. I am now in the position of having to think rationally vs emotionally. I love my kids, even the youngest who I now believe is not even mine biologically (after seeing pics of the guy she was cheating with and how they look like twins). But I can’t afford to pick them up every other day, the groceries, medical expenses, and all the costs involved in raising kids anymore. So for my own sanity and health I’m thinking about just cutting my losses and moving on. Oh, and the attitude change of the youngest is spot on with what is described by the writer. My 12 year old actually said those exact words on several occasions! She told me last month after I disciplined her by taking her phone away (she had slapped her older sister in the face for just touching her) that “Mom is getting better and you’re getting worse!”. A little background on that is that Mom had grabbed her by the neck on the first day of school choking her before we got divorced. While the divorce was in process she told her school counselor that she wanted to kill herself due to her mother yelling at her all the time. She’s been in therapy. Anyway I’m seriously considering just emotionally walking away. It’s in His hands now because I’m about done. If you are religious, pray for us.

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