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
  • 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

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.

797 Comments

Went through the Divorce, she had planned it for 8 years according to her affidavit to the courts (makes it impossible to find records of hidden assets).
She took out a restraining order, claiming I was suicidal.
Made multiple false allegations of violence against her, one of the children and her father, completely false.

Used the restraining order and the false allegations to force a settlement in her favor.
Specifically “Take a 10% equity buy out or you will never see the children again”.
I was homeless, in mounting debt, so I settled..

The entire process has me suffering with PTSD.

She insists she never made the false allegations, that I’m imagining it, I show her copies of her affidavit., she insists it’s a blank piece of paper, that I’m delusional.

Sometimes I doubt my innocence in the false allegations.

Being with my children can cause panic attacks, fear of the next barrage of false allegations, fear that her false allegations are true and I just don’t remember.

I’m at that crossroads.

Fight?
Die?
Flee?
Settle for the status quo?

I’m in a constant state of agony, I only feel normal when traveling long distances from home (Live in the same town).

This appears to be the baseline standard torture used by women in Divorce for their amusementt.

They feel no remorse but don’t want others to know what they did so always add a gag order to the divorce to prevent dads from telling the world everything she did.

My fiancé filed for paternity so he could have rights to child. They had gotten pregnant early in their relationship and they broke up prior to birth. My fiancé’s father committed suicide when he was 16 which led to him dropping out of school. He was 21 and she was 25 years old. I was friends with my fiancé back then and I remember how excited he was to be a dad. She and her parents didn’t want him involved at all in his child’s life and they had money for a really good attorney and he didn’t. They did everything possible to keep him from his child including making up false accusations. She claimed that he had alcohol and drug problems which he didn’t and paid for random drug testing to prove it. He passed with no problems. She had been convicted of two drinking and driving’s and hit him in front of witnesses prior to their baby being born. Police wouldn’t press charges. She was determined to keep his son from him and during a baby shower put on by his family, her family started an altercation and they tried to take everything purchased by his family for their son to their home. His family became upset because some of the things were purchased for my fiancé to have at his home for the child. Her parents during the baby shower told him he didn’t even know if he’d be able to see his child. They denied him to see his child after birth and so he applied for paternity testing and tried to get rights to see his child through the court. He didn’t have much money for an attorney but he paid for one the first time he went to court but the attorney he hired wasn’t very helpful to him so he decided it was too expensive and he would try to represent himself. He was given 12 supervised visits at the moms home with her parents. He always showed up but the parents would interfere with his visits and often say very hurtful things while he was there. They made him feel like a loser. He went back to the court and asked for the visits to be at their facility so he was able to do them at the friend of the court with a stranger. At the end of the 12 visits, he asked now what. He was told it was up to the mom if he could see him after that and if she said no then he could apply for more after 12 months. We are told by an attorney recently that this never should have happened and he should have been able to get unsupervised visits after that since he did everything he was supposed to. However he didn’t know that and he felt very hopeless to be apart of his sons life. He was constantly made to feel unworthy and it was clear they didn’t want him involved but they did want his money. He had paid child support since then. The child is 11 years old and doesn’t know his father. My fiancé was uneducated on the court system, he didn’t understand what was within his rights to be able to do about it. He gave up and started to think maybe he was a loser and the child would be better without him. He felt hopeless at being able to have a relationship with his child and to be able to convince the mom and her parents that he wasn’t a loser and deserved a chance for his son to know him. Anyways she recently requested a review for child support which increased it to 700 a month which opened up old wounds. He pays his child support and we understand his financial responsibilities but the fact she wants more money but is content to keep him out of the picture. It’s his fault for not going back to court. I wonder if other men feel as hopeless as he did. I knew him back then and the court system was very intimidating and confusing. It was apparent that he wanted a relationship when he filed for paternity and to try to get parenting time but lost hope. We went to an attorney recently to see about reuniting him and requesting parenting time but his son is 11 and doesn’t know him. The attorney basically said the court could decide it’s not in the sons best interests for him to meet his dad after 11 years. He’s grown up without a father and he’s a stranger so they would have him talk to a counselor and decide if it’s in his best interests. If they decide it is then the attorney said it’ll be a long time before he would get to bring the child to his home and have unsupervised visits. We understand because he’s a stranger. We are very conflicted on whether we would be doing more harm to the child. He is just sad about the situation and wishes he could go back and ask more questions back then and wishes he would have known what he knows now. My fiancé ended up going back to school, he has a good job and a nice home. We are trying to have a child together and getting married soon. I know my fiancé would have been a good dad and I know that he is sad he has a son that doesn’t know him. We still feel like it’s pointless to fight after the attorney consultation we had.

my daughter was 6 years old when our relationship become too volatile to stay together ,he had a hard childhood but was a very bitter man ,it killed me to leave town with my daughter but I wouldn’t be here today if id stayed ,fast forward to 2022 she is now a grown woman had no contact with him for 13 half years turns up 1 month ago wanting to see her ,now she is the parent and he is the child ,she has taken on ALL of his problems his depression his misery moods and he just buys her things makes no attempt at asking her about herself just talks about himself ,I won’t be judged as a bad mother for protecting my daughter from his self destructing ways ,she loves her dad very much regardless and its not her father who has gotten the short straw its her , some people are just meant to focus on themselves and not have any kids .

my wife just got a false dv against me and now I understood her whole game, I tried to fix the marriage for 10 years and stayed in it for kids. honestly I dont miss her because we were emotionally divorced many years ago but she continued to makes plans to take the kids away because she know thats where it hurts. I read above and yes my lawyer is suggesting same, visitations after fights and stay at her mercy. If I choose between my dignity and my love for my children, I choose my dignity today, if she truly thinks, because she was raised without father, no child need a father so be it. A mother is a judge for her children, I cannot fight and stay depressed to see a glimpse.

Yes It will break me to the point that I might kiss myself one day but I won’t , I will wait for time to change, I believe in my bond over last few years with my kids, one day that bond will overcome all the poison she been feeling. I will wait for that day patiently and stay strong in my night because ready or not, night will fade away and Karma will come around.

Yes I will walk away from kids, pay money but that’s ok. I will do my fatherly duties but this system has to change, mental damage is not seen like physical scratches even if they are made falsely.

God will strike back but let him do his job and I will do mine, I will do my duties, I will not fight back and I will stay and wait but I know one day I will break because she had cut my heart out and there is no pleasure in the world that can fill that void, this wound will remain open unless one day my kids will put their hand on it and heal it.

my day will come.

I’m a divorced father of six kids. I’m also a gay man. My ex always knew this but religion had its part. She has remarried a nice guy and moved to another state. I had brain surgery and epilepsy and lost job. My kids rarely talk to me. I try to contact them almost every day. They call me by my first name. They don’t want me to visit. They are teenagers. I’m in school and working at getting a job as times have been harsh and stressful. I have a disability now. It’s not fun or easy in any way. I just want my kids to call me dad. My heart needs that. But apparently they don’t need or want me. My ex told me she won’t make the kids do anything as it is thier choice because they are teenagers or preteens. This hurts everything within me. They won’t FaceTime or zoom or even call. I say the wrong words many times and I try to be thier dad. I don’t know if I can do this. I no longer believe in religion and my own siblings don’t understand and they always tell me to just be patient and the kids will learn. It will get better. My counselor is astonished the kids don’t show nor are asked to communicate with me and show thier appreciation to help my empathy issues.

Men should rise up, unite and fight this evil. If there should be a divorce, where there are more than one child, some children MUST go with the dad and some go with the mum.
If it’s only one child, s/he must be spending alternating one week stay in the homes of both parents.
That law that allienate fathers is an evil law, and should be done away with.

For as much as I failed as a husband, I love and step up for my kids at a moments notice when asked. Unfortunately, for all my bitterness and anger towards the system, many men could care less. After dating for several years I know men won’t come together because there are far too many who want nothing to do with their child.

My ex and I raised many good children. But as the kids grew to middle school and upward, there always was this feeling of disconnect with them emotionally. I was a engaged father and now I look back. Somewhat always fought frustrating feelings. I was always happier at work. And when the ex wife was gone for on a trip or something. There was a natural healing with the kids and me that took place. When the ex came home, it was like a dark cloud entered the home. My son who lives in l.a. told me that mom would make life hell if you did not comform to her completely. As I look back now, she always complained about him to me. The ex was and is a narrssitic aleianator . She always had an act when I came home. The bad thing is I always was a engaged father, but had a huge blind spot. Never did I even knew this behavior existed. So much more to the story. I have a 12 year old autistic son. We are like shadows. I was married for 36 yrs. This is tragic on me now. I’m torn into pieces.

I have custody of my son and I adopted my ex’s daughter as my own since I refuse to have anyone as a partner anymore. I was at one point taking home only .35 cents on every dollar I made after tax and alimony! Had this continued I may have just said fuck it and gave up! You can’t blame them when women are the most toxic they have ever been! Women today are rotten self centered garbage! They can’t just let the shit go they have to take everything you have to make them feel like they gained enough from the situation to benefit them!

Well, I really don’t know, my ex sees our daughter once a week, he promoses he will see heer more, does not do that. He does nothing a pays little child support. I guess some men can say they are interested and the mother is a bad person who does not let them see their child but I guess most of them don’t see their child because they don’t want to. If you wanted to see ypur child more you would do something to be there, bring them to the doctor and go to school appointments, even if the mother talks bad about you. What I don’t do with my child, but the dad does.

I’ve made the same decision in the past as a father and eventually decided not to follow through. Unfortunately a few years later I am about to choose to not be in the children’s lives indefinitely. Their Mother kept them from me several times over a 10 year period. I called my son last week and he hung up in my face. My daughter tries to reach out but she doesn’t realized my number is blocked on her device. The mother has been saying for years I was abusive but I was the one getting abused. Constantly being hit, told to kill my self, protective orders, told my son isn’t mine, used for money, oral sex given to the children’s godfather, accused me of raping her and I could go on. So yeah I’ll just be a dead beat if it means me maintaining mental and emotional health.

I am an adult now but I was raised by a single mother who resented my father. My parents got divorced when I was one year old and I grew up listening to my mother tell me how my father was a bum, a stupid idiot, mentally ill, he never wanted me, he thought I looked ugly and retarded when I was born, etc. If I called him “Daddy”, she would mock me. I had to call him by his name. On the rare occasion that he visited and I got excited about seeing him she got angry at me. She would tell me that she was the one who did all the work in raising me and he didn’t pay child support. A five year old child doesn’t understand these things and should not be made to feel guilty because she loves her father. As an adult I’ve freely spoken to my father about my extremely abusive childhood and he told me the reason he left was because my mother was abusive and psychotic. No kidding! What I don’t understand is why he left me with her, knowing that. I was a vulnerable child. He had the responsibility to protect me. I think that was really selfish. He apologized and I have forgiven him. I also think that, regardless of the relationship between the spouses, child support must be paid. It is a moral obligation. It is not the children’s fault if the mother is playing games, etc. The children are still entitled to be financially provided for by both parents.

I’ll never give up on my twin daughters: I will let go of the caustic quagmire of courts, counselors & codependency that enabled & fostered the alienation. Time is everything and nothing takes away more of it than family courts. Billable hours of justifying why I should, would & could be a solid parent for my kids are dismissed as soon a whiff of “I’m not comfortable” uttered by my ex or daughters. Coaching or tutoring the kids on what to say is ignored, even when the vernacular is way off “age appropriate” levels. Plausible culpability is enough to get professionals distracted from their primary purpose of reunification. Thanks for writing the article.

What about a mother who had her boys taken from her and kept from her. I haven’t seen my boys in 4 years. I don’t have the money for a lawyer. Their dad took them for a visit and kept them since. It was a verbal agreement so I don’t have it on paper. I’ve tried getting legal help but I keep hitting dead ends. I’m slowly giving up hope. Idk what to do.

So I was married to a Narcissist who stole from me… started arguing with me and calling the cops on me falsely a few months prior to disappearing with our daughter… during the divorce I found out that she filed a false rape case against her ex husband so that she could get a green card….. and now every time we exchange our daughter I’m being recorded on her phone…. She did all this just so she could get child support payments and the calling cops on me was so she could try to get alimony… at the end of the day I’m in debt and have to take time off work to see my daughter and being self employed its been something detrimental to my mental and financial well being….
I’m at the point where I’m considering just walking away or maybe seeing my kid once a month …
Even the Judge in the court was biased and awarded her 4 times the amount for child support than it should be and now I’m stuck spending money on lawyers again to file and appeal while still paying the ridiculous amount in child support… the Judge in our case even admitted that he has been to my ex’s job for campaigning purposes…

At the end of the day this system is rigged…. I guarantee if the system took away child support and made the parents figure out the finances on their own for the kids then children would be in much better shape…. I can’t imagine any man who works hard to provide for his kid during a bad marriage would stop providing after a divorce

By the way I have not seen any other man however this guy has contacted all his ex’s throughout, before anyone jumps at that.
I have turned my world around for my son and I am so afraid something bad will happen if I leave him with his father who doesnt understand that supervised visitation isn’t just because x doesnt trust him, its because its the safest route to building a bond with his son.
When he skips out every week because he would rather mow the lawns I thought I would put my story out there because it cuts both ways.
I have not been vindictive or stonewalling, I have opened every door. He started paying child support out of the blue after Drs turned one. I struggled financially for over a year with no word from him who is on $3-4000 a fortnight. he refuses to take son to his activiteis because its too early and yet claims to want to be the primary carer!
What a joke.

While I understand the logic of this blog, it paints a horrible light on mom and women alike. I had a child with a man relatively quickly and the relationship to say the least went horribly south 4years of it… initially I told the man that I was going through the pregnancy initially I was weighing all options; gave him the choice that he was either interested or not interested and I would go on my merry way. The man went with I’m with you, I’m interested in knowing my child (with you in the sense of parenting). The man held onto the resentment of not having an abortion for the entirety of the nearly 4yrs. Even arguing in front of child about not following through with an abortion (child was of old enough age to be extremely sad hearing that). Where I was in a position of having a live in partner (father), and I was pretty much doing all the parental responsibilities with care giving. The man rarely volunteered, even so much so made me feel like shit after a c-section and an injury at work (concussion); where I was still chugging away while in physical pain and dead tired. The man even went to verbally demean my attempt to re-enroll in college as a inconvenience and poor timing. It got to the point where I was up till 3 am everyday doing assignments and working at early hours. Most days I had hard deadlines he would instigate an argument, to the point he would storm out and threaten termination of the lease repetitively. I see at times he loves his child but more and more it seems as though his child is a chore. I’ve come home to this person passed out of the couch and child was eating paper. He left child unsupervised, unattended for an hour or more. At nearly three that is super dangerous. I’ve tried discussing it civilly and have lost the patience for this level of neglect on his part. But yet with what has gone on behind closed doors on the fathers part… me the mother is a monster. The only restriction I had was to have a discussion about the way he stormed out of our shared unit before seeing our child. It was violent, aggressive and left me sore in my collar bone from being shoved by the father. Father went so far as to falsify accusations against me, and has used financial abuse as a way to get me in his words to shut the fuck up. Example: if you don’t shut the fuck up right now I am terminating this lease and will cancel my mom watching her (during times daycare was closed etc). Where a good amount of the time his reactions where not justified. I would ask what they did at home that day, to learn more about child’s day it was met with I don’t have to fucking tell you, stop helicoptering, nagging, none of your business. I tried my best to facilitate a relationship post relationship.
he can’t see past his resentment and hatred towards me his actions when parenting our child have been heart breaking. Due to his actions it has even forced me to withdraw my admissions at a university and has cost me my associates degree. I wish I saw through the mask way sooner . Moral of the story is not every man claiming mom is a monster, a bitch or manipulative may be 100% true.

I didn’t divorce my husband, he divorced me. There was no court hearing. Just papers drawn up by his attorney that I signed. We had no contact after that and even though the papers stipulated child support none ever came. No birthday or holiday contacts, none at all until our daughter was 13 (she was 3 at the time of divorce). She visited him once and then that was it until she was getting ready to get married and sent him an invitation. He came to the wedding. Our daughter invited him to stay in contact and she tried to contact him. Nothing ever came of it.

Deadbeat?????

I’m about to be 35 years old this year and I have only seen my father once at age 11, never saw him before or after but I love him still and don’t hate him. He says I’m too old to meet now and I understand. I’ll always love him, no matter what!! I’ve gone without a father and now I will have to go without my children. That’s life

Most courts do 50/50. Math shows standard possession orders equal 48/52 split. No excuse not to be a parent, kids need both. Any parent can tell you it’s hard. I’ve bent over backwards trying to get dad involved he doesn’t communicate, still I send him updated pictures. Intentional have not sought sole custody. Remain in close distance to where he lives so theres no reason not to be involved.
To the dads wanting to parent I pray you all get the time to do so it is what will help the kids

I am compelled to correct several statements made in the comment above.

Regarding the claim that “most courts” award 50/50, as of Dec 2021 only 20 states out of 50 have some version of 50/50. Of the remaining 30 states, 23 award fathers less than 30% custody time, and the other 7 award less than 24% custody to fathers. These include Washington (23.8%), Ohio (23.7%), South Dakota (23.6%), Georgia (23.5%), Illinois (23.1%), Mississippi (23%), and Tennessee (21.8%). Of the 12.9 million custodial parents 79.9% are mothers. Lastly, while 90% of child custody cases are resolved outside of court, the custody agreements are largely based on the state’s custody schedules and time shares codified in the law, meaning that deviations from the numbers above the extremely rare.

What tactics did you use in the divorce?
Silver Bullet?
Restraining orders?
False allegations?

Often Fathers suffer PTSD as a result of the tactics used by mothers in Divorce.

Particularly the false allegations of child abuse, using the children and false allegations to leverage a very low settlement for the father. This leaves it impossible for the father to see his kids.

No need to answer this, to me, what you know is all that matters.

I am currently in a situation where my spouse had an affair and decided to leave me and two children (one his) for his mistress. During his time with the family, he barely saw the kids – got up early a.m. to workout, see a couple of personal training clients, come home to grab a quick bite, then off to workout again, and not sure if he fit in the affair here. He came home and saw the kids for probably an hour each day and went to bed at 7pm. Meanwhile, I was responsible for working full time, pickup and drop off of kids, cooking and cleaning and also was the only person who paid the rent/mortgage for the 11 years we were together with no financial contributions from him.
And now that he has left the family is the time he wants to spend time with his child. Is it to show his responsibility to the woman he had an affair with, now wanting to spend more time with his child? It is unfair to disregard all the work mothers like myself put into the household and keeping the family together and have an absent father during the relationship, then want the same amount of access once he has used me for financial reasons and abandons the family for another woman. I just don’t find this morally right.

YES! THIS! A manipulative man that has nothing to do with the kids when in the relationship but when he’s out he just want to pretend to be a good part time dad just to hurt you! And that really is the case in my case! He was so manipulative towards me I practically begged him to spend time with his son so I could catch a break and his response was “you’ve got family, ask them” knowing I had no support from family he was absolutely useless and now we’ve broken up he says he’ll take me to court for sole custody (even though he sees him as much as he wants which is once a month I’ve told him to move closer so he can see him more not that I’d want him to I don’t fully trust him around my son alone but even so I’ve put it out there and he chooses not to see his son more) so he threatens with sole custody knowing he’s just going to dump our son on one of his family members who I’m not being dramatic he comes from a badddd family I wouldn’t trust my son with any of them for one minute. And before anyone jumps to anything when I met this man he treated me like a princess, had his shiz together we were both on the same page we had good jobs we had a plan things were great it was only when my son was born that he turned into this manipulative, toxic, awful person it’s like he just changed his mind about being a parent and resented me for it but he’s too ashamed of admitting it because he comes across as this perfect person. So let’s be honest who knows what the guy in the article has done and that’s just his side of the story. Maybe get both sides and that would be a great article for people to make a decision.

Getting a weekend or two a month is not enough to be a dad. Using the court system and court decisions will never be in the child’s best interest. (as they tote) If the mother and father can work together WITHOUT lawyers and judges that is the only way to have the child’s best interest. IF EITHER parent uses the courts to decide their child’s life then the child is 100% doomed for damage.

My ex is a manipulative conniver.
As soon as I was able to see my kids ( after the final divorce papers granted me the “2 weekends per month”… she used her family’s wealth to sign up my son for sports “away games” … scheduled on most weekends that I was scheduled to see him.
He wanted to have this when I was still there and she adamantly refused to allow it.
I was told by my lawyer … I can legally tell him he cannot attend the games on my weekends I see him. I don’t have the monetary advantage for doing allot with him … so I would definitely look like the “bad guy” if I tried to stop HER from having him on the weekends I normally would have him and he would be missing the games he wanted to be in…. I know how much he wanted to play … and I couldn’t hurt him by saying no…
She is a devious person and gave him something he wanted – which she denied him when I was there – Obviously to put me in a no-win situation… I was suggested that I should travel to these distant locations and sit by and watch these sports games …. I don’t have the time ( I work part of the day Saturdays ) nor do I have the money to travel
( as some of the events are so distant it would require a hotel or 6-7 hours driving each way) …. Shes a conniving person … she has done the same thing with my daughter …. Early on my daughter was loyal and visited with me on the weekends my son was busy with his newly bought “away-games”…. but soon my daughter was signed up for similar things …. This is how my ex literally bought my kids “fun-activities” to insure that I would be unable to see them …. and all communication with my kids had to go through her …. I have a beautiful loving fiancé – that has helped tremendously…(literally driving for hours to pick up my kids while I was at work and she would take care of them until I got home from work) but the ex’s games … and using my kids as pawns to upset my new relationship… has caused me to just let the contact fade away…. I love my kids … but my ex is a manipulative person and has used them to disrupt my new relationship…. maybe someday my kids will see what she did to cause the situation to unfold as it did …. and realize that I was put in a no-win situation…

So I am a divorced father. I have been through many reads on this topic and one that I see that is not brought up often is how the father deals with his kid or kids living with another man and is ex wife and dealing with the fact the the new man is seeing and spending more time with his kids than the actual father. This has been something I cannot deal with personally and feel like me being the father has been taken from me and I have little to no say and my kids say well so and so says this but he is not your father was my response all the time. So just some back round on me, I have lost everything just before my divorce and including my divorce. My family all passed away with in 5 years. The first was my mother then my brother then my father. I couldn’t handle it and started drinking and then that led up to my divorce. I am sober now over 2 years and tried to fix things but I get shut down or my kids don’t want to see me now so I ended up walking away. My heart is so broke and I am broke. I have lost so much weight, my teeth are having issues now and my anxiety and panic attacks are out of control. I never wanted to walk away I love my kids and I just want them to be happy and have good lives but the constant fighting and messages from her new man or fiance now and everything I just can’t take it and feel pushed out and they got what they wanted. I love my kids so much and not a single day goes by without me thinking about them. I am not a dead beat when all i want is my kids to be better than there dad and want nothing but the best for them but it was to hard and I just can’t stand this new guy gets to be there for christmas morning and all the good stuff and I am just a guy they came to visit. Sometimes father after divorce and in my situation just break down. I am a loving father and never want to hurt my kids but I can’t get used to sharing my kids with another guy that they see more. That hurts the most. Leaving on this quote, “Most Men live Lives of Quiet Desperation”.

Sounds like alot of excuses on the dads part honestly. You don’t abandon your children. Point blank period. Not an excuse thats your ex is vindictive. How many single moms everyday raise children and have abusive, vindictive exes to deal with?? Alot. The culture of coddling grown men and giving them a pass on parenthood is toxic as fuck. Any detriment to your health, life etc that you call yourself dealing with is 10 fold for YOUR CHILD, who has to live with being abandoned by their father… not only going through childhood without a dad but living as an adult with daddy issues. Its a terrible thing to subject a human being that YOU created to

And if you keep trying it becomes even harder till you literally cannot see your children at all. Knowing that you kept trying and trying but there comes a point when all hope is lost. Yet you are supposed to still keep trying. Even when there is literally nothing you can do right? Knowing there is nothing you could do, do the impossible. Make a magical way pop out of thin air. Wait no this is reality. If your child’s mother is preventing every way you can see your child. Also even trying to ruin your new relationship. What the hell can you do. When your calls are not answer, when she moves to another state with your kids, changes her number or blocks yours, removes everything of you from your child’s life, and tell your children you never loved them and wanted to see them. What can you do, but give up. Your children don’t want to see you and you can’t contact them at all WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Sounds like you are the exact kind of person who abuses men the powers of the legal system. This is a systemic issue it has to do with the structure of the legal system and the lack of transparency along implicit biased of the courts and those who over see them. The only way to fix the system is require default 50/50 and strict punishment and sanctions to the mothers who abuse the system

My ex lied to me about IUD she that she could have a child with me! I was forced in having this child with her after trusting her! Funny thing is I believed her that IUD didn’t work! Until my child was 6 and then many people told me that it seems that your ex lied to you! I struggled so much after divorce taking care of my baby son alone since I was an immigrant with no support system. She used him to abuse me for years. She had me have him during the week and she had him during weekends. I struggled changing diapers and juggling between work daycare making money for daycare and myself. It was a big trauma for me! I offered to pay support to protect myself from backpacks, after we agreed on an amount she kept bragging for more money! Whenever I asked to take him with me to my home country she refused, I barely had any power to make decisions in his life! For example I had the intent of being there for him due to my culture as a Muslim and the guilt I felt when I wasn’t there for him and that God will ask me for him! I didn’t want to cause him pain or saddnes on the cost of my dignity and life! I took days off to get him into good schools and then my efforts were ignored his mom put him in the school she wanted at the end!!!!!! She would call me and complain about his academic level and when I try to be there she becomes abusive! Namely, she only reaches out at the time of need, but other than that she wants to crush me! Due to the hostility of the situation of her being abusive and disrespectful and my growing selawareness I am thinking to stop this abuse and she just walk away from my child’s life because I feel powerless! I feel the relationship is just tying me down and not me move ahead! The peer pressure and society makes it worse when u r shamed for not seeing ur son, being there for your son!!! They don’t understand the whole story, my struggles and good faith efforts!!

you can spend all the money you have in court and counseling and things do not change when the kids get older they will know it was mom not dad who was horrible and dad spent his time and money to see kids It is the womans fault and yes i am a woman been there with step kids dont blame the dads most dads want to see kids or at least talk to them

I agree partially noting that the writer did mention it falls both ways.
It hurts me to read this because my sons father tries to paint me the way the writer has painted his ex but its actually the opposite and I have the proof of that however I dont know what to do about it.
He said today that he has to mow the lawn so he cant see his son, who cried puddles when he left last time telling me he would see him monday and now again has changed the plan like it never happened.
I as a single mother am constantly catering to his fathers “free” lifestyle while i am sinking in poverty and living in a hell hole, he can afford to hire a cleaner but wont have child support formally assessed, he just pays what he wants and sneers at purchases i make.
I have no new clothes and a $30 phone. no car, no pets no boyfriend no job. I want a chance to be able to correct myself but he keeps blocking it out by changing plans and being completely unreliable. what kind of father stonewalls his 18m son on christmas?
I’m shattered and dont know what to do anymore. i shouldn’t be punished for leaving him, he was a horrible person.

You should serve him with child support, but make it a fair amount. I believe that parents that want nothing to do with their kids deserve to have money deductible from their checks! If they are involved and not paying at least they are involved and parenting.

Want to be a good dad but don’t have a positive male role model? Look for a female one. Plenty of us were raised by moms who also had to be our dads.

Go listen to her…

And don’t wait until after the baby is born or make her tell you twice. Women already tell you that parenthood is a big responsibility. 100% of people on earth are born from women. To the instintual parent, everybody is somebody’s baby. Women have to balance the social structure, feel, food, finances, appointments, etc in the family household anyway. The only reason there are not that many female breadwinner households is because the system is catered towards already money having, emotionally dead men. I went into it thinking my spouse was on the same page, I even gave him additional months to prepare ahead of me. He didn’t. I discussed game plans, reviewed routines, gentle parenting, etc while on maternity leave (he’s SAHD). Nada. I went back to work when maternity leave was over and even though we are a single income household and being the Dad is on my shoulders, I’m also still full time mom (and the sleepless nights!)

I have screamed at my spouse multiple times in the last 2 months (the baby just turned 10 months) because yes, he has been trying (though he gives up easily) the past month but I have been steering this ship since 2020 WITHOUT help. Even though I have a SAHD who has been unemployed minimum 6 months before the baby was even born.

After lots of anxiety and panic attacks, the solution was he get rid of all his vudro gaming equipment, which has been a huge distraction. Then, working on his anger issues because he gets easily frustrated with baby. I cannot count how many times I have dumped my own anger issues (qnd I have 30 years of female rage) on my partner when he can’t help but press the baby down on the changing table and lock eyes with the baby in an aggressive alpha dog death stare or when he “shush”es way too loud while holding the sleepy fussy baby when its his turn to get the baby at night. He’s depressed because he can’t be with friends (play video games) but playing with friends has endangered the baby so many times that it’s a glaring pattern. So dad be sad and baby be safe, not ideal. But it’s better than dad be happy, child neglected and developmentally delayed due to neglect/ malnourished / dead/ traumatized/ etc. Of I had died giving birth, the baby would have been passed on to his mom because he would have accidentally killed the baby already. Babies. Are. Fragile. I don’t care what the Internet has convinced dads of dads being fun big kids and dadhood being easy. The Internet lies! You know this!! Don’t fall prey to what is easy or convenient FOR YOU. It’s not about you. Don’t you get it? It’s about the 1. Security 2. Happiness 3. Enrichment of YOUR CHILD. Again, because I have been pressed to emphasize this based on my experience with (cis, primarily straight) guys compared to women (whether cis, lesbian, trans, etc): YOU ARE NOT THE CHILD. Okay?

I have been discreet.

I have been detailed.

I have simplified it.

I have been direct.

Then, after that and so many sleepless nights, I break from all the pressure and scream at spouse.

He’s a better dad NOW (and being a good dad is so easy, the bar is in the dirt- I had to explain so many times the difference between being physically present vs emotionally present, again, I work full time even still as I contemplate quitting my lucrative job and going into debt after building my career my ENTIRE adult life because SAHD can’t do half what I can do even when he tries) but I’m still raising spouse to be a good dad (and mom! It’s important to be both because you cant rely on dads to stick around when things get tough and “they can handle it”) and being a full time mom and paying all the bills and working qn emotionally exhausting job, and sleepless nights (I couldn’t go back to sleep since dad woke me up when he left the baby room leaving crying baby in crib after trying to walk him back to sleep – I have the monitor and I’m staying in another room in the house to try to sleep finally but even here I get no space for literally a basic human need).

Women are fed up and burnt out. We are human beings. We literally thought we were equal to men until we were told otherwise. I have made this relationship as egalitarian as possible but the big dog thinking is on me so I’m constantly thinking of solutions to problems that aren’t my responsibility. No one holds me accountable even when there are opportunities to (can you remind me to set an alarm for… (never reminds me, I miss my vaccine appt) I need to do ___ tomorrow morning so can you watch the baby (I end up waking up before him.. he never set an alarm… I have baby ALL DAY and at night after I nurse baby I do the things that have been on my mind)) etc. No rest. This is why women die sooner when theyre married to men.

I wonder if lesbian relationships have to deal with the “comical” incompetent partner who just does whatever, and all responsibility on other partner to be CEO of the entire family (but without CEO influence… so more like a personal slave).

Again, I am human. We agreed on a PARTNERship. I am not my spouse’s replacement mom for when his passes. I am my own person and I worked really hard to be the best I can be for a family I can call my own and I expect that same energy back.

Why would I want be in a relationship with someone who makes me feel like a single mother of 2?

Might as well be single, you can keep your child support. What is it anyway, $35 a month?

What do you expect when feminists have kicked fathers out of the home and emasculated men for the past 80 years! Several generations of men raised by women yet women can’t deal with their own creation! They create problems and have kids with the wrong people cuz they’re always chasing the bad boy but marry someone that they really aren’t as attracted to and end up divorced anyway! Quit complaining about causing your own problems!

You are a female and will never understand any of this. These grown men are victimized by a sexist system, so as a female you will never begin to understand this. You can judge and blame all you want to, but your judgement will never change the truth and thanks to social media, the truth is being exposed more and more each day. Bitter baby mama’s like you probably are cannot play innocent anymore at least not in the court of public opinion.

Amen to that. Malicious mothers wreck their own children and family courts, cafcass, social services all help them do it.

I really don’t understand how these men are blaming the mothers for not seeing their children. Did you even try? I bet my ex would say all that I’m manipulative,but the truth is he moved across the country to pretend like he’s 20 something and has made no plan or attempt to see his children. I don’t know how I can make him involved if he doesn’t seem to want to be involved.

After 2 years and 5 months of being rejected every single day , I too have realised that I cannot do anything anymore to change the situation. My kids refuse to come to me , despite the court order , they can decide says everyone. I was advised today to walk away , to live my best life , without them. The psycho said bluntly , run Gavin. Run. They are destroying you. Go live your life. Stop calling. Stop trying to see them. Just walk away. They must decide for themselves now … you’ve done enough. This will kill you if you carry on like this. Walk away. Walk away.
I’ve done that. My health and life comes first.

People can judge but until you experience it….. having every other weekend visitation interfered with, then spending tens of thousands to straighten it out, all with no consequences to mom for violating the orders, and The knowledge that the situation will only repeat itself while the years go by. I love my daughter but unless a miracle happens I’ve lost being in her childhood in any meaningful way. The court is a joke and a scam. Those people certainly (by and large) don’t care about the rights of kids or parents. I’m an absent father. It hurts, it’s a kick in the pants quite often, but better to accept what the reality is than spend her whole childhood in court. Since I let go the rage has subsided. I have accepted failure, loss, and that my daughter will likely have gnawing questions that hopefully I can answer someday. I gave her to God and pray we can be close someday, although can’t make up for missing her early years. Sounds bad to say but I try not to think about her now. It’s the only way I can move on. Man it sucks

I totally agree with you. I’ve been dealing with 2 kids like a single mom when the ex was present, but we barely saw him. And he blamed me for turning to another woman because I wasn’t available or not meeting his needs and we were losing connection. Maybe if he helped out more around the house financially and being physically there instead of working out all the time to keep himself looking good, I would have had the time for him. My days were filled with a full time job and driving kids to and from school and activities and cooking and cleaning. Yet we are expected to also stroke a man’s ego.

I can tell you have issues with your ex. I am assuming you have custody. I lost custody, but I did not just lose custody. I lost the right be a mother. I lost the right to see my child once a week, the right to meet her friends and teacher. I struggled for years in court to try to have visitation. Then one day I stopped. I stopped allowing judgment like this to judge me as a person. I told the judge, my ex-husband and anyone involved with my case to F*** off. I began a new relationship and we are trying for a child of our own. Once my ex realized he had nothing to use against me anymore. That I would not jump through legal hoops, I spent five month of my life mourning the death of my relationship to my child. That I moved on with my life. Then one day out of the blue he changed his mind and excepted me to coming running back. I found that I did not want to. He is doing damage control, trying to get me to be involved again, and hoping that I will keep contact. We are going to mediation, but the desire to be apart of my child’s life is no longer there. I worry that if I show „too much interest“ he will use it against. I hope that one day I find that „I love my daughter no matter what“ feeling again.

Now days I tell him „this is what I have to offer, these are the days that work, this is the time I have to offer“ I am firm and unapologetic. I have always paid child support on time and no bull-shit around money. I no longer compromise my time or self-respect. I show my daughter the six legal cases I went through in five years. Through all of that I never said one bad word about my ex and took the high road.

I am a woman and I made every sacrifice for my child. I lost a child to the legal system. It happens all the time. After all of this, I can say that I have lost trust in women. I find it very hard to make relationships to women after what I went through. Whenever I hear a mother say „he is a bad father“ rage enters me. How dare you? How dare you speak of the father of your child that way? Even if it is true.

Moral of the story. If you treat your ex like garbage do not be surprised when that person becomes a treasure in someone else’s life. When you see that dead beat father be father of the year to another child.

I thought long and hard about the decision to no longer be emotional involved. I know what it will do to my daughter.

So please women, take some responsibility for yourself.

Elvira,

Your response is exactly the type of thinking that this article is trying to expose, critique and challenge.

As a young man who is going through this exact same thing, I’ve turned to this article for strength and a sense of comradery. I understand that after the dissolution of any relationship, access to the children will change. The truth of the matter is the parents are no longer together and unless they live close enough to not significantly disrupt the child’s everyday life, 9 out of 10 times, it’s the Father that gets the least amount of time. As a woman, you truly can’t possibly fathom what that feels to a man who truly loves his kids and wants more than a superficial relationship.

In his case (and in mine), the woman have made connecting with the child impossible. Then it’s always the rhetoric of women that tells men that “they should take what they can get” or “try harder” or “it’s your child that’s going to have to suffer or be at more risk of _____”. But then there is ABSOLUTELY NO accountability or responsibility AT ALL on the women who are creating the hoops and hurdles that men are expected to just keep jumping through. By blocking access, being difficult or going out of their way to make the situation untenable, they too are contributing to putting their child at risk for all the things you mentioned above. Yet, that always goes undiscussed and replaced by heaping more of the blame and responsibility on men.

So this is how we get there. There is little to no accountability with women themselves AND in the court system. I can bring a court action against my sons mom for keeping me away from him for the last two years and I have to go through conferences, mediations, paperwork etc. When we see the judge, nothing happens! Even though there was an Order that’s supposed to prevent her from doing it. But if I don’t pay my child support, my wages get garnished, my drivers license can be suspended and I can even be jailed !

So instead of worrying about how men are going explain the difficult choice they had to make, women need to be worried about how they’re going to explain to their kids that they had a loving father the whole time but they were too wrapped up in their own pain and short-sightedness to allow them to have a relationship.

I agree that there are a lot of women who make it hard for men to even want to be in their children’s lives. I also wish I had that same co-parenting relationship with my ex-husband. See I don’t want to make light of women playing the victim and always claiming abuse. I get it a lot of women do that and it sucks for women who actually experienced it. I’ll just say this, I tried to co-parent and never asked that he respect my time whenever he was late or didn’t show up. I responded “that’s ok I understand maybe next week” or “sorry to bother you, will you still be picking up the kids?” and after 2 years of therapy and finding a wonderful man I enjoyed spending time with, I started to ask that my ex “please be mindful that I only have two days to myself and would like some kind of heads up” I was proud that I wasn’t scared to ask for anything anymore. And he agreed… But it didn’t happen. He came even later and more missed visit. After a year of that covid hit and he was considered about the kids exposure so he thought it be best if he not get them. I tired to find any information on what happens when a non-custodial parent doesn’t want to pick up children. And it saddens me how many men want there children and have the opposite situation. Moving on I have not seen or heard from my ex since February 2020. I wish all you upstanding father’s the best of luck. And please don’t ever give up trying to fight for your children.

Faith
You just said it all. It’s 2 days where you aren’t exhausted or get time for self-care. Things important for any parent but there are no consequences for non-custodial missing visits. Courts only care about not making kids available to non-custodial parent. I also found limited information on this.
Let’s expose the truth here, yes previously there was favoritism but it’s fairly disappearing. My soon to be ex hasn’t responded to divorce, didn’t show to court and hasn’t visited or paid required child support. I’ve outreached for him to see child numerous times. I have no choice but to get her ready and wait during said visitation times to no show as by law she has to be available to him during ordered times, this is twice a week. Because I wanted to make sure he could have time. Im exhausted and sad for child not having a dad around.

So it seems you’d rather be an absent dad than a disneyland dad. It’s all or nothing with you. Instead of trying to make the most out of the limited time you had, you decided to just walk away completely.

How are you going to explain THAT to your son if he decides to contact you again?

By making the decision to turn your back on your son, you put your son more at risk of having behavioural issues, mental health issues, substance abuse issues, poor academic performance etc. etc.

You’ve moved on, but your son probably hasn’t and never will. He will continue suffering the consequences of your absence his whole life. You were able to have other kids, but your son will never be able to have another father.

Wow.

So it seems this you’d rather be the deadbeat dad than the disneyland dad. I can’t understand this logic.

Your son deserved to have a father in his life, but you put your own happiness above his. By making the decision to walk away from him, you pretty much set your son up for failure and put him more at risk of having substance abuse issues, mental health issues, behavioural issues and poor academic performance.

Of course, now you’ve moved on with your life. You’re over it, but you son will never be. You have other kids, but your son will never have another father. He will keep paying for YOUR sins throughout the rest of your life.

He is probably filled with resentment because you chose to be a father to your kids from your new wife, but not to him.

If your son comes up to you filled with understandable resentment and rage, what are you going to tell him?

It is definitely

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.

You probably can’t understand this logic, because you don’t read well. This man talked about not wanting to be a “disney dad” because having the child for one weekend and giving him up soon after, is not worth the pain he has to endure his entire life, or atleast a good portion of it. Especially when the child is being brainwashed into believing, his father is the asshole. You absolutely have no idea how bad it hurts, when your own child doesn’t want to be around you! Because of stories his mother tells him/her.. And for you to call him a deadbeat, shows that you have a very limited mind of understanding, what men have to go through sometimes to see their childeren. Depending on the mother? It can last years! He had to make a very difficult decision for himself and from what i have read he made the right one.

Thank you for this article. I thought I was somewhat alone in my experience so it’s helpful, and sad, to know I am not. I still don’t understand how my ex-wife can love our children and at the same time do so much harm to them by turning them away from me. Like the father in this article, I think about my children every day and what their lives are like without me and it hurts.

I am in the same situation . It’s is both comforting and heartbreaking to know there are others facing similar situations.
I had two children , with whom I had a good and growing relationship .
Keeping close to my children after separation, was thwarted by the mother ,constantly .
One visit with my kids , unknowingly was our last …almost 4 years ago now .
I was blindsided as lawyers quickly commenced an all out assualt against me .
Within a couple months of denying visitation , allegations of abuse started flowing .
Next the children were suicidal and suffering from a plethora of issues ….and reasonably ..I was the cause of all.
This was after 6 plus years of visitation , and my children asking to see me more .
I won’t rehash all that’s been written already ..
Simply ,I have been destroyed by worry and concern for them and by the ensuing litigation .
So vicious was I attacked ,that I faced criminal charges on allegations of abuse , which I rejected and thanks to a law firm who saw my plight,and that I was truthful all along ….the prosecution folded 11hr , just as trial was to commence .
Being cleared does nothing tho to remove the damage done to character, not to mention emotional and physical carnage inflicted .
I go on , day by day ,but not the same outgoing person I was .
Just a shell , hoping one day the two persons I love most might have the strength and will left to reach out to me .
This needs to stop …it destroys everyone .

I know this is a few years old but I am so thankful I listened to the Terry Brennan interview. Much of the interview repeats what we already know. But coming from the position of a parent who can see the relationship with my child slipping away and the harm it causes children and future generations. I stumbled upon this page in search for help or guidance on whether to end the five years of battling for equality in parenting and let go. Thanks to Terry I will continue to fight for my son no matter how much it hurts either of us.

I feel like the person sharing his story is just repeating narrative #2 that was described: “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 know this happens, for sure, but I personally only know women who are desparate for their exes to be involved. I think that both narratives happen. There are selfish assholes who abandoned their kids, and there are great dads who are being ripped of their rights to have time with their kids by both their exes and the system.

Men should rise up, unite and fight this evil. If there should be a divorce, where there are more than one child, some children MUST go with the dad and some go with the mum.
If it’s only one child, s/he must be spending alternating one week stay in the homes of both parents.
That law that allienate fathers is an evil law, and should be done away with.

He cheated and he needed me to be the bad guy. He gaslit me so bad I forgot my own brothers name and had a mental breakdown. He was abusive to me and the kids. I called social services on our family because he grabbed our 10 year old daughter by the back of the neck and pushed her face into the floor. My mom charged a cop so they wouldn’t help me. The social worker said he took responsibility for his actions and said he was sorry. Crazy she doesn’t know how the cycle of violence works as a social worker. I had a police officer come to the house and he sounded like he wanted to help. He went out to his car and came back in. Once he knew who my mom was he said I’d leave a card but we tend to get charged. I had a lot of evidence of him threatening and stocking me. Photos of him driving by my place at night. Text messages. I got an emergency protection order. Went to court was waiting on legal aid. The judge says to me “ you should t had got an emergency protection order if you could afford a lawyer. I said sorry for mistaking this corporation as the justice system. I had the kids he would pick up the kids and go through my laundry and say I was wearing sexy underwear for someone. I moved in with my friend Jenny so I wouldn’t be alone. He came over to drop off a bunch of the kids stuff. He tried to rape me in her basement. I couldn’t take the kids with me and I was losing my mind with no help from all of the systems set in place that are suppose to help. I left the kids with him. He tells them I abandoned them. When I talk on the phone with my son he has no problem calling our son a fucking asshole or pushing him to the floor. I don’t know how to help my kids. I don’t know how to get help.

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