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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

This article sums up my life entirely. My child’s mother accused me of violence that never occured. The courtz granted her full custody and ordered me to pay child support and granted her an order of protection based on her lies. She hasn’t been allowing my court ordered visitation. I was his primary caretaker for the first 15 months of his life and him and I were best friends. I saw him for the first time today in 6 months. I went from being best friends with him and the favored parent to being a complete stranger. He cried when I tried to hold him. Seeing him today I think did more harm to my psyche than it did good and it was the day I’ve been hoping and praying for for the past 6 months. His mother has successfully destroyed the relationship i had built with him and now there is zero bond between us. I go over this crossroads of 4 different things daily. Ive been fighting to see him in the courts to no avail, I don’t have any money for legal representation. I Can’t just check out and forget about my son and move on without him, I think about him nonstop.. As much as I think about it, I hope I’m not a violent person. The lasy option seems like the preferred choice. I just wish I could speak to his mother but that would just put me right back in jail for another bullshit violation of protection order. So lost…

Hi Glen,

I am exactly in the same position as you, when I say exactly I mean exactly. Checking of our sons’ life seems as the only logical option. As harsh as it sounds….

Guys as a father of 4 who’s wife took off with our kids almost 9 months ago to her parents house 530 miles away in TN and after 2 weeks of her mom verbally abusing our 2 sons 11-13 and telling them my side of family are losers, bad, etc and our boys defended me and my family her mom didn’t like that and my wife at least knew to let me pick the boys up so I’ve been raising them, managing the house and working. She hasn’t let us visit with our 3 girls 3-5 yrs old and it’s tearing me up. She filed for divorce right after she got her residency so I got a lawyer down there to dismiss due to tn not having jurisdiction over me or my boys and hired a lawyer here in IL to work with my TN lawyer to force her to come back and divorce case be in IL. I want to see and hug our girls and my boys miss their little sisters. It’s sickening and I’m terrified of getting screwed like the stories I’ve been reading as to how the courts treat men. My daughters and I were so close before she took them and I can see the saddness in their faces when I talk to them as they tell me they miss me and their brothers. Which states do you father’s live in that are screwing you guys over?

For the life of me I can’t believe how many men are going through the same thing that I am. The mother of my child also accused me of violence when in fact during the pregnancy and even thereafter she was the one banging tables in the house, smashing through windows with her fist and sending utensils flying across the room. I guess feigning domestic violence is a woman’s way of ensuring that the man is a monster and a sure bet to obtaining sole custody of the child in this unjust and unequal post modern justice system that would seem to greatly favor the mother at the cost of the best interests of the rest of the family, father and children both

In sorry mate. I am going through exactly the same thing. I wrote a private blog entry some time ago which title was “4 roads, 4” as I kept thinking about this 4 options too. To this day, I cant go past that. I feel your pain. This is all so absurd and evil to the core.

I fought fought fought for my kids…. now I have a problem. I have my kids…. and no future. No dates that do not run or stay distant. No time to go back to school. No support network. I am left in a worse position than a single mom. I never cheated or deserved to be left with a choice my kids or my freedom.

This is such a selfish and adolescent comment. Please step out of your bubble for a second. What a disgusting contradiction to try to preface it like you’re a ‘good guy’ because you ‘fought fought fought’ for your kids and in the same paragraph indirectly imply that they’re ruining your social and romantic life. It’s funny how you say you don’t have time to go back to school but there are single parents everywhere in the same predicament as you and still manage to be a parent and successfully go back to school. It’s not that you don’t have time, it’s that you don’t want to do the work to make time. You don’t want to put in the work to figure out how to make the arrangement work. Which also reflects on your statement about dating. It seems you’re trying to blur the facts here and either blame your kids or the women you come across. Perhaps you’re either trying to meet women in the wrong way so the ones you’re meeting don’t want to settle down or be a mom to someone’s kids. However, I’d venture to say it’s likely that most of the women that would be understanding and willing to date you (women who have kids of their own or childless women who like and enjoy kids) are put off the second your negativity rears it’s head and you start complaining about your children ruining your life. A thought process like that screams ‘SELFISH!’ If you’re trying to go after women half your age who you’re meeting after throwing back a couple at a bar, that’s your problem and not much more needs to be said for that.

FYI, the theory that the only reason people deserve to be left by their spouse is for cheating teeters on mysogonistic. A marriage or partnership is a hell of a lot more than physical interaction. Just because you didn’t cheat doesn’t make you a good partner. What a flawed ideology. This helps to prove that you lack the maturity required to be in a healthy and successful relationship, aside from the outright me! me! me! Poor me! What about me! attitude in your post. Grow up.

Parenthood is about compromise and sacrifice. Anyone who doesn’t understand that has no business having kids. And anyone who makes the claim that their personal and social life is being ruined by the kids they fought and fought and fought for is providing context to the idea that their intentions were/are not good and was done for their own selfish benefit. I.e. to get back at their ex, to paint the picture that they’re a loving and caring father who would do anything for their kids, etc. Children are not pawns and to use them as such speaks volumes in regards to your character, or lack thereof.

Your entire post is filled with blame-shifting. It’s your kids fault that no one wants to date you, that you can’t go back to school, that you have no support network. It’s your ex’s fault for leaving you because you didn’t cheat or ‘do anything to deserve it’ (from your standpoint only). Please do us all a favor and remove the rose-colored glasses. All of the women that meet you don’t want to stick around, and all of your support system has abandoned you, and your wife left you even though you claim to not have done anything wrong….all of these complaints are centered around other people not wanting to be in your life. If you do some math, you’ll find a common denominator. In other words, if everywhere you go it smells like shit, maybe it’s time to check your own shoes.

I’m sorry but I believe if you really care about your kids you will make a way to see them. I have an uncle who can’t keep his pants on and he had kids with 5 different women and he makes a point of staying in touch with every single one of them even though they live in multiple different states. On the other hand I have an ex-husband who walked out when our son was only 2 months old because he said he couldn’t handle the responsibility of raising a kid and still give his job as much as they needed from him! He hasn’t seen our son in almost 10 years now because in 2010 his employer offered him a huge promotion and raise if he would accept a transfer to Australia and he jumped at it and hasn’t been back since and hasn’t even contacted us once now since 2016. If it weren’t for the monthly Western Union moneygrams I wouldn’t know if he was alive or dead. Doesn’t seem to give a d*mn that his kid needs him and now at 15 years old pretty much hates him for turning his back on us all for the sake of a corporate vice presidency and a high salary.

OTOH, I am friends with a man who spent eight years and tens of thousands of dollars fighting to stay in his children’s lives. He sacrificed his career and happiness to be the museum dad mentioned in this article. In the end his ex succeeded in alienating him from his children. Now he has to make another decision, spend more money and more time to fight to be the parent he wants to be and his children need, or cut bait and move on and try to reclaim some of the career opportunities he passed up.
Society is collapsing because we no longer value fathers.

Absolutely, I am living and breathing this articles truth and trying to survive a narcissist and a human rights violating court system of male discrimination. As an artist and musician that is where I hope to make contribution to this 2nd Civil Rights Battle. It is coming, it is grassroots, it is generational in scope. Men need to mobilize and I celebrate the woman and mother’s like my own who are not threatened by standing with men to address and make the changes we need in society for a better and truly equal “family law” world. Men should not be forced to be homeless as their sons will be if they follow in the foot steps of their father’s..
We need to wake up to our shared cultural legacy., if we continue to propagate fathers as defective not as vital and nurturing as woman. There’s not a child alive that can’t benefit from a good father relationship but I know that if I fight in a court of law tomorrow, I may be living in a park bench next week and shamed into the Roman era for it!

My beautiful granddaughter has now lost her father, my son, who has jumped through each and every hoop the court put in front of him and it was all documented. And still, he fights for just a phone call. It is easy to claim victimhood and point a finger of blame. It is more noble to truly dedicate oneself to solution and support fathers as daddies instead of sperm donors.

Ciaran, I think you have missed the point of the article. Don’t let your unfortunatle experience from both your uncle and ex get in the way of understanding this man’s devastating account of his experience. He explains beautifully how much he cares about his child and why he cannot be a part of his life (and has tried extremely hard to fight for them.. it’s a battle he can’t get a grip on, as he explains at the cost of his own mental health, his child’s mental health, financial strain, woman’s rights abuse, family law injustice…). It is so painfully true for so many men, including my partner; the hairs stood up as I read this article because he is experiencing word for word of what this man is trying to say. Good men/fathers are treated extremely badly; we only can hope that my partner’s son one day will want to know about his father and remember all the good times we had (the few times we were allowed to have him stay as per mother’s wishes). I still don’t understand how or why the law allows the mother to decide everything!

Having seen what my brother’s ex is putting him through has me understanding just exactly how manipulative, controlling and monstrous a woman can be. There are not words to describe her level of evil, and I feel so badly for my brother and 3 year old son being separated because of her constant vengeful emotional tantrums. I wont go into much more detail than that, but coming from a broken family myself and currently a single mother I would like to give most helpful advice I can think of to those who may be in a position to try it. It is not fair, and it is not right….its actually completely rediculous but the bottom line is, you just want to see your child, right? So here it goes….. Im assuming you and your ex both have alot ALOT of anger. Women can be so selfish and only care about how THEY feel and not anyone else, but I believe if a man can be strong enough to show his weak side, to hang his head in submission and show his defeat and yes, I know its not fair, but I mean in what people would call in that pathetic way, I could see the way some of these women would react At first, and I know its sick, but she will be exhilarated in her victory over your supposed demise. But within a few weeks, she will then find room in her heart to forgive whatever she thinks you wronged her with. She will finally be able to see more clearly once her anger is gone, and then once it has finally subsided, she will find room to have emparhy for what she has been putting you and your child through. I believe most women will let up once given the opportunity to let go some anger and I dont know why they cant until they first think that they have won some battle. Its immaturity and stubbornness. The only way to overcome that is to be above it. You need to be strong enough to let her know “or think” she has won and that you are torn to pieces over it. Then ask again as nicely as possible. As wretched as it may seem, you are going to have to suck up to her forever… or maybe she will grow up a little and that will not be the case. Nevertheless, I believe that is most likely way to deal with a woman-demon. Im sorry, but at least you will have a chance at seeing your kids, so really, you will have won in the end. And I know it sucks, but if you have a girlfriend, its gonna be alot harder, I think its still worth a try though.

I am in the exact same position as the father in the article.

My (still)wife took our son of 2,5 years and moved away to her parents who live 2000 miles away, just because she doesn’t want to work, wants her mother to raise our son and because she wants a monthly check from me. Basically she is just lazy and exploits the legal system. She is blackmailing me always that if I dont send her child support I will not be able to see my kid online. Spending time in person is out of the question. She only accepts me spending time with our son in the house of her parents with the backing of the courts. She falsely claimed that I abused her, hit her etc etc and even without proof, the judge was convinced that I am a threat to her. Congratulations to the legal system.

I adore my little son, I love him more than anything, he means everything to me. I was not only his father, by also his best friend and mother. Apart from working full time, I was putting him in bed, taking him to the nusrsery, feeding him, bathing him, playing with him and spending all my day with him. I ended up sleeping 4 hours a day so that my son has everything he needed. Even when I was really exhausted and tired and almost lost my job, just a litlle hug from my son and a smile was more than enough fore me. Even his first word was daddy. 2 years we did everything together. I was even the one who gave him even his first bottle of milk.

And guess what happens now? My (still)wife expects me to be able to afford paying her every month child support + me being able to travel every month to visit them. That means that I do have to pay for airplane tickets, car and hotel. I am just a normal employee not one of these golden boys. And when I say that I cannot afford it, she replies that I don’t love my son and that our son will found out that I never loved him. And when my son grows older I cannot take him back to the hotel for a sleepover, I cannot do that to my little boy. I really want the best for him, but his mother tries to humiliate me in front of his eyes.

What really broke my heard, is that after 3 months of my wife not allowing me to see my son, in a skype call, he stopped calling me daddy… :(((((( he didnt call me anything. When I ask him who am I, I never got a response. I wanted to die straight away…

I wish I could get a job close to my little boy. But as it is, can please someone give me at least one good reason HOW I should continue seeking contact with my son so that he doesnt forget me? I see this is as a hopeless case

How’s that? What is the basis for jurisdiction in federal court? What cause of action would that even be?

If someone wants to fight, get a lawyer or at least read some law textbooks- don’t go to just any uneducated crazy who knows how to register a domain. My god…

I was turned against my dad and didn’t see him for 20 years. I was never physically stopped but drop fed for years about how he was a drug addict and never wanted me and was completely selfish. He took her to court when we were small and got one weekend a month. When I was 8 his second marriage broke down and he went off radar. There was occasional contact after that but I always wanted to see him.
I believed he just didn’t care. Then at 32 I met a man who was separated and struggling to maintain contact with his 2 daughters. The whole experience showed me another point of view. At 34 I plucked up the courage to find him, I expected my letter to be a shock and for him to need time to process things. I also worried about what I was inviting in to my life, I struggled with ‘what if he’s dangerous’ and he hurts me in some way.
I posted my letter on a Saturday night. I thought about it all Sunday and Monday imagining his response (mostly afraid he would ignore me). Then on Tuesday a number flashed up on my phone I let it go to voicemail; when I listened it was a slightly Scottish accent that felt so familiar.
It’s been almost a year and things are good, it’s complicated and we still talk about ‘why he didn’t do this or that’ but I’m learning about him everyday.
I feel more me than I ever have and I’m happy I sent my letter.
But I still haven’t told my mum or any of my family. Their reaction scares me.
To the mums and dads and grandparents who all long for their missing children I would say never stop trying, even just a letter or a card once a year letting them know your still there will help. If I’d have known my dad wanted to see me I would have found him sooner. The fear of rejection held me back.
Good luck to you all xx

well.. in some sense I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way, I’ve asked on numerous occasions to be given updates about my daughters everyday life and I don’t get anything back about it, I don’t feel like a father anymore because I feel as though I barely know my daughters life, she’s only three and a half so her communication isn’t there yet to be able to tell me all the things she gets up to.. I’ve given up trying to talk with my ex as I don’t feel I am treated like a human being, and there’s no end in sight of that ever changing, on one hand she’s pushing me away and on the other she’s inquiring whether I want to have my child for a week, I don’t feel happy enough to be apart of my daughters life and it’s soul crushing to think that I never signed up for this when we decided to have a child together.

Its enough for me. My 2 sons, 10 & 13 y.o are brainwashed like you never can imagine. I have fighted for them seens divorce 2012. And lose more and more. Now the court decided monther to have full costady and I can not have the kids at all. Today I was at my sons fotboll traning. When he saw me he abrupt his traning and run to his jacket and called for his mother. They are brainwashed 100%. when I saw that my heart cruished. So, its enough for me. This was the final, I can not do more.

This hits me on a very personal level, and I thank you for sharing because for years I have felt that I was alone.
I am the mother, and my ex has done the exact same thing to me. When we split he told the courts that I was a drug addict and did cocaine during my pregnancy and constantly put my 1 year old son in danger. He wanted sole custody and supervised visits. None on which happened after I willingly took 3 different drug test to confirm zero substances in my system. We were living in the same town when the initial split happened, but then he started to deny access visits and play severe mind games. Telling me that he loved me and wanted to be a family again and then drag me into court over a diaper rash calling me a negligent parent. He stalked me constantly and (although no actual proof) I believe that he was the one who broke into my house and smashed all my photos of my son and myself and stole home videos. I felt extremely unsafe, I was 20 years old at the time. My parents came to get me and move me back home 22hrs away. I hired a lawyer to fight to take my son with me, after a 4 year trial. My ex won primary residence due to status quo. As soon as he won he turned vicious, he brainwashed my son told him that I abandoned him and didn’t love him. The 5 weeks of varied access quickly turned into 4 then 3 then 2 then none. I took him to court 3 times and begged the judge to enforce access to me. My ex doesn’t follow court orders but god forbid I was 6 hours late on child support. Did I mention my ex’s mother is a social worker, and knows the judges well? Fast forward 2 years ago, my son was 12 and was removed from his father’s care by the Ministry due to abuse and placed in his grandmother’s care without my knowledge. I found out 2 weeks later by a mutual friend. I hired a lawyer again to get custody of my son, turns out my rights got stripped away with his, his grandmother filed for guardianship and won because my son’s right to choose where he wants to be. After that trial I decided that I needed to stop fighting, my son has made it clear that he wants no relationship with me and is 100% brainwashed. What do I do? I too have removed all pictures and daily reminders in order to heal. I have to treat this like a death, our relationship is dead and I need to grieve. I can’t do think still clinging to hope.
I haven’t talked to my son in over a year and I am now just the financial sponsor.

Same,same here a dad without his 3 children because of all the bull. There really needs to be a child visitation enforcement program no matter the support or anything else!

I’m a father who lost the only two reasons I had to live my son and my daughter all for wanting what was best for them the mother and grandmother coerced my children to say I was doing terrible things to them all the while they destroyed my reputation my career my relationship with my kids and my heart but I loved them so much I never gave up kept on fighting hurt crushed wondering why no one beleave me or gave a FUCK about me and my kids and my family of course not rich can’t get a lawyer I persevered against all odds 5 months later threw the first alienation on my own I got my kids back those MOTHERFUCKERS destroyed our happy relationship I started getting it back was hard next thing you know I was arrested on false allagations charges against my children wrongfully encarcarated for years fighting the case which in the end didn’t matter because my public defender stabbed me in the back and made me plea guilty with the threat of life in prison I have proof of CPS and bias detective threats and lieing on paper on the stand and proof my public defenders threarnef me to plea guilty and after all that has been said and done the loss of all my money my home vehicles priced possession friends my life that didn’t bother me I lost my kids and I am fucked up OMG I LOVE TGEM AND MISS THEM SO MUCH

When Women Admit that they wanna Test Their Man.
For the first time in a Woman’s Life, she is admitting the truth.

Many Women want a Man that Leads and Takes Charge.
Yet, Many Women Destroy their Man by Teating Him.

This alone is the Real Issue here.
With Women placing more of their Life in Independence.
They have more Room to Test their Man, and when he doesn’t Pass Her Test.
She Discards him and for the sake of other Women.
She feels that she needs to destroy him so no other Women can have him.

As Well Prove that he is as Worthless as she says he is.
So her Value and Look in Society isn’t less than she expects to be in it.

Some may say that I am spreading Hate Speech,
Well, I have uncovered some Truth that Many Women don’t want Men to Realize.

The Relationship is though to be a Man choosing a Woman to be with.

At one time that would be correct.
Yet the Truth is that Women are looking for someone to meet her Demands and Wants for the Moment.
Many are looking for the Bigger Better Deal and are on the lookout.
Even if they already have someone to be with.

Many Women want Commitment, yet so few understand what it means to Commit.

Many times if a Man pays attention.
A Woman looks at a Man that has a Woman.
She asks herself how is she benefitting from him.
Even bigger question is, why can’t she benefit from him.
Many Women feel left out of something and are always on the demand to be apart of it.
No matter what it is Socially.

Selfish Truth.

Men are left with pieces of their life that Women Discard that have been in his life.

That’s right, Many Women Use and Abuse Men.

With what Men are left with,
Many don’t know how to cope,
Many live in the Dominant Male Theology in doing everything they can to be with and take care of their kids.

Others realize the amount stacked against them and see that it isn’t worth it.

Their Right,

Women are no longer here to benefit a Man,
No Longer to Help a Man,
No Longer here to Encourage a Man.

Women are now a Serious Liability to Men and Men’s Lives.

Women have gone from someone that will make his life Better.

To being the Core of Men’s Issues that Many Women laugh at and mock.

For Many Women, Love is Temporary in today’s Society.
Working at Relationships is a thing of the past.
Men are disposable like a Razor or a Cell Phone.

When a Newer Model comes out, it’s time to get with Society and change like everyone else.

Women Herd in most cases and don’t know how to be an individual.

Many Say that the Future is Female,
As we have seen on episodes of Survivor,
This will lead the the destruction of Man Kind itself.

Why, because feelings change.
Women are ruled by feelings.

Women demand empathy and sympathy.

All While Women Demand Empathy and Sympathy where ever they can get it.
Men are Demanded by Society to give Empathy and Sympathy.

Because of this,
Men are not leading and unable to give Empathy and Sympathy.

With Women Leading,
They demand the Empathy & Sympathy and are unable to give it.

When a Good & Moral Leader needs to give Empathy and Sympathy.

Since Women Can’t in most cases.
This places Men in a bad situation while still expecting Men to live like its 1950s.

Where he is supposed to do all for his ex and his kids.

This improper and out of reality Balance of expecting the one being used and abused to have empathy and Sympathy while living like its 1950s of Responsibility.
This is what Destroys Men.

When today’s Modern Western Women begin to see their sons used in the same fashion as they have done to their Ex.

It will be too late and reality will finally hit these Women.
These Women will fight for their Son and Grandchildren.
Only to learn that he has no leg to stand on in his defense.
She will be unable to help her Son and Grandchildren.

Then the Circle ⭕️ of Life will end.
These Women will feel what they did to their ex.

Do you have a blog or something so I can read more of what you say? I think you are very correct in many things here. Can I pick your brain more?

though I do see where you are coming from, as I myself can’t imagine ever abandoning my children, I can also see where he is coming from as a father who wants the best for his children. 5 to 15 years of fighting with the mother takes it’s toll on everyone involved. and from what I read, this particular gentleman wanted to spare his child that in the hopes he grew up stress and conflict free as well as a reunion when he was older.
As a single mom who has full custody of the kids by necessity, I push my ex to try and spend every moment he can with his kids and it’s frustrating, he doesn’t see his kids by choice, but to be the opposite and not given a choice must be soul crushing and death by a million cuts. My best friends father had a family with another woman and he had to turn his back on his oldest daughter for the very same reasons as this man. he said it tore him apart but she seemed so much happier because her mother was happier with him gone from the picture. they reconnected and talked, she confirmed she had a wonderful childhood and understood his reasons. they have a relationship that is getting better with time.
Everyone deals differently and sees things differently, I really don’t think he or any father is a coward for walking away to spare pain knowing full well the pain he will be left with knowing all he will have missed.

I question the same thing every time I have to interact with my children. The constant fighting to get phone calls, the lack of consideration, the ex-wife advocating that my children call her new husband Dad. I used to hate women after my divorce, now it isn’t all women, it is this particular hateful woman. She has and continues to not follow the court order, or when it is convenient for her. The fact that she is married to a cop also is part of the reason that I don’t live in the same town as her.

Thi to me, makes me want to cry for that dad and his poor boy. it isn’t right what the mother is doing and it isn’t right what the system is doing. and yet at the same time, the system is like that for a reason, too many women have been victims and have had to fight to keep their exes away from a maniac that victimised them as they try so very hard to protect what is most precious.
I have 2 boys and I have seperated from my baby daddy this summer. it was one of the hardest and yet easiest things I ever did, he gets every other weekend because of his job (trucker) and weekend is used very loosely as it is generally Friday night late to Sunday morning, so he really only gets 2 saturdays a month with them and it hurts me. I know what will happen, it is already happening, I am fighting for my boys to have a deeper relationship with a man who doesn’t seem to be bothered regardless of what he says or his mother believes. And I know in my heart my boys will resent their dad and loose touch with him for it.
To the gentlemen this essay is centered on, I wish you happiness and love in your life, I wish for you to reconnect with your childrens when they are 18 and for them to see the impossible choices you had to make, for them to realize you did it out of love and that it was the hardest thing you ever had to do. Kids are smart, and they will have a lot of questions, you will have to find a way to answer them without disparaging their mothers and yet explaining the reality to them all at once. Yours is not an easy road, as many fathers in this life, but it is one I firmly believe you all can walk and find a happy ending.

No, no, no, it isn’t that way because of your victimhood status. I don’t know your situation and frankly don’t care, but to make accusations that many men beat women etc., is part of the problem and is frankly not true. Domestic violence is real and yes there are cases of extreme violence against women. That isn’t what this article is addressing. BTW those men don’t have the right to be called Dad’s. Separate the two issues, the courts victimize men and that you blow it off as simply because how it used to be, is part of the problem.

People get things backwards. Man react to the constant covert attacks from women. Women are not aggressive? Yeah, right. Everytime I see a man kills a woman I wonder how much the poor guy must have been put through to end up taking that road. Got no empathy left for women anymore. Thanks ladies. Being stripped off your kids and constantly bullied will get you here btw. And they still think things will be better by protecting and giving even more rights to women…yeah right. When your life gets ruined by your partner, the least thing you are concerned with is death or jail time. A desperate monkey can be pretty dangerous. You are all pushing us to the verge.

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

I’m a Army Combat Veteran, and durning my 10 years of marriage me and my wife never had any domestic violence ever. But her mom hated me so she coached her to say she was afraid of me, she was awaded DVRO and that’s when my life went to hell. I havent seen my kids in 2 years and it hurts bad because I was so close and involved with their everyday life. I had to move from the state they live in because her and her mom keep coming.to were i would be in public and calling the police say i was violating the order, so i left supervised video visits happend for a lil bit then 9 months ago she has cut all contact with me and i do agree you have to put them in a box because I wanted to end my life many times she keeps taking more and more money from me and the courts all support these lies. I was the better parent for my children and the courts gave them to hear just because she carried them. But I do get to look forward to getting an anonymous text with a picture of my children. With there mother and her new man say f**k You I dont get how she can do this but it is definitely wrong and this needs to stop

The good thing is data doesn’t lie, text and phone calls are traceable. If you’re still in, pray you didn’t lose your pension. I served 23 years, deployed several times, I missed and sacrificed for my children. She didn’t, refused to move.

I was a divorced single parent of one (recently remarried). My ex pays his share and I pay mine. We co-parent, he facetimes every weekend and I have an open door policy on calls, and because he’s military, I have an “open visitation” with him. By that I mean he could call me today and tell me he wants to visit tomorrow and I happily make the necessary accommodations. It works this way because we put our child first over our feelings for each other.

My new husband, however, lost his 2 kids to his ex-wife. She doesn’t feed them, doesn’t cloth them and he is paying an ungodly amount in child support and alimony, all of which she uses on herself.

He calls, and she ends the conversation 5 min in. She doesn’t encourage positive interactions, lies to the children and stalks them when they visit (follows us everywhere).

Having been a single parent for 10 years prior to re-marrying, I sympathize with her. It’s tough raising children when the other parent isn’t available (she moved out of state). However, they leave our house and go back to their mom who is teaching them that someone else will always take care of them (she doesn’t work and she’s telling the kids they won’t need jobs either). They hear that their father never wanted them and doesn’t love them. That he’s going to kidnap them and they’ll never see her again. That he’s a horrible, abusive parent. All while texting and demanding money that we pay on time, every month.

Having seen both sides of this, I can see why men and women walk away from their children. Watching your children suffer because your ex hates you more than they love your child/ren is heart breaking. While we have decided to fight back, it’s hard to stuff your feelings into a box when the kids are gone and pretend everything is normal, just to stay sane.

That’s very sad and it sucks for the good dads out here. My kids dad doesn’t see them, but that door is always open in fact last year he came and stayed two weeks at my house with his girlfriend we all got along for the time he was there for my kids, although it was awkward lol my boyfriend and I just had a son 3 months ago and who was involved in my whole pregnancy, my other kids dad and his girlfriend, we get along for our kids I can’t stand him sometimes but never do I ever show my kids that. Co parenting is good. Obviously if I chose to have 3 kids with the man I knew he was doing to be around for life. So I try to make it the best I can. We have never been to court because there is no need, they are my kids and his. He can see them whenever he wants. Lately he fell on hard times his girlfriend was horribly injured in a car accident she can no longer walk suffered a stroke and brain damage. He has resorted to drugs and doesn’t see our kids, but has entered a rehab and I’m here to support him every step of the way. The night of the accident I loaded up my kids and we went to the hospital to support their dad and his girlfriend. Praying someday he will pull it together. Our kids need him in their life’s just as much as they need me.

I completely agree with this article as I have gone through a very similar situation, there is only so much a man can do before enough is enough!

I made the conscious decision when my daughter was born to not involve her biological father. He assaulted, stalked, harassed, threatened and tormented me non stop, all day everyday. The day she was born, he showed up in the hospital causing a huge scene, it wasn’t his, threatened to kidnap and kill her, spit on me. I had him removed, and refused to ever speak or see him again. He cared about no one, every single thing he did was to have control over someone to make himself feel good. The fucking fruit loop continued to harass and threaten me for 2 or 3 years, long after I moved on and was in a new relationship. It stopped when he went to prison. Then the division of family services, who were supposed to be on my side, once I told them who the father was, had the audacity to present me with court papers. They gave him an attorney and were fighting for child custody on his behalf, even though he was sitting in prison for raping a 4 year old girl, and still is till this day. It never even made it to court, fucking idiots. And of course, had he not been in jail, me and my child would have been put in danger, as papers they provided him had my information on it, including address.

What does this have to do with the custodial parent behaving badly? I’m sorry for your situation and it would seem that guy you obviously cared enough to have a child with is in the right place. It takes two to tango, and you chose poorly. That and he doesn’t deserve to be a father.

This is all so sad. As a divorced woman with a child I could have easily taken my daughter from her father. I could have used all the hurtful, awful things he did and used them as a weapon. I could’ve saw my child as an extension of myself and say he hurt me, he will hurt her. But I didn’t. My ex and I have the best relationship we’ve had in probably 10 years. We supported her other as friends. If I need money he gives it to me (I am the custodial parent) but I know he’s broke too. He buys his daughter things without prompting she needs and wants. He has joint custody and no support is paid. We obviously don’t always get along but we make it work for her. This is what’s best for her. People need to grow up and quit seeing them as “yours”. They have their own minds and they need their parents.

My new husband is being kept from his son. She uses him as a weapon to hurt her dad and is super manipulative. She’s been with someone since their divorce but is super jealous of me. We have offered her our home because she lives with her mom and they don’t get along. She went through a drug problem and we kept his son for months and asked for nothing. She got angry when we asked her to meet halfway for visitations because my husband doesn’t drive and I’m pregnant, 3 hours every other weekend, all the driving I have to do for me, him, and, my child wears me down and our car isn’t the nicest. She again, made it about everything she did while she was pregnant in her early 20s which didn’t include having her own place, a child, or a job and bad I am for not doing it and told us not to bother getting him at all. So now we wonder is it worth it. She’s made up stories, she tells us he doesn’t want to see us (when we ask him he is always excited to come). We can’t afford a lawyer and make too much for legal aid. Do we fight for us just to never see him. I feel bad for him because he loves his dad and I worry about what this will do for our future child and my husband and the child (who is already a bully at school and mean to animals).

It’s been 5 years in and out of court. I am homeless and in debt three times my anual income. In those 5 years my children have wayched their mother burn the gifts I sent, listened to her lies and seem me only when they were brave enough to sneek over to my former girlfriends place to see me. The court has ordered her to take the kids to counseling for reintroduction to me but she won’t let them go. She ignores the court orders with no conscience time after time. I have spent all the money I have and all the money I can earn in the next three years only to watch her ignore court orders and the judge do nothing more than sign another order without so much as a finger wave in her direction.

I have been badgered to remarry by too many people to mention. Been promissed “more than generous visitation” and counseling for myself and our children yet all I have to look forward to is the occasional text saying “sorry dad but Mom won’t let me leave the house today. Can I trick or treat your house tomorrow?”
I am required by law to have life insurance. By law it must pay out in the event of suicide. It’s also the only way for me to put my kids through college.

I have two choices. Find a way to triple my income or die.

I pay child support, fight through court, and do everything I can to let my children know daddy still loves them but enough is enough. I moved out today. Living less than a mile from my children and having less than an hour with them per year! There is no level of hell more painful than that.
Enough is enough.

Dear Enough is Enough,

Please don’t!! I don’t know the pain you’re going through but I have been through a similar experience with the divorce and my ex-wife. Please don’t harm yourself over someone that doesn’t care about you or your children. The pain you will leave to your children will never be understood. Please contact me at [email protected] if you need to talk.

I feel your pain. I’m in the same desperate position in the darkest corner of hell too. I guess we are not alone there though. I think eventually people will look back on us one day and say, could you believe what was being done to men back in the 2020’s?…itd be like looking back on slavery…either that or women has eradicated all men from the earth by then and its only them and self driving cars…not sure about which though . Hey, you know what…we r at least brothers in this xxi century gulags!

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