Should you date a guy who doesn’t see his kids?

date guy doesn't see his kids


In 411 BC, ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes staged Lysistrata, a story about a Athenian woman who ends the interminable Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta by convincing the women of Greece to withhold sex (and seize the treasury) from the men, who of course make all the decisions about war and money.

Hilarious? Yes.

Powerful and possible message that women can change the world with our pussies?

Yes, indeed. 

Disturbing fact: the majority of fathers who are not in romantic relationships with the children's mothers, are not actively involved with the kids. In fact, Pew found that a full 78 percent of dads who live separately from their children, see the kids less than once per week.

That means that just 22 percent of dads who do not live in the same house as their kids are actively involved. 

That is bad.

It is also complicated.

One of the most posts on is ‘The real reason your ex doesn't see the kids' about the so-very-common and heartbreaking reality that men are systematically marginalized in family courts — and parental alienation, a form of abuse in which one parent turns a child against the other parent, is shockingly common. Read more: Parental alienation resource center.

It is bad for the kids, of course, because they miss out on a close relationship with their father.

It is bad for the moms, who do not enjoy the emotional, logistical or time-off afforded by a co-parent. This, too, hurts kids, who then are more likely to have an exhausted and stressed-out mom who is worried about the effects of an absentee dad on her children.

Absentee fatherhood is bad for the dads, too. Whatever the circumstances are, they miss out on parenting, close relationships with their children, and the pride of knowing they are upholding their parental responsibilities.

The more men do not step up and father their children, the worst it makes it for all men and fathers. This becomes the norm, a horrible norm, and men are not given the benefit of doubt in family court, in society or on the playground.

Further, the fewer active dads around, the fewer active dads our children see — and as a society we stand to have this trend perpetuated forever and ever.

Bottom line: Absentee fathers are bad for everyone, including society itself.

Listen to my Like a Mother episode about this topic:

If you read the comments in ‘The real reason your ex doesn't see the kids,' you will hear all kinds of stories — heart-breaking stories from guys claiming their devotion to their children, but forced alienation by unjust courts and vindictive mothers. There are also stories from moms who claim it is for the best the dad is not around, because of abuse, addiction or roller-coaster inconsistency. Incarceration is another common reason fathers are not active in their kids' lives.

Of course, every case is different, there are plenty of grey areas, and it is true that sometimes parents are best not involved with their kids.

But this is what I will tell you, and you, woman, know to be true:


sell engagement ring


If some crazy person or circumstance stood between me seeing my kids often, I would fight like mighty hell to change that.

I would fight because I want to be an intimate part of their lives.

I would fight because that is my moral obligation as a mother.

I would fight because I would need my children to see me fight for them. Because I would worry that my not fighting would be even more painful for them than not being involved every day or every week.

I would fight because fighting for my relationship with my kids would be fighting for all parents' relationship with their children — and against a messed-up court system, or insane and malicious parents who try to keep the other parent away must not be allowed to persist.

And so when you meet a man — a nice and hot and successful or funny and thoughtful and sexy man — and he says he has kids, and you find out he doesn't see them so much, and he tells you all these reasons why, what do you do?

Do you excuse him? Blame the system/judge/bitch ex/his job/society for his absence?

Do you tell yourself, ‘He will be different with any kids we have together — because I will change him.'

Do you think, ‘It is just a fun fling. His personal life is his business.'

If you care about those kids he doesn't see — care as a person, a woman, as a mother (aspiring or actual), a member of society, here is what you do:

You will not see him.

You will not respond to his texts.

You will not fuck him.

You will know that if is a bad dad to his current kids, he will be a bad dad to future kids.

You will say: “It makes me uncomfortable that you don't see your kids.”

Or: “Frankly, I don't like the fact your kids are not your priority.”

You will not listen to his excuses.

You will just shut that down.

And you will encourage your girlfriends to do the same. And your cousin and sister and colleagues, too.

Before long, you and me and all of the women of the world will be like Lysistrata and her fellow women, changing the world with our pussies.

And that is good.


My kid's dad isn't involved and I don't know what to say

The real reason your ex doesn't see the kids

Close the pay gap? Get dads involved? 50-50 visitation and no child support

What to tell your kids when their dad isn't involved

Shared parenting research (it really is best for kids)


Should you date a man who doesn't have equal time with his kids?

Bittersweet success on the good-dads, equal-parenting and dating front: a new-ish friend came to dinner the other night. While this sexy, successful, late-30s, never-married, no kids, NYC woman brought and I drank rose' and my kids inhaled the Magnolia cupcakes she brought, we chatted, of course, about dating.

My friend recounted a recent horror story …. after a fantastic first date and fantastic follow-up texting, a potential romance went down in flames. Not only did he fail to mention until date No. 2 that he was a father, he bragged about his every-other-weekend, Wednesday dinner schedule with his kids as being a really involved dad.
Background: this woman has never heard my platform about my call to expect men to be equal parents. From what I know, she doesn't have any personal ax to grind re: divorce, single dads, or parenting.

Over their Mexican dinner she told him:

“First of all, you hid the fact that you are a dad. I don't care that you have kids, I care that you lied. Second, every other weekend is not an involved dad. That is a part-time dad.”

This as a huge win.  Without any baggage on the subject, she just got it, and she called him out on it, and women, moms, kids and fathers are all better for these sorts of stances.

To this, I will hold myself to a higher standard in what I will tolerate in dating, and actively tell men who fail their children that I will not date them. I recently saw for a few months a man who actively bragged about his professional success, filled his Instagram feed with pics of his shopping sprees, luxury travel, videos of him training at a high-end gym with a sexy personal trainer, and pricey downtown dinners. He also spoke lovingly about his teenage daughter, an affection that resonated with me as very authentic.

However, this man's very expensive apartment (waterfall wall in the lobby, all white walls, natch, and the requisite bachelor's modern, black leather couch), had just one bedroom — a room he would lend to his daughter when she visited every second weekend. Not only could he not be bothered to take time from his fabulous life to actively co-parent his kid, he chose many material indulgences over making room in his home and life for his child. What did this tell the girl about her father's devotion to her? What did this say about him as a man?

This one was not a long or serious affair, and I called it off with: “We're not a romantic match” then unfollowed the buffoonery that is his social media.

Next time I will follow my friend's lead, and I suggest you, do, too.

Say: “I can't be involved with a man who is not an equal parent to his kids.”

You will hear him out when he tells you about unfair family courts, and malicious exes, because those are real and powerful things. But if he has not or does not actively fight to be an equal parent, you're done. And you tell him.

And I, his kids, your kids, all kids, women, men, fathers and mothers and society, we all thank you.




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About Emma Johnson

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


  1. CK on March 7, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I was on Match (until I found a great guy) and I wouldn’t respond to someone who didn’t have kids because I was late 40’s at the time and still in the thick of it. I figured we had very little in common.

    The next criteria was are you an active part of their lives? I wouldn’t ask I would just determine. Some had young kids in another state. Those were easy to eliminate. Others were not as easy and required more emailing before I moved on.

    There is no fixing a selfish man. They will remain selfish. They may be generous with purchases, but they will remain selfish with their time.

    A single mom has to be judgmental and selective and unapologetic about it!!!

    • Emma on March 7, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      “A single mom has to be judgmental and selective and unapologetic about it!!! ”

      Strong words and I like it :)

    • Krista on March 8, 2016 at 10:43 am

      Absolutely. I would rather be alone than be with someone who does not understand or VALUE my life and it’s priorities.

    • Jayne on March 9, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      My ex divorced me when I was pregnant with our daughter because I had morning sickness 24 hours a day and he said I was a lemon. He was an absentee father of his own choice up until our daughter got a job and then he said he would pick her up and bring her home rather than buy her a car. So, last week, she was waiting for him to pick her up and he texted her and said he wouldn’t be coming because he had met a new lady friend and was going out with her. I wondered to myself how any woman could date a man who put his daughter last always but she doesn’t seem to care so a pox on her!

    • Judy on March 9, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      Well my issue is that dad and I split 50 50 custody and for the last past 2 years he’s paid support but refused to help out anymore than that we went through no shows and being missing always til recently I seen him with this woman who he cheated on his family with he knew I seen him so finally he tells me about her guess he already had told the kids and warned them to not tell me I dunno why but he on his own decided to plan spring break without speaking to me and mind you this woman I never met will be around my kids. He told my kids his plan is to take custody of all 3 kids because I’ll be a problem with him and his girlfriend involving my kids WTH ? He went from being so hateful when we really needed extra help I don’t get spousal due to him black mailing me years ago and threatening me I’ve never modified support either but now since he plans to take full custody he is changing their dentist and doctors without notifying me first or communicating with me he’s basically going to try and look like a good dad usually in court I rep myself since I can’t afford a lawyer so he’s taken advantage in the past but I refuse to allow him this again I don’t care what I have to do to have a lawyer I’ll have one. I’ve been thru hell when together and he always either has to have his way or he screws with my lively hood to the point of insanity I just want peace but he will do anything to have me out the way so he doesn’t pay support anymore but come on doesn’t he realize the pain he keeps causing the kids

    • Mez on October 5, 2018 at 10:03 pm

      Why cut out men without kids? They are surely more principled than guys who have kids only to abandon them. I mean it only takes like what 2 minutes for a man to father a baby, how is that an indicator of compatibility?

  2. Lindsey on March 7, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Being on both sides of the issue I know what it’s like to have a vindictive parent who keeps you from your kid and do to my personal financial situation where I cannot afford a lawyer to be able to fight for my older son. It’s really difficult because I have a two year old now and I am a single mom and very dedicated to him. His father (my youngest) has addiction and various other issues even so, I allow him in his son’s life as long as he is consistent and leaves his issues at the door.
    So I choose not to date or be in relationship right now because I need to focus on getting myself in a better financial position so that I can provide for my boys and fight for my older son.

    • Suzanne on March 10, 2016 at 12:09 am

      Good choices in tough situations. Keep the faith. You’re doing the right things. Be thankful in what you have, and more will be added to it.

  3. Fabi on March 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    I met and fell head over heals in love with this guy. He chose to see this kids twice a month and I insisted that he asks for overnight visitation since kids are teens/soon to be teens, 3 of them. So he got the overnight visitation but what he did, he would bring them home and leave me to help them with homework bcoz he considered me very educated and smart (yeah I fell for that). Earlier, he was planning to move out of country after his first failed marriage and my girlfriend told me not to date him since a guy who’s willing to leave his kids can never be a responsible husband or father. I wish I had listened to her.
    Now, here I am, with two children from this man, going through a divorce after unbearable verbal and emotional abuse, and he visits our kids just ad revenge. Takes them home, either puts them to sleep giving melatonin or just keeps them home in front of the TV bored, fabricating bad stories about me to the two innocent toddlers and they come home with confused stories. He is not involved in their school, doesn’t celebrate their birthdays and snatches every possibility of missing a visitation, rain, snow, kids have cold, or simply when kids refuse to ho with him.
    I especially feel bad for my daughter bcoz father’s absence though serious for both gender but affects a girl more. Well, there’s only so much I can do besides dealing with my own single mother limited income challenges.

    So bottom line, No, don’t ever date a guy who’s not involved with his kids bcoz that simply shows he is not a responsible person and would treat you the same.

    • Emma on March 7, 2016 at 1:39 pm


    • dandy on June 4, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      Not necessarily true. My son’s dad knocked up a woman a few years after I left him, because he was ignoring us and treating us like crap and bad-mouthing me. But he married her and they have 3 kids and a happy marriage.

      • Happily married on November 23, 2017 at 10:39 am

        My husband has two daughters (both adults now) with different mothers. He got them when he was a child too. He married me with my daughter from my previous marriage. He has zero relationship with them. We now have our two children and have married for more than twenty years. We are happily married and he adores my daughter undoubtedly. I don’t care why he doesn’t have any relationship with those now adult daughters. I am actually happy that he doesn’t. My marriage is free of baby mama and stepdaughters drama others experience. My husband is very kind to me and his children, praise God for that. He is the best father ever. By the way, Sara ordered Abraham to chase away their concubine together with her child she got from Abraham. Sara did this after God blessed them with legitimate child. Abraham had no relationship with the child and he never even inherited nothing. He was actually cursed because of his illegitimacy. There is a reason behind this, it is not a joke. Bastards and their evil mothers are a big NO NO to married couples. God was not stupid to allow that to happen. Unfortunately there is no place for bastards hence the bible says they will not even inherit the heavens. Typical of what has happened with these bastards. Oh before I forget, the other bastard befrauded us by claiming child maintenance when she was a working adult but guess what, policemen embarrassed her in front of her colleagues at her work and the shit was stopped with immediate effect. She didn’t deserve to inherit the heavens as it was prophesied by the Bible. My legitimate child gets support from both dads. I’m blessed to be bastard free.

        • Anonymous on December 27, 2017 at 8:26 pm

          “happily married” I hope this isn’t a legit interpretation of scripture in your mind. I suggest you check your sources…what you are proposing of both God and “bastards” (to use your term) is not true. And if that’s the God you believe in and portray to others…well…that’s just sad not to mention a gross misrepresentation.

        • Monica on January 20, 2018 at 12:34 pm

          Dictionary definition of idiot. Insecure woman with no principles.
          Be hilarious you actually think heaven accepts dirty minds like this.. Lol

        • ab on July 8, 2018 at 7:10 pm

          This must be either a troll posting or one of those Russian bots. Lol. I shudder to think a mother would be happy for a severed relationship between father and child.

        • Keepingitreal on December 13, 2018 at 7:40 pm

          I believe the “bastards” are so much better off never knowing a bitch like you.

  4. Antonia on March 7, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    When I was younger and dumber… I was with a man for 3 years, this man had 3 kinds that I NEVER met.. Never even saw a picture of. Of course the story was-” the mother of the children was crazy and took the kids away. She broke him down mentally and emotionally even though he provided everything for them”. She packed the kids up one day and left and moved half way across the country. I though this was terrible. I though “wha a bitch” so I encouraged him to find them on FB or try to hire someone to find them, write them a letter .. Something. Then something strange went down… I realized that he did find the two oldest ones of FB but they did not want to talk to him… I comfronted him about it And he avoided the subject completely and became frustrated when I was persistent. I should have seen this as a red flag.
    Further into our relationship, as we got more comfortable with each other and let loose , I started to see the crazy……… He was an extremely jealous and violent person. It’s like all of a sudden he just put on his true face and it was ugly as hell…. Very controlling and vendictive. A very dangerous situation for me and in the end, I ended up with a broken knee. BUT the truth I gained was invaluable… His former wife wasn’t a crazy bitch… She was protecting her children. She knew this man and knew what he was capable of and she snuck out of the situation for them. Turned out in Cali he had a few cases of domestic violence against him… And he went to jail for hurting me as well.
    From my experience, and I know everyone is different, if a lady takes her children from a “good man” there is usually a very good reason. Look in to that man……

    • Emma on March 7, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      We should start a blog called “When I was younger and dumber …”

      So glad to see you’ve learned from past dumb, young mistakes :) xx

  5. Antonin on March 7, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Sometimes it want to tell my baby’s father’s girlfriend about the dangers of dating a man like that . I want to talk with her woman to woman and tell her the truth….she is young and I wish someone had told me about it when I was younger so I could have kept my years. But t then there is the part of me that wants her to learn for herself and waist her years, cause I’m angry
    I think if I ever get the opportunity to talk to her I will.

    • Emma on March 7, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Maybe take the high road and address it as if you are her big sister / loving older female. Can’t hurt, right?

  6. Carm on March 7, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    When I was 19, I dated at much older divorced guy for two months. Then I realized he rarely saw his kids. I broke up with him because I thought he must be a shitty guy for doing that. My point is- isn’t it kind of a no-brainer? What other character test better shows how a guy really is?

    • Emma on March 7, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      Seems obvious to me – but women can be a) desperate to be partnered, b) like to try to change men.

    • Why does it matter? on June 28, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Very obvious. I was smart like this from the very beginning also. The women in these comments seem hopeless with their stories, desperate for a man at any cost.

  7. tgh0486 on March 7, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    My ex now lives in another city. I encourage him to see the kids as much as he wants, but he remains content to see our kids for 2 weeks during the summer, and for the Thanksgiving holiday. He calls them (on their cell phones) on Sundays and speaks to them for, at the most, 10 minutes. That’s it. This article is spot on! I know that he has issue with personal inadequacy, so I no longer get angry with him for being so absent. My BF, on the other hand, sees his kids all of the time. He wouldn’t have it any other way, and I wouldn’t have him if he did.

    • Emma on March 7, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      You’re doing a great job on our mission to shit that shit down! Good on you for choosing a great boyfriend to model for your kids.

  8. Ashley on March 7, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    I have watched the father of my 6 month old put his new girlfriend before our son. I’ve encouraged him as much as I can to be an active part of our child’s everyday life. I’ve heard every excuse possible. And I am constantly questioning how a woman can be in a relationship with a man that doesn’t put his child first.. It makes me question what kind of person she is. The level of selfishness that it must take to not put your child’s needs before your own is something I could never understand.

    • Emma on March 7, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      But ultimately he is putting his girlfriend even before his own needs. Because deep down he wants to be a good person, a responsible father. And he’s not.

    • tgh0486 on March 7, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      The new girl friend may not know. My ex used to demonize the mother of the child he fathered from a previous relationship. For years, I thought that she was crazy and then I learned that he was sending her essentially nothing for child support. This woman’s personal finances were stressing her out….so, you never know.

      • Emma Johnson on March 7, 2016 at 7:41 pm

        Yes, this happens all the time, unfortunately.

  9. Natasha on March 7, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Emma, you are spot on Sister. Last year I met a guy who had not seen his daughter in 7 years. I politely told him that FINDING her was his priority, not a relationship with me or anyone else. And certainly if you have no idea where your daughter is at this time, surely your child support payments are in arrears – OUCH!


    • Emma on March 7, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      Awesome! Pussy power!

  10. Joana on March 7, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Of course, there are those men that use their children (all the while proclaiming courts are biased against fathers– they sure don’t seem biased against fathers in California) to punish their exes. We don’t talk about them much but it happens over and over in the USA.

    • Emma on March 7, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      Hey Joana – what do you mean exactly?

    • Krista on March 8, 2016 at 10:50 am

      I work in healthcare and see this with women in my profession a lot. I also see a LOT of women who start a relationship with both partners working and, over time, they end up being the only one working. Needless to say, the men I have met on and off dating sites, the experiences I see women my age going through, and the fear of having a bad relationship again make me extremely gun shy. I am only willing to have a healthy relationship that is beneficial to both parties and involves my child in a positive way.

      • Emma on March 8, 2016 at 1:25 pm

        Agreed! Good for you for setting some boundaries and sticking to them!

  11. Liv on March 7, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    This is exactly my ex. Its everyone else’s fault that he can’t parent his children! Excuses! So passionate about exclaiming about his rights as a father, not so about the responsibilities that go hand in hand with parenting! The only child support I receive has to be taken by the government. Kids see through it all now, and I’ve surrounded them with good men who couldn’t even comprehend being that sort of father.

    • Emma Johnson on March 7, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      Love that you’ve changed your taste in men – your kids are so fortunate!

  12. Gabby vaughan on March 7, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    This is quality thought
    Clever writing
    And shit that matters.
    Stuff we can make a difference in with our choices.
    Well done Emma.
    Thank you

  13. Kaywanda Lamb on March 7, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Emma, I loved ALL of this! I shared it in a post and in my groups! Say it sister! Absolutely, we must stand up and not be so eager to date and have a man that we become accomplices to the crime of not parenting. Amen sister! Ladies, men and women leave their children. It is up to us to challenge them to be better human beings by encouraging they return to build and better that relationship regardless of length of time and relationship with the mom or dad. In my dating, this is one of the first questions I ask before we get comfortable. You can’t tell me. You have to show me you are a part of their lives. And women must stop being so gullible that they accept “The mom is evil and doesn’t let me see them.” I heard this was said about me and I have made sure their dad has had access. Short story, be willing to pass on someone who isn’t mature enough to be a man.

    • Emma on March 7, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      LOVE ” this is one of the first questions I ask before we get comfortable”

  14. Freya on March 8, 2016 at 2:50 am

    What a thought provoking piece. 4 years ago I fell in love with a guy who had a 6 yr old girl who was “the result of a one night stand”. Her mother was *crazy*. He saw them every three months. I was in love, blinded, until I became pregnant. He gave me an ultimatum, him or the baby. I felt unable to have an abortion. He left and waged a subsequent war of hate. I have “forced him into fatherhood”. I now have a bouncy toddler who has met his dad once. The minimum of child support only arrives when I write to ask. Now I have become the *crazy* ex. Beware beware if you ever hear this term!!

    • Emma on March 9, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      “Beware beware if you ever hear this term!!” Wise words!! Really!

  15. Krista on March 8, 2016 at 11:00 am

    I wholeheartedly agree. Honestly, my ex was not involved with my son while we were married and living in the same house. After we were divorced I had to force my son to go and see his dad (He was 4 1/2) and I would break down crying after he went. Now, he has a relationship with his dad. He doesn’t have the perfect relationship that I envisioned him having, but the relationship is there and desired by all of us. His dad teaches him some things, has him while I am working, and we coparent better than we did living in the same house. In the beginning after we divorced, I could see him easily abandoning his son as you’ve talked about. Now, I am glad to say that I can’t see that happening. I can see that my son may want more independence as he hits his teen years, but his parents will still be there. There are still a lot of inequities in our division of labor and finances and my son sees it. I hope that he learns from the good and the bad qualities and becomes a better parent than either of his parents are. Being in a relationship again will be down the road for me. I would rather be alone that be in a relationship that is harmful.

  16. Rita on March 8, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    What an empowering message with a catchy delivery :) I hope that more women work together to build each other up — we truly can change the world.

    Your mention of Lysistrata made me wonder if you’ve seen or heard of the movie Chi-raq? It’s a modern retelling of the same story.

    • Emma on March 9, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      Hi have not seen Chi-raq!! Will check it out!! love it, thanks!

  17. APRIL on March 9, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    I’ve learned the hard way, I had kids with a man who didn’t see his other kids. Wish I was wiser then :/ But I’d give this advice to anyone, Emma. Its absolutely a huge indication of character.

    Also, why is it so common for so many men to be minimally involved. I’d move mountains to make sure I was an active part of my kids lives. Some of it comes down to gender roles I think, but is such bullshit.

    I’m no longer in the dating pool, because I am engaged to a man who doesn’t have kids of his own , but has been a wonderful father figure to mine for the last 2 years.

  18. Amanda on March 9, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Thank you! Thank you! Coming from someone who was married to a filthy rich loser who doesnt make any time for his two beautiful children but has plenty of time to screw women half his age… Thank you.

  19. Tanya on March 9, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Love this message. My soon to be ex-husband sees our 2 year old daughter during “working hours” so his gf doesn’t know. He fathered a son 2 years old also-while we were married. I push for him to be in our daughter’s life but he sends the checks and has minimal involvement. We get email from him checking in every Monday and Friday. I mean is this what it comes to? My goodness! Your blog rigs true!! Run away if he doesn’t see his kids…Shane on him to miss out on a wonderful opportunity.

  20. John brown on March 20, 2016 at 2:57 am

    I think a guy who isn’t actively involved in his kids life is pretty much a dirtbag. A lot of men out here think because they pay child support, makes them a good parent. I’m confident that if the child support system wasn’t implemented most guys wouldn’t volunteer make those monthly payments. These guys are losers and they deserve no rest what so ever…

    • Emma on March 24, 2016 at 6:54 am

      That is harsh but a lot of people feel that way.

    • Charlie on August 25, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      You are 100% right.

    • Erno on February 14, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      Don’t judge the book by it’s cover, read into it. I’ve spent a lot of time with my son the until last year. February the 1st last year to be precise the last time i’ve seen him(he flew into my arms and asked me “Dad can you pick me up after school?”.I said “I can but you need to ask you mom”. Not my choice/decision. For a dad a family court decides if you can see your children. I’d love to see my boy and be involved in his life, but a bitter ex wife prevents me in that. You see when you go to court and try and fight you soon realize you’re a man and have very little rights and no one believes you.. She can say that you’re abusive(mentally, physically, emotionally) and none of that is true. I don’t believe in violence or an abusive relationship, but here I am being prevented in having a contact with my child. I’m sending presents through mutual friends, however my options are running out because she started to isolate me from them too. I pay child support, always did and even paid for other expenses including helping her out financially to last until payday and never asked for a cent back. Yet I’m a loser as you have generalised. Oh and never to be dated again..
      My advice would be to ask that man’s close friends/friends and they will give you the answer. You see I have a million photos on the walls and tear up most times I look at them coz it hurts and I suffer in silence. But I’m just a loser I guess, never to be given the opportunity to be happy again perhaps.

  21. Mj on March 22, 2016 at 8:47 am

    My heart goes out to all single Moms and Dads out there. I too have a 20 month old baby girl who i have established contact with her fathers family who reside overseas and they have shown little interest in. Her father showed once to meet her when she was three days old and i had a third party to greet him as he requested this whilst i was pregnant. I informed him every week of her progress for a period of time and he told me i was to needy however he left the country seven days after she was born and denied recieving an invite to an event we had. He was apparently divorced and seperated for two years. When i discovered he was still married and he had several online affairs with women i asked him to move out of my home. But now he has friends who he has told that i wont allow him to see our daughter. And apparently im crazy so he will just tell our daughter when she is a teenager that i was a nutter and i ruined their relationship. I was also accussed of messaging his wife thats his reason to me why he wont see his child due to my jealously. He honestly appeared to be a great father to his previous child as he was always at his wifes home which did not faze me as children come first. However our daughter he has only met once due to his own selfishness. I have has a women contact me over what he says about me and states his baby was a mistake and i was a crazed women. I have now decided to cut all contact with his family as they dont respond however they take their gifts when sent and my daughter only recieved a few from her Grandmother. My daughters father has never even given her a card acknowledging her however he left a few second hand bottles at my front gate. He really has serious issues i believe as he never even showed to see her in a third party situation that was so he didnt have to see me but couldnt afford the $5.00 fee which i offered to pay. However he can travel constantly with what i have been informed about through his ex lady friends who have decided to locate me due to the extent of his story line they are worried about our welfare sorry this is very long im just so hurt exhausted and frustrated how can a man blatently lie about not being able to see his child and still have believers.

  22. Anon on April 10, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    When I met my ex he had a child from another woman and it seemed he played a fairly active role in her life. He made out that he supported her financially and was in regular contact. Then after a couple of months he stopped seeing her, he said his ex was jealous that we were together and so had stopped contact – I encouraged him to seek legal advice, I felt angry on his behalf, I suggested we stop the relationship as it was causing problems etc he kept saying he’d made an appointment with a solicitor and told me all the right things. I fell for it all, I also fell pregnant!

    He played doting dad for about 3 months before consistantly cheating on me with men and women. He stole our sons birthday/Christmas money that I’d saved up and in time I learned how he had treated his ex – we eventually split and for a short time he had access to our son. Then ….. he met someone else, within a month he’d caused an almighty row over absolutely NOTHING and stopped being involved.

    A couple of months later and new partner is pregnant and apparently I’m a crazy jealous ex, hmmmm this was sounding very familiar. I bit my tongue, kept my head down and focussed on raising our son alone.

    When his 3rd child was a couple of months old I’d heard he’d started sleeping around, then he got hooked on drugs, then he was violent to his new partner (extremely violent). They’ve now split and he doesn’t want to see this child either!

    The children are in contact thanks to us super single mums who have pushed aside our own feelings to ensure that the children have their siblings in their lives.

    My advice – if a man doesn’t see his child because of ‘crazy’ ex then dig deeper, look beneath the surface and find out what has actually happened, believe me I know what it is like to wash away the doubt with excuses because the truth is somewhat unpalatable but knowledge is power.

  23. NC 4 Shared Parenting on August 9, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Lady you’re clueless, I have shared parenting for 20 years…I’ve been to jail twice because I love my children…I was lucky…very lucky…do you know how hard it is to convince a judge that thew accuser is a liar? A taped confession to the lie does it…yeah I said I was lucky enough to get it…otherwise instead of my 22 yr old daughter living here it’s very possible that wouldn’t even know her. In addition to that I had to endure a society that says, Pray and do nothing…they say the kids will figure it out…the say “you can’t win”. Perhaps you should go support my group “NC 4 Shared Parenting” on FB and educate yourself with facts so you will quit the bs of confusing dead beat dads with dads that have been beat to death. My experience also includes a daughter that died in the car I took from her…they said she was looking at the phone I took from her. Yes, you read that right. Why were these things returned after separation? To buy her support… Don’t you dare bundle men in a category and not have the balls to support them in terms of

  24. Mary on September 13, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    My partner of 6 years doesn’t see his son who now lives interstate. The relationship started off okay after his separation from his ex, then gradually drifted. The child’s mum didn’t like me and made it clear by banning her son from saying my name. This made life challenging, the kid clearly felt he had to show loyalty to his mum. I remember what that’s like as I grew up with a single mum myself. Anyway, his son is happy and both father and child seem content with it as it is, chatting on the phone but not being able to see each other due to financials and his mum moving him interstate for a new job. In saying all of this, my partner is however a wonderful, hands on father with our two babies. I think my point is that it’s impossible to tar everyone with the same brush.

  25. Sarah on February 11, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    I did feel uncomfortable that he didn’t see his daughter. I tried to meet her. I tried to include her. He made a ton of excuses and I believed him… sort of. Now I’m solo parenting and we haven’t heard from him in more than 6 months. Turns out he had another kid too that I didn’t know about. Love is blind.

    • Mamanilla on June 4, 2017 at 6:20 pm


  26. Erno on February 14, 2017 at 10:43 pm
    Here is another situation, very close to home for me at least
    Thanks Emma for the story, but I think that this article was about deadbeat dads.. I’ve had one and even though I can’t see my boy I don’t think I could be judged as one. If I had a choice I’d see him every day. But I guess I’m not allowed to be happy ever again

    • Erno on February 15, 2017 at 12:11 am

      Oh but hang on Emma.. You are the author of that story too. What happened? Have you actually listened to the silent sufferers?
      I mean please don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to insult you in any way whatsoever. You’re entitled to your opinion as well as I’m to mine. Deadbeat vs. deprived is a very different story

  27. Tobe on February 15, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    100% right. In my case I am so angry none of his family co-workers friends or girlfriends call him out on his behaviour. They make him out to be a great guy and accept he left his family because he wants to find happiness. He sees the kids 2x/month. I know that’s more than others but it should be a crime. The court said I can onlycomplain if he won’t pay support but they can’t force him to be active in his kids lives. That’s disgusting. My babies love their Dad. I’ve told them to love and accept him as is. That he’s dealing with his own issues… But really he doesn’t deserve their love. And I’m pissed that others don’t see what a selfish jerk he is!!

  28. Good Dad on April 27, 2017 at 5:16 am

    I’m a divorced Dad who is very active with my teenage Son. I have given up on dating. All the women I have dated want no parts of a Father who cares about his child. Most middle aged women do not want anything to do with another Woman’s offspring!!!! Period!!!!!! I guess it’s in the genes? I have given up on dating and marriage. I rather be single than lose my relationship with my Son!!!!

    • Happily married on November 23, 2017 at 11:00 am

      I’m one of those women who loves only but my own children. Why I must I be made responsible or accountable for another woman’s child. I expect no one to fit my children in her schedule even if my baby’s father could marry. I respect their marriage as much as I would not expect no uninvited guests to gate crush in my marriage. Tough luck to children born out of wedlock…you will remain bastards and loose privileges of legit children.

      • Jud on May 7, 2018 at 2:35 pm

        You are a horrible and judgmental woman. Karma will serve its menu on you, twat!

  29. Missy on October 25, 2017 at 4:17 am

    Women are the vindictive crazy ones in these type situations. Women are the ones that don’t let the fathers see the child(ren). Men are the ones paying for the child due to the women being lazy, not wanting to work, and expecting the man to dress, feed, bath, shelter, “watch” them, PAY everything…. yet women everywhere are ALWAYS blaming the man. Like yo, dumb bitch, odds are you took all the fathers privileges away, and then complain about it. Single moms complaining out there…. YOU MADE YOUR BED SO SLEEP IN IT

    • DS on July 31, 2018 at 6:09 am

      Boy did you hit my ex right square on. She has a RN license. capable of making 80k to start and is a wealth fare queen.

  30. Kristin on November 6, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Emma, this article rocks! I have shut that shit a couple of times back when I was dating. One guy saw his kids every other Saturday… they lived less than 5 miles from him! Another saw his son once per month! They gave me every excuse you can think of! I was like “nope no excuses! Bye!” The one that got me the most was a guy I went out with 4 times… he was so handsome, polite, sexy, good career etc. oh my gosh, I was falling for him so hard. Then he told me his ex girlfriend was 8 months pregnant! I was livid! What floored me the most was all the excuses and how nonchalant he was about dating me and having another woman pregnant at the same time. I told him to hit the road! He still pursued me relentlessly… trying to convince me to stay with him. I told him he was crazy! What kind of woman dates a man that has another woman pregnant? Who am I to distract you and your ex from trying to co parent together? Me dating him would just complicate things for him, his ex, and mostly importantly his kid! I thought “wow you put all this effort into dating me… now if you could only put all this time, effort and energy into being a dad…you would be an amazing father!” It was a no brainer for me to dump him immediately… even though I was totally into him… I had to do it… I had to do it for his kid… and in my book kids always come first…

  31. Happily married on November 23, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Mine had a money transaction relationship but never acknowledged them. I am happily married to him for more than twenty years. We are envied of our loving warm home he gives to us. I am glad he doesn’t have any relationship with them. He’s all ours. Bastards are not even wanted by the heavens as the Bible proclaimed and how do I expect him to love children of shame and lust, hence illegitimate. Tough luck.

    • Jud on May 7, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      You are a horrible, insensitive and judgemental woman. Those are his kids.
      You are an abomination because you keep on using the Bible to spew hate and rejection. Karma will get you, brainless twat.

  32. Georgia on May 27, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    I did the same mistake I felt over this guy, he was handsome, funny, had a good profesional job but didn’t see his kid much. His kid lived very far away (he moved for work somewhere else), he did visit him but not much. I excused him because he sent a lot of child support to his ex, so financially he was being more than generous. Also, the ex had a very complicated family setup that I used as an excuse to forgive him. Why I did it? I felt in love and then I wanted to believe everything. I was myself quite attractive at the time I started with him, I had other guys, so I was not desperate for a relationship. I am still amazed about how I fell into that. Myself, an experienced women which I always had good ex partners and ending up with a guy like that, which it was the worst I had. Well, bottom line, he did the same to me. He abandoned me and my child. So, any women thinking about doing this, think twice. Excellent article. A pity I didn’t read it before!

  33. tracy on July 15, 2018 at 4:16 am

    Personaly I think there are some good guys out there who get worn down by the system and find it exhausting swimming against the tide. They will fight but some women fight harder to ensure the fathers have no contact. In my case my ex left me for another woman when my son was 6, now 11. She made sure i found out about the affair by sending me an ‘annononous’ letter. She randomly sent me malicious texts and emails and strange trouble making messages on facebook. I found out she had sat in a Christmas service for my sons school before we split, so she could see what I looked like. She seems to me on the crazy side. We split and my ex denied he was with anyone. When I found out he was still with her things got very heated but I still never stopped him seeing his son. When he was going through his honeymoon phase with her he had no time for my son. One day telling him he would take him swimming and never turned up. Just one example. I almost begged him to see our son but it was very inconsistant. But i never stopped him. Eventually he wanted her to meet our son which i refused. Most will say it was nothing to do with me but I was still angry and upset with what she’d done. I still am as my ex knows all this and stays with her. I never stopped my ex access. After about 6 months i was wore down and gave in. Realising that i just needed to accept it. My ex took my son to meet her for hour and half ….. And she never asked to see him again so it was just anorher game to her. Since then ive told him until my son is old enough to choose he cannot see her. Despite all this i never stopped access for my ex. He picked him up from school but only if it suited him. Turns up on a sunday but only if he has nothing else planned. Takes him on holiday once a year but it can only be the week she is out the country. I let him know about football and rugby games/swimming galas/ parent meetings etc. Strangely he used to go while tensions were high between us but we get on fine now and have done for a while but he stopped going ? I welcome him on days he does see our son so he knows there are no hard feelings. And yet he has distanced himself further and further from our son. He has open access and can phone my son whenever he pleases. I refuse to start world war three over it. My son no longer gets upset over it. I feel a little sad for my ex as he is dominated by the other woman but that was his choice. She controls when he sees our son. My ex no longer sees my son in the week as he has to pick her daughter up from school. But I’ll stick with it. My son deserves to have some relationship with his dad albeit when it suits the new partner. I think what I’m trying to say is every situation is different. Every man is different. I really wanted my ex to be good role model to my son. He’s not a bad person and who am I to say what person he should be. I think he does the best he is capable of. I get more angry that he has open access but chooses not to see our son on a regular basis or even contact him and there are other dads out there that fight like lions but get nowhere. Its a sad world

  34. Daniel on July 29, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Yes Tracy.
    I was tired of swimming against the tied for 4 years’ I speak 4 years post divorce in/out of court and a sum close to $30,00. Then my 13 year old daughter was dropped off by my ex for our weekend visit on Saturday morning. She walked in the door alone with tears running down her face, my came over to see my daughter and was present, she ran straight to my mom and said grammy can we talk and off to the bedroom off they went. My daughter and my mother were very close. They had secrets and my daughter always confided in my mother as her best friend. 20 minutes later they came out my daughter had stopped crying at that point. my mother said honey you are to tell your father what you just told me. my daughter was hesitant but came over to be and began to cry.
    What she said broke my heart forever. She said” Daddy you have to make mommy stop!” I said stop what honey. She informed me when she went home after my court appointed visitations her mother my ex would grill her all night wanting to know everything we said, she heard, and saw. MY DAUGHTER TOLD HER ITS NONE OF YOU BUSINESS. Then my ex would punish her by grounding her. Not letting her see or take calls from her friend. Even keep her home from school which she loved school. Theres so much more to this it would fill multiple pages but to make it shorter. On Thursday. I got a call from my ex where said to talk to my daughter she talking crazy. I asked to put her on the phone. She began crying and said daddy I can take all this any more. I just want to jump in front of a car and make it all stop. Talk about a broken heart breaking even more. I began to cry myself and talked her out of the suicidal ideation she was in and told her honey its will be ok daddy is going to take care of it. That Friday we had another child custody date with court. I walked in and asked if I could say something to the court and was grandest the opportunity. It didn’t;t matter if I informed the court of what was going on. The court wouldn’t and never has believed me. My ex had my daughter so petrified by god know what ever threats she made to her that it all would have to meaning.
    That day I did the hardest thing I have yet to do and endure in my life. I gave up my parental rights and gave full custody to my ex. the court wanted to know if I wanted visitation and I said I didn’t want contact with my daughter anymore. Know I know it’s hard to understand. I went through 10 years of emotional and psychological abuse from her. I stayed in our marriage because I loved my daughter more then my wife and knew she would need me and I din’t grow up in a divorced family and didn’t want her to.
    Basically I only had a few choices.
    1. Report what was happening to child protective services which I did and my daughter lied as then do to service and was so petrified by god knows what they dismissed the complaint.
    2. I could have kidnapped her and fled but that would be no life for a child.
    3. I could do the unthinkable but no matter how terrible a women she was I would never take my Childs mother way from her forever and have he has to come to visitation to see a father she would never have in her life.
    My mother offer to as she is in he 79’s but I told her I could loose her as I would need her to help me raise my daughter.
    4. I did the only thing I could. I figured if I took myself out of the picture my ex would be able to use her to her me and pursue her own goals what ever they were.
    I haven’t seen my daughter in 7 years now. During those 7 years she has poisoned and brainwashed her mind about me. I have tried to contact her many times but letters intercepted. Phone numbers and addresses changed.
    My daughter knows she lied on many occasions about what was going on. I didn’t want visitation because does anyone realize how hard it would be to look your father in the eyes knowing you lied forcing him to the only and best decision he could make to give her a childhood and a half normal life. She has been going to psychotherapy for some 7 tears now. Guilt is a very very powerful emotional thing to hold and deal with. She goes to psych not over me but her mother want what she did when she had the power to end it.
    I payed child support even though I never got to see her for years. I love her more then anything. I have a hole in my heart that never fills in. I sufferer each and every day. I don’t blame her she was but a child but I hope one day she will come to me and its all that keeps me alive. Every home I have ever met and dated once I told them this story it was the beginning of the end of that relationship.
    Now theres just one of my nightmares
    I have PTSD and can’t even be around certain things like playground. Xmass I hibernate. I have nightmare 3 days a week on average and go to therapy myself not to mention my little prescription drug friend the MD has me taking.
    I would give my live for her to this day instantly.

    • ADD on on July 29, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      I have to add to this as it eats me alive. I missed so many wonderful memories. Sacrifice, sometime you have to hurt the one you love to give them all the desire. If you never had something like this or similar happen to you, family member, or friend. If you don’t work in a field where you hear of this things then you simply not a member of the club! THEY HAPPEN TO MUCH. I new evil people existed in this world. You se it on the news. TV series, and magazines/books. I never have met such an evil women and hope I never do. I never liked people the prey on child abound many other things but any person that would use their own child to hurt someone else and drive them from there life is the lowest form of well you know. I never met a person with no conscious , empathy, or feelings in my life like my ex.

  35. Jon M on July 30, 2018 at 9:32 am

    HUH? If you think that you shouldn’t talk to man because he isn’t willing to turn himself into a felon to appease his ex -wife and see his children in some secure location and be party and watch the continual abuse by a scornful and malicous ex-wife, then you my dear are a very broken and lost person who needs to see a therapist. I know I saw one for many years as I contemplated suicide, as I contemplated looking into illegal ways of ending this heart wrenching and disgusting place of power by a woman in a broken judicial system. You need help my dear, the kind you can’t find with money or Jesus.

  36. Ds on July 31, 2018 at 6:13 am

    Emma Johnson is simply fueling the unjustness of the countries court system against fathers period. Join the Us to movement baby. Fathers need a fair shake that desire a fair shake.

  37. Jill on September 13, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    This is a disgusting article spewing hatred towards men. We as women have all the choices when it comes to all of this, leaving the men with no options AT ALL. Meanwhile, Emma is sitting here continuing to ask for more. How far will it go before men unite and push back? When it does happen it will not be good for anybody involved.

    • Steven Ingram on November 28, 2018 at 1:41 am

      Your absolutely correct, there isn’t a state government in the US that doesn’t hand all the power to the female from day one. Unless a mother is decided completely unfit she has the power to kick a man out of his house and make him homeless in a matter of days. She can take his children to another country if she likes and unless the guy has thousands to fight her in court there isn’t a thing he can do to stop her. Why is 50/50 custody so taboo? Why does a man become a 2nd rate citizen the moment a woman files for divorce. Why is divorce the number one factor in male suicide? Men are completely defenseless to divorce and children are used as pawns in all this.

  38. Steven Bruce Ingram on November 28, 2018 at 1:26 am

    You should be ashamed of yourself for writing this. Men are treated as complete underdogs when divorce takes place. They are treated as second class citizens and all their rights are taken from them the moment a women decides she is unhappy and a divorce is initiated. Any comments on why men are 9 times more likely to commit suicide after a divorce? Our divorce courts are completely one sided and many (most men) are never given the opportunity to be respectable, stand up fathers from day one. You make me sick. I was handed divorce papers on a weds and homeless and jobless by Friday thanks to a one sided court system set up for females. I went from 100% dad to 20% dad in 3 days due to a corrupt and unfair system of government. With what money do you exspect father’s to fight this system? Where is it written in the law of right and wrong that a mother is automatically entitled to custody of the children. Again you should be ashamed of yourself for kicking dirt on a man who is already been beaten down by and insane system of intrusive government. Change my mind

  39. Chris on January 20, 2019 at 8:28 am

    It’s grossly unfair that fathers have to pay ample amounts of their own income, through the legal system whether it be via lawyers, courts or mediators, to have custody or visitation rights to their kids. When fathers aren’t prepared to live a life a poverty to fight for their kids time and to then get judged and stigmatised as ‘selfish’ and ‘self centred’ by the opposite sex, goes against everything that is both morally and socially acceptable. It is unfair to have one party (predominantly males) funding a legal system fighting for kids and the other living a life of ‘entitlement’ and as a result of this. It is disappointing to read mothers, having the audacity to pass judgement on a father because he is not prepared to live in poverty brought on by a family court system that is unfair from the get go and constantly fuelled by an egotistic and vengeful ex spouse. If mothers complain fathers aren’t interested in their kids, make the family court system free, better yet enforce equal custody by default – let mothers prove why the father shouldn’t be around for the kids – instead of the inverse. Then watch the fathers step up to the plate for their kids. To expect a father to spend in excess of 5 or 6 figures on an industry that thrives on condescending men’s emotions to get to the mans wallet ( based primarily on gender prejudice where the male is basically behind ‘by default’) and then throw ‘criticism’ in his direction for his ability to father, just shows how ‘entitled’ and ‘self centred’ woman of the 21st century have become. Ergo, if they did actually care for the welfare of their children to have a father in their lives there would of been a fair level playing field ‘enforced’ from the get go.

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