Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Big Lies about Dads

I haven't written in a while and for that I apologize. I have been busy. There is a new book in the works and some other new irons in the fire. But I sure haven't forgotten you dads.
I have been reading the emails and comments I receive here on an almost daily basis. My heart aches for you guys. I recently reconnected with a dear friend from high school who has one of the most excruciating and horrifying stories about the frustrations that dads feel when their fatherhood is not protected.
I can't relate it here because it is too lengthy. But his life was irreversibly damaged by the torture of a very evil woman with whom he had a child, and even more so by a single decision he made that altered his life forever.
People think that men don't hurt. They think we don't cry over our kids. That this life is somehow easier for us. That we don't really care about the time we miss with them. Not really. They think we don't grieve this loss and lay awake at night missing our children. They think we can somehow adapt to this life better than women can. That we are all deadbeats. That visitation and time with your kids and influencing them is of no value to us. They could not be more wrong.
I can't count the number of nights I lay awake crying over the hurt I felt missing my daughter. How many times I would call her just to hear her voice for five minutes. How many times I would watch the VHS tapes of her 3rd birthday party or our trips to the beach together. I would sit in her bedroom at night and close my eyes and feel her there. I poured out my tear-filled prayers from beside her bed, because my heart told me that if she had been, it was there that I'd be praying those prayers anyway. It made me feel more connected to her I guess.
Dads hurt as much or more than moms do. Deadbeats and malcontents get the press and the starring role in movies on Lifetime, but those images are a lie. Like all the other lies told about us.
Be strong dads. The lies become true only if we decide to live up to them.


Megan said...

Though I'm a mom, I love this blog. Dads get the brunt of custody issues, yes, and so did I. My ex married a woman whose father was the local justice of the peace in a small town, where a jury trial was requested and approved and I couldn't afford the $25k to fight. I live in a different state (I'm military) and can only see my little boy twice a year. You know what really hurts? The comments from other moms. "How can you just give up fighting for your son?" like it was some arbitrary decision, like what color to paint my nails. It was the most difficult decision of my life and I live with the pain and regret every single day. I was set up by my ex and his wife and I quickly learned that family court isn't about what's best for the child; it's about who can afford to keep going. It's ridiculous. The children suffer. You are obviously a fantastic father and you deserve so much better.

Gabe said...

The title here got my attention "Sometimes Daddies Cry...". Although not unique, my divorce was and still is a very amicable divorce, she remains one of my best friends, but I still remember the day I took my three younger boys to live with their mother. I cried the almost 2 hour drive home. My kids were older when we divorced, they were 19, 17, 15, and 13, it still did not change the fact that I did not get to see them everyday, hear their laughter everyday, break up the fights every hour, being a parent from 90 miles away is difficult and it sucks. Thanks for a great blog!

paul said...

i just wanted to tell someone, talk to someone. But the guilt hurts.
lies about dad? one lie would be that if you don't see your children everyday that you don't care. That if you move away because you are trying to create a better life so that you can support your children, that you don't care.
sitting here, with tears rolling down my face, in the middle of the afternoon, i can barely type. it hurts so much there is no one, not even my wife - who is the love of my life and the most wonderful woman i could ever imagine - to understand how much i hurt.
i keep it all in.
what i wanted to say was that i moved across the ocean from my daughter . sometimes i regret it, but my wife is wonderful. i couldn't live a life 'between visits' without her.
i know i made a choice, but the guilt still hurts, the distance hurts.
yes, daddies cry. i should cry more.

megan, you're right about family court being about lawyers and not the children. he who fights less loses, and keeps losing, even if you think not fighting would keep it out of the kids lives.
people should never judge other peoples decisions. we are all trying to do our best. i'm trying to afford to keep going.
the fact is, if i had stayed where i was i would have taken my life. being alone, nothing to live for in-between visits. not everyone can do that. i needed someone to live for and with which is why I'm here. even living next door i couldn't take it. am i selfish for wanting to live?

ok, enough rambling. i just wanted to reach out.

naeem khan said...

am going through the process of family court right now not seen my kids in almost two years feeling really down todaay i am totally numb i could have a limb cut off at this point and i wouldnt feel it.
I know i am at the point where i should get a result next month jus on a total downer started back at gym after almost two years in a bud to wear myself down but not having any luck

Anonymous said...

What if the father of the child never wanted the baby, wanted to adopt it out calls himself a sperm donor then suddenly wants to be in the child's life? What changed what happen to make her matter all of a sudden? I'm sad for the child how could someone who was supposed to love her break up their family cause they never wanted a child then seemingly recover and suddenly change his mind with the damage already done? :( if the child hasn't been born until after a divorce is there still a connection like the ones you describe above?