Why Men Leave Their Children

Often, we hear of divorced dads that spend little or no time with their children, and the damage it does to these children, not having the love and guidance of their dads. Many divorced moms have told me how they are at a complete loss as to how these dads could do this. Of course, some of these moms complain and berate, while sabotaging their husbands relationship with the kids. Some do it intentionally, other subconsciously, but let’s exclude this obvious dynamic, which is one of the possible explanations. Why do the dads do this?

I want to be clear that to me our kids are Job #1. Now remember, men have been told to disallow their emotions to be a “man.” Who are men being a “man” for, their women and children of course. If you’re thinking this is crazy, it’s the opposite of what they need, you are correct. But this situation is all too real. Always keep that in mind when trying to understand men. Naturally, all humans have emotions, so to disallow any part of you is to disassociate from it. A disassociate disorder is a psychological condition. Yet, men are taught their version of this as a matter of course. This is highly damaging to men and those around them, like women. (Women are taught their own version of disassociation to be covered in future articles.)

So, here we have a typical man, his marriage is ending (failure and pain), and he must recreate himself and his life (scary). These strong feelings are not allowed for men, yet would naturally affect all persons, wouldn’t they? He will feel them like it or not (he doesn’t), he feels further drained, weaken by the stress and doesn’t know what to do. He also feels shame for having these “wrong” feelings. Men are supposed to know everything, which is why they won’t stop to ask for directions, so his not knowing how to handle all this is further shaming. He may blame her, while looking for varied distractions, or hunker down in his cave, licking his wounds. He most likely doesn’t have a support system to discuss his feeling with. Women usually have this important element; men basically don’t have a clue. He must internalize and repress these feeling, or he thinks he will be seen as crazy or less of a man. Of course, the opposite is true and his repression actually makes him crazy, but it is difficult at best for men to just drop years of programming.

OK, got the picture? Now, here is this divorcing man, feeling with intensity he is not presently trained to handle, and there are his babies. Why would he not want to see them?

From my personal experience of divorce with children, I will tell some of the reasons, and share what others have told me.

  1. My experience with my daughters was that every other weekend and once or twice during the week for dinner, I got to have my precious babies again. Then, I got to return them to their mother. This felt like/reminded me of the original loss. It was like having the scab ripped off a wound each and every time. I never missed an opportunity to see them, but that was me. This experience gave me a new understanding of why men leave their children, because it is so deeply painful and others just couldn’t handle it. This doesn’t excuse their not being there, only explains it.
  2. I was very involved with my daughters and still am. However, many men have followed in their father’s footsteps and work long hours, or come home and withdraw into the mindless boobtube. They simply don’t know how to relate to their families, and feel separate from them. They also have a day worth of work bottled up within and don’t feel they can share this. Sad, isn’t it all? But very real. When this type of male divorces, it is simply easier to disassociate from a family he never feel a part of anyway. I have asked women in these situations if they notice this before their divorces. Most were too busy with there own lives to notice, or gave it little thought, thinking it was hopeless. Or their own dads were like this, so they were used to it. None felt they had any responsibility. If you stand mute to it you are part of it.
  3. It seems to simplistic to call some men heartless. That said, maybe some just are. My question to their wives is: what in Gods name did you marry them for? Take responsibility for your choices. Enough said.
  4. Some men just lack the courage necessary to face their painful failures and take a stand for their children. The worst part is that they may even see the pain in their children’s eyes, the longing, the damage done by abandoning their children, and still they do nothing. They do this because they feel helpless, without options.

In conclusion, you can see now the how and why’s of it. Hopefully, with understanding and forgiveness we can encourage men to respond from their loving hearts. But this must be done with understanding. It is men’s patriarchal training that keeps them separate. It is everyone responsibility to correct this and give men permission and encouragement to feel. Women will also need to look at the busy fairytale illusion of life they are continuously creating that leaves men out, except to take out the garbage and bring in money. If you don’t think this is common, ask men.

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52 Responses to “Why Men Leave Their Children”

  1. Kim Says:

    Okay I guess I get the “not supposed to show feelings part”…but to say they feel helpless without options is a load of horse—-!!!! My husband and I came to the decision that he would go overseas and work for one year and then return home to me and our daughters…it is going on 2 1/2 years now and the phone calls and the emails are fewer and fewer….why did I marry him because he was a wonderful loving caring man who was an extraordinary father to his children from a previous marriage. But now my girls don’t have their father and no hope of ever really seeing him again. He has options, I’ve begged him to come home to us, but all that really does is assures he will communicate less…We’ve never yelled or bickered really I can count on one hand how many arguments we’ve had…2. His girls need him regardless of how he feels towards me now, and to say I am starting to get angry is an understatement. How he fooled me into thinking he was this loving and caring father that would always be there for his children is beyond me. But I am here to tell you he has options one of which is to stay in communication with his girls. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. And I do apologize for the heat in this note it is by no means towards you, just some of the opinions you have. Thanks.

  2. Dr. David Eigen Says:

    First, I feel your rage and your pain. I can relate fully. We humans do unbelievable things to each other, and blind ourselves to the consequences. That is no excuse for the blindness, just an understanding. What’s the use of understanding? We can use it to see the why. How could they do what they do? We can use it to look deeper into the other person, and perhaps explore how “they’ve become trapped in a past that to them doesn’t let them choose” (Sarah McLachlan, I Will Remember You). YES, I hear you shouting in reply, “Horse… they can choose.” My dear Kim, we live in a world trapped by its own perceptions and deceits. To them, there are no choices. And you’re right these are illusions, but powerful ones. The only choice for you is to understand this, stand in your truth, and stand firm that others should also. But without the understanding, you will never be able to create change you so deeply desire, nor to inspire other to have the courage to change that is so deeply needed. Demands and blame just shut others down. Been there, done that. One last thing, what are you or were you pretending not to know because you wanted to believe? Been there, done that too, don’t like it. Sounds like your husband found someone else and is guilty about it. Your understandable demands for him to return just makes him feel guiltier and he withdraws further. This is painful I know. I can’t lessen that for you. I doubt he went away planning on finding someone else, but he did. This sucks. Time to let go and move on. If you ram down his throat “I thought you were a G-d damn loving father,” which says he is a liar, all that will happen is you will drive him away further from his daughters out of your anger. Also, why did you not move with him on his job relocation? He was left alone and you are surprised someone else wanted him?

    Many blessing on your journey.

  3. stephanie sheehan Says:

    Some men sacrifice everything for their families because they know and
    respect and above all love them. Other men sacrifice their families for
    “everything”. I learned to hard way after 11 yrs worth of an unfair relationship I wasn’t with someone who truly loved me or his own kids. I
    am not responsible for my ex’s behaviour in or out our relationship. He is!
    I was with him,stood by him, believed in him because I truly loved him and believed in him. It simply was too tall an order for him due to his selfishness not mine. Men who cheat and abandon their families simply need
    to grow up and behave like an adult not an teenager without responsibilities.

  4. stephanie sheehan Says:

    furthermore. I know I still feel anger about what happened to our family. I
    am now a single mom with a nine year old daughter who misses her dad and a
    10 year old son who has PDDNOS who has said “I hate loving him”. Tell me…how do fix the damage a man like this does to his family?

  5. Dr. David Eigen Says:

    With love, releasing blame, healing, more love. What in him attracted you that was not up to the “job,” but you ignored it anyway? Perhaps, nothing, and yes, he may have chosen to remain immature, or just could be the man you wanted. He may have felt he didn’t measure up. How sad and disappointing. Did he feel supported, or was there an underlying expectation he just couldn’t fulfill? Holding onto blame and anger is like swallowing a poison pill and expecting your enemy to die. Instead, you die slowly and painfully. Remember, You were in a dance with him. Blessings on your healing.

  6. Bren Says:

    My husband and I met in college in 1991 and married in 1994. In 2003 I was diagnosed with a very serious cardiac illness and put in a long-term care facility (I was 33 years old). My parents took in our son b/c my husband traveled frequently for his job which he couldn’t afford to quit b/c we couldn’t lose his insurance at that point. My husband let our house go into foreclosure and moved in with his parents. In the 18 months I was in the facility he visited me maybe once every 2 or 3 months. I made a full recovery and was released from the facility in spring 2005, but rather than getting back together as a family he never even showed up to pick me up and I had to call my parents to come and get me. 6 years now my son and I have been living with my parents and my husband has made no effort to reclaim our family – but neither has he filed for divorce (nor have I as I keep holding out hope for our marriage). When I try to talk to him about it he just shuts down and avoids me for the next few months. I am so hurt and angry and my son is emotionally devastated. This is abandonment at its worst as far as I am concerned. He sends support money when he feels like it (he makes a 6 figure income so he’s not hurting for money), he visits maybe half a dozen times a year and never stays for more than a few hours. He always acts like he feels uncomfortable while he is here and like he can’t wait to leave. He sends our son expensive gifts at the holidays but even though I always have gifts for him he hasn’t gotten me a gift since 2006. He hasn’t taken our son to visit his other grandparents since 2007 and I’ve been surprised that they have never questioned this. He denies that there is another woman in his life but refuses to give me any reason why he doesn’t want us to live together again! He’s been a workaholic since college graduation (he was with his teenage jobs as well according to his mother) but to work so much that you desert your family entirely just doesn’t make any sense to me! This is a man who visited me and our new baby only once in the hospital after an emergency c-section and only once after I experienced the cardiac arrest that started all this. He went to work while I was in major surgery! And no, he’s not afraid of hospitals b/c when his dad was very sick he hardly ever left his bedside for six WEEKS even though he had to take a leave of absence from work. Do you know how bad it hurt that he would take family leave for his dad but not for me?!?!?!
    I always made good money myself before I got sick and I KNOW I never made him feel like he had to worry about primary responsibility for our family finances. I thought we had a good life before I got sick, and I can’t understand why he decided to walk away from it. I would have THOUGHT he would have been happy that I got better but the way he acts now I feel like he wishes I had died instead.
    I can understand that he might have felt helpless about my illness – but he had no control over his father’s illness either, and he didn’t abandon his father the way he did me. Our wedding vows said in sickness and in health, and I feel like he bugged out on that one.

  7. Dr. David Eigen Says:

    Dear Bren,
    I am so sorry for your experiences, the pain they have caused, and your loss. The loss I am speaking of is of your marriage and husband. He is simply gone. He didn’t handle it well did he? We could label his actions cowardly and without honor and integrity, but what would that accomplish. I’m sorry, but he’s made his choices, even if he does have the spine to communicate them. Why are you still holding on? Why aren’t you divorced and collecting child support regularly? Because you don’t want to let go. That is the problem. You married an addict. A workaholic which indicates dissociation from feelings. Why are you surprised that he is unfeeling to you. Probably he learned it from his dad, who was no more loving then he is, but maybe at his death bed he got, or at least hoped for some love or connect with him. Since he was a little boy he probably wanted that. I doubt he got it. He certainly didn’t show it. And you are still waiting for him to be a loving feeling man instead of the shut down little boy his actions indicate he is. Time to let go and move on, he has. Find love and seek help as to why you are so codependently addicted to him. You made a bad choice in a man, find one who is capable of loving, you deserve that.

  8. BAN Says:

    I am 18 and have never met my father. He left my mother a few months before I was born. From what I hear he was origanlly excited that my mother was pregnant. However, a few months went by and he just left her. Ironically he left her for his common law wife which he left to be with my mother. My father and his wife had a son together.Often I wonder how he could leave one child for another. How could he not have loved me as much as his other child? It’s infuriating to think about!Sometimes it feels like I can only see half of myself.

  9. Dr. David Eigen Says:

    Dear Ban,
    Unfortunately, your father was immature, so was your mother, and probably his “common law wife.” Their situation was confused and unhealthy. And you are suffering from it. You are a whole being, not half. You have a father, he is just not in your life. I understand how that feels like you are missing something, that connection to your father. You will need to nourish that part of you, the little girl inside that still needs his love. Love her with your mature older part, the part that is love. Image holding her and loving her till she feels totally loved, then take her into your heart. You will need to forgive your father, mother for the situation that did not consider you. They were simple too immature, screwed up and self-involved. Image them in your mind and see them as they were, not as you wished them to be. Forgive them, and release them and all you hurt and resentments. Image a column of light coming down and cleansing all the energy. Then image your inner child, and yes I know you are not far from being a child yourself. See her, forgive her for anything she may have thought was her fault (it wasn’t). See that energy go up to the light. Then take her into your heart. Do this as many times as you need.

  10. Caroline Says:

    When I met my ex husband had two children from a previous marriage who he loved very deeply. We got married and had a further two children. Our marriage started to crack after my eldest daughter was born. In my mind he changed into a very different person, just my perception. We seperated five years ago as I just couldn’t take any more of the mental abuse from him. He started seeing his now girlfriend ten days after he left the family home. She doesn’t like children ! So he saw my two kids for a couple of years and then just stopped. No explanation, no contact, no phone call …. nothing. That was nearly a year ago now. He lives with his girlfriend five minutes away from my house ! At first I tried to contact him, but after a few months of leaving messages begging him to get in touch with his children I gave up. I still have regular contact with my step children and we get on really well. He refuses to speak to any of his four children.

    The reason I am trying to understand how he can do this is because my relationships are being badly effected by the abuse he put me through at the end of our marriage. I can’t seem to let anybody get close to me because I expect them to behave in the abusive way he did. Some how I need to let go of the past, I need it to stop effecting my future. I need to forgive this man. But how on earth can I forgive a man who continues to treat his four children so badly ? I just don’t know how he lives with himself, I don’t know how he sleeps at night …. I just don’t get it ! But I need to, cause otherwise this horrible man will keep damaging my future nd the future of my kids.

    Any ideas would be very welcome. thx

  11. weakweakweak Says:

    Your explanation of this is completely weak. My ex-husband has left my 9 year old for the last seven years of her life..it is inexcusable. You are pointing out the “why” of it all from a male perspective, however, you fail to point out you are describing a very weak character. How much strength do you think it takes the Mother to withstand supporting and parenting an abandoned child/children alone…and she gets NO quarter, but your description of these men completely justifies it. This is how these men can rationalize it; there is no excuse for abadoning a child you have created: NONE! It is immoral and in my opinion, these men should be held accountable in the highest court and frankly go to prision for what they are doing to their own children and subsequently the breakdown of society. I sought some solace by trying to understand how my child’s sperm donar could do this, but your reasons just incense any woman who has to pick up the brunt of a man that could do this to their own offspring. God bless these women who have so much strength for their children!!

  12. shocked Says:

    I was very pleased to come across this page today. Shocking that so many women have gone through the same kind of thing. What ‘weak’ wrote is very accurate, and every story I’ve read ois so inspiring. I could never understand how a person can do such a thing and it’s been on my mind for 5 years. Dr. Eigen has shed some light on this for me. I have learned a lot. I too have been raising a child all on my own due to the irresponsibility of my husband (now x). I loved him very much and always supported him, but when it was my turn for a little support, he just turned the other cheek. I eventually left him because he also had a computer addiction and was in severe denial about it and never spent time with me or the baby. Since my baby was born, everything in my world could never be as important. How can other things or people be more important to a man than his own wife and esp. baby??? All I know is there is more than meets the eye in this world and their time is gonna come. So do your best ladies. You are not alone. Peace love & happiness to all of you. G-d blesses you everyday with little treasures. Thank G-d you have the capacity to feel ! Real pure love! Although it hurts somewhere somehow everyday- I feel your strength and it inspires me. Thank you.

  13. linda Says:

    I came across this site after a web search. I actually would like your advice on the flip side of things. I met my boyfriend 2 years ago while we both were living in separate states. He was going through a divorce of 12 years and has 2 boys, 11 & 13. He loves them very much. His Ex-wife always criticized him and pushed him out of their life. But he is a wonderful person and has always treated her with respect and in part, keeps the peace for his sons. Because my career is here, he decided to move here and be with me full-time. While he still maintains a good connection with his sons, he feels like he has abandoned them and feels torn. I did not force him to make a decision although I told him that I would not be ready to move there because my family (parents, sister) and career are HERE but maybe in the future. I told him that I understood if he needed to stay but he did not want to carry-on long-distance (I’m not a fan either) and he said the separation is good for him to move forward, although hard. Everything seems to feel right for now but my question is…While going through a divorce is it OK to have some space (we are thinking 1 year) being separated from the kids or was it not a good decision for him to move here? He keeps beating himself up about it but he does need to start anew and we are making future plans to move back to the area.

  14. Dr. David Eigen Says:

    Difficult situation, I feel for you both. I also feel for the boys who need their dad. I would have recommended staying and maintaining a LDR, long distance relationship, as the kids will grow up and be on their own sooner than later. Then he could move. His moving which makes the divorce easier for him, feels like abandonment to the kids. Perhaps he could man-up and handle that. I did that and it certainly was not easy, delayed the healing for me, but was the right thing for my girls. If he would choose this, than you need to figure out how to support him doing this and how to keep an LDR. That means get unlimited phone plans or ones that have free aspects like friends and family, or Verizon to Verizon. Support him in his healing, frequent weekend travel is a must, etc. Remember, the boys will be on their own in no time. That will be the time to relocate. But then you already knew that inside.
    Now, if the move is set in stone, then he needs to maintain constant communication and travel to see them as often as possible. Make sure they have cell phones and were clearly told they could call anytime about anything. AND KEEP TELLING THEM I LOVE YOU, and make sure they know the divorce had nothing to do with them. This takes a lot of work. Make sure they know he is doing this out of love for them, and it is not a burden. They must not feel guilty about anything. Remember, the father is the model of masculinity and running away from a difficult situation to a easy one that disregards others is not a positive model. Blessings to you all.

  15. Reni Says:

    Wow,I came across this website today by accident, but I now believe God sent me to it…I was married for 8 yrs to the man of my dreams..when I met him he was everything I wanted in a man..he put family first and that has always been so important tome..he even accepted my daughter as a part of me and loved her (her father died when she was 3)..he has a child from a previous relationship as well..in 2005 we had a son..he was very excited but a bit nervous..but I thought in time all would be fine..and it was..until this year…he went to work out of town ..and something changed…this once loving man would come home and almost be bitter from the time he walked in the door..I took him aside and asked what was wrong..almost begged him to tell me what is bothering him..nothing was always the answering..I began to pray that God would give him the words to discuss with me what he was feeling and the reason for his behavior…I would pray to God to give me the patience until he could come to me and talk…he came home and stayed for one week and was due back in Louisiana the following week…I notice he was distant..and I went to him..telling him I know leaving is hard and do you think maybe you should just stay home and get a job local..but he assured me once again everything was ok…well after he left he called…told me he has been seeing another woman and that he was not coming back…that he could not be with me anymore..I was a very loving kind wife..always there for him..always willing to listen ..now months later here I am…he has not sent any money (I have filed for child support)..christmas is coming up (NO MONEY)…my house is in foreclosure cause I cant make the mortgage payment…and his ex called me the other day to tell me she is taking him to court to terminate his parental rights because he has not paid her child support all year (although he told me he was)..I received a letter from the courts the other day and he has a warrant out for his arrest..since he has not paid child support..they have suspended his license…As mom’s we are left to deal with the bills, the cuts and bruises, the nights the kids cry for their father…he has not seen our kids since he left and has only called about 3 times..he will not have to be here on christmas when there is nothing under the tree…he will not be here when they come and tell us to we have to leave our home..the only home my children have ever known…does he not realize (or care) what affect his actions has had on these children…how can he ever look them in their eyes and tell them he loves them after all this…I am sorry if I sound bitter but I think I have every right…men leaving and abandoning their families is an epidemic in this country…and the men are getting away with it…reminds me of a movie I saw …where a guy said ..in some states you have to have a license to have a dog..but they will let anyone be a father…

  16. Mary Says:

    My husband left 2.5 years ago. In an effort to give the details without broing you…after justing turning 40, he had an affair with a woman at work, I found out, he said he would stop, we went to counseling, he never stopped seeing her, I found out again, and he left demanding a divorce shortly afterward. We had a very normal life, were raising 3 children, no problems with money, drugs, alcohol, etc….just middle America. Even a week before he left us he wrote “I will love you forever” in a birthday card to me…anyway, he is gone, he and the woman lost their jobs, she divorced her husband, and now my husband is living with her and her children about 8 hours away and just yesterday referred to her and them as “my family”. Can you please help me understand this psychology. I miss the man I married and keep hooping to see him again. We were a great family though he now wants to re-write that history. We have three children 17,14,6 but the two older ones are not in communication with him as they knew the woman and really understood what happened. Our youngest visits with him but he cancels a lot and now wants our young son to spend a bunch of time with his new “family” up there – I am so sad. The children often tell me “we had the best family and that is why they are mad…if we saw anger and hatred, we’d be happy it was over, Mom, but that is not how it was.”

    I struggle with wanting the answers, what happened to him, how can he really be this person today…where is my husband, etc.

    I feel like I should be over this since it has been over two years and the divorce was final about a year now but I just don’t understand and want answers and want my husband and family back.

  17. Dr. David Eigen Says:

    My dear Mary,
    I am so sorry for your loss and the pain you feel. There is nothing I can say to make this better. Your husband was looking for – himself – in a cowardly way. Like most, he thinks the outer world is where he will find “it.” I’ll bet you know better, but that doesn’t make it better, does it? The worst part is he will have to distance himself from you and the kids further, otherwise he will have to face what he has created. So he will cause further harm out of his cowardice. The other women has done the same with her family. They both will conspire to hide the damage they both created from the ashes of their vows. The wounds will take time to heal, give yourself the time you need. Stop the self talk that you should be over it. When you’re ready you will move on. Love your yourself and kids and don’t try and poison them. They will have to resolve this themselves. You have my heartfelt blessings on this journey that will be developing a new you.

  18. Stephanie Says:

    Dear Ben,
    My situation is different. My father and mother never married. She left with me (he knew about me) but didn’t wish to keep in touch with me. Not sure why? My early memories of him where when I spend summers at my grandparents and my grandfather took me to the store he worked at to see me and hold me. Never a call, never a card, he never made the efforts. Until recently when I found him on facebook. I again reached out. Conversations never said dad, daughter in them just how are you, you look happy. He would snoop into my life from afar and never get to know me. I made a stand on this new year to tell my dad how I felt wanting so much to have a relationship with him, get to know my half brothers ect. I heard nothing back. Then two of my half brothers connected withme on facebook, again nothing said. I messaged him immediately to find out if he told them how I was. I never heard a thing. So I watched as they posted on my status updates, very harmless one of them wrote a riddle, I posted the answer and in return he said “leave us alone, Don’t call his parents! and if I think this was bad just wait till I get his letter”. I immediately unfriended them on facebook and blocked them from my finding me again on there. I wrote my dad what had happened and asked that he not send me that letter as I am sure it was of hate and it would be too painful for me. I am sad. Why know that all children (4 boys, I am the only girl) are grown over 18 and out of the home is it hard for them to accept who I am. What would make a man just cut out and deny one child the right to know him, and his family health. I think about that alot as I am over 40. How can a parent just move on and forget about one child over others. He never had another daughter, only boys. I would love to know my half brothers. I WANT NOTHING from anyone of them. Just acknowledged and asked to be a part of his life. How could they not care to know me? God forbid they need a major organ and seek me out later, I can’t help but think I would not be there for them.
    Can you explain this please?

  19. Dr. David Eigen Says:

    Not sure who “Ben” is.
    As to your father. Perhaps the situation was very painful and you are opening new wounds, or they feel guilt and regret. The brothers you don’t know responded protectively as though you are trying destabilizing their dad. They are protecting him. Maybe they think you want something (money or support). Maybe dad is just an emotional coward. God only knows and you may never know. If he won’t connect, there is nothing you can do. You are making his choosing isolation from you personal. This is understandable, but his behavior have little to do with you. You don’t know what went on, or what his feelings were. You don’t know your mother’s part in all this, only that she was your mother. You hardly mentioned her, as though she was innocent “bit player,” in this situation. Perhaps she was the cause of all this and it was just too painful for him. What does your mother have to say about the breakup, ask her for the truth, demand it. You may still not get it. I would almost guarantee she has not told you the truth. If she is deceased ask her friends and relatives. Maybe you were taken away from him against his will, as father had little rights, especially if not married. You absolutely must realize that you are opening Pandora’s Box. Are you treating the wounded delicately, or being needy, pulling, demanding, or accusatory in tone? You were not the only one wounded! I am sorry, but you may never get to the truth.
    Also, as a child did you deep down inside blame yourself as though you weren’t lovable enough, or were at cause somehow? Forgiveness, the release of blame, of all and yourself is called for as part of the healing. Seek all assistance in this healing as it already has and will continue to affect your life until understood, released, and healed.

  20. Lindsay Says:

    I could never imagine leaving my babies, but my husband is ready to just get up and leave them – missing every milestone and giggle – just because he has decided that he hates me and his hate is stronger than his love for his children.

    I don’t particularly like him right now, but the happiness of my children are more important that my own. How come, it seems, men place their own happiness before that of their children?

    My husband is leaving a 3 year old, a 1 year old, and one in utereo. What I don’t understand is how he is capable of leaving? How is he capable of denying his own children – how can men live with themselves??

    I read your original post and some of the responses afterward and I still don’t get it – men are ‘taught’ to not care? Is that it? Even if their fathers were loving, caring fathers – how are they ‘taught’ to think of themselves before others?

  21. Jerry Hughes Says:

    WOW, Let me explain why a man looses hope and feels he has no options.

    Hello, I am father of 4 girls. 14,10,8 and 2. I love all my kids more then words can say. I was 16 when my first daughter was born, I was denied visitation before the baby was even born. I filed the paper work and went to court, about 5 separate times. The first 4 times the court continued it because the mother didn’t show up. The 5th time she didn’t show either. The judge told me I need to take parenting classes then I could have visitation every other weekend for 6 hours. So I drove 2 hours to the mother new boyfriends parents house to see our daughter. Oh and buy this point the baby called the new boyfriend daddy. I hung in there and was the best father I could be. I had a new girl friend and settled into a regular visitation schedule even able to bring her home for weekends. Things were going good until the new boyfriend got the mother of my daughter pregnant and left her. Then she found reasons why I could not see the baby. i.e.(I’d be late for pick up or drop off, my girlfriend was showing the baby bad habits) ext. So back to court we went. Not just for visitation but now I owed back child support. The mother of my daughter was collecting county aid and did not report the support I was giving her. The out come, I owed 10,000 in back support. I could no longer take the baby for weekends and I had to pay 336.00 a month in child support. Fine I dealt with it. Subsequently the mother of my child moved and didn’t tell me. I tried all I could but nothing was done. In 2009 I was searching the internet and found my daughters mother on myspace. I was told to go F myself and told my daughter wanted nothing to do with me. I laid off and a few months latter and they agreed to meet me. It had be 8 years and a lot of damage had been done. Although I didn’t feel it was true I took all the blame. The mother of my daughter had no problem bad mouthing me and made it perfectly clear I abandoned my daughter. I saw my daughter a for about 6 months. Nothing I could do was rite. After having an argument with the mother I was uninvited to my daughters 13th birthday party. I called my daughter and explained what happen but I was wrong and her mother could do no wrong. I have not seen her since. My daughter will not give me the time of day. She will be 15 in august. I don’t feel I have any option but to leave her alone. The courts have already shown that a father daughter relationship is second to mother and daughter. So can on of you people that seem to have all the answers and seem to do no wrong tell me how to battle a woman that only wants to sabotage a fathers relationship with their child.
    The disappointment does not stop there. In 2004 after 7 years together and 2 children the I was with and I broke up. I caught her in bed with one another man. I took her back then she cheated with 2 men that lived in our bldg. One of witch she stayed with. He ended up molesting our 4 and 6 year old daughters. I won’t go into detail but prior to that I tried to reach out to the court and cps. Needless to say nothing was done. I was considered a bitter ex boyfriend. Its sad it took my daughters getting molested for anybody to listen. I was granted custody of the girls. I volunteered to take parenting classes and go to personal counseling. The whole time I was under a microscope and the system was pushing to reunify the girls with their mother. Keep in mind she refused to give the police her boyfriends name so they could investigate. I was the one to take the girls to the police. So now its been a couple years and I decided I’d be nice and work out a 50% 50% physical custody arrangement. Well that ended up biting me in the rear. I live with My wife and our 2 year old daughter and I’ve lost count how many times my ex has call cps, and children council claiming child abuse. Ive been called a drug dealer, I’ve been called crazy. Our 2 year old had a cancer scare and do to my ex calling cps, every time we take the baby to children’s hospital there is a social worker there because my ex claims we didn’t take care of the babies heath needs. The case was closed but they still have to attend all future appointments until the doctors release the baby.I am truly afraid to have my older girls at my house in fear I say or do the wrong thing and I’ll lose not just them but our 2 year old as well. I have done nothing to harm my children, but because my ex is mad I have to live with the system looking over my shoulder. I’m told she can call as much as she wants and they have to investigate all reports. Until you live this way you can never know the stress it causes. With no help from the system my only option is to stay away to protect my youngest daughter, my wife and myself. By staying away it stops the access my ex needs to gain info she can potentially embellish to make it seem my children need to be removed from my home. I lost with out my kids. I’m also beat and trying to hold on for the daughter I do have. So tell me when will woman stop crying victim and start owning up to at least some fault, and the court needs to stop showing favoritism to the mother. If that happens maybe things would better. different,

  22. Genelle Says:

    This has provided an explanation for me. Thank you. I’m still deeply hurt that my children will one day be affected by the abandonment of their father. We aren’t divorced although he left me for someone 13 years younger and after 3 months of courting her, they live together. Needless to say I have filed for divorce because he makes the excuse of it being too expensive. He calls our children maybe twice a week to tell them how much he loves and misses them and I think this is very damaging. It’s just a constant reminder to them that he is not around (although 5 mins away). Recently he hasn’t made much effort to see them. When he does it’s never consistent. I use to think it was just him being selfish but I see that it may be much deeper. At one point I was calling and texting him about him being irresponsible. I see now that this may have pushed him further away. In the past two weeks I have made a vow to myself that I can’t compensate for his absence and I can’t pressure him to be in his children s lives. I have so much to say to him about his way of parenting but I know that’s not my job! Is there hope that he will one day live up to the promises of being a responsible parent?

  23. Jakes Mom Says:

    I am so sick of the excuses being made for the “men” that do this. It’s irresponsible, and very selfish. Who cares what is happening with the adults. It’s the child that matters. I can’t see any excuse or reason that is more important than an innocent child. My son is 3 and his father has never paid one dime in child support and he hasn’t seen him in over a year. Not even a phone call. But boo hoo, he feels like a failure…… Poor thing. That is just crazy!

  24. Renee Says:

    I’m 20 years old. My father left my sister and I about 13 years ago. For the first year or so we’d see him every (or every other) weekend. He up and married his girlfriend and moved out of the country with his new wife and her children. He was supposed to call me once a week; my mom would have to call and beg him to call my sister and I. Eventually she gave up on it and calls were fewer and fewer. On average, he would come and visit around once a year. When he moved back to the states, we saw him about twice a year. Though, I eventually noticed the random fall visits, he would come back to go to football games, not to see us. I caught him a few times! Really?!?!? He can go to football games and ignore the fact that I live in the same area!?

    My mom had me go live with him about 2.5 years ago for about 8 months. I would try to build a relationship with him. I would try talking to him about what was going on in my life, help him out in his shop, and would help him do chores just to be able to spend some time with him. Since I moved back to the city my mom lives in, I hardly ever talk to him. Occasionally I’ll send him a text and getting a reply back sometimes seems like it’s too much. I feel like I am holding on to a lost cause but I still don’t want to give up.

    I don’t know if this is affecting my behavior. I don’t think I can (or don’t let myself) love to my full potential. I love my boyfriend of over 1 year but I feel like I’m the one being distant. There are days I see my father in myself. I hate that I love my father, so very deeply.

  25. Dr. David Eigen Says:

    I understand the pain you are feeling. Your father has issues with openness as do a lot of men caused by societies training. You probably will never get the love you desire so much, in the way you want, from him. You might see if he is showing it in other ways you are not noticing. I would see a counselor as these issues are affecting your life and other will feel overwhelmed or rejected as you project these issues on them. You will need to heal these issues in order to have a lasting loving relationship.

  26. Mrs. Devastated Says:

    Married for 18 yrs to the most lovable, caring, sweetest man. Never said a mean thing to me. We went threw allot to start our family 4 IVF’s 1 son 13.We’ve had problems all marriages do. He had a gambling problem lost the house & everything. In 5yrs we got it back. I stayed with him he made a mistake this is my family we can fix this; you hold your family together. 2008 he became very moody, irritable around us, he was tired working lot. Got to be he wouldn’t do family things, avoided us & the bills weren’t being paid. Promises, days off, activists with our son broken.He had CHF in 2009 & a D,FIB put in June. I begged him for us to work on being a happy family again & about a week before our anniversary I told him I couldn’t live like this & if nothing was going to get better a divorce would be better he cried tears & all pointing to his heart who would want him like this & that he loved us & we would fix this. On our anniversary a text on his cell (I love you) I didn’t tell him I seen it. Called 2 days later asked him, he said nothing so I called the # found out. When he got home He cussed me out said things I never heard out of his mouth. I filed for Divorcé, he refused to leave & is still cheating & would walk by me telling me what kind of sex they had his feeling towards her. He went at our son cussing over homework telling him he had a girlfriend had sex hugged & kissed her & told him about her children & asked my son to take her son fishing. My son started waking up crying doing badly in school stopped playing with friends. I do have him in counseling now. I also begged his dad to go he refuses. He moved 3months later only comes every other weekend to see our son. Text & calls started to stop & now about 3 weeks ago my son finally spoke up to his dad demanding he stop seeing this women she knew he was married and had a family (remember he told our son everything)that as long as has with her he wants nothing to do with him. My son asked his dad to choose Him or that women. His dad told him that’s not a choice & he said to my son don’t you want dad to be happy. My son said me my mom didn’t have a choice I don’t have a choice that my dads not here with me everyday. Next I heard him call his dad a coward and hung up the phone. Now he won’t answer the calls or text messages. His Dad has made no effort in fixing his relationship with our son a week ago he stopped by just for 1 min my son locked himself in his room wouldn’t speak to him. My husband said what do you want me to do. I told him, What do you think you should do & how sad that your son is telling you what he needs from you to fix this & be his dad you told him your not choosing your the adult & I said your son has more morals & knows right from wrong than you do. You should be coming to him not him to you. Then he walked out & left. He leaves my son the same message over & over I love you, I miss you, call me. Just finding out allot about a man I thought was so different very Narcotic the lies, manipulating just found out he has cheated several times one of them told me he might even have a kid but wont admit I never knew any of this he hid it well thinking he is narcissistic has sex addictions & with the gambling it coincides. Im feeling lost betrayed makes me feel dirty what he could have brought home how you could do this to your family and look them in the face & show no respect no remorse no love & demand respect from your son & want me to condone you & when I wont he says why do I need to act like this what did I do wrong REALLY.I hope in a way he does stay away I think for my son it would be better. I do everyday tell him I love you! You’re a good kid & everything will be ok. He said I don’t want to be like dad. When I grow up I will be everything he’s not….. Thank you Dr Eigen.

  27. ann Says:

    My sons father and I had a 3 year relationship. Things seemed to be pretty much fine (Really fairly calm relationship). He did show emotional issues around what he seemed to obsess over hos mother being mistreated by his father. He would literally cry and go on for hours recounting his wounds caused by his father and what his father did to his mother and how he thought everything else was more important than his family. When we first were intimate we asked me could I really love him and I strived to do just that. Whenever he withdrew because of what he felt was his in abilities I pressed in thinking this was showing him the love he wanted. He said we would get married when I got pregnant and then he starting having severe anxiety attacks which he blamed on him losing his hair. He idolized his mother and she did not like me because I had a child out of wedlock. She told him if he married me she would have a heart attack. He did express concern on not wanting to hurt his mother. Long story short he left out of the Blue when I was 8 months pregnant moved 3000 miles away. Told his family that he was trying to protect himself me so don’t tell me where he was. I still said I would love him thru this counting it off as fear. He didn’t come to see our son until he was 3 months old. His parents came before he did. When he finally came to see him we tried to 6 months to work it out and he disappeared again for the last 10 months. This time I didn’t say anything to his family so that he would have nothing to point the finger at me about. He recently sent a message thru his father that he doesn’t want to even be a part of our sons life that he just wants to pay child support. The reason he stated is because he doesn’t want to be around me. His father said he said it is the hardest decision he has ever had to make (are you kidding me) The part that hurts the most is what does he have to use me a a scapegoat instead of being honest. All I ever did was love him. His family does seem to see a problem with this, but the want me to field their phone calls day and night and send pictures, when they don’t even care tthat his father has seen him only 5 times. He has me scratching my head trying to figure out what did I do so worng. I wonder having a good relationship with his dad was the reason? Why don’t they fight harder to break this pattern. In his mind is it really me as the reason, the women that has patiently waited out all of the leaving, crying, anxiety, reliving of childhood trama?

  28. ann Says:

    Dr.Eigen I am really looking forward to your reply to my above posting.Thank you, Ann

  29. tasha Says:

    Men refuse to evolve, grow up, man up and own up! This is an observable FACT! Now it is not ALL men, but the mass majority. And I am still trying to figure out what happened exactly to these men in the past 2 decades. But men love to make choices of their own and take no responsibility for it. And what is even more pathetic is they like to point the finger at WOMEN for what they themselves did or helped to create. It is about high time that men start owning themselves and stop being cowards! And what domino effect this causes is that women, due to the irresponsibility of men, find the strength, courage, resources, and wisdom to soldier on inspite of the injustice. And what happens then? Men are left with themselves and their spineless counterparts in their caves having a big ole pity party, bashing those of us who CHOSE to live with some integrity and courage. Please! You guys are getting left behind and medical science is making it to where us women don’t really need you. Hey, if you don’t evolve you will get left behind! MOTHER nature will see to that! And you know what, maybe you should. Us more evolved beings can start over and begin to create a generation of sons that EXCEL and EVOLVE and you losers can be a thing of the past!

  30. Jess Says:

    Three years ago I suffered a stroke and became reliant on my husband for support. We have two teenage children. When we lost my income, he became very depressed. During my rehabilitation he sank further into depression, lost his job, required hospitalisation. I recovered to the point of being able to go back to work part-time. However, I felt pressure to work harder because we needed my income. He was now unemployed. Our marriage suffered. He became difficult to talk with and very quarrelsome. However, he has recovered enough now to recently leave the family and is living a bachelor’s life,. I feel resentful because I have been left with all the responsibility for physical maintenance of a large house, pets and children, as well as an uncertain future because of the link between second stroke and stress. I am having to work full time to support us, while still recovering from a brain haemorrhage and my husband is blaming me for sabotaging the relationship.
    Our couples counsellor describes his behaviour as passive-aggressive.
    I just want him to take some of the responsibility for the family, because I am afraid of having another stroke.
    It feels as if he is trying to punish me for daring to depend on him.
    I dont understand how he could possibly continue to put my health at further risk, not to mention leaving his children at such a time. He acts surprised when I say that I will help him to move out in order to establish some boundaries. He visits and has only taken essential belongings with him. It is hard for me to move on because his furniture and most belongings are in every room of the house.
    I dont believe there is another woman involved but I almost wish there was, because I cant believe what he has done. It’s not as if I ever acted like a victim. I’ve worked hard to recover. But I now have to take care of everyone at a time when I could really use some looking after, myself. He is projecting a heap of attitudes onto me, such as martyrdom and immaturity.
    I just wish I could understand what the heck is going on.

  31. Kerrie Says:

    The latest scientific research into Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) was undertaken in Korea and published in May 2011. The study controlled for cultural differences and compliance issues, and found that approx. 1 in 38 Korean school children had some degree of ASD. The core disability of this condition is lack of empathy and egocentrism. This figure has escalated from previous estimates of 1 in 200. ASDs which are undiagnosed in childhood do not suddenly disappear when the person is an adult, but it is often difficult for professionals to detect. Social psychologists consistently ignore the neurological facts of human nature and focus on environmental and social factors. I was married to a man with an ASD for 26 years, and my son is also on the spectrum. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, he decided he didn’t want the responsibility of caring for me and left. His son has suffered so much, and at one stage did not leave the house for 2 years. He was functioning well before my husband left, and we had a happy family life. I now care for my son, and have given up any hope for a “normal” life. The post by Stephanie Sheehan above seems to reveal a similar situation where her son is diagnosed, and her undiagnosed husband has fled. Women on the spectrum are also known to leave their families, and Cambridge Uni is currently researching the incidence of women on the Autism Spectrum. I would advise any women reading this post to Google ASDs and start really learning about why some men run away. It is because every aspect of their lives is all about them. They do not have the neurological wiring to anticipate the distress and heartache that such an act can cause to the family left behind. They are children in adult bodies.

  32. child support Says:

    fathers for justice…

    David G. Eigen, Ph.D. ™ » Why Men Leave Their Children…

  33. suz Says:

    The point is men should never abandon their children and we shouldn’t blame the mother Dr.Eigen. You are just making excuses for your male counterparts.
    The lack of moral conscience of these men is utterly disgusting. Shame on them!

  34. kathy Says:

    I understand that for a variety of reasons men want to escape the monotony of the child rearing years – I can understand this, dealing with babies and preschoolers is hard – yes, even for us women. I simply do not understand why it is considered so ACCEPTABLE for people (especially men) to break promises, to run off with other people and to never stick around long enough to experience unconditional love for a partner. That means that you do not always have to LIKE someone, but you know that you will always love them. ANd that is not the same as infatuation, or lust or falling “in love”, which of course is a hormonal response that all human beings (male or female) can relate to. However, we are sentient beings, capable of rising above our primordial responses, no? And there are many examples in humanity and in other animals of the ability to form lasting and meaningful bonds, that do not break just because a sexy secretary eyes us up while the wife is home in sweats with the pooping infants? Furthermore, what did these men see in the women that they married, that made them love them enough at some point to make vows? To DECIDE to have children with them? No. I am sorry. I can see WHY men might find fatherhood and husbandhood overwhelming at times, but what I do not understand is why we condone them running because of that – there is a double standard of epic proportions. If todays highly-educated, competitive FEMALE was to dump her husband AND children in similar circumstances then society would still ostracise her to a great degree. Sorry, but whatever point you are trying to make here, the abandoning father does not deserve quite as much sympathy and understanding as you are trying to make out, whatever pain they might feel is outweighed a hundred fold by the women and children that they leave behind…

  35. Vato03 Says:

    I am in a situation where I am deciding to leave my wife and the children are in the middle of it. I can’t take the emotional abuse from her anymore. I think the only reason we are still living together is because of financial reasons. She wanted a divorce in June and then changed her mind to a separation. Once I was laid off from her father’s company, we decided to live together until one of us finds a job. I am guilty too of verbal abuse (direct attacks; u r controlling, u r selfish). I am leaving my kids physically but not emotionally. I love my kids and I will always be part of their lives. My wife says I am abandoning them. I believe I am far from doing that. I plan to call or web cam with them as much as possible, know what’s going on in their lives, get visitation as much as possible. The hard part for me is that they will remain here on the east coast and I want to move to the west coast. It’s just not a black and white situation, so don’t judge so quickly. My wife and I are unemployed and our savings is running out. We had planned to move back to the west coast where my family and friends live, she also lived there for a few years, that’s where we met. I left the west coast 6 years ago when she got pregnant. She was living in Alaska at the time and I picked up and moved to Alaska. Because that’s what I wanted to do (sacrifice) and be part of my sons life. It made sense for me to move up to Alaska because my wife (girlfriend at the time) had just got a promotion and bought a condo. It was easier for me to move up there. I was a stay at home dad for four years supporting my wife’s career. We got married two years later and moved to the east coast for her job. We bought a house and I continued to be a stay at home dad. After two years on the east coast and after our second son was born she wanted to stay at home with our kids. I was more than happy to switch roles and supported her decision. I started looking for a job and after a couple of months I went to the west coast by myself, living with family to look for work. I was out there for three months and didn’t find a job. Then her father’s employer had an opening and I decided to accept it. We decided to stay here on the east coast but knowing that I wanted to move back to the west coast. I worked from home so I could work from anywhere. We tried selling our house and couldn’t get an offer we were okay with. Took the house off the market and wanted to wait after winter to put it back on the market. Then after winter she said she didn’t want to move to the west coast because our relationship isn’t where she wants it to be. We don’t have any family near us and only a couple of friends here. We both have kind of unhappy here. We currently became good friends with our neighbors so that makes things a little better. The nearest family members are her parents and brother and they live 8 hours away. I believe having family and friends in our lives are important. I became depressed the last year and half. I am making progress getting out of this depression. I told my wife that I wasn’t happy here on the east coast and wanted to move back to the west coast. I have always been around family and friends and think that is a big part of life. I had told her when I moved to Alaska that I don’t mind moving around for a few years but want to move back to the west coast at some point. I want to raise my kids on the west coast near family and friends. I expressed this to her this past year and half and told her that I need her to support me on this decision to move back to the west coast. I told her I wasn’t happy here on the east coast. She said she wasn’t moving until our relationship is stable. I told her we can move to the west coast where we will have family and friend support to work on our relationship. We don’t have any support here besides our neighbors and that’s limited. I told her the move to the west coast is what I think would be best for our relationship and for the family. She still thinks it’s not the best thing for her or the kids because of our separation. I don’t even want to separate but she is adamant about a separation. I think a separation tells someone to deal with your own stuff on your own. So it’s inevitable to avoid a separation with her at this time. She says she wants to give it a year before she decides to file for a divorce, to see if we can work things out. She has withdrawn all affection and continues to emotionally abuse me. This leads me to leave her. I can’t take the emotional abuse anymore. The down side to this is that I can’t take my kids because the state won’t allow me and I can’t prove she’s a drug addict or an unfit mother. So it’s not an easy situation. I need to find a job and that’s why I want to move back to the west coast now. i have looked for jobs here too but money is running out. I just feel like I have been betrayed from my wife. I supported her career and moved to places for her career the past six years. Once I asked for her support, she says no. Please let me know your thoughts. She tells me I am abandoning the kids by moving but I think she and the state are keeping them hostage and trapped here. I want my kids to go with me; I even want my wife to come with me too. I explained to her that it makes sense to me that the kids can be watched by family and friends rather than some strangers. She will be raising them by herself. I just feel like that if I stay here, I will continue living her life and not my own and not introducing my kids to what I think life is about. This also goes with me being depressed the past year. I want them to see the happy and loving me, not saying that I haven’t been but really enjoying life and living what I think life is about, family and friends, and not being sequestered in our home every evening and weekend. Sorry for my post being so long, I am just going through some tough decisions right now and would like some feedback.

  36. Mother of four Says:

    I am reading all the stories with such empathy and heart ache. I fell in love in my teens with a man that idolized me.We were the centre of each others world. I loved him deeply and still do. Just as some of the women above have related to , he had a problem past with abusive parents. They made our married life very hard, picking on me but not in front of him. He had severe temper tantrums , leading to holes in the wall, a few times directed at me! Pregnancy was the times when he became worse. When I put him out for his behaviour he tried to hang himself in the garage. After which he went to a psychiatric hospital for a week and I was told to leave him as he was a bully. Our kids were 2-7, four of them. We separated for a while and he did everything he could to resolve the problems. He went on the police domestic violence course, marriage counseling and personal counseling. I went to counseling too. I took him back and we kept his parents away for seven years.
    We bought a mobile at the sea and gradually the behaviour seemed to settle.
    I adored him. We made a whole new life with the locals by the sea and this was our happiest time. The locals adored him too and he became a local face. Sadly my relations bought four mobiles beside us. One aunt targeted our marriage every summer as her own was so unhappy. One cousin had an affair and later his wife, my friend had her boss in her mobile from dawn to dusk, which led to suspicions of an affair. I was scapegoated as being the person who suspected the affair by my aunts so I refused to go back to the caravan. My husband was attacked in a street brawl and had 17 stitches in his face. He went after a few boys that threw a bottle at him and tried to punch them when all the fathers came out of the pub and beat him up the street.
    His sister and I had words the day after her wedding and he took her side so i left. When I came back to see the kids he stared at me as if he hated me and had the kids doing all the housework. He then left and I came home after two weeks and he never came back. He took the caravan as his own and got a flat near his sister.
    On face book he slagged me off as a desperate ex house wife to my aunt that has always attacked my marriage. She typed in she was laughing but not to bring her into it as he had put his foot in it. She asked him what other women he would like now as in what race. She slagged off marriage and prenupts etc, and I learned that she as an accountant was helping him do his division of assets for my solicitor.

    I confronted my aunt and was very upset. She punched me and I went to the police and filed a complaint of harassment and assault. I went to my gp with a bruised collar bone and was referred to social services.

    My dad accepted my wishes to take him back ten years ago . Now he says don’t. The kids are now 12-19.Mum is in lala land expecting him to sweep me off my feet. She gave me an ultimatum to tell the police I had wasted their time or loose her and dads support. Dad had a word with her and she withdrew. She continues to go behind my back and think my husband and her sister are only trying to help me.

    As I write this almost Coronation Street story, keeping in mind I am a professional lady, with a Master’s Degree, and can see patterns. I was the person to mind the kids and earn the money for the house. His business is worth 50thousand plus and I now have dept as I have no savings.

    As I write this, I can see that I blamed his parents for his behaviour, my aunt, anyone but face the truth about the person I loved.

    I cry everyday but I am rebuilding my life with my four very grounded happy kids. I loved being married and going out to meals knowing he was there , but when he stopped protecting me and providing for us as a family I got my eyes open.

    I get afraid but I take each day as a separate day. I have blamed him etc but now

  37. Mother of four Says:

    I am reading all the stories with such empathy and heart ache. I fell in love in my teens with a man that idolized me.We were the centre of each others world. I loved him deeply and still do. Just as some of the women above have related to , he had a problem past with abusive parents. They made our married life very hard, picking on me but not in front of him. He had severe temper tantrums , leading to holes in the wall, a few times directed at me! Pregnancy was the times when he became worse. When I put him out for his behaviour he tried to hang himself in the garage. After which he went to a psychiatric hospital for a week and I was told to leave him as he was a bully. Our kids were 2-7, four of them. We separated for a while and he did everything he could to resolve the problems. He went on the police domestic violence course, marriage counseling and personal counseling. I went to counseling too. I took him back and we kept his parents away for seven years.
    We bought a mobile at the sea and gradually the behaviour seemed to settle.
    I adored him. We made a whole new life with the locals by the sea and this was our happiest time. The locals adored him too and he became a local face. Sadly my relations bought four mobiles beside us. One aunt targeted our marriage every summer as her own was so unhappy. One cousin had an affair and later his wife, had her boss in her mobile from dawn to dusk, which led to suspicions of an affair. I was scapegoated as being the person who suspected the affair by my aunts so I refused to go back to the caravan. My husband was attacked in a street brawl and had 17 stitches in his face. He went after a few boys that threw a bottle at him and tried to punch them when all the fathers came out of the pub and beat him up the street.
    His sister and I had words the day after her wedding and he took her side so i left. When I came back to see the kids he stared at me as if he hated me and had the kids doing all the housework. He then left and I came home after two weeks and he never came back. He took the caravan as his own and got a flat near his sister.
    On face book he slagged me off as a desperate ex house wife to my aunt that has always attacked my marriage. She typed in she was laughing but not to bring her into it as he had put his foot in it. She asked him what other women he would like now as in what race. She slagged off marriage and prenupts etc, and I learned that she as an accountant was helping him do his division of assets for my solicitor.

    I confronted my aunt and was very upset. She punched me and I went to the police and filed a complaint of harassment and assault. I went to my gp with a bruised collar bone and was referred to social services.

    My dad accepted my wishes to take him back ten years ago . Now he says don’t. The kids are now 12-19.Mum is in lala land expecting him to sweep me off my feet. She gave me an ultimatum to tell the police I had wasted their time or loose her and dads support. Dad had a word with her and she withdrew. She continues to go behind my back and think my husband and her sister are only trying to help me.

    As I write this almost Coronation Street story, keeping in mind I am a professional lady, with a Master’s Degree, and can see patterns. I was the person to mind the kids and earn the money for the house. His business is worth 50thousand plus and I now have dept as I have no savings.

    As I write this, I can see that I blamed his parents for his behaviour, my aunt, anyone but face the truth about the person I loved.

    I cry everyday but I am rebuilding my life with my four very grounded happy kids. I loved being married and going out to meals knowing he was there , but when he stopped protecting me and providing for us as a family I got my eyes open.

    I get afraid but I take each day as a separate day. I have blamed him etc but now I am on day 21 of a 90 day no contact. I had a restraining order and court arranged for him and my aunt but cancelled due to my own mental ability to carry it out.

    I pray to Arch Angel Michael, and go to Reiki which has helped so much. My kids are my world.

    I am a therapist myself and I find it hard to let him go as I never ‘fixed him’.

    Now I am taking time for me. When I take time for me I am being a better mother.

    For all you mothers out there, a big hug and take good care of yourselves.

  38. tango Says:

    Let me just say this from a mans perspective since the comments seems to be all from women other than Vato03’s comment of course. The thing about this situation is that its not always black and white nor is it always a mans fault or womens fault for broken families occuring. It takes two to tango? Ever heard of that? Well its true.

    For one I’ve seen other relationships fall by the wayside in my time. Friends and in my own family but what I notice in each occurence is that one blames the other when the other whomever it is – man or women is never present to plead their side of the story usually.

    What I saying here is its a two way street. For one, women dont seem to understand men nor do men understand women which is as old as the the creation of the world.

    Now, Im a married man and have been for over elven years now. Me and my wife have seen the sun and rain meaning the good times and the bad. But this is what life is in a nut shell. We both are responsiable for eachother and its this statement that I will state my case.

    When one or both in a marriage dont line up meaning the man and women are both jointly unified in the marriage there is a speration both physically and emotionally. Nothing is worse than this in my perspective because one or both are seperated usually long before the actual seperation takes place.

    Two, or second statement. This is personal and hard to talk about. I dont know if my wife is or will ever cheat on me but that fear is always present and its called rejection. However, four years ago I told her I didn’t love her out of anger and hurt. Now who’s fault is it? Is it mine or hers with our problems? Do you see what Im saying here people? Its both of us because the reason I told her I didn’t love her in the first place was in my mind and heart I thought she really didn’t love me in the first place. So out of pride (pride exists in both men and women equally by the way!) I told her this thinking I was one step ahead in her… game.

    Now that I reflect back on this I see that it takes two to tango! What one does to one is not always one’s fault entirely. Now those who haven’t seen there dads for years I could never have imagined the pain you have been going through. But keep in mind its almost never one sided. Where as from a a women’s prespective I’ve seen verbal abuse towards a man credited to “the time of the month” or other things but what women dont understand and probably never will is that the number one thing a man desires from a women is respect. If he doesn’t get it from numbero uno he might try to find it else where. But a women needs love right? If she doesn’t get it she might go outside of the marriage to find it so likewise its a two way street here. Its easy to blame one or another but more likely than not both should be blamed for a failed relationship.

  39. tango Says:

    One more thing. Lately or the last couple of years I have entertained thoughts of leaving my wife and our daughter as well. Like I said before its never easy nor do I like thinking this way. I dont want to leave nor do I want this seperation in our marriage occuring. I dont have another women waiting in the wings nor do I want another women.. really? I was single for years before this marriage and had money and a great job, life, etc.. and I knew marriage was at least for me a one-time-thing. My parents are as of today still together and I never witnessed a broken home like many of you have but there again what is good for some is not always good for others. So I feel for all of you. I dont think its a case of a man or woman here I think its a case of both not getting what they want out of their relationships. Kids or children is what makes this whole thing of leaving so wrong and immoral but sometimes its nessary. Personally, if it hadn’t been for my daughter I would had left by now but she is what is keeping me in my marriage. I know that sounds like a excuse but its not. I dont want to be the bad guy or a weak person so I stick in there and fight (not meaning with my wife) but fight to keep our marriage together one way or another. I dont blame my wife if she is cheating but I cant say I wont be effected by it in some way either as I cheated myself not physically but emotionally which is just the same. So to those reading whatever your reason for hating or blaming is look pased that and take responsibility for your emotions and actions man or women. I could have easily cheated physically on my wife in the past (Im not bragging here) since Im much younger than her by twelve years and quite frankly a handsome looking man as I get attention from other women day-to-day in one form or another. I oculd easily say to heck with it and go to bed with someone. But now I know this is not the answer to cheat back or cheat first or cheat at all. For if that be the case what is the purpose of a marriage anyway? To lie and cheat? And my daughter? What about her? You see its a two way street. If i take a wrong turn then my wife will to as to say if I go down she and my family will also and likewise for her. So one does not act alone in a marriage as there’s always two (never knew anyone married to themselves although many act this way) and in todays ever changing world where a mans income alone might not be enough to live on or a womens for that matter I see vetos problem. But VATO AS A MAN YOU NEED TO TAKE THE LEAD – YOU ARE THE MAN HERE NOT HER. SO IF YOU WANT TO MOVE TO THE WEST COAST DO IT AND SHE DOES NOT FOLLOW THEN THERE’S HER ANSWER. I KNOW THAT DOESN’T SOUND RESPONSIBLE ON YOUR PART BUT YOU NEED TO MAKE MONEY FOR YOUR FAMILY AND BY ALL MEANS POSSIBLE. GET A JOB. IF YOU CANT GET A GOOD JOB GO TO COLLEGE AND NETWORK MEANING MAKE FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES AND MAKE IT A GOAL IN YOUR LIFE TO BE THE BREAD WINNER. SHE WILL FOLLLOW IF SHE RESPECTS YOU. IF SHE DOESN’T SHE WAS NEVER ON YOUR SIDE TO BEGIN WITH AND DOESN’T RESPECT YOU. I feel for you brother. I make the money, have been to college more years than I could count and have worked three jobs including my own business so I know where your coming from. Dont give up. Dont give in! Be your own man for your kids and for you not her! She should follow your lead not the other way around and dont listent o equallity talk either. It not the position a man is in a marriage. But a good spiritual example and leader of his family. Just remeber that please.

  40. Alan Hernshaw Says:

    This page is to serve to set out the facts, and to potentially warn other interested parties of the operation of this person – so as to avoid falling into the same trap I did.
    I will simply outline the facts as happened to me.

    About a year-and-a-half ago, I met this (I thought) wonderful woman. She seemed very “grounded”, level headed, and sincere.
    She did tell me that she was a recovering alcoholic, but, as she seemed so stable, I really didn’t set much store by it. Indeed, she now works as a counselor at the Dekalb CSB in Dekalb county, Atlanta, Georgia for people with substance abuse problems.

    She really “drove” the relationship. I guess that the fierce manner in which she drove the relationship should have been a red flag to me, but I was totally taken in, and enjoying every moment of it.
    Quite early on, she told me that she was “madly in love” with me. After some months, she said to me: “If you ask me, I’ll say yes.” Obviously referring to marriage. On the strength of this, I purchased an engagement ring, and, on a holiday in England, I proposed. We seemed to be deliriously happy.
    She was amazingly affectionate and loving. She told me that I was “the one”, and that she intended to spend the next thirty years with me. In December of last year, she asked me to move in with her and her children. This I did. There was no friction in the relationship. No arguments. Everything seemed wonderful up to the very end.

    We were due to be married on the 20th of July, 2011. We had arranged the minister, bought the rings, I had purchased a $3,000 cruise as a honeymoon. We had booked flights to San Juan to join the ship. About $6,000 was spent on the wedding and honeymoon.

    One week before everything went wrong, she texted me: “I love you sooooo much. Thanks for my happy life.”
    One day before everything went wrong, she texted me to tell me she had bought the wedding dress.
    Two and a half weeks before the wedding date, she suddenly announced that she wanted to call off the wedding. I was blind-sided. She would give no valid reason. We agreed to continue the relationship, but within a week, it was obvious that she had moved right along to destroying all vestiges of the relationship. She refused to go to counselling. I had to move out.
    The very next day, her house was efficiently “cleansed” of all traces of me. My belongings had been expertly gathered and packed. All photographs had been removed and put in the trash. It was like I had never been there. The locks were changed before I had a chance to give her the key back.

    I still have no valid reason for this behaviour. She sent me e-mail messages telling me that she’ll “always love me”, that I will always be “the best thing that ever happened to her”, will “always worry about me”, but still no valid reason why she did what she did, other than she’s a “broken human-being who will probably never be fixed” (her words).
    On talking to her daughter, she tearfully informed me that she knew that this was going to happen. I asked how she knew this. While she was trying to formulate her thoughts, I suggested: “Is it a pattern?”. Her daughter said: “Yes”.
    I have since found that this seems to be her “Modus Operandi”. I have also found out that she had ended a two-year relationship in a similar manner exactly two weeks before she went out dating – and met me.
    I have good reason to believe she ended her previous two marriages, and all previous relationships, in a similar manner. She once related to me an account of her saying to a previous victim (and I’m paraphrasing): “You don’t know who you’re dealing with. I picked up my two kids, left my husband, and moved to another country.” She was right. I didn’t know who I was dealing with.

    When she “turned” overnight, that loving, sweet, affectionate person I thought I had known for the last year-and-a-half became this cold, dispassionate person who acted like I was simply a stranger to be tolerated until the “interview” was over. I was never to see the original Sheila Nugent again.

    Obviously, on a personal level, I have been devastated. I really thought we were the perfect couple, and that I had an amazingly strong, and healthy relationship.
    Financially, and work-wise, it has really set me back. I work from home, and, because of security restrictions, I could only access the necessary servers from her house. My house had been shut down, and I had no electricity there, nor Internet.
    She dropped the “bomb” at the beginning of a three-day weekend. (Update: because of this mess, I lost my main client for my computer business and effectively am rendered unemployed.)

    Aside from the emotional turmoil and devastation, which I don’t mind admitting, has been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with, I am out a significant amount financially.
    She did present me with some calculations she had done, and gave me about $900. Of course, this doesn’t begin to reimburse me for all the costs involved in this debacle, but, at the time, I was too much “in a fog” to pay much attention to it. She said she “wished she could give me more, but she doesn’t have it.”
    Within days, she bought herself a new car, booked flights for vacations to see friends and family, and purchased a set of new clothes.

    I have struggled to find answers to what went on here. Some of the behaviours align with those of people with Borderline Personality Disorder, but other “indicators”, she doesn’t seem to have. Of course, this pattern of getting a “high” with a new relationship, until the novelty wears off – or until it seems an actual commitment (rather than a verbal one) is imminent – and then destroying it to be able to move on to the next “high”, is indicative of an addictive personality which could be related to her alcoholism.
    At the end of the day, I simply have to reconcile myself with the fact that it’s simply what she does. Her ruthless efficiency at destroying a relationship is frightening to behold – particularly if you’re one of the unfortunate souls at the receiving end of such treatment.

    So, in summary, if you find yourself the current victim of Sheila Nugent, and are currently in the “honeymoon phase” where you think you’ve struck gold, beware of her history. There are signs of it for you to see, but they are subtle at best.
    It seems that she drives relationships so hard so as to gain the full attention and adoration of her latest “beau”. Once she has you fully hooked, then the next stage is your destruction. She will do it via e-mail.

    You may think, as I did, that it won’t happen to you. I used to hear her reasons as to why she ended previous relationships, and think: “Wow, that was harsh”, but, given how she always told me that I was so totally different and special to her, I foolishly believed her, and thought it wouldn’t happen to me.

  41. Kelsey Says:

    It was interesting reading this and others stories. Mine is a little different but the same idea. I am 20 years old and 4 months pregnant. I considered everything at first amd decided I couldn’t have an abortion. It was my boyfriend who said he couldnt give the baby up for adoption so we made plans to raise the baby. His mom flew out to help us get started and figure some things out. A few days later he said he was out and that i should get an abortion. I think his family put him in a difficult situation and would have cut him off if he stayed in the US with me. I get that and I spend so much of my time trying to underatand how he could make so many promises and then completely abandon me and his child. After he left a few days later he texted me saying he still loved me and that he would step up but aine then our communication has dwindled to nothing. I just want to know how I should handle this. I don’t want to push him away further for the sake of my son but I feel helpless. I want to at least inform him when his son is born and give him the opportunity to step up but I don’t know how or when to give up. Yes he is young, but I am younger. I have every reason to be scared too, I’ll never understand even though I desperately want to.

  42. Dr. David Eigen Says:

    He is immature, self involved, ill prepared and maybe controlled by his family. If you choose to have your baby, I am sorry to have to say, but you maybe doing it on your own. AND you may never get the understanding you want. Right now, it is your experience and he neither wants, nor is able to share it. What the future brings I cannot say.

  43. db Says:

    My wife decided to divorce me because i was severly depressed for 5 years.this was a result of work stress due to layoffs. I was a good bread winner for 17 years. I had a son with my high school sweat heart and raised him alone after finding her with another man. It took me ten years to find my wife, i was very distrustful of women. My wife and i had a child who was 13 when we seperated.i spent a year trying to get help for my depression and finally found out that i had bipolar, severe depressionan and PTSD. My wife tried to make me jealous in order to get me to leave and had an emotional affair if not a physical one with my sons best friends dad. Now i feel so flawed and worthless that i quit talking to my son and probably will not ever try and contact him. I lost all paternal feelings and the pain of seeing him once a year is to much to take. Call me a deadbeat dad, a loser, th ats what my wife says. Now i am going on SSD and he will get a check from uncle sam.i will try and find some happiness doing things i like with my idle time. I am completely wrecked and will never be able to show my child how much i love him. Better to say goodby than to show him what a flawed useless man his father is. So for all you women who wonder why, here it is.

  44. cc Says:

    My ex husband left us four years ago. Not an explanation, not a goodbye. He just left. A month later he was living with a girl 12 years younger than him. She was his “soulmate”. You can guess how many soulmates he’s had since then. He called our children maybe 4 times, then that was it. He just didn’t care. Fast forward three years. Our son got cancer, relapsed, and was on his deathbed. Dad then wanted to see him. The condition was that if he visited, he was going to be in his life. He came, visited my dying child, left, and was never heard from again. Broke my child’s heart. Again. He barely pays child support, yet goes on expensive vacations with his new girlfriend and her son, to whom he’s now playing daddy. Don’t get me wrong – if this is the man he is, I’m thankful that he’s not in our lives. But there will be no explanation that he could ever give that would justify walking away from his children. He is a disgusting creature. Period.

  45. Clara Says:

    I am so shocked at some of the rubbish stated here. First and foremost I am a mother. I work to support myself and my son. My ex and I were together only three months when I got pregnant but we decided to make a go of things for the child’s sake. We were both 19. I was incredibly scared and my family, though supportive where very disappointed that I cut my college course short to raise my son. My ex was very supportive during the pregnancy but from the moment my son was born I noticed the change in him. He got fired from his job when the baby was two weeks old and then began a ridiculous cycle of working jobs for a matter of two or three months before walking out. I supported him fully. I grew up in a one parent family because my mother died when I was three and my father raised me and my siblings alone so I fought to save my son the heartache of missing a parent. I listened, I supported and I trusted. I was wrong. My son is now ten and he is so confused about why his father just does not want to spend time with him. We were a couple til the child was 1 and broke up then because we had grown apart and did not want to be together. Since then I have noticed that the father will spend time with the child as long as he is single but when he meets a new girlfriend he stops without warning. When child was younger I could say things like he’s working or hell see you soon but as we are in another cycle now and it’s been five months a ten year old knows. What I don’t understand is that I never stopped him seeing his son, I never had a mother but I had a fantastic dad so I know dads can be great and my feelings about my ex are unimportant. I just want my son to be happy. I wish my ex all the best. He doesn’t pay child support because he is unemployed for the last three and a half years even though he is only thirty but I don’t want or need his money. I just want my son to have a relationship that is consistent with his father. When they are in contact I drive the child to meet his dad and pick him up after. I don’t criticise the fact that he regularly has no plans to do anything other than watch telly with him because I know my son just wants to see him . I bite my tongue when I see my son hasn’t had anything to eat while with his dad because he doesn’t want to be a nuisance by asking for things in case he doesn’t want to see him again, ( ten years olds actual words) . The “doctor” on this website is willing to offer all excuses and reasons for why men behave badly but the simple truth is that some men are assholes and don’t know a good thing, a beautiful innocent child, when they see it. And please don’t offer the banal excuse that he is immature that you have offered to some parents because we both became parents at 20 he just chose not to understand the meaning of the word. I have noticed you only reply to those issues you feel you can explain away but please if nothing else answer my sons simple question: is it ok to miss my dad and hate him at the same time?

  46. Dr. David Eigen Says:

    My dear young lady,

    First, I don’t make “banal excuses”, only offer possibilities for understanding. Your venting is misdirected, I am not your target.

    I offer you other possibilities:
    One, he may just be a “A-hole” like many men can be, but I can assure you there are no shortage of women to fill this bill either.
    Two, I can remember being 19 a long time ago, I had no idea who I was and was trying on new personas in an attempt to figure it out. I can image a girlfriend telling me excitedly that she is pregnant. I would probably swallow hard, attempt to show my support to her wanting to make a go of it. I also would have discussed abortion. Did he really want this child? He may not have been honest as he may not have wanted to be a father, but I can see that letting you down has a price. All is good until the birth, and the reality that I am now responsible for another human being hits home. Maybe he feels he can’t even be responsible for himself. Then the guilt comes on and I am sure your eyes indicated his failure, if not your words. And he is gone into hiding.

    The “doctor on the website” suggests that it was you that wanted this baby, Not him. You chose to continue the pregnancy, but are angry he is not standing beside you in this life long decision? Perhaps your anger is at yourself. Unfortunately there is ten-year-old who gets to handle this. Why does he hate him, he may feel bad dad is not around, but hate? I suggest that is your feelings poisoning your child. VERY misplaced anger!

  47. Angie Diego Says:

    Sad to say that men are pigs, hardly more than animals, and the only reason they rule the world instead of women is because they have no emotion and are very selfish and greedy beings. Women, do not stoop down to love a man who does not love and care for you. Take precautions not to bring children into a loveless marriage. Take care of YOURSELF before him because most likely he will leave you soon after the fling loses its fire. Go to school, keep fit, take care of your friends and family. Do not put all of yourself into a man who will leave you. When you do have children, do your best and do not rely on a deadbeat who decides he has to have a midlife crisis and buy a sportscar and find a girlfriend half his age. Men are disgusting creatures who think with their penis.

  48. zfiles Says:

    Well, in my case, I was married to a very selfish woman for 10 years. Had three kids…all girls. Divorce was terrible. Kicked me out of my home with no job…was a stay at home dad in transition during the poor economy…developed depression…loved my kids and family. Ex wife lacked any ability to be supportive.

    We never did anything without her family. Her father is very wealthy and controlling. One day in disney world, he had my youngest daughter on his lap and said, “Do you want your grandfather to be your Daddy?” What a freak. Now my kids are exposed to these freaks of nature. A very childish ex wife of who ran to her parents regarding marital issues. She never had the emotional capacity to deal with marriage and I wondered why in the hell she even married me? Well, only thing I can state is that she is disillusioned and highly irresponsible.

    We had a semi happy marriage…no abuse…no drugs or alcohol and we never called each other names and had no big arguments. Now I deal with a manipulator/selfish woman that serves her own needs based on the kids. She will use the kids against me and when I call her out on it, she tries very hard to continue on the manipulative path that she is so accustomed to. They pretty much do what they want(her family) Threaten to take you to court for illogical reasons. My kids are confused and wish they had their loving Dad at home. She is destructive and in my best interests I must take care of myself. To drag my kids around and deal with a psycho is draining.

    As far as the kids are concerned…they’ll be okay with the rich folks. Let them take care of them. Heck, they ruined me financially…especially the father-in-law. They created a very unhealthy situation for the father and his kids. Now I see my 9 year old about 2 days per month. All she does is stare at her IPAD and isolates herself in the bedroom of my apartment. To me it is very unstable and confusing for my kids.

    On another note, the ex wife brings men around my children. I found out my 9 year old was crying at a wedding for her mother was dancing with another man. She indicated that she doesn’t want another Daddy. Let that psychopath woman screw those kids up. I want nothing to do with it. Not for the easy way out. I have to take care of myself right now before I can take care of anyone else. It is sad. The more I stay away…it will be better for them.

  49. Stacey J Says:

    I read these posts because like many of you I too needed to understand the “why”. My sons father was in his life for the first 2 years of his life. We didn’t plan on getting pregnant but when we did we decided (not I alone) that we needed to have the child because we couldn’t live with the alternatives. The first 2 years of our sons life we’re complete hell. We did nothing but disagree on things and try to control one another. We had a child together yet lived in separate homes and basically dated and played house when we could. We worked together also so our business got dragged around the entire company. He would frequently NOT see our child for weeks and months at a time since day one. If he couldn’t control me he would purposely make our child pay for this by dissacociating himself from us. He even admitted this to me in text messages. I always knew as soon as he was done with me my son would never see him again. He has even said that he pays child support so visitation is not an option and that he was not going to babysit him! Finally I found out that he had met a much younger woman and was back and forth with us both for a short period of time playing games. This was also his payback to me for making him pay child support towards the end of our relationship. Finally before our childs 2nd bday he completely blew me off. We live in a very small town and I hear that shortly after this he married the other woman. He has not been in contact with me in over a year now minus the call I got last year to see what our son wanted for his bday. Nothing ever came of that and he stood our son up on his 2nd bday by planning a visit and not calling or showing up. I have not heard from him since. Our child is now 3 and I don’t think he even remembers his father. If he sees a picture he says he doesn’t know who it is. I have mixed emotions about his being involved with his dad because not having him around seems to be easier than the constant games and inconsistency of his past involvings with him. I am not qualified to make that decision however I feel this is easier on all of us since he refuses visitation anyway. He and his new wife both have children from previous marriages and I believe she has hers as little as possible, and he has alwaysbeen a loving and involved parent to his other children who live with them full time. The children he has that are not mine had a deep bond with our child but he doesn’t remember them anymore either. I read in other replies above that several of you mentioned that some of these absent dads have previous children they take care of also. That is so strange how these men pick and choose which kids they are involved with and leave some other children out. How can men show us they are great and loving fathers, but end up only being great with selected ones? I forever worry about running into my sons father at the grocery store in our town or anywhere . How I have not ran into him for this long is very surprising. I have slipped into complete hermit mode because the anxiety about seeing him is completely out of control. I have people get things I need for me while they are out so I won’t risk running into this completely awkward situation that I emotionally cannot handle. The social anxiety that has come along with this is so intense and not rational that my friends and family get very irritated with me about it. Avoiding run ins with him because he abandoned his child has affected my entire life. I think a part of it I feel like I’m protecting my son from getting hurt. So this really worries me about how it will affect my son when he starts understanding. Our kids will eventually go to school together and my son does not even know who they are. The complexity of small town thrown in with a dead beat dad is more than I know how to deal with so it’s amazing to read other stories and hear how you feel. How many of you guys have the fathers excuses being that we are alienating our children from their fathers? First of all we can’t legally do that without just cause but hey everyone has to blame someone!

  50. Mary Says:

    My ex spouse was a diagnosed narcissistic sociopath. I kicked him out of my life because he assaulted me when I was pregnant then attacked my toddler, (on top of the narcissistic rages over tiny things.)

    He has refused to pay child support or see the baby, but he is with a new woman at least every weekend and travels frequently despite not having a job, (due to attacking his coworkers and getting fired.)

    These men who abandon their kids aren’t protecting themselves. They are simply selfish, mentally unbalanced people with no sense of conscience or responsibility.

  51. LR Says:

    Thank you for giving some insight into men’s Psyche. Funny how they think in terms of black & white: yes – no: good – bad.

    The law is on the kid’s side. As much as humans may not be designed to be monogomous there is another choice. RELATE to your spouse! You need more love; attention fulfill one of her needs. If that doesn’t work speak!

    The best way to change attitudes & behaviors in other people is to change yourself.

    Men have choices. Most of us have a moral compass. They can work together.

    I know you are not sticking up for bad behavior but all I can say is wahhhhhhh to the scab being torn off. It is not like trying to keep a family together keep your job and raise your kids then turning them over to the fun parent who feels uncomfortable feeling pain of a scab removed so chooses not to see the kids.

    Really? Gee and I thought having your head cut off; that painful reminder of not being good enough for your ex was worse.

    Sometimes taking the road of least resistance is the worse road for everyone!

  52. Sheepshead Says:

    Hello out there!

    Well, it all comes down to maturation through relationships. It is understandable to wreak of immaturity at times. In my case, I learn through mistakes. Sometimes mistakes are met with immaturity from the other side. I am divorced after 10 years of marriage. Lost a few jobs in a few years and developed depression.

    Reason for depression? Hmmm…the male role model in our wonderful Western culture that drives men to be nothing more than unemotional money reaping doormats to his wife and children. When the shit hits that fan…guess who goes a runnin’! You guessed…my ex spouse.

    As a result of depression…I ended up near suicide…slapped into a psych ward for a few rewarding weeks. The education was great and in my long stay I ended up teaching others in the institution. Smart man and adaptable to any situation.

    This all occurred just after my ex spouse filed for divorce. Already in depression, I was ready to end it. I had suicidal thoughts for a year at the time. The ex spouse knew this and threw gas onto the fire by filing for divorce. She had an extreme lack of support and empathy that I never had seen in any woman. …or maybe she is a man…lol!

    Anyway, a couple of years later well away from that mess I am a changed person. Financially strapped beyond I had ever imagined at my age…in my 40s. I am living below the poverty line. I am becoming a man again. My manhood was definitely stripped from me. I was isolated in my marriage…married to a Family instead of a wife…who has a wealthy father…narcissistic in many ways. I leave behind three girls all under 9 years of age. Great kids of who love their Dad. I still see them every other weekend. This is great, but wow…how I miss seeing them grow up. I miss out on so much. Can’t miss a day of work for special events at their school for I make nothing after all is said and done and I struggle to live in an apartment. Good old food stamps and state provided insurance…how can I argue. This is the life! LOL! All representative of marriage in our Western culture…the good old fairy tale…me me me I I I I garbage and the old…”We have grown apart.” Hmmm…I think many marriages are pretty elastic in that the participants grow apart and back together over the course of their marriage. If it were anything different…how boring and lacking of color.

    Anyway…my point is with the inability to take care of myself at a level that I was once able to…I find it difficult to carry on in a relationship with my kids. I know that I am a BIG part of their lives. My fear…homelessness. I lose a job…that is it. Why try and self deceive? The inevitable outcome of homelessness is the loss of everything including your kids. Yeah a phone call here and a phone call there doesn’t do them justice. I love my kids and to be pushed out of my own home without a job at the onset of divorce…unethical. The court system could give a damn about my kids. Money. Nothing but. Collect them child support payments and we get our cut. Wooohoooo! Another dumb ass getting married…Wooohoooo! So, I can see that some men leave their children for real reasons.

    Some things are out of a mans control. Financial…the burden of a narcissistic ex spouse. A former father-in-law that will do nothing but to win…someone who will drive a knife deeper into the wound to finish someone off. Knowing that my kids are involved with such folks is disturbing. Also the good old court system. Unethical and unconstitutional.

    So many people that I know have offered help in so many ways…they have all said, “I just don’t understand your situation?” “You are an awesome man.” Truth be told…my kids think the same. Sad for them. I hope that they understand if things get bad that I still love them.

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