This is an open letter to the fathers who abandon their children after divorce. I’m writing to let you know that your children still need you. Perhaps you’ve moved on to a new family or to a new life. Maybe you feel that your children have got a good mother and you’re thinking to yourself, “She’ll take care of them. They don’t need me.”
Well, you’re wrong. Your children DO need you. And they always will. My father abandoned my sister and me as preschoolers. We saw him on and off for a few years. A few hours here and there over the years. Just like approximately thirty percent of children of divorce, my parents’ separation meant a permanent separation between us and our father. Now, as an adult woman who hasn’t seen her father in over 25 years, there’s still an emptiness in my heart. Like the other one in ten children of abandoned fathers, I contemplated suicide as a young person. I questioned whether I was worthy of love. Deep rooted feelings of unworthiness and doubts still haunt me from my childhood. If my own father doesn’t love me, how could another man? I pray that your children will never question the love you have for them or whether they are worthy of love at all.
Perhaps your ex-wife is making things difficult. And she hates you. And she’s poisoning your children against you. She tells you that the children hate you and don’t want to see you. You don’t want to deal with the drama and the negativity. But deal with it. Your children are worth it. They want you to fight for them. If dealing with their horrible mother is the price to pay for spending time with them, then, dammit, they are worth it. In the long run, when you have a rewarding relationship with your children, you’ll be glad you endured.
Maybe somewhere in your head, you’ve rationalized that your children are better off without you. But when the dust settles and the divorce is behind you, your children will still love their father and seek love from you. Right now, they may be lashing out. They feel the anger and the bitterness of divorce-only they lack the tools and maturity to understand it. Be patient. It may take time for them to come around. Be there for them when they mature enough that they are ready for a relationship. Stay open and available to them. Let the barbs and stings that they throw at you make you stronger for them. If you give up and allow the negativity to win, your children will lose. They’ll wonder why you didn’t fight for them. Always reach out and say that you are there for them when they are ready.
Find the support and resources you need to navigate this process. Help is out there. If you want to build your relationship with your children, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free breakthrough session to see how we can support you through the process. Do what is needed, sacrifice your ego, and find your way to them. You’ll never regret it.