Separated Dads  

AmberSolaire 42M
2630 posts
9/21/2005 5:04 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Separated Dads

We all know the divorce statistics, and we all know the saying " a childs place is with its mother", but in all this where does it leave the dads.In this world where often the mother then moves , or finds a new partner where does this leave you and more importantly your relationship with your children?

Im not going to go into the legal aspects.You only have to look at the extreme measures of batman et al to know there is still a long, long way to go before the legal system becomes fairer.

What I do want to do is share some ideas which I feel have helped , and which I feel are important having recently (within the last year or so) become a father who is outside the "family home" so to speak.

Staying close to your child if you and his mother are together sounds easy. But if you've split up, it can be hard, though just as important to your child. But now more than ever remember you still matter

Your relationship with your child is for life - even if you and your partner have fallen out of love. If you stick with your child, they'll recover better from the split. They can expect to do better at school, they're less likely to get into trouble and they'll probably have better mental health. The worst thing you can do, even if the acrimony is at its height and you can't see your children, is to walk away and try to forget. The quiet life, removed from your child, is an impoverished life - for you and your children.

Try however hard it may seem to make peace
The key to successful separated parenting is, ironically, the same as for a successful marriage: a good relationship with your child's mother.So, no matter how bad things might have become, concentrate on healing any rifts and moving to a respectful, supportive post-separation relationship.

It might take time. You might have to bury your anger, bite your tongue. But the prize is wonderful: to help raise a healthy, happy child that loves both parents.

Your living circumstances may be poor. You may have little money. Your child may be a distance away. You may be living alone. Yet, he needs to hang out in a family atmosphere when he's with you, eating together, going out and watching TV together. Draw on all your resources - family and friends - so you're not isolated, your partner is reassured about where your child stays and your child gets what he needs.


Say nice things about your ex in front of your children.
Always be on time when picking up and dropping off.
Help your ex out so that she feels you're an asset not a nuisance.
Pay Child Support, no matter what happens.
Keep copies of letters, records of gifts, if you don't see your child - one day you may want to explain how much you thought about them.


Go to court except as a last resort. Your relationship may be a mess, but casting it into an expensive, adversarial, slow, legal system may make matters worse.
Use the children to get at your partner.
Lose touch with children if you can't see yours. Keep in contact with other families whose child is the same sex and age, so you're in touch with what your child needs.

The choice, as one separated dad said, is not to be stranger or a 'Disneyland dad' giving them everything. It's to find a new, but normal family life.

A mother talks

"Our son is four and a half now. I think it will make a big difference to him, having his dad around, even though we don't live together. I think it's wrong for children never to see one of their parents again. Dads can stay involved, but you have to work at it."

Jacqui, mother of one

I know there are those out there reading who will know these things backwards.My heart goes out to you all its never easy.I do feel though that however basic these principles may seem they do seem to work, and if implemented today can help our children for tommorrow and the days to come.

That being so a little reminder can never hurt.

TheQuietGuy2005 54M
2386 posts
9/21/2005 9:19 pm

All very true. A well-written piece that I would back 100%.

As you say, it can be hard to follow these guidelines but I've been working at it for a long time now. I know I'm lucky in part - my son realises that I'm not awash with cash and understands that it puts limits on what we can do - but ... so far, so good.

My heart goes out to those who, for one reason or another, can't see their children ... may things improve for each and every one of you.

rm_EE407 41F
3903 posts
9/21/2005 10:45 pm

My parents are divorced, so I can give you the kid version.... Yes!!! Amber is right....

redmustang91 57M  
8604 posts
9/21/2005 11:05 pm

So true! Kids are not footballs to kick around or get back at the ex over some imagined slight. They are stressed by the divorce and making matters worse is not a good idea. good book called Children of divorce addresses some important issues.

helga_hansen 49F  
1987 posts
9/21/2005 11:44 pm

Lx... very sensible words. It's just a pity that so many people ignore them.

I am a product of divorced parents... my father demanded custody of me, and all my life bad-mouthed my mother. He sent back all her cards/gifts while I was growing up, and I saw her for the first time since I was 18 months old, when I was 20.

I hate people who use their children as "weapons" against a former partner. Children did not choose to be a product of now-broken relationships, and should not be seen as cash-cows either.

Hats off to you and your ex-partner for taking the less-used, but much-needed sensible approach.


Love, hugs and kisses from ♥♥HH♥♥

rm_1hotwahine 63F
21091 posts
9/22/2005 6:36 pm

This was excellent. My ex and I have a good relationship, as does my son and him. The way I see it, we'll always be family in a way. Nevertheless, even under those circumstances, it's hard for them to keep their relationship current (he is not living here now). Sometimes I think he gets depressed about being an absent dad and he hesitates to call, because it's easier not to deal with it. Then I step in and encourage my kid to call his dad to "surprise him." Then they're fine again.

The one area that I've lightened up on a little (just a little) is the Disneyland Dad aspect. Since he is not able to give our son his daily attention, I've decided to be a good sport with the flashy stuff. I don't mind that his dad is "special and exciting" in a way that I am not.

I don't know what I'm rambling about. Except to reiterate that it's not an easy thing, for anyone concerned. But making the best of the relationship is VERY DOABLE. And I give you guyz a gold star for trying. That's the best any parent can do; separated or not.

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

sexyeyes375 47F

9/22/2005 10:01 pm

Brilliant post, Amber. There are a lot of sacrifices made by the parent (usually the dad- not in my situation) who doesn't have custody of the children. That sacrifice is a piece of their heart.. so that their children can have happier,less stressful, more normal lives.. and knowing that they will not understand this sacrifice now or maybe even later. This is what a parent does.

AlbertPrince 57M

9/23/2005 1:26 am

You have to keep your children close to you! Who else is going to pay for your rest home?

MsLoveRose 33F  
2432 posts
9/23/2005 6:08 am

the world needs more dads like you!!!! the good thing is that some times the bitterness of a break up is hard on all parties... sometimes divorce is inevitable but for the sake of children...its ok to get along to do what is best for them!!!

live more, laugh often, love much

Philosophy_N_Sex 49M/47F

9/23/2005 2:08 pm

Good blog, something everyone need to think about!

__Huntress__ 55M/57F

9/24/2005 8:57 am

Amber ... this is a phenomenal post and I applaud you for this ... ! I work in a "family" law environment although I hesitate to call it that since the system seems to be bent on doing everything but trying to make divorce easier on the ones involved ... !

I specialize in custody matters involving children ... I am proud to say that I live in an area though where a "father's" rights as it relates to his children are considered to be of utmost importance ... ! The role of a father in a child's life is no less critical than that of the mother's ... and I will tell you ... although I dare not to make this a generalized statement ... but I see this on a daily basis and am often horrified that women seem to use their children as "weapon" in custody matters more than the men do ... !

We have a system here that is overburdened by women that file false restraining orders against their soon-to-be-ex just to gain an edge in custody ... it is incredulous to me how many come in to court with the most horrid of accusations ... forcing one-sided settlements that are usually never in the child's best interests ... ! We have judges that have no desire to "try" a case because they fear having their decisions overturned and may actually have to "earn" their salary for a change ... !

Litigating a "protection from abuse" case here means you have to "prove" that you believe your life or your children's life is in imminent danger ... any woman who believes she is at risk or her children are at risk would never just "settle" the case ... if she does than her allegations were most likely false and should be sanctioned rather than rewarded ... !

Seems you've hit quite a nerve with me ... Amber ! The best parent for the child is the one willing to sacrifice his or her needs for that of the child ! The best thing for the child is to have two loving parents who will do what it takes to do what's best for them ...!

Kisses sweetness ... your children have been given a gift in you !

your_gypsy 51F

9/24/2005 6:11 pm

very mature and true words. bravo

MillsShipsGayly 51M

9/24/2005 8:27 pm

Well I guess my parents flip-flopped the DO and DON'T list:

They did say bad things about each other (well mostly my mom about my dad). Nice of her to share that my dad had sex with my friend's mom OH oh and that he liked to clamp things onto himself. I was 13 and not sure what that meant.

"you're just like your father and he is an SOB" .. heard that a lot.

They wouldnt talk on the phone and used to make me play mediator. WHen my mom felt I wasn't seeing her sid efully, she used my 11 year old brother.

My sister still refuses to admit she has a dad. My brother has done some very destructive things.

Kids need BOTH parents !!!!!!!!!!!!

wyvernrose 38F
3895 posts
9/25/2005 5:49 am

you know what your doing amber and it is your son who will appreciate it in years to come


wyvernrose 38F
3895 posts
9/25/2005 5:54 am

sexyeyes I really don't think you have any idea what amber is saying in this post at all


AmberSolaire 42M

9/25/2005 10:03 am

I dont feel that I can elaborate on this one.Its pretty self evident.Thank you all for taking the time to read it.

To me it is important that its taken on baord.It is just such a pity that it should ever have to come to this type of situation in the first place.

AmberSolaire 42M

9/25/2005 10:03 am

I dont feel that I can elaborate on this one.Its pretty self evident.Thank you all for taking the time to read it.

To me it is important that its taken on board.It is just such a pity that it should ever have to come to this type of situation in the first place.

PawPr1nt 51M
133 posts
9/27/2005 12:24 pm

I have the same experiences as you AmberS. Only now, exactly one year after my 'removal', can I be confident of seeing my 5-year old daughter for a 2-day visit each month. She always asks 'How many days is it 'til you come and see me again, Daddy?'

I had to force the wife into Court to get ANY contact with my daughter, which took 4 months. Then I got the 'He spends the whole visit having sex with his girlfriend in front of the child' being said by the ex in front of the Judge, in order to delay any development of the 5hr a month contact I initially got. It worked, for another 3 months...

My daughter is the ... 4th, yes read it, 4th generation of child to grow up without a father in the house. Great-grandmother, grandmother, mother and half-sisters were all brought-up fatherless. The view amongst every one of them is 'Fathers are irrelevant'. I have not walked away and my daughter thinks I am wonderful.

I hope she lets her children know their father. It would be worth all the pain I have gone through, travelling across Europe each month and soaking-up my ex's hatred at every interaction.

mirror1962 54F
2 posts
9/29/2005 10:11 am

Amber when it comes to life it a difficult place to live.. The children will always be my world.. Your steps in seeing your son and working to seeing your son is a gold piece for him.. Money will never by love for that child.. You being there to show him you are his dad and you care will always be all you need.

Life isn't fair.. sometimes the father can give much better care then the mom.. I know this is hard.. but I have stayed married to my husband just separated and moved out of his bedroom cause I myself would not be able to take the children away from their dad.. He is a good man.

God bless you and folks like you is what keeps children safe within there walls

thank you for being you

Alias_46 57M

9/30/2005 7:42 pm

Amber... I was directed to your post by a post on Huntres7878's blog. I'm glad I stopped by!

I am lucky in that after all the upset, the arguments, and the words spat out in fear... we both came to realize that we brought a beautiful and wonderful human being into this world that is a part of both of us and by remaining friends and supporting each other as the other parent of our child... that child will be stronger, more successful and above all - happier!

I have a beautiful daughter that is the most important thing in my life... and her mother is like the sister I never had.

One sad side to this story is a few women I have met in my life that can't deal with me having any kind of relationship with my daughter's mother! The accusations and insults I have had thrown at me... being told that I am incapable of "moving on"... in hindsight I know I was with the wrong person... but it doesn't lessen the hurt you feel when all along you know you are doing the RIGHT thing!

Another sad side to this story is a few men I have met in my life who don't seem to want to take the time to be with their children. I can't imagine a life not watching my daughter grow into a woman. I can't imagine not having my little girl (who's not so little anymore) hug me for no reason... cuddle up with me on the couch and watch MY TV show... or fall asleep beside because she's watching HER movie for the 100th time!

Thanks again for this post Amber!

Merrysunshine 58F
16 posts
10/15/2005 8:24 pm

you could not be more right. My children have suffered so with out their father in their lives. He has not shown an interest or paid a dime in 10 yrs. Yet, I will not say one bad thing about him to the children. I try to help them understand that he is ill, and he loves them in his own way. But I know the damage has been done.

rm_sharksnsails 46M
738 posts
2/4/2006 5:24 pm

I wake up every day and hate life, because my ex has kept them out of my life with threats, and legal measures, and lies...

and so now I am a dad with precious few memories and even fewer moments with them,

I dream of a heaven where I get to watch them grow up and be dad.
If I knew it was so, I would not wait to fly there.

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