When he fell over and scraped his arm when he was with me, I was advised by my attorney to go to all the trouble of going to the doctor, having the scrape bandaged and so on, just to legally cover myself in case she would claim that it had in fact been intentionally caused. Some men commit suicide because they can’t handle the anguish.While on the lookout for anything that could be used against me, all the while constantly being told I was a bad person, a bad father, and all my involvement with my son was systematically stripped away. Others resort to violence and anger against the ex-wife.But no, she is still the same bitter and vengeful baggage that she always was.

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Have a listen: Other ways to listen: i Tunes ♦ Stitcher ♦ Tune In ♦ Sound Cloud ♦ Google Play What I haven’t reported much is the point of view from the checked-out dads, many of whom have shared with me articulate, thoughtful, and often heart-breaking accounts of why they are not part of their children’s lives.

These stories resonate with me, as they have challenged my earlier, blind admonishments that every parent has a moral obligation to fight for their children, no matter what.

I still believe this, but I also believe in empathy, and for recognizing each other’s humanity.

Here is one story from a commenter on the above posts: From John G: From my own experiences, I believe it’s widespread for women to use children as a weapon to exact revenge against the ex during, and after, divorce proceedings. My son was being tutored on what to say to me (did you ever hear a 7-year-old respond ‘I’m not comfortable talking about that’ when asked a question?

During my lengthy divorce, my ex-wife claimed I was abusive, that she was ‘afraid for her safety,’ and tried to get ‘supervised visitation.’ None of it worked, because it wasn’t true, and because, as an educated professional I had enough money to spend six figures on an attorney. ) and being instructed to call me by my first name and not ‘dad.’ I grew tired of making phone calls that weren’t answered, or of being put on hold and the child not coming to the phone, and of cancelled visits.

It was heartbreaking seeing the child slip away from me, little by little. There is the assumption that the man will just sit there and take the abuse because he does not want to lose the child.

After studying this issue for the four years I’ve had this blog, I understand that the issue is complicated and nuanced, and there is plenty of legitimate room for both points of view, outlined above.

You can read more about my stance in favor of shared parenting, empathy for absentee fathers, and other related topics here:“My kid’s dad isn’t involved and I don’t know what to say”The real reason your ex doesn’t see the kids How to get dads involved in divorced and separated families Close the pay gap? 50-50 visitation and no child support Should you date a guy who doesn’t see his kids?

I considered all the above paths for a long time and was tempted by more than a few of them.