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Absent father: 'I think about her everyday'

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My daughter's absent father left when she was a year old.  After less than a handful of visits over the next 12 months or so he had no contact with her for a year or more.  Next he left the country and, yep you guessed it, no contact for 3 years.

On the rare occasions he, or his family, did see my daughter it was always at my instigation, and I would walk on eggshells, trying to be on my best behaviour in the small but ridiculous hope that he would become the father he'd promised to be when she was born - so no arguments, no questions, no blame, no enquiries about money, no boat-rocking, nothing.

The few times we did see each other we even got on quite well, having days out together or going to the odd pub/party.  When my daughter and I visited his family and he wasn't there I didn't even ask his whereabouts.  That's how muted and beaten-down they had me!

His absenteeism and lack of financial support was always the 'white elephant' in the room that no one dared mention, yet everyone would happily sit and berate the parenting of other females attached to the family!  Eventually I suppose it was easier to have nothing to do with me or my daughter, as evidenced by the fact her photo wasn't on display, along with those of the other grandchildren, in anyone's house!  And yep they never called either!

no phone calls, no visits, no birthday cards or Christmas presents, no maintenance

And then one day he "gave in" (his words) to some young girl who'd been chasing him down for years and following a (deliberately?) 'accidental' pregnancy he became a father again.  Next he got married, more pregnancies followed and he finally transformed himself into a model Dad to all but the daughter we'd had together ...

... and I gave up even trying to somehow mould him and his relatives into the family we needed.

So for another good few years we had no phone calls, no visits, no birthday cards or Christmas presents, no maintenance payments.  We got nothing.  The new family got everything, which is just how the wife wanted it!

So our daughter is all grown up now and, following a final prod from me, he's finally started paying her 'pocket money' and sending the odd stilted emotionally-void email.  He tells me "words can't say" how much he loves her and that he has thought about her everyday ...

But love is in actions not words and I don't understand how anyone can think about someone else so much and not DO anything, not call, write, visit?  How?  Why?  Please someone tell me WHY?

I've since learnt, through child-protection training, that emotional neglect is a form of abuse. From the start, instead of championing us, he has been our greatest abuser, our worst enemy!  I don't know why, I can't understand why, I don't get the sense he could begin to answer these questions either.

My only thought is that he took the greatest revenge on me he could by punishing our child - and I am beyond grief stricken for all three of us!

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luvmykids - I also agree with William.

Your comments show your extreme side.

There are always two sides to a story but neither side is in the Childs best interest.

The law always supports the mother but goes for the finances of the father without giving him any rights.

Women use the law and their children to get back at the man they hate. FACT.

If the laws changed to make the man provide only if he had fair access then women would be forcing their children on to the father at every stage.

I also agree that every case is different and some men are both violent and controlling but so are the women and they know it.

Either share the children or don’t have any.
28/02/14 Db.


It's really unfair that when a relationship breaks down, the father takes all the blame and that he needs to pay the CSA this this and this amount whereas the mother can just sit down with a fag in one hand and a can of cider in the other.
28/02/14 Nick
Bill from Ohio,  Texas,  Arizona

Bill from Ohio, Texas, Arizona

I agree with William. How is his opinion misogynistic? My mother did the same thing to my father. If you push hard enough and torment a man long enough, he'll decide to walk away from the heartache of it all. The courts automatically give custody to mom even in this supposedly equal day in age when women can be firemen, policemen, and soldiers. What's the word for that double standard? Mysopenistic?

Wake up people. If the roles in William's story were reversed, there would be automatic sympathy. Poor mommy. And maybe even a criminal arrest.
28/02/14 Bill from Ohio, Texas, Arizona


Isn't there a law saying child abandonment is a criminal offence? If there is no such thing in UK law, then something is seriously wrong with the UK.
25/06/13 Osman


This father don't really like his daughter! Hi is very selfish.
18/05/13 A


William, you're also a misogynist pig with little understanding of a child's 'best interest'!!!!!
19/03/13 luvmykids


William/absent father, really? You hung in a WHOLE 6 months? I wonder if you can get some kind of medal off Barack for that????

Presumably your ex wasn't planning to breastfeed your son into adulthood and senility? Still instead of allowing for the inescapable ebb and flow of time, change, maturation and parent-child relationships, you just decided to bail?

I know several women, and some men, who haven't seen their children in years as they've moved 1000s of miles away from a poor country to gain work in order to finance their children's housing, schooling and care needs. Some of them work 60 - 80 hours a week without breaks and haven't been home in 3 to 4 years. I am genuinely in awe of them and am glad I don't have to do the same....but I would if I had to!!

You're kind of pathetic tbh !
19/03/13 luvmykids


Hello ladies. I am an absentee father.

Here is my story. I don't drink, smoke, or do drugs. I don't have any criminal convictions. I worked and help support our family. I spent lots of quality time with my son and I loved him and he loved me, and I loved my wife.One terrible day my wife left with our 3 year old son and moved 400 miles away. I traveled to where she was and tried to reconcile our family.

My wife eventually filed for divorce and requested sole physical custody. All I asked of her was to work out an agreement where we would co-parent and each party would have 50 percent custody. She was unreasonable and I was forced to file for sole physical custody in order to bring our son back to where we originally lived. Of course I lost.

I was forced to pay $1500 per month and to travel 400 miles to see my son. Travel expenses were $300 for a total of $1800 per month. She also continued breast feeding
him in order to thwart any overnight parenting time. I was allowed to make one phone call to him per week.

I received parenting time from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday three weekends per month. That is only 36 hours of parenting time. That comes out to 6.66
percent parenting time for the month. She still continued to breast feed, again in order to thwart overnight visits.

Within a couple of months my son behaved like a stranger to me. Our bond was severely damaged. I hung in for another couple of months until my ex-wife blew me off on a
holiday visit after I traveled 400 miles to see my son and then told people I did not show up. When I would call he would hang the phone up and she would not answer
when I called back. Within six months, I grew so despondent with the situation for me, and my son and I was so financially destitute, that I left.

So in my situation you have one abandonment, the mother abandoned the father and forced the child to abandon the father, cutting the original contact between father
and son to a fraction of what it used to be. You have the courts blessing the abandonment.

You have me doing the final abandonment.

In the whole sick think, you have three guilty parties: the mother, the courts, and the father. You have only one perceived guilty party: the father, whose ties with his child were severed and was emotionally ruined and financially ruined.

You have one completely innocent victim: the child, who will most likely grow up angry, wondering where his dad went. Very, very sad.

Ladies, in case you don't get it, here are the basics. If a father originally has 30 or 40 percent parenting time and contact everyday, and then that is suddenly cut down to 6 percent, do you really think the father is going to stick around? Do you really think most men are going to subject themselves to that kind of abuse by a custodial mother? Is it healthy for a child to see his father in such an abusive situation where he visits his kid in a motel? Is it healthy for a child to see a father who is financially destitute? Can a father even honor the financial commitments that are forced on him?

One reason so many men leave is because they are denied access by the courts and by the mothers. For every absentee father you see, you need to ask the question: did
the courts and/or the mother made access difficult for the father? The absenteeism is only the end result of something else.

The way to correct this situation is default 50 percent custody and no move always allowed, no matter what. Each party pays their part for the support of the children.
Even if a parent wants to give away some portion of the 50% time share, they should not be allowed to.

Another possibility is that sole custody goes by default to the father at the age of 7 to 10, as in the Islamic countries.

Make access easy and spontaneous for a man, and most men will want to stay around and offer emotional and economic support. Reduce the amount of access the dad originally had and you destroy not only the father, but the child. In my opinion whatever access the father asks for, he should get, with no questions asked. Having a meaningful stake is an incentive to offer good support.

Unfortunately, way too much power has been given to women in this area of society, and of course, the results have been disastrous; for black, brown, and white children and black, brown, and white fathers.

In days past when people saw single mothers they would ask "what did she do to drive him away?" This question should be asked today. It is very simple: don't take away
a man's basic human rights of access to their children and expect them to stick around. Or even better, if something is very emotionally and economically difficult for someone, they probably won't stick around and do it. Could I put it any simpler?
29/04/12 william


Not much genuine research out there on how and why men disappear from their children's lives......but here is some by Bruce Hawthorne
eg. [www.]

Shame the absent dads themselves don't write more about what's going on for them. Less silence on the subject would be a very positive step forward!!!!!!!!!
06/05/11 Ave


My situation is almost identical t this except mt ex husband lames everyone else including our daughter for his neglect of her.
She is suffering terribly, no confidence, low self esteem believing herself to be a freak and he can and will continue to cause her untold pain.
25/03/11 K
(1) Love not War!

(1) Love not War!

Why have you hijacked this genuine plea for understanding with your narrowly-conceived ill-informed anti-feminist (read 'anti-women') rantings?? When men stop hating women en-masse we might actually get somewhere close to halting the absent-father epidemic (amongst a multitude of other sins) that is decimating society in the UK, and beyond!

We are all born equal; first and foremost human beings, regardless of gender. We are partners in this crazy ride of a world. We are interconnected, literally and figuratively. There is only one solution to the world's woes - more understanding, more love, more support and compassion, and a good deal less hate, bigotry, judgement, and blame!

Whilst there may be women who appear to prevent well-meaning men from seeing their children (for reasons that may remain non-discernible to others), repeating this snippet of 'wisdom' over and over merely serves as 'mystification' (read some classic feminist texts if you have no concept of what I'm talking about). The fact remains that there are more than 1.5 million lone-parent families in this country, over 90% female-headed, and a common complaint amongst them is that fathers are CHOOSING not to be a part of their children's lives. I suspect, in many cases, this is a legacy of a their own experience of being non-'fathered' by emotionally and/or physically unavailable men (see the extensive body of literature on the recycling of trauma through families). Others appear unable to separate out their feelings towards the mother from their feelings for the child (as Dave's post hints at), or perhaps they so value the pleasure principle over the reality principle, that they fail to comprehend that karma catches up, ie., only the most sociopathic of parents won't find their future life tainted by a decision to alienate themselves from their own child/ren - s**t like that will leak out eventually and make an unholy mess over any nice-new-shiny-clean life one may manage to get for oneself!!
01/04/10 (1) Love not War!
(2) Love not War!

(2) Love not War!

Something really needs to change - and it's certainly not less social/economic/political power for women!! Inequality doesn't work folks - just look at China and its 40 million young single men who won't be able to find female partners, and thus have children of their own, following decades of gendercide (anyone read The Economist recently?)

The only thing to do is to invest time, love and resources into your children (some of whom might even be female) - and maybe a lot of patience too if you do end up in a difficult scenario (nothing remains static, all is flux, you get to decide whether you work steadily towards resolution or fast-track into disintegration) - and improve life for everyone concerned including yourself, your kids, your extended family, any future partners and kids, and the rest of the whole freaking world by extension...
01/04/10 (2) Love not War!
pmsl @ u

pmsl @ u

The boot has been on the other foot for quite a long time my love.
Im not for one minuet saying men should be second class citizens like women have been for years, just get of our back and climb down the pedestal you have climbed upon and accept that women are in the work place and can maintain home/work balance.
Im not a 'feminist' just a realist (i would never burn my bra cost too much money!).
I work because I enjoy it and to take some of the financial strain from my husband. Im not 'power happy' or shout iam woman hear me roar......i am me...a wife, mother AND employee.
03/03/10 pmsl @ u


While we are on the subject of sexist low life scum I have one name for you all “Jacqui Smith" The woman is a hideous throw back to the 70's Male. She is hell bent on ruining the life of every man on the planet. She was behind last year’s bill passed through parliament making it ok to discriminate against men in the work place. Her bill to raise the driving age for men and men alone was thankfully blocked. Is this not sexism? How would you girls feel if the boot had been on the other foot?
And a serious question now! Have you ever seen Harriet Harman and Jacqui Smith in the same room together? I know it sounds crazy but I cannot tell them apart? Are they the same person?
03/03/10 Aleedsfella
Gainsborough lad.

Gainsborough lad.

Being divorced once, I only know to well what it is like to give women the full control of the household money, loads of ladies nights out, a new full wardrobe, and 50p smartprice sausages on nearly every sunday dinner table for the kids, and no this is not made up.
03/03/10 Gainsborough lad.

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