In part three of the divorced dad series, we touched on being happy as a divorced father and we learned a few strategies to do that. In this article, we will look at the unhappier side of being a divorced dad.
The Turmoil Of Being A Divorced Dad
Some people think that when it comes to relationships women have it harder than men. Men and women are a lot alike when it comes to feeling pain and inflicting it, except that most men do not show and tell the world how they feel.
Does It Hurt?
It is a common misconception that men don’t get hurt when their marriages break up. Society has a set of opinions that stereotypes divorced men as womanizers, infidels, dead beat dads, and irresponsible. However, not all these conceptions are true. Though some divorced dads prove otherwise, some others get hurt during the process. They feel that they have to struggle to keep their family intact, thinking of child support and also having to bear the fact of seeing their children once or twice a month if they lose child custody to the mother. When the question “does it hurt?” arises, these fathers do think so. It is actually hard to cope up from a messy divorce not only for the kids but from their dads as well.
Losing interest with the kids
There is also this myth that came around telling that divorced dads do not care or lose some interest in the children they have. This is not true at all. Fathers always care for their children, some may not show it through affection and some may do, but saying that losing interest with them is simply false.
Men are the ones initiating a divorce
Another misconception. People tend to stereotype divorced dads as the ones who have initiated the divorce. Other people may think that men are the ones abandoning their families, leaving their wives for another woman, leaving all their responsibilities behind, etc. People usually think that towards divorced dads, when there’s just a strong likelihood that women are also capable and sometimes liable for the things that have led to the divorce.
Infidelity happens both ways
There are some dads out there striving and working to provide for their family and regrettably are being cheated on by their wives once their backs are turned away. It’s a fallacy to think that only men cheat. In Alicia Walker’s book, The Secret Life of the Cheating Wife: Power, Pragmatism, and Pleasure in Women’s Infidelity she states that 80% of folks never get caught cheating and that the number is even higher with women. So the old saying, it takes two to tango has a lot more meat to it, doesn’t it? The point of the matter is not only women feel pain on the road to divorce, men feel pain as well and all the turmoil once the divorce is final.
The burden of cost
Cost is a huge factor in divorce. Dad’s represent 85% of the child support providers. Being a divorced dad means you will shoulder the responsibility to ensure your children and ex are taken care of. For some men, this can be very painful as it doesn’t relieve the stress of the divorce and intermittent children time. It’s important to remember this point isn’t about not doing what is right, it is about understanding the financial and psychological impact divorce poses on men.
Being a divorced dad does not necessarily mean life has ended, for some, it means getting up, dusting one’s self off and starting a whole new perspective in life. Having gone through this experience 20 years ago I can say it’s one day at a time, my friend.
In the final article in this series, we look at strategies divorced dads can use to get through the holidays. No, there's no getting even in these strategies.
Go in peace, my brother!
Founder, The Awakened Man