An Open Letter | To Absent Fathers

My whole life, I've heard about them. Men who don't want to take responsibility for the children they helped create. Men who try to wriggle out of child support. Men who pay child support, but offer no moral or emotional support. I've never actually had to deal with such a man, however.

Thankfully, I still don't - at least, not in the most immediate sense, of me being the luckless mother. No, my brother is now an absent father. I have to say, I'm shocked and disappointed - our mother did not raise us this way.

"No, my brother is now an absent father. I have to say, I'm shocked and disappointed - our mother did not raise us this way."

This makes me curious. What makes a man think that such a course of action is okay, or even acceptable? Is it society? Nature? Nurture? Is it inherent immaturity?

I have a few friends, much younger than my brother, who have had accidental children. They are not in monetarily stable positions in their lives, yet they still do the best they can to support their children emotionally and fiscally. Interestingly, these friends usually do not get along with the mother at all - but they put that aside as best they can for the sake of the child.

I have a husband, too, who was surprised and dismayed when I had an unplanned conception 3 months into our marriage. He could have left me way back then, when he was 20, earning enough to support only two people, and entirely not ready for the upheaval of a child - nor pleased, in any sense of the word. Yet my husband stayed with me, supported me, and accepted his responsibility. He now enjoys a full and loving relationship with our son.

So how is it that my immature, unemployed, and uneducated friends will step up to take care of their children as best they can, but so many men who are supposedly mature, definitely educated, and have job security - won't?

I don't care if you met some girl in a bar and knocked her up. I don't care if the relationship with the woman didn't work out. I don't care if she has questionable intimate sleeping habits, or if you're "not sure" if the child is yours. Get a paternity test.

I don't care if you don't like her as a person, or if she's just such a witch that you don't want to be around her. You are an adult, you deal with horrid people every day. The difference is, you slept with this one, got her pregnant, and created a life.

I don't think less of you because you were shocked when you found out - hey, that would be a big shock. I can understand a little initial resistance to the news. No, I think less of you because you because you are now punishing a child for your immaturity. I think less of you because you don't want to even try to help someone who is of your blood simply because you don't like his mother and you don't think you're "ready".

Maybe those of us who care about you, your family and friends, have no right to get involved with your relationship with the mother, but why should we punish the child? Why do you want us to pretend as though nothing has happened? And how much responsibility lies with those who know about this father's inaction? Should we be offering moral and emotional support, despite his denial of the situation, or would that be enabling him? Is it all right to offer that support to the mother and child, if he won't step up?

I say yes, it is okay to offer moral support to the mother. I also contend that showing understanding and acceptance of such a father is enabling not just him, but every absent parent who opts to ignore that which they've wrought. It is a societal disease that we must do our best to cure.

I have been told things like; "This isn't life or death, it's just a kid." I'm actually speechless at such a statement. Raising a child may not easy, but it's so worth it. You can help shape that child's view of the world, and how they interact with people. You can be the difference between teaching them wisdom or fear; kindness or cruelty.

This is about life, and about you, irresponsible father that you are, ignoring it

Would you have preferred that this was about life and death? Would you be okay if that mother had an abortion all those months ago, and you happened to run into her, find out, and add up the timing and realize: "Hey, she killed what was probably my child."?

What if she'd given him up for adoption? This is not a cure-all solution - that child may still seek you out, looking for medical records, closure, even a relationship. All you are doing is delaying the issue.

Would you have prefer she didn't tell you, and in 18 years, that child showed up on your doorstep and said, "Hey, I'm your kid. Where were you?"

Or do you prefer it this way - that in 18 years, that child will show up on your doorstep and still be able to say, "Hey, I'm yours. Where were you?"

Is it a fear of responsibility? What, you weren't ready to be a parent, so you won't? Guess what, she probably wasn't, either. Regardless of whether she was or not, that child came about because of both your actions. If you are having sex, you should be prepared to deal with the consequences. And no, that doesn't just mean using birth control -- it means being able to deal in a mature manner with what may occur if and when that birth control fails.

News flash, people: birth control is not foolproof. The only way to guarantee you won't have to deal with children is to NOT HAVE SEX. Even then, I've heard an interesting story about some lady a couple centuries ago who managed to have a baby anyway. Hey, guess what? Her man took care of her.

Honestly, your actions disgust me. Not only will you not support those who you wronged, but you try to hide from your family exactly how awful you've been acting. You discourage us from contacting her or helping her out with even such a simple thing as moral support for reasons that escape me. Are you really that selfish? I don't care about your opinion of this woman you found good enough to sleep with, but otherwise unimportant. I don't care about any disagreements you may have with her.

I care about that child, and how you are treating an innocent life that has no concept of the situation, and doesn't deserve your punishment.

You have shown yourself to be the type of person I try not to associate with; the type of person few people respect or care for. I can only hope that such immature men will grow a pair and truly act like a man, I suppose.

UPDATE

So, it's several years later. At this point, the situation has settled -- the mother in question is doing well for herself, is in a happy relationship, and has a beautiful child. My brother (the father in question) is also doing well for himself, is continuing to enjoy a variety of girlfriends, and has no contact with the child. He does, however, pay child support and insurance. So while he and the child do not have an emotional relationship, he does provide financial support.

I've gotten a lot of comments and different views on this blog. I'm aware there are a lot of different views on the right/ wrong of abortion and single motherhood. I'm also aware there are a lot of people who resent the fact that women can choose whether or not to carry the child, and therefore "ruin" the life of a guy.

Look, for that very small minority of people who genuinely believe that women get pregnant for "easy" money from their baby-dada, I'd just like to point out that pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood are pretty much the least efficient get rich quick routes in the world. There are many, many factors that play into a woman choosing to keep (or abort) a baby, and let's face it -- financial concerns usually come down firmly in the "not-keep" column. Having and raising a child is expensive.

For those who have suffered the loss of a partner, parent, or child -- my heart aches for your loss, and there is a brighter future in store for you. I believe in the resilience of the human spirit and in strength of self, and I believe that most people can overcome whatever life throws in their direction.

For those who insist it is not fair that women get to have say over their own bodies, and that men have no say -- I'm sorry, I have a hard time taking you seriously. Sex is a choice (generally speaking). If you have sex with a woman, use a condom. If you have regular sex and know you don't want children, get a vasectomy. If you don't like condoms or vasectomies, look into a clinical trial. Your participation can make male birth control a wide-spread reality. Be the change you want to see in the world.

Finally, I'm shutting down the comments. This hub seems to go through cycles of popularity. I'll forget it exists for months, and then I'll be getting several comments a week. That's fine, but seriously. So many of the commentators don't seem to actually bother reading this, and I've had to delete more than a few needlessly insulting comments that in no way added toconversation. Recently some people who really, really seem to hate the idea of single moms not choosing to abort have been commenting, and the comments are starting to trend toward slut-shaming, sex-shaming, anti-woman language that I'm not comfortable with.

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Comments 101 comments

SirDent 8 years ago

I am sure glad I'm not an absentee father. If I was I wouldn't comment on this hub. It is well written and anyone who reads it should be able to understand what you're saying. If an absentee father reads it I hope he feels guilty and tries to make things right.


that one girl profile image

that one girl 8 years ago from Washington state Author

Thanks. One can only hope. :)


Maylinda Arons profile image

Maylinda Arons 8 years ago from India

God, I love this hub. I agree with EVERYTHING you've written here, and you've made your points and expressed your disgust far better than I could've, even though I think the same about absentee fathers as you do. Its just plain immature and selfish, and there is absolutely no excuse for it.


Baby Momm 8 years ago

I love you and I love you for loving my son. Thank you for seeing that it takes two to create a child, your brother was there with me. Both of us by choice. I have chosen to love this little life, no matter the circumstances surrounding his conception.

I want him to know you, and I want him to know his uncle and his cousin. He loves you already for standing up for him.

xoxo


bootes 7 years ago

"grow a pair?"

I am not an absentee father, but I can't imagine how anger can be productive.


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that one girl 7 years ago from Washington state Author

"'grow a pair?'

I am not an absentee father, but I can't imagine how anger can be productive." -- Bootes

As you yourself are not an absentee father, do you happen to know one, either casually or personally? Is there any reason that you would assume anger is any less productive than kindness and understanding in this situation?

Believe me, when I first found out that my brother had fathered a child, I wasn't angry. I was excited. I had a new nephew, and I was absolutely certain that as soon as paternity was established, my brother would take full responsibility.

But not only did he not take any responsibility, he tried to fight paying child support in court, he refuses (and has continued to refuse) to meet his child, he tried to hide his actions and their consequences (re: sex and fatherhood) from his family, friends and co-workers, and he gets angry if any of his family members show the slightest emotional or monetary support for the mother and child.

And by the way, I'm the only one who has shown my anger at him. The rest of the family, while they disagree with his actions, feel that supporting him is necessary. As per his wishes, my sisters and brother limit contact with the child and his mother. My dad and his wife refuse to acknowledge her or the child in any way. It is considered of utmost importance that he understand we don't judge him, but love him unconditionally.

Which I could understand, maybe, if this didn't also involve his CHILD.


Jenni Lee 6 years ago

I agree. And you make a very valid point. Being nice and supportive will just make him feel validated in the situation. If everyone showed anger like you do, I bet he would think twice about his actions/choices. Since, they are so obviously wrong. When the kid is proven not to be his, then he can ignore the child and mother. But to ignore before you know? How insane!

But let's be real, you're brother isn't just hurting the child, he's hurting many in this situation. The Baby, The mother, himself, his siblings, and the grandparents all lose out because of his single selfish choice.


A random visitor  6 years ago

In all the years I have been seeking a response to the isse of absent father - I have never come across a more eloquent, beautiful and just argument which supports your stance.

I have an absent father and my little girl cries her eye sout - the idea that there are grown people supporting/standing by this lady's brother - is so sad and tragic. Where is the moral compass?

DO you know the miracle of life? ANyone who fails to be there for their child is emotinally sterile and sick at heart. What they do is cruel, umjust and a deprivation of the most awful kind. Even we has humans when we see some animals abandon their child take them in.

SO all I can say is hurrah for this lady's thoughtful, intelligent, passion (yes there are feelings involved here because anyone who is a mother or loves children cannot abide to see a child suffer) as have never read anythign quite like it. There are pathetic websites out there that aid and abett in this whole absent father syndorme and then I go somewhere like India and i see father's driving rickshaws, sweat pouring down their faces to ear enough crust because at the end of the day the buck stops with them - they never run out - I feel sickened to see men, educated,supposedly intelligent backing out on being fathers because it does not 'suit'them.

Bravo for that post as am sitting here very tearful - you are 100% right and I stand and give this writer a standing ovation.

xxx


K Chicago 6 years ago

Nice job, very well written. I'm glad that you find your own family member's actions completely unacceptable to you and society as a whole, I concur. Accepting these type of actions of such selfish people is plain wrong, they should be scarlet lettered, they should be shunned left to feel ashamed of themselves, stripped of all their self-esteem and feel all the shame and public degradation and pain that their fatherless children do end up feeling and carrying all that shame and pain around with them for the rest of their lives. I am also extremely pleased to hear that you are supportive of the child and mother that were left in the aftermath of your brother's selfish pursuit of his own desires over and above the welfare of his very own child that he helped bring into the world. Please help that mother and child rebuild their self-esteem and help the child feel loved, supported, and guided towards a bright future. Children do not choose to be born to very selfish adults, these children need stable and supportive fathers in their lives. I am an adult daughter of an absentee father. My father left my mother when I was 10 years old 3 days before my youngest brother was born. I was a Daddy's girl for the first 10 years of my life. My father turned his back on us and never looked back ever again. I was recently triggered at work by a co-worker who meant no harm. I have buried my feelings about this for over 30 years and now all of a sudden they are rushing back to me like Niagra Falls, flooding my soul with thoughts of what could make someone who I thought loved me unconditionally leave my life forever. I became my mothers sounding board, helped raise my brothers and lost my childhood to become a second mother to my brothers. I've suffered from hidden low self esteem all my life, never finished college and married an emotionially unavailable man who was extremely abusive to me. I now realize that I married my father, and emotionally unavailable man, cold, dead eyes, no soul behind them. Why did I do this when I always said I never would marry someone like my own gutless, narcicistic father? I was emotionally damaged period. Even though I thought I wasn't, I was very emotionally damaged. People reap what they sow and I hope your brother lives to regret every day of his existence since he abandoned his children and truly suffers from extreme shame and guilt the rest of his life becuase from the day he turned his back on his own child, that child has suffered in silence each and everyday and probably will carry that pain and shame for the rest of their life. It is such a preventable tragedy, if only these men would take accountibility for their actions and do and give to their children what they either received or wished they had received from their own fathers. It's really quite simple, regardless of circumstances, once you become a parent, you must put your children's needs before your own period. He will be accountable to God one day and nobody can BS God on judgment day.


ada 6 years ago

I am the single mother of a five year old boy. His father abandoned him a year ago and has made no contact or paid any maintenace . Men like him are emotionally abusing their children. If it were any other type of abuse these men would not be treated so kindly by society. Why is it people will stand by a man when he emotinally abuses a helpless child??


Grieving Grandma 6 years ago

Yes your brother and rest of the family are indeed selfish. But I have to say, so is the young woman for making the choice to have sex with such a man in the first place and then keeping the baby to raise in such a circumstance. She would have been more selfless to give the baby up for adoption to a loving, two-parent home, of which there are plenty.

I may now be faced with being a grandma to a grandchild whom I'll never see because of the selfish young woman, keeping the baby to 'spite' my son, even though he has asked her to give the baby up for adoption. He will be responsible monetarily, but how can he be responsible emotionally to a child he will never see? I will have to be a grandma in abstentia, and I will do the best that I can, but this young woman holds all the power, so now it's HER responsibility.


Her  6 years ago

A mother doesn't carry, give birth to, and raise a child out of 'spite', but out of love.

On the other hand, what excuse does my child's father have for 19 years of letting us both down, financially, emotionally, and morally?

For punishing his child so he could be free to have a 'good time', ie, take a ton of mdma, lsd and mushrooms, and have lots more unprotected sex.

No 'spite' would be a word better employed to describe his mother's attempt to bully me into an abortion, to make my unborn child homeless, to encourage and facilitate her son's abandonment and prolonged absence, and then to ensure her grandchild's estrangement and exclusion from the wider family!

Adoption isn't an altruistic answer to your problem but a get-out-of-jail-free pass you are trying to secure for your son!

It won't work, I can practically guarantee that! You would do better to give your grandchild, and by extension his/her mother, the unconditional love and support they need - it's the only way to any kind of peace for you, your son, and everyone else concerned! And your son will thank you for it one day!

Any absent dads out there wanting to put things right - buy, read, and learn from Mark Bryan's book 'Prodigal Father'.


ada 6 years ago

Grieving grandma you should be ashamed. You are validating these disgusting men and people like you are the reason these men get away with it. What woman has sex with amn she knows will abandon her child?? and this child has as much a right to life on this planet as you and how dare you decide this childs fate away from his/her mother. Grandmother in abstentia! Thats your choice no doubt! a very convenient one for you too eh?! You want the child given up for adoption but yet your devastated that you won't see the child because of it's mother???! Doesn't make sense. Your a selfish woman and no wonder this girl won't let a battleaxe like you near her child.


Lauren 6 years ago

I have just read this and cried...And most of the comments are exactly what i would have said..I have a beautiful Daughter who will be 4 this year and her Father left me at 5 months pregnant..I had children from my earlier marriage and decided to keep her and was constantly begged by her Father to have an abortion of which i chose not to. I have fought these last 4 years for her Father and Only grandparents to have some input in her life, when i took her as a babes in arms to see her Father he literally ran out of the house..he was 30 years old, he told his parents many lies and his Mother said she wanted nothing to do with her Granddaughter as I had children by a previous relationship?? Go figure..what an excuse...I Blame his parents just as much if not more than him on this as at their age 65 if they cannot stand up and say that this is their flesh and blood and they will not turn their backs on her, then it makes me think that this is where her Father learned his Selfish irresponsible behaviour in the first place. At 65 if you have not learned enough in life about love then what hope is there for their SON. I have now realised i should never had to fight in the first place and have now stopped. My Daughter has me and her siblings and is shown love everyday and i will make sure she grows up understanding about love, responsibility and consequences. Her so called Family on her Fathers side run a high end restaurant and it sickens me when people think they are such a lovely " FAMILY" without knowing the truth. Your brother sounds like a replica od my Daughters Father and I think you are to be applauded by doing the right thing by your niece or nephew Your parents need to take a good look at themselves as they are the ones giving your brother the green light to behave like pond scum. I guess some people just cannot bear to take a good look at themselves as maybe there lies the problem, anyway well done you, It's nice to be able to take a look in the mirror and like what u see and sleep well at night. Unfortunately some people do not own a conscience!


superp 6 years ago

why doesn't anyone mention abortion as a choice? I am 40, and I don't want a child. I got a 45 year old woman pregnant, and she is going to have the child. I have zero emotional connection to this child at this point... I believe it is not a sentient being. I believe stepping on an ant is a bigger crime than abortion at this early stage. I wholeheartedly feel that I am not able to take on this responsibility. At 40, I should at least know myself a little. At 45, she is taking a big risk in having this child. It seems 100% unnecessary because it is not a "being" yet. She is willing to let me walk away 100%, but I know she needs financial help to do this right. I have offered to help financially, but I have told her I do not feel I can be a "real" part of a child's life. Since I believe that it is much less harmful and risky to stop this process NOW, I do not feel like I am walking away from a situation that is inevitable or has no other option. That makes it 100% her choice. I will not put myself in a situation that I do not feel capable of handling, and I will not subject a child to a person who is not capable of being a good parent. I would love to get some companionship and return for the financial support that I will give, but not at a greater cost to me, the mother, or the child.

I DO NOT want to hear your opinions on abortion. This is based on MY beliefs, not yours. The point is how I am dealing with this given my beliefs on abortion, not my beliefs on abortion.


Reality Check  6 years ago

40 years old, you don't know yourself a 'little', and you are not ready for the responsibility that comes from having sexual relationships.....Dear Christ on a bike, grow the f**k up 'man'!!!!


superp 6 years ago

You haven't said anything constructive. How can I take you seriously?


Reality Check 6 years ago

Actually I am being constructive and 'Man up' is probably the best advice you're going to get. You are FORTY years old. At what age do you imagine you're going to be ready to have children and how young would you like them to be when they have to bury you?

Life has just thrown you one of its inevitable curve balls - thank your lucky stars it wasn't bankruptcy or terminal illness! You can make this into the BEST thing that has ever happened to you or you can sit weakly by and let it be the WORST. You get to choose. You get to decide what kind of man you want to be in life, and whether you leave a legacy of love behind you, or one of pain, confusion, abandonment - statistically children from fatherless families are more likely to create future fatherless families.

Top tip: No one ever writes 'Beloved Premium Car Owner with an Awesome Credit Rating and an (almost) Blemish-Free STD record' on gravestones!


DULCE DA CRUZ  6 years ago

I AGREE ONE UNDRED PER CENT WITH YOU!!!!I HAVE A SON WHO IS 22 YEARS OLD,AND UP TREE YEARS AGO,HE DID NOT KNOWN HIS FATHER,BECAUSE HIS FATHER ALWAYS DENIED THAT HE WAS HIS SON,AFTER 20 YEARS I ACCEPTED HIM BACK ??? BUT MY SON AND HIS FATHER DO NOT STAND EACH OUTHER.ALWAYS ARGUING WITH HIS SON,ALWAYS COMPLAINING ABOUT ANYTHING HE DOES.PLEASE HELPPPPPPPPPP.MY SON LEFT HOME AND HE IS NOT EATING AND SLEEPING WEEL,BECAUSE HIS FATHER SAYS THAT [HE AS TO LEARN HOW TO BE A MAN ]AND NOT WAIT FOR MUM?????????


jazz 6 years ago

my father is an absent dad, it's like having a gaping whole inside of me, may i say though that although i agree with you i must say sometimes people have very valid reasons,not to mention in some cases infact the Father might make a terrible parent. And although I hate not knowing my Father I am glad it's given me the chance to fend for myself and shape me as the strong person I am growing up to be.


Mario 5 years ago

Not this "you commited the sin of having sex, now put up with God's wrath in the form of an unwanted child" B.S. again. And other than that, this article is purely female corporativism badly disguised as "concern" for the child. Nothing that's been said in the article OR the comments are any use for the child. I'm a child of an absent father myself, and I couldn't care less about my father; I only resent not having been taught basic life stuff, and having to learn it on my own, which is counter-productive, unnatural, and harmed me a lot more than was necessary for any human being. But since my father paid my (mom's) bills, and kept her and me fed, then you'll probably say it's ok, he's a good father. And BTW, condoms are a foolproof form of birth control, abortion is an option (not in my country, but elsewhere yes), and there is no god. Now go f*ck yourselves.


that one girl profile image

that one girl 5 years ago from Washington state Author

Mario:

A) I'm an atheist. I don't believe sex is a sin and I don't believe children are God's punishment/ wrath/ blessing/ what-have-you. I think babies are one of the natural results of procreation.

B) I am also firmly of the belief that if you are mature enough to be having sex, you are mature enough to take responsibility for the consequences -- in all forms. I happen to know both players in this story pretty well. The woman was picked up at a bar by a sober guy. She informed him prior to the act that she was not currently on birth control, and he said he didn't care.

Also, I'd like to know why it's apparently completely the female's domain to take care of birth control, especially when she wasn't out cruising that night? She was at a bar celebrating a friends birthday and my brother (out cruising but not carrying condoms or other protection) picked her up.

C) Actually, the dad is taking care of child support. And given that he helped create the life but isn't particularly enthusiastic about the mother's choice to not abort, that seems fair enough now -- fiscally supportive but not emotionally involved. At the time, I was especially angry at my brother because not only was he saying he wanted nothing to do with the child, he was also forbidding his family (that would be my parents, siblings and I) from having anything to do with the child. That seemed a bit extreme. If he doesn't want to be emotionally involved, fine. His deal. I didn't (and still don't) see where he gets off dictating my involvement with my nephew -- a nephew he avows to have no interest in.

D) What the hell is "female corporativism"? Seriously? Is that some sort of term you came up with to malign feminism? It's laughably inapplicable, so much so that I don't even know how to start addressing it. I'm not even 100% certain I know what you mean -- are you claiming there's some sort of feminine corporate movement? That there's a shadow-movement bent on making money off women fighting for child support? Are you somehow suggesting I am making money off this article? Seriously, I'm baffled.

E) I'm glad you turned out fine, other than your minor resentments regarding the lack of "basic life stuff" lessons. Not a lot of kids are lucky enough to have even the basic necessities in life, and you make a good point in that you and mother were comfortable and well-fed thanks to your birth father's fiscal (if not emotional) responsibility. As the aunt of the child in question, however, I personally want this child to know that they are loved and that their dad's reaction is not typical of our family.

Thank you for commenting.

P.S. I re-read the story and realized why you thought I was religious -- the virgin Mary reference. I can't believe I have to spell this out, but religious references in cultural situations aren't set aside for believers. I was raised in a highly religious environment and am very familiar with religious fables. I can (and do) reference them with ease and familiarity. Like Norse legends, Greek mythology, Aesop's Fables, Shakespeare, and classic modern literature, the Bible and it's fables provide a wealth of easily-referenced parables to our culture.

Also, when I read that sentence, I hear it sarcastically in my head. I guess that didn't bleed through in the writing. My bad.


Lea 5 years ago

I fell pregnant to my ex partner after failed contraception and we had only been together for 6weeks. Initially I wanted to termiate the pregnancy as the father and I were still getting to know one another & I myself did not want a child. However, the father persuaded me to keep the baby and I eventuallycame around to the idea and went on to have a healthy, beautiful daughter, now aged 21 months. Her father and I remained a couple up until 8months ago, when he found a job working away from home. Within 2weeks of starting his job he ended our relationship via the internet and from that day has not made any financial contribution, got in touch to enquire about his daughters welfare or to try and maintain any contact with her. Yet he repeatedly tells people we know that I am denying him any access to the baby and that he is going to seek legal action in regards to contact when he becomes unemployed because he does not want to spend his hard earned cash on legal fees! He also has an 11year old son to a previous partner and treats him exaclt the same as he does my daughter. This man is 41years of age & I often see him when I am out socializing and he has the nerve to ignore and act as if he never knew me, even though we brought our daughter up together for 2years. What a guy! May his ignorance continue I say, because an influence like that, my little girl can most definitely do without.


What? 5 years ago

Check the stats, there are a greater percentage of deadbeat moms than dads!


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that one girl 5 years ago from Washington state Author

Okay, can you point me to a reliable source?


Proud Mother 5 years ago

Absent fathers - their loss I say.

I am the mother of two wonderful boys and I am proud of how well they are trying to deal with their absent father.


Ruth 5 years ago

You are whiney. Booo hoo have sex with someone who cares nothing about you and claim your birth control failed ( yeah right you forgot ooops) get pregnant and play the victim. You did it now live with it and share your part of the guilt for your selfish actions!!!


that one girl profile image

that one girl 5 years ago from Washington state Author

Ruth: Are you referring to me or the person this hub is about? Did you read the hub? I'm kind of baffled by your comment, honestly.


My Beautiful Boy 5 years ago

'That One Girl' - What a thoughtful, eloquent and logically-thinking person you are and I only WISH people like you were the majority in this world. Everything you say makes perfect sense (unlike some of the other ridiculaous comments posted here!) and I applaud you.

As a woman who's long-term partner left when I was pregnant (through IVF - he went down this road with me!) and became emoitionally 'detatched' and still is) I know all too well the devastation I feel for my baby son who's otherwise lovelly dad left us behind. It seems many men have this uncanny ability to detach very suddenly and leave people they used to love and adore behind. If it wasn't for the enormous support we've received from BOTH sides of the family I would not have coped in this situation. The support from his family means so much to be, both personally and for my son. I feel validated and know my son will feeel loved very much.

He is still 'nice' to us and happily pays child support, but he hardly sees his son and doesn't take much of an interest in him. Our families are baffled and wonder if he's depressed yet he seems 'happy'. The tragedy doesn't end there though... He hooked up with a new partner while I was still pregnant, who herself got pregnant almost immediately. He has stood by her and will no doubt be a great dad to that child.

We thought he may be depressed given his eratic change, I don't know, but one thing I know for sure is, I/we will never get the answers I/we seek from men who do this.


My Beautiful Boy 5 years ago

Ooops... 'ridiculaous' = 'ridiculous'


My Beautiful Boy 5 years ago

'superp' - You are 100% correct - you absolutely cannot be any "'real' part of the child's life". Best you walk away and leave them to be.... In your case it's best for all involved.


My Beautiful Boy 5 years ago

'Grieving Grandma' - your logic and mindset are so wrong I don't even know where to begin regarding your post!


Men don't detach 5 years ago

My personal experience with one absent dad is he was chased away by not willing to be dad to the children born after his two children, which are the result of the mom being a whore. Is it expected for a man to stay in his children's life to only have them see their dad be emotionally and mentally abused? When there are no better options for the children but to not be in their life, then how do you be a good Father you know you are?


that one girl profile image

that one girl 5 years ago from Washington state Author

The most I can say in response to that is: The truth will out. Look, maybe the mom is a whore and emotionally abusive to the dad. Maybe not. The key thing here is the kid -- if the dad is really an unselfish, great dad than he'll do whatever it takes to be there for the kid. That does not mean he has to have a romantic relationship with a woman he despises, and it does not meant he has to give her money above and beyond childcare or put up with her drama. It does mean he regularly takes the kid (or offers to) for the weekend; it does mean he makes time for the kid even at the cost of his own social life (have a hot date and your teenage son calls panicking? drop the date, help your son.) It does mean consistently being there for the kid, never talking trash about there mom, and letting the long run of the story tell the truth about who is the more stable, mature, helpful parent.

A parent who bails because the other parent is "unstable" or "emotionally abusive" is actually worse, in my eyes. They took care of themselves, but made no move to help the innocent child left in that person's care? Who does that?


new momma 5 years ago

This is the most moving piece I have ever read. I have a beautiful daughter without a father because he didn't feel like he was 'ready'. Every day I beat myself up about what happened and the circumstances my daughter was born in. But reading this reminds me that he is in the wrong. Not me or my daughter. Thank you so much for this!


chin up 5 years ago

My story is a lot like the other poster, Lauren. My daughter's father walked out as soon as I told him I was pregnant. I've dealt with the same cold-shoulder from her paternal "family". Her grandparents told everyone she wasn't any relation to them until she was 2 yrs old. Even then, they kept her existence hush hush. Unfortunately, to Lauren, it gets worse. Hopefully you have strong male role-models in her life that act in place of a father (but it never will make up for her pain from regection of her biological father). I have learned that. My child has had behavoural and self esteem issues in her teen years. Be ready for it, and best of luck.


Don 5 years ago

I agree that absentee fathers need to get their act together- BUT... its NOT JUST MEN that do this...

I work in social services and its SHOCKING how many ABSENTEE MOTHERS there are. I deal with MANY single dads - where the court ordered the dad get custody- and mother pay child cupport...and the mothers are NOT paying their monthly support payments, and in fact ARE IN HIDING and not able to be found.

THEY ARE JUST AS BAD...

Don't just point the finger at the dads.


moi 5 years ago

I was wondering how long it'd take before someone like Don popped up to detract from the argument - trying to obscure the issue of large numbers of fathers rejecting and abandoning their children by referencing absent mothers.

You are not comparing like with like! Fathers are 9 to 10 times more likely to be absent than mothers in the UK.

Where women are absent, this is more likely to be as a result of domestic violence, threats and abuse, or other alienating/bullying/unreasonable behaviour. Due to women's general lower socio-economic status and unequal access to pay and jobs, they are less likely to be able to make maintenance payments.

I mean Hello!, they don't call it a Patriarchy for nothing guys!!

So DON, you wanna talk about absent mothers, go get your own hub-thread. This one here's about ABSENT FATHERS ....... and blimey o'Reily we ain't going to be running out of material to talk about any time soon!!!!


Mother to 3 5 years ago

'Grieving Grandma' - Why do you say the mother kept the baby out of 'spite'? As a mother myself, I can say that kids are a tremendous amount of work and a lifelong commitment. I just can't imagine anyone wanting to keep a baby only to spite someone. I'm sure it upset her that your son no longer wanted to be a part of her or the baby's life which is understandable since he is half of the cause for her having the baby in the first place. It seems to me like she is being the mature and selfless person here by keeping and taking care of this baby herself even if your son is contributing financially as he should and would be legally obligated to, thank goodness!

Maybe you should give this young lady the benefit of the doubt in this case. I just can not fathom not being a part of my childs (or Grandchilds) life just because the situation isn't ideal. I hope you and your son can come to terms with your situation and realize the harm you will cause to that innocent child before s/he is old enough to realize that Dad and Grandma are not a part of his or her life!


Ress 5 years ago

I am the produce of am absentee father and while my mother was a great and loving mother and did provide a very loving home me I still hold them both responsible for their actions. I am in my 30's now and find myself to have intense emotional battles within myself relating to my absentee fathers. To me the parents never fully understand the level of hurt that accuser in silence. Not having a father in my life has taught me (1) that most people are not trustworthy enough to give spacing in your life (2) that if I don't want to create this kind of legacy in my life that I as a women need to control my fertility until I find what I see as a suitable partner which is why I still don't have children at this stage in my life (3) it's taught me how to read BS well and how depend on my own intuition when making like decisions and (4) that don't want a partner that resembles my fathers impression of love.


shaun 5 years ago

i am an absent father,i wont go into any details because at the end of it there is no excusing my behavior, no matter what you say about being disgusted by people like me means nothing compared to the guilt ive felt and still do every day for over 20 years.


Cailyn 5 years ago

My ex is an absent father. He told everyone, close friends of his, his girlfriends etc, that he had a vasectomy years ago and the child isn't his. He won't do a DNA test because he knows otherwise. FMEP finally caught up to him, then he claims he got laid off but is working cash jobs. He won't pay the $220 a month in child support ordered, and has avoided all the court proceedings as well. His girlfriend says I am just a psycotic whore, yet its her that falsely charges people with rape, etc. He says he will come up and see his son, but 2 yrs have passed and he has made no attempt to even bother, he always has an excuse.

All his friends support him, at least those who know. Even women support him with his behavior. Makes me question what kinds of women get involved with men like this. My son will never know the other side of his family because I don't know where his (my exes) parents are. Apparently somewhere in New Zealand. I am sure they didn't raise him to be such an irresponsible person, but you never know.

I have little respect for men or women either who willingly forgo any relationship with their child, and deny them. They are poor excuses for human beings, and I often wonder if any guilt at being an absent father ever eats away at them. I know it would if it were me.

I lost the faith that he may change, he is going to be 44 this year, and he hasn't changed yet. Life is all about him and all the women he can pick up.


Mel 5 years ago

I can't believe the comment from the Grandmother oh here. Honestly you would rather see your Grandchild adopted out than see your son face his responsibilities, how very very sad.

@Moi - AWESOME COMMENT! I am glad to see someone face up to male bullies who try and turn every deadbeat dad case into a deadbeat Mum scenario...well done!


jamie conners60 5 years ago

When reading this.One factor is missing. God. I HEARD the speech of anger and God provides and allows to a degree anger-but more love than anything else. Do you beleive God allowed this event of your family or simply was powerless to stop it? Do you know how many children will be blessed by that act of this absent dad,by your speech. Millions-How? You had a platform and expressed in the harsh tone-youR convictions. It was a eye opener. But you were wrong in much of your statement. God makes no errors. Children is non-relationships and abusive stay with parents no matter what are harmed more than being in a health-single mom..then loving step dad relationship. Children that grow up with this same type of man you are talking about-meet this man as adults and you would swear he has been with them all their lives. God separated them for his purpose. His way in not our ways. It sounds good to beat the man leaving his child or chidren suggesting that [ALL] of these men fit in the same mold- as you wrote in your speech again and again-I DO NOT CARE! And that is what he said.in his conviction the kind of man you are talking about. These men you are talking about are the worst case. Some women did not want the man "AT ALL IN THE CHILDS LIFE" Some women fight to keep the man away period. But again-GOD before our birth-knew of these things for good. Where the man is not evil,sick,wick one will find in time that he is the father that dreamed of. He is older mature and he has a side to tell and most me-WILL NOT TELL- that would humble a many of moms as one side of the story was just that. GOD KNEW HE ALLOWED AND AFTER THE TEST AND ALLOWANCE-A VICTORY WILL BE FOR BOTH CHILDREN AND THEIR FATHERS WERE GOD SAYS THE SAME.


ress 5 years ago

I am working on my issues and God is the only one who can heal me at this point. I do need to work on my forgiveness with both of my partners. As I read the comments of here I really do not see any of the woman taking responsibility for there choices as well. I think that women feel as long as they are the best mothers that can be they think that there children will not judge them later but that is furthest from the truth. You can't makes someone stay but you can take extra time to evaluate your choice before you even get started because for some of you the men that you selected as a partner was not a surprise and was showing his true colors when y'all where dating or whatever you want to call it. I just wish that people would not use and let sex be the deciding factor to life and when creating life. Sex does not require much over all and is very momentary but the life that is created out of that moment requires so much more and deserves so much more. The blame game can be avoided when decisions are made from the heart and with deep thought. I met so many grown parents who never see this situation from there child's point of view only from the point of finances, selfishness or just a lack of understanding. Do the best that you can do as parents no matter the circumstances but understand that every choice that you make, you are still accountable for no matter how you may present it later.


Jenni 5 years ago

Justin Hunt has made a documentary about this issue, called 'Absent'. James Hetfield (Metallica) is in it.

On the website, there's a space for people to wrote to their absent fathers. Anyone in any doubt about how much pain abandoning your child/ren causes, have a read:

www.absentmovie.com/writealetter.html

@ Grieving Grandma, how much do you imagine your grandchild has grieved, is grieving and will continue to grieve for you and your son?

You raised a poor excuse for a man there. Let's hope your grandchild's mum makes a better parent than you have!!!


Unknown 5 years ago

I'm doing a research paper on absent fathers, that I was not going to do because being a mother of a daughter with an absent father. I feel helpless, you cannot make a father care for their child. Tonight, I walked by my 16 year old daughter and noticed she was trying to look at her fathers (who she has not had contact with in years) facebook. Problem was him and his wife blocked her as a friend. I can however, make sure that she feels loved, supported and knows that I will always be there. Then, I asked question "Why are absent fathers accepted in society?" You are exactly right! More mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, family and friends should stop accepting absent fathers because they do not want to upset their son or their son to run away from them as well. Who should you support a grown man who has been raised and should now refuses to accept responsibility or an innocent children who do not deserve to be made to feel unwanted or forgotten about!!!!!!!


Kristy 5 years ago

My fiancé and I are planning to try and start a family next year; so I have been reading all these pregnancy books, webpages, what to do before you get pregnant...

Anyways I found this in my readings "The first way to tell that it’s the right time to get pregnant is that you have a strong relationship with your partner. You and your partner will have to make many decisions and compromises as you become pregnant and as your child grows. The only way to be sure that you can make it through these trials and tribulations is by having a strong relationship in the beginning. If you aren’t ready to commit to this person for the rest of your life, you certainly aren’t ready to bring a child into the world." And as a future mother I feel that since Im the one carring the baby and bringing it into the world it's more of my responsibilty to make sure I have the perfect partner! We' ve been together for 6 years and I know he is the one I want to have a child with. Im sorry but for the women out there who get pregnant to get or keep a man or need to be loved by something because they are insucure with themselves is WRONG!!! Sure it takes two but really? a smart women knows that men dont think of the consequences when they are "getting it on" women have to take care of themselves! If someone like me (who loves sex everyday) knows how to not get pregnant so should the majority of women. I think there is an increasing number of absent fathers because there is an increasing number of women that get pregnant... just because. Depending on the situation Im not against all absent fathers! Women get to choose if they want abortions not the men (not really fair) So maybe a absent father would have choosen abortion if it was his choice, then he wouldn't have been an absent father. What about women who make the choice to have an abortion and that's not what the father wanted! To bad not your choice! Write a page about that!


Divorced 5 years ago

Oh for the naivete of Kirsty .... Do some research hunny, men walk out on women after years and years of marriage and two or more planned kids .... don't be thinking you're anymore immune than any other woman just because you been with guy for a few years .... check out the post-divorce/child contact stats .... or just ask around 30 - 40 somethings in your town !! Oh yeah, and stop scapegoat-grating women cuz Life just loves irony !!!


Divorced 5 years ago

Oh for the naivete of Kirsty .... Do some research hunny, men walk out on women after years and years of marriage and two or more planned kids .... don't be thinking you're anymore immune than any other woman just because you been with guy for a few years .... check out the post-divorce/child contact stats .... or just ask around 30 - 40 somethings in your town !! Oh yeah, and stop scapegoat-grating women cuz Life just loves irony !!!


Ress 5 years ago

Divorced and to everyone else

Kristy is not naïve and I agree with her if you married to a man and he walked away ok that messed up but you as the women did what was required of you for the situation. You tried to set the best foundation as possible to create a loving and complete family for your offspring. You can not control another grown adult but you can control your fertility. A lot of women don't seem to care or think to make choices with any kind of boundaries or integrity and for all of these people sleeping with an already married partner you know that you are wrong from the get go. You don’t let other people make life altering decision for you I do think that men are require to be active parents just like the mother but my question is why do so many women choose not to protect themselves better? I am 32 and have never been pregnant but I work hard at that. We are in a very selfish world so knowing that I am taking my time when it comes to selecting a partner and one way I do that is by not involving myself in causal sex relationships who really has time for all of that. You have to make men earn a place in your life and between your legs. I grew up with the absentee father and it was enough to make be more responsible for my choices. My mother was a wonderful and loving mother but I do not want to repeat her mistakes because she did not suffer I did. I just don't want to have to be anymore jaded then I already am all just for the quick pleasured of a man who only want sex when I am so much more then a quick moment in the sack. I don't want to feel that every man is a cheater and a runner and while I am sure that this is a fact many it is also true that it is not the truth for every person, women or men. Life does not just happen we create the life that we are living point black.


Kristy 5 years ago

Oh for the "feeling sorry for myself" Divorced... you cleary did not read my comment clearly or I never wrote it clearly? I was talking about women who "just" get pregnant; either because they are desperate, a one night stand, trapping a man for his money or love, crack hores... (get the drift) Do your research hunny, these women do exsist! Im also not scapegoat-grating women (just some) Stop thinking that all men are in the wrong... that's sexist!


... 5 years ago

No Kristy, your description of women as desperate, man-trapping gold-diggers and crack-whores is sexist in extremis. Boy, did patriarchal-socialisation ever do a good job on you!!!

How about you quit scape-goating mothers, who, in general. stand by their responsibilities despite poverty and stigmatism (from the likes of you), and start examining why society (and frequently even immediate family) seems so keen to let men walk away from their offspring without social consequences of any kind, including financial penalty.

Regardless of whether the type of women you describe exist or not (and one would need to look at the social circumstances which result in drug abuse and low self-esteem as well as unequal wages, glass-ceilings and a general lack of access to earning money), you fail to hold any men accountable for their behaviour in respect of their biological children. Why bother coming on here, I wonder? Is there a man in your life who has reneged on his responsibilities? Your father? Your brother? An ex or current partner? Is there a little displaced anger there maybe?

Or do you simply enjoy the feeling of moral superiority you get from bashing other women?


Kristy 5 years ago

Clearly Im still not getting across properly! (Maybe that's why Im a dental hygienist and not a writer) The only reason why I have described some women this way is because I know women like this! I also think you should look into the increasing rate of mothers walking away from their offspring and not even having to deal with the financial penalty of it. I am not sexist, I believe in equal rights. Therefore instead of writing a comment about all men walking away are scum, I decieded to express my feelings of how I think; that there are some women out there that are scum too! If you're so close minded to see this then I wonder if maybe you have just never been exposed to or had friends or family exposed to any women like this; or your just so offened because you are a woman like this? My father raised me, my brother is gay, and my ex's and current partner were and are childless. Why I came here... well my current partner's father is an absent father. Left before he was even born and never even paid a dime of child support. My partner ended up being a wonderful man, and isn't even bothered by the fact he never had a father. It seems that Im more curious about his father than he is and that's how I ended up here. So I know scummy men exsit but I also know scummy women exsit too!


RESS 5 years ago

Kristy you are correct a lot of women are starting to walk away from there responsibilities in raising there children and act like absentee fathers and I am kind of amazed. It not hard to believe that once a group of people who have been rejected for so long by such an important figure as a parent (father)for them to mimic some of the same conceptual thinking and behaviors. Most victims turn into predator eventually because they see no value in being the victim but our society see much value in being the predators. To me there is nothing wrong with what you are describing and having children is so beyond a moment of sex. I think that we are all living in a world where fantasy seems way better then reality and many of us are in trance like induce states. At the end of the day I think that all of us are protecting ourselves less, our offspring’s and our partners and this is the consequences of believe that only side is accountable and blamable in this situation because a man needs a women to have a baby and the woman needs the man to create life as well, I refuse to have an unavailable man’s baby so I will just take my time.


Present Mother 5 years ago

(a) This is 'An Open Letter to Absent Fathers', not Mothers, of which there are far far fewer (as in substantially more women than men understand that "having children is so beyond a moment of sex" ...... at least a good 18 years beyond)!!!!

(b) One of the main predictors that a man will become an absent father is that his father was absent.

(Alarm bells Kristy?)

and (c) Some fathers start out 'available' and later, sometimes many years later, become "unavailable".

There are no guarantees ladies as many of us have already found out, po-faced chastity notwithstanding!!!!!!!!!


Kristy 5 years ago

Well... guess Im not having kids!


Present Mother 5 years ago

Sorry to hear that Kristy - I look at mine and the sun shines. There's nothing I wouldn't do to keep mine safe and happy. They are wonderful. So wonderful in fact that I feel genuinely sorry for their father who, by his own choice, has been absent for years and barely knows them. They are without question the most positive contribution he has made to this earth. That he has caused the rest of his family to miss out on them is too too sad, for them and for us.

I do think children need fathers but sometimes I am grateful that mine have, possibly, been less damaged by his absence than they might have been by his presence.


Ress 5 years ago

Present Mother

I do think children need fathers but sometimes I am grateful that mine have, possibly, been less damaged by his absence than they might have been by his presence.

I use to say this as well as a young child without a father and because I had a very loving mother I didn't trip as much as I could have then but now that I am in my 30's that reality is so far fetched in my mind. No one really has time to help the child suffering form the absentee father complex especially not men. I am having more problems with this issues then my mother will ever care to understand. Yes she did her that she can and was a damn good job but guess what it still was not enough. My childhood was wonderful but now I feel strong conflicts as an adult. I think that mothers and fathers are very selfish over all.

On the flip side when you become an adult you have single mothers trying to tell there daughter how to deal with men when none of there action really shows that they really know much it this area themselves. Right now I feel that my mother gets to play the fence when giving me men advice not realizes that the whole fatherless experience told me really all that I needed to know. You are correct that there are very few things in life that are guaranteed but still some how there are women out here who get it right so it is not impossible at all. Me growing up in an absentee father environment has created fear in me when trusting men, giving myself to a man completely, putting myself in the position when creating life with a man I never take this lightly and that is why I have never been pregnant to this day. I have to get passed it all in a healthy way but to me getting pregnant and becoming a single mother is not a place of healing to me. I am sure that your children are wonderful but there will be issues within them that you can not avoid.


Present Mother 5 years ago

Everyone has issues Ress. There are no perfect mothers, fathers, or mother-father combos, or siblings, or grannies or .... etc, etc, etc. There are no perfect families. All you can do as a parent is your best, and do it with love.

Once you've provided the loving, positive, supportive base, your kids are on their own in terms of building on it. I don't mean that you abandon them, but you can't live their lives for them. You can, however, keep on providing that solid base for them to fall back on when shit happens and from which they can rebuild again.

Sounds to me like you've got a lot of unaddressed issue with your mother. But for all you know, you might have had even more had your father stuck around. There's a long list to choose from.....alcoholism, addiction, domestic violence, womanising, incest..... We all want good fathers for our children. Unfortunately not all men make good fathers and some men make good fathers to some of their kids and not to others.

I'm not saying all women make great mothers but men are definitely the least virtuous of the two genders, if absent parent and crime stats are anything to go by.

Life and love are a bit of a gamble. You can stick or twist. Sometimes you'll go bust. Personally, I can live without a man in my bed but no way would I want to live without my babies!!!!!!


Why? 5 years ago

There's a fairly easy solution to a lot of this: work to remove the negative attitudes toward abortion and ensure people actually get effective sex education (read contraception education). If casual hook ups (or early stage parters) don't end up having an unwanted child not much of this would exist.


Kristy 5 years ago

I agree 110%


that one girl profile image

that one girl 5 years ago from Washington state Author

@Jamie Conners: I don't believe in god. I do not see it's hand in this incident.

As far as the comments after her go, wow, interesting discussion. Thank you all for reading and commenting.


Blessed by my Boy 5 years ago

What a great post, it really hit the nail on the head. My son's dad has chosen to be absent for the last 14 of his 15 years. It's his father's monumental loss. My son was planned; his father and I had been in a serious committed relationship. Through the pregnancy and my son's first year his dad was wonderful, everything a great father should be.

Then he started cheating and expected that I would be ok with it because he took care of us financially. The other woman "kept" him and he enjoyed it. I left. That was not the example I wanted for my son.

His father decided to retaliate by removing himself from our son's life. His family took his lead and abandoned any relationship with my son. My son has not seen or heard from his dad in almost 10 years. But, praise the Lord my son is growing up into a fine young man. It has been difficult doing it by myself but oh what a joy it has been and continues to be. We have a great relationship and I try always to be truthful with my boy. Is he hurt by his father's abandonment and rejection, absolutely. I acknowledge it and we work through it. It is hard to see my son dealing with this and navigating his teen years. But he is strong and resilient and I take nothing for granted. He is entering High School an Honors student with life lessons that will stand him in good stead. Just the other day I overheard a conversation he was having with friends about years gone by. My heart was overwhelmed with joy but also sad that his dad has missed out. All in all I count my blessings each day, my son being the biggest and remember them in the toughest of times. His dad and his dad's family are the biggest losers here, the ones ultimately who will end up with the short end of the stick for missing it all.


sam 5 years ago

My god, what kind of pain must someone be in to not want to spend time with their child, their own flesh and blood!?

In the end, after all the tears, pain, heartbreak and soul-searching, you can only pity such a person!


wilpri 5 years ago

Now I get it. I noticed you said your brother's "father and his wife". He is walking in his father's footsteps by leaving the mother of his children (is that what his father did?) Trying to do other than what your parents did is pretty routinely impossible.


that one girl profile image

that one girl 5 years ago from Washington state Author

@Wilpri: No, although I can see how you'd think that. My mom and dad were happily married for 32 years, and my mom died shortly after her 60th birthday. My dad remarried a woman who . . . well, I try to keep her at a distance, because when I was friendly to her, in her comfort she often spoke ill of my mom and brushed off my anger as me being a bad friend. She never knew my mom, she was just jealous of a dead woman and bad mouthing her to her daughter. It's rude.


nats300 5 years ago

thankyou for your work and i totally agree with your story.....I am mum of two wonderful kids who were left by their father 3 years ago,my son was 13 at the time and seemed to coped ok with but my gaughter was 7 at the time and to this day is still suffering extreemly,i sometimes dont even know how to ease her pain,i have begged theur father not to reject them,but he wrote them a letter(which to this day i havnt shown the kids yet)....dear kids i have moved on and the problems and argueing with your has made me not to see you anymore,my life has moved on...you dont need me in your life....lots of love always your daddy....sick at heart and cruel are about the right words for those actions....i wish there was a law for this,because this is emotional abuse and children are suffering more than people might think,i am now in the process of writing a letter to the MP on child neglect by absent parents and how absent parents should not get away with it...


Malcolm44a 4 years ago

I found this site this evening and thought very hard and long about leaving a reply. Before I begin my story I completely agree that where a father has intentionally abandonned his child: such behaviour can never be permitted and the legislature must take steps to ensure that a child is financially supported and wherever possible that absent or unwilling father must be made to have contact. He must be educated if needs be to understand the importance of his role with his child.

My story now begins and I suppose it's not the usual kind you would expect to hear about a Dad.

Just over 16 years ago I through work went to live in the Western Isles which lie off the coast of Scotland. I met a lady and soon began a very loving and wonderful relationship. I knew there was someone else in here life but she claimed to bitterly unhappy. We planned to get together and buy a house in the island's main town of Stornoway. She became pregnant and my Son was born. My work took me away from the island and I kept in daily contact (and incidentally I did happily support them both. I returned to the island but found great opposition from her family - there were many people in her family. I am an Englishman and seen very much as the outsider and morethan one person made me feel incredibly unwelcome. Work caused me to have to leave again and I well remember boarding the ferry to be told by one of her relatives that "I should go back to England and forget about my son and the life I had on the island as I was not welcome".

Of course where ever I went I phoned daily and sent almost every penny I made to support my Son. My work took me around the world and long absences were common.

However nothing prepared me for the events that happened in August 1999. I will never ever forget that night when I received a telephone call from a man telling me that my son had died in an accident - drowning. He was just 3 years old.

The years that followed were black. I wrote hundreds of letters begging to be told where he was buried so that I could go and say 'goodbye' to him. I was heartbroken. I made hundreds of phone calls desperately trying to find the information I needed and of course because his body was allegedly never found - no grave I was told existed.

For 12 years I have lived in that terrible world of the bereaved parent. I won't tell you what you go through but I wouldn't wish how I have so often felt on my worst enemy. You dread the nights because your brain takes over and you relive everything. During the day you can keep yourself busy and it helps a bit.

Then in August this year out of the blue I received a letter and a photo of a 15 years old teenager standing in the lonely Hebridean landscape. Somehow had an attack of concience ! I don't know who but I thank God for them.

The underlying intention of what I write is to please remember that not all absent parents are bad people. In my case I suffered I think the worst a father can - being told his son had died purely and simply because of family pressure to 'do the right thing'.

The pain for me continues. 12 years have now passed and my Son doesn't even know I exist. I have missed so much in his life. The worse thing is I cannot tell him how incredibly proud of him I am. He is all I have left in this world. Everyone has now gone.

If you are a Dad reading this post - get in touch with your child - right now - take those steps. Don't be like me and cry each night about all that you have lost.......All I can do for my boy is leave everything to him when I am gone.


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that one girl 4 years ago from Washington state Author

Malcom -- wow. That is heartbreakingly awful. I can't imagine what kind of selfish, horrific person would do that to both a parent and child.

This hub is definitely NOT directed at parents like you -- parents who love their children and want to be involved and do everything they can to be a part of their lives. Definitely not parents who were lied to and manipulated into not seeing their kids.

This hub is directed at that parent who has every opportunity to be a part of their child's life and chooses not to out of immaturity, selfishness, or just plain cowardice.

I wish you the best of luck as you rebuild your relationship with your son.


unknown 4 years ago

so what about the no good mothers that go through several paternity tests because she has no idea who father was and after several years of hunting she finds the father who now has a life and is married and got a letter with a paternity notice he has moved on that was a time in his life he left and she chose never to let him know it was his or have any contact with him until she now wants a person in her kids life to make the next bill how to you make someone turn around and readjust there lives like that its just like meeting a lost long brother somtimes its better not to meet that person and the end its usually like that the lady isnt looking for him to meet the child nor the father chooses to but who ends up paying is the father which is ridiculous why now?


unknown 4 years ago

so what about the no good mothers that go through several paternity tests because she has no idea who father was and after several years of hunting she finds the father who now has a life and is married and got a letter with a paternity notice he has moved on that was a time in his life he left and she chose never to let him know it was his or have any contact with him until she now wants a person in her kids life to make the next bill how to you make someone turn around and readjust there lives like that its just like meeting a lost long brother sometimes its better not to meet that person and the end its usually like that the lady isn't looking for him to meet the child nor the father chooses to but who ends up paying is the father which is ridiculous why now?


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that one girl 4 years ago from Washington state Author

No need to double comment.

The posited situation appears to be a personal bugaboo of yours -- you'll note I wrote my hub regarding the actions of absent fathers in response to a situation that happened in my world, involving my family members. You'll also note that societally, absent fathers are a phenomenon that are so well known that they have become an expected stereotype -- sadly, an involved father in a separated parental unit is often considered to be going above and beyond, and showing unusual character. This is negative, misogynistic, and unfair gender stereotyping.

Thus far in the comments, several people have brought up thinly-veiled personal wounds disguised as hypothetical situations, asking what about this or that. I am 99% sure you're not actually interested in my opinion of your posited situation, and that you're instead commenting in order to raise awareness of said situation. That's fine. I would respectfully suggest that writing your own hub on such a situation would possibly garner more attention than a buried comment on an opinion hub.

If you actually are curious about my opinion on your posited situation: I think it's reprehensible, but I also think it's statistically less common than is popularly represented.


saddenedbylife 4 years ago

The absentee father... caused me great pain. I still can't get over what he did to his child. Not so much what he did to me but watching the effects of his actions not being able to fix it for that little boy. It HURT. I sent letters to his home town general delivery. His grandfather delivered those letters to the father I later found out. Yet he did nothing about my pleading him to do the right thing. I begged just have a relationship with his son that's all.(not knowing if he received the letters) A boy needs to know his father. Yet he did NOTHING... His son when he graduated had sent a Graduation announcement to the same small town. I later found out..that it was sent I didn't know he had done that.. yet the father did NOTHING.... what he did to his son affected his entire life. His fear of abandonment, his inability to maintain a relationship, his loneliness. It can't be fixed. It was hard, I wish I had help during his growing. I didn't know if my decisions were right or wrong. The father needed to take part in raising his son. The years passed all that is left is something that can't be repaired.

So father's out there. PLEASE be responsible. Please be there for your child. It's so hard doing it alone.


mad black woman of 2 4 years ago

i'm so sick of them dead beat absent fathers. if you make a child ...support it and shut up.


Libby 4 years ago

Okay here's something I am just gonna say and not bs sugar coat for you. It's not always the guy's fault he isn't involved. I myself am married to a man who has a SCARY VERBALLY ABUSIVE BABY MOTHER. She has time and time again berated and harassed both of us. He pays child support but he does not want any contact with the woman. I personally think a lot of women create the bad environment by being hostile and irrational. So much pressure goes on men in these situations. Why is it that we live in a society where the woman can keep the kid and the guy has to pay even when he made it clear from day one he didn't want it. Say the guy did want a child and the woman wanted an abortion...I think that it would only be fair she is forced into a situation she doesn't want if that's how society is gonna put this pressure on men, then women should be held accountable as well. So yeah sure there are men who promise the world then when baby comes they skip out but to hold this idea all men who aren't involved are dead beats is COMPLETE BS.


i wish 4 years ago

i know i have a kid and want to be in his/or her life...BUT i have no idea where he/she lives...what his or her name is or anything at all about the child...i am at a loss as to what to do about it...holidays are especially hard for me and very depressive...i want to be a father..But how do i do that without any knowledge of the child whatsoever ?


I also wish 4 years ago

And I would do anything to have a loving present father for my child. Unfortunately he refuses to be in her life. And it breaks my heart.


rose 4 years ago

Thank you for raising the issue and having the clarity of perspective you have. More and more fathers are departing from their children and it's become socially and openly acceptable, even the norm. While culture advocates for children's rights, little is done to prevent men from voluntarily leaving and little is done to stand up for what children need most, a father in their lives. So thank you for being speaking up.


a little upset to say the least 4 years ago

My daughter is a VICTIM well shes a surviver truly. He promised several times to make things right 10,8,6 years ago, yet now he says he can help but only if she askes. So she askes and gets a " well you ask after you say mean things to me" Then I will help but you must live up to all what my other kids had to(those which he supported,lived with,was a father too) I want to see your grades,i want to see your college class sceduale, are you responsiable for a car insurqance ,gas,,,,,,,goes on. What what do we do. She put herself out there again looking for a Father and got what?


Ann 4 years ago

Stop whining & sleep in the bed you made or ou and your child .


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that one girl 4 years ago from Washington state Author

@ Ann -- good god, woman, have some reading comprehension. Go back up and re-read that hub. I'm talking about what my BROTHER did to SOMEONE ELSE. I say that in the first paragraph or so. It's like you just knee-jerk reacted to the title and didn't even bother trying to read the hub.

If your comment is meant for one of the other commenters, then use the "@" symbol followed by their user name in order to correctly target your ire.


unknow 4 years ago

my dad is in my life but pays little attention to me and it is so hard it makes me wanna cry every night and kill myself


rachel 4 years ago

i agree its not the child fault a relationship ended! Just because it finised dosent mean the father can walk away and accept no responsibility. I have no respect for men like these at all!!!!


Caz 31 4 years ago

I've got a 14 month old daughter and i'm totally devastated her father wants nothing to do with her. I haven't spoken 2 him since he broke off contact with me when I was 6 weeks' pregnant and has never seen her or paid any money for her to this day. It will not only have a big impact on her life but it has really emotionally affected me as well. I would like to correct some common misconceptions about the mothers of abandoned children and this is mainly directed at you kirsty. I'm not some benefits crack whore, as I have a job and I didn't have my daughter until I was 30 years old. I wasn't desperate to trap a man as I could have had children years before this happened but had decided not to. I fell pregnant by accident and decided to keep the baby because I have had gynaecological problems and was told by a specialist I may never have children. I'm not trying to deny I shouldn't take responsibility for the consequences of my actions, but then why shouldn't he either. He was old enough to know better just like I was and realise that the woman doesn't always choose to have an abortion. No woman deliberately has a child with a man they know for sure is never going to have to do anything with it. I had known my baby's father for six months and, whilst I didn't expect him to win any father of the year awards, I didn't foresee he would react so negatively as he did. As for me a gold digger, I have never once demanded money from him or contacted the Child Support Agency. For me, it hasn't been about that at all. I think your comments are breathtakingly callous Kirsty. Well, good for your smug little self you're in a committed relationship but let's hope your life never unexpectedly takes a turn for the worse. All I wanted was a little bit of acknowledgment from my baby's father but he just ignores me if he sees me. Men like him are scum


Caz 31 4 years ago

Oh, and the father of my baby is not a fatherless child himself. His parents are still very much married and live together. His brother has children, who he has a healthy relationship with. This makes his behaviour all the more baffling. I've given up trying to figure out why he is being so heartless, I'm just giving up and moving on with my life.


Jutta 4 years ago

Why does a deadbeat fater take lunch with co workers,frinds,fam. and eat steak,chicken etc and everybody know he dont pay child support.Why do nobody say "your child might be hungry,i dont support this" and walk away.The shame could make a change.Dont support sneaky fathers.Thank you for your open letter.You speak from my heart.


Absent Father 4 years ago

I found your opinion while google searching for "how to be a great Dad to children you never met?" The Mum in this case is now deceased,so all the parent that remains is myself. One who is as described 'of such damnable character that people avoid contact with me.'Now the only hollow image of a father that provided nothing but emptiness and absence. NOW have to be the person that maybe once in ten years for 5 minutes on the phone to support our wonderful child in that moment of need! AS pathetic as that compares to what was missed ,its all that matters now. Its not easy to read what most of you think,or have endured and I offer you the comfort of your strength of character saves you from being anything like me? iii am sorry to my children how it went,but my vision is restored now and hope there is forgiving for my previous failure which is the shattered Chrystal of our past ? That can NEVER be restored. Some mistakes are just that, yet the burden of the fallout from it is the cross that some people bear,Which grows ever larger as time passes.You may be correct in your writing but honestly not all dads like me are "fully" instrumental for the babes in voerwoods. Yet we will be able to be found buried under our burden in millenium to come.I'd like to know of the things I can do to take some of my burden off my baby now that she is adult? Just WRONG, but the mother would not lose the single parent income and we are BOTH tuff so get over it cause me & my little girl are pretty well blessed to be alive.


Mark 4 years ago

My story is a different one and I hope to give a different point of view. My name is Mark and I am 43 years old. I have two daughters and a son. After going through a divorce, my ex did not want me involved in my children's life. She had an affair during our marriage (which I didn't learn about until a few years later) and had a child with her lover. She wanted him to become my children's daddy. From that point forward, she often didn't bring them to my house when they were supposed to come and despite taking her to court three times over this at a great expense to me (I am a laborer and my work depends often on the season). I did not and do not have a lot of money, but I have never missed a single child support payment, not one and I never would. The judge never did a thing to her other than tell her to comply and would make a threat but never followed through. I began to see my kids less and less and even learned that my ex often badmouthed me making outrageous claims. At one point and to this day I don't know how this happened, but she ended up with a black eye some kind of way. I learned this when the police showed up at my door claiming she had filed a complaint against me. I was taken to jail despite this being a complete lie. For you see I had been out of town for three days on a construction job and only been home a few hours before the police showed up. I explained this but still was taken to jail and had to remain there for five hours before I was released and had to appear in court. It sounds unbelievable I know but I left out one important detail. Her new lover and a few of her neighbors told the police I had done it and claimed I came over to her house to commit the assault. As I stated I was not in town and fortunately my boss testified that I was indeed elsewhere. She went as far as hiring an attorney who proceeded to focus very little on her made up story and claim I was the one having affairs in our marriage (yet another lie) and that I had no interest in my three children. That was yet another lie. I learned they filed a motion trying to make it where I could not see with my children. I was forced to hire an attorney and they kept delaying the case costing me money by the second. I ended up spending roughly 10,000 dollars on that one. Obviously a judge didn't go for it but six months later, I was once again accused in a similar fashion. I don't want to bore you by rehashing the same outcome but this occurred two more times each time costing me money and the judge on eventually required me to attend counseling for a lie which I went to because it was ordered. The counselor quickly got frustrated with me because I would not admit to things that were untrue and a year later testified in court, that I was being difficult and in denial. I know this sounds outlandish. This caused yet more problems in me seeing my kids. After eight years and several thousand dollars in debt she once again pulled yet another trick. I won't go into detail but I finally had to throw up my hands and say enough. I miss my kids terribly but a decision had to be made to save my own life. I will continue to support them financially and hope when they become adults they will want to have a relationship with me.


Keri 4 years ago

I think You should keep your judgments to yourself... Why is it that a mother can give a child up for adoption and she's a hero but if a father wants to do the same he's shit??? Hmmm...? Women are just as bad as men!!! Men need to keep it in there pants and girls need to shut there legs! If someone doesn't want a child then they don't want the child!


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that one girl 4 years ago from Washington state Author

Everyone has a right to their opinion. Perhaps if adequate sex ed, contraception, and abortion were more readily available (and adoption was less expensive), we would have fewer reluctant and unprepared parents.

Incidentally, I also feel you should keep your opinions to yourself, so at least we agree on something.


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that one girl 4 years ago from Washington state Author

Regarding "Blake" who on 4-27-2012 posted an insult directed toward another commenter on this hub; I deleted your comment because I it was a speculation based, unnecessarily provoking insult with no eye toward adding to the discussion at hand.


bill 4 years ago

There are two sided to every story. For every absentee father, the mother was also guilty. In my case, I did not get enough parenting time. The mother created this situation by moving 500 miles away and winning sole physical custody. I had less than 7 percent parenting time. I tried to keep the relationship going, but I was a visiting stranger in his life. His mother's goal the entire time was to get me out of his life. Why else would she move 500 miles away. So I gave up. Make it very difficult for a father to be a father, and he will probably give up. Sole physical custody should be illegal. Joint custody should be mandatory, whether a parent wants it or not.


Bill 4 years ago

There are two sides to every story. For every absentee father, the mother was is guilty. The mother in my case created a bad situation by moving 500 miles away and winning sole physical custody. I could see my son only 36 hours per month. That is less than 7 percent parenting time. I tried to keep the relationship going, but I was a visiting stranger in his life. His mother's goal the entire time was to get me out of his life. Why else would she move 500 miles away. So I gave up. If you make it very difficult for a father to be a father, then he will probably give up. Sole physical custody should be illegal. Joint custody should be mandatory, whether a parent wants it or not. Or men should automatically get sole physical custody at 7 to 10 years of age. This is how is is done in Islamic countries.


Cas 31 4 years ago

I really wish my baby's father had any sort of interest in her at all but he has told people he "really doesn't want anything to do with it" and has told them keep the knowledge of him being my daughter's dad to themselves. She is just his dirty secret and he is too ashamed of us to even admit she exists. I don't know what to do, I'm really depressed and the pain of this predicament has been eating into me for years. Has anyone got any suggestions as to how I can move forward with this or what I should do???


Naomi 4 years ago

I received a call last week after 16 years from ex, Nicholas Nugent. He had a stroke and now wants to meet my son for the first time. He's 15. Should I tell him to take a hike?


mystri33 4 years ago

My daughters father has always discouraged his mother and sister from having any contact with me or my daughter. Its bad enough that he is too busy to be a "dad" to her but I dont understand how these women being mothers themselves cannot understand what this rejection does to a child. I think more families of absent fathers should follow your lead and stop ignoring the fact that these children are now part of their family and should be treated as so.


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that one girl 4 years ago from Washington state Author

I don't know. It's your life, your kids, your family, your decision. I have no idea who anyone in this situation is, or their personalities, or the likely positive or negative long term effects. Based on the scant information, I'd say let him meet the kid. But for all I know, that could be terrible advice that overlooks some key aspect of your shared history. So . . . talk to people who are aware of the full situation? Write a list of pros and cons? Ask your son?


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ReNee Luz 4 years ago from Valenzuela, City

I really feel bad about kids abandonment.. it's really the kids suffer consequences of their parents actions.. :( I have same issue about my kids growing up with absent of their dad.How they gonna coupe with it and hope it doesn't bring them down esp they are 2 girls .. though I promise I'll do my best to give them all love and caring I can. They are still so young and still dunno the real thing happenings about the break ups.. and losing their dad...


THe solution 4 years ago

A man who knows he will not step up to the plate and become a father needs to have a Vasectomy. His balls must go. Abortions are not the answer. Vasectomy of irresponsible men are!

All cowardly men who chose not to have a vasectomy and abandon their child should be hung.

This should be inscribed in law. It would solve a lot of problems.

Likewise with women who can't handle children and know it. Get those tubes tied or avoid sex all together.


Aging Crooner 4 years ago

Since 1973 and Roe v. Wade women in this country have had an ABSOLUTE RIGHT mandated by the Supreme Court to avoid parenthood after conception. Prior to that the "choice" was made for both parents when they had intercourse which led to conception. Thus,in pre-Roe society, it was normal for the prospective parents to feel a sense of joint responsibility for the creation of human life. The assumption (if most supporters of legal abortion even bothered to assume) that men would somehow feel the same post-conceptional sense of parental duty once women were free not to feel it was complacent and naïve. Since men can now use the logic of Roe to deny that they have co-created human life (the fetus not being legally human) and to deny any role making it human (the choice being strictly the woman's) they have effectively been given carte blanche to become sperm fathers. Choice for the goose inevitably becomes choice for the gander.

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