[EDIT: REMOVING THIS PORTION AS IT DIDN'T APPLY SPECIFICALLY. DIDN'T HAVE THE FULL EMAIL AT THE TIME AND WAS TRYING TO PIECE TOGETHER WHAT WAS GOING ON]
That being said, I'll say this. I am a single father of two children (I'm divorced), who I get to see at various times during the week. I know what you are going through, and I know exactly how hard it is to be there for them "part time." People grossly underestimate the amount of sacrifice and the emotional toll on the non-custodial parent in our society. It takes a strong man to remain in his kids' lives after a divorce. A lot stronger than people think, and, while I can never condone a man who abandons his kids, I do understand why they do it because I've been there and I've faced that same struggle.....the struggle of "I can't take this anymore, I have to get out of here." The struggle of "do I really love my kids or am I just going through the motions".....the struggle of "I can't take this emotional yo-yoing of seeing them and then not seeing them anymore," the whole breaking down their defenses when they first come only to ship them off and go through the whole process every single time I get them.
So yes, I get that the decision to remain in your kids lives is a tough one, especially when you didn't want them to begin with.
But let me tell you, from my own experience, that the more I do it...the more I face those struggles and rise above them...the more I take up the responsibility....well, the more I love them and the more I grow as a person. I feel like my experience as a single dad has helped me grow in leaps and bounds, and through all my ups and downs and struggles, I've grown to love them deeper, appreciate them more, and grow a sense of inner strength that I could never have reached had I ran away like I originally wanted to do.
So, it's time to grow up, face your issues, embrace a system that works for you, and etch out a path that includes you in their lives. No, you don't have to apologize for wanting your space. No, you don't have to get them everyday. But you should find a way to get them that works out best for both you and them. They didn't ask to come into your life. They are innocent here and they don't deserve to be abandoned and left to struggle on their own just because you have some issues about it.
I know that's blunt and harsh, but I believe it so strongly because I have lived it. And I assert it so strongly because I know, from experience, that by facing it and manning up to your responsibility you will grow much more as a person than if you run away and leave them to fend for themselves. I don't think this. I KNOW this.
So, take my advice for what it's worth. I just know that 2.5 years later, I am so glad beyond glad that I didn't run away back in the beginning when I felt the road was too tough. I am glad that I toughed it out, because of the affects it's had on my inner strength.
Last edited by James81; 05-04-2009 at 02:37 PM.