Join The Club

07 Nov

Why would you read this blog? Well. If you’re a divorced dad (or mom for that matter), you’re kind of part of the club. When you got divorced, your friends and family likely rallied behind you and supported you in the only way they knew how. But as much as we appreciate the support of those around us, there is still an emptiness you feel unless you’re able to connect with others who are living the same experience.

I can demonstrate empathy for someone with a broken arm, but I can’t connect with them on a level of true understanding and compassion simply because I’ve never had to live day to day with the emotional or physicalpolls_alone_0603_585011_poll_xlarge challenges of having to survive with only one workable set of fingers.

Those who don’t have kids, can’t fully appreciate what a day with kids is like. Anyone who isn’t divorced with kids, can’t truly appreciate the level of energy true commitment to those lives requires to make it work. They can support, love, embrace, and encourage. But they will never truly understand what life as a single divorced dad is like unless you are a single divorced dad as well. At times it can cause you to feel alone in a crowded room. You need the support and appreciate the encouragement, but you can still feel alone when you don’t feel like people fully understand what you’re going through.

And so, this blog was created as a point of reference, written by a single divorced father of three who is attempting, like other single divorced dads, to make it through the hours, days, weeks, months, and years with a positive attitude and with the strength to raise well adjusted happy children.

It’s one thing for a doctor of psychology to tell you it’ll all be OK. Or to hear from your married brother that you’re going to make it. But it’s another when a fellow father struggling with getting the kids to soccer practice, their yearbook meeting, dance class, making their lunches, being there when they get home, having their favorite keep-calm-and-join-the-club-6jeans ready in the morning, making sure everyone is together for a healthy dinner, and coordinating with an ex who has their own set of demands to deal with, tells you that you can do it; it simply holds a little more weight.

And I’m here to tell you, you can do it. You’re going to make it. You’re not alone. There are others going through exactly the same thing. It sucks, it’s hard, it’s demanding and it’s draining. It will test you on every level emotionally and physically. You will fail, and you will succeed. You will laugh. You will cry. You will smile. You will scream. You will let people down because you’re simply at capacity and don’t have anything else to give. You will also celebrate victories with friends and family when you need it most. You will have days when you’ll feel like it’s all going to fall apart. But you will recover and recognize that it won’t. There will be victories. There will be hugs. You will find moments of peace and acceptance. You will recognize strengths you never would have known you had if it hadn’t been for the divorce. You will grow and so will your children. There are so many positives to look for. So many amazing moments. And so many things you can do to make it a positive.

My hope is that you can find a word or two here and there that encourages you to smile and get up ready to take on the world. A world that may be foreign to you. One that may appear overwhelming at times, but is manageable if you simply take it one step at a time.

So, from one divorced father to another; I assure you, you can make it. Oh, and welcome to the club. Glad to have you.


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10 responses to “Join The Club

  1. Brad

    November 11, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I’m a divorced father of two. One of my children has autism. I have joint parenting though their mother lets say is a difficult person. She is in contempt of our entire divorce settlement including visation. I am compliant with child support or would not be writing on this blog. I lack much of a support system and am financially incapable of taking her back to court to hold her accountable. Anyone’s advice, anything to let me know I’m not alone would help. These last 18 months have been a living hell and I’m at my wits end

    • divorced dad

      November 12, 2013 at 11:03 am

      Hi Brad. You’ve taken a huge step in just sharing your story and inviting others. Sounds like you’ve had a trying year or two. My advice would be to sit down one evening and write everything down that comes to mind in terms of what you feel your ex is doing that’s not in compliance with the settlement agreement. Knowing that you likely have a difficult time discussing the topic with your ex, I believe it’s worth attempting to discuss the issues with her in as calm and proactive manner as you can; doing your best to do so in a non attacking manner. It’s one of the hardest things to do, but I’ve found it often defrosts an otherwise frigid situation and catches the other person off guard when you do. Basically, do your best to take the high road. If you continue to hit brick walls, I would then search Family Law firms in your area and contact a couple. They may very well offer you a free consult to see if they can help you; and if nothing else may offer you additional ways of holding your ex accountable for the agreement. Often times you have more options that you realize. Keep positive and keep us posted. You’re not alone Brad!

      • Brad

        November 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm

        Thank you for the advice and letting me know I am not alone. I have already attempted taking the high road with no success. At this point I have no other choice but to seek legal counsel.

      • divorced dad

        November 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm

        No matter the circumstance, I always believe it’s easier to take other steps when you know you’ve done everything you can to make something work. Sorry to hear you’ve reached that point. I’m sure it’s as disappointing as it is frustrating. Stay strong and keep us posted on how you’re doing. Perhaps you’ll be able to offer some good advice to someone else going through a similar situation.

  2. wxyadventures

    November 12, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I don’t have my own kids but have lived with my partner for the last 3 years. He has two kids of his own which live with us full time. (Their mom is not allowed to see them at this point.) I read your blog in order to try and gain some understanding of what my partner’s perspective is. Your blog is thoughtful and well-written. Keep on!

    • divorced dad

      November 12, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Thank you so much for the kind words. It’s not an easy road to travel that’s for sure. Sometimes just knowing someone else is living the same journey helps. If you ever have questions or ideas for topics, by all means let me know!

    • Brad

      November 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      Thank you for the response. I am glad to have found this web site. I hope that I gain advice in order to be able to better cope with being apart from my children. It literally is a living hell.

      • divorced dad

        November 12, 2013 at 12:52 pm

        I have a 50/50 with my ex and sometimes see them more than that depending on her schedule. We also agree that one on one time is important so we tend too allow the other the chance to get one of them for a day / night when we have all three. But even then, when they’re not around I notice I’m a completely different person. So I can only imagine what you’re going through. How often are you supposed to see them compared to how often you actually do?

  3. Tommy

    August 7, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Brad, my ex and their “legion” only let me see my daughter 2 hours a week, under her “supervision”. Im a 38 year old man, it is embarrassing and sad. Can barely afford rent, always looking for more work, and give her whatever I have left couple hundred here, couple hundred there. It’s not good enough. I’ll never be able to afford a lawyer and That would be a waste of time anyway, cause I guess Im what they call a deadbeat no matter what I do. Until im able to land a 70k/yr job, I dont think anything will change.

    This is 5 years of this hell now. Panicking all week, worrying about my daughter. Who loves me, despite the “legion” that talks bad about me constantly. I dont deserve this, and my daughter doesnt deserve this. There will be no memories of dad taking her to a baseball game, or dad going fishing with her. Does the “legion” care? No, they do not. Because its never good enough. Even when I was making 200k/yr prior to 2008, buying the wife audis and being a sucker for her needs of an unnecesarily large home. As soon as there are work or money issues, BYE BYE deadbeat! The walking wallet is no more.

    We will see what comes to pass if I get lucky someday and get a high pay job. And we will see what happens when my daughter passes a certain age and starts really asking questions. I never talk bad about the ex or the “legion” to her. “Daddy do you hate nana and papa?” “No babe, I dont hate anyone. Its not good to hate.” was my answer to her. When a 6 year old asks you that question, that means that good ol nana and papa were talking serious smack about me.

    This is hell, yes, and we all have our personal situations but they always seem “similar” concerning the “other party”. Funny how that works and how common it is these days. So, I support you and all the other divorced dads that are dealing with this in our own ways.

    • billfilipiak

      August 7, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      18 years go by fast. You are and always will be dad. That is truth. Stay positive. Let her see you be positive. She will recognize it. Hate to hear your struggles. But you’re not alone.


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