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Ask the Divorced Guy!
by Dean Hughson
Title: Dad? What's a Dad?
Hi Dean or Mr.Dean. Um, I am writing to ask you a question and to tell
my story. Most likely it will sound quite familiar to you but just hear
me out. My parents divorced when I was about 2 or 3 and I don't
remember anything of the failed marriage. He used to hit my mom and was
arrested many a times and ended up in court for it. My mom says he was
on drugs but I don't believe that part. Anyway every now and then I
will see him. He's remarried now and all together has 7 kids including
me. I'm somewhere in the middle. His new wife is nice and we are great
friends but why doesn't he hit her? He hit my mom so I would expect him
to abuse all of his wives or whatever. I just wanted to say that he is
a real jerk for what he did and didn't do and a disappointment to me. I
can't even call him Dad. I live in Jersey and he lives in Maryland. He
was just up here this past weekend and didn't even bother to come and
see me and he was just around the corner, literally. I just want to
know why is he like this? If he didn't want to bother with me why did
he help produce me? He seems like he loves his other kids a lot and
when I go to visit I feel like and outcast. I love my little sister and
all but whenever I need him to do something or whatever I get her to get
him since I can not let the words Dad or Daddy to pass my bitter lips.
I'll say to him, "Hey, um,could you come here?" What's the problem why
is he not a father to me? I know I did not do anything so what's his
deal? I'm now 17 going on 18 (in 4 months) and when I go to my friends
houses and see them interact with their fathers or their parents I get
so envious and want to be them and when I tell them that all they can do
is feel sorry for me. All in all it really sucks. Well thanks for
letting me vent to you but I have to go, I'm in school. Please mail me
with some comforting words of wisdom or advice because right now I
really need them. Thank You ever so much.
When I see letters like yours I am reminded of my own growing up time. I had a similar father.
You are 17-18 years old and its time to talk to your father about your feelings. I personally find it best to do it in person but it can be done over the phone or even in a letter if you want. I would find a trusted counselor at school, a minister/rabbi or someone to talk it over and practice it with and get at how you want to portray your feelings to your father. Children of divorce have some unique problems sometimes and the feeling that a parent doesn't love you isn't helped by the physical distance you have besides the emotional distance. That is why it is so important to learn to talk direct and straight about things that count.
Why should you do this? Because it is important to learn to be straight with one's feelings and emotions and questions in life. That is part of what being a man is about and sometimes we are surrounded by people who aren't treating us right and must demand what we want.
You have a good learning opportunity about life in front of you. Let me know how it goes.
Dean Hughson, called the Dear Abby of Divorced Dads by the KC Star, is the founder of the DIVORCE HOMEPAGE. He has talked to thousands of people contemplating divorce, going through divorce, or the chaos afterwards and gives referrals and advice. He resides in Nevada, the state with the highest divorce rate in the US.
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