The Worst Part of Being Divorced

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About Paul Schneider

Paul Schneider is an Evanston, Ill.-based free-lance writer whose pieces have been published in newspapers and magazines around the country, including the L.A. Times, Inside Sports, Basketball Digest,and Hockey Digest. He's presently working on being a daily hero to his two daughters, Ruby, 14, and Natalie, 10.

Comments

  1. Paul,
    I enjoyed your words, and my heart feels everything you wrote; except that I’m hoping to work up to the stage you’re at now. I’ve been out of my kids’ lives for nearly two years — they are angry with me and, at 21 and 17, don’t have to follow any court-appointed custody calendar, so contact with them is sparse.

    To even write that last sentence opens me up to a lot of hurt, especially at this time of year. My daughter and I communicate the most, but she chooses to do it by text. She is at a wonderful threshold, with college choices and boyfriends and growing into maturity right there in front of her, and I don’t get to experience any of it with her. My son has fought through a number of challenges to get where he is now, and I don’t get to share his victories or even his struggles. They are expressing their displeasure, anger, hurt, shock, and all the other requisite emotions that come from a child’s helpless role in their parents’ divorce in an all-or-nothing policy: I’m either in the house with all of them (including my ex-wife) or I’ve left them (not just a bad marriage).

    I have built that wonderful support group like you have mentioned, and counseling has helped me maintain my resolve to be there when the walls come down, and continue to be patient and let them know they are loved until that time comes. But the getting there, even in the hope to make that stride to where you are and see your children even part of the time, is long, arduous, tiring, frustrating, draining, and lonely. I wish you Godspeed on your journey, and I ask you to hug your kids a little tighter for those of us who are still on the outside, hoping to get a foot in the door.

  2. Paul, thanks for a piece from the heart that resonates so strongly. I hope you find a way to see them more this year.

    • Paul,

      I’m touched by your words. I especially like the fact that you have been present in your children’s life from the beginning. That means a lot to them. I admire you greatly. Keep up the good work.

  3. Paul, like many divorced fathers I feel your pain. But I’d ask you to consider this. The absence and longing that you feel has undoubtedly made you a better father, I can tell you with certainty it has done so in my story. I often look at married fathers with children who they see more often as a burden than a blessing because they have that consistent visibility and I feel good knowing that I’m not nor will I ever be that type of dad.

    It’s proper to feel saddened by that distance, but as you seem to be doing with your own children, use it as motivation to be the father that you likely would never have been otherwise.

  4. ihavewanna says:

    Glad you’re liberated, glad your ‘in love’ glad your wounds are exposed but you’re a man and if you wanted to stay wtih your kids then you should have made it work at all costs. That’s what a man does.

  5. daddyoffour says:

    Hey Paul,
    I feel ya brother…Very well spoken. You’re not alone..
    -Matt

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