When A Divorce Makes a Better Dad

GMP founder Tom Matlack reflects on the trials and triumphs of divorce on fatherhood

At the Good Men Project, we’re having a conversation on what it means to be a good man, and what it means to be a good dad on media platforms everywhere. Thursday, it was with the New York Times. This excerpt is reprinted with permission by Motherlode, the parenting blog of the NYT.  

Divorce stinks. Don’t get me wrong. The excruciating pain of leaving your child on Mom’s doorstep, of missing holidays and first steps, of having to schedule visitation are nothing to sign up for unless there is no other choice. My divorce involved the kind of pain that makes you think walking in front of a train would be a piece of cake if not for your responsibilities. But buried deep within that pain is a silver lining — a motivation, an aspiration, a hands-on learning — that “normal” dads don’t get.

My son was 6 months old and my daughter was 2 when I moved into a furnished rental with shag rugs, the permanent smell of Chinese food and a commanding view, through cracked Plexiglas, of Route 95 in Providence, R.I.

—read the rest of the article at Motherlode

Goodness is less a state of being than an ideal, one to aspire to despite missteps, mistakes, and setbacks. This idea grows with the experiences that feed it, much like the magazine and the conversation we’re having. Here are a few more recent articles on divorce and fatherhood.

Tom on losing his family to addiction and getting another chance with sobriety.

On finding common ground with your ex and replacing child support with parental responsibility.

Divorce does not have to lead to acrimony and hating.

Are we learning? 5 reasons the divorce rate has fallen in the past decade.


—photo by rooneyjohn/Flickr

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About Tom Matlack

Tom Matlack is the co-founder of The Good Men Project. He has a 18-year-old daughter and 16- and 7-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life. Follow him on Twitter @TMatlack.

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