Wanted: Support groups for divorced dads

support-group-for-divorced-dads

Readers often provide some of the best article ideas.

For instance, I recently received an email from a reader named Bill. The subject line grabbed me: “support groups for dads with crazy ex-wives.”

Now, I’m wary whenever I hear any divorced person – man or woman – call an ex-spouse crazy. After two divorces, I’ve learned that fault rarely lies entirely with one party in a split.

In his email, Bill said he suspected I would be skeptical of the way he characterized his ex-wife.

“I know almost every man thinks his ex is crazy,” he wrote.

Bill described his lengthy divorce proceedings and custody battle with his ex-wife. He said she made “horrible and perverted allegations against me (all of which were found to be totally groundless).”

“Sorry to go on at length, but my life has more or less been ruined,” Bill concluded. “It would be nice to be able to talk to some other dads in a similar situation.”

Obviously, I can’t verify Bill’s comments about his divorce or his contention that his ex-wife is crazy. But I commend him for seeking a support group for divorced dads.

No matter whether an ex-wife is crazy, most divorced dads would benefit from sharing our struggles with others like us.

There’s a nationwide support group called DivorceCare that has local chapters, sort of like Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s intended for men and women. I’ve attended some meetings, and invariably women far outnumbered men.

Are women simply more willing to discuss their struggles after a divorce than men? I suppose so.

Don’t try to go it alone

But that shouldn’t be the case. Dads, I believe, face just as many difficulties and adjustments after a divorce as moms. There should be support groups just for men that would allow us the chance to share thoughts and experiences that we might not discuss with women in the room.

I did a Google search on “divorce support groups for men” and came up empty. The first result was a website for fathers’ legal rights. The second was a dating site for divorced people (both men and women). And the third was a website that offered advice on how to stop divorce proceedings and save your marriage.

I wrote Bill back, saying I didn’t know of any divorce group just for men. He wanted me to ask Single Dad House readers if they knew of any.

“I’m desperate to find people to talk to who know what I’m going through,” Bill replied.

Can anyone help Bill by recommending a dads’ support group? You’d be doing him – and countless other divorced dads – a big favor.

THE TAKEAWAY

As a divorced dad, you need to reach out to others. You shouldn’t try to cope with your feelings and responsibilities alone. Ideally, find a divorced support group. But since few apparently exist, you may need to assemble your own. Talk to friends, family, and anyone else who could encourage you.

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About Ed Housewright

Ed Housewright is the chief cook and bottle washer at Single Dad House. After three decades as a newspaper reporter, he’s trying to adapt to the social media world. He’s matrimonially challenged with two divorces under his belt and is trying to do a better job at raising his 12-year-old son, Connor. Follow Ed on Twitter: @singledadhouse.

Comments

  1. I'm the editor of DadsDivorce.com and our divorce forum is a really popular and helpful way for dads to be a part of an online support group: http://www.dadsdivorce.com/father_divorce_forum/

    It's a great way to connect with men and fathers who have been though the same situation before. It's important for guys to know that they do not have to fight these battles alone. Obviously, it's not an in-person meeting, but the support our community members provide is one reason the forums are so popular.

    • Divorce Dads is one of the largest forums for men going through, or having been through a divorce. However, I found that like most forums you get a majority of people who pass judgment without knowing your whole situation. Not exactly what someone needs.

  2. I am a licenced therapist and run Separation/Divorce groups for Women, or Men in my Blue Ash Office Cincinnati Ohio. Comprehensive Counseling Services. The fee is $35 pr. week for a 2 hour group . Groups are forming now.
    If anyone is interested contact me 513-891-1533

  3. what can i do if exwife wont le me see kids without spending alot of money on lawer

    • Nathan Rodriguez says:

      You can file with your local courts and I do believe the fee is about $100-$150 to file in civil court. They will supeana her and she will be required by law to make her appearance. Usually take about 2 weeks. I would not try and visit unannounced or force you way on this as this can paint you in a very negative way. I do recommend attempting to mail letters to your children often. I would do it weekly and send it certified mail (so you have a record of it being sent off and received). Keep a copy of the letter that you send. Make a trail of attempts to contact your children, ie. phone records, text messages (and yes print her replys as well.) This will contradict her accounts of you being an unloving or otherwise absent parent. Unfortunately this is a form of control that a lot of divorcees use without regard to the children's well being.Be consistent and above all do not argue with her. It only fuels her anger more. Use the courts as a means or resolving this. If she begins to yell or otherwise threaten you journal it and record the date and time. Bringing this with you to court is invaluable. I hope this helps. Stay the course, be the light and calm for your children in this storm… and they will come to you I promise

      • hanks that is th sort of advise I am looking for do u know wer to find mor espeshely wher she seems to do behaving erashenely and thre is sum fear of her drinking to much alkahol?
        I am a new partner of the father and cant emajen whot it is like to be without my children or not ot let ther dad have acses.

    • From what I've been told is you file a complaint with the Friend of the Court, and document any and all attempts to see your children if you have visitation. If she doesn't let you see them, you file a motion and take the matter to court. Not much else you can do.

  4. im 57 my wife wants adivorce after 25 years of marriage and she is in europe and im in usa with my son she told me on the telephone the news im all alone and i need help

  5. I am divorced from a woman who has a family with seemingly unending income. I on the other hand am not so fortunate. She has countless times violated our divorce judgment, mostly by refusing to allow me the time I am entitled with my children. I would like to know if there is someplace where I can get advice on how to bring this in front of a judge. Unfortunately I have been left in ruins and every attorney I talk to wants multiple thousands of dollars before they will even give advice. Can anyone help me please?

  6. My name is john and I would like to talk about my wife living me

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    Sadly, threats concerning custody of children are commonplace, and if

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  8. I am a divorced dad. It’s been 5 years and my ex is still making things hard for me it seems to me it’s all about money to her. I just want to be able to talk to my kids more than once a week now my youngest son is starting to not want to talk to me ( he was two when she took them to tx) even after 5 years it still hurts more than I can say. I want the pain to stop but it doesn’t the only relief I get is when I drink Is there anyone out there to talk to. Some group or something. Please help

    • I'm sorry you're going through such a difficult situation. I know it's very hard. After my divorce, I got involved in a group called Divorce Care. They have chapters all over the country. You can find one near you by going to their website (divorcecare.org) and putting in your zip code. In the groups, men and women open up about their struggles after a divorce. I found it very helpful in my healing. There are other support groups for divorced people, but I don't have any experience with them. I would highly recommend Divorce Care. Good luck.Ed

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