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.
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.