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Prior to meeting my husband I had knowingly formulated a tawdry stereotype of the divorced father. He was a man who wore high priced clothes, drove fancy cars, and lived in a lavish home, with his new wife and their children. His main objective was avoiding child support payments, and he didn’t have an ounce of paternal feeling in his entire body. Having lived through my own experience with my ex, my stereotype had been confirmed.
 
After being exposed to my husband, and his anguish as a result of being unwillingly separated from his son, I was forced to look at the topic of divorced fathers a bit more objectively. I soon realized that not every divorced father was like my ex, and just maybe some of these men were or could be truly great fathers – if given the chance. I had never contemplated the devastating consequences of losing the right to live with your child that some men might feel. After all, I have personally witnessed my husband’s agony after missing important moments in his son’s life that has left him feeling more like a visitor than a parent.
 
Contrary to popular opinion, failed relationships don’t necessarily equal bad parenting. It seems as if some men, including my husband, are punished for their marital break up. Even though it is often in everyone’s, including the child’s, best interest for a bad marriage to end in divorce, it doesn’t mean that the importance of either parent should be overshadowed by feelings of bitterness.
 
The bitterness of my husband’s ex- wife forced him to endure an arduous divorce which has essentially stripped him of his fatherhood. Court battles have left him not only heartbroken, but with both an unfair visitation and child support payment schedule to match. Despite many failed attempts to remain the involved parent that he was prior to the divorce, my husband’s love for his son is continuous. Although he is mentally drained by the constant court battles regarding visitation with his son, he remains optimistic about the day when he will be able to have a relationship with him that doesn’t include his mother and her bitterness.
 
And so, I am glad that I took a moment to delve into the topic of divorced fathers. If I hadn’t done so, I would have been left with a narrow minded view of this caricature who I had clearly envisioned before reconnecting with my husband. Additionally, I might not have ended up with this wonderful husband and father.
 

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