117 Comments to
Divorce – What Girls Miss When Dad Leaves The Home

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  1. Although I have never been sexually promiscuous (if anything, quite the opposite), the search for a boyfriend completely permeatimg my teenage years. All my boyfriends were older than me. Now, with a deeper knowledge of psychology and through talking in therapy, it all makes sense.

    It wasn’t simply the fact that when my parents separated my father took no interest in me that hurts; it’s also the fact that he was a philandering, wife-beating, alcoholic rapist. Yet I idealised him as a child and blamed my mother for sending him away. I will always feel guilty about this.

    • This article helps me very much. I am letting my 8 year old go live with her father for a year. She is out of control. He was a horrible husband but great father. I hope this works for her.

      • That Is so sweet mom won’t let be see my dad more than two days at a time

  2. Thanks for the post, you made some good points, surviving divorce and separation is hard to deal with especially for girls.

  3. While it’s true that the lack of my father in any meaningful role has affected me, so have the men who stepped up to make a solid father figure. My junior-high Sunday school teacher (who also became my confirmation guide–the adult I chose to talk about everything and anything spiritual/effecting my life) played a huge role–routinely taking me out to breakfast, coffee, inviting me to have dinner at his house, with his family–without him, i think it would have been much harder. I also had the influence of both my grandfathers; I talked to both at least bi-weekly–more often than I saw my father. I also had a male guidance counselor who always said “feel free to stop by if you just need to check in” but even with all these great men, until I met Boy, my best friend, something was still missing–Boy is sweetly overprotective, and will do absolutely anything to keep me safe. Without him, I’d be a gigantic mess. So; no, I’m not sexually promiscous, I used to engage in self-injurious behavior, have serious anxiety, and am in recovery from an eating disorder–but I’m lucky–I’ve got Boy (who lives 5 hours away) and he knows to say “tiger-a meal: protein, good fat, carb; veggies too, but start here” when I’m struggling.

  4. I was 19 when my parents divorced and my father remarried but even before that he wasn’t there a lot. I have very few memories of him being a part of family life and after he remarried he grew even more distant.

    I’m now 58 and have been living with major depression for 11 years. It’s only been recently, after years of talk therapy, practicing mindfulness, learning CBT skills and emotion regulation skills that I can finally acknowledge the truth of how much my father’s absence hurt me and my sisters, and how much it has affected all our lives. One sister turned to drugs and alcohol and one became promiscuous and an unwed mother at 18. Fortunately, they survived their troubled years and became healthy, productive adults. I stuffed everything down until it exploded and manifested itself in depression.

    My advice to young women going through a similar situation would be to find someone you trust and talk about what you’re feeling – don’t stuff it all inside and pretend everything’s fine!

    • Thanks you for sharing your experience :,) Im 18 years old and my parents divorce when I was 8 . I also got a severe depression like you, i have been surviving with it for 4 years but im trying hard to get out of it.
      Your advice really helped, now i know that it is possible to overcome a situation like ours and still have a succesfull result.

      Wish you luck and my best wishes to you and your sisters.

      I have hope we can do it :)


  5. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a house with both parents in a very loving environment. Now that I’m 30, I can see what a huge influence that had on my growing up years. I am a very confident, non promiscuous woman with a strong family ethic. I have friends whose fathers were absent in their life and I see the negative effects it has on their adult lives. Both boys and girls benefit tremendously from having both a mother and father figure in their lives, even if it may not be their biological parents.

    I’ve learned equally from both of my parents, both from their actions and from their verbal love. It’s imperative that even parents who are separated remain friends for the sake of their child(ren).


  6. I am passing through this, a horrible black point in my life.What it’s said it perfectly describes everything I’m passing through..a totally nightmare. I wanted so much to have a father. So, so much. I can t even describe it in words, I missed him from my life more than I can miss anything else. I can t replace him, even if my mother just married someone else, in fact even if the “new” father is a great person, now I have the feeling that he s stealing even my mother, who is the only person I trust completely in this world. She forgets about me for days…I live in other town with my studies..she calls me at 1 week..before she used to do it everyday. I m almost 21 yrs old, but the missing of my father doesn t even let me grow and be independent. I feel like I have 1 leg missing..and unsure in everything I do. I understand all the pshychological explination, but it doesn t help me with nothing..just that I understand it, and I know I m not the only one who passes through it. In fact, tonight I decided to write a letter about everything I think so I can feel released. No one wants to hear from my family about him..of course not, my mother just married..so u can imagine. Anyway, I didn t finish the letter. I don t even have tears anymore..I m passing through a nightmare every day , every night and every moment, cos it s inside of me, I m living with it.

    • Dear Alexa.I am a daddy who feels exactly the same as you after finally losing my daughter. She’ll be only 7 next valentines Day. I am 57. Sara’s mother took her away when she was nearly 3. I was a teacher in Japan when I lost my voice, and my job. I recovered and we moved back together. I was abandoned, but the removal of the one I love most was the death of me. I put EVERYTHING I had into bringing us back together, and built a strong, fun, trusting relationship with Sara. My (then) wife was the opposite of supportive, and it was so sad to see Sara caught in the middle. Increasingly it appeared that she was not allowed to like me, to please her mother. Sara was confused. She couldn’t naturally copy the spiteful attitude her mother always brought to the surface. Sara & I tried to avoid ‘angry’, and she was always quick to help me change the feeling in the room to laughter and fun. By August 2013 my voice was failing again, and Miwa (Sara’s mother) gave me the ultimatum. ‘Either you leave, or we will’. Divorce was inevitable, but my fears were for Sara. So I suggested that we divorce ‘amicably’, maintain regular contact, using Skype, so that Sara would not pass her days thinking that her daddy simply left her. Suddenly not there! Sara has no concept of time, and thinks England is in Japan. The regular Skype contact we agreed has turned out to be another broken promise. Three days ago Sara & I had our 4th Skype this year. All contact is controlled by her mother, who she probably thinks is her best friend. My (ex) wife is ‘too busy’ to Skype, so sara has to lose her father? Too busy being spiteful is probably closer to the truth. Sara has lost all her English now, but we communicated for 30 minutes in other ways. A little like we did before she could speak either language. No male could EVER love my Sara more than I do, and every moment of every day for me is painful beyond words. There is nothing more that I can lose, and, of course, my little darling doesn’t know. I had hoped that we could limit the damage to Sara of separation and finally divorce, and with every passing day that there is no contact I grieve for Sara. I post on facebook in the hope that some day soon she can see how happy we were, how possible contact is, and to show her that I NEVER once stopped loving her and thinking about her, and tried EVERYTHING to let her know that. There is only one cure for the disease I have – large doses of my whole reason for being. Many daddies possibly give up hope, marry again and even have other children. I would rather be alone with my sadness. My constant spiritual prayer is for ALL children, (including Sara’s mother), because we were ALL once children, and I did love Sara’s mother. None of us asked to be born. If it’s of any comfort, it includes you, your mother and the father you miss so consciously and dearly. I wish you peace. Michael.

    • Dear Alexa.I am a daddy who feels exactly the same as you after finally losing my daughter. She’ll be only 7yrs next valentines Day. I am 57. Her mother took her away when she was nearly 3. I was a teacher in Japan when I lost my voice, and my job. I recovered and we moved back together. I was abandoned, but the removal of the one I love most was nearly the death of me. I put EVERYTHING I had into bringing us back together, and built a strong, fun, trusting relationship with my little girl after nearly 2 years apart. My (then) wife was the opposite of supportive, and it was so sad to see ‘our little angel’ caught in the middle of a failing marriage. Increasingly it appeared that she felt she was not allowed to like me, to please her mother. I could see her confusion. She couldn’t naturally copy her mother without turning on her daddy. She & I tried to avoid ‘angry’, and she was always quick to help me change the feeling in the room to laughter and fun. But by August 2013 my voice was failing again, and I was given an ultimatum. ‘Either you leave, or we will’. Divorce was inevitable, but my fears were for our daughter, who was also my whole world. I knew she would be well cared for, but I disagreed that a father was unimportant. I had resisted my wifes’s request(s) to divorce for nearly 4 years. So I suggested that we divorce ‘amicably’, maintain regular contact, using Skype, so that our little girl, who we both love, would not pass her days thinking that her daddy simply left her. Suddenly not there! A 6 yr child has no concept of time. And spatially she only understands 2 or 3 train changes, and thinks England is in Japan. I had little choice but to concede to a divorce – for hopeful reasons of it being ‘amicable’, as agreed. To protect our child from the usual spitefulness of a non-adult divorce. Our little girl was almost excited: Grandma would have mummy’s bike & mummy would have daddy’s. The regular Skype contact we agreed, and tested together, has turned out to be another broken promise. Three days ago we had our 4th Skype in a year. All contact is controlled by her mother, who she trusts, (half of me hopes), but is ‘too busy’ to Skype. So a daughter has to lose her loving father? (Too busy being spiteful is probably closer to the truth). My little girl has lost all her English now, but we communicated for 30 minutes in other ways, like we did before she could speak either language. No male could EVER love my daughter more than I do, and every moment of every day for me is painful beyond words. There is nothing more that I can lose, and, of course, my little darling doesn’t know. I had hoped that we could limit the (possible)damage to a little, innocent girl, yet another victim of separation and finally divorce in our case. But with every passing day that there is no contact I grieve. I post on facebook in the hope that some day (soon) she can see how happy we were, how possible contact is, and to show her that I NEVER once stopped loving her and thinking about her, and tried EVERYTHING to let her know that. There is only one cure for the disease I have – large doses of my whole reason for being. Many daddies possibly give up hope, marry again and even have other children. I would rather be alone with my sadness. She was my life. My constant spiritual prayer is for ALL children, (including Sara’s mother – and her parents), because we were ALL once children, and I did love my daughter’s mother. None of us asked to be born. If it’s of any comfort, my prayer includes you, your mother and the father you miss so consciously and dearly. It’s my only hope, to combat the bitterness of divorce visited upon innocent children, and my own depression. Depending upon how a divorce is approached, with the little ones’ at heart, 4 years could make a lot of difference in a positive way. I wish you peace, and hope that you have already found it. Michael.

    • Dear Alexa,

      I know this is very difficult I completely understand what you wrote makes me cry and I’m pretty numb so I had to write you.

      You are important whether they express it to you or not. You need to find love within yourself. Accept yourself to heal from this. The best thing possible is not to think about them and what they are doing or not doing for you.

      You Do For Yourself.
      Your validation of yourself is the most important validation of them all. It took me awhile to figure this out been in pain a lot because I let them get to me. When it seems like they don’t care …..So WHY Should You???

      Got your back

      Chin up and stay strong :)

      Nuff Respect Alexa

  7. well im one of those cases where my dad left when i was very young because my parents got in a divorce. my dad has been on and off in my life. he would always make promises he couldnt keep. and when i was young i didnt understand why. now that im older i tryed to keep in contact with him but that does no good. cause my mom gets mad asking me “WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE CONTACT WITH HIM HE HASENT BEEN THERE FOR you .WHY???” so i was starting to get a feeling that my mom is jelous of me trying to keep in contact with my dad. so it makes me not want to call him. but i really want my dad . its sad to think this man has kids he dosent even talk to. it makes me sad everytime i think about it. and i would have to say having no father figure in my life makes me really clingy to guys. sence i didnt get that male attention when i was young.

    • Hi I am in a similar situation except I made contact with my dad recently. I had been thinking about it for ages and I was near his home a few days ago so decided very spare of the moment to stop by having no contact details I was not able to for warn him.

      He was very welcoming and told me seeing him had made him very happy, however I now have to tell my mum and step dad, I am really not looking forward to this, but I instantly felt better after I did it, mainly due to the happy response I recieved from my dad. I hope you find the strength to do this and also have a positive experience, I think for me the biggest thing was not knowing

    • I can really relate to what you said. I am going through the same thing now, but my big brother (my rolemodel) is going to live at my dads house, which hurts me a lot. And makes me angry / dissapointed at my dad. I would appreciate it , if you could let me know what you did with that situation.


  8. my mum and dad were never really together from the get go to be honest, but my dad did see me regularly till i was about 4 or 5 when he met another woman and ended up having 2 children with her. I just couldnt be part of his life anymore. He moved away and i saw him once every few years and his wife treated me like dirt. We just stopped talking after that.
    Then, when i was 16, he phoned and said he was moving to New Zealand. My dad isnt a horrible man, he’s clever and very kind, he just doesnt know how to put his foot down.
    i’d like to go visit my dad someday. fly to NZ but i know that my mum would get upset. she’s raised me pretty much on her own (she is married now and i have 2 younger sisters and a younger brother who all see there dad everyday and i guess im a little jealous.) if i ever mention it she says it would hurt me if you went to live with him.
    it’s difficult.

    • Honey you gotta go with what’s inside you.
      HOnour your own feelings. It’s a huge step to go seek your father, and as I’ve done this I can only say I high;y recommend not to speak about it with your mum until after you’ve met him. FInd someone else to confide in. I say this with love, as your mum will always want to protect you as she has raised you.
      Good luck.

      • I agree with T
        I’d like to add to save face make sure this he wants to meet you as badly as you want to meet him
        disappointments like these are hard to overcome potentially spiral into a depression

        that’s what happened to me just last year
        I should have made sure they really wanted me there like I wanted to be there

  9. when i was about 3 my parents got devorced because of my dads drinking addiction, and my mom was in the army so most of the time she was gone and i was usually with some friends of hers, so i didnt really have a mother or a father figure till i was about 7years old and my mom married a guy named sean and he was the best dad ever untill 1 year later when he cheeted on her and they got devorced! so for about 4 years me and mom were on our own untill a guy named joe came along and she seems to love him, but hes nothing like a father to me at all! so now im 13 allmost 14 and i feel like no one cares about me and it kinda hurts but the reason i wanted 2 tell you about my life is so you dont mess up your childs life with a mistake of your own!

    • * HUGS *

      Love is inside Sweetie
      don’t doubt it
      its there

  10. at a very young age my father began having an affair with another woman who had been working with him at his job. we had thought she was a friend or relative when he brought us around her but when we realized who she really was, my father’s mistress, everything changed. we realized he was cheating on my mother who hes been married to for the past 20years which began to change everything. he would leave for long periods of time saying how he didnt love us and breaking my older brother’s toys. he never once said he was sorry to this day. it has affected me because all those times he left us alone with our mother we needed him the most. but instead he would rather be with his mistress. i am now an 18year old, with two half brothers and a half sister that i have gained from his affair. i have trouble when in relationships because i tend to look for all the qualities my father doesnt have. everytime i feel a guy is getting too close i push him away for fear that i might loose him when i finally begin to care for him. im not in a sexual relationship nor have i ever had one. but i realized that the reason i cannot form a formal attatchment to someone is because i had that attatchment as a young girl and saw how it back fired and i felt extremely rejected and never want to feel that way againin my life. he seriously hurt me in so many ways and i will have to suffer with all of this for the rest of my life. he isnt completely to blame but for most, he is. if he hadnt had that affair, if he hadnt left us all those times, if he hadnt pushed us away, how different would my life be? it is definitely questionable.

    • Dear Selena,

      I am so very sorry that this happened to you. Your dad is a very selfish person. When I was reading the post, I was thinking she is me almost 10 years ago.So I felt I had to write to you. I guess its like a message from your future 😀

      My dad cheated on my mum also, I was 15 and let me tell you no matter how old you are t the time, it still changes you. The main thing I wanted to say to you is You Need To Learn to Love and Respect Who You Are, however imperfect, however flawed you think you are. I think the biggest thing that happens to us is our self esteem is diminished.

      Well, let me tell you that when I married my husband I did not believe in love. But I made a decision and trusted myself and my husband proved the “there are no happy afters” lesson I learned wrong. No, our marriage is not perfect and it does not feel like a fairy tale made to be together kind of thing some days BUT I really understand now that there is a man who cares about me the way I am.

      You can’t change that your dad is a selfish a**hole. BUT you can prove to him that he will not screw your life up for you. My advise is, get out there girl and live your life, create your own adventure, write your own story!!! Create and follow your own dreams regardless of who comes in/out of your life. And if the time comes when you want to be a mom, well, you will be a much better equipped mother for your kid.You will love them unconditionally

      • Amen :)

        Say it Kamila !!!!

  11. Hello, my current girlfriend grew up without a father and has hatred towards him. We are having a hard time connecting on a caring and close relationship. But when she is intoxicated she is either vary affectionate or standoffish. She is an amazing woman and I want things to work for us so pleas can someone help me.

  12. Heii, well i find that some of this is really true. my parents split when i was 10 and by 12 or 13 they were divorced. I had to live with my mother cuz to the law i wasn’t old enough to choose for my self who i wanted to live with. i’m almost 17 now and still live with my mother, my father lives almost 2hours away so i only see him every other weekend. I love spending time with him so i do my best not to plan things on thoes weekends. anyway when they first split my dad was still in the area so i used to thing he didn’t love me and till i was almost 13 i thought it was my fault they split. it still hurts when i think of it but he always told me it wasn’t mine or my brothers fault, it was just cause him n my mother had to many problems, and he always tells us he loves us =) … No i did not try to replace my dad with a boyfried, i was still young to know what sex was, so that didnt cross my mind. but you do need a man in your life that makes you feel safe. I was happy that my dad made an efort to stay in contact with my brother and i cuz 1)I was Daddy’s Little Girl.(always was and always will be) and 2)cuz i could always talk to him mre than my mother. my mother and i fight alot since i started high school so i was able to get away from it at my dad’s. I feel bad for the girls that never had that feeling of pertection, and it shouldn’t be replaced with a sexual partner cuz they might make you feel safe in bed but what about out in the world, Do you feel safe when your alown or do you Need the guy with you at all times. My mother still gets mad at me and tells me to move with my dad but when i try doesn’t make me leave. I’ll admit yes it was hard at first always crying cuz i missed my dad but i got older and understod. Again I’m happy for the protection i feel ad get from my father. i would probably be like some old friends that depended on their bfs for everything and wouldnt b the same person i am. i’m also happy that he was able to teach me alot, not so much for the protectiveness i have when im out late with friends (i need to know they got home safe, and never let them go alown) but i love the additude i got from him cuz no one messes with me cuz whoever knows me knows i wont take crap n thats all thnxs to my dad n i love him for it. my life would be soooooo much different if he wasnt in my life ( even though its only everyother weekend)
    thats a quick way of writing what i went through and am still going through.

  13. In most cases you can thank the mother for making the father a visitor and rarely involved. Ironic that their own decisions to marginalize the father and focus on his money make it more difficult on the children. Marriage is pointless. I am so glad I had a prenuptial agreement to protect me. 1x is enough for me.

    If you are involved with a woman with “daddy” issued, dump her. She is a broken person who can’t be helped and will drag you down with her, if you let her. I support no fault divorce but I don’t support histrionic, irrational women marginalizing the importance of a father, which is all too often the case. Children are not property.

    • I don’t necessarily beleive you should throw her out like garbage, although you are right about children not being property. I’ve been through two of my mothers divorces, and the last was particularly rough, seeing as this man had raised me for 11 years. Divorce sucks, and it causes emotional scars, so if the girl is worth it, stand by her. She will need you more than ever, and there’s no telling what she could do if you broke her heart for that reason.

    • I suspect that you had 2 parents growing up Ben. How nice for you. Many like myself didn’t have that privilege and unless you’ve been there, you are not in any position to judge.
      A relationship takes two.
      Get to know a person fully before you judge them.!
      I also suspect you do not have any children of your own.
      May you be blessed to have children to the same woman and manage to keep the marriage together. I hazard a guess your lessons are only about to begin.
      All the best.
      My father left my mother while she was pregnant with me. Will you be one of these men Ben?
      I challenge you to disect and analyse this.
      I’ve held a relationship for 20 years, have had two children to my husband. Oh and I grew up without my father!!!!
      Everyone’s situation is unique pal.

      • @Ben I am just shocked at the comment that Ben made about females being broken just because they are without a dad. What an ugly myth that we have spread in this country and only this coun try. The people in this country are so fixated on praising men that now there is a fad to demean and ridicule fatherless females. What next??
        Listen Ben, and to those of you who believe that a female is not whole because dad is not in her life. Listen, the woman, the mother, is the most important parent for a daughter and SHE CAN raise that girl to be strong and love her self with high self esteem. I grew up with a fine man as a dad in the house. But, my mother is the one who talked to and guided my sisters and I about men and self esteem. My mother is the one who helped me have high esteem.I have friends who still have dads and some of them are so confused. It ain’t got a da___ thing to do with a dad/man. Stop exalting men and stop spreading this mytrh. The young females in this country are gullible enough without you all telling them this lie.
        A girl is NOT validated by her dad nor her husband when she grows up. STOP this crazy myth now!!!!!
        Women, stop buying these crazy myths about dad being more important than the woman who gives you life, love, nurture, and everything else. How dare you people invalidate my mother and all the mothers in the world.

  14. I am divorced, and my girls’ father and I have worked hard to allow both of us to stay in our girls’ lives. It’s working out well. I think he is a being a better father now that we are apart. The girls are in a better environment and growing up loved by two parents, in two homes. Divorce doesn’t have to be a disaster, but the parents have to work at getting along and not use the children as bargaining chips between them. Children first.

  15. When my parents divorced, I was 15…I am 20 now. My father moved 600 miles away. I entered therapy about 6 months ago and learned that my father is truly narcissistic. I did some research on the disorder, and he fits the description entirely. It helped me understand why it was, and is, so easy for my father to have so little contact with me. I talk to him about once or twice a week, but that’s only because I call him. He has only called me without initial prompting from me once in 5 years, and that was after he found out that was in therapy, and he wanted to know what was so bad that I couldn’t tell him about, but the conversation included incredible guilt trips. I only see him about 2 or 3 times a year, just on holidays. It’s tough realizing that he just really doesn’t care, or, he cares just enough so that he still retains the image of an “ideal” father that has dealt remarkably well in tough circumstances. If only.

    Since I have come to learn that I really “lost” my father long before the divorce (if I ever truly had one), it makes more sense to me as to why I have actually completely withdrawn from relationships with men. I am convinced that I will be seen as a person not worth keeping around, so I just don’t take the risk of being rejected or abandoned. I completely missed out on the confidence I could have gained if my dad had actually been there for me.

  16. I never knew my father, and met him when I was 32….I wrote a poem called, “The Fatherless Child”…it is on my website: http://www.churchabusepoetrytherapy.com

    I don’t think I thought much about (too busy trying t survive a physically and verbally violent mother, extreme poverty (no car, refrigerator, phone, etc)….this was the 50 and 60’s……I’ve never thought it affected to me, but i would imagine it has, although subconsciously.

    • I suggest you try Holistic Pulsing.
      This will help shift the energy stored within you and help you on your road to recovery.

  17. After reading this article i felt like the worst person ever my dad left us since we were little and the mom follow him and one of my moms sister raised us until i was 16 yrs old and then we came to the states to live with our parents, i always promised my self that i wasnt going to do the same to my kids, now am separated and my daughter lives with her mom in florida, i miss my little one so much, am in the military and you see a lot of this situations here.

  18. I too am in the military. I am 29 years old and I have an ex-husband and a current husband. I have read nearly every post, Most of them involve a divorce. But what about those who don’t? For the past 10 plus years I have found myself encouraging the split of my parents. They haven’t been inlove since I was 12 years old. They got married because they were pregnant with me. So everytime I think of how old I am I think to myself, how much longer are they going to stay like this? Its so unhealthy for them to stay together and I honestly can’t make any excuses for why they should be together other than that they believe in the bible and the benefits of marriage over singlehood. But not to get off subject here, the real reason for sharing my post is about the relationship I have with my father. When I was born, I also had a sister from my mom’s first marriage. My dad admitted that he was never really excited about having children. But when I was just 4 months old, my mom got pregnant again with twins this time. My mom told me about how dad reacted to the news. Now he is a man that turned into a husband, step-father, and a father to three of his own with my mother. Although we had our ups and downs being raised, they were normal issues and my dad was truely an awesome dad. When the boys and I reached our pre-teens, my dad became less involved with us all together. He often admitted that teenagers are never a good thing and it was interpreted to us as we were a lost cause so we often used this to our advantage to get away with alot. But I really wanted my dad to give me curfew, and tell me I can’t date until im a certain age, teach me about the bible the way he knew it. Everytime I tried to reachout to him, he acted as though I was interupting him from something he would rather be doing than to talk to me. My other siblings share a similar view but mine is unique because I was the only real daughter of his. Now I have told you about my older half-sister, and my twin brothers who were born a month after my 1st birthday. Now I will tell you how my little sister came about. I was now 12. My parents were going through there first attempt to divorce. In Maryland it can take a long time to finish a divorce so my mom moved on to dating a guy from work, but she became pregnant with this man. My mom brought alot of shame into our family houshold and at a crucial time inmy youth. I now had witnessed my mother commit adultery and defiled the bed by having another mans child. When my dad found out, instead of rejecting her he asked to come back home and he became my little sisters legal father. So now I had 4 siblings but I was still daddy’s only true daughter. And yes I did take a ittle pride in that. But as I grew up things changed for me. My older sister and baby sister both got more attention from my dad than I ever did. My older sister because she was the first to drive a car and to argue back and rebell in high school and with boys. My little sister took the rest of his attention because she was a baby and my dad has always been a first responder to giving all of his love, affection and attention to us as little kids. I carried on with this feeling of emptiness and watched myself becoming less important to him. I entered the Army in the year 2000. I was 18. I had managed to stay a virgin until I was a legal adult but I gave it to my boyfriend that I was leaving behind to join the military. For the first two years I was mostly occupied with becoming a soldier and loving everything about it that I didnt pay attention to the fact that I ran as far away as I could from my dad and the pain he caused rejecting me as his daughter. Now I faced an army of men so you can guess what happened. I started passing through boyfriends and sexual adventures like a bad peice of candy in your mouth. Quick to move on before I could feel attachment to someone. This eventually caught up with my when I became pregnant with my first son. I married his daddy just like my mom and dad did with me. I realized that I had become my parents. While married I had constant daddy issues because now I commited to this man but didn’t exactly think everything through when i did it. It caused me to habitually lie and I would find reason’s to stay late at work just to avoid coming home to my husband. Our marriage ended due to adultery between us both. I had another son with him before we split. I am now remarried to a good man that I have made very aware to the sins and things I did wrong in my first marriage, but he refuses to believe he can’t trust me and I love him for that. My only problem now is that I may never feel whole unless I confront my father with everything he put me through, tell him how much I have missed him taking interest in me growing up. I want to stop being affraid to let him know all this. I want to stop cheating and lying to myself that things are fine. I don’t want to fail at my second marriage because I never had the courage to fix the problem I was letting affect my relationships with other men. If I had done it sooner I would have saved myslef years of sinning in fornication.

  19. well i always had a father but i never knew him until i was 7.. my parents were married, just had a long distance relationship.. and i finally met him at age 7 everything was going great till he died 2 yrs later. when i tured 9.. i was really sad, my mom got depressed. i saw her everyday depressed, crying, sad.. all by herself.. and this broke my heart, i wanted to die. i can never forget that day, or month, or year.,. and i know now, from this article, why i am who i am.. i am still a virgin, but always want love and attention from guys. i know its wrong but its just a feeling inside you that you cant help.. i hve low self-esteem. i guess i just want a guy to love me and say im beautiful and what not..

    • Never give up. You have to be there for your mom, and never let a guy use you. YOU ARE WORTH IT. Find a hobby that you feel good at, it will help boost your self esteem

  20. How exactly could you help a girl get past this? I was recently in a relationship with a girl who’s parents have just gotten divorced about a year to 2 years ago, and her dad has completley disappeared/became an alcoholic. I tried being over compensating and giving her all that i could, but it made me seem desperate so naturally she lost attraction. I spent the next month or so trying to get her back, really just pushing her away, and she basically was completely disgusted with me. Were decent with each other now, but every time i see her she is desperately seeking attention from other guys (who most of the time are trashy/not good for her.) she also seems to be drinking a lot. I want to hep her, weather it means her being back in my life or not, but do not know how to do so.

    • If you really want to help her, you have to understand that she isn’t really dating material at this point. If you choose to simply be her platonic friend, that can be helpful. Suggest a counselor, suggest that she cut down on her drinking or maybe learn more about alcohol counseling if she can’t control it. It’s possible that stepping away might be more helpful. It depends on your dynamic with her. If it’s destructive and dramatic, then you may really need to take a break.

      Maybe just keep it casual but let her know you are able to be her friend, if she wants that. She’s probably in a really bad place right now and does need people who care around her. But if you try to make it a dating thing, you’ll keep getting this push/pull and it won’t help her at all. Best wishes on this situation.

  21. You are correct. My father left when I was young and my mother never remarried. Growing up he never called or even sent a b day card. We received an invitation to go to the family reunion on my dads side from my dads mom. When we called to tell her we were going to come, she told us not to and that she was just being nice. She said that if we come then her son (our dad) won’t come. Imagine how that makes you feel, your own blood father doesn’t want to see u. Well, I have had the hardest time with men throughout my life. Stayin in abusive relationships and looking for that acceptance from a male figure. I hate this and wish I would get over this. It is ruining my relationships.

  22. everything written in this article resonated as true to me. my father had an affair with a shopkeeper across the street from my parents’ restaurant. the whole thing was a sordid – and public – affair and divorce. i felt boy crazy once i got to college and away from my strict mother. huge mistake! i gave away my virginity. i got pregnant and had an abortion. two huge mistakes i never told my parents. i latched onto men – older men in particular – who could not wait to get a teenager in a compromising position. my self esteem was pretty non-existent. that followed me into the working world. i slept with coworkers or naval officers i met at private parties. one of them gave me an std, which still makes me feel dirty every time i think have to go for a pap smear or think about wanting a baby. today i have the opposite problem – too much self-esteem and too little patience with people. i not only protect myself from men (sometimes even my husband) but also from women (including my mother in law who is great). when i do feel a connection with someone – usually a stranger – i open up like a firehydrant and give away too much personal info after which i feel scared for having told family secrets. my husband loves me and i love him and and his family yet my childhood still gets the better of me, which is when i become withdrawn, angry, and/or depressed. i have cried for myself as a little girl; trying to forgive that little girl for growing up into a loose young and stupid woman; trying to forgive myself for having an abortion or being so cavalier with my innocence and virginity in the first place. it is a terrible thing for girls to lose a father. i am scarred and probably in ways i don’t yet understand. i try to put on a happy face everyday but inside the pain can feel as fresh as the day i watched my father walk away. triggers can be anything from a song or seeing a father buy his daughter ice cream. i have so few good memories of my father. i do remember my father coming into my bed once to sleep not long before the divorce and i tried to touch his penis. i must have been around five years old and i wish i could forget that memory altogether because it is so disgusting and embarrassing to me. after the divorce nothing about life was normal or even close to normal! today i feel like a fraud. i look well put together and all of that good first impression stuff but i know the truth inside and i fear people won’t like me and don’t like me because i have an edge that can come out suddenly if i lose my patience. dads are so important and i hope no girl ever has to go through what i did ever again.

    • Thanks. This will help me become a better father. I love my 2 kids and I think I do a decent job…but one can always do better.

  23. I was 11 when my father left my drug addict mother and I for a self absorbed younger wife who idolized him. I suffered terribly prior to the divorce but all hell broke lose after he left. His wife was wicked mean to me and I gave myself to any boy/man who crossed my path. At 31 I became pregnant with my wonderful son whose father abandonded us. My father, his wife and my son’s father called me (they were all far away) constantly to urge me to give my child up for adoption. I almost killed myself out of grief, all I wanted was to be a mother. (my own mother was dead). My son is now 15, and the only love of my life. I quit dating to raise him alone in poverty, but I gave him all my attention and hope. He is confident, happy and so secure because I tell him everyday that the world is a better place because he is in it. I am lucky because I met a good man who took us in and gave us what I could not afford to do alone. I only took jobs where I could be near my son while he was growing up and I personally took him to school and back everyday and have always been an active parent. Many years I did not have a car and we had to walk to school and grocery stores, we even had to live in a homeless shelter. My son is successful I believe because I gave him the confidence and love that I wanted so desperately and I became the parent I always wished I had. I told him all the time that it was my joy and pleasure to be the mother of such a wonderful son. Today my son is an honor student and befriends the sensitive and shy types. He knows everything about me and understands alot about what people suffer when their parents don’t make parenting a priority.

  24. First of all, I deeply hope we all find a resolution for the situations we are in. I sincerely hope all of our pain will be transmuted into peace…

    I was searching for an article dealing with the loss of my dad due to divorce. The difference with my case is that my dad LOVES me unconditionally. He is a better dad than he may be a husband.

    If anyone can solve my problem, please let me know. My problem is how much I miss my dad.

    My parents divorced when I was 3years old. When I turned 8, my mom remarried and moved me 2 hours aways from my wonderful home and other family… including my dad. Until I was sixteen, I was only allowed to see my dad 2 weekends out of a month… that is barely six days. My dad missed so many special memories not because he neglected me, but because of the distance.

    He and I both fought for him to have custody of me when I was 16. My mom was mostly great, overbearing, but a great mother. I do not believe any one ever wins in divorce. One of the last mile stones he saw was me getting ready for prom. :) He missed my first dance, but he didn’t miss the last.

    Time has to move on and I moved away to attend a better university. I visit him all the time and we still make special memories. However, I use to cry in fear of him dying. It wasn’t until last week that I cried for the real reason… I miss my dad.

    How do you ever fill that void?

  25. I’m not sure this is the right place for my questions and comments, but I will post anyway in hopes of getting some helpful feedback. I am currently in the process of getting divorced because my husband has neglected me and my two girls for years. Although he has been home and physically available to us, he has spent most of his days in the garage busy working on various projects. Feeling abandoned and ignored, I finally mustard up enough courage to rescue myself and ask for a divorce. Emotionally, he has been absent from our lives. My oldest has formed relationships with the other dad’s in our neighborhood. And even though we share custody of the girls, he continues to remain busy in the garage. My 15 year old is acting out – having sex and informing us we have no control over her life. I am secretly dying on the inside from guilt. Did I cause all of this? Will she be ok? How much of her behavior is normal, how much is a result of the divorce, how much of it would have occurred anyway because he is so unavailable to our emotional needs?

    • cmonkey,

      I am so sorry to hear of your difficult time. I’ll try to respond to your questions as succinctly as possible.

      1. I have no idea who’s fault it is, but a family *operates as a unit*. It’s not about pointing one finger and giving that person a label of responsibility. If you can always keep that in mind, you’ll have a better idea how all the parts of your family move together to make it function (whether in a healthy or unhealthy way).

      2. Your whole family is feeling pain. I would imagine your daughter’s behaviors and reactions are possibly a result of both his distance and the divorce. Not knowing you or very many details, I couldn’t say much more than that.

      3. You need to ALL go to family counseling together. Yes, even invite your husband. Chances are, he won’t go. But inviting him at least reminds him that he is a part of the family. This isn’t about just changing the direction your daughter’s life is going by sending her to someone. Her life will improve when you can all learn how to handle the change better and *together*. You are effectively the leader of the family at this point, so you need to show it and learn how to become it through family counseling.

      That is the best I can offer you from afar. When you all start getting engaged in family counseling, you’ll get some better direction. It would be great if your husband joined you at some point, but go forward with this plan regardless. I’d also suggest you avoid starting another romantic relationship for a long time – only a reconciliation with your husband would fit with this plan (and only if it makes sense). You and your family have enough to handle without an outside distraction, although it would be understandable to fill the emotional gap left by your husband if your divorce goes through.

      Best wishes to you,

  26. I am a father that has been distanced from my daughter because of my Ex. I was always the mother and father to my daughter since her birth. Almost 5 yrs ago I was convicted of Trust Act Violation and received probation(has since been overturned on appeal). In 2007 my Ex encouraged me to take my daughter out of state for Thanksgiving dinner. My dad had cancer and things were not looking good. My side of the family was getting together for one last time. My Ex and I were divorced for 1 yr at that point. My daughter was almost 6 yrs old. My Ex turned me in and made up a few false allegations regarding other things. I defended those in court but could not for leaving the state. After getting out of jail, I had lost my business, income, and everything I owned. I tried to get money to go to court to see my daughter after 6 months of being out and my Ex had a motion filed to terminate my parental rights. I have a hearing coming up in two months and could end up losing my daughter since my Ex remarried and wants to adopt. My Atty says he has never seen someone so vindictive in his 25 yrs of practice(my Ex wanted the div. and she cheated on me – tried everything to keep us together). I will still fight on but how would anyone here feel if this happened to your Dad? Even if years later? Does my daughter still remember me(its been 3.5yrs)?

  27. hey yeah my dad left when i was three and he moved to foldia and my mom got crazy (drugs and stuff like tht) and we got taken away from her and my familey is trying their hardist so i dont go boy crazy and be saxuly active so young but i dont think i will but if i do i wont eva be able to for give my slfe so wat iam sayig is i hope tht u gilrs arent haveing a real hard time woth this adnif ur thin ask ur mom if she knows where ur dad is and if she dont google his name and it will pop up and u can get his nuber and his address and u can talk and go see him i hope this helps u bless u

  28. Well, my mother and father broke up when i was four; he cheated on her and took us round to the womans house who he was cheating on my mother with but he told mom he was taking us to the shop, as i grew up i always wondered why daddy was not around and i always felt the odd one out of my friends because i was the only one with just one parent…
    Friends would talk about their dads and how great they was but i never had anything to speak about my father!
    When time went by i found it harder, i went to his house on weekends and then i moved to plymouth, he moved to weymouth.. this all happend two years ago, i didnt see him for over 1 year until last month, his new girlfriend wont let him speak to me and if he does then my father is not allowed to see his other children who he had after me, he chose them and now im not speaking to him.
    All my life i wondered why i didnt have my dad, im now 13;
    i lost my virginity at 11, i have always been clingy in relationships and found it really hard to get over the boys..
    I sometimes blame myself for what happened to my mom and dad but i know it was nothing to do with me!
    I do think that if my father had been there for me and took more notcie and tried to see me then i would not be in the state i am now, i miss him!

  29. Thanks for sharing your story. At least I know I’m not the only one dealing with a similar situation. I found it searching for support for My girls who have an absent alcoholic father. Good luck to you!


  30. I had a really bad childhood and it plays trauma on me today at 48. The hate i built up over the years since i was 3 turned into post trauma depression by 40 and triggered 2 hart attacks. I cannot hold down a relationship with women and have no friends but heaps of acquaintances. I have a very broad personal space and am quite funny around people and bring heaps of good things to peoples live. My parents never got divorces i just witnessed domestic violance every day while they were together. I never wanted kids and never had them now i know why. Its too late.

    I grew up thinking thats what marriage was all about and went into my own world making my self a promise i was never going to have kids. That was when i was around 8 years old. No way did i think a decision back then was going to bury it self inside me and poisen my conciance for life.

    Around 12 years ago i took pitty on this little girl who was only 9 at the time. She never had a real father because she was the result of an affair with a married man. Her mother finding it hard took to heavy drugs. I guess there was a destiny there to fill both voids.

    I saw the sicological damage she had with ADHD and every thing else. One day i had to rescue her from some thing bad and i had to bring her back to my house for the night. She found safety there and wanted to live with me. I kept saying no but finally her tears and puppy dog eyes got to me. I told her one day she will betray me. But i knew deep down inside i didnt have long to live so i did what i could.

    It didnt take long for us to both realise we both had the same lives and i could see my child hood through her. I never let her into my hart because i didnt want to hurt her when the final day came. It was really hard and she always wanted hugs but i was emotionally closed off to her.

    The big day came when she was 14 and i was in intensive care getting my last rights from the priest. Well bugger me I came back to life doctors couldnt get over the recovery. In that time lasting around 6 mths she flipped and became a run away.

    I manged to find her again and correct her path till she turned 19. She now carries a bible has a job and doesn’t touch drugs but hates me. I haven’t seen her for nearly 2 years. I have regrets some times for being cold and not giving her hugs because she has turned into what i was. I though i would of had a daughter but i did tell her right back at the start she was going to betray one day.

    The bottom line is every thing your kids see you do or say they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. She doesn’t trust men because her real father betrayed her and her mother is another story. I hope she never turns out like me alone all my life. I kept telling her not to turn out like me and find a happy life with a good man. If any one thinks i am looser well no i am highly educated and run my own business and have employed others.

    I am super switched on since i had to grow really quick and so is she. Its so sad i don’t see her any more but i guess she has a life to figure out. I REALLY LOVE YOU D…..LLA. All the best to you and forget the bad past so you don’t ruin all of your tomorrows.

    • are you kidding me???
      your amazing !!!
      yes hugs are very important but you were there
      she needs time to grow up a little possibly look back on you with the fondest of memories!
      you are her family.

  31. My Father left my Mother when I was 5yrs old, He was an awesome Dad he loved us kids very much, my memories of him were of Love & happiness and there were plenty of photos of us together enjoying family times and doing the things that were to be expected by a Father. When dad left I think I went into an emotional spiral as a my whole world had crumbled and my feelings of abandonment became intense & more clearer when my mother started doing things which today would be classed as abuse, I had witnessed her trying to kill herself..she put a knife into her mouth & if I hadn’t of witnessed it am sure she would of done it… she was getting into different relationships with men every weekend having loud sex it was really disgusting & it made me pyshically sick, and the “serious” relationships she got into were extremely abusive pyhsical/verbal and there were plenty of times we witnessed it by other men who as children scared us to death. I don’t know how we coped but I was definately showing signs of emotional neglect and my pyhsical signs were starving myself by spitting my food out, deficating myself, crying all the time, mistrust around strangers, anxiety, social phobias, migraine headaches, bleeding noses, and swollen glands that went on after dad left …Then came the different babysitters sexual abuse…My teenage years consisted of promiscuity at a very young age, several Rapes and a very bad relationship which I had with my daughters father he used to beat me, was insanesly jealous/possesive and used to threaten to kill me and my daughter if I ever left him I left him after that Threat!…After I gave birth to my daughter I developed Postnatal Depression..I was then Diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress due to severe Sexual Abuse, Bi-polar Effective Disorder & Borderline Personality Disorder I used to smoke drugs/used to drink more then most/and Gambling was my biggest addiction which I don’t do anymore and haven’t for years none of the above .. I had no feelings of self worth/self esteem growing up I was always told how beautiful and stunning I was but never felt anything good about myself what so ever had done alot of Modelling but still felt ugly I isolated myself from the community because of my feelings my last Sexual abuser was my stepfather and to this day I think my mother will always blame me for what he did to me she married him after he did it and denied it. I have lived with that Diagnosis for 20yrs and my Father passed away May 4th 2011 my heart is aching I have never lost someone in my immediate family before I have had years of my Mother saying he wasn’t as good as I thought and could never understand why I was there for him right up to his death…I have a 20yr old daughter whom I love dearly I’m still at a raw stage of grief and depression and have had an argument with my daughter which I know will blow over and she knows she needs to apologise but I’ve forgiven her already.. but I am not ready at this stage to see anyone.. my mother and my daughters partner tried to get us to make up behind my daughters back …They have rejected me because I declined and am still grieving for dad & I can’t put myself through anymore emotional pain and be around critical judgmental poeple I have kept to myself now my Mother and my Daughters partner are being manipulate. I have sent them both emails explaining to them where I am at present and they refuse what I have to say & have blocked me from other Networks, I havent been talking to anyone and the only reason they are being that way is because I declined an invite to get together to suit their needs its been 2mths since my father died I have seen my mother once and after I had the tif with my Daughter rang my mum for a little support and got noting but more rejection!

  32. I have explained to my eldest brother whats happening to me he understands we all deal with things differently..and he has been very supportive of my choices right now and is in no way trying to push me into anything and rather then questioning or critising me is kind…I have been with the same person for 12yrs hes a wonderful man but no one can replace the relationship you have with your Father.

  33. My father left because of the way my Mother was it was a normal way of life for us ..when I told him years later about her upbringing he was really sad for her…I didn’t tell him about ours for some reason….Mothers definately can be the reason why childrens spirits can be broken too.

  34. When my dad left he punched a hole in my heart and a hole in my head.
    The one in my head- I filled with drugs and liquor.
    The one in my heart- men with vigour.

    But yet they grew bigger.

    Powerless. They continue to linger.  
    Each day my smiles turn to whimpers.
    Like Alice I fall down the holes.

    This post has explained the past 6 years of my life and I cannot explain my gratitude. I’ve been searching for a father in all my relationships and I nearly finished another one waiting for my partner to grow into a dad for me. This has opened my eyes- thank you.

    Louise, 21. X

  35. What family sociologist and therapist all say are actually true. Children who grow up without a father figure or fatherly love just aren’t the same. Family works as a unit and carries out the ripple effect. When a divorce takes place, more often than not the mother gains custody of the child. So the child either a) get to visit the father occasionally or b) have no contact whatsoever. What mothers tend to do, is to think that divorce concludes the issue which is actually a really selfish act. A divorce finalizes the end of your failed marriage mothers, but it signifies the start to a warped and disturbed relationship that your children share with your exhusband. Mothers should not ignore that fact and try to make everything seem alright. If your child acts out during puberty, stop to think for a while before immediately assuming its just bad behaviour on your child’s part. Children who grow up with a regular father figure dont have a complete understanding on love and acceptance. its confusing for them and what happens is that they just keep pushing it backward and gradually love becomes a difficult issue to talk about.

  36. my dad left when i was 3 and i even as far back as i can remember never wanted to go a and visit him or stay at his house- i would cry all the way. i just wanted to be with my mum. i am a real mummys girl. so eventually my dad gave up and that was that. he never seemed tocare even tho i know he loves me. but named a dog after me in replacement. my mum later met my step dad who became a sort of father figure in my life – but i never really ever liked him. he eventually ended up cheating on my mum when i was 13 and they broke up. it was very messy and my mum was very upset. i still to this day remember her hurt feelings. i however loved growing up being a mummys girl with all her attention and love to myself.but craved male attention. i did everything to please them look beautiful and act in ways just to get approval once i had it i didnt want it anymore. i was slightly promiscuous from 18 onwards. i never feel good enough for any man and am so insecure even tho i know that im beautiful and talented. when it comes to men i just get insecure and jelous and hurt. i have only ever had my feeling hurt by them . and recently my heart broken by someone i was in live with and trusted. i felt abandoned by him too and im only 21 and he is 28. i have only ever been with men who are at least 7 or 8 years older than me. and this is the first time i actually cared for someone and they didnt care for me back. sometimes i cry that im not good enough, but im working on myself now and focusing on making me a more confident young woman who will only grow and learn from these experiences :-)

  37. I was about to be born when my dad left. My Mom was 9 months pregnant. I use to blame myself that he never wanted me. Every relationship I have had has been rocky. I tend to cling on to men. Then they would leave me because I would be too clingy. I use to feel abandoned in every relationship. The other night me and my boyfriend got into argument on how I am clingy person. I can’t help it sometimes. My mom did get married after I was 3 years old but she married an alcoholic who was never really a father to me. I use to find men through sexual activity because I would feel so empty inside because I never had a father who would protect me and tell me that he loved me.

    • my heart aches
      stop looking for what you need in other people
      its inside of you
      Its INSIDE You

      Self esteem is the best thing a person could have because it doesn’t erase the past it helps make you stronger

      you realize your a talented, gifted and wonderful person with flaws and whether or not your with someone your value never falters for you are Priceless.

      Its inside


  38. Hi, my parents got a divorce and I guess I’ve been hiding my feelings. It just sank in two years later, now. I am EXTREMELY upset with my mother because 1 month after they got a divorce she married another guy! And what makes it all worse!! He was my uncle on my dads side!!! He was hooking up with my aunt and now my mom! And him and my dad used to go camping together, but not anymore… Also I used to be with my godfather 24/7! He took my sister my mom and I to seaworld! He had the house key! But the guy my mom married never liked him. My godfather knew that so because he loved my sister and i so much( he was basically my dad) he asked my mom to marry him! Now he did this after my soon to be stepdad asked my mom to marry him, but because my mom thinks everythings about her, she told the guy who first asked her! He forbid her to see him so guess what??? I couldn’t see him! He was like a father to me and my sister, it I took it harder then she did! I lobed him so much and bc of her I can’t see him! She drove him away, so he is dating someone else and that someone else has a grandchild that he pays a lot of attention to! My actual dad used to go to work late and arrived home late. My mom was always so rude to him talking bad about him when he would leave, so I didn’t like my dad, and that’s what really hurts the most. The fact that my mom tricked my sister and I into not liking him! At first I dreaded going to his apartment bc of all the bad stuff I thought he was, when in reality he’s the best guy I’ve ever known. Now I dread going to my moms house, but what I’m trying to say is that something good will come out of the divorce.

  39. This article has clarified in my mind what I think I always felt was true and I am grateful now that at 27 I can start to heal the wounds in my hart. I never grew up with my dad, my parents never married and they separated when I was a baby. I only have a few little, happy memories of my dad growing up but he was mostly a stranger, we only saw each other maybe once a year. When I was 13 I was living with my mum who had drug and alcohol problems, I started acting out and my mum sent me to live with my dad in another state, away from all the family I had, to live with a man who was practically a stranger. I cried for my family who I miss for years and hated my mum for sending me away. And then ended up hating my father but always trying to win his favour and approval even though my father who also has a drug problem is a kind “good man” but because he was always out of it plus also because I believe he didn’t know how to suddenly raise a 13 year old teenager, having no experience previously (he has two other daughter from a first marriage who he hasn’t spoke to for 20 years) he didn’t take any responsibility or ownership as a parent, he was emotionally absent, un-protective, neglectful, distant, filthy and didn’t give me any advise or direction, he didn’t get me into trouble when he knew I started experimenting with drugs or for not coming home for days. I thought there was something wrong with me, why didn’t he love me?! So enviably to started sleeping with boys at a very young age, lapping up the attention, thinking that they loved me and I never learned how to say No because I was afraid if I said no that they would stop paying attention to me and “loving” me when they were just using me anyway, and when they got board just dumped me anyway. This sent me into a self loathing, low self esteem spiral where the cycle repeated for many years.

    Still to this day my dad is moody and makes no pro-active attempt at building a relationship with me, I have to do all the work to keep our relationship going and then suddenly when he isn’t feeling like it he will just not return calls or miss dates we have set up. But I am glad that I am not going out parting or seeking the wrong kind of attention from men any longer and can see the error of my ways and the path I need to follow to be happy.

  40. Hello all. I am very grateful for all of you being so willing to share your experiences and help others.I have been reading some of the responses and would really appreciate some feedback from some of the children,especially girls, that have grown up without a father figure. Me and my Ex were high school sweeethearts, together for 10 yrs & bbest friends. He got addicted to Rx med’s and things started to change shortly after the birth of our daughter. I did an intervention with his family when she was 2 & supported him through rehab, I even moved across the country with my daughter to help him stay sober. needless to say it didn’t work. I found out he relapsed & the Rx med’s turned to he heroin because it was cheaper. He became a danger to us so I took my daughter & left. I would give him space & time, he would get sober & I would let him see his daughter.This happened over & over.. It got to the point that he was stealing $ from me to support his habit so I cut him off completely. I am in the process of changing my daughters last name back to mine. I feel we just need to mourn his loss as I feel this addiction is going to kill him. I had a talk with her about the fact that she would not see im until she was old enough to choose to, because as her mommy I have to keep her safe. I tell her all the time how smart, pretty and kind she is. I guess in an attempt to keep her from making her dad’s absence her fault. She is sad & confused. his family loves her & they are a positive influence, so I have allowed them to remain a part of her life as long as they visit her in a neutral environment that wont stir up memories of her missing daddy & re open old wounds. Did I do the right thing?? will she resent me for keeping him away? What are signs I need to look for as she grows and develops? any information or feedback is much appreciated!! I just want this little girl to have the best chance possible for success and happiness.

    • Angie,
      It should help if you find some good books on the subject and maybe talk to a highly rated counselor.
      As far as my opinion, your daughter will understand when she’s mature enough. Truth is, some humans are lost beyond recovering and there is no sense in trying to patch something over and over again. Based on your part of the story, this is the case here. Good luck.

  41. When I was 5 my parents divorced. My father moved 2000 miles away. He remarried and had my brother. He contacted occaisonally. When I was 13 he invited me to visit for the summer. I accepted and three weeks after I arrived he drained the checking account and left me, my brother and stepmother. I was on good terms with them and my mother and stepmother were coordial.
    That was 1974. To this day I have never married. I chose unavaliable men through out my lifetime and ran from stable loving men. I am not real sure how to change how I have learned to function through out my lifetime.

  42. I have been with my wife for over 25 years (15 married) and she also never had a father figure in her life, except from her grandfather and single mother, i knew she was insecure and not confid
    ent for nothingand dependant on men….I learned in last January and caught her cheating with a co-worker…after numerous marriage counselling , i learned that she cheated over 100 times with other in numerous affairs, very sad that we have a 9yrs old daughter that will pay for her mistakes.
    I was always loyal and faithfull to her, but still she blames me for working for a better future for my family that I tried to work for.
    With me she never talked or acted in sex, she always was too tired, now i know why….life without her father destroyed my own family and all because she was a coward in facing her father and mother about the truth.

  43. I am 19 years old and struggling. My biological father has never been around. I can recall my moms boyfriends before my mom met the one man i called father who raised me sence i was five. We were quiet the paor seeing as my mother was always away working. She missed christmas after christmas my birthdays and orcherstralconcerts…but my dad was always there.i cried in his arms he taught me how to drive,about calorie intake and he just was a wonderful caring strict dad. That all went down hill two years ago when my parents split two years ago…he disowned my mother and me and still highly interacts in my family and with my half brother(not his son). I got to an age like any teenage girl that invlolved being moreso on your own with friends and parties. They argued for two years before finally breaking it off. I started partying the second year…ifeel like i could have been a better daughter and tried to be there for him instead i ran away from the issues that matter. My whole life it seems if they got in an arguement id wish theyd just breakup and i wouldnt have to deal with rules and restrictions…but now that he doesnt try to ever get ahold of me i just wish he was here telling me itll be alright not to be scared of the world of being alone …I should have been there for him when it felt like he needed me but i was young i rebelled and now its me who is just screaming for him to be there to tell me no…to hold me when i cry.i miss him so much but we are two of a kind too stubborn to admit we are hurt.what do i do to make this black whole of regret go away?

  44. My parents divorced at age 2. Dad signed me over to new husband. He said it was the right thing to do????? Hmmm. Didn’t have to pay child support after giving up rights????? I am very successful. Never turned to drugs or anything bad. I would pay millions of dollars to remove the pain I feel everyday from his rejection. I talk to him now that Im an adult. I only have a relationship with him so I don’t hurt his feelings. I know thats messed up. He had other kids and I feel like the oddball. I fake it when I am around them that i am ok. No one knows I feel this way. I can’t bring myself to tell him how bad he hurt me. I don’t want him to know how bad he has hurt me. Its really hard and I am not myself lately. None of us asked for these problems. I guess its our test in life. I wish all of you luck and hope you all find peace. Its good to know Im not alone.

  45. This describes the girl that I was dating too a T & I have known what the problem has been for a while being that her Dad & Mom got divorced when she was 10 she is smart & unbelievably Beautiful . Everything that you said is 100% accurate . I know what the problem is & where it comes from but what I need are answers & solutions to the problem . What is done is done & you can’t go back & change it but what I need to know is there hope for her & how do you help her or is she just going to be a statistic . What I am asking for are answers & solutions to the problem . Can it be fixed or is it beyond repair ?

  46. I am 46. My father left for another woman for good (after some years of an affair) when I was 8 years old. I didn’t become promiscuous – quite the opposite – I came to distrust men – not men in the platonic sense, but with regards intimacy. To this day I become anxious and wary if I feel someone may be attracted to me, and even more so if I feel attraction to someone. My father was an occasional visitor only growing up, started a new family and life with this woman and contact was spare right through to adulthood. My mother never had a boyfriend, no male love in her life whatsoever, just devoted herself to raising me and I had no male father figures at all as I didnt have uncles, and was very shy in front of my friends dads – I remember them as being curiosities to me really. I have never married and have been single most of my life. I have had a few long term relationships, with men who were good men, but what they all had in common was dysfunctionality. Troubled men. Men who needed rescuing. Interesting. I have now been single for seven years. I will say that a pattern has been that whenever a male appears to have a romantic interest in me and I can sense it I push him away quickly, even if I too am attracted to him. My teenage years, when all my friends seemed to be developing natural, fun relationships with boys, I was instead awkward, didn’t know how to be around them, tried to be what I thought they wanted me to be rather than just being myself because of course my fathers lack of attention towards me, and leaving made me feel I wasnt adequate the way I was. I just couldn’t relax around them and enjoy myself, and they would end up dropping me. I had my heart broken a lot during this time. I guess I was blessed with being quite attractive and a nice enough person, so when everyone around me that I know is married or part of a long term relationship, it is difficult when they ask me why I am single. I am in charge of my life and it is a successful life on many levels, but true romantic love has always eluded me. It seems I can only form relationships with men who are troubled and end up putting me through the wringer. The together men, I run a mile from. Anyway, just how life has panned out for me. I would love to have love, yes, but to this day, I still can’t work out men and become very anxious when I sense one is becoming interested in me. So, I guess I am saying that if you have a daughter with an absent father who chooses to stay mostly absent, ensure she has a lot of strong positive male role models in her life in some way that she can grow up talking to, who take an interest in her life and she can learn to laugh with and have fun around, and I think she will be fine.

  47. As a father who has relocated back to Australia these blogs are hard to read. I had basically finished my consulting contracts, and i was owed money by ex-wife for overpayment of child support for 33 months. As a lawyer her strategy was to delay this, and ensure that I eroded my cash reserves trying to use lawyers to get adjustments to this retrospectively and going forward. In the end with no confirmed job, no cash reserves I was forced to return to Australia. Unfortunately there are three beautiful children, one being my daughter, who no longer can see their father. I am so annoyed at society who mocks and does support the role of the father in the lives of their children. Yes the Canadian Family Law system has a lot to answer for. How you can allow one to profit and take advantage of a divorce, and the other is forced to live in a 60 year old basement suite, and then you are forced out of the country. In the end the children suffer from this train wreck, caused a legal system. The reality father’s suffer tremendous pain in the short term, however, both sons and daughters suffer in the short, medium and long term.

    The reality is their is good father’s out there who love their children. Unfortunately society has not caught up to this concept yet. For this our children suffer through this. I can assure I love my sons and daughter with all my heart, perhaps one day I will get a chance to help them deal with this missing part of their lives.

    Unfortunately mother’s who aim to poison this paternal bond the consequences later in life can be horrendous, I would suggest all the above bloggers and their mothers read the work of Linda Neilsen, a Canadian pyschologist.

  48. I’m 20 and just realizing that my daddy issues are affecting my relationship with my boyfriend. He also has mother issues. I don’t know what to do. We’re a really good support for each other but I just feel like I’m not supposed to date anyone because I have daddy issues….like I’m broken or something. Am I just supposed to live alone for the rest of my life? That’s not very fair to us. It’s not my fault. Then again, everything seems like my fault. Is there anyway I can be in a healthy relationship? Thanks.

  49. This, first of all, is about being fatherless due to death but I have had many of the same issues as with divorce. at least with divorce, they can hope to talk to or see their father from time to time. Mind was gone forever and I blamed myself as I was too young to understand. It is like standing by a window waiting for daddy at age 22 mo. and mommy comes and is talking to me but the words make no sense to me at all as I was just too young. So to continue, Due to his death I had a huge need for a “Validation Stamp” for worth as I had none. I had a younger fatherless brother who told me I was ugly all my life and would never find a man to marry me. If one was stupid enough to ask me I better grab it as there was no second chance. That set me up for my marriage. But back to my youth, 2 men had molested me by the time I was 8 years old. First at age 5 and he was on the board of dentistry in Seattle Wa. I was just another poor kid. The second one was a son of my mother’s friend of which I did not know existed until age 8 when he cornered me in a shed and would break my back if I made a sound. The sexual abuse changed my personality to be of fear and mistrust
    Avoidance of a chance of abduction and of men at all costs as a grade school child I stood by the teacher by the wall of the building until a girl came and got me to go play. I was not alone.
    I went into Teenage promiscuity & terrible low Self Worth. As a result of my upbringing, when I grew up I went on a quest to find a “Validation Stamp” which had me looking in a variety of sexual dead end roads. I followed my girlfriend to meet guys as I would have never ventured out on my own. I never got pregnant but if I would have it could be any one of up to 16 men that would have impregnated me. I also was not prepared for marriage (as one man I knew for 10 days was silly enough to ask) I had an image of a fairytale life I was very angry and verbally & emotionally abusive. But now I had a husband and 2 sons & they were with a woman who knew zip about them. The subject brought up again years later.
    I was given Christian principals on the subject of Sexual Abuse at a seminar I went to in Denver. By Larry Crabb. Allender exactly
    He taught us there that the key to freedom from the shame and anger involved is FORGIVENESS! Nice concept but it was a complete impossibility,in my case.I was helped again by Christian (no longer LDS) sisters in prayer. They required me to forgive and I refused over and over again. Later in the prayer time a friend came in and told me she knew nothing of the nature of the prayer but she told me what she saw. She saw a chessboard with a pawn on it that was pushed around and had no control of his life. Then someone else told me of a jelly fish without a backbone. But it was the chessboard that spoke to me. I knew little of this man but I did know he had a domineering mother and his life seemed to him to be out of control. He served in WW11 and had what they called shell shock now it is PTS. .He went to them over and over for help and they refused as they said he had never hurt anyone. So I guess he got an idea and came to our house. He cornered me and pushed me against the tool bench and I knew if I moved he would break my back. Thus then he continued on to hurt me. He left and I was so full of shame and fear. He stayed for dinner and licked his knife that had melted butter on it and looked at me that one day he was going to use this on someone. I shuttered again with fear as I had to sit and respect my elders. I told my mother after he left as she had no idea of what he had done in just a few short minutes. I went for years until in my mid 40’s with fear, rage and anger suppressed that spit out on occasion. But the worst of it was I was told in a LDS Sunday school class that if we give ourselves to a man before marriage we are a used piece of gum. So that helped me go into the self destructive alcohol infested & permissive lifestyle I led for 2 yrs until my husband came and married me. But I lived a life of hate towards men and thought them all louses etc…until one day God said “No more”. Then came the prayer meetings and help from the Lord

    I am ok now I just stumbled upon this site s I am scrap booking my life and realized I have only one photo of me and my dad and I am 10 mo. 2 mo later is my second birthday party and I went looking to see if Mr Google had a poem or a pros an ode to a fatherless 2 yr old. But found this instead. Well it is my story wish it was more flowery but it isn’t. Oh and my husband and I are married 43 yrs and doing well. it all turned out well and with my sons too.

  50. I am a daughter of divorced parents. I struggled like most but, I came out the better. When I was about 12 my father left. He also took every cent in the family bank, which was about 500,000 euro. I would have had an average relationship with him. He is currently with another woman. My mother, like everyone else was shocked when he announced his departure. He moved 5 minutes away. He kept in constant contact with my two brothers, but ignored my existence for years. It was hard but I made a promise to myself that I would continue my life as if he never upturned it. After he left I had to drop any hobby that involved extra pay. I am 18 now, and every once and a while, my father tries to make contact with me. But, in order to stay a stable, happy person, I continue without paying attention to his efforts. I would recommend that in order for the “daddys girl” syndrome not to set in, that you stay strong and withhold contact from the person who rejected you. Also if you are a mother, divorced from your husband, it is important to create stability in a job, so that your child feels secure, and to not “trash” your ex in front of your children, as they will feel like they have to take care of you, and not deal with their own issues.

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