Throughout the past generations, we have been taught that men are strong, humans led by their rational and not by emotions, who can easily become ruthless and powerful at any given time in any situation.
Although there is a small truth in this stereotype if we were to compare a man’s emotional and physical strength to a woman’s, it would be worth to realise that men experience emotions as much as women; they have their own insecurities about themselves, about their future, even if they do not necessarily express them as openly and freely as women do.
Due to gender stereotypes, we are often led to believe that men are less likely to suffer or face major challenges after a divorce and as such, the main concern is channelled on mothers and children.
Nevertheless, more efforts should be put into supporting fathers during and after a divorce as they are equally exposed to negative effects and emotions.
It is reported that approximately 2 million American men are single fathers whereas there is no certain data of single fathers across the globe. If little is known about their existence, you can imagine the poor knowledge we have about the struggles they go through.
Regardless of the scarce attention single fathers receive, some of them decided to share their stories with the hope that society will understand that if they are no longer married to their former spouse, they can continue loving their children:
“Parenting is already hard, but being a single parent is worse! Sometimes you get frustrated, tired as you do not know what else to do. You want the best for your child, but then you have your ex who is eager to point out your flaws, digging the knife in the wound by telling your child “daddy is so mean, but do not worry, mommy is here”.
“As men, we are not taught to nurture, but we are told that our role is to protect. I dearly love my children and while I may fail sometimes to cook the best meal, I try my hardest to show them that I will always have their backs no matter what”
“The main issue is dividing your time between a full-time job and your children. If you do not work enough, you cannot financially support them; if you do not support them, the society will portrait you like a bad father; if you are not by their side….same. There is no way to win”
Acknowledging the fact that a divorce can affect both partners is crucial. Nobody would get married if they knew how the story ends. When we decide to get married we all hope for the best and wish that our marriage will last through thin and thick. For whatever circumstance a marriage ends, the effects of it are felt by everyone involved, especially if there are children as well. Parenting already requires intense parental involvement and the separation of the parents can be incredibly difficult for the education and the emotional well-being of the offspring. This is why it is essential that partners put aside resentments, hatred or pain, learn from the mistakes and work out plans that could promote a healthy upbringing of the children.
Speaking of children, they should not be involved in the process of divorce by any means. Instead, they should be allowed to develop relations with both parents and grow to receive equal love in order to diminish the impact of a separated family.
No matter the amount of pain or hate you feel towards your spouse, do not influence child’s perception or opinion on their parent. Remember that the issue is between you and your ex partner. If father’s behaviour puts the children at risk, then it is indeed necessary to remove any negative example from your child’s life. Otherwise, do not project your feelings of anger or fear onto your children. It will not only harm their emotional stability, but also the relation with their father. A failed marriage does not translate into a poor relationship father-child.
Image: Huffington Post