The internet has dragged a dad who stopped seeing his children after he had a baby with another woman, leaving the children missing him and their mother heartbroken.
In a post shared on Mumsnet last Friday, the children’s mom, under the username Sundawn0, explained that she and her ex-partner split a few years ago but have been co-parenting well, despite the distance between them.
But recently he met another woman who quickly got pregnant, and since then he has almost stopped seeing his children, who are seven years old and constantly ask their mom for him: “He has seen them for two weeks in the last sixteen months.”
She said the children missed their father and “one of them pines for him most days,” adding: “I can’t stop crying and I feel heartbroken for them.”
According to Memphis divorce lawyers Miles Mason Family Law Group, about 20 percent of marriages end in the first 5 years, and 32 percent end in the first 10 years. In 2022, the U.S. divorce rate is estimated to be at least 44.2 percent.
The poster added that she feels as if she has “damaged” her children, and maybe if she had tried harder to keep the relationship going, her children wouldn’t be in this situation. She said: “He used to be a good dad and has now turned into some kind of monster.”
Soula Hareas, a mental health counselor at Florida-based McNulty Counseling, told Newsweek that children do not understand adult behavior. They just see that their dad isn’t there anymore and sometimes end up blaming their mom for this.
“They don’t want to believe that dad is choosing not to see them. They don’t want to believe that he’d disappoint them. This is a very difficult thing for moms to witness their children go through and not be able to help them.”
However, she added that as the children get older and they start to better understand life, that is when they come to their own conclusion.
“This is when they begin to empathize with mom and see dad for who he truly is. Children hold their parents on a pedestal until scheduled visits are canceled, communication begins to lapse, and birthdays become a card or a gift in the mail instead of a day of celebrating.”
There are many things moms can try to explain but this is a case where it is best to involve a therapist, as they can teach the children coping skills before they begin to act out either in school or at home, Hareas said.
“Abandonment is so traumatic and a negative catalyst for mental health issues that it truly needs to be dealt with in therapy. It could easily lead to trust issues in future relationships, feeling of low self-worth, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse issues to name a few,” she added.
Most of the users thought the poster wasn’t being unreasonable at all. One user, vodkaredbullgirl, commented: “You have not damaged your children, he is the one who has stopped seeing them.”
And smooththecat said: “You have to stop blaming yourself for his behavior. Most importantly, you can’t lie to them about his behavior, however hurtful that will be. Are you able to have a frank conversation with him about where this is going?”
FlissyPaps wrote: “Of course, you haven’t damaged them. They are not damaged. They are just hurting and confused. And that’s his doing, not yours! They will understand what an absolute a******* he is when they’re older. But now, and I can’t imagine how hard it is, you just have to keep going. For them. Let them know you love them and keep them distracted whenever they ask about him. Don’t let him waltz in and out of their lives if he tries to do it later on. He’s shown his true colors.”
Newsweek was not able to verify the details of the case.
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