The hardest thing about being a separated father, is being able to get on with your life whilst not seeing your kids as much…or at all.
The breakup can mean many things to men and the challenges can vary. For some, it’s a representation of where everything has gone wrong in their lives which leads them to ask very deep questions about themselves… for others it can turn into an outward war on the system, their ex or themselves.
Let’s BREAK it down:
Nevertheless, there are a few overarching issues that I have come across after personally going through this myself about 5 years ago and now having coached hundreds of other single dads as well.
Being unable to let go of the past
Struggling to let go of the past may not happen for a myriad of reasons…but typically when we are struggling to let go after the breakup it’s because:
- The past looks more appealing than what lies ahead or what they are currently experiencing.
- Living in regret for things that were done (or not done) in the past and wishing we could change them to avoid this issue altogether.
- The ideology of what we had planned for our lives has been disrupted.
So, when I was going through this myself, the biggest learning point was acceptance of what IS.
Whatever happened in the past, happened as it should have. You are where you are meant to be, in order to learn from the past and the first step is to accept the new situation you’re in. Now, it’s important to look at those things as SYMBOLS for what needs to change in your life and not get caught up in the micro things that you’re not happy about. Keep it macro, look for the common themes and patterns.
When I work with single fathers, there is a massive emphasis on self-awareness and ‘digging into the shit’.
Without going into the dark, you are unable to brighten your light. Without going to these places, the same repetitive problems will show up in your life over and over again and you’ll wonder why, probably looking to blame the people who keep coming into your life or blaming it on ‘bad luck’.
Unable to see their kids
Now this is a difficult one, but this comes down to the relationship with the mother of your kids. Of-course you can go to court to let them decide, but for many, many single dads this either isn’t an option or they come out of it with a bad outcome. Unfortunately, the relationship that you have with your co-parent affects MULTIPLE, if not EVERY area of your life…
Let me explain:
Without having certainty and structure in your life (meaning certainty and clarity around when you see your kids) it’s very hard to make plans for yourself. You become at the mercy of the mother of your kids. You can’t make plans to see new women, take new jobs, even (in some cases) being able to go to the gym.
What sometimes happens for men, is they are put in a position where they have to choose. Choose something that they had already planned or spend time with their kids, when their Mum suddenly gives the opportunity. Then, if they choose wrong they get persecuted and punished by having even less visitation. Tough spot…
But even in these types of situations where you my feel really powerless in your own life, you always have the CHOICE and in how you feel. That’s on you. You are always responsible for your own actions. You have the power to change:
A) How you feel
B) How you respond
I’ve helped countless men achieve more manageable relationships with the mother of their kids, and the majority of the time things will improve when she sees a noticeable change in YOU. When you are able to hold yourself and respond in a way that is POWERFUL, where you have risen above that frame of reality and are able to see the behaviour for what it is… A power play.
Power plays are made in an attempt to control…coming from a deep lack of control in themselves.
Fearful of what the future holds
Sometimes, father’s that go through breakups haven’t actually planned it. Meaning, they never thought that they would go through a breakup with the mother of their children and so when it happens there is this big ‘shock’ of.. this wasn’t apart of the plan for my life.
Most of the time, us men have this vision of being together with the family, we have visions of where we’ll live, what animals we’ll have, the cars we’ll drive in the future. Then, when the breakup happens – all of that is thrown out the window. Everything that was built over the course of the relationship seems like a complete waste of time and almost false…
“How long has she been feeling like this?”
“I can’t believe this has happened”
So now, single dads are in the position of re-finding what their goals are in life altogether. New living arrangements…Maybe a new job…Different house…Will I have to start dating again?
No direction, no purpose – and for a man, this is big.
Single dads will flail around searching for something…for that thing that will give them happiness and fulfillment in its pursuit. What was once the pursuit of the ideal family vision with the kids and partner has now taken a massive turn.
Helping guys through this really comes down to getting more connected to themselves. More connected to the man they are separate from the family and objects. Who they were before they were even in a relationship…if they have ever even been single as an adult (yes it happens).
If we don’t know who we are separate from those things, we have no identity. No purpose, no meaning. We draw on everything outside of ourselves and when those things aren’t around anymore, our future seems bleak, unstructured and unstable.
So, if you are in the position where you don’t know the way forward and want to find the first few steps in the right direction, start by looking inward. All will make sense when you start connecting to who you are and what you want.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is general information only and is not provided as a substitute for legal/professional advice. If you have a legal/financial/ any other issue, you should contact a lawyer and/or professional before making a decision about your options or personal situation. TheSeparationExchange.com cannot provide legal/professional advice.
ABOUT the Blogger:
“Over the last 3 years Millar has coached 100’s of single fathers by helping them find their true identity, let go of the past and improve the communication with the mother of their kids. He is a father to three children of his own and it’s his mission to empower these men so they can see their kids more”. Visit the site.
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