I am not a Deadbeat. In fact, while I was not a great husband, I was an excellent father. I put my kids to bed every night. I coached their team sports. I went to school functions and parent/teacher conferences. It wasn’t their fault our marriage fell apart. In fact, they were the glue that held us together for the past 6 years.

My two kids are my life. Now, I only get to see them when “she” lets me. I realize that I ended the marriage, but such venom and hate. When I do see the kids, they tell me how much they hate me and that they wished they never had to see me. I know where they are learning that, but “she” just denies saying anything bad, and I have no recourse.

I was fair in the divorce. I paid off the house, I pay for the private school education, I give more than the state mandated child support and I pay on time. I pay for health insurance, 100% of uninsured medical expenses and all activities. I pay for so much, that I now live in a very small two bedroom apartment. There is barely enough room for my children when they do visit, which isn’t often.

I admit I did not fight in court for custody. I figured I wouldn’t get it and didn’t want to upset the children any more than they were already upset. I should have fought. I bent over backwards to be the nice guy and not the devil. It was a mistake.

I am at “her” mercy. She tells me when I can see my kids and when I can’t. She tells the kids that I don’t support them financially. She gives me no access to school records or even lets me know about parent teacher conferences. She treats me like an ATM machine that happened to spit out some sperm a few times.

And, God, I miss my kids. I want to love them and I want them to love me. I want them to be excited to see Daddy and spend time with me. I want them to be proud to have me show up to school for the play, instead of being embarrassed and torn because “she” is standing there with the poor me look on her face.

I have dated, but I am afraid to introduce a new woman into my children’s lives because my relationship with them is so tentative. I struggle daily to maintain some type of contact, but with the contact being monitored by “her” it is next to impossible to have any type of meaningful relationship with my children when I am not with them.

Let’s face it. Divorce in America is all about the wife and mother. She gets custody, she gets child support, she gets alimony and the husband and father gets limited visits and a very small apartment. I am not a deadbeat, but I am a Dad who is missing…missing his children.

THE CASE OF THE MISSING DEADBEAT DAD