i hate being a dad

An Open Letter to the Guy Who Said, “I Hate Being a Dad.”

Dear Sir,

I recently came across your post describing how you hated being a dad. After reading the comments on your post and doing a simple Google search I can see that you are not alone. Even those who’ve always wanted to be fathers often don’t anticipate how difficult it is to be a parent. It’s an overwhelming shock to the system. The fact that you never wanted to be a dad in the first place, as you explained, clearly makes your situation even worse.

Let me start by saying I appreciate your honesty. Most wouldn’t even admit feeling like you do to themselves, let alone to others. Second and more importantly, I commend you for not abandoning your family despite your feelings. However, going through life with an attitude of I hate being a dad will be detrimental to you and your children. There needs to be a change. In order for your life as a dad to be different, you need to recognize the following truths that you are missing.

Gaining freedom also means gaining loneliness.

Right now the grass looks greener. Your old single life is calling. It was a life without responsibilities. You want it back. However, it is important to remember the full picture of what you would gain if your wish were granted or if you were able to turn back time and make different decisions. You may gain your freedom but you would lose the companionship of your family and the daily love from your kids. In essence, you would gain loneliness. The grass is never as green as we think. Be grateful for what you have in your own yard.

Spend focused time mourning and then start living.

It’s time to say goodbye to your old life. It is never coming back. But first, spend some time mourning it. Mourn the life where you were free to do whatever you wanted because people weren’t depending on you. Write down all of those things you loved about that life. Allow yourself to feel every emotion about it. When you have mourned it fully, take the list of your old life and burn it. Now embrace your new life – this crazy, demanding, exhausting, big, beautiful life as a dad. Embrace it for the following reason.

Any life of significance involves sacrifice, suffering, and challenges to overcome.

Think of every book you’ve read, movie you’ve seen, or story you’ve heard that you thoroughly enjoyed. I guarantee the main characters dealt with trial and difficulty. They were probably called upon to sacrifice and give of themselves to something bigger than they believed they were capable. Heroism and nobility are never born out of comfort. [Tweet This] They are cultivated in the moments when we sacrifice and love unconditionally when we don’t want to give it. So embrace the high demand on your life as a dad. It is what will make the story of your life worth telling. And if you do it well, it will be your kids that pass your story down through generations.

Sound Off

What is your favorite thing about being a dad?

BJ Foster

BJ Foster is the Director of Content Creation for All Pro Dad and a married father of two.

  • Eric J. Martindale

    I got my freedom back when my wife took the children and left. That was three years ago, and I still wake up every morning empty over not seeing those little smiles and hearing the pitter patter of their feet. Children are the only ones who love you no matter what you do or how you perform. It is easy to take for granted the fullness they bring, but I can tell you that the silence is deafening when they’re gone.

    • BJ_Foster

      I’m so sorry Eric. Thank you for sharing. Prayed for you this morning.

      • Eric J. Martindale

        Its okay BJ, but I sincerely appreciate the prayers. I really didn’t intend to vent or complain. I just know exactly where these fathers are coming from in struggling with fatherhood. I’ve just seen it from both sides. We weren’t meant to live as 20-year-olds forever. Our families fill a hole in us that we forget we had until they’re gone.

        As humans, we tend to fixate on what we don’t have, whether it be freedoms or pursuits or whatever. It’s just part of our nature. Unfortunately it is impossible to enjoy the blessings and gifts we have when our eyes are continually turning toward the things we want, as shallow as those things are sometimes.

        • BJ_Foster

          Well said. And I definitely did not take your comment as venting or complaining. I took it as raw and honest. I appreciated and respected both. I hope and pray you have significant and rich time with your kids.

          • Eric J. Martindale

            Thank you!

    • NotAfraidToBeAMan

      Children don’t love you no matter what you do. You’re thinking of a dog.

      You are right about one thing, on the few occasions when my kids are gone the silence is in deed deafening……& WONDERFUL! I cant get enough of them being gone, its great.

  • Roger Lauricella

    I came to being a Father by my wife and I adopting two children (a daughter in 1994 and a son in 1995) from China. While being a husband is important I find (and my wife agrees with me) that being a father is the most important aspect of my life. I truly, completely and wholeheartedly Love being a Dad to my now 23 and 21 year old Daughter and Son. I’ve found its all about attitude in being a Dad. I deliberately planned out being a Dad, what I would do with my children, how I would spend time with them, how I would respond to them, how I would love being with them being their dad. I also planned out (again with my wife’s backing) how we would spend time with our children vs paying someone else to spend time with them. We also deliberately focused on sharing our faith with each child helping them see in us just people trying our best but flawed nevertheless. Most of all, I made sure both my children (and still to this day) knew that I loved each of them and was continuously proud of them for being respectively my daughter and my son. As a father you are not perfect all you can do is try your best, learn from your mistakes and be open to your children. Love them unconditionally and help them move through the moments and times of life with enthusiasm and a can do attitude. Help them understand that as you too have a choice, attitude is what you make of anything, start positive and you will find that even in failure and even in hardship one can handle pretty much anything that life throws your way. It also helps to be a “funny daddy” and then the aspects of life seen and experienced can be put in context. I do believe because of the pathway that I have chosen that my children to this day remain well rounded, secure, deeply faith believing and with the biggest hearts for people and relationships of any young 20 somethings I’ve known. My role as a Father is not done yet and it will most likely never be until that time I join our father above. Again, attitude is really everything in being a Dad, the best job I’ve ever had that is not really a job but a privilege, an honor and something I cherish so much.

    • BJ_Foster

      Well said Roger. You’re a great example of the importance of fatherhood. Well done.

  • CJ

    Our newlywed honeymoon was cut way short when my wife became pregnant three months into our new marriage. But as a dad, I have never had more fullness in my life and love in my heart. I am the proud father of three amazing children and I can see at every turn how God has molded me by taking selfishness out of my heart and focusing on trying to be the father I wanted to be.

    Now mind you I am in NO WAY perfect as a dad. I have found myself trying to get away from a TV show or sporting event (which I check out on after a day of working sometimes), but I went into my marriage as a man who totally was committed to doing things differently than my father did with me. My dad didn’t do many things with me (like throw the ball around, attend games or do many things that interested me), so I tried to become the opposite and have spent the past 15 years coaching lots of sports that my kids have been involved with (soccer, basketball, football, baseball). I have never regretted a single moment of being coach dad (although that was a test of my competitive character, too, which I failed miserably at times after a loss).

    But my children have developed into young Christians with a faith that I so admire in each of them in their own personal walks with the Lord that I am so incredibly blessed. I love each one of them and connect with each of my three kids (two sons and a daughter) in different ways, and each have blessed me in their own way and have shaped my personal walk with the Lord, too.

    So for anyone who struggles with being a father, yes it is challenging and difficult and you do have a HUGE responsibility as a dad (and as a co-parent with their mom), but it is also the most rewarding challenge to leave a Godly legacy and to even see how God molds you through being a dad. I could never ever imagine a life without any of my three children!

  • Danny Rodriguez

    My wife and I became first time foster parents 6 months ago in February with the goal of adopting the kids. After 4 days in our home, I told my wife I couldn’t do it. I thought I could but the way I was feeling – overwhelmed, frustrated, short-tempered – I just couldn’t go through it. As I was saying this to her, I could see the look on her face that I can’t erase from my memory today, and I knew that I had to adjust to the situation. After gathering myself, I sat down with the kids and said that I was sorry for the way I was behaving and that I was going to do better at being a dad and taking care of them. We adopted the kids a couple of weeks ago and I love being their dad more than I can say. In all reality, I never saw myself as a dad or had the desire to becoming one, but 2 years ago we began our journey of looking into adoption and it was THE best decision of our lives. We love our 2 kids (8 and 6) and I am looking forward to this new chapter in our lives in raising these 2 wonderful miracles.

    • Brian Bachelder

      Danny- I had almost the same situation and look from my wife. .lol I would not trade being a dad for anything.

  • Brian Bachelder

    I think that we can have some of that freedom. If you are in a marriage where you remember that you are also two individuals who have different sets of passions, you can make it happen, even with kids.

  • Carl Bobis

    A friend said to me years ago how awesome it was to be a dad, and he was right. He was the only guy who didn’t say it sucks, and that has really stuck with me. In fact I make a point to talk to anyone thinking about having kids in this way.

  • Chris Urban

    Love the write up! Never thought I’d be a Dad but love every moment of it. Was at docs with wife ready to get her tubes tied two and a half years ago when doc looked at us and said…uhmmm our conversation is going to takena drastic change of course today. 2 years later…my little buddy CJ is the best thing that ever happened to my wife and I. We thank God all the time–wouldve been a tragedy had we gone through life without him.

  • sgallen

    This is good advice. I’ve been miserable since my daughter was born. The realization that I could have freedom– that my religion lied to me and– and that I didn’t have to give in to my wife’s tantrums, it’s suffocating. All my life I had done what people told me I should do. And it brought me misery.

    Who knows, maybe I’d be happier divorcing and being a part time father.

  • AnonGuy80

    I also hate being a Dad. I appreciate the open letter because I am really trying to find some serious adult dialogue on it, but a lot of the advice isn’t really helpful and kind of counterproductive, because it seems to be underpinned on (as is so commonly done) disbelieving that the Dad in question actually hates being a Dad, but rather that they’re just confused about it and just instead need some help seeing the light. But, the brutal, grim, ugly truth for a lot of Dads (and even some Moms) is that is just not true. We just don’t have that chip or circuit that makes us love or even like the experience. For the record, it is not paternal post natal depression or another illness (I’ve seen a few highly regarded professionals). In their medical opinion, I just hate this with the fire of a thousand suns.

    “Gaining Freedom Increases Loneliness” This just isn’t true. I‘ve never been more alone. I was far less alone when I was either single or married without a child. Now, I am constantly pretending to be a person that I am not, faking enjoying things that I hate doing, and everybody only wants to talk to be about things that I have just zero interest in. I’m like an actor in a never-ending play that I don’t want to be in, and there is no exit to the stage. I have never been so alone, but also can never be by myself. The stark isolation is a very, very common problem even for parents that are into parenting. I’m not worried about divorce increasing my loneliness at all because it just can’t get worse. Even if somehow does, at least I’ll have some peace in my life again. I haven’t left because I still love my wife and she’s the last vestige of my former life that I am clinging to, as damaged as our marriage is now. Plus, I’d lose my home, my assets and my income. That’s not a grass isn’t really greener situation. I’m trapped and not sure if I should chew my own leg off in order to escape.

    “Spend Focused Time Mourning and then Living” This seems at its core to assume that people who hate being Dads don’t actually hate it, but just haven’t realized that they actually love it. So, I’ve been happy and enjoyed doing certain things and living a certain way for 35 years, and I’m supposed to just flick a switch (after appropriate mourning) and say “I don’t like those things anymore, even though I was really happy like that. I like doing these other things now.” Unfortunately, I really actually do wish I were doing all those things before and I really, truly do hate what I do now. I am not moved one iota by imagines of gummy smiling faces, garbled first words, or any other hallmark moment you’ve got. I really, actually, truly don’t want it. The entire issue wouldn’t exist if life preferences were that optional, no? Just to be super crystal clear, this isn’t misty eyed nostalgia about my glory days or day dreaming about “what ifs”. I *know* to an absolute certainty that I hate this experience with every fiber of by being and that I threw away a life that I truly loved and exchanged it for one that I absolutely despise.

    “Any life of significance involves sacrifice, suffering, and challenges to overcome.” Suffering is not a virtue. It’s just miserable, and that’s why we don’t sit around sticking our hands on hot stoves to build significance. I also don’t need movies to be made out of me. I’ll settle for just being happy on a day to day basis, or at least not miserable. Also, I understand sacrifice. I do pretty well as a professional in a very demanding field and am highly regarded in it, but that’s in large part because I like my work, and am able to motivate myself to work hard because I want the fruits of it and consider them worth it. But, I truly hate being a Dad, consider it not worth it, and don’t really see any rewards that I care about. With that said, I do go through the motions, feign interest and people remark that I’m a “natural” at being a Dad. I’ll even feign interest and happiness at Oscar level quality, but my eternal performance leaves me completely hollow inside. Living a lie wears on you. Before kids, I was able to work really hard to get to where I was in my career, and I had time to travel the world, go to the finest restaurants, was a semi-competitive athlete, and learned languages recreationally. I also did a lot of cooking and did some recreational guest bartending. I was happy. Now I’m miserable. For you, the significance is worth it. Well done. For me, it’s just not.

    • NotAfraidToBeAMan

      Well said AnonGuy80. Men’s needs are simply beibg ignored & crap spouted by people such as “BJ Foster” only goes to further this silent suffering.

      Like you I was happy before kids but now my life is miserable, lonely & isolated. Words fail me when I try to describe the never ending, lifeless drudgery that has replaced my once wonderfully fulfilled life.

  • NotAfraidToBeAMan

    I read this uttering “BS!” from start to finish & shaking my head. I don’t know how sad, lonely & depressing this guy’s life was before kids, but if having kids improved his lot then that’s fine FOR HIM.

    For plenty of others parenthood is misery. However some of us weren’t such pathetic losers to begin with.

    First “Gaining freedom also means gaining loneliness”. Really? So I guess my previous life didn’t include all those friends I had, the people I knew & the rewarding social life that followed? All that must have been an illusion according to this idiot.

    Now I’m isolated, lonely & depressed because all of my time, money & effort goes into the kids. The only people associate with are other parents who are as lifeless as dead fish & I find their tiny lives repellent.

    Next “Spend focused time mourning and then start living.” Another wad of wishful thinking that sounds good but is cruel. It’s impossible to end the mourning & move on as there is no end to the loss. Every day brings new grief, you finally get over whatever you loss was from months ago (or maybe you never get over it) only to face a fresh, unending flow of yet more grief to be piled on top.

    And finally “Any life of significance involves sacrifice, suffering, and challenges to overcome.” Once again maybe he was a sad & pathetic man leading a do-nothing life & so tiny minded that he was unable to even conceive of anything even remotely rewarding in his life. I was not like that, my life was richly rewarding & fulfilling, all of which came to a staggering halt when my wife “forgot” to take her birth control.

    I dont know who BJ Foster is or even if he’s a real person, not some made up name & a stock photo, but whoever wrote this crap is contributing to the shaming of men who feel trapped, confused & bitter that their feelings, needs & desires are ecpected to be simply buried & forgotten.

    Parenthood is hell, a debilitating, unending hell of broken dreams, exhaustion & misery & crap like his post only propogates this suffering.

    BJORN Foster, or whoever you really are, should hang his head in shame, delete his post & put an apology to all men in its place.

    • AnonGuy80

      Brother, I hear you. It’s easy to lash out when people don’t get it, but it’s not the right answer. It’s hard to resist when you’re in pain. Just this weekend, I sort of flipped out when some banana grinned moron relative of my wife’s kept cooing at my kid and trying to pressure us on “number two.” It ended with a profanity laced ejection from my home. That wasn’t what I should have done, but it gets hard. It’s one thing when your life burns down. It’s quite another when you’re expected to praise the taste of its ashes in your mouth.

      The point is, we’re the odd men out. There are a lot more of us than people like to recognize, but throwing rocks at people that don’t get it will make things harder. You’d probably get further with a respectful, “Hey, I’m glad you’re enjoying your experience, but his isn’t for everybody.” I’ve seen through my support group some of the tragedy, pain and dark things that can result when men in this situation can’t find their footing. So, perhaps I can share some things that have kept me afloat.

      1. You aren’t alone. Knowing that you’re not alone and that there are a lot of guys (and girls!) in the same situation did bring me some peace. For a long time, I felt as if I fell for some kind of scam of epic proportions, because this is just a miserable experience and the taboos about saying anything blasphemous about parenthood concealed the truth (I take it you do too, which is why you seemed pretty pissed, and I get it). Then I thought maybe I was just doing it wrong and needed to adjust. Then, I came to the harder truth that most people do love it, but some people just hate it with every fiber of their being. Sort of like broccoli, but on a cosmic level (it helps to laugh sometimes too). Some people, (like Foster) seem unable to fathom that people might really, truly hate it. It’s as unfathomable to them as enjoying fatherhood is to us.

      2. Support is out there. Being able to talk about it helps. Life is harder as a result of the way you feel because you are out of step with the way of the world is set up. You’ll be an outsider. It’ll strain your relationship with your wife in countless ways. So, if you can find a safe space to be yourself and not an outsider, it will really help. If you can get a professional, or actual support group that’s good. I found one, and we’re sort of like a little brotherhood of the damned. But, if it’s just a friend, big brother, or another sympathetic and wise ear, then take what you can get. I’ve been seeing a therapist for a while. He’s less useful, but still helps.

      3. Be honest with yourself and your needs. Don’t lie to yourself about what you like and what you don’t. It won’t work and will backfire. Try to find ways to reach for what you want, and to shield yourself from the things you hate. You’re not going to get everything you want, nor avoid everything you hate, but you might be able to get to a balance that you can live with. Try to find a way to keep and pursue your dreams. In the support groups I’ve been in, that’s the difference between the struggling and the dead men walking. You’ve got to fight!

      4. Ditch the Dad Bod. Exercise releases endorphins helping you feel better. Also, the lighter and fitter you are, you will have more physical energy which makes a huge difference. Plus, it gets you some “me” time. Even if you can’t to a gym, between basic calisthenics, and high intensity interval training (you can easily google a program that will kick your ass all the way from the couch to being a Spartan warrior without any equipment) you can work miracles for your physical capacity, confidence, mood and even looks. Everything you do will be less tiring, including taking care of junior. On a day to day basis, this will do the most for you. All therapists and support groups I’ve been to totally agree on this. Hey, just because you feel like shit doesn’t mean you’ve got to look like shit too.

      5. Ask for help. This is key. You’ve got to let go of your pride in this regard and just ask for help because you cannot do this alone. You need to tell your partner, if you haven’t already. It will be messy, hard, and it will not go well (even if she hates being a Mom!!), but you absolutely cannot get by without their help. i understand your situation is a bit more complicated because of the birth control. Up to you if you think you need to hold some of the more brutal truths back. For example, you want to be in a place where you can say “Ok, I can manage keeping an eye on him Saturday morning and you can sleep in, but that damn singalong class makes me want to hang myself and that washed up old wedding singer running this thing. Also, I want to go out with my friends on Friday. You’re entitled to a weekend too and I understand I need to contribute, so how do we make this work?” Also, if you have a higher power, this is a good situation to ask for their help too.

      6. Don’t be a jerk. Lashing out at others, or being a bastard might feel good in the moment when you’re particularly miserable, but whatever jive you put out will come back to you doubled. That one NEVER fails.

      7. Let the guilt go. You’re a misfit. So am I. You didn’t make yourself this way, but you are the way you are. If you can fix it, great. I can’t. But wallowing gets you nowhere and nobody will pity you. People that are down don’t get a helping hand. They only get kicked harder, so pick yourself up and fight. Accept yourself. It’s possible nobody else will, but it will be a lot harder for anyone else to do so unless you think you’re worth accepting.

      8. If it all falls apart, that’s Ok. Give it your best, but if it fails or if things are getting harmful to yourself or others, bow out as honorably as you can. Given what you described with your wife, you may have already packed up and left. So far, we’re hanging on. It’s a struggle, but we’re still fighting. I’m likely going to lose her because she resents me for how I feel and also has a lot of guilt because she blames herself for ruining my life (I don’t blame her, or anyone other than myself for it though). It helps if I tell myself that if it all goes sideways and my wife leaves me, then I can get an apartment in the East Village, get a completely inappropriate girlfriend and can sleep until 11am again on the weekends. I mentioned that to my wife once. It didn’t go well. Likely because she’d wish she could do the same. She always had a jealous streak.

      • NotAfraidToBeAMan

        Anonguy80. I see no reason to change a word, I see no reason to alter my view. “BJ Foster” is simply a used car salesman, selling something to people who don’t want what he’s got but are too dumb & too easily led to see through his crap.

        You can do it your way if you want, but nobody has the right to tell me what I should or should not do & should or should not feel.

        For a start. I disagree that we are a minority, I’ve spoken to many, many dads & while most present the socially imposed expectations of “Happy Family Guy” if you scratch the surface & persist in asking the right questions a surprising number will open up & admit how depressing parenthood is. There are some positives & most simply give up their identity, personality & life to become “Dad”. However the pain & suffering is still there.

        Often it is not readily accesible, people become adept at lying to others, which over time becomes internalized & they lie even to themselves. This is especially true when society has been hijacked by the Parental Mafia where any criticism of the parental eperience is viewed as worse than satanic worship complete with blood sacrifice. However I have a previous life in psychology & know now to guide people into opening up about things they would normally never admit. The putrid rot inside many men caused by parenting is horrifying.

        And whatxs the point in “not being alone”? So you’re all together as you’re being marched into the gas chambers……does it help that you’re “not alone”?

        I’ve also found no help at all. There’s plenty who will “talk about it” to you, then pat you on the head h sned you on your way, totally mystified why you don’t feel any better. There is no discovery for me, there is no resolution, no acceptance. You compare it to brocolli. Brocolli is unpelasent, but actually good for you so the anology is invalid. Parenthood for me is like lead poisoning, my body doesn’t need lead, it damages me & NO ONE “gets used to it”

        Once again “being honest” doesn’t work. I know what I want, I just can’t get there no matter how I try. There’s no balance as the things I want in life require time, effort & money. Without those 3 pillars it all falls apart, just like you can’t make a triangle out of only 2 sides.

        As for “support groups” the few I’ve attended are filled with people so short sighted I can’t even begin to communicate it. There’s a dividing line in my existence, a line between the mundane, day to day routine. Then there is that which fullfills me, that which gives me purpose. Ecen gettjg near that line is a waste of time unless I cross into it. It is the difference between a bird sat on it’s nest on some cliff face & that moment when it leans forward, extends its wings & flies. There is no half way, there is no “I’ll look down at the way the cliff drops away, flap my wings a bit & sit down again.”

        The ONLY person I ever met who knew what I meant was a sailor who had his own open ocean yatch. His wife also cforgot” & suddenly he wasn’t able to go sailing, worse he was being forced to sell his yatch (for which he’d sacrificed greatly for years to buy) somthey could have a hiuse to bring up kids (that he never wanted to bebin with). He lamented how he was oh so sagely & profoundly assured that he could buy a dinghy instead & “still be able to go sailing” & how we veryone wqs shocked when he told them that they could all go fuck themselves. Suddenly he was in the wrong, yet I knew straight away that it wasn’t him that was being insulting, it was those around him who were being cruel, unfeeling & abusive.

        As he put it, with a far away look in his eyes, “They just don’t get it, it’s different out there, it’s totally different” referring to the contrast between open ocean sailing & in shore sailing. Research soon told me that the wind, the waves, ocean currents, the way the boat moves, even the smells & sounds change out on open water. I’d hate every moment of it, but I knew that for him it was where he was being himself, where his life had meaning & where he was renewed.

        Returnign to support groups & not “lashing out” this is simply wishful thinking. No one is a bottomless pit of strength & resolve. I’m increasingly angry, bitter, disengaged & so on. >’ve tried my best, but after 14 years of this shit I have nothing left. Nothing has been put back I , nothing. It is a black hole that has swallowed up my life & given nothing back & anyone who thinks that the inevitable outcome is avoidable then they can either say so here or shut up.

        Your point 5, I refer you back to the open ocean sailor I used to know. If you can’t understand then so be it, but when I want to save, sacrifice, compromise & flat out work my ass off for something I have wanted to do all my life, being told “Oh well I can look after the kids while you go for a walk” demonstartes a complete & utter lack of understanding. I don’t do things that can be out off, I don’t do things that can be definitely planned. I’m not like skmestamp collector that finds out a rare stamp is going to come up for sale in 6 months time & I can buy it if it’s raining, snowing, baking hot, if my leg is broken or even if I’m not actually there & I buy it on line. About the most sensible, easy thing that I want to do, in terms of the various factors that could be a problem, is go to South Africa to a place called Thunder City where ex military jets are availble for rent. It’s a real place, look it up.

        But now I don’t have the money, neither do I have the vacation saved up to even allow me to go there, because it all goes on kids. For years I had a fund building up, I had a plan, it WAS going to happen. Now it never will because even by the time the kids leave home I will be too old & might not even be in physical condition to fly mach 2 jets at high G loads.

        Your point . Funny how I’ve always got to “not be a jerk” yet it never seems to apply to the ones being a jerk to me. Why is it that “whatever jive gets thrown out comes back doubled” applies to me, yet I can’t say anything when I get shit thrown at me? Are these people special somehow? Are they immune from having “double jive” thrown back at them? If not who’s going to do it. Please do explain this.

        Point 7. I refer you to my previous point about not being a bottomless well of strength. Everyone gets worn out soner or late. To expect anyone to keep going no matter what is to reduce them, in your eyes, to the level of a slave, someone who’s needs don’t matter. I ask for help & get told “no magic wands”, then I’m somehow expected to keep going on nothing. Yet when I say that I can’t because I don’t have a magic wand I’m somehow a troublemaker, arguing, unreasonable. I ask them to explain this double standard only to be met with hostility.

        And finally I have already started making arangements to protect myself for the inevitable breakup. I have a spare passport (the bitch has threatened to destroy my stuff on many occasions) & I’m hiding money.

        I cannot wait for the day when I can wake up in the morning & actually start feeling glad to get up instead of dragging myself up & grinding through the day, through the week, working hard 40+ hours only to befaced with yet another do-nothing “weekend” which supposedly is my time but it never works out like that, year after misrable year.

        And no, I no longer care what you, “BJ Foster” or anyone else thinks of me, because this is coming down to personal survival & I will not compromise any more.

        • AnonGuy80

          Whoa, was just trying to share some things that help me, in particular because there isn’t a lot out there in terms of support. You’re right, nobody is a bottomless pit of strength and resolve and I was just looking to help another poor bastard in the same horrific situation. I hear you on so much of what you say. I hear it in myself, and others that I’ve spoken with.

          You ask what the benefit of not being alone is. There are many, but a key one is that others in the same struggle may have found some things that help them cope. Maybe not everything that helps someone else may work on you, but you might get some good advice. If you’d forgive me imposing another suggestion, you may want to give the support groups another chance. You may have just been to one that wasn’t very good. If it matters, one thing I have seen from being around guys like us is that persistent anger will destroy you unless you find a way to let go of it. Maybe you need to just walk away in order to do that–I don’t know. You’ll be in my prayers, brother.

        • Brian

          Cannot agree more on this. Fatherhood is utter rubbish and large majority of fathers I know will admit that after some frank discussion (or after couple of drinks)… It is great pity that people are not frank on this. It would remove lots of misery from men’s life.

    • BJ_Foster

      Wow. Just came across these comments. Couple things. First, I’m a real person. I can assure you that if I were to make up a fake persona I wouldn’t have chosen the picture of a middle aged bald guy, nor would I have named him BJ, even if my real name was Bjorn. Second, I apologize if you felt like I was shaming men who hate being dads. That couldn’t have been further from my intent. My intent was to give hope and provide an avenue for change to what appears to be a hopeless situation. I don’t care about you wanting what I have. I want you to want what you have. Being a dad is the most challenging and grueling thing I have ever done. My life before marriage and kids was anything but what you described. It was full of adventure and friendships. In so many ways it was easier than my life now. There are many days I wake up and will myself to love them. But still, my life is richer now because what makes life rich is relationships. The deeper you are able to go in your relationships the more rich they become. I share life on such a deeper level with my wife and kids than I ever did with those hundreds of friends I spent time with before.

      When people were trapped in the twin towers they didn’t think about all of the time they wouldn’t be able to spend on a boat, they thought about and called their families to tell them how much they loved them. Read Into the Wild or the story of Beck Weathers on Mount Everest and you’ll find the same sentiment. In my experience I have found that that’s where life and purpose is, relationships and intimacy. I miss a lot of things because of my responsibilities as a husband and dad, but on my death bed I’d rather have invested my time in my wife and kids, even though it’s hard, than climbing Kilimanjaro. But look, I’m fine if you think what I have to say is garbage. At the end of the day you are the one living your life, but what is clear is that what you are doing isn’t working for you. You need to do something different. You are going to expend energy somewhere, bitterness and mourning or loving your wife and kids well. Apparently, to you neither of those options are what you want, but applying your energy to one of them has a positive outcome for your kids, the other will result in a generation of wounds. That’s not meant to shame or judge, it’s just the truth. I hope you are able to work it out, for your sake and your kids.

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