Danielle Bean, a wife and mother of eight, is editorial director of Faith & Family magazine and author of My Cup of Tea, Mom to Mom, Day to Day, and most recently Small Steps for Catholic Moms. Read more of her blogging at Faith & Family Live and DanielleBean.com.
Fathers for Good recently ran a thoughtful interview on an important topic—men who are divorced against their will and denied the right to be a father to their children.
The anonymous interviewee is a dad who was divorced against his will and who now finds himself fighting for the right to play an active role in his children’s lives. To other dads facing similar challenges, he offers this advice:
Do not be intimidated by anyone. Believe in yourself and how important your role of father is to your children. Don’t let anyone take that away from them. Family court is not a father friendly place. You will be treated poorly. You must not let it get to you. You must show the judge, lawyers and anyone else who cares to know that you are an above-and-beyond father, and that you will endure any hardship from now until the end of time for the sake of your children.
The most important thing, I think, is that so many dads are intimidated and they settle for a very poor custody arrangement, believing they will only do worse in court or in front of a judge. This is not true. They need to step it up and become SuperDad and remain that long after the divorce. Their kids need them to be as involved as possible.
One of the most shocking points in the article is a fact presented at its beginning: “The majority of divorce proceedings in the United States are initiated by wives.”
While many women are victims of divorce against their will (in fact Fathers for Good profiled a Catholic woman in this situation last year), it is surprising to learn that more women than men are actively choosing divorce for themselves and their children. I am sure that some are extreme cases where the best “solution” absolutely is for a woman and her children to leave an abusive man, but these are sad statistics nonetheless.
Selfish men and women and our no-fault legal system are the perpetrators. And husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children are their hapless victims.
O Lord, Holy Father, omnipotent and eternal God, we give you thanks and we bless your holy name. You created man and woman in your image and blessed their union, so that each would be for the other a help and support.
Remember us today.
Protect us and grant that our love may be in the image of the devotion and love of Christ for his Church.
Grant us a long and fruitful life together, in joy and in peace, so that, through your Son and in the Holy Spirit, our hearts may always rise to you in praise and goods works.