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A son’s perspective of divorced parents

February 27, 2022
28 upvotes

Mod’s, please feel free to remove this if you feel this is inappropriate for this subreddit. But i wanted to make a post that talks about a perspective that not only affects a man’s personal financials and mental health. And to give purpose and inspiration to men to keep fighting for custody and visitation.

Background- * Mom (19-20) and Dad (29-30) get together from a party. Mom is a waitress with a turbulent family life bc parents keep fighting and her family is splitting up. Dad came from another country, but appeared to have his stuff together bc he has his own place, a nice car, and is the brother of her boss (appears to be in charge). * Mom gets pregnant, and they start a family. Dad’s financials don’t appear to be as good as he let on. She wants to go back to school. And my dad catchers her holding hands with a guy from school one day. * They split when i was around 6.

Post-divorce- My dad did not take it well and my mom ordered a restraining order. He gets absolutely obliterated with everything. Wherever we move, he stays close, and I’m able to be around him two weekends per month. I don’t remember the exact details bc i was young.

My mom demonizes my dad, calls him an abusive alcoholic and says he used to hit her. Which i don’t recall. My dad did have alcohol problems, in her defense. At this point it’s almost an indoctrination from her to think that he’s a bad person, and i don’t know better, so i think less of him and lose respect for him. Although it turns out he was the fun parent and he did let me do a lot of things that i wanted.

I get confused when i see her dating other men, and get angry, and fight those guys. I don’t know where this comes from, maybe it’s an attachment to my mother or something else. I’m still like under 10 at this point.

As i age a little bit, i start developing feminine mannerisms and become a gossiper. I have emotional issues, and also repressed anger. Maybe it’s hormones.

Up until my last year’s of HS, I prove to suck with girls bc obv. I’m given bad advice. I still have no masculine influence, have learned nothing to develop my mechanical abilities, and still have feminine mannerisms. I’m very frustrated bc the world doesn’t match what my mother has taught me.

At this point, my dad and my relationship is fractured bc I have an innate feeling of disrespect towards him. We become semi-alienated but he still remains part of my life bc i feel it is right. He didn’t really teach me much, partly bc his English never improved a lot and his way of showing fatherly affection towards me was by giving me money, which i would reject usually. He didn’t really have an ability to express himself, and teach me.

Mom gets re-married to a guy who is a great provider, and really adores her. She has retired her single mom status and her dating around officially. He and i barely speak to each other, but when when we do it is cordial bc now i’m older and a little more mature.

With no masculine influence, i turned to the internet as my surrogate father and i started researching popular questions that young men would have that weren’t taught by their father. A lot of what i researched has contradicted what my mother has taught me. In fact, it kind of hurt bc my ego was invested in the previous untruths I’ve been fed.

On top of that, i’ve never really received maternal affection. Case in point, we stopped hugging each other pretty early on and i cringe every time it’s appropriate to say ‘I love you’. It also didn’t help that my mother had manipulative tendencies. She would gaslight me all the time, and i really have no confidence in myself despite me being considered relatively successful compared to my extended family.

My dad at this point is almost completely out of the picture, although we talk a few times a year. He got re-married but divorce almost immediately bc he was taken advantage of again for resources. And he’s married a third time, and he’s already complaining about it, but i don’t think they will get divorced anytime soon.

As for me, i’m single and have never had a girlfriend. I only short-term date. And yes, there are probably girls out there that wake up every morning hating me bc i refuse to give them access to my emotions or feelings or attention. But i can’t help. Beneath my stoic demeanor and acting like i don’t care, i’m scared to get hurt like my dad. I’m also scared that i can only keep up the charade for so long until she finds out my lack of masculine characteristics that were supposed to be passed down from a strong father. That might seem oversimplified, but i think at the core that’s what the issue is.

Also, my maturing was severely delayed and i didn’t start coming into my own much later in life. I had no guidance. I used to ask older people constantly for advice, and because of the ‘just-figure-it-out’ ethos we have between men, i’m sure they used to get annoyed. But the guys who were kind enough to share their time with me and their experiences and their ideas, i benefitted greatly.

My mom and my relationship is doing good today, but mainly bc i’m out from under her roof and she can brag to her co-workers about how she raised smart and handsome young man. Really, I’ve built myself this way bc of other men’s advice and hearing other guys experience.

If you take anything away from this story, please take away that sons need their father’s masculine guidance. It’s hard to navigate this world, whether financially, how to control your emotions, interacting with the opposite sex, or career guidance. It’s so important.

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Post Information
Title A son’s perspective of divorced parents
Author KnownLedgesIsPowder
Upvotes 28
Comments 15
Date February 27, 2022 6:07 PM UTC (9 months ago)
Subreddit /r/Divorce_Men
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/r/Divorce_Men/a-sons-perspective-of-divorced-parents.1105005
https://theredarchive.com/post/1105005
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/Divorce_Men/comments/t2tz7s/a_sons_perspective_of_divorced_parents/
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Comments

[–]MNCPA 6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Mod here. It's helpful to have a son's perspective on divorce. We're here to support men (including sons) with divorce. Thank you for sharing.

[–]AffectionateAd6060 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Wow this was extremely similar to my upbringing.. I remember not liking my mom dating or understanding it even though I was like 7-10 years old and everything else you said just really resonated w me. Very wise and introspective. having zero mechanical skills, a dad who tried to support me monetarily but also being conditioned by mom that he was a weak manipulative loser which wasn't true, things like that.

[–]KnownLedgesIsPowder[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thanks for replying. Have a strong male influence is so important for the development of men. Without it, you are left without guidance and are bound to make more errors than having good results with the assurance of someone with experience.

[–]ZarBandit 8 points9 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

So you're largely red pilled at this point from the sound of it. What now?

Either stay stuck where you are or you will need to rebuild yourself over the course of many years. There doesn't seem to be much else. You're young, that's fine because you have time. You don't even begin get into your prime dating years until your mid 30's. So don't worry about women.

You could start with advice from someone like Jordan Peterson. But be aware there is a baked-in fallacy with him and other traditionalists. They advocate men take responsibility for women without having authority. That's structurally a non-starter. But he still has plenty of good ideas, so don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

If I could suggest one source for you to listen to above all others, it would be a guy that goes by the moniker "TFM". He had a single mother much worse than yours and he had to pick himself up from a home with abuse, neglect and complete poverty. You've had a raw deal. However, the world doesn't owe you understanding. And as you've likely found out, you won't get any.

TFM got kicked off YouTube a few years ago during the great woke purge. So you have to find him on alt tech platforms. He's uncommonly insightful and has said he aims to help people in your situation who are asking, "What next?"

Weekly podcast is available on Google and Apple, plus many more platforms.

I suggest this in lieu of my personal advice because I think you need a framework and frequent guidance to understand how to dig yourself out of your current problems. That would be an impossibly large task for Reddit. It requires 100's of hours of coaching of the correct type - to successfully navigate the world socially and financially with competence. So that's the basis of my suggestion here. There's much for you to learn, and the sooner you begin, the sooner you will reap the rewards.

Ultimately your happiness will be based on your competence when navigating this world.

[–]KnownLedgesIsPowder[S] 4 points5 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I’m largely aware of the inter gender dynamics, yes. I hope my post didn’t come off as a pity story. I wrote with the intention of inspiring men to fight to be in their son’s lives. I wasn’t really looking for advice, but I’m open to hearing anything. I’m also not worried about women, at this point i only care about my freedom.

Regarding Jordan Peterson, i think he’s kind of clueless when it comes to modern dating. It doesn’t help that his daughter is almost a living embodiment of everything that is wrong with modern western female mentality. He is good at speaking harsh truths and good at debating leftists.

As of right now, i don’t think I have any problems. I think I’ve done a good job lifting myself out of my situation and i primarily credit it to my focus on becoming a better version of myself everyday and self-improvement.

[–]ZarBandit 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I wrote with the intention of inspiring men to fight to be in their son’s lives.

I agree that's very important. Mothers are great for boys up to about 6 years old. But after that they can't increasingly can't provide the substrate of what's needed for boys to mature. Girls also tend have problems without a male authority figure in their teen years, although the problems manifest themselves differently.

With Peterson, yeah, dating advice is not his strength. But you have to pick and choose from the buffet of ideas. He's not worthless, just subject-matter limited.

You might still want to check out TFM for the economics and trading info at the very least. Economics largely defines the destiny for the country, the world, and for you personally. Things are going in a new direction not seen in living memory.

[–]ohisama 0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

Would you mind elaborating on the fallacy with JP?

[–]ZarBandit 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Think of it like this: when you were/are at school, why did it suck to do team projects where the group received one grade?

Because what would commonly happen is a few of the team would do the majority of the work because they didn’t want a low grade and the slackers would do little and ride their coattails. It was highly inequitable and unreasonable to the workers.

The problem is the hard workers had no authority over the slackers to exact consequences for their unacceptable performance. Yet the high performers still carried the responsibility of the entire team’s performance.

Second scenario: Imagine if you became a manager of a team at work but had no authority over them. Yet you were held responsible for their performance. If you had any sense you would quit.

In order to take responsibility for something, one must have authority over it. Eg parents and children.

Jordan Peterson advocates for traditional gender roles for men. However, in our current western society, men do not have authority over women. Women are free to do as they please, which is not the traditional feminine role. So how can men take responsibility (traditional masculine role) for that which they have no authority over?

Responsibility requires authority, otherwise there will be tyranny. To ignore this fundamental is JPs error. From a structural standpoint it cannot work to be one half of a traditional relationship. Either both are or none are.

[–]KnownLedgesIsPowder[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

He has a lot of mistaken beliefs, at least the sphere of inter gender dynamics.

[–]azwildcat74 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I don’t think many people here argue that kids need a mom AND a dad present. There’s a reason it takes both to make a kid, both are needed to properly raise them.

There is no taking away from what you were cheated out of as a kid but you’re a man now, don’t let the loss of that in your formative years stop you from cultivating those skills and qualities now, there are lots of resources available for you to learn it all as you go.

[–]KnownLedgesIsPowder[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thanks for the response.

The point of this post is to exhort men to keep fighting and making it a point to a masculine guidance in their sons lives, despite any kind of malicious propaganda is spread by the mother. It’s to motivate them to keep going even though it can be exhausting.

Yes I’m plenty aware of the resources. I’ve taken advantage of men and plugged in with a group of guys who can teach me where I’m lacking. Thanks

[–]Xan-Diesel 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thanks for sharing your story. I'm a child of divorce and it's been interesting to discuss the ordeal with my Brother and Sister. My Brother is three years older than me and my Sister is three years younger. She's been in therapy for a while and gets a lot out of it (I believe the divorce is just a portion of what they work through). We've talked quite a bit about attachment theory and it makes sense.

My Brother ended up moving out of the state to live with his Father (he was nearly an adult by the time the family split up) and my Sister stayed with our Mother. I moved with my Father. I had the benefit of having a strong, successful and competent male influence in my life. My Brother's Father wasn't even close to those things from what I've absorbed.

My Sister didn't get any of it, unfortunately. My Mother was with a couple awful men and it was a turbulent time for her. I wouldn't say I'm doing the best out of the three of us because we're all impacted differently. I think we all handle relationships differently. We don't really spend a lot of time together so it's difficult to say how we've changed based on the divorce and how much is just us being "us".

My Brother's been married for a long time - close to fifteen years, I think? I remember attending his wedding when I was still with my ex-wife. I think he and his wife have been together for close to twenty years. My Sister has been married and divorced. I think they were together for five years or so, total. She had a long term relationship before that and I believe it lasted approximately eight years.

[–]pegleg_legal 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thank you for your perspective, despite the lip service paid to focusing on the best interest of the children during divorce, really making that a truth to live by and then continuing on after to make the best life for our kids possible - needs reminding.

[–]Jbr74 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Rebuild your relationship with your Dad immediately.

Long story short I rebuilt a relationship with my Dad after having little to no contact for nearly 20 years. I took a chance, pushed through the awkwardness of 20 years of no contact, and come to find out he was nothing like he had been portrayed as, yeah he had his flaws, but nothing like I was led to believe.

I am very grateful that about 7 years ago I let my dad back into my life, I'm glad he got to see I didn't really hate him, that he knew his son loved him, and even though we were estranged for 20 and I'm sure he felt most of that time that I did hate him.

I am so thankful I reconnected with him, why? Because 2 years ago he passed away, am I bitter at my mom for robbing my dad for 2 decades yep, but at least he wasn't robbed from me forever and he at least died knowing I loved him very much.

[–]CaliDude75 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Just make sure your definitions of "masculinity" are healthy and not toxic. Unfortunately, I see a lot of toxic masculinity now, which I see manifested mainly by materialistic self-indulgence (i.e. lots of "toys" [motorcycles, side-by-sides, watercraft, 4x4s, sports cars] at the expense of responsibly providing for their families] and kind of a low-level misogynistic view of women (objectification, "hook-ups/booty calls").

For me, true masculinity is embodied by responsibility (financial, household), teaching your children life skills (whether boys or girls), and being there for them through life stages (adolescence, dating, college, young adult), and being respectful and romantic, but not obsequious or falsely flattering/fawning over women. In the context of singleness, again...responsibility (low debt, living within your means), having a basic level of DIY skills, and being respectful of women, but also confident in yourself (but not cocky, which I see as an overcompensation for insecurity).

I'm not claiming to have all the answers (obviously, I'm on this sub-reddit!) but in my mind, those are the primary attributes in my mind, both negative and positive.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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