Being ‘fatherless’ is seemingly a common narrative. Whatever the reason is, you would be hard pressed to find someone who has not been affected deeply by their fathers absence.
How many of us can put up our hand and say that we suffered with either having no father present at all, or had a father that was inconsistent with a barrel of promises?
Let me just say from the jump, that has not been my experience. I was raised by both parents who are still together 40 odd years later. Now whilst I wouldn’t say that it has always been perfect, he has always been there and still very much is. The real truth is that no relationship is perfect, but I am grateful for it all the same.
So whilst I would consider myself to be quite privileged (lucky even), it has not been the same for everyone, and weirdly it can make you feel a bit uncomfortable.
There are many reasons as to why men don’t ‘show up’ for their children. This has always been an area of interest to me, especially since I now have my own child. Physiologically, I am wired to protect my daughter at all costs and its a feeling I have no control over. I am her safe space and even considering the thought of not being present shatters my heart into a thousand pieces.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ to this dilemma.
In this episodes example, it isn’t that Aaron never knew his dad in any capacity. His dad was somewhat present in the early days and made random appearances throughout his childhood and into teenage years. For me, one of the main things I found painful about listening to Aarons story, was that he lived on the same estate as his dad and half siblings. This proximity did nothing to establish an actual relationship with his siblings and he was left effectively watching from the sidelines.
The feelings of abandonment are enough in itself, but to have your family a stones throw away and not be able to engage must have been crippling emotionally.
I do not want to give too much of Aarons story away, but minus a few a things, his is a common story unfortunately. Why do some fathers struggle with maintaining that bond and contact with their child, after the relationship breaks down? Is it more to do with the complex relationship with the mother? Has the role of feminism played a hand in this? Can we lay part blame to society? How much does human biology play its part in this?
The truth is, it’s a very complex conversation.
The truth is, it’s a very complex conversation. There is no universal reason as to why some fathers don’t remain active in their children lives, but is it a coincidence that the vast majority of parents who are not active tend to be men? Biologically, if the roles were reversed, would we find that some women might also behave in the same way?
These questions are merely food for thought. There is no ‘one size fits all’ response to this particular dilemma. Luckily we have people like Aaron of Raising Boys To Men, who are trying to change the narrative with their platforms. Follow him on Youtube and Instagram. His overall message is that of supporting fathers to build better relationships with their children.
I hope you enjoy this episode and please leave your thoughts in the comments below.