A Fathers Heartache, When others choices change the life we planned.


My experiences as a father have been much different than I ever thought that it would be.   I never fully understood the impact of others decisions and how those decisions would directly affect my opportunities with my children, nor how that would dictate the time I could spend being a dad.

As a young man I always knew that my children would be the center point and primary focus of my life.  I have always loved plaiying with kids.  I would look forward to the day when I could coach my kids in sports.  I knew that I would be there every step of their lives.  

When my children were born I would stay up to take care of them.   I would read to them every single night.  I couldn’t wait for morning to come so I could hold them.   Before I would leave for work I would hug them and give them a kiss goodbye.   I couldn’t wait to get home from work, each day upon returning home from work they would race into my arms.  They were young yet they were so fast as they would race into my arms.   Life was good.  I loved being with them and spending time with them.

My wife was blessed to stay home with our kids while I worked.  I wanted my kids to learn respect and love for their mother and would make certain that they saw me helping her with the household chores and taking care of the their needs.  I tried to be a team with her to make our lives good.

Then one day it all changed.  The decisions of my wife would forever alter my dream of being a dad.   Her life was not exciting like it was in the soap operas that she would watch.  The decadent life style she watched on TV everyday soon became what she wanted.  After each of her illicit affairs (5 0f them in all) we would reconcile and attend counseling.  I was determined to keep our family together.  It was heartbreaking, painful and emotionally draining. 

Finally one day I returned home from a 3 day business trip to find our house empty of everything and divorce papers on the counter.  My world was ended.  My children were not home.  I was not able to tuck them into their beds at night, unable to say their prayers with them, unable to hug them and to kiss them.  It seemed the choices that were made by my wife had now hit me square in the face, I was paying for choices that were not my own.  My heart ached for my kids and I missed them terribly.  I didnt care about all the possessions she had taken from our home.  I longed for my children.  Days would drag on without them.

The divorce took only weeks to complete and then she was immediately remarried.  She had taken our children and moved in with a man they didn’t know, and one who wasn’t kind to them. They were torn apart inside.  The family courts in Utah being as extremely dysfunctional as they are granted me the minimum parent time of one 4 hour visit per week and every other weekend.  My life had now been impacted again by another person. 

I found myself alone, lost, sad and frustrated at what had happened.  My children and I did not choose this course for ourselves, yet we were the ones missing out.    My days were spent planning our weekly activity and our weekends our weekends together,  That little amount of time became most valuable and precious.  It was sacred time and I wouldn’t let anything interfere with it.

Now as time has gone by, the wounds are deep and painful. Time doesn’t heal these wounds, it only masks the pain.  The pain and anguish is present daily.  My children became the victims of choices that were not theirs, nor their fathers and yet the relationship they had shared with me was incredibly different and changed. 

Through my ex wifes multiple marriages and relationships my kids have been deeply scarred.  They are afraid to open up and share the pain that they feel.  I try to be there for them to listen, yet as she denies them the ability to call me, or to talk to me during the weeks, our time is limited to resolve all the heartache that they feel.  During our summer breaks we reconnect and rediscover that long lost connection we shared daily of bedtime prayers and stories. We laugh and enjoy the sacred moments of precious little time together,  We live life and enjoy life. The rest of our lives together are spent trying to keep a foundation of love and trust between us through this rollercoaster we call life,  I love my children and pray daily for them to be happy and know how much I love them.  They are still my world.  Every decision I make revolves around their happiness and future to the best of my ability to keep for them.  Every job promotion and transfer that I have turned down, every trip I have refused, every mile I have driven to see them and every school lunch I have eaten with them is worth every precious second I get to spend with them. 

This is not the life I chose for them or for us.   This is the life we have been dealt.  All that I am and all that I do is to show them my unconditional love.  The rest is in our Heavenly Fathers hands to help me where I cannot be.  I deeply pray that my children will always know how much I love them and what they mean to me.

The next time you see a father, alone, waiting for the small window of time he gets to see the children he loves.  Please remember, that it’s not always their choices or their decisions to be placed in that spot.  They do the best they can in spite of the obstacles created oftentimes by others.

33 thoughts on “A Fathers Heartache, When others choices change the life we planned.

  1. I always wonder why people (both men and women) are so self centered that they can put their wants and needs before those of their children. I see so many couples around me getting divorced and they almost never discuss how it will effect their children, rather how much money their spouse will take them for and will they get to have the weekend free to “party”. It’s sad really to not put as much thought into their children’s well being.

    I’m sorry that your ex was unwilling to put your children first. I wish you and them all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. God Bless you & your children. May the Holy Spirit open your ex-wife’s heart enough to see & change her decisions about time spent with your children.


  3. I hate having to hit “like” on a post that made me cry. You’re going through rough times right now, but you know what? – you’re still the Dad, and that is never going to change. Just hang in there and do your best for your kids despite your ex-wife.
    Oh, and PS: thanks for following my blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: A Fathers Heartache, When others choices change the life we planned. | jisbell22

  5. Reading this, remembering the talks we used to have breaks my heart for many reasons, that you had to go through so much and I knew how it was killing you inside, that your children had to endure even more and dealing with all the hurt and confusion and then for my own son who would love nothing more than for his dad to be his dad.
    I have never comprehended what motivates people to withdraw kids from their parents or vice versa, my son would love a dad/step-dad who has just a fraction of the passion that you have….
    You have gone on to great things James, I love to read about your life, both here and fb and love how happy you are, seeing your lil princess, your new wife and your boys is just testimony that the Lord had you covered all the time.
    You are a really lovely person and I’m so grateful to know you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much you are so incredibly kind and always have been it’s amazing how the Lord watches out for us and knows better than we do on the things that we need in our lives and how those things are given to us at the right moment if we are but watchful I truly appreciate your friendship and I always have you are a great person and I am so blessed to have you as a friend

      Liked by 2 people

    • I think withdrawing kids from the other parent is the ultimate proof of power, the ultimate punishment for what those people think the other one did wrong. I think it is sad and low and bad and very selfish. Because not only do you hurt your ex partner but also the kids and this is not right. But I believe that the kids will understand. If not already now then later. The pity is, that so much gets lost in between…


  6. I agree, I continually marvel at how the Lord works, especially when we feel like we are so alone 🙂
    Thank you, one day I still hope to jump the pond and meet you.. and now your family!! 🙂


  7. Your kids know who you are and they appreciate that. They will not forget. They are aware of what is happening. Keep up the catch ups and try to teach them what it means to trust. Even tough it might not be easy for you. You know, we were so close to split up years ago. Only because of the fact that I let myself be influenced too much by someone else who wanted me to live another life. Thankfully I woke up early enough, before damage was done and was able to see that I was living the life I wanted to live with the person I wanted to be with. Unfortunately sometimes all it takes is a bad moment and a bad influence and you on the other end have no chance to change it. Maybe it is important that your kids understand that it is always worth fighting and it is always worth trying again. As you did, if I understood right, with your wife’s escapades…


  8. I felt so guilty for clicking like for such a heartwrenching post.Thank God that you and your children remain close even with the limited time you have together. While my parents never divorced my mother was, well lets just say she shouldn’t have had kids. My father though was my best friend. He died when I was only sixteen but he left me with so many wonderful memories of him. That is what you are doing for your children. You are giving them something to hold on to when you’re not together and that will allow them to survive the time spent with their mother. Not a perfect situation, but you’re doing the best you can. I’m so glad to read Debs replies. It sounds like you’ve managed to find some happiness of your own. I think that’s wonderful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your great and kind comments. I work so hard to keep my relationship close with my children. I pray that one day they will clearly see what I have tried to do for them in spite of the obstacles.


  9. Your honesty and emotion for your children will bless them in their later lives. One good enough parent which for me means that unconditional love will I’m sure help. Some children do suffer in so called stable marriages where there is so much negativity so yours can feel your love. However your pain of not being with them all the time is very raw and so unfortunate that you could not get more quality access. Will read more of your writing when I can.


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  11. I am so so sorry you have gone through this. I wasn’t at all surprised after I wrote on divorce today to see that you had also posted on divorce. Our posts always seem to line up. Divorce is never the intention, but it does always hurt. The praise is that our God will one day bring Heaven to Earth and the world was be perfect as He intended it. Perfect relationship. I am so thankful for this promise from our Father who loves us unconditionally. Prayers to you today, and know that you are a good dad. Even if it’s not the way you want it to be… God is still looking down on you with a smile… so proud of His son. Keep your head up!


    • Thank you! You are truly very kind and I greatly appreciate your kindness to me. It seems that as much as I try to overcome everything the burden can become heavier. I know that my Father in Heaven is lifting this burden greatly as I many times wonder how I can possibly carry on. I try to stay humble, positive and strong for my children.


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