I expect the fathers among us to chime in with some positive perspective, but for some time now, I've had this concern. In life, I've seen situations wherein brothers aren't really there for their children, or aren't taking care of them, etc. We all know about that. Of course, we also see many of us out there taking care of their kids, and being in their kids' lives.
Some time ago, I was listening to a talk show about this subject on the radio. All of the dads who called in were the "good men," the ones who are there for their kids even though they're not still involved with the mothers. But something disturbed me a bit...
Every single last one of these guys said that they were in their kids' lives out of some sense of responsibility or obligation. It was always something like, "My son needs me, so I'm there for him. I have a responsibility to him, so I make sure I fulfill that responsibility."
There were a lot of guys saying that, but none of them said anything like what the mothers probably would have said, namely, "I love my child and I could never bear to be apart from him. He's my everything, so I make sure he's first in my life."
Do you see the distinction? In other words, it's like the "good dads" don't really feel they need their children; it's just a "responsibility" they have. All these "good dads" need to do is lose their sense of responsibility; their altruistic sense of purpose for their kids, and they could vanish from the children's lives just like the absentee fathers.
Can some of the dads on this site help me out with this? Do the bulk of us honestly lack the ability to feel the emotions necessary to "need" our children they way they need us? Or is the statement of the "responsibility" rationale just a result of men's inability to express our feelings? If so, what explains the ease with which so many of us can just go on living and existing without our kids being in our lives?
I have no children. But I didn't have much of a father either, so it matters to me.