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What it means to be a single father?

Community Member

Hello All,

The current situation with my wife is untenable and i am on the verge of leaving.  I have tried so hard to make things work but with very little reciprocation of effort from her.  I feel like an empty shell of a person, i feel sick in the stomach.  I feel as though i have done everything that i can without being met half way.  It is very obvious that her interpretation of working things out is different to mine.  She has double standards - what she considers acceptable for herself is certainly not acceptable for me.  I would rather be happy and single than to continue to endure this situation.

However we have a beautiful 5 yo daughter i love her so much and she loves me.  She needs me as much as i need her.  I am her primary carer and her rock.  I can't bare the thought of not being with her or of being a part time father.  It would not be fair on her but it is also not fair on her to see me as an empty miserable shell of a person.

I can't see a way forward in my marriage but any decision i make needs to be deeply considered - for my daughters sake!  I just want to hear from other single fathers and their experiences and what it means for them.  Thank you in advance

Kind Regards



4 Replies 4

Community Member


Although I am not a single father, or a father at all, or in a relationship for that matter, I wanted to reach out to you and tell you that I care. I have fears of getting married and having children and then ending up in divorce. I've seen my parents go through a couple of separations and it's scary. I hope that there are some fathers on this forum that will be able to support you.

I don't know the struggles you are going through, the effort you've put in or anything about your relationship, but I wonder is there more that you could do? If there is anything I could recommend, it is a book called 'Way of the Superior Man' by David Deida. There are some fantastic insights in there. 

All the best in your journey for answers.


Community Member
hi magyaroks I was a single father of one boy for ten years I feel your pain and its a hard decision to make I endered up with my son after my break up and it was the hardest time of my life but I look back and now it was all worth it ,there are no winners in a break up ,what ever you decide to do I wish you luck ,your child needs a strong father

Community Member


its hard being a single Dad. I've been one now for five and a half years now. My children are four hours away from me with their mother. Whatever you do, just make sure you are alway there for your child. They will always love you and know that you care. That is what is important to them.


Community Member

Hi Magyarok,

Separation and divorce is messy and painful for everyone involved but there are some things you can do to make the process easier and to make sure you remain child focussed.  Firstly make contact with your local Family Relationship Centre, my local one is called Family Interrelate, google it.  They guide families through separation and work with both parents to come to a parenting plan that keeps the child's needs as the primary focus.  A family counsellor/mediator will work with you and your wife individually and then together to come up with a plan that works best.  These days if couples can't come to an agreement and go to court in order to work out custody, they need a certificate from a Family Relationship Centre to present to the judge to show that they have attempted mediation before heading to court.  Separation brings up so much hurt and disappointment and it takes a strong person to remain calm and focussed on what is best for your child and not to get caught up in harsh words and frustration/anger.  Just remember that your wife is your daughters mother and every time you interact with your wife imagine your daughter as a grown up looking back on how you handled things.  Doing this, using the hindsight your child will one day have as a guide to your words and actions now, will help you to speak and act with dignity and grace.  You love your daughter and you have a right to be happy and for her to see you happy in life.  Everything we do teaches our children how to live and this includes taking responsibility for our own happiness. You are her Dad and our courts recognise and respect a fathers rights more than ever before. Stay focussed on your goal to put your daughter needs first and her needs include seeing her parents work together to co parent her.  Counselling really helps you through the process as it gives you the tools to deal with the overwhelming emotions.  It really does get better in time.  All the best to you, your wife and your daughter.