5 Reasons Why Some Men Abandon Their Children

BY: - 26 Dec '11 | Parenting

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I was recently asked why some men abandon their children. As a man fully committed to the well-being of my family I don’t believe there is one single answer for why this happens. But I know for a fact that fear, if let unchecked, will send a man down a road of no return. If left unchecked fear will negatively impact anyone, male or female, and the people around them. As someone who has been there, hearing the news that you are about to be in charge of raising another human life can create a tightness in the throat, a quickening of the heartbeat, a sinking feeling in the abdomen and panic in the mind. This is a very human reaction to fear. Here are five reasons why.

  1. Oftentimes men are so caught up in their immediate selves (for better or worse) any addition to the equation translates as chaos in a man’s mind which is why you’ll hear “…but I’m working on this and that” or “Not now.”
  2. There are some men who have endured physically and emotionally abusive relationships as children and whether they received therapy for this or not, they don’t trust their ability to not do the same thing to a child of their own.
  3. They were never “men” to begin with. A man by no means is some mythological archetype of human strength and perfection but rather someone who accepts accountability for their actions and owns up to them, no matter what. This isn’t the easiest thing to do and accountability isn’t really being taught too many places these days except for maybe inside the home. There are plenty examples of not being accountable everywhere in the media across all formats. This includes everything from sham celebrity weddings, music so disrespectful no “hot beat” in the world can overpower the words, to professional athletes getting slaps on the wrist for real crimes that would put the average person under the jail.
  4. A man might want to be a father but there’s a strong possibility he may not want a particular woman (the one he’s impregnated) to be the mother of his child. The relationship might not be the one for him. There might not be a relationship at all. He might resent the idea of having wasted his “seed” on this particular woman and now being stuck with her. The scenarios are countless but whatever the situation, both parties should have THOUGHT and taken the proper precautions before creating a lifelong experience. Please note I used the word “experience” and not “mistake.”
  5. It is not my goal to give away any trade secrets here, but a man might simply think he’s not good enough. When being responsible for another you naturally think you should be able to give that child your all, especially if you don’t think it happened in your life. If you’re struggling to do right by yourself it certainly can cause you to doubt your prospective parenting skills. As fathers don’t have the luxury of bonding physiologically with a child in the womb we don’t have the connection that moms do during pregnancy. He might convince himself he’ll bring his child more harm than good and decide his unborn little one is better off without him.

Two Sides To Every Coin

When a man is in the right mental and/or spiritual place with himself, his love for what is about to happen will overpower “the equation,” “the right time” or “what makes sense.” The real problem is that once a man decides against raising his child no matter what the circumstances he has traveled beyond the boundaries of what makes sense, is acting selfishly and has no idea the damage he will inflict upon his unborn child. In some rare cases it might not be any, but why take that risk?

None of what is mentioned above should ever be considered excuses, but they combine to form my short answer as to why some men abandon their children without going down the traditional and rather non-explanatory path of “Men are dogs.” Fear is the mind killer. If allowed it will keep you from experiencing one of the most amazing experiences a man can have — being a father. And here’s the thing about fear. We all have them. A man is no less a man for having fears. But what separates the men from the boys is that men ultimately face their fears head-on with courage, hope and faith. Fear isn’t 100% a bad thing. Fear of what went wrong in your life, fear of what you might not currently have, fear of what you don’t think you can do for a child has driven many men to go above and beyond to do in their child’s life that which was never done in their own — be present and be loving.

There are plenty of reasons for why some men abandon their children, but do they matter when compared to the pains of a fatherless child?

About the author

Eric Payne wrote 83 articles on this blog.

Named a Top 50 Dad Blogger in 2011 by Cision Media & awarded Top 50 Dad Blog in 2011 and 2012 by Babble.com, Eric writes about fatherhood, marriage and everything in between on his blog MakesMeWannaHoller.com. He speaks around the country about social media and blogging. He is the author of "DAD: As Easy As A, B, C!" and is a regular on CNN's Headline News station and the Jennifer Keitt show on KISS 104.1 FM Atlanta.


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115 WordPress comments on “5 Reasons Why Some Men Abandon Their Children

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  2. Cathy Conner

    My father visited me one day a year. When I was eleven he asked me “How are you?! How are things?” I answered calmly “Things are bad.” (My mother had married a violent man who moved us to an isolated location.) He said nothing, changed the subject and did not call again for his annual visit..

    Happy Family Values, everybody!

  3. Adi

    As a man searching the web for answers, and i through my own experience see a problem not addressed here. What about those men who want to be fathers and the woman systematically pushes him away. Ignores your fatherly qualities, and would rather be a single mother ? I had no choice but to stop trying, even against my better judgement. Should i not get the time to heal and stay away from it all ? I cant force myself to be a father is she doesn’t want me to be one. What does a man in this situation do but become absent?

    1. tee

      March down to your local court house, there’s no excuses these days. Make sure, you have yourself together and established and go get rights to your child they belong to you!!!

  4. Janet

    i dated the father of my son three years and the forth year i got pregnant and he neglected the baby at my second wéek of pregnancy, i went on and i got a baby and he has never even helped the child. i used,to sent sms asking for child help but he has never given my son anything. the child is know going 3yrs ,i decided to forward the issure to the fida but my parent refused. i stoped i still love the man but forget the pain in my heart what can i do?

    1. Anonymous

      I have the same situation and am looking for the same answers. The only difference is, it’s been 7 years. And my sons father got married and started another family before our son was even born. He didn’t even know this woman for god sake! And still doesn’t want anything to do with my child, and claims it because I never gave him a chance to be a father, which is bullshit.

  5. Meedia Moogulz

    Sick of hearing the sob stories, stop choosing your mate on physical and financial options and maybe you will find a man. Low self-esteem, and letting the man get away with not supporting his child is the first. I am black, married, and have two boys. A man cannot get away with anything a woman does not want him to!!!!!

  6. Arianna Millan Cruz

    My guy has left me because am two months pregnant with her child. He claims that the baby aint his and that he’s not responsible for my pregnancy!!! He claims that it might be another man’s child, because he says that iv been sleeping with other men and not only him….. Am soon planning to give his family a short visit, so that they will know that their dear son, will be expecting a child soon, courtesy of me!!!! My only hope is that, i’ll find justice on behalf of my unborn little angel!!!! I still love the guy and only hope soon he’ll come back

  7. Pingback: Black Men and Mental Health | Learning to Love the Journey

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How Has Having Children Affected Your Faith?

BY: - 28 Dec '11 | Parenting

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My daughter’s in a small Christian school for kindergarten this year. She’s learning all about creation and God’s grace and beauty in all things. She’s taken to the lessons in a big way and it makes me kind of bummed that I haven’t been doing this all along. We say prayer before meals and I teach her about being grateful and thankful and appreciative for all our blessings. But we don’t talk about Jesus every day and she only recently understood that our pastor is not God. (Which was a pretty fun conversation to have.)

But in truth, I’m still wrestling with my faith. I had some issues during my teen years that truly made me feel like there were only one set of footprints at times. I still struggle with my views on Jesus and God and heaven and hell. Of course I believe in God, but when it comes time to explain to my daughter what I believe and why I believe it and how strongly do I believe it, I realize my faith is a work in progress.

I am Christian and I do believe in God and I pray almost every day. But is that it? I don’t know. I feel like I’m growing into my spirituality and right now it’s a couple sizes too big. But having kids, in my face, asking me questions, is helping me sort it all out in a way that might not have happened otherwise.

For example, my daughter came home and talked about the creation story. Seven days, God created the earth. In her five-year-old mind, she wanted to know where God went. “Mommy, where did God go after he created all the people?”

“He didn’t go anywhere,” I said. “He just”...stayed where he was.”

“So where is he?”

“He’s here”...he’s all around us.”

She looked puzzled. “But I don’t see him.”

“I don’t see him either. You don’t see him. You feel him.”

She looked down as if God was touching her arm. “But”...”

“I know, sweetie. Sometimes it’s kind of confusing. But just know that he loves you. And is always looking out for you.”

My response seemed to comfort her and I think she’s starting to internalize some of our discussions. She came up to me a couple days ago and told me that she knew someone who loved her more than I did.

“And who is that?” I asked.

“Jesus!” she said with a smile. And that made me smile.  Because I may not have all the answers about religion and my spirituality, I know I’m getting there one blog post, one day, one question from my kids at a time.

Tell me ““ did having kids change your view on religion? What are you teaching them in terms of spirituality and faith?

About the author

Tara Pringle Jefferson wrote 277 articles on this blog.

Tara Pringle Jefferson is managing editor of BlackAndMarriedWithKids.com. She\'s also the author of Make It Happen: The Young Mommy Guide To Creating The Career You Crave. Follow her on Twitter or check out her blog for her insights on what it means to be a mom, wife, student, writer, and about three other labels she\'s too tired to remember.


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