I was recently asked why abandoning children is often done by men. As a man fully committed to the well-being of my family, I don’t believe there’s one single answer to why this happens. Still, I know for a fact that fear, if left unchecked, will send a man down a road of no return.
Abandoning Children | Why Men Do It
In this article:
- Abandonment Is a Reaction to Fear
- Caught Up in Themselves
- The Past Catches Up
- Abandoning Children Is Emasculation
- A Loveless Relationship
- Abandoning Children Because He Isn’t Good Enough
- Two Sides to Every Coin
- Abandoning Children Happens Because of Fear
Abandonment Is a Reaction to Fear
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’re 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.
Caught Up in Themselves
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.”
The Past Catches Up
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.
Abandoning Children Is Emasculation
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 in the home.
There are plenty of 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 will put the average person under the jail.
A Loveless Relationship
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.”
Abandoning Children Because He Isn’t Good Enough
It’s 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’ll 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. He’s 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?
Abandoning Children Happens Because of Fear
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.
Black Messiah Oprah shares this video on why men are abandoning children:
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 in their child’s life — being present and loving, something they’ve never done before. 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?
Abandoning children is a story many people share. Tell us yours in the comments section.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2011, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.