A TMI Post

After the post below and yesterday’s interview with John le Bon (which I will discuss in a later post -a very nice young man and a very good time had), I feel a need to set the record straight, to care what others might think. I am not a person who simply abandoned his five children. Of course I am flawed, of course I have made mistakes, but walking out on my kids is not in my nature. I am Mr. Do-The-Right-Thing, and when I do the wrong thing, I pay a psychic price.

I married too young, and as I matured I grew apart from my wife. She and I were like strangers in later years. But I was very happy being the father of five kids, the oldest two in their teens, the other three on their way. The youngest two were a set of twins. I spent tons of time with them, taking them camping and hiking, and often enough on Saturdays doing what I called “The Great Pizza Hunt.” I would get them all in the van, pull out of the driveway, and flip a coin. We would go one direction or the other, and at each intersection flip another coin, and continue to do that until we ended up at a pizza joint. One day we ended up far afield, at a country club east of town, and so we wandered in and asked if they served pizza. Yep. It was very good pizza.

I was happy as a Dad, and miserable as a husband. On occasion after the house was quiet I would get in the car and drive up atop the “Rimrocks”, a small plateau above Billings, the place where high school kids went to neck. And other stuff. I never got beyond necking. There was a great view of the city from there, and in my state of depression I parked up there and thought about my situation. I resolved that I would stick out the marriage until the year 2001, when the youngest two would graduate high school, and then I was in the wind.

Knowing that the adults were not getting along, as kids do, was hard on them, and there was tension in the household. You could cut it with a knife. My wife, to her credit, decided the marriage had to end. It was 1993. We parted, and divorced the following year. It was very, very hard on the kids.. I tried to remain in their lives, but even now, as they are all adults, I see that she had far more influence on them than I did. They are far closer to her than me, and that hurts, of course. I was never a great Dad, but I was never a bad Dad, and spent far more time over the years with them than she ever did. I took them to parks, on outings, taught them to love the outdoors, but her sway was far more than mine. But it’s all part of a painful past.

That’s my story. Flawed as I am, doing the right thing mattered to me, and I tried and failed to do the right thing by them.

[As it turned out, I met my current wife in 1995. We both had young children, hers in Bozeman, mine in Billings, so we commuted and long-distance dated for six years. The year that was my “in the wind” year, 2001, as it turned out, was the year we got married. As I like to say, since the day we met, for me it has been like a fairy tale. I have lived two very different lives. I could not be happier, and only wish my kids thought more of me than they do.]

10 thoughts on “A TMI Post

  1. My hunch is that, as a young man, you unknowingly married a talented Malignant Narcissist.

    I’m an expert on this topic, because that’s precisely what I did.


      1. “I spent tons of time with them, taking them camping and hiking, and often enough on Saturdays doing what I called “The Great Pizza Hunt.”

        “They are far closer to her than me, and that hurts, of course.”

        “…spent far more time over the years with them than she ever did.”

        “…her sway was far more than mine.”

        SWAY… that’s putting it mildly I presume; unless you chose to leave out what she might call “bad stuff.” Strange that at this late date, she still has hooks into you.


  2. She had financial hooks in me that lasted until maybe 2010 or so, when I was able to pay it off in one lump sum. Other than that, days, even weeks go by that I do not think of her.


  3. If you couldn’t be happier then how might you feel if your kids thought more of you than than they do? Because, you have the power to make that happen, I’d say, but perhaps lack that motivation since you are already so happy?


  4. Usually children, as they get older, tend to look back on past experience and put the pieces of the puzzle together. Especially when considering how they were parented. It sounds like your entire family has been through a fair deal of trauma. Have you considered counseling in regards to this? As one commenter pointed out, you say you couldn’t be happier, but you clearly feel you lack that wholesome relationship with your adult children. Obviously, if all of your children are experiencing a strained relationship with just you, there has to be some pattern of behavior that you exhibited to ward them off. Seeing as you have 5 children, they can’t all be blind to the trauma they have experienced from parenting on both sides. Seems like there is more to this situation than you are willing to admit.


    1. I admit to my own faults, but there is so much more to the story that I cannot go into. And yes, I voluntarily underwent counseling for a while to avoid talking about the matter to my wife, who does not need to be immersed in it.


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