Wow, that is a question and a half and the gut reaction, I think any self-respecting person to this question, would answer is “NO!”, but let’s dive into it a little more.
First, let’s put some context to a possible scenario for you separated parents out there. The relationship ends, for whatever reason, and you both part ways. In a normal relationship, you may never speak to your ex-partner ever again but when children are involved, it is another story. For the children, you have to be involved with each others lives and rightly so, making the best out of a difficult situation for the benefit of your children.
Sadly, sometimes there is a parent who can deny access and stop the other parent seeing the children. Sadly though, this is mainly Mum’s blocking access.
Legal tip It is the right of the child to have both parents in their lives.
This is where it gets hard and let’s try to help with some assumptions. Let’s assume:
- There are no safeguarding issues
- There are no legal reasons as to why you should be denied access
- You’ve no medical reasons to not see your children
- You have been denied ALL access by your ex-partner
So, we’ve established some context and you are deciding to fight for all your worth to establish contact with your children again. You give it your all. This is what I have done, I’ve given it my all and been tested emotionally the whole way through. Often, I’ve thought to myself “what if I gave up?”. So when, if ever, does it become OK to stop fighting?
Fighting for my little man has taught me valuable lessons and I suppose, my ex partner has done me a favour in a backward way by enabling me to learn new limits about myself. I have been pushed to the edge with domestic violence and been kept on the edge for months with worry and upset. I’ve had accusations thrown at me that would have ramifications for my friends and my boss’es company if they were true. I am however, coming through the other side, fortunately for myself and my son. There are however, Dad’s out there who are not in such a “fortunate” position (and I use that word very loosely), there are Dad’s out there who have felt they have fought so hard and have felt to give up fighting. Or where the children have been taken to another country by the ex-partner (we will get a guest blog post done on this).
Fighting for your children is emotionally draining. You can, but not limited to:
- Suffer depression
- Have increased stress levels
- Have massive financial worries from a separation and legal fee’s
- Struggle to sleep
- Have a reduced social circle after a break-up
Any one of these things is difficult enough to deal with, imagine several at the same time. This is normal.
Picture yourself as a glass bottle with all the emotional stress as sand. Everyone is a different size of glass bottle with a different amount of sand being added to it. Normally, you manage to empty some sand from the bottle and the bottle never overflows. In some cases though, during a battle for your children’s rights to see you, you can have far to much sand to go into your bottle and it overflows. If you keep pressing it in, eventually the bottle will break. What do you do before the bottle breaks?
I have written a blog post about how to deal with your emotions when fighting for your children which can help, but sometimes, you just have to walk away. Give up fighting. You have fought and given it more than your all. At this stage, you decide you have to give up for your own sanity. Making this choice is one of the hardest decisions you will have have to make but you feel you have to in order to rebuild your life. From one Dad to another, this is OK.
Just because you decide to give up fighting, it does not mean it is the end. You may decide to move away, rebuild your life and deal with the emotional strain. You may decide that fighting was just to much… at the time. What’s to say that in the future, you may be in a better position financially, emotionally and socially to start the fight again? My advice, put your child first, if it is better for them for you to walk away, do so. It will not be forever and only you can decide if this is the right thing to do for you and your child.
Legal tip You’ve a legal & moral obligation to continue payments for your children & when you start fighting again, these continued payments will look favourable for you along with being able to show your children that you always tried to be there for them.
There are many parents out there that feel they can not fight anymore. No one can judge. But what are your thoughts? Why have you stopped fighting? Comment below.