Connecting with other divorced/ing dads?
September 5, 2017 1:53 PM   Subscribe

I'm a 45-year-old guy in the early stages of a divorce, with two young kids involved. I'd love to find other dads who are or have gone through something similar, for perspective and support. But I'm not having much luck finding any, either in person (Portland, OR) or online.

All my close friends are more or less happily married, and even among my larger circles of acquaintances, the few divorcees I know have all experienced very different circumstances.

Surprisingly, in a city as big as Portland, there aren't even any support groups for fathers going through a divorce. I've found exactly one Meetup group, which is for both sexes at all stages of the process, not really what I'm looking for.

I'm willing to look at online communities, but a lot of those that are geared toward men seem to edge up toward the MRA line real quickly. (Not interested in all-women-are-awful echo chambers.)

Where can I find fellow sufferers/survivors?
posted by gottabefunky to Human Relations (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I divorced (one kid) four years ago at 46. Not sure where to find much in the way of support online, but what I did find was such a wide variety of experiences that it was difficult to find any common ground. Many of the online forums are full of rants or over-the-top legal responses to what seemed like awful situations for the people involved, but nothing close to what I was feeling and doing. Happy to memail, or contribute more. What "perspective and support" are you looking for exactly?

We split relatively amicably after 18 years or so of marriage, and we both agreed not to give our assets to lawyers in the process. I came up with some calculations and ended up with a final figure I emailed her. She came back with some questions, some revaluations, and a different figure. I suggested we split the difference and that was that. Lawyers fees for the fairly complicated paperwork, separation, child care, and divorce were about $2000 each. Both of our lawyers were seriously annoyed that they hadn't got more. That was the best part of the result.

We are both infinitely happier now than we were four years ago.
posted by tillsbury at 4:01 PM on September 5, 2017 [3 favorites]

Hi, gottabefunky.

I live in Wilsonville. I am 40 and recently divorced. I have five kids. And I am meeting another guy for coffee tomorrow evening who is in a similar situation, although he only has two kids. The HR manager at my work introduced us. I've been searching for others in the same boat, and haven't had luck either.

I attended a DivorceCare class for three weeks, but most of the attendees were women who had been dumped or were escaping abuse, so it was a bad fit for me.

Feel free to send me a private message.
posted by tacodave at 4:33 PM on September 5, 2017

Another divorcing dad of a toddler here. I found other people to talk about divorce with by posting AskMe style questions on Facebook. They came from my extended friends network. I also see other parents (including divorced parents) at day care, playground, IRL. PM welcome!
posted by gregglind at 3:43 AM on September 6, 2017

I got divorced with one child 6 years ago, and although it started out kind of ugly, things rapidly improved once it was finalized to the point where we consider each other friends and work well together when it comes to raising our daughter. The parents of one of my daughter's classmates also got divorced at the same time, and as far as I can tell they still can't be in the same room as each other. The fact that each divorce is unique (as has already been alluded to) made me not really want to seek out any support group beyond friends and family I already had. But one thing that was helpful was the parenting class divorcing parents are required to take here in GA; it looks like Oregon has a similar requirement. I don't know if you are that far along in the process yet, but being in a group of parents of all genders going through the process and talking about how we planned to deal with parenting really helped me process what to prioritize. I would suggest you reconsider looking for a men-only group because whenever I have been in a (informal) group of divorced men talking about their divorces, there is a very strong tendency to veer into the MRA type discussion that you are right to try and avoid. Indeed, hearing what divorced mothers have had to say about their experience has been far more helpful to me, as it made me much more sympathetic towards my ex and want to avoid some of the mistakes other divorced fathers have made.
posted by TedW at 6:19 AM on September 6, 2017

I had a roommate last year who moved in because he was getting divorced, in his late 40s, with two kids. He read a lot of self-help and parenting-through-divorce books, used his EAP therapy sessions, and did a lot of physically exhausting stuff (a pre-existing sports hobby, rearranging the garage, etc.). He did have one male friend getting divorced at about the same time and they would hang out.

He's local to you and I can ask him if he'd be interested in connecting with you, if you'd like, pm me.
posted by momus_window at 8:04 AM on September 6, 2017

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