There is no error in the title of this article. It is not supposed to say Missing In Action. Missing After Action is correct. There is a segment of the male population who was fully present while the action (sex) was taking place. It’s the after action presence that is lacking, or missing altogether that I’d like to address.
I’m calling for the men who have decided they don’t have to be a dad, yet have already fathered a child. It’s time to step up!
Okay, now that we have all that straight we can continue.
Missing After Action. We’ve all seen it and many of us have situations close to us and have watched it play out. It goes something like this: Guy meets Girl. Guy likes Girl and Girl likes Guy. Like turns to lust, lust turns to sex, sex produces a child. Now Guy is not so sure he really likes Girl. Girl thought Guy was different than he turned out to be. Each wants to go their separate way but there is one problem: a child is now involved and needs both the Guy and the Girl to be present and active in his/her life.
Guy says, “But she’s evil.”
I say, “It didn’t stop you from sleeping with her, and it’s not the child’s fault.”
Guy says, “She makes it hard for me to see my child.”
I say, “Your child is worth it, and it’s not his/her fault.” (Huge side note here: I am in no way condoning any irresponsible behavior on the part of a woman.)
Guy says, “I’m not even sure the child is mine.”
I say, “Get a DNA test. You and the child deserve to know the truth.”
Guy says, “I don’t have my life together enough to be a dad.”
I say, “Your child doesn’t care about that. He/she just needs your presence and needs to see you are trying the best you can.”
Guy says, “I never wanted children.”
I say, “You should have taken the necessary steps for yourself to keep that from happening. It’s not the child’s fault he/she is here.”
Guy says, “She turns my child against me by telling him/her lies.”
I say, “Let your child see the truth for his/herself by spending time with them.”
Do you see a common thread? It’s not the child’s fault and too many are being penalized for the decisions of adults. None of the reasons above are valid enough for you to walk out of your child’s life.
Men who have fathered children but don’t want to be a dad have to stop giving themselves an excused absence. Your children need you and you owe it to them to be present and actively engaged in their lives. It is impossible for a women to teach a boy to be a man. Even if she had a great dad herself, her psyche is set on ‘woman’. It is common for girls who grow up without a dad to seek male attention which can then lead to promiscuity.
When present, children love their parents regardless of their imperfections. When absent, children sometimes don’t love themselves because they perceive the parent’s absence as a lack of love for them. ‘If my dad doesn’t love me (because he’s not involved in my life), there must be something wrong with me.’ The psychological damage caused by an absentee parent is real and long-lasting.
This is not about man-bashing. This is all about recognizing a problem and trying to address it with the best interest of children in mind. Every child has two parents and every child deserves to know both of their parents. Remember, it’s not their fault!