Diaries of a Forgotten Parent: Divorced Dads on Fathering Through and Beyond Divorce opens an intimate window on the lives of divorced men. Literature on divorce focuses primarily on its effects on women and children, but fair and personal accounts of the lived experiences of custodial and non-custodial fathers are less available. In this highly accessible text, ten American men share intensely personal reflections of guilt, pain, frustration, sacrifice, loneliness and pride. The men do not see themselves as exemplary; rather, their stories are graphically honest, revealing what Paterson calls ordinary men with all their warts. The author reviews significant works on the male experience of divorce from psychological, legal, educational and sociological experts, interspersing commentary and research with the men's own voices. From the initial discussion of why men marry and why they divorce through the men's painful memories of being pushed out of their children's lives by angry and resentful mothers, the author illuminates the legal, fiscal, emotional and practical experiences of men struggling to reinvent their fathering while they find themselves reconfigured into deserters, deadbeats and visitors. The societal myth that fathers are less valuable parents than mothers is thoroughly deconstructed in this text. The book will help divorced and divorcing men and those who work with them to fully understand the experiences of fathers who never stopped loving and caring for their children, in spite of the fact that the contributions of fathers are still largely discounted by schools, courts, and worst of all, by their children's mothers. From this book, readers will understand that there are just too many reasons why fathers must never be forgotten in the lives of their children.
About the Author: Wendy A. Paterson, PhD, is Professor and Dean of the School of Education at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York, in the United States. Her first book on divorced parents, Unbroken Homes: Single Parent Mothers Tell Their Stories (Haworth Press, 2001), brought to life the voices of single parent women. An internationally renowned scholar, she has published major works in Reading Research Quarterly, the Oxford Forum on Public Policy Online and the International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations.