Before I dive deep into this post, let me first say that this is not a post meant to bash anyone or their parenting abilities necessarily. I’m proud to have created a platform that doesn’t make a habit of judging other people or hurling out insults. However with that said, there are some things I tend to have a very strong opinion about, and relationships between estranged parents and their children is one of them. I probably have such strong opinions because I don’t really have much a relationship with my own father, but that’s a story for a different post. Anyway, let’s go ahead and get started.
In the midst of watching one of my guilty pleasures, Real Housewives of Potomac, a topic of discussion arose that has been one I’ve talked about with friends a few times. For those not following the show this season, there is new wife (wife-to-be) named Candiace Dillard. Her fiancé, Chris, has three kids from two previous relationships, but appears not to have a relationship with the eldest child. As a matter of fact, the oldest son (age 15) is not even going to attend the wedding, and hasn’t really had contact with Chris in ten years. And despite the fractured relationship with his son, Candiace is eager to walk down the aisle and one day have kids with her husband-to-be. I’m not one to tell people how to live their lives, but if I were Candiace, I’d have a huge problem saying “I do” here.
I see it as a huge red flag when a guy doesn’t have a relationship with his child. I get that some mothers make it difficult for some fathers to see their children, and I understand that not every father is in easy driving distance of his child. However, there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for a guy not to have a relationship with his child (excluding a court order saying as much). If as a father the mother of your child is denying you access to your flesh and blood, take that mother to court. If you’re a dad and your kid lives 1,000 miles away, hop in a plane, train, or car. Heck, get on several Megabus rides if you have to. Again, unless a judge says so, every kid is deserving of a relationship with his or her living parents.
I don’t understand how Candiace doesn’t fear that God forbid she gets a divorce from Chris one day after they have kids, that he won’t opt to go ghost on her kids. Also, it’s always a goal of mine to get along with my significant other’s family. Not the best way to start off a lifetime commitment when you can’t bond with your partner’s son; even if, your partner and son aren’t necessarily vibing at the moment.
Also, there is a resentment factor at play here. Look, my father has a whole other family with his wife. From the outside looking in, it seems he’s been a good parent to his other kids. It appears he’s been good to them based off the photos I’ve seen. So naturally, growing up I resented both him and his wife. I knew he was not a good dad, but I used to think she was to blame for his lack of presence in my life. Now that I’m older, I don’t put any blame on her because at the end of the day, he’s the dad. Not her. But not everyone will have that realization. I’d hate for the kid to resent Candiace because he assumes she played a part in keeping him away from his father.
In short, whether it’s Candiace or someone else in her shoes, I don’t understand a person entering into forever with someone under these conditions. In fact, I would advise those like Candiace to try playing a role in fixing fractured parent-child relationships before entering marriage, as it will be better for all the parties involved. If a man can’t do better to repair a relationship with his own flesh and blood, it’s a possible bad sign about how he resolves other relationship problems in his life. I’m just saying.