A Note to Fathers

To the fathers of estranged adult children who have come upon my book, Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children

Fathers of estranged adult children often ask:

  • Why did you exclude the fathers?

To answer, here’s an excerpt from the book:

A Note to Fathers

You might wonder why I have chosen to direct this book to mothers. In the support forum at www.RejectedParents.NET, and among the thousands of parents who completed my survey, the vast majority are mothers. In fact, less than seven percent of my survey respondents were fathers. Of these, a great many ticked off only the basic, categorical answers, ignoring the empty boxes in which so many mothers poured out their sadness as they wrote in their stories. That’s why I have chosen to title and direct the book to mothers as the main audience—but that doesn’t mean this book won’t help you.

Women frequently report that their husbands aren’t as burdened by the estrangement as they are. It’s more likely that you handle your emotions in different, and perhaps more subtle ways. The fact is that regardless of gender, no two individuals are the same. We all process emotions and handle problems differently, based on a variety of factors such as personality, upbringing, and our particular history.

While the stories in the book are from the mother’s perspective, many of the examples are of couples, and include the experiences of fathers. Some passages directly highlight men’s reactions by using my husband’s emotions, as well as the reactions of other men. The principles presented are relevant to fathers, and the strategies for coping can be used by anyone.

Fathers, I hope you will reach out, and let me know how you used the book—and how I might better help you in the future.  ~~ –Sincerely, Sheri McGregor

Available through popular booksellers. Ask your local bookstore to order this book for parents of estranged adult children for you. Or order online at:
Barnes And Noble

Not in the U.S — you can still get the book. Ask your local bookstore, or order at Amazon.ca or Amazon.com/uk

One parent recently told me they appreciated the way the title was arranged. The subtitle is very small, so the subject matter isn’t obvious–making it easy to carry inconspicuously.

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8 thoughts on “A Note to Fathers

  1. Brokenhearted

    Today is Father’s Day 2021. I have been divorced from my daughter’s mother for three years after our family dissolved two years before then. It was a long and painful marriage where my ex pitted my daughter against me. I know how flawed I am and the mistakes I made, but my daughter’s coldness still bites, especially today. I have to find a way to stop hurting.

  2. Loving Dad

    I do fully agree that Sheri has done us a great service by opening up this forum to talk about this issue and read her book.

    I must also say that what Christopher H. has written rings load with many many fathers and mothers. The family court system does not work for the best interest of the children and if fact with granting sole/primary custody to one parent over the other it only helps and fuels Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) which almost always results in some level of estrangement.

  3. Pete

    I have been rejected by both my children – I deal with it by crusting over as a defense mechanism but want very much to get back with them. I’m very close to my older adult nieces and perhaps they will act as a go-between. For most of their growing up, the kids lived with me every other week although my ex-wife was the legal custodian. Lately I’ve been having self doubts about my parenting, but I’ve been going through all the pictures I took over those years and it’s obvious the kids were happy living with me and we did a lot together. It could be these political times… I am a conservative and that just may be unacceptable to our callow youth. My kids are 23 and 22; I am 68. I hope I live long enough to reconcile, for their sakes as well as my own.

  4. Christopher H.

    Has it occurred to you that perhaps fathers have other reasons for not claiming estrangement?

    60% of marriages end in divorce within the first 7 years. 80-90% of the time the mothers are granted custody. Net: the fathers are already estranged from the beginning. Family law courts rarely apply equal rights and opportunities to fathers. When the mothers are actively practicing parental alienation, no one is there to create a level playing field. In fact, most of the time the courts will side with the mother even in the face of clear violations of parenting agreements and/or legal precedents.

    In the case where you’re dealing with a husband/wife ‘intact’ family, the fathers are typically not the primary communicators, or their actions and words are moderated by the mother/wife.

    Here’s a tip – most of the people who are estranged are divorced or single parents. The children don’t have the coping skills to manage complex adult emotions and layered relationships. In most cases, the parents are doing the best that they can. Neither child nor parent has an effective support network that is capable of bridging the gaps on their own.

    Once the kids reach 18, they have newfound ‘power’ to act out their frustration, hurt and anger towards parents for every perceived wrong or injustice that they have experienced. There is a genuine lack of empathy. Parents are no longer allowed to have an opinion that goes contrary to what children want to believe. Parents aren’t allowed to have feelings of hurt, injustice, frustration and despair.

    The net result is that dads, more than women, become outsiders throughout the entire process.

    You based your book on mother’s stories because they filled out your forms more completely? While I think it’s feast that moms have a resource, that’s just lazy research. You are missing a HUGE part of the formula for success by excluding men from your research.

    The chips are already stacked against men throughout the modern child rearing process. There is plenty of support for women across the board, and nearly none for men.

    Most men have a more difficult time with these situations because their default reaction is anger, not despair.

    It seems like there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that a more complete picture of the relationships – one that also includes the fathers – would be beneficial for both the parent and the child.

    1. rparents Post author

      Thank you for your input Christopher. Fathers have not been excluded in Done With The Crying, nor the research. As stated, examples in the book are relevant and couples are included. I have a new book coming out soon that includes more men’s stories though. More men have reached out to me to share their situations after reading Done With The Crying and finding it helpful to them.

      Thank you again for your thoughts.

      Sheri McGregor

    2. Mark

      Amen, Brother. But Sheri has done us all a great service by just talking about the issue. I feel your pain and experienced the same things you described so well, but no need to shoot the messenger!

    3. Loving Dad


      Thank you for this.

      All parents that have been subjected to PAS have a real life understanding of how debilitating it really is and can fully appreciate your heart felt thoughts that you have expressed.

      Thank you again for this.

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