Sixteen months ago, my wife decided to leave me. She said it was because she didn’t love me anymore… but I think it was more because… at that time I didn’t have a job and had no money to contribute toward our household expenses….
I changed my mobile number and haven’t spoken to her nor to my children because she said that I was abusing them psychologically by asking them how they were doing… or why they hadn’t called me. She would only call me to ask for money…. I have made the decision to move to another country to make a new life for myself and a future for my children. I would like to know what you advise.
As you probably know, the advice we give is based on Biblical principles, so let’s begin with some of those principles. The Apostle James, who was the brother of Jesus Christ, taught that wishing someone well while not caring for their physical needs is worthless.1 The Apostle Paul wrote to his co-worker, Timothy, that anyone who doesn’t care for their own household is worse than someone who does not even believe in God.2
However, is meeting your children’s physical needs with money all that matters? Absolutely not! A father is the one who is supposed to model for his children what God is like. A child whose father has abandoned him will have difficulty believing that God is a Father who will never abandon him. Furthermore, statistics show that a child without the presence of his father is “more likely to… become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems. Boys are more likely to become involved in crime, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens.”3
You, nevertheless, changed your mobile number because you have difficulty dealing with your wife and are angry with her for accusing you of psychological abuse. What you have done is the very definition of abandonment.
Now you want to begin a new life, supposedly not only for yourself but also for your children’s future. Sadly, you don’t understand that, if you desert them now, they will likely not want a relationship with you in the future.
You are asking for our advice, so here it is: Put aside your anger and hurt feelings, and think about the welfare of your children. Call or text each one of them at least once a week and assure them that you love them. If your wife won’t allow visitation, take advantage of the justice system of your country, and petition the court for visitation.
When you communicate with your children, don’t try to make them feel guilty for not calling you or for not doing other things that you have advised. You are the adult. You need to call or text them, whether or not they ever respond.
Lastly, provide whatever money you can for the welfare of your children. Take groceries to their house and buy clothes that they need for school. Your children should be your priority in your time and in your expenses. You don’t need a new life; you need to improve the one you already have.
We wish you and your children well,
1 Jas 2:15-16
2 1Ti 5:8 (ERV)
3 “The Consequences of Fatherlessness”