NCFM NOTE: Contrast this with the Fathers’ Day posts by NCFM Adviser Gordon Finley. I cannot recall all the good men I’ve worked with who lost their children to the family court system for no apparent reason other than they had a penis. I cannot count high enough to tell you how many times I have heard of or witnessed a Family Court judge deny children their fathers, fathers who were far more qualified as good parents than the mother. Nor can I recount how many times fathers who gained custody have recounted receiving no child support or alimony, plus the fact that the government would not enforce those rare instances in which a mother was court ordered to pay child support or alimony. Unbelievably, there are still those who propagandize that false allegations of sexual assault are only one to two percent even though they are so common in Family Court they are called the “Silver Bullet.” Do you know, that over the last 30 years of so there has been a concerted effort to prevent fathers from introducing “facts” in their own defense because doing so is considered a form of domestic violence, more specifically “harassment.” Consider now Richard’s story below, which is all to typical in America. Thank you Mr. Doyle for sharing… Harry Crouch, President, NCFM.
It began in 1956 upon discharge from the Air Force when I returned home unannounced from a year and a half deployment in Alaska during the Korean War. The homecoming was unlike those heart-tugging TV scenes we see of loving wives and children greeting returning veterans (I tear up every time I see them.) A babysitter let me in, and hurriedly left. I kissed the two sleeping little ones and waited until my wife and what turned out be a partially live in boyfriend returned from a night of carousing. I had suspected something like that. Hearing the key in the door I opened it causing the guy to run down the apartment stairs not to be seen again, though many others were. I called a cab, threw my wedding ring in a nearby lot, paid the driver to get me a bottle of whisky (the bars were closed) and take me to a sleazy hotel in St. Paul. I drank the bottle and don’t remember much after that. Thus began a decades long nightmare.
I tried reconciliation, but my wife’s continued preference for a non-marital lifestyle led to a bitter divorce and custody fight, all the way to the state Supreme Court, which I lost of course, being male. Government agencies supported her at every turn with numerous adverse judicial and administrative rulings and decisions, ignoring copious evidence favorable to me. I rattled many bureaucratic cages to no avail giving me unique insight to domestic law, welfare and misguided institutional chivalry: that combination destroyed my erstwhile family ― and surely many thousands of others. Eventually there were no more cages to rattle. The situation negatively influenced my later suffering children who paid a high price for their mother’s choices. The Medea story materialized
The whole catastrophe was a deeply shocking experience. The expression “gob-smacked” sums it up. During those dark days I struggled with depression and alcoholic self-medication. I nearly became one of those homeless vets on the streets ―58,000 of them in the U.S. (There but for the grace of God). Murder and suicide crossed my mind. Thankfully neither occurred. I asked the V.A. for psychological help, but was turned down. Over the years I was prescribed any number of anti-depressant and anxiety meds by HMO psychiatrists. The advice one of them gave was to write the story.
An air traffic controller in the Air Force, I returned to that occupation in civilian life, mostly in the control tower at Minneapolis airport. My work there suffered. I was at fault in an almost catastrophic near miss between a landing Navy plane and a civilian jet loaded with passengers one night in low visibility conditions. Pauperized by increases in my alimony support obligation and thoroughly shaken by the near miss and other unwise relationships, I resigned from the FAA throwing my ex-wife on welfare. I worked for several years in Gulfport Mississippi mostly as commercial pilot and flight instructor. The law closed in resulting in a couple months in alimony/support jail back in Minnesota.
I made contact with the very early founders of the men’s movement, Charlie Metz of Minneapolis Reuben Kidd and his associates in the United States Divorce Reform in California (They actually preceded Charlie). I worked for Charlie as divorce counselor when he started America’s $ociety (as he spelled it) of Divorced men in Elgin, Illinois. Later others and I founded Men’s Equality Now (M.E.N.) International then the Men’s Defense Assoc. in St. Paul MN, edited The Liberator for many years, and wrote a book Doyle’s War, Save the Males.
Many other organizations and activists have sprung up over the ensuing years, most fighting the same battles though some have other interests.
At present, I am happily married and living in Gopher Prairie (title of a fictional novel by Sinclair Lewis) Minnesota.
NCFM Adviser Richard Doyle, My Introduction to the Men’s Movement