Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery


I am The Off Parent

Learning to be a single dad. Trying to be a better man.

“Hi. I’m glad you stopped by. I’m gonna share a lot of stuff. And a bunch of it won’t be easy. But in the end we will make it through this. I did. You can too.”

“If you follow this story all the way back to the beginning you’ll see a man who was struggling with his identity post-divorce. All of the previous experiences and dreams had failed me. As you journey with me towards today you will see healing, recovery, gratitude, and rebirth. I’m not there yet, but the journey has become the blessing. As we leave our divorces behind, great things can happen. As we grow we can become better parents, better ex-partners, and better people overall. This is my journey. Welcome.”


2016 Note: I forgot to tell you, this is not a feel-good blog. This is not an apology. This is a rant, a rave, and a passion play to help ME survive this troubling time as a single parent. I do hope you get something from my writing, but that’s not my point. Sorry. In the same way, my arrows are not pointed at my ex-wife. She did her thing, she’s doing her thing, and she continues to have little regard for my health and wellbeing. How that translates into “doing what’s best for the kids” I will never understand. The good news, today I no longer have to understand her. I just have to manage my life in relationship to my kids. She can go fk herself.

The Off Parent is an honest self-discovering, self-revealing process for me. I am going through the toughest thing I’ve ever experienced and I’m not happy about it. My goal is not to be bitter or hurtful. If I can provide some ideas that will help others with their pain, or perhaps point them in the direction of recovery, that is great, but that is not my goal.

Let me be clear about this: This is not a self-help blog. I am not a daddy blogger.

I am not trying to create the historic record of my divorce. I am howling. I am singing a self-discovery song. It’s a grand tradition. My favorite forefathers are Walt Whitman, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, and Lawrence Durrell. While I am telling things as they come, please be aware (as I try to be) that these are MY perspectives and are in no way meant to represent an authoritative documentation of my divorce, nor an accurate picture of my ex-y’s actual thoughts or feelings. This is all about me and my feelings.

This writing covers the sweeping contrasts of pain and joy, written as I tumble through them. I know that I am on a rich vein here because the energy and passion are returning as I write. I am uncovering and unwinding parts of myself that have been hidden and twisted deep inside. I am singing the song of myself, as I travel through the experience of being a divorced dad.

I hope to gain insight through self-examination and self-revelation. I also hope to lessen the self-flagellation that can come with the failure of a marriage. I am not here to make you feel better. I am here to get it out. I am here to share my journey. To make me feel better. But mostly to FEEL THROUGH this bitter, enlightening, transformative experience. Feel, that’s the operative word here. You are welcome to come along.

Today is a day of reflection. I am examining what I’m doing here on The Off Parent. Assessing the damage and progress of my self-observation, self-obsession, self-centered divorce blog. Let’s see if we can get to the heart of the matter.

  1. Strive to cut deep into the pain and healing of divorce recovery.
  2. Express anger and hurt without blaming the other person.
  3. Eliminate cynicism.
  4. Always go for the truth, my truth, the painful truth.
  5. Protect the innocent through anonymity and discretion.
  6. Write for my own personal journey and healing, if there is a reader that’s fine, but I am not writing for anyone but myself.
  7. Lift my psychology out of the hurt and sadness of depression and towards the healing and recovery for all the members of my family.
  8. Do no harm.
  9. Take on no more shame.
  10. Leave this discussion behind in favor of the next love and romance in my life.

from My Divorce: A Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory

do no harm, take no shit

I’m a mad, depressed, joyous, hyper, renewed, defeated, starting over, alone, homeless, single dad and this is my rant.


The Off Parent

Note for 2013: This blog is not written to my ex-y. While she knows about it, my guess is that she stays clear of reading it. So, I’m not writing TO her, or intentionally trying to communicate to her through the blog. It is only with this distinction that I feel I can write from the hot core, rather than skim over the surface so as not to hurt any feelings.


 Sept. 30, 2013: The Off Parent is now publishing as part of The Good Men Project. Check us out there and get with the program of becoming a better man.

Excerpt from a recent post The Good Side of Divorce:

“My anger is my own. My kids are a shared resource and responsibility. My ex-y is a wonderful human being who is doing her best in the world. And it is my hope that The Off Parent is more about me and my struggles, joy, and recovery than it is a bitch-fest about her. Sure I can go there. But in the real world, I leave as much of it HERE as possible.”

You can reach out directly via email: theoffparent[at]gmail[dot]com

the off parent profile image

Now Available on AMAZON.

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 6.07.52 PMIt’s been a great ride thus far, thank you for reading and continuing to offer so many comforting words. I hope you enjoy the poetry as well. (grin)

The book is available soon from a number of eBook retailers as well as from BookBaby in Print or Electronic versions. It is now also available as a Kindle download from Amazon.


Repurposing THE OFF PARENT Content: If you are going to excerpt part of an article for you divorce law site, please use proper attribution and include a link back to the source article. Don’t make it look like you wrote my story, that’s bad form, and it doesn’t do either of us any favors. I’m happy if my material helps you bolster and educate your clients about this awful and transformative divorce process, but please… Do the right thing. Give the story an author, and a link back here. If you do that we’re going to get along fabulously. Thanks.

I have listed my site as Creative Commons resource, so I’m into you sharing, but you must attribute the work.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

8 Responses

  1. I’ve just stumbled across your blog, thankfully, and I hope to find the time to look through yor writing and learn more about your journey.
    I’m going through a divorce right now and find myself in a similar position to you. I have a hunch that a lot of what you write will sound incredibly familiar and, as such, comforting. If that makes any sense.
    Best wishes.

    May 6, 2012 at 4:20 am

    • thewriter

      Thanks for your comment. I’m trying to get to both sides of the experience. The highs and the lows. And mostly I’m trying to heal myself. Good luck on your journey.

      May 6, 2012 at 4:42 am

  2. I was fortunate to have @theoffparent find me and follow me on Twitter not only because one can never have too many good followers but because of the helpful solid content on the site.

    Everyone is on a different point along there journey and sometimes good information like this is what we need to get through to the next leg of the trip.

    Thank you @theoffparent


    Jaxon Wolfe

    August 18, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    • thewriter

      Thanks dude.

      August 18, 2014 at 10:00 pm

  3. Greg

    It’s too bad we have to relate due to these particular circumstances, but it’s still nice to find someone who understands and has been through it. I guess misery really does love company. 🙂

    October 2, 2015 at 10:18 am

  4. Donald McCombs

    Dear Off Parent

    Your last two posts have hit me in the gut. I admire your blog very much. You say what you feel, not just what you think. I’ve gone through a divorce after 35 years of what I thought was a great relationship. I’ve been lied to and cheated on — your words have been a great comfort to get through the anger and still take the high road. Thank you for the help and the thoughts you express here. I haven’t yet found the support you’re receiving from your fiancé. You are lucky to have her, I hope that someday I’ll be ready to find that support, but not yet.
    Thank you for what you do.


    PS This is the first time I’ve ever commented on a blog

    January 13, 2016 at 7:43 pm

  5. Don McCombs

    Thank you for your insight thoughts and occasional rants. I’ve commented before but I love your attitude towards your kids. Thankfully mine are older and can judge for themselves. I took the high road and it worked out. I was lucky enough to have the financial assets to make it work. I really feel for guys like you that got caught up in the recession.
    I’m sorry for the pain you’ve been through. Just so you know I care as do many other guys — good luck on your new tough stand. I admire it.

    March 2, 2016 at 6:26 pm

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