"Do You Ever Cry, Dad?": Why I Wrote This Father's Guide to Surviving a Breakup by I.J. Schecter

Books Fatherhood
3 years ago

"Do You Ever Cry, Dad?": Why I Wrote This Father's Guide to Surviving a Breakup

People often ask me why I wrote the book, Do You Ever Cry, Dad? They assume it must been very difficult and emotional to write, and they wonder why I would want to put myself through that wringer all over again, in a different form of expression.

It’s true that the book was extremely difficult to write. In the process of putting everything down, I was forcing myself to relive many of the worst moments we experienced as a family, many of the hardest and most desperate moments I’ve known as a father, and, of course, the most awful period of my kids’ lives. But one of the most important things that allowed me to persevere through this very dark time was the support and kindnesses of others – and that’s why I wrote "Do You Ever Cry, Dad?"

There were countless days, even hours, when I wasn’t sure I could get through, and a decent word or gesture from a friend, family member or, sometimes, stranger, allowed me to get past that moment and reach the next.

And that’s what my kids needed: for me to be able to stay strong and resilient so that I could help guide them through the stages of grieving that a family split requires. It is hard enough for the adults in the situation to handle. For kids, it is a horrible bombshell to their very existence. As parents trying to help them through, we have very little likelihood of giving satisfactory or reassuring answers. Usually, the best one can do is stay present, be there for them, giving love and shelter consistently and constantly.

So many others helped me endure this painful transition that I wanted to try to pay it forward and do whatever I might to help other dads, and in turn, their kids.

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Elisa Schmitz
Oh my goodness, I.J. Schecter ! It is so good to hear from you and to know about your amazing book! It sounds powerful, though I'm sorry it also sounds like you have been through so much. I have been through a difficult divorce, too, and I know how painful it is. I'm so glad you shared this with us. It's great to see your byline on 30Seconds (after seeing it many times on iParenting!), and I look forward to reading more from you!
I.J. Schecter
Thank you so much, Elisa! And sorry to hear that you went through it, too, though I hope you came out the other side happier and none the worse for wear :). Really appreciate your kind words and very happy to be part of this community!
Ann Marie Patitucci
Thank you for sharing this with us, @I.J. Welcome to our community of writers!
I.J. Schecter
Very kind of you, Ann Marie - thanks so much! I'm very happy to enter the fold :).
Egan Patricia
It seems like it will be a good book to read. Just seeing hiw othrrs deal with the same situation.
I.J. Schecter
I appreciate your words, Egan. I hope you'll find it useful if you pick it up, and would be happy to hear your impressions. Writing a book is its own reward, but there is nothing more meaningful or valuable than hearing from those who read it :).
I.J. Schecter
Thanks so much, Pili. Where are you writing from? I'm based in Toronto (and, of course, not going anywhere else for now). It's always interesting to hear the different places rom which people come together on things :).
Mário Ávila
Great post. Made my day.
I.J. Schecter
Thanks so much, Mario! Very kind of you to take the time to write :).

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