I don’t care if you are stuck in a dead-end marriage. I don’t care if you are divorced. I don’t care if you were never even dating in the first place and your child is the product of a one-night stand. No matter what the situation is, if you care about the mental health of your daughter, then you will treat her mother with respect. You won’t do it for the mother. You won’t do it for yourself. You will do it for your daughter. Because she deserves to feel safe inside her family tree.
You can say the money you spend and the food you provide proves you care about your daughter — but if you truly love her as much as you claim you do, then you will treat her mother with respect to set an example. To show her what a healthy relationship looks like. To show her what a real man looks like.
You don’t want your daughter to think the toxic way you treat her mother is normal — but that’s exactly what is going to happen if she grows up seeing you curse her mother out beneath your breath every time you take a sip from your beer. That is exactly what is going to happen if she notices you coming home late from work every single night and refusing to admit where you were because it’s none of her business.
She is going to assume mothers and fathers bicker during every car ride and joke about how they are sleeping with other people and punch down doors when they are angry. She is going to believe relationships are always filled with distrust and disappointment. She is going to have a twisted version of what it means to love someone for a long time.
You don’t want your daughter to jump from one damaging relationship to another because you were unable to get your shit together. Because the only person you ever cared about was yourself.
If you actually love your daughter, then you won’t cheat on her mother if you’re still together. You won’t call her a useless piece of shit every time you’re angry. You won’t resort to violence. You won’t make her feel worthless. You won’t make her feel afraid.
Even if you aren’t together anymore, if you love your daughter, you won’t talk shit about her mother to the entire neighborhood. You won’t try to get her in trouble. You won’t lie directly to her face and you will not expect your daughter to lie for you.
If you actually love your daughter, then you will show her the way women are meant to be treated by men. You will show her that, even if you are no longer in love with her mother, even if you cannot even stand the sight of her mother, you have the strength to get along with each other for the sake of the family. Because you love your daughter more than you hate her mother.