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Author Topic: Robin Hadley : Fatherless - Daily Telegraph  (Read 3931 times)
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By Robin Hadley
 03 Apr 2013
When I was a teenager and my parents wanted to stop me doing something, they’d always come out with the same thing. “You’ll have to make these decisions when you’re a parent,” they would say. “It’s not easy. You’ll realise that when you have children of your own.”

I’m 53 now and I’m not a father. I never will be. I am happily married – to my second wife – and we have no children. It’s not that we didn’t want any; since my mid-thirties, I have been broody, desperate for the kids that I watched my friends and colleagues having over the years. I always assumed it would happen. But, for me, it was never the right time.

The study reported in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph, which found that childless men can be just as broody as women – and, indeed, are more prone to feeling depressed and angry about not having kids – was part of my PhD research project at Keele University. For it, I interviewed men who, like me, long to be fathers and have felt utterly devastated when it hasn’t come to pass.

I married my first wife when I was 26; she was five years younger. We got engaged within six months and married shortly afterwards. We bought a three-bedroom house in Rochdale, outside Manchester, and started trying for kids. At the time, I remember thinking: “I’m going to be a father. I’m going to have to provide for my child.” So I went into overdrive at work – I was a technician at Manchester University – to try to get a promotion. Four years passed, we never had children and eventually the marriage failed.

Afterwards, I was stuck with the house, rattling around on my own. It was a macho thing – I can survive, I thought, I can do this. In reality, it was all a bit sad. Meanwhile, all my peers were getting married and having children – having a life, I suppose. When I was 35, I got into a relationship with a great woman. At one point, she said: “I’d like to have children with you.” I was so ready then. I yearned for a son or daughter. But, sadly, we split up soon afterwards.
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